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What movie best describes your life?

Please join me in welcoming, the talented and multi-published romance author of passionate, provocative and decadent romance novels; Leah Braemel.

In our interview, Leah tells us what movie best describes her life and other tidbits about her life. Continue reading

TANGLED by Emma Chase

Maddie Interviews Drew

Hey, everyone, it’s Maddie Saunders, the heroine from Selena’s WHAT A GIRL WANTS.

Since I’m in between contracts at work and Alex is overseas on an assignment, I have free time on my hands and volunteered to interview Drew Evans, the hero from Emma Chase’s New York Times Best Selling romance, TANGLED.

Plus, Heidi Wiley is back, with her insights into Drew and TANGLED.

So let’s get this party started and help me welcome Drew Evans.

Tangled Red Cover

Maddie: Drew, welcome to Selena’s blog and thanks for joining us.

DREW: Looking forward to it. Thanks.

Maddie:  If money were no object what one guilty pleasure would you buy?

DREW:  An island.

Maddie:  Great idea. Islands happen to be a favorite destination of ours. Besides the obvious, tropical, relaxing and adventurous, why an Island?

DREW:  I’d enjoy owning a piece of the world, where I could make up any rules I want. For instance, only people I like would be allowed to go there –– and everyone would have to call me ‘master.’

Maddie: I’m thinking Kate would smile at that fantasy you have going there and then let you know you’d be the master of your own domain, and that’s all the master she’d muster up.  Let’s get a bit more personal, create a bumper sticker that best describes your sex life.

DREW:  The Four F’s of a Great Sex Life:  “Keep it Frequent, Fabulous, Fun and once in a while, Freaky.”

Maddie:  Creative and so true. I’d buy that bumper sticker. What do you sleep in?

Selena: Uhm, Maddie, I have to interject here, I don’t think this an appropriate question.

DREW: Inappropriate questions are the best kind.

Maddie:  I agree with Drew.

Selena: You would. I just think Alex may have a problem with this line of questioning.

Maddie:  I love you, Creator of Mine, but you worry too much. You know I’m a one hero heroine, and this question is for all the readers who love to know the inside scoop—all of it, about their favorite book boyfriends.

Besides, Alex has said that he doesn’t care where I get my appetite, as long as I eat in his kitchen. 🙂

Selena: Okay, go at it then.

Maddie:  Thank you, now as I was asking, Drew, what do you sleep in?

DREW: *Grins* Kate. Or nothing at all.

Maddie:  Alex is the same way. With me though, not with Kate. *LOL* What non-sexual gesture turns you on?

DREW: There’s no such thing as a non-sexual gesture.

But if I have to pick something…I’ll say stretching. Kate lifts her arms over her head, then she arches her back so her breasts press right up against her shirt and usually she lets out this sexy little moan. That gets me going every time.

I’m getting turned on right now just thinking about it.

Maddie:  That is so sweet. I’m missing Alex, I hope he gets back soon. *sigh* What’s your attitude about Valentine’s Day?

DREW:  A brilliant marketing strategy for florists, candy and card manufacturers, but a totally unnecessary holiday. If you need a date on the calendar to show the person you love that you love them? You’ve got no fucking business saying you’re in love. For me and Kate — every day is Valentine’s Day.

Maddie:  I’m so on the same page and I know Alex is as well, about Valentine’s Day. Everyday is a good day to show your love and of course bring chocolate home. *Smiles* Have you ever read a romance novel? If so, which one?

DREW:  My mother and sister are big romance readers — which is disturbing to contemplate.

Once, I scanned my mom’s copy of “The Flame and the Flower.” From what I understand, it’s considered a romance classic. I thought it was totally fucked up. I’m not a chick — but I was offended on behalf of chicks everywhere.

Still, it seems like that book sparked a kind of revolution for women — made it a socially acceptable way for ladies, at the time, to have access to literary porn.  Which is a good thing.  If romance novels turn you on, more power to you.

Unless…you’re my mother or my sister. Then…just no.

Maddie:  Yes, I know all about not bringing blood relatives into any romantic or sexual discussions, Alex mentioned that once…okay probably more than once. I get it, you guys don’t mind starring in a romance novel, but it’s not your go-to reads, and that’s okay. Vive la difference. What are the top three things you have learned about women, by starring in a romance novel?

DREW:  1.  For a lot of women, their most romantic fantasy isn’t actually about sex — it’s about change. Girls want a man to want to change for them. Sometimes it can be small differences, sometimes big, but the bottom line is women want to be the impetus of a guy becoming better than who they were.

2.   Some women really don’t want to know what guys are thinking.

3.   Grand gestures go a long way with girls. They’re impressed by them. So go big or go the fuck home.

Maddie:  Thanks for your honesty, and I’m sure your answers will elicit a great discussions on the blog. If you were a Muppet, which Muppet would you be? Which Muppet would you date (life before Kate of course)?

DREW:  *Chuckles* Cookie Monster.

Maddie: Good call, except now I’m hungry. *smiles* Tell us more about why you’d choose Cookie Monster?

DREW: There’s nothing I like better than munching a sweet, warm cookie. Kate’s is magically delicious.

