It’s day 2 and I’m over at Lisa Hazelton‘s talking about…what else?,,,writing and my new release!! Stop by and take a chance on an Amazon gift card!
Tag Archives: A Shot At Love
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???
and that I bake? A lot? More about those things in a bit….
Today’s topic is what I do to recharge. By definition, recharge means: to regain one’s strength and energy by resting and relaxing for a time; or return to a normal state of mind or strength after a period of physical or mental exertion.
By virtue of those definitions, something must be done for a person to need to break away from to rest and regain their momentum.
yeah…not me. I’ve said this multiple, ad nauseum times: Writing is my oxygen. Without doing it, like without breathing, I would die. So I really have never come to a place in my life where I felt the need or desire to walk away from it for a while to reenergize my brain.
What I do, in essence, though, is take breaks during the day for the other things that I love to do: cooking is one. Making things is another. Let me ‘splain.
Those are my banana walnut muffins. The picture doesn’t do them justice about how big they are. Trust me: for the normal person they would not be a snack but a meal. For hubby though, who likes to graze, they are a snack. When I get stuck on dialogue or a plot point isn’t moving along the way I want it to, I go from my office to the kitchen and bake for an hour or so. Usually, that time away from the laptop, consciously writing, commands my unconscious brain to deal with the problem. Problem gets solved and I’ve got baked goods as the outcome.
The other things I do are along the crafty spectrum. I love to decoupage and restore old “things.” The things I love to restore the most are old trunks and steamer trunks. Here’s a project I did last year:
If you look super close you will see the cover of my first book SKATER’s WALTZ on there! Yeah, I”m not too conceited! ( sarcasm added). I also have my second and third book covers There’s No Place like Home, First Impressions )on the other side of the trunk! Yeah… I know.
I also paint. I’m not great at it, but it is very relaxing. One of the newest things I’ve been painting are those canvass produce bags you are now required to bring to most supermarkets to cut down on the throwaway plastic bags filling our landfills for the next 10,000 years. Since I’ve been writing a new food series — WILL COOK FOR LOVE — it seemed appropriate to give these away at book signings to people who want the books. Clever marketing tool meets relaxing hobby.
Now, I realize that my way of de-stressing isn’t exactly what other authors do. Let’s be honest, what I do sounds more like work to some people!!! Visit some of these authors to find out what they do to re-charge, energize, and how they cope with the stressors of life when they aren’t writing.
Cooking with Kandy, the first in my Will Cook For Love Series, released on 4.4.17. I’ve got the next two to tell you about and I’m wicked excited.
Book 2, A SHOT AT LOVE releases on 10.3 17. Here’s a little sumthin’ sumthin’ about it:
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 . . .
His St. Michael medallion dangled between the cavern of his pecs, swaying as he moved closer to her, so close she cold smell the clean, fresh scent of the soap he’d used in the shower. So close, she could see his eyes darken as he looked at her, those gorgeous seafoam orbs roaming over her face and turning stormy. So close, she did what she’d been dreaming of doing since she first saw him without a shirt, drenched in sweat and looking like a warrior: she leaned in and trailed her tongue along the angle of his jaw. He didn’t move, but did hiss in a breath, his abdominal muscles contracting inward.
A fine line of spikey stubble tickled her tongue and made her want to explore more.
Ky choked. “Did you just…lick me?”
When she pulled back there was surprised mirth crinkling in the corners of his widened eyes, his lips twisting up at the corners.
“Yeah.” She sighed. “I’ve been wanting to do that for days.”
Ky’s mouth straightened. “You’ve been wanting to…lick me…for days?”
She nodded, feeling her cheeks burn like wildfire. Oh well, here goes nothing…
She kept her gaze steady, and said, “Well, yeah. Ever since that morning in the basement when we worked out together.”
Something in his eyes loosened; eased.
“You were all sweaty and…hot.”
