Blog by VONNIE DAVIS -- International, Award-Winning Romance Author: Adventurous...Humorous...Amorous.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

YOU HAD ME AT APPETIZER! by Lisa Olech


They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. What about a woman? I don’t know about you, but if a man cooks for me…*swoon* garnish me with parsley, I’m his!

In my new book, ROCK SOLID, my hero, Maximo Vega cooks a delicious Italian dinner for Emily Baskins. I loved adding this extra facet to Maximo’s considerable charms. He seems to have many varied and, might I say, stunning talents!

So I thought I’d share one of Maximo’s recipes with you today. After starting with a fresh caprese salad followed by cacio e pepe, he served involtine di polo.  Here’s the recipe he learned at the knee of his Italian Nonna:   

Involtini di Pollo con Prosciutto e Fromaggio

(Stuffed chicken breast with prosciutto and parmesan)

 

3 whole, boneless chicken breasts

6 slices of prosciutto

6 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan

3 fresh sage leaves

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup milk

3 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cube chicken bouillon, crushed

1 cup dry, white wine

Salt and pepper to taste

1/3 cup heavy cream
 

Split each chicken breast in half. Put one slice of prosciutto and one tablespoon of parmesan, plus half a sage leaf on each breast. Roll up and secure with a wooden pick. Dip each chicken breast in milk and roll in flour to lightly coat.

In a large skillet, melt butter with oil. When butter foams, add chick breasts. Cook over medium heat, turning often until golden brown on all sides. Add bouillon and ½ cup of wine. Season with salt and pepper and cook until wine is reduced by half.

Add remaining wine, reduce heat and cover. Simmer 15-20 minutes, turning chicken several times and adding a little more wine if sauce becomes too dry.

Place chicken on a serving platter. To skillet, increase heat and whisk in cream to deglaze the pan. Taste. Add more salt and pepper, if needed. Spoon sauce over chicken. Serve.
 

Yum! Maximo Vega is yummy on all levels! And wait until you read how he likes to eat his dessert -- aranci in salsa di marsala.

So are you the cook? Does your significant other do the cooking or surprise you with a special meal? Maybe you can take a page from ROCK SOLID and make Maximo’s dinner. I am!

 
BLURB:

MAXIMO VEGA is a “rock” star! The media proclaimed him 'The Sculptor for the New Generation,' but he’s a reclusive artist ensnared by fame. Driven and intense, his isolation only adds to his mystique. Couple that with his smoldering good looks and rich Italian accent… Fans sigh his name.

EMILY BASKINS is a gifted graduate student at the Stoddard School of Art. To land an internship at the Vega Studio is her golden ticket. All she has to do is follow the rules. And stay out of trouble. Two things Emily has never been able to do.

As Max becomes trapped in the glare of the limelight, he discovers his greatest muse. He teaches Emily to breathe passion into clay and give marble a soul. But is their fiery relationship as rock solid as they believe? Or will a lie shatter the illusion?                       

EXCERPT:

Maximo Vega gathered his composure. He wore a black T-shirt, gray across the shoulders with dust, worn jeans, and heavy boots under a thick leather apron that reached to his knees. Hanging his head and bracing his hands on his hips, he was a study in frustration. The sleeves of his shirt hugged defined muscles of steely arms. And his hands…they were artist’s hands. Sculptor’s hands. Beaten by stone and scarred by tools. They spoke of years of rugged, blistering work.

He was tall. His shadowed jaw, rigid with anger, cut sharply against the tanned column of his neck. Maximo slapped the chisel on his leathered thigh. “I pay you. You find me good hands! Not idiota!”

“I’m sorry, Maximo. He’s gone. You’ll never have to work with him again.”

“Good.”

The great artist’s gaze slid over Emily. His eyes stopped at the white-knuckled hold she had on the large black portfolio.

He waved a hand toward her. “What are you?”

Emily’s throat slammed shut.

“A new intern possibly,” offered Dante. “She’s here from the Stoddard School of Art.”

Deep brown eyes the color of rich coffee, no cream, speared her beneath frowning brows. He flipped his hand toward the portfolio. “Come. Show me.”

Emily shot a look to Dante. He gave her a tiny nudge, like a parent pushing a frightened child toward Santa’s lap.

“Come, come, come.” He snatched the portfolio from her numb fingers, unzipped it and laid it open across a crowded worktable. He used the rag in his hand to wipe the sweat from his lip as he flipped through photos and sketches of her latest works.

“Nice. Hmm. No.” A nod for this one. A shake of the head for another. “Yes. This one is good. Good.”

He looked away from her sketches and gave her a hard stare before looking down the full length of her and back again in a slow appraisal. Emily released the breath she was holding.

“Let me see your hands.”