As for dating? Sure as hell not Miss Piggy — way too high maintenance. There was that blond girl muppet…don’t know her name, but she played guitar in the band and wore a belly shirt. She seems more my type — laid back, up for a good time.  I’d nail her.

Maddie: Here you go, Drew.

JaniceJanice, the lead guitar player in the Electric Mayhem on The Muppet Show.

DREW: Yeah, that’s her.

Maddie: She resembles Donatella Versace to me. *Giggles* Oh, look, Emma Chase has just arrived. *waves* Drew, thanks again, it was fun interviewing you and I look forward to reading about you and Kate. Say hi, to Kate for me. Ciao. *packs up her laptop and heads out.*

DREW: It was fun, bye. Hey, Emma. *nods and walks away.*

Selena: Emma, welcome to the blog and thank you for joining us. Do you know a man like Drew Evans? Or is he a composite of a few different men you know?

Emma: Yes, he’s a composite — my own alpha-Frankenstein. The guy-friends I grew up with, my older brother and his friends, and my husband all went into who Drew is. His thoughts, feelings and opinions come from the mouths of real men, plus what I’ve seen for myself.

Selena: Alpha-Frankenstein. *LOL* I call my alpha-hubby, Mr. Rugged, but we all know that deep down they are all Beta-sweethearts. You did capture real men thoughts and opinions, especially for the age group you are writing about.  What was the first thing you did when you learned that Tangled had become a New York Times Best Seller? 

Emma:  I said, “Oh my God!” and I called my mom, *lol*. My husband was there with me when I got the email, and we were both surprised and excited and overjoyed. 

I always felt that Tangled was a strong, entertaining read, but I never expected it to be so successful, so quickly. I’m genuinely flattered and grateful that so many readers have enjoyed the story and have come to love the characters as much as I do. It’s literally a dream-come-true.

Selena: Congratulations and well deserved. So great to hear a writer’s dream coming alive and sharing the excitement with you. Which character in Tangled would you pick to bring to life and spend the day with?

Emma:  Um…definitely Drew.  Not in a sexy kind of way…for me, my husband is and always will be, the only “leading man” I’ll ever want. But Drew is just such a fun guy — he’s very devil-may-care and life-loving, but honest, intelligent and sophisticated at the same time.

Selena: I think as romance writers we do fall in love with our hero’s (in a non-sexual kind of way, because like you, I feel the same about my husband. I always say, he would put any romance hero to shame *S*). If we aren’t crazy about the leading men, and want to hang out with them, then our readers won’t be attracted to them. What would you and Drew do on your day out together?

Emma: I think it would be fun to walk around New York City with him — visit his favorite restaurants or hot-spots — and just hang out and listen to his opinions about life and the people around us. I could probably talk to Drew forever and never get bored by the conversation. 

Selena: If you ever do go out for a day with him, take us along with you, I know the readers would love to hear more about Drew’s take on life.  If Hollywood came knocking, who would your choice or choices be to play; Kate, Drew, Mackenzie, Alexandra? 

Emma: I always have a hard time answering this one.

I think Kate Beckinsale or Nina Dobrev would be great as Kate.

For Drew, personality is everything. The actor would have to do ‘charming bastard’ really well – make the audience want to root for him – even if they feel they shouldn’t. A young Patrick Dempsey or Bradley Cooper could pull it off. Chris Evans would be a nice fit for Drew as well.

Ali Larter would be wonderful as Alexandra. And for Mackenzie, there’s a child model named, Kristina Pimenova, who is just the most adorable, precocious looking little girl. Her at age four – that’s who I imagine as Mackenzie.

Selena: Great choices. What sound track would you love to assign?

Emma: I have one, actually! It can be found under “media” at my website (click HERE for the soundtrack).

A few of the songs were part of my inspiration for the story, while I think others would be perfect playing in the background of some scenes.

Selena:  What’s next for readers to look forward to? 

Emma: In December 2013, the short story Holy Frigging Matrimony (#1.5) will be released in e-book. I really can’t wait to share this story with readers. It’s fun and sweet and sexy – classic Drew Evans. At the same time, some of the things that happen in HFM really set the stage for Twisted, the sequel to Tangled.

Twisted will be released in e-book and paperback in March 2014. It’s in Kate’s POV, which is exciting because it will give readers a chance to get to know her, and her friends and family, more than we were able to in Tangled. Twisted focuses on Drew and Kate’s relationship two years after Tangled’s end.

Then, in May 2014, Tamed will be released. Tamed is Matthew and Dee’s story — how their relationship began and grew during the scenes we didn’t see in Tangled. They’re such wonderful, quirky but real characters, I’m very excited for readers to get to know them.

Selena: Looking forward to all those books. Wishing you continued success, Emma. Thanks again for stopping by, it was a pleasure chatting with you.

Emma: My pleasure.

To find out the recommended food to combat the “Drew Flu” I highly recommend you pick up TANGLED. I thoroughly enjoyed this book as did Heidi Wiley.

Heidi Wiley’s Review

Tangled Red CoverDrew Evans is a hot, arrogant investment executive who lives a life of hard work, privilege and self-indulgence surrounded by friends, family and a work environment that feeds into his over inflated opinion of himself. The only relationship he is interested in getting into with a women involves a few drinks, sex and a quick good-bye.

