Monday, December 1, 2014

Welcome to the "Wined, Dined, and Read" Blog Hop!

I am pleased to be invited by Uvi Poznansky, author and artist extraordinaire, to take part in this delicious blog hop! Uvi Poznansky is a California-based author, poet and artist. “I paint with my pen,” she says, “and write with my paintbrush.” Uvi writes across a variety of genres: Apart From Love (contemporary fiction, Rise to Power (historical fiction), A Peek at Bathsheba (historical fiction), A Favorite Son (biblical fiction), Home (poetry), Twisted (fantasy) Now I Am Paper (children’s book) and Jess and Wiggle (children’s book.) 

Please stop over at her blog to read her scrumptious excerpts from her lovely and diverse novels! Thank you, Uvi! 

Now, come along and see what you think of my taste in wine, food, and books.
If your main character were a glass of wine, which one would they be? 

Quinn “Black Eagle” Hollister, of the Tall Pines Mystery series, would be a glass of Seneca Shores RED KNIGHT: “Soft, East to Sip, Mellow. Big YUM Factor.” My lady readers have all fallen in love with quiet, soft-spoken, and beautiful Indian brave with the dark, glossy hair and turquoise eyes, so I guess they’d agree with the “yum” factor!

Describe your book in one meal:

Let’s talk about BETRAYAL, the new Tall Pines mystery. Here’s a scene with the love triangle formed by Quinn, Marcella, and Sky.

It started to snow again. Hard. And by the time I had the tuna sandwiches on and carried them to the table, the view outside was pure white. The wind howled like a desperate, injured wild animal, making me shiver and go for my heavier sweatshirt. 

Quinn and Sky worked on the fire side by side, almost like young scouts trying to earn their merit badges. 

Oh, God. There was that image again of Sky making the Boy Scout sign.

In that damned cave. 

Where I’d practically attacked him. 

I shoved the mental image down and opened a bag of Fritos. “Want chips, men?”

Sky nodded and Quinn agreed. “Sure, babe.”

“Want some milk to drink, too? I know we have tea, but…” 

Again, they both said yes, thanks, as if I’d offered them some kind of nectar of the gods. 

I glanced at them while I poured the milk. They ate their sandwiches with gusto. Of course, they both looked like Greek gods, and there was no way around it. Tonight I’d be swimming in a pool teeming with testosterone. Or something like that, because there was no way Sky was driving out of here in the blizzard.

An hour later, I made final cups of tea, finished washing the dishes, and proposed a game of Scrabble. Quinn got the board out and Sky stoked the fire. We laid out the letter trays on the dining room table near the stove. I shook the velvet bag to mix up the letters. “Go ahead, Sky. You pick first.”

He dug into the bag and brandished his letter. “B,” he said.

Quinn nodded in approval. “Good one. You’ll probably go first.”

I held the bag out to Quinn. “Go ahead, honey.” 

Quinn reached inside, stirred the tiles with his long fingers, and pulled out his trophy. With one eyebrow in the air, he pronounced, “Oh, weird. I’ve got a B, too.”

I looked from Sky to Quinn, pulling my own tile out of the bag. “X.” 

Quinn shot me a half-smile. “You’ve gotta choose then, Marcella. Pick between us. Who goes first?”

I sat glued to the chair, looking between them. What had my life come down to, when even playing a simple game I froze trying to choose between them. I was ridiculously aware of the appalling parallel. “I can’t pick. Go again.” I held up the bag.

Sky put up a hand. “That’s silly. Quinn can go first.”

Quinn disagreed. “No. You’re the guest. You go first.”

I shook the bag and laughed. “Okay, this is crazy. I’ll go first. We’ll go counterclockwise. Me, Sky, Quinn. Now pick your seven letters.”

We’d been at it for about forty-five minutes, and I was staring in disbelief at all the horrible letters on my tray, when the phone rang. I jumped up, glad for an excuse to get out of my turn. “Go ahead, guys, just skip me.”

