Monday, September 19, 2022

Cooking As A Love Language

According to experts, there are five different love languages: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. That may be true. But I have another one, and while I'm not an expert, I think it's a valid addition--cooking.

I cook to express my love for those around me. Not feeling well? I'll make you soup. Had a tough day? Let me cook you a nice dinner. Celebrating something? I'll bake cookies. It's how I show those I care about that I love them.

Today, I'm baking for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. The round challah is for our Rosh Hashanah dinner. Our table is smaller this year, since neither of our daughters can join us, but we'll still celebrate with my parents and welcome in the new year. And since our daughters won't be home for the holiday, I'm sending them their own Rosh Hashanah sweets, applesauce cake. It's my mom's recipe, with some modifications to accommodate the girls' tastes. Cooking for love only works if I make something they will want to eat. 

I include a lot of food in the books I write, too. Food tells a lot about a person--do they prefer savory or sweet, are they a chocolate person, do they cook or order in, does it bring back memories or make new ones?

In my upcoming Harlequin romance (September 2023), the story takes place over Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Food plays a huge role. In fact, the hero is a Jewish deli owner who has taken over the family business. And of course, he makes the best challah in town.

So tell me, do you agree that food should also be a love language? Why or why not?

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Welcome Back, Kathleen Gallagher!

 

Spotlight Love’s Encore by Kathleen Ann Gallagher

 


BLURB:

Desire wins the lead role.

Sadie Layne, a creative and motivated high school drama teacher, is grateful for second chances. After surviving breast cancer, she embarks on a celebratory trip to LA with her two best friends. Sadie never expected to run into the handsome and charming Vince De Carlo in the hotel lobby. She hasn’t seen Vince much since they worked together in a theater company years ago. Their meeting interrupts her plans and reminds her of the life she left behind.

Vince, a struggling actor and cover model, is in LA to promote a television pilot. His old attraction to Sadie is stronger than ever. He never forgot her, even though a trusted friendship and a scripted kiss was all they’d shared.

The reunited pair give in to temptation, but reality soon collides with lust as strong doubts about their blossoming romance get in the way. Sadie dreads facing her defeat as an actress, and Vince doesn’t think a struggling actor like himself is capable of providing the accomplished teacher with what she deserves.

Will the couple find a way to keep their sizzling romance alive and build a future together? Or will their uncertainty win the lead role and smother the flames?

 

 

 

EXCERPT:

 

Sadie shook off the nerves, straightened her posture, and sucked her stomach in. Her new motto was taking chances and living life to the fullest. Here goes. She slowly approached her old theater partner. Hopefully he’d be happy to see her, and she wouldn’t make a fool out of herself in the middle of an upscale hotel. Her heart picked up speed and a hot flash hit her hard.

“Hi, Vince. I’m surprised to run into you here.” She offered a big smile. Relief washed over her when his expression brightened. Hopefully he didn’t notice her schoolgirl jitters.

“Sadie Layne. I can’t believe it.” He smiled back at her and held his hands out. “I haven’t seen you since the reunion last year.”

“I know. It was great to get together with the old gang. I can’t believe we graduated over ten years ago.”

Small talk was a good start for now. Vince leaned in and gave her a friendly embrace. She hadn’t expected that. He held onto her shoulders as he pulled back and stared intently. Goosebumps formed on her arms. She tried to hold it together and appear calm, but her insides jumped around like popcorn in a microwave.

“What brings you to LA?” Vince asked.

“I’m here on vacation with my friends.” Her stare locked onto his heart-shaped lips and she shivered.

His huge smile and the admiring way his sexy blue eyes took on a gleam gave her an inkling that he was pleased to see her too. Who knew? He’d never expressed an interest other than a friendship. They did enjoy each other’s company and they had a lot in common, but she had her doubts about being involved with a fellow actor, even though she’d had her longings. She’d heard horror stories about relationships in the business. Her work had been more important than a love affair.

Although, she did recall the passionate punch in his kiss. At the time, she thought it was his great acting skills. Could it have been real? She’d never forgotten when another classmate, Monica Sears, had cornered her and drilled her about the details of the love scene in the show. She’d always known why. Vince was one sexy dude.

“It’s awesome to see you, Sadie. You look beautiful.” He gave her a long, hard stare and flashed his pearly white smile. A dimple appeared on his cheek, and it took her over the edge.

The same adorable grin. Her head spun, and she took a few deep breaths. “You too.” She reached into her bag and took out the cover flap with his picture on it. “When did you start modeling?”

He crossed his arms and chuckled. “Oh, you found out my dirty little secret?” His cheeks took on a reddish glow. “I got involved with the industry a couple of years ago. It got me through in between gigs,” he admitted as he shrugged.

“I think you’re a natural. Your pose made me want to read the story.” His shirtless chest had a lot to do with her interest, but she’d keep it to herself. “What is this you have here?” Sadie pointed at the poster, trying to steady her trembling fingers. She’d like to believe her excitability was due to the anticipation of the trip, along with the long flight. But she knew that wasn’t what had caused it.

The earthy scent of his cologne floated her way, and she’d had enough of this distraction, but she’d be polite. She was in LA to celebrate, not fool around.

“It’s a pilot show we’re pitching, and I scored the male lead.” He curled up his fist and pumped it. “Yes! Can you believe it? We’re filming the pilot episode tonight, and we’re looking for audience members to fill the theater,” he said, his expression beaming with pride. He took on a stance of confidence with his feet planted firmly on the floor, legs slightly spread, shoulders back, and his head high. You’d think he was a serviceman about to salute an officer.

