Spotlight & Giveaway: Beefcakes by Katana Collins

Posted March 26th, 2020 by in Blog, Spotlight / 43 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome author Katana Collins to HJ!
Spotlight&Giveaway

Hi Katana and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Beefcakes!

 
Hi!! Thank you so much for having me!
 

Please summarize the book for the readers here:

Beefcakes is about an ex-Mr. Universe who has to leave Los Angeles to come back home to his small town and help his siblings keep his mother’s bakery afloat while she undergoes chemo treatments.
A routine cupcake delivery to his ex-girlfriend’s sister’s bachelorette party goes array when he and his brother are mistaken for strippers. A photograph of him goes viral resulting in the small town bakery becoming a party destination for bachelorettes. The mishap inspires the brothers to use all their ASSets in marketing their cupcakes.
 

Please share your favorite line(s) or quote from this book:

Oh man! If I have to narrow it down, I love these three!

“You are sexy and wild and fun. But you are also smart and responsible and powerful. Who’s to say you have to be one or the other?”

Who the hell was I right now? I wasn’t the girl who swooned. I was the girl who made spreadsheets and pros and cons lists and thought out plans in painful detail.

“Just remember… There’s no problem so large that a cupcake can’t fix.” – {This is sort of Neil’s signature saying!}

 

Please share a few Fun facts about this book…

  • The idea came for BEEFCAKES because my husband and I were shopping here in Portland, Maine for protein powder. We found this small nutritional store in a strip mall and popped in to discover that it was staffed by some of the most handsome, fit men I’d ever seen. We walked in and even my husband (who is QUITE handsome as well, if I may say so) stopped dead in his tracks and was like: Whoa. This store could be a romance novel.
  • Inside this shop, they sold protein infused things I’d never even SEEN before. Cookies. Donuts. Pancake mix. And Sean and I asked the owner if he would ever consider opening a protein bakery. He was so kind and friendly, but also… he looked at us like we were nuts. Anyway, Sean and I couldn’t stop talking about the idea… a healthy bakery. Run by sexy, muscular men. That would be marketed to bachelorettes. And then we came up with what we would call the bakery… BEEFCAKES.
  • Hence, the idea for my book was born! And my wonderful husband (who is also a writer and artist for Batman at DC Comics) drew the beautiful cover for me!

 

What first attracts your Hero to the Heroine and vice versa?

Interesting question! Because Elaina and Neil were high school sweethearts first–I think they were attracted to each other because of how opposite they are (at least initially). Neil, who because of his fitness background, even in high school, was assumed to be a dumb meathead. And though he hated this stereotype, I think he also began to believe it when people made those jokes. So when he and Elaina started dating, I think he was so in awe of how smart she was–her brains more so than anything else drew him to her.

As for Elaina, I think she could find herself letting go a little and finding joy in her life that was typically very regimented. Neil showed her she could still be the “smart girl”… the valedictorian, and also still go out and have a fun night.

 

Did any scene have you blushing, crying or laughing while writing it? And Why?

Well, let me tell you… I rarely blush! I’m usually the person at the party who makes a really inappropriate joke that makes OTHER people blush and then I laugh my little tush off!

So, even though there are a few steamy scenes in BEEFCAKES, none of them made me blush. However, this little scene had me laughing as I wrote it! To set up the scene a little, Elaina was working a shift at Beefcakes and accidentally gave cupcakes that were meant to go to a bachelorette party to a Mom (Ronnie) and her toddler aged daughter (Olivia) for her 3rd birthday party. One set of cupcakes was supposed to be decorated as unicorns and the other set… well, you can probably guess what they have topping them!

My blood ran cold in my body. Oh, God. What had I done?

“No,” I whispered and grabbed the tray with the fondant pieces. Sure enough, the only fondant creations left there were unicorn faces. “No!” I cried again, louder this time. “No, no, no, no, no!”

“What happened?” Savannah asked, and when I looked up, the camera was right in my face.

Sweet little Olivia Bailey was going to open up her cupcakes at her party today and instead of a dozen unicorns, she’d find a dozen one-eyed snakes staring back at her.

I didn’t have time to explain to the show what had happened. I needed to do something.
Panicked, I dashed through the door, hearing the crew racing behind me, and found Liam at the register, handing a woman a coffee.

“The cupcake pickup that just happened. That was for Olivia Bailey?”

He gave me a strange look. “Yeah… Lex’s daughter, Liv.”

“Where are they?”

“Where are who?”

“The Baileys!” I shrieked.

Liam looked at me like I was a crazy person, and in that moment… I was. He pointed to the front door. “Ronnie literally just left with them.”

 

Readers should read this book….

If they want a feel-good, laugh-out-loud rom-com, that also will make them fan their faces for a couple of scenes.

ALSO… CUPCAKES! In the back of the book, I included two of my favorite cupcake recipes that Neil features in his bakery.

 

What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have in the works?

I’m currently writing Neil’s brother’s book (Liam’s book)… the title TBD. I also have another Maple Grove (small town romance) book coming out next month.

