I recently wrote a post about writing heroes at the Plotting Princesses blog. I go into detail about my latest obsession “Supernatural” with Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles. I hope you’ll check it out!
I’m being interviewed today on Romancing the Book, and it’s extra special for me. I used to be a reviewer for them – now I’m appearing as an author! I hope you’ll join me there, and you’ll have a chance to win a copy of “Love Redesigned”.
And please check out this wonderful 4 Rose review that made me cry…in a very good way!
On the Twelfth Day of Christmas,
My true love said “It’s Here!
The tree is full of presents, so you
Must have been a good girl all year!”
The time has come to announce this year’s 12 Days of Christmas winners. I’m so glad you were able to join us and I hope you enjoyed our posts about the holidays and how we love to celebrate. I also hope you found a book or two you were able to relax with as you sat by the fire in the twinkle of the tree lights and sipped a cup of hot cocoa.
Click HERE to go to the Rafflecopter where the 16 winners are listed. If you are a winner, please go to my contact page (click HERE) and send me your home address so I can mail you your prize this next week.
Also, a huge THANK YOU! to Cynthia Gail for putting this fun 12 Days of Christmas Blog Tour together. I’ve had so much fun! Thank you, Cynthia! You ROCK (around the Christmas tree)!
ON BEHALF OF ALL PARTICIPATING AUTHORS IN THIS YEAR’S BLOG HOP
It’s day 11 – where has the time gone? I’ve so enjoyed blogging every day, and sharing my favorite things about the holiday. Christmas is definitely the most wonderful time of the year.
So today we’re posting our favorite cocktails…yes, again. But it’s all part of the celebrations, right? In fact, one of my favorite websites is The Glamorous Housewife. I absolute adore the pictures…yes, I’m a throwback to the fashions of the 40’s and 50’s (I am WAY younger than that, however!). Take a look here at the cocktails she has posted for Christmas. http://theglamoroushousewife.com/2013/12/10-christmas-cocktails/
One drink I love to have every year at Christmas is my own concoction. I like to call it CocoaMint Dream.
- Hot Cocoa
- Peppermint Schnapps
- Whipped Cream
- Candy Cane
Fix hot cocoa any way you like it. Add a shot of Peppermint Schnapps. Top with whipped cream. Stick a candy cane in the cup as a stirrer.
On that whipped cream, you can add however much you like. I’m kind of like “would you like some hot cocoa to go with that Cool Whip? The more the merrier, I always say.
Rogue’s Son by Darcy Flynn
Tough, driven Kit Kendall has replaced her frills and dresses with no nonsense haircuts and wranglers, years ago. As owner of Sage Brush, the once thriving west Texas bed and breakfast ranch, she now struggles daily to keep her business afloat. Since McCabe Resort Lodge reopened next door as a multi-million dollar hotel, her financial difficulties compound, as she suffers one cancellation after another.
Just when she thought things couldn’t get any worse, Kit’s childhood sweetheart turned nemesis returns as the new owner of the resort that’s now putting her out of business, resurrecting memories she thought she’d buried long ago.
Cowboy, entrepreneur Sam Dawson has returned to Sugar Creek, Texas after six years of exile with a secret that could destroy Kit’s happiness. He left town because of it and for the past two years has secretly tried to make it right. Having failed, he now returns to make one last attempt to undo the tangled web created by his father.
Set in motion by his father’s Last Will and Testament and with the clock ticking, Sam has only weeks to convince Kit to sell him her ranch or reveal the truth that will break her heart.
Pick up a copy today at Amazon.
As part of The 12 Days of Christmas celebration, Darcy donated a package full of author swag, paired with a $10 Amazon card from Jennifer Faye to the prize list. Click HERE for this and many more random drawings. To follow the celebration, find a new recipe, pick up a holiday decorating or shopping tip, click HERE.
About the Author
Joy Dent writes sweet contemporary romances as Darcy Flynn. Her life is a gumbo world. Take a little New Orleans heritage, some art, music, dance and add a lot of love and time to simmer and all you have is spice, flavor, and a memory of something so fine you can’t wait for another helping. Her fiction is a few B&Bs, a bit of moon magic and a lot of problems mixed with a healthy portion of sweet romance. Add a dash of sizzle and a lot of sass and all that’s left is magic.
A native of New Orleans, Darcy swapped her city roots for garden boots when she and her husband moved to their farm in Franklin, Tennessee, where Darcy is surrounded by her beautiful gardens and a menagerie of living creatures–English setters and Millie Fleur chickens, being her favorite.
