Parties and Giveaways All Day Long on Tuesday 03/31

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Party! Better yet, PARTIES! And YOU’RE INVITED!

I’m not usually this much of a party animal, but I’m actually going to be at TWO events on Tuesday, March 31st. There are going to be lots of other authors at both of them and we’ll be tossing out free books and prizes along with sneak peeks and excerpts.

Here are the deets!

Romancing Austin Cover Reveal Party

Romancing Austin Cover Reveal 6pm-10pm

I’m super excited about this one. Come get a first look at the anthology I did with my friends! We’re a group of Austin writers, so we thought it would be fun to set all the stories in Austin during SXSW. One wild SXSW party. Seven hot romances. Yes, we had LOTS of fun!

At this party we will:

  • Unveil the Cover
  • Open entries for a prize pack including a $75 Amazon Gift Card + lots of books
  • Play games, chat, and give out some sneak peaks of the stories
  • And yes, give out MORE prizes!

Authors attending are Jax Garren, Rebecca Royce, Cara Carnes, Chandra Ryan, Evelyn Berry, Riley Bancroft and…ME!

Time is 6pm-10pm US CENTRAL

I’ll be hosting from 6:30-7!

Click here to Join Us! Continue reading

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Maggie Le Page: Life’s Uncertain. Eat Dessert First

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Maggie Le Page is here today. With ice cream. And chocolate. And a motto after my own heart.

Oh, and a giveaway! Make sure to comment below to enter and don’t forget to check out her latest book, The Trouble with Dying. I’m told it has nothing to do with ice cream and chocolate, but I plan to enjoy it, nonetheless.


Maggie:

I live in New Zealand—y’know, that cute little country people think is part of Australia; where Kiwis, jandals, and rugby fanatics abound. And ice cream.

Oh, the ice cream. Creamy, delicious, one-scoop-is-never-enough, ice cream.

Summer ended here last week. I know it because my fingers and toes are suddenly cold. And suddenly we were all pining for hot chocolates instead of beer, roast dinners instead of barbecues, heat pump instead of air conditioner, puddings instead of ice cream.

Okay, maybe not the last one. Where there’s a Le Page there’s always a tub of ice cream. Summer, winter, rain or shine, you won’t go short of a bowl (or tub) of ice cream in our house—and if you do, it’s an all-out emergency.

Because when winter sets in, we add a special ‘extra’ to our bowls of ice cream: my grandma’s hot chocolate sauce. {swoons}

Grandma Maggie, after whom I was named, passed away a few years ago but her hot chocolate sauce lives on (as do the hips that come with said sauce). It’s so easy to whip up, uses everyday ingredients, and is ready to serve in less than two minutes. It suits my chaotic life perfectly.

Grandma Maggie was forever telling me, “In your mouth for a moment; on your hips for a lifetime.”

And I always responded with, “Life’s uncertain. Eat dessert first.”

Because, actually, life is uncertain. That’s what my latest release, The Trouble With Dying, is all about. And that’s what Grandma Maggie’s Hot Chocolate Sauce is all about, too. So keep reading, because today I’m giving you the opportunity to taste both!

BOOK GIVEAWAY! Maggie is giving away five free digital copies of her latest release, The Trouble With Dying, to five lucky commenters. To be in to win, answer this question:

Do you have a family recipe that’s been passed down the generations? What is it? Dare you to share!

Maggie's Homemade Chocolate Sauce

Maggie says sorry. She’s not a great photographer. That’s why she sticks to writing.

Recipe: Maggie’s Hot Chocolate Sauce

Ingredients

This is for two people – double/triple/quadruple for more people (or serious piggy factor LOL)

½ Tablespoon butter

½ Tablespoon sugar

½ Tablespoon Golden Syrup*

½ Tablespoon water

½ Dessertspoon cocoa

Few drops of vanilla essence Continue reading

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Grace’s Cream Puffs with Lime and Cardamom

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So, last week I promised you cream puffs, and I am here to deliver. Cream puffs sound fancy, but they are actually really easy to make. As always, if I can do it, you can do it.

