Cocktales Pub Crawl

Welcome to the sixth stop in the Cocktales Pub Crawl. I knew when I started this tour I wanted to stop in and have a drink with my International Heat sisters. This place is like a second home to me, so I couldn’t do a crawl without coming here. One of the great things about this place is that we sort of span the globe. The International Heat gals not only cover both coasts in theUSA, but we’re also inAustraliaand evenBarbados! So…today’s drink was selected with this group in mind. I think you’ll agree…it’s aptly named.

For this sixth round, let’s try an International Incident. Remember to write down that drink title to be entered in the grand prize drawing. Details about the crawl can be found on my website (

¼ oz. Vodka

¼ oz. Coffee Liqueur

¼ oz. Amaretto

¼ oz. Hazelnut Liqueur

½ oz. Irish Cream Liqueur

Shake with ice and strain into a shot glass.

This week’s pub crawl is being held to celebrate the release of Screwdriver next Tuesday, March 20. It’s available for preorder at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The Cocktales books are about four friends who own a combination bar/bookstore inPortland called Books and Brew (this is my DREAM business). Each woman runs a different aspect of the business—bartender, bookkeeper/office manager, the marketing/events coordinator, and the bookstore gal.

How about an excerpt from the story?

Casey looked closer at the AC unit. “Damn. I was afraid of that.”

“What is it? What’s wrong?”

“I was hoping it was an issue with the belt, but the motor bearings are shot. I’m going to need to order a part.”

“So it’s not getting fixed today?”

“I’ll see if I can rig a work around for the time being.” He stood and stretched. “God bless it,Jordan. I apologize if this offends you, but it’s hot as hell in here.” Reaching for the hem of his t-shirt, he whipped the thin cotton over his head and fanned himself with it.

Her now-familiar blush returned and Casey felt compelled to prod, to see if his suspicions aboutJordan’s underlying naughty side were true. “Just so you know, I absolutely will not be upset if you decide to follow suit and work shirtless for the rest of the afternoon.”

The twinkle in her eyes let him know she enjoyed his joke. “I’m fine with my shirt on.”

“You sure?” he teased, taking a step closer. “I don’t mind helping you peel it off.” He reached out but she darted away, her smile widening.

“Casey,” she said, swatting his hands away. She dodged behind the AC unit and he followed.

The two of them played a quick game of cat and mouse as Casey chased her around the storage closet.

He’d just captured her,Jordansquealing loudly, when the door to the closet opened.

“Jordan? Are you okay?” a deep voice asked from the hallway.

Gabriel peered around the door and Casey wondered what his best friend thought he was seeing. They certainly presented a risqué picture—Casey shirtless, his arms wrapped aroundJordanfrom behind while she laughed.

“Hey, Gabe.” Casey releasedJordanand pulled his shirt back on. “What are you doing here?”

Gabriel’s response was slow in coming as his gaze traveled from Casey toJordan. “I was checking on your progress.” Gabriel’s eyes landed back on Casey’s face and they narrowed angrily. “Looks like you’re making some.”

Shit. Casey’s suspicions about Gabe’s feelings forJordanwere confirmed in an instant. His friend was hot for the accountant.

Problem was…so was Casey.

“We were taking a break,” he explained.

Gabriel looked atJordan, his expression softening. “You’re blood-red,Jordan. You need to get out of this heat.”

Casey glanced at her face. Gabriel made the same mistake he had.Jordanwasn’t hot. She was blushing. Big time.

“I’m okay, Gabe. No worries,” she answered. “I can see why you two are friends. Casey’s cure for the heat wave is going topless too.”

Gabriel’s expression darkened even further as he snapped his gaze to Casey once more. “Topless?”

“Actually, I think we’re done for the day,” Casey said, anxious to change the subject before Gabriel pulverized him. “I need to order a part before I can fix the unit.”

