BAxter Family Bakery series, book excerpt from Muffins and Moonbeams, Catherine Castle's Wednesday Writers blog series, contemporary romance, Elizabeth Maddrey, Muffins and Moonbeams, post about reseaching setting
Wednesday Writers is welcoming Elizabeth Maddrey back to the blog series. You can check out some of Elizabeth’s other posts on this blog here. Today, she’s got an excerpt of her contemporary Romance Muffins & Moonbeams and a post about researching your setting. Welcome, Elizabeth!
Generally speaking, I’m a suburban setting writer. I live in the ‘burbs of D.C. and, maybe it’s wrong to admit, but I kind of like them. I like having everything within easy reach. There are cons, of course, like traffic, but overall? I’ve loved setting my books here in the D.C. area so readers can get a little glimpse of what I consider home. But for Muffins & Moonbeams, since it’s part of a multi-author series, I had to stretch outside of my comfort zone quite a lot. Not only were we not setting this series in the suburbs, we were setting it in Idaho.
I have never been to Idaho. I have nothing against it at all, but it was so far outside my comfort zone that I think we could reasonably say it was in my discomfort zone. Small town. Agrarian in nature. In Idaho. So I did what every writer faced with something like this does: I loaded up Google maps and zoomed down into the street view of the area near where we set our town so I could see, roughly, what the landscape and architecture looks like. I spent hours zooming around small towns in southern Idaho and their surrounding area and I discovered something: I really want to visit Idaho.
It’s beautiful there. There are gorges where rivers run wild and beautiful places to hike. And the towns? They look like something out of any picture book with a small-town America Main Street. It felt warm and friendly, like it was the kind of place where people know your name and take the time to stop and chat. (Some of the other authors in the series have actually been to Idaho and they confirmed my impressions.) I hope you’ll take a chance on our little fictional town of Arcadia Valley, Idaho, even if you’re a dyed-in-the-wool suburbanite like me. It might just surprise you how homey it feels.
Muffins and Moonbeam
By Elizabeth Maddrey
Malachi Baxter is happy to hide in the background and manage the business-end of the family bakery. He’d much rather live in the online world of computer games where he can explore the galaxy and no one has to know he’s deaf.
Ursula Franks designs websites during the day and spends her evenings battling alien races online where relationships are easy and uncomplicated. When she agrees to design a website for the local Community Supported Bakery, she has no idea that Malachi is the real man behind her online persona’s best friend and her own secret crush.
As the two work together on the website, they uncover an attraction, but will they be able to put aside past hurt and insecurity to find love?
Malachi clicked on the mission, double checked that he had all the required equipment on board, and opened the map. He chose the first star system he’d need to visit and set the ship in motion. It wasn’t instantaneous transport, which made the game a little more fun. Things could go wrong en route. There were pirates for one, and the handful of people who were irked at him for beating them to prizes. Most of them got over it and remembered it was just a game. But there were others who needed a stiff dose of reality. He tried to steer clear.
“Started without me?” Scarlet Fire’s chat message popped up.
“Just barely. You can still join if you want.”
“Sound good. I’ll beam in?”
“Perfect.” Malachi closed out of the armor customizing screen he’d been in and ran through the halls of his ship to the transportation hub. He verified that it was her and clicked to allow her to join the party. Her avatar materialized. He swallowed. It wasn’t as if he didn’t run into roughly the same avatar all the time—you could only customize your clothes and hair—but something about hers always made his heart stop. Which probably meant he needed to get a real life. “Welcome. We’ll hit the first system in about two minutes. How was your day?”
“Got a new client. Always a good day. Even better, they’re a referral from a previous client and they’re local.”
“Don’t you do web design? Why does local matter?”
“Doesn’t necessarily. But sometimes it helps if there are hiccups.” Her avatar’s hair color changed from bright red to blonde. “What do you think?”
“Is that good or bad? Was trying to go a little more real to life.” The hair changed back. “Maybe that’s not a good thing?”
She was a blonde. It didn’t fit his mental image. Not surprising as he’d essentially un-animated her avatar and dressed her in normal clothes when he was forming it. But…blonde worked, too. “No, I liked it. It just took me by surprise.”
“Don’t you ever want people to know the real you?”
He shook his head and tapped the keys to dock the star ship at the port where they’d find the first leg of their mission. The best part of online multi-player games was having the chance to be who he really was without first waiting for people to get over the fact that he was deaf. “Not really.”
Want to read more? You can find Muffins and Moonbeams at:
About the Author:
Elizabeth Maddrey is a semi-reformed computer geek and homeschooling mother of two who lives in the suburbs of Washington D.C. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books. She loves to write about Christians who struggle through their lives, dealing with sin and receiving God’s grace on their way to their own romantic happily ever after.
Connect with Elizabeth at: