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Blog Tour Feature with Q&A and Giveaway: Salt + Stilettos by Janet Walden-West

.•*´¨❥¸.•*´¨ NEW RELEASE¸.•*´¨❥¸.•*´¨

Relying on the right person makes for the perfect recipe—or you could be left heartbroken in the spotlight.

I am pleased to announce a cool book blog tour going on right now, presented by Janet Walden-West, an author I met during my journey! Congratulations on your new, adult contemporary multicultural romance! :)

When a new book comes out, it is always an exciting time for authors!

Plus, here at the I Love Romance Blog, we love discovering romance novels!

Let’s hear a little about this great book…


This is the blurb for Salt + Stilettos, South Beach Romance Series, Book 1:

Sweet Home Alabama meets Top Chef when Miami’s most determined image consultant clashes with Samoa’s most uncooperative chef in a race to rebrand him as South Beach’s newest star.

Trading her red-dirt roots for the title of Miami’s go-to image consultant, Brett Fontaine refuses to let anything jeopardize her new life.

…Not an influential client-turned-stalker who’s up for parole…

…Not post-kidnapping panic attacks…

…And certainly not the stubborn, attention-phobic chef with the tempting tataus she’s been challenged to transform into a celeb in ninety days.

Will Te’o can almost taste the dream he sacrificed American Samoa, culture, and cherished family ties for—opening a four-star restaurant in the most cut-throat culinary location in North America.

Unfortunately, that requires navigating its equally ruthless social scene.

When his first public performance ends in a social media spectacle, his only option is turning to the stiletto-wearing nemesis who has invaded his kitchen.

Neither expected to share anything but barbs, yet somewhere between accidentally bonding over comfort food and office-wrecking sex, they’re named South Beach’s hottest pairing!

Until Brett’s stalker engineers an image-shattering reveal and the fallout trashes her reputation. She may be going down, but she’s not taking Will’s dreams with her.

Now Will is pulling out all his new skills and cooking up a last-ditch event. Will it prove to Brett that relying on the right person makes for the perfect recipe? Or will he be left heartbroken in the spotlight?

If you like Kristen Callihan, Nicole Snow, Negeen Papehn, or Penelope Ward, you’ll love this spicy romance with a dash of sultry, a pinch of intrigue, and a cup full of fun!

Janet is giving us a peek at her adult multicultural romance, Salt + Stilettos, today.

Great cover!

Book Info:

Author: Janet Walden-West

Series: South Beach Romance #1

Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Multicultural Romance

Publisher: City Owl Press

Release Date: April 21, 2020

Here is an excerpt.


Gah! So like a cat. (Laughs.)

Just kidding. Actually, I didn’t receive an excerpt from the tour sponsor, but here’s a teaser for the book tour… 😉


Ooh…fun prizes? Well, we will get to that in just a few minutes.

Purchase Link:

Universal Reader link:


What a fun and entertaining read! A little sexy, a little sassy and even some warm and sweet moments make this one of those reads that will leave a 100 watt smile on your face, page after page, after page. Highly recommended for an upbeat escape where the palm trees grow.– Dianne (Tome Tender Book Blog)

“Fashion and food collide in this delicious opposites-attract romance! Salt + Stilettos combines a gentle giant hero and food descriptions so exquisite my mouth watered for them both. – Kelly (Goodreads)

Oh my gosh, this story was like manna for me! Seriously, in an age where it seems the romance genre is turning to the dark side, and I mean that figuratively and literally since dark and rapey romance seems to be all that is trending right now, this is bright shining beautiful star. THIS is real romance. It’s a beautiful story about the redemptive qualities of love, especially the kind of love based on mutual respect. Read it and your heart will thank you for it.– Red Jameson (Goodreads)

“Brett and Will are the best. I adore them and this book so, so, so, much. He’s a chef and she’s an image consultant and he just wants to cook and care for his staff and family and she wants to not only help out his business partner, but throw herself into a challenge and back into her career after (and still dealing with) being stalked and together they are just…wow.

I love watching the sweet but wary Will come to respect what Brett does and why she does it, and grow to love her for all she is (which is brilliant and complex and fabulous). It was wonderful to see Brett struggle with trauma from the recent past and the long-ago past, and not be “fixed” but be willing, through her love for Will take more chances. That was very special and realistic.

