Come check out the Tuesday Treat recipes on Smart Girls Read Romance blog! Perfect timing for Thanksgiving and fall weather!
Come check out the Tuesday Treat recipes on Smart Girls Read Romance blog! Perfect timing for Thanksgiving and fall weather!
I used to live in Ohio in elementary school, and my mother would always make Buckeyes around Halloween (chocolate covered peanut butter rolls). I’d help roll the dough/batter into little balls and dunk them in the chocolate. My favorite October/November treat! Almost better than Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, but with extra love.
Ingredients (makes 30 buckeyes):
1 1/2 cups peanut butter (I use Jiff), 1 cup softened butter, 6 cups confectioner’s sugar, 4 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I like milk chocolate), 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, wax paper roll, 30 toothpicks (minimum)
Prep: 15 minutes, Bake: 5min, Ready in 50min
In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and sugar. The dough will look dry. Roll into 1in balls and place on wax paper-lined cookie sheet. Press a toothpick into the middle of each ball (to be used later for dipping), and chill in the freezer until firm (about 30min). Melt chocolate chips in double boiler or in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir chocolate frequently until smooth (do not leave unattended). Dip cold peanut butter balls in chocolate holding onto the toothpick. Leave a small portion of the peanut butter showing at the top to make them look like buckeyes. Put back on the cookie sheet and refrigerate until serving.
Totally on cloud nine right now!
InD’Tale Magazine, a reputable and well known review magazine for romance novels, gave PRINCE OF SOLANA a 5-star review!
Check out the actual review here (pg 96)
Not only did it receive such a glorious review, they also gave it the coveted Crowned Heart Award for Excellence!
I cannot thank them enough! I’m so humbled and thrilled!
What are you waiting for? Pick up your copy of PRINCE OF SOLANA today!
Be sure to check out InD’Tale’s website for other reviews from awesome novels!
Book 3 in the King’s Riders Series
She’s on the run, but doesn’t know it…
Raised in the security of the king’s castle, Lady Elissa Durroc remembers nothing of the death of her family or how she survived it. As an elemental mage with control over all four elements, her powers are rare. And coveted by dark magic. None darker than the mage who killed her parents.
When the king learns the mage knows Elissa is alive, he orders her to Greenwald under the guise of choosing a husband. Her protection falls to Sir Alasdair Kearney, a knight whose prowess on the battlefield is rivaled only by his appetite for women.
Alasdair’s not sure what to make of being a glorified nursemaid, despite Elissa’s beauty and intriguing magic. The rogue has rules. Rules that don’t involve being tempted by his noble charge.
Elissa is drawn to the knight, even though he’s not on her list of suitors. Can she guard her heart and her magic? And when the dark mage comes after her, will it be too late to matter?
I promise, you do not have to read these books in order, to understand everything. CA Szarek writes each of them as a standalone, and they are all fabulous!
CA Szarek is a brilliant romance author, a bestselling, award-winning one! She writes romantic suspense and epic fantasy romance. If it’s a good story, she’ll write it, no matter what genre it seems to fit. She’s a hopeless romantic at heart, and always will be: Risking it all for Happily Ever After!
She’s originally from Ohio, but moved to Texas as soon as she could. She’s happily married and has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. When not writing, she works with kids.
If you care to follow CA Szarek on Facebook or Twitter, or find more of her fantastic books, (including her steamy and riveting romantic suspense series Crossing Forces) check them out here:
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/C.A.-Szarek/e/B00BJY74BY/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Exclusive for those visiting the website or on my subscribers list, an alternate ending for the Prince of Solana!
*DISCLAIMER: The scene below contains adult content, including explicit language and sexual intercourse. It is not suitable for children under the age of 17 years old. Reader discretion strongly advised.
“I owe you everything,” he whispered into her neck, nuzzling below her ear. “You saved me, in so many ways. Whatever you want, mi diamente, it’s yours.” He fluttered a kiss on her skin and slowly trailed his hand up her uninjured arm. “Money, jewels, horses…a palace.”
Everything shifted and she pushed back, placing her hand on his sash. Her fingers trembled over his chest as she processed his words. What is he doing?
