Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A New Tabor Heights Release For Michelle Levigne And Desert Breeze Publishing

Today on our Cyber Launch Party we're celebrating a new Tabor Heights, Ohio release for Michelle Levigne and Desert Breeze Publishing.

COOKING UP TROUBLE by  Michelle Levigne 

Tabor Heights Year Two

Audrey lives for cooking and acting. When the Randolphs experiment with dinner theater, they turn to her to head the kitchen.

Steve returns to Tabor Heights to get to know his new sister, Max. Creating a dinner theater fascinates him, and soon so does Audrey.

As Max and Tony's wedding draws near, so do paparazzi spies. After all, Max is the daughter of celebrities. When Audrey discovers a spy in her kitchen, she spins lies to protect her friends, but finds she needs protection when she is cast opposite Steve in Romeo and Juliet -- and the media speculates she's auditioning to join the celebrity family. Steve becomes her defender and partner in thwarting the paparazzi. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend," is more than true for them, but past difficulties and shameful secrets may be building a wall too thick for even friendship to endure.


A story addict since an early exposure to Dr. Seuss, award-winning author of over 30 novels and novellas, Michelle Levigne has been creating her own stories, heroes and adventures since junior high. She ventures into many sub-genres of science fiction, paranormal, romance and fantasy, including Greek mythology, Narnia spin-offs and her futuristic universe, the Commonwealth.

Michelle writes something for everyone! After all, since she likes to read all over the board, why not WRITE all over the board?


WIN - Leave a question for Michelle today at her Cyber Launch Party and share this post with your friends using the share bar below and your name goes in the hat for a prize!!  Please tell us how you shared and leave your email address so Michelle can contact you if you are today's winner - Good Luck!


  1. Good morning Michelle and super congrats on your new Tabor Heights release!

    For those not familiar with your Tabor Heights, Ohio Series, can you tell us more about it and how the books connect. And what I find so fun about your series is that you follow the town through a full year with 12 books in the first year, right?

    I hope you enjoy your launch party today and thanks for stopping by to tell us more about it and yourself. Best of luck with your new book and here's to it being your biggest seller yet!

  2. I've read a couple of your Tabor Heights books Michelle. So nice to see a new one. Do they have to be read in order? And which ones do you suggest for someone who likes a bit of suspense in their romance?

  3. Do you have a favorite Dr. Suess book? Shared via email.

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  4. Whew! Long, hot day -- and busy with work. Sorry for taking so long to stop in.

    NOPE, you do not need to read any of the Tabor Heights books in any order. They overlap quite a bit, so when you're following one person's story, whether it takes 2 months or an entire year, you catch bits and pieces of what's going on in someone else's life and romance. It's like living in a small town -- not too small, though -- where as you're getting to know some people, you hear about others, and eventually (I hope!) you decide to get to know those other people you've been hearing about.

    That being said ... since some of the action in Year Two is built on what happened in Year One, it might be smart to read some of the books of Year One, first. But I promise, you won't be too confused.

    In fact, I am planning, when I've got a little more of my life excavated, to start putting together a GUIDEBOOK for Tabor Heights. It will be available as a PDF on my website -- eventually -- where you can download updated versions to get the lowdown on who is who, and what is what, and where things are and who appears in what stories, and even a sense of the calendar, in the Tabor Heights books.

    Okay, back to what I said about books in Year Two sort of being built on some in Year One -- COOKING UP TROUBLE is one of those.

    In Year One, in the book BEHIND THE SCENES, we meet Audrey as a member of the ensemble at Homespun Theater. And Steve comes to town, looking for a job at the theater. Then, during the Randolphs' accident, Max handling the theater while her parents are in the hospital, then problems with a disgruntled actor trying to steal her writing identity and destroy her career, we get to know Steve as he steps up and helps defend Max -- and do I really give things away when I reveal that Steve is Max's half-brother, who has come to Tabor to investigate their celebrity father's suspicions while he's busy handling big problems in Hollywood.

    So when Steve comes back to town in COOKING UP TROUBLE, he's there to get to know Max better, and also because he feels like he fits in at Homespun Theater and the Randolphs household. He might just like community theater a whole lot better than the film industry.

    And I think that's enough for now.

    More questions???

  5. Congrats on your new book! Nice cover!

    Do you equally enjoy writing romance and science fiction, or do you prefer one genre to the other?

  6. In response to Tracy's question:

    For a touch of suspense, I recommend WHITE ROSES and COMMON GROUNDS. Both stories revolve around the White Rose Killer. In COMMON GROUNDS, Hannah is targeted by someone pretending to be the White Rose, and the legal clinic is involved in protecting some of his targets.

    In WHITE ROSES, we learn about a 20-year-old murder in Tabor Heights that is probably the White Rose's first victim -- and the quest of the victim's younger sister to bring him to justice.

    In both stories, we get to see some scenes through the White Rose Killer's eyes ... without revealing who he is until the very end...

