It’s really real!

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.

A Sneak Peek and Pre-Order Information

ct coverEvan 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)

Pages: 278

ISBN: 978-1-941530-17-7

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 by February 2, 2015 and receive the eBook for free.


More to Come!

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.