from my current Work In Progress, It Happened One Christmas. I’m about 43,500 words into it and plan to end at around 50k. This is the home stretch…..
This romance is about a widowed writer and a fiery woman who end up sharing a rented cottage over Christmas. They grudgingly decide to share until they can reach the owner, and sparks.. and kisses… fly..
She couldn’t speak. Couldn’t tell him no; didn’t want to, and couldn’t do anything but nod, just once, as he pulled her into a hot, ferocious kiss.
His mouth was eager against hers, and when his tongue traced her lips to part them, she opened willingly, giving as good as she got.
<more descriptive kissing>
“Ava” he murmured, almost too softly for her to hear, and then she felt his mouth on her neck, at the thudding pulse point below her jaw. Pleasure ricocheted through her as he captured her lips once more, his stubble grazing her skin.
She threaded her arms around his neck and pulled him closer to their bodies were flush, and a little thrill wove through her at feeling him, hot and heavy, pressing against her lower belly. She almost arched up against him, but when his fingers crept under the hem of her sweater to stroke her bare skin, reality – and sanity – flashed their ugly faces.
Not without a bucket of regret, she broke the kiss. “Stop.”
To his credit, he dropped his hands, and stepped away, giving her a little space, a little breathing room.
Ava pushed her hands through her hair, breathing hard. She knew she was probably just spreading flour all through the blonde strands, but right now, what the hell. She had far bigger problems than needing a hairwash.
“Daniel… I don’t think we should do this. I…. I don’t want a casual relationship for what, a few days? We might part ways after we get hold of Pippa, and then never see each other again.”
He seemed to consider this for a long moment, and nodded. “All right. I must admit, I can’t see into the future, and I don’t want you to think that I would ever force you into anything you didn’t want.”
“I don’t think that, and you haven’t.” She rubbed a hand up and down her arm, missing his touch already, feeling cold, bereft. “I just don’t want either of us to enter into something that we might not end up wanting.”
That you might not end up wanting, she added silently. She wanted him so much that her entire body ached from it; what a kiss!
She might not like him that much, but she wanted him a whole lot. Wasn’t that strange?
Not strange. Just chemistry; just pure science.
“I understand.” He held her gaze for another hot, loaded second before he took the knife on the table and started chopping up the chicken without further comment.
Ava took a deep breath and allowed herself to shiver once he’d turned away.
If he could be unaffected then so could she. Maybe.
She took another deep breath and tried to concentrate on the pastry.
Great, just great. The first man she’d met in a year who made her turn into a gibbering wreck of desire, and a) she didn’t like him, and in addition b) he was very unlikely to be in her life for more than the next few days.
Hi everyone. I hope your Christmas was wonderful, and that you spent time with friends and family, and that if you had gifts, they were everything you hoped for.
All the gifts I gave were well received, so I’m very happy!
I’m currently working on a Christmas-themed novel, It Happened One Christmas to hopefully submit to Harlequin Mills and Boon. I’ve dreamed of being on their books for years, so, cross your fingers for me!
In the meantime, to keep myself going for the last 9,000 word stretch, I needed some inspirational quotes and I wanted to share them with you.
Welcome Karenna, to my blog. Today Karenna is going to talk about priorities, and about her new release, Knot Intended.
Read on to find out more….
In the beginning of most relationships, everything’s new and shiny, and it’s easier to keep our focus on our partner. The relationship is the most important thing in our life.
But after a while, the shiny starts to wear off. We still love our partner; maybe we even love them more than in the beginning. We start a life together and figure the relationship will stay strong because we’re settling in with each other.
Settling in isn’t necessarily a good thing, though. In the process of building a life, sometimes we lose sight of the love and excitement we had at first. Even though the relationship is naturally going to change over time, it’s important to work on keeping things at least a little bit shiny.
In my novella Knot Intended, Nolie and Joseph have only been married a few years, but their shiny has worn off. Both work hard at their careers, and sometimes they barely see each other because of their schedules. They make an effort to keep sex in their relationship, but it’s become an afterthought.
