On the 4th day of Christmas…

On the 4th day of Christmas my true love asked me about gifts under $10.  First gift that comes to mind….BOOKS!  Or gift cards for BOOKS.  Amazon gift cards are great – so many Kindle ebooks are priced that you could get 3 books, all the way up to 10 when priced at $.99.

Mini martinis

One year I bought mini martini glasses (so adorbs) and filled them with Hershey’s Kisses. They turned out great, and were very reasonably priced.

iTunes gift cards are another great idea – guilt free shopping!  Authors always need notebooks and journals, and some are very reasonably priced, and so pretty, too.  My friend Phyllis just gave me one with a Paris theme on the cover – perfect for me since I write stories set in France.

Our neighbor’s sweet daughter Makenna used her own money to buy a present for our four cats.  She loves our kitties, and comes over to play with them; she took such good care of Moms and the boys while we were on vacation.  We’re waiting for Christmas so she can come over and give the gift to them herself, and they can all play.  I can’t spill the beans here as to what the present is…the boys all like to sit on my lap, and I don’t want them to see what the present is in case they get a look at this blog. LOL

So you don’t have to break the bank to give gifts to friends and loved ones.  Think about what they like, who they are, and find a little something suited to their interests.  It’s the thought that counts, after all.

Today I have Stephanie Berget visiting me here today. Cowboy on the cover! And of course a great gift idea is “Sugarwater Ranch” by Stephanie!

Sugarwater Ranch by Stephanie Berget

Stephanie Berget  Sugar Water Ranch  Book Cover

Bullrider Sean O’Connell’s life is perfect, or it was until his partying lifestyle affects his riding ability. Now he’s ended the season too broke to leave the Northwest for the warm southern rodeos. When a wild night with his buddies gets out of hand, he wakes up naked, staring into the angry eyes of a strange woman. His infallible O’Connell charm gets him nowhere with the dark-haired beauty. It’s obvious she’s not his usual good-time girl, so why can’t he forget her?

Catherine Silvera finds a waterlogged, unconscious cowboy freezing to death in front of her uncle’s Sugarwater Bar. She saves his life—then runs faster than a jackrabbit with a coyote on its tail. Any man who makes his living rodeoing is bad news, especially if he thinks partying is part of the competition. He’s everything she doesn’t want in a man, yet she can’t shake her attraction to the rugged cowboy.

Buy Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo

12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop Button with Frame

As part of The 12 Days of Christmas celebration, Stephanie donated a PB copy of Sugarwater Ranch with a keychain 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

Born and raised in Boise, Idaho to city parents, I was a horse lover from the day I first watched My Friend Flicka.

I began writing after I read a rodeo romance in which the romance was good, but the rodeo and horse information was so wrong…. I thought, how hard can it be to write a book? Five years and thousands of hours of study and writing, I know how hard it is. Writing well is just as hard to do well as it is to do anything well.

I write Contemporary Rodeo Romance with a touch of magic. It’s Romance with a Rodeo flair.

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On the 3rd day of Christmas…

champagneOn this 3rd day of the 12 Days of Christmas blog tour celebrating the holidays and authors, we are talking about Christmas cocktails. My favorite cocktails for Christmas are Mimosas.  I think it’s because when I lived with my dad and stepmom in high school, she would serve mimosas on Christmas morning.  Us kids didn’t get them, of course, but once I got older, I was able to partake.  Sadly, my dad passed away right before Christmas 12 years ago, so it’s bittersweet when I serve them, but my husband and I have carried on the traditions.

So for recipe….ah, just a little of this and a little of that.  Equal parts of chilled Champagne (whatever you prefer) and orange juice.  Mix, stir, and et voila, the perfect Christmas morning cocktail.  I’ve been experimenting with different juices, such as adding cranberry juice, or using pineapple juice.  All yummy!

My guest today on the Christmas tour is Jessica Jefferson.  Welcome, Jessica!

Taming Miss Tisdale by Jessica Jefferson

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Miss Tamsin Tisdale believes herself to be completely unsuitable for London life. After a myriad of social mishaps, and the potential ruination of her family name, she’s shipped away to her cousin’s northern estate. Only after she accepts the type of existence Society dictates she must follow will she be welcomed home.