 A bed is optional.

But when Kate Brooks, a confident newcomer joins Drew’s fathers company, her beauty and flawless determination makes an impression on him that rocks every one of his nerves down to a vulnerable core. When everything Kate does turns him on, he turns into one masculine hot mess.

Let me start out by saying there isn’t anything about this book I didn’t like.  With so many themes in romance novels following the same path, Emma Chase strides out of the box and writes from a rarely used male point of view.  This is more than a first person narrative, but a fun, sexy, unfiltered ride created out of a unique inner voice that takes the reader side by side with Drew and Kate every step of the way.  Not once while I was reading this book did I think it was a woman interrupting a man’s perception, but what I heard was a strong male voice that was realistic to the character. 

Drew is egotistical and arrogant but laugh out loud funny lovable and you won’t have to fight off your female conscience too badly to change your mind about what you think he deserves.

Emma Chase also has created a character that doesn’t have to compromise her feminine side to be tough and self –assured.  Kate is a strong successful woman that’s dedicated to her profession with a past that most women can relate to.

There are true to life secondary characters whose credibility is debatable and those like Drew’s niece Mackenzie who will be fallen in love with instantly.

The plot is refreshingly different, with banter and inner thoughts that are hilarious.  The sex from a man’s point of view is sexy hot and even the simplest kiss is full of intense passion.

Tangled is hands down one of my favorite reads of the year.  Highly recommend.

Favorite Quotes by Drew Evan from Tangled.

“For God’s sake, don’t let her watch Cinderella. What kind of example is that? A mindless twit who can’t even remember where she left her damn shoe, so she has to wait for some douchebag in tights to bring it to her? Give me a frigging break!” 

“Newsflash, ladies: We can’t read your thoughts. And frankly, I’m not entirely sure I’d want to. The female mind is a scary place to be.” 

“You know on TV when there’s one of those awkward, shocking moments and all you hear are the crickets in the background? Well chirp fucking chirp…this is one of those moments.”

“Women fall in love quicker than men. Easier and more often. But when guys fall? We go down harder. And when things go bad? When it’s not us who ends it? We don’t get to walk away. We crawl.” 

“Then I flip Kate the finger. Immature, I know, but apparently we’re now both functioning at the preschool level, so I’m guessing it’s okay. Kate sneers at me. Then she mouths, You wish. Well—she’s got me there, now doesn’t she?” 

“My mother always told me, “Anyone worth doing, is worth doing well.” Okay, she didn’t actually say those exact words, but you get the picture.” 

“Vaginas beat penises every time. They’re like kryptonite. Penises are defenseless against them.”

About Emma Chase:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABy day, Emma Chase is a devoted wife and mother of two who resides in a small, rural town in New Jersey. By night she is a keyboard crusader, toiling away the hours to bring her colorful characters and their endless antics to life. She has a long standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.

Emma is an avid reader. Before her children were born she was known to consume whole books in a single day. Writing has also always been a passion and with the 2013 release of her debut romantic comedy, Tangled, the ability to now call herself an author is nothing less than a dream come true.

Connect with Emma Online:

 

 

Interview with Kristen Ashley PLUS a Fabulous Giveaway

KRISTEN-APlease join me in welcoming Kristen Ashley.

I had a wonderful time, chatting with Kristen. She’s outgoing, gracious and someone we’d all love to hang out with for an evening, sharing a cosmo, glass of wine or a cup of coffee, done up with big hair, heels,  jeans and a kick-ass belt.

Kristen, welcome and congratulations on hitting the New York Times Best list with FIRE INSIDE.

Kristen: He’ya, girlie! Thank you for having me as a guest on your blog. Love to answer questions about my books and you have some good ones, Sistah!

Selena: You are most welcome, I’m as excited in having you here as I’m sure the readers are as well. First up: What three things would you like to put inside a time capsule that will be opened in 100 years and why?

Kristen: Oooo, fun question!

1. A copy of Rock Chick because for me that really started it all.
2. One of my Harley tees because everyone should know that Harleys have always been cool.
3. My keyboard, because by then people will wonder what it is but also because a number of the keys have had the letters worn off because I do so much typing and I think that’s hilarious.

Selena: I can only imagine how faded those keys on your keyboard are. Those are great items to put in a time capsule, and I bet the future readers will open the time capsule and say….“Hey, look the original Rock Chick!”

Have you ever met an MC member up close and personal and interviewed one for research purposes?

Kristen: Hmm… I don’t tend to interview so much as experience and observe and use both copiously. I went to Sturgis and we’ll just say I interacted with a lot of bikers there, but I didn’t have a recorder in my hand (more like a beer)!

That said, I’ve now got this obsession with firemen and was recently driving home at night. I drove by the local firehouse and all the boys were out front, shooting the breeze and I was this close to swinging in and telling them I wanted to write a series of romances about firemen and ask if they’d give me the skinny. Alas, I didn’t. But I should have!

Selena: You can always go back to the fire house with a box of donuts, and bring your recorder, because I bet they’d be all talking over each other to give you their own war stories. A Kristen Ashley firemen series….get out those hoses….for the readers that is, I’m sure the e-readers will be so heated up they’ll burst into flames.

