Posts Tagged ‘romantic suspense’

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY from BLACK HILLS LEGACY: The Inheritance by Debra Salonen #NEWRELEASE

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

 BLACK HILLS LEGACY – The Inheritance

Black Hills Rendezvous, Book 10

 

Black Hills Legacy (The Inheritance)

Nothing like an unconscious doppelgänger to ruin a perfectly good day at the Mystery Spot.

Robyn Craine has two loves: her Harley and the Mystery Spot, the Black Hills tourist attraction she bought with funds from her late mother’s estate, an inheritance that included a generous gift from billionaire Harold Hopewell. With a chance-of-a-lifetime expansion in the works, Robyn doesn’t have time to babysit the handsome Sentinel Passtime actor who shows up to do “research”–especially when she figures out his connection to the wealthy businessman/politician trying to sabotage her new project. 

Liam Temple has no intention of falling for a Black Hills local. His agent has Liam’s breakout, big budget movie deal lined up. Even though Liam likes his current Sentinel Passtime gig, he promised his late sister he’d win a Golden Globe by thirty-five. The last thing he needs is the distraction of a feisty, Harley-riding tourist trap owner caught in Liam’s father’s crosshairs for buying a hunk of land Richard Marston thinks belongs to him. But when Robyn’s lookalike stunt double is attacked, Liam recognizes his father’s MO and Liam makes keeping Robyn safe his first priority.

FIRST KISS Excerpt © Loner Llama Press:

Her grin brought her face to life in a way that grabbed him by the heart. Her lips, reddened from the cold and from licking a dab of chocolate from the raisins, were totally kissable. Inviting. His mouth watered and his fingers tingled from wanting to touch her.

Uh-oh. Not cool. No kissing.

He got up and brushed off the seat of his pants with far more theater than needed. Feeling her puzzled gaze on him, he grabbed the first distraction he could find. “Sun’s out. Wow. That was fast.”

She pulled out her phone. “Do you want me to take a shot of you?”

“Let’s do a selfie.”

She made a face. “I’m really bad at those.”

“I’ve done a million. Give me your phone.”

He took his time positioning her to give them the best backdrop then sidled up close and put his free arm around her shoulders. He liked the way she fit against him. He liked the strong, firm muscles he felt tense beneath his arm. She wasn’t completely comfortable with this closeness, he could tell, but he liked it a lot. Too much.

He extended his right arm, camera ready to go. “Okay. Smile for the masses.”

He pictured her rolling her eyes at that so he snapped a couple of extra. When she started to move away, he tightened his grip. “Wait. One more for me, only.”

He turned his head, leaned down and kissed her obviously unsuspecting lips. The electric spark that connected the instant their lips touched nearly made him drop the phone, but somehow he remembered to click the exposure before she pushed him away.

“What was that for? Blackmail?”

“How can I blackmail you? It’s your phone.”

“Oh. Right.” Her cheeks flushed red and he fell a little deeper in love. Not real love, but the real in-this-moment sort. The kind he manufactured effortlessly for the big and small screen.

“But I’d really appreciate it if you’d send me a copy. Will you?”

She grabbed the phone and stuffed it in her pocket. “Maybe. I’m not comfortable kissing strangers.”

“We’re not strangers. We know each other’s life stories. I told you about my sister and I never talk about her in interviews.”

“Why?”

Because it hurts too much.

Because I blame myself for not doing more.

Because, deep down, I’m glad she’s gone.

~~~

BLACK HILLS LEGACY: The Inheritance is available at all vendors: books2read.com/u/m2XARk


 Legacy review Jenny F


The final book is here-

Billionaire Harold Hopewell traveled the world, encountering people and letting their stories touch him. In death, he is giving back, leaving an unusual will filled with life-altering bequests to the people he met along the way. Read the Inheritance Series, and let their stories touch you.

If you’re a KOBO reader, you’re in luck! For a short time only, you can grab a great deal: buy 2, get 1 FREE!

http://store.kobobooks.com/p/inheritanceCA

http://store.kobobooks.com/p/inheritanceUS

http://store.kobobooks.com/p/inheritanceUK

http://store.kobobooks.com/p/inheritanceAU

http://store.kobobooks.com/p/inheritanceNZ

I hope you love this story as much as I do. And thank you, thank you, thank you, for remembering to leave a review!

Deb

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY from BLOOD STONES by Krista Lynn

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

BookCover_FB3

BLOOD STONES

Darcy Peel, haunted by the past and strange erotic dreams of a young woman and a Indian warrior, has left her academic career in California to come back home to Arizona to find out what happened to her sister who has disappeared in a canyon believed by many to be haunted. Her first day back, she meets Alan Brandt, a lethally attractive deputy. She knows she should avoid him and their obvious sexual energy and concentrate on her mission.

In this scene, and against her better judgment, she has gone with him to her girlhood home on the Little Springs River. She has followed her intuition that her sister left something in a hidden cave behind the huge “jump-off” rock, she and her siblings always used to jump into the river. This rock outcrop juts out from the cliff that defines the course of the river. She has found something in the cave and memories start to assail her as she is driven out of the cave by a supernatural energy. That energy, she realizes, is all tied up with the overly helpful deputy—who is so similar to the ghost warrior in her dream/visions.

~~~

Tumbling out of the cave, barely holding on to the pieces of paper, Darcy scrambled to her feet and stared at the desert broom whipping torturously back and forth. The gust of wind causing it pushed her back several steps, her feet again in the water. She turned toward the jump off, took a step and halted. Someone stood at the top of the rock. A girl?

Darcy walked toward the massive stone. Oh my god, this happened before. Just like this, when they all dashed out of the cave. The gusting wind swept them out as if they were dust, and then they had seen her—the girl, like a ghost standing on the rock in her long skirt and floppy hat. She thought of the other day on the river, and the voice saying “Emmaline.” Was this Emmaline?

The memory was so vivid, so real—was she there now? Darcy closed her eyes and rubbed her hands over her face. When she opened her eyes, the girl was gone. A blur of movement to the side then a large, male shape appeared.

Alan’s voice broke into her thoughts, scattering them to the four winds. “Darcy! Are you all right?”

He stood at the top of the rock. Darcy shaded her eyes against the glare of the sunlight beyond the overhang of the cliff. The play of light behind him cast a halo around his body. She blinked. Standing there like that, he looked naked. An image of bare glistening skin over toned, bulging muscles played tag with the real scene.

She made the connection once again between Alan and the dream warrior, or captor, or lover, whatever he was, in her dreams. Her body responded with a flush of heat from cheeks to toes.

“Are you okay?”

She couldn’t respond, staring at him as she was with her mouth open.

He moved to the edge of the rock. “I’m coming down.”

“No! I mean, no need to come down, I’m okay.”

Please just stay there. She wasn’t prepared to share the cave with him or have his energy, his beautiful sexy body, confuse or throw off what she was experiencing. She rubbed her arms, that tingling feeling of excitement like claws raking over her skin, a confusing sensual mixture of fear and arousal. This was maddening. Why did this keep happening with him—okay, which him? The ghost or the deputy?

“Get a hold of yourself, Darcy Peel,” she said half-aloud then stuffed the pages into a deep pocket on her cargo shorts and grabbed a glance at the little lagoon/swimming hole. Focus! Her gaze took in the main flow of water she could see from her vantage point. She listened for the sound of fast-moving water. All seemed okay—water as languid as before. She took a deep breath then looked up. “Where’s the sun?”

A pause before he repeated. “Where’s the sun?”

“Yes, can you see it? Is it in the right position?”

Another pause. “Yes, I see it. It’s right where it’s supposed to be.”

Darcy scowled at his placating-the-child tone of voice.

“Okay, I’m coming down,” Alan decided, forestalling any further objections. He used toeholds on the jump-off rock and the cliff face to ease down and then was beside her. “Are you sure you weren’t—watch out!”

He threw himself against her, crushing her into the brush and the cliff behind. In the next seconds, he moved so fast she saw only a blur in the shadowed light of their position. He grabbed and threw something colorful away, its sinuous movement like a pennant carried off by the wind.

Startled and confused, Darcy looked up at Alan’s flushed face. “What happened? Was that a coral snake?” She grabbed his hands and looked for punctures. “I need better light!”

“Oh, it wasn’t a coral snake.”

“How do you know? Did you see the bands of color around its body? ‘Red touches yellow, kills a fellow’ you know.

“What?”

“It’s a rhyme to help identify the colors on venomous snakes. You must not be from around here.”

Alan chuckled. “Well, I didn’t stop to analyze the stripes.” He stilled her hands by folding them in his. “I’m okay. But you’re shaking.”

She pulled away. “Alan, are you crazy? You picked it up. You caught a rattlesnake in midair and threw it over the cliff!”

“Wait a minute. Rattlesnake? The cliff?”

Darcy glanced around. A memory had clicked in her mind—like a camera capturing a vivid image—where she saw a steep trail, a rattlesnake striking, then it being hurled over a rocky ledge.

Alan’s warm hand settled on her shoulder. “Darcy?” He turned her toward him and said something. A strange confusion made it hard to concentrate, but it sounded like he said, “zoning out again.” He slid his hands down her arms. “Rattlesnakes don’t have red next to yellow or whatever the rhyme says and we aren’t on a cliff. Though I feel like I’m falling off of one whenever you’re around. Now, what is going on with you?”

After a few seconds with no response, he placed a hand on the side of her face and stepped closer. “What is going on with us?”

