Wine Country and Wine Books

I’ve just returned from a trip to northern California, where I visited both Sonoma and Napa Valley. My trip can be summed up in one word: Fantastic. Maybe one more word: Wine.

However, blogs were not meant to be short and sweet, so let me expound.

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It was my twentieth wedding anniversary (I know! Can you believe it? Yeah, we were babies when we tied the knot. Babies, I tell ya!). My husband joined me, of course. (Might have been a tad awkward if I’d gone for our anniversary without him.) The best man from our wedding (and his wife) and my bestie-in-the-whole-wide-world, aka maid of honor (well, she was technically matron since she got married first, but that term sounds lame, so we stuck with maid) and her husband, and the parents of our flower girl and ring bearer (Who are also super amazing besties of ours–the parents, I mean. The kids are cool, too, though.) all joined us.

(Side note – yes, another one – we suggested the ring bearer and flower girl join us for the next trip, since, crazy enough, they’re of age, which is so weird considering they were these two totally adorable toddlers walking–and maybe a little bit of running–down the aisle at my wedding. But then again, I guess that whole thing did happen two decades ago!)

Anywhooooo, so we vacationed in Cali, these four couples who have known each other for far more than two decades. Which is crazy, because are we even old enough to have friends that long? Okay, okay, maybe I’m referring to the way we act. But hey, if you can’t have fun with your besties…

I won’t bore you with every single detail (not that a single detail was remotely boring–not even that morning three of us woke up early and went hiking, legit hiking, on a mountain that just happened to be at the end of the street on which the house we were renting was located. Of note, we are not from states in which hiking on mountains at the end of the road is a thing, so yeah, we may have been a tad excited.)

I will tell you that it was magnificent, every single aspect, from the wine to the food (we highly recommend Brix in Napa Valley and the Depot Hotel Restaurant in Sonoma) to the company (the laughs, oh my gosh, the laughs!) was utterly and spectacularly perfect.

I will also leave you with a funny story from our trip (and a reminder that I just wrote a book about wine country–okay, okay, it’s based in Australia, but it’s still about a winery, specific a super hot guy who owns a winery, and it’s well worth the read if you’re into, well, wine country, and also romantic comedy or maybe just my books in general. It’s called No Jerks on Monday in case you want to check it out.).

No Jerks on Monday

So here’s the story: My bestie and her husband started their vacay early–they flew into San Francisco on Monday and on Wednesday, when the rest of us arrived, we picked them up and headed north to Wine Country. While we were at dinner on Wednesday, they told us a story about a food tour they’d gone on in downtown SF. It was quite the pleasant experience, until a presumably homeless man stepped in the middle of their group while the tour guide was giving details about whatever building they happened to be standing in front of.

She didn’t miss a beat, keeping her cool and nodding at the guy as he talked gibberish while gesturing wildly. She carried on as if this was a completely normal part of the tour. And then, after he muttered something about someone named “Steven,” she said, “Oh, yes, I know Steven.”

At which point the homeless guy shouted, “STEVEN IS A BITCH.”

And the tour guide, still without missing a beat, said, “And we’re walking,” and herded her group down the sidewalk and on to the next stop.

We found this story outrageously hilarious, and proceeded to insert “Steven is a bitch” into every conversation we possibly could. It became our “That’s what she said” of the weekend.

Oh, but it gets better.

Thursday morning, we went on the Sonoma Food, Wine & History Tour (if you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend it, and ask for Abby because she’s amazing, as you’ll learn in just a moment).

Our tour guide, as I just noted, was Abby. Friendly, bubbly, made a point to get to know every person in the group. We were comfortable with her in probably less than twenty minutes.

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The tour started right outside the Depot Park Museum in downtown Sonoma. Abby was giving us a bit of history about the area, including the fact that the now-defunct tracks we were standing next to used to carry a train full of basalt (which was excavated from the mountain right there in Sonoma) into San Francisco to be loaded onto boats to be carried who knows where in the world.

An elderly woman who clearly worked or volunteered at the museum happened to be walking by at the precise moment Abby mentioned San Francisco, and the woman snapped, “No, that’s not where it went. It went to blah blah blah [I don’t even know what she said, to be honest]. You should come into the museum so you can learn something.” And then she stuck her nose in the air and stomped away.