Both of them want to regain their excitement, but neither is sure how to do it until Joseph comes up with an idea. One that Nolie thinks is completely unrealistic—until she takes time to think it over. And when she agrees, the results are better than they expected.
Knot Intended releases November 18 from Loose Id, http://www.loose-id.com/knot-intended.html. Here’s the blurb and a short excerpt:
Nolie and Joseph have a good marriage. They’re still in love, have everything they need, and their careers are in good shape. But lately their sex life and time together has taken a back seat. One morning, Joseph brings up the changes in their sex life and expresses a desire to spice things up. With his encouragement, Nolie confesses her darkest fantasy: Being kidnapped, bound, and “forced” to have sex with her “captor.”
She assumes Joseph will forget the fantasy or decide it’s better off left as something to talk about, but a week later, Joseph brings Nolie’s fantasy into reality. Nolie is not only excited about the role play, but Joseph’s willingness to fulfill her fantasy reminds her of how much they love each other and how much priority they need to put on their marriage.
A man wearing a ski mask and mirrored sunglasses stood beside a scattering of broken glass. The sliding door was wide open.
Nolie clapped her hand over her mouth, stifling a scream. Her legs shook so badly she couldn’t turn away to run.
Even if they had cooperated, she was frozen.
Someone was in her house, and she was alone with him.
As she stood there, unable to move and with thoughts whirling through her head, the intruder lunged across the room and grabbed her. “You’re coming with me, bitch.”
His voice was little more than a low growl in her ear, but she recognized it. She had heard it every day for years.
Nolie took a deep breath and tried to calm herself. Excitement warred with fear and adrenaline within her. Joseph had left work early. He hadn’t forgotten their talk. And now he was going through with his plan.
She never would have expected her quiet, sedate husband to go so far to fulfill her fantasy. He had broken the fucking glass door just to take her.
Jesus. He’s really doing this. She shivered. The cool wind rushing through the door was only part of the cause. A very small part.
Mostly, she shook from arousal stronger than any she’d felt in a long while. This was the hottest thing Joseph had ever done.
Karenna Colcroft’s website: http://www.karennacolcroft.com
OK, hands up. Who here is a NaNoer? You know when you are… the late nights.. the coffee-fuelled writing… the urge to edit that you must ignore or face finishing late or not at all…. It’s here and we’re 8 days in.
I am 15,000 words down, so that means at least 35,000 words to go – although I’d like my novel to be longer than 50k ideally – 50k is a short novel, however, it certainly does not feel like that when you’re penning it!
I thought I’d share an excerpt from my shakily titled novel in progress, This Time Around:
Venice showed its true beauty at night, rosy-pink streetlamps casting their light into the gently fogged evening air. Street musicians crowded the narrow alleyways between cafes and shops, strumming guitars, one playing the delicate notes of a harp.
Jack paid the bill for their food and they left the cosy restaurant they’d been eating at in the piazza. They had enjoyed perfectly cooked prawn risotto and rabbit cacciatore, he flavours complemented by a carafe of blood-red wine. Afterwards, the grey-haired waitress, her face lined with years of laughter and a life of Italian food, presented them with a perfectly round, camembert-sized blood orange and chocolate cake, with a hint of bittersweetness. The taste had lingered on Verity’s tongue long after the last bite – as she knew the taste of Jack would.
The restaurant was small and charming in a very threadbare, locals-favourite way, and Verity was surprised at Jack’s choice – she hadn’t pictured him for a small family restaurant sort of man. Then she had to mentally smack herself again. It was just Jack. Her Jack.
The thought left a very sour taste in her mouth. He wasn’t hers anymore – and even if he was, it was just for this week.
Jack lifted her Chinese-print bolero from the back of her wicker chair and held it out for her to slip her arms into. She sighed with pleasure, and swept all thoughts of next week from her mind. Again, she thought: he’s mine this week, and I’ll have him any way I can get him.
“What now?” she asked, looking up into his sky-blue eyes, deep as the ocean. She wanted to lose herself in those eyes and never come out again.
“How about a drink?”