What are the three essential wardrobe staples a woman must have in order to call herself a Rock Chick?

Kristen: I’d have to say none. Every girl is a Rock Chick, no matter what age or what they wear or what they do or how they are. So Rock Chicks have no rules. It’s all about being who you are, owning that, loving it, and showing that beauty to the world.

So the three essentials are what you think they are… and whatever those are, are totally essential.

As for me, it’s my silver jewelry, my vast collection of flip-flops and really good tees.

Selena: Love it! Books, jewelry and any footwear, sound good to me. I especially love the no rules part, because well….you know….writers tend to want to break them and always think outside the box, and as Dorothy Parker said, if you obey all the rules, you miss out on a lot of fun.

Two of my favorite characters are Tex from Rock Chick and Tack from Motorcycle Man. Are their looks or personalities based on anyone you have met?

Kristen: Tex, half-and-half. He’s totally made up looks-wise however he’s based on an amalgamation of two different people in my life. One, I don’t tell anyone about. The other is my old neighbor, named Tex , who would be familiar to you because he’s a Vietnam vet, he had a lot of cats and he sat on his porch watching the neighborhood with a shotgun and night vision goggles (I’m not kidding). A very good guy who, way back when I was just starting life on my own, made me feel safe.

Tack looks a little bit like a guy I met in Sturgis, I also used him (since he was extremely good-looking so I had to spread that joy around) for Wood in the Colorado Mountain Series. But they don’t have the same personalities. Tack is… Tack. There’s no one else like him.

Selena: I agree, the mold has been shattered when it comes to Tack. He’s one of a kind.

I absolutely love the way you developed the girlfriend relationship (the-chicks-are-the-shit-posse) in your series. Friends who are like sisters enhances a gal’s life, knowing they’ll always have your back and you have theirs, and of course it’s natural to bicker at times, tease and banter.

Do you have a posse like that you can just rant, rave, share copious amounts of alcohol with, dress up and just let loose? If so, how do you let loose on these occasions?

Kristen: Well, I did, in two countries! But now that I’ve moved back to The States, I’m posse-less, kind of. I have my family and that’s the ultimate posse. My other gals and dudes are all still there but we let loose via email now. Though, those relationships in my books are about what I have with those women (and guys) in real life. I miss them. And I hope to build a posse here, eventually because I have lots of shoes that need uses! As for what we would do, anything goes. It could be ice cream. It could be fancy dinners. It could be concerts. It could be shop-a-thons. It could be big hair, high heels and drinks. It could be hiking. Anything goes!

Selena: You are more than welcome to join my girl posse any time you come to Canada. We’ll take you out for some Canadian fun and introduce you to some hot RCMP officers who can really ride….a horse that is…and rock that uniform. Could be another series in it for you.

One staple that is common throughout your books, which I personally love to read, because, hey, people do cook and eat, is either the hero or heroine’s cooking expertise, or lack of, and what they enjoy eating.

In FIRE INSIDE, there is a recipe for a quick Key Lime Pie mentioned. I want to give this a try. Is this one of your own recipes? Is it as good as Hop said it was?

Kristen: My grandmother was not a cook and this was one of her recipes. I know that sounds weird, her not being a cook and this being one of her recipes. But seeing as this takes no time to make and has three ingredients, well… there you go! She made it all the time. So yes, this is, in essence, is a “family recipe” and it… is… awesome! You must try it! It’s sweet and tart and delicious. Now I’m hankering for it. But be sure you let the lime juice concentrate thaw, stir it in with a whole tub of Cool Whip, pile that deliciousness in a graham cracker crust and let it chill (and thus set) for a good while. Ooo, this is totally going to be in my fridge tomorrow.

Selena: It does sound good, and I am going to try it. Actually, I’m going to make it for the Tasty Tuesday blog and feature it. Thanks for the recipe. Now speaking of food, let’s have a quick fire round.

This is how it will work. I will name a character and you assign a recipe name for him.

For example: If I were to think of Daisy (another favorite character of mine) and a recipe name for her, I’d say: Bubble and Squeak. I mention Bubble and Squeak in honor of our mutual friend, Gitte Doherty who introduced me to your books. Gitte, the Danish Rock Chick resides in the UK so I picked this intriguing named recipe. It also makes me giggle when I say, bubble and squeak.

Kristen: Waving to Gitte, to all the Rock Chicks and a shout out to the Sassy Siren Rock Chicks

Selena: Here we go with the quick fire round:

Kristen: Okay, just so you know, I’m not good at this. So I’m just going to type the first thing that comes to mind in the food and drink zone.

Selena: First thing that pops up, is always the best way to go.

Kristen’s answers to the quick fire:

Tack – Dark chocolate (you with me?)

Hopper – Kahlua and cream (this is what I think his voice sounds like, creamy and chocolaty)

Shy – Maraschino cherries (don’t ask me! It just came to mind – I think he might find uses for these with Tabby, though, at least the juice!)

Tex – Vanilla latte!!!!!! (‘nuff said)

Lee – Fat Tire beer (and pizza, obviously)

Hawk – Frosting (any kind) (as in, tasting it on his lips, not Hawk eating it.)

