Camille Marino has got a full plate. As the sole guardian of her eighteen-year-old sister and the head chef and owner of a food truck, she’s used to life being a juggling act. With food to cook, social media accounts to manage, and a little sister to look after, she doesn’t have time for much else.
That is, until Drew Bautista walks back into her life.
Drew is Camille’s former high school crush and he returns to San Francisco to repair his relationship with his father before he ships out for deployment. By helping his father renovate his failing Filipino restaurant, he hopes to win back his respect. But when sparks fly between Drew and Camille—his father’s major competition and sworn enemy—Drew is conflicted. Should he join his father in the war against her food truck? Or surrender to the woman who’s given him a second chance at love?
Describe yourself in five words or less.
Loyal. Dedicated. Empathetic. Enthusiastic. Cheerful.
What are 5 things you must have with you when you write?
I try not to get into the mindset that I need anything but a pen and paper/computer BUT:
2. My notebook
3. Something crunchy (almonds, cucumber rounds, Cheetoh’s—ha!)
4. My phone on silent
5. Marshmallow, Havanese-extraordinaire
What has been your toughest scene or book to write?
The “darkest hour” or also known as “the black moment.” It hurt my heart to bring these characters’ biggest fears to fruition. And then, to somehow recover from it was difficult because I wanted for it to come realistically and organically.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Oh, hands down, it had to be the research! This book encompassed San Francisco (the city of my child and young adulthood) and food (Filipino food, most especially). I no longer live in San Francisco, so finding another eason to look back at old pictures and to look at maps of the City brought me back! And with food, it’s been a blast cooking and eating these foods just so my descriptions are accurate. The things we sacrifice! 😜
A la Twitter style, please describe your book in 140 characters or less.
This was my agent story! I participated a PitMad Twitter pitch contest run by Brenda Drake. This is the pitch my now agent liked.
#dv #R Cami's found a 2nd ch @ love w/Drew, til she finds out it's his fam's restaurant that wants her food truck out of business. #PitMad
How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?
I’ve always been a writer, and my imagination have always run amok. Though I went to college and took up nursing and joined the Army, it never left me. I returned to writing through blogging when my second son was born, and continued to do so for over a decade. I began novel writing about six years ago, and was encouraged by my mother, my husband and closest friends. This journey has brought me full circle!
What do you do when you are not writing?
I’m a mom of four and a military spouse! Which means not only am I on the go every single day, as a family we are dealing with moving/deploying/temporary assignments quite regularly. Because of this, I practice yoga and run (very slowly). I love to read and binge watch shows I’m always behind on. I also craft! (currently, I’m cross-stitching something I’ve been working on for forever)
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
First and foremost, make a commitment to yourself. Set long and short-term goals in your writerly life. Be kind to yourself.
Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Thank you for supporting this debut author! I hope you fall in love with NORTH TO YOU!
Tif Marcelo believes in and writes about heart-eyes romance, the strength of families, and the endurance of friendship. A veteran Army Nurse with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Public Administration, she is a craft enthusiast, food-lover and the occasional half-marathon runner. As a military spouse, she has moved nine times, and this adventure shows in some of her free-spirited characters. Tif currently lives in the DC area with her own real life military hero and four children.