Rachel Harris and I met online in the Entangled Publishing author loop, but I honestly had to search my brain for a minute because her warm, dynamic, bubbly online personality makes me feel like we’ve met in person! If she ever invites me to Thanksgiving dinner, I’ll go. She grew up in New Orleans, and I bet she throws a heck of a party! The thought of a Big Easy Thanksgiving makes my mouth water…or maybe that’s just her SEVEN DAY FIANCE excerpt below. I hope you’ll enter our very special giveaway at the end of the post for the chance to win fun swag from Rachel and the other Hungry Hearts authors. For the chance to win our BOOKS, visit our Facebook event, going on all week! But first, a few holiday thoughts from Rachel Harris.
Thanksgiving makes my heart happy.
The focus is family and gratitude, no presents needed, no elaborate costumes required. You eat, you laugh, you watch football, and then you shop. You go around sharing what you are grateful for that year, and you add another leaf to your handmade Thanksgiving tree. We do, anyway. My kids love that the most. Cutting out construction paper leaves, handing them out to every visitor and waiting until they’ve written down the things they are most thankful for, and then taping it to our hand-drawn tree.
Our turkey is roasted, and sometimes fried. We also a ham because we like them both, and hey, it’s the holidays. Gumbo and stick-to-your-ribs macaroni and cheese. Three different stuffings, and pecan and pumpkin pie, because everyone has a favorite. Harry Connick Jr. and Dean Martin on the radio…until after dinner when someone switches it to Christmas tunes. That’s Thanksgiving in my house.
What does it look like in YOUR house?
See what I mean? Count me in! And to make you even hungrier, check out this excerpt from Rachel’s latest release SEVEN DAY FIANCE where city boy Cane Robicheaux discovers what Thanksgiving is like in Cajun princess Angelle Prejean’s house:
A soft chuckle pulled Cane’s attention away from his plate. Thanksgiving dinner was half over. He’d lost count of the number of people there, but it had to be pushing fifty. Tables were shoved together throughout the wide living room and kitchen, where every Cajun dish he could think of was present. The huge ham that’d been tempting him all morning was joined by a pork and beef roast, both smothered with gravy, candied yams, jambalaya, rice and gravy, gumbo, and a dish Cane had never heard of, corn maque choux. He didn’t know what it was, but it was freaking delicious.
As one of Angel’s many cousins said while filling his plate, “If you leave here hungry, it’s your own damn fault.”
Glancing over at his giggling fiancée, he wiped his mouth on a napkin and asked, “What’s so funny?”
“You only eat one thing at a time.” She pointed her fork at what was left of his meal, green eyes dancing with amusement. “You did it last night, too. Is there a method to your culinary madness, or are you just in the food zone?”
Cane leaned back in his metal chair, thoughts of finishing his jambalaya abandoned. Confident and teasing were definitely his two favorite hellcat traits. “I’ll have you know that some believe eating this way is better for the body,” he informed her, fully aware that his nerd flag was flying and not giving a damn. “Foods break down differently, and eating one thing at a time can ease digestion. It’s also said that people who do it are more task-oriented.”
“More like inflexible and stubborn,” Angelle muttered with a smirk. “And what about people who mix it up and inhale their food, like yours truly? Got an answer for that?”
She batted her eyelashes, clearly believing she’d stumped him, which made it all the more gratifying when he replied, “Fast eating is linked with putting others first. As for mixing it up, they say it implies you’re great at handling responsibility.” He grinned and added, “Personally, I think it means you eat weird.”
Angelle shook her head and narrowed her inquisitive eyes, looking as if she’d never seen him before. And in a way, she hadn’t. After a moment of shocked silence, she recovered and asked, “Do you, like, memorize Wikipedia for fun?”
More like Discovery Channel. Cane shrugged. “I like to be informed.”
She smiled, a soft natural smile seemingly meant for him and not for show. Even as euphoria hit his blood, seeing that directed at him instead of the fearful looks she used to give him, anxiety knotted his stomach. She was getting attached.
Close friendship was good. Or so he thought, having never had that before. Seeing another man take her home and make her smile would kill him—but it would be for the best. And at least those honest smiles, that feisty spunk, and the scent of sunflowers would remain in his life. But she had to know it could never be anything more.
“Speaking of informed.” Her cousin Lacey’s voice broke from across the table, snapping both their heads forward. Suspicion lit her hazel eyes and had her tapping a painted nail on the tabletop. “How does one’s fiancée not notice that kind of food quirk before?”
Nails bit into the denim on his thigh. The art of lying—on the spot or otherwise—was not one of Angelle’s gifts. Cane hated dishonesty, too, but a life of smoke and mirrors had unfortunately honed a talent. Taking her small hand in his, he shrugged again, this time in a confident display of nonchalance. Never let them see you sweat was rule one.
“I’ve been this way all my life,” he said, leaning back and leisurely lifting his mouth in a grin. Distraction by charm was rule two. “But you’d be surprised how long it takes some people to notice. Your cousin must’ve been too busy staring at this sexy mug of mine to notice my eating habits.”
The double eye-roll from both women was almost audible—but the trick worked. Only a trace of doubt lingered in Lacey’s voice as she replied, “Good Lord, it’s a miracle that head of yours fits through the door,” and Angelle slumped beside him.
Another disaster averted.
Here’s a little something about Rachel:
Rachel Harris grew up in New Orleans, watching soap operas with her grandmother, and staying up late sneak-reading her mama’s romance novels. Today, she still stays up late reading romances, only now she does so openly.
A Cajun cowgirl now living in Houston, she firmly believes life’s problems can be solved with a hot, sugar-coated beignet or a thick slice of king cake, and that screaming at strangers for cheap, plastic beads is acceptable behavior in certain situations.
She homeschools her two beautiful girls and watches countless hours of Food Network and reality television with her amazing husband. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult Fun, Flirty Escapes, and LOVES talking with readers!
Visit Rachel Harris on the web at http://www.rachelharriswrites.com/
and Twitter https://twitter.com/RachelHarrisYA
The Hungry Hearts authors are giving away a prize pack! Click this link to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway
And don’t forget to hop around the Hungry Hearts Holiday Hop to get some great Thanksgiving recipes and enter to win a Harry & David Crater Lake Gift Basket!