The strange energy was back—a low-level charge of electricity that coursed through her flesh, heightening every touch. Her body hummed with the contact. And she could tell, by the way he was looking at her, that he vibrated on the same wavelength.

I shouldn’t have brought him here!

She took a step back. “Nothing, Alan. Nothing is going on with us. Like I’ve said before it’s just me. I’m going through…something.”

He closed the space she had just made. “Well, gorgeous, looks like I’m going through it with you. And I want to know what the heck ‘it’ is.” He ran the backs of his fingers up and down her arms. “Don’t you?”

Darcy started to say something in response but each stroke down her arm seemed to excite far more intimate flesh. “I—”

A stiff breeze swept through the tight area and abused that poor desert broom again, saving Darcy from trying to say something coherent. Alan turned and stared at the spot of the hidden ingress. “Whoa, did you see that? I think there’s an opening there. See? Air is coming from behind the brush.”

Darcy put her hand on his arm. “No. No, it just seems that way.”

“I think I see an opening. Is there a cave?”

“No! It’s just a small crevice in the cliff, as I recall,” She tightened her grip. The few fingernails she had left dug into his flesh.

He ignored the sharp pressure on his arm and took another step toward the swaying brush. “What is this place?” he asked. Then his voice lowered and tip-toed into the next question. “Have I been here before?”

“I’m sure you would have remembered. Now look, I’ve hurt my foot—” Huh? She looked down, wiggled it in the sand and flexed it. She’d been walking on it with no pain. Okay. Don’t think about that now. “Can we just go?”

He turned to her. “I knew it. You’re hurt.” He made a quick survey of the jump-off and the swimming hole—and her bare feet. “Seems I’ll have to carry you out of here.”

Darcy was glad she’d distracted him from her secret, but wasn’t so sure she’d helped that other predicament when he picked her up. She made an embarrassing squeaky noise and wrapped her arms around his neck. In three long strides, they were at the jump-off rock.

“Alan, I can walk. What are you doing?”

He took a deep breath, shifted her weight and looked at her, his mouth inches from hers. “Hell, I really don’t know. I don’t think I’ve known since I met you.” He slipped his arm from under her knees letting her feet touch the ground but he didn’t let her step away. “But I knew, right from the moment I met you, what I wanted to do.”

He wrapped one arm around her waist, bringing her body flush with his. She heard his sharp intake of breath, felt the sweet abrasion of his chest against her breasts. He exhaled in a rush and cradled her even closer. “Now, I’m shaking,” he whispered. “That static electricity is at it again.” His hand moved up her back pushed into her hair, forcing it out of the loosened hold of the hair band. His breath brushed the side of her face and his lips found the tender part of her neck just below the ear. “God, I want you.”

A change seemed to come over him, intent, urgent. The simmering heat in his words and the sweet pull of his mouth as he sucked the sensitive skin on her neck undid her. Her legs weakened as did her resolve. Her head fell to the side to give him more access but out of the corner of her eye, she caught a faint red glow at the cave’s entrance. She stiffened. “Alan, I—we need to go.”

He moved back but put his hands the on rock face behind her bracketing her between his arms. “Is that a full ‘Stop,’ or can I ‘Proceed with Caution’? Because I’ve been on this wild ride since I met you, and I really think this just has to happen.” Before she could protest, he leaned in and pressed his lips to hers.

Startled by the sudden movement and the heading-straight-to-coitus tone in his voice, she gripped his forearms, intending to push him back and stop this before it got out of control. But his soft, warm mouth pressing and molding with hers so sweet and undemanding surprised her. He truly was shaking, trying, she realized, to hold himself at bay. He shifted his weight and drew back. His gaze locked on hers as he took a deep, ragged breath. “Tell me to stop and I will.” He kissed her again, as if stopping was nowhere on the agenda, then broke away and again braced his arms on the rock wall behind her. He put his forehead against hers. “But tell me now.”

A tiny moan vibrated in her throat and she opened her mouth under his, forgetting where they were or the palpable energy emanating from the cave. He took the offering and stroked her tongue with his, giving her the feel and taste of him that she’d been craving all along.

She entwined her arms around his neck and he shifted in response. He pressed his knee between her legs and filled the space with his hard body, his erection positioned against her moistening mons. He deepened his kiss and swayed back and forth in a firm, erotic caress.

A whisper. “You’re here. You’re finally here.”

Darcy pulled back. She looked at Alan but he hadn’t said it and didn’t seem to hear it. Instead, he took the opportunity to put both hands behind her and press her closer.

“God, why do I feel like I’ve been with you before?” he asked. “My hands remember the feel of you—how you fit against me.” He kissed her again, bit, and suckled her fevered lips. “I know before I even take you how sweet it is to be inside you. How can I know this?”

She was aware of the heightening sexual excitement in him. It rippled through her, as well, when a whispered entreaty pressed against her ear. “Please stay with me.”

Darcy swayed in Alan’s arms. What? She looked at his face. She was sure he hadn’t spoken. Whose voice is that?

“I’m not going anywhere,” Alan said against her mouth before trailing kisses across her jaw. “There’s no way—” He kissed her mouth. “—I’d stop this, now.”

Darcy felt his teeth against the skin of her neck, and all she wanted was for him to take her. Now. Hard. She craved his powerful body moving, thrusting, working deep into her flesh. She pressed against him, reveling in the feel of him, letting the energy that sparked between their bodies dance along her skin wherever they touched.

In the back of her sluggish mind, she realized this response was so out of control for her. What was going on?

The voice again, a hoarse whisper, “I am but a ghost without you.”

Alan brought his hand up to her breast, closed over her, kneaded, and pressed. Darcy’s head fell back and she sighed in response to the exquisite pleasure.

“After waiting so long—without you—” he said.

Then she stiffened in his arms as the context of his words broke through, ‘not going anywhere,’ ‘after waiting so long,’ ‘without you.’ Had he heard the voice, too?

“Alan?” she said placing her hands between them to push against his chest.

Nuzzling her neck, then nipping at her ear lobe and moving, if anything, even closer, he murmured something she couldn’t make out.

Then the sound of splashing, the rattle of metal, and the whinny of a horse broke through the sexual energy of the moment with the sharp, cold edge of reality.

Buy links:  Amazon      Barnes & Noble     KOBO

~~~~

It’s no mystery why Krista Lynn writes about the high desert of Arizona. She grew up on a gold mine about 60 miles north of Phoenix. The closest neighbor was 6 miles or so down the Agua Fria River, or another 20 miles by dirt road. The magic and spirit of a rugged, isolated landscape where mysteries are carried on the wind, and whispered in your sleep are the multi-colored threads woven into her series of romantic supernatural suspense set in the high desert of Arizona.

Before embarking on the writer’s path, Krista taught physical geography and GIS courses at CSUF and Fresno City College before taking an Academic Coordinator position at UC Davis Cooperative Extension where she built a GIS program to assist agricultural research. She lives in California with her husband and a menagerie of dogs, goats and one spoiled horse while continuing to write the Canyon Trilogy and an anthology of cozy mysteries.

Website: www.kristallynn.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kris.lynn.372

Twitter: @Kristawriter

~~~

Please welcome another debut author from my RWA chapter, Yosemite Romance Writers. 😉 Kris is such a gifted writer and artist. She designed that gorgeous cover and has done a bunch of great work for other authors and our Fresno chapter. I can’t wait to have time to read this book.

Deb

EAT=LOVE=TUESDAY Lilian Darcy’s Pumpkin Scones/The Sweetest Thing

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

imgres-5

Food=love in my books. And it’s my great pleasure to welcome back, Lilian Darcy. She’s one of my auto-buy authors, and she just completed a wonderful series of connected stories for Tule Publishing. She’s also a great cook. So, what do you do with all those left over pumpkins? Scones, you say? I believe I will, thank you. Take it away, Lilian.

auth_LilianDarcy-500x500“So we’ve just had Thanksgiving and there is pumpkin left overs.

 

Or maybe there isn’t, but I would argue that pumpkin and all its close relatives are well worth the purchase at any time of the year.

 

Here in Australia, we call pretty much any of those hard, orange-fleshed vegetables pumpkin. There’s Butternut, Grey, Kent, Jap, and Queensland Blue, and probably more. I think we must eat a lot of these various pumpkin varieties in Australia, as the internet tells me the country grows 114,417 metric tonnes of it per year, for a population of 23 million. Per person, that’s… no, I’m not going to try to work it out.

 

Here’s one of my favorite recipes, which you can make with any variety of hard orange pumpkin or squash.

image001-1

 

Note that they’re savoury rather than sweet. If you want sweet, then you can find my women’s fiction novel The Sweetest Thing free on major ebook platforms, but you’ll probably want to have some chocolate on hand while you’re reading it.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Pumpkin Scones
Author: 
Recipe type: side
Cuisine: Universal
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
These are savoury, not sweet, but that's what chocolate is for when you settle back to read The Sweetest Thing!
Ingredients
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 oz butter, chopped into small pieces
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ⅔ cup cooked and mashed butternut pumpkin
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F/200C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Sift dry ingredients into a bowl, add butter and rub in or cut with a pastry cutter until mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
  3. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add buttermilk and pumpkin.
  4. Mix with a spoon or your hands until it forms a dough.
  5. Knead lightly on a floured surface until smooth.
  6. With a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough until it’s an inch thick, and use a cookie cutter of your desired size and shape to cut out the scones.
  7. Re-form the dough and cut until it is all used.
  8. Place the scones on your tray and brush with buttermilk, then bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until risen and golden.
  9. Serve with plain or herb butter, and/or cheese.

