Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Guild Hunter Series’ Category

APlacewithBriar

 

It’s a special thing – setting a romance in the same small, coastal town you grew up in and fell in love in yourself. My Harlequin Superromance novel, A Place With Briar, is a bit of a tribute to life on the U.S. Gulf Coast where I’ve spent over half my life. And, naturally – everything about this place and the people who live here have informed who I am and those who came before me.

 

But today I’m going to talk about one of the big downfalls about settling down on the southern coast. That is hurricane season. I’ve experienced quite a bit of tropical weather – from tropical storms to Category 3 hurricanes. (Anything bigger than Cat. 3 usually means RUN!) While rewriting this book, I came to the middle of the manuscript and thought, “Something’s missing….” The inn where most of the story takes place is on the Eastern Shore of the Mobile Bay, which feeds into the Gulf of Mexico. It also takes place during June, the first month of hurricane season. I came to the swift conclusion that unfortunately what this manuscript needed was a named storm. It helped that at that moment there just happened to be a tropical storm by the name of Lee sitting on top of our area. It was all the inspiration I needed.

 

The situation was ideal for that point in the storyline. The hero and heroine are stuck inside the inn together. The power’s out. There’s not much they can do but wait it out. Grab a little bit of comfort from each other, of course. Hurricanes can be a harrowing, especially if you live in the direct impact zone….

 

Late in the summer of 2004, my family was enjoying the sun on one of our local, white-sand beaches. At that same moment, hundreds of miles away from impact, Hurricane Ivan was gathering strength and speed in the middle of the Gulf. The high-cresting waves were the only indication that a natural disaster would occur in a few days’ time. While wading on the shore, I watched a small shark’s tail pop out of the surf as it fought the rough tide. Days later, the eye of Ivan made landfall less than a mile from where we had been enjoying the beach. While accessing the wreckage with my husband in his Jeep, I was heartbroken. Our beaches were ripped to shreds. Water had crashed inland, flooding nearly the entire island of Gulf Shores. Sand had been pushed into the lower levels of high-rise condos, which along with miles of beach-houses were reduced to rubble on their Gulf-facing facades. Costs for damage was far into the millions. Several acquaintances lost their homes. National Guard patrols took over the streets to catch looters and enforce strict curfews for those who were able to return home. For two weeks, the region felt like a war zone. Aside from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, it was the worst beating Alabama beaches have taken in my lifetime.

 

It was important for me to show that neither of my characters were foolish for staying in the Category 3 storm’s path, they were respectful and cautious enough of the potential of a hurricane this size, and that they were prepared for the worst. On another level, as all frightening experiences go, the storm gives the hero and heroine a chance to mend the emotional bridges between them and bond as only survivors can. It gives them an added push toward one another and fuels them in their quest to clean up the damage the storm leaves behind. It also forges a deeper part of their relationship, enabling me to get them from the middle of the storyline to the third act climax and finally to their well-deserved HEA.

 

Here’s a little storm snippet from A Place With Briar, which is on shelves now in stores and online….

 

It didn’t take long for the wind to start howling. First it came as a kettle whistle. Then it strengthened into a steady, wolfish wail, interrupted only by brunt gusts that tossed limbs against the side of the house. The inn began to groan loudly, as if the storm’s elements made it feel its age like never before.

 

Driving sheets of rain drilled the Eastern Shore in sporadic bands. One minute the wind was all that existed, the next stinging nettles of water pounded the roof.

 

As the night wore on, it escalated. Endless wind, endless rain coupled with several hotspots in the fast-moving clouds. Then the sky rumbled its fury and deadly bolts forked overhead, illuminating the hampered world with blinding, white light.

 

And finally, the hail. The clouds littered rocks of ice on the bay. As soon as Briar heard their chilling cacophony, she knew Hurricane Brett was closing in.

 

The power lasted longer than she would’ve wagered, but when it shut down, it did so without a warning flicker. The house fell dead around her. There’d been no television or radio on, no noise inside the house. But without the fan spinning above her, without the drone of the air conditioner or the refrigerator, and without the comfort of light, she felt little between the storm and herself.