“Going forward, nothing in my life is certain. Except as a Peralta, I will always have a target on my back. I have no right to ask you this, to put you in more danger with everything you’ve already sacrificed. I understand if that risk is too much for you.” He cupped her neck. “But I’m in love with you, Gemma Westfall. I want you with me.”
Gemma’s mouth opened, but nothing came out except a gasp. She gripped the opening of his jacket, fighting back the growing lump in her throat. The deep color in his eyes hypnotized her, but she forced herself to look away. Anyone would melt into those eyes. Give anything to stay lost in his gaze.
He fluttered a kiss on her forehead, pulling her closer to his chest. Her senses were overloaded by his musky cologne, burying the stubborn will that told her to back away. His heart raced under her hand. “Now that I’ve found you, I won’t let you go,” he breathed, almost winded.
“Why?” she asked into his neck. The lump in her throat made her voice crack. “I have nothing you need.”
“You are everything I need.” André held her elbows and gazed hard into her eyes. “I need you with me. You give me the strength to do what’s right. To make it through all of this chaos.”
Her mind whirled. She couldn’t imagine the responsibilities on his shoulders, or how she could possibly help him with any of them. She was merely a shell of what she used to be.
“This room is yours,” André continued. “The palace, gardens, stables, it’s all free reign for you. An entire team of Royal Guardsmen will accompany you anywhere you want to go on the island. At any time you want. The best clothes, most expensive jewels, whatever you want. As long as you’re with me.”
Gemma’s head hurt the more André spoke. All the attention and extravagance he promised, overwhelming as they were, wasn’t anything she wanted.
“Or…you can live in a house of your own just off the palace grounds.” André’s voice became significantly less enthusiastic. “Ride horses until your boots fall off. Just…please stay.”
Everything he offered was worth more than she could ever hope to earn in a lifetime. Supposed to represent the love of a man worth a hundred times that. But the man she fell in love with on a dusty ranch thousands of miles away was far less extravagant. And infinitely more precious. He stood in front of her wearing his true colors, the ones he was born to wear. The ones she would never dare ask him to remove.
When she didn’t respond, his voice lowered even further. “Is it…the cartel you’re worried about?”
“I could give a shit about them,” she murmured. It was so hard to look into his eyes. She’d cave if she did. “I don’t know how to fit into this world, André. You’re regal, I’m country. You’re distinguished, educated and everything a woman could want, and I have a foul mouth and an ugly history. You have a country depending on you, and all I have is…” Her voice trailed off and she didn’t want to say it. It hurt to even think it: I have no one, just a shattered heart.
“You have me,” he finished for her, kissing her knuckles and breathing her in. “For the record, I worship your mouth.”
Gemma’s laugh sounded like a sob.
“I love how direct you are,” André continued. “No nonsense, with a heart ten times bigger than Texas. Not a single ruler in the world could rival your pride and loyalty. Stefano, Rico, and all of Solana already adore you. Let me be your family, Gemma.” He held her hands like in prayer, his fluttering lips melted her insides and made everything ache. She didn’t have the heart to tell him she didn’t care about the people. His people. They meant everything to his family legacy, and he belonged here. But she didn’t.
Not the qualities needed in royalty. Her heart wept so much, no words made it past her throat.
“I can wait until you’re ready,” he whispered into her hair, clearly sensing her fear. “You don’t have to decide anything today. Right now, just be with me. The man you met on the ranch. Who christened himself on horseshit, made you throw sugar in my face, and whom you love to ride into oblivion.”
Gemma flushed and heat pooled in her core. “You’re the best time I’ve ever had.”
He grinned. “Me too.” He led her inside, so gentle and handsome she could barely breathe. Standing in a room meant for a princess, she felt something cave inside her. Her will, her defenses, common sense, she wasn’t sure. Whatever it was, it was lost. “It’s not a quilt by your pond or the hull of a boat.” André’s voice melted over her skin like silk. “But I think I can still make this our best time.”
Gemma used her good arm to grab his elbow and pull him into her, flush against her chest. “As long as when you kiss me, you can’t look anywhere else. I don’t want to remember anything else right now.” Her voice shook and her knees quaked. “Not yesterday, not what we lost, or what will happen tomorrow. I just want you.” Tears built behind her eyes and she tried to breathe.