For those who don’t know, the town that Beefcakes takes place in has a whole series set there, so if you finish reading and want more from Maple Grove, there’s 6 books in that series to wet your whistle!
(Side note: Wet your whistle??? I think I channeled my grandmother there for a second!).
 

Thanks for blogging at HJ!

 

Giveaway: 1 Signed paperback of Beefcakes. (US only)

To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Do you have a favorite cupcake flavor???

 
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Excerpt from Beefcakes:

He slowly sauntered into the TV room. “You take the bedroom. I’ll sleep out here. Besides, the couch really is quite comfortable.” He fell back onto it, grabbing a bottle of beer that I hadn’t noticed had been sitting on the table beside him. A ring of water was left on the dark wood table… not that Neil seemed to notice.

I slid a coaster beneath his beer just as he was setting it back down and he paused, eyebrow raised at me.

I rolled my eyes and pointed to the table. “This is beautiful walnut wood and you’re going to ruin it,” I said.

At his arched brow, my smile faltered. This was what my ex-boyfriend was talking about, wasn’t it? The control freak behavior and my constant need to manage everyone and everything in my life. It was just second nature. “I’m sorry,” I whispered. “It’s your walnut table and if you want to ruin it… you can.” God, even my apology sucked.

He set the bottle down on the coaster, nodding. “Guess I hadn’t thought of that. But you’re right. It’s a beautiful table. Would be a shame to ruin it with watermarks.”

He smiled at me and jerked his head toward the bedroom. “Wanna go get settled, then share a beer with me?” He patted the couch beside him. “See for yourself how comfortable it is so that you’re not worrying about me all night.” He sent me a wink that left a lone butterfly flapping in my stomach. Who the hell was I right now? I wasn’t the girl who swooned. I was the girl who made spreadsheets and pros and cons lists and thought out plans in painful detail.

I released my hold on the luggage and went to the fridge, grabbing a beer and popping the cap o before sitting down at the other far end of the couch, leaving a few feet between us.

I needed that few feet. I actually needed a few miles, if I was being honest, and I didn’t trust myself for a second under the same roof as Neil. Too much had happened between us. We had too much history, and frankly? Too many feelings were resurfacing the more time we spent together.

It was unnerving as hell. I picked at the corner of my beer label, slowly peeling it off. “Remember when we used to talk about living together?”

His soft, rumbling chuckle had my already mushy insides melting. His laugh had always been sexy. Low and deep with the perfect amount of gravelly rasp. “Oh, I remember. We were going to have a home in every type of climate and landscape. We talked about owning a lake cottage, just like this one. A Manhattan penthouse. An LA beach house…”

I laughed and leaned back on the couch, hiking up my foot beneath me and turning to face him. “And a mountain home in Colorado.” I sighed. “Wow. Not sure how we thought we were going to be multi-millionaires, but we had some big plans.”

Neil’s chuckle faded with a soft sigh and he slid over one cushion. Those few feet of distance we’d had shrunk to one foot. Twelve little inches now separated us, and I took a gulp of beer, even though I hated the taste of beer.

His hand draped over mine, and I saw blue frosting tucked into the cuticles of both our nailbeds. “I also remember how, anytime you were uncomfortable at a high school party, you would sit in the corner and peel the label of your beer until the bottle was perfectly clean.”

His fingers tightened around my hand and gave a small squeeze. “If you’re uncomfortable staying here, please speak up.” His voice lowered to a hoarse whisper, and when I dared to look to my right, I was caught by his intensely emerald eyes.

My eyes uttered closed, and a chuckle escaped through my pursed lips. “I’m fine, Neil,” I reassured him. “Sure… it’s a little strange, but it’s kind of nice. In a way, I get to live out a teenage fantasy of living with you. Even if we’re not going to share a bed.”

That sad expression of his lifted nearly imperceptibly. But I noticed it. I always noticed it. Neil wasn’t exactly an emotive guy. But I could always read him. Sure, this was moving a little faster than I was prepared for, but if my relationship with Brad taught me anything, it was that maybe I needed to take more risks in life. Be a little less predictable.

I bit my lip and leaned in to kiss him.

“Wait,” Neil whispered, his hand sliding over my jaw. “Cameras.” He jerked his head toward the corner of the room where, sure enough, a small black orb, no bigger than a quarter, rested on a table with a dim red light facing us directly.

“I don’t care,” I said and leaned forward, pressing my mouth to his.

He groaned, and his hands on my jaw slipped to the back of my neck, kneading my tight muscles. He tugged me closer, his tongue brushing gently across my lips and I opened to him with a sigh. It was the only time in my whole life, I liked the taste of beer.

Our kiss ended, and when he pulled back, he brushed his thumb over my bottom lip. “Elaina, I need you to know, I’m here. I’m in this.” His thumb moved from my bottom lip to caress my face across my cheekbone.

I couldn’t keep my eyes open, and my lashes uttered against the tops of my cheeks, hitting his thumb as I leaned into his touch. “I mean it,” he continued. “I’ve spent ten years missing you. Ten years of dating women and comparing the time spent with them to our year together… and they always fell short. I’m done with that. I want you, Elaina. I want what we had in high school… only better. I want it all, the good, the bad, the mundane daily tasks, and the adventures.”

