Saturday, July 20, 2013

Road Trips, Steak Soup & Hot Men

By Morticia Knight (Guest Blogger)

Hi Lisabet – Thank you for hosting me at your blog! Stay tuned for a giveaway opportunity just before the excerpt *wink*

I love road trips. There’s something very freeing about getting in the car, and taking off to somewhere new. Of course, car snacks are a big part of the adventure – but I could do a whole other different post just on that subject. However, one adventure in particular did involve food – but it was part of the destination rather than the journey. It was a quest for steak soup and spicy spinach - artichoke dip from Texas Land ‘n’ Cattle.

I had visited my daughter in Texas, and stumbled upon this magnificent restaurant with the above-named goodies. However, upon my return to California, I discovered there weren’t any Texas Land ‘n’ Cattle restaurants to be had. My younger daughter and I were commiserating during the Christmas holidays just how nice it would be to have a bowl of that wonderful soup and tasty dip. This is the part where the internet was useful instead of just annoying. As it turned out, there were no locations of the restaurant anywhere in California. Nada. But interestingly enough, there was one in Mesa – a Phoenix Arizona suburb.

So I mapped it out. At the time we were living in the mountains above Palm Springs, and if we went down the other side and kept heading east - it would be a mere 4 and a half hours to steak soup land. Yay! It’s not as if we had any other plans that day – or for a couple of days after. So I loaded myself and the twelve year-old into the van, and off we went. And yes – it was very delicious. But another even more wonderful thing happened when we were there: we learned all about a new place.

Mesa and the surrounding desert is an amazing mixture of Native American and early western settler history. There is a wonderful natural history museum, an arts center, historic homes, and ancient ruins to visit. My favorite was the Casa Grande National Monument that contains the ruins of the Hohokam people that disappeared almost a thousand years ago. They were very advanced for their time, and several tribes in the state claim to be descended from them.

In my MM series, Uniform Encounters, all of the stories take place in Mesa. The most recent release, Arresting Behaviour, involves a homicide detective and a Native American poet and artist who believes that the Hohokam are his ancestors. Jake the detective is trying to question the artist Quinn on what he knows about the victims, but Quinn is not interested in anything the police have to say – he’ll take care of things himself. The following excerpt is the moment when the two men in the story meet for the first time. For your chance to win an ecopy of either Arresting Behaviour or Set Ablaze (Uniform Encounters Book One), leave a comment below about your favorite road trip experience. I will pick a winner one week from today, and announce it in the comments section – good luck and enjoy a taste of Arresting Behaviour.

Native American Quinn and Detective Jake come from two opposing worlds. But when opposites attract, the result is explosive.


"What is it, Cole? Why are you acting like this?”

What do you mean? I’m not acting like anything. Come on, let’s go to the ruins, the guard won’t be back to that section for over an hour.”

Cole pulled abruptly away from him, and picked up his pace, heading over to where the Hohokam had lived in a peaceful community hundreds of years ago. Quinn followed him wordlessly, not missing the hurry in Cole’s steps, as well as the lack of secrecy in his pace. He might as well announce to the world that they were there with all of his crunching and grinding on the dirt. They reached the edge of the ruins, and went behind one of the rectangular structures made from calcium deposit. This had been the main formation where—it was surmised—the community had gathered. It was also where certain star constellations could be seen when peering through the cuts in the middle of the stone, and gazing towards the sky. It had taken a long time for researchers to discover this—at first puzzling over the openings in the caliche walls.

Quinn placed a hand reverently on the side of the structure. He began to enter and Cole yelled out, “Wait!”

Quinn froze and frowned at the man. Barely above a whisper he said, “Keep your voice down. The guard could still be within earshot.”

Cole cleared his throat. “I…just don’t want to go in there.”

Cole, I needed to see you like this because of the murders. I want you to reconsider what we talked about before. I just don’t think it’s a good idea for you to stay here right now…”

Cole’s eyes widened as if he were seeing something that Quinn couldn’t.

