In The Kitchen With…Lissa

InTheKitchenI was supposed to have a release this week, Love and Tattoos. However, some family things have come up that have pushed it back a few days. I hope to have it out to my readers within a few days, no later than Tuesday, October 29th.

When I’m upset, for whatever reason I am, I cook or bake. This week was no different.

One of the recipes I made, Graham Cracker Streusel Coffee Cake. It’s delicious and a definite family favorite.

Ingredients:

For Streusel…

1 pkg graham crackers, (9 full ones)

1 cup brown sugar

1 stick, plus 3 Tbsp melted, unsalted butter

1½ cups pecans (optional)

2 tsps cinnamon

For Cake…

1 box (18¼ oz) white cake or French vanilla cake mix

1 box of instants (3.12 oz) French vanilla pudding

3 eggs

¼ cup oil

1 cup water

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350

Streusel: Put your graham crackers in a Ziploc bag, close it and roll with rolling pin until crushed, put in large bowl. Add other dry ingredients for Streusel. Melt butter pour over and mix thoroughly. Set aside.

Cake: Beat ingredients for cake together until thoroughly mixed. Pour half into a greased 13”X9” baking pan. Sprinkle with half of the streusel mixture. Carefully spread the remaining batter on top of the streusel and then top with remaining streusel. I usually like to swirl the topping into the batter

Bake 30-45 minutes. Test with a cake tester or toothpick.

2013-10-22 16.53.25

If you try it, let me know!

~lissa

Author Friday – Cover Reveals, Blurbs, Release Dates

LissaLogoYellow_reasonably_small There are new releases coming up, starting on October 22nd. Three new stories, the second in a series, and one re-release.

There are release dates on all except the re-release and Slide Down On Me. Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be updating the website and giving you more information on my new series, Lone Star Sweets. (If you are so inclined, there is a Lone Star Sweets series page on Facebook that I’d love for you to Like)

I do have blurbs and covers for you, some of which you’ve seen, one or two that maybe you haven’t yet… Either way, here you go, in order of release…

 

 

Love and Tattoos, October 22nd…

Love&Tattoos_wlogo_200x300_300dpiA few years ago, Brax traded in his suit and law degree for part ownership in Love and Tattoos and he hasn’t looked back. Inked from head to toe, business smarts, and an affinity for loud music and hard sex, he’s got life right where he wants it.

Until the girl he can’t stop craving comes home.

Annie is lost and unsure how to find her way again. The corporate advertising firm she buttoned up her carefree personality for laid her off six months ago. Now her art is less than inspired, her sex life is nearly dead and buried, and the one thing worth having in the midst of her discontent is off limits.

One afternoon, Brax’s cockiness dares her to believe he knows her better than she knows herself and when he promises he can help her find what’s been missing, she reluctantly agrees to his little game. The challenge he lays out comes with a few strings, the suggestion of stripping, and the temptation of ink… But, they’ve never really been that close. How could she possibly lose?

 

The Cupcake Cowboy, Lone Star Sweets Book 1, November 19th…

CupcakeCowboy200x300Dear Readers,

My name is Jackson Dawson and I am The Cupcake Cowboy. I own and operate a cupcake truck in downtown San Antonio, Texas.

Born and raised on a cattle ranch a few miles outside San Antonio, I can rope, tie, ride, drive, and wrangle with the best of ‘em. It’s what my father does and what his father did before him. It’s what I was supposed to do too, only… I didn’t want it.
One thing you should know up front, is that I’m more stubborn than a mule and when I get something in my head, I don’t let go until I get it done.

You see, when I realized my little sister had a way off the ranch by way of making people happy with our grandma’s sticky buns, well, I figured I could learn a thing or two about food myself. I liked eating and I knew my way around cooking meals so, how hard could baking be?

I soon found out.

I wasn’t cut out for sticky buns. In fact, I was a downright disaster at it. Sam suggested I go to culinary school, see what I might be good at. Turns out it was cakes and cupcakes.
Culinary school is also where I met Cass. She was my Introduction to Pastry Arts instructor and honestly, I wouldn’t have cared what she taught so long as I got to be around her. I was head over heels the second she smiled. Her enthusiasm was a sight to behold and it drew me in like a moth to a flame.