She held them out and he grasped her wrists and examined first her palms before turning them over. “Cold,” he said just loud enough for her to hear.

The smell of the heat of his body and the spice of soap drifted past her.

“Nervous.”

He lifted a quick eyebrow. “Good.”

**********

BUY LINKS:

 

 

 

 

BIO:  

Lisa A. Olech is an artist/writer living in her dream house nestled among the lakes in New England. She loves getting lost in a steamy book, finding the perfect pair of sexy shoes, and hearing the laughter of her men. Being an estrogen island in a sea of testosterone makes her queen. She believes in ghosts, silver linings, the power of a man in a tuxedo, and happy endings.


(Recipe adapted from Biba’s Northern Italian Cooking) 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

How to Seduce a Fireman by Vonnie Davis

 
The heat is on…

Book 1 in the ‘Wild Heat’ series is out – the hottest new fireman trilogy of the fall!

Cassie Wolford has crushed on fireman Quinn Gallagher ever since he moved to Clearwater three years ago. There’s just one problem: he’s always made it clear dating is out of the question. But once a Wolford sets their sights on someone, that person doesn’t stand a chance! Cassie decides it’s time for Quinn to get a dose of his own medicine… and sets out to show him what he’s missing!

Quinn knows only too well what Cassie’s up to but he can’t give her what she wants. He isn’t good for anyone, much less someone as sweet as his angel. Fighting her off hurts like hell, but giving her false hope of a happy ever after would be damn cruel. That’s why he has to leave Clearwater.

Unfortunately, someone from his past has different ideas and when Cassie’s life is threatened this former CIA operative is staying put, prepared to crawl through hell and back to keep her safe.

And it looks like he might just have to.

BUY LINKS:
AMAZON -- http://amzn.com/B00ME1OWD4
BARNES & NOBLE -- http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/how-to-seduce-a-fireman-vonnie-davis/1120160425?ean=9780007594511



Monday, September 29, 2014

Romance Writer Rachel Brimble is a Soft Rock Chick

I've got British romance writer, Rachel Brimble, visiting today. Rachel and her husband, who she affectionately calls Mr. B. and their two young daughters live in a small town near Bath in the UK.  After having several novels published by small US presses, she secured agent representation in 2011. In 2012, she sold two books to Harlequin Superromance and a further three in 2013. She also writes Victorian romance for Kensington--her debut was released in April 2013 and she has since signed for three more.


Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family and beloved black Lab, Max. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.

1. Rachel, which do you enjoy writing the most? Historical or contemporary? Explain why. 

I enjoy writing them equally for different reasons – my contemporary work is all set in the same fictional UK seaside town of Templeton Cove and I love going back there and revisiting the characters. The Cove is a real place to me and the fun mixed with suspense is a joy to write, I can’t imagine creating a new setting any time soon.
 

For my historical work, it’s the research and opportunity to travel back in time and feel as though I am writing a British period drama. I see my historicals very clearly as I write and become quickly immersed in a time gone by. Right now, I only write Victorian but hope to bring that forward to the Edwardian era soon.

 

2. Is there a book eating at your mind, in another genre perhaps, that you'd love to write? 

Not in another genre – I write contemporary romance, romantic suspense and Victorian romance…which is more than enough to juggle! Having said that, I have started a new single title romantic suspense, which will be darker than anything I’ve written before. I am very excited about it…especially because the writing is going easier than anticipated. Well, at least for now it is! 

3. What types of music do you enjoy the most? 

I’m an 80s soft rock chick! Give me some Heart, Def Leppard, Bryan Adams or Journey and I’m a happy girl J 

Rachel’s latest release is book three in her Templeton Cove series – here is the blurb and buy links for What Belongs To Her…available now!
 

She's ready to take back what's hers.
Since the moment a local crime boss claimed ownership of her family's fairground, Sasha Todd has dreamed of righting the wrong. Now it's time to act, and backing down from the man's estranged son is definitely not an option. After all, giving up her legacy to hot-blooded John Jordon means losing the chance to finally heal the wounds in her past.
Stopping John in his tracks—and resisting the sizzle between them—is Sasha's best defense. But there's more to him than she thought, which changes everything. With what matters most at stake, she'll have to risk a brand-new future with John, or walk away from the man whose heart belongs to her. 

Buy Links: 



 
Our guest likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. Rachel would love to hear from you! 

Links:

 



 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Cover Reveal for "Wild Heat" Series

Most of you know I've been writing two series, alternating between the Scottish Highlands and the Gulfside of Florida. After a few months of writing with a Scottish burr, I have a real problem switching over to male-oriented English. And if you think men don't talk differently at work where it's mostly other guys, try working in a male dominated environment for 26 years. Their word choices will take the curl out of your hair or melt the polish off your fingernails. So, hopping back and forth in language styles takes some strong discipline and lots of rewriting.
 