What candy would your book be? 

BETRAYAL would best fit as a York Peppermint Patty. Set in the deep, snowy cold of the Adirondack mountains, it’s also surrounded by the rich chocolate of yearning and desire.

What does your book smell like? 
My characters are in love with essential oils. Here’s one section that definitely applies!

I saw him now—clearly. He stood in the doorway with Dak on a taut leash. Quinn’s eyes almost glowed in that early morning light, intense against his dark smooth skin. His strong jaw was set, determined. His glossy dark hair fell over his shoulders, and on his open-necked denim shirt the turquoise bolo—the one that matched his lovely eyes—lay flat on his chest.

I sat up. “Quinn?”

As if he’d seen an angel appear out of the darkness, Quinn’s face came alive. He and Dak ran to me, all legs and arms and flapping furry tail. I had no wires attached, so they tumbled onto the bed with me. I was kissed and licked and hugged and snuggled by man and canine. The whole thing made me laugh so hard and so long that I couldn’t breathe, almost like a tickle-fest from childhood. 

“Babe.” His eyes caught mine and searched them. “You’re back.”

I leaned forward to kiss his soft lips. “Yeah. Hi.”

“Hi, yourself.” He stretched out on one side of me and Dak curled at the bottom of the bed. “Oh, Marcella.” His voice grew hoarse with emotion. “I’ve missed you so much.”

I breathed in the scent of him, the comforting, familiar, and oh-so-lovely scent of my man. I got a wisp of something else, too. Maybe Cedarwood?

I sat up. “Where are my oils? I need them. I need my Frankincense.”

He leaned over and opened the drawer in the little table beside me. “Here you go. We kept them near you. But the docs wouldn’t let us touch you until you were ready to see us.” He lowered his eyes. “Maybe I should have fought it. I wanted to hold you and kiss you and slather you with the oils.”

I put a finger to his lips. “It’s okay. They did what they thought best. Maybe I needed a timeout, who knows.”

His eyes met mine, probing. “Not surprising, after all you went through, babe. But are you gonna be okay now?”

I hugged him tight, rubbing my hands on his back in small circles. “Yes. Now give me some of that Frankincense. I want to douse myself in it.”

He turned sideways and plucked the red-labeled bottle from the drawer. “Here you go.” 

I uncapped it and drew in a greedy breath full of the aroma. A woodsy, warm, heady scent filled the room, elevating me with feelings of hope and well-being. “Oh, that’s so good.” 

We shared the oil, rubbing it on our temples and the back of our necks, then lay on the bed unspeaking, just holding each other.

Your book’s snack would be: 

Tangy, sweet Honeycrisp apples and sharp cheddar cheese made in New York State.

Describe your most memorable meal: 

Sometimes, simple is just so good, right? Here’s a nice meal prepared for Marcella by her former lover, Sky Lissoneau.

I looked at him. His jeans fit well, worn at the bottoms and snug around his hips. He wore an old green and black flannel shirt that complemented his eyes. In a flash, the old memories invaded my brain again. Sky and me together at the State Fair. Our first kiss. Our first time in his parents’ pontoon boat. The rocking waves. The way he took such exquisite care of me, my body, my needs.

He dumped the bags on the kitchen counter, putting some away and keeping some items out on the shelf. “Quinn’s not coming back?”

I shook my head. “He didn’t come up this time.”

He stole a sideways glance, now obviously curious. “Okay…Well, I’ll cook the steaks if you want. No need for both of us to eat alone.”

So, he still didn’t have a girlfriend to eat dinner with? 

It seemed impossible. Sky is a gorgeous man with a big stout heart and plenty of love to share. Sure, he could be brooding at times, and he’d work himself to death if someone didn’t drag him out of his lab most days, but he was a real catch. Especially up here in the wilderness where there weren’t many young single men around.