Jordanfrowned and he sensed she was surprised by his sudden retreat to safer territory. Gabriel had never referred toJordanas anything more than a pal, but Casey could read between the lines—even if his oblivious friend couldn’t.

“Um, yeah. That’s right. We were just wrapping things up. It was nice of you to come by and check on us.”Jordan’s gaze drifted to Gabriel’s face and she smiled.

Crap. The pure longing on Jordan’s face told Casey all he needed to know in regards to her feelings for Gabriel. It told him more than he wanted to know.

Jordan’s cell phone rang. She looked at the caller ID. “It’s Steph. We made plans to do a late lunch. I should take this.”

She walked toward the door as she answered the phone. Gabriel stepped aside and let her escape. Casey suspected he wouldn’t be freed as easily.

“What the fuck were you doing?” Gabe’s question was murmured, but even in the quiet tone, Casey detected the anger. A small part of him was thrilled to hear any emotion at all from his friend.

“I told you. Taking a break.”

“With your clothes off?”

Casey shot him a dirty look. “I took off my shirt to cool down. I’ve been in this godforsaken sweatbox for nearly two hours. Besides, what the hell are you so pissed off about? I’m here because you asked me to fix the air conditioner.”

“Why wasJordanin here?”

And now they were getting to the heart of the matter. “I asked her to help me.”

“Since when do you need an assistant?”

Casey was hot and tired and annoyed. Not a good combination. Gabe was poking the bear. “I spotted a gorgeous woman and an empty closet. Come on, Gabe. You’re a smart guy with a degree in finance. Put two and two together. I’m not averse to mixing work and play.”

Gabriel shook his head. “You’re not playing withJordan.”

His friend’s vehemence tweaked Casey’s temper. “Last time I checked, you weren’t my keeper. OrJordan’s.”

Gabriel rubbed his neck wearily, and for the first time, Casey noticed the dark circles under his friend’s eyes.

When he spoke again, Gabriel’s voice was calmer. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to snap at you. I saw you withJordanand I…shit, I guess I lost it.”

“Why? I’m not an asshole to women. You know that.”

Gabriel shrugged. “I know. She reminds me of Annie in a lot of ways. Somewhere along the line I’ve become a bit protective of her.”

Annie was Gabriel’s only sibling, and no little sister was ever loved more. Casey wasn’t sure how to respond. Gabe’s initial reaction screamed of jealousy, not brotherly instinct. “I can see why.Jordan’s very sweet.”

Gabriel didn’t seem to appreciate his answer. “So sweet you felt compelled to strip off your shirt and corner her in a storage closet?”

Yep. Definitely jealous.

Now how about a little contest? Leave a comment here on the International Heat blog by6 a.m.(EST tomorrow, March 18) and one winner will receive their choice of an ebook from Mari’s backlist. The question is a fun one. What’s your favorite book by any of the International Heat authors?


27 Responses to “Cocktales Pub Crawl”

  1. Mary Preston Says:

    You can pour me a drink while I’m here thank you.

  2. What a great drink for St. Patrick’s Day! I believe I will be making this one and taking it to the parade with me! Thanks for sharing.
    bournmelissa AT hotmail DOT com

  3. I can’t wait for Screwdriver, the excerpt makes me want Tues to come even faster! My favorite I.H. author’s book is going to be the first one I ever read by any of them – Mari’s Rough Cut. I do love each author, though, all of them are wonderful!

    Congrats on the new release, Mari!

  4. denise kyle Says:

    i have been following .. but i messed up somewhere along the way.. cant.. wait until u r new book comes out.. plus with going to the other sites .. i also discover books i would like to read from them.. this was a great idea .. glad u did it….

  5. Oh that drink sounds yummy! I would have to say my favorite is Kate’s Crew by Jayne Rylon. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

  6. I love all of the IH authors so much, that picking only one book is very difficult. If I must choose, then I will go with the Compass Brother series by Mari Carr & Jayne Rylon. Getting more excited for the release of Screwdriver everyday.