You’ll like her. Cass is a good woman, smart as a whip, knows what she’s talking about, and I didn’t want to listen. Remember? More stubborn than a mule…

And that’s where this book, begins…

Our story will hit the presses November 19th.

Jackson

 

Eli’s Promise, The Bar Next Door Book 2, December 31st…

ElisPromise72webTime and distance have a way of sneaking up on feelings thought long buried.

The Bar Next Door, Book 2

Five years ago, Eli held the hand of his dying lover and made a promise he never intended to keep. Find someone new to love? Be happy? Fat chance. Eli’s happiness died that day. He’s doing well to put one foot in front of the other, much less risk his heart again.

The only thorn in his side is Asa, part-time waiter at The Bar Next Door, who can’t seem to take a hint.

After years of carrying more responsibility on his broad, cowboy shoulders than most people twice his age, Asa knows what he wants when he sees it. Eli. Shadows haunt the gorgeous older bartender, who also happens to be one of Asa’s bosses, but Asa doesn’t care about potential complications. He only wants to banish Eli’s ghosts—and bring Eli back to life.

Persistence, a little impatience, and Asa’s very wicked mouth go to work on Eli’s grumpy, prickly defenses. But Asa may have to block the door to love with his foot—or his heart—before Eli slams it in his face.

Warning: Beware of stubborn cowboys, sticky bar floors and hot sexy showers, eavesdropping cooks and well-meaning friends, Irish whiskey, and a young man who doesn’t understand the word no.

Pre-order Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

 

Slide Down On Me, Release Date Unknown…

slidedownonme_msrSmall town mechanic and tattooed, bad boy Travis keeps his profile low, his needs satisfied outside the city limits, and his business running smoothly. He doesn’t cause trouble and he certainly doesn’t want any, only fallen from grace heiress Arabella Drake owes him money for work on her car. Due to her current circumstances, she can’t come up with the cash needed to pay for repairs.

Their situation requires a creative solution and while Bella desires respectability from her former wild child ways, Travis desires something very different. He offers a proposal, one that will, if not pay for the transmission and labor on her car, satisfy his long held wish to have Bella Drake naked, writhing, and sliding down on every inch of him.

In the new year, you can expect to see the following books:

The Sticky Cowgirl, Lone Star Sweets, Book 2 – January 2014
Exposed, Masked 4 – February 2014
The Tattooed Barista, Lone Star Sweets, Book 3 – March/April 201
Arrested Holiday will be re-released as soon as it becomes available to me from Loose Id. I will keep you updated.

So, if you’re a fan of my work, you have things to look forward to…

~lissa

Temptation Tuesday – Selena Illyria

Selena is a very dear friend of mine and she writes some very sexy books. She’s got a new release about space pirates and you should check it out…

At-Drogan's-Command_SelenaIllyria_200x300Creating Captain Drogan Carter

The first thing that struck me about Drogan were his braids. Long, dark brown braids, totally not military regulation, but then again this is Sci-Fi and future. The next thing that hit me was the small tattoo of a skull and cross bones behind his ear. Next were his eyes; intense, blue and determined. Captain Drogan Carter was commanding, caring, not above being an ass but also not above being sneaky. When putting together Drogan’s character I drew on two characters that stood out in my mind:

Tyr Anaszi (Played by Keith Hamilton Cobb on TV Series Andromeda)- The character was magnetic, mysterious, flirtatious and over all sexy as sin! He could be distant and a jerk but can be loyal and intense.

Captain Jack Sparrow- From him I drew on the idea of Drogan’s family having a history with pirates.

After I had my two main inspirations Drogan began to form in my mind as someone who cared a lot about his crew and respected each and every one of their abilities. He wants what is best for them in the end and No One, and I mean No One takes his crew without a fight. As a lover he likes to be in charge, take control and use his abilities to pleasure his partner. Giving her what she wants is important to him, it adds to the sexual atmosphere and increases the connection between them.