My series set in Clearwater, Florida in a fictitious fire and marine rescue station was kicked off with the novella "Santa Wore Leathers" introducing you to many of the characters and the operations of the station in the "Wild Heat" series. Yesterday, HarperImpulse did a cover reveal for the three books, even though they're not all written yet.


Ahhhhhhhh, the covers for Vonnie Davis’s new Wild Heat series are in and we love them! We are definitely big fans of anything involving a fireman. Is it the uniforms that make them so sexy? Or is it the hard bodies, heavy equipment and big hoses? Whatever it is, they are definitely on the list of Top Ten Sexiest Professions and we are so excited to share these books with you.


Book 1 in the ‘Wild Heat’ series – the hottest new fireman trilogy of the fall!

Cassie Wolford has crushed on fireman Quinn Gallagher ever since he moved to Clearwater three years ago. There’s just one problem: he’s always made it clear dating is out of the question. But once a Wolford sets their sights on someone, that person doesn’t stand a chance! Cassie decides it’s time for Quinn to get a dose of his own medicine… and sets out to show him what he’s missing!

Quinn knows only too well what Cassie’s up to but he can’t give her what she wants. He isn’t good for anyone, much less someone as sweet as his angel. Fighting her off hurts like hell, but giving her false hope of a happy ever after would be damn cruel. That’s why he has to leave Clearwater.

Unfortunately, someone from his past has different ideas and when Cassie’s life is threatened this former CIA operative is staying put, prepared to crawl through hell and back to keep her safe. And it looks like he might just have to.

 
I'm currently writing and rewriting this book, trying to get a better handle on Barclay Gray, who's known at Station Thirty-two as the Ice Man...mainly because around Molly, he's not so icy at all.


These books will be available first in eBook format and months later in paperback formats.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Risking It All by JM Stewart


Risking It All
by JM Stewart
Series: A Morgan Family Romance, #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Berkley Intermix
Release Date: September 16, 2014



Love requires a leap of faith...

She’s everything he wants…

For years, Kyle Morgan has hidden his true feelings from the gorgeous girl next door that he grew up loving and protecting. But when she shows up at his apartment in the middle of the night, desperately needing comfort and support, his iron will begins to waver…

…and the only thing he can’t bear to lose.

Kyle was always the big brother Cecelia Anton never had, but suddenly her goofy best friend has become a sexy man she can’t keep her thoughts—or hands—off of. As their deep connection melts into uncontrollable desire, Ceci is willing to put it all on the line for a shot at true love. Only Kyle is keeping a terrible secret about Ceci’s past that could destroy not only their lifelong friendship but their happily-ever-after…



For a moment, she stared, her eyes searching his, then she straightened her shoulders. “Why’d you kiss me?”

Panic curled through him, sending his pulse pounding into his rib cage. Damn. Why hadn’t he expected her to ask that? But he couldn’t answer it. To do so would be tempting fate. An intense need for distance seized him. Half afraid he’d lose his mind and do something else he’d regret, like pull her into his arms and show her why he’d kissed her, he shot to his feet.

He flashed her a smile he knew had to look as phony as it felt. “Headache’s better. Thanks.”

He didn’t wait for a response but strode toward the yard.

“I need to know, Kyle.”

His answer sat on the tip of his tongue, but the voice of reason sounded in his head. Don’t say it. Whatever you do, do not say it. Just keep walking.

Her soft footsteps sounded behind him. “You can’t just do something like that and walk away and expect me not to question it. You blow hot and cold, do you know that? I know desire when I see it, yet you just keep walking away.”

“Ever think maybe I wanted to kiss you?” The words left his mouth on a hoarse whisper, and God help him, a desperate need to see her eyes seized him. He turned to find her directly behind him. She stared for a fraction of a second too long, heat and curiosity blazed in her eyes. A heartbeat later, a light blush stole into her cheeks, but she didn't move, didn't say a word.

Everything inside of him ground to a halt, his mind twisting off in another direction. I’ll be damned. If ever he needed a confirmation, there it was. Whatever had happened between them was definitely not one-sided.








JM is the author of passionate, heartfelt contemporary romance. She’s a wife, a mother, a spiritualist, and lover of puppies, and happily addicted to coffee and chocolate. She lives in the rainy Pacific Northwest with her husband, two sons, and two very spoiled dogs. She’s a hopeless romantic who believes everybody should have their happily-ever-after and has been devouring romance novels for as long as she can remember. Writing them has become her obsession.





Sign Up for my Newsletter

JM is looking for Street Team members who are active on Facebook and Twitter. Is this you? 
Want to be one of Jo's Jewels? 


a Rafflecopter giveaway