TheSweetestThing-MEDIUM

Tully Morgan hasn’t been back to Marietta for more than a few brief visits since the night of the 1996 senior prom eighteen years ago, when the chance exposure of a long-held family secret sent her running to her uncle in California in shock. She stood up her date Ren Fletcherthat night, and she hasn’t seen him since.

Now she’s here for an extended stay, to help take care of her seriously ill mother. It’s an edgy reconciliation, the first time that Tully, Patty and Sugar Morgan have been together since that long ago prom night. Tully has had so much anger toward Sugar… can she ever forgive her?

And Sugar still has one more secret that needs to be dealt with, one that needs Ren Fletcher’s help. Has he forgiven Tully for leaving him in the lurch on prom night? And is there any chance that he and Tully can rekindle what they might once have had, when he’s still tied to someone else?

Free at Amazon , BN,  iTunes, Kobo

Happy reading…and eating, my friends. Enjoy!

Deb

EAT=LOVE=TUESDAY Dana Marton’s Pabellón Criollo (from Forced Disappearance)

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

imgres-5

Food=love in my books.

Who loves unique books that break molds…and melt-in-your-mouth flank steak?

I do! I do! So, it pleases me to no end to share this Tuesday’s guest blogger with you:  Dana Marton, who will tell you about her new book, Forced Disappearance AND introduce you to the national dish of Venezuela.danamarton

Thank you so much for having me as a guest! Today is my running-around-like-a-headless-chicken day. I have a brand new release out, and I’m so excited about this book! I was lucky to have an absolutely superb editor who didn’t blink an eye that FORCED DISAPPEARANCE doesn’t follow the usual romance conventions. For one, it’s the heroine who saves the hero. Miranda is nobody’s damsel in distress.

Did you know that the Army has a special unit, Personnel Recovery, that looks for missing DoD personnel (military and defense contractor) if they disappear in a foreign country? Did you know that there’s no such thing for ordinary Americans who are kidnapped/disappear abroad? One of the great things about being an author is that I get to fix things in my books, so I invented the Civilian Personnel Recovery Unit where Miranda Soto ends up as a new investigator after a shattered military career.

Her first assignment is to locate and rescue wealthy American businessman Glenn Danning, a man who’d once been her best friend and first lover. These two were stars at MIT during their college years, so be prepared for some geeky humor. (Waiving to fans of The Big Bang Theory.)

Keep reading for a quick snippet. Miranda and Glenn are fleeing from the Venezuelan secret service, hiding in the jungle, and they’d just stolen some supplies from a group of botanists who are on a guided tour.

220px-Pabellón_Criollo

5.0 from 2 reviews
Pabellón Criollo
Author: 
Recipe type: main dish
Cuisine: Venezuelian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
If you’d like a taste of Venezuela without leaving home, try out their national dish.
Ingredients
  • You will need:
  • 2-pound piece flank steak
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup Olive Oil
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Directions:
  2. Cut flank steak into a handful of pieces. Mix the minced garlic, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, paprika and half of the jalapeño into a paste, and coat the meat with it, then refrigerate for an hour or two.
  3. Sauté half the onions and the green pepper in olive oil, then add steak and caramelize on both sides, then add 8 cups of water and boil under cover until the meat is falling apart (3-4 hrs).
  4. Remove steak from water and, cool, then shred by hand.
  5. Toss the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and remaining onion, green pepper and jalapeño into a pan and sauté. Add shredded beef, cook until crisp, then sprinkle with with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve with white rice, black beans, and fried plantains. Enjoy!

81jX3KXXIAL._SL1500_

FORCED DISAPPEARANCE 

 by Dana Marton

After the great snack heist, they spent the rest of the afternoon searching for water to refill their old-fashioned aluminum canteens; then they boiled the water back at their campsite to sterilize it. They had food, water, and shelter—better than nothing.

Glenn picked through their newfound toiletry bag while Miranda put fresh leaves on their sleeping platform since last night’s bedding was full of bugs that had moved in during the day. The pink plastic bag held one bar of soap in a matching pink plastic case, a toothbrush, toothpaste, a razor, a comb, nail clippers, a handful of cotton balls, and a six-pack of flavored condoms—strawberry.

Okay, that brought back some college memories of discovering sex and really, really liking it, liking it more than engineering.

They might have been inexperienced, but both he and Miranda had curious minds, which turned out to be as much as an advantage in bed as it’d been in the class room. When faced with something unknown, they both believed in extensive experimenting and testing. Including nearly the entire contents of an X-rated novelty store one semester.

He held up the pack. “Somebody was hoping to get lucky while on vacation.”

She rolled her eyes. “Botanists. They’re all floozies.”

He grinned at the old college joke. A couple of girls in the dorm room next to Miranda’s had used the botany department lab to mix up herbal aphrodisiacs. They successfully sold a whole variety of love potions on the campus black market. But not as successfully as some of the guys in the department, who were always mixing things that could be smoked.

Miranda scanned the six-pack. “Those could come in handy. We used to get them in our army emergency pack. You can collect and transport water in them. Close to half a gallon, actually. Or use one to hold a wound dressing in place, keep dirt out, and make the dressing waterproof.”

He cocked an eyebrow. “Okay. I have to say, my mind went to a different place entirely.”

She snorted as she shook her head, a half smile twisting her full lips. “One of those will keep your tinder and matches dry in a place like this, or if you have to wade through water.” She went back to working on their bed. “And condoms burn if you have no tinder. A onetime use, so preferably to be avoided. You can use them to make a slingshot and hunt. You can use them to prevent moisture or sand from getting into the barrel of your weapon.” She finished with the bamboo leaf bedding and wiped her hands on her pants as she turned toward him.

 Buy links:

Amazon: www.amazon.com/Forced-Disappearance-Dana-Marton-ebook/dp/B00KFQPUEK/

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/forced-disappearance-dana-marton/1119892189?ean=9781477826058

Happy reading…and eating, my friends. Enjoy!

Deb

EAT=LOVE=TUESDAY Rogenna Brewer’s Crockpot Chicken Chili

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

imgres-5

Food=love in my books.

Today’s blog reprises a hit recipe from my friend and guest blogger, Rogenna Brewer, who is not only a wonderful writer, but also has mad skills when it comes to making covers, headers for your FB page, bookmarks, etc. And she’s running a month-long SALE at Sweettoheat.com. If you’re in need of a cover at an affordable price, you’ll love working with Ro. A sample of her work follows below: Celebrate Romance!

photoHer recipe is called: Crockpot Chicken Chili. Ro told me, “Every author has a few slow-cooker recipes on hand for deadlines.  This Chicken Chili recipe came to me through my youngest son who recently moved back home after his bachelor pad rental was sold out from under him.  Hearty enough (and cheap enough) to feed three broke bachelors, a family of six or a family of three with plenty of left overs.”

 Super simple and delicious.

I hope you enjoy it.

Crockpot Chicken Chili
Author: 
Recipe type: maindish
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
A perfect winter dish!
Ingredients
  • 3 boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 cans kidney beans
  • 2 cans black beans
  • 2 cans tomato sauce
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can white or yellow corn
Instructions
  1. Season with cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper...or cheat, like I do, and use a packaged seasoning mix.
  2. Place everything in the crockpot and cook on medium heat for 6-8 hours (until breasts pull part easily with a fork).

 

CelebrateThanksgiving 

Excerpt: ONE STAR SPANGLED NIGHT, from Celebrate Romance – 5 authors/5 heartwarming holiday stories

CHAPTER ONE

            Hat in hand, he stood in her office doorway. From spit-shined shoes, up military creases, to the eagles pinned on khaki collar points, he commanded attention. The rank of captain gave him the authority to demand it.

            Lieutenant Lindsey Alexander marked her already forgotten place and closed the ancient tome. Her desk chair creaked as she straightened her spine. How long had he been standing there, staring?

            How long had she?

            Removing her reading glasses to cover her embarrassment, Lindsey set aside the funky frames and theology lesson before pushing to her feet, the proper show of respect for his rank. “May I help you, Captain?”

            From his superior height he frowned down at her, at the world in general—she couldn’t be certain. Lindsey smiled her brightest, but he didn’t seem to appreciate the effort. His scowl deepened, drawing jet-black brows above nefarious jade green eyes in a potentially lethal combination.

            “You’re a woman.”

            She didn’t need to hear the affront behind his words to know he’d assumed chaplain and man were synonymous. She stretched her smile in spite of, or perhaps because he’d insulted both her gender and profession in just three little words. It wasn’t the first time and wouldn’t be the last.

            “And you would be, Captain…Reese.” She read his nametag above his right breast pocket. On the left, his rack of ribbons read like an impressive resume. The gold wings above the neat rows further identified him as a naval aviator.

            Top Gun plowed a hand through jet-black hair threaded with silver, spoiling the severe effect of the barber’s precision military cut.

            No doubt about it, the gender confusion was all one sided.

            “Doug Reese. I have an appointment.”

            It was Lindsey’s turn to draw her brows. The name Reese didn’t ring any bells. Should it? She unburied her appointment book and flipped it open. Despite his obvious impatience, she took her time going through the day’s schedule.

            No Reese, Captain or otherwise.

            In truth, she wasn’t very well organized, but she never forgot a name or a face or a scheduled appointment for that matter. Knowing her tendency toward disorganization, she always wrote everything down.

            “I’m early.” Holding his hat by the brim, he crossed his arms. “My ship just pulled in for repairs two weeks ago.”

