It’s Appetizing April on my blog, and today I’m featuring a recently released book called Playing the Part, by Lynn Rae. While the book is about a Hollywood movie star and a hapless small town girl, food plays a significant role in Lynn Rae’s writing. Below is the blurb for the book, and then below that I’ve included a little commentary from the author, as well as an excerpt, so you can have a little taste of what you’ll get when you read Playing the Part. (Like what I did there?)
Independent Melanie Sheraton has to hustle for odd jobs in her small town to eke out a living. When the opportunity to act as a driver for some movie folks comes up, she jumps at the chance to earn an extra paycheck. What she didn’t bank on was one of her passengers invading her imagination, something she resists since no movie star would ever be interested in her.
At a crossroads in his professional life, action star Thomas ‘Wheeler’ Locke is in Ohio for a role he hopes will launch his career in a new, serious direction. Instead of concentrating on his acting, he finds himself growing more and more distracted by his feisty driver and her irascible ways.
Dancing around the attraction growing between them, both Mel and Thomas struggle to maintain their distance as the time for filming grows short. Will a reunion at the movie’s London premiere bring them together, or will their disparate lives keep them apart?
The Romance of a Good Burger
By Lynn Rae
Food, the production of it, the preparation of it, the consumption of it, always appears in my stories. I’ve written about cooks, growing tomatoes and potatoes, invented alien dishes, researched smoked hot dogs, and in general fed my characters very well. In fact, I have to restrain myself from paragraphs of description every time I write a dinner scene. For me, food is intrinsically a part of creating a safe and loving environment. Following is a fun little foodie excerpt from my newest book, Playing the Part. It’s the story of a school bus driver and a movie star, but I also was able to insert my love of roadside diners into it, which is where this scene takes place:
“Onion rings? You aren’t kissing anyone tonight?”
“No. Not yet,” he added without thinking, and instead of pulling back from him and frowning in her patented way, Mel instead just stayed put, peering at him with a slight smile on her pretty lips, grey eyes sparking. With a pulse of heat through his veins, he realized that oh yes, he wanted to kiss her very badly; touch her, taste her, and that was not a good impulse at all. Graham was right, as usual.
“The night is young. Take a look around, I’m sure someone willing and able bodied will wander by eventually,” she quipped. “How adventurous are you feeling tonight?”
Thomas took a breath. Was that an invitation, a tiny flirtation?
“Mildly adventurous. What did you have in mind?” he replied, hoping he didn’t sound too lecherous.
“Well, they have this wretched thing called a Dumpster burger you might want to try.” Mel shot him a devious glance, very obviously not flirting with him, and he felt an internal crash of disappointment. She wouldn’t ever be flirting with him. She wasn’t interested or available, so he should just stop thinking about it.
“And why would I want to eat something with a name like that?”
“It’s slimy and fun. Pickled jalapeños, tomato, fried egg on top, cheese, and mayo along with the usual lettuce, tomato, and pickle. Whatever else they scrape off the floor in the back,” Mel concluded, looking as if she was having a great time trying to disgust him. “Oh, and fried onions too. They usually put so many on that they slide all down the sides like worms.”
“No one would want to get close to me after something like that. Okay, order one of those.” Thomas resigned himself to about forty grams of carbs and solitude. With a half salute, she turned and strode off just in time to rescue Graham who struggled with his wallet.
Rather than stare at Mel and wish things were different, Thomas focused on watching people passing by on the street; farm trucks towing equipment, minivans filled with kids in baseball uniforms, high-schoolers with their windows rolled down and music thumping while longing for attention. The weather was perfect for idling away the evening outside, anticipating dusk and fireflies. Stress from the day drifted from his shoulders, and he settled into himself, relishing this quiet moment where he wasn’t anyone other than a man about to eat a Dumpster burger with a good friend and an off limits woman who pushed buttons he didn’t know he had.
I don’t know about you, but after that excerpt, I’m certainly adding this one to my TBR! And don’t forget – this is the third in the series, so you should pick up the first two books, too. Click on the covers below for purchasing info.
And here’s how you can get started on Playing the Part:
Oh, and here’s a little tidbit about the author, Lynn Rae:
Lynn Rae is a romance writer with a quirky sense of humor residing in Columbus, Ohio. With professional experience in fields ranging from contract archaeology to librarianship along with making donuts and teaching museum studies, Lynn Rae enjoys incorporating her real-life adventures into her writing (except the naughty parts). She has made her own kimchee and knows how to throw a tomahawk.
Click the word to go to Lynn’s Goodreads page, if you want to add the above tasty books to your TBR.
Enjoy – and check back tomorrow for another Appetizing April post!