Animation by Kayelle Allen at The Author's Secret

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Three Top Writers at my Valentine's Party & Give@way!

The party continues and there's a special Valentine's gift for you - just check out the details at the end of the post.  Now, if you recall, my three guest writers are Linda Andrews, Meg Bellamy and Sophia Knightly and during the first course, Meg shared her excerpt Divorce by Chocolate with us, leaving us all drooling for dessert before the main course was even served!  I need to take my guests minds' off thoughts of chocolate and fast.  I ask them which of their heroes they would choose for a secret Valentine's Day date and where they would go.

Meg looks a tad nervous, "You're not going to tell my husband, right?"  Fortunately he's engaged in a different conversation so, with a bit of encouragement, Meg goes on: "The hero I'd have to choose is Ben Riker from Divorce by Chocolate. He could take me anywhere he'd like to.  Maybe we could have a fun time at an arts or crafts fair," (she gave a meaningful look here towards her partner).  "Somewhere DH has zero tolerance for."

Linda also seems hesitant at first to give an answer.  "In so many ways that's like asking who is my favorite child," she says, before adding with a wink, "which depends on how difficult they're being.  I think my favorite would be Alistair Holmes the hero from Dancing in the Kitchen. In the book, he invades the heroine's dreams to seduce her. Honestly, don't we all want men to just know what we're wanting and give it to us without us having to ask or write sticky notes?"  Well, yes, Linda - you have a point there.

Sophia, however, has absolutely  no hesitation: "I would choose Paolo from Grill Me, Baby. He’d whisk me away to Buenos Aires and prepare a delicious feast for me at his family’s restaurant. Afterward, he’d take me tango dancing. We’d share a bottle of Malbec wine and he would charm me with his sexy, Latin accent."  Now that, if you ask me, is the way to do it!  She goes on to tell us that Paolo is generous, romantic and has a big heart - all the qualities she admires in her husband.  So romantic...sigh.

We clearly need to find out a bit more about Paolo and Grill Me Baby so here goes.

The Blurb:

The heat is on…

Raised among women who taught him to cook at his family’s Buenos Aires restaurant, master chef Paolo Santos deftly works his culinary wiles—and his gypsy charm—on posh Flamingo Island’s female clientele.
The tastiest tidbit on the island, though, is cool, elegant Michaela Willoughby. The redhead’s slender curves are as enticing as her rabbit-food menus are maddening. And she’s his main competition for the chance of a lifetime.

Michaela overcame her own weight issues to become Flamingo Island’s premiere spa chef. Now she has a chance to share her innovative recipes for healthy living on a new cooking show—if she can somehow outshine Paolo. His sizzling, Latin-lover looks are more heart stopping than his decadent cooking. And she’d love nothing better than to stick a fork in his outsized ego.

When the stage lights ignite, so does the competition…and a sexual chemistry no one—least of all Paolo and Michaela—saw coming. Suddenly, separating business from pleasure is as impossible as separating a scrambled egg. And the big question isn’t whose knife cuts fastest…it’s whose heart can take the most heat.
Warning: Contains two hot chefs duking it out in a lively showdown of sexy rivalry. Mix in family drama, luscious recipes and spicy mischief, and there’s more than just steam rising out of the kitchen. May cause lusty cravings for midnight indulgences.

Grill Me Baby is available from the following outlets - just click on the links for further details:

And here's an excerpt from Grill Me Baby:

So this was the infamous Paolo Santos.

Michaela sized up her opponent in the waiting area of the producer’s office. The seriously hot Argentine seated across from her looked so relaxed, nobody would have guessed he was vying against her to host the hottest new celebrity chef TV show, Miami Spice. A confident smile spread over Paolo’s rugged face as she assessed him. His large, muscular body was sprawled across the sofa, with one tanned arm draped across the sofa back and long legs stretched before him. A crisp white linen shirt revealed a hint of hard chest beneath a tailored buff suit. He looked like a perfectly caramelized Argentine churrasco steak. Good enough to eat—damn him!

Michaela’s stomach growled so loudly that Paolo raised an amused eyebrow. A gentleman would have acted like he hadn’t heard it and discreetly looked away.

“Hungry?” he asked with a brazen grin. His deep voice and sexy Latin accent sounded as delicious as he looked.