            Something about the way in which he emphasized the words my ship sent those alarm bells clanging like a five-alarm fire.

            Flipping the calendar page, she found Commanding Officer, USS Enterprise CVN-65 penciled in the yeoman’s neat hand under, 1300–tomorrow. “Looks like an hour and a day early–”

            “I’m a busy man, Chaplain, I’d like to get this over with.” The scowl remained a permanent fixture, but he tempered his demand. “I won’t take but a minute of your time.”

            Lindsey met Captain Reese’s continued glare with the unwavering dedication of her profession. She would have taken responsibility for the mistake regardless, but she had a feeling the man knew exactly what he was doing, showing up a day early and on her lunch hour.

            She was just curious enough to want to know why. What was one more counseling session out of her overbooked day? It was her job to help. If the Captain needed her…

            Well, then, she was here to serve.

            “Have a seat.” She gestured toward one of two overflowing chairs.

            The walls seemed to move in as he stepped into her crowded cubby with its floor to ceiling shelves. He cocked a dark brow as he picked up a stack of files from the seat, and then looked around for a place to put them.

            “Sorry, packing. Our office is on the list of base closures.” Lindsey plucked the files from his hands. If military budget cuts didn’t elicit a comment from the good Captain, what would? He continued to hover over her five foot five—in sensible boon dockers—while she maneuvered around him, dumping the stack of papers on the floor by the shelf before closing the door.

            He probably wasn’t an inch or two over six feet, but the too small space became suffocating, filling with the tang of saltwater on skin—not an all-together unpleasant scent—except the hint of JP-5. Lindsey had never been stationed aboard a ship, but she could identify carrier crews by the smell of jet fuel that permeated their pores.

            With surprising consideration, the Captain waited until Lindsey settled beside her corner desk, and then took up the now empty seat across from her. He looked around her office with the same disdain he’d directed toward her.

            Captain Reese had his strong, silent and judgey act down pat.

            Tension radiated from the man. Although the only outward sign was the way he fidgeted with his hat, now balanced on his knee as he tapped a folded piece of paper impatiently against his cover.

            He may have been trying hard not to project his discomfort, but she could sense it, feel it. “Would you be more comfortable with another chaplain?”

            It was a legitimate question, and since he’d expressed some reservation about her gender, one she felt compelled to ask.

            “Would you?”

            Did his scowl switch to a smirk?

            “No,” Lindsey answered honestly.

            Though if they were following strict protocol, she should refer the Captain to her superior, Commander Elliot. However, being short staffed, down to only herself and the Catholic Priest, Father Elliot was just as overworked as she was. Between them, they shared one chaplain’s yeoman, a Religious Program Specialist Third Class.

            Perhaps the Captain had chosen her in accordance with his own beliefs despite his prejudicial comment.

            “You’ll do,” he said.

            “Fine.” Lindsey exhaled the word. Had she actually been holding her breath, waiting for his decision? “I just need you to fill out this counseling form and then we’ll get started.” Stretching across the space, she handed him a clipboard with attached pen and paper.

            A knock sounded on the door. The RP poked her head in, “Chaplain Alexander, I have your lunch,” she announced. “Oops, sorry. I didn’t know you were in session.”

            “It’s okay, Brenda.  We’re just getting started.” Lindsey got up to meet the yeoman at the door. Thanks,” she said, taking the containers of Chinese food.

            “Your change.” Brenda handed over lose coins and a couple wadded bills as Lindsey juggled containers to take the money.

            “Maybe the Captain would like a cup of coffee—”

            “No, the Captain would not.” He cut her off without bothering to look up from the clipboard. On the other side of the door, Brenda mouthed another apology for the interruption.

            “Hold my calls,” Lindsey instructed. “But buzz me when my one o’clock gets here.”

            “Sure thing. I mean, yes, ma’am.” The RP closed the door.

            “I’m sorry,” Lindsey apologized. She suspected she’d gone down another notch in his estimation. Then again, he was the one who’d showed up on her lunch hour uninvited. “LoMein?”

            “No.” He extended the clipboard, all business.

            Lindsey wrestled her lunch down to the desk and stuffed the loose change and bills into the middle drawer. Taking the clipboard from him, she released the counseling form and then groped for her reading glasses. She put them on and sank back to her seat, staring in disbelief at the blank page. Almost blank page.

            Name, rank and serial number had been filled in.

            “Captain Reese—”

            “If I were a prisoner of war that’s all I’d be required to give.”

            “This isn’t an interrogation.”

            “No, it’s not,” he agreed. “Thank you for your time, Chaplain.”

            Her gaze followed his upward movement. He’d certainly been right about only taking a minute of her time. Even though it looked like her curiosity wouldn’t be satisfied, she’d have a hot lunch as a consolation prize. Small comfort compared to the satisfaction she got from doing her job. “How can I help—?”

            “You can’t. I just want it to go on record that I was here.” He slapped his cover against his thigh. “Good day.”

            Lindsey beat him to the door and barred his way with a crossed arm stance.

            “Lieutenant,” he said, calling deliberate attention to her rank. “Step aside. That’s an order.”

            Her short-lived career flashed before her eyes and she swallowed hard. She couldn’t keep him here against his will. Still, she could get her point across. “If it’s important enough to come here in the first place, it’s important enough to stay and talk.”

            “I’m not going to warn you again.”

            “Fine.” She edged away from the door. “But uncooperative is going in my counseling notes.” She tried to infuse a little humor into the situation that had quickly gotten out of hand.

            “You can write whatever you want, Chaplain. As long as you don’t share that information with anyone, I don’t care.”

            “It would be unethical for me to reveal any information about your visit.”

            “I’m counting on that.”

            He paused long enough to look her in the eye. She hoped he saw the disappointment reflected there because if ever a man needed her, Captain Doug Reese did. She couldn’t be expected to save the world. She just wanted to help one person at a time. Unfortunately, her heart took a hit every time she failed.

            Lindsey stared at his departing back. The man’s visit was obviously a desperate cry for help. Yeah, right. Captain Doug Reese looked about as self-sufficient as they came. It was her need to butt into everyone’s business that made her the desperate one. How many times had Brenda told her to get a life? How many times had Chaplain Elliot counseled her against getting overly involved?

            With a heavy sigh, she scooped up another stack of folders occupying the one remaining chair. She’d need both for her one o’clock. Her next appointment was a young couple in premarital counseling.

            No real problems there. In fact, the upcoming wedding on July 4th—her first as an officiate—was something she actually looked forward to. She’d met the bride-to-be. The intended groom was just back from sea.

            Lindsey stopped and let that sink in a moment. Followed by a quick glance toward the door. “Nah.”

            The bride was closer to Lindsey’s age, mid-twenties.

            The Captain had to be at least forty and most likely married.

            Not that a May, December…more like September, romance was out of the question. The Captain was fighter pilot fit and handsome to the extreme—despite the permanent case of indigestion apparent in his facial expression. What she couldn’t remember was whether or not he wore a wedding band.

            Which should matter to her, why?

            Arms full and looking for more nonexistent floor space, Lindsey noticed a folded piece of paper by the chair leg. Setting the stack back down, she picked up the missive and unfolded it. The letter was addressed to Captain Reese from COMCARSTRIKEGRU THIRTEEN, Commander Carrier Strike Group Thirteen (CCSG-13). She quickly folded it back up, but not before the word counseling jumped off the page.

            The Good Captain had been ordered into counseling.

            The shrill ringing of the outer office telephone gave her a guilty start. Brenda answered in quiet tones while Lindsey tucked the paper into her skirt pocket and grabbed her cover from beside the door.

            “Chaplain, it’s for you,” the RP called through the open door.

            “Take a message, Brenda. There’s something I need to do.” Like catch up with the Captain. She checked her watch. She had plenty of time before her next appointment.

            Brenda covered the mouthpiece. “It’s Rear Admiral Dunning.”

            “Commander Carrier Strike Group Thirteen?” Lindsey had never had the occasion to meet a flag officer before, let alone speak with one. “What could he possibly want…?” Her hand went to her skirt pocket. “I’ll take it in my office.”

 

CELEBRATE ROMANCE – now just 99¢

KOBO

Amazon

NOOK

iTunes

    

Bon appetit! Happy reading!

Deb

 

EAT=LOVE=TUESDAY Rogenna Brewer’s Beer Batter Wahoo

Monday, June 30th, 2014

imgres-5

Food=love in my books.

photo My guest blogger today is my On Fire Fiction pal, Rogenna Brewer,  whose Celebrate Romance story takes place on the 4th of July. You’re  going to love this great story, AND check out the amazing cover Ro designed for our bundle.

If you’re an author looking for that perfect cover at an affordable price, check out Ro’s website: SweetToHeat. Wait till you see what she’s come up with for my “naughty novella” bundle, coming later this fall. Did she find the perfect Judy? You be the judge. 😉

 

CelebrateFourth

She made a new cover for each of our  stories. See the little fold back up in the corner? That’s where you’ll see the title that goes with that cover. How cool is that?

If you haven’t read this series, please check it out. Only 99¢ for 5 authors, 5 holidays, 5 great reads: BN  AMAZON

And I will feature a special recipe from each author for that holiday’s cover reveal. Today’s recipe is called: Beer Batter Wahoo.

images

Ro is a Navy veteran who writes from experience–I’m guessing the part about the T-shirts is authentic, too. 😉 According to Ro: “A T-shirt makes a handy pot holder as long as it doesn’t catch on fire. Although the guys may try to convince you it needs to be your T-shirt, DO NOT let them fool you. Point to the nearest sailor and tell him to take off his shirt. The rest will follow. Sit back and enjoy the show.

images-1

Wahoo…!