Luke – Milano cookies

Vance – Quesadillas (what I think he and Jules eat every night for dinner because that’s the only thing either of them know how to cook. Ha!)

Marcus – Caviar

I hope that works! I’m terrible at that kind of thing.

Selena: You did great! Now when we eat or drink the above mentioned, we can think of all your too-hot-to-handle hero’s.

Kristen, on behalf of romance readers who have discovered the treasure trove of your books, I want to say, “You’re the shit. Rock on!” Also, thanking on behalf of all the husbands and boyfriends who are reaping the benefits after their women read your entertaining, and engaging creativity. I’m also sure you have a bevy of male readers, and would hope they find this blog and give us their opinion on the books and how much they enjoy your writing as well.

Kristen: Aw, girl! Thank you! Right back at ‘cha, sistah! I feel the same about my readers. Know it! And rock on.

FIRE-INSIDE

FIRE INSIDE is book #2 in the Chaos Series. It takes place alongside OWN THE WIND the first book inthe series.

Contemporary Romance

ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Lanie Heron isn’t looking for love—she endured a near-death experience at the hands of her late fiancé, so she’s decided relationships are now taboo. However, she’s an alive, healthy, vibrant women who wouldn’t mind a night of hot lovin’.  Lanie propositions the bad-ass-hot-as-his-motorcycle biker, Hop Kincaid, for one night of non-committal wild sex.

Being a hot-blooded—emphasis on the hot—-man, Hop would be crazy to decline. However, in Hop’s point of view, we learn that he feels Lanie is too polished, and too classy for his tastes. Even with these misgivings, this doesn’t stop them from burning up the sheets one night.

From there, one night only turns into many carnal nights together. Lanie is happy with the physical aspect of their relationship, which she wants kept confidential, however Hop wants more, only he has to work hard to help her get rid of the demons that haunt her. He is optimistic that they could have a future together. He also realizes he’s in for a bumpy ride, because Lanie has built a concrete wall around her heart. Hop has made it his job to break through that wall with one kiss, one orgasm and one heartfelt sweet word at a time.

My Opinion of Fire Inside by Selena Robins

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for the opportunity to read the ARC.

FIRE INSIDE is classic Kristen Ashley. You’ll laugh, you’ll fan yourself and you’ll love Hop. You will be surprised (in a real good way) at Hop’s back story and hidden talent—which has nothing to do with bedroom activity.

Do you have a rich dark chocolate bar stashed away, for the days that you want to savor its lush taste, as the flavors dance on your tongue and your endorphin’s are released, leaving you satisfied, until you need another hit some other day?

Kristen Ashley’s books are the equivalent to my personal stash of dark Godiva chocolate with the same results for my imagination and escapism at its best, with alpha hero’s that are in danger of melting my Kindle.

Romance novels that feature alpha hero’s, whose lifestyles and career choices reside in danger zones, add a fair share of suspense, with hold your breath thriller-type scenes. Mystery, suspense, gritty scenes, hard core villains and heart breaking pasts are all elements that the reader experiences in Kristen Ashley novels.

The main themes that are weaved throughout her novels are first and foremost: tough guys who will risk life and limb to protect their family, and the woman that has captured their heart and soul. Threaded through each book is compassion, all consuming love, protection, strong family commitment, close friendships—cosmo swigging female posse, who really are all the “shit” and back slapping, good natured ribbing of a band of bad ass brotherhood, that have each other’s backs.

It doesn’t matter if the hero belongs to a motorcycle club (like Hopper in FIRE INSIDE), or that he’s a commando with questionable business practices, a policeman, a night club owner with a questionable sideline business, or if the heroine is an interior decorator, business owner, a baker or sales mattresses.

Their careers are secondary to the main element that comes across in all Kristen Ashley books which are: love is not just a word it’s an active verb, support for family and friends, respect and loyalty. These traits come through loud and clear, especially under extreme conditions and they prevail throughout each of her books.

FIRE INSIDE embraces the above mentioned themes. While most of Kristen Ashley’s books contain villains and perilous situations, FIRE INSIDE focuses on Hop and Laine’s internal conflicts, emotional turmoil and this couple’s journey to building a family, accepting their past, coming to terms with their personal issues and struggling to make it all come together.

FIRE INSIDE features redemption along with the loyalty and other elements of the ongoing themes from the other series.

Kristen Ashley’s extreme alpha males are all brawn on the outside, however, their intelligence, wit and sweet side that the reader is fortunate to be made privy to, is guaranteed to melt the reader’s heart.

Hopper Kincaid is no exception. The Chaos MC member is dedicated to the club, his duties and above all he is committed to keeping his children loved, protected and cherished. During his time with Laine, he applies the same commitment and loyalty to her as well.

Often times the lines of communication are blurry and hurtful words and actions ensue, but like any other couple, Hop and Laine fight their way back to each other, sorting through all the angst and pain to find a common ground to help each other heal.

Hop and Laine’s relationship starts off with a lot of lust, no promises, no commitment, and protecting their own hearts. However, Hop is a complex character, with his own demons he’s had to battle, and his back story and the way he handled a major challenge and disappointment in his life, demonstrates that this man has integrity, a deep and honorable sense of responsibility and a strength and attraction that is not only due to just his gorgeous exterior, but to his unconditional love for his children, family, the brethren, friends and eventually to Laine.

