Sure, Thanksgiving’s over, and you’re probably still full. Or, if you’re like us, daydreaming of leftovers. Mmmm, turkey sandwiches. While we’re in this culinary state of mind, let us present to you: M/M, contemporary romance Chef’s Table by Lynn Charles. The men bond over food — and more. We love food, we love romance, so we were intrigued by this “delectable” tale. Want to check it out with us? Read on for an excerpt! It will help with your food coma. We swear.
For my first book release blog stop, I was asked to offer up a “recipe for love.” And I must admit, this one tripped me up. I went to google to see if I couldn’t jump start my brain with something clever or cheesy or, well, let’s use the kitchen puns to their full capacity here, appetizing.
What I found there put a whole new spin on cheesy, taking it straight to saccharine and cloying. As I contemplated the options, all I could hear were my characters offering their own ingredients for the recipe for love.
So, I did what any sane writer does. I asked them. I know you don’t know these characters yet, but hopefully, after reading the answers, you’ll be curious to meet them. They’re all pretty spectacular people in their own ways. Even the not-so-spectacular ones. I’m looking at you, Perci.
Here’s what they had to say to the question, “Give me one ingredient for the recipe for love.”
Ross, maître d: Cleavage. Love lasts for about an hour for me.
Natalie, head waitress: Tenderness
Robin, sous chef: That little heart palpitation that stirs you every time they walk into the room
Jay, roundsman: ::lifts his hands up:: That move. “Yes, honey.” Punctuated with a kiss just in case.
Johnny, diner owner: Knowing when to buy her flowers and when to just let her stew
DiSante, Il Boschetto owner: Enough money to send her off to Cabo every six months
Mimi, diner waitress: Chemistry—like when Patrick makes marshmallows for Christmas. Sugar syrup and gelatin mixed together become this big white fluffy ooze of sugary goodness. That’s what it should be like when two people mix together.
Angel, diner waitress: Letting her see that you’re not the big dumb brute you pretend to be
Perci, line cook: Maybe DiSante isn’t as creepy as I thought. I’ll take the money and go.
Rosey, dishwasher: You know what I’ve never had before but I have now? Laughter. That’s the best feeling in the world—laughing with someone.
Roger, porter: Ehh, I’m not so good at that love business. A little extra time maybe. Everyone’s always in such a damned hurry.
Patrick, head diner cook: Passion. In all its forms.
Evan, executive chef: There has to be a secret ingredient: that one thing between the two of you that drives each other mad—the good kind of mad—that will still every argument, that will soften every harsh word, that will reignite every dulled day. And no, you may not have ours.
I’m not sure how their love stew would taste, but it surely would be a fun ride. And really, that’s what love should be. A fun, joyous ride. A little sweet. A little acid. A lot of chemistry and patience to let it all marry together into one delicious dish.
To hear what Carly’s Book Reviews thinks of Chef’s Table, and to enter to win a $225 gift card, head on over to her blog and check in!
With my book’s release only days away, I will be going on a book tour: visiting blogs, answering questions and talking about some of the things I’ve been wanting to talk about for months. And the best part? None of us have to wear pants!
What’s in it for you? Besides getting to know a bit more about my book, every time you follow me on tour, you will get a chance to win gift cards from Interlude Press–for my book or something from our other amazing authors–or from Barnes and Noble.
Bookmark this link as I will be adding the direct link to the visit and giving you a quick preview of what to expect there.
December 1: Carly’s Book Reviews – 5 stars! And… a recipe for love
December 3: The Reading Addict – The Last Meal
December 4: Books on Silver Wings – Let’s talk about that cover
December 5: LibriAmoriMiei – 5 stars! And a recipe for Irish Soda Bread
December 8: Wickedly Wanton Tales – Which would I choose?
December 9: Prism Book Alliance – A sexy recipe and foodie books
December 10: Unabridged Andra’s – Guilty food pleasures
December 10: Jen’s Reading Obsession – lovely review!
