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Friday, May 28, 2010

Book Signing, Port Clinton, OH

Tomorrow, I'll be signing books in beautiful downtown Port Clinton, with Lake Erie sparkling in the background, and hordes of crowds will be showing up! Not for me, exactly--but for the Annual Walleye Festival. That's right, I will almost certainly be upstaged by one of the ugliest fish known to man, but that's fine. I'm not threatened, or anything. I *am* planning to have fish and chips for dinner, though. ; )

The Book Exchange bookstore, run by my friend and fabulous bookseller Annette Fitzgerald, has organized a booth at the festival that will host a rotating multi-author signing. My slot is tomorrow, Saturday May 29th, from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm, and I'll be signing On the Steamy Side alongside mystery author Libby Hellman, inspirational romance author Sandy Wickersham-McWhorter, and women's fiction author Martha Moody. I'm so excited! We're going to have a ball, and if you're in the area, you should come down, check out the festival (which I hear is crazy--it's my first year going!) eat some flaky, mild, delicious walleye, and buy some books.

The enter schedule for the 2-day signing is here, and the Walleye Festival website is here, with more details. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Just One Taste Excerpt is Up!

After some prompting from readers (I love how eager you guys are!) I've posted a nice, long excerpt from the beginning of the third Recipe for Love novel, Just One Taste. This is Wes Murphy's story, and also continues the saga of Frankie and Jess from Can't Stand the Heat and On the Steamy Side. But it can definitely be read as a stand-alone book!

Go here to get a sneak peek at ex-con-man-turned-culinary-student Wes and the woman who is everything he never knew he always wanted, chemistry genius Dr. Rosemary Wilkins. These two were a blast to write, and as always, the research was more like fun than work. Aphrodisiacs, anyone? ; )

I'm in the thick of website updates and maybe even a blog revamp, so expect some changes around here soon...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Fun Times at Romantic Times

I just got a couple of photos back from my cocktail demo at this year's Romantic Times Convention, so I wanted to share!

Here's me showing how to make the "Miranda" Cocktail--the one my heroine gets a little more than tipsy on in the first chapter of Can't Stand the Heat! It's a sweet, tart, bubbly concoction involving rose-petal infused vodka, sparkling wine, and raspberries...

Every guest at the demo had her own little shot of the rose vodka, a few ripe raspberries in a bowl, and a champagne flute. The mixing got a little mixed up (all my fault! I'll be more clear next time, I swear!) but the results were still delicious.

Then I asked for four volunteers from the crowd to c
ome up and participate in a Sangria Off! The challenge: to take the ingredients I had provided and come up with the best version of sangria they could. We had two contestants making white sangria with Pinot Grigio, and two making red with
Merlot. The other ingredients they were give were:
Granny Smith apple
Ginger beer
Canned peaches
Canned pineapple
Cinnamon sticks

I think that's it. I was on hand to help slice the fresh fruit and fetch and carry, but for the most part, the contestants were on their own--and I was so impressed with their results! Our three volunteer judges, also from the audience, proclaimed two w
inners, one of the whites and one of the reds, and then we all got to taste the sangria. Delicious! They ranged from tart and fruity to sweet and fairly...ahem...alcohol forward. ; ) I loved them all, and was happy to be able to send all four contestants home with signature Recipe for Love aprons and signed copies of On the Steamy Side.
What a fantastic party. Well, I had fun, at least! I think everyone else did, too. In fact, it was so much fun that I'm already thinking about when I might be able to host another one...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Best American Chef Trilogy

It's official, kids! My next three books will be the Best American Chef trilogy: LUSCIOUS, DELECTABLE, and TANTALIZING! Luscious will be out in March 2011, followed by Delectable in September, then Tantalizing will wrap things up in March 2012.

I'm writing Luscious now, and I'm so into it--it's really thrilling to set up a new group of chefs and foodies. These characters live in the same world as the folks from Market, so they definitely know our old friends Adam Temple, Frankie Boyd, Devon Sparks, and the rest. You can expect some fun cameos! But this series is more than just a new restaurant trying to make it in the high-powered Manhattan food scene--Luscious, Delectable, and Tantalizing will take us through the challenges of competing for the title of Best American Chef in a high-stakes national contest. Think Top Chef, only the chefs compete in teams from around the country! Get ready for sparks flying, heated rivalries, and even more heated kisses and passions flare higher...

Luscious introduces us to the team from Lunden & Sons, a West Village institution that's been in the Lunden family for generations. Max Lunden is called home from wandering the world in search of exotic flavors and cooking techniques to take over the team when his father gets sick. After years abroad, Max has a lot to deal with from his past in Manhattan: Johnny, his pastry chef brother resents him for leaving, sous chef Beck resents him for coming back, and then there's Juliet Cavanaugh, the woman he never thought he'd find again. And she's got a secret...

I don't want to spoil anything by telling you too much more, but I'm sure having fun discovering these people and getting to know them.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Blog Tour: Queenie Takes Manhattan

My favorite food blog has a super fun interview with me up today! Go here to find out the answers to such burning questions as the best meal I ever had and who I'd invite to join me for dinner, if I could have anyone...

I had the BEST time answering this interview (is it a coincidence that it was administered by one of my best friends in the world? Probably not.) In fact, I had so much fun, I promised to give away a signed hardcover edition of my latest Recipe for Love novel ON THE STEAMY SIDE, as well as a signature apron and set of spatulas! Come comment for a chance to win the prize!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Book Pimp Blog Works Out to OtSS

I'm so tickled that Judi L of the Book Pimp Blog chose On the Steamy Side as her Wednesday Workout Read! It doesn't seem like an obvious choice, at first glance--working out to descriptions of deliciously high-calorie food? But then, I like to watch the Food Network while I'm working out, so who am I to judge. The whole review is interesting and entertaining--man, I don't think I'll ever get tired of finding out what readers think of my books--but the very best part comes at the end, when she sums up in one perfect nutshell everything my writing is about:

"On the Steamy Side is about relationships, new ones, old messed up ones, disappointing family ones, but most importantly that the best relationships are attainable if you're just brave enough to reach out and hold on for dear life before it's too late."

In some sense, as much as each story has its own themes and unique goals for the characters, every book I write boils down to that one sentiment about relationship. I'm thrilled beyond belief that a reader I've never met can see that in On the Steamy Side. Makes me feel like I'm doing something right!

How about you--do you see overarching themes in your own writing? Or in the series by your favorite authors?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Perfect 10!!!!!

I'm almost recovered from RT (short roundup: fabulous friends, fun times with readers, sold out of my books at the signing, and learned a lot from every panel I was on) and almost caught up with the household stuff my husband totally neglected while I was gone. Seriously, the kitchen looked like he'd hosted a frat party, or maybe had cooked a five-course dinner for ten. And sure, some of that was leftover from when I was scrambling to test the recipes for the back of JUST ONE TASTE before I left, but still!

Anyway, after the orgy of cleaning, I finally got down to my email and discovered this fabulous review has just been posted on Romance Reviews Today! ON THE STEAMY SIDE got a 'Perfect 10', the only rating they give, and only to a select handful of books every year. OtSS is now automatically entered in their Best Book of 2010 contest, and I'm in some truly fabulous company on that list. Holy cats. Check it out! I'm so unbelievably stoked. It's a huge thrill every time I read a review where someone totally "got" the book and what I was trying to do. A huge thank you to the reviewer, Allegra Allston--you are currently my favorite person in all the world! Don't be surprised if I name a heroine 'Allegra' sometime in the future. : )

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