Cooking The Books – Leisl Leighton + GIVEAWAY

Chef with cookbook

Oh happy day! Today’s guest, Destiny Romance author Leisl Leighton, is talking about something I enjoy as much as beautiful food – good (and let’s face it, sometimes not so good) wine. The characters in my own books spend an inordinate amount of time drinking wine which leads me to think they may need a 12 step program! But in Dark Moon, Leisl’s hero takes it a step further and turns wine-drinking into a seduction technique.

Leisl is giving away a kindle copy of Dark Moon, so don’t forget to leave a comment to go into the draw!

Thanks for having me here again, Louise. It’s fantastic to be back to share my new paranormal romance, Dark Moon, and food. Or in my case, wine.

I am not a big wine drinker – primarily because the sulphites give me headaches. But that doesn’t mean I don’t Leisl Headshot tweetappreciate wine. My Dad loves a good bottle of wine and loves to share his appreciation with others. He’s even converted my previously ‘only beer thanks’ brother-in-law into a wine appreciating fellow who can talk about bouquets and viscosity if pressed. So, I was brought up understanding that wine was more than just something to chug down and get pissed on; it is something to appreciate on many different levels.

Then years ago when I owned and ran my theatre restaurant, my business partner was a bit of a wine coinnosseur, and while our clientele was made up of a lot of beer and spirit drinkers, there were many who liked wine and they appreciated the fact that we had a good selection of wines to choose from, and not the usual swill you might find at theatre restaurants and cabaret venues. My business partner took me through wine appreciation lessons and while, for me, it mostly goes unused, I still remember it. And if I didn’t, my Dad and husband (who I bought a wine appreciation course for a few years ago so he could keep up with Dad) are able to remind me.

So, when I came to deciding what profession my new hero, Jason McVale, in Dark Moon, would do, it seemed only right that he be a wine maker. With his extra sensory nose (he is a werewolf), it means that he really gets into the many and varied bouquets of wine, the grape varietals, the flowers and plants that are grown nearby that affect the overall flavour stamp. His family has made wine for centuries – it being a natural use for their talents to play with flavours and scents. I suppose he could have been a perfumier, but that just didn’t seem quite masculine enough. Especially when it comes to scenes like this:

 ‘You smell so good.’

‘It’s the wine,’ she choked as muscles clenched and curled between her legs.

His lips curved at the corner, but she wouldn’t really call it a smile; it was more the look of a hunter before he brought down his prey. The smile made her shudder. He breathed in again, deeply, closing his eyes, his thumb rubbing against the pulse thumping in her wrist. All of a sudden, he jerked. His fingers loosened on her wrist as if he’d been shocked.

‘Are you okay?’

He glanced up at her, frowning. His fingers tightened on her wrist, firm, possessive, sending a hot spurt of worry tinged with desire chasing through her nerves. Astonishment flared in his eyes. Then, just as suddenly, it disappeared. His frown fell away and his eyes filled with a warm excitement that caressed her core. He sighed, took in a deep breath, nose brushing against her skin. ‘I’m more than okay. I got my wish.’

He closed his eyes, releasing her from his mesmerising lightning-shot blue gaze. Not that he needed his gaze to hold her in place. His voice, his touch, his breath tickling along her skin like a warm summer breeze, did the work for him.

‘Skye … A perfect name. You smell fresh and clean, like a summer’s day leading into autumn; wide blue skies with a hint of thunder cloud on the horizon.’ His eyes opened. ‘So many hidden layers. That hint of secrets and mystery – it has tantalised me all afternoon.’

He moved closer, his leg brushing against hers under the table. ‘To a wine maker, a scent connoisseur, you are a gift waiting to be unwrapped.’ His lips touched the inside of her wrist.