At which point someone in our group muttered, “Annnnd Steven is a bitch.”

And then we collapsed against each other, laughing hysterically, while poor Abby looked on, quite mystified. Until we filled her in on the joke.

Which she proceeded to use to her advantage for the duration of the tour.

So, yeah, we had a marvelous time. I can’t wait to go back.

~*~

No Jerks on Monday

 

Tami Lund is an author and wine drinker who writes books about sexy winery owners. Take a peek at No Jerks on Monday HERE.

Too Much Fun Scheduled…

It’s graduation/wedding/end of school season. For me personally, it’s also wedding anniversary-slash-daughter’s birthday season. Oh yeah, and summer; trying to get in every single possible second of glorious sunshine-filled days because I live in Michigan and fully understand how few and fleeting those days are.

This summer, so far, I’ve only received one wedding invite; scheduled for the last day of my vacation, no less. But I do have plenty of high school graduations. In fact, I had two invites for last weekend and two more for this upcoming one. There’s also my brother-in-law’s birthday party and my niece’s horse show, my daughter’s last day of school, and prepping (mentally and literally) for the vacation my husband and I are taking for our twentieth wedding anniversary (!!). And as soon as we return, it’s my daughter’s birthday, and after that, I think summer slows down for a few weeks until our annual family vacation (and that wedding) toward the end of July. Thank God.

Oh crap, and I just realized Father’s Day falls in there, too!

Meanwhile, I’m riddled with guilt as I try to juggle two jobs, a teenager, nurturing my garden so I can have fresh salsa by the end of summer, attempting to lose a few pounds so I actually don’t hate the way I look in my swimsuit; on top of all those obligations listed above. Which, by the way, ultimately, will be fun, so honestly, calling them obligations isn’t the correct term, but that’s how I feel at the moment.

Because it’s too much. And yet I want to—or at least feel obligated to—do it all. Two of the grad parties are for children of cousins whose parents are brothers, so optimally I’d like to only do one, but is that really fair? Truthfully, I may not be able to do either, which only adds yet another layer to my constant companion, Guilt.

And then there’s the reality that my husband and I chose to get married on Father’s Day weekend all those years ago, so we have to figure out how to celebrate that special event, honor three fathers (my husband and both our dads), as well as make my daughter feel special on her birthday, which is also right there in the mix. Oh, and three of my five nieces have birthdays all that same week as my daughter. This summer in particular, I am so grateful we enrolled my daughter in the school she currently attends if only because they end their school year a week before her old one does; otherwise, that grand event would be happening right smack in the middle of everything else listed in this paragraph.

Oy, we should have planned out our lives better!

I know, I know, that isn’t how it works, but that comment makes me chuckle because I am, while not strictly Type A, most definitely a planner, and I need to make everything fit, everything work; find order on the chaos that has become my June calendar. (Yes, I still use a paper calendar. Two of them, as a matter of fact. Because I don’t care what you say, it’s just easier.)

And so, up front, before the event-filled weekends even arrive, I have to mentally make the decisions: What will we do? What will we decline? And those decisions are, admittedly, made with my coveted writing time in mind.

If I go to the work event on Friday, the graduation on Saturday, the dinner party on Saturday, and the graduation on Sunday, when will I have time to write?  And so I start trimming obligations, so that I can sit on my backporch and work on yet another novel for your enjoyment.

Because I enjoy it too. And I don’t feel obligated to do it; I simply want to. Which is how writing ultimately is the winner in the end.

Rather, you are.

 

Dragon in Denial Cover FINAL

Tami Lund writes books and drinks copious amounts of wine to combat the guilt of choosing writing over all that fun stuff she should be doing. This book just released on May 31, if you want to check it out!

DRAGON IN DENIAL

 

 

How A Book Is Born

This isn’t about all that technical stuff, like uploading documents and JPEGs and choosing key words and all that not-exciting stuff authors have to deal with in order to bring you great reads.

Nope.

This is about the inner workings of an author’s mind.

This is about how the idea for a book comes about.

Fair warning: it’s not normal. It’s not typical. In fact, it’s probably a bit weird.

You’ve been warned.

So anyway, about five years ago, on a random Friday, I was heading into the day job later than normal. I can’t remember why, but if I had to guess, I probably worked really late the day before and needed an extra hour of sleep.