Although Laine yearns for a family and love, she fights against it, because she has yet to face her demons. With Hop’s help she slowly releases the past, but not without a lot of angst, arguments and break-ups.

It is in their journey that the reader experiences how any two people can let go of the past, face challenges head on and put the pieces of their life and hearts back together again, even though it’s a bumpy, rocky road to happy ever after.

Readers will be pleasantly surprised to learn of one of Hop’s secret from his past. One that will have the reader smiling, cheering and visualizing it long after the book is finished.

I recommend you hop on—pun intended—to the back of Hopper’s motorcycle, wrap your arms around this bad ass, hot biker and get ready to immerse yourself in a hot and steamy ride, right from the first page to the last.

FIRE INSIDE will have you laughing at the witty dialogue we have all come to expect from a Kristen Ashley book—one of my favorite lines in the book, which had me laughing out loud:

Hop is telling Laine about Hawk (the hero in Mystery Man): “Hawk is a functioning lunatic.” 

KRISTEN ASHLEY’S GIVEAWAY

Ultimate Prize Winner to include:

  • Signed copies of Own the Wind and Fire Inside
  • Forever Swag Bag – Canvas tote bag to celebrate 10th Anniversary of Forever – Full of Forever books
  • $15 gift card to BN or Amazon
  • Rock Chick Bumper Sticker
  • Print copies of Rock Chick, Rock Chick Rescue and Rock Chick Redemption
  • 2nd Place – Signed copies of Own the Wind and Fire Inside
  • 3rd place – Signed copy of Fire Inside
  • 4th place – e-copy of Fire Inside
  • 5th place – ecopy of Fire Inside

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Going out for burrito’s with a hot cop!

“I’m payin’ and if you even open your mouth to argue with me, I’m gonna be forced to find a way to stop you from speaking.” — Kristy Wyatt’s favorite quote by Mitch Lawson (hero) from Law Man—Dream Man Series by Kristen Ashley.

This week we are going out to dinner with Mitch, Mara, Billy and Billie as they venture out on on their first outing for delicious burrito’s.

As Mitch said in the quote above, we can’t argue about who’s paying, which is not a problem, since we physically can’t go out to dinner with him…such a shame. However, I am offering up my version of a burrito for this Tasty Tuesday’s recipe (recipe below).

GIVEAWAY: Don’t miss out on the fabulous prizes Kristen Ashley is gifting to five lucky readers (details below).

WARNING: The discussion on this blog post and quotes from the book are of an explicit nature intended for adult audience only.

Review by Heidi Wiley

LAW MANMara Hanover never had any intention of telling her hot detective neighbor Mitch Lawson that she’s been in love with him for the past four years, but when a family crisis arises she has no choice but to turn to the man that knows the system and finds her dream man will do most anything to help her.

Law Man is the third release in the Dream Man series. This book had a different tone than the previous novels in the series.

Not only did Law Man center on the hot romance between Mara and Mitch, it also touched on the heartache endured by some in today’s society.

I loved how Kristen Ashley developed Mitch’s calm, caring attitude which made him as attractive as his looks, smarts and toughness. Mara’s willingness to give everything she had for her cousin’s children’s best interest was as heartwarming as the story it’s wrapped in.

Kristen Ashley writes this novel not only based on two lovers, but a circle of life that includes two adorable children that any reader will fall in love with.

As always, Kristen Ashley’s characters’ passion for one another is sexy hot, intense and makes us all wish our neighbors were as sexy as Detective Mitch Lawson.

I highly recommend Law Man and give it 5 Stars.

Heidi’s favorite quote: “You could cover up that nightie with a snowsuit, sweetheart, but you in my living room wearin’ nothing but that nightie is burned on my brain in a way that I like a fuckuva lot. So all I’m gonna see is you in that fuckin’ nightie no matter what you put on over it.”

“That’s insane,” I snapped.

“You’re not a guy,” he replied.

Gitte’s favorite: “I’ll go gentle, baby,” he whispered against my lips. “I promise. You’ll always be safe with me.”
“Mitch,” I breathed.
His soulful eyes held mine captive as he repeated firmly, “Always.”

“Never believed in this shit, but now, I’m thinkin’ I fell in love with the promise of you the first time I saw you.”

Kelly Bennett’s: Mitch talking to Mara: “Since I have your attention, baby, and I see you beatin’ your retreat, I want you to take this with you when you slide back into that cocoon. Straight up, Mara, I want you in my bed. And when you’re in my bed, I’m gonna be in you. And while I’m movin’ inside you, I’m gonna make you come with your long, fuckin’ legs wrapped around my back, when my hands are finally on that fantastic fuckin, ass of yours, your tongue’s in my mouth and you’re kissin’ me as only you can kiss me. I know you got a way of twistin’ shit so it’s fucked up in your brain so I’m hopin’ if I’m direct about just what I want from you, it might penetrate and you might keep it straight long enough to give us both what we’ve been wantin’ for a long fuckin’ time.”

