Today’s virtual tour brings me to the Mixed Book Bag. Drop by and see the five places I’d love to travel to learn about the native cuisine.
Category Archives: Family Saga
I’m tired. Are you? Hee hee. This has been a world wind tour, that’s for sure. Today I’m 2 places at once. ( Didn’t know I was magical, did you?!) I’m over on Read Your Writes Book Reviews and Rachel Brimble’s Romance blog. Stop by both – you get 2 chances at that Amazon GC if you comment on each. Leave me some encouragement and love, though, too!
Just in case you missed any of the tour stops for week 2, here’s a listing with links. Be sure to drop by, leave some love, and be entered for a chance to win an Amazon GC at the end of the tour.
Monday, October 2 Danita Minnis
Tuesday, October 3 Up ’til Dawn Book Blog
Thursday, October 5 Nancy Fraser
Pardon me, but I’m a little giddy today! A SHOT OF LOVE is out in the book reading world and the reviews have been amazing so far!!!!
I’m on Up ‘Til Dawn Book Blog today talking about my favorite movie scenes. This was a fun blog to write, so stop by and tell me yours!
As promised previously, to ramp up interest for my Lyrical Shine 10.3.17 release of A SHOT AT LOVE, I’m posting little excerpts from the book. The last time you got to see Gemma for the first time through Ky’s eyes. Today, Gemma gives you a little glimpse of the FBI agent who pisses her off and turns her on at the same time.
Gemma paced the small room for the hundredth time, her arms folded across her chest, desperately wanting to hit something.
No, not something. Someone. Agent Pappa-pain, or whatever the heck his name was.
For over two hours she’d been confined to this cramped, windowless, and drab room. During the first, she’d written, in full detail, everything she’d witnessed on the street corner. Agent Winters had guided her through the questions while she wrote the answers in her smooth, precise script. When they were finished, he’d left her, promising to return shortly.
His definition of shortly was exceedingly different from hers.
With a heavy sigh, she plopped back down into a metal chair, arms still crossed. Agent Moron. Reconsidering, she added, a hunky moron, but one none-the-less.
Reconsidering, she added, a hunky moron, but one none-the-less.
She’d been speaking on the phone when she’d turned and seen him approaching her. Her first thought had been serious eye candy. Clad in a supremely well-fitted dark blue suit, he simply tore up the pavement on his way to her, those long legs striding with purpose and determination in each step. His face was a contradiction in origins. Deep, milk chocolate colored hair, cut just a bit too short for her liking, had soft, gold flecks framing his temples and the top of his head. His skin was a light golden brown, giving the impression he spent a great deal of time in the sun. Eyes the color of the sea at sunrise, so light green, they almost appeared crystal with the sun hitting them, were surrounded by jet-black eyelashes Gemma admitted she was jealous of. His face was angular, the jaw tapering into a rock solid V at its tip, a small crevice winking out right below his lower lip.
All-in-all it was a face she wanted to photograph, knowing just the way she’d capture it. The fact he’d yanked her along after him like an errant child got her dander up. Coupled with the way he’d carelessly held her camera made her want to kick some sense into him.
God, what a day.
I know…that title sounds a little weird!! but for the first time EVAH I’m a NOOK DAILY DEAL and it’s Uber-exciting!!! Just #99cents for COOKING WITH KANDY. If you haven’t read it yet, what are you waiting for? It’s less than a buck!!!! Even my insanely frugal husband would pay #99cents for a book!!!!!
Yesterday, I shared a sister scene from book 1 of the WILL COOK FOR LOVE series, Cooking with Kandy between, oldest sister Kandy Laine and her younger -by three years -sister, Gemma. In book 2, A SHOT AT LOVE, Gemma is now the heroine of the story. Kandy’s influence is never far from her mind and actions, though. This scene takes place in a cabin. Even though she is hundreds of miles away from her sister, Kandy is still taking care of her younger sister…and everyone else it seems.
From A SHOT AT LOVE
“Kandy sent some of the soup she’s featuring in the new restaurant, along with stuff to make her grilled cheese sandwiches to go with it,” Rick told her when she opened the refrigerator. “There’s a container of it on the second shelf.”
