My guest today…Mary Campisi

I have to admit that being a part of the Valentine’s Day Blog Tour was more fun than I could have imagined. So… when my fellow romance author Mary Campisi asked to come onto my blog today, I jumped at the chance. And when I saw the title of her blog, I was so glad I did.

So here she is…Mary Campisi who writes about love, hope, and second chances.

First Drafts and Fish Tacos

Over the next several weeks, I’m doing quite a few guest blogs where I’ll talk about my new release, A TASTE OF SEDUCTION, tell you how I came up with the idea, (on a hospital bed), and fell in love with my hero, (Oh, Anthony!) So, I decided this blog will be about something quite different, something kind of laid back and fun. I came up with the “First Drafts and Fish Tacos” title the other day and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that first drafts are a lot like an untried recipe…which for me was fish tacos. I’d never made them before but when I received an online recipe from my local grocery store, I decided to give them a try. I printed the recipe and planned to make them Monday but an urgent dry eye issue sent me to the ophthalmologist and two hours of waiting. No fish tacos that night. I proceeded to plan B; tacos for Tuesday. Catchy little ring, isn’t it? Not intended, I assure you.

I must confess, I have a very bad habit of not measuring exactly, substituting at will and maybe a tad bit too liberally. Oh, and not reading the recipe in its entirety before I dive into it. In writing terms, that might be called panstering because I’m making it up as I go along instead of following a well laid plan, step by step. Case in point; the recipe called for mahi-mahi, swordfish or cod. I had none but I figured the white fish in the freezer that started with a B and reminded me of the word ‘baracuda’ would be fine. I did have the plotting foresight to remove it from the freezer in plenty of time to defrost. I spent the rest of the day at my computer, writing away in utter oblivion. At 4:30, I realized I better get moving because I still had to shower and get those fish tacos going before my husband got home. I’ll share a secret – if I’m showered and dinner is at least started, he has no idea I’ve once again been sucked into my writing world and lost track of time. Therefore, the shower wasn’t optional. I scanned the recipe and darn if I wasn’t supposed to chill the fish in a lime juice concoction for 30 minutes. Panster time again; olive oil for vegetable oil, chili powder for ancho chili powder. What the heck is ancho chili powder anyway? I did have a lime or I would’ve substituted a lemonJ I mixed up the ingredients, plunked the fish in it and stuck it in the fridge.

Next came the quick shower and minimal makeup – I mean, I can’t wear my contacts anyway and between the steroid drops and the ointment what’s the use? Besides, I was really running late now. I finished up, complete with my 5 minutes hair styling and 30 minutes later, I’m dicing onion, tomatoes, and red cabbage for toppings. I also decided we needed black beans and rice- to round out the meal- and a few shrimp thrown into the mix might be good too. I had it all underway and was feeling pretty good about it, when my husband got home. I didn’t admit that I’d just winged most of the meal because then his very logical brain would say maybe I should have followed the recipe….I loaded his taco, the hard shell kind, and waited for his response. He called it good – pause- but bland. Dang! I pulled out Frank’s Hot Sauce. Better. I tried mine- darn but the man was right! I confessed to my panstering the recipe. Honestly, most of the time I can get away with it but not this time. My very honest husband said maybe next time we should try it with chicken and hot sauceJ Okay, that would not be fish tacos.

The point of this convoluted story is that first drafts are like that – messy, inconclusive, bland, and unfocused. But you would never know that if you didn’t try them just like I now know I will not use this recipe again until I discover what ancho chili powder really means. First drafts are just that, and even with all the proper ingredients, like total plotting and writing know-how, and great characters, you might still get a bland result which will then require a bit of Frank’s Hot Sauce, or in simple terms, spice and rewrites . . .aka a chicken taco.

A TASTE OF SEDUCTION, my Regency historical romance with The Wild Rose Press has lots of spice, rewrites, and characters that stayed with me on surgery day, right until the anesthesia kicked in . . . or contact me at


A young woman of noble blood, raised as a peasant girl

An orphaned stable boy, now grown and the surrogate son of a powerful earl – the same earl who just so happens to be the young woman’s father . . .

Meriel and Anthony have nothing in common – she runs barefoot and talks to animals, he won’t loosen his cravat unless the bedroom door is firmly closed. Meriel believes in love, hope, and happily ever after. Anthony believes in keeping a safe distance from anything resembling an emotion. They have nothing in common but an undeniable, burning desire for one another they can’t ignore or understand, and an ailing ‘father’ who will do anything to see them together. Unfortunately, there are others, who will stop at nothing, willing even to kill, to keep them apart.

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A Taste of Seduction…

“Thank you, Anthony,” she said, a small smile lighting her face. “You’re very kind.” She leaned over and planted a chaste kiss on his cheek.

Kind? He wondered if she would still think him kind if he told her that right now all he could think about was tasting her lips, touching her breasts, feeling her bare skin. Kind? Hardly.

He cleared his throat and met her gaze. He had to set her straight before she started imagining all sorts of other crazy things about him. “Kind? That’s not a term that’s usually associated with me.”

She laughed, a tinkling sound that ran through his body like fire. “That’s because you want everyone to think you are some sort of cruel beast. You even had me fooled for a while.” Her voice dipped to a low purr. “But you aren’t a beast, Anthony, not at all. No beast would eat my bread just so he wouldn’t hurt my feelings.”

He frowned, hoping his scar stuck out white and ugly. “You should be afraid of me.” Men twice her size couldn’t look him in the eye.

“How can I be afraid of you when you’ve got butter on the side of your mouth?” She reached out to brush it away with her forefinger. “And all over your lips,” she murmured, tracing her finger over first his upper and then his lower lip.

Anthony caught her hand. She was playing a dangerous game and she didn’t even know it. He opened his mouth and flicked his tongue along the tip of her finger. He heard the small catch in her throat. His tongue traced another finger, and then another. Sweet Jesus, but he wanted her.

“Come to me, Meriel,” he whispered, planting a kiss on the inside of her palm. “Let me taste you.”

What a great story…what a beautiful excerpt. I love your cover and wish you tons of success with your release.

Thanks again for sharing your post with us today. Come back anytime!


4 thoughts on “My guest today…Mary Campisi

  1. LOL!
    Thank you, Mary. Now I know why I can’t cook very well. I’m a cooking pantser as well as a writing pantser;)

    Love the excerpt. Congrats on the new release!

  2. Thanks for having me here, Amie! I am so glad my mother knows nothing about computers or I’d have to worry she’d read this post and try once again to re-educate me on the proper way to use a measuring cup…

  3. After that HOT excerpt, you’re worried about your mom and measuring cups? LOL Loved having you on today. Best of luck with your book. If it’s half as good as the excerpt and the cover, you’ll do just fine!

  4. Hi Mary – congrats on the new release. Gorgeous cover! I confess to being a panster with both my writing and my cooking:-)

    Hugs, Becky

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