Anyway, this particular section of my commute is down a long, two-lane road that cuts through a swampy area. There are eight-foot cattails on either side of the street for about a quarter of a mile, then, on the left, there’s a dirt road, which is really just a driveway shared by a handful of houses. The house closest to the road is the largest, and then the ones behind it are smaller. I don’t know if it’s all one family or if maybe the big house sold the land at some point, but in my mind, I decided that the smaller house directly behind the big one was a cottage that the owners rented out to one of the key secondary characters in the book that was forming in my head.

On this day that I was late heading into work, there was a little girl standing at the end of that dirt road. She was kicking pebbles and her thumbs were hooked into the straps of her backpack, and I remember thinking, She’s young, like maybe kindergarten or first grade, and she’s standing next to this street where cars zoom past at 45-50 miles per hour. Seems like there’d be a parent hovering around such a small child.

And then a car slowed down and turned onto the dirt road where she was standing, and my overactive imagination kicked into gear.

What if that driver is about to kidnap that little girl? (For the record, that’s not what happened in real life.)

Okay, who’s the heroine? Will it be the mother? No, an innocent bystander. Someone jogging down the road. And if that person dives into the cattails for some reason, the kidnapper won’t even notice that he has an eyewitness.

What would be a good reason for a jogger to hide in cattails? Checking out animal tracks? Lost something?

Sick? Puking?

Yeah, it’s Friday, and lots of people start the weekend on Thursday, and what if our eyewitness-slash-heroine got drunk last night and decided to go for a jog to sweat it out and ended up getting sick to her stomach?

Okay, so now, why would someone kidnap this little girl? What’s the motive? And how is the jogger going to get sucked in?

I continued on my way, and probably about a mile and a half down the road, I passed a small row of shops, including a dry cleaner.

And while I was at work that day, a co-worker told me a story about her husband’s family, who own a dry cleaner.

Her husband’s family is Italian.

Another one of my co-workers is Italian, and he tells stories about his mom’s recipes (she makes an amazing tiramisu, for the record) and how he took his now wife to Italy to propose and how his family is very authentically Italian…

All weekend, this book percolated in my mind. I was still trying to work out the key details.

Who’s the bad guy? Why is he the bad guy?

Who’s the hero? How is he going to meet the heroine?

How does the little girl play into it all?

On Sunday afternoon, my husband lounged on the couch and binge watched The Godfather movies. I didn’t sit with him; by default I’ve seen them a hundred times anyway and I’m not one of those people who likes to sit around and watch the same shows over and over again. But it was on, and the voices drifted through my head and…

Monday morning, I drove that exact same commute, and when I cruised through that swampy area, there was no little girl waiting for the bus.

And I thought about this story idea that wouldn’t stop bouncing around in my head.

This road.

Little girl waiting for the bus.

Kidnapped.

Jogger sees it.

Little girl’s mother is angry but not frantic. Why?

Dad is the kidnapper. Why?

DAD IS A MAFIA BOSS.

Boom. That’s it. That’s the missing puzzle piece to pull it all together.

But I didn’t want the actual boss to ultimately be the hero; no, he needed to be the bad guy. Because mafia bosses have to be damned ruthless to keep and maintain their power, right? So someone on his crew or in his family has to be the hero.

His brother.

But I didn’t want the hero to be someone who kills or abuses other people. No, he needs to be someone behind the scenes.

The money man.

And they need a front, a legit business, behind which they can launder money and evade the IRS.

A dry cleaning chain.

Boom.

And the jogger, she’s going to be a random person, someone with a heart of gold, someone who would never, ever become involved with a man who is associated with a dirty business like the mob. Because of course, our hero is going to fall for her, and if she ever finds out he’s connected to the mob, well…

THERE’S OUR STORY.

And now it’s finally ready for your reading pleasure. Trapped by the Mob releases tomorrow, 2/28/2019. Buy it or read it in KU, your choice.

Happy reading!

