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We have a really great day for you. I have a synopsis of the book, a review (with a few teasers in them), a Promo, plus in addition I have included a special recipe for Crab Dip. Seafood was heavily used in the beginning of the book and holds a special spot in one of the character’s heart, so I thought I would provide you a recipe for Crab Dip that was given to me by my mother-in-law.
Also, we have two raffle copters going on. The first raffle copter is for an eBook copy (ePub or mobi- mobi is the Kindle version) of Karen Stivale’s, Than Again. INTERNATIONALLY OPEN!!
The Second raffle copter is the Grand Prize Tour Giveaway: $20.00 Gift Card to Amazon OR Barnes and Noble
Grand tour rafflecopter giveaway
Title: Than Again (5 Stars)
Author: Karen Stivali
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: May 21, 2013
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
BARNES AND NOBLE http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/then-again-karen-stivali/1114503293?ean=9781619214675
Sometimes you have to lose it all to find what you really need.
Photographer Kay Turner is dealt a double whammy when she flies home for her grandmother’s funeral to find her boyfriend with another woman. Now with two losses to mourn, she retreats to her newly inherited beach house to clear her head.
Everything at the beach is familiar: the sounds of the ocean, the scent of her grandmother’s perfume—and the irresistible smile of James Margolis. The man Kay spent her adolescence pining for is every bit as charming as she remembers.
James always thought of Kay as “a nice kid”, but he feels something very different for the woman she’s become. Especially when he asks if she’d be willing to part with some of her grandmother’s recipes for his new restaurant—and they wind up sharing much more than culinary secrets.
But as their relationship deepens, Kay finds herself caught between the demands of her dream career as a travel photographer, and a chance for happiness with the one man she’s wanted for a lifetime.
Warning: This foodie romance contains sensual scone baking, a heroine who discovers one bad apple hasn’t spoiled her appetite, and a delicious hero you can’t help but crave. Blend well, serve hot.
About the Author:
Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies and fictional British men. When she’s not writing, she can be found cooking extravagant meals and serving them to family and friends, who never seem to mind the excessive quantities she tends to prepare. She attributes her ability to multitask to the fact that she rarely sleeps, which gives her more hours every day. Prior to deciding to write full time Karen worked as a hand drawn animator, a clinical therapist, and held various food-related jobs ranging from waitress to specialty cake maker. Planning elaborate parties and fundraisers takes up what’s left of her time and sanity.
Karen has always been fascinated by the way people relate to one another so she favors books and movies that feature richly detailed characters and their relationships. In her own writing she likes to explore the dynamics between characters and has a tendency to craft romantic tales filled with sarcasm and sexy details. Although she writes in three genres (erotic romance, contemporary romance and women’s fiction) all of her stories are love stories with happily ever after endings.
Karen has published several erotic romance novels with Ellora’s Cave including two award winning stories: Always You (published September 2011, First Place Winner of the RWA Passionate Plume Award – 2012)and Marry Me (published June 2012, First Place Winner in the NEC-RWA Bean Pot Reader’s Choice Award – 2013).
Her works of women’s fiction, Meant To Be, and its sequel, Holding On, (published by Turquoise Morning Press in August and November 2012, respectively) both made multiple Best of 2012 lists and are rated as true gems and recommended reads.
Karen’s latest release, Then, Again is a contemporary foodie romance published by Samhain Publishing.
To learn more about Karen and all her upcoming books you can visit her website karenstivali.com where she blogs original recipes, sassy commentary on The Bachelor, and tidbits about her journey in the writing world. Karen can also be found attempting witty banter on Twitter
I gave this book the highest stars because it was a fast pace, extremely hot-in-the-kitchen, and the character’s were plain enjoyable to read about.
I first heard of Karen’s work when I read Meant To Be and Holding On. I loved them. Karen writes so eloquently that her books takes you into another zone. They offer enticement, pizzaz, spice (especially during the cooking scenes) and an ending that I really loved.
“Kay, stop with the packing already. It’s eight o’clock at night. You’re exhausted. Where the hell are you going to go?”
She looked at him, thinking clearly for the first time in days. “I’m going home.”
Kay returns to see an unexpected surprise in her apartment. She returns early from a trip from out of country to find things at home not what she quite expected. She must go to where he grandmother lived to place her grandmother to rest. Upon her arrival she finds that her teenage love interest(James) is as hot as flames. She is captivated by him and she wonders how he sees her now that she is grown up.
Kay and James start on an adventure of her teaching him her grandmother’s recipes.
“Images flashed into her mind of the two of them, in the kitchen, the exotic scents of Maria’s cooking floating through the air. Another shiver ran through her. He’s so handsome. And sweet. She imagined what it would be like to feel his strong arms wrapped around her. Her eyes drifted closed and she stroked her arm. Would his hands be firm or gentle? Hot or cool? The flutter in her stomach raced down between her legs. One step at a time. Right now all he wants are your recipes.
She flipped open her laptop and refreshed her…”
I really enjoyed how much fun they had with each other. Karen, you did an excellent job portraying the chemistry between the both of them. I felt it. I also felt Kay’s sorrow at the funeral. It brought back emotions to me that made me reach for the Kleenex box. Sniff.. Sniff
Kay has to decide her priorities. Is it work or is it James? What will she decide, or can she have both?