Gemma opened the tub and took a whiff. “Hmmm. Grandma’s tomato cream. Yummy.”
“Your sister is opening a restaurant?” Ky asked. He moved to the kitchen behind her, helping to take down dishes and utensils from the cabinets. Just being physically close to her again brightened the foul mood darkening his soul from everything he and Bannerman had discovered so far.
“Several, actually,” Gemma said. She filled a pot with the zesty smelling soup and placed it on the stove. “The first one opens in a month in Tribeca. Another in Orlando in the fall and then L.A. in January.”
“No. Kandy.” Gemma lifted her shoulders. “This has been her dream since she was a kid, although she never told it to anyone until recently. A restaurant featuring only comfort foods, the kind we all had and loved as kids.”
“An interesting premise.”
She nodded and began slathering bread slices with butter. “No lie. This soup,” she pointed to the pot, “is without a doubt the best tomato soup you will ever have. Hands down.”
“Truth,” Bannerman said.
“What makes it so special?”
Gemma’s quick grin had him hard as stone and wanting in a heartbeat. “The showman in Kandy will tell you it’s made with love added into every cup, but it’s really the mix grandma perfected of spices and herbs, plus the fact she uses almond milk as the cream, and not cow’s milk. Grandma was a pioneer when it came to using plant products for baking sauces instead of dairy ones.”
The soup started to warm, it’s enticing aroma filling the kitchen.
“I wasn’t hungry until just this moment,” Ky said, sniffing the air.
Gemma laughed and said, “Wait until you taste the grilled cheese.” She laid two sandwiches onto the griddle. “You’ll think you’ve died and gone to comfort food heaven.”
A few minutes later the three of them sat at the table.
The only sounds for a while were them sipping the soup and chewing.
“You didn’t exaggerate,” Ky said, wiping his lips with a napkin. “This truly is the best soup I’ve ever had. Think your sister will give me the recipe for my mother?”
“Not a chance in a gazillion, but she can come into the restaurant anytime and have some.” Her lips lifted at the corners.
Who couldn’t love a sister who sends food to wherever you are???
I’ve mentioned many times that I’m an only child. And that I hated being one. Still do. I think the reason I write about big families with multiple siblings is because that’s what I wanted when I was younger….still do! I love writing about sisters, especially. Older and younger sisters. I haven’t written twin sisters yet, but I intend to. I just need to do some research first.
Sisters. In my WILL COOK FOR LOVE series, there are 7 Laine sisters. Kandy is the oldest, Eleanor the youngest. Their parent’s volatile divorce left each of them scarred in different ways, and, like with anyone, some of the sisters are closer to one another than others. It’s that way for Kandy and Gemma, who is 3 years younger than Kandy. In the first book COOKING WITH KANDY, Gemma is her older sisters’ principal photographer. She does all of Kandy’s publicity shots and has photographed all her best-selling award-winning cookbooks. Gemma is a true visionary in her own right, and in book 2 A SHOT AT LOVE, we see her evolution since Kandy’s show ended.
“What’s going on with you and the hunk?” Gemma asked as she helped Kandy carry the leftover cake back into the kitchen.
“What are you talking about?”
“The two of you have been walking around each other on eggshells all day. I noticed it the second I got here. What happened?”
“Why do you think anything’s happened?”
“Stop answering me with questions, Kandace Sophia, and tell me what’s going on. I know you like I know the lighting stops on my camera. Have the two of you slept together?”
“No.” The explosion echoed in the kitchen. “For goodness’ sake, Gem, what do you take me for?”
She shot her sister a cool, smug smirk. “A fool if you haven’t. I’d fall into bed with him in a heartbeat if he asked me.” When her sister’s mouth fell open, Gemma added, “Don’t be mad at me for the truth.”
She took Kandy’s hand in hers and rubbed it. The sisterly show of affection made Kandy sigh. “I’m not mad at you.”
“Then tell me. What’s going on with you two?”
Kandy sat on a breakfast barstool and rested her hands on the counter. “I don’t know.” A second later she added, “No, that’s not true. I think I know, but I’m not sure.”
When she sighed again, Gemma took a seat next to her. “Tell me.”
Kandy looked into her sister’s eyes, identical in every way to her own and saw concern wash through them.
