There is nothing more exciting for an author than to show off a new cover that’s really wonderful.
Except maybe to see the new cover on a bestseller list, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
I’m thrilled to share the cover (and a NSFW excerpt from the book!) and tell you about the latest installment in my Delectable Series, featuring men in the world of food and wine.
It’s fun to pair up opposites and see where the rough edges will crop up—and how they try to smooth them over. So it was a real joy to set my chef Riley Emerson, fresh from several years of working in Paris, against Colby Zane, born-and-bred cattle rancher who didn’t know a patisserie from a potholder—till he met Riley.
The fun didn’t stop there, because I set the story on the Rocking Z Ranch in Colorado. I’ve only been to the state once and it left such an impression on me that I couldn’t wait to find a story that belonged there.
And horses… yes there are quite a few in this one. The Rocking Z has been forced to bring in paying guests who come for the fresh air, gorgeous scenery and horseback riding. They certainly didn’t come for the grub, but after they hire Riley to fancy-up the menu, all that might change. There’s plenty of action on the trail, too.
As the cook at the guest ranch, one of Riley’s duties is taking the antique chuck wagon out for an authentic trailside dinner for the guests, and events that occur during these dinners are some of the key scenes in the book. Not only is there some awesome food, but plenty of fun, drama, and maybe a few encounters hotter than a campfire!
One of the most enjoyable parts of the research was discovering chuck wagon lore. Chuck wagons were a huge part of the west for a short period of time. When ranchers had to move a lot of cattle very long distances, between the ranch and the grazing grounds, or to the sale lot, they were on the trail for days. The chuck wagon provided not only food, but carried their sleeping gear, and the cook (called Cookie) often provided medical and dental services. Ouch! I think I’d just live with the pain rather than let Cookie mess with my mouth.
I’ve got recipes in Spaghetti Western, including several using sourdough, and I even show how easy it is to make and use a starter.
Check out the beautiful cover by LC Chase, who found me a palomino just like the one Colby rides.
Spaghetti Western, by EM Lynley
Release date: September 17 from Dreamspinner Press
(Amazon pre-order coming soon)
Cordon-Blue trained pastry chef Riley Emerson arrives in Aspen, Colorado for a summer season at the best restaurant in town, only to discover his jerk of a boyfriend has dumped him, leaving his heart and his summer plans in tatters. Doubting himself and longing for a change of pace, he takes a low-paying position as chef at a guest ranch, the Rocking Z. The scenery is gorgeous, but he expects that nature up close and personal can’t hold a candle to his exciting Paris lifestyle.
When born-and-bred cattle rancher Colby Zane spots a newcomer letting himself be pawed at by a passel of horny cowboys at Aspen’s Club Rawhide, he doesn’t think twice before rushing in, throwing the guy over his shoulder, and rescuing him from the volatile situation. Sober, Riley Emerson turns out to be sweet and sexy, but not interested in more than a one-night stand with Colby. Initially disdainful of the guest ranch side of the business, Colby’s over the moon when Riley late arrives as the new cook on his family’s ranch.
But all’s not well at the Rocking Z. Unsurmountable financial problems force them to rely on a cash infusion from an outside investor, Fitz Wellington. Only Fitz is hot for Colby, and he won’t sign on the dotted line without some very personal incentives. The future of the ranch is at stake, and Colby’s just desperate enough to go along, but saving the Z might mean losing Riley.
Let me set this scene up: Chef Riley and cowboy Colby have started a relationship on the ranch. Colby thinks Riley just wants to be friends with benefits, but Colby wants a real relationship. So Colby’s trying to avoid spending time with Riley. Only today Colby has to drive Riley and the chuck wagon out to a remote spot on the ranch.
Twenty minutes later they passed the spot where they’d spent the night on their first date. First and last. Riley bit his lip and pretended his heart wasn’t aching. He couldn’t forget how sweet Colby had been that night, riding behind him on Granite, holding him close, and how they’d started out fucking, but ended up much more intimate and tender.
The spot was still on the horizon behind them when the wagon hit a rut and the whole thing shifted sending Riley into Colby’s lap again. Worse, something inside shifted and crashed as the wagon righted itself.
“What the—?” Colby stopped the horses and hopped down. He hooked the reins on a prong. “You better get down here too.”
Riley carefully climbed down, but tumbled the last step and landed at Colby’s feet. Colby helped him up ungraciously.
“Something’s busted in there.” He unlatched the door and opened it cautiously. Nothing came flying out, but when Riley peered in he saw one cabinet had come undone and tubs of marinating meat had come free. An upper cabinet door had also popped open.
“I’ll take care of it.” Riley pushed Colby out of the way and climbed inside, bending so his head wouldn’t hit the low ceiling. Luckily none of the tubs had opened up or broken or there would be a tidal wave of marinade sloshing around on the floor. Colby climbed in behind Riley and together they stowed the tubs of meat, hands and arms and legs bumping as they worked to secure everything in the cramped quarters.
Riley didn’t know about Colby, but every time their hands came into contact, the temperature in the little wagon spiked. He couldn’t breathe in the cramped, almost airless space. Colby was so close, not exactly smelling like he’d just showered, but arousing all the same. It was torture being so near him again and knowing the body snatchers had turned Colby into a bastard almost overnight.