When it comes to seducing a lover he has to have a plan in place depending on the woman and what he wants to get out of the deal. Fleeting sexual encounters still need some sort of outline to him. A vague goal that’s to their mutual benefit. But when it comes to Rena, the object of his desire and admiration he knew he needed a different approach. Not only did he knew what she desired in the bedroom but Rena wasn’t just any woman, she was his assistant, his friend and his colleague. She wasn’t some nameless bed partner, he cared about her in every aspect of her life.

He couldn’t just seduce her. Regs forbid a relationship between ranking officers. Since he’s her Captain (the boss), she’s off limits to him. But that doesn’t stop him from wanting and needing her. Once he discovers her sexy little secrets it’s game on for him. As hurtful as the plan he formed to seduce her could be he knew that in the end he couldn’t go on denying his attraction to her any longer. So he used his sneaky side to win her over, much to Rena’s annoyance.

In the first edition of this book Rena was more forgiving of Drogan’s antics but with this re-release I knew I couldn’t just let it all end happily. Drogan’ needed to pay for his sneakiness. Knowing the man I knew Drogan to be he would accept that fate so long as it meant having Rena by his side. Also, in this new revised edition the tension between the characters had to increase. I had to find new traits in Drogan I hadn’t seen the first time around. I knew that Drogan was commanding but he had to be a hard ass at times, he was the Captain after all. In discovering this new facet of his character I rediscovered why I adored Drogan to begin with. Despite his flaws he does have a big heart and when he loves, he loves fully.

Creating the Drogan character was both fun and reminded of why I love this series.

Excerpt Rating (PG-13),

Out Now!

Series: Hades Helmet Crew

Genre: Sci-Fi/Futuristic, Paranormal, Interracial, BDSM

ISBN: 9781940223391

Novella

Blurb:

He commands her body…but can he win her heart?

Who knew one little disc could cause so much trouble? Certainly not Rena, until the disc in question—the one in which she lives out every sexual fantasy she’s ever had, including a few inspired by her crush, Captain Drogan Carter—falls into the wrong hands. Drogan’s.

Rena is desperate to get it back—she can’t let him know all her darkest, dirtiest secrets…

When Drogan finds the disc and watches the very private contents, his first feeling is guilt. But that guilt soon turns to a raw, sexual need to have the wanton, carefree Rena in his bed. He knows she’ll never come to him willingly, but once he gets her, he’ll have plenty of time to win her over, and to prove to her that reality can be so much better than fantasy. But first he needs a plan, a way to get her right where he wants her: at his command.

Buy Links:

ARe:

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-atdrogan039scommand-1300790-340.html

Kindle:

http://www.amazon.com/Drogans-Command-Hades-Helmet-ebook/dp/B00FAUT8T4/ref=sr_1_20?ie=UTF8&qid=1379648320&sr=8-20&keywords=Selena+Illyria

Nook:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/at-drogans-command-selena-illyria/1116945052?ean=2940148543527

Excerpt:

“Looking for this?”

She stilled and prayed that it was not the captain’s voice that had uttered those words. She hoped that in her panic she was hearing things, that her paranoia and anger were causing her to lose her mind.

“I believe you were in a similar position on the disc, only naked,” Drogan murmured in that rough and husky tone he had.

She bit her lip to keep from groaning aloud. Her nipples peaked and moisture gathered within her. Her labia flooded with heat and her clit thickened. Her vaginal walls fluttered. Not now, she admonished herself. But she was powerless to stop the effects on her body.

Slowly, she wiggled out from under the bed. She was on her knees, about to stand up, when she saw him shake his head, his tiny, dark brown braids swinging this way and that.

“Don’t move. Stay just like that,” he ordered.

Her eyes widened and she swallowed. Was he going to call security? Have her arrested? Panic started to overwhelm her. She couldn’t get arrested. Rena needed to find a new job. She couldn’t do that if she was booked as a criminal. She would do anything he wanted just as long as he didn’t call security. Anger mingled with her desire.

“Captain, sir, please, I’ll leave. Just don’t call security. Please, I’m begging you. If I’m arrested I won’t be able to get another job. I need to work.” As much as she hated to grovel, it was the only way to get out of this unscathed. She balled her hands into fists.

