Friday, October 9, 2015

Introducing Cal Palmer! | We Talk to Ourselves...a Lot! by Loree Lough & Cerella Sechrist (with Kate James)

Welcome to the latest edition of "We Talk to Ourselves...a Lot!" Today, we're excited to introduce you to CAL PALMER, the hero of Kate James's recent Heartwarming release, When the Right One Comes Along.



Our heroes, NATE MARSHALL (from Loree's Sweet Mountain Rancher) and CONNOR CALLAHAN (from Cerella's Harper's Wish) have invited Cal to Connor's restaurant, and if we’re real quiet, we might just get to eavesdrop on some fun, manly bonding over the grill…

CONNOR: Okay, truth in advertising here, guys…this is a brand new recipe, and I need your honest appraisal before I add it to the menu.

NATE: (elbows Cal) Trust me, we’re gonna love it. Put a kitchen tool in this dude’s hands, and it becomes a magician’s wand.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

CAL: (grinning) I've never been a guinea pig before, but hey, I’m game. (looks at Connor) So does this new dish have a name?

CONNOR (places steaming plates in front of them) I call it ‘Porterhouse Steak with Irish Whiskey Sauce,’ and it’s served with scalloped cabbage and boxty.

NATE: You had me at steak. But…what in creation is boxty?

CONNOR: (laughs) Irish potato pancakes. Well don’t just sit there, dig in before everything’s cold!

(We'll pause now to give the boys time to devour the meal. No sense tempting them to talk with their mouths full, right)

...twenty minutes later... 

CONNOR: (throwing dish towel over one shoulder) Well, what do you think? Is it good enough to add to the menu here at Callahan’s?

NATE: It’s good enough to patent. But before you do, slip me a copy of the recipe. (winks) Maybe I’ll whip up dinner for Eden and the boys.

CONNOR: (chuckles) You’ll need a hundred pounds of beef to feed that motley crew! (looks at Cal) So what do you think?

CAL: (leans back from table) It’s great.

CONNOR: Thanks. (narrows his eyes) I feel there’s a “but” coming.

CAL: No. It really is terrific.

NATE: (grinning) But…? Yeah, I can see it, too.

CAL: I just met you guys, and believe me I’m always happy to have someone else do the cooking!

(hearty male laughter) 

CAL: I know this is your profession, Connor, but have you tried using Jack Daniel’s instead of Irish whisky?

CONNOR: Huh. I hadn’t thought of that. Have you tried it somewhere?

CAL: (looking a little uncomfortable) That’s how I make it. I’ve had great feedback. In fact, it was one of my Jack Daniel’s-marinated steaks that first got things rolling for me Jessica.

NATE: Hmm… (wiggles eyebrows) A little whiskey to break the ice?

CAL: I needed all the help I could get!



NATE: Guess it must've helped that you’re a search and rescue officer with a K-9 unit.

CAL: (chuckles) It was awhile before she saw me in a uniform, so that wasn't working in my favor either.

NATE: Bet your job is anything but boring…

CAL: You can say that again. (looking thoughtful) It’s rewarding for the most part.

NATE: Doing a job that makes a difference… I get that.

CAL: Yeah, most days are rewarding. Like finding a lost kid or a wandering patient.

CONNOR: (joins Cal and Nate at the table) And the other days? Have you ever had a close call?

CAL: Yeah. It’s part of the job. You heard about that earthquake in San Diego that was 7.6 on the Richter scale? (Connor and Nate nod)

CAL: My dog, Scout, and I were checking a collapsed building for survivors. We were able to get a number of people out, including a little girl. Then an aftershock hit, trapping Scout in the building.

NATE: Whoa. That’s some serious stuff. (nods) What happened to Scout?

CAL: I went in to get him.

CONNOR: They let you go back in?

CAL: Well…no. (swirls the drink in his glass) I went back in against the direct orders of the incident commander.

