Today we have Shannon Stacey visiting with us, and she’s doing it up Teaser Tuesday style! In fact, I told Shannon she’s a total overachiever, as she’s got her GA&AG covered, is providing an exclusive excerpt, and referenced previous blog posts! She’s the dream guest, because she makes me seem all put together and relevant! *heart* (Um, cuz it’s all about me, yes? ;))
Her Kowalski series has been incredibly popular, and I’ve only heard good things about it. Below, there’s an exclusive excerpt of Yours to Keep, the newest book in the series and it *just* came out yesterday!
It’s no secret I can’t cook. People try to “fix” me. Lime has even tried to feed me. But I’m fairly hopeless, as my misadventures in cooking show. Emma, the heroine of Yours To Keep, is as bad a cook as I am, which made her extra fun for me to write. And it made things a little interesting for the hero, too.
Here’s an exclusive excerpt from Yours To Keep, in which Sean is sitting down for his first dinner as Emma’s fake fiance. Cat, Emma’s grandmother, has just arrived from Florida and Emma wants to kick off a month of pretend family bonding with a
special, home-cooked meal. Too bad she didn’t have a little more time to get to know him first…
Sean didn’t think it was going too badly…until Emma set a steaming glass dish on a trivet in the middle of the table. It was a casserole. One with tufts of little green trees sticking up out of some kind of sauce.
Broccoli. He hated broccoli. Loathed it.
“Chicken divan,” Emma said, and only an idiot could have missed the note of pride in her voice as she put her hands on her hips, oven mitts and all. “It’s my best dish—okay, my only real baked dish—so I made it as a welcome-home meal.”
Cat smiled and Sean forced his lips to move into what he hoped was a similar expression. A woman who was sleeping with and living with and planning a future with a man would know he didn’t like broccoli. And it was his own damn fault for laughing off her suggestion he write an owner’s manual of his own.
She served him first, maybe because he was the fake man of the house, plopping in front of him a steaming pile of perfectly good chicken and cheese ruined by the green vegetable. He smiled at her—or maybe grimaced—and took a sip of iced tea.
He could do this. He’d survived boot camp. He’d survived combat and the harsh weather of Afghanistan. He could survive broccoli. Probably.
“It looks wonderful,” Cat practically cooed, and Sean’s stomach rumbled. Whether in hunger or protest he couldn’t say.
Emma, of course, flushed with pleasure at the compliment. With a few wisps of hair framing her pink cheeks and her eyes sparkling, she was beautiful. Not beautiful enough to merit eating broccoli, but beautiful enough so he watched her for a minute as she served herself and sat down across from him.
Then he made himself look back to his own plate. He’d given his word he’d make this charade work and Cat wanting to know why Emma fed her fiancé his least favorite food wasn’t a good way to start.
He put it off as long as he could—picking out mouthfuls of cheesy chicken that weren’t too bad—but he couldn’t leave behind a pile of uneaten broccoli.
Suck it up, soldier. The broccoli’s tree trunk or stalk or whatever people called it squeaked between his teeth, a little undercooked. Or maybe it was supposed to feel like that. Either way, he didn’t like it, so he chewed and swallowed as fast as he could. Then he dug up another forkful and did it again.
He’d gotten through basic training by putting one reluctant foot in front of the other, and that’s how he got through Emma’s chicken divan. One squeaky, nauseating bite after another.
I love chicken divan, but even if I could make it I wouldn’t. Like Sean, my husband doesn’t like broccoli. (He also doesn’t like cheese, which I’m not sure I knew before I agreed to marry him.) I make a mean batch of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, though!
What’s your favorite dish to make? Or if, like with me, cooking isn’t one of your more finely honed skills, where’s your favorite place to eat? (I’m particularly fond of Applebee’s because I love steak and I’ve never grilled one without totally stripping it of moisture and flavor.)
I’ll give one random commenter a gift certificate for $25 to the online bookstore of your choice!
Shannon Stacey has written romances in a variety of subgenres, but they all have one thing in common—a happily ever after is guaranteed. She can be found blogging (almost) daily on her website, www.shannonstacey.com and is often spotted running amok on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and the eHarlequin.com community.
I have to say… Shannon, you and your family’s food choices make me sad. Like, seriously sad. And… squeaky brocolli? Gah. *shudder* But that excerpt was totally cute. I’m still determined to feed your family…
Sean Kowalski no sooner leaves the army than he’s recruited by Emma Shaw to be her fake fiancé. Emma needs to produce a husband-to-be for her grandmother’s upcoming visit, and, though Sean doesn’t like the deception, he could use the landscaping job Emma’s offering while he decides what to do with his civilian life. And, despite his attraction to Emma, there’s no chance he’ll fall for a woman with deep roots in a town he’s not planning to call home.
Emma’s not interested in a real relationship either; not with a man whose idea of home is wherever he drops his duffel bag. No matter how amazing his “pretend” kisses are…
So everyone – what’d you think? Have you read any of Shannon Stacey’s stories before? Or any in her “Yours”/Kowalski series? Got any recipe suggestions for Shannon? 😉 And how do you feel about broccoli?