December 11: Romance Novel Giveaways – Stranger Than Fiction? Meet a real life muse.
December 12: The Buttontapper – a Q&A about romance
First, I cannot tell you how excited I am to have this lovely yellow gem in my hot little hands. We are blessed enough to get a few to giveaway, to hoard, to roll around and sleep with, and my box came yesterday.
But, while that was fabulous, to have this lovely gem in this man’s hot little hands is beyond.
This is Richie Verito. He owns an amazing deli in the town south of mine. He hails from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York. He used to be a pastry chef at Marriott Marquis Times Square. I knew none of this until after Patrick Sullivan, my delicious almost-pastry-chef diner cook was already on the page and pretty completely parsed out.
You familiar with the movie Stranger Than Fiction? Yeah. That.
I mean, sort of that. Last I checked, I didn’t get him hit by a bus in my writing and last I checked, he’s still a straight happily married Italian dude who voluntarily lives in south-central Ohio and makes the best baguette/sub bread you’ll ever eat, and who creates, with his lovely wife, the best gluten-free desserts you’ll ever dream of eating. But, you get my point.
He is a delight. He helped me with this book in so many ways. And every time I go in, he asks about its progress.
Well, today, I got to hand it to him. He asked me sign it and we talked about how he influenced certain portions of it beyond his help with the technical/kitchen scenes. Then, I received one of the best hugs I think I’ve ever experienced.
You’ll get to know more about Richie in weeks to come. But, today seemed like a good day to introduce him to you. And to encourage you, if you’re a writer, to approach that person that reminds you of a character, a portion of a character. You never know what a gift might be just waiting for you.
Chef’s Table is currently available for pre-order now at Interlude Press, and will be available wherever books are sold this Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014.
Evan was used to distractions in the kitchen. His job was buoyed by auditory distractions: printers clicking a constant tick-tick-tick of new orders; cooks chattering about the food, their horrible mothers-in-law and how drunk they’d gotten the night before; expeditors shouting orders and the general clang-sizzle-hiss of food prep all served not only as a droned soundtrack, but also a constant distraction. You learned to work with it, if not for it.
But this distraction—Patrick’s lips moving up the curve of his neck, hot breath tickling his ear right before the damp warmth of his tongue traced the shell of it; Patrick’s arm wrapped firmly around his waist, hand dipping knuckle deep into the waistband of his lounge pants, the other covering his own hand on the sauté pan handle, “helping” him flip the asparagus over the heat—was a distraction he could not get used to.
Not that he wanted to. Not at all.
* * *
Chef Evan Stanford steadily climbed New York City’s culinary ladder, earning himself the Rising Star James Beard award and an executive chef position at an acclaimed restaurant. But in his quest to build his reputation, he forgot what got him there: the lessons on food—and life—from a loving hometown neighbor.
Patrick Sullivan is contented keeping the memory of his grandmother’s Irish cooking alive through the food he prepares in a Brooklyn diner. But when Chef Stanford walks in for a meal, Patrick is swept up by his drive, forcing him to reconsider if a contented life is a fulfilled one.
The two men begin a journey through their culinary histories, falling into an easy friendship. But even with the joys of their burgeoning love, can they tap into that secret recipe of great love, great food and transcendent joy?
Release Date: December 2, 2014
Pre-Orders Begin: October 2, 2014
Pricing: $15.99 print / $9.99 multi-format eBook (US price)
US/Canada: Order the print edition from the Interlude Store before November 18th and receive the DRM-free, multi-format eBook for free.
International Orders: Chef’s Table will be available to order from most book retailers starting December 2nd. Submit a copy of your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org by February 2, 2015 and receive the eBook for free.
Pardon the dust and lack of interesting posts. I’m in the process of a digital move. Who knew it would still involve lost silverware?
Before long, this will look a bit more like home.