Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Forever Romance's Holiday Celebration Blog Tour



Forever’s Holiday Celebration Blog Tour

‘Tis the season to celebrate! Five of Forever’s authors with brand new Christmas romances are sharing their favorite holiday recipes and memories.

CAROLYN BROWN’S PUMPKIN BREAD

Kids, grand children, great-grands, all coming home for the holidays—the aroma of pumpkin bread baking in the oven—everyone waiting for it to get done so they can slice it up while it’s still hot, slather butter or whipped cream cheese on it, and tell the age old stories about the holidays we’ve had in the house. That’s the stuff memories are made off and every time I smell pumpkin bread it puts a smile on my face for the whole day.

PUMPKIN BREAD
This makes 2 loaves and 8 muffins; Or it makes one Bundt cake

½ cup butter
½ cup shortening
2 2/3 cups of sugar
4 eggs
2 cups canned pumpkin (one 15-16 ounce can)
3 ½ cups flour
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons soda
1 cup pecans (optional)
2/3 cup of cold strong black coffee
(NOTE: I use all butter if I’m out of shortening or even oil)

1.    Cream first four ingredients.
2.    Add canned pumpkin.
3.    Add dry ingredients alternately with coffee
4.    Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour for loaves or bundt cake, 25 minutes for muffins, or until they test done in the center.
5.    Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan.
6.    Cool completely before frosting with Harvest Moon Frosting (below).

HARVEST MOON FROSTING
3 egg whites
1½ cups brown sugar
6 tablespoons water
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients except vanilla in a double boiler. Cook 7 minutes, beating the whole time with an electric mixer, over the boiling water.  The frosting will stand in peaks when done. Add vanilla.  Beat until thick enough to spread.



Find out more about Carolyn Brown at her website. 

PAULA QUINN’S CHRISTAS COOKIES

My dad used to live across the street from us. Every year, when mykids were little, he would dress up like Santa, climb out his windowon the second floor, and hang Christmas lights on his fire escape. Mykids would watch from our window with wonder in their eyes, unawarethat it was grandpa. He would turn and wave to them, sending them intolittle fits of breathlessness. Later, we would visit grandma andgrandpas for homemade cookies (left there for them by Santa). Thehouse was always fully decked out with every Christmas decorationimaginable with Alvin and the Chipmunks on repeat while the kidshunted down little pre-Christmas gifts hed hide for them. I lovedwitnessing the magic of Christmas and love through their eyes. Nowgrown, my kids will sometimes still look out the window at his fireescape and smile, remembering a grandpa who loved them beyond measure.



GRANDPA’S CHRISTMAS COOKIES (A favored Italian recipe)
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
½ cup butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
3½ cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder

1.    Sift dry ingredients.
2.    Cream butter and sugar, beat in eggs; addvanilla and dry ingredients.
3.    Knead and add flour as needed to keep dough from sticking to hands.
4.    Pinch off dough, roll in your hands to form a log and then twirl intoshape.
5.    Place on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes.

ICING
2 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 teaspoons water

Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  Stir until creamy. Dip cookies into icing and sprinkle with trim. Place on wire rack with wax paper on counter to collect the dripping icing and sprinkles.



Find out more about Paula Quinn at her website. 

 DEBBIE MASON TREE TRIMMING PARTY

One of my family’s favorite holiday traditions is our tree trimming party. We’ve held one every year for the past thirty years. Though I don’t know if it qualifies as a party seeing as it’s just the immediate family. But we do make a thing of it with our favorite carols playing in the background, fire on (mostly for ambience), hot chocolate served in festive mugs, lots of holiday treats, and a special ornament for each of the kids and grandkids to open before the tree decorating gets under way.



But I think the most fun for all of us isn’t decorating the tree, it’s unpacking the ornaments. I’ve always tried to buy an ornament that’s uniquely suited to each of the kids, whether it was a sport they were into that year or a movie, book, or hobby they loved, so unwrapping each one brings back a lot of special memories. Here’s a peek at just some of the collection. I don’t think it will be long before we have to break from tradition and let the kids take some of the ornaments home to decorate their own trees. Either that or we’ll have to put up another tree.


