Sunday, June 28, 2015

An Unpredictable Life release party Sunday, July 5th! #CancerSurvivor



Facebook link to the event: https://www.facebook.com/events/426966157484301/
Want to see more of Elaine's novels? Click here: http://ellelainey.wix.com/secretsofavelina

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Short Story contest: The Love Chef has chosen!

Chef Jernard Wells - the Love Chef!
The Love Chef said, "Both stories were intriguing and had me wanting to read more."
He has chosen Stephanie Parke's story. Here is her entry "Sweetest Madness":  http://creativewritersboost.blogspot.com/2015/06/love-chef-writing-contest-entry.html
Stephanie will receive a case of Chef Jernard's signature sauces and spices. View the shopping section of his website here: http://hautecuisinechatt.com/shop/
Because I want to thank the talented Elizabeth Lorraine for her participation and support of my VERY FIRST writing contest, I am gifting her choice of two Chef Jernard products! Elizabeth has written many books. Here is her impressive Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/Elizabeth-Loraine/e/B002Z8JEIY/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1434735899&sr=8-2-ent



Saturday, June 20, 2015

Two finalist entries posted for the Love Chef writing contest!


Here is Elizabeth Lorraine's entry: http://creativewritersboost.blogspot.com/2015/06/love-chef-writing-contest-entry_20.html
And here is her Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/Elizabeth-Loraine/e/B002Z8JEIY/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1434735899&sr=8-2-ent

Here is Stephanie Parke's entry: http://creativewritersboost.blogspot.com/2015/06/love-chef-writing-contest-entry.html
Check out Stephanie's contribution to Love Bites here: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=stephanie+parke

Now, it's up to Chef Jernard!

Love Chef writing contest entry. Finalist Elizabeth Lorraine.

Chef Jernard Wells - the Love Chef
Short Story Entry
Cooking My Way To Her Heart
By Elizabeth Loraine © 2015 all rights reserved

