Kelly Maher
Movies and shopping

Today’s a lazy day. That’s partially because I’m procrastinating from the last of my Christmas shopping. I love Christmas and I love shopping, but I loathe Christmas shopping. Even though all I’m shopping for is books, another thing I love to do!, I really hate going out in these crowds.

So, to enable the procrastination, I’m watching some movies. Right now, I’ve got “Sixteen Candles” on. I was actually looking to watch “Evolution” with David Duchovny and Orlando Jones, but it seems my copy has disappeared. I did discover I apparently own two copies of “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” among multiples of other movies. I think I may end up creating an inventory spreadsheet to put off shopping even more.

What movies do you like to watch and do you have multiple copies of them?

Thoughts, part 2

Thoughts, part 1 is in draft form, and will remain in draft form. They are thoughts I needed to purge, and maybe I’ll go back and revisit them some day. I doubt I’ll ever publish them here. I truly believe one should exercise the delete and hide buttons as necessary.

Suffice it to say, my thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and community affected in Connecticut.

Holiday baking

Cinnamon. Nutmeg. Allspice. Cloves. There is just something about the smells of holiday baking that make my heart leap. This Christmas, I’m a bit torn. On the one hand, I won’t really be able to do much baking of cookies, and I have some favorite cookies that I pretty much only make at Christmas, due to my current living situation. I only have space for a toaster oven, and if anyone tries to tell you cookies in batches can be made in a toaster oven, ask them where you can buy what they’re smoking. I can only make three cookies at a time in my oven, and that’s pushing it!

On the other hand, I’ve been invited to a cookie bake at a friend’s house this weekend, and I’m flying home to my parents’ for Christmas a few days before, so I will have access to a real oven and will be able to make some cookies. But there’s something to be said about being in your own space, using your own utensils, having your own ingredients on hand when you’re a baker. At least I’ll be able to eat, if not make, my all-time favorite Christmas cookie because it’s one of my mom’s staples. We seriously only had them at Christmas, and I think that’s why I never make them any other time. Plus the fact they’re a bitch to mix up as they’re a very dense cookie. I regularly break spatulas when I make them, and I’m not about to strip the gears on either my hand or stand mixers. What holiday baking traditions does your family have?

Editing Process: Rewriting

One of my projects I’m working on is the total rewrite of a book. It’s a story I love and have lived with for at least three, and probably close to five years now in various forms. As I don’t have the space for dual monitors, this is my setup:
Photo of three-ring binder with manuscript pages inside. Binder is propped up sideways and open to inner pages of manuscript as pages were printed landscape with two manuscript pages per printed page.

This is working well for me because this is basically how I learned touch typing in high school. It’s easier for me to catch the errors in my writing, both from a copy edit point of view and from a developmental edit point of view. I knew it was working for this project, but when I was typing in the excerpt for “Homecoming” from the printed book last week, I was catching things even in that small section that if I could rewrite, I totally would. I’ve decided that from now on, part of my revision process is absolutely going to be retyping the story no matter how long the story is.

In Angela James’ “Before You Hit Send” editing workshop which I highly recommend to anyone who writes anything, she strongly advocates for reading your work aloud. Absolutely, absolutely, absolutely. That is a highly useful technique and one I use. I think, for some people, you might want to also consider adding the total rewrite/type in to your editing process.

Holiday parties

It’s the holiday season! Today I’m attending the holiday party for my local RWA chapter. It will be my first time with them, but I do love holiday parties because it’s a time for people in an organization, in an office, or in a family (whether it’s by blood or choice) to come together and celebrate both the triumphs and tragedies of another year together. I’ll admit my view is probably colored by the overall happy family in which I grew up. Not to say there weren’t blow ups aplenty, but those were eventually brushed aside as being unimportant. Though, that one year when my four siblings and I were all sick with the stomach flu the New Year’s Eve where my parents were hosting all of their friends was quite memorable.

What’s one of your most memorable moments from a holiday party past? Or do you have a favorite recipe for when you attend holiday parties, food or drink?

New website!

Yay for the new website!! Mucho, mucho thanks to the team at Croco Designs and April Martinez for bringing this all together! While I was proud of the old look of the website, I had done it completely by myself and *knew* it was in dire need of an update by a professional designer. I’m also happy to now have a WordPress-based site so I can update the site more easily and frequently, and blog more! Thanks for poking around and I hope you have fun here. I know I will!

Latest Release!

AMUSE BOUCHE — Two chefs. Reality show prep. Long-term longing fulfilled.
Available from Ellora’s Cave.

Two chefs who strike sparks off each other. A secluded retreat. A competition they must work together in order to win. It’s a recipe for hot times in the kitchen.

Liana Richardson had her eye on Tommy Howard back in culinary school, but since she was in a committed relationship, she never made a move. Tommy had his eye on her too, and now he’s seized his chance to show her the kitchen isn’t the only place where she sizzles.

Read an Excerpt

By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you are under the age of 18, it is necessary to exit this site.

An Excerpt From: AMUSE BOUCHE
Copyright © KELLY MAHER, 2011
All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.

Liana didn’t trust him. Perfect things between us. She hadn’t ruled out the possibility of something more than cooking happening between them this weekend. She knew damn well raw attraction simmered between them. The looks he’d shot her during the organizational meetings sizzled more than a Kobe beef steak on a hot grill. She’d woken in the middle of the night, her pussy grasping for a phantom cock. Tommy’s. God help her.

