Kimberly Kincaid: Getting hot(!) in the kitchen

My favorite line in this post, via Kimberly Kincaid, author of Drawing the Line (out this week): “Cooking together, either as a family or as a couple, is a lot like love.” Sigh ….

Kimberly: In my house (and in my kitchen), art imitates life in a big way. As a foodie romance writer, one of the things people often ask is whether I cook with my husband in “real life.” And at this time of the year especially, the answer is a resounding yes.

Every year over here at Camp Kincaid, we host a huge Memorial Day barbecue. Party prep starts weeks in advance, when my husband and I start compiling ideas for what we’d like to serve. A handful of years ago, it was root-beer-and-bourbon-glazed ribs (a few of our friends — who shall remain nameless — may or may not have actually licked their plates). Yet another year, it was cherry-and-balsamic-infused burgers (more plate licking — really, I think it’s standard in our house). But every year, without fail, we make a huge batch of pulled pork in the smoker, and we top it off with my husband’s special homemade barbecue sauce.

Making the sauce is our annual in-the-kitchen pre-party fun. It usually happens the night before the bash itself. We take all the ingredients out (they are super-top secret, which is code for “we can’t remember how we did that last year”), and he and our kids make the sauce (mostly via the age-old method of trial and error), while I assemble the make-ahead side dishes and taste-test what’s in the stock pot (best job ever!). It’s messy and fun and occasionally there are mistakes — like the year we thought the pepper shaker was turned to “shake” when it was really wide-open on “pour” — but the whole process is a lot like something we find in every romance novel, in one form or another.

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Cooking together, either as a family or as a couple, is a lot like love.

In my latest novella, Drawing the Line, dedicated cop Jason Morgan isn’t quite a kitchen guy. But that doesn’t stop diner owner and crime witness Serenity Gallagher from putting him to work in her favorite room of the safe house where they’re staying in protective custody. Yes, it’s messy, and fun, and yes again, there are mistakes (let’s just say Serenity would rule the roost if the two of them had to face off in an episode of Chopped), but cooking together brings Jason and Serenity closer in that fundamental way that making and sharing a meal often does. The food is evocative, and it leads to heat that quickly covers more than just the kitchen. But it not only creates sparks; it creates intimacy, closeness and, eventually, love.

So tell me, reader-friends! How do your experiences in the kitchen carry over into other aspects of your lives? Do you have memories of familial love, like baking cookies with a parent or a sibling? Or are your experiences of the true love variety, where you’ve shared a special food or meal with someone you love? (To comment, click on the gray comment balloon on the left side of your browser window.).

Me? I’m all about the barbecue sauce, of course. The hotter, the better!

Here’s the blurb for Drawing the Line:.

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When Detective Jason Morgan is tasked with keeping a local restaurant owner safe as part of a make-or-break case, he rises to the challenge. The job is his first priority, and he owes it to the memory of his father, a detective killed in the line of duty, to do it at any cost. But Jason never expected Serenity Gallagher to be so beautiful, so serious … Or so tough to protect.

Serenity has moved from place to place at the whim of her capricious mother all her life. The last thing she wants is to leave the diner she finally calls home, even if it means being stuck with a sexy blue-eyed detective. But she’s the only witness to a horrible crime, and the man behind it wants her very, very dead. Going into protective custody means survival, no matter how much Serenity hates hiding.

As Jason and Serenity bide their time together, they are shocked to discover they have much more in common than the surface reveals. But keeping her safe is Jason’s number one priority, no matter how much he’s drawn in by the woman beneath the witness, and Serenity’s past makes it difficult to trust. As the stakes get higher and the spark burns hotter, can Jason and Serenity draw the line?

To find out more about Kimberly and her books, visit www.Kimberlykincaid.Com. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter (@kimberlykincaid).

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