Monday, December 30, 2013

New Release Contemporary Romance Goodness: Where There Is Will

As always, I'm excited to spotlight one of my chapter mates, this time from Washington Romance Writers.

When she moves to London following her divorce, Michelle Loeser has no interest in looking for love. She needs to focus on surviving without her ex’s six-figure income, coping with a severe fear of heights, and rebuilding her confidence. And if she keeps her promise to her best friend, she’ll pursue her passion for writing too.

Will Sheridan found his passion early in life. At age eleven, he was cast in the starring role in a film series. Now, at the age of 25, he’s a celebrity at a crossroads in his career. He has no time for women who don’t understand his priorities.

When Will offers to help Michelle acclimate to the unfamiliar city in exchange for cooking lessons, she figures what’s the harm? But jealous fans and coworkers, eager paparazzi, and a distrustful mother see it differently.

Here's an excerpt to pique your interest even more:

I walked into my office cubicle, hung up my jacket, and logged onto my computer like I did every morning. I stood, picked up my empty coffee mug, turned, and slammed into Olivia. “Come with me,” she whispered. I sighed heavily and followed my co-worker into the conference room where I found Paige already sitting at the large table.
“I saw your photo in the newspaper,” Paige said, shoving a clipping in my direction.
“I wouldn’t exactly call it a newspaper,” I replied, but not having gotten a good look at the picture the previous night, I picked up the clipping and examined it. It was of poor quality—probably taken with a cell phone camera. I hadn’t noticed the caption yesterday: Will Sheridan gets attacked by cougar. Despite the lack of creativity in those words, my insides felt like they were being attacked by a cougar. “Nice,” I said pretending to sound disinterested as I pushed the paper back toward Paige.
“Well what?”
“Tell Olivia and me what you’re doing in the paper.”
“Kissing someone.”
“This is no time to be cheeky. Just what were you doing kissing William Sheridan? We didn’t even know you knew him.”
“You do know him, right?” Olivia interjected.
“No. I just walked up to him in a cafĂ©, sat on his lap and planted a wet one on his mouth.”
“You’re on his lap?” Olivia gave the clipping another look. “Why, you are on his lap. And he has no shirt on.”


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Easy & Elegant NYE appetizer - Prosciutto Rolls w/Mushroom Dip

Welcome to the final edition of our HUNGRY HEARTS HOLIDAY HOP! We are so excited to CELEBRATE the New Year with mouthwatering dip, appetizer, and drink recipes and delicious EXCERPTS from today’s hottest food-loving ROMANCE writers! Hop around each author’s site for a new recipe, and fill out the Rafflecopter form to enter our GIVEAWAY: a $(I will let you know amount after I mail Christmas Hop Prizes!) Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Book Depository GIFT CARD! In addition to the HUNGRY HEARTS HOLIDAY HOP giveaway, Amanda Usen will be featuring Hungry Hearts authors on Writer.Chef.Romantic this week and gifting their books to lucky winners. Stay tuned to get in on the fun! If you’d like to party in real time, please join our Facebook Party December 26th - January 1st.

I love New Year's Eve so much that I started my book Friends To Lovers on it. Here's the opening:

Daphne Lovell loathed working on New Year’s Eve. Other days certainly vied for a spot near the top of her craptastic workday list. The day after a bout of food poisoning. Birthdays (which everyone ought to get off as a personal, government-sanctioned holiday). Any day when the coffee maker malfunctioned. As a wedding florist, she worked most holidays. Just gritted her teeth and focused on the hefty surcharge they levied on all Aisle Bound clients who scheduled events on holidays.

But New Year’s Eve trumped them all. Most of the time she could handle standing on the edges of a wedding, watching everyone party like crazy around her. Party jealousy never bit her in the ass, because she rarely knew any of the wedding guests. Far better to collect her vases, head home and stretch out on the couch with a pint of chocolate peanut butter ice cream.

