Monday, July 03, 2017

Blog Tour: Abroad: Book One by Liz Jacobs. Includes Guest Post.


We are thrilled to welcome Liz Jacobs to Sinfully today as she celebrates the release of her debut novel Abroad. Go check it out!


Dex's Spaghetti Bolognese recipe, as adapted from the Beeb.

In ABROAD, Dex volunteers to teach Nick how to cook, and starts with what he believes is the easiest recipe he could do: a good old fashioned spag bol. A slightly posh kind, but still. Who doesn't love a good spag bol?

Here is his recipe, as recited by the man himself.

You will have to go pick up a packet of mince & some smoked, streaky bacon (tastes better, obviously) if you're not veggie, obviously. Finely chop the bacon. You'll probably want to open the mince and stuff so it's ready, too.

Veggies needed are: 2 medium onions, chopped finely. PROTIP: Do not close your eyes, no matter how hard it stings. You may regret it. (To be honest…you may not. But for safety's sake, do not chop your hand off.) You will also need garlic (they say 2 cloves, but let's face it—you always want more garlic; feel free to double that), 2 celery sticks, 2 carrots. All of this gets trimmed and finely chopped. Make sure your knives are in good order.

The aromatics you'll need are: 2-3 sprigs of rosemary, leaves picked off and finely chopped. Some thyme, same treatment. A small pack of basil, leaves stripped and finely chopped. Some dried oregano, 2 fresh bay leaves, and one beef stock cube. (Is that technically not an aromatic? Whatever, it adds richness and tastes amazing.)

Tomatoes! All-important when making spag bol. You will need all sorts—2 400g tins of plum tomatoes, 2 tbsp of tomato puree, and a handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half. (It's all about texture, after all.)

Parmesan cheese, of course.

Liquids necessary are: red wine & olive oil. (Oh, and a bunch of water for the spaghetti cooking part, but like. Everyone knows this, right?)

Anyway, get a large heavy pot, put it on medium heat, and heat up a tablespoon of olive oil. Throw in your rashers (that's bacon for the Americans) and cook them for about 10 minutes until golden and crisp.

Reduce your heat and add the veg—onion, carrot, garlic, celery, rosemary and thyme—and cook, stirring often, until veg is softened. Attempt not to moon over boy standing next to you so hard you burn your garlic.

Turn the heat back up (on the stove, ya ninny, not with the boy) and throw in your mince, breaking up and cooking until browned all over.

Then throw in the rest of your ingredients. It all goes in—every tomato, the rest of your spices, basil, wine, and stock cube. PRO TIP: stir with a wooden spoon and break up plum tomatoes as you go.

Bring to a boil and then reduce to a nice simmer. Let it all simmer away for about an hour and a quarter, stirring occasionally. Somewhere in there, you should add your parm and taste for seasonings. Adjust as you go. You should have a thick, heavy, rich sauce at the end of it. (You will also probably not have any wine left, either, if you've played your cards right with the boy.)

Towards the end, make your spaghetti as instructed by the box, drain, and serve sauce over spaghetti with added basil and more parm. Add crusty bread as desired. Pop open another bottle of wine.

Best. Date. Ever. (Not a date.) (Okay, but it is very much a date.) (Ugh. Fine.) (So totally a date.)


Abroad: Book One

Liz Jacobs


Series: Abroad Duology

Publisher:  Brain Mill Press

Published: 27th June 2017

Genre: NA Gay Romance



Nick Melnikov doesn’t know where he belongs. He was just a kid when his Russian-Jewish family immigrated to Michigan. Now he’s in London for university, overwhelmed by unexpected memories. Socially anxious, intensely private, and closeted, Nick doesn’t expect to fall in so quickly with a tight-knit group of students from his college, and it’s both exhilarating and scary. Hanging out with them is a roller coaster of serious awkward and incredible longing, especially when the most intimidating of the group, Dex, looks his way.

Dex Cartwell knows exactly who he is: a black queer guy who doesn’t give a toss what anybody thinks of him. He is absolutely, one-hundred-percent, totally in control of his life. Apart, maybe, from the stress of his family’s abrupt move to an affluent, largely white town. And worrying about his younger brother feeling increasingly isolated as a result. And the persistent broken heart he’s been nursing for a while . . .

When Nick and Dex meet, both find themselves intrigued. Countless late-night conversations only sharpen their attraction. But the last thing Nick wants is to face his deepest secret, and the last thing Dex needs is another heartache. Dex has had to fight too hard for his right to be where he is. Nick isn’t even sure where he’s from. So how can either of them tell where this is going?

Quotes from the author about the book:

ABROAD is a story of struggle, love, identity, fear, family, and friendship. It's about finding your people. It's a story of how our cultures can define, constrict, and, ultimately, free us. It's a story of immigration and its fallout, of confusion and clashes and how help can come from the most unexpected places. It's the story I have always wanted to tell, ever since I was a confused, frightened immigrant kid with no recourse but to adapt to unfamiliar surroundings or sink. In many ways, while fictionalized and quite altered, this is my story.

Purchase Links



Meet Liz Jacobs

Liz Jacobs came over with her family from Russia at the age of 11, as a Jewish refugee.  All in all, her life has gotten steadily better since that moment. They settled in an ultra-liberal haven in the middle of New York State, which sort of helped her with the whole “grappling with her sexuality” business.

She has spent a lot of her time flitting from passion project to passion project, but writing remains her constant. She has flown planes, drawn, made jewelry, had an improbable internet encounter before it was cool, and successfully wooed the love of her life in a military-style campaign. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize for her essay on her family’s experience with immigration.

She currently lives with her wife in Massachusetts, splitting her time between her day job, writing, and watching a veritable boatload of British murder mysteries.


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