Pat Fordyce’s: Mitch talking to the kids, Billy & Billie. “Donuts are a Sunday breakfast when you got nothin’ to do but watch cartoons. Oatmeal is a before school breakfast, when you gotta activate your brain.”

Selena’s favorite: Mitch Lawson is a hero that will melt any reader’s heart, especially when he is talking to the children as in the following two quotes I chose as my favorites:

“You sleep okay, sweetie?” Mitch asked.
“Miss my teddy,” Billie replied.
Personally, I thought Detective Mitch Lawson was far superior to a tiny pink teddy bear but I wasn’t six years old.

Mitch nodded. “Right. What I mean is, I didn’t fall in love with you all as a whole. I fell in love with each of you because of who you are. I don’t care about you because you come with Mara. I care about you because you’re a good kid. You’re smart. You’re loyal. And you love and look out for your sister and Mara. I know grown men who do not have a character as fine as yours. Those are the reasons I love you. There are different reasons I love Billie. And there are different reasons I love Mara. Today, what we had together was good. But the feelings I feel for you aren’t feelings I have to have in order to have Mara. They’re feelings you earned. Now, you with me?”

“I love you, Bud,” he whispered to Billy and two more tears escaped.

“I love you too, Mitch,” Billy whispered back, and my breath hitched and both males’ eyes came to me.

I waved my wineglass at them and murmured, “Don’t mind me. Have your moment.”

Mitch leaned back, letting Billy go and grinning at me. “Men don’t have moments.”

“You do,” I returned. “I’m witnessing one.”

“This isn’t a moment, honey, it’s a meeting of the minds,” Mitch contradicted me.

SELENA’S VERSION OF LAW MAN’s BURRITO’S

BURRITO

Ingredients:

Makes Two Burrito’s

6 ounces of cooked chicken breast, shredded

2 large spinach tortilla shells (gluten-free tortilla shells work as well)

½ roasted sweet red pepper, cut in strips

½ roasted sweet yellow pepper, cut in strips

½ cup plain Greek Yogurt

½ cup salsa

½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

½ cup sharp cheddar cheese

Olive oil

Directions:

Preheat oven 350 F

Lay parchment paper (or you can use a non-stick spray) on a baking sheet.

In a bowl add and mix together: Greek yogurt and salsa.

In another bowl add: shredded cooked chicken and roasted peppers and half of both cheeses.

Lay tortilla shell flat and in the center add equal amounts of the chicken mixture to each shell, then top off equal amounts of the Greek yogurt/salsa mixture.

Fold shells and lightly spray each one with olive oil.

Top with the remaining cheese and some salsa.

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes (until cheese is melted).

All dressed up and ready to go

Optional: Mash an avocado to use as a topping, adding a mixture of low-fat sour cream and Greek Yogurt and black olives.

BURRITO-2

KRISTEN ASHLEY’S GIVEAWAY

Ultimate Prize Winner to include:

  • Signed copies of Own the Wind and Fire Inside
  • Forever Swag Bag – Canvas tote bag to celebrate 10th Anniversary of Forever – Full of Forever books
  • $15 gift card to BN or Amazon
  • Rock Chick Bumper Sticker
  • Print copies of Rock Chick, Rock Chick Rescue and Rock Chick Redemption
  • 2nd Place – Signed copies of Own the Wind and Fire Inside
  • 3rd place – Signed copy of Fire Inside
  • 4th place – e-copy of Fire Inside
  • 5th place – ecopy of Fire Inside

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Spotlight and a Giveaway!

BANNER

I’m over at Totally Booked Blog today, answering interview questions and hosting a give-away.

Totally Booked is an awesome blog for book lovers, and like me, if you are an avid reader, they will be your go-to blog for book recommendations.

Click HERE to hop on over and enter to win ONE of TWO prizes.

 

 

Fabio Viviani the Chef who set his Grandma’s Kitchen on Fire

Re-posting this interview for the new blog followers.

This charismatic celebrity chef hates cilantro.

At seven years old, he set fire to his grandmother’s kitchen.

He explains why he reviewed his own cook book on Amazon. Bravo to  him, I say.

He gives us insight into reality television.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Fabio (Top Chef Contestant) on the phone. I wish I could have taped our conversation so you could all appreciate his wit, tongue-in-cheek sense of humor, infectious laughter, and warm personality all wrapped up with a delightful accent.

Here is a transcript of our conversation, (excluding all the laughter we both shared) plus a delicious easy-to-follow risotto recipe.

Selena: Fabio, thank you for taking time out of your schedule to to talk to me today. If you hear clicking, it’s because I’m typing at the same time we are chatting.


FABIO: Thank you, Selena. If you hear barking, that’s my dog. Please excuse the other noise too. My friends are here as we are making a Christmas breakfast American style. Hash browns, sausages, eggs, truffles, quiche.

Selena: You were one of my favorites on Top Chef. You were funny, easy going and your food looked scrumptious. I was disappointed when you left as I’m sure a lot of your fans were. It was a hamburger that sent you and your knives packing, have you made another hamburger since?

FABIO: Sure. I don’t know what those judges were talking about, my burger was delicious. Since that infamous hamburger episode, I have created another recipe to make the perfect Hamburger, not like the one i did on Top Chef. 

(The link to the hamburger recipe is at the end of the interview.)

