GUEST POST & Giveaway: In Memory of Us by Ana J. Phoenix

Check out a great new book, a giveaway and a recipe!

Thanks for having me on your blog today! I’d like to share with you all one of my favorite Japanese recipes–nikujaga. It’s a hearty meat-potato stew that I fell in love with when my Japanese host mother made this for me a few years ago.

In my latest release, my main character tries cooking this for his best friend and love interest by way of apology. Well, all I can say is it would definitely work on me. And the best thing about this dish is that it’s super simple even I can make it!


Easy nikujaga recipe

Good for about three servings.


250gr. (a little more than half a pound) of beef  or whatever meat you like, though it should be cut thinly.

4 potatoes

2 carrots

1 onion

250ml (~8 oz) water

100ml (~ 3.4 oz) sake or white wine

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp salt

Some oil for frying.


Peel and dice potatoes into bite-sized chunks. Peel carrots, slice in half along the length and cut each half into thirds. Peel and quarter onion.

Heat oil in pan and cook meat. Add vegetables and cook for another three minutes. Add water. Next add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to boil, then lower the heat and let simmer for about an hour.

Serve with rice or noodles. Enjoy. 🙂


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Kite’s had a crush on Shin since middle school, but never acted on it until the eve of his yearly trip to the States, when he slipped up and kissed his best friend. Shortly after, a tsunami wrecked the country and his hometown, and put all his plans on hold. Now, two years later, he’s back in Japan and he wants to set things right.

When he finds Shin, though, his former best friend isn’t who he used to be. Losing his parents changed Shin and now, instead of following his heart, he’s dedicated his life to studying for university entrance exams and ignoring everything else. He won’t let Kite get close, denying his obvious attraction and all their good memories.

Kite doesn’t want to give up on Shin, but he can’t shake the feeling that there’s something his friend isn’t telling him. Something else that happened two years ago on the day of the tsunami. He doesn’t know what it is, just that it’s destroying his friend—and possibly their shot at love.


“I’m staying with Shin right now.”

“With Shin, really? I thought you guys had fallen out or something.”

“It’s my fault. I acted on impulse.”

“Have you tried apologizing?”

Kite blinked. He actually hadn’t. His silence seemed to be all the answer his sister needed.

“Of course you haven’t. Guys.” She sighed. “Listen, I gotta go. Tons of things left to do before the weekend. Call me when you get on the train here, okay? And good luck.”

“Thank you.”

Risa hung up, and Kite put his phone back into his pocket. Apologize to Shin, huh? Maybe try to explain himself. He could start there. His gaze fell on the kitchen and all the cup-noodle cartons, and his stomach growled. He needed to grab something to eat, but not this crap. It was time to go shopping.

Kite took the key and headed for the door. Seeing this, the dog jumped off the futon and limped toward him with an expectant look.

“I’m not walking you, dog.”

She continued to stare at him.

“You can’t hypnotize me.”

But damn if she wasn’t trying anyway.

“I don’t like dogs, you know?”

If she understood, she didn’t care.

“Fine.” Kite reached for the leash. “But we’re only going around the block.”

She barked once, as if to agree.

Kite shook his head at himself as he fastened the leash on the dog’s collar. “I know now how you got Shin to take you in.” Maybe he should try if that same strategy would work for him too. Just look Shin in the eyes and refuse to budge until he got what he wanted.

Yeah, right.

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About the Author

Ana is a writer of m/m romance and erotica. Her interest in hot guy-on-guy action was first sparked by reading scandalous Japanese mangas. A dirty secret she couldn’t resist. In a long bout of insanity – also known as her life — she decided to learn the language and escape to the land of sushi, sumo, and yaoi.

She’s since moved back to Europe to be with the love of her life – delicious European chocolate.

Now she resides in the sunny part of Germany where she fills her days chasing her dreams and writing about men in complicated relationships. Her family believes she’s writing “erotic manga stories.” She’s pleased they got the erotic part right, at least.