 And this one in my office doesn’t countJ Every year, my family gifts me with an ornament too. This year they gave me these three adorable oranaments to celebrate the release of the first book in the new Harmony Harbor series, MISTLETOE COTTAGE, and the short story, CHRISTMAS WITH AN ANGEL.


 


Find out more about Debbie Mason at her website. 

 HOPE RAMSAY’S GINGERBREAD COOKIES

Every year for the last quarter-century, or possibly longer, I have set aside the Saturday closest to Christmas to bake gingerbread cookies with my children, and now, with my grandchildren.   These are the only cookies I make at Christmas time, and the activity is more about family fun than turning out a perfect cookie.  Usually I do most of the rolling, cutting, and baking.  And the rest of the family does the decorating.

The magic is in the royal icing.  The white icing is a snap to make, and it can be divided up into small bowls and colored with food dye, creating pots of colored cookie paint.  I give each child (or adult) a watercolor paint brush and let them paint the icing onto the cookies.  The kids have a blast, and the cookies always come out looking wonderfully homemade. 

To me, cookie baking embodies everything I love about Christmas: kids, family, baking, and yummy desserts.



GINGERBREAD COOKIE DOUGH
Makes about 6 Dozen

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Dutch cocoa powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter
1 cup superfine sugar
1 egg at room temperature
½ cup unsulphured molasses

1.    Whisk together the dry ingredients – flour cocoa, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, backing soda, and salt.
2.    Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and molasses and beat thoroughly.
3.    On low speed, add the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined.
4.    Cut the dough into thirds, pat into disks, wrap in plastic and chill until firm – 2 hours or overnight.
5.    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough about 1/16 inch thick and cut cookies with cookie cutters.  Transfer the cookies to an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for about 10 minutes, until the edges of the cookie turn brown.
6.    Let cool on sheets and then transfer to a wire rack.  Decorate with royal icing.

ROYAL ICING
2 egg whites, at room temperature
1 pound confectioners sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ cup water

Using a mixer, place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat at high speed until fluffy, thick & shiny (about 10 minutes.)  Divide the icing into smaller bowls and color it using food coloring. 




Find out more about Hope Ramsay at her website. 

 OLIVIA MILES SNOWFLAKE COOKIES

In my newest release, CHRISTMAS COMES TO MAIN STREET, my heroine owns a cookie bakery. As this story takes place over the holidays, I thought hard about a signature cookie she might make, and eventually I settled on charming snowflake cookies. Of course these are not just any old cut out cookie, though. No, Kara makes them by the dozen, sure to keep each one in the batch distinct in shape and decoration, because no two snowflakes are ever the same, after all! And it’s these snowflake cookies that she delivers every day to the inn in Briar Creek…where a Christmas visitor falls in love with more than just her cookies.

I hope you all enjoy these snowflake cookies as much as Nate does! J
KARA’S SNOWFLAKE COOKIES (sugar cookie cut-out and royal icing recipes courtesy of Martha Stewart)

4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1.    Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.
2.    Put butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Gradually mix in flour mixture. Divide dough in half; flatten each half into a disk. Wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.
3.    Preheat oven to 325 degrees with racks in upper and lower thirds. Let one disk of dough stand at room temperature just until soft enough to roll, about 10 minutes. Roll out dough between two pieces of plastic wrap to 1/4 inch thick. Remove top layer of plastic wrap. Cut out cookies. Transfer cookie dough on plastic wrap to a baking sheet. Transfer baking sheet to freezer, freeze until very firm, about 15 minutes. Remove baking sheet from freezer and transfer shapes to baking sheets lined with nonstick baking mats. Roll out scraps, and repeat. Repeat with remaining disk of dough.
4.    Bake, switching positions of sheets and rotating halfway through, until edges turn golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.
ROYAL ICING
2 large egg whites, or more to thin icing
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar, or more to thicken icing
Juice of 1 lemon
3 drops glycerin

Beat the whites until stiff but not dry. Add sugar, lemon juice and glycerin (if using); beat for 1 minute more. If icing is too thick, add more egg whites; if it is too thin, add more sugar. The icing may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Decorate each as you wish!