Marcus Winston, the Duke of Grayson, has a lackluster reputation. The last in a dying line, he’s endured a protected life—rank with privilege, but encumbered by isolation. After a brief encounter with rebellion, he learns the devastating consequences of his carelessness and willingly accepts living life from inside his gilded cage.

However, a chance meeting with the brazen Miss Tisdale gives Marc the opportunity to reinvent himself into the man he’s always dreamed of being. But when his deception comes to light, and ghosts from both their pasts threaten to unravel the intimacy they’ve come to cherish, will either of them set their fears aside long enough to embrace love? Or will Miss Tisdale’s stubbornness divide them?

Pick up your copy today at Amazon.

12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop Button with Frame

As part of The 12 Days of Christmas celebration, Jessica donated a $10 Starbucks card, paired with an autographed PB of Marked from Jeanne Hardt 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

Jessica Jefferson makes her home in northern Indiana, or as she likes to think of it – almost Chicago. Jessica originally attended college in hopes of achieving an English degree and writing the next great American novel. Ten years later she was working as a registered nurse and reading historical romance when she decided to give writing another go-round.

Jessica writes likes she speaks – which has a tendency to be fast paced and humorous. She is heavily inspired by sweeping, historical romance novels, but aims to take those key emotional elements and inject a fresh blend of quick dialogue and comedy.

Connect: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

On the 2nd day of Christmas…

Today on the blog tour, we’re talking about our favorite Christmas movies.  I actually have several, so it’s hard to pick a favorite.  “The Bishop’s Wife” with Cary Grant is a big favorite, as is “Susan Slept Here” and “Bundle of Joy” with Debbie Reynolds.

Christmas Story House

But for an all time favorite Christmas movie, I have to go with “I want an official Red Rydelampr, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle!” Yes, you guessed it…”A Christmas Story.”  In fact, I love the movie so much that four years ago my husband surprised me with a trip to the Ohio house featured in the movie!

Today my guest on the 12 Days of Christmas is Jennifer Faye.

A Princess by Christmas by Jennifer Faye

Jennifer Faye  A Princess by Christmas  Book Cover

A royal kiss under the mistletoe…

Prince Alexandro Castanovo arrives in snowy New York intent on protecting his royal family from scandal. And when Reese Harding—down-to-earth and heart-stoppingly beautiful—finds room for him at her inn, it seems like the perfect twist of fate.

Not long ago Reese’s world came crumbling down, shaking her foundations. But this enigmatic stranger intrigues her! She’s learned to be wary of secrets…but when she discovers Alex’s true identity, might there be enough magic in the air to make this regular American girl a princess by Christmas…?

Buy Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop Button with Frame

As part of The 12 Days of Christmas celebration, Jennifer donated a $10 Amazon card, paired with a package of author swag from Darcy Flynn 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 currently reside in Pennsylvania with my very patient husband, one amazing daughter (the other remarkable daughter has flown the coop to chase her own dreams) and two spoiled rotten cats. When I’m not glued to my laptop (which isn’t often) or enjoying some family time, I like reading, cross-stitch, embroidery, quilting, knitting, hockey (go Pittsburgh Penguins!), and gardening.

Connect: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Google+

On the first day of Christmas…

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Welcome to the 12 Days of Christmas blog hop!  I’m joining 21 other authors for 12 days of fun talking about our favorite parts of Christmas, and of course our favorite subject – BOOKS!  

Today is about my favorite recipe for the holidays.  I must admit I’m not much of a cook – that falls to my husband who is an excellent cook.  He makes up his own recipes sometimes.  But I make a mean Peanut Butter Blossom – it’s the one thing I make without fail every Christmas season.  When I was a teenager and lived with my dad and stepmom, she made these cookies every year.  It was my dad’s job to peel the foil off the chocolate Kisses…and the trick was to have more in the bowl than in his belly.  I think that’s why it’s my favorite thing to make – it reminds me of him.  

Here’s the recipe: 

Ingredients

  • 48 HERSHEY’S KISSES Brand Milk Chocolates
  • 1/2 cup shortening (I’ve used butter, but shortening does make a difference)
  • 3/4 cup creamy Peanut Butter 
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Additional granulated sugar (optional)

    Directions

    1. Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolates. I keep them in the freezer until I’m ready to unwrap them, then pop them back in the freezer until it’s time to press onto the cookies.

    2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.

    3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet. However, I use parchment paper now.  It makes for easier cleanup, and once they come out of the oven, I slide the parchment paper onto the counter for the cookies to cool.