“Maybe just a little,” she replied breezily. She was trying to relax before her meeting with the producer, but cocky Paolo Santos was doing his best to disarm her with steady, smoldering looks.

She smiled coolly and looked away. Focus, she told herself. In a few minutes, she would have to sell herself to Mr. Blumenthal, the producer, in order to land the host spot. If she did, she’d become an instant celebrity chef and her almost finished cookbook would rack up lots of sales. She would also be able to pay back her parents every cent they had shelled out for her education. Her parents, two successful partners in the same law firm, still hadn’t forgiven her for dropping out of Duke Law School in her third year. Adding insult to injury, she had chucked it all to become a chef. Their grimace of shame when friends asked about Michaela’s new career never failed to make her stomach churn. At thirty years of age, it still felt awful being a failure in their eyes.

She needed to use her nervous energy to show she could hold her own alongside celebrity chefs Paula Deen’s zaniness or Rachael Ray’s perkiness or Bobby Flay’s wise guy banter. But she wasn’t the only one competing. She had Santos to contend with, and for the life of her, Michaela couldn’t help staring at his mouth. It wasn’t just the pair of deep-slashed dimples that drew her attention; it was his full lips that were probably great at kissing…

Stop, she told herself, concentrate on the upcoming interview.

Michaela focused on the stark, modern painting on the wall before her, but the image of Paolo’s white teeth gleaming against his bronzed olive skin invaded her thoughts…strong teeth poised to take a bite out of her chances for the job. From the corner of her eye, she caught his black-as-sin eyes giving her a slow and thorough once-over.

Were all Latin men so forward? Could be a cultural thing, but he might be trying to seduce her into losing her focus. She had to be on her toes around this one.

Wow!  I knew I'd be hooked on this from the moment I read the blurb!  I can't wait to read it.

Here's more about the author:

Bestselling author Sophia Knightly loves to cook up hot romance and delicious humor in her feel-good stories. Whether it's romantic suspense or romantic comedy, her books are fun and sexy contemporary romances.

A two-time Maggie award finalist, she believes in love-at-first sight and happy endings, and she always enjoys a good laugh. When not writing or reading, she finds pleasure in walking the beach, exploring museums, going to the theatre, enjoying good food, and watching movies. One of her favorite pastimes remains simply watching people, especially those in love!

Write to her at:
Follow her on Twitter @SophiaKnightly
"Like" her Facebook author page at:
Visit her website at:

Cooking up Hot Romance and Delicious Humor
Wild for You (Tropical Heat Series, Book One)
Sold on You (Tropical Heat Series, Book Two)
Paging Dr. Hot -    Facebook author page

Time to put Sophia on the spot:
Q: Chocolates or red roses? A: Chocolates, preferably dark.
Q: Champagne or cocktails? A: Champagne!
Q: Puppies or kittens? A: Puppies
Q: Spa hotel or country cottage? A: Spa hotel
Q: Log fire or moonlit beach? A: Moonlit beach
Q: Ski holiday or cruise? A: Ski holiday

Sophia is definitely a lady who knows her own mind.  It's impossible not to admire her.  And she's giving away a copy of her great new book Grill Me Baby to one lucky visitor to this blog.  To win it, here's all you have to do.  We started with chocolate but will we finish with it?  Before the final course arrives, just tell us what dessert would make your Valentine's Day dinner-date perfect.  The one that gets us salivating the most wins Sophia's great prize.  And just to remind you of why you want this, here's Sophia's YouTube trailer.

Whatever happens, please don't forget to come back on Wednesday for the final instalment of our party.


Sophia Knightly said...

Thank you, Lynette! I'll start the Valentine dessert selection with one of my favorites - molten chocolate cake and Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream. What's yours?

Donna Cummings said...

Wonderful excerpt -- I can't wait to read more about Paolo. :) My fave dessert is always creme brulee. Yum!

ManicScribbler said...

Very exotic, Sophia - that's a new one on me, but it sounds delicious. I imagine it must be something like chocolate mud cake - which is too yummy to describe and possibly one of my favourites - though I also love anything with cherries.
I made chocolate ice cream last night, by the way - very simple, very rich and very yummy.

ManicScribbler said...