These are a little bit of an experiment. I wanted to make you something from A Taste of You. In the book, Grace’s cream puffs are flavored with blood lime and cardamom. Now, I’ll be honest, I’m a bit of a cream puff purist. I don’t really go for flavors. I like a basic pâte à choux filled with sweetened whipped cream. Also, I totally made that shit up in the book – so no recipe. (In case you didn’t know, novel writers are just people who lie for a living.).

Anyway, let’s get started.

Cream Puffs Lime and CardamomFor the choux dough you’ll need:

1/4 cup water
1/4 cup milk
4 Tbsp butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs

You can also make this with just water instead of water and milk and you can add a little sugar if you want a sweeter pastry.

Combine the water, milk, butter and salt in a saucepan and heat until it reaches a full boil. Dump the flour in all at once and stir vigorously until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan. Don’t worry about recognizing when this happens. It is very obvious. Keep cooking for about another minute so any excess liquid can evaporate. Continue reading

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Book Spotlight: Alpha’s Truth by Rebecca Royce

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I’m thrilled to feature this new release by my friend Rebecca Royce today! Alpha’s Truth is the second book in the Fallen Alpha’s series. I loved the first one, but I have to tell you, the teaser for Alpha’s Truth at the end of Alpha’s Strength really spoke to me. This book on my e-reader now, and I think I’m going to like it even better than the first. No matter what else happens, Rebecca always manages to surprise me with her plots. Digging in….!


 

Alpha's Truth by Rebecca RoyceAlpha’s Truth

Montana Alpha Beaux Nelson believes in living his life the way werewolves were meant to—as naturally and free as possible. He honors the moon with every hunt and breath in his body. When he discovers his true mate is the healer of another pack, he’s determined nothing will come between them—not even her kidnapping. Pursuing her across the continent, Beaux will take any risk to claim the woman meant for him…but surviving her rejection is another matter.

 

Lake Fennell has never thrived as a healer should, her gift acts out, she changes others without their permission and has failed to save those precious to her. When she discovers Beaux may very well be her true mate, she flees rather than face the possibility. In her haste, she falls into the arms of the True Believers. Months of torture later, she can barely believe it when she wakes to find herself with the one man she shouldn’t want and can never have. In order to save them both, she must leave her true mate, knowing she might not leave his heart in tact. But if she doesn’t do what she was born to do everything will be lost…including the world she’s fought the hardest for.

ExcerptAlpha's Truth - Paranormal Romance Book by Rebecca Royce

The moon shone over the land, illuminating the night-drenched terrain before him as though it were daylight instead of minutes past midnight. Beaux Nelson padded forward on four feet, his nose lifted to sample the winter air. In his wolf form, he tasted all the flavors on the breeze. The snow on the ground possessed a gentle sweetness, winter’s kiss not yet disrupted by the pollution of humans. Undoubtedly, they would soon spoil the purity of the season’s white blanket. Continue reading

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Foodie Friday #Fail

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In celebration of A Taste of You releasing this week, I was going to make cream puffs, or maybe pasta, or maybe (but probably not) braised lamb. Anyway, I was going to make something from the book and share it with you. Instead, I was massively sick for release week. This really spoiled my fun at hitting a couple of Amazon’s best-seller lists. (Although I wasn’t too sick to stop refreshing the book page every 5 seconds to gloat, woozily, over the numbers).

The point is, I was the kind of sick that precluded cooking, if by cooking you mean more than warming up soup and then wondering if I could keep it down.

So, I promise I will make it up to you soon with some cream puffs, or maybe pasta. You can keep dreaming about that lamb.

Instead, I’m going to invite you over to my Pinterest Boards where some other people have already done all the work for me.

Many of the inspirations for A Taste of You are on this board:

Follow Irene’s board A Taste of You on Pinterest.

And there is a lot more food on my Food Porn board.

