My first experience with steak pies came in the spring of 2009. My best friend from college informed me that she was leaving Auckland after a two-year stint with her partner, so I decided I’d better get there before I lost the free room and local tour guide. For those of you who’ve read The Officer’s Siren, this might sound familiar. For the purposes of this post, I’ll call her Emily (like I did in the book). Emily took me to the grocery store after my jetlag wore off, and I found a huge selection of these wonderful meat pies. Now I love cheese, and I really love meat and gravy, so the combination of both in a pastry shell had my mouth watering before I even got to the checkout stand. They didn’t disappoint! My favorite by a mile was the steak and brie pies. Australian meat pies have the meat ground, but New Zealand Pies are chunks of steak. I’ve had both, but prefer by a mile the Kiwi (New Zealander) pies. I’d definitely brave the 13-hour flight to have these again.
After returning to Seattle, I didn’t find a source for these wonderful treats until another writing friend, Maia Strong (seriously, check out her stuff – she’s awesome), took me to Pies and Pints on Sixty-Fifth Avenue NE in the Ravenna neighborhood of Seattle. Although they had the Aussie version of the meat pies, I loved the place so much, I sent my guys there in both The Officer’s Siren and in the second novel of the Rain City Tales, Past Secrets Present Danger. Sadly, after 13 years, Pies and Pints in Seattle closed in 2017, but the wonderful space, and the yummy meat pies, live on as our guys’ go-to place after work for pool, pies, and tater tots!
The second installment of the Rain City Tales, Past Secrets Present Danger, is now available for download on Amazon and Kobo today! Past Secrets Present Danger follows accountant Roger Matthews navigating his partner, SPD Officer Paul Tomlinson’s, secrets and past when he lands in the hospital after a shooting. Stay tuned for Rain City Tales Book 3: I’m Yours due out before Valentine’s Day, and Rain City Tales Book 4: The Wedding Weekend, out in May 2018.
Excerpt from Past Secrets Present Danger:
The pub teemed with people as they stepped inside, and Roger thought the restaurant seemed overly crowded for a mid-week evening. Paul navigated his way through the sea of chairs, holding Roger’s hand and steering him to a small table not far from the pool table, where Fred Collier waved his arms in animated conversation with Alex and Sarah Templeton.
“Not sitting at the bar this evening, gents?” The bartender, Seb, approached the table with two coasters and tossed the disks onto the table top.
Paul grinned. “No room. How’s married life treating you?”
“I think your buxom Italian wife disappointed all the women and over half the men in this place when she caught you,” Roger joined in.
Seb laughed. “Emily’s amazing. I’m still marveling at how awesome she is.” He leaned in. “Although, just between the three of us, I could do without the jogging outfits she comes up with. Love is blind, though, eh?”
As Seb moved to another table, Fred hurried over. “Paul, good that you’re here. Alex and Sarah challenged me to a game, and I need my partner.”
Eyeing his co-worker, Paul crossed his arms. “What’s the matter?” he asked, his tone wry. “Your pool-shark buddy, Mike, not available?”
Fred’s eyes widened. “It was just that one time, I swear. You were out of town, and I was in a bind.”
“That’s not what Sarah said,” Roger piped up. He loved joining in the teasing interplay between Paul and his boss, and loved even more the fact Paul’s friends and fellow officers had accepted him so readily into their circle. “She told me you constantly beg Mike to come play.”
Paul shifted his gaze from Roger to Fred. “Is this true?” he asked with exaggerated dismay and indignation.
Swinging his gaze toward Sarah and Alex, Fred glared at the couple. The Templetons exchanged glances and shrugged while smothering smiles.
Officer Jason Lynch and his husband Mike Bryant wove their way to Roger and Paul’s table.
Mike’s goofy smile lit up his face. “Did someone mention my name?”
Stifling a laugh, Roger sat back and watched the officers bicker about who was entitled to play and how often Mike was cutting in on Paul’s gig. Seb bustled over and planted his hands on his hips.
“All right, boys. If you don’t cool it,” he said, winking at Roger, “I’ll have to call the cops.”
The room filled with the roar of laughter from the three officers. Jason and Mike took the two extra seats at the table, and Roger handed his menu over to the pair.
“I’m ready to order, Seb,” Roger said.
Seb pulled his pad from his apron. “Shoot.”
“The steak and cheddar pie with a mound of tater tots.” He glanced at the beer list. “And…a bottle of Roger’s Pilsner.”
Mike chuckled next to Roger. “I’ll have the same, except I want a ginger beer.”
Seb nodded. “Paul?”
As his boyfriend and Jason ordered, Roger cast Fred a bemused grin. The poor guy was desperate for Paul to go shoot a game of pool with the Templetons, and Paul was purposefully taking his time, being indecisive about his food and drink order.
When Seb finally left the table, Fred plunked down between Paul and Jason. “Seriously, are you going to help me out, Paul?” He glanced across the table at Mike. “I’m sure there’s someone else here who’d play if you don’t want to.”
Paul leaned toward Roger. “What do you think, babe?”
“Let Mike play.” Roger grinned. “The game’ll be over in about five minutes.”
Another roar of laughter erupted from the table, although this time Fred didn’t join in. He looked like a spoiled child whose favorite toy had been stolen away.
Taking pity on him, Roger turned to Fred. “Just kidding. Go shoot one game.” Roger raised his index finger and waved it in front of Paul. “One game. You have commitments after we’re done eating.”
Heat burned through the look Paul shot him as he pushed himself to his feet. “Okay, Fred. You heard the boss. One game.”
“Commitments?” Jason looked between them.
Mike chuckled and reached his hand under the table. “Commitments.”
Eyes widening, Jason stared at his husband. “Oh. Commitments.”
About the Author
Brent Archer began writing in 2011 at the nudging of his cousins (ahem, Elle James and Delilah Devlin). His first story sold, and he was hooked! Keep up with Brent Archer and his current releases at his website, and follow him on Twitter: @brentarcherwrit.