In the kitchen with…Vinter!

Welcome y’all! Pull up a seat.

One of my favorite things to do is cook. I love being in the kitchen most of the time. It’s not always and not every day that I want to make a mess and then have to clean it up, but for the most part, I’m in love with cooking and baking and all things kitchen. Because of that, it makes sense for me to have characters in my books who cook.

Today’s character is Vinter. In Simple Need, the morning after with Elise, he made her breakfast…waffles and bacon. Now, of course, Vinter being Vinter, he couldn’t help but be a little naughty with the syrup. Luckily, Elise was all too happy to oblige him. He wanted to make her feel that she was welcome, that he wanted her company for more than the hot sex they were almost constantly having. And well, there was also that need for sustenance 😉 . After all, they did work up a bit of an appetite.

I have a love affair with breakfast foods, especially sweet breakfast foods. Waffles, pancakes, sweet breads, muffins, doughnuts, etc… I don’t have these things often, but when I do, it’s like a party. I love going out for pancakes or pastries, but more than that, I love making them. Nothing better sometimes than the smell of cooking waffles and bacon and warm maple syrup. It has to be real maple syrup, too. Not the flavored syrup, but the real thing, usually in the glass bottles and more expensive than the stuff at eye level. Real syrup can be used sparingly too since it’s sweeter.

Since I cook so much, I try to do it in a healthy way. I love food blogs and am always perusing them, spending hours reading through them for new and interesting takes on recipes. I use a lot of natural sweeteners instead of white sugar. Whole wheat and whole grain flours instead of white unless necessary, like for cakes and such.

So, because our bad boy hero, Vinter, made Elise waffles, I thought I’d share with you one of my favorite waffle recipes from one of my most favorite food sites, Deliciously Organic.

Whole Wheat Waffles
Adapted from Christopher Kimball’s The Cook’s Bible
Serves 6

2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tablespoons cornmeal
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs, separated
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat waffle iron.Whisk flour, cornmeal, sea salt and baking soda in a mixing bowl. Whisk egg yolks with buttermilk and melted butter. Beat egg whites until they hold a stiff peak. Add egg yolk mixture slowly to dry ingredients while stirring with a spatula until just mixed together (there will still be lumps and maybe a few patches of flour). Gently fold in the egg whites until just mixed together. (It’s important not to over mix).

Using a ladle, spoon batter onto waffle iron and cook until deep brown. Serve immediately.

If you are cooking for a crowd, simply preheat the oven to 200°F and place a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet. When the waffles are cooked place them on the cooling rack/baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm.

Now, this following bacon recipe is an indulgent recipe and I make it once in a blue moon and not to serve with waffles or pancakes since it’s so sweet already. It’s taken from the blog, Mommy’s Kitchen.

Brown Sugar Bacon

1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
1/2 pound thick-cut bacon, 8 slices

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Mix brown sugar, cayenne, and black pepper together in a medium bowl. Add bacon and toss. Line a baking sheet with a wire rack and lay bacon on the rack. Pat any remanding spice mixture on the bacon. Put the baking sheet on the top rack of the oven and bake until crisp, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven to a serving dish and let cool slightly before serving.

*Note: If using thick cut peppered bacon, omit the pepper in this recipe.

When I was looking for a waffle iron, I had the hardest time finding one that wasn’t for Belgian waffles. I wanted a regular thickness for waffles and I finally found one by Cuisinart for about $30. I love it.

Have you read about Vinter? If not, here’s the cover and blurb:

Vinter is not your typical businessman. Tattoos, piercings and not a suit and tie in sight. One-third owner of a bar and a tattoo parlor along with being a bassist in a band, Vinter comes and goes as he pleases. He likes his beer cold, his music hard and his women scorching hot. Until he’s knocked off his game by a suburban doll he can’t stop wanting.

Elise needs a change. In men. The buttoned-up businessmen she’s been dating leave a lot to be desired—in romance, in respect and most definitely in sex. A recent text message from her now ex-lover drives Elise into a popular bar on the outside of town, where she meets one of its owners. He’s just the kind of man she’s never had and definitely the kind she’s always fantasized about. Big, bad and oh so naughty.

Unexpected tenderness. Unimaginable lust. Being dumped has never felt so damn good.

Available as an ebook from: Ellora’s Cave, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, All Romance eBooks, Sony Reader, Kobo, Powell’s

I hope you’ve enjoyed this first installment of In the kitchen with… and that you’ll come back each Thursday to find out what and who is cooking…

~lissa

New Blog Series

Starting tomorrow, I’ll be posting the first of two new blog series’ Brandy and I have been working on. I have Ms. Kendra working on graphics for them and I don’t know if she’ll have the one done for tomorrow, but she’ll get it to me as soon as she does.

