Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Blogiversary Excerpt and Giveaway: How to Bake the Perfect Apple Pie by Gina Calanni

How to Bake the Perfect Apple Pie
A scrumptious pie. A long distance guy. 4th of July fireworks guaranteed.
Lauren Hauser has it all…nearly. With a shiny new job and sparkly new engagement ring on her finger, the only thing she’s missing is her gorgeous new fiancĂ© by her side. Should she be worried? Jack’s kisses are as sizzling as always and, sure, long distance is hard but, she and Jack are solid, right?
Of course the stress of planning a wedding—or not—is nothing compared to the stress of baking an apple pie. Because it’s not just any apple pie that Lauren must bake for the 4th of July contest; it’s her grandmother’s famous, award-winning apple pie! Yet Lauren is determined to make this pie her own and a little apple pie should be no problem for the Hauser clan dessert queen…!
But with her new job taking up so much time, a prize pie to perfect and the growing distance between her and Jack, Lauren begins to wonder if she can really have it all… Only one things for sure, there’ll be fireworks this 4th of July!


         But the annual Fourth of July apple pie contest? With real judges? And real bakers? Why would my grandmother want me to do this? Why not Megan? I let out a deep breath. “So tell me about this contest.” Jack pulls me in close and kisses my neck. Cascades of shivers fall over my arms…as if I can think with his lips anywhere on my body! “Um, my grand—” Jack’s lips cover mine and our tongues swirl together. His hands are running up and down my body, gripping and tugging on all of my pleasure points. I’m unraveling into pure joy and we are standing in the spice aisle at my grocery store. I pull back and shake my head.

 “Jack, we’re in public.” I eye him and give him a please look. “True, but we’re alone in this aisle.” Jack pulls me close again and kisses me harder as if the seconds being away from my lips created a stronger desire. I meet each twist of his tongue with my own and run my hands over his back. I stop. “Jack, seriously, let’s get our groceries and get out of here.” I turn my attention to the letter and examine the notes. Jack grabs the letter with one hand and my fingers with the other. He guides me down the aisle and into the back of the store. He pushes us through the double doors that lead into the warehouse. “Jack, what are you doing?” My eyes dart all around us. Jack positions me into an aisle of boxes. “This.” Jack reaches behind my head and pulls me to his lips. Our mouths meet and our tongues dance a rapid swirling sensational samba. His hands are roaming all over my body as if he is trying to remember every curve so he can sketch me from memory. My insides are squeezing tight; my breathing is out of control. I’m falling into ecstasy and I don’t care where we are. The only thing I see is Jack: he’s in front of me, connected to me, circling me, with his every touch. “Excuse me, you can’t be back here,” a voice calls out to us. Jack moves me behind him. “Oh, sorry about that, we couldn’t find the cinnamon or anyone to help us, so I thought we would check your stockroom.” “Uh, hon, cinnamon is in aisle three and it’s stocked.” The man clears his throat. “Well then, off to aisle three we go.” Jack leads me out of the stockroom and into aisle three. 
I laugh as we stand in front of the cinnamon. “Really?” “Really what?” Jack peers down at me. He rubs his thumb over my chin. “Your lipstick is smeared; you should be more careful with the application.” I shove his arm. He doesn’t move though. He grabs my hand and kisses each of my knuckles. “Lauren, I can’t hold out much longer.” I raise an eyebrow at him. “This was you holding out?” Jack bites my finger. “You don’t want to see me not holding out.” I pull my hand away from him. “Maybe I do.” I toss my hair over my shoulder.

 “Let’s get your ingredients.” Jack growls into my ear. Tingles swarm down my neck and over my shoulders like a firework exploding in the sky. “Yes, let’s.” I scan the letter. We’ve got everything except the nutmeg and the apples. I select an organic bottle from the shelf and toss it in our basket. “I just need Granny Smith Apples.” Jack’s eyes are dark with hunger. He whisks me into his arms and kisses me deeply before releasing me and I do my best to follow behind him to the produce section. My legs are wobbling from walking on a cloud of Jack’s love. He grabs a bag of Granny Smith apples and we head to the checkout, eager to get home.

Gina Calanni currently resides where bluebonnets line the highways in the spring, but she prefers the rock flower anemone from under the sea. Above the ocean’s surface Gina likes to bake with her three boys and run like the ground is crumbling beneath her feet while being dragged along by her pooch Schatzi.  Music is the background of each of Gina's books and her favorite button to press is repeat. At the end of the day her glass of wine is always half-full.




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