Hello! It’s me, Jaunty P. Quills, Porcupine Extraordinaire, to speak about my upcoming trip to Scotland, and the book I—
Jaunty: I bet you’ve never seen me in a kilt.
Margo: No. (Thank God).
Jaunty: What was that?
Margo: Nothing. I was just telling you about my Scottish historical, The Highlander’s Desire.
Jaunty: Are there kilts?
Margo: Well, back when this story takes place, they didn’t wear kilts as we know them today, but yes, my hero, Lachann MacMillan, definitely wears plaid. Extremely sexy.
Jaunty: Is it true that Scots don’t wear anything und—
Margo: I’m not going there, Jaunty. But I will tell you a little about Lachann.
Jaunty: You’re a killjoy. I always knew it when you were one of us.
Margo: Well, I do miss some of you guys.
Margo: I thought you wanted to know about my new book.
Margo: As a matter of fact, yes. The heroes of these two books are brothers, but you don’t need to read one in order to enjoy the other.
Jaunty: I think I’d like to visit Scotland. You probably have some extra room in your suitcase—
Margo: NO! I mean . . . no – I pack light.
Jaunty: Hmph. Shana told me that the inhabitants of those Scottish islands eat a diet of pine nuts and clover.
Margo: She did not.
Jaunty: Just kidding. What do the people on your island eat?
Margo: The food is irrelevant, Jaunty. The Highlander’s Desire is a Cinderella story, so it’s all about my heroine overcoming all obstacles and getting her man.
Jaunty: I love Cinderella!
Margo: What’s not to love? I’ve got Anna, a heroine who is oppressed by her step-family – a wicked step-sister and father, and a gorgeous hero who comes to her western isle to marry the stepsister.
Jaunty: Oh no. No, no, no.
Margo: That’s what I said. Absolutely not. But Lachann really needs to marry the stepsister because she’s the daughter of the laird. Their marriage will put Lachann in line to become laird after the old man in an agreement made by both clans. It will benefit everybody.
Jaunty: But not Anna.
Margo: No, because she falls in love with Lachann.
Jaunty: And what about him?
Margo: The feeling is mutual, of course. But it’s sort of an impossible situation. Lachann has to marry the stepsister, and Anna wants to get away from the island.
Jaunty: How do they work it out? Does he push the step-sister over a cliff or something?
Jaunty: Is there a glass slipper?
Margo: No. But there’s a black and white cat.
Jaunty: A cat won’t fit on her foot!
Margo: Of course not, but the cat plays a huge role in defining the heroine and villain.
Jaunty: I don’t really like cats.
Margo: I don’t think they like you, either, Jaunty.
Jaunty: So The Highlander’s Desire ends happily? With Anna taking her cat and riding off into the sunset with Lachann?
Margo: Well, sort of. Definitely a happy ending, but no riding into the sunset – it’s an island, after all. And it’s sort of a steamy ending.
Jaunty: You are making me blush.
Margo: That was my intention! Maybe you should take a break, Jaunty, while I ask my readers to try The Highlander’s Desire when it comes out next Tuesday. You can even visit my website for an excerpt.
And just for the fun of it, I want to start a discussion of favorite fairy tale heroes, heroines and villains. I’ll give away a copy of The Warrior Laird to one participant who weighs in. I’ll start . . . I love the wounded Beast in Beauty and the Beast. Now it’s your turn!
I Dream of Danger is book # 2 of the Ghost Ops series. The Ghost Ops are a team of elite warriors who go dark. There is no mention of them anywhere, their pasts are wiped out, they must have no ties. No friends, no loved ones, no family. Thus, when they are brutally betrayed and must flee, they have only themselves to rely on.
Each man, ‘Mac’ McEnroe, Nick Ross and Jon Ryan, meets his match and finds his mate. They aren’t looking for love, but love finds them. Their women have psychic abilities, gifts they reject at first. In Heart of Danger, Dr. Catherine Young goes looking for Mac on an impossible mission. She is an empath, able to feel emotions at a touch. How would you like to know what people are feeling? I thought not. Catherine, too, has shunned her gift. It becomes much stronger as she falls in love with Mac, because I think that the greatest human connection of all, love, strengthens our native gifts.
In I Dream of Danger, Nick Ross lost his one true love, Elle Thomason, many years ago. He has mourned her for years. When Elle Thomason was lost to him, he joins Ghost Ops, because there will never be another woman for him.
But Elle has a gift, too. She can astrally project and when her life is on the line, she calls to Nick the only way she can—her soul calls to him and he will walk through fire to find her.
Catherine and Elle are women with rare gifts, gifts that in the wrong hands can be abused, misused. Both Catherine and Elle are targets for renegade scientists who would turn their gifts into powerful weapons that could destroy humanity.
