There's something delectable about Zelda Benjamin. Could it be...the chocolate? Maybe at first glance. But there's more to this lovely Avalon author than yummy goodness. Come along with me and learn just what makes Zelda melt.
Q.: Tell us about your latest book for Avalon, Chocolate Muse.
A.: Chocolate Muse is the third book in my Love by Chocolate Series. Theheroine, Maddie, a classically trained pastry chef was introduced in the previous book, Chocolate Magic. When someone mistakenly covers her signature torta di chocolate in soap powder instead of sugar, she’s fired before the review hits the morning paper.
Forced to take a job in a friend's bakery and teach a children's evening class to make ends meet, she vows vengeance on the man responsible for her damaged reputation. But when she realizes that the father of two of her students is her nemesis, the charming food writer Brad Angelo, her anger deflates faster than an overcooked souffle.
Brad, a single father struggling to balance parenting and his syndicated food column, is completely clueless about the trouble he's caused Maddie. He finds her evasive attitude and chocolate talent to be intriguing parts of her allure, but isn't sure he’s ready to create a life that might be messier than melted chocolate when their secrets are slowly revealed.
Q.: Clearly, you have a passion for chocolate. How did it start? Do you have a special background in pastry or desserts?
A.: Unfortunately, I have no special chocolate talents. I love to cook, but baking and working with chocolate are too precise for me. The idea for the first book,Chocolate Secrets came to me when I read about an attempted robbery at the home of a famous French chocolatier. It was believed the intruders were searching for his secret recipe. I guess you can say that article sparked the entire series. I started doing chocolate research by visiting chocolate shops in cities that I visited. When shop owners discovered my interest in chocolate they were more than willing to share their knowledge. I have tasted some really great chocolate and learned a few tips that I share with my readers. I always have an excuse for dessert.
Q.: White chocolate, dark chocolate, or milk chocolate?
A.: I’m a chocolaholic who prefers dark chocolate to milk chocolate. I don’t need a reason to indulge, but the health benefits to eating dark chocolate are always an incentive. Friends and fans are always sending me articles about chocolate. I’d like to share some interesting links.
I know the higher the cocoa content the better the benefits, but I can’t eat chocolate over 70% cocoa.
Q.: Are there any other chocolate books in the works?
A.: Chocolate Couture, book 4 is my current work in progress. This will be my last book in the series.
Q.: Tell us about some of your other interests. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
A.: When I’m not writing I work as a nurse in a pediatric ER. I love to travel with my family- husband, kids, and grandchildren.
Q.: Sounds like a busy, satisfying life. So, what's next for you?
A.: Writing a series is fun. I’d like to do another series.
Q.: Where can readers find you?
A.: Readers can follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
They can also visit my website to see some photos of my favorite vacation spots.