Through the cotton shirt, her nipples rubbed against his sash and they felt heavy. Aching. André’s eyes darkened and his lips parted on an inaudible gasp.
She opened her lips to say more, but André smothered her mouth with his own. His tongue swept inside like a conquering explorer, tasting every corner. Like she was a spring of eternal water and he couldn’t drink enough. He cradled her head and tilted, delving deeper and pulling her closer.
Every move was gentle, tender and careful. Dragging his hands down, he found her skirt and drew it up in his fingers until he reached the skin of her thighs, never releasing her mouth. His touch trailed up her legs and a groan rumbled in his throat. “You may not like skirts, but your legs are made for them.”
She lunged for his mouth again, desperate to suck on that sunbeam taste she adored. Those plump lips that ignited her fires and drove her wild. Though she couldn’t lift her arm higher than her waist, he worked around her inability, careful when lifting her shirt over her head and sliding it down her arm. Without a thought, her black bra came next. The wound was still bandaged and she hated the mobility restriction. André didn’t seem to mind as he caressed her skin, moving to her aching breasts and teasing her nipples with the palms of his hands. Shocks rocketed to her sex, instantly wetting her folds.
“Maravillosa,” he moaned and bent his head to suckle one between his lips. Everything ached. That sweet coil building everything inside to a breathless torture. Every flick and swirl of his tongue drove her a step tighter and weaker. She clung to his shoulder, her fingernails digging into his muscle leaving red indents. One of his hands braced against her back, pulling her closer into his mouth, while the other slid up her thigh to the apex and cupped her. Her hips ground against him, involuntarily.
“As much as I love this skirt,” he murmured against the valley of her breasts. “I like you better in nothing.”
“You’re wearing more than me,” she panted. “But I’ll admit this is a good look for you.” She pulled on his sash, loving the feel of the silk along her peaked nipples. He slipped two fingers in the side of her panties and stroked her clit, swollen and sensitive. She jerked at the surging heat, and winced at a stab of pain radiating through her shoulder and neck. He pulled back instantly, but she urged him on by gyrating her hips to the same rhythm as his fingers.
“I don’t want to hurt you,” he stammered.
“You will if you stop,” she panted and slipped his coat off his shoulder. With a single roll of his arm, the coat dropped to the floor. He unbuttoned the vest and then the shirt. Gemma used her good arm to pull the sash over his head and draped it over her own. The silk caressed her breasts like his fluttered kisses she loved. The grin he gave with flashing eyes made her heart skip.
He slipped her skirt and panties down together, slowly skimming her legs to her knees, then let the fabric drop to the floor. He took a step back and drank her in. She wore nothing but his royal sash and her boots. The hunger in his eyes, that feral gaze would have made a timid rabbit skitter away, but not her. She slid a finger up and down the silk, slow and sensual, giving him a chance to drool while he shucked off his belt and pants.
Everything about him was toned and tan. Everything. But her eyes focused on his thickness, fully erect and near dripping from the tip. He was as ready for her as she was for him.
He leaned down and pulled a condom packet from his pants pocket. She watched him tear it open with his teeth, and then slip it on with those skilled hands. He was like a tropical tiger, fixated on his target with intense hunger that made her heart race.
He prowled up to her and slipped a hand over her fleshy bottom. With a squeeze, she bit her lip and raised her knee, wrapping her leg around his thigh. With her legs opened, he didn’t wait for a further invitation and slipped himself inside her tight sheath, full to the hilt. She gasped and clutched onto his shoulder for balance, letting her body adjust to the fullness of him. The coil wound tighter, and she bit back the urge to let it spring loose. Her arm trembled, but her other wasn’t strong enough to hold onto him. With a roll of his hips, he gripped her ass and hoisted her up onto himself, letting her wrap both legs around him.
In an instant he’d moved to the bed and carefully—slowly and lovingly—laid her back on the comforter, still buried inside her. The jostle was only painful for a moment, but once settled back into the bed that wrapped around her sides, she relaxed. The bed was the perfect height for him. He adjusted himself to her entrance and rolled his pelvis into her. A moan crept up her throat with each ripple. André grabbed her leg and removed her boot, and then repeated with the other leg. All without pulling out.
