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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Eyes of Autumn by Cynthia H. Wise Book Tour and Giveaway









Eyes of Autumn

The Marcel Experience

Book Three

Cynthia Wise


Genre: Paranormal


Publisher: BookLogix


Date of Publication: October 17, 2016


ISBN: 978-1-61005-677-9

Number of pages: 432


Cover Artist: Aaron Davis


Book Description:


Recurring dreams have plagued Katie Hammond since childhood, forcing her to keep an open mind to the paranormal. But when Katie is compelled to follow a forest path during her trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains, she stumbles into a forgotten life – one she’s not sure she wants to remember – and an enthralling man who shouldn’t exist.



At the end of the path is Marcus Hillyerd, a man with a secret and golden eyes. He comes face-to-face with the only woman he’s ever loved. The only problem – she doesn’t remember him.



Then evil from Marcus’s past emerges and attempts to destroy everything he holds sacred. Needing reinforcement, Marcus calls upon Marcel Enterprises, his network of paranormal beings dedicated to helping victims of corruption. Together, they must risk their lives to keep Katie safe and protect the empire that took Marcus more than a century to build.






Excerpt:



Marcus stood on the back of the veranda in the night shadows and listened. In the distance, he heard the faint squawk of radios, voices, and the purr of engines. He had time. Stepping into a sprint, he crossed the garden and was through its door in a matter of seconds. The forest beyond waited and his beast roared inside of him, wanting out. It was exhilarating running at top speed through the trees with night sounds and the scents of animals teasing him. At the edge of the forest, he stopped to observe and took a deep breath. The smell of rotting blood assaulted his nose.

The cabin was shrouded in moonlit darkness. Yellow crime scene ribbon was stretched from post-to-post at the top of the porch steps and across the door. With a swipe of his hand, Marcus pulled them down and gave an experimental twist of the knob. One sharp push splintered the wood at the lock and the door swung open.

The smell of lingering death was like a wall, coating Marcus’s nostrils and tongue, triggering his gag reflex. As he looked around the room, the first thing to draw his eye was a police outline of Angie’s body. His gaze moved on to the trail of blood leading to the loft ladder, and logic told him only one thing would have led Angie in that direction.

With a two-step running leap, Marcus touched a toe to the log wall and propelled himself up and over the railing, landing nimbly with barely a sound. Taking the suitcase with Katie’s scent. He cleared the railing with ease and was soon in the bedroom she’d been using. Within minutes, the closet and drawers were emptied. Leaving the scent of death behind, Marcus pulled the front door shut and broke into a run a she re-entered the forest.


About the Author:


Cynthia H. Wise first conceived the idea for The Marcel Experience years ago. At that time, she wrote stories for her own enjoyment. Inspired at an early age by the paranormal, Cynthia enjoyed having the ability to become someone else, travel to distant places, and experience new things as she wrote.



During the long process of editing her first book, Portrait of Rage, an idea began to take root. Having begun another manuscript years before that she had entitled Eyes of Autumn, Cynthia realized how simple it would be to integrate the two worlds. She envisioned continuing the story and carrying characters from book to book as she continued to introduce new people, new conflicts, and new stories. She realized the list of paranormal subjects was endless. It would be simple to let the story flow from one inexplicable, exciting possibility to another. And voilà—The Marcel Experience was born.



Cynthia H. Wise lives with her husband in Marietta, Georgia, where her series, The Marcel Experience, is centered. When she is not writing novels about the supernatural and the fantastic, Cynthia can be found with her husband, Cliff, their two dogs, Jake and Sadie, and their cockatiel, Sam.















Tour giveaway 1 signed copy of Eyes of Autumn

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Remnants of Yesterday by Ava Wood Cover Reveal

Remnants of Yesterday (Broken by the Sea #3)
Genre: YA Romance
Release Date: January 6th 2017

Summary:

“Saying goodbye is never easy.”

Missy Shaw has lived through her fair share of heartache and abuse, mostly at the hands of her own father. After finally taking a stand against her abusers, Missy is faced with a new dilemma when her father unexpectedly falls ill. Longing to take care of the man who’s never really been a father to her, she’s forced to make a difficult decision that could cause a cataclysmic collision with her past and her future.

Now that Adam Miller was a major fixture in Missy’s life, making those hard decisions shouldn’t be so difficult, but when Missy heads to Tampa for college and Adam returns to Kansas, she’s left feeling vulnerable and alone. Moving forward is harder than she imagined when the demons from her past continue to haunt her. 

