Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Five Naked Truths About MAKE ME, TAKE ME

Giveaway Alert!

  1. There is more sex in MAKE ME, TAKE ME than in any book I’ve ever written…and my editor and I took out one sex scene and combined two more. No matter what happened, Quin and Betsy just kept getting naked in new and different ways that were totally necessary to the plot and conflict, I swear. But there’s so much naughtiness, I felt a little weird about dedicating the book to my sister!
  2. Speaking of sisters, my big sister and I know every word to Kenny Rogers’s Gideon album, and the hero of MAKE ME, TAKE ME was inspired by these lines from “No Good Texas Rounder” written by Kim Carnes and David Ellingson. “He was a fiddlin’ man, and they’re not nice/He took your mama, now you’re payin’ the price, girl…” Quin plays guitar, not fiddle, but Betsy definitely pays the price, especially when he says “Once I get you started, you go all night. Let me go with you. I promise I won’t tell anybody, and I won’t try to buy your bar, either. Let me spend the night inside you, and we both win. Just say the word, and I’ll give you everything you want, any way you want it.” Yup…naked.
  3. My fiancé and I lived in NOLA after we graduated from culinary school, and we got married in the French Quarter. I put all of my favorite NOLA food and drinks into the book, mango daiquiris, chargrilled oysters, beignets, three-beer gumbo, shrimp po’boys, pralines…and Quin and Betsy enjoy some of them…naked. My favorite food scene is the one where Quin says, “Put your plate on my chest, and I’ll introduce you to the culinary equivalent of snorting coke off a stripper’s ass.”
  4. The tea leaf reading in the book really happened! Just before I got married, I had my tea leaves read at The Bottom of The Cup Tearoom in the French Quarter. Almost everything Madame Rousseau says to Betsy was said to me, including the lions, doves, and royalty. However, I had a note in the margin of MAKE ME, TAKE ME that said, “Put in romance, you idiot. Duh.” I wasn’t looking for love when I got my leaves read; I’d already found it, so that changed the reading just a bit! Hence all the naked.
  5. Readers helped me brainstorm the book. The blog tour grand prize for INTO THE FIRE, the first book in the Hot Nights series, included naming the hero of MAKE ME, TAKE ME and giving him a personality trait. Thus the sexy and sarcastic, guitar-playing hero, Quinton James, was born! The runner up prize included picking a dish to go into the book, so I created Blackened Chicken on a Stick. It’s very spicy, so I do not recommend getting naked until after you wash your hands. That recipe, along with many others from my books, can be found on my website.
There you have it! Five naked truths! MAKE ME, TAKE ME isn’t all bare skin, though. There’s heartache and family and fighting in the mix, too. Here’s a little taste of the conflict:

            She glanced over her shoulder and stepped into the alley, shutting the door behind her. He took note of her crossed arms and guarded expression. “So we’re back to this, are we?” he asked.
            “What did you expect?”
            “More than a note. It would have been nice to wake up with you, kiss you good morning, and start the day off right, but there’s always tomorrow for that.” He reached to stroke a finger across the faint red whisker burn on her neck, stifling a smile when she pushed his hand away.
            Her eyes were dark. “What do you want, Quin?”
            “I want you back in my bed tonight. Or this afternoon.” She’d shut him out, but he knew how to reach her.
            “You don’t always get what you want.”
            “I do when you want me, too. Let’s dispense with the preliminary round of ‘will we or won’t we’ so we can get down to the when will we.”
            She rolled her eyes. “How about never?”
            “Haven’t I warned you about saying no? Denial is dangerous. Deny what you want, and your subconscious will fuck you ten ways to Tuesday making it happen anyway. Life is much easier if you figure out how to get what you want on your terms. State your terms. What do you want?” If he knew that, he’d be in.
            “I want you to leave me alone.”
            “Really? Because you’re leaning toward me, and your lips are parted. I think you want me to kiss you.” He trapped her against the alley wall with one hand on each side of her body. “I think you want me to do more than kiss you.”
            She stiffened. “I’m working. I don’t have time for this.”
            “I’m working, too, but the coffee machine is broken. Help a neighbor out?” He bent to kiss her, opening her mouth with his lips and stealing inside. He growled in pleasure as her tongue met his with greedy strokes, and she lifted her hips against him. Just as fast, she broke their kiss. He grasped her ass before she could pull away and rubbed against her, watching her eyes. When her pupils dilated, he stayed right where he was and rubbed harder.
            “If I give you a cup of coffee, will you leave me alone?” Her words were slow and ended on a moan.
            “Until later.”
            She broke his hold. “Then find your own damn coffee.” Her back was poker straight as she stalked toward the door.
            The sight of her walking away filled him with steely determination. “I planned to stay in town until the grand opening, but I could arrange to stay longer. How many weeks of us crossing paths in the alley every day and me eating sandwiches in your café would it take to get you back in bed?”
            She turned to glare. “Blackmail only works once with me.”
            When she slammed the door, he laughed. She didn’t know much about blackmail.


He’s every fantasy she’s ever had...

Betsy Mouton knows that easy doesn’t last forever. She’s working her butt off to launch the Last Call Café so her family can leave the New Orleans bar business—and its heartaches—behind forever. That is, until the hottest one-night-stand of her life shows up next door, twice as uncompromising and two million times hotter, offering to buy the bar and send the Moutons to Easy Street.

Hotelier Quinton James has never forgotten the unbelievably hot night he and Betsy shared. Never forgotten how beautifully she submitted to him, or how he found the only peace he’s ever known in her arms. Now that Betsy is the only thing standing in the way of his new hotel, she’s the one in control. But there’s more at stake than her cafe or laying their past to rest—Quin wants a future. With her. All he has to do is convince sensual command at a time.

About the author:
Amanda Usen knows two things for certain: chocolate cheesecake is good for breakfast, and a hot chef can steal your heart. Her husband stole hers the first day of class at the Culinary Institute of America. They live in Western New York with their three children, one gerbil, four fish, a Russian tortoise, and a beagle. Amanda spends her days teaching pastry arts classes and her nights writing romance. If she isn’t baking or writing, she can usually be found reading a book and trying to get out of cooking dinner.

For book news, contests, and hot recipes, visit Amanda at:
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  1. Enjoyed the snippet you shared... as for New Orleans, I have never been there, but it would be a place I would like to visit and get a taste of.

  2. haven't been, would be fun

  3. I was there in 1979 - Loved the French Quarter, the food and Dixieland Jazz. Not sure if I would go back now. I would if I could go first class all the way

  4. Never went, but always wanted to go.
    Nicole Ortiz

  5. I have never been but would like to go.


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