Friday, December 5, 2014

Writers in the Kitchen with Favorite Christmas Recipes

The holidays and food just seem to go together, don't they? Christmas foods bring back memories of  people, places, scents, of previous years. We're delighted to share some of our authors' favorite recipes with you. (Be sure to check out Elizabeth Noyes' recipe for Snickerdoodles that we posted earlier this week!)

From Betty Thomason Owens:

Christmas Oatmeal Cookies

1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 cup butter (2 sticks, softened)
1 cup light brown sugar
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped, dried cranberries
3 ½ cups oatmeal
1 cup white chocolate morsels

Heat oven to 350°

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and set aside. In a separate mixing bowl, combine softened butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until well blended. Add flour mixture and mix on low (or use a spoon) to blend. Add cranberries, oatmeal, and chocolate morsels.

Drop by tablespoonsful onto a cookie sheet (sprayed with pam or lined with parchment paper), leaving about 3 inches between each one. Bake 6 to 9 minutes. Remove from oven and let cookies stand about 2 minutes before removing from cookie sheet.

Makes about 5 dozen cookies


"My favorite recipe on any occasion is one that I don’t have to cook."

From Jerusha Agen, when asked if she had a favorite Christmas recipe:

"I do! But it’s a coveted secret. They’re simply called Bun Bars, and they’re to-die-for!"

From Julie Arduini:

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER FUDGE

1 12 oz bag peanut butter chips

1 12 oz bag milk chocolate chips

1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk, divided in half

1/4 cup butter, divided.

Take the peanut butter chips, half the milk and butter and place in microwave safe bowl. Put on for two minutes, check after one minute, stirring. Sometimes it's done before two minutes. Pour into 13x9 dish.

Take the milk chocolate chips, the other half of milk and butter and place in separate microwave safe bowl. Repeat microwave directions from above. When everything is melted and stirred, pour on top of peanut butter mixture. Let set in fridge, cut into squares and enjoy!

From Sheryl Holmes:

Long tradition has been to fix an egg souffl√© the day before Christmas, so that on Christmas morning, all a tired mother has to do is stick it in the oven and pout her feet up while the hustle and bustle of morning delights and excitement exude the house.  The warm cheesy aroma fills the house as it bakes, and everyone enjoys without a lot of fuss in the kitchen!

Christmas Morning  EGG SOUFFLE:

1 (8 oz.) sharp Cheddar cheese
16 slices of white bread, crust removed and cubed
6-8 eggs
3-4 c. milk
1/2 tsp. mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. cornflakes
1/2 c. melted butter
(Left over ham roast is best, deli ask for chunks).
Butter 8 slices of bread sparingly and place in well greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Layer with cheese. Butter 8 additional slices of bread and place on top of cheese. Beat eggs and add milk and mustard. Beat until well mixed. Pour over everything.

Cover with foil and place in refrigerator overnight.  In the morning, pop it in the oven, uncovered. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees until golden brown. Serves 8. (fancy add-ins would be saut√©ed mushrooms , chopped bacon bits, or fresh herbs of your choosing – fresh French tarragon is a favorite of mine!)



Today's the last day to get Jerusha Agen's This Dance, FREE on Kindle! The other books in the series are available in print and Kindle formats, so look for This Shadow and This Redeemer to complete the set.










Join more of the Five Golden Days of Christmas here:


Friday's Blogs:





Julie Arduini:  Christmas Concert Memories
Fay Lamb, On the Ledge: Ho, Ho, Help           

Thursday's Blogs:


Fay Lamb: On the Ledge: A Special Gathering
Sheryl Holmes: Created to Crave


Wednesday's Blogs:

Tuesday's Blogs:


PNP: Cancer Survivor and Mom of Nine Offers Hope All Year Long
Tracy Ruckman: Christmas at Rumi Rancho
Julie Arduini: The Focus of Christmas
Fay Lamb: On the Ledge: A Very Special Mom

Monday's Blogs:

Sheryl Holmes: Give Hope: Carry!