The door to the master suite swung open. Her mouth dropped open. Candles littered the room and the bed was covered in a sea of azure silk. Tommy was pulling out the big guns. Her muscles strained to turn and storm out the door.

Common sense reasserted itself. Tommy could tempt her as much as he wanted to, but she had the choice. Right now, her choice was to claim one of the other bedrooms for the time being. She chose the one connected to the hall bathroom. That it happened to also be the closest to the master suite didn’t matter to her.

Focus. She needed to focus. Her attraction to Tommy Howard had been a living presence since culinary school. His constant television presence didn’t help matters. Thanks to him, she had discovered an unknown passion for historical documentary shows. It was either those or watching people with more money than she’d ever see searching out second homes in foreign countries. Foreign countries she’d kill to at least visit. Masochism didn’t interest her, thank you very much.

Memories of culinary school flooded her. His quick smile over prep tables as their instructors bullied or coaxed the students to their best. Hanging out in the bar off campus with him and their group of friends. A new girl on his arm every few weeks. Back then, she’d fought down her attraction. And the jealousy of the girls. Those feelings had no place in her life. Especially since her boyfriend at the time, Kevin, was a year ahead of them at the school and hung out with their group.

Kevin had been the one to convince her to go to culinary school. They’d started dating around the time he’d begun his coursework. She’d been convinced they’d eventually marry. Those thoughts fizzled over the years until the relationship followed suit last year. She’d give Kevin credit. He’d never cheated on her and they were still friendly.

All the girls in the program had lined up to be next on Tommy’s dating list. Some didn’t even bother with the date. They only wanted a piece of his very fine ass. Since he’d become a bona fide television star, it was even worse. His fan group called themselves Tommy’s Tarts. Ostensibly, it honored his prowess with pastries, but she wondered how many of his former girlfriends and lovers were in the group.

She shook off the dangerous thoughts. This weekend needed to be about the competition. Tommy didn’t know she knew about the lobbying he’d done to have her as part of the new show. At first, she thought it had been due to knowing and being friendly with each other in culinary school. After the first meeting with him and the producers, he’d made it known he was taking the opportunity to make a play for her.

She’d been ready to walk when they’d been all out for drinks to celebrate the new venture and he’d started hitting on her. As soon as she’d made her intentions known, he apologized and backed off. His behavior had been thoroughly professional ever since, but she’d also caught the looks he’d sent her in the meetings since. Her bullshit detector never once went off.

With efficient movements, she had her clothes put away and her luggage stowed in the back of the closet. They were only here for the long weekend, but that didn’t mean she needed to live out of her suitcase.

Halfway down the stairs, she caught a whiff of aromatics. She drew the air in with a flare of her nostrils. Trinity. In butter. The only way.

Her knives and other tools were still in her car. She didn’t bother to check on Tommy, but felt the weight of his gaze on her as she crossed from the stairs to the front door. Her nipples hardened and her pussy prepared itself for him as it had in her dreams. She gritted her teeth and focused on her car. Her leather case, almost as big as her smallest suitcase, sat on her back seat. She grabbed it, reveling in its weight as she did every time she picked up the sign of her trade.

Tommy’s head was stuck in the fridge when she re-entered the house. Yep, the man had one fine ass. Maybe if she acknowledged his good looks, they wouldn’t get her so hot.

She set her tool case on the island. He’d pulled the trinity off of the burner and set it to the side to cool. The other pots on the stove were tall enough she couldn’t quite tell what was in each, but she smelled both tomatoes and something else she couldn’t quite place. Familiar, but not. She looked back in time to catch Tommy as he closed the fridge door. He turned around and flinched when their eyes met.

Drawing her brows down at him, she opened her case and started unpacking. “What’s wrong?”

“Oh, nothing. Just wasn’t expecting you to be right there. Anyone ever tell you to make some noise when you move around?”

She hunched her shoulders. Kevin had often complained of the same thing. “I wasn’t trying to be quiet.”

“I’m sorry, Liana. I got lost in my thoughts. You’re fine.”

She nodded and looked back down at the case. Her knives lay in the bottom in a leather folder. She reached in and pulled it out. As an excuse not to watch Tommy, inspecting her knives was the most natural. “I saw you claimed the master bedroom.”

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw him freeze for a moment before he turned back to the stove. “What makes you say that?”

“Silk comforter? Candles all about the bedroom?”

“Wait, I put the candles in the bath…that is, what makes you think it was me?”

Liana only raised an eyebrow in response. Red stained his cheeks. “Fine, the comforter was me. And the candles in the bathroom. The ones in the bedroom are probably from the homeowner. I didn’t notice them when I was getting things ready.”

“Why did you do it?”

This time his smile had a roguish edge to it. She shivered. “I live in hope. Always have since school.”

Wait, what? “Wait, what?”

“I’ve had a crush on you since culinary school.”

He said it so matter of factly. As if he hadn’t dropped a bomb in the middle of the room. The idea this man who could have had any woman he wanted, and frequently did according to the tabloids, had a crush on her made as much sense as pairing a Riesling with a twelve-ounce porterhouse steak.

“No.” It was all she could say. All she could comprehend. No way on Earth. Julia Fucking Child would have to rise from the dead before she believed this.

“Yes.” The look he threw her seared her and drove her to one step away from orgasm.