She knew Drogan was wealthy. He never had to worry about having a job. He could quit today and live off his inheritance. Some said it was due to his family’s history of piracy. Looking at him now, he looked every inch the pirate, and she felt like his captive, utterly at his mercy.

“Mmm, I always loved it when you called me ‘Captain, sir,’ in that sweet voice of yours.” His tone went lower, deeper, rougher.

Buy Links:

ARe:

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-atdrogan039scommand-1300790-340.html

Kindle:

http://www.amazon.com/Drogans-Command-Hades-Helmet-ebook/dp/B00FAUT8T4/ref=sr_1_20?ie=UTF8&qid=1379648320&sr=8-20&keywords=Selena+Illyria

Nook:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/at-drogans-command-selena-illyria/1116945052?ean=2940148543527

Visit Selena

Sunday Speeds – Pace Laps

SundaySpeedsIt’s been a long year and yet the months have flown by so fast that I’m still trying to catch up. A lot has changed in the publishing world over the last few years and I have even fewer answers now than I had when I first started out. I feel like I’m always running under caution laps while most others are running at 200mph…

I’ve been working, trying to learn what many of my peers already know, but it’s a slow process. I’ve had several releases this year already, but my royalties don’t look like it. They are the lowest they’ve ever been and like other authors I know, I’ve had to re-evaluate my books, and my publishers.

There are those of you waiting on the next book following Stick Shift. It’s coming. I promise. The issues at this point is Loose Id, the publisher of the first book. I love them. I have enjoyed working with them and adore my editor. I’ve felt a very strong sense of loyalty to her and to Loose Id, however the money I am *not* making isn’t worth my sending them any other books. At least not at this point. This is a business and I have to look at it that way. I may not be paying my mortgage with what I make off books, but what I do pay is no less important and the $100 or less/month royalty checks, even with new releases, aren’t worth it.

What does this mean? It means that book, Drive Shaft, will be self published next year. But there are other things at play right now and that’s all I can say.

There are those of you waiting for the next Simple Need book. I’ve got it started and I will be sending it to Ellora’s Cave when it’s finished. Ellora’s Cave takes several months to get books out, between the reading, contract process, editing, etc… 6 months, at least. After release, there’s another 2 months before any royalties are seen from it. That’s a long time.

There are those of you waiting for the next book in the Denali Heat series. That book is bound for Samhain Publishing. But, when I submit a book to Samhain, it’s roughly 10-12 months before release.

I can’t make a living like that. I wish I could.

Writing books take a while. We all write at different speeds, we all have different responsibilities above and beyond writing. I used to write a lot and write quickly. I am not in that place anymore. I am writing. I am revising. I am learning. I am progressing. I am changing.

So, how does this affect you, the readers? Books are coming. Maybe not what you want right now. Maybe not what you’re expecting right now either. But books are coming. The following is the schedule I’ve been working on for releases through February and it’s pretty set…

October 22 – Love and Tattoos
November 19 – The Cupcake Cowboy (Lone Star Sweets)
December 31 – Eli’s Promise (The Bar Next Door, Samhain Publishing)
January 21 – The Sticky Cowgirl (Lone Star Sweets)

There’s more, lots more (Exposed (Masked 4), The Tattooed Barista (Lone Star Sweets), In The Corner, Drive Shaft (Stick Shift #2), to name a few, but the dates aren’t set yet), including Slide Down On Me (Ellora’s Cave) but I don’t have a date on that one yet either. I’ll also be revising and re-releasing Arrested Holiday as soon as the book rights revert back to me in December.

You’ll get the books you’re wanting, I just have to be a little smarter in how I approach things. I appreciate each and every one of you. And I am grateful that you’ve stuck with me. I hope you’ll enjoy all that I have planned for your reading pleasure…

~lissa

Snippet Saturday – Author’s Choice

snippetsaturdayI’m a little late today and I apologize. I did however make some homemade bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit sandwiches for brunch so…

Snippet Saturday is sad today, as well. It is our last Snippet Saturday as a collected group. It was started by Lauren Dane and I know all the authors who’ve participated over the years appreciate all the hard work she’s put into it. And I know we authors appreciate all the readers who’ve given us time on Saturday’s.

