Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Please Welcome Lori Toland

Ashlee Bennett has her priorities straight. Fighting demons is at the top of the list until she meets her sexy neighbor, Luke Byrne. Even though he is human, she can't stop dreaming about his buff body and sexy grin, until her dreams turn to nightmares.

Her world is turned upside down when Luke follows her one night but instead of being afraid, he is only more determined to stand beside her and fight. Ashlee knows she needs to keep her distance from Luke, not just to protect her virginity but her heart as well. But Luke may be the only one who can save her from the night, and her dreams.

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The winner's choice of a $25 GC to either Amazon, AllRomanceEbooks or Loose Id for both blog host with most comments and one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

It’s all about location!
When I chose the backdrop for Soul Seduction, I went through a list of cities I had visited and knew fairly well. New York and DC came to mind but I wanted a different place, one I felt a deeper connection with when I visited. 
Liverpool is a beautiful city, rich with culture and history. When I traveled there, I fell in love with Albert Dock. We were just steps away from it at our hotel (I don’t like to impose on family when we visit). There were tons of museums and the people there were so friendly. We fell in love with a bar called Sam’s Bar, which has since closed. I believe he and his wife followed their daughter to the US after she fell in love with a man in the military. I hope all is well with them!
But there actually are apartments on Albert Dock, called The Collonades, just like in Soul Seduction. The old docks were refurbished and reopened in 1988 as a shopping and dining center, along with condos as Ashlee would call them, or flats as Luke would call them. 
I really recommend going to see this area. Besides being romantic, the sightseeing is out of this world. While I always focus on the relationship first in my books, the backdrop of Liverpool really does play into the scenes from Luke and Ashlee’s flats to the catacombs where thousands of souls are buried. 
And maybe against the gorgeous backdrop of Liverpool, Luke and Ashlee can find a happily ever after. 
Now for a recipe! My husband always talks about his mum’s scouse. I had to admit, it sounded delicious but an awful lot like my mom’s beef stew. So I asked her for the great Toland family recipe. And this was what she had to say: 
“Oi, I’m not giving you the family recipe unless I get a bottle of wine.”
So after much bribing, here is the recipe. 
Get a large pot.
Wash and chop potatoes, carrots, turnips (oh yuck but my mother-in-law or MIL likes them) or any root vegetables. Chop one of the pieces of potato finely so that this will thicken the stock. You can also add white cabbage, if you’d like. Throw them in the large pot.
Add meat. There are two kinds. You can add minced beef (ground beef for the US) or cut up steak. If using stew meat, realize you’re going to need extra time for the meat to tenderize. The better the cut of beef, the more tender. You can also do lamb, maybe chicken if you are adventurous. 
Add stock and herbs. For herbs, we recommend thyme and rosemary. I also recommend garlic.  
Bring to a boil and then simmer. After a while (an hour generally) skim the scum from the top. Okay, I have to admit, I had no idea what she was talking about because I never had scum on my stew. But I smiled and nodded. 
Number one rule: NO PEAS. Then it becomes a stew and not scouse. If you have to have peas, then my MIL says “You’re not part of my family.”
Simmer for a couple of hours. Once the beef is tender, you are done! The sauce should have thickened from the finely chopped potatoes. 
Now for the final touches. You can add the juice of pickled beets or malt vinegar. Some people love it with HP sauce or ketchup. Then salt and pepper to taste and dig in. 
I hope you enjoy my bringing a little taste of Liverpool to you.



“I can’t just leave,” I protested as the cool evening air hit me. “I came with a friend.”

He rounded on me, and I nearly ran into him. “You mean your boyfriend? Do you want to stay with him? Just say the word, Ash.”

The possessive tone in his voice ticked me off. “What the hell, Luke? I don’t even know you, and you’re acting like you fucking own me.” But even as I said the words, I wanted him to grab me, hold me, and take me however he wanted. My lust for him clouded my ability to say no.

“Ash,” he said gruffly, “all I think about is having you.” He moved forward as he spoke, and I stepped backward, keeping my distance until my back met a wall. I knew my control around him was shot to hell, and I couldn’t trust myself. He snaked his hand into my hair and roughly grabbed the strands. He angled my head so I couldn’t look away. If I were able to breathe, I would have hyperventilated.

“Don’t.” My plea sounded weak, and I doubted he even heard me.

“I can’t help myself,” he said and kissed me gently. It was the lightest of pressure on my lips, until he coaxed them apart. When my tongue met his, I was tentative at first, but Luke took charge and claimed my mouth.

I was strong enough to pull away, to tell him no and kick him in the nuts if he didn’t stop. But I didn’t want to. I let myself drown in his kisses. I was so wrapped up in what he was doing to me with his mouth, I barely noticed he had lifted me up and held me against the concrete wall.

He settled his hips between my legs and rocked them, pressing his cock against my clit. The only thing keeping him from fucking me was the thin barrier of our jeans. I spiraled higher, and my pussy clenched, desperate to have him inside me.

He pulled his lips away from mine, and my vision whited out. My clit pulsed faster and faster, and I accidentally banged the back of my head against the hard concrete wall as every muscle in my body tensed.

I shook from the intensity of my climax, my teeth grinding together. He leaned in and kissed me, claiming my mouth with his tongue again. Then he broke our kiss and whispered, “You are mine, Ash. Don’t doubt for a second that I will own you. All of you.”

I quivered, my lips parting, ready for more. I felt like we were frozen in time, and I would have spent forever there, memorizing his face.

CEO by day, erotic romance writer by night, Lori Toland lives in Orlando where the summers are hot but the romance between her characters is even hotter. Writing since the tender age of 13, Lori somehow finds time to play video games and watch movies while taking care of her beloved cats and a husband who will forever be her hero.


marybelle said...

Location can add another dimension to stories.

I'm sorry, but with the recipe you lost me at scum.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting Lori today.

Karen H in NC said...

Location, location, location. So true whatever the situation. I love it when an author goes to great lengths to research a location for her book. I once read about an author who took a trip to a Kansas town she knew and was familiar with. The town was to be her setting for her book. But it would only work if in her book, she could have her killer throw someone off the bridge located in that town. So, she took a trip to the bridge in question and I believe she took a life-sized dummy to throw off the bridge just to see if it would kill the person. Now that's dedication to the craft!

@ Marybelle...anytime you simmer a protein, you will get a scum that needs to be skimmed off. It's not as bad as it sounds but I don't know any other word to use to replace 'scum'. And Lori, my father who was of Swedish/German descent loved a stew he called 'Lubscouse' (I'm not sure of the spelling because I've never seen a written recipe for it). But it sounds a lot like your dish except for the carrots, turnips and herbs. My mother only used potatoes, onions, diced round steak, salt & pepper. Then thicken the juices to a gravy consistency.

Lori Toland said...

Hi Karen!

Yes! In all of the research I did on the recipe, Lubscouse is originally where Scouse came from.

And yes, Marybelle, Karen is right, maybe film is a better word?

Karen, that is some serious dedication to the craft. Maybe I should see if there are some demons that can run around Liverpool to see if anyone would notice? ;)

Cathy M said...

I love visiting interesting locations in a great romance story.

Thanks for the recipe, Lori. Definitely unique.

caity_mack at yahoo dot com

Kayla Jameth said...

Hi Lori!
It sounds good, but I would be tempted to add peas...
I would love to go aroving some time. Liverpool sounds like just the right place.
Good luck with your novel!

Chelsea B. said...

Well, I definitely can not cook! But you've definitely made me want to visit Liverpool!


cait045 said...

I would love to read this new author. Great tour.

Krysykat said...

Thanks for the recipe, I can't wait to try it :)