With a great deal of reluctance, she related the scene in the kitchen the night before. Supreme embarrassment prevented her from telling Gemma what had transpired in the garage earlier.
“I’ve never acted like that before,” she said, dropping her head into her hands. “So needy, so totally off the wall sexually. It was scary.”
“It sounds exciting as all get out.”
Kandy shook her head and gave her sister a small smile. “Beyond exciting. I can’t describe how good it felt to be kissed like that. I can’t believe it was me.” She threw her head down into her hands again.
“It’s about damn time,” Gemma said, yanking her sister up by her hair, her gaze slicing into her. “All you do is work. You never have any fun, Kan.”
“Cooking is fun for me.”
“Yeah, well, we all know you’re not normal.”
“No, it’s the truth. I can’t imagine a better diversion for you than having a hot, torrid, sexfest with this guy. It’s absolutely perfect. Go for it.”
“Gemma, I can’t have an affair with him.”
“Well, for one thing, he doesn’t want me.”
Gemma’s eyes widened, making her brow groove in disbelief. “I don’t believe it for a second. I saw the way he looked at you in your office the other day. There was enough longing in his eyes to comfort a small, underdeveloped nation.”
“Then why is he the one who keeps pulling the plug every time we get in a clutch?”
Gemma shrugged. “Some weird sense of duty, maybe?”
“Right.” She shot a finger at her. “He keeps telling me I’m a client. That’s all I am to him, Gem. A job.”
Kandy’s heart ached when she said the words out loud. Admitting them to herself was one thing. Telling them to her sister, giving a real voice to them, was quite another. And it hurt.
It hurt like hell.
“Did he kiss you back?” Gemma asked.
Oh, baby, did he ever! “Yes.”
“Peck-on-the-cheek kiss, or I’ll-die-if-I don’t-wrap-myself-around-your-tonsils kiss?”
Kandy snorted. “The latter.”
“There you go.” She sat back, a smug smile wiggling across her mouth. “What more proof do you need? The guy wants you, Kan. I say go for it with all you’ve got. Enjoy the heck out of him.”
“And then what?”
“What do you mean?”
“What happens next? When this whole thing is over and he leaves? What am I supposed to do then, Gemma? Just go on as if it never happened?”
Gemma shrugged and rose. She opened the refrigerator and took out a pitcher of ice tea. “I don’t know. Why think about it now?”
“Because I think I may be falling in love with him.”
Gemma stopped pouring midstream and leveled a frown at her sister. “You can’t be serious.”
“I am. I’ve never felt like this about a guy before. It’s more than just the physical attraction. I like being with him, having him around. When we went out to dinner last night, for the first time in a really long time I was relaxed and comfortable. I can talk about anything with him. He listens. He hears and understands. I get a safe and warm feeling in the pit of my stomach every time I think about him. I can see the two of us together, sitting in the kitchen, drinking coffee, discussing the kids. I’ve never let myself think about children and carpools and starring in my own happily-ever-after before. Never. It’s never been an option for me.”
Gemma cocked her head. “Because of Daddy and what he did?”
Kandy nodded. “I don’t want to love someone as much as Mom did and then have it all turn to crap. I’ve done everything I could to protect myself from ever being that vulnerable.”
Gemma’s sigh was forceful. “And you all say I’m the one who’s screwed up the most in this family.”
“Gem, no one says that. Truthfully.”
“But you all think it. I know you do.”
The sisters stared at each other for a moment.
“Look.” Kandy finally broke the silence. “I don’t know what do to about this, how to handle it. Whenever we’re in the same room, all I want to do is have him hold me. When he’s not around, I’m thinking about him.” She told Gemma how he’d left her for an hour after the rat incident. “All my mind could focus on was how long it was taking him to get back.”
Gemma sat next to her sister and took her hand. “You sound like you’re in love with him already, no maybes about it.”
“Can’t you ever do anything halfhearted?” Gemma said, a lopsided grin tripping over her face.
“Why’d you go and fall in love with the guy?”
“It’s not like I could help it. Don’t you remember what Grandpa used to tell us?”
Brow furrowing, she answered, “The thing about lightning?”