I’m so sorry—please forgive me.” Cole dropped his head and began to weep softly.

What the…?”


Someone’s strong hand seized his shoulder, and Quinn whirled around, ready to take his assailant down, assuming he must be the killer. Instead, he came face to face with several officers approaching from all around the ruins, guns drawn. He looked down into the face of the man who still gripped Quinn’s shoulder. This officer was bronze-skinned with a mop of close-cropped, curly dark hair. He wasn’t in a uniform, but instead had tight black jeans on and a snugly fitting T-shirt that wrapped nicely around the young man’s lean and lightly muscled torso. His eyes were what set off the rest of his face - large and saucer-like, a deep brown Quinn could easily drown in. A smile began to curl at the corner of his sumptuous mouth, producing an adorable dimple, and Quinn felt his cock twitching at the sight of it.

What the hell is the matter with me?

Quinn got a hold of himself. “What’s this all about? Get your hand off of me!”

He went to push what he knew was a cop’s hand off him, even if it did belong to the sweetest and most delectable guy he’d encountered in a long time.

I feel his spirit…

No, it couldn’t be. He had no idea what was happening to him or why there were so many strongly conflicting emotions assaulting him at once, but he was not going to go down some weird road fantasising about a cop.

My dear, Quinn,” said the man, who insisted on keeping a hand on his shoulder, “I do believe you’re trespassing in the ruins tonight. Isn’t that correct, Mr Stillman?”

The cop looked towards Cole who was now blubbering into his hands. He merely nodded, not able to look Quinn in the eye.

This is the man who said he loved me more than anything. The man who said he would die for me.

Just like all of the others, Cole had only been caught in a sexual thrall, nothing more. He allowed the familiar numbness to wash over him, soothing his body with emptiness. It was the void that protected him from becoming too emotionally attached to anyone, and prevented him from believing that someone really cared.

So as long as we need to take you downtown on this trespassing charge, I thought we could chat about a few other things while we’re there. Sound good?”

Quinn stayed as cold as stone inside. His gorgeous cop was no different than Cole, or any of the others that had piqued his interest at one point.

Spirit my ass. I’ve been betrayed by someone I was trying to help. I’m not going to let myself even think of another man in any other way than a body to spend my lust on—it’s obvious no one can be trusted.

Quinn stared straight ahead and betrayed no emotion as he was cuffed, and the sultry officer led him by the elbow to a patrol car. His life had turned upside down ever since these killings had begun, and men who didn’t deserve to die horribly had been struck down, seemingly because they had once been with him sexually. Was Cole behind all of it then? Maybe the sexy, nerdy historian that worked at the centre was really some crazed psychopath who had a bizarre agenda.

The only thing that he knew for sure was that he wasn’t telling these cops a thing. Not a goddamned thing

Available now at the publisher:

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About Morticia
Erotic Romance author Morticia Knight enjoys a good saucy tale, with MM and MMF pairings. Since she loves several genres, you may find your heroes in a contemporary, historical, paranormal or sci-fi setting. One of her passions is bringing people's fantasies to life on the page, because life is too short for even one boring moment. Her stories are volcanic in heat, deep in emotion, and sprinkled with doses of humor. 
When not indulging in her passion for books, she loves the outdoors, film and music. The Pacific Northwest is the ideal spot to enjoy both hiking and beachcombing. Once upon a time she was the singer in an indie rock band that toured the West Coast and charted on U.S. college radio. She currently resides on the northern coast of Oregon, where the constant rain and fog remind her of visits to her family in England and Scotland when she was a child.

Morticia has a three-book series called Uniform Encounters set in the Southwest that features those yummy men in uniform - available in 2013. She is currently working on a new MM series, as well as a steampunk horror and a sci-fi ménage.

Friend her on facebook, or follow her @morticiaknight on twitter.