Except that the whole world—literally—partied on New Year’s Eve. Working this night felt like a punishment. Like Fate had grounded her for bad behavior. Daphne believed there was something magical about midnight on New Year’s Eve. Her father always said you should start the year the way you meant to continue. So most people did it right. Eating fabulous party food, drinking like crazy, spending the entire night with their favorite people and then kissing a loved one at the stroke of midnight.
         Tonight Daphne was managing two out of four and last time she checked, fifty percent wasn’t considered a passing grade. 

(Don't worry - her night gets better!)

So here's the recipe I want to share with you, from the wonderful HayDay Country Market Cookbook: Mushroom and Prosciutto Rolls (it will BLOW away everyone at the party!).

1 cup mushroom dip (recipe below)
12 large thin slices prosciutto, each cut into four 2x4 inch pieces
8 oz fresh enoki mushrooms

Spread a thin layer (1 teaspoon) of dip on each piece of prosciutto. Lay a small cluster (about 6) of enoki mushrooms crosswise so they peek out of each side. Roll up tightly.

mushroom dip
1/4 oz dried porcini mushrooms
1/4 cup hot water
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup minced shallots
8 oz cremini or baby bella mushrooms, caps & stems coarsely chopped
1 tbsp brandy
1 tsp lemon juice
8 oz cream cheese
1 tbsp minced chives
kosher salt and pepper

put mushrooms in a bowl w/hot water and set aside to soften for 10-15 minutes. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add shallots and saute about 3 minutes. Stir in cremini mushrooms and saute until very soft, about 5 minutes. Add the brandy, lemon juice and porcini mushrooms and soaking liquid. Simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 1 minute. Spoon into a food processor and pulse to finely mince.

Combine cream cheese and chives in a mixing bows and blend on high speed. Then add the mushroom mixture and season to taste with salt and pepper.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 23, 2013

Sidelined Afterlife by Joya Fields: A contemporary romance with a ghostly twist.

I'm thrilled to share a contemporary ghost story with you, by a talented chapter mate set in my awesome hometown of Baltimore! Here's a peek at Sidelined Afterlife, which just released today! (Don't miss the first two books in the series, by the way....)

Psychic and medium Veronica Matthews hates being able to communicate with the dead and the nearly departed.  What good is it if she can’t lead the police to the victims of violent crimes before they die? But when her neighbor comes to her for help, she’s torn—until she understands that the ghost haunting him is more dangerous than any she’s encountered….
After losing his wife in a tragic accident, ER doctor Hunter Anderson’s only solace is his work and a ghost is jeopardizing that. Turning to his neighbor seems like his only choice, but spending time with the passionate woman, and her sassy attitude, might do more than save his life…
She can’t risk her heart. He’s afraid to love and lose again. Can a ghost help these two souls to live again?

   “I am an idiot. The biggest idiot ever. If you want me to pierce something for you, to prove I’m an idiot, I have some sterilized instruments upstairs in my apartment.”
   Her tongue poked against her cheek, signaling a laugh that wanted to erupt. Suddenly, he really wanted to be the one who could make her laugh. “Maybe I could do your lower lip?”
   Her short laugh erupted. A sweet, melodic sound that filled the small apartment.
   His gaze stayed on that full mouth and he lifted his fingers closer, compelled to touch her.      She stared at him with wide eyes as he traced the corner of her mouth lightly with his finger.
   “I’m a liar. I could never tarnish something as beautiful as this.”
Christ. What a line. Where had those words come from? But he meant it.
   Her breath was hot against his finger as he traced the line of her lower lip. Her gaze held his. His stomach growled again, breaking the spell, and she blinked and leaned against the sofa.
   “You know what? We never had dessert,” she said.
He had room for dessert. But not the food kind. He swallowed to quell his appetite for her. “Uh…how about I make an ice cream run? Then we’ll get to work.” Enough of this temptation. He needed to get away from her, from this pull she had on his body and emotions.