This is one book that I would recommend to all of you out there. I would suggest reading it for more mature readers. Over 17 would be best. I will tell you that Then Again made me realize my own priorities needed to be straightened out.
Enjoy the Promo Event and the Crab Dip Recipe. Read the book and see what Kay’s favorite seafood dish is.
Promotional Event Interview
Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
Once I create a character that person lives on in my head forever so there’s always a chance I will see a future (or past) story for that person. I don’t set out to write certain storylines or themes, but I do very often come up with friends-to-lovers stories. I’d like to try an enemies to lovers story once, just to see if I can do it. I’d have to think of the perfect characters, though, because it’s not a theme that naturally comes into my head. I love the progression of a relationship from friends to lovers, that’s what draws me back to that theme so often.
At what point in your life did you realize that being an author was no longer going to be just a dream but a career you were going to turn into reality?
It still feels like a dream. And this is my 8th release (out of 12 contracts). I’m still waiting for it to start feeling real.
It’s hard to explain what it’s like to write a book, finish it, polish it a million times, send it out to people, get feedback, get rejections, finally get it accepted…it’s a very surreal thing. I thought it would feel real once I got a contract. It didn’t because after you sign a contract you just begin the next round of waiting. It takes months to get edits. And more months to get a cover. And then you wait for you release date. Then you wait for reviews. And the whole time you’re working on your next project and then waiting for all that to happen with that book too. There’s a lot of waiting in the publishing world.
A big “real” moment is always seeing your cover for the first time. Another one is holding your first paper copy. The day the paper copies of my first novel arrived I carried it around with me the entire day. Well, I carried it most of the day. The rest of the day I let it sit next to me in the chair I’d dragged over next to my desk chair.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
There were a lot of challenges in getting my first book (Meant To Be) published. I had a lot of positive feedback from agents who told me they liked the writing and loved the characters but they wouldn’t take a chance on it because it would be too hard to market because it crosses genres. It’s a love story but broke too many of the rules of romance. And it’s women’s fiction but the male main character has 65% of the point of view scenes which breaks the rule about the books being about women.
While I was struggling to find the right place for Meant To Be I wrote a steamy novella, Always You, at the request of my writers’ group. They missed having me submit sexy scenes for the group to read so I wrote the novella for them. To my surprise (and delight) when I submitted Always You to a few e-publishers and small presses I got multiple offers right away. One of the companies that I turned down asked if I had anything else and wound up wanting Meant To Be. It was definitely a case of fate leading me on the right path. I never would have guessed that my steamy short story would lead to my original novel finding a publisher. (Oh, and Always You wound up winning first place in the RWA Passionate Plume Award for 2012, so it’s just my all-around good luck charm!)
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Don’t write because you like to, write because you have to, because you’re driven to beyond all reason. If you don’t feel that kind of need to do it, you probably won’t make it through all the obstacles.
FINISH THE BOOK. That’s the most important one. So many writers start projects and get so caught up in new ideas and revisions and other projects that they never complete anything. You can always edit or tweak or change a complete draft, but at least at that point you have a book to work with—if it’s not done yet, it’s just a work in progress. That’s a good start, but completion is definitely the biggest thing. Finish it. Fix it later. Lots of times.
Don’t give up. As I said, there’s a LOT of waiting in the publishing world. There are countless things that can make you feel like what you’re doing is crazy and like you’re never going to get anywhere. If what you want is to get your book out there, don’t give up. Work on your next project while you’re waiting. Keep writing. Keep editing. Keep trying. If you give up, all the work you did is for nothing.
Find a great critique partner. Or two. These are people who like your writing/ideas/style but also care about your work enough to tell you what does not work. Sure it’s great to have someone tell you your writing is awesome, but what’s helpful is someone who will point out what’s awesome but also tell you what’s missing, or what goes on too long, or what joke didn’t quite work. The best critique partner will point out the best , the worst, the mediocre and help you get your book as perfect as possible without trying to make it something it’s not. If you can find that in a partner, don’t let that person go. A good critiquer is worth their weight in gold. Or chocolate. Or chocolate wrapped in gold. In fact, offer your crit partners chocolate, that’s a good way to lure them.
Do your characters try to make like bunnies and create ever more convoluted plots for you? Or do you have to coax them out of your characters?
My characters are a chatty lot. They tell me everything, even when they don’t want to. Sort of like my real life friends. I know my characters inside and out (ahem) so they don’t often surprise me. I have to know everything about them before I write their stories because if I don’t, I won’t know how or why they react to things. Once I know everything about them I can put them in any situation and know exactly how they’ll handle it. That’s when I write.
Crab Dip Recipe
16 oz. Cream Cheese
1/2 Cup Half and Half
3 Tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
4 Tsp. Lemon Juice
Pinch of garlic (dried spice)
1 Can Snow Crab
Pinch of Salt (Make sure you throw a pinch over your shoulder for good luck)
Pinch of Pepper
Soften the cream cheese in the microwave for approx 25 seconds depending on microwave wattage. Try it at 15 seconds first. Using a hand mixer mix in half and half with the cream cheese. Mix until soft and combined. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator for approx 2-3 hours or until dip has firmed up.
Enjoy with crackers, or chips!!!
Thanks for all of you stopping by today. Have a wonderful day, and I will chat with you tomorrow.