 

5.0 from 3 reviews
EAT=LOVE=TUESDAY Rogenna Brewer's Beer Batter Wahoo
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American as you get
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-10
 
Beer Batter Wahoo: there's a good chance you have to join the Navy to do this recipe right, but...what the heck, improvise! And have a great 4th of July!!!
Ingredients
  • Flour
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 can of beer. Your preferred brand will suffice.
Instructions
  1. Spend the day deep sea fishing with your fellow sailors from a converted military landing craft. Bring a couple coolers full of beer so you have leftovers.
  2. Catch the biggest Wahoo while the guys are heaving over the side. Talk one of them into filleting the fish. This is best done out to sea or off the dock to attract sharks. Sharks are not repelled by heaving sailors (though you may be).
  3. When drunken sailors start playing with sharks it is time to return to base.
  4. Build a fire on the beach. Mix the first four ingredients to a batter-like consistency. Coat fish. Wrap loosely in aluminum foil and toss onto fire. Poke with a stick until done. Please note poking does not decrease cooking time.
  5. Do not let drunken sailors grab the aluminum foil from the flames. A T-shirt makes a handy pot holder as long as it doesn't catch on fire. Although the guys may try to convince you it needs to be your T-shirt DO NOT let them fool you. Point to the nearest sailor and tell him to take off his shirt. The rest will follow. Sit back and enjoy the show.

 

Excerpt:

ONE STAR-SPANGLED NIGHT

            BY ROGENNA BREWER

 

    Chapter 1

            Hat in hand, he stood in her office doorway. From spit-shined shoes, up military creases, to the eagles pinned on khaki collar points, he commanded attention. The rank of captain gave him the authority to demand it.

            Lieutenant Lindsey Alexander marked her already forgotten place and closed the ancient tome. Her desk chair creaked as she straightened her spine. How long had he been standing there, staring?

            How long had she?

            Removing her reading glasses to cover her embarrassment, Lindsey set aside the funky frames and theology lesson before pushing to her feet, the proper show of respect for his rank. “May I help you, Captain?”

            From his superior height he frowned down at her, at the world in general—she couldn’t be certain. Lindsey smiled her brightest, but he didn’t seem to appreciate the effort. His scowl deepened, drawing jet-black brows above nefarious jade green eyes in a potentially lethal combination.

            “You’re a woman.”

            She didn’t need to hear the affront behind his words to know he’d assumed chaplain and man were synonymous. She stretched her smile in spite of, or perhaps because he’d insulted both her gender and profession in just three little words. It wasn’t the first time and wouldn’t be the last.

            “And you would be, Captain…Reese.” She read his nametag above his right breast pocket. On the left, his rack of ribbons read like an impressive resume. The gold wings above the neat rows further identified him as a naval aviator.

            Top Gun plowed a hand through jet-black hair threaded with silver, spoiling the severe effect of the barber’s precision military cut.

            No doubt about it, the gender confusion was all one sided.

            “Doug Reese. I have an appointment.”

            It was Lindsey’s turn to draw her brows. The name Reese didn’t ring any bells. Should it? She unburied her appointment book and flipped it open. Despite his obvious impatience, she took her time going through the day’s schedule.

            No Reese, Captain or otherwise.

            In truth, she wasn’t very well organized, but she never forgot a name or a face or a scheduled appointment for that matter. Knowing her tendency toward disorganization, she always wrote everything down.

            “I’m early.” Holding his hat by the brim, he crossed his arms. “My ship just pulled in for repairs two weeks ago.”

            Something about the way in which he emphasized the words my ship sent those alarm bells clanging like a five-alarm fire.

            Flipping the calendar page, she found Commanding Officer, USS Enterprise CVN-65 penciled in the yeoman’s neat hand under, 1300–tomorrow. “Looks like an hour and a day early–”

            “I’m a busy man, Chaplain, I’d like to get this over with.” The scowl remained a permanent fixture, but he tempered his demand. “I won’t take but a minute of your time.”

            Lindsey met Captain Reese’s continued glare with the unwavering dedication of her profession. She would have taken responsibility for the mistake regardless, but she had a feeling the man knew exactly what he was doing, showing up a day early and on her lunch hour.

            She was just curious enough to want to know why. What was one more counseling session out of her overbooked day? It was her job to help. If the Captain needed her…

            Well, then, she was here to serve.

            “Have a seat.” She gestured toward one of two overflowing chairs.

            The walls seemed to move in as he stepped into her crowded cubby with its floor to ceiling shelves. He cocked a dark brow as he picked up a stack of files from the seat, and then looked around for a place to put them.

            “Sorry, packing. Our office is on the list of base closures.” Lindsey plucked the files from his hands. If military budget cuts didn’t elicit a comment from the good Captain, what would? He continued to hover over her five foot five—in sensible boon dockers—while she maneuvered around him, dumping the stack of papers on the floor by the shelf before closing the door.

            He probably wasn’t an inch or two over six feet, but the too small space became suffocating, filling with the tang of saltwater on skin—not an all-together unpleasant scent—except the hint of JP-5. Lindsey had never been stationed aboard a ship, but she could identify carrier crews by the smell of jet fuel that permeated their pores.

            With surprising consideration, the Captain waited until Lindsey settled beside her corner desk, and then took up the now empty seat across from her. He looked around her office with the same disdain he’d directed toward her.

            Captain Reese had his strong, silent and judgy act down pat.

            Tension radiated from the man. Although the only outward sign was the way he fidgeted with his hat, now balanced on his knee as he tapped a folded piece of paper impatiently against his cover.

            He may have been trying hard not to project his discomfort, but she could sense it, feel it. “Would you be more comfortable with another chaplain?”

            It was a legitimate question, and since he’d expressed some reservation about her gender, one she felt compelled to ask.

            “Would you?”

            Did his scowl switch to a smirk?

            “No,” Lindsey answered honestly.

            Though if they were following strict protocol, she should refer the Captain to her superior, Commander Elliot. However, being short staffed, down to only herself and the Catholic Priest, Father Elliot was just as overworked as she was. Between them, they shared one chaplain’s yeoman, a Religious Program Specialist Third Class.

            Perhaps the Captain had chosen her in accordance with his own beliefs despite his prejudicial comment.

            “You’ll do,” he said.

            “Fine.” Lindsey exhaled the word. Had she actually been holding her breath, waiting for his decision? “I just need you to fill out this counseling form and then we’ll get started.” Stretching across the space, she handed him a clipboard with attached pen and paper.

            A knock sounded on the door. The RP poked her head in, “Chaplain Alexander, I have your lunch,” she announced. “Oops, sorry. I didn’t know you were in session.”

            “It’s okay, Brenda.  We’re just getting started.” Lindsey got up to meet the yeoman at the door. Thanks,” she said, taking the containers of Chinese food.

            “Your change.” Brenda handed over lose coins and a couple wadded bills as Lindsey juggled containers to take the money.

            “Maybe the Captain would like a cup of coffee—”

            “No, the Captain would not.” He cut her off without bothering to look up from the clipboard. On the other side of the door, Brenda mouthed another apology for the interruption.

            “Hold my calls,” Lindsey instructed. “But buzz me when my one o’clock gets here.”

            “Sure thing. I mean, yes, ma’am.” The RP closed the door.

            “I’m sorry,” Lindsey apologized. She suspected she’d gone down another notch in his estimation. Then again, he was the one who’d showed up on her lunch hour uninvited. “LoMein?”

            “No.” He extended the clipboard, all business.

            Lindsey wrestled her lunch down to the desk and stuffed the loose change and bills into the middle drawer. Taking the clipboard from him, she released the counseling form and then groped for her reading glasses. She put them on and sank back to her seat, staring in disbelief at the blank page. Almost blank page.

            Name, rank and serial number had been filled in.

            “Captain Reese—”

            “If I were a prisoner of war that’s all I’d be required to give.”

            “This isn’t an interrogation.”

            “No, it’s not,” he agreed. “Thank you for your time, Chaplain.”

            Her gaze followed his upward movement. He’d certainly been right about only taking a minute of her time. Even though it looked like her curiosity wouldn’t be satisfied, she’d have a hot lunch as a consolation prize. Small comfort compared to the satisfaction she got from doing her job. “How can I help—?”

            “You can’t. I just want it to go on record that I was here.” He slapped his cover against his thigh. “Good day.”

            Lindsey beat him to the door and barred his way with a crossed arm stance.

            “Lieutenant,” he said, calling deliberate attention to her rank. “Step aside. That’s an order.”

            Her short-lived career flashed before her eyes and she swallowed hard. She couldn’t keep him here against his will. Still, she could get her point across. “If it’s important enough to come here in the first place, it’s important enough to stay and talk.”

            “I’m not going to warn you again.”

            “Fine.” She edged away from the door. “But uncooperative is going in my counseling notes.” She tried to infuse a little humor into the situation that had quickly gotten out of hand.

            “You can write whatever you want, Chaplain. As long as you don’t share that information with anyone, I don’t care.”

            “It would be unethical for me to reveal any information about your visit.”

            “I’m counting on that.”

            He paused long enough to look her in the eye. She hoped he saw the disappointment reflected there because if ever a man needed her, Captain Doug Reese did. She couldn’t be expected to save the world. She just wanted to help one person at a time. Unfortunately, her heart took a hit every time she failed.