I started to unpack the food I’d brought in from the van earlier, stowing the fish in the freezer and the apples in the crisper. I turned the refrigerator’s cold setting from low to medium, and checked the cabinets. We’d really cleaned them out last fall before we closed Tall Pines for the winter. It was slim pickins. Some canned goods. Stale coffee. Steak sauce. Powdered creamer. A jar of spaghetti sauce. A bottle of olive oil and some seasonings. I’d definitely have to go shopping in the morning.

I filled a bowl with water for Dak and poured his kibble into another dish. “There you go, sweetie.” 

With big tail wagging, my pal slurped some water and began to devour his supper. 

“He’s grown a lot in six months,” Sky said, looking up from the frying pan. He’d begun to sauté mushrooms and onions in butter, and it smelled fantastic. 

I leaned down to pat Dak, ruffling his glossy, long fur. “He has. He gained another seven pounds. He still thinks he’s a lap dog, though.”

“Don’t they all?” He grinned and added the steaks to the pan. “I don’t know how you feel about nuked potatoes, but if we wait for them to bake we’ll probably starve to death. At least I will,” he winked. “I skipped lunch.” 

I realized I had, too. My stomach rumbled as if in agreement. I laughed and covered my mouth. “Oh, me, too. I’ll just pop ‘em in the microwave, and we can bake them for the last few minutes. Maybe it’ll crisp up the skins?”

He’d already ripped open a package of Boston lettuce and begun to rinse it under the faucet. “If you want to, you can chop the pepper, tomatoes, and cucumbers.”

“Sure.” I closed the microwave, set it to ten minutes, and selected a knife from the box. I slid a cutting board down from the hook on the wall and grabbed a yellow pepper. 

In silence, we stood side by side preparing the salad. When the bowl was full, the steaks were just about ready. I took out the potatoes, wishing I’d thrown them in the oven before he arrived. They weren’t very crispy.

We filled our plates and sat in the now warm dining area. Dak settled on the floor at my feet, and I glanced at Sky across the table. 

Before he picked up his fork, he reached for my hand, catching my eyes with his. “Okay. So are you gonna tell me what’s going on now?”

I slumped in my seat feeling lost, yet aching to spill my guts. “I guess.” Mechanically, I picked up my fork and started to carve a piece of steak, dipping it in the A1 sauce I’d miraculously found in the cabinet. Maybe if I concentrate on the dinner, I won’t fall apart.

He leaned forward. “So? Where is he? Where’s Quinn?”

It wasn’t going to work. My face crumpled and my voice hitched. “I…I left him.”

Sky’s eyes widened, staring at me intently. “You what?”

“We’re having some issues. I needed to be alone.”

He put a huge chunk of butter on his potato, smearing it around with his fork. With deliberately slow motions, he asked, “Is this about the baby? Callie told me you had to give her up today.”
I nodded, not trusting my voice. Instead, I took a drink of sweet well water.

“I’m really sorry about Kimi. I know it must’ve hurt like hell,” he said.

I nodded and chewed, not trusting my voice. 

“Are you officially separated?”

I spoke in a tiny voice I barely recognized as my own. “I don’t know what we are. I just need time away. To think. To try to get over it.”

“I’m sorry, Marcie. I thought you guys were pretty solid.”

“We are. I mean, we were.”

“Do you think you’ll patch things up?”

I hung my head. “Honestly? I don’t know.”

One food word to describe your writing style: 

What will someone find you eating/drinking when you’re really into a good book? 
Slices of dill Havarti cheese, tart Snap Dragon apples, and a glass of good Riesling.

Sweet or Salty? 
That’s a tough call, for I love eclairs as much as Marcella does in the Tall Pines Mysteries, but I also love Cheesits!

Thank you so much for following along with our blog hop! Please check out these authors who will be taking part in the near future.
  • Barb Caffrey, author of the An Elfy on the Loose. You can check it out, here.
  • Dina Von Lowenkraft, author of Dragon Fire. Come on over to Amazon to take a look! 
  • Maria DeVivo, author of The Coal Elf, found here.

1 comment:

Uvi Poznansky said...

What a delicious post!