     “What is it that you really want, Aaron?”
     I glanced across the desk to my boss, Chet. How long had he been out of college? Two years? Since when did a Masters degree give you as much credibility as years of experience anyway?
     The years review wasn’t going well. This new guy, who came in six months ago, was making changes and I was going to be one of them, I could feel it. I decided I might as well step up and not tell him what he expected to hear, but what I really thought.
     “I want the company to be successful. I’m just not sure if it’s going in the right direction. Instead of bringing people up from within; people who know the business inside and out and what our customers want and expect; we are bringing new people in.”
Chet sat back in his chair. “New people, with new, fresh ideas. Companies like this have a tendency to get stale.” He looked through my file, glanced back over to me and smiled.
     “You’re doing a good job, keep it up.” He stood and shook my hand.
     At the end of the month I was packing up my things. Six years, and they didn’t even have the balls to tell me in person? A pink slip in my check….nice.
     I thought about leaving the box of miscellaneous items on my desk. I mean did I really need that employee of the year award now? Instead I took the walk of shame with it and tossed into the back seat of the cab I’d called.
     I took out my phone and called my best friend.
    “I need a drink, meet me at the Whiskey Tavern?”
    “Sure, when?”
    “As soon as you can get there. I just have to stop at home and drop something off first.”
The cab waited as I threw the box in my storage unit along with my coat and tie. When I got to the bar, my best friend Liza was already surrounded by men. She looked gorgeous of course, how could anyone resist that beautiful face, green eyes, and thick brown locks which cascaded down her back. Those long legs and perfect curves didn’t disappoint, but it wasn’t the most attractive thing about her. It was the way she was; thoughtful, fun, hilarious and smart, but unpretentious, and low maintenance. What other woman could you call at a moment’s notice and she’d beat you to the bar?
     “There you are. Sorry guys, my dates here.”
     She took my arm and gave me the smile that made my stomach tense. Yeah okay, I had it bad for her. Who didn’t? She always says she’s not the marrying kind. She likes her independence.
     “What’s going on?” she said as she slid onto her side of the booth. “You look like someone stole your glass slipper.”
     I had to grin. “Well it was the last one I had. I got fired, today was my last day.”
Liza frowned, reaching across the table for my hand. I took it, feeling heat rising from my fingers. It was a good thing it was fairly dark here, my face felt hot. I always seemed to act like a sixteen year old when we were alone. Liza on the other hand was relaxed. There was no problem she couldn’t solve, no situation she couldn’t spin into something tolerable.
     “They never deserved you anyway. You are way too talented of a business man to sit in the background and wait for some less qualified person to climb up your back.”
     “Obviously I’m so talented that my services are no longer needed.”
The waitress came over and we ordered bourbon. I need to mention that Liza could drink you under the table, out swear you while telling you the stats of every quarterback in the NFL. “Actually I am going to take a little time off before I decide what I want to do.”
     “Do you have any idea what that is?”
     I looked deeply into her eyes. “I want to get married, and start a family.” Liza’s smile dimmed and she sat back.
     “There’s a perfect woman for you. If that’s what you really want I don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t find her sooner than later.” She took a big swig of the caramel colored liquor and raised her glass so the waitress would bring another. “Why don’t you let me make you some dinner?”
     “Why not. I can drown my sorrows in one of your fabulous sauces.”
     “That’s right and you can help me chop vegetables. It’s relaxing. My mom always said it was the way to show someone you care. I care. Come on, let’s go.”
      It wouldn’t help to tell her now it was her I wanted, so I canceled her drink and paid the bill. We headed over to her apartment in SoHo, and I had to admit I felt better already. I still had her all to myself and I was going to get a home cooked meal, something most people didn’t get in Manhattan. Everyone either went out, or ordered in.
Liza tied her hair back and put on a black apron. It was the one I bought her for her birthday last year. In pink ornate script it said ‘food is love’.
     I helped her chop carrots, celery and onion into a fine dice. She didn’t direct me or scold me because it wasn’t perfect. I didn’t cut myself; that was a victory in itself. She was right. It was a relaxing and distracting, and exactly what I needed.
     We ate steak and potatoes with the red wine sauce, which I help make and took full credit for its fabulous flavor.
     “So don’t tell me,” I said as we sat down to watch some TV. “It’s the food channel tonight.”
     She grinned and turned it on. “You might learn something.”
     Being with her was enough. Some nice red wine and the finally of a show called Cutthroat Kitchen. Actually it was fun and the chef that won was full of personality. He had the same philosophy as Liza. Making someone a meal was his way of showing love. The winner; Jernard Wells is even called, ‘The Love Chef’.
     When I got home I looked him up on the internet, he had some cookbooks out, and some sauces available. Then it hit me. I was out of a job for the moment. I could explore my options, and this Chef’s cookbook was going to get me started. I ordered a digital copy and pulled it up on my laptop.  88 Ways To Her Heart was the title, and I was going to make every single one. I was going to tell Liza how much I loved her with food. This was something she’d understand.
     It was time to call in the big guns so I picked up the phone. “Mom, can you come for a visit?”
     With my mom’s help I practiced my way through chapters one and two, and then I was on my own through chapter three starting with the Body-Rocking Baby Bleu Salad and moving through Wet ‘n Wild Watermelon Salad along with several more salads and soups. My days were filled with planning and shopping for fresh ingredients, and I knew why Liza loved it so much. Finally confidence began to fill me as I moved through main course after main course and onto dessert. In less than a month I had finished. I’d chosen my menu, the wine, the music and invited my best friend to dinner.
     My heart was pounding when I got to the door wearing a similar black apron. I took a deep breath, swallowed hard, wiped my sweaty palms on the apron and opened the door.
Liza smiled broadly. “You look adorable. I brought some wine.” I froze. She handed me the wine and continued. “Um can I come in? It smells amazing in here.”
     “Oh of course, sorry. It’s The Love Chef’s menu. I’ve been teaching myself to cook with it. I wanted to surprise you.”
     “Well you sure did.” Her gaze narrowed and I turned and walked back to the kitchen. I put her wine in the cooler and poured her a glass of the one I’d picked.
     “I know why you love cooking now, and I chose this menu because I wanted you to know something. Food is love Liza. I love you. I always have, I always will. I am your friend, but I want more, much more, I want you to be my wife,” I blurted.  I searched her eyes, and they started to well. I held my breath and my gut twisted.
“I thought you’d never ask.”