NATE: And? What happened?

CAL: I got written up for insubordination. I was still relatively new to the San Diego Police Department—just having moved there from Nebraska—still in my probationary period. I got injured in the process. (smiles) I saved Scout and he’s still my partner. It was because of my injury that I met Jess. As a trauma surgeon for the local hospital, she was leading the triage team at the site.



CONNOR: (whistles) Impressive. And your dog, Scout, he goes home with you every night.

CAL: You bet. He’s my partner in every sense of the word. (looks at Nate) Much like your horse. What’s his name again?

NATE: Patches. But there’s no comparison. (snickers) He’s not bad on a lead, but no way I’d let him sleep with me.

CONNOR: Yeah, I’m guessing those hooves would be rough on the sheets. (another shared laugh)

NATE: Bet it’s a daily challenge, convincing dog lovers that they can’t interact Scout.

CAL: Not true. The dogs are very well trained for whatever their specialization is. Detection dogs are selected for their initiative, intensity, speed, agility and intelligence. Ideally, they have high prey drive, combined with moderate rank drive. All those qualities come to the fore when they are working. When they’re not…(shrugs) They’re still dogs. For most of us handlers, they’re part of our family. They just happen to have a tough job to do.

NATE: So what’s the goofiest question a passer-by has asked you about Scout? ‘Is he a policeman in a fur uniform?’ (laughter)

CONNOR: (leans toward Cal) If this guy ever gets tired of ranching, he can always give standup comedy a try. (more laughter)

NATE: Couple of Eden’s boys could probably tell a K-9 story or two…



CAL: It’s great what you two are doing for those kids. If more people showed an interest in their children…

CONNOR: …there’d be fewer juvenile delinquents on the streets.

CAL: Yeah. Rick Vasquez, one of our K-9 unit sergeants, was a kid in the drug-cartel strongholds of Tijuana. He and his narcotics detection dog, Sniff, counsel inner-city youth about the dangers of drug use. If, through their efforts, they manage to keep just one kid from using or selling drugs, it makes it worthwhile. (a moment of serious contemplation)

NATE: It’s a tough job you have, Cal. Not to go all poetic on you or anything, but we genuinely appreciate everything the police do to keep us safe. Eden has learned to live with what ranchers are forced to do to protect herds from cougars and grizzlies, but that’s another one of those ‘apples and oranges’ things. If you asked her, she’d probably say she prefers four-legged predators to the two-legged kind you’re forced to wrangle every day.

CONNOR: (nodding) If I even thought about a career in law enforcement, Harper would lay the law down. I'd rather face the potential cuts and burns of a kitchen than the dangers of the streets any day.



NATE: So are you all adjusted to life in San Diego?

CAL: I could have done without the earthquake shortly after my arrival. San Diego isn’t as susceptible to them as other parts of California. Other than that, I love it. Suffice it to say, that Lincoln, Nebraska had lost its appeal for me.

NATE: I admire both of you guys. Except for that short stint in Baltimore, I’ve pretty much stuck to Colorado.

CONNOR: Listen to him, talking about his major league pitching career as if it was no big deal.

CAL: (chuckles) I can’t hit the side of a barn with a basketball.

NATE: Yeah, but you can hit the bull’s eye with your service weapon. See there? Another example of apples and oranges.

CONNOR: You guys ready for some dessert?

CAL: (pats his flat stomach) Tempting, but K-9 cops need to stay in shape to be able to do our jobs.

NATE: C’mon, live it up a little. You know what they say…”There’s always room for Jell-O.” (laughter)

CONNOR: Well, I like to think this is a bit better than Jell-O. (Connor takes the cover off the dessert platter.) Bailey's Irish Cream Cheesecake with a Guinness-infused dark chocolate tuile.



CAL: (shoves his plate to the center of the table) Count me in. Cheesecake is my weakness. But just a small slice…

NATE: (stacks plates and carries them to the sink) Well, don’t just stand there! Slice up that dessert!