    Lisa G

  7. Favorite book of all of yours? You’re kidding me, right? There is no way I can pick just one – I’d have a hard time picking one for each of you!! LOL You gals are some of my favorite authors!!

  8. Hiccup… Now what wuzzzz that quescion again? Hiccup… Oh yeah I’d have to say Dream Machine by Jayne Rylon. I think the drinks are gedding to me. Xoxo

  9. Melissa Lamb Says:

    I haven’t heard of the IH authors before this pub crawl so they are new to me. But now that I know about them I will be checking them out.

  10. I’ll have one of those International Incidents while Gabe and Casey fight it out over Jordan. Sorry, I can’t pick a favorite book. They’re all great.
    Thanks for the pub crawl.


  11. lol Happy St Patrick’s day! I love this excerpt twice as much since I’ve seen it twice. It’s like a double tease. No fair!! This puc crawl this is a lot of fun.

    Lisa B

  12. Um, yeah… Mari, there’s no way I could choose one for each of you, much less one out of all of the books you’ve all written! That’s just crazy. So I’ll just say that my new favorite will be whatever one is next on the TBR, which at the moment is either going to be NE (since they are all out, I can get reading now :)) or Lexxie’s Endless Lust… IH World Domination, here we come! ;p

  13. See You in my Dreams by Jess Dee.

  14. Selina Durio Says:

    My favorite at the moment are the Compass Nrothers books by Jayne Rylon and Mari Carr

  15. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I cant choose a favorite book of yours. I love them all! Ive read most of them. My favorite series is your Wild Irish. Love this family! 🙂 Definitely my favorite. Have a great weekend!

  16. Tracey D Says:

    I am collecting all of these recipes and will try ALL of them on Easter. Yeah, I gave up booze for Lent….

  17. caitymack Says:

    So many favorites, will go with my most recent, Jayne’s entire Power Tools series, loved it.

  18. CrystalGB Says:

    My favorite is Rhian Cahill’s Coyote Whispers. I am loving the pub crawl.

  19. Catherine Lee Says:

    I’m not a coffee drinker so the International Incident wouldn’t be for me.

    I did really enjoy Southern Comfort. Yum!

  20. JoAnna B Says:

    I have to be honest I have several International Heat authors in my TBR pile so I can’t pick a favorite.
    Happy St. Patty’s day!

  21. Happy St. Paddy’s Day! I had a nice mug of beer this evening. Wasn’t green beer but sure tasted good since we are having awesome sping weather here in Ohio. Hubby and I sat outside until just a few min. ago drinking beer. 🙂

  22. PaParanormalFan Says:

    Happy St. Patty’s Day Ladies,

    OMG Mari, you ask that must impossible question this time…What’s my favorite book by any of the International Heat authors? The reason this is so is because I have must all of the International Heat Authors on auto-by because I just LOVE their writing & don’t want to miss ANY of their new releases. I can’t possibly pick just one, Sorry. I’m enjoying your Cocktales Pub Crawl & can’t wait for your new releases to come out this Tuesday, “Screwdriver “.

    Take Care & Stay Naughty Ladies,
    PaParanormalFan (Renee’ S.)

  23. pookietoes Says:

    Power Tools by Jayne Rylon

  24. I’d say my fav is Mari Carr since she is the only one I have read anything by but I love her Irish series.

  25. I agree I have way to many favorites. So many I may have to go back to work just to pay for my addiction.

  26. Woo Hoo! Daily winner was Denise Kyle. I’ll be in contact, Denise. The next stop on the crawl will be at Kelly Jamieson’s blog. At this moment…it’s not there. 😦 I have emailed and tweeted her and I’ll pop a comment in here once I manage to reach her. Thanks for playing along! Not long now until RELEASE DAY! Woot Woot!

  27. It’s up! Kelly’s blog bar is officially open for business.

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