“You’re a drug,” she whimpered. With another swirl of his hips, she clutched the comforter. “So addicting and hard to break free of.”
“Never,” he grunted on a thrust. “I won’t let you break free of me. Just fall into me, Gemma.”
She whimpered and arched her back, feeling him drive deeper into her core. The heat grew higher and higher. Every muscle throbbed with a coiling ache only he could quench.
“I love the little sounds you make. Your fight for control, to ride me into submission.” His raspy voice as he continued to thrust made her wetter with every syllable.
“This will be your only chance to dominate me without a fight.” She smiled and placed a hand on his chest, feeling the muscles flex and quiver. His skin was hot, nearly steaming.
“Fighting with you is the best thing in the world, next to this.” He thrust hard and she cried out. Her body jerked at the painful pleasure. He leaned over her further, their faces only inches apart. “You’re too much to let go. You consume me, mi amor. Love me. Fall into me.”
Something squeezed tight in her chest, and she almost sobbed. She gripped his neck and held his gaze right over hers for several more thrusts. His eyes had darkened, full of primal lust—or was that her reflection?
The coil wound tighter, tighter…then a final plunge sprung it loose. Every muscle quaked and throbbed as she screamed her release. André continued driving into her, panting with beads of sweat on his neck. Her channel clenched and pulsed around him, and she squeezed her legs around his thighs. He was building, on the verge of release himself from his pushes more jerky and urgent. His eyes clamped shut and his mouth fell open. A guttural groan erupted from his throat and his hot seed shot into her.
“Open your eyes,” she panted through her own throbbing climax. He stared straight down into her open soul. Every fleck of brown in his irises lit up as he finished his orgasm with slow swirls of his hips. The hottest thing she’d ever seen. She pulled his head down and smothered her lips over his, plowing into his mouth like his cock dived into her. His body shuddered and he angled his head, massaging every inch of her tongue with his own.
This was the man she loved. Free, animalistic, loving the fight as much as she, but not afraid to let her win. Letting her consume him, even if only for a night.
Because that’s all she could give him.
André collapsed to her side, careful not to jostle her more. Tingles raced all through her body, especially into her face, as she savored the delicious moment staring at the chandelier above their heads. A breeze fluttered through the curtains, kissing her skin with cool relief. Everything here was beautiful, exotic, even hypnotizing. Foreign.
A tear trailed down her cheek. Gemma went to wipe it away, but winced when she used the wrong arm. Everything around her was foreign. André was the only part that she understood. The love for his family, his people, his country, determined to make up for any previous shortcomings. She envied that. Mostly because she no longer had that choice. Everyone to whom she owed something was dead.
Though immersed in the most beautiful place on Earth, her life was a disaster. She loved a man she couldn’t hold, and had no hope of deserving his status. Loving a prince—a king—had taken away her home, her livelihood, and everything she knew.
The only thing left it hadn’t taken was her freedom. Control of the remnants of her life. Let me be your family, he’d said. Her heart soared and sank all at once. She’d craved a family for the longest time, almost as much as her own independence. But the image in her head had been vastly different than the one he’d laid before her. Much simpler, less intimidating, and less restrictive. In that dream, she’d been a whole person.
André fell asleep at her side and for several hours she watched his peaceful slumber, loving how he smiled in his sleep, instead of being plagued by more nightmares. Just as the afternoon sun drifted across the comforter, she rose and dressed, somehow managing to put her arm back in the sling, all without waking him.
Crystals and gems covered almost every inch of the room around her, and through the balcony doors promised a paradise only seen in her dreams.
Yet the real treasure slumbered in the bed, one of which she wasn’t worthy. More importantly, André wasn’t ready for her. Even if she were the kind of woman to stand beside a King, they both still had too much baggage to sort through before they could commit to each other. Until he’d done that, she wouldn’t imprison him either. She pushed back a strand of hair off his forehead and fought back the moisture in her eyes. After the lightest and most painful kiss to his temple, she snuck out of the room.
Descending the stairs in the royal palace was the most glamorous walk of shame of her life. And the worst. The dwindling sunlight smacked her in the face before she disappeared into the limo and rode off.
To Be Continued in CROWN OF SOLANA
It’s finally here! It’s finally release day for my newest book baby, Prince of Solana!