    Looking ahead: my next book, which I have to turn in on July 1, is called THE WRATH OF BUBBLES, and deals with some sleuthing to figure out who is attacking disgruntled clients of the local newspaper. Look for it this fall!

    In response to Heidi ... gee, ask a mother which child is her favorite, why don't you? Sometimes it depends on the mood I'm in, which genre I prefer. And sometimes it depends on the story itself, which setting will work best for the image in my head.

    For instance, TRUE CADERI, part of my Commonwealth Universe, started out as a story intended for present-day Earth, but as I put together the circumstances, I realized there were a lot of legal issues to deal with, and modern-day technology that would make it kind of hard for the villain to do what he does, and for the heroine NOT to know the man who kidnapped her was her father ... and other issues. Putting it in a far-off galaxy where every planet writes its own laws and in some places children are considered their parents' property and people are intent on breeding for superior talents ... well, SF was a better setting!

    I have a lot of fun writing my Tabor Heights, contemporary romance stories -- as you can tell by the fact COOKING UP TROUBLE is my 14th full-length novel. I also have 3 short stories that are free reads -- you can find them at the Desert Breeze site or on my web site. Some stories just insist on being written, and the more I explore Tabor Heights, and the more people I "meet" as I write the stories, the more story ideas I get!

    You need to respond with your email address, so you can qualify for a prize!

  7. browncarole212(at)yahoo(dot)com

    Michelle, enjoyed learning about your new release and I totally love your cover. Great, great! I know you're a fast, busy writer, but how long does it take you to write a Taber Heights book? Can you beat Karen Kingsbury in writing one in two weeks? :)

  8. Hi Michelle! I've always wondered if it is harder or easier to write a series? Donna Alice Patton My email address is: donnaalice540@msn.com.

  9. Hey, welcome Ohio folks!

    I can't say how long it took to write most of the 1st year of the Tabor Heights books, because I wrote most of the rough drafts years ago. And rewrote them. And rewrote them. And rewrote them again when I decided they all happened in the same town, and had to coordinate characters and locations and overlapping "events."

    However, I wrote most of the Year Two books last year -- at least, the rough drafts, and tried to get one rough draft done each month.

    A trick I learned while doing NaNoWriMo.

    Doesn't matter how good the story is, or even if it makes any sense -- the idea is to get that first draft down, then go back and revise.

    Revisions usually take about 2 months. At least, that's the schedule I have now, with the various deadlines I have. I've just started on revisions of the next Tabor Heights book, which is due July 1.

    Whether it's harder or easier to write a series ... that really depends on how well I thought things out before I started writing. I just finished -- at least, I THOUGHT I finished -- my YA fantasy series, the Hunt. I did not think things through too clearly before I started writing. I did a lot of discarding of notes and ideas -- and scrambling to patch holes in subsequent books, when I realized I had contradicted myself. NOT a fun realization.

    With Tabor Heights ... I'm not sure I could call it "easy," but the fact I have an entire town and lots of secondary characters just waiting to step up and go through their paces, and these people are three-dimensional enough that some of their actions and reactions and routines are ... pre-determined. I have characters and relationships from previous books just waiting for their stories to be told, so that makes the job easier. I have notes galore. A MAP of the town. Lists of who works where, lives where, and I use my calendar to keep track of what's happening on each day of the current year, so I don't -- hopefully -- contradict what I said about someone's activities or location in another book.

    Each series is different. As you go along, writing the stories, it helps determine what happens in subsequent books -- and knowing what you MUST do in the later books, it helps you determine what needs to happen or CAN'T happen, in the one you're writing now.

    Yeah, like that's clear??

  10. Well, it's going on 10:30, EST, and I'm going to close up my computer and go to bed.

    Thanks, everybody who stopped by.
    I'll be drawing the winner's name and contacting her privately -- tomorrow.

    If you have any more questions, you can probably still post them, since the next Cyber Launch book probably won't be up until mid-morning tomorrow.

    Thanks, DeNita, for the Cyber Launch Party.

    Good night, folks!

  11. Sounds like a fun book, Michelle! Can't wait to read it. I'm a little thrown off by adults playing Romeo & Juliet, though. How do they explain that in the book?

    Is Tabor Heights a real placed or based on one?

  12. Much of the action in the book takes place in a theater, and Audrey and Steve are cast as Romeo and Juliet in a production of the play.

    No, Tabor Heights is not real -- it based on several towns, all the good parts kind of picked out and placed to suit met.

    Much of the geography and a number of businesses are taken from Berea, Ohio. The legend says that the name of Berea was decided by a coin toss -- either Tabor or Berea, both names coming from the Bible.

    I've also liberally borrowed from Orange City, Iowa, and Northwestern College, where I got my degree in .... Theater! And also from Troy, Ohio. Lovely old town, lots of historic feel to it -- but that roundabout in the center of town freaks me out every time I have to drive on it!

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