Some of the real life inspiration behind THE SECRETS OF ATTRACTION

For #tbt, and to celebrate The Secrets of Attraction turning one, I thought I'd revisit a post I did on some of the inspiration behind the book!  The paperback edition of The Secrets of Attraction will be hitting the shelves on May 10th!  Enjoy!

The old standby “write what you know” can get a little tedious, but there are times, I can’t help but have real life creep into my fiction.  Putting in specific details can bring life to a story and make it more authentic.  Here are a few of the real life inspirations behind the food and places in The Secrets of Attraction.

Sacred Heart Academy

Sacred Heart is loosely based on my old, now defunct high school, Holy Family Academy.  It wasn’t intentional, but when I went back for a reunion and roamed the halls, I realized it is very much the high school in my head while I write. This is the hallway that Madison leads Jesse down to get to the gym during the Sadie Hawkins dance.


The Good Doughnuts

While I don’t name the particular bakery in my book, I definitely had a certain delectable treat in mind.  In Bayonne, Judicke’s sprinkled doughnuts are a staple at every school function and party.   You can order different colored sprinkles for any occasion!  The above picture was from my high school reunion and matched our school colors of purple and gold.


Mexican Hot Chocolate

There is a place in Asheville, NC named The Chocolate Lounge.  Think about that for a moment.  A lounge.  Devoted to chocolate.  Smiling yet? I was working on the first draft of Secrets when I tried their hot drink called Oaxaca – Mexican style hot chocolate with chocolate, almonds, cinnamon and milk. It was love at first sip. When I was thinking up an alternative to coffee for Madison to order, I drew upon this as inspiration.  Sweet with a little kick, kind of like Mads herself.


The Park

One of my favorite scenes in the book is when the Mads, Jazz and Wren scope out the St. Gabe’s lacrosse practice.  It’s just a fun, silly scene, where Mads and Wren are there for morale support as Jazz approaches a guy she wants to ask out.  We have a gorgeous park in our town that has a playground, jogging trails and lots of sports fields.  Good-natured stalking of a crush was definitely the kind of thing my friends and I did in high school!


Tortilla Espanola

The first time I had tortilla espanola was at a writer’s retreat, made by fellow writer Kip Wilson Rechea.  It’s a simple, yet satisfying meal.  Add a little crusty bread and your beverage of choice and instant comfort food.  Here’s the recipe!  You know a dish leaves a lasting impression on you when you want to include it in a book!   (And thanks Kip for letting me include it here!!)