For myself, I will continue to post snippets and excerpts here on my blog under the heading of Temptation Tuesday.

As the subject heading states, today is Author’s Choice…

WLM_KeepItTogether_coverlgindows in her pickup rolled down, and her stereo blaring with the latest Miranda Lambert album, Chrissie couldn’t wait to spend a little time alone. She needed some space, some time to think. It would probably be a good idea to call Colt, to let him know that she was all right, but after months of depending on herself in a time of need…

Calling her mother was out of the question too. She’d have expected Chrissie to smile and ask how Russ was doing instead of running down the hall like her ass was on fire. She’d have expected Chrissie to wish him all the happiness in the world and for her knees not to shake and her palms not to sweat.

Chrissie’s mother was the soul of genteel Southern upbringing, and though she’d tried to raise her only daughter to be the same, the lessons just hadn’t taken.

Lost in thought as she was, sucking down the sweet, thick chocolate ice cream, and singing along to the songs, her house seemed to appear out of nowhere. It wasn’t good to drive by rote on the curvy country roads, but she had a hard time keeping herself focused. Luckily, she was between schools letting out and people getting off work, so traffic was light. The biggest hazard she might have come up against was a squirrel or two.

The vase of flowers on the front porch surprised her, but the man who pulled up and parked behind her before she was out of her car was the shock.

“Russ?” To say she was caught unawares would not be much of an understatement. She hadn’t noticed him or anyone following her, a testament to just how deep inside her own head she was. “Twice in one day. Dare I ask why?”

He smiled that charming smile she once knew so well, and as he came close, she could see the uncertainty lurking in his eyes. She felt nothing. Not the old twinge of anticipation. Not the thrill she used to get when he’d show up unannounced. Not a thing. Well, okay, some sadness perhaps, a bit of regret. But even those were in very small amounts.

How could seeing someone she once loved and was prepared to marry make her feel nothing?

Whereas his brother Colt made her feel something. Something deep and wonderful. He made her feel…everything. All at once. She could be herself with him and she never tried to impress him, like she’d done with Russ. Colt had seen her at her worst, and he’d seen her at her best. Everything else was the gravy in between.

“Nice roses.”

“They…” She nodded. “They are. Thank you.”

“My brother?”

“Probably.” She edged around him and headed toward the house, the vase of flowers in her hand. “What are you doing here?” she asked as she walked.

“I honestly don’t know. After this morning, I wanted to see you, talk to you. I wanted to see if…” He pursed his lips and looked away, out toward the trees at the edge of the property.

She didn’t need him to finish his thought. “After all these months?” Chrissie unlocked the door and stepped inside. Russ followed her, taking one tentative step after another.

She was attuned to uncertainty and wariness. She’d been hunting. She knew what it was to walk through the woods and not make a sound. She knew what it was to smell another hunter’s scent and not want to encroach on his territory. Russ had it written all over him in the way he moved, careful and cautious. Maybe he thought she would shoot him…

She set the vase in the kitchen window. The red, yellow, and orange-colored roses lit the room up in a way that was different than simply the sun shining in. They were brilliant and so full of life. She loved them immediately. She loved that Colt thought enough of her to send them, and even though there was no card, she knew in her gut they were from him. She loved him for it, for the night before, for the morning tease, for wanting her.

She loved him.

“When I saw you this morning with Colt, I… Christina, please look at me.”

He was the only person other than her mother who’d ever called her Christina. She was sure that should have told her something a long time ago, only it wasn’t until now that she’d realized it.

Then again, she’d just put it together that she was in love with her ex’s brother. She turned to Russ with that sentiment front and center in her brain. She didn’t know how to look at Russ and not wince at the mere idea that Colt meant more to her than just a one-night thing. But then, how could she love him? She’d spent one night with him, sharing stories and making love. They hadn’t even talked for any length of time before that, unless she counted the day after when he came to check on her. Then there was his admission that he’d been calling her father every once in a while to make sure she was all right. Those things touched her in ways nothing ever had with Russ. He really had done her a favor by skipping out on her.

Someone—Colt—cared about her. Just her. Not money. Not connections. Not for whatever reason Russ might have thought he cared about her.