“Yeah. One day you’re walking along without a care in the world, and then bang, like lightning, you get struck through the heart for good.”
Gemma’s grin grew. “Grandma used to get all teary-eyed when he’d say that.”
“Because it’s what happened to him the day he met her.”
“And you feel this way about Josh?”
Her head moved up and down, slowly, a few times. “Believe me, if I could have prevented it, I would have. I don’t need this right now in my life, you know I don’t.”
On a sigh she said, “Yeah. I do.” Gemma took a sip of her tea. “So, what are you going to do? Pursue it and get your heart potentially stomped on, or let it go and wonder what could have been?”
“Oh, don’t be so melodramatic,” Kandy said. “This isn’t some Jane Austen novel. I have more choices than just those two.”
“Like what? Aside from using him for sex or marrying the guy, I don’t see a lot of options looming on the horizon.”
Kandy shook her head and hugged her sister. “You’re an idiot. I love you dearly, but you’re an idiot.”
I just lovelovelove sister interaction!! Tomorrow I’ll be giving you a little glimpse of book 2, A SHOT AT LOVE, and how Kandy helps Gemma out when our fearless and opinionated photographer’s life is turned upside down.
When I’m not writing, you can usually find me here:
I retired in 2015 when I got a book contract. I’d worked for about 150 years as a nurse in varying specialties, then as a contact lens technician. By the time I left the nursing profession I was dog tired, emotionally wrung out, and psychological drained. Having a full time job that could be at the same time uplifiting and soul-sucking was difficult. I figured retirement – and the oppportunity to write full time – would be much more relaxing and enjoyable.
What’s that old saying? You make plans and God laughs?
yeah…story of my life.
I figured writing full time would be a cake walk. Hey, I didn’t have to get dressed in professional clothes everyday any more, do my makeup, hair, and coordinate my wardrobe. I could stay in my pj’s all day and not even put on deodorant if I didn’t want to. ( I do, just for full disclosure here!)
That easy, carefree life of a writer I imagined? yeah..not so much. A few months ago I did a blog piece about a simple question my husband asks me every day at dinner: “So, what did you do today.” My usual response? “Worked.”
One night I figured he really needed to hear what I actually do under the definition of “work,” so here’s what I told him.
4am, Finally got out of bed after lying there for an hour, wide awake.
405am – 530 am Checked email, answered 16 messages. Wrote 2 blogs, uploaded one then posted on social media outlets and HootSuite for the day. Social media sites included uploads of blog on twitter, Triberr, Tumblr, Linked in, Goodreads, google+ and Pinterest. Hootsuites were posted for every 2 hours.
530-6. Got hubby up, ate breakfast. Got ready for the day. Made bed.
630-930 am Gym, followed by grocery shopping for the week, Target, the post office and the bank. Got gas and went to the dump.
930-1030am put the groceries away then started laundry, vacuumed bedrooms and living area. Started dishwasher.
1030-1pm wrote in current wip; worked on Copyedits just received for Book 3 in new cooking series.
1pm-130pm ate lunch then answered emails and checked social media sites. Changed laundry and started another load.
130-500 worked on wip; and worked on Copy edits for book 3 in new cooking series, plus plotted out book 4. ) Folded dried laundry and put it away. Ironed shirts.
5-545 walked on treadmill and read current NetGalley book for review. Folded the remainder of done laundry, put it away.
545-630 cooked dinner, cleaned up the kitchen, set table, worked on copy edits.
630-7pm dinner and conversation ( questions!) with Hubby. Cleaned up the dinner dishes.
7-830 worked on wip, answered email, worked on blog posting for the morning. Did a few pages of the copy edits for book 3
830-10 read Netgalley again
Midnight-2 am. wide awake in bed, reliving yesterday, planning today.
Now, mind you: I have no children at home who need to be tended to, ferried places, or shown love and attention. I don’t currently, have a pet. My friends all work at full-time jobs out side of the home, so ladies who lunch is not on my menu. I don’t get manicures, pedicures, or have spa days. The last time I went to a mall my daughter was in college and I had a panic attack from the crowds. I simply write all day long.
But there’s nothing simple about a day in my life.
So, how do you think the other authors in this blog challenge spend their days? Find out by clicking on the links below