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Archive for February 20th, 2020

Nicole S. Patrick: Chocolate, coffee, and zeppoles…yum! (Contest & Excerpt)
Thursday, February 20th, 2020

UPDATE: The winner is…Keri Richards!

Hello all and many thanks for Delilah for having me on her blog.

February is the month of love…and Valentine’s Day, and chocolate!

Did you know there’s a stimulant in chocolate called Theobromine (spell and/or say that twice) a bitter alkaloid found in cocoa and chocolate that affects the central nervous system to release endorphins for pleasure? Incidentally, it’s also the ‘cousin’ to my other favorite stimulant: caffeine. A match made in stimulant heaven.

Sign me up!

In the quaint town of Havenport Rhode Island, the fictional backdrop of my stories, there’s a shop and bakery called Led Zeppoli. In almost all of my stories, I mention the bakery’s famous chocolate croissants and exotic blends of coffee. Caffeine fuels my creative genius…well maybe not genius, but it certainly helps me come up with ideas and stay awake.

Led Zeppoli is a play on words between a certain famous four-member English rock group from the sixties and another decadent treat: the Italian zeppole. Ah yes, the zeppole, a fried dough cookie covered in massive amounts of powdered sugar.

Have you ever tried one? No? Well then get to getting because they are heaven in a greasy bag.

Where I grew up in Staten Island, NY was a popular pizza place called Pizza Town, which was located in walking distance from my high school. Besides the best pizza on the planet, Pizza Town sold zeppole and man, oh, man were they delicious. When you opened the white paper bag the powdered sugar puffed a white cloud of sweet goodness into your face.

Many days after school, I would “hang out” with friends at Pizza Town. It’s where I groused about homework and boys, prom dates, and how much Aquanet we put in our hair. Yes, it was the eighties after all. And it’s where I had many conversations with my high school crush who was tragically unaware of my deep-rooted feelings for him. Incidentally, we are still friends but sadly, the old building that was Pizza Town was torn down years ago.

Good memories, indeed.

What makes you get up and go? Coffee? Tea? Soda? All three have caffeine and I find the older I get the more I need something to help me start my day.

One lucky commenter will be chosen at random
and win a $10 Dunkin gift card.

Rescuing the Ranger

Now onto my latest release: The hero and heroine in my latest story, Rescuing the Ranger are Gabe Preston and Francesca Montefiore. Francesca grew up in Little Italy, NYC and now lives in Havenport and owns the florist shop. She loves the small town, which reminds her of the old neighborhood she left behind. When she volunteers her time to help write letters to the troops, she finds an unexpected connection to Havenport and one sexy, former Army Ranger, Gabe who’s in for a visit. And, when her past comes back to haunt her, Gabe comes to the rescue.

Here’s an excerpt to whet your appetite…

God, she hated making him feel any kind of stress. As much as this connection of theirs felt like a million bucks from the first correspondence, in her heart she knew it would cost him. Getting close to anyone again was dangerous. For him and for her.

How Pete had found her was anyone’s guess.

“Look, Gabe. You said it yourself, you’re decompressing after those tours of duty and I…” She stopped, shaking her head, wanting to warn him away. “I’ll destroy you.”

Her voice broke from exhaustion and worry and…damn it, caring and concern for him stuck in her throat. “My past will eventually annihilate this friendship we’ve built with our letters. It’s best if you don’t get mixed up in it, believe me. That’s one of the reasons I never sent you the email. You don’t deserve it.”

She felt compelled to warn him. Hell, he’d survived war as a Ranger, and she wasn’t about to be the person to bring him harm, not when Adele needed him.

His eyes widened before he let out a cynical laugh.

“You? Destroy me?” He crowded her, pushing her back and against the bedpost. His hands wound around her waist, but she couldn’t look up at him, so she fixated on the perfect vee between his pecks. “That’s not possible. My bike helmet weighs more than you.”

“Not physically,” she whispered. “Here, and here.” Frankie finally glanced up and traced his creased temple with her index finger before flattening her palm on his shirt above his heart. God, he was so solid. It would be easy to lean in and borrow his strength. “I know you went through something traumatic back in Afghanistan. I can tell. Those puckers on your hands feel like burns.” At her words, his face paled. “And, you don’t need more strife.”

He closed his eyes for a second and his jaw locked. “You’re so fucking sweet-natured.” He caressed the side of her cheek. She wanted to melt into his touch.

“Don’t you worry about me, and this isn’t just a friendship. You feel it. Don’t deny it. We’re good together, baby. And believe me, you can’t destroy me. Truth is—you kinda saved me.”

Get your copy of Rescuing the Ranger on Amazon. Available in Kindle Unlimited, too:

Have a fantastic February filled with love and lots of chocolate and coffee!

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