Although, published in the Christian non-fiction market under her real name, Joy Dent, it was the empty nest that turned her to writing romantic fiction. A lover of lighthouses, Darcy’s first novel, Keeper Of My Heart, is set in a small Maryland fishing village on the Chesapeake Bay. Her short story, Sealed With a Kiss: Prequel to Keeper of My Heart is available on Amazon and Smashwords.
Today we’re talking about our favorite Christmas memories and family traditions. When I was young, my grandmother made the holidays extra special for everyone. Nonnie, as we called my grandmother, always had a gorgeous tree, and special decorations set out each year. One such decoration was a church with a tall steeple, stained glass windows, and tiny doors that opened in front. Once plugged in, it glowed, showcasing the stained glass windows. I loved so much to sit in her living room with all the lamps turned off, and the tree lights and church plugged in.
We also had a magical Santa Claus that would appear on Christmas morning, and disappear on New Year’s Eve. It stood about two feet tall, and was very old. It looked like it came from the old country (Germany) where my great-grandparents immigrated from. He was magical, and my sister, my cousin, and I were all in awe of him.
I’m not sure whatever happened to that doll, but to carry on the tradition, my mother made one for me back when I was first married. They don’t look the same, but it always makes me think of that old Santa and how he only appeared on Christmas morning.
Thank you, Nonnie, for always giving us such wonderful Christmases.
My special guest author today is Tracey Livesay. Welcome, Tracey, and a very Merry Christmas to you and your family!
Pretending with the Playboy by Tracey Livesay
Commitment makes you weak. It’s playboy Carter Richardson’s motto. The only exception to the rule is his aunt, and when Carter learns she’s terminally ill, he rushes to her bedside. Filled with fear and guilt—and desperate to ease his aunt’s mind—Carter does the only thing a guy could do…he panics and blurts out that he’s engaged to his aunt’s enticing protegée.
Lauren Olsen has already had her heart crushed once by Carter. Against her better judgment, she agrees to keep up appearances—until Carter makes their “engagement” public in order to protect the family business. Now Lauren’s torn between obeying her conscience, and obeying her desire. Because while she could never trust the womanizing Carter she once knew, she seems to be falling for the man beneath the playboy…
Pretending with the Playboy goes on sale 12/29 at Amazon and B&N.
As part of The 12 Days of Christmas celebration, Tracey donated a $10 B&N card to the prize list. Click HERE for this and many more random drawings. To follow the celebration, find a new recipe, pick up a holiday decorating or shopping tip, click HERE.
About the Author
I write powerful and passionate romantic fiction. I believe in alpha heroes, intelligent heroines and happily ever afters. Obstacles may threaten my couples’ happiness, but true love will ALWAYS prevail.
If you want to chat about TV, movies and/or purses, you can find me on Facebook and Twitter, when I’m not trying to meet an ever present deadline.
I wrote my first romance novel at the age of eleven, called “The Healing Power of Love.” With a detour through college and law school–where I met my husband on the very first day. I live in Virginia with said husband and three kids.
Desserts on the Christmas blog tour today! What’s Christmas without the special once-a-year sweets? I promised the other day to share my SIL’s recipe for Cherry Mash. There’s a candy by the same name in the Kansas City area that my husband loves, and we’ve never seen it anywhere else. Well, this Cherry Mash is like that, only fudge-style.
So every year, Denise makes batches of fudge, fudge with nuts, and cherry mash fudge. And bless her heart, she always sends us some down in Texas, because I can’t make fudge to save my life. It’s just not Christmas without Denise’s fudges.
Side note here: hubby is in KC right now visiting his family, and he’s already secured our share. Thank you, Denise! (Let’s hope it makes it here on the 8 hour drive home.)
- 2 cups sugar
- Dash of salt
- ½ cup oleo
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ¾ cup peanut butter
- 12 oz. milk chocolate chips
- 5 oz. can evaporated milk
- 1 ¼ cup mini marshmallows
- 6 oz. cherry chips (1 cup)
- 10 oz. crushed, salted peanuts
- 1 tbsp oleo
Combine sugar, milk, salt, marshmallows, and oleo (1/2 cup) in saucepan and bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add cherry chips and vanilla. Stir until chips have melted and pour into a 9×13 buttered pan.
Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler or microwave. Add peanut butter, oleo (1 tbsp) and crushed nuts. Spread over the cherry mixture and chill. Cut into squares.