    4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack (or slide that parchment paper onto the counter). Cool completely. Makes about 48 cookies.

    The last few years my husband has encouraged me to experiment with the cookies.  I’ve tried the caramel chocolate Kisses, the Kisses with the almonds, even the Hugs.  I have made the dough with chocolate chips, and another time with mini M&Ms.  Extra goodness!

    Now I’d like to introduce you to Rachel Lacey, a fellow author from Soul Mate Publishing.  Merry Christmas, Rachel!

    Unleashed by Rachel Lacey

    Rachel Lacey Unleashed Book Cover

    What happens when you find the right one at the wrong time?

    Cara Medlen has a serious case of animal attraction. And it’s not because of all the foster dogs she’s rescued. She’s got it bad for her incredibly sexy neighbor. Her one rule: Don’t get attached. It’s served her well with the dogs she’s given to good homes and the children she’s nannied. Yet the temptation of Matt’s sexy smile might just convince her that some rules are made to be broken.

    Matt Dumont doesn’t need his skills as a private investigator to detect disaster on the horizon. Cara is everything he thought he’d never find—gorgeous, funny, and caring. But there’s no way he can start a relationship just as he’s about to move to another state. Talk about bad timing. As their attraction sizzles too hot to deny, they’ll have to make a decision: forget the consequences and let loose, or forget each other and let go…

    Buy Links:   Amazon  | B&N  |  iTunes  |  Kobo

    12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop Button with Frame

    As part of The 12 Days of Christmas celebration, Rachel donated a Bark Less, Wag More Coffee Mug & Author Swag, paired with a $10 Starbucks card from Cynthia Gail 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

    Rachel Lacey lives in North Carolina, with her husband, son, and their own rescued pup. She volunteers her spare time with Carolina Boxer Rescue and truly has a passion for helping our furry friends. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America as well as her local Heart of Carolina RWA chapter.

    Connect: WebsiteFacebook | Twitter | Goodreads

    Celebrating 12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop!

    The 12 Days of Christmas blog hop begins on Sunday, December 14 and ends on Christmas Eve.  Celebrate the season with 22 hosting authors by visiting their sites daily to learn favorite holiday recipes, movies, songs, memories, traditions, gift and decorating ideas, and enter to win one of 16 fabulous prize packages through https://www.facebook.com/CynthiaGailRomance/app_228910107186452.  Winners will be drawn on Christmas Day!

    Darcy Flynn

    Abigail Sharpe

    Aidy Award

    Ann Lacey

    Christi Barth

    CynthiaGail

    Heather Miles

    Jeanne Hardt

    Jennifer Faye

    Jessica Jefferson

    Kim Hotzon

    Linda O’Connor

    Maureen Bonatch

    Meda White

    Meggan Connors

    Rachel Lacey

    Rebecca E. Neely

    Ryan Jo Summers

    Sloane B. Collins

    Sophia Kimble

    Stephanie Berget

    Tracey Livesay

    Tomorrow!

    I can’t believe that tomorrow I will be a published author.  It’s been a long-time dream to be an author, and in less than 24 hours, I will be.  I was going to pinch myself when I woke up this morning, but one of the cats bit my toe, and yup, I was awake.

    I hope you’ll all join me in celebrating my dream coming true!

    Sloane

    Welcome to my world!

    EiffelAt least, the world I explore in books.  I write Contemporary Romance, but I’ve dabbled in Paranormal Romance and Romantic Suspense as well…now just to get them polished and off to see who wants to publish them!

    Right now I’m addicted to all things French. I hadn’t ever wanted to visit France, but once I started pinning pictures on the best site ever, Pinterest, for my first book, now I’m dying to go.

    My first book, Love Redesigned, is set in the Alsatian region of France. Alsace sits on the border of France and Germany.  And in fact, that region was yanked back and forth for hundreds of years between the control of France and Germany.  But it’s been in the good hands of France since WWII, and hopefully it’s there to stay.

    Alsace is one of the wine regions, and while my first book is about a French fashion designer and an American cake artist, the next book in my French Kiss Connection series is about a female International Sommelier.  So now all my pins are about wine!  And baseball…you see, the hero is (WAS!) an American baseball star.

    So join me here in my little (French for now) world to learn more about my books.

    Au revoir!

    Sloane