Love Chef writing contest entry - Finalist Stephanie Parke.

Chef Jernard Wells, the Love Chef!

She knew it was wrong the moment she smelled it burning. She skidded down the hall, her heart socks sliding on the hardwood floor. She slid into the kitchen just as the fire alarm went off. The howling shrieks of the alarm echoed in her already splitting head as she grabbed her moose oven mitt and pulled the oven door open.
Black smoke bellowed out combining with the scent of burned meat making her gag. Casey slammed the door shut and did the only thing that felt right, she screamed.  Once her mini breakdown was over Casey slowly approached the oven and turned it off. She grabbed the remains of her steak and slammed it down on the counter.  It hit with a solid thunk making her eyes water. Casey put her hand to her mouth to keep another scream at bay as the phone rang. She pushed her tangled blonde hair out of her eyes and answered it.
“Hello” she said sourly almost hoping it was a telemarketer so she could unload all her venom. She had spent all day waiting for the other shoe to fall. Nothing was going right: Ruined Valentine’s Day dinner, check, sick kids, check. Today had been perfect.
“Hey hon, bad news.”  Jon said softly through the phone. Her husband’s voice usually made her heart beat, even after seventeen years of marriage, but today she wanted to throttle him.
“What’s wrong?” she said trying for monotone, hoping she wasn’t being a bitch.
“I’m going to be late again. The plane was delayed and I won’t be in till midnight.”  He waited and she knew he was waiting for her to go nuclear. Jon had gotten a play by play update as each disaster had come crashing down today. She knew he knew she was furious, probably why he was calling instead of texting her, he knew she hated that.
“Great” Casey  muttered as she counted to ten and tried for calm. She knew it wasn’t his fault he was going to miss Valentine’s day with her. His job as a company vice president kept him away often and she knew how air travel was but right now all she wanted to do was rip someone’s head off. 
“I’m so sorry hon” he said softly “I promise I’ll make it up to you this weekend.”
Casey went to reply when the sound of vomiting reached her from the living room. She sighed and rubbed her hand down her face.  “No problem” she said in a sweeter voice than she felt before ending the call and hanging up. She raced down the hall again and slid again on the floor as she entered the living room and saw the mess and the big miserable eyes of her five year old son.  She wondered if she could get away with leaving it here and simply cleaning him up then the smell hit her and she decided that was not an option.