The chemistry was off-the-charts and the sex scenes were hot and the side characters were all complex and interesting, with realistic foibles and flaws, but also strengths and warmth. I loved and believed everyone moment of the world and their story. So, so, so, good.“ – Felicia Grossman (Goodreads)

I fell in love with Janet’s writing from the very first paragraph of Salt + Stilettos. Her amazing voice and comfortable style pull you in immediately and never let go. Salt + Stilettos is Contemporary Romance at its finest and proves to be a must-read recipe.

1 cup powerful emotions
½ cup cultural identities
¼ cup found families and familial responsibilities
2 T vivid and vibrant settings
1 T enemies to lovers
5 t rich secondary characters
2 t adorable hounds
Pinch of perfect antagonist

Take 2 headstrong, complex, and highly motivated characters and toss them into the frying pan, combining powerful emotions with complicated cultural identities and families. Immerse in vivid and vibrant settings and allow to simmer in the South Beach scene.

In another pot, sauté rich secondary characters, adorable hounds, and antagonist. Whisk together and crank up the heat until caramelized.

Best served with a side of Spam… *spoiler* (you’ll get this inside joke once you read!)

Okay, I may have taken the recipe thing too far, but seriously, there is so much foodie romance to love here.

Strong, fiercely independent heroine who took the crappy lemons life handed her and turned them into a thriving business. Brett is one of my favourite heroines, and I totally want to curl up on her couch and hang out with her and her hounds, listening to Pearl Jam.

And Will… *sigh*… Talk about a gentle giant. But make no mistake, this cinnamon roll, with his drool-worthy tatuas, is no pushover. Will may prefer to lurk in the shadows and steer clear of the limelight, but he’s extremely determined to make his dreams a reality and very protective of his family.

I have in fact joked that if I thought I could take Brett on, I’d fight her for Will. But that woman would kick my ass in thirty seconds tops. All without breaking a heel or mussing her hair.

Brett and Will have so much chemistry, you’ll be rooting for them right from their gorgeous meet-cute. I give them 5 Michelin Stars!” – Anne Raven (Goodreads)


Nice! ♥♥♥ I can just imagine this is quite a tale!😉

(Rapid knock on the studio door.)

(Marie frowns.) Who could that be? I’m not expecting a package or anything.

(Footsteps approaching.)

Oh, my! Wow, I didn’t know you were coming…

No excerpt? No problem! This is even better, readers. We have the author, Janet Walden-West, who just dropped in for a quick visit. Let’s give her a warm welcome! 😀

It’s great to have you here, Janet. Please come and sit down for a sec.

Author Janet Walden-West:  Hi, Marie! Thanks for letting me stop by.

Marie:  Of course, it’s my pleasure! So nice to meet you, by the way! (Starts to shake hands with her guest, then laughs.)

Oops, that was out of habit. Almost forgot about social distancing while I’m in lockdown. Bad Marie! 😮

Marie:  Damn, I left my hazmat suit at the cleaner’s and it’s not done yet…

All right, I’m just over here. Really, I don’t think you have cooties or anything. 😀

Janet:  (Smiles.) Great to meet you too.

Marie:  Well, I hope you don’t mind if I ask you a few questions while you’re here?

Janet:  Sure, I’d love that! 🙂

Marie:  Awesome!

So, can you tell us a little about your background? When did your first book come out and where can we get it?

Janet:  Although I traveled quite a bit, I’m a Tennessee girl at heart, and I think both are reflected in my stories. When not writing, I (theoretically) juggle a pack of show dogs, family, and some fluffy chickens. I’m currently involved with The Million Words craft blog, as well as serving as a 2019 Pitch Wars Mentor. I’m represented by Eva Scalzo of Speilburg Literary Agency.

I write Contemporary Romance, as well as Urban Fantasy/Urban Fantasy Romance. My Golden Heart® finaling multicultural Contemporary Romance, SALT+STILETTOS, came out April 21st from City Owl Press and will be available from all major online vendors.

Marie:  That’s great!

A lot of readers love origin stories. What inspired you to start writing?

Janet:  I never considered myself especially creative, and definitely not creative enough to be a writer. There’s a professor out there with a chronic eye-twitch thanks to The Great Thesis Crisis of 20-mumble-mumble. Then one night, I was up yet again with a newborn who wouldn’t sleep, multitasking (ha) and catching up on a favorite show. And the writers killed off my favorite character.

