My name is Maureen, and I’m a chocoholic. Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate cake, chocolate cookies, chocolate pie, you get the picture. As a child, I once ate so much chocolate, I … But I digress. Suffice it to say, my mother contemplated taking me to Emergency. It took me another twenty years to resume my chocolate addiction.
Since I adore chocolate, it was only fitting that my characters also love chocolate. I offer a short excerpt from THE JAGUAR LEGACY where Scottish archaeologist, Alistair Kincaid, uses chocolate to put the moves on my heroine, Charley. After that, my gift to readers is one of my favorite chocolate recipes: Chocolate Truffle Tarts with Raspberries.
Excerpt from THE JAGUAR LEGACY:
When she refused to answer, Kincaid didn’t give up the way she’d hoped, but moved on to another approach. “I’m moving too fast, fool that I am. A woman as special as you obviously needs to be wooed.”
“Wooed?” she echoed weakly.
“Oh, aye. I can woo with the best of them. I’m a champion wooer. In fact, I can say with some assurance that I’m probably the most accomplished wooer in the entire state of Oaxaca.”
Charley felt her lips twitch. She bit the inside of her mouth to prevent the bubble of laughter from escaping.
Apparently sensing her weakening resistance, he pressed harder. “I’ll wine you and dine you and shower you with flowers. And if those all fail, I’ll share my stash of chocolate with you. That would be a last resort, though. People don’t know it, but I’m a closet chocoholic,” he confided. “It would be a difficult sacrifice, but for such a worthy cause, the sky’s the limit.”
She closed her eyes for a moment, willing herself to resist the seductive offer and the equally beguiling notion that they shared a secret craving – sweet, dark, delicious chocolate. The temptation to lean into him was too strong and too dangerous, so she pulled away. She didn’t need any more emotional trauma. When she spoke, she was pleased her voice sounded cool and strong, betraying nothing of the inner agitation she felt. “Tempting and highly flattering, but no thanks. Let’s keep our relationship strictly professional, shall we?”
Seemingly unaffected by her curt brush-off, his smile ratcheted up from an eight-point-five on the brilliance scale to a perfect ten, but it seemed to Charley the teasing gleam drained from his eyes, leaving them vulnerable.
This was like walking a tightrope, dammit. She’d finally done irreparable damage to his fragile male ego. Relenting, she spoiled the businesslike effect she was striving for by whispering, “I’ve never revealed this to a anyone, but I have my own emergency stash of chocolate in my bag.”
Chocolate Truffle Tarts with Raspberries
Imagine a crisp chocolate cookie crust cradling sensual chocolate truffle filling wrapped around a tart raspberry, plenty of whipped cream, a pair of lovers. You get the picture.
1 1/2 cups fine chocolate wafer crumbs (from Oreo cookies or chocolate wafers)
6 tablespoons melted butter
6 fresh raspberries
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces good-quality (70 percent) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tsp. instant coffee powder
Extra raspberries for serving
Use a fork to mix together the chocolate wafer crumbs and butter. Spray the cups of a 6-muffin tins with vegetable spray. Line the cups with strips of parchment or waxed paper, cut so that they are as wide as the diameter of each cup and long enough to overhang the sides (you’ll need this overhang to remove the tarts). Use the bottom of a small glass to press the crumbs over the bottom and sides of the muffin cups, building the sides up to only about 1 1/2 inches.
In a saucepan, bring the cream just to a simmer over low heat. Pour the cream over the chocolate in a bowl and let stand about 10 minutes to melt the chocolate. Add the vanilla and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool for 1 hour at room temperature. Then beat the chocolate at medium speed until it gets thick and light colored
Place a raspberry in the center of each crust and with a pastry bag or small plastic bag with the corner snipped off, fill the tarts with the truffle mixture. Smooth the tops and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.
Serve with more raspberries, and don’t forget the whipped cream.
Maureen Fisher’s Books
The Jaguar Legacy (Hot Paranormal, Hot Jungle Love)
Ancient Danger Stalks the Jungle on Velvet Paws
5 Stars: “An intricately woven tale of mystery, romance and the supernatural …”
5 Stars: “Hilarious banter, scorching sexual tension, gripping suspense, mysticism—The Jaguar Legacy has it all! …
A journalist determined to unveil the truth …
Journalist Charley Underhill barges in on a Mexican archaeological dig, bent on sifting rumors from truth about several unexplained deaths in the remote region. She has serious doubt it was an ancient curse that killed the men. If it means keeping a watchful eye peeled for hairy, hungry predators or lying to the no-good womanizing archaeologist with a sexy Scottish accent, brilliant scientific mind, and penchant for gaudy Hawaiian shirts, so be it. Only the juiciest of exposés will fund her mother’s life-saving treatment.
An archaeologist hell-bent on preventing a premature press leak …
Uncovering the past is archaeologist Dr. Alistair Kincaid’s purpose in life. Still smarting from a ruthless betrayal, he guards his latest discovery, an ancient Olmec city buried deep in the jungles of Oaxaca, in the hopes of making a dazzling comeback. He won’t let a snoopy reporter, even one with a quirky sense of humor, smarts, and a heartwarming smile, destroy his last chance at success. Or steal his heart.
Together, they uncover long-buried secrets best left untouched …
Strands from past lives intertwine with the present, drawing the couple deeper into a legacy of shapeshifting and danger, romance and evil, reincarnation and karma. Torn between saving her mother’s life and betraying the man she loves, Charley must make an impossible choice.
Buy The Jaguar Legacy by Maureen Fisher at:
Amazon (U.S.): http://amzn.to/MscwTW
Amazon (U.K.): http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005L40LX6
iTunes (Apple): http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-jaguar-legacy/id471752787?mt=11
Fur Ball Fever (A romantic crime mystery spiked with attitude (most of it warped), tons of humor, and enough steamy sex to drive those who dare read it racing for a cold shower)
“This laugh-out-loud, sizzling hot story had me hooked right from the start and didn’t let go until the end.”
“One for the Money meets Best in Show.”
“Delicious, humorous, a cast of amazingly quirky characters make Fur Ball Fever a memorable read.”
An impulsive pet spa owner who loses her client’s prize pooch …
After a lifetime of impetuous mistakes, pet spa owner Grace Donnelly outdoes herself when she loses Miss Coco Chanel—a shoo-in to win the annual Jersey Shore Fur Ball. Money, careers, and lives are in jeopardy. Too bad her helpers consist of an aging hippie aunt, a renegade schnauzer, and a drag queen. Worst of all, the only man truly qualified to help is her former flame, the hunkiest bodyguard north of the Mason-Dixon Line.
A smokin’ hot bodyguard with his own agenda …
Security specialist Nick Jackson faces his worst nightmare when Grace’s amateur investigation nearly blows his undercover operation. Unless he nails the con-artist who scammed local seniors and whacked a witness, his homicidal granddaddy will take justice into his own liver-spotted hands. To salvage his case, his sanity, and his ex-lover’s velvety skin, Nick joins forces with the sassy crusader who rubs him the wrong way—and so many right ways too.
Together, they weather an explosion of murder, mayhem, and fun …
Action bounces between a beach harboring washed-up corpses, a fancy yacht no honest preacher could possibly afford, and the bawdiest nightclub in Atlantic City. Hazards multiply like bunnies, culminating in romance … and a Fur Ball extravaganza the locals will never forget.
Buy Fur Ball Fever by Maureen Fisher at:
Amazon (US): http://amzn.to/QqYdOC
Amazon (UK): http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005LIALVE
iTunes (Apple): http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/fur-ball-fever/id470081399?mt=11