9781743484968I’ll leave that scene there and get back to the wine. It is a very special bottle of wine he shares with her. One that an Alpha wolf makes to secure the bond between him and a Pack Witch, but one, in this case, that does far more than that. This scene, based around the wine, is one of the sexiest scenes I think I’ve ever written (well, at least the reviewers think so). When Jason pours my heroine, Skye Collins, a glass of this special wine, she first appreciates it’s rich, plummy colour and the way it clings to the glass. It is almost a meal in itself. And when she tastes it, it’s like a sip of personal heaven, the full bodied flavours exploding in her mouth of passionfruit and raspberries and chilli-chocolate, the bouquet tantalising with something hidden and secret and spicy, that fill her up with sensations she’s never experienced before. The effect on her has an even more dramatic effect on Jason – and not because either of them are drunk, but because the wine is special for both of them.

I have had the privilege of tasting some extraordinary wines over the years, not to mention the amazing foods I’ve had the luck to eat along with these wines, the whole creating a little bit of sensory heaven, so this scene was not hard to write. All I had to do was close my eyes and remember back to tasting and smelling something extraordinary and how it had made me feel so wonderful in that moment that I have never forgotten it.

If you want to read this scene in full, I’m afraid you’re going to have to buy the book, because I’ve given away enough of a spoiler here. But I do have a Kindle copy to give away today. Just answer this simple question in the comments section below and you can go into the draw to win a copy and see what I’m talking about.


Have you ever had a moment that was a sensory slice of heaven? It can be about food, or wine/spirits or some scent you discovered in a garden/place. I’d love to hear all about it.

Dark Moon Blurb:

Lately, Skye Collins has been unable to shake the feeling that she’s being watched. After a lifetime spent hiding her true nature, she knows that any unusual attention is something to be wary of.  And the only attention she’s been receiving lately is from the intense and attractive Jason McVale.

Jason claims to know things about Skye that can’t be true, and it’s obvious he’s hiding secrets of his own. Yet despite herself, Skye can’t resist the attraction between them, and her surrender will set in motion a chain of events that will have consequences for everyone she holds dear.

Gradually, Jason convinces Skye that she has to trust him if she is to solve the riddle of her past and learn the truth about her power.  But believing Jason means that her entire life has been based on a lie.

As her enemies gather strength and the danger increases, Skye is forced to accept who she really is. Will she risk everything and fight for those she loves? Or save herself and let them be destroyed by the forces of darkness?

About the Author.

Leisl is a tall red head with an overly large imagination. As a child, she identified strongly with Anne of Green Gables. A voracious reader and a born performer, it came as no surprise to anyone when she did a double major in English Literature and Drama for her BA, then went on to a career as an actor, singer and dancer, as well as script writer, stage manager and musical director for cabaret and theatre restaurants (one of which she co-owned and ran for six years).

After starting a family Leisl stopped performing and instead, began writing the stories that had been plaguing her dreams. Leisl’s stories have won and placed in many competitions in Australia and the US, including the STALI, Golden Opportunities, Heart of the West, Linda Howard Award of Excellence, Touch of Magic and many others.

Leisl lives in the leafy suburbs of Melbourne with her two beautiful boys, lovely hubby, overly spunky dog, Buffy, and likes to spend time with family and friends. She sometimes sings in a choir and works as a swim teacher in her day-to-day job.

Leisl writes paranormal fantasy and romantic suspense.

You can buy Dark Moon here:



Destiny Romance


Google Play

Her romantic suspense, Killing Me Softly is out now:




Destiny Romance

Google Play

You can follow Leisl and find out more about her and her books on her website:



Follow her on Twitter @LeislLeighton

5 Star Review for Dark Moon on Goodreads

4 Star Review for Dark Moon on Goodreads


4 comments on “Cooking The Books – Leisl Leighton + GIVEAWAY

  1. Hi, Lou and Leisl. What a great post – wine is such an interesting subject. Not that Dark Moon doesn’t sound fascinating, too, Leisl! Rain plays a large part in my (recurring) memorable sensory moment. We have a long hedge of orange jessamine, which always flowers a few days after rain. Those little white flowers have such a strong, beautiful perfume, and if it rains on them again, the scent is even sweeter.

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