“Sounds nice.” She didn’t want to go back to their hotel yet. They had separate rooms, but she didn’t know if she was ready to take this week to its natural progression just yet or not – she just didn’t want to leave his side, just yet. The night was young, after all, and Venice seemed like a city which slept little and partied until sunrise.
They meandered through the narrow, cobbled streets of Venice. Many of the shops were still open, tourists mingling around and inside them, buying masterfully piped meringues and tempting bags of biscotti. A shop selling the famed Murano glass twinkled under the watchful eye of the streetlamps, and Verity stopped to gaze in wonder at the window display: tiny glass gondolas with perfect glass gondoliers; necklaces with beautiful pink and gold accents, like the sun setting on a Venetian canal; cats and dogs and all other manner of animals, perfectly depicted in glass, with such talent that Verity expected one to come alive at any moment.
“Shall we go in?” Jack asked.
She shook her head. She couldn’t afford Murano glass, and she didn’t want Jack to think she expected him to buy anything for her just because he earned so much money.
They left the glittering window and passed jewellery shops and bakeries; sweet shops and fine leatherwork shops. Jack stopped to eye up a suit in a fine tailor’s shop and Verity looked up at him.
“It reminds me of you in your your James Bond films.”
He grinned crookedly. “Liked them, did you?”
She shrugged, but she couldn’t hide her smile. “You fill out a suit all right, I suppose. Why did you give it up? You only did two.”
“I didn’t want to be typecast. It’s a danger.” He studied the display a few seconds more, then tugged at her hand. “Come on. Let’s sample the delights of Venetian alcohol, shall we?”
They came to a bacari – the Venetian term for a little bar or pub – and perused the chalkboard outside. People inside seemed to be a variety – locals, tourists, families with children, despite the late hour. Tables scattered outside into a small piazza. Nearby, outside an ink and parchment shop, two elderly men played violas under a rosy streetlamp.
“Here?” Jack asked.
A waiter came out just as Jack removed his hat, and expressed shock and delight. He cried a stream of Italian, punctuated by the names of Jack’s films. Verity took a few photos for them, and the waiter insisted that everything would be on the house. Jack refused several times, but finally relented, and the waiter’s face lit up.
“Do you always get things free?” Verity asked, amazed. She’d never ever been privy to this sort of life before.
“Not always.” He leaned back in his chair, looking at home outside this tiny venetian bacari as he would in a five star hotel in London. The light evening breeze ruffled his dark blonde hair, and Verity itched to touch it. “I usually give them something anyway. Why should I get things for free when others have nothing?”
He’d been one of those others, Verity knew.
The waiter served their cocktails, an Americano for Jack and a Bellini for Verity. She took a sip; the peachy liquid danced on her tastebuds.
She leaned forward, cupping her chin in her palm. “What happened, Jack? How did you come to be so famous? I’ve never read about it.”
His face clouded over. “I’ve taken great pains for my origins not to have come out,” he replied, looking down into his drink. She thought he wouldn’t add anymore, but he finally said, “After you left, I… I decided to go to New York.”
His tone told Verity he’d missed out something, but she didn’t push him. “And?”
“And I scraped my fee into a small drama school, nothing fancy, by waiting tables and doing other odd jobs. Night security guard, short order cook, that sort of thing.”
Her heart clenched at the thought of Jack, eighteen, alone in such a huge city as New York, with very little money. “Where did you live?”
“Hostels at first.” He looked past her, his eyes unfocused. “Then I rented a room from one of the women who ran the drama academy. Slowly but surely, I started getting parts in small US TV dramas. I moved back to London – I missed my mother, and her health had declined. Small British parts led to a speaking role in that disaster movie, Unstoppable.”
Verity remembered it. She’d gone to see it on a date in London one night, not knowing Jack had been cast, or even what had happened to her first love, although she’d thought about him most days, and still did. When he had appeared on screen, even though he’d been bearded and had dyed his hair a dull brass, she recognised him. Dear God, she’d almost lost it right there in the cinema; so happy that he was alive and well. Her date had gone downhill after that, and, now that she thought about it, most dates since.