So there you have it, friends, our brief introduction of CAL PALMER and his loyal partner, Scout. We know you’re going to love them even more after you’ve read When the Right One Comes Along!

And if this post has given you a hankering for a tasty steak dinner, check out our giveaway below! You can win a Grilling Creations BBQ Gift Basket, valued at $100 plus a copy of each of our three books!



Heartwarming Heroes Grilling Creations Gift Basket & Three Novel Giveaway

The contest runs until November 1, 2015. Be sure to check back here on November 13 when we announce the winner!

Until next time, this is Cerella Sechrist (Harper’s Wish) and Loree Lough (Sweet Mountain Rancher), wishing you a terrific start to Fall!

***
About Loree:

With nearly 5,000,000 books in circulation, best-selling author Loree Lough's titles have earned numerous 4- and 5-star reviews and industry awards. She splits her time between her home in Baltimore and a cabin in the Alleghenies (where she loves to show off her “Identify the Critter Tracks” skills). The release of Once a Marine (#1 in the “Those Marshall Boys” series for Harlequin's new Heartwarming line) brings Loree’s number of books in print to 104! Loree loves to hear from her readers and answers every letter, personally. Visit her at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and www.loreelough.com!


About Cerella:

CERELLA SECHRIST lives in York, Pennsylvania with two precocious pugs, Darcy and Charlotte, named after Jane Austen literary characters. Inspired by her childhood love of stories, she was ten years old when she decided she wanted to become an author. These days, Cerella divides her time between working in the office of her family’s construction business and as a barista to support her reading habit and coffee addiction. She’s been known to post too many pug photos on both Instagram and Pinterest. You can see for yourself by finding her online at www.cerellasechrist.com. Harper’s Wish is her third Harlequin Heartwarming novel.



About Kate:

 Kate spent much of her childhood abroad before attending university in Canada. She built a successful business career, but her passion has always been literature. As a result Kate turned her energy to her love of the written word. Kate's goal is to entertain her readers with engaging stories featuring strong, likable characters. Kate has been honored with numerous awards for her writing. She and her husband, Ken, enjoy traveling and the outdoors with their beloved Labrador Retrievers.

Learn more about Kate and her books on her website (www.kate-james.com), her Facebook page (KateJamesBooks) or follow her on Twitter (@KateJamesBooks).

59 comments:

  1. Cerella and Loree, thank you so much for letting me -- and of course Cal -- be part of this fun post.

    I hope our readers enjoy getting to know our heroes a little better.

    . . . and what a terrific BBQ prize pack, even though the guys don't come with it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We're tickled pink, Kate! The sages say "Two heads are better than one," but we've just proven that THREE heads are best of all!

      And yes...that prize package is delicious, isn't it! :-)

      Delete
    2. It was our pleasure, Kate! I had so much fun imagining this scene with you two! I wish we could all sit down for this dinner WITH our guys. :)

      Delete
  2. Wow! What a fun and creative post. I loved getting to know the characters and Scout...love him!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same here, Jill! Don't tell anyone, but I spent most of the interview on the floor, hugging and petting Scout. What a sweetheart! :-)

      Delete
    2. Aww... we are so glad you enjoyed it, Jill. It's hard to imagine looking into Scout's eyes and saying no to him, right?

      We hope you entered the giveaway, too!

      Delete
    3. I know, Jill, we keep mentioning the guys, but Scout is just as much a "character" here as our heroes!

      Delete
  3. I loved this post! You are so creative and talented. You had me at steak, too- lol. I'm definitely grilling tonight :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Confession time: Ever since we started working up the script for this one, I've been craving a thick, juicy steak. Now...where's that Outback gift card... LOL

      Delete
    2. Hey, if our heroes can have a BBQ together, why not authors!?

      Delete
    3. Agreed! (Pass the baked beans, please?) :-)

      Delete
    4. I love this idea of a Heartwarming BBQ! Count me in!