Tonight, we're having a Facebook Party and we'd love for you to come, 7-9 PM. It's a "drop-in, stay as little or as long as you want, come as you are" party! We're giving away books, jewelry, Christmas ornaments, a Nativity, gift cards, and more - hope we'll see you there. 



Military Influence on Writer’s Life

Today's feature author brings a special perspective to our team of authors because she's the wife of a military man. You can read more about that in a post on her blog today, entitled "Life as a Military Dependent."

Elizabeth Noyes is a native of the Deep South and claims to still "speak the language," even after traveling around the world for most of her adult life. She and her husband now live in the eastern suburbs of Atlanta where she works full time as a professional writer and editor for a privately owned company. "It can be a challenge finding enough time to squeeze in church, family, work, grandkids, friends, AND find time to write," she says. "Somehow, though, the balance always comes."

Her favorite things include reading across many genres, playing bridge with dear friends, crocheting, baking, country music, and her three precocious and gorgeous grandkids.

Using ideas from the thousands of books she's devoured provides great opportunity to mix and match plots, flawed characters, and locales she's visited to create her own unique stories, settings, and characters. "There's a whole host of heroes and heroines prancing around in my head, each one clamoring for their story to be told."

Elizabeth is also co-author on two of our novellas, A Dozen Apologies, and its sequel, The Love Boat Bachelor.

                      
                           Available on Kindle
Coming February 2015
     




Today's the last day to get Jerusha Agen's This Dance, FREE on Kindle! The other books in the series are available in print and Kindle formats, so look for This Shadow and This Redeemer to complete the set.







Join more of the Five Golden Days of Christmas here:


Friday's Blogs:


Julie Arduini:  Christmas Concert Memories
Fay Lamb, On the Ledge: Ho, Ho, Help           

Thursday's Blogs:


Fay Lamb: On the Ledge: A Special Gathering
Sheryl Holmes: Created to Crave


Wednesday's Blogs:

Tuesday's Blogs:


PNP: Cancer Survivor and Mom of Nine Offers Hope All Year Long
Tracy Ruckman: Christmas at Rumi Rancho
Julie Arduini: The Focus of Christmas
Fay Lamb: On the Ledge: A Very Special Mom

Monday's Blogs:

Sheryl Holmes: Give Hope: Carry!


Tonight, we're having a Facebook Party and we'd love for you to come, 7-9 PM. It's a "drop-in, stay as little or as long as you want, come as you are" party! We're giving away books, jewelry, Christmas ornaments, a Nativity, gift cards, and more - hope we'll see you there. 



Thursday, December 4, 2014

2014 Favorite Fiction

We asked our authors to share up to three of their favorite novels they read this year (didn't have to publish this year) and we received a GREAT list. I've added all the covers below with our author who chose them as the caption.

Are your favorites in this list? Share your favorites in the comments.

Elizabeth Noyes

Jerusha Agen
Jerusha Agen
Betty Thomason Owens

Betty Thomason Owens

Joan Deneve

Joan Deneve
Phee Paradise
Phee Paradise
Marji Laine
Marji Laine
Sheryl Holmes
Sheryl Holmes

Marie Wells Coutu
Marie Wells Coutu





Be sure to pick up a copy of Jerusha Agen's This Dance, which is FREE on Kindle today and tomorrow! The other books in the series are available in print and Kindle formats, so look for This Shadow and This Redeemer to complete the set.


Today's the last day to get Fay Lamb's Charisse for FREE on Kindle, so be sure to grab yours and tell your romance-loving friends to get their copy. And don't forget about the next book in this series, Libby. She's quite the character, and there's a hunky hero involved in her story, in case you're interested. 




Join more of the Five Golden Days of Christmas here:


Thursday's Blogs:


Fay Lamb: On the Ledge: A Special Gathering
Sheryl Holmes: Created to Crave


Wednesday's Blogs:

Tuesday's Blogs:


PNP: Cancer Survivor and Mom of Nine Offers Hope All Year Long
Tracy Ruckman: Christmas at Rumi Rancho
Julie Arduini: The Focus of Christmas
Fay Lamb: On the Ledge: A Very Special Mom

Monday's Blogs:

Sheryl Holmes: Give Hope: Carry!