Selena: Do the chefs have a feeling that they will have to face the judge’s table with the possibility of being told “pack your knives and go?”

FABIO: They don’t really know. We know if our dish is good or not. The quick fire and the elimination contest on Top Chef, well, you know, it’s not what I do for a living, I didn’t freak out during the show. Now, if I had to do Dancing With the Stars, then I would freak out.

Selena: How does it feel to stand in front of the esteemed judges as they either praise or tear down your culinary creation?

FABIO: I take critique as an opinion, I don’t take it personal. If someone comes into my restaurant and says they don’t like this dish, they want it made a different way, well, I just tell them; that’s how we make this dish. It’s their opinion and they are all entitled, but I’m not going to change how a dish is made. Hey, I say, how about you don’t order it and get something else instead.

Selena: (As I said, above, it’s really too bad this wasn’t tape recorded, because in saying this, he did not have any hint of arrogance, it was all tongue in cheek and said in a warm manner. I would bet, the customers love him even when he tells them he’s not about to change anything on his menu.)

Selena: I’m Italian as well, however there are two things that are common to Italians that I absolutely do not like. One is oregano and the other is coffee. Do you have any  food that you dislike?

FABIO: Not sure if you’re Italian, Selena. Cilantro. I hate Cilantro. I hate it so much that I would like to hang the person who invented it. If you don’t add enough or put one extra leaf of Cilantro it ruins your whole dish. I’m not a big fan of Peanut Butter. Otherwise, I eat pretty much eat anything.

Selena: What advice would you give someone who is going to be on a reality show?

FABIO: First piece of advice: Please, don’t cry on national television. No, don’t do it. Ever.

Keep your mouth shut and don’t say what you’re thinking out loud all the time.  My filter is medium to large mesh—not a good idea sometimes. Okay, most times. Good thing they edited a lot of our disagreements, because what you saw was only a small clip of what really goes on when we disagree with a judge or a guest judge.

Being on Top Chef was a great experience. A lot of positive came out of meeting everyone on the show, networking with different people and making new friends.

Selena: Do all the contestants get along?

FABIO: Yes. They’re all good people, good chefs. We don’t hang out as we are all very busy but when they come to town we get together.

Selena: When did your love affair with cooking start?

FABIO:  When I was seven years old, I set my grandma’s kitchen on fire by mistake. She said she better teach me to handle fire on the stove before I burn the whole town down. My grandmother taught me how to have a passion for food, cooking with simple ingredients.

Selena: As you know, I’m a romance author, sexy hero’s are part of the romance genre. What do you think about a hero who is a chef? Are chefs sexy?

FABIO: Well, I think I’m beautiful. My Mamma thinks I’m the best chef and the most gorgeous. But this is a tricky question. Let’s see, chefs sexy? They are passionate and that could  be sexy. They make delicious food and that’s sexy. 

Selena: Speaking of your Mamma, what does your family in Italy think of you being on Top Chef?

FABIO: They didn’t really understand the concept of the show. The show doesn’t air in Italy so they didn’t see it. When they visited me here I had taped some episodes and showed them. They were proud of me, you know, money, glory and as long as I’m happy in what I’m doing then they’re happy.

Selena: I got a smile at your Amazon page, where you give yourself a five star review. Good for you. Most fiction writers hesitate to even go to Amazon and look at reviews let alone give ourselves a pat on the back, which I think is admirable.

FABIO:  Well did you not think my book deserved 5 stars? 

Selena: Absolutely, I love your cook books. I share a lot of recipes on this blog so I know first hand how hard and challenging it is to write down the correct ingredients and instructions so that readers will find them easy to follow.

FABIO: Thank you for the compliment. See,  that’s why I gave myself 5 stars. Don’t worry about what people put on Amazon, it’s an opinion and every one has one and you can’t please them all anyway. 

Selena: Totally agree with you. No matter what you write in a book, it’s so subjective that it’s virtually impossible to please every single reader – or cook in your case.

So much fun talking to you, Fabio, I wish we had more time, and it’s too bad I don’t have the technology to have this conversation on audio for my readers, I think they would have enjoyed your wit and especially your infectious laugh.

FABIO’s CRANBERRY RISOTTO Recipe:

Ingredients

4 oz of fresh or frozen cranberries

2 tbsp of butter

4oz of diced pancetta

half onion diced till caramelized

2 handfuls of rice

4 cups of stock

1 tbsp of cranberry sauce

salt and pepper

shaved parmesan

Directions:

Cook 4oz of fresh or frozen cranberry in 2 tbsp of butter with 4oz of diced pancetta and half onion diced till caramelized, sauté 2 handfuls of rice in it and add little by little about 4 cups of stock, add also 1 tbsp of cranberry sauce towards the end and a pinch of salt and pepper, top with shaved parmesan. Enjoy!

Links to Fabio’s videos, website, books, cooking classes:

FIRST INTERNET COOKING CLASS – FABIO’S KITCHEN ACADEMY

DON’T WINE TV WITH FABIO, Fun, Entertaining & Educational

COOKING CLASSES – BLOG

EASY RECIPES BY CATEGORY

YOUTUBE VIDEOS – Entertainment at its best!

FABIO’S WEBSITE