*************************************************************************************
Casey tucked Robbie into bed and wiped her dirty hand across her brow. She slunk down the stairs smelling the cleaner before she was halfway down. It had taken her three hours to clean up the house and get Robbie settled. It was now 10:30 and she could officially say this was the worst Valentines Day ever.  She flopped down on the couch and pulled the grey and white snowflake blanket around her. She wanted to cover her head and go to sleep but she was simply too tired. Casey sighed and snuggled down into the brown couch. The blanket was warm and fuzzy and it was summer, but she loved it, it was one of the only things that made her feel better when things sucked. Jon had bought it for her at Bath and Body works last Christmas but she used it every time she felt like crap. She sniffed and wrapped it tighter around her, daring anyone to try and take her blanket or make her move. She pulled the edge up and heard the crinkle of paper. She groaned, “Please God,” she whispered to herself as she peeked one eye at the offending paper, Please don’t let me have missed a puke covered paper, please don’t let it be on my blanket.”
Her eyes searched her beloved blanket and found the paper. It’s bright pink color popped at once against the grey and white of the blanket and Casey snatched it up, intrigued.
Get up and follow me it read in close tight script. Casey shook her head, sure the stress of the day had finally pushed her over the edge. Then she saw them a trail of pink paper hearts on the floor. Casey scrubbed her eyes and followed them, even though she did want to stomp them.  They led up the back stairs to her bathroom. The pink hearts stopped at the edge of a steaming tub of bubbles. Casey felt her eyes tear up as she plucked the last heart from the edge.
“Come on in the water’s fine” it said in the same tight script. Casey shook her head, a feeling sweeping over her was all about but decided to go with it. She slid out of her clothes and sunk down into the water. Her elbow hit a glass of wine and she pulled the pink heart post it off the glass and smiled.
“Drink me” it said with a smiley face on top of the e. She pulled the drink to her nose and inhaled the scent of Belle Meade plantations raspberry desert wine, her favorite.  She smiled wondering who had organized all this but at this moment she didn’t care, she still had puke in her hair and right now this was heaven.
Casey shook her head as a knock sounded at the door. She squeaked and ducked down until her chin hit the bubbles. Her sister peeked around the door and smiled at her. She slid a robe into sight and shook it. Casey smiled at her younger sister and took the robe when it was tossed to her. She was so curious, “had her sister arranged this?” Rob?”  She quickly tied the robe and went into the bedroom where her favorite red dress was laid out on the bed. It was long and flowing with a sexy split  up the side and she loved it. She slipped it on with the Silver Star sandals beside it and followed the paper hearts back out the door and down the stairs.
Her sister was waiting  at the bottom and handed her a note without speaking. Casey felt her heart thump when she recognized Rob’s handwriting this time. “Come outside and meet me where I told you I loved you the first time.”  Her sister smiled at her and gave her a little shove out the door.
 “Go have fun, I’ve got Robbie.” Her sister said with a laugh as she nudged her forward. She smiled back at her and walked quickly outside. The air was warm despite it being February and Casey smiled as she hurried around to the big oak tree in the back yard.
She felt young again, the tiredness and the stress of the day slipping away as she skirted the blue juniper bushes and hurried toward the tree. She rounded the house and met the eyes of the only man she’d ever loved, her husband Rob. He stood beside the old tire swing in a full suit, his grey eyes twinkling as he held out his hand to her. He stood tall and handsome in his best grey suit and red silk tie and she thought he’d never looked better. She smiled and hurried toward him not sure what to say. Rob was a loving husband but sometimes life got in the way of romance. It had been a long time since he’d done something like this.
“Are you ready to come down the rabbit hole Alice?” Rob asked with a soft smile as he pulled her to him.
“I’m not sure what to say.” She said with a smile as he enfolded her in his arms “I didn’t think you were coming home, and today had been so crazy, I’ve felt like I was going mad.”
“We’re all mad here.” He said with a smile as he kissed her gently and led her over to the candlelit table he had set under the tree. Her favorite dinner Steak and baked potato sat waiting and Casey grinned unable to help but be impressed. She sat softly loving the fact that he had taken the time to remember her favorite meal and to memorize some of her favorite lines from her favorite book Alice in Wonderland.
Rob sat beside her and looked into her eyes and she felt her heart thump the way it had when they had first met eighteen years ago. Sometimes she wished he didn’t work so much but she knew that he did it for their family, for her. Every time he looked into her eyes she remembered why she’d fallen in love with him in the first place.
“It’s the best kind of madness.” She said with a smile as she pulled him close again. Their lips met and time fell away as they lost themselves in each other and Casey knew that whatever happened this would always be the sweetest madness of all.


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Short Story contest! Featuring Chef Jernard Wells, the Love Chef!


Award winning Chef Jernard Wells is the Love Chef, the young Barry White of food. He won Cutthroat Kitchen and was a finalist in the Cutthroat Kitchen Evilicious Tournement. He has also made a TV appearance on Chef Wanted. He authored three cookbooks including the best selling 88 Ways to her Heart: Cooking for lovers. You can check them out here: http://hautecuisinechatt.com
I am looking for a short story, a romance, with a maximum of 1,500 words. This story will capture the soul, the romance and the humor of the Love Chef!
How to enter:  Please Tweet to @WritersBoost to enter or REPLY to this blog with your Twitter handle or the Facebook name I can look up to find you. Good luck! 

