Happy Hump Day fabulous readers! Today I'd like to welcome author Christi Barth over with her new release, Cruising Toward Love. (Look for Lexy's review of this coming soon!)
Forget the Wine – Pass Me the Rum!
Like all of you, I’m a big fan of pouring a glass of wine and relaxing with a book. But today I’m going to ask you to switch it up and focus on reading with rum. My current release Cruising Toward Love takes place on a Caribbean cruise. The Caribbean region is famous – and rightly so – for their rum (yum!). And given the time of year, I’m going to start with a recipe tip – buy yourself some run of the mill grocery store eggnog (even the lowfat version), and add some spiced rum to it. Phenomenal! Of course, there’s nothing wrong with piña coladas, daiquiris, or the classic rum & coke.
When I cruised through the Caribbean a few years ago (yup, the research for this book was sooo taxing! I threw myself on the sword and forced down oh-so-many rum punches.) we stopped in Tortola, BVI. The Callwood Distillery has been producing rum non-stop since the early 1700s. And nothing has changed over the centuries. Picture at the left is the side door. When they let us off here, we were more than a little worried about the sanitary levels of this place – but alcohol kills a host of germs, right? Once we got inside and saw the dusty shelves (on the right), we were even more concerned. But one sip of the delicious, dark smoothness eased our fears away.
Rum is so popular that George Washington insisted on having a barrel of it at his inauguration. Candidates began to influence elections by being generous with rum (why the heck did that fall out of fashion?) The British navy gave their sailors a daily ration of it. I won’t go into the story of Lord Nelson’s body being pickled in a full rum barrel, because it is a tad icky. But suffice it to say rum is a very, very big deal in the Caribbean. Even today it is an integral part of Puerto Rico’s economy.
To really get you in the mood for some rum, here’s an excerpt from Cruising Toward Love. They’re on a scavenger hunt in Tortola and have figured out the clue. It mixes rum and smooches – what could be better?
The sandy soil gave way easily beneath the shovel. The clink of metal against metal startled all of them after only a few minutes. Reed pulled out his camera and captured the awe and excitement widening Nate’s eyes. With this moment, he got to live out every boyhood fantasy of pirates and booty.
“It’s a treasure chest!” Nate tossed aside the shovel and pulled a battered wooden box with a cross work of metal braces out of the ground. Rusted and warped, the chest looked as if it might have been buried for centuries. Reed had to give Peter and the Amphitrite high marks for this leg of the hunt.
“Go on, Nate. Open it,” Callie urged.
Hinges creaked as he lifted the top, revealing two glass bottles filled with a murky brown liquid. Nate lifted one and carefully worked out the cork, giving it a sniff. “Spiced rum. Smells terrific.” He passed it around.
Reed let out a whoop and threw his arms around Callie, lifting her off the ground in a spin. “We found the treasure!” Fueled by exhilaration, he kissed her. Like a dropper of water after crossing the desert, it did little to relieve his desire. He dipped her back over one knee and deepened the kiss, sinking into it.
Senses heightened, Reed took in everything about the moment; the faint tinge of salt water in the air, the roar of the waves breaking on the beach, and the crunch of leaves and twigs beneath his feet. All of it imprinted indelibly on the mental picture he snapped while Callie’s tongue met his, dipping in and out in a swirling dance. She set off firecrackers in his mind, in his heart, and definitely over every inch of his body.
Need swamped him. Their closeness after days of his self-imposed restraint drained every speck of blood in his body directly south of his belt. Her wonderfully soft breasts pressed into his chest. As nice as it felt, he wanted to mold them in his hands, learn their shape and weight and taste. Unable to resist, he wrenched out of their lip lock to trail kisses down her neck.
Callie’s hands clutched at his hair, and she let out a moan. An infinitesimal portion of his brain checked—yup, it was a good moan, not one of pain or shock or fear, so he must be doing things right this time. Using his teeth, he undid the bow of her peasant shirt and nosed the gap open. Then his tongue took its first luxurious swipe across the rounded satin lusciousness of her breasts. And it was good. First-time-tasting-ice-cream good.
“Uh, whatever happened to your plan to not have sex with each other?” Zoe’s polite yet intrusive tone—no doubt it was her sternest librarian voice—broke his rapt concentration like a boulder through hoarfrost. Reed realized he’d been two seconds away from taking Callie on the ground, completely oblivious to Zoe and Nate’s presence. He pressed a final kiss, a promise of things yet to come, on the outer corner of her lips. Then he stood Callie on her feet and grinned at her. Probably the same kid in a candy store, shit-eating grin Nate wore when he found the treasure chest. Because that’s exactly how he felt.
“I’m over it.”
What books do you think would go well with rum?
For more information about all my books, please visit www.christibarth.com. Also, swing by my blog at http://christibarth.blogspot.com or follow me on Twitter @christi_barth
Christi is graciously giving away one digital copy of Cruising Toward Love. To enter, just answer her question at the end of her post and fill out the rafflecopt below. Good luck!