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.

QUESTION:

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:

Amazon

Kobo

Destiny Romance

iBooks

Google Play

Her romantic suspense, Killing Me Softly is out now:

Amazon

Kobo

iBooks

Destiny Romance

Google Play

You can follow Leisl and find out more about her and her books on her website: www.leislleighton.com

Facebook

Goodreads

Follow her on Twitter @LeislLeighton

5 Star Review for Dark Moon on Goodreads

4 Star Review for Dark Moon on Goodreads

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Cooking The Books – Leisl Leighton

Chef with cookbookToday it’s my pleasure to welcome fellow Destiny Romance author,  Leisl Leighton. Leisl’s debut romantic suspense Killing Me Softly was released this month. Not only is it a gripping read but it features one of the most haunting covers I’ve seen for a long time. Very spooky!

Leisl has an interesting background in the arts which makes her well-placed to talk about food. So welcome Leisl!

 

It’s exciting to be here on Cooking the Books among such talented Australian authors. Thanks for having me, Louise.Leisl Headshot tweet

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading about how the other authors featured here feel about the food in their books. Their reasons for using various foods their characters eat, share and bond over, shows that the purpose of food in our society is for more than just fueling our bodies. Having worked in hospitality for many years and running my own Theatre Restaurant for six years, I completely understand the value of good food being an essential part of the way people relate to each other and I try to include some of that dynamic into my books.

Whether we can cook or not, food fascinates us. You just have to turn on the TV or do a search on Google to see the truth of this. We celebrate over food, commiserate over food, get to know people over food. It is the common denominator that ties us together – we all have to eat. But it is more than this. There is nothing so miserable as a person sitting at home or in a restaurant, eating by themselves. Even if they are enjoying the finest meal they’ve ever eaten, if there is nobody to share it with, it isn’t quite as special. In my novel, Killing Me Softly, Lexi has been in that awful position for the last ten years of eating mostly by herself. She has lost her mum and dad, her twin sister is catatonic and lives in an asylum and she travels too much to build friendships. She is alone and apart and food is nothing but sustenance.

KillingMeSoftly_coverBut now that has changed. She has built a home for herself and has hired a husband and wife team, Bev and Karl, to help her run her farm and look after her sister when she brings her home from the asylum. Bev is a wonderful country cook and for the first time since she lost her mum and dad, Lexi has someone cooking for her, someone to cook for, someone to eat with, talk about the day’s events with, friendships to grow. And suddenly food is something she looks forward to. The value of bonding and building relationships and not being alone anymore, makes everything taste so much better. And it is something she can fall back on when dealing with Daemon, the rock star she has agreed to work with.

Sharing a plate of her favourite biscuits with coffee and tea, allows Lexi to feel comfortable enough to open up and talk to Daemon and he with her. In fact, many of their best conversations happen when they are sharing one of Bev’s sought after slices or muffins. In talking about their enjoyment of the food, it opens them up and allows them to connect on a deeper, more satisfying, level. Even amid the danger of the stalker who is after Lexi, and the tumult of putting together an album and dealing with Lexi’s twin, sharing their worries over family meals helps them cope with the stress of everything going on.

One of Lexi and Daemon’s first conversations is held as they share Bev’s fruit mince slice. I found an easy recipe at http://www.bestrecipes.com.au/recipe/mincemeat-slice-L9449.html that was pretty similar to what a friend of mine used to make at Christmas time. Enjoy with a friend or loved one over a cup of tea or coffee.

 Killing Me Softly

Reclusive record producer, Alexia Deningham, guards her privacy fiercely. When she agrees to work with superstar Daemon Flagherty, and his band, it is only on the condition that they stay with her at her isolated country estate.

Fresh from a messy divorce, Daemon is determined to focus on his music. He wants to work with the best and that means Lexi. He certainly isn’t looking for romance, but he finds himself intrigued by Lexi’s secretive behavior.

Despite Lexi’s reservations, their attraction grows.  But someone is watching Lexi. Someone who will stop at nothing to destroy the woman who has ruined his life. When his campaign of terror ratchets out of control, Lexi must fight for survival but who can she really trust?

You can buy Killing Me Softly at -:

www.destinyromance.com

Amazon-: http://www.amazon.com/Killing-Me-Softly-Destiny-ebook/dp/B00CSCCKZQ/ref=pd_rhf_ee_p_t_1_E6M3

Kobo-: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Killing-Me-Softly/book-swxYcrZXpUWGfTegYT3xpw/page1.html?s=vpPV2dJAD0KxmaD2A5yoPw&r=2

Angus & Robertson-: http://www.angusrobertson.com.au/search/Leisl+Leighton/mediatype/EBook/type/relaxed/ and at the iTunes, iBook store.

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.

Killing Me Softly is Leisl’s first published book.

You can follow Leisl and find out more about her and her books on her website: www.leislleighton.com

Follow her on Twitter @LeislLeighton

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Leisl-Leighton-Author/367381126695193

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7123887.Leisl_Leighton