 

The generator growled, hesitated then roared. Lantern in hand, Briar waited to make sure it would keep running. Satisfied, she picked up several lengths of ready extension cord and unraveled it as she made her way toward the kitchen.

 

It took a minute to wrestle the refrigerator away from the wall, but once she put her back into it, it scraped across the floor with a shriek. First cord in hand, she unplugged the fridge and fit the cable into the extension. A spark from the surge between the two zapped her palm and she dropped both with a clatter, cradling her numbed hand as the fridge hummed to life.

 

“Are you all right?”

 

Heart launching into her throat, she pressed her back to the wall, blood draining from her head as she glanced up into what she thought for a moment was the face of a ghost. Then she blew out a shuddering breath. “Oh, dear God, Cole. Where did you come from?”

 

“Upstairs,” he said, pointing toward the ceiling. At her blank look, he added, “I…never left.”

 

“Your motorcycle’s gone,” she pointed out, puzzled.

 

“I moved it onto the side porch. I thought that would keep it out of the worst of the storm.”

 

As she struggled to her feet, holding her numbed hand in the other, she frowned at him. “Why didn’t you leave?”

 

He lowered his eyes, lifted a shoulder. “I couldn’t leave you here. All alone in this.”

 

Blurb:

 

He’s in some serious trouble…. 

 

Cole Savitt does not want to deceive Briar Browning. But if he hopes to see his son again, he has to find the weaknesses in her charming bed-and-breakfast, then get out of town fast! But the quaint inn isn’t the only thing charming him….

 

Cole’s straightforward plan becomes anything but when he begins to fall for the beautiful innkeeper. Suddenly everything’s on the line—his future with his son, a chance at happiness and the love of a good woman. Cole must rethink his priorities…and the stakes have never been higher.

 

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Place-Briar-Mills-Boon-Superromance-ebook/dp/B00FTQIM64/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392412584&sr=8-1&keywords=a+place+with+briar

 

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-place-with-briar-amber-leigh-williams/1117254426?ean=9781460329351

 

Harlequin: http://www.harlequin.com/storeitem.html?iid=51153

 

www.amberleighwilliams.com

http://twitter.com/ALeighWilliams

http://www.facebook.com/amberleighwilliams

 

~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~

Amber will be giving away a $15 Books-a-Million gift card to one lucky reader. Leave a comment for a chance to win.

Read Full Post »

Hi. My name is Lissa and I bake. I’ve been baking for years and… Oh wait, this isn’t Baker’s Anonymous, is it? Well damn. I even prepared this whole speech thing, too. You’ll listen to it, though right? Good… As I was saying, my name is Lissa and I bake. I bake a lot. It’s my stress relief, my creative zone, my feeling of accomplishment, and my family loves the results. I get 5-star reviews from them all the time and never have I gotten less than… 😉 They are so much easier than readers in that capacity.

However, I have something even those readers out there who can’t help giving out 2-star reviews will love. Truffles. Oreo Cookie Truffles at that. I mean, who doesn’t LOVE Oreos. And if you say you’re one of those rare persons, well, there’s just no hope for you. For the majority of us though, say it with me. Oreo. Cookie. Truffles.

Just saying it makes you want it, huh? I know, me too. They are decadent and they are so easy… It just doesn’t get any easier.

Now, I have to warn you, the pictures here are not my truffles. Why? Because the extreme heat here in the South made it almost impossible to get you even halfway decent image. But pretty or not, they tasted divine and… Well, just know there are none left.