In this gripping finale to the Broken by the Sea trilogy, find out if Missy is finally able to find her happy ending, or if the demons of her past become the nightmares of her future.




Previous Books in the Series (click on images fo Goodreads links):
 

About the Author

Ava Wood is an insomniac who writes to calm the voices. When the voices get too loud, stories are formed.

Ava was born and raised in Texas but got to Florida as quick as she could, enjoying the fresh sea air and summer storms. She believes there is nothing more beautiful than an evening summer light show.

She’s married to the love of her life whom she shares two beautiful daughters and four sweet fur babies. Their marriage is the perfect “North-meets-South” pairing.

When she’s not writing, Ava can be found chasing her children all over the county, snapping photos of any and everything, visiting one of her local theme parks, or just spending quality time with her family.

Author Links:

Cover Reveal Organized by:

Feliz Navidead by Ann Myers Book Tour, Book Review and Giveaway

Feliz Navidead

by Ann Myers

on Tour November 20 - December 31, 2016

Synopsis:

Feliz Navidead by Ann MyersHolly, jolly, and downright deadly—the third Santa Fe Café mystery unwraps surprises both naughty and nice... It’s the most picturesque time of the year in Santa Fe, and Chef Rita Lafitte of Tres Amigas Café hopes the twinkling lights and tasty holiday treats will charm her visiting mom. Rita is also planning fun activities, such as watching her teenage daughter, Celia, perform in an outdoor Christmas play.
What she doesn’t plan for is murder.
Rita discovers a dead actor during the premier performance but vows to keep clear of the case. Sleuthing would upset her mom. Besides, there’s already a prime suspect, caught red-handed in his bloodied Santa suit. However, when the accused Santa’s wife begs for assistance—and points out that Celia and other performers could be in danger—Rita can’t say no. With the help of her elderly boss, Flori, and her coterie of rogue knitters, Rita strives to salvage her mother’s vacation, unmask a murderer, and stop this festive season from turning even more fatal.

Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Mystery, Christmas
Published by: Avon
Publication Date: October 25th 2016
Number of Pages: 352
ISBN: 0062382322 (ISBN13: 9780062382320)
Series: Santa Fe Cafe Mystery #3

Feliz Navidead Can Be Found on: HarperCollins , Amazon , Barnes & Noble , and Goodreads .

Read an excerpt:

Mom stopped mid-stroll, thumping one hand to her chest, gripping a hip-high adobe wall with the other. “I need to catch my breath, Rita,” she declared, rather accusatorily. I murmured, “Of course,” and issued my best good-daughter sympathetic smile. I did, truly, sympathize. At seven thousand feet above sea level, Santa Fe, New Mexico, can literally take your breath away, and my mother had flown in only a few hours earlier from the midwestern lowlands. Adjusting to high altitudes takes time. About a week, the experts say, although I’ve called Santa Fe home for over three years and still blame the paltry oxygen when I pant through my morning jog and puff under overladen burrito platters at Tres Amigas Cafe, where I’m a chef and co-amiga. I’ve even postulated that the thin air makes my thighs look larger. Lack of atmospheric compression, that unscientifically tested theory goes. The more likely culprit is my steady diet of cheesy chiles rellenos, blue corn waffles, green chile cheeseburgers, and other New Mexican delicacies. Mom took deep breaths beside me. I wasn’t too worried. If Mom was at risk of anything, it was overacting. I strongly suspected she was making a point, something she likes to do indirectly and with drama. Things Mom doesn’t like? High altitudes, dry climates, hot chiles, and disturbance of her holiday routine. I knew she wasn’t thrilled to spend Christmas away from home. My goal was to win her over, and lucky for me, I had Santa Fe’s holiday charm on my side. I leaned against the wall, enjoying the warmth of solar-heated adobe on my back. A group of carolers strolled by, harmonizing a bilingual version of “Feliz Navidad.” String lights and pine boughs decorated the porticos along Palace Avenue, and pinon smoke perfumed the air. To my eyes, the self-proclaimed “City Different” looked as pretty as a Christmas card. Once Mom got over the initial shock of leaving her comfort zone, she’d come around. I hoped . . . Mom reached for a water bottle in her dual-holstered hip pack. “Hydration,” she said, repeating a caution she’d first raised nearly two decades ago, when I embarked for culinary school in Denver and its mere mile-high elevation. In between sips, she reminded me that proper water intake was the key to fending off altitude-induced illnesses ranging from headaches to poor judgment. She tilted her chin up and assessed me through narrowed eyes. “You’re not drinking enough, Rita. I can tell. Your cheeks look dry. Your hands too. And your hair...” Mom made tsk-tsk sounds. “Perhaps a trim would keep it from getting so staticky. You do look awfully cute when it’s short.” I patted my shoulder-length locks, recently cut into loose layers that emphasized my natural staticky waves. I could use a drink. A tart margarita on the rocks with extra salt would do. My mouth watered. Behave, I chastised myself. It wasn’t even two in the afternoon, way too early for tequila. Plus, I loved my mother and her cute silver-flecked pixie cut. Most of all, I was delighted that she’d come to visit me and my teenage daughter, Celia. It was nice of Mom. No, more than nice. The visit bordered on maternal sacrifice. As far as I knew, my mother, Mrs. Helen Baker Lafitte, aged sixty-eight and three quarters, of Bucks Grove, Illinois, had never left home for Christmas before, nor had she wanted to. Mom is a retired high school librarian, a woman of card-catalog order and strict traditions, otherwise known as doing the same thing year after year. Under usual circumstances, Mom keeps our “heirloom” artificial Christmas tree perpetually decorated and stored in the garage until the day after Thanksgiving, when she takes it out, dusts it off, and installs it to the left of the living-room fireplace. She places electric candles in each front window, hangs a wreath on the door, and wraps the holly bush in tasteful, nonflashing white lights. All of her holiday cards are mailed by the twelfth of December. Food traditions are similarly strict. The Christmas Day lunch begins promptly at noon and is typically attended by my Aunt Sue, Uncle Dave, Aunt Karen, and younger sister Kathy and her family. Kathy’s husband, Dwayne, watches sports in the den, while their three kids hover between completely exhausted and totally wired from their morning gift frenzy. My mother and aunts whip up a feast of roasted turkey and stuffing, scalloped potatoes, sweet potato casserole with mini-marshmallows, Tater Tot hot dish, amazing monkey bread, Aunt Sue’s famous (or infamous) Jell-O surprise featuring celery and cheese cubes, and my favorite dish: pie, usually apple, mincemeat, and/or pumpkin. It’s a lovely meal, which I truly miss when I can’t attend. However, I also love Santa Fe and want to make my own traditions here. “That’s one benefit for your sister,” Mom said, polishing off her second water bottle. I swore I heard her stomach slosh. “The beach is at sea level.” “Yep, that’s the beach for you,” I replied in the perky tone I vowed to maintain for the rest of Mom’s visit. “Kath and the kids must be loving it. What a treat! A holiday to remember!” “I warned Kathy about jellyfish,” Mom said darkly. “Rip currents, sharks, sand, mosquitoes. . . . It simply doesn’t seem right to be somewhere so tropical for Christmas, but Dwayne went and got that package deal.” Mom’s tone suggested Dwayne had purchased a family-sized case of hives. I gave Mom another sympathetic smile, along with the extra water bottle she’d stashed in my purse. Of course she was out of sorts. Once the kids learned that they’d get to open their presents early and go to Disney World and the beach, Mom and the holiday hot dish hadn’t stood a chance. I, meanwhile, saw my chance to get Mom to Santa Fe. I employed some of the guilt she usually ladled on me, telling her truthfully that Celia and I couldn’t get away this year between my work and Celia’s extracurricular activities. Mom, the master of loving manipulation, countered with how much my Illinois relatives would miss us. I was also single, she needlessly pointed out, implying that I could easily uproot. Furthermore, I lived in a casita, a home with tiny in its very name. She wouldn’t want to put me out, she said. Mom then played her wild card, namely Albert Ridgeland, my junior prom date. Wouldn’t you know, Mom had said. She’d recently run into Albert and he was divorced just like me, and with his own successful dental clinic and a mostly full head of hair and he sure would love to catch up. Mom might be indirect, but she’s never subtle. Ever since my divorce from Manny Martin, a policeman with soap-opera good looks and accompanying philandering tendencies, Mom’s been after me to move back “home.” She sends me clippings of employment ads and monitors eligible bachelors. Peeved that Mom had dragged a divorced dentist into the debate, I went for the guilt jugular, reminding Mom that she was retired yet hadn’t visited in nearly two years. My tactic worked, possibly too well. Mom was staying for nearly three weeks—to get her money’s worth out of the flight—and I’d feel terrible if she didn’t have a good time. I looked over and saw Mom eyeing a brown paper lunch sack perched a few feet down the adobe wall. The bag was open at the top and slightly singed on the sides. I could guess the contents. A votive candle nestled in sand. Mom stepped over to peek inside. “It’s a wonder this entire state doesn’t burn down,” she declared. “Remember when your middle school band director, Mr. Ludwig, put on that world Christmas festival in the gymnasium? He almost set the bleachers on fire with one of these . . .” She paused. “What do you call them?” “A farolito,” I said, proud to show off my local knowledge. “Some people call them luminarias, but Santa Feans are very particular about terminology. Here, luminaria refers to small bonfires. Farolitos are the candles in paper bags. There are electric farolitos too. You’ll see a lot of those along the rooflines of hotels and businesses. They’re pretty but nothing compared to the real ones on Christmas Eve. You’ll love it, Mom. You’ve never seen anything like it.” Mom shuddered, likely imagining Santa Fe bursting into a spontaneous inferno rather than aglow with thousands of flickering lights. I decided not to tell her about the amazing three-dimensional paper lanterns I’d once seen soaring above the adobe city, lifted by the energy of the candles burning inside them. I needed to work on Mom before I exposed her to flying flames or peppers for breakfast. Mom was rooting around in her hip pack. “I thought I had a granola bar. This time change and the lack of air are making me light-headed. You need to keep eating too, Rita.” Eating, I always had covered. I also had a better idea than a squished fanny-pack snack. “It’s the holidays, Mom. Let’s get some pie.”
Ann Myers