“That’s fabulous. It looks like you’re finally on your way,” she cheered, and offered him a congratulatory hug. He held onto her for a few minutes, and she didn’t expect to enjoy it so much. Was her teenage crush turning into something much more?

“Why don’t you try to come to the show tonight? I know it’s short notice and you probably have plans, but if you can make it, it’d be great.” He tilted his head, and she couldn’t resist those alluring gray-blue eyes. “Sorry, I don’t even know who you’re here with. When did you get in?” Vince took a step back.

Out of the blue, this handsome, muscular, and confident looking man had caught her off guard and filled her head with naughty visions. Sadie held back a grin. She’d kept her cravings hidden when they’d hung out. Besides, it probably would have destroyed their friendship and ability to work together. But Sadie had to admit she loved his pouty lips. Everything about Vince oozed sex appeal.

“I’m here with my friends, Jill and Millie, on vacation,” she said.

“Well, think about coming tonight. I’d appreciate your critique.” He handed her the show’s info packet. “That is if you don’t try to change the script. You used to improvise. I remember the time Miss Nolan stormed out of the room when you changed your lines.” With a gleam in his eye, he laughed.

 

 




BIO:

Kathleen is originally from New Jersey, but currently resides in Southwest Florida with her husband and her Coton de Tulear, Luc. She has been writing stories since she was a young girl. When Kathleen is not dreaming up a plot for her next romance, she enjoys performing in community theater. You might also find her relaxing on one of Florida’s pristine sand and sparkling water beaches.  Kathleen loves meeting her readers, and she is extremely grateful for their continued support. 

 

 

https://amzn.to/3Jw1fm1 Love’s Encore link.

https://amzn.to/3ditU1U Amazon

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https://bit.ly/3P47Hln Blog 

https://bit.ly/3QllTaE Facebook

 


Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Welcome Back, Mike Torreano

 Inspiration for White Sands Gold

 

Inspiration for the story came from a conversation with a friend of mine, who said, “I’ve got the idea for your next book.” He then spun a tale of hidden gold—thousands and thousands of bars underneath a mountain north of Las Cruces, New Mexico. He’d been exploring the area for years.

Me: “How’d this gold supposedly get there?”

Him” No one knows for sure, but there are several different theories.”

Me: “When was this supposed to have happened?”

Him: “No one knows that, either, but legend says the gold’s been there for centuries.”

Me: “How come no one’s found it?”

Him: “Folklore says someone did, and that he brought some of the bars up in the 1930s. But he met an…uh…untimely death. No one’s seen anything since.”

Me: “Who shot him and why?”

Him: “Good question.”

So I went home and did an online search. When page after page about the fabled gold popped up, I created a few twists, crafted some interesting characters, and had my next western mystery, White Sands Gold, set in New Mexico Territory, 1890.



Bio
Mike Torreano has a military background and is a student of American history and the Old West.
His debut western mystery, The Reckoning, set in South Park, Colorado in 1868, was released in 2016 by The Wild Rose Press. The sequel, The Renewal, also in South Park, 1872, was released in 2018. His third western, A Score To Settle, was released October 2020, also from The Wild Rose Press. White Sands Gold is his latest western mystery, and was just released by Wild Rose. He has a coming-of-age novel, Fireflies At Dusk, set during the Civil War, and his short story, The Trade, a tale of the Yukon Gold Rush, was his first published work in 2014.
Mike’s written for magazines and newspapers for many years. An experienced editor, he’s taught University-level English and Journalism. He’s a member of the Historical Novel Society, Pikes Peak Writers, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Western Writers of America and several other writing groups. He brings his readers back in time with him as he recreates life in mid-to-late nineteenth century America. He and his wife, Anne, live in Colorado Springs.



BBlurb:

New Mexico Territory, 1890

 

In a hidden cavern, a fortune in gold bars sits alongside an ancient relic. 

 

To find her treasure-hunting brother, Lottie Durham enlists the help of an easygoing lawman who she can’t stand-at first. When a mysterious  woman known only as Ma asks her to join the relic’s guardians, Lottie’s world spins. Why her, and should she take on this solemn obligation?

 

Twill, leader of the secretive guardians, has sworn a vow to protect the centuries-old religious relic. Regrets bedevil him and his dedication to his oath is repeatedly tested. If he breaks his promise, he’ll fail Ma, the one person he’s never wanted to let down.

 

Will a looming raid by a band of determined killers be the end of the guardians, the gold, and the relic?

 Excerpt:

Lottie lowered to the damp ground, which brought the deputy down as well. She fought the urge to look his way. She was alone in the desert wrapped in a semi-bear hug with a man she met yesterday. She eased a hand to her holster and picked the leather loop off her hammer. Probably didn’t need a gun to protect against someone who’d already saved her life, but…in case he tried something.

The deputy snugged his hat lower and shut his eyes. 

“Hold on, cowboy. We can’t be sittin’ here just sleepin’. I mean…you oughta be talkin’ to me, reassurin’ me. How about it?”

He two-fingered his hat up a touch. “You seem to be able to take care of yourself fair, you should probably be reassurin’ me.” He glanced sideways at her, his face not more than a few inches away. 

That same half-smile that had been so irritating somehow didn’t look so annoying anymore.

 

Buy Links

 

Amazon- https://smile.amazon.com/White-Sands-Gold-Mike-Torreano/dp/150924431X/

 

Barnes and Noble- https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/white-sands-gold-mike-torreano/1141622239

 

Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61440836-white-sands-gold?

 

The Wild Rose Press- https://wildrosepress.com/special-items/