She had never gotten over Jack.
The knowledge slammed into her like a freight train as they sat drinking cocktails on that small street in Venice.
Oh, God. What would she do if, after this week, he walked away back to his glittering world of supermodels, champagne, and fast cars. Because he surely would. Movie stars married other movie stars, not normal people.
“How is your mother?” she asked, rather than dwelling on her gloomy thoughts.
“Fine. I bought her a house. She misses me, but at least she’s out of that place.”
Verity knew without asking that he meant the rundown housing estate Jack had grown up on. Most everyone there had dropped out of school, or had never went, and spoke with a strong Sussex accent. It was incredible that Jack had retained such an unaccented British voice, and she told him so.
A smile ghosted around his sinfully attractive mouth. “I might never have told you this, but when I was young, my mother sat me in front of our television and told me I needed to speak like the bbc newsreaders did.”
So that was why he’d been so well spoken, even as a teenager. “I bet you got bullied for that in school.”
“I did. But I suppose I got the last laugh,” he said dryly.
“And you’re happy now?”
He lifted his drink and took a sip, but before he could answer, the waiter reappeared with a small olivewood board, covered in tiny, artistically prepared snacks. He explained that they were anchovy and chickpea crostini, and had been especially prepared for Jack and his ladyfriend.
Jack thanked the man and he and Verity tucked in. The saltiness of the fish coupled with the earthy chickpea flavour bounched around her mouth. The flavour of the Bellini coasted over it all, filling her nose and mouth with the delicious taste of Venice and its delights.
In the background, the viola players struck up a soothing waltz, and Verity let the city envelope her in its seductive cocoon.
I made this on Monday for the husband’s 29th birthday, and it came out really soft and moist. Just make sure you blend the beetroot enough; I ended up with little chunks of beet inside the cake, which was OK, but perhaps not to everyone’s taste.
- 125g butter, plus extra for greasing
- 100g dark chocolate, broken into chunks
- 250g plain flour
- 500g white sugar
- 5 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- 100g natural yogurt
- 200g cooked beetroot in natural juices (not vinegar)
- 4 tbsp or 2 x 28ml bottle red food colouring
For the icing I used a tub of Betty Crocker Vanilla frosting. You could use whatever flavour you like. I used about 2/3 of the tub.
- Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Make the first batch of sponges by greasing and lining 2 x 20cm round tins. Gently melt half the butter and chocolate together in a saucepan. Mix half the flour, sugar, cocoa, bicarb and ¼ tsp salt in a large mixing bowl. Whizz one egg and half the yogurt and beetroot in a food processor or blender until fairly smooth. Put the kettle on.
- Tip the beetroot mix into the dry ingredients along with the melted chocolate mixture and 100ml boiling water, then stir to combine. Stir in half the food colouring, if using, and divide the mixture between the tins. Bake for 25 mins until a skewer poked into the centre comes out clean. Leave the cakes on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Ice if desired and decorate with piped chocolate/sweets. Sandwich strawberries in the middle with jam or icing, if liked. I find strawberries make it more decadent.
It’s Wednesday, everyone! Half way through the working week….
If you’re a writer, do you take part in #1linewed ? I love reading what everyone can cram into 140 characters. Seatch for #1linewed on Twitter for inspiration!
On to your weekly Hump Day post…
This Hump Day is taken from my latest short story, Purrsuasion, about a cheeky, underwear stealing cat, who helps two neighbours see that they’d be just purrfect for each other!
With a growl of pleasure, he captured her mouth again, kissing her so fiercely she felt dizzy from it. His tongue toyed with hers, brushing the sensitive roof of her mouth. Then he pulled back, nipping at her lips.
His hands stroked her back and one snaked around to her front. His hot palm slid up her ribcage and brushed her breast lightly. Even through the fabric of her bra, his touch set her senses ablaze.
“I love your breasts.” His gaze met hers and then dropped to watch his own hand fondle her nipple to a hard peak. “Your curves are fantastic.”