But the men of Ghost Ops and their women have a powerful weapon, too. Love and a community. When the world comes crashing down, it is not the size of your gun that will save you but the contents of your heart.
When Nick and Elle find each other again, they form a unit so strong nothing can bring them down. Not even a plague that threatens the world.
Nothing will ever tear them apart again.
The book deals with some scary stuff, stuff that could take civilization down, so let’s be very grateful for what we have, considering we have just celebrated the Fourth of July. Our freedom and all those things that allow us to enjoy life and our loved ones. Enough to eat, shelter, law and order. Modern medicine, schools, hospitals. There’s a lot to be grateful for, don’t you think? Because if it ever goes, it will all go, and we will be sorry we weren’t more grateful.
I live in Italy (I know—poor me!) so I might be a bit late in getting back to you but I would welcome your comments! One participant in today’s discussion will receive an electronic version of I Dream of Danger.
For information on more of Lisa Marie’s books, visit her website.
Hello! Thanks so much to the Sisterhood of the Jaunty Quills for inviting me to be with you today. I’m Gayle Callen, author of historical romances (and also Emma Cane, author of contemporary romances—I get around). My newest historical, SURRENDER TO THE EARL, just came out this month. It’s about Robert, who needs to find redemption because of mistakes made during the war where men were killed, and Audrey, the blind widow of his fellow soldier, who accepts his offer of any kind of assistance—as long as he helps her escape her family who’s keeping her in seclusion. Whew, a mouthful!
But I’d rather talk to you today about our kids, the grownup kind that drift into their own lives and drift so easily away from ours. Oh, we talk/text on the phone, but when you only see them a couple times a year because they live so far away, it can be tough. The kids are having fun; it’s wonderful to see them blossom in their lives, but…I miss them. So here’s an idea to stay close: competition brackets. Yes, you heard me, just like the NCAA March Madness but not basketball (unless it’s basketball season, of course). I’m talking about a friendly competition over reality shows, the competitive kind: Survivor, Amazing Race, Iron Chef or whatever. This was my oldest daughter’s
brilliant idea, and boy do we have fun! It’s amazing how much you can enjoy a show when you’ve tossed $5 into a pot and you have a competitor you’re rooting for.
The show we compete over? The Bachelor/Bachelorette. My daughter has created a one-page form, with blocks for each week of the season, leading all the way up to the finals. We watched the first episode together (and in person, this year, which made it even more special), and then we spend the week filling out our brackets, due before the second show. Yes, you have to figure out the eventual winner, all from watching the first show. I’m not kidding, at one point we spent an hour or two slow-motioning through, especially the previews of the whole season, just so we could figure out which guys Desiree kissed, to see if we sensed chemistry. Turns out, she kissed them all, so it wasn’t so much of an indicator…
Here’s the fun part. Monday night rolls around, and we start texting, and even phone calling as we watch the show. There is moaning and gasping and gleeful bragging about who’s winning (this week, it’s me!). But really? I get to connect with my kids over something silly and fun and competitive. And in between, we talk about their lives and their friends and we stay close. I think that’s worth everything.
So let’s talk about ideas to stay close to our kids! How do you do it? One lucky commenter is going to win the first book of my trilogy, RETURN OF THE VISCOUNT, which came out last year. Not that you have to read the books in order, I swear…
I am not much of a TV watcher, but I do have streaming video on my iPad, which is great when I’m riding my stationary bike every morning. I’ve caught up on a couple of movies I wanted to see but never got around to seeing, and now I’m watching some television programs I might never have noticed before.
One is Ripper Street. The series is set in London in the late 1880s and filmed in a way that’s reminiscent of the recent Sherlock Holmes movies with Jude Law and Robert Downey, Jr. The stories are brutal, just as you’d expect life in the east end of London, so the series is dark. But it stars Matthew MacFadyen, and who can resist his voice, his diction? And the episodes – even though they are seriously gritty, are compelling. It’s on BBC America, if you can get that channel.
Of course I’ve been watching Downton Abbey. But I had no idea what the finale was going to bring. I didn’t even notice the foreshadowing that everyone mentioned afterwards. I was disappointed that it ended the way it did, but I’m sure I’ll take my place in front of the TV when Season 4 begins next year.
I am a sucker for post-apocalyptic themes, and I have to admit I watch The Walking Dead. I almost quit after Season 2, because it seemed like nothing was happening, and I got a bit tired of the two lead men posturing with each other so much (who is tougher? who is manlier? who is in charge?) I wanted everybody to just grow up and be an adult. But Season 3 changed all that, much to my satisfaction. I’d like it if they did some “bigger” things – I’d like to know how the whole world is faring during this Zombie apocalypse.