            Lindsey stared at his departing back. The man’s visit was obviously a desperate cry for help. Yeah, right. Captain Doug Reese looked about as self-sufficient as they came. It was her need to butt into everyone’s business that made her the desperate one. How many times had Brenda told her to get a life? How many times had Chaplain Elliot counseled her against getting overly involved?

            With a heavy sigh, she scooped up another stack of folders occupying the one remaining chair. She’d need both for her one o’clock. Her next appointment was a young couple in premarital counseling.

            No real problems there. In fact, the upcoming wedding on July 4th—her first as an officiate—was something she actually looked forward to. She’d met the bride-to-be. The intended groom was just back from sea.

            Lindsey stopped and let that sink in a moment. Followed by a quick glance toward the door. “Nah.”

            The bride was closer to Lindsey’s age, mid-twenties.

            The Captain had to be at least forty and most likely married.

            Not that a May, December…more like September, romance was out of the question. The Captain was fighter pilot fit and handsome to the extreme—despite the permanent case of indigestion apparent in his facial expression. What she couldn’t remember was whether or not he wore a wedding band.

            Which should matter to her, why?

            Arms full and looking for more nonexistent floor space, Lindsey noticed a folded piece of paper by the chair leg. Setting the stack back down, she picked up the missive and unfolded it. The letter was addressed to Captain Reese from COMCARSTRIKEGRU THIRTEEN, Commander Carrier Strike Group Thirteen (CCSG-13). She quickly folded it back up, but not before the word counseling jumped off the page.

            The Good Captain had been ordered into counseling.

            The shrill ringing of the outer office telephone gave her a guilty start. Brenda answered in quiet tones while Lindsey tucked the paper into her skirt pocket and grabbed her cover from beside the door.

            “Chaplain, it’s for you,” the RP called through the open door.

            “Take a message, Brenda. There’s something I need to do.” Like catch up with the Captain. She checked her watch. She had plenty of time before her next appointment.

            Brenda covered the mouthpiece. “It’s Rear Admiral Dunning.”

            “Commander Carrier Strike Group Thirteen?” Lindsey had never had the occasion to meet a flag officer before, let alone speak with one. “What could he possibly want…?” Her hand went to her skirt pocket. “I’ll take it in my office.”

Bon appetit! Happy reading! And…Happy 4th of July!!

Deb

 

EAT=LOVE=TUESDAY Dana Marton’s Apple Dip

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

imgres-5

Food=love in my books.

Who loves connected books? I do! I do! In fact, I’m writing a new series right now. So, it pleases me to no end to share this Tuesday’s guest blogger with you:  Dana Marton. danamarton

Broslin Bride and the Broslin Creek series are classic Dana Marton, combining heart-pounding suspense, humor, an intense murder mystery, and a sexy, heart-warming romance.  Her books (over 30 published so far) have been described as riveting, thrilling, and un-put-downable.  The first book in the series, Deathwatch, has over 220 reviews and a 4.6 star rating, followed by the incredibly popular Deathscape, an Amazon Romantic Suspense #1 best-seller, Deathtrap (4.6 rating on 130+ reviews) and Deathblow (4.8 rating on almost 100 reviews).

Her bestselling romantic suspense Broslin Creek series has a new entry: The Broslin Bride (Gone and Done It). A perfect summer read.

And here’s a fun summer recipe: Apple Dip–super simple and yummy. Your whole family will love it.

url

5.0 from 1 reviews
Broslin Creek Apple Dip
Author: 
Recipe type: side dish
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
So easy you'll ask yourself why you didn't think of this before.
Ingredients
  • APPLE DIP
  • Blend well 1 brick of cream cheese (neufchatel works well for a low-fat version), 2-4 tablespoons (to taste) brown sugar, and ½ tsp vanilla extract. Serve with apple slices, carrots, celery sticks, and graham crackers for a deliciously easy dip kids and adults will love!

DanaMarton_BroslinBride200

The Broslin Bride by Dana Marton

Luanne Mayfair might have killed her boss a little. Fine, a lot. Pretty much all the way. God, that sounded bad. But he was a sleazebag. Honest. The maids at the Mushroom Mile Motel that Earl Cosgrove managed often prayed for lightning to strike the lecherous bastard. Alas, God had seen fit to send Luanne instead.

Now you’ve gone and done it, she thought the morning after as she stood on the sidewalk in front of the fifties ranch home she rented in her hometown of Broslin, PA. She squinted against the early summer sun. Her red 1989 Mustang sitting by the curb had come from the used-car lot with its share of nicks and dents. But the damage to the front was new.

Gone and done it.

She’d done a horrible, terrible, despicable thing. Guilt and regret made her knees wobble. Whatever the punishment was, she deserved it.

Except, she couldn’t go to prison. She had her four-year-old twin sisters to take care of. She was Mia and Daisy’s sole guardian.

Luanne drew air in big, gulping breaths to wrestle down the shock and nausea. Get moving. One foot in front of the other. She couldn’t stand there and stare all morning. She had to find a way to get away with murder.

 Buy links:

Kindle US: http://amzn.to/1n4zzS2

Kindle UK: http://amzn.to/1i4NkEz

Apple: http://bit.ly/1qVYKdy

Nook: http://bit.ly/1siIac6

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1juguaP

Happy reading…and eating, my friends.

Deb

 

 

 

EAT=LOVE=TUESDAY Rogenna Brewer’s Crockpot Chicken Chili

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

imgres-5

Food=love in my books.

My guest blogger today is my old friend, Rogenna Brewer, whose Harlequin Superromance, The SEAL’s Special Mission, will be on bookshelves (including all e-outlets) in May.

photoHer recipe is called: Crockpot Chicken Chili. Ro told me, “Every author has a few slow-cooker recipes on hand for deadlines.  This Chicken Chili recipe came to me through my youngest son who recently moved back home after his bachelor pad rental was sold out from under him.  Hearty enough (and cheap enough) to feed three broke bachelors, a family of six or a family of three with plenty of left overs.”

 Super simple and delicious.

I hope you enjoy it.

ChickenChili-1

 

Excerpt:

THE SEAL’S SPECIAL MISSION

            BY ROGENNA BREWER

 

     PROLOGUE

 

Coronado, California

“Freeze!” Her voice shook almost as badly as the SIG Sauer in her hand. After twenty weeks of G man U in Quantico, Virginia, twenty-three-year-old rookie FBI Agent Mallory Ward never imagined facing down her first perp in her sister’s kitchen. “Freeze, Nash. I mean it, damn it!”

Her false bravado lost all conviction as she tried to comprehend the bizarre scene playing out in front of her. Her brother-in-law, covered in her sister’s blood, cradled a blue bundle in the palms of his hands.

“Dear Lord, Nash, what have you done?”

Mallory shook her head to clear it. She’d stepped outside for just a moment.

One minute Nash was giving her sister mouth to mouth. The next he was ordering Mallory to grab his cell phone from the pack he said he’d left outside the back door. When she couldn’t find his phone, she’d taken those precious extra seconds to grab hers from her rental car parked out front at the curb.

Mallory kicked past an overturned chair and stepped over the cordless phone unit that had been ripped from the wall. Her sister’s still-warm body lay lifeless on the cold tile floor where her brother-in-law had been performing CPR.

Mallory couldn’t remember if she’d punched 911 before dropping her cell phone to reach for her gun. Though only seconds, it seemed like a lifetime ago. She’d initially been willing to give Nash the benefit of the doubt when she stumbled upon him at the center of an obvious crime scene….

Until she watched the Navy SEAL slice the swell of her sister’s belly.

“She’s gone, Mal.” His voice never wavered.

“You have the right to remain silent…”

“There was nothing more I could do for her, except save our son.” Nash dropped his KA-BAR in the puddle of blood.

Sidestepping the slick pool, Mallory still managed to leave the imprint of her sole behind. Biting back the copper tang of panic, she continued to read him his Miranda rights—Article 31 in the military. “Anything you say or do can and will be used against you in a court of law….”

Nash ignored her, concentrated on the little bundle in his arms. He covered the teeny nose and mouth with his own mouth. The tiny concave chest expanded and then contracted with each puff.

“Do you understand these rights as I have read them to you…?”

She couldn’t afford to make another rookie mistake.

Sirens blared in the distance—emergency responders, too late to save her sister. Mallory’s world spun out of control.

The tile floor rushed up to meet her.

CHAPTER ONE

Denver, Colorado
Seven months later

“Muh, muh…muh,” Benjamin babbled from his crib.

“Up already?” Mallory carried her coffee into the baby’s room. Strong. Black. A reason to get out of bed at zero dark thirty and make it through another day.

Of course, Benji was the real reason she bothered to set the timer on Mr. Coffee. He pulled himself up to gnaw on the guardrail while bouncing on his tiny toes. He couldn’t walk yet, but he sure gave those chubby baby legs a workout.

“Stop before you knock out a tooth.”

Her words startled him into stopping. He reached for her and fell back on his diaper-padded bottom. “Mama!” he cried with his arms outstretched.

“Say, what—”

“Mama, mama,” he continued to blubber.

“Oh, Benji.” Mallory set her happy face mug on the dresser and lifted her nephew out of his crib. He rewarded her with big tears and baby drool all over her new black suit jacket. “I wish your mama was here, too.”

“Mama,” he insisted, latching onto her nose. How much plainer could it get? Benji wasn’t asking for his mother—Mallory was the only mother he’d ever known.

