Old Loyalty, New Love by Mary Calmes, Guava and Tofu Ricotta Empanadas w/ a Lovely Port Wine.

mary ol_nlHelllo All! Today is a GOOD DAY on my little drunken corner of the blogosphere! I have the review for Mary Calmes’ new paranormal nove (which AMAZING!!), a giveaway for a free copy of the novel and a recipe for a delicious traditional Latin holiday treat. Let’s start with a little about the book. First of all, shifters…Mary Calmes and her alphas…Ain’t nobody does it, like Mary does. Her brand of romance always has that strong dose of possesive, “can’t live without you” sort of chemistry in her heroes, and that kind of dynamic is pretty much perfect for shifter stories. The whole concept of being bonded, of your mate having a power over you that makes you desire him in a way that is consuming and powerful…Delicious.  I was so excited to see this book, because not only is Mary a “for sure” to me, but in the past years I have gotten increasingly picky regarding shifter books. So seeing one from Mary a special treat.

With Mary, I know the kind of characters I will get and I KNOW that she will give an incendiary love story. She gave some some of that and then some with this story. I love me so sweet Mary Crackified Goodness…Her men, they are devastating to me. I love the hunger, the passion, the whimpering, the CRAZAHAYZAY I’ve gotta have, need it, want it, will die without it thing that they’ve got going on. Yes, her stories are familiar, and her characters are resonant with others in her stories, but they are all special. Her writing is special, she has a brand, a style, and it works. IT WORKS. For me, like a charm, I dive into her books knowing I’m in for the kind of  passionate story I relish in, I am a romance reader after all.

So! For this book, I decided to make a pastry, one that like Mary’s stories is ALWAYS a reliable good time and ALWAYS hits the SPOT.  What else but empanadas? The lovely Latin cuisine turnovers which I had previously done in a savory recipe. This time I went for sweet. Guava and Tofu Ricotta with a Cinammon Sugar topping. They are so delicious and unique with the tart sweetness of the guava and the creaminess of the ricotta. So good. To go with the empanadas I chose a port wine. Port is one of my favorite digestifs, the dark sweet taste is always perfect to drink after dinner, and is always a good companion to any dessert. The port today is the Graham’s Six Grapes Reserve, it is a luscious dark sweet wine and super affordable. It comes in a few  sizes 187 Ml, 375 Ml and 750 Ml. The medium bottle would serve a dinner of six nicely and it about $14.00 a bottle.

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Back to the story…Quade Danas has been Roman Howell’s bodyguard for 11 years. He has seen Roman through a horrible life altering accident, the death of his parents…His path into adulthood. When Quade came into Roman’s life he was a boy, but now, now he’s a man. A man who had lived up to his family name, made his family’s holding’s thrive even. Despite the horrible accidents and what it did to his physical appearance Roman is a man to be reckoned with and admired. Quade can’t help to notice lately that he is drawn to Roman in a way that he shouldn’t be…He is 20 years his senior for one thing, and giving in to his desire for Roman is NOT an option. There is a side to Quade that he can’t show Roman.

Roman is a jackal shifter, an Alpha to be exact. His father ousted from his pack when he came out to his family at the age of seventeen. He has been on his own his whole life, no real roots or place he belonged to. He joined the military as soon as he could and let his orders there mandate where he went, but since he began working for the Howell family he’s know a true home. A place where he belonged to, but the more he delays his departure the bigger risks he is running and worse the more he endangers Roman. Things are heating up with Roman he is getting more and more brazen about what he wants with Quade. The man can be very persistent and very persuasive…Frankly to Roman he is irresistible.

Quade is trying to be good, but when Roman finally pushes and opens up to what he wants with Quade, he is not scared. Roman has known about Quade’s secrets for a long time, and none of it has changed the fact that he wants EVERYTHING with the man. To be his lover, his partner, his mate…Once Quade hears that all he wants to do is run scared…Except in Roman’s home waiting for him, his past has come knocking. His sister has come to please with Quade for help, the new pack Alpha is a pimp and a drug dealer, who is sinking the pack and taking young girls from their homes so he can whore them out for his own profit. Quade’s young niece is in danger. Quade must now take his place in his pack. It has never been a choice and he’s always known that this would happen, it is his duty and now for the sake of his family, he must do it.

I enjoyed Roman and Quade immensely, specially the fact that Roman was throwing Quade for a loop CONSTANTLY…As the older man he assumed he knew what was best, but Roman disaffected him of that notion, over and over again. He let Roman know in no uncertain terms that what they had been doing for a long time now, had actually been forging a partnership and a life. Roman was Quade’s  mate (more than even he had realized) and he would not shy away from what they could have because Roman had some deluded notion of what would be the “noble” thing to do. Quade belonge in Roman home, in his bed and his life…Always, unconditionally.

So yeah, this was the kind of PNR story that I love to read, all the rules of appropriate mating rituals are tossed aside and what we get is some primal deliciousness…Rational behavior need not apply here folks, we are dealing with jackals up in here! This book had plenty of humor, a lot sweetness and as always a cast of characters that were there to make our heroes feel loved and accepted (minus the shifter dad who stuck to his jackassy ways). This is an interesting new world Mary had brought us…I truly hope that we get to visit again with the people of Corbett, Maine. There are AT LEAST three characters in this story that I am dying to get a story on…I have a feeling there is A LOT brewing out there for us to read about.

Once again Mary Calmes delivered the kind of goodness only she can provide. I totally recommend this book. Old Loyalty, New Love will be released this this Friday, and is available for pre-order here.

Now for the GIVEAWAY!!! Ms. Calmes will kindly give a free ebook of Old Loyalty, New Love to my readers…To win a your free copy please let me know which is YOUR favorite holiday sweet treat. The firs person to comment about what they love to eat best this time of year gets the freebie!

Guava and Tofu Ricotta Empanadas with Cinammon Sugar Topping

2 Pie Crusts

1/2 block of extra firm tofu (drained)

4 Tablespoons of guava paste or guava jam

1 teaspoon of nutritional yeast

3 teaspoons of cinnamon

4 teaspoons of sugar

pinch of salt

Directions:

Preheat oven at 375 degrees. In a food processor put the guava, nutritional yeast, and a small pinch of salt and pulse until you have the consistency of ricotta cheese. Place pie crusts and then roll out so that they are a bit thinner (1/4 of an inch thick). Cut the pie crust into six sections, roll them into balls then roll them out into small circular patties.

Non-Vegan Alternative: Replace tofu for 4oz of cream cheese. Omit nutritional yeast and hand mix the cream cheese with guava paste for your filling.

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Spoon some of the filling onto the side of the patty (one tablespoon) then run your wet finger along the edge, fold over and make indentations with a fork. Once the empanada is done place it on parchment lined  cookie sheet. Separately put the coconut oil in the microwave for 30 seconds (or until it melts).  In a small bowl mix the sugar and the cinnamon. Brush the top of the empanadas with some  coconut oil and the sprinke cinnamon sugar mix over them liberally. Put in the oven for 12 minutes or until golden on the bottom. Serve immediately with some vanilla ice cream.

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My munchkin loves to help with the baking.

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