Constance thrilled at his words. She loved her curves; some men, like Adam, preferred a skinnier model.
Aaron gently pushed her chocolate cake aide and then lifted her up to sit on the worktop, his heated breath fanning the sensitive skin of her neck and chest, and she no longer cared what Adam did or did not want.
“Just a moment.” He quickly crossed to the sink and reached up to pull the cord that closed the venetian shutter style blinds. “I don’t want anything to interrupt this.” When he came back to her, he kissed her hotly, his hand once again stroking her breast until it felt full and heavy. “I’ve daydreamed about having you like this.”
This swarthy, heavenly package of a man had daydreamed about her? Constance’s stomach filled with joy and butterflies. “You do wonders for my ego.”
“Hopefully I’ll stroke more than your ego.”
Her heart thumped. It felt like it was in her throat. She could only nod as he kissed her again, the taste of him running through her system like a drug. His nimble fingers started on the first button of her dress, revealing her skin.
* * *
If you enjoyed that, you can read more about Aaron, Constance and Jeffrey in Purrsuasion, one of the two stories in Love, Meow – a book about men who love cats!
Buy at Amazon
Buy at ARe
Today I’m pleased to host wonderful author Naomi Bellina, with whom I share anthology Love, Meow.
Top Five Reasons to Date a Cat Shapeshifter!
Meet Nathan, a man turned into a lion shapeshifter against his will. He’s learned to live with the condition but he isn’t seeking a relationship. Who would want to be with a guy like him? Paige, that’s who. Even though they get off on the wrong paw, er, foot, once she gets to know him, she’s delightfully surprised. Not only is he sexy as hell, he’s smart and courageous. She sees so many good qualities in Nathan, especially after he helps locate her missing brother, she decides he’s the man for her.
If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, here are five good reasons to consider dating a cat shapeshifter:
1. They’ve got your back. Your cat will protect you from danger, always. It’s what they’re good at and your shifter has a set of sharp claws and even sharper teeth to put at your disposal.
2. Cats have nine lives. Even though your guy puts himself in danger, he’ll make it out of any situation alive. Unless he’s a total daredevil and uses up all his lives quickly, he’ll be around for a long time.
3. Cats land on their feet. Not only will he make it out alive, he’ll be ready to head off on the next adventure. Cats like movement and action so your shifter will be standing there with a smile on his face, ready to tackle the next fool who messes with him.
4. They go after what they want. If they’re hunting bad guys, they will catch their prey. If he has his sights set on you, you’ll know it. Don’t try to resist.
5. Cats are playful. After the serious work of hunting is done, it’s time for fun and games. Your shifter needs recreation and you will be the happy recipient of his attention.
Here’s information about One Hot Cat, one of the fabulous stories in Love, Meow.
When Paige opens her mail to discover naked photos she did not willingly pose for and a blackmail letter, she turns to her hot new neighbor, a detective, for help. If he finds her missing brother, she can pay back the scumbag who’s threatening her. Nathan agrees, only because Paige is connected to the man he’s trying to locate and he needs her information. As they track down her brother and a missing man with a gambling problem, passion flares between Paige and Nathan. Neither of them are ready for a relationship, but their bodies disagree and the two enjoy a lustful encounter. Though Nathan does not want to reveal his shape shifter identity, his temper gets the best of him and Paige discovers his true self. Can they work past the obstacles in their path and find their way to love?
He made them keep their lights off until they were in the cave, insisting he could see fine in the dark. Sure enough, he picked his way from a hidden spot where they had parked to the path that led to the entrance. Paige followed as best she could, knowing she slowed him down. It was uncanny how well he navigated in the darkness.
When she stumbled slightly, Nathan took her hand and led her the rest of the way. Though she tried to concentrate on their task, the feel of Nathan’s skin on hers sent her mind to another place. His hand was slightly rough and his grip firm. She’d done her best not to pay attention to him in any kind of sexual way, but it was no use. The man oozed sex appeal like cream from an éclair.