In the kitchen with… is the first series that we’re starting. If you’ve read my books, you know I have a lot of cooking going on. And I don’t just mean the sex kind 😉 ! There’s always someone who cooks. Most of the time it’s the hot, sexy men, but the hot, sexy women do, too. I’ll be posting recipes, kitchen equipment and appliances that I love/can’t live without, book covers, blurbs, etc… in these posts. I’ll be starting with Vinter.

Authors talk writing… is the second series we’re working on. It’s still in the planning stages and we hope to have it ready to go with some authors in March. This is going to be about how writers do what they do… How they write these amazing books. As a reader and a writer, I find this to be a fascinating thing and I’m hoping other readers and writers will as well.

Hope you’re all having a great week.

~lissa

Snippet Saturday – Something Odd

I am having a really hard time with this one. I didn’t think this through when I signed up for it. I don’t see my characters having anything quirky about them. I mean, there is Vinter, who has piercings galore, but I don’t think I can talk about those and detail them in Snippet Saturday. So then, a friend of mine and I were wracking our brains trying to think of something in some book of mine that would be considered quirky or odd…

I had wanted to write a shifter book. Try my hand at something different. I enjoyed writing it. I enjoyed researching it. I enjoyed creating this family of polar bear shifters that are protective to a fault, have a thriving little community inside Denali National Forest, and fall in love with the most unsuspecting women. One who lives, eats, and breathes science and one who studies myths and legends.

For my snippet, I decided that the heroine, Ruby and her addiction to sugary breakfast foods and hero Carson’s admission to having never eaten a Pop-Tart is about as odd as I get… I’m going to definitely have to work on this character trait in future books.

Artic ShiftSnippet:

“I thought we were going to have breakfast with your family?”

“It’s well beyond breakfast time at their place.” He winked at her and she felt the heat creep up her neck.

“Right.”

Bacon sizzled and pancakes bubbled on the griddle. Carson flipped a spatula in his hand waiting patiently to flip the pancakes. If she stayed up here with him, lived with him, she’d be putting on a lot more weight given the way he cooked. There was no Special K in his cupboards. There was no cold cereal or convenience food period. Everything had to be made and often from scratch. She was still marveling at him in the kitchen, long and lean, tall and well defined, but moved in a kitchen as if he’d been born to it.

“It’s been ages since I had pancakes and bacon.” Ruby sat on a stool at the kitchen island.

“What do you normally eat for breakfast?”

“You know, cereal, Pop Tarts, frozen waffles, instant oatmeal.”

“Sounds exciting. I’ve never had a Pop Tart or instant oatmeal.”

“Never?”

“Nope. No need to. I can make anything I want. And homemade is always better.”

“I can’t live without my Lucky Charms and my frosted cherry Pop Tarts.” And she couldn’t. She often took one or the other or both with her when she traveled. She hadn’t this time though and while she might have missed them had she not met Carson, she certainly didn’t miss them now that she had.

“Okay, well, I’m sure we can get some. If Fairbanks doesn’t have them, we can send James looking for them next time he goes down to Anchorage. Otherwise, there’s always Amazon.”

Carson flipped the pancakes and drained the bacon on a paper-towel-lined plate. “You can get Amazon stuff delivered up here?”

“You make it sound like we’re on another planet. Of course we can get deliveries. We sometimes have to drive to Fairbanks for packages, but for the most part, we do very well. We have satellite TV and Internet. We are our own entity up here, but we are also well connected and have access to anything we need or may want. You will not be deprived here, Ruby. I promise you.”

Ruby shook her head. “I’m not worried about any of that. You told me last night you’d get me anything I needed and I believe you. I just… I guess living in the city, I don’t think of such remote areas as being well supplied and often imagine… I don’t know. It’s just so different.”

He set the plate of pancakes on the island along with the bacon. It all smelled good, and she was glad she could only feel her stomach growling and not hear it. Talk about embarrassing. “Dig in.”

He filled his plate, slathered his pancakes with butter, and drowned them in syrup. After a few rather large bites, he looked over at her. She was still buttering her own small stack of two pancakes. “You okay this morning?”

She glanced in his direction, confused. “Yes, why?”

“I was kind of rough with you last night and wasn’t much better the second or third time around either. Just want to make sure you’re all right.”

He took another big bite, and she ducked her head, more heat filling her cheeks at the memories, especially earlier in the shower. He’d soaped her up, washed her down, then knelt on the floor of the shower stall and pulled her toward his mouth. He ate at her pussy and wasn’t satisfied until he’d made her scream. He’d gotten her out then and bent her over against the window and taken her from behind while she looked out at the Alaskan morning.

Someone would have to clean the glass where her hand, mouth and cheek prints were surely marring it. Now that they’d had sex, it just didn’t seem to be enough, for either of them. They both went at each other equally fierce and hungry.