AMAZON

Trapped by the Mob Cover

Tami Lund writes all sorts of romance. Suspense, romcom, shapeshifters, demigods, vampires, and now, mafia. Check out all those others on her website: https://tamilund.com/

Tami Lund Makes Mafia Romance Funny

Trapped by the Mob Cover

I posted this on my personal blog last week and decided to reblog it here… Enjoy a sneak peek at my latest release!!

~~~

Why yes, I did take a beloved trope and put my own spin on it. Because that’s what authors do, right? That’s why you keep reading; because we keep introducing new stories, new ideas, new ways to enjoy a storyline you’ve read before.

Such as the mafia. Or better yet, mafia romance. Like this one. Which is mafia romance a’la the Tami Lund special. What does that mean?

It’s means this book is gonna make you chuckle.

Here’s the premise:

TRAPPED BY THE MOB

Sure, Antonio Sarvilli is the money man behind his brother’s criminal empire, but that doesn’t mean he’s a bad guy. He’s not the one out there killing people. All he does is make greenbacks and enjoy the fruits of his labor.

That attitude changes when his brother assigns him to get to know Phoebe Cavanaugh, a Good Samaritan who witnessed something she wasn’t supposed to.

Now, all Antonio wants is to get out so he can be with Phoebe.

Except that’s not how it works when you’re part of the mob.

 

And here’s the first chapter, even before Amazon will offer it to you:

Chapter One

THE GOOD SAMARITAN

 

“I swear, I’ll never do that again,” Phoebe Cavanaugh muttered to her reflection, which stared back at her with mussed hair—and not the sexy bedhead kind, either—and bags the size of Lake Michigan under her eyes, accentuating a horribly pallid complexion.

“I am not a bad girl,” she added before shoving the toothbrush into her mouth and attempting to scrub away the cotton and lingering taste of tequila. Or maybe that was worm. God, the end of the evening was hazy, but she suspected her evil co-workers had convinced her to eat the damn thing when the last shot had been poured.

“Why did I think I could keep up?” She hadn’t been a heavy drinker when she had been in college, let alone in the five years since graduating. “And on a weekday, no less.”

She trudged back to her bedroom and huffed out a sigh. The digital clock on her bedside table flipped to 8:02.

Phoebe should have been to work an hour ago, and she hadn’t even showered yet. Hell, she was still wearing the jeans and boatneck, striped shirt she’d worn to the bar last night.

Not to mention the roiling in her stomach. Ugh. How the heck did one cure a weekday hangover?

She kicked a running shoe out of her way, and for the first time since dragging herself out of bed, something inside her body perked up. “I’ll sweat it out.”

She nodded, stripping out of last night’s clothes and reaching for her favorite pair of running shorts. “Thirty-minute jog, ten-minute shower, bare minimum makeup, and I’ll stop at McDonald’s on the way to work. I’ll be two hours late, but at least they won’t be able to say I couldn’t hang.”

Hell, she was feeling better already.

A swath of oak trees with massive, sprawling branches lined up on either side of a narrow, winding drive that separated Phoebe’s apartment complex from the main road. The natural barrier helped cut down on the city noises that slammed into her as soon as she hit the sidewalk, running along the road that normally took her to her job, the grocery store, the nearby bar she never intended to step foot into again.

She passed a gas station and hung a left, running along the gravel shoulder of a residential road that cut through a swampy area, which meant it was underdeveloped and thus much quieter with far less traffic. Lots of school buses, though. Usually she was already at work by this point, so she didn’t have to share road time with the big yellow vehicles with their flashing red lights and the stop signs that popped out from the side every time the gears ground to a halt to take on yet another kid.

The bout of nausea hit when she was jogging through a particularly quiet stretch. A wall of eight-foot tall cattails swayed in the gentle breeze to her left, and a gravel path jutted from the main road to her right. A two-story house with dust-covered, white siding stood sentinel, with a smaller cottage tucked behind it, like maybe it was a servant’s quarters or, more likely, a guesthouse. A dark-haired girl stood at the end of the dirt road, presumably waiting for the bus. She kicked pebbles while fiddling with the straps on her purple backpack.

“Oh God.” Phoebe’s stomach had about two seconds before she expelled whatever contents were left from last night, so she dove through the wall of cattails. She preferred to puke in private, thankyouverymuch. Her running shoes sank into muck as she bent at the waist and hacked up what looked like she might very well have eaten that damn worm from the bottom of the tequila bottle.

Sucking in deep breaths and wiping the snot from her nose with the back of her hand, she remained doubled over at the waist until the sound of a car door caught her attention. Glad for the distraction from the grossness at her feet, she gingerly pulled her shoes from the mud and separated the foliage with her hands so she could look out at the road.

A newer model black town car had stopped near the young girl still standing across the street. That was weird. Phoebe glanced up and down the road, but there were no other cars. Or buses. She didn’t see someone who might resemble a parent either. And that guy climbing out of the driver’s seat didn’t look like any father Phoebe would want. Not that she knew her own father or believed they all should look a certain way, but this guy, he would be a better fit in a mafia movie than in, say, a Disney princess book.

