Thursday, July 28, 2011

Book Club: Crazy Hot by Tara Janzen

By Ronlyn Howe

Regan McKinney, a studious paleontologist, isn't exactly accustomed to a life of high crime. But when a mysterious note from her missing grandfather leads her to a secret surveillance site maintained by a notorious special-ops task force, and headed by a smoldering ex-fighter pilot, even Regan can't resist the chase.

Regan McKinney is the quintessential good girl.

Quinn Younger is an American Hero bad

And from the first time Quinn walked in on Regan while she was changing clothes as a teenager, they’ve been Crazy Hot for each other, despite some rather desperate attempts to get each other out of their systems. Regan however changes everything when her grandfather suddenly goes missing and she finds a note with Quinn’s name on it. For the first time in her life she decides not to play it safe and to take matters into her own hands by hunting him down. Okay, to be fair, Regan tried to play it safe, but no one would listen to her. Her grandfather has a habit of wandering off a bit so no one is convinced that he’s in any sort of trouble.

Quinn however is in hiding, or laying low as he calls it, after being on the receiving end of a particular nasty ass whoppin’. And he’s not happy about it. When Regan lands in Cisco, UT he’s on her like white on rice, which turns out to be a really good thing because Regan has lead some seriously bad bad-guys right to Quinn’s hide out.

Quinn quickly sweeps Regan into his protection, straight into his car…much to her dismay.

“What about her car? Dump it?” the boy wonder asked and Regan’s eyes got even wider.

“Whoa. Wait a minute.” She moved toward the two men and the desk, working to control the tremor in her voice. “No car dumping. No way. Not my car. If you want to dump a car, dump this one.” She gestured at the car on her left, the ugliest piece of junk she’d ever seen. It had no paint, just four or five shades of black and gray primer. It had only half a dashboard. The rest was a snake pit of wires, gauges and gizmos. It had no backseat, just a hold full of junk. What it did have was an engine sitting under the open hood, a lot of engine even to her untrained eye.

While Quinn is dealing with Regan he sends Peter “Kid Chaos” Chronopolous on ahead to protect Regan’s sister Niki. Regan is so overwhelmed with her own situation that she doesn’t remember to warn Kid.

The doorbell itself was his first clue that this was not exactly cold-beer-and-ESPN territory. It was a naked angel-a highly detailed, metal-casted, anatomically correct naked guy angel with wings spread, tips touching, standing on a fiery sun. The doorbell button was the sun and it looked hot and molten, the depths of it’s amber crystal lit from within.

His finger hovered for a second, then two before he pressed it. From somewhere within the house, a guy screamed.

Shit! He jerked his hand back. Then he felt like a fool.

Shit. No wonder the old guy had left home.

There are so many things I can say about this book and series that I really don’t know where to start. CRAZY HOT is the introduction to the guys and gals of Steele Street code named SDF. Between the guys (super hot, super cool, world class bad asses) and the cars (the hottest of the hot muscle cars that aren’t made anymore due to pesky safety standards) there is so much testosterone pumping through Steele Street that the women have to be tough and strong to take them all on. But boy do those gals taken them on.

This series is balls to the wall fun with razor sharp turns that leave you wishing you had something more than just a lap belt to keep you secure.

I want to thank the wonderful Tara Janzen for joining us today and offering up an autographed copy of CRAZY HOT, the second book in the series, to one lucky commenter.

I’m going pretty basic with my recipes this week, being that it’s summer and Quinn & Regan stop for burgers and fries, I’ll offer up my garlic burgers and homestyle fries.

Garlic Burgers

Yields 1 burger

  • 1/4 - 1/3 lb ground beef
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced/crushed
  • 1 dash liquid smoke
  • pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire or soy sauce

Combine the beef with the liquid smoke, salt, pepper and Worcestershire or soy sauce. Split in half and flatten into a thin, flat patty. Spread garlic evenly over the surface of one patty, staying a little away from the edges. Place the other patty on top and press the edges in to seal.

Grill until done to your liking.

Homestyle Oven Fries

Makes enough for 2

  • 3 medium Idaho or russet potatoes
  • small pinch of hot Hungarian paprika
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder or granulated onion
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder or granulated garlic
  • salt
  • non-stick spray
  • oil

Preheat oven to 425F.

Cut potatoes into steak fries. Make sure fries have been patted dry if the potatoes were stored in water. In a large bowl, mix together the potatoes with all of the spices, tossing well to ensure even coverage. Drizzle about 2 tsp of oil, tossing to combine.

Spread fries evenly on a cookie sheet lined with silicone or foil. Don't overcrowd. Bake for 30 - 45 minutes, depending on fry thickness, tossing every 10 to 15 minutes. Spray with non-stick spray about halfway through.