More About Ann:

Ann Myers writes the Santa Fe Café Mysteries. The first book in the series, Bread of the Dead (2015), introduced café chef and reluctant amateur sleuth, Rita Lafitte. Rita and her friends stir up more trouble in Cinco de Mayhem (March 2016) and Feliz Navidead (October 25, 2016). Ann lives with her husband and extra-large house cat in southern Colorado, where she enjoys cooking, crafts, and cozy mysteries.
You can find Ann online on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AnnMyers.writer/ and her website http://www.annmyersbooks.com/
 

 

 

Tour Participants:


Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Ann Myers and HarperCollins. There will be 5 US winners of one (1) set of CINCO DE MAYHEM and BREAD OF THE DEAD by Ann Myers. The giveaway begins on Noveber 18th and runs through January 3rd, 2016.
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Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

 My review;


"Feliz Navidead " by author Ann Myers is the third book in her series called the Santa Fe Café mystery series. This is a great addition to this series and I really enjoyed it. It is  Christmas in Santa Fe and the chef of Tres Amigas Café, Chef Rita Lafitte is hoping that her mother will love all of the preparations that she did for her visit. Her daughter Celia is ready to have a great time, too. On the first day of Celia's performance in a play Rita happens to find the body of one of the actors. Her mother would get upset so she had to act like she was not interested.  The police have already decided who the killer is but, his wife has asked for her help. Rita has to help especially when she gets the idea that her daughter might be in trouble. She certainly has a lot of her plate this time, her mother, find the killer and have a great Christmas before someone else gets killed. I give this book a 5/5. I was given this book by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours and all opinions are mine.

Stocking Stuffer Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Stocking Stuffer Giveaway Hop!

Brought to you by: MamatheFox

Join us as we get ready for the 2016 holiday season with this fun giveaway hop. Each stop has a prize that is sure to please. At this bottom of this page you will find a clickable form with other blogs hosting their own giveaway. If you cannot see a form look for a small blue button which will provide you with the clickable list of blogs. Come back daily to increase your chances of winning! Good luck

We are giving away a $10 Starbucks Gift Card!

Please enter here:

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Disclosure:
MamatheFox and all participating blogs are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

This OR That Giveaway Hop #holidaygiveaway #holidaygiftguide #giving #givingtuesday


This is such a fun hop hosted by The Kids Did It & The Mommy Island

We are giving away a $25 WalMart gift card!