Who Wants to Marry a Doctor? by Abigail Sharpe
As a single mom and pediatrician, Sabrina Bankhead doesn’t have time for romance. All that changes when she reluctantly agrees to take part in a dating show fundraiser for a children’s hospital. But once she sets eyes on the journalist hired to cover the show, none of the four contestants stand a chance. If she doesn’t choose one of the eligible bachelors, the hospital doesn’t raise a cent. What’s a lovestruck doc to do?
Investigative journalist Quinn Donnelly is on the mend after an assignment in Afghanistan left him both physically and emotionally scarred. Though he’s itching to return overseas and finish his story, he’ll have to be content with this fluff piece assignment to cover a local dating show. One-night stands are Quinn’s forte-but after he meets Sabrina, he’s ready to say yes for the long haul. After years of chasing the next big story, Quinn is starting to wonder if maybe home really can be where the heart is . . .
Pick up a copy today from Amazon.
As part of The 12 Days of Christmas celebration, Abigail paired a bag of heart-shaped pasta with a $5 Amazon gift card from Maureen Bonatch to the prize list. Click HERE for this and many more random drawings. To follow the celebration, find a new recipe, pick up a holiday decorating or shopping tip, click HERE.
About the Author
Abigail is a Boston-bred Yankee now eating grits and saying “y’all” in North Central Florida. She dreamed more of being a stage actress or joining the CIA than being an author. While she still enjoys participating in community theater productions and singing karaoke, the secret-agent career was replaced by hours at her computer, writing stories of love and laughter and happily ever after. Abigail lives with her husband, two kids, and one crazy princess puppy.
Our theme today centers around our favorite Christmas songs. Songs are so powerful to the memory. I can hear a song and immediately be transported back in time. I love “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” – the Andy Williams version, of course.
But this year, I’m hooked on the “12 Days of Christmas” by Straight No Chaser. They mixed several songs in this rendition, including music from Toto’s “Africa”. This acapella group is fantastic, and I love what they did to the holiday songs. You can hear it here on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Fe11OlMiz8
That bit from Toto’s song “Africa” sends me back waaaay too many years to high school, even though the words are changed. I hear the tune and immediately think of my friends and the good times we had that year.
What’s your favorite song for Christmas, and what version do you like? Do you like the new songs, or the classics from days gone by?
Turning to my guest for the day, I welcome Heather Miles to the 8th day of Christmas on our author tour. Heather is from my old stomping grounds of Kansas City. Welcome, Heather!
Merger by Heather Miles
Kasey Blakely doesn’t know that her date is anything more than incredibly hot. It’s after things have moved past friendship, that she learns her new lover is also slated to be her partner in a corporate merger. He knew it all along withholding his identity to have her.
Self-assured, future CEO, Kasey Blakely stumbles into Joshua Crawford, leaving her breathless and momentarily senseless. Taken with her, he learns she’s more than just a beautiful woman, she’s slated to be his partner in a corporate merger. Never feeling as smitten or intrigued, he’ll do anything to have her, including, not revealing his last name. After a passionate exchange and the prospect he could lose her, does he come clean with his identity. Always confident, Kasey, struggles with her growing love for a man who has claimed her heart and changed her world, but should be forbidden. She’s all in…then all out. Despite the warnings not to mix business with pleasure, Kasey and Joshua risk it all. Committing to return to California with Joshua, Kasey’s world unravels. Were her fears right, or can they manage the MERGER of their hearts and their future partnership?
Pick up your copy today at Amazon.
As part of The 12 Days of Christmas celebration, Heather donated a $15 Amazon card and a giant bar of chocolate to the prize list. Click HERE for this and many more random drawings. To follow the celebration, find a new recipe, pick up a holiday decorating or shopping tip, click HERE.
About the Author
Heather Miles was raised in Kansas City, but transplanted to the most culturally diverse place in the country…The Mississippi Delta. She resides in Cleveland, Mississippi with her husband Derek Miles, and is the mother of two incredible kids.
My true love gave to me 6 amazing sisters-in-law. I know, it’s the 7th day of Christmas, so 6 doesn’t really go, but today’s post has more to do with the girls than yesterday’s.
My husband is the youngest of 7 children, and the only boy. So I was blessed 6 times over with Dee, Kathy, Donna, Patti, Brenda, and Melissa. The first time I met them all at the same time was Thanksgiving night in 1987. I was a nervous wreck, and I kept rehearsing their names on the way to the gathering. But they accepted me, and I love them all dearly…including the various and sundry husbands, nieces, nephews, and now great-nieces and great-nephews.