I sucked in a sharp breath, my heart uttering. It was everything I wanted to hear… ten years too late. I gulped. But… was it too late? Neither of us was mature enough at eighteen. Maybe we needed that time apart to grow up and prepare us for this… here… now. But I couldn’t help that niggling feeling at the base of my stomach. Like a little mouse burrowing, a nagging, scratchy feeling. “I want to believe you,” I said. “So badly. But, Neil… you broke my heart. You left and didn’t bother to say goodbye.”

He winced. “That was a long time ago, Lainey. I’m a different man now.”

I brought my bottom lip between my teeth and inhaled a deep breath. “It was a long time ago,” I repeated carefully. “But the sting of your first broken heart changes you. Sometimes that pain never goes away entirely. I—I became a different person after you left. My heart hardened. Not just toward you… but toward everyone.”

Moisture filled his eyes and he jerked his gaze to mine. “I’m so sorry.” His voice was a raspy whisper. “I know I have a lot to make up for. A lot to prove to you. But you have to know… I’ve changed, too.”

I held his gaze for a long moment before answering. “You’ll never leave without saying goodbye again?”

He laced his fingers in mine and squeezed. “I’ll do you one better and never say goodbye again.”

I snickered and rolled my eyes. “That’s a little melodramatic. When you leave for work, you’ll never say ‘goodbye’?”

He shook his head, staring at our interlaced fingers. “Nope. I’ll say, ‘see you later’ or ‘talk soon’ or ‘I love y—” His words caught, and he stopped talking, pressing his lips together. “I just mean, I will find other phrases, but ‘goodbye’ will be reserved for my dying breath.”

Tears filled my eyes. “Okay.”

His eyes jerked up to meet mine. “Okay?”

I nodded, a tear slipping out of my eye and down my cheek. “Let’s do this.”

I stood, setting my beer down on the table before pulling Neil to his feet. I tugged his body into mine and kissed him. “Come on,” I said.

“Where are we going?” he asked with playfulness behind his eyes and in the tilt of his mouth.

My brows lifted and I whispered. “The bedroom, Neil. We are going to the bedroom.”

His smile widened, and he gently brushed his mouth to mine in a chaste kiss that sent tingles down to my toes, curling within my ballet flats. “Can you do me a favor first?” he asked.

I nodded, unable to speak with his mouth so close to mine.

“Put a coaster under that beer bottle.”

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
 
 

Book Info:

Things are about to get sticky…

I might as well permanently add the label “Ex” to my name. I’m an Ex-Mr. Universe. Ex-Mr. Olympus. An Ex-Hollywood Stuntman. But no one from my small hometown cares anything about that. They only care that I’m the ex-boyfriend to the beloved Mayor’s daughter, Elaina Dyker.

And now, ten years later, I’m back, helping my siblings run my mother’s bakery while she takes on chemo. What should have been a routine cupcake delivery turns into utter chaos when the bachelorette party thinks I’m a stripper. And what’s worse? Elaina is the maid of honor.

But the meme about us sure went viral fast. My small hometown has become positively infested with tipsy bridesmaids looking for my erotic cupcakes.

Now Hollywood’s knocking again—and this time they want me and my ex, Mr. Beefcake and Ms. Prude, to star in a reality show.

It could solve all my problems—except her.
Book Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | kobo |
 
 

Meet the Author:

When Katana Collins was younger and stole her mother’s Harlequins to read beneath the covers with a flashlight, she wanted to read about the tough as nails heroine. The perfectly imperfect girl with quirks and attitude and sass. And the anti-heroes who were anything but “Prince Charming.” Forget the knight on a white horse… she wanted the bad boy on a motorcycle.

So, now, she writes those romance novels she craved to see on the shelves all those years ago—the sassy heroines. The badass heroes. She penned her first romance novel back in 2012 and now, a few years later, she is an international author with 15 published books, in a wide range of contemporary romance genres–(Paranormal, New Adult, Small town, Erotic Suspense… you name it!).

She lives in Portland, Maine, with an ever-growing brood of rescue animals: a kind of mean cat, a very mellow chihuahua, and a very not mellow lab puppy… oh yeah, there’s a husband somewhere in that mix, too. She can usually be found hunched over her laptop in a cafe, guzzling gallons of coffee, and wearing fabulous (albeit sometimes impractical) shoes.

She loves connecting with book lovers like herself, and fellow sassy storytellers, so feel free to say hi!
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | GoodReads |
 
 
 

43 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Beefcakes by Katana Collins”

  1. janinecatmom

    There was a cupcake place (that unfortunately went out of business) that made a really good pink champagne cupcake that I just couldn’t get enough of. No one has been able to make one as good so now I usually get strawberry from a different place.

  2. Pammie R.

    I don’t really have a favorite cupcake. You hand me one of those little frosted creations and I’m eating it, no matter what flavor it is!

  3. Patricia B.

    I like lemon. It can be topped with a raspberry buttercream frosting or just dusted with powdered sugar.

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