And then they darkened again, but this time not in anger. No. This time the heat in his eyes wasn’t to be laid at fury’s door, but at something deeper, more primal. Sensual.
“And to be honest,” she added, “I want to do more than just lick you. But, yeah. Days.”
Buy link: COOKING WITH KANDY
PreOrder link: A SHOT A LOVE
I’ll be blogging about book 3, CAN’T STAND THE HEAT? next time!!!
So, in my non-writing life, I love to cook and bake. And I love to eat what I cook and bake. So much so, that I should be on that show My 600 pound life. Luckily, I’m not because, you know…exercise!
When I was dreaming about my current series WILL COOK FOR LOVE, I knew I wanted to incorporate some of the cooking and baking knowledge I’ve gleaned over the years into the books, so each book has specific recipes targeted for that story. In COOKING WITH KANDY, I added some baked goods and even made a recipe card for reader swag for Grandma Sophie’s Banana Walnut muffins. For my October 3 release, A SHOT AT LOVE, there’s a scene in the book concerning french toast, so I made another recipe card for swag for that. To make sure the recipes hold up for the reader, I made a batch of Challah french toast this past weekend to ensure it did.
On Thursday, I made the bread. These are pictures I took to document the bread baking cycle. Start with the dough, cover it and let it rise for three hours until it doubles:
Then, divide the dough in half, slice into 6 ropes and braid it to make 2 loaves. Let it sit for another hour.
Cover with an egg wash, and bake:
Now I had my bread for the french toast, but I had to let it get a little stale. 2-3 day old fresh bread gone stale is best for french toast. Sunday morning I made the actual breakfast.
I took pictures and made a new swag recipe card that I’ll be giving out at RWA this year when I do the Kensington Book Signing.
For those of you not going to RWA, here’s the recipe:
Ingredients to make the Challah
- 1 1/8 cups lukewarm water
- 1 Tbs dry yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs, beaten, plus 1 whole egg for glazing
- 1/2 Tbs salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- Dissolve the yeast in the water with 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Beat well and let set for 10 min., until it’s frothy and bubbly.
- In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Then add the salt, sugar, and oil and beat again. Add the frothy yeast mixture and beat well. Now add the flour gradually, cup at a time, and just enough to make a soft dough that holds together, mixing well. Turn out onto a bread board and knead for about 10 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic, adding flour if the dough is too sticky.
- Pour a little oil in the bowl and turn the dough around the bowl, so that it is greased all over.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm place to rise for 3 hours, or until it has doubled in bulk. Punch the dough down and knead again, then divide into 2 pieces to make 2 loaves. Divide each into 3 long strips to make 2 bread braids.
- Braid challah into desired shape and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Allow them to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- Brush the tops with the beaten egg.
- Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 25-30 minutes or until the loaves are golden-brown. They are done if they sound like a hollow drum when you tap the bottoms.
To make the French toast:
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon each: cinnamon, nutmeg, apple pie spice
3 tablespoon brown sugar
butter, syrup, confectioner’s sugar to taste
Directions: You need a griddle for this or a cast iron frying pan
Heat griddle to medium heat, grease top.
Beat the eggs, add the milk and vanilla. Mix well. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, apple pie spice and brown sugar.
Mix very well. Cut the Challah into 2-inch widths. Dip each piece in the above mix to completely coat- do not saturate!
Place each piece on the griddle and cook on each side 1-2 minutes, until each side is golden brown. Serve hot and add your own butter, maple syrup , and confectioner’s sugar to taste.
Book One in the WILL COOK FOR LOVE SERIES is out now. COOKING WITH KANDY:
Sugar and spice and everything sexy make the perfect recipe for romance in this brand-new series by Peggy Jaeger. Look for exclusive recipes in each book!
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. . .
My 3 favorite things: cooking, baking, writing. Oh, and eating. I need to include that, too, so 4!
When I’m not doing any of the above 4, you can find me here: