Guest post: Conjuring cocktails in Covid times by P.J. DeVere

Today’s post is by P.J. DeVere, author of Pour Attitude. Her topic is: What are some of the things you miss most about the bar scene (or maybe some of the things you miss the LEAST!) during these crazy Covid times, and what were some of your favorite hangouts for cocktails in the “Before Times”?

First, let me say I love this question. All of my romance books in the Starkford Series are based at a bar (called Study), and most of my characters have a signature cocktail. I’m not sure if it’s life imitating art or vice versa, but I tend to drink the type of liquor my characters favor when I’m writing them.

There’s something magical that can happen at some bars on some nights. It’s like pulling a slot machine lever time after time and nothing interesting happens and then—bam! It can be the best night of your life. Maybe that magic is fueled by alcohol and lower inhibitions or maybe it really is just magic. Whether you’re throwing your hands up and dancing with reckless abandon on the dance floor or curling up next to someone you want to get to know better in a dark, corner booth, the bar scene can offer up what not much else can.

In my twenties, I danced on countertops and would often be found on stage with whatever band was playing. I loved my wild times, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Now, I’m happy with a good cocktail and an interesting conversation; although, I still like to shake my booty if the right set of circumstances presents itself.

I have to admit, there’s something inviting about a good pub. That’s what I miss the most. My husband and I took a trip to London a couple of years ago, and I think we did more pub hopping than anything else. Study from the Starkford Series was loosely modeled after many English pubs. It has dark, gleaming wood and red walls, and I have spent a lot of time wishing it were an actual place I could visit. I can see it so clearly in my head, it’s like I’ve been going there my whole life. In fact, I can envision many of the places, real and fiction, I’ve read about in books as if I’ve actually been
there. I believe readers have fared far better during this pandemic than everyone else because we can go wherever we want to go, in our heads.

Pour Attitude

Madeline Everly wants to climb her muscular bartender like a mountain, but he seems opposed to the idea. After she starts working alongside him behind the bar, will he finally give into her?

When Madeline’s misogynistic boss, overbearing mother, and grudge holding sister become too much to bear, it’s time to let off a little steam. Mads has a wild streak, and she doesn’t apologize for it. She likes men, and she has her sights set on one in particular—Exel Kinley. If she can check him off her to-do list, maybe he won’t take up so much room in her head. As nothing in her life has ever been permanent, Mads has no problems going through men like she goes through gin and tonics at happy hour. Can she have the adventure she wants and the pleasure she craves, all from the same man?

An Excerpt

“Got a new boyfriend to add to your collection?” Exel asks as he pours a drink for one of his customers. That’s the first voluntary thing he’s said to me tonight.

“That quota’s not going to fill itself. Why do you ask? Are you jealous?” I ask with a hand on my hip.

“At not being another notch in your bedpost? Nah.”

I don’t dignify that with a response. Instead, I turn and take more customers orders as they flood in. One of the women across the bar is specific as to what brand of vodka she wants in her Cosmo, so I scan our array of bottles on the wall behind me until I find it.

They don’t call it top shelf liquor for nothing, and it looks like I’m about to scale a wall. I get a good foothold on one of the lower shelves so I can swing a knee onto the slender countertop to climb up. I grab the bottle of Grey Goose which is now at eye level, and I’m contemplating my descent when strong hands grab my hips.

“Whoa!” I yell as Exel pulls me backwards off the counter and into his arms. I clutch the bottle of vodka to my chest as I fall into him, worrying about breaking the bottle and myself, but I don’t have to worry. He is in control of my fall as he brings his arms all the way around my waist to catch me. He puts my feet on the ground but holds me to him a moment or two longer than necessary.

“I would leave a pretty deep notch,” he whispers before releasing me from his hold and walking away like nothing ever happened.

About the Author

P.J. DeVere is the author of The Starkford Series. She was born and raised in Mississippi, where she is still a practicing attorney. A life-long lover of books, P.J. finds it hard to tear herself away from a steamy romance novel. She’s had multiple careers in her life, but writing is by far her favorite. Before earning her law degree from Ole Miss, she was a fifth-grade teacher. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Mississippi State.

She is a wonderful wife, a terrible housekeeper, and a devoted mother. Her sons are all grown with lives of their own, and she is making use of this newfound time and freedom to get to know the imaginary friends in her head. She is giving readers a distinctly different view of life in the South as not everyone down here spits tobacco through a missing tooth hole or says “I declare” while lazily fanning herself under a magnolia tree. P.J. has found joy in creating a series of novels that reflects the Mississippi she knows and loves, and she hopes her readers will find the lure of returning to Starkford as irresistible as she does.

To learn more about P.J. please visit her online at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or her website,


P.J. DeVere will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. To enter, use the Rafflecopter form below!

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