Best Teased Cold

This teaser Tuesday is also a throwback Tuesday–I’m sharing a little piece of Best Served Cold, the first book in the Perfect Dish series. If you haven’t read it yet, you’re in luck; it’s free right now for just another week. Grab it while you can!

Best Served Cold - Tawdra KandleJulia is a college junior whose boyfriend Liam broke up with her very publicly and with a heaping side of humiliation. She’s determined to get payback by making him fall for her all over again and then turning the tables to mortify him in front of their friends. The plan’s humming along until Julia meets Jesse, a grad student with curly brown hair and dimples. The deeper she falls for him, the less important her revenge plans seem.

In this scene, Julia and Jesse are on their second date, at Jesse’s apartment; Julia’s cooking after they enjoy a movie together. They’ve discovered a mutual love for Joss Whedon, so the movie Jess chooses is a no-brainer. I loved this particular interchange, because it plays very close to my own love for all things Joss and for superhero movies. Yes, The Avengers is one of my all-time favorites. I watch it every time it comes on. Who can blame me?


I sat on the sofa, and Jesse picked up a remote before he joined me, sitting close enough that our legs touched. He clicked on the television and draped an arm over the back of the couch behind me.

            “So what did you decide on?” I shifted a little closer.

            “A stroke of genius. We both love Joss, and we need an action movie. Well, I needed an action movie. So. . .” He hit the play button. “The Avengers.”

            I grinned. “One of my favorites. You couldn’t have done any better.”

            “Huh.” He fast-forwarded through the previews. “Do I rock or what? But seriously, you’re okay with this one?”

            “Umm, Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downey, Jr. and Jeremy Renner? Are you kidding?”

            Jesse shook his head. “Nice. Way to make me feel secure in my manliness. So later when I kiss you, you’re going to be imagining I’m Thor? Or Hawkeye?”

            “Thor? Really?” I raised one eyebrow in mock skepticism.

            “Okay, I see how it is.” He settled back as the movie began. “Don’t forget Scarlett Johansson is in this, too. Black Widow is smokin’.”

            I snuggled down as he curved his arm around me. “I’m very secure. It wasn’t Scarlett you had hot on the counter five minutes ago.”

            He lifted my chin with one finger, turning my eyes toward him. “I had you hot?”

            “Shhh, I like the beginning.”


            “How badass was Iron Man in that movie?” I dug through a drawer in the kitchen. “Hey, do you have measuring spoons?”

            Jesse shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe? Sarah put the bare essentials in here. I don’t cook, so who knows?”

            I gave up. “I’ll make do. Can you grab me the cream from the fridge?”

            “That I can do.” Jesse pushed off the counter where he’d been leaning to watch me cook and retrieve the container. He set it down next the stove. “So you really think Ironman is the leader of the Avengers?”

            I nodded. “No question. I mean, Hulk, he’s got the brute strength, but not so much with the reasoning skills, right? Captain America is hot in a clean-cut retro way, but he’s still getting up to speed on the twenty-first century stuff. Thor’s just a visitor. He’s not from earth. And Hawkeye and Black Widow. . .well, they have potential, but not the whole package. Yet.” I eyeballed what I hoped was a tablespoon of tomato paste and added it to the pan.

            “You’ve obviously given this a lot of thought.” Jesse stood with his arms crossed on his chest.

            I grinned at him. “I never thought I was a geek. I don’t love comic books or anything, but I have to admit, I’m a sucker for superhero movies.”

            “What about Spiderman?”

            I raised my eyebrows. “Oh, yeah.”

            “Which one? New or old?”

            I checked the pasta. The penne was still a little too al dente. “New. I don’t have anything against Toby, but Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone?” I fanned myself. “Yeah. Definite chemistry.”


Best Served Cold is Book 1 in the Perfect Dish series. You can find it at Amazon, BN and iBooks. There are currently two more books available in this series, Just Desserts and I Choose You; the final book, Just Roll With It, will be released June, 2015.

The Only One Sneak Peek (Part 1)

If it’s Tuesday, it must be time to get a little sneak peek of my latest work-in-progress. . .

This week I’m working on The Only One, the last book in The One Trilogy. I have to be honest. I’m so loving this book, and I am so freaking sad to say good bye to all the characters in Burton, Georgia. Part of me is wondering if ‘trilogy’ can stretch to four or five books. . .hmmm. . .

Western boots and hat with vintage toneLike all The One books, TOO is written in dual point of view, both Mason’s and Rilla’s. This particular piece is taken from Rilla’s chapter.

Dad had taken Gram’s place at the sink, and he glanced at me over his shoulder as I came back into the kitchen. “You’re late. Did you leave your grandmother to make dinner by herself? You know I expect better.”

            I steeled myself against wincing. That had been the story of my life. He expected better. I’d been disappointing my father as long as I remembered. I always wondered if those had been the first words I’d heard upon being born. And I wondered if my mother had felt the same way, which would explain why she’d gotten off the farm and as far away from Burton, Georgia as soon as she could.

            “I got here as fast as I could, but—”

            “Emmett, leave the child be. I started supper early today, and there wasn’t a blessed thing Rilla could’ve done to help me. She would’ve been in my way.” Gram shot me a wink and a smile.

Remember, you can pre-order The Only One right here on AmazoniBooksBarnes and Noble and Kobo. I can’t wait to show the cover. All in good time, my pretties, all in good time. . .

(And if you haven’t read the first two books yet–The Last One and The First One–get to it! TOO releases April 7th.)