Monday, February 17, 2014

*BLOG TOUR* "Devil's Food" by Heather Cleveland

One impulse, one decision, one gamble can change your life forever. A stranger opens your door. You exchange a glance across a busy room. You answer a wrong number. And suddenly your life is entwined with someone else's. Your paths have crossed, and you are connected to another human being. What if that person stays in your life? What if that relationship is still important to you in ten, twenty, fifty years? You could meet that person today.
Luckily for Patrick Dunne, he takes a chance, and for once, it pays off.
Life hasn't been easy for Patrick. After years of destructive behavior, he fi- nally pulls himself together only to have his world destroyed again. Now he's dealing with the anxiety. The anger. The guilt. Only his passion for cooking is keeping him from drowning.
With his supportive younger brother, Colin, the Irish natives own Ristorante Fratelli, a chic Italian bistro. It has the makings of one of Denver's best res- taurants—or so says local blogger and critic, Greta Levine—as long as head chef, Patrick Dunne, can control his temper. After an insulting and patroniz- ing encounter, Greta writes a review admonishing his behavior, sending Pat- rick into a final spiral.
But a wrong number saves him. Fueled by the anonymity, they begin tex- ting, deliberately avoiding details of their "real" lives. A deep bond grows, and against all odds, they become each other's saving grace. Until he discov- ers his mystery lady's true identity...
Rounded out by a cast of lovable—and delightfully flawed—supporting characters, Devil's Food chronicles the connections we, as humans, crave and sometimes overlook.
Devil’s Food debuted as a Holiday Fiction Bestseller on Amazon.

GRETA WAS ABSORBED IN a romance novel, tears brimming as the hero professed his eternal love, when she was jolted back to reality by a terse knock on the door.  She cursed under her breath and tossed her Kindle aside.  She’d never get that moment back.  She detested interruptions while she was reading, especially at the best part. 
Fueled by irritation, Greta pulled the door open without bothering to look through the peephole.  She sucked in a panicked breath when she was met by the intrusive cobalt eyes of Patrick Dunne.  Her survival instincts pulsed with alarm, and she tried to slam the door in defense.  But a powerful shoulder braced against it, jarring her body with the unexpected collision.
“You are not welcome here,” she fumed as she futilely threw herself against the door.   
“I’m not welcome?”  His voice was indignant.  “You’re the one who just dragged me through the mud, lady.  And I see you are too much of a coward to face me.  You can print trash about me when you’re hiding behind your computer, but when you have to own up to it, you’re not so brave, are you?”
Greta wasn’t about to take his shit again.  She flung the door open, and Patrick stumbled into the entryway, nearly falling face down on the tiled floor.  “I did not invite you in,” Greta screeched.  After regaining his balance, Patrick met her glare with equal contempt and returned to the other side of the threshold.  “As for standing behind what I wrote, I absolutely do.  Everything I said was true, and I don’t regret it for a minute.  But, Mr. Dunne, you don’t seem to learn from your mistakes.  Here you are insulting me again, only this time you came to my home.  Have you no shame?”
“Believe it or not, Ms. Levine,” he spat her name, “I did not come here to insult you.  I came to tell you that what you did today could ruin not only me but my brother, who is innocent in all this.  When people read what you said, they aren’t going to come to Fratelli’s to make their own judgment.  They’re just going to assume that you know what you’re talking about.  And who the hell are you to tell people what to do anyway?”  His temper was rising, and Greta wasn’t sure what he might do.  She started to back away from the looming figure, but he lunged at her, wrapping strong hands around her biceps and holding her firmly in place.  Her heart beat like a drum in her chest, and she tried to wipe the look of fear from her face.  “You have no right to play with people’s lives like this.  You might have destroyed us today.  Do you get that?”
Greta held his stare with one just as cold.  “All I did was write what happened.  You are responsible for the rest.  If people stop going to Fratelli’s, it’s because your ego was bruised and you couldn’t keep your mouth shut.  If your restaurant goes out of business and your brother loses everything, that’s on you.  You have no one to blame but yourself.”  She ended with an emphatic nod, proud that she hadn’t crumbled under pressure.
The grip on her arms loosened, and Greta watched as his eyes filled with anguish.  His head dropped abruptly, and she thought for a moment that he might collapse on her.  Feeling a pang of compassion, she reached out to steady him, and he jumped at the touch.  As if realizing for the first time that he was restraining her, he pulled away, his eyes cloudy and disoriented.  He stumbled backward, pushing through the door to the stairwell.  Greta watched him go, shoulders slumped and threatening presence replaced by a broken, tormented soul.  

County Clare, Ireland (Patrick and Colin's homeland)

I wanted to be an actress for a long time until I realized it wasn't so much the acting that I loved but the storytelling. (But don't get me wrong, if someone offered me a dream role in a movie, I'd take it.) So I've lovingly returned to my childhood pastime of writing, only now my novels come to life on my computer screen rather than being scrawled in a spiral notebook. And thank goodness for that, or it'd take me a year to finish the editing process.

I'm active in our local theatre scene (on the management side now). I love traveling, playing games, gardening, and checking items off my bucket list--last accomplishment: learn to sew; next up: milk a cow. If you asked my friends to describe me, I think they'd say I am a little quirky and an old soul.

I live north of Denver with my very supportive husband. He is vital to my writing process--serving as web designer, sounding board, walking thesaurus, and reality check.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for hosting a stop on the Devil's Food blog tour!