Today we’re talking about favorite finger food recipes, so of course it makes me think of the gatherings we used to have on Christmas Eve. The hubster and I live in Texas now, and his sisters and their families are all still in Missouri, so those evenings still happen, and we are there in spirit. Christmas Eve (really, all holidays) was always a full house, and I loved it. Everyone would bring finger foods, appetizers, and we’d eat all evening, open presents, and chat – the din was unbelievable, but that’s what happens when you get about 20+ people in your immediate family together.
Donna always makes Party Ryes, so I can’t ever see (or eat) those without thinking of her. (Well, all the girls, of course.) Melissa makes Veggie Bars, Patti brings amazing BBQ Meatballs. Kathy is great about trying new recipes, and it’s exciting to see what she brings next. Denise is all about fudge and Cherry Mash (check back on the 22nd for that recipe). So the Collins Clan never goes hungry!
1 lb. Velveeta
Dash garlic powder
1 tsp Worcestershire
1 lb. good sausage
1 tsp ketchup
Pkg of Party Rye bread (those small mini loaves sliced up)
This is best to make right before your guests arrive.
Fry sausage, then drain grease off.
Melt Velveeta in a crockpot or microwavable bowl.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Once the cheese is melted, throw all the ingredients in with the cheese.
Spread pieces of bread on a cookie sheet in a single layer.
Spread cheese mixture on top of each bread slice (not too thick, not too thin).
Bake in oven 10 to 15 minutes.
Serve hot, and enjoy!
My guest today is Cynthia Gail. Cynthia is the organizer of our 12 Days of Christmas blog tour, and she has worked tirelessly behind the scenes getting all 22 of us authors prepared and raring to go. Thank you so much, Cynthia, for putting this wonderful tour together! I’ve had the best time, and I look forward to more posts, leading up to the big Christmas Day giveaways!
Winter’s Magic by Cynthia Gail
Owner of La Bella Vita, a five-star day spa nestled in the affluent suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee, Beth Sergeant knows her elite clientele first hand. She attended their private schools. She was even engaged, although briefly, to one of their most recognized bachelors. But she never fit in to their social-elite world.
After losing his parents to a car accident at a young age, Nick Chester was raised by his grandfather, the wealthiest man in Nashville. When he chooses to socialize, he has a never-ending list of exclusive events and beautiful women vying for his attention. Yet he never lets himself forget that everyone has an agenda.
Beth can’t resist Nick’s charm and accepts an invitation to dinner, despite her deep-seated insecurities. She proves she’s nothing like other women Nick’s dated and learns to trust him in return. But just as the last of their resistance crumbles and true love is within reach, challenges from Nick’s past threaten to destroy everything and force Beth to reveal her most guarded secret.
Pick up a copy today at Amazon.
As part of The 12 Days of Christmas celebration, Cynthia donated a $10 Starbucks card, paired with a Bark Less Wag More coffee mug & author swag from Rachel Lacey to the prize list. Click HERE for this and many more random drawings. To follow the celebration, find a new recipe, pick up a holiday decorating or shopping tip, click HERE.
About the Author
My husband and I live in the suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee with our eighteen-year-old son and three dogs. When I’m not working or writing, I can be found with family and friends. I love to bake in the winter, grill in the summer, and on occasion, I sneak away from everyone and curl up with a good book.
Christmas is my favorite holiday of all, and a big part of that is the tree. Being a huge fan of old movies, one of my favorite trees is from The Bishop’s Wife, with Cary Grant, Loretta Young, and David Niven. If you’re not familiar with the movie, Cary Grant is an angel sent to help a bishop and his wife. The scene in which Angel Cary decorates the tree is fabulous…and I wish I could do it just as easily!
I love the tinsel and garland, the lights, the ornaments. Alas, with cats, tinsel is out of the question as they see TOYS!
But every time I decorate the tree, it’s like a trip down memory lane with each ornament I pull out of the boxes. One year I made ornaments for each of my in-laws and us depicting our likes and interests. I took a clear ornament that comes in halves and found miniatures that suited everyone. I still have the ones I made for my husband and I. I have ornaments that were my grandmother’s, as well as the ones she and my stepmother brought us back from England. I even have some I painted back when my husband was stationed in Korea and we couldn’t be together for 16 months.