Ronlyn said...

Good Morning Everyone!
I hope everyone enjoys CRAZY COOL as much as I do. No matter how many times I read it, I always fall a little bit more in love with the Steele Street gang.

Jackie P said...

This book I grabbed when Alison got caught up in the series and kept mentioning it. Alison P. thank you cause I had an awesome new series to read!

Ronlyn said...

Jackie I'm so glad! I love these guys. :-)

Ronlyn said...

AND CORRECTION: Gah. Tara has offered a copy of CRAZY COOL, book 2 in the series, Not CRAZY HOT.

*I need more coffee*

Alison said...

Careful Jackie, this series is addictive!

Pamela Clare said...

I love this book and this series. It's sexy and fun. I love Tara's writing in general and how vibrant she makes her stories and her characters.

Great post!

Ronlyn said...

Thanks Pam! :-)
I was thinking similar thoughts as I was doing my re-read. Each character is larger than life and so *there*, but they share "screen time" really well.

I'd love to know (TARA, when you arrive) how for out this series was planning/dreamed of when you started writing this first book.

Aly said...

Sorry I am late! Had to deliver cupcakes to Mr Hackett for his birthday :) And now I am trapped on a dreaded conference call!!! was so great going back & revisiting this series. So thanks Ronlyn for suggesting it for book club!! Quinn & Regan were definitely very sexy and fun to read :)

My question that I love asking authors is do you find the males or females less difficult to write?

Thanks for joining us Tara & thanks again to Ronlyn!

Amy said...

sounds very good and hot...Thank you Ronlyn for posting in I-Team to let me know about this series!

Mary G said...

I'm looking forward to reading this series. NOne other than Jill Shalvis recommended Tara to me just recently.

Hope said...

Great post Ronlyn!! I love the Steele Street gang, and while I love all things Quinn, he was my favorite for a long time...until Skeeter!!

My question for Tara is, now that Steele Street is complete, what is the next book or series you are working on?

Ronlyn said...

Amy, I'm so glad you're going to give this series a try. They are fantastic!
I had a hard time writing this blog post because there was SO MUCH that I wanted to say that I realized my first draft was actually more of a cliff notes version of this book. LOL

Just Jinny said...

Tara knows how much I lover her books. Superman is my favorite.

Ronlyn said...

I'll admit, one of the first times I was talking to Tara I was asking something about the cars. I'm not much of a car person. I love to drive but as long as there's power I don't care much about the body of the car. Well, my hubby says, "Tell her about the Galaxie." Tara just about hog tied me when I responded with, "WHY? It's UGLY!"
Yes, I have since received an education on cool muscle cars.

Tara said...

Hey all! Ronlyn, great write up!

I am so excited to find a series that everyone is so excited about, and can't wait to start reading. Adding to my tbr pile.

Thanks for joining us today, Tara. Love the name!

oklanannie said...

With all the great recommendations, I definitely will grab some of Tara Janzen's books. Sounds like it will be a fun series to read during the hot month of August.

Marie Force said...

Where has this day gone! I'm in nonstop meetings today, so I only have a second to say welcome to Tara and thanks for hostessing, Ronlyn!

Marie Force said...

Where has this day gone! I'm in nonstop meetings today, so I only have a second to say welcome to Tara and thanks for hostessing, Ronlyn!

krisgils33 said...

oh man, sorry i missed book club today! i love these books and have them all on my keeper shelf.

Ronlyn said...

Thank you to everyone who stopped by. I got a few messages that blogger was acting up for some people, so maybe that's what happened to Tara today. We will be sure to pick a winner though and hopefully TJ can still stop by to answer questions at some point.

Johanna Jochum said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE this series! I have read almost all of these books and I can't wait to finish the last one! It will be sad though not to be reading about those chop shop boys anymore! I loved Crazy Hot it was fast and sexy. Loose and Easy is my fav so far! I'm a bit in love with Johnny Ramos but I'm in love with Kid too! Whats a girl to do! LOL!

tara said...

Ohmigosh - here I am, finally! Sorry to have missed the day. Had some trouble earlier (I'm a computer jinx!) and didn't have a chance to get back until now. But Wow! what a great and awesome blog. Ronlyn, my dear, the write-up you did on CRAZY HOT is so good, it made me want to bust out a copy and start reading again - thanks! And hello to the divine Ms. Pamela Clare - can't wait to see you next week at RomCon - my gun go-to guy, who will be presenting, mentioned today that you'd be there. And now onto the great questions that were asked - Hi Aly - I can't say it's males or females who are harder to write, but I will say that some characters, who are VERY in charge of things, and VERY secretive, and keep to themselves because they are the boss, can be VERY hard to decipher - for example, Dylan Hart!! That man drove me crazy (no pun intended.) I couldn't get a bead on him at all, until I realized he was madly in love with Skeeter - oh, boy, then I was able to open that boy like a book!