DED, dead.

I’m blaming it on the sleep deprivation because my (very fuzzy) thought process went something like, “What? WHAT??? Are you kidding me? I could come up with a better ending.”

Yeah, not really. But that sleep-deprived moment led to my debut coming out this year.

Marie:  Can’t blame you for being upset! But I think it’s always fascinating to see where the muse takes us as writers…

How did you get into writing Contemporary Romance?

Janet:  I started out writing in my other favorite genre, SF/F (Science Fiction/Fantasy). Unfortunately, I began querying when the Urban Fantasy market was experiencing a down trend, at least in traditional publishing circles. However, I was already romance-adjacent, having entered a number of RWA chapter contests, which are structured to give participants feedback from multiple published authors. Most of the writer judges were incredibly giving and helpful towards newer writers. Since the romance sub-plots in my UF were such fun to create, I decided to give pre-romance a try, and gravitated towards contemporary.

I submitted my first stab at it to Pitch Wars, was chosen by Brighton Walsh, spent months revising and polishing, and started querying afterward.

Marie:  Cool! 😀

What, do you feel, sets Salt + Stilettos apart from other books in the genre?

Janet:  On the surface, SALT+STILETTOS features a flipped dynamic. Will is an American Samoan hero, and he is the character with issues surrounding self-confidence and body image. Brett is the fierce competitor here, having broken the cycle of rural Southern poverty and forged her own path to success and happiness.

On another level, I hope SALT+STILETTOS is part of the rising tide of stories that shows a more nuanced side of romance. There are frank discussions of discrimination, and mental health and trauma. Neither love interest is tasked with “saving” or “curing” the other, but instead share and support each other.

Plus, food. And steamy South Beach sex.

Marie:  Well, is there any other way? 😉

(Phone rings.) 


Oh, no, it looks like our guest had to take a personal call outside. I guess I’ll have to chat with her via email when I get a chance. A safer option for sure, at least in these uncertain times! 😕

But in the meantime, she’s given me permission to inform you of a great prize. Let’s find out the details, shall we?

Additionally, Janet is giving away a wonderful swag package during the tour. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. You may find the tour schedule and locations here.

Giveaway Link:

Janet:  Oh no, I missed it. 😦 Sorry to run off like that.

Marie: It’s okay. I was just wrapping up things here. We’re getting short on time…

Janet:  In that case, I’ll leave you with a short message.

Thank you so much for having me on your blog. I hope you enjoy Salt + Stilettos, book one in the South Beach Romance Series!


Marie: It’s my pleasure, and I’m sure we will. 😀

Thank you for telling us about your new modern multicultural romance, Janet! I know I can’t wait to read this intriguing novel! 🙂

Readers, don’t forget to grab a copy of this awesome book, or add it to your Goodreads or BookBub list!

Salt + Stilettos looks great! ♥ We’ll be sure to check it out! Don’t miss the giveaway!

Author Bio

Janet Walden-West lives in the southeast with a pack of show dogs, a couple of kids, and a husband who didn’t read the fine print. A member of the East Tennessee Creative Writers Alliance, she is also a founding member of The Million Words craft blog. She pens diverse Urban Fantasy and inclusive Romantic Suspense and Contemporary Romance.
A 2X PitchWars alum, 2019 Pitch Wars Mentor, and Golden Heart® finalist, her debut multicultural Contemporary Romance, SALT+STILETTOS, came out April 21st 2020 from City Owl Press. She is represented by Eva Scalzo of Speilburg Literary Agency.

Author Links




Amazon Author Page:





Thank you for telling us about your great book tour! I know readers can’t wait to get ahold of this multicultural romance!

Thanks again to Janet and her blog tour sponsor!

We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

Happy reading, everyone!  ♥♥♥ Have a lovely week! 😀

6 thoughts on “Blog Tour Feature with Q&A and Giveaway: Salt + Stilettos by Janet Walden-West”

  1. Squee! This is so cool! I do love a back story. I didn’t know that part about a character death sparking it all! (To think authors have the power to create new authors by offing characters. That’s a dangerous prospect. 😉 )
    Love the site, Marie!

    Liked by 1 person

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