Morticia Knight said...

Thank you for having me at your blog today Lisabet. ;-)

C. A. Szarek said...

LOL Morticia! I live in TX, and I hate to say it, but Texas Land And Cattle isn't my fave steak house, but I would head over there again for artichoke dip! I love road trips. They can be really fun, but they can also totally be "Are we there yet!" I've never been to AZ, but maybe someday.

The book looks awesome. I am partial to the name Cole. LOVED the excerpt!

Lisabet Sarai said...

Hello, Morticia!

Welcome back to Beyond Romance. I loved your road trip story - really admire your adventurous spirit. (Made me hungry too!)

And thanks for the giveaway! I'm off to share with my readers.

Urb said...

When I was in college, my room mate had a tiny ancient Honda Civic. Its tires were the size of dinner plates, and it had a half horsepower engine. Nonetheless, we took that car on cross country road trips. I couldn't drive, so my job was navigation and reading aloud. On our trip from home base in Kansas City to New York, we drove through Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania. We spent all of our "shopping in NYC" money on hamburgers and shakes at Howard Johnson's. I think of us, two 19 year old girls In that tiny Honda, I have to smile.
Thanks for the excerpt!

Susan said...

My favorite road trip was with a friend in college. We both went to schools in Michigan and one winter made the decision to jump in her car and go to Chicago. I learned why it is called the Windy City when a gust literally blew me off the curb and I'm not a 100 pound weakling!


Jackie mcKenzie said...

My favorite road trip? Wow, it's been almost 12 years since I had a real road trip. My husband and I drove from San Diego to Jacksonville when he transferred there with the Navy. We drove through Arizona and New Mexico first and I had never seen snow in the desert before, so that was awesome for me. We made sure to visit something interesting in each state because I had never been to most of the states before. So I got to see Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi also. We took 5 days to make the trip and it was so much fun!

Anonymous said...

Great excerpt! That's so cool that a road trip for food created such an opportunity to write a story like this. I read Set Ablaze - really liked it :) - and this one's going on my TBR list for sure. Being born and raised in Casa Grande, AZ myself, I have a feeling this book will be bringing back lots of memories. :)

Congrats on the new release!


Colleen C. said...

I took road trips mostly when I was a kid... we used to go to campgrounds and had some interesting times... loved nature, but not the bugs. One place had activities for kids... they had these chipmunks that were mascots I guess... smiling just remembering...

kelsey said...

My favourite roadtrip? That's easy, it was only 2 months ago when we drove from Washington DC to Hilton Head SC to visit with family. I was with my hubby, my son and daughter-in-law and it was our first time driving on the wrong side of the road! We're from Australia where we drive on the left, so it was certainly an experience to be travelling on the other side down the highways. Loved all our time in the US and we'll be back again in the next couple of years. Our next road trip we want to do some of the internal States, having done both coasts already. Love your beautiful country!

Penumbra said...

That was a great excerpt :)


Lisabet Sarai said...

I forgot to share my favorite road trip, but Urb's Honda Civic story reminded me! When I was in grad school (in Pennsylvania) my boyfriend J, his best friend M, and I decided we really should to to Mardi Gras. Both J and M were over six feet tall. (Fortunately I'm short!) The three of us squeezed into M's Honda Civic (this is in the seventies, when Civics were the size of tin cans) and drove down to New Orleans. We slept on the floor of a church that had been opened up for visitors and wandered around the streets, drunk on Hurricanes and the party spirit. I'll never forget traveling across the causeway over Lake Ponchartrain, at night, in fog as thick as a blanket. Eerie!

My memories of that trip all have a glittering, magical quality.

Actually I'm not sure this was my FAVORITE road trip, but it was one of my first.

H.B. said...

Great excerpt and thanks for sharing a little bit about your experience with road trips. I've never been on a road trip but it sounds like it'll be fun.

humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

Morticia Knight said...