I watched Once Upon a Time for a season or two, but then it started to bore me. Once the spell was broken and everyone knew who was who… well, I just lost interest. And that Mr. Gold character started to grate on my nerves, so I quit watching entirely, and deleted it from my DVR files.
Another really good one is Copper – the story of an Irish immigrant who is a policeman in 1860s New York City – the roughest part of town, of course. And, like Ripper Street, the episodes aren’t easy. The crimes – the victims and perpetrators – are all too real. You can easily imagine how it was back in those days, when law and order meant the law of the streets.
Last, but not least is Grimm. This one grew on me slowly. I thought the first season was a little bit lame, but as they develop the overall story arc, it gets better and better. I’m antsy for the next season to begin.
What shows are on your list of things to watch? I’m going to pick one commenter and send her a copy of my most recent book, The Warrior Laird.
My guest today is author Jennifer Bernard, who writes for Avon and Avon Impulse, and she’s got a sizzling Fireman series going on these days. Here’s the blurb to her latest book…
But GREAT news for firefighter Sabina Jones…maybe.
The toughest captain on the East Coast, single father Rick Roman has come thousands of miles to San Gabriel to put an end to the “Bachelor Firemen” media hype. But when a stunning woman he nearly hooked up with in Reno turns out to be a firefighter from his new station, Roman realizes it’s going to be tough keeping the tabloids at bay.
But there’s even more Sabina isn’t telling him. Before dedicating her life to battling blazes, Sabina led a very different life, one that made her famous. The last thing she wants is to have her secret exposed. The papers, bloggers, and TV gossips will have a field day with that—especially when they sense the obvious sexual heat between Sabina and Chief Roman, who’s torn between firing her…and falling in love with her!
Thanks so much to the Jaunties for inviting me to Bring a Friend Friday! My topic today is very close to my heart: Men Who Cook. On our first date, my future-husband cooked for me. He brought over a salmon he had caught that very day and cleaned it in the backyard. Then he covered the filets with a crust of pine nuts, salt and oregano and fried them in olive oil.
Is it any surprise I was a goner?
But if I thought I was in for a lovely life of delicious meals cooked nightly for me by my wonderful new husband, I was a little off. I do most of the
cooking, though he still handles the salmon. I’m not complaining, just explaining why the hero of my latest book, SEX AND THE SINGLE FIREMAN, loves to cook. If I can’t live it, I’ll write about it! Rick Roman is a big, tall, strong, powerful, commanding alpha-type Battalion Chief from Brooklyn, New York, and he knows his way around a veal piccatta. Is it a stretch to think he knows his way around other activities pleasing to the senses? Absolutely not.
Is it a stretch that a fire chief would be an expert cook? Definitely not! Firefighters rotate cooking duties at the firehouse. The meals I’ve eaten at firehouses aren’t always high-end gourmet, but they’re tasty and filling and usually cooked from scratch. When researching this book, I hunted around online and found some fantastic firehouse cookbooks. These guys really know what they’re talking about! They’re used to cooking for big groups and satisfying the appetites of active men and women. And when the cookbook cover looks like this, how can you complain?
Scanning the various cookbooks, firefighters like meat, they like things spicy, they like primal pleasures like Buffalo wings and pecan pie. But that’s not always the case. A firefighter in Austin, Texas put his entire firehouse on a vegan weight-loss, health-improvement plan and wrote a book about it. The Engine 2 diet would please the most demanding health nut.
But my hero, Chief Roman, is no health nut. He’s more of a sensualist — a lover of Greek olives, a seeker of fresh-baked baguettes, a passionate advocate of the arrabbiata sauce. A single father, he does all the cooking for his thirteen-year old son. He eventually wins the heart of Sabina Jones with, among other things, mushrooms sautéed in butter, folded into a perfect omelet, accompanied by Italian roast coffee and actual cream.
In fact – and I just realized this – in each of the books in the Bachelor Fireman of San Gabriel series so far, the hero at some point cooks a meal for
the heroine. So is there a little wish fulfillment going on here? Do I miss the magic of that first date with my husband? Okay, maybe a little, but the truth is, there’s nothing sexier to me than a guy who knows his way around a kitchen. A big, strong guy bending over a sauté pan on a hot stove? A hunky man presenting you with a delicious dish he concocted just for you?
Now that’s hot.
So… does your significant other like to cook? What’s his specialty? Leave me a comment and I’ll enter you to win a copy of HOT FOR FIREMAN (book 2), in which Ryan Blake cooks his special Thai Chicken Curry dish!
And if that’s not enough… How would you like a fireman from your hometown to appear in the next fireman book, HOW TO TAME A WILD FIREMAN? All you have to do is like my Facebook page or sign up for my newsletter to enter.