And be sure to mark your calendar! We're having a Facebook Party on Friday, December 5, and you're invited! We're giving away books, jewelry, Christmas ornaments, a Nativity, gift cards, and more! 



Variety of a Storyteller

One of the greatest things about being a publisher is discovering the creativity of so many different writers and today's featured author is no exception.

Betty Thomason Owens is a delight. I use that term with her frequently, because it's so fitting. She's the author of the Legacy Series - the first book Amelia's Legacy released last month. The book is set in the 1920s and Betty transports us there.

When she's not in the '20s, Betty can be found in the Camelot era, with her Jael of Rogan series. She even writes contemporary stories - she's co-author of our novellas A Dozen Apologies (Feb 14) and its sequel The Love Boat Bachelor, coming February 2015.

Born in the Pacific Northwest, Betty grew up in the mid-south then moved to the Bluegrass region of Kentucky.

Betty is married to a Control Mechanic/Electronic Technician. They have three sons who were homeschooled for 4 years. All three are now married and have given them 4 granddaughters, 2 grandsons, 1 very spoiled granddog and a semi-famous grandcat named Smith Wigglesworth.

I love the creativity of our authors, don't you?

          
                                Available Now on Kindle                                            Coming February 2015                                          

   
Don't forget to grab your copy of Jerusha Agen's This Dance. It's FREE on Kindle today and tomorrow.

Today's the last day to get Fay Lamb's Charisse for FREE on Kindle, so be sure to grab yours and tell your romance-loving friends to get their copy. And don't forget about the next book in this series, Libby. She's quite the character, and there's a hunky hero involved in her story, in case you're interested. 

Join more of the Five Golden Days of Christmas here:


Thursday's Blogs:


Fay Lamb: On the Ledge: A Special Gathering

Sheryl Holmes: Created to Crave


Wednesday's Blogs:

Tuesday's Blogs:


PNP: Cancer Survivor and Mom of Nine Offers Hope All Year Long
Tracy Ruckman: Christmas at Rumi Rancho
Julie Arduini: The Focus of Christmas
Fay Lamb: On the Ledge: A Very Special Mom

Monday's Blogs:

Sheryl Holmes: Give Hope: Carry!


And be sure to mark your calendar! We're having a Facebook Party on Friday, December 5, and you're invited! We're giving away books, jewelry, Christmas ornaments, a Nativity, gift cards, and more! 



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A Writer’s Sweet Tooth: Christmas Cookies

Who likes Christmas cookies? Do you have a favorite kind, or do you pretty much like them all, like someone I know, ahem?

We asked our authors to share some of their favorite cookies (or their character's) with us and we're delighted to share them with you. Share yours with us in the comments! We even located some recipes for you - just click on the cookie name.

Jerusha Agen says, "For snow lover Nye Sanders (in This Dance), her favorite Christmas cookie is a big snowflake-shaped, frosted sugar cookie."

(This Dance is FREE on Kindle 12/3-12/5!)

Betty Thomason Owens says Nancy Sanderson's favorite is Thumbprint cookies with currant jelly.

Fay Lamb tells us that Libby’s favorite cookie is an M&M Cookie, no matter the season.

(Meet Libby for the first time in Charisse - FREE on Kindle 12/2-12/4!)

Sheryl Holmes - Chocolate dipped Almond Biscotti


Elizabeth Noyes provides a recipe for her hunky rancher/ranger cowboy Garrett Cameron's favorite Christmas treat, Snickerdoodles. You can read about Garrett in Imperfect Wings.

Snickerdoodles

Ingredients

½ c. salted butter, softened
½ c. vegetable shortening
1½ c. plus 2 T. sugar
2 medium eggs
2¾ c. all-purpose flour
2 t. cream of tartar
1 t. baking soda
¼ t. salt
2 t. ground cinnamon

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°.

Combine the butter, shortening, 1½ cups sugar with the eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on medium until creamy and well mixed (about 2 minutes).

Sift together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Stir into the shortening mixture in small amounts, until well blended.