Unless the story was about kidnapper dads.

“Holy shit!” She stared through the gap she’d made in the cattails as the guy walked around the car, grabbed the kid by the strap of her purple backpack, and tossed her into the backseat of his car. Okay, maybe it didn’t happen exactly like that, but that little girl had definitely not intended to go with that guy. She was waiting for the bus, wasn’t she?

“Ohmigod, he’s kidnapping her!” Phoebe leaped from her hiding place, waving her arms and shouting, “Stop! Stop! Help! Police! Somebody call the cops!”

The kidnapper’s head snapped up, and for a second she was afraid he was about to pull out a gun and aim it at her. Maybe she watched too many movies. Except the guy was kidnapping that kid, for crying out loud!

Instead of shooting her, he hustled around the car and hopped into the driver’s seat, the tires spinning and kicking dirt and pebbles at her as she raced across the street like she thought she was going to be able to stop him.

“Nina?”

Phoebe jerked her attention to the woman jogging toward her on the dirt road. She must have come from the smaller house tucked behind the big one. The woman wore a pale pink, scoop neck T-shirt and a pair of khaki capris. Her hair was dark, pulled back into a ponytail, and her features were dainty and elfin. Just like the little girl who was speeding away in the backseat of a black sedan with some creepy mob guy.

“Nina,” the woman said again when she reached Phoebe. “Did the bus come?” She sounded on the edge of panic, like she needed Phoebe to lie to her.

“Some guy just kidnapped her,” Phoebe said. “At least, I think so. That was your daughter, right? Dark hair, purple backpack, looks just like you?”

The lady twisted her head back and forth, looking up and down the road. “Yes. Nina. What do you mean, some guy just kidnapped her? Who?”

Phoebe tugged her phone from her shorts pocket and dialed 9-1-1. “How the hell do I know who he was? But I can describe the car and him, although damn it, I didn’t think to get the license—hello? Yes, this is an emergency. I just witnessed a kidnapping. Yes, I’ll—”

“No!” The woman jerked the phone from Phoebe’s hand and pressed the red button on the screen to disconnect the call. “Don’t involve the cops.”

“Don’t what? Are you crazy? Some mafia-looking guy just kidnapped your daughter, lady.” She enunciated the words the way people did when they were speaking to someone who didn’t understand English very well.

“Which is why you can’t involve the police.”

Phoebe’s phone rang. Emergency dispatch flashed on the screen. She took a couple steps away from the crazy lady and answered the call. “Yes, hello? Yes, I did just call and yes, I did witness a kidnapping. I’m at” —she glanced up at the street sign—“the corner of Hiller and Dirk Avenue. Yes, I’ll stay here until the police arrive. Thank you. Uh-uh. Bye.”

She disconnected the call and glanced at the woman who was now frowning at her like she’d done something wrong instead of try to help her get her daughter back. “Are you going into shock? Is that the problem?”

The lady flung out her hand and stormed away, heading down the road that, now that Phoebe got a good look at it, was actually a long, winding driveway. The mother of the year muttered as she walked. Something about ruining everything and now Gino was going to be a complete ass and probably punish her even though she wasn’t the one who called the cops and why couldn’t people just mind their own damn business.

“Hey,” Phoebe said, chasing after her. “If I hadn’t noticed that guy taking your kid, you wouldn’t even know she was gone until she didn’t get off the school bus this afternoon.”

The lady sighed and turned around. “Yes, I would have. I’m sure Gino will call, probably within the hour. He didn’t take her because he actually wants to see her; he took her because I went out on a date last night. Apparently he can screw anyone he damn well pleases, but I can’t even go on one lousy date. And that’s the best part: It was a lousy date.”

Phoebe canted her head and furrowed her brow. “What are you talking about?”

The lady flapped her hand again. “Gino. My ex-husband. I’m sure that’s who took Nina. Well, one of his minions, at any rate, since he never does his own dirty work.”

“Oh. I take it he’s her dad?”

“Of course he is,” she snapped, like the answer was obvious.

“So he won’t hurt her?”

“Doubtful. I mean, I’m pretty sure Gino isn’t actually capable of love, but whatever passes closest to it in his mind is what he feels for Nina. So no, he won’t hurt her. He only did this to torment me.”

“Yeah, you said that. Because you went on a date last night. But didn’t you say he’s your ex-husband?”

“Yes, thank God.”

“Then how is it he has any say over your life whatsoever?”

“Trust me, once you get caught in Gino Sarvilli’s web, you never truly get out again. Even though he granted me the divorce two years ago, the ground rules were clear. I’m only allowed to do whatever Gino says I can do. And having a life, enjoying the company of another man, isn’t on that list.”

“That makes no sense.”

She shrugged. “It does in Gino’s world.”

“You make the guy sound like a dictator or something.”

“You said it,” she said as a police cruiser slowed and turned onto the dirt road, inching toward them. “And this”—she pointed at the cop car— “just made it ten times worse.”

Thanks to an unfortunate situation last fall—which, by the way, hadn’t been her fault—Phoebe had lost her job as a wedding planner. One career change later and she wasn’t quite to the ninety-day mark in her current position. Now she had no idea if she’d even be able to make it in today.

Not the way to impress the new boss.