Find out more about Olivia Miles at her website.



Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Release Day Blitz & Giveaway ~ CHRISTMAS WITH AN ANGEL: A Short Story (Harmony Harbor #1.5) by Debbie Mason




CHRISTMAS WITH AN ANGEL: A Short Story
Author: Debbie Mason
Series: Harmony Harbor, #1.5
On Sale: December 6, 2016
Publisher: Forever Yours
eBook: $.99 USD

It's been eight long years since Michael Gallagher has laid eyes on Shay Angel, back when he was a boy from the most prominent family in town and she was a girl from the wrong side of the tracks. But he hadn't cared about their differences—until one bad decision landed her in jail.

That was years ago and now he's back in Harmony Harbor for the holidays. So when Shay goes missing, Michael is intent on finding her—and finding out if their sizzling attraction is still there. But he's now a district attorney, and it looks like Shay is once again on the wrong side of the law.






THE SERIES

Mistletoe Cottage, #1
Christmas With An Angel, #1.5
Starlight Bride, #2
Primrose Lane, #3





Debbie Mason is the bestselling author of the Christmas, Colorado and Harmony Harbor series. Her books have been praised for their "likable characters, clever dialogue and juicy plots" (RT Book Reviews). When she isn't writing or reading, Debbie enjoys spending time with her very own real-life hero, three wonderful children, two adorable grandbabies, and a yappy Yorkie named Bella in Ontario, Canada.



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Monday, December 5, 2016

Audiobook Event ~ Shadows of Tomorrow by Jessica Meats, Narrated by Jake Urry

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Author: Jessica Meats

Narrator: Jake Urry

Length: 10h 13m

Publisher:Pegasus Elliot Mackenzie Publishers Ltd⎮2016

Genre: Science Fiction

Release date: Oct. 03, 2016

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synopsis
Earth is at war. Portals are opening across the planet and bringing creatures known as Outsiders. Their only desire is to eat, leaving a trail of destruction in their path. All that stand in their way are the Defenders led by Gareth Walker who can open portals of their own to target the Outsiders in minutes. Gareth's one advantage is an ability to see glimpses of his future. For the past decade the Defenders have held back the incursion, but now a new portal opens, bringing something that Gareth did not see coming. As he must find a way to stop this new threat, he starts a quest for answers. He must learn how the war began and find a way to stop them once and for all. All the while, he is aware of a shadow in his future a moment he can't see past. Will stopping the Outsiders cost him everything?
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Jessica Meats is a graduate of the University of York and works in the IT industry. She draws on her experiences as a technology specialist and martial arts student to create a unique and interesting fictional community of combat experts and computer geeks.







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jake-urry-06-web-size Jake Urry is a British actor and audiobook narrator, and also co-founder of Just Some Theatre. Since graduating from an Acting degree course in 2012 he’s toured with Just Some Theatre as an actor and producer, worked on a number of commercial voice over projects and most recently started producing Audiobooks. Jake has produced over 10 titles since March 2016 and has rapidly found himself at home narrating Thriller, Horror, Mystery and Suspense titles. His audiobook work includes dark psychological thrillers White is the Coldest Colour and Portraits of the Dead by John Nicholl, occult mystery series The Ulrich Files by Ambrose Ibsen, and gritty Sci-Fi novel Shadows of Tomorrow by Jessica Meats.


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Friday, December 2, 2016

Release Week Blitz ~ TOO HOT TO HANDLE (Romancing the Clarksons #1) by Tessa Bailey



Too Hot to Handle
(Romancing the Clarksons #1)
by Tessa Bailey
On Sale: November 29, 2016
Publisher: Forever
Mass Market: $5.99 USD
eBook: $2.99 USD


Previously released as an eBook in May 2016, the first book in Tessa Bailey’s Romancing the Clarksons series is now available in print for the first time!

When rescue looks like a whole lot of trouble . . .

The road trip was definitely a bad idea. Having already flambéed her culinary career beyond recognition, Rita Clarkson is now stranded in God-Knows-Where, New Mexico, with a busted-ass car and her three temperamental siblings, who she hasn't seen in years. When rescue shows up---six-feet-plus of hot, charming sex on a motorcycle---Rita's pretty certain she's gone from the frying pan right into the fire . . .