I will be back online this coming Saturday to post the top two entries. Winner announced Sunday. Winner gets a write up in my blog and gets attention on Chef Jernard's Twitter account.

P.S. I am cutting and pasting a Tweet from Chef Jernard:
  1. The winner will also receive a gift pack of signature sauces & spices for some great grilling this summer!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

My new cause: Foodie Lit. Short Story contest coming soon.

Chefs, restaurants, food trucks and cooking contests have long inspired novelists and screenwriters. Why not give Foodie Lit its own place in indie literature? That's my mission. My husband and I watch at least four Food TV shows a week. When I started blogging about Foodie novels, I lit up! Now the light bulb came on! I want to bring reality show chefs and indie writers together with a series of Short Story contests.
Once these rising chefs, cupcake store owners, caterers to the stars or food truck owners go on TV, their social media accounts triple in followers. These Foodies like publicity and so do indie writers.
I am already Tweeting to two Food Network Star contestants and one Cutthroat Kitchen winner.
Here is my plan: Contact a reality show chef and have him or her be the muse for a Foodie Lit Short Story. I will also ask the chef what he or she wants to see in the story. The genre can be romance, mystery or comedy. If the chef in question is Gay or Lesbian, I will call for GLBT lit.  If you can figure out a feasible angle, you can even use the paranormal genre!
I will screen the entries and forward them on to the reality show chef. He/she will pick a winner. I will do a write-up in my blog, Tweet and Facebook share the Hell out of it! The reality show chef will reTweet and share the link of my write-up.
Once I get a reality show chef on board, I will be blogging again. If you are interested in participating, comment on this blog. If you have a website, please include it. OR please include your Twitter handle or the name you go by on Facebook so I can send you a message and connect with you and send you my private email address.

So, everybody, I have found my wings now. I want to start a movement. Who's with me?




Friday, June 12, 2015

Foodie romance novels? Bon apetit!


Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe: A Novel with RecipesGot a taste for a romance novel? Do you watch shows on the Food Network and the Cooking Channel every week? Are you already rooting for favorites on Food Network Star, like I am?
My blog posting from April just wasn't enough. I am coming back for seconds and this is what I found on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=food+and+romance+novels
Pear Shaped: A novel about love, heartbreak and desert; Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe: A novel with recipes; Leftovers: A novel about friendship, love and the power of pasta; and we also have some foodie mysteries.

I went on Barnes and Noble's website and typed in 'food and romance' and this is what I got:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/food-and-romance?store=book&keyword=food+and+romance
Heating up the Kitchen, Comfort Food by the Friday Night Knitting Club, Food for Thought and 300 Sandwiches: A multilayered love story.

So - you have quite a spread in front of you - dig in!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Attention bloggers: Taming the Tida Blog tour starts June 22nd.


A few more bloggers are needed for touring "Taming the Tida" by Eslynne Smith.  The novel falls under political fiction genre.  The tour will run from June 22nd to June 26th. If you have any dates available and would like to host, it would be great.

The tour is open for reviews (review copy will be provided in PDF format), interviews, guest posts and spotlights.  If you are interested in hosting this tour, please sign up this form or reply to this mail with the preferred date.
What is the book about?
In 2014 the nation was in crisis. Partisan politics were the rule of the day, stifling and sabotaging meaningful change in Washington. Americans were desperate for someone—anyone—to offer them hope, to show them there was indeed a light at the end of the tunnel.
That hope came in the form of Sharmin Smith, a contestant on the breakthrough reality show Who Wants to Be President? Designed to increase voter participation and heal a deeply divided nation, Who Wants to Be President? pitted contestants against each other in speeches on America's most pressing issues, from abortion and health care to immigration and the economy.
Smith, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, caught the country's attention, delivering her unusual, groundbreaking opinions with two service dogs by her side. She gave a nation hope, and in return, Americans gave her their trust.
The first book of the Change the World trilogy, Taming the Tida gives hope to those tired of contemporary political gridlock and looks to a brighter tomorrow.

Interested? Contact Vidya at Elite Book Promotions. Link: http://www.elitebookpromotions.com/