~~~

And here’s the link to keep reading when it releases on February 28, 2019: PRE-ORDER. 

PS – It will be available in KU!

PSS – The sequel, FREED FROM THE MOB, is scheduled for release on March 28, 2019.

Happy reading!

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund writes all sorts of tropes, from dragons to witches to demigods to contemporary suspense and romcom. All all sexy, all are funny, and all will satisfy your need for a happy ever after… https://tamilund.com/

HUNGRY LIKE A DRAGON Excerpt

Hungry Like A Dragon COVER

Guess what? I just released a new book–yesterday! Here’s what it contains:

  • dragons
  • a sexy dragon chef
  • a stubborn, strong, badass dragon heroine
  • a cute dragon baby
  • dragon humor
  • witches (and dragons)
  • gargoyles (and dragons)
  • dragon sexy times
  • a dragon-licious happy ending

And here’s a teaser for additional temptation:

“Okay, baby girl,” she murmured as she lifted the child onto her shoulder and gently patted her back. “Let’s get that gas out and then fall back asleep for at least twenty minutes. I need a shower.” Never, until three months ago, had she considered showers to be a novelty, a privilege, a damn-near euphoric experience.

For once, the bundle of adorableness decided to comply, belching loudly enough to make a grown man jealous and then promptly sighing and closing her eyes. She was so damn cute, Petra was tempted to just hold her like this, but reality called in the form of being clean for the date she’d managed to line up for tonight.

Gently placing the sleeping babe in the bouncy seat that was already parked on the bathroom floor, Petra quickly turned on the water and stripped down, ignoring the soft paunch she glimpsed in the mirror before climbing into the shower.

Sadie started crying five minutes later.

“Oh come on,” Petra complained as she rinsed conditioner out of her hair. “I need to shave. It’s been way too long. Birds are starting to look at my legs as possible relocation options.”

Sadie stopped crying.

Petra paused in the act of turning off the water. When the baby didn’t start up again, she picked up her razor, quickly lathered her leg, and got to work scraping off enough hair she worried the drain would clog.

Good thing she was able to get through the task, because she couldn’t wear long pants tonight even if she wanted to. She didn’t have any that were clean. Her choices were shorts or a skirt. Because she sure as hell couldn’t fit into the dozens of outfits she bought for Sadie. Working at a kids’ clothing store was probably not the wisest choice for someone who wasn’t good at self-control.

Clean and freshly shaved, she turned off the water and shoved aside the shower curtain, reaching for her towel.

And saw a man standing in the bathroom, holding her daughter in his arms, his body gently swaying to some silent beat.