Purchase links for SIDELINED AFTERLIFE:
Barnes and Noble
Decadent Publishing
All Romance eBooks

Joya’s Bio:
     Joya Fields has had over 100 stories and articles published in local and national magazines. Her debut novel, a romantic suspense, was a NJRW GOLDEN LEAF WINNER FOR BEST FIRST BOOK OF 2012 and was nominated for RT Book Reviews 2012 Indie Press/Self-Published Contemporary Romance award. Since then, she’s published four more books with even more on the way.
Connect with Joya
Twitter: @joyafields
Amazon Author Page

Friday, December 20, 2013

A Fine Romance is the Nook Daily Find - Snap It Up for only $1.99!

I'm super excited to announce that today something special is happening over on the Barnes & Noble site. Harlequin and Carina Press are taking over the Nook Daily Find, with ten fantastic books on sale - and my A Fine Romance is one of them! Here's the blurb to get you in the mood to shop:

They say you form your first impression of someone within thirty seconds of meeting them. Or, in Mira Parrish\'s case, within thirty minutes of not meeting them, when said person is supposed to pick you up from the airport and never shows. This is not a perfect start to her new life. Her friend Ivy is depending on her to run a new romance store, and Mira can\'t afford to let her down.

Sam Lyons should probably apologize. But every time he sees Mira—which is often, since his family owns the bakery next to her shop—he can\'t resist antagonizing her. There\'s something about the sexy, straitlaced woman that drives him crazy. He can\'t get involved, though. He has too much baggage to be any good in a serious relationship.

Despite his teasing attitude, Mira finds Sam too sweet to resist. (His hot body may be a factor.) But if there\'s going to be anything permanent between them, they\'ll need to let go of their pasts and look to the future…

And here's an excerpt, to really get you going!

She wore an air of mystery, almost like she knew something Sam didn’t about tonight. Funny, since he was the one surprising her. Or was it that Mira thought she was the one pulling his strings? Well, he’d put a stop to that. Sam didn’t need to be in charge, but he did need them to be on even footing. Might have to step it up a notch already. He faced her and rested his hands loosely on her waist. And tried not to think how fantastic it would be to cup her rounded hips and rock her back and forth on top of him.
“I’m sure I want another date with you, Mira. Want to know why?”
She nodded.
“You’re like a cannoli. They aren’t chocolate, so I assume you’ve had one?”
She nodded again, with a mystified smile.
“Their outer layer seems both indestructible and brittle. Once you break through, the center is sweet and creamy, yet still studded with interesting surprises of nuts and dried fruit. One bite is never enough. Oh, and that dusting of powdered sugar makes them delicately beautiful. And you are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.”
Mira’s eyelids drooped heavily—the personification of bedroom eyes. A faint blush that matched the nearest rosebush pinked her cheeks. Then her tongue slipped out to moisten her lips. It did him in. Sam tightened his grip, pulling her so close he felt the rapid rise and fall of her chest.
“Don’t look at me like that. Like you could gobble me up whole,” Mira said. Her cheeks grew darker. “I might have to take action.”
Sam wondered if she was one of those ultra-feminists who got offended by an honest compliment. Damn it, was she mad or aroused? Why couldn’t he figure her out? “I chose this location carefully. We’re surrounded by nature, not knickknacks. There’s nothing here you can use to assault me.”
“Not true. There’s one thing.” Mira launched herself at him, throwing both arms around his neck. Instinct lowered his hands to her tight, curvy ass for a better grip. Sam barely managed to keep both of them from toppling into the fountain. He did stagger backward a few steps until the spray misted them lightly.
The heat of the late-afternoon sun on his back didn’t come close to matching the heat she kindled between them. Eagerly, Sam sank into those luscious lips. She took quick nibbles, even nipping. A zing shot straight down to his dick. Yeah, if this was her taking charge, sign him up for more of that!
With a final lick around the outline of his lips, she slid her tongue inside. And Mira didn’t stay still. No, she wriggled against him. He wouldn’t be able to hold on to her much longer. The heavy scent of roses twined around them like something out of a fairy tale. From now on, whenever Sam smelled roses, he’d feel Mira’s breasts tautly pushing against his chest. He’d remember the perfection of her kisses, and the silken glide of her legs against his. No doubt he’d go from zero to titanium-hard in two seconds.
She broke away first. “You were right. Another date is inevitable.”