I’m over on Christine Young’s blog today doing a writing interview. Stop by!
Category Archives: Lyrical Author
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.
In just a few weeks my next Lyrical Shine book A SHOT AT LOVE, bk 2 in the Will Cook For Love Series, will be released. To whet your appetites ( like that pun??!) I’m going to start posting little snippets and excerpts of the book every few days. Today is day one.
First, here’s the back cover blurb:
Nothing’s impossible when love is on the menu. In Peggy Jaeger’s luscious series, the only thing more tempting than a delicious meal is a truly delectable romance . . .
Look for exclusive recipes in each book!
Photographer Gemma Laine is looking for arresting faces on the streets of Manhattan when her camera captures something shocking—a triple murder. In that moment, she becomes a target for the mob—and a top priority for a very determined, breathtakingly handsome, FBI special agent. With deadlines to meet and photo shoots on her calendar, Gemma chafes at the idea of protection, but every moment she spends under his watchful eye is a temptation to lose herself in his muscular arms . . .
With two of his men and one crucial witness dead, Special Agent Kyros Pappandreos can’t afford to be distracted. But Gemma is dazzling—and her connection to Kandy Laine’s high-profile cooking empire makes her an especially easy mark for some very bad people. Keeping her safe is much more pleasure than business, but as the heat between them starts to sizzle, Ky is set to investigate whether they have a shot at love . . .
Now….meet Gemma Laine, for the first time, through Ky’s eyes:
“That’s her.” The officer pointed to a police vehicle in the middle of the barricaded street a moment later. “Name’s Gemma Laine.”
A woman stood next to the vehicle, a cell phone at her ear, her back to him. Tall, maybe as tall as he was, and slender, her back tapered down to a minuscule waist, her legs clad in tight, faded jeans. When she turned Ky almost stopped midstride, the questions he intended to grill her with jumping out of his head. His breath caught as he simply stared at the loveliest woman he’d ever seen.
Hair the color of midnight, straight as a board, fell to just below her shoulders, blowing back from her face in the gentle afternoon breeze. Blunt, chopped bangs fringed a pair of large, bright blue eyes. Plump, coral-colored lips moved as she spoke into the phone and for a brief, hot second, Ky wondered if they’d taste as delicious as they looked.
Her gaze stayed on him as she spoke.
“I’ve gotta go,” she said into the phone. “Yeah. I’ll call when I’m done. Love you, too.”
She tucked the phone into her back pocket.
“I’m Special Agent Pappandreos. I need to speak with you about what you saw.”
“Special Agent?” Those delicate brows furrowed under her bangs. “Like, FBI?”
Jesus, where does a woman get a voice like that? Whiskey laced with honey and rolled into one smooth pitch.
“Yes. I understand you witnessed the shooting? You photographed it?”
She nodded. “I was working when it all started. I took a series of shots while it was happening.”
His gaze flicked to the camera she held in one hand.
“I need to see those pictures.”
His first impression of her height had been correct. She was maybe three or four inches shorter than his six-foot-one frame. As she moved closer, the hairs on the back of his neck stood straight at attention. She smelled as good as she looked and his nostrils flared from the scent of sweet cherries blended with some hot exotic spice.
I’ve kinda been on radio silence for the past few weeks and haven’t posted 4-5 times per week per my New Year’s Goal. I’ve been a little busy because I booked a blog tour for my upcoming 10.3.17 release of A SHOT AT LOVE and it required me to write over 20 blog pieces and fill out more than a dozen interviews.
Yeah… I know. Intense. Here’s a list of the stops I’ll be making. There are prizes along the way!!!!
September 25: Christine Young
September 26: Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews
September 27: Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews
September 28: The Reading Addict
September 29: Romance Novel Giveaways
September 29: Inside The Mind of an Avid Reader – review only
October 2: Danita Minnis
October 3: Up ‘Til Dawn Book Blog
October 4: Hearts and Scribbles – promo
October 4: Nickie’s Views and Interviews
October 5: Notes From a Romantic’s Heart
October 6: Fabulous and Brunette
October 6: Two Ends of the Pen
October 9: Independent Authors
October 10: K.T. Castle
October 11: It’s Raining Books
October 12: Read Your Writes Book Reviews
October 12: Rachel Brimble Romance
October 13: T’s Stuff
October 16: Queen of All She Reads
October 17: Readeropolis
October 18: The Pen and Muse Book Reviews
October 19: Mixed Book Bag
October 20: Long and Short Reviews
Just FYI, I am a steal, or rather COOKING WITH KANDY, is. Until 9.11.17 the book is one of KOBO CANADA’s 500 books under $5.00 sale! At still just 99cents it’s a great price!! Thanks, my friends. BTW I LOVELOVELOVE Justin Trudeau! Just saying!!!
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:
Hop on over to this link for a chance at a HUGE RAFFLECOPTER prize to celebrate Long and Short Reviews Anniversary. Read the blurb and answer the question! The bonus of clicking? You may find your next favorite book and author….like….me! Cooking With Kandy
Kandy Laine built her wildly popular food empire the old-fashioned way—starting with the basic ingredients of her grandmother’s recipes and flavoring it all with her particular brand of sweet spice. From her cookbooks to her hit TV show, Kandy is a kitchen queen—and suddenly someone is determined to poison her cup. With odd accidents and threatening messages piling up, strong-willed Kandy can’t protest when her team hires someone to keep her safe—but she can’t deny that the man for the job looks delicious. . .
Josh Keane is a private investigator, not a bodyguard. But with one eyeful of Kandy’s ebony curls and dimpled smile, he’s signing on to uncover who’s cooking up trouble for the gorgeous chef. As the attraction between them starts to simmer, it’s not easy to keep his mind on the job, but when the strange distractions turn to true danger, he’ll stop at nothing to keep Kandy safe—and show her that a future together is on the menu. . .