Petra immediately summoned the magic, ready to shift into dragon form and scare the living daylights out of whoever the hell dared sneak into her house and pick up her baby girl and…

Her dragon, in stark contrast to Petra’s reaction, was doing a jig, a rather seductive one, at that. Why the hell wasn’t her dragon roaring in her head and demanding to come out so she could rip this guy’s limbs from his body?

The internal confusion gave the man enough time to turn to face her, and Petra’s heart stopped for a long moment, then kicked into triple overtime.

Oh. My. Gods.

Noah.

And jeez, did he ever look good, holding her baby like that.

Their baby.

Oh shit.

“Uh…” She finally tore her gaze away from the man she’d been fantasizing about pretty regularly ever since she sauntered away from him after the most amazing sex ever in the woods behind Gabe’s house. She snagged her towel and quickly wrapped it around herself, hiding her mom bod from view.

His gaze dropped south of the hem of the terrycloth. “Did I give you enough time to shave?”

Her face heated. “Uh…” Crap, was she incapable of forming words? Standing in the tub, water dripping from the ends of her hair, clutching the towel above her heaving breasts, she finally managed the concept of actual speech. “Wha-what are you doing here?”

He indicated the child sleeping on his shoulder. “Meeting my daughter. She is mine, isn’t she?”

Want to keep reading? Of course you do! Head on over to the Bad Alpha Dads website for all the buy links. While you’re there, take a look at the first book in the Taming the Dragon series, DRAGON HIS HEELS, which is on sale for 99c until 1/31/2019!

Happy (dragon) reading!

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Tami Lund is an author, award winner, wine drinker, and writer of dragon romance. She also writes mafia romance, and the first book in her Detroit Mafia Romance series releases on 2/28/2019. Stay tuned for more deets…https://tamilund.com/

CHOCOLATE, CHOCOLATE, CHOCOLATE

stocking candy

See that pic? That’s a sampling of what was in my Christmas stocking. Okay, yes, that’s all that’s left from what was in my stocking.

Not the point.

There’s a reason for each and every different type of chocolate, and it’s not just because it’s chocolate (although that’s certainly an important and not to be dismissed factor).

First, though, I want to call attention to the stocking itself. That baby has been around for a lot of years. I mean A LOT. My parents are divorced, and when I was eleven years old, my dad moved to the other side of the country for a job (aka so he could actually put food on the table; hello, recession of the 80s). As a result, we didn’t get to spend a whole lot of Christmases with him.

The first Christmas I did, though, this stocking was hung by the fire with care. (Actually, funny story about that; the gas fireplace in the house he was living in at the time didn’t work, so it was covered by a piece of plywood that was painted to match the walls. But still—there was a mantel, and that’s really what matters when it comes to stockings.)

When I was sixteen, I moved across the country to live with my dad. And this stocking was there, every single Christmas. Usually filled with oranges and whole nuts and—the part that teenagers actually care about—a wad of one dollar bills.

We do things a tad differently now that I have my own mantel and my own kid. (Although she’s a teenager now and it’s kind hard to find gifts for 13 year olds that fit into stockings and aren’t gift cards because I hate giving gift cards as gifts, so next year I may suggest the dollar bill bit to my husband because who doesn’t love money?)

My husband buys the “stockings stuffers.” (AKA he buys candy. He loves candy. Specifically chocolate. More specifically fancy chocolate. He’s a chocolate snob.) Several years ago I bought the candy for the stockings and he still reminds me of what I failure I am at selecting the appropriate sweet treats for one’s stocking.

(Side note, he critiques my Halloween candy purchases too, and every year I have to remind him that the sugary substance is meant to be given out to random kids approaching our doorstep while wearing spooky costumes, so WTF does he care what kind of candy I buy??)

Anyway, back to the significance of that pic of what remains of my stocking stash. There’s a reason for each and every item in that picture.

First, the Reese’s. I’d argue that who the hell doesn’t like Reese’s, but I know the answer: my daughter. Once upon a time, when she was much younger, one of her closest friends was this kid who lived down the street who had a severe peanut allergy. From their friendship she learned to avoid dangerous foods like, well, Reese’s. Considerate, yes. But he moved away and probably if she actually tried one, she’d discover she liked it, since both of her parents do and therefore she should be just like us.