“Oh. Yeah, I’m good. A little sore, but, good.” She couldn’t believe he’d brought it up over breakfast.

“Excellent.”

Tension simmered between them as they finished eating, and she couldn’t help wondering how his cock would taste with syrup drizzled on it. Of the things they’d done, that was one thing they hadn’t. She didn’t have a lot of experience with it, but she had some and would love to improve her skills. His cock was beautiful—not too thick and not too long. It fit inside her as if it had been made to and if one took fate and destiny into account, it had been.

“You keep looking at me like that, Ruby, and we’ll be going at it again right here.”

“Oh. Sorry.” She looked down at her plate, for some reason surprised to find it empty.

“Don’t be.” He winked. “I’m not.” He kissed the top of her head and began clearing the dishes when the doorbell rang. Carson looked over his shoulder and grinned at her. “Saved by the bell, huh?”

End Snippet

Please enjoy snippets from the following authors:

Megan Hart — Read in bed!
Eliza Gayle
Rhian Cahill
Anne Rainey
Jody Wallace
Mari Carr
McKenna Jeffries
Myla Jackson
Taige Crenshaw
Alison Kent
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
Leah Braemel
Shelli Stevens
Shiloh Walker
TJ Michaels
Zoë Archer

Have a great weekend!

~lissa

Some Things…

Happy New Year! May 2012 be all you wish for and more…

Some things change and some things stay the same in life and it’s no different on this blog. So, with that being said, I thought I’d jump in real quick and give y’all an update on what we have going on.

Guest blogs. This started yesterday. We’re (Brandy and I) are going to try and fill some days with authors and bloggers. Some you may know and some you may not. This will bring new readers over here and it will ease up on my guilt of not having something going every day. And yes, there is guilt. I think it should be fun to have new people come in and say hi and talk about their books or their writing or whatever they want to talk about. If you know anyone who would like to guest blog or if you yourself would like to do so, let me or Brandy (bray829 AT gmail DOT com) know.

A newsletter. Yes, I am finally going to jump on this. Sometime here in January, I’ll be putting out the first newsletter. I have no idea what I’ll be saying it yet, but I’ll figure out something. People have been asking on and off for about 2 years for one, so I caved and said yes. If you haven’t signed up for it yet, go for it!

Self publishing. There will be more of it. More M/M and more M/F. The next release is later this month: Trouble in the Making.

And next month will see the release of Book 3 in my Blue Jeans and Hard Hats series, Forever In Blue Jeans. Kendra Egert, the fabulous cover artist who designed the Twisted Up cover and the Trouble cover,  and who has been designing author Melissa Schroeder’s covers of late, is working on the Forever cover. I can’t wait. I think y’all will love it!

Publishers. I will still be writing for them.

Coffee. I will still be drinking it on a very, very regular basis.

Conferences. I am currently signed up for Authors After Dark in New Orleans and will be signing up first thing tomorrow for Lori Foster’s Annual Reader and Author Get Together. I love Lori Foster’s event. It’s small and intimate and people there actually know me. Authors After Dark is like a shot in the dark for me, but I am going. Those are the only ones I’m planning to attend. Romantic Times is out of the question for a variety of reasons.

Writing. There will be more of it this year than in 2011.

Books. I will be reading a TON this year. Probably not as much as y’all do, but I’ve gotten back into reading so…

Readers. I need more readers. I need the current readers I have. I know I often say ‘we’ and ‘us’ but without you, my readers, I couldn’t do this. We ARE in this together. I am more thankful and grateful and happy to have you than I can possibly say. Without you, I wouldn’t be able to pursue a career in writing and without me, well, y’all wouldn’t have Vinter, or Jaz, or Buck, or Cam, or Justin… 😉

Snippet Saturdays and Six Sentence Sundays. I’ll be trying to do these more regularly.

Contests. We’ll have more.

Website. There’s going to be an overhaul. There will be a color change, a header change, the bookshelf will be rearranged and better laid out. I will be working closely with the fabulous Dee Tenorio on it. She does amazing work and any updates and changes you’ve seen over the last year have been from her.

For those of you who’ve stuck by me, I am humbled and so appreciative. For those of you who’re new to me, welcome and get comfortable. I have a Facebook fan page now for anyone who would like to go over there and Like it. If you buy your books from Amazon or Barnes and Noble or All Romance eBooks or wherever, if there’s a Like button, please click it. Not just for my books, but for other authors you like as well. It does help us gain notoriety with other readers. And if you’re of a mind to, leave a review or at least a star rating. These help authors as well.

I do think that’s all for now. If there’s more, I’ll let you know.

I believe author Kate Davies will be on the blog tomorrow so please come check her out!

Have a fabulous Tuesday!

~lissa

 

Snippet Saturday – Endings

Endings. Truth be told, I can’t wait for this year to be over. Or maybe just this month. It’s not turned out at all how I had hoped the Christmas/New Year season would be.