No way. No way would she act on this desire. He was just like all the other men she’d ever met, out for a good time, not wanting to make a commitment. Hell, the last man she’d allowed into her life just a tiny bit ended up raking her over the coals. Remembering the horrible photos sent a shudder through her body.
“Are you cold?” Nathan asked.
Not only could he see in the dark, his other senses seemed extraordinarily acute.
“No, I’m fine. Hey, I think we’re here.”
They easily climbed over the chain at the cave entrance and stepped inside. The smell of sulfur hit her immediately. She’d read about the healing properties of the water in this area and though vacationing at the spas was out of her budget now, she hoped to one day be able to enjoy the benefits of French Lick.
She flicked on the flashlight and looked around. The beam was strong enough to reveal a good portion of the cavern but she couldn’t see very far ahead. Far enough to know she was surrounded by rock walls.
“Let’s get out of here as soon as possible, okay?” she asked.
“Yeah, I am.”
“Shine your light here. I’ll be done in a minute.”
She directed the flashlight beam on Nathan and watched as he reached into his pocket and pulled out the vial and tool Sam had given him. He scraped the wall of the cave until the container was full.
“That’s good. Let’s go,” he said.
They were almost at the entrance when he stopped moving and put out his arm.
“There’s something out there.”
He shoved her against the wall and stood in front of her, covering her body with his.
“What are you doing? Get off of me!”
Like her anxiety level needed to be cranked up a notch further. It was stifling enough in the enclosed cavern, she didn’t need a large man crushed up against her.
“It’s probably just an animal. I don’t want it to pick up your scent,” he said and moved even closer.
She squirmed, trying to get free.
“What about your scent?” she asked, her voice muffled by his chest.
His hard chest that smelled really, really good.
“My scent will scare it away.”
“Oh, you’re so badass, animals run when they get a whiff of you? Back off, you’re squashing me.”
“Could you please be quiet for a few minutes?”
He eased away slightly but was still close enough she could feel his heart beat, and something else. Oh great. Just what this night needed.
Really? Was that really a hard-on pressed against her stomach? She was pretty sure they had the flashlights in their hands and no one had brought bananas along on this trip.
Should she say something, try to ease the tension? No, he’d just told her to pipe down. Wow, that was one hard cock. Would it get bigger?
Bad idea. Don’t. Leave it alone.
Paige couldn’t resist. Moving slowly back and forth and raising slightly, she rubbed against his pelvis.
Yep, it got bigger. Nathan sucked in his breath and moaned, low and deep in his throat. She wasn’t thinking about the walls closing in any more. The only thought in her mind was how good it would feel to have him inside her. Rising up higher on her tiptoes, she aligned her pelvis with his. Now when she rubbed, his erection hit her right on her clit and sent sparks of pleasure along her spine.
“What are you doing?” he growled in her ear.
There was no other word for it, he growled.
“You started it,” she said.
“I did no such thing.”
“Oh yes you did, pushing that hard cock on me.” Her breath came faster now as she continued to rub against him.
“It was an accident,” he said, but his hands were on her ass as he pulled her towards him.
So little light came in, her vision was nearly useless. All she was aware of was Nathan’s touch and his ragged breathing. That, and his scent, one she couldn’t identify but filled her nostrils and made her pussy clench. Was it possible to come like this?
Then his mouth was on her, lips hard and searching. Her arms went around his neck, fingers twining in his hair.
Holy shit, this man could kiss. Not awkward and painful, crushing her mouth, but demanding, coaxing a response from her. She gladly gave it, meeting his tongue with her own, eagerly exploring his mouth.
Suddenly, he stepped away.
“No.” Unlike the earlier throaty growls, this came out as an angry snarl. “We are not going to do this.”
WTF? Dazed with lust, Paige barely registered what he said but she knew that intensely delicious feeling of hot, hard man pressed against her had stopped.
“What’s wrong?” she asked, reaching for him.
He stepped away from her and flicked on his flashlight, shining it towards the floor of the cave.
“We have to go. Now.”
Thank you for reading! Grab your copy of Love, Meow at your favorite eBook seller.