      Delete
  4. Hey, we're having steak too and you just reminded me to take them out of the freezer :) Awesome and had me chuckling all the way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What do you use to marinate your steaks, Pamela?? Enjoy your dinner!

      Delete
    2. <-- believe it or not, milk is my go-to marinade for beef, pork, chicken, and fish. Once removed from the milk bath, things get a nice rubdown with all sorts of tantalizing rubs! Mmm....

      Delete
    3. I am so trying this, Loree. I wonder if Connor has ever tried marinading his steaks in milk... ;)

      Delete
    4. I first use spray butter on the steaks, and then sprinkle with Montreal steak seasoning, and then I add a little seasoning salt.

      Delete
  5. So much fun! Thanks for sharing! :) My favorite meal with friends is when we have our annual summertime bash...we grill up hotdogs, spiedies, and make garage can corn. Then homemade cookies to use for smores. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! I'd love to share that meal and those good times! Thanks for stopping by, Janelle.

      Delete
    2. I'd love some of that corn, Janelle! NO, make it homemade cookies. Or S'mores. Ack. Decisions, decisions! LOL

      Delete
    3. Yes, I'd go for the cookies and S'mores, too! :-)

      Delete
    4. That sounds like a great summertime bash, Janelle! I confess, I had to look up spiedies. I'm in. Call me when you're having the next bash! :)

      Delete
  6. Thanks for the fun post this morning, and thanks for the great giveaway!! My favorite meal to share with friends is steak or burgers on the grill. My boyfriend does the grilling and I do all the sides. That way if the meat is not good I can blame someone else!! Hope all of you ladies have a wonderful weekend :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Darlene!

      I am happy I had lunch before I checked for comments or I would be very hungry right now!

      Best wishes with the giveaway.

      Delete
    2. <--first in line at your BBQ, Darlene! Here's hoping your weekend is wonderful, and much luck in the giveaway!

      Delete
    3. Me, too, Darlene! I love pretty much anything on the grill but burgers and steak rank right up there. You have excellent taste!

      Delete
  7. All this talk of food has me drooling for steak! And what is garage can corn? Too bad the guys don't come with it. lol. I've been tempted to change my name so I can enter the contest, too! Cant wait to read the books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Patricia! When I saw the prize pack, I was tempted to sneak in an entry! :-)

      Delete
    2. Unless I'm mistaken, Patricia, garbage can corn is fresh sweet corn of any variety, boiled up in a just-for-that-purpose garbage can. (I typed a G where the B should be 3 times, writing up this message! LOL)

      Delete
    3. lol, Patricia! I always think that with these giveaways - how much I'd like to enter! So hopefully that means readers enjoy them, too. :)

      Delete
  8. What a fun post! These are some great heroes to fall in love with!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We're glad you enjoyed the post, Mel. I loved getting to know Connor and Nate!

      Delete
    2. We agree, Mel, and we wish you a super weekend, too!

      Delete
    3. Aren't all the Heartwarming heroes the best? ;) (No bias here or anything...)

      Delete
  9. All right, I'd like a place at that table. The food sounds fabulous - I love cabbage and scalloped cabbage has to be wonderful. I often make potato pancakes during Lent - not sure if Irish potato pancakes would be different, but want to try that, too. I had a healthy breakfast, and think I'm going to ruin it all with big burgers for lunch, since I don't have steak. Thanks, Ladies, for a fun post. What a beautiful dog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Muriel, I'd welcome a seat at your table anytime. Yes, Scout is adorable, isn't he! Yet, he has an important and often dangerous job to do.

      Delete
    2. Muriel, I'm a cabbage lover, too! I think it's partly my German heritage. And I like anything made into a pancake - potatoes, corn, zucchini. I'm not picky. :)

      Delete
    3. Same here, Cerella...I've never been a picky eater, either! (Lima beans and raw anything will make me cringe, though. LOL) I'd LOVE a copy of that scalloped cabbage recipe !