And with all of the ice and snow, it couldn’t be more perfectly timed! I could really use a tropical escape.
There are so many people to thank for helping me get this book through to publication. The agonizing hours of editing that I thought would never end, and all of the incredibly helpful critiques that forced me to swallow my pride because they were so right… mostly to my critique partners in Greater Fort Worth Writer’s group, to my family for putting up with my crazy side while I fought through writing this, to my mother for our summer plotting sessions in the pool, to my brother the history buff in helping me make this realistic, to my father for reading the story before I submitted it (yes, a romance! Thanks Dad!), and especially my husband. My ultimate support and encouragement. For watching our boys so I could write, attend critique meetings, and promote my passion.
And how do we celebrate a new book release in our house? By packing more boxes to get ready for our move!
I hope everyone loves this book and as much as I do! I hope Andre becomes your new book boyfriend, and the Island of Solana is a wonderful escape from winter for you. If you liked the story, please be sure to leave a review on Amazon, GoodReads, or from wherever you bought the book. Now I’m off to finish writing the sequel, JEWEL OF SOLANA! Princess Alanna’s story!
So many awesome book signings coming up, in case you didn’t know.
The biggest one is at the RT Book Convention at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas, TX on Saturday, May 16th, 2015. I’ll be signing both Audrey’s Promise & Prince of Solana in the largest reader convention showcase ever! I’d love to see you! Click here for details!
If you can’t wait that long, I have 2 others at local libraries. The first is:
A whole bunch of local romance authors will be selling and signing books, while mingling with readers, and even possibly reading a few excerpts. I’ll be signing Audrey’s Promise. Click here for details!
Keller Library Author Showcase on Saturday, March 21st 12noon – 2:30pm
More details coming soon, but a whole bunch of local authors from various genres will be selling & signing books, myself included! Specifically both Audrey’s Promise & Prince of Solana. The Keller library is off Johnson Rd in Keller, TX. Would love to see you if you’re in the area!
I’m so proud & excited to announce the official worldwide release date of
PRINCE OF SOLANA is February, 25th, 2015!!
This is the first in my new romantic suspense trilogy, Royals of Solana!
Available on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and other e-book retailers, as well as in paperback on Amazon & The Wild Rose Press website. Links will be available soon for preorder.
It has been an extremely long road to getting this puppy published, and I promise is well worth the wait!
Want to read a bunch of awesome romances from great authors? Here’s a list of all the ladies participating in this week’s blog hop along with me! Stop by each of their blogs and enter to win a chance for free books and goodies at each one!
In addition, one lucky commentator on this blog will win a free signed paperback of AUDREY’S PROMISE! But you must comment on this blog post to be eligible, and I will pick the winner on the 13th.
Liza O’Connor – Victorian era romance
Time is flying by, even more so that I have a definitive timeline to get this manuscript finished. My deadline is BBDD. Before Baby Due Date.
With that comes a massive priority struggle. Between my son’s schedule, gearing up for the baby (and picking out a name!), as well as finishing this manuscript and critiquing a friend’s manuscript, blogging has fallen off of my priority list. Not a great first posting for 2014, I know.
But that doesn’t bode well for an author trying to market a recent release. I can’t devote that much time to social media or blogging, because I selfishly would rather focus any free time on writing/critiquing. Come mid-March, free-time will be a fond and distant memory (much like sleep). Writing will become ‘that thing I love, but I need to take a shower and 2hr nap today.’ So the stories in my head will be stuck on the rear-burner. Along with my blog.
But I want you all to know that I won’t be going away completely. I promise I’ll still be here. Albeit, a much more tired, ragged version of myself. It will take me longer to respond to emails and hop onto Facebook/Twitter. But I WILL respond. Priorities will shift (they kinda have to!) but I know this blog will still be here when I’m ready.
More importantly, I’ll still try to market AUDREY’S PROMISE as much as possible and attend those treasured conferences and events (between feedings!). RWA National is a major one for me, particularly since it’s in Texas this year. At some point, I’ll have my first book signing!
In the meantime, I follow several blogs that will more than make up for my lack of presence. Feel free to follow these folks and fill your brain with inspiring knowledge and entertainment!
Author CA Szarek
Author Kimberly Packard
Author Scot Morgan
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