Love, Meow buy links:
Provocative tales of love, lust, passion and magic
Naomi lives in sunny Florida with the love of her life and a magical calico cat. She writes for various fiction and non-fiction markets but finds she is drawn to romance because her characters insist on canoodling and falling madly in love. So she lets them. Occasionally, however, they go to dark and strange places. She lets them do this also. Her interests include dancing, motorcycle riding, drumming, and creating healthy meals. She takes the opportunity to play and have fun whenever possible. Her motto: Never pass up the opportunity to have an adventure!
Visit her at http://www.naomibellina.com/
Morning everyone, happy Hump Day – or not, as the case may be.
A sexy paragraph to cheer up your Wednesday…
His eyes smouldered into hers. “That’s not stupid.” He leaned in to kiss her, and then drew back, his gaze locked on hers. “Are you going anywhere with that hand?”
Kiersten’s palm still laid flat against his stomach, low down, almost entering his jeans. She swallowed. “Do you want me to?”
“Hell, yes.” His American accent roughened with desire. His gaze was hot with want and need.
Kiersten felt her own face heat in response. “All right,” she whispered against his mouth.
Her slender frame shook slightly with excitement as she lowered herself to her knees before him. When she looked up at him from her altered position, she saw that his gorgeous features were contorted with desire and anticipation.
That paragraph was taken from my contemporary romance novel, Well Traveled.
Enter broken hearted but free-spirited Kiersten. After a spilled cup of hot chocolate brings them together, Kiersten shows Wade that he doesn’t need to get on a plane to find places to explore. The city opens up before his eyes, and he starts discovering things about London – and about himself – that he never expected…
65,000 words, M/F pairing
This is a super quick and easy midweek supper, when you get home from work, and dinner needs making, and you think: “nnnnnnnnnnnnnghhhh.” That.
2 cups arborio rice
2-3 salmon fillets, ready cooked
2 cups veggie stock, or fish stock, homemade or bought
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp olive oil, for frying.
Chop the scallions, shallots, courgette into small pieces.
Set the oil in the pan. Crush the garlic and add it. After 30 seconds, add the vegetables.
When they start to go soft and fragrant, add the rice, one ladle at a time. After each rice addition, add one ladle of stock. When that is absorbed, repeat until the rice is soft, or if you prefer, just slightly al dente (with a bit of bite). Flake the cooked salmon and swirl around in the risotto.
Serve, preferably with garlic bread!
My bookish confessions – from a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Follow the link to join!
1. I have more books than I can ever read. I think my reading list and my TBR list now exceeds my lifetime, especially as my pesky job keeps getting in the way!
2. Reading is my favourite activity, I think even more favourite than writing! Sometimes I shock myself.
3. I love getting lost in books. I’ve let time slip away from me on many an occasion when the new Julie James arrives and I have to read it right that minute. However…
4. I am guilty of building up a book too much in my head. I have left books for months before, “saving” them for a special time, and then, when I get to it, of course the poor thing can’t usually live up to my massive expectations. Must stop doing this.
5. I read several books at once. If one is boring me, I’ll skip to another. I’ve “cheated” on countless books with other books, and I don’t regret it!
6. Sometimes I feel bad for wasting hours reading. But then I think – others spend hours playing video games, and is that any more or less worthy? We all work hard, so why not enjoy the free time that we’ve earned in the way we want to?
7. I’ve fallen in love with characters before. Murphy from Born in Shame stands out as the first character I ever properly loved. Just writing his name is making me want to read that novel again.
8. I try not to judge books by their covers. I know often the author has little or no input on their covers. But I hate it when the people on the cover in no way resemble the people inside. It irks me!
9. I love book recommendations. I’ll always add a book to my list if someone recommends it to me. It might take me some time to get to it, though….
10. Books with slapdash endings make me so angry. Like when the author creates a perfect storm of confusion, emotion and life struggles, and I’m on the edge of my seat wondering how it will all turn out… and then it was all a dram or similar. I hate easy fixes, they make me sad. As a writer, I understand how someone might write themselves into a corner by accident, but I’m sure there are multiple ways out of fictional scrapes!