      Delete
  10. I loved that interchange amongst heroes. I was thinking how sweet that would look if I saw it taking place in person—three cute guys bonding over a delicious meal. And Scout is a very handsome canine. I have a soft spot for German Shepherds since I had a great one for 10 years.
    Thanks for the fun post and the marvelous giveaway opportunity. Oh....and my magic marinade ingredient for steak is red wine. It really enhances the flavor. ( :

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I forgot, my favorite meal to share with friends is Spanish chicken with rice, sweet plantains and salad.

      Delete
    2. Laurie, we are happy you enjoyed the post. It was a lot of fun putting it together. Cerella and Loree are not only terrific authors, they're supportive and have great senses of humor. I bet you're an amazing cook!

      I remember you'd mentioned previously that you had a German Shepherd. I believe I indicated that we had one, too. I hope you enjoy reading about Scout and his people!

      Best wishes with the giveaway.

      Delete
    3. Laurie, I want to try that dinner of yours! It sounds absolutely delicious! It's so much fun to "sit in" and watch our heroes interact. I love doing these kinds of posts. We're so glad you enjoyed it!

      Delete
    4. That dinner sounds fabulous, Laurie! I agree with you: Seeing this in person would be a real treat. How lucky are we that we can all do it...in the privacy of our minds! LOL If you think this blog was fun, just wait until you see our next one! ;-)

      Delete
  11. I loved this fun post; it makes me want steak for dinner! :) Thanks so much for sharing this terrific giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Britney! I think there's going to be a lot of steak dinners happening this weekend among Heartwarmers. lol ;) Good luck with the giveaway!

      Delete
    2. Oh, oh...I had a salmon fillet tonight.

      As Cerella noted, best wishes with the giveaway, Britney!

      Delete
    3. Y'know, Britney, I think the only thing we like better than sharing great prizes is hearing that our readers enjoy our books! :-) You're right: Reading (and contributing) to the post made me want a big juicy steak, too! Have a lovely rest of the week!

      Delete
  12. I did a progressive dinner once and really enjoyed that, but I'm probably too lazy to enjoy it anymore. I like to have a simple, but flavorful meal with a nice wine and have the evening last for hours just eating, laughing and enjoying the company. The type of food isn't important to me; just the people.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you that the company is more important than the food!

      Best wishes with the giveaway, and happy reading!

      Delete
    2. Those progressive dinners are a lot of fun, aren't they! But you're so right: They're also a lot of work... I'm like you, Trosado, and prefer to have a bunch of people over and feed them a hearty one-pot meal made in my li'l galley kitchen. I don't complain when they surprise me with dessert. Or wine! :-)

      Delete
  13. @trosado: Well said! I like the way you think. :) Food is fun, but it's the company that matters most.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Loree, Cerella, and Kate! What a fun interview with all the guys especially Scout! Company and food is always good I agree! Jenny

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jenny! I agree, Scout was one of the best parts of this interview! ;)

      Delete
  15. What a fun interview. I enjoy having cookouts and we usually have steak and chicken.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love cookouts, Jewel! Steak, chicken, burgers, hot dogs, veggies - if you put it on the grill, I'll eat it! Good luck with the giveaway!

      Delete
  16. For a family cookout we have hamburgers and hot dogs or pork chops.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love family cookouts with hamburgers and hot dogs. I'm missing summer now! :) Good luck with the giveaway, Robbie!

      Delete
  17. I just found the blog today and LOVE it ! I am having so much fun looking around. Wowie, all the books look so fabulous. So many new authors I've discovered . Thank you for having me !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deanne, we're so excited you've joined us here on the Heartwarming blog! We love our readers and hope you enjoy all our books. I hope you entered the giveaway! Good luck - we look forward to chatting with you more! :)

      Delete