Colt didn’t have to do any of the things he’d done, however small and insignificant they may seem to others. To her, they were everything.

Maybe she had meant that she should have married him instead. Maybe she had meant, been admitting without actually saying the words out loud, that Russ had never been the right man for her.

Romance between them hadn’t been instantaneous or earth-shattering. They’d seemed to fit and liked each other well enough, spent time together, and love grew into it, only… Was it really love?

Her mother would have said that whatever it was, love or not, was better than what most people had ever found with someone else. Would Chrissie have really believed that? Would Russ?

If so and if they had married, somewhere down the road…

“Christina?”

“What?”She shook herself out of her thoughts. “Sorry. What did you want to say?”

“My brother seems to have worn you out.” He said it with a small smile, and there was no hint of malice in his eyes or his tone of voice. Chrissie knew she should have felt bad, but she didn’t. Russ made his choice. Colt had made his. And now it was her turn to make hers.

“Yes, he did.”

“Good.” He shifted his stance but he didn’t look away from her. “I want to apologize. No, that’s not right. I need to apologize for what happened.”

“You mean, leaving me at the altar?”

“Yes.” He drew himself up. “For leaving you at the altar.”

“It was a bit Cowardly Lion, Russ. For a man who can talk to courtrooms full of people, become best pals with attendees at a party, you were cowardly in how you handled me.” She wasn’t interested in embarrassing him or humiliating him or making him feel any worse that he had probably already felt. It was about moving forward and cleaning the slate, so to speak.

“You’re right, it was,” he admitted. “I can’t explain. I tried, with Colt this morning, but I—“

“I don’t need one, Russ. Maybe some women would, but not me.”

“Most women would.”

Chrissie smiled. A full, real smile. “I think we’ve all established that I am not most women.”

“Yes, we have.” Russ cleared his throat after a few minutes. “I, ah… Even though I’m glad you and Colt seem to have found each other out of this whole thing, I was jealous when I saw you with him this morning.”

“Jealous? Really, Russ. That doesn’t sound like you at all.”

“I know, yet it’s true. My brother in a hotel room with my ex. It was the first time I’d seen you since the night before we were supposed to get married. I was… It was unexpected. A lot of old feelings came rushing back, and I wondered briefly if—”

“If they were still real? If you still loved me?”

“Yes,” he said with relief evident in his voice. “Something like that.”

Chrissie stared hard at him. She didn’t want to hurt him with what she had to say, but she knew the words might. Whatever fantasies she might have had about hurting him, harming him in the days immediately following the jilting, she never meant any of it. She never really wanted him to feel the things she’d felt. “I don’t have feelings for you, Russ. Not anymore. Not like that. I think I could be your friend without issue, but that’s all.” She felt helpless and emotional. She’d imagined this conversation going so many different ways, and in all of them, he ended up dead or gutted like a fish or pierced through the heart and penis with arrows. Then again, that’s how she’d had to get through it, deal with it. This emotional-freeing feeling was better than any of her imagined outcomes. “When I was trying to get over you, I shot. I spent hours outside shooting. I went through so many boxes of ammunition. Each one had a word written across the top. Not very nice words, but they served the purpose I needed them to at the time. I bought enough ammunition, enough arrows for my quivers that I was offered a job at the local gun store. Somewhere in the middle of all that, I started getting over you. I could never have been what you wanted me to be. I wasn’t the feminine, gush-over, talk-up-her-man kind of woman we all, including me, tried to make me believe I was, but in the end…” She shook her head. “You did us both a favor, Russ. And we should both be able to admit that. You hurt my pride, you humiliated me, you even broke my heart to some extent. I’ve never hurt like that, and I don’t want to hurt like that ever again.”

Buy Links: All Romance eBooks | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Loose-Id

Enjoy the final snippets from the following blogs…

Lauren Dane
Caris Roane
Eliza Gayle
McKenna Jeffries
Shiloh Walker
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
Myla Jackson
Leah Braemel
Felicity Heaton
Jody Wallace
Shelli Stevens
Mari Carr

Thank you for your devotion every Saturday.

~lissa

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