 

Ingredients:

1 package Double Stuffed Oreos (I used half a package of Double Stuffed and half a package of Triple Double Oreos)

4 0z softened cream cheese (you can use 8oz if you want, but with 4oz, it’s a better consistency)

Melted Chocolate for dipping (you can use Candy Melts from the craft store, or the candy coating chocolate in the grocery stores, I used White Chocolate Chips)

Crush and pulverize cookies into course crumbs. You can do this with your hands, a rolling pin and a gallon size freezer bag, or in the food processor. Transfer to a large bowl, add softened cream cheese, then…dig in. Mix and mash with your fingers until all combined. The heat from your hands will soften the cream cheese and cream filling from the cookies even more. Scoop with a spoon or small cookie scoop and roll into balls. Place the truffles on a wax paper or parchment paper sheet on a cookie pan. Freeze for at least 15 min.

To melt the chips:

1-2 T vegetable shortening

1 package White Chocolate chips

This can be done in the microwave, but you must check it every 15-20 seconds and stir until melted. Or, it can be done in a glass bowl placed over a simmering pot of water as a double boiler, if you don’t have one. Make sure bowl doesn’t touch the water and that the water doesn’t boil. Again, stir until the chips and shortening are melted and combined well. Remove from heat.

Take the truffles out of the freezer and using a dipping tool, two forks, or even a skewer, dip the truffle balls into the melted chocolate then set back on the cookie pan. Let set until hardened.

Then, enjoy! With a glass of milk, coffee, or beverage of your choice.

The photo above is courtesy of Bakerella. The recipe has been adapted from Kraft. Bliss is all on you!

The purpose of truffle recipes on this stop as well as the other stops on my blog tour is because my heroine, Jane is a truffle maker. And her truffles play a big role in my book Melting Jane.

Graham Hall is a twenty-six year old Texan with the job of his dreams. He’s just finished his latest travel article and has earned some personal down time. With six months left on his cabin lease in the Colorado Rockies, Graham chooses to stick around and soon finds himself set up with a feisty, down on her luck in the love department candy maker named Jane.

Jane hates driving in the mountains in winter and isn’t used to being outside the kitchen, but when she arrives at the small isolated cabin and gets a look at it’s tenant, she quickly forgets all about that. Jane is tongue-tied and ticked off. She’s been tricked.

Confrontations, slamming doors, and an extra cheese pizza later, Graham is caught up in Jane’s tart tongue and curvy body. She denies her desire for him more times than she can count, and when she finally gives in, she is rewarded with scorching hot sex and a bliss she couldn’t have imagined for herself.

Graham’s persistence and unrelenting pursuit leads Jane to believe that maybe life doesn’t have to revolve around chocolate truffles, but rather should revolve around a delicious, well traveled, sexy younger man.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | All Romance eBooks

I will be giving away a copy of Melting Jane to one commentor who answer the question… What is your favorite Oreo?

Thank you for having me and letting me share a yummy recipe with you. If you wish to find out more about me, please visit me in one or all of the following places: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

Living in North Carolina, talented, multi-published author, Lissa Matthews, has many loves in her life: Family, friends, NASCAR, football, music of all kinds, cooking, BDSM, and last, but not least, coffee. She loves it so much, in fact, she and those who know her are surprised she hasn’t floated away on a caffeine-induced cloud while giving life to feisty heroines and hunky heroes.

Read Full Post »

One last book giveaway. This one is sponsored by the publisher, so a huge THANK YOU to Penguin/Berkley! 🙂 ANGEL’S FLIGHT by Nalini Singh, part of her Guild Hunter series. Comes out February 28, 2012.

In Angel’s Wolf a vampire becomes fascinated with the seductive angel who rules Louisiana. But all is not what it appears to be in her court.

In Angels’ Judgment a hunter must track one of her own gone bad, while surviving the deadly tests placed in her way by the archangels themselves. Unexpected backup comes from a stranger who might just be the most lethal threat of all…

Plus FIRST TIME IN PRINT

In Angels’ Pawn a vampire hunter faces off against two rival factions and the angel manipulating them both, and a vampire whose help is not entirely selfless…

And NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED

In Angels’ Dance an angel trapped in the mountain stronghold of the Refuge finds herself under siege by a warrior angel from a martial court.

Giveaway is open to all and winner will be announced on Sunday, February 19th. Just leave a comment to be in the running to win it. Good Luck!!

Read Full Post »