Please enter here:



Don't forget to enter the other giveaways listed here:


Where On Earth by David H. Minton Cover Reveal







Where On Earth? An Alaska Adventure

By David H. Minton



Fiery Seas Publishing



May 2017



Romantic Adventure



Book Description:



Dan Richards, an Iraq war vet, is a surveyor for the mining company, looking to open a new silver mine. Scrambling to establish his helicopter charter business in the wilds of Alaska, while trying to stay connected to his teenage daughter, his world soon turns upside down when he rescues a woman and her dog sledding team after an avalanche.


Samantha Bettencourt, an environmental engineer, is eager to begin her first project with the university. A spokesperson for an environmentalist group intent on preserving the wilderness, she is on the path to saving the wild, but when Dan walks into her life things start to change.


Sparks fly between Dan and Samantha as they find themselves running for their lives—from the good guys as well as the bad guys out to ruin the things they long to protect. Will they be able to escape before it’s too late? Will they get a chance at love or will they lose everything. . . including their lives?






About the Author:


After graduating college, David spent two tours in United States Military Assistance Command Republic of Viet-Nam, before beginning his career as a nuclear engineer, then electronics engineer, tele-communications engineer, and software security engineer. He has previously published three non-fiction books, several poems, and many non-fiction technical and historical articles.












Luminous Dreams by Alexa Piper Cover Reveal and Giveaway






Luminous Dreams
Alexa Piper

Genre: Paranormal Erotica

Publisher: World Weaver Press

Date of Publication:  December 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9977888-5-3
ASIN: B01M7UBG0H

Number of pages: 140
Word Count: 40,000

Book Description:

Relax, close your eyes . . . and dream. Nine tales, nine sensual dreams of enchantment, wanderlust and lovers’ longings, of searching and finding; these dreams tell of birds of fire, curses that lie like bridges between night and day, and hunger for sweet seduction.


About the Author:

Alexa Piper enjoys writing, romance, and the paranormal. This said, becoming a paranormal romance writer seemed perfectly reasonable, but for Alexa, it is more than that; it's fun. Alexa’s work has appeared in the anthologies Demons, Imps, and Incubi and The Naughty List. Luminous Dreams is Alexa's first collection, and she hopes her readers will have as much fun reading it as she had writing it. Check out Alexa’s online home (alexapiper.com) for all things related to her writing and be sure to follow her on Twitter @prowlingpiper.



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A Killer Location by Sarah T. Hobart Virtual Book Tour

A KILLER LOCATION By Sarah T. Hobart

  
 
 
 
 
 
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a-killer-location-large-banner640

A KILLER LOCATION
By Sarah T. Hobart

I really enjoyed this funny cozy mystery. The characters are well developed and boy do they give readers lots to laugh about…
~Texas Book-aholic
… well written… some humor besides being a great mystery that kept me guessing till the very end.
~Melina’s Book Blog
Good cozy mystery! Cozy mystery fans will enjoy A Killer Location.
~MysteriesEtc
…very well developed and intriguing, difficult to guess the solution of the case.
~LibriAmoriMiei
a-killer-location
A Killer Location:
A Home Sweet Home Mystery

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Alibi (November 22, 2016)
ASIN: B01AQNZQB8
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Synopsis

As this captivating cozy mystery series featuring real estate agent Sam Turner continues, a dream home turns into a crime scene when murder intrudes on an open house.
Thanks to a few sales and a self-help book on becoming a super-agent, Sam Turner is well on her way to becoming real estate royalty in Arlinda, her eccentric hometown on the Northern California coast. And after settling into her new house with her teenage son, she’s finally a homeowner, too. Sure, things aren’t perfect—for example, her sister still doesn’t know that Sam is dating her ex, police chief Bernie Aguilar—but perfect is boring. And Sam’s life is never boring.
When Sam’s boss, Everett Sweet, assigns her an open house in Arlinda’s most exclusive neighborhood, she brushes up on her super-agent tips, hoping to wow potential buyers. But there’s nothing in the manual about stumbling upon the owner’s dead body halfway through the tour. When suspicion falls on her boss, Sam and her co-workers are suddenly out of work, their real estate licenses suspended. Now, with her job on the line and a mortgage to pay, Sam will need every trick in the book to clear Everett’s name.
SARAH HOBART
About The Author –
Sarah Hobart is a real estate agent and former newspaper reporter in Northern California, where she lives with her husband and two children in a majestic fixer-upper overlooking State Highway 101.
Purchase Links:
Amazon      B&N 