And, because I’m feeling a little guilty, here is an exclusive excerpt from A Taste of You. Enjoy!Holy F__k the Duck was Good

The fourth course was seared duck breast made, unsurprisingly, with the heritage breed Garrett had found. Garrett’s commentary, detailed before, became a full-out sales pitch. Had Carlo ever heard of an Indian Runner? Much leaner meat than usual for duck. Garrett thought it tasted closer to wild duck than any domestic duck he had ever found before. And the farm? Beautiful. Terroir was so important, didn’t Carlo think? The same breed from somewhere else would be completely different. As soon as he had tasted this one, he knew he had to have it for Ransom.

Garrett continued on about diets, breeding, exercise, the soil conditions of the ground the birds were hopping around on, and more facts about ducks than Carlo knew existed while he cooked and plated.

Carlo let him ramble, happy to see him so excited about something even if it was a duck, but the soil thing finally prodded his manager brain awake. There had never been duck on the menu before.

“Garrett?”

“Yes, Carlo?” Garrett had started to plate and sounded distracted.

“What’s wrong with the duck?”

Garrett turned guileless blue eyes toward him. “What do you mean? I just told you, the duck is brilliant.”

“How much does it cost?”

“Hardly anything compared to most of our fish. Anyway, it’s not like we can’t afford it.”

Garrett came around the island and set the plate in front of Carlo. Garrett had never cooked anything in his life that could be described as “rustic,” but the dish on the counter came closer than anything else Carlo had ever seen him produce.

A lone piece of duck breast, whole young carrots with tops attached, jus.

The meat might actually require two bites to eat.

Carlo circled a finger in the direction of the plate. “What’s this?”

“What do you mean?”

“I don’t know, where are the five pomegranate pearls, three bean sprouts, and one tiny fennel seed in the corner? You didn’t make duck foam or something?”

“You always tell me it’s too much.”

“You always tell me you’re the chef and know best. Tell me again where this duck came from.” But he bet he knew. Family farm. All the talk about terroir. Had there been kids on the farm? Was the family struggling? Garrett would see only that he could help. Carlo would be the one with the supply issues down the road.

“I do know best.” Garrett pulled a chair up, turning it sideways so he faced Carlo.

The position also put him right in Carlo’s space. Warm vanilla overlaid the aroma of savory duck, shifting Carlo’s attention to Garrett and his blood flow away from the manager brain and slightly farther south.

“Close your eyes.”

Now that was unusual. Mr. Eats-With-Eyes-First wanted him to eat something without marveling at its beauty?

“Why?”

Garrett hesitated. “This is something special. I want you to focus on the taste.”

Garrett’s knee brushed Carlo’s thigh as he moved closer and picked up a fork. “Close your eyes, Carlo.”

As soon as Carlo did, vanilla and sugar surrounded him, seeped under his skin like a drug, made his limbs heavy and his heart pound. The only sensations left in the darkness were the scent of Garrett, the touch of Garrett’s knee, and the blood pounding into his own groin.

Garrett’s thumb brushed Carlo’s lower lip. Carlo held back a moan as his lips parted. Garrett’s touch on his lips. Then warmer flesh on his tongue. Succulent jus. Spices. Holy fuck the duck was good.

And not the flesh he wanted.

He chewed. Swallowed. Eyes closed because it was too delicious. Because he was afraid to open them and find Garrett focused only on the food.

“Nice,” he managed.

“I thought of you when I made it.”

Garrett’s breath whispered against his lips, the words barely audible. His mouth closed over Carlo’s lower lip, teeth scraping slightly as he sucked, then a slight nip just before his tongue slid into Carlo’s mouth. Garrett. Warm and moist and delicious. So much better than the duck. Garrett’s hands were in Carlo’s hair, Garrett’s tongue in Carlo’s mouth, and Carlo couldn’t hold back the moan any longer.

 

A Taste of You by Irene Preston

Learn More About A Taste of You

Hell’s Kitchen has nothing on the flames Giancarlo and Garrett ignite at Restaurant Ransom…

Blurb | Read a Chapter | What People are Saying

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