However, that being said, with any ending, there is always a new beginning. And sometimes both at the same time…

Enter, Vinter. Now that is a lovely way to end the year.

Snippet:

The bartender leaned against the polished, scarred wood of the bar. “Another one?”

Elise looked at the bottom of her glass and debated what the correct answer should be. Would she rather drive home or call a cab?

“Yes, let the lady have another.”

She turned her head at the man who had come to straddle the barstool next to hers. Short auburn hair, ice blue eyes, both arms covered in brightly colored tats, fingernails painted black, and a barely contained sex appeal reached out and enveloped her from her head all the way down to her toes. She wanted him. Right here, right now.

She cleared her throat, found her voice, and was pleased at its steadiness. “I appreciate it, but no. I think it’s time for me to call it a night.” In his bed would be a nice place to do that, but she’d just called a halt to all men for a while. Even gorgeous ones with hard dicks pressing against worn denim, and solid muscles framed to lean perfection beneath faded black tee shirts.

God, she needed to go home. He was way too tempting and her bruised ego was way too vulnerable.

“Why?”

Yes, why indeed. “It’s just time. Been a long day and all that.”

He reached out and stroked the back of her hand that was wrapped around the empty glass. “Going home alone?”

Would you like to come home with me? “Yes, alone.”

“Hmmm. That doesn’t sound like fun at all. Tell ya what. Why don’t you let me buy you another drink and you can fill me in on why it’s been such a long day. I’m a pretty good listener.”

He had a deliciously, well-defined mouth and Elise wanted to let her lips fall down on his. His voice rolled over her like a warm blanket, soft and comfortably deep. “The guy I’d been seeing ended things today. I got the text message at lunch.”

“Text message? You serious? Dumbass man.”

She tried not to smile but couldn’t help it. It was just a small smile, but nonetheless he answered her with one of his own and she swore her pussy melted in her jeans.

“No. I was the dumbass in this one. I really did know better and now, well, hindsight is twenty-twenty.” She shrugged and the bartender chose that moment to set another rum and Coke in front of her. The smell of the alcohol made her feel lightheaded. Whoa. She didn’t need to drink it, she could just inhale it. Instead of calling a cab, she would be sleeping on the floor beneath the stool she sat on.

“What did you know better about?”

“Trust me, you don’t want to know.” She took a small sip of her new drink. The rum burned going down and it felt good. Tattoo man would feel better, but…

“I do.”

“He was married.”

“Oh. Yeah, that’s never good. Are you?”

“Am I what? Good? Yes.”

He grinned at her and heat flooded her cheeks. She had no idea where that teasing, suggestive comment had come from, but she liked it, liked that she made him grin. He was devastating to look at.

“Mmmm. I’ll give you a chance to prove it later. Are you married?”

She shook her head. “No, I’m not.”

“Then why waste your time on a man who is?”

She never would have if she’d known. Where were all the damn warning signs? “I didn’t know he was married. See, that’s me being the dumbass. He gave all his numbers, his address. There were never any restrictions on communication or seeing one another.” And there hadn’t been. She could call him whenever, though she always let him call her. She’d never been one who could chase a man, even one she was dating. She could see him every night, every day. He’d introduced her to people he worked with, friends he hung out with. There had been nothing that she could remember, and she’d been racking her brain all afternoon trying to figure out, trying to jog her memory, trying to find something that would have hinted that there was a Mrs. But there was nothing.

“When did you find out?”

“In his text message. He said he was going back to his wife.” And there it was all over again…the shock, the humiliation at having gotten involved with a married man without having realized it. There hadn’t even been a tan line on his ring finger. She’d looked. Going back obviously meant that he’d been separated from his wife, but still…

She lowered her head and laid her forehead on the bar. That twinge inside her gut, that complete lack of understanding at how her character judgments had become so flawed, gnawed at her. She used to be able to read people, guys especially, mainly because she watched more than she talked. What had happened that she couldn’t choose a guy anymore who was worth anything, who wasn’t a loser? What had happened to her once-upon-a-time, never-let-her-down intuition?

Tattoo Man leaned close, his breath whispered into her ear, fanned across her skin, and she fought not to shiver, fought not to lift her head and turn it just a fraction of an inch to her right. “Let me take care of you.”

End Snippet

Look for snippets from the following awesome authors:

Lauren Dane
Rhian Cahill
Eliza Gayle
Selena Blake
Anne Rainey
Jody Wallace
Mari Carr
McKenna Jeffries
Myla Jackson
Taige Crenshaw
Alison Kent
Delilah Devlin
Shelli Stevens
Shiloh Walker
Leah Braemel
HelenKay Dimon
TJ Michaels

Have a Happy and Safe New Year’s Eve!

~lissa

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