Tour Participants
November 21 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
November 22 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW will be added soon.
November 22 – Readsalot – SPOTLIGHT
November 23 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW will be added soon.
November 23 – Books,Dreams,Life – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT
November 24 – THANKSGIVING U.S.
November 25 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
November 25 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST
November 26 – Booklady’s Booknotes – REVIEW
November 26 – LibriAmoriMiei
November 27 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
November 28 – MysteriesEtc – REVIEW
November 28 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST
November 29 – Readeropolis – INTERVIEW
November 30 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
December 1 – Cassidy Salem Reads & Writes – REVIEW
December 1 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
December 2 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT
December 2 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT
December 3 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

Changing Scenes Changes Book Two by Jennifer Allis Provost Book Tour






Changing Scenes
Changes
Book Two
Jennifer Allis Provost

Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Publisher: Limitless Publishing

Date of Publication: January 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1680584431
ASIN: B019SHY37Q

Number of pages: 247
Word Count: 62000

Cover Artist: Wicked by Design

Book Description:

For Astrid Janvier, image is everything…

Astrid is a world-renowned model, as famous for her strut as her startling green eyes. She’s modeled for the biggest names in the fashion world, and is regularly invited to parties in New York, London, and Paris. Thanks to a designer label addiction, she’s also broke, and takes a job as a cocktail waitress just to make rent. When her best friend Britt asks her to be her maid of honor at her upcoming wedding, their first task is to decide the menu.

Donnie Coehlo is a young, up-and-coming chef with a dinner menu to plan… 

Donato—Donnie for short—is the head chef at Thirty-Nine and Twelve, a seafood bistro on the Connecticut shore. It’s a great accomplishment given his youthful age, but Donnie doesn’t brag. He just wants to find the right girl, settle down, and have a bunch of kids. When Astrid arrives at his restaurant, Donnie hopes she is the one. But would a high-priced model like Astrid be interested in a regular guy like him?

As Astrid’s life crumbles around her, and Donnie makes a terrible choice, Astrid learns the two of them are irrevocably tied together.

Will their connection be enough for Astrid to leave her high-fashion life behind, 
and accept what Donnie has to offer?

Or will she chase her dreams as a model, leaving Donnie as part of her past?

What better time than the holiday season to be with the ones you love? In Changing Scenes, circumstances force Astrid and Donnie to spend their first Christmas apart. This is a much bigger deal for Donnie than it is for Astrid; while she sees holidays as something to endure, he enjoys going back to his grandmother’s house and spending a day or two cooking up a feast for his family.

In order to show Astrid just how much he is going to miss her, Donnie plans a special breakfast for Astrid—but this breakfast doesn’t involve bacon and eggs. Instead of traditional breakfast foods, he makes a few different chocolate pastries for Astrid, and she gets to choose between the sinful desserts. Does that make Donnie the dessert to the dessert? I guess it does.

In the spirit of Donnie’s romantic breakfast of desserts, here’s a recipe for one of the most sinful chocolate cakes you’ll ever encounter. Below that breakfast scene itself.

Happy reading—and baking!



Ingredients

butter and flour for coating and dusting the cake pan

3 cups all-purpose flour

3 cups granulated sugar

1½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon baking soda

1½ teaspoons baking powder

1½ teaspoons salt

4 large eggs

1½ cups buttermilk

1½ cups warm water

½ cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter three 9-inch cake rounds. Dust with flour and tap out the excess. (see cooking lesson below)

Mix together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a stand mixer using a low speed until combined.

Add eggs, buttermilk, warm water, oil, and vanilla. Beat on a medium speed until smooth. This should take just a couple of minutes.

Divide batter among the three pans. I found that it took just over 3 cups of the batter to divide it evenly.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until the cake meets the toothpick test (stick a toothpick in and it comes out clean).

Cool on wire racks for 15 minutes and then turn out the cakes onto the racks and allow to cool completely.

Frost with your favorite frosting and enjoy!