Wait, what am I saying? If she continues to insist she doesn’t like them, that’s more for the two of us. And that’s exactly what my husband does: he splits the contents of the bag between he and I, so our daughter doesn’t have to bother (anymore; it took us a while to figure this out) dumping out her entire stocking and sorting through the contents, pulling out all the Reese’s and piling them on the coffee table for our dining delight.

Next is the Ghirardelli chocolate. This is, without exception, my husband’s favorite food. If you put a fancy, craft beer in front of him and then place a Ghirardelli Square next to it and tell him he can only have one, well…that’s the sort of choice no human being should have to make.

So these candies are all him. To be honest, Ghirardelli chocolate wasn’t even on my radar before I met him. Now, no holiday is complete without, well, it.

Here’s my honest opinion: Ohmigod, yes, Ghirardelli makes phenom chocolate. And my hands down fave are the dark chocolate mint squares. Those babies are crack. A reasonably close second are the dark chocolate sea salt caramel squares.

But really, any square will do.

Next are the Lindor truffles. (Those are the little red, blue, green, and gold wrapped balls of chocolate next to the dark chocolate mint square that, by the time you are reading this, has been eaten.)

Not my fave. Maybe it’s too much chocolate (probably not) or maybe it’s just not Ghirardelli or maybe it’s because every time I bite into one, I expect a gooey center (because my literal favorite candy ever is a Cadbury Crème Egg). Either way, I’ll eat ‘em because, duh, chocolate, but if my husband wanted to trade I wouldn’t even hesitate.

And lastly we have the Russel Stover marshmallow Santa.

Not a snobby type of chocolate, FYI.

But, yeah, somebody in this family luuuuuuuvs marshmallow and chocolate mixed together, and you might be surprised to learn it is not the one who actually buys all this candy each year. (No, you won’t, because chocolate and marshmallow is not a snobby chocolate.)

In fact, my husband doesn’t like the combo at all (probably because Ghirardelli doesn’t make it). I’m pretty sure he stuffs these sweet treats into every stocking except his own.

But he still buys them. For me.

Which, by the way, is a terribly, er, sweet way for a chocolate snob to express his love.

Hungry Like A Dragon COVER

 

Tami Lund writes romance, drinks wine, and indulges in chocolate, often all at the same time. With her husband. The chocolate snob. Check out her website: https://tamilund.com/.

Also, check out her latest release, HUNGRY LIKE A DRAGON!

 

 

What Are You Reading?

As I typed that title, in my head I heard that “What’s in your wallet” commercial, just FYI.

But anyway, wanna know what I’m currently reading?

61cIx-A4tgLFirst up is Conquer My Heart by Rachel Donnelly. I just started it, so I’m only about 10% in, but already fascinated. It’s a historical romance with a strong heroine who fits into the era. I love a good, strong heroine, so appreciate it when authors write them into historical novels, but they still have to be appropriate to the time they live in, right? And so far, Rachel Donnelly is doing exactly that with Briana. I’m looking forward to getting lost in the time of Vikings and Saxons.

The next one I plan to immerse myself in is The Lost Dragon by Debbie Herbert. I grabbed this one because another author had mentioned it was one of her favorite reads of 2018. It’s part of the Bad Alpha Dads series that I also write in. I read a few pages before clicking and I’m already totally hooked. Even though I’m thoroughly enjoying the above mentioned historical romance, I’m equally as excited to dive into this dragon shifter book.

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Lastly, I haven’t gotten to them yet, but I noticed I’ve downloaded a fair share of other dragon books to my phone (I read via the Kindle app or through iBooks). Apparently, I’m on a dragon kick lately. Could be because I just set up my own second dragon book for pre-order, and I’m a little giddy about it. Not only that, but I’ve already started the third book in the series (Taming the Dragon series), and I now have five total books planned. Including one in which a gargoyle will feature prominently. Which reminds me, I need to check out a few gargoyle shifter books too…

 

Happy reading! Oh, and if you’re interested in my latest book, it’s called Hungry Like A Dragon and will be released on January 29, 2019. You can pre-order here:

HUNGRY LIKE A DRAGON

Hungry Like A Dragon COVER

Tami Lund writes and reads books, drinks copious amounts of wine, and occasionally wins awards. You should check out her website: https://tamilund.com/