Our tree (the same one for the past 26 years) has gone through many metamorphoses, from grand and elegant, to homespun and country, but my favorite is when I put all the ornaments and lights on the tree, and it becomes a history of our married life.
Now when I decorate for Christmas, it’s most important to me to bring out the Santa collection my dad and stepmother gave me over the years, and the Santa doll my mother made for me….all the treasures that for me mean Family.
Author Jeanne Hardt is my guest on this 6th day of Christmas. Welcome, Jeanne, and Merry Christmas!
From the Ashes of Atlanta by Jeanne Hardt
After losing his Atlanta home and family to the war, Confederate soldier, Jeb Carter, somehow wakes up in a Boston hospital. Alone, desperate, and with a badly broken leg, he pretends to be mute to save himself from those he hates—Yankees.
Gwen Abbott, a student at Boston Women’s Medical College, is elated when she’s allowed to study under the guidance of a prominent doctor at Massachusetts General. While forced into a courtship with a man she can scarcely tolerate, her thoughts are consumed with their mysterious new patient. If only he could talk.
Two strangers from different worlds, joined by fate. Perhaps love can speak without words and win a war without a single shot being fired.
Pick up a copy today from Amazon.
As part of The 12 Days of Christmas celebration, Jeanne donated an autographed paperback copy of Marked, paired with a $10 Starbucks card from Jessica Jefferson to the prize list. Click HERE for this and many more random drawings. To follow the celebration, find a new recipe, pick up a holiday decorating or shopping tip, click HERE.
About the Author
Hi, all! We’re talking today about our favorite appetizers. There are certain appetizers I love just because they remind me of the Christmas gatherings my husband’s family has. But I have a new favorite, called “Neiman Marcus Dip”. No idea why it’s called that, or if it was ever served at NM (I’m on the hunt for the answer, however, as I have an ‘in’ at Neiman Marcus).
It’s so simple, there are only 5 ingredients. While I’m not the best in the kitchen, I can make this – it’s so good my husband even likes it!
Hands Full of Ashes by Kim Hotzon
Olivia promises to fulfill her dying husband’s wish – to scatter his ashes around the world. Wading through grief and depression, she journeys to a remote orphanage in Uganda. Living amongst the children in their threadbare surroundings, she vows to fight for the children’s lives as she begins to fight for her own. While Olivia develops a passion for humanitarian work, the lonely director of the orphanage develops a simmering passion for her.
Just as time begins to heal the wounds of Olivia’s fragile heart, her world is shattered when she is involved in a violent encounter with an armed rebel group in the picturesque mountains of Uganda. Olivia flees to the safety of Rwanda, where she learns the truth of her husband’s unimaginable betrayal.
As Olivia hovers on the brink of an emotional collapse, her broken soul is reawakened with a startling new love – but her life is about to take another dramatic turn as she struggles to survive in a region left torn apart by civil war. It will take every ounce of Olivia’s courage to hang on to those she loves the most but it may come at a great cost to all of them.
Hands Full of Ashes will be available on Amazon January 14, 2015.
As part of The 12 Days of Christmas celebration, Kim donated a $5 Amazon card, paired with an ebook set and autographed PB of The Marker from Meggan Connors to the prize list. Click HERE for this and many more random drawings. To follow the celebration, find a new recipe, pick up a holiday decorating or shopping tip, click HERE.
About the Author
Kim grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia and from a young age she developed three passions – travelling, teaching and writing. Always fascinated by different cultures, Kim travelled to Tokyo, Japan as a young adult where she began a two year adventure teaching English.
Ultimately, Japan changed the course of her life by introducing her to the field of education. She started her own business in Japan teaching English and thanks to her students, she gradually developed her skills in teaching. While living in Osaka, she learned to adapt to a vastly different culture and to appreciate the beauty and distinct traditions of this Asian nation.
Upon her return to Canada, she decided to publish her memoir, When the Cherry Blossoms Fall: My Life as an English Teacher in Japan, detailing the experiences and challenges that she faced while living as a ‘gaijin’ in Japan. She also began a lengthy career at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, teaching young adults with learning disabilities.
In October 2012, Kim joined a group of volunteers and she embarked on a humanitarian trip to Rwanda, Africa. Working with the non-profit organizations Developing World Connections and Building Bridges Rwanda, she worked alongside local villagers, building a kitchen facility for a group of genocide survivors. Rwanda has seen tremendous growth and development in recent years, and reconciliation is a major national initiative. Her debut novel, Hands Full of Ashes, was inspired by this trip.