There was one cabinet still open, and Riley stood up to reach it. He moved too quickly and overbalanced, flailing around for something to stop his fall and taking down a container of flour. It scattered like white rain, all over the counter, the floor, Riley, and Colby, making the smooth surface of the floor slippery. Riley went down again, knocking Colby on his back. He broke Riley’s fall perfectly, and now they were face-to-face, Riley spread out over Colby.
Colby stared up and Riley reached for anything to help him get up. He thought Colby might punch him.
He never expected for Colby to put a hand behind his head and pull him down for a deep, hungry kiss.
Colby wasn’t sure what came over him when he crushed Riley close and took that kiss he’d been fantasizing about practically since he’d seen Riley that afternoon, especially after he’d changed into shorts that showed off his shapely calves. Damn Riley and damn Marcus all to hell for breaking Colby’s two days of staying away. One smile from Riley, the way his pretty blue eyes widened when he saw Colby, and Colby was doomed. He wondered how long he could keep up the bastard routine because it hurt like hell to see fear in Riley’s eyes.
Colby almost lost it right then and there when Riley landed face down in his lap. It would have been so easy and so enjoyable to thread his fingers through Riley’s soft hair and let him unzip Colby and—
Now, Riley lay sprawled on top of Colby, their mouths still pressed together, pouring passion and loneliness into a kiss as mind-blowing as the first one they’d shared up on the ridge not five minutes back on this same trail.
“Colby,” Riley gasped the word as he sucked in air. “What…?”
“Later. Later.” The last thing Colby wanted was to stop and talk—or think. He wanted Riley bad. Not for himself, but to apologize. “Right now, let me make it up to you.” He rolled over so they were facing each other on their sides, still on the flour-covered floor of the old chuck wagon. He pushed Riley’s shirt up and kissed his smooth, flat abs. Any doubts about whether Riley was into this flew out the window when Riley shuddered and moaned.
Colby unzipped Riley’s shorts and boxers, then slid them down so he could get some of Riley’s cock into his mouth. He liked the way Riley clutched at his hair and lay back, letting Colby do what he wanted. Using hands and mouth, Colby had Riley hard as a rock in no time. Colby’s cock was painfully stiff too, had been practically since they’d both come in to the wagon. Ignoring his own desire, he did everything he knew Riley liked, flicking his tongue across the slit, sucking his balls one at a time, and gripping the shaft of his cock tight while taking him in deep so he pressed against the back of Colby’s throat.
“Good, Colby. Slow down. Gonna come real soon.”
“Okay,” Colby said around Riley’s huge dick, then he started humming, the way he learned from a guy he’d met at Rawhide, and rubbing the spot just behind Riley’s balls.
It worked like magic and Riley made a sweet little whimper and shot his load down Colby’s throat, leaving him choking and nearly gagging. He had to concentrate to keep breathing and not embarrass himself.
“God, that was quick and dirty. Really dirty.” Riley wiped Colby’s face and his hand came away with a fine dusting of flour. “You look good enough to eat. Get your pants down.”
“We don’t have time. You have the dinner.”
“I wish I could just say forget the dinner and do something filthy to you. I missed you so much. What time is it?”
“Almost four thirty.”
Riley frowned. “I can take care of you fast.”
Colby shook his head. He didn’t want it to be like that. Riley deserved more. “Later. Tonight. Can I come by after the dinner’s over?” Colby helped Riley get his pants back up. “I owe you an apology and an explanation. A lot’s been happening and—”
“Yes. That’s fine. Come over later and tell me everything.” Riley kissed the top of Colby’s head, so forgiving Colby felt like even more of a cad. A quick blowjob was no way to make up for the kind of dick-headed behavior he’d been guilty of the past few days. It wasn’t Riley’s fault that Colby was a coward and would rather run from a wonderful guy than get his feelings hurt.
“Let’s clean up in here and get over to North Point.”
“Maybe it was North Paddock after all.”
Colby messed Riley’s hair up, sending clouds of flour floating around them. “You.”
“You sure you can’t stay for the dinner?”
Colby had forgotten he’d done everything to avoid the chuck wagon dinner and Riley. “Well—”
“Cause I have a nice piece of meat with your name on it.” Riley winked.
“How could I turn that down?”
“You better not or you’ll owe me more than a quickie in a chuck wagon.”
“I already do.”
“Damned right. And I’m going to make sure you pay up.”
Colby knew he had a dumb grin on his face. Why did Riley make him so happy one minute and so freaking scared the next?
* * * *
(Amazon pre-order coming soon)
EM Lynley writes gay erotic romance. She loves books where the hero gets the guy and the loving is 11 on a scale of 10. A Rainbow Award winner and EPIC finalist, EM has worked in high finance, high tech, and in the wine industry, though she’d rather be writing hot, romantic man-on-man action. She spent 10 years as an economist and financial analyst, including a year as a White House Staff Economist, but only because all the intern positions were filled. Tired of boring herself and others with dry business reports and articles, her creative muse is back and naughtier than ever. She has lived and worked in London, Tokyo and Washington, D.C., but the San Francisco Bay Area is home for now.
She is the author of Sex, Lies & Wedding Bells, the Precious Gems series from Dreamspinner Press, and the Rewriting History series starring a sexy jewel thief, among others.