He didn’t understand that the woman who’d carried him for thirty-six weeks was dead. Benji’s only world was the one Mallory created for him. That’s why she needed to push past her grief and do more than just go through the motions…for both their sakes.

Hugging her nephew tight, Mallory repeated, “Mama, mama.”

Until she almost believed it.

She kept a firm hold on her little wiggly worm while she changed his diaper and then carried him out of her old room. It wasn’t much of a nursery. It wasn’t much of a room, either. She’d pushed her twin bed against one wall and then hauled the old crib down from the attic.

The baby crib was a beautiful piece of heirloom furniture in a rich cherry wood. It was so well crafted that it still met safety standards decades later—she’d checked. Someday she’d bring down the rest of the ensemble and turn the room into a real nursery. Hopefully before Benji grew out of the nursery altogether.

At first, she’d slept in her old room with him.

Now more often than not she fell asleep in front of the TV on the leather sofa in what had once been her dad’s study. She kept her clothes in one huge pile on her parents’ bed, with the  intention of eventually moving into their bedroom located across the hall with its en suite bathroom. Though she already showered in the en suite and dressed in the bedroom, she still couldn’t bring herself to clear out the closets.

To her it was still her parents’ room, her parents’ house—the home where she and Cara had grown up. Just passing Cara’s old room next door to hers made Mallory want to cry.

She’d opened the door once.

Everything remained as Cara had left it before going off to college—with the addition of her wedding dress, which had been hanging in a storage bag on the back of the closet door since Cara and Nash’s wedding. It’s where their dad had stashed Cara’s personal affects brought back from San Diego. And where a short while later Mallory had found her mom crumpled in a heap on the bed—an empty pill bottle in her hands—among boxes of Cara’s childhood, college and wedding mementos.

There were more memories in that room than Mallory could handle.

The whole house was haunted by a not-too-distant past. At some point, though, she’d have to find the strength to deal with it and make it her own or put her childhood home up for sale. She simply wasn’t ready to do either.

Mallory carried Benji downstairs to the kitchen, where she settled him into his high chair for breakfast. While making him a bowl of rice cereal with applesauce, she grabbed a carton of yogurt for herself. Shoving aside the stacks of bills and legal papers, she made room at the table so she could sit down to feed him.

One of her father’s colleagues was helping her sort out her family’s financial and legal mess pro bono. Her parents had considerable assets and the foresight to have both wills and living wills. But even they were not prepared for the tragic turn of events that would require shifting power of attorney and property to their younger daughter so soon after their older daughter’s death.

Cara hadn’t owned anything of real value that didn’t also belong to Nash, except for a small burial policy the insurance company refused to pay out because Nash was the sole beneficiary.

And even though Mallory was Benji’s court-appointed guardian, she had a big battle ahead of her in order to gain full custody. Kenneth Nash was still the baby’s father and Benjamin Nash was legally a ward of the state of California until a judge said otherwise.

She couldn’t discount Nash’s family.

His mother, his aunt and uncle, numerous cousins, including a married cousin in New York, had all expressed interest in adopting Benji. And that was just on his mother’s side. But it seemed wrong somehow—disloyal to Cara’s memory—to allow her murderer’s family to raise her son.

Mallory might not yet have her act together at twenty-three, yet she was determined to pull it together fast—she had to, for her nephew’s sake.

Life had been anything but easy these last few months, between the trial, and the responsibilities of a preemie nephew and aging parents—make that aging parent, since her mother had died after collapsing in Cara’s room. And without her mother’s help, she’d had no choice but to put her father in an assisted-living facility. And, to add to everything else, Dad wasn’t adjusting very well to the loss of Mom or his new home.

The telephone rang as Mallory shoveled another spoonful of rice cereal into Benji’s eager mouth. She glanced over her shoulder at the shrill disruption. The call appeared to be coming from a blocked number.

With an eye on the clock, she got up from her seat and picked up the wireless receiver. Mallory had only been back to work a couple of months and couldn’t afford to be late again. Please do not let it be the assisted-living facility. “‘lo?”

 “Ms. Ward, it’s Tess Galena.” The NCIS special agent worked out of the San Diego field office and had been assigned as the special agent in charge of Cara’s case. The woman was somewhat of a legend in her field. Mallory had once dreamt of that kind of professional recognition and respect, until circumstances beyond her control landed her behind a desk.

Galena’s investigation into Cara’s murder had led to Nash’s conviction.

“Ms. Ward, are you there?” Galena asked.

“What?” Mallory wiped Benji’s face with a clean cloth. Offering a reassuring smile as she exchanged his bowl of mush for a few Cheerios he could manage on his own. “Sorry. Yes, I’m here.”

“I need you in San Diego today. My assistant has booked you a flight.”

“I’d have to check with work—”

“Your superiors are aware of the situation. Plan to be here for a few days.”

The woman must have some serious pull.

“What’s this about?” The yogurt in Mallory’s stomach soured as the possibilities, none of them good, ran through her mind. “I don’t have anyone to watch Benji.”

—NCIS Special Agent Tess Galena never hesitated. “Actually, Ms. Ward, we need both of you. We’ll brief you when you get here.”

“Is it Nash?”

“I can’t say anything more over the phone. Someone will meet you at the airport, Ms. Ward.”

Naval Brig Miramar
San Diego, California

As soon as they landed at San Diego International Airport, Mallory and Benji were taken to the brig at Miramar. Once a naval air station, made famous by the movie Top Gun, the base now belonged to the Marine Corps. The brig itself, run by the Department of the Navy, consolidated Level I and Level II military prisoners.

Nash, as a convicted murder, was housed at Fort Leavenworth, a Level III disciplinary barracks in Leavenworth, Kansas, and the sole maximum-security penal facility for the U.S. military. Mallory couldn’t have been more confused, but neither of her special agent escorts had deemed it necessary to fill her in on the details during the drive over.

Shifting Benji on her hip, she adjusted the diaper bag and purse on her opposite shoulder as they breezed through security with a show of agency badges. They were buzzed through several more gates and then led to an interrogation room by a uniformed guard.

The otherwise nondescript room consisted of military-issued furniture, a gunmetal gray table and four chairs. Her escorts took up positions outside the steel security door, which locked with a quiet click behind her.

She recognized Commander Mike McCaffrey—Mac—Nash’s former commanding officer, leaning against the wall next to a large mirror, which was likely a two-way. Nash had served under McCaffrey as executive officer of SEAL Team Eleven. The commander straightened to his full height as she entered the room.

Tess Galena sat at the table. The NCIS special agent wore a pin-striped suit, obviously tailor-made for her curvy figure—there was no mistaking that the woman in designer duds was the woman in charge. Mallory’s own slobber-stained, off-the-rack ensemble made her feel dowdy in comparison.

“Ms. Ward,” the woman said, uncrossing her long legs and rising to her feet. “Please have a seat.” She indicated the chair across the table from hers. “I apologize for such short notice.” Galena’s sharp glance toward the commander had Mallory wondering who exactly had called this meeting.

Mallory sat and then adjusted Benji in her lap. Tugging at the sleeves of his little jacket, she dropped it into the diaper bag at her feet.

He was a quiet baby, prematurely taken from his mother’s womb in a grizzly scene Mallory wouldn’t soon—if ever—forget. She hoped they wouldn’t be here long enough for Benji to get tired or hungry during this major disruption to his routine.

“Are you going to tell me what this is all about?” Mallory forced herself to make eye contact, first with Galena and then the commander. “Nash,” she whispered, reading it on their faces with a sinking sensation in the pit of her gut. “He’s escaped.”

She didn’t know why escape was the first thought that popped into her head. But as a Navy SEAL trained in escape and evasion, Nash certainly had the skills. If anyone could break out of a military prison, he could.

“Not yet.” The commander sauntered over to the table. “But he will. With your help.”

The absurdity of his statement took a moment to sink in.

“Like hell I will.” Only a cold-blooded killer could do what Nash had done to his pregnant wife. “Not in this or any other lifetime will I be helping that man escape—”

Galena leaned across the table. “Mallory…May I call you Mallory?” She continued without waiting for the consent, which Mallory would have given gladly. “Kenneth Nash can serve a higher purpose than any death sentence handed down to him.”

Mallory wasn’t so sure about that. She didn’t necessarily believe in capital punishment. But if anyone deserved to pay the ultimate price, Nash did.

“To put it bluntly,” the commander interrupted, “we’re proposing a mission few men are even qualified to undertake. You’re aware, of course, that Nash is half Syrian—on his mother’s side. He has the looks and the know-how for a deep-coverop to infiltrate al-Ayman.” She knew al-Ayman to be a terrorist organization with ties to al-Qaeda.

“What are you suggesting?” She looked from one to the other.

Galena cleared her throat. “The President has reviewed the case and is prepared to offer Kenneth Nash a full pardon for the murder of his wife, your sister, in exchange for certain, shall we say—services. What you need to understand, Mallory, is that he’d be a free man. And we need you to be comfortable with that.”

Mallory smoothed a hand over her nephew’s dark head. “You’ve got to be kidding.” A presidential pardon? So much for the president getting her vote of confidence. “There must be other men, loyal Americans of Middle Eastern descent—”

“None with Lieutenant Commander Nash’s background and training who are already serving a prison sentence.” The commander had a grim certainty about him Mallory found disconcerting. “We’re proposing a move to Gitmo under an assumed name. He’d be so deep undercover not even the marines guarding him would know his true identity.”