Jasper Ellis has a bad boy reputation in this town, and he loathes it. The moment he sees Rita, though, Jasper knows he's about to be sorely tempted. There's something real between them. Something raw. And Jasper has only a few days to show Rita that he isn't just for tonight---he's forever.

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“So.” He plunked his beer down on the bar. “Where were you four headed in that big, rusty Suburban before Hurley reeled you in?”
She looked pensive as her shit-stomping boots started to sway back and forth, bumping the wooden rungs of the stool. “We need to be in Coney Island by New Year’s Day. So we can jump into the Atlantic Ocean.”
“Why—what?” He dropped onto the stool beside her, his drink forgotten on the bar. “That’s pretty high on the list of things I didn’t expect.”
“Oh, I know the feeling.” A beat passed. “It was our mother’s last wish.”
“I’m sorry.”
She nodded, brushing her hair back in a jerky motion, as if she were uncomfortable having someone’s undivided attention. He’d never had cause to use the word preposterous before, but that was the only way he could describe her lack of confidence. Despite the inappropriate name, the Liquor Hole was his life’s work, and, at the moment, it was nothing more than an unworthy backdrop for Rita. And, God, he was staring at her hands like an aggressive palm reader. “Most mothers want to avoid having their children turn into floating ice sculptures. What was her reason?”
“Good question.” A hint of sadness winked in her eyes, and Jasper wished he’d let the subject drop. This was what happened when he avoided talking about sex. He stumbled right into deceased parents. And yet he wasn’t sorry. Not even a little bit. He wanted to know everything. “I think…she meant it as some sort of symbolic bonding experiment. But I don’t know. We’re kind of unbondable.”
“Got the feeling I interrupted a near-melee this afternoon.”
“Aaron called my soufflé decent.” A strand of dark hair caught on her lips when she shook her head. It took one hundred percent of his impulse control not to tug it away, but she beat him to it, anyhow. “It sounds silly now.”
“Nah.” Jasper couldn’t help leaning in to get a whiff of cooking spices. “He would have had it coming just for dressing like a preacher on a weekday.”
Another one of those quiet, smoky laughs. “I guess there’s a fine line between politician and preacher.”
“Politician?” Jasper shivered, then recalled the threat Rita’s brother had leveled at his head back on the highway. “Still, I can’t help but like him for wanting you safe from a stranger. He can’t be all that bad if he worries about you.”
“Worried might be an exaggeration,” Rita said.
When her golden-brown gaze lit on his mouth, Jasper realized he’d moved into her personal space without any conscious thought. One of her knees brushed the denim covering his hip and, God help him, if the bar were empty he would’ve been between her split thighs before she could call for Jesus. For someone who hadn’t felt more than a passing appreciation for the opposite sex in years, his libido was sure trying to play catch-up tonight.
“What are you thinking about?”
Lie. He had to lie. I want to strip you down and fuck you on this seat, but I’m trying my hand at being a gentleman, was not an acceptable line. It was too aggressive when she seemed spooked merely from his close proximity. But she was leaving, leaving his town tomorrow, and the slow-game option had been ambitious for Jasper when he knew nothing about it. So he’d tell the truth while leaving out the oh-so-dirty reality in his pants. “I was thinking it would have been a goddamn shame if you’d broken down one town over.” His voice was gravel, so he cleared it. “More than a shame. I’m kind of finding it hard to think about, if you want to know the truth.”
For long moments, he couldn’t hear a single sound in the loud bar. No music, no crunching ice or raucous laughter. And, somehow, he knew she couldn’t hear the noise, either. It was there in the perplexity of her expression. He expected her to call bullshit or make a joke, but she didn’t. She shocked him instead.
“I’ll think I’ll take that kiss now.”



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THE ROMANCING THE CLARKSONS SERIES

Too Hot To Handle, #1
Too Wild To Tame, #2
Too Hard To Forget, #3





Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans, and laptop, and drove cross-country to New York City in under four days. Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend, and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention.

She now lives in Long Island, New York with her husband and daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.





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