Hi Donna,
I agree with you about the excerpt - and also about creme brulee - scrummy. I've never attempted to make it though - have you?

Lyn said...

Loved the excerpt! My new fav dessert is low in calories and very satisfying. Core two pears and sprinkle with a dash of sugar. Heat a 90% cocoa dark chocolate bar until it melts and then drizzle over the pears. My guy made this for me when I went on my latest diet.

Ipro55 said...

Dessert? Hmm... anything drizzling in chocolate works for me. I'm a chocoholic and proud of it!

Sophia Knightly said...

Oooh, I love creme brulee too, Donna Cummings! Glad you like Paolo. :)

Sophia Knightly said...

ManicScribbler, homemade chocolate ice cream sounds divine, especially topped with cherries. :)

Sophia Knightly said...

Lyn, your pear recipe sounds amazing. I'm going to try it too! Thanks for sharing.

Sophia Knightly said...

Iris, I'm with you...bring on the chocolate! Thanks for commenting here. :)

Mary Ricksen said...

I loved this book! I was up till two am. reading it.
And puppies for me too!
Sophia has a way of taking you out of real life, and putting you into her stories. So, one forgets they are even reading. Terrific book, and I highly recommend it!!!

Sophia Knightly said...

Thanks so much for your wonderful recommendation, Mary! I'm delighted you enjoyed Grill Me, Baby!

Leslie Ann aka LA said...

I love that you have a heroine who has had to deal with real issues, like weight. I haven't read the book, reading Sold On You right now, but I can't wait to get or win this one.

Love your book Trailers!

ManicScribbler said...

Lyn - pears with chocolate sounds both indulgent and healthy - a great idea!
Ipro55 - you sound like a girl who is easy to please - lol!
Thank you both for stopping by - lovely to see you here.

ManicScribbler said...

A great recommendation, Mary. I can't wait to read it myself. I know I'm going to enjoy it.
Leslie Ann - I also love a heroine who has to face up to real issues. We'll have to compare notes when we've both finished Grill Me Baby.
Thank you both for stopping by my blog and commenting. Hope to see you here again.

ManicScribbler said...

And one other thing...
Dare I say this here? I'm not exactly a great lover of sweet things (even chocolate) myself!! Does that make me sound totally weird?
I like experimenting with low carb desserts, however, and believe it or not, my chocolate ice cream was exactly that. But it was still utterly decadent.

Marian Lanouette said...

Grill Me Baby sounds great. I love chocolate mousse

Sophia Knightly said...

Leslie - that is so nice! I'm glad you like heroines who deal with real life issues. Thank you for joining the party here. :)

Sophia Knightly said...

Thanks very much, Marian! Chocolate mousse is so lovely...

Betty said...

Any meal that starts with chocolate still needs to end with chocolate, too! Boston cream pie is my all-time favorite, and makes any meal end perfectly. In fact...who needs the meal? Just bring on the pie :)

Sophia Knightly said...

Oh, Betty, just the mention of a Boston cream pie makes my mouth water! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. :)

Desere said...

Grill me baby is a fabulous delicious read! Lovely post ladies!

Sarah Davey said...

chocolate covered strawberries!

ManicScribbler said...

I've never heard of Boston cream pie, Betty, but the combination of cream and pie does sound delicious. I'll have to look it up.
And yes, Sarah - how can you go wrong with chocolate-dipped strawberries - the first dessert to appear in my very first novel!
Thanks for stopping by and commenting and you too, Desere - love the foodie connotation for the book!
How on earth Sophia is going to choose from all these delectable desserts, I really don't know!

Alexia said...

Love the excerpt - sounds like a good read.
My favourite dessert - profiteroles - to die for!

Sophia Knightly said...

Thanks for joining us here, Desere! I'm happy you think Grill Me, Baby is a "fabulous, delicious read"!

Sophia Knightly said...

Sarah - I love chocolate-covered strawberries too!Thanks for stopping by to comment.

Sophia Knightly said...

Thanks, Alexia, I'm glad you enjoyed the excerpt. I adore profiteroles, especially when they have vanilla ice cream inside!

Carol Kilgore said...

You're cooking up quite a party here! Good luck to Sophia on this book. Sounds great :)

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