“His main objective would be to gather intel from the detainees held at the military detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba,” Galena clarified. “Specifically the youngest son of Mullah Kahn. Mullah, also known as the Cobra, is the head of the al-Ayman terrorist network. His son, Bari Kahn, was captured last year, right here in California. Additionally, Nash would be tasked with finding security leaks within our own system.”

Mallory shifted uncomfortably in her seat. “And if he’s caught—”

“If he’s caught by either side,” the commander said with emphasis, “he’d be a marked man.”

That shouldn’t bother her as much as it did.

She shouldn’t care.

She didn’t care.

Galena directed a sharp glance at the commander. “Or he may come out of all this unscathed.” The NCIS agent drummed a pen on a pad, a sign of restlessness Mallory wouldn’t have associated with the woman. Perhaps she had her own reservations and was just as uncomfortable with the situation as Mallory. “Detainees in Cuba won’t be held forever. There’s plenty of public outcry as U.S. involvement in the war comes to a close, and when the last prisoners are released or transferred to other countries, as many have been already, Nash will be among them.”

“You’d let him go? Just like that?”

“Gitmo is no cakewalk.” The commander crossed his arms. “Even if he were to go free, you’re not in any danger, Ms. Ward,” he said with the unwavering confidence of his rank. “I strongly believe in Lieutenant Commander Nash’s innocence.”

He might believe it. She might even want to believe it. But she’d seen what she’d seen. And Mallory’s testimony had convicted the man, for crying out loud–what was to stop him from coming after her?

Or Benji?

There was no doubt in her mind Nash would come after his son.

She felt it with bone-chilling certainty.

Mallory stared out of focus at the two-way mirror. As if looking at it through a haze of raw emotions would allow her to see more clearly. That’s when she felt it, the eerie sensation of being watched.

Of course, there was someone behind the glass, watching them. She took a deep, shuddering breath and held Benji tighter. “Are you saying this assignment somehow hinges on my approval?”

She fixed her gaze on the commander this time. He shifted his to Galena as if this condition was a point of contention between them. “No,” he said, returning his attention to her.

“Then why am I here, sir?” Benji shoved a pudgy fist into his mouth. “Why are we here?”

Galena stepped in and answered for him. “We can’t just waltz a high-profile prisoner like Lieutenant Commander Kenneth Nash out the front gate of a federal prison.”

Mallory sensed the commander’s growing impatience with this conversation.

He hunkered down eye level to her nephew and allowed Benji to grab his thumb as he cupped the baby’s chubby cheek. Benji immediately became intent on bringing that masculine digit to his mouth like a new teething toy. She knew the commander was a new father himself and wondered what he really thought of this whole mess.

“We’re taking Nash out of here in a body bag,” he said. “Stone-cold dead. Kenneth Nash will no longer exist.”

 BlogBlitz

Wow! I can’t wait to read the rest. And be sure to check out Rogenna’s upcoming blog blitz HERE.

Bon appetit! Happy reading!

Deb

EAT=LOVE=TUESDAY Lois Winston’s Veal Parmesan with Mushrooms and Baby Spinach

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

imgres-5

Food=love in my books.

Award-winning author Lois Winston’s fabulous recipe today appears in her new book, Hooking Mr. Right.

Lois writes romance, romantic suspense, mystery, chick lit, women’s fiction, and non-fiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.”

Visit Lois at www.loiswinston.com

Visit Emma at www.emmacarlyle.com

Visit Anastasia at Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog, www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com

Twitter    Pinterest

Now, here’s the recipe that Lois’s heroine Thea actually cooks in the snippet that follows. Enjoy!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Thea’s Veal Parmesan with Mushrooms and Baby Spinach
Author: 
Recipe type: main dish
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
In Hooking Mr. Right, Thea finds solace in cooking. Here’s one of the recipes from the book:
Ingredients
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh mushrooms
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh baby spinach
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh tomato
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1-1/2 pounds veal cutlets
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Mix mushrooms, spinach, tomato, onion and garlic together. Fold in ricotta cheese. Set aside.
  2. Place veal between sheets of wax paper and pound lightly to flatten. Lay cutlets on flat surface. Sprinkle with olive oil. Spoon vegetable-ricotta mixture onto center of each cutlet. Roll cutlets and secure with toothpicks. Brown in oil on all sides. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Spoon a small amount of marinara sauce in bottom of baking dish. Arrange cutlet rolls in dish. Remove toothpicks. Pour remaining sauce over cutlets. Sprinkle generously with parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees 20-25 minutes.


Hooking Mr. Right

Thea Chandler, a total failure when it comes to relationships, is secretly bestselling romance guru Dr. Trulee Lovejoy. Much to his dismay, Luke Bennett has been dubbed NY’s most eligible bachelor, and hordes of women throughout New York are using Thea’s books to try to snare him. When Luke and Thea accidentally meet, he believes he’s finally found an honest woman, but Thea’s got more secrets than the CIA and a desperate gossip columnist out to expose her. Can a butt-ugly alley cat named Cupid bring together two people driven apart by secrets and lies?

Hooking_cover_v002_x1000

She owed Luke an apology. He wasn’t at fault here. Steve was. And Madeline. She couldn’t even place any blame on Grace for her collusion with Hedda or for trying to renege on their deal. The bean counters had blackmailed Grace into a corner. No. As far as Trulee was concerned, she had no one to blame but herself. After all, she opted to compromise her ethics and take the easy way out. Grace dangled the gold coins under her nose, but no one had forced Thea to grab the bag.

Thea had noticed the way Luke’s gaze had kept darting toward the kitchen. He had practically drooled on his rumpled pinstripe. She suspected Melvin the doorman heard his grumbling stomach twelve floors below.

She checked the contents of the oven. Sauce bubbling, cheese browned to a golden perfection, her veal parmesan with mushrooms and baby spinach set off a loud protest in her own stomach. Tom, Dick, and Harry, connoisseurs of Italian cuisine, were demanding their dinner. With their propensity toward red sauce and pasta maybe she should have named them Tomasso, Federico, and…what was the Italian form of Harry? Enrico? Thea shrugged. She had a more pressing problem at the moment. Adjusting the light under a pot of linguini, she turned her attention to the dilemma.

Her sprained wrist had healed well enough to prepare the meal with only a bit of minor inconvenience. She had compensated. Besides, at the time she’d been more concerned with doing something to take her mind off her troubles, and cooking always worked as a panacea for whatever troubled her.

As a child, she had constantly gravitated to the kitchen whenever her loneliness consumed her or her unladylike behavior triggered a reproachful lecture from her mother. A deep bond developed between her and Yolanda Marie, her family’s French-Italian cook. While her parents ignored her and fussed over Madeline, Thea received the attention she craved from Yolanda Marie—along with cooking lessons from the master Cordon Blue chef.

Years later, she still sought and found solace in the kitchen, the only place where she had complete control over her world. The only place where she could truly be herself.

Thea had placed the food in a small casserole which proved easy to slip into the oven single handed. Removing the piping hot dish was an entirely different problem. She opened the oven door, pulled out the wire rack containing her dinner, and bit down on her lower lip while she mulled over her limited options.

The most sensible course of action was to knock on Luke’s door, invite him to dinner, then have him lift the baking dish onto the counter. Sensible, but smacking of ulterior motive. He’d think she only invited him because she couldn’t remove the dish herself. Strike that idea. She wasn’t about to offer him an apology with strings attached.

Thea plopped into a kitchen chair, propped her elbow on her knee, and cupped her chin in the palm of her good hand. She stared at the veal parmesan. She frowned at her bandaged wrist. The seconds ticked away.

Three minutes later she was still scowling alternately between her wrist and the meal. “Oh, the hell with it!” She rose to her feet. “It’s not going to grow legs and walk out of the oven.” She slipped her arm from the sling and donned a couple of oven mitts. Holding her breath and gritting her teeth, she lifted the dish out of the oven. The pain proved bearable. Barely.

Ten minutes later, after downing a couple of aspirin to offset the renewed ache in her wrist, she stood in front of Luke’s door. Balanced between her hip and good arm, she held a large wicker basket complete with main course, a plastic container in which she had placed the drained linguini, another filled with Caesar salad, a small loaf of Italian bread, and a bottle of chilled Asti Spumanti.

She rang the doorbell with her elbow.

Kindle   Nook  iTunes  Kobo Bookstore Without Borders 

And the story continues…

LVSnr300

…in Finding Mr. Right, a mini-sequel to Hooking Mr. Right. Editor Grace Wainwright has taken over the role of bestselling author and romance guru Dr. Trulee Lovejoy. Thea Chandler, the original Trulee, is now married to her Mr. Right and is a successful cookbook author. She and Grace host the top-rated Love Recipes cooking show. When producer Becket Delaney announces the first two shows in February will have a Valentine’s Day theme, Grace freaks out. The worst day of her life occurred on Valentine’s Day ten years ago, and she wants no reminders of it. Beck has his own reasons for hating the holiday, but the show must go on, and he absolutely refuses to deal with an uncooperative prima donna. When a citywide blackout traps him and Grace in his thirty-fourth floor office, their adversarial relationship really begins to heat up.

 Finding Mr. Right is available as part of the Love, Valentine Style anthology of six Valentine-themed romance novellas by six award-winning and Amazon bestselling authors. For a limited time this collection is available only from Amazon and for a mere .99 cents.

Buy here: Kindle

Thank you, Lois! Now, nobody has any excuse not to fix a romantic meal for Valentine’s Day and we have every reason to buy some romantic fun for just 99¢!!

Happy reading–and eating!

Deb