In a separate bowl, stir together the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar with the cinnamon.

Shape the dough into 1½-inch balls. Roll each ball in the cinnamon-sugar until coated. Arrange the dough balls 2-inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake until edges are set, but center is still soft (8-10) minutes. Cool on wire rack.

What's YOUR favorite Christmas cookie?


Today's the last day to get Peggy Cunningham's Really Rare Rabbits: Giant Green Ghosts and the Secret at Peppermint Pass for free, so grab it now!

Fay Lamb's Charisse is free today and tomorrow, so be sure to tell your romance-loving friends to get their copy. And don't forget about the next book in this series, Libby. She's quite the character, and there's a hunky hero involved in her story, in case you're interested. 


And be sure to mark your calendar! We're having a Facebook Party on Friday, December 5, and you're invited! We're giving away books, jewelry, Christmas ornaments, a Nativity, gift cards, and more! 



The Unstoppable Power of Words

We're at the halfway point of our Five Golden Days of Christmas, and we have THREE FREE KINDLE BOOKS for you today!

Jerusha Agen is our featured author today. Jerusha lives by the words "Soli Deo Gloria ... Words to the glory of God alone." She uses a unique phrasing I'm not sure I've seen elsewhere. On her blog, she writes, "Words are powerful. When words are used to tell stories, they're unstoppable."

She is also a screenwriter, and several of her original scripts have been produced as films. In addition, Jerusha is a film critic, with reviews featured at the website, www.RedeemerReviews.com.

Jerusha's stories reflect her unstoppable comment - her characters live on in our hearts and minds long after the book is closed.

Today, one of those books is FREE on Kindle: This Dance, the first book in her Sisters Redeemed Series.

From the back cover:

No love, no pain. No God, no games.

A tragedy three years ago destroyed Nye's rise to the top of the dancing world as an upcoming tango star, and in the process destroyed her reason for living, too. She survived the pain and built a new life resembling nothing like the one she left behind, determined never to hurt again.

Nye's emotional walls hold up perfectly until she meets a handsome lawyer and an elderly landowner. They seem harmless, but one awakens feelings she doesn't want and the other makes her face the God she can't forgive. Will these two men help Nye dance again?

One of the 5-star reviews says:

"I'll admit it: I'm a reader who judges a book by its cover. Before I'll even pick up a book or click on its image to read the plot summary, the picture and title have got to catch both my eye and my interest. 'This Dance' did just that, and the story inside didn't disappoint -- it was every bit as engaging as the cover suggested. The characters are well developed and full of life, to the point where I felt I knew them as friends and could relate to their struggles, fears, and joys as they faced personal, financial, moral, and spiritual challenges. Some books hover around the thoughts and actions of the protagonists so long that you get sick of them, but this writer knows how to weave other characters into the plot, adding another realistic dimension that enriches the reading experience. Most of all, I loved how the author realistically portrayed the spiritual inadequacies and personal struggles of the main characters, creating believable (and far too relatable!) scenarios, in which the individuals faced the consequences of their decisions and had to make choices that would change the course of their lives. By the time I finished this first book, I was hooked on the series! In addition to my Kindle version, I bought a hard copy of the book to loan out to people and to keep on my bookshelf for future readings."

The Sanders sisters stories continue with This Shadow and This Redeemer - you don't want to miss them.





















Jerusha is also co-author of our bestselling novellas A Ruby Christmas and A Dozen Apologies, and its upcoming sequel The Love Boat Bachelor.

Today's the last day to get Peggy Cunningham's Really Rare Rabbits: Giant Green Ghosts and the Secret at Peppermint Pass for free, so grab it now!

Fay Lamb's Charisse is free today and tomorrow, so be sure to tell your romance-loving friends to get their copy. And don't forget about the next book in this series, Libby. She's quite the character, and there's a hunky hero involved in her story, in case you're interested. 


And be sure to mark your calendar! We're having a Facebook Party on Friday, December 5, and you're invited! We're giving away books, jewelry, Christmas ornaments, a Nativity, gift cards, and more!