"You Can Never Have Too Many Books"

Monday, June 17, 2013

Into the Fire Blog Tour + Guest Post

Who doesn't like a little romance with a lot of yummy foods to drool over? If your're one of those people then you came to the right book.  Amanda delivers a mixture of both food and romance and today I have her here on my blog SassyCat for some of her favorite scenes/passages.
So take it away Amanda!

Howdy, y’all! Hi, Kat! You want to know which scenes are my favorite, huh? The first one that comes to mind happens after Jack has proposed a one-night truce during their ongoing feud. He shows up to pick Lila up for their date, pulls his white t-shirt off over his head and waves it around like a white flag. Then he drops it on the floor. These two have tons of sexy tension, and I had so much fun writing a scene in which Lila could say:

“Are you kidding? Sex first, then dinner—and I don’t have to wear
uncomfortable shoes? Sold.”

Another favorite part happens right after that – Jack takes her to three of his favorite restaurants in NYC. I would love to go on a date like that! Wouldn’t it be great to get all dressed up, make mad, passionate love…then put on comfy clothes and stuff yourself silly at dinner? Yes! Pick me! Jack even says, “If you aren’t in a complete food coma after dessert tonight then you didn’t try hard enough.” Of course, I’m a pastry chef married to a chef, so that may have something to do with my food and sex fantasies – ha!

I also love the beginning of Chapter Three, which was the original Chapter One. (My editor thought it would be a good idea to go back and write Jack and Lila’s one-night-stand, so I added a couple chapters to the beginning. I mean, who would argue with great advice like that?) Lila is a catering chef, but she is pinch hitting for a server. It just so happens the catering company uses sex as a sales hook, so Lila’s uniform is a very revealing French maid getup. You can guess what’s going to happen, right? She hasn’t seen Jack since the morning after their one-night-stand when he did something so dastardly, she hopped the first train out of town. Jack’s at the party! Of course he’s at the party! And her boobs are on display, and she has to serve him hors d’oeuvres! While they sling zingers at each other! Jack gets the last word until he follows her into the kitchen. Trust me, Lila gets the last word there.

It’s not all sexy-sex and sexy-food, though. It’s a love story. Jack and Lila have good reasons to fight, but they are also falling in love with each other. I adore these thoughts from Lila:

Her feelings about Jack reminded her of the time she had waded into the ocean to the edge of the sand and stood firm. Every wave that hit her shins had washed a little sand from beneath her feet until she lost her balance. She felt as if every minute spent with Jack washed away a little more of her resolve. She needed to make a decision. Step forward or race back to firm ground?

And yes, I was standing in a lake, feeling sand wash out from beneath my toes, when I came up with that. Since I’m usually a little less lyrical and a little more direct, they almost got cut, but I fought for them.

Honestly, my favorite line in the book is near the black moment. Jack says something that makes my heart drop into hell every time I think about it. In case you decide INTO THE FIRE is up your alley, I won’t spoil that moment for you. Love is a risk, and it isn’t always easy, especially if, like Jack, you have ISSUES. So I will leave you with a line from Lila instead:

“A deal with the devil demanded a price, and it was always nearly impossible to pay.”

NEARLY impossible. Thank goodness Jack isn’t really the devil – he just plays him for the first part of INTO THE FIRE. Good thing Lila is such a clever, resourceful woman! It’s fun to watch her handle him. ;-)

Thank you for stopping by SassyCat today! I really enjoyed revisiting my favorite moments. Kat, thanks for having me and giving me a chance to talk about my characters. I love them so much, and I hope readers do, too!

Tour-Wide Giveaway

Amanda Usen is offering winners a chance to at some wonderful prizes during the Into the Fire Blog Tour.

Grand prize: $25 gift card (Amazon, B&N, or The Book Despository) and gets to name Betsy’s hero in Book 3 of the Hot Nights series & give him 1 author-approved trait".

Runner Up: $15 gift card (Amazon, B&N, or The Book Despository) and the chance to pick a dish to go into book three of the Hot Night series (Amanda will also share the recipe on her website).

Consolation Prizes: 5 random winners will get Amanda’s favorite kitchen tool: a mini offset spatula

 Simply fill out the rafflecopter form provided below for your chance to be entered. J

a Rafflecopter giveaway About Amanda Usen

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. She married him after graduation in a lovely French

Quarter restaurant in New Orleans, and they spent a few years enjoying the food and the fun in the Big Easy. Now they live in Western New York with their three children, one hamster, two guinea pigs, a tortoise, and a new-to-them 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 chasing the kids around the yard with her very own hot chef husband.

Want chimichurri, chocolate cake or Chicken Alighieri? Visit Amanda at http://www.amandausen.com, where you can find recipes for many of the yummy dishes in her books. She can also be found on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/amandausen) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/AmandaUsen) if you want to chat about romance, writing, or recipes.

Where to find Amanda

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4732223.Amanda_Usen
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amandausen
Sign-up for Amanda’s Newsletter: http://amandausen.us4.list-manage2.com/subscribe?u=dabfde75a2e90474123400fe9&id=d995e0a667


  1. Amanda! Woot :) So excited this book is out. I nearly missed release day (good thing I pre-ordered it) Congrats!
    Really enjoyed reading about the fav moments.
    Also, WHO DOESN'T NEED a mini off-set spatula? Awesome prize. Awe. Some.

  2. Yay, Amy! Thank you! :D Wooohooo for perfect kitchen gadgets and new books! Thanks for coming by!

  3. I tried 4 or 5 times Monday to enter a post here. But I was on my cell phone as my desktop computer was not yet set up after our move. So now, my desktop is up and running, so I'll enter my comments. :)

    I'm really looking forward to reading Into The Fire. Although my hubby isn't a chef, he does the cooking for us, and has for nearly 25 yrs. But with this move, I'm hoping to start doing some myself -- so I will be studying Amanda's recipes as well.