Too funny about Texas Land and Cattle - The artichoke dip is awesome though - just gotta say ;-)

Morticia Knight said...

Thank you ;-) My adventurous spirit usually is inspired by food in one way or the other *giggle*

Morticia Knight said...

Aw - thanks Jen! ;-)I really love Arizona - it shows you how there can be so many different nuances to the desert.

Morticia Knight said...

Wow - that was an adventure! Thanks for stopping by.

Morticia Knight said...

No kidding - I always thought it was one of those urban legends - nope!

Morticia Knight said...

Sounds like a great memory ;-)

Morticia Knight said...

Sounds cool Colleen - thanks for stopping by ;-)

Morticia Knight said...

Thank you - maybe you can get to Arizona one day ;-)

Morticia Knight said...

That sounds like a blast. I've been to New Orleans - but never Mardi Gras. One of these days...

Morticia Knight said...

Thanks for stopping by. Maybe you'll be inspired to take one now ! ;-)

Morticia Knight said...

Thank you! ;-)

PaParanormalFan Renee said...

Ohhhh how Lovely :) two of my favorite Naughty, Erotic, get my blood boiling Authors together! ;)
Thank you Lisabet for hosting the very exciting Morticia Knight on Beyond Romance.....& Thank you Morticia for taking time to spend with your Fans as a Guest Blogger. It was cool reading about your road for your steak soup & spicy spinach artichoke dip from Texas Land ‘n’ Cattle. I was in Phoenix, Arizona once, but that was many, many....LOL years ago when I was 18 years old. It was my 1st time flying ,which was horrible :( , we didn't site see or dine out...unfortunately it was all business....& I Love food, a little too much LOL, especially spicy I've been told many times that I sure did miss out on one of the best parts of Arizona, beside their history & culture.
I'm unable to take road trips or fly due to medical reasons, but my last one had to be my consisted 2 of my favorite things (well besides reading Hot, Erotic Books LOL) Great Food & NASCAR. My Hubby & I drove to Bristol, TN for Race Week from the Philly, PA area. I 1st have to say I never realized how lonnnnnng it was to drive across PA, wow it took forever! By the time we got to TN my butt was numb. LOL But I do have to say the food was messy & ohhhhh soooooo Good. LOL The all time Best Ribs, Steak & Pork I have ever had, the people were so pleasant everywhere we went & the NASCAR Races were AWESOME!!!!!! Our Hotel was actually in Asheville, NC, which wasn't that far from Bristol, it was sooooo nice. Our room with a balcony that overlooked the pool & a Beautiful view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. We visited the Breathtaking Biltmore Estate, Downtown Asheville & Biltmore Village. All the little shops, restaurants, wine bars, pubs & galleries were so must fun....and again, it's the first place I ever went were every one was just so pleasant & not rushed at all! Since that happen to be my last trip, I'm so glad it was there. :)
Now for some HOT Stuff ;) LOL I read "Set Ablaze" (Uniform Encounters Book One) & it did set me on Fire!!! ;) I really enjoyed the first Book & I'm LQQking forward to reading Book 2, "Arresting Behaviour", I just know it will be just as Captivating!
I would very much appreciate if I could be considered in your very generous Giveaway. Thank You!
Take Care Ladies & Stay Naughty ;)
paranormalromancefan at yahoo dot com

VampedChik said...

Love the excerpt! My favorite road trip had to be the one I took with my mom and some friends. We went to Michigan and got lost but it turned out to be really fun. We also do alot of day trips to state parks that are fun. I love a good adventure. :)

Morticia Knight said...

Hi Renee - Good to hear from you ;-) Thanks for your road trip story - I love me some great ribs!

Morticia Knight said...

Hi Amber - I love state parks too. I try to see as many as I can when I'm out and about.

Morticia Knight said...

Thank you everyone for stopping by - my winner for the Arresting Behaviour e-book is Susan! Yay!

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