tara said...

and Ronlyn - a truly great question "how far out was the series planned when I started writing CRAZY HOT?" I knew I had two books, so that was as far as I had planned. Then my publisher wanted two more, and it was nooooo problem to figure out how the story would keep going, and then, about the time I was writing ON THE LOOSE, I started realizing there was a bigger back story staring me in the face - J.T.'s story, but I didn't realize how all the bad guys were tied together until CUTTING LOOSE and LOOSE AND EASY, and that's when I also started to realize that J.T. wasn't dead. that really threw me for a loop - and it just catapulted me into BREAKING LOOSE.

tara said...

Hi Jinny-girl! GREAT to see you here - and yes, Hawkins stole my heart, especially as the series went on and it became obvious that he was the heart and soul of Steele Street. and Hi Mary G - I LOVE Jill Shalvis - and hope you love the chop shop boys! You, too, Amy - hope you give the series a try! Thanks, Jackie P, for stopping on by - I'm thrilled that you loved the books - it was a helluva ride from the minute Quinn started up Jeanette the Jet all the way down to Corinna tearing around Denver in LOOSE ENDS - whew!

tara said...

Hi Alison - so delighted that you found the stories addicting - goodness knows, more than once I went down to LoDo in Denver just to get my "Steele Street" fix, walking the alleys and the streets where the boys and girls had their adventures. For the record: the alley across 17th from the Oxford Hotel is where I put "738 Steele Street." It's a cool cool part of LoDo.

tara said...

Hello Hope - I'm grinning here, because I felt the same way. Quinn really started the whole story for me. His story was so compelling - but Skeeter has NEVER let go of me. That girl is so deep in my heart. I think you're going to see a lot of Skeeter in the stories to come - she just fascinates me. Of course, her name won't be Skeeter in the new books - but you'll see our girl.

tara said...

Hi Tara - YES, I love the name, too! thanks so much for stopping by! And Marie - thanks so much for creating such an awesome blog, my apologies for being so darn late to the party! To make up for the morning debacle - I'll give away another book. Whoever wins the second book can choose which one they want - and if they've already read the series, they might want to try RIVER OF EDEN, which I wrote under Glenna McReynolds - it's a great Amazon adventure romance and a hot hot hot love story!

tara said...

Hi krisgils33 - well, my dear, you got here before me - thanks so much for stopping by. And hellooooo, Johanna - goodness girl, Johnny Ramos or Kid Chaos?!?!? I sure couldn't make that choice. I LOVED how Johnny grew up in the series, and the totally amazing man he turned out to be.

tara said...

So HUGE thanks to everyone who stopped by - hope those who asked questions come back now that I've gotten the answers up! thanks so much to everyone for such great comments. It was wonderful to read what everyone had to say - hugs to all!! -- TJ

Michelle said...

I couldn't log in to blogger at all yesterday.

Yet another book to add to my tbr pile, I do love the bad boys!

Ronlyn, thanks for the recipes, I've never tried a Garlic Burger but they sound interesting.

Ronlyn said...

YAY Tara! So glad Blogger finally let you in!

How about if we keep the comments open until 4pm PST (that's another 7.5 hours Michelle) to see if a few more people can come by today and then we can pick some winners? Sound good?

Michelle said...

Sounds good :)

I was surprised when I saw so few comments yesterday, I guess more people than just me had issues!

Ronlyn said...

I'm not sure we'll get too many more comments today since pretty much everyone knows book club is on Thursday, but I figure if we keep it open we'll give peeps the opportunity.

Tara, I'm so glad you enjoyed the write up. It was probably one of the tougher write ups I've ever done simply because I had SO MUCH I *could* say. It was tough to narrow it down to a short blog post.
I LOVE the guy's reaction to the doorbell. Kid's, which I posted, and then later Quinn's. Both times made me laugh.

tara said...

Hi Ronlyn - oh, yes, I laughed, too, when Kid hit that doorbell. That was really a pivotal scene in that his reaction really defined him for me - startled, but then, "oh, yeah, this is cool" hugs - TJ

Ronlyn said...

ok girlies, we're winding down this special extended version of book club and without further ado....

AMY: you have won a copy of CRAZY COOL!

JACKIE P: you have won a copy of any of the Steele Street books of your choice OR a copy of RIVER OF EDEN written by Glenna McReynolds (aka Tara Janzen ;-) )

Congratulations ladies!! If you'd each email me with your mailing addresses we'll get everything coordinated to get your books out. :-)

Michelle said...

Congratulations! :)

Alison said...

Congrats ladies!!!