Excerpt from Changing Scenes: Donnie makes Astrid a special breakfast

After the session wrapped, I went home, showered, and took a nice, long nap. When I woke I ate a bowl of cereal, then I got dressed in my warmest socks, leggings, and sweater while I waited for Donnie to pick me up. My man was right on time and came bearing hot coffee, and we did our usual circuit of the market.
“These fish get heavier every week,” I said when we were loading up. “And I think Trevor put rocks in those sacks instead of clams.”
“I hope they’re not clams,” Donnie said. “I paid for mussels.”
I shook my head, unsuccessfully stifling my latest round of laughter; my chef thought he was a comedian. “I’m ready to head out if you are.”
“You know it, babe.”
We hopped into the fishmobile and left the market. I watched the market get smaller and smaller in the rearview mirror, wondering how big of a catastrophe would be needed for Donnie to cancel Christmas and hang out with me instead. The restaurant burning down? No, since he’s not an owner he’d probably go back to his family and wait for word from his boss. Massive snowstorm? No again, since he’s a New Englander; they laugh at snow. Me breaking a leg? Hmm, now that could work. Donnie would have to stay in my apartment with me, taking care of me, keeping me company… Of course, I would have that broken leg to deal with…
“Babe?”
“What?” I asked, blinking myself back to reality.
“You’re a dreamer, you know that?”
I looked down. “I was just thinking.”
“Hey.” I glanced up, saw his smile. “Dreams are good.”
I returned his smile, then I realized we were headed toward my apartment instead of the diner. “We’re not going to breakfast?”
“I thought we’d do something special.”
“What special thing?” I pressed.
“I’ll make breakfast at your place.”
I flopped back in my seat, totally speechless. Just when I thought Donnie couldn’t be any more perfect, he goes and one-ups himself. Then I remembered that all this cooking would be taking place in my kitchen, and my happiness turned to horror.
“I don’t have a lot of food at home,” I babbled. “I haven’t had time to shop, and I don’t own things like spatulas and cooking spray.”
“I brought everything we’ll need.”
“You did?”
“’Course I did. When I was in your place before I checked out your kitchen.” He gave me a look, and added, “The stove didn’t look like it’d been used this year.”
“I’m not a cooker like you.”
“Babe, there was dust on the burners.”
I crossed my arms and fidgeted in my seat. “What can I say, housekeeping hadn’t come by.”
“It sure hadn’t.”
We reached my building, and I directed Donnie toward my parking space. Once that was complete he handed me a cooler, then he grabbed a second bag and we headed toward the elevator.
“Will the fish be all right?” I asked.
“They’ll be fine for a few hours,” he said. “It’s cold, even in here, and they’re packed in tons of ice.”
When we entered my apartment Donnie went straight to the kitchen. “What do you want me to do?” I asked.
“What do you usually do after I drop you off?”
“Change and go to bed.”
“Go change, then.”
I blinked. “I thought if I didn’t help, I didn’t get to eat.”
He kissed the corner of my mouth. “Grandma’s rules, not mine. Don’t worry, I got this.”
I did as ordered, and shed my fish market gear. Since I wasn’t going to see Donnie for a while I decided to dress sexy, and put on a blue satin spaghetti strapped nightie and matching robe. The smell of coffee lured me back to the kitchen, and I saw little pastries set up on the counter.
“What’s all this?” I asked. “No bacon and eggs?”
“Sweets for a sweet lady,” he replied. The coffeemaker beeped, so Donnie poured a cupful and handed it to me. “Gonna try one?”
“Sure.” I selected a tiny chocolate confection, then I took it and my coffee to the couch. Donnie sat beside me a moment later. “What brought this on?”
“I’m going to miss you, that’s what,” he said. “Not gonna lie, I was single for a long time before we met. Been a long time since I found anyone I wanted to spend time with…” Donnie shook his head. “And now, I won’t even be with you over the holidays.”
“It’s not like you’ll be gone forever,” I said, ignoring the pang in my heart. “If it’s any consolation, I’ll be miserable with my family.”
Donnie made a face. “I’d be miserable too, if they dragged me to some restaurant on Christmas.”
“Yeah, restaurants are terrible,” I said. “And the chefs, especially the head chefs, now they are the worst.”
“Hey, take that back.”
“Nope.”
Donnie grabbed my coffee and pastry from my hands and set them on the table, then he grabbed my waist. “Take it back,” he insisted, his hand sliding up my spine toward my neck.
“Make me.”



About the Author:

Jennifer Allis Provost writes books about faeries, orcs and elves. Zombies too. She grew up in the wilds of Western Massachusetts and had read every book in the local library by age twelve. (It was a small library). An early love of mythology and folklore led to her epic fantasy series, The Chronicles of Parthalan, and her day job as a cubicle monkey helped shape her urban fantasy, Copper Girl. When she’s not writing about things that go bump in the night (and sometimes during the day) she’s working on her MFA in Creative Nonfiction.



Twitter: @parthalan



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