Blog Tour: Forever’s Holiday Celebration (Recipes + Review)

Forever’s Holiday Celebration 

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

 forevers-holiday-celebration-banner

MERRY COWBOY CHRISTMAS

Carolyn Brown

Lucky Penny Ranch, #3

On Sale: September 27, 2016

Publisher: Forever

Mass Market: $7.99 USD

eBook:  7.99 USD

brown_merrycowboychristmasBook Summary

“Jud with his slow, Texas drawl is one sexy cowboy who will have readers falling in love with him. His romantic connection with Fiona sizzles. Brown’s modern storytelling and fun-filled plot will engage readers and wrap them up in this sweet, Southern holiday romance.” –RT Book Reviews

THIS CHRISTMAS, SANTA’S WEARING A STETSON

‘Tis the night before Christmas and all through the house is the presence of one wickedly hot cowboy who’s come to stay for the holiday. Fiona Logan is downright shocked to return to her childhood home and find that the tall blond stranger who came to her rescue on an icy road will be sleeping just across the hall from her bedroom. Talk about temptation . . .

Jud Dawson never believed the Lucky Penny Ranch would live up to its name until now. Fiona is gorgeous, smart, funny, and everything he thought he’d never find. Now all he has to do is convince her to stick around town instead of hightailing it back to Houston. But with wild weather, nosy neighbors, and a new baby in the family, getting her to admit that she’s falling in love might just take a Christmas miracle.

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Buy Links

Walmart | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million

Google Play |iBooks | Indiebound | Kobo

You can read my review of this book here

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.


Highlander’s Christmas Kiss

 Paula Quinn

Highland Heirs, #5

Publisher: Forever

Format: Mass Market Paperback

Price: $7.99 USD

Releasing September 27, 2016

a-highlanders-christmas-kiss-coverBook Summary

A STRANGER’S SMILE
Christmas may be coming to Linavar, but Temperance Menzie is far from joyful. Grief-stricken over the death of her father at the hands of the Black Riders, she almost didn’t see the wounded stranger in the woods. And now she’s determined to give this braw, brooding Highlander the help she couldn’t give her father. But there’s a secret lurking in the depths of his blue-gray eyes. And Temperance won’t rest until she uncovers it . . .

A LOVER’S KISS
A killer for hire. It’s the last thing Cailean Grant ever thought he’d become, but being part of the Black Riders was his only way to survive. Now, his guilt grows day by day, along with his desire for the beautiful, brave lass nursing him back to health. As Christmas, the season of miracles, draws near and the truth of his identity threatens to come out, Cailean must risk the only thing he has left to lose – his heart.

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BUY LINKS

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Google Play | Kobo

You can read my review of this book here

PAULA QUINN’S CHRISTMAS COOKIES

My dad used to live across the street from us. Every year, when my
kids were little, he would dress up like Santa, climb out his window
on the second floor, and hang Christmas lights on his fire escape. My
kids would watch from our window with wonder in their eyes, unaware
that it was grandpa. He would turn and wave to them, sending them into
little fits of breathlessness. Later, we would visit grandma and
grandpa’s for homemade cookies (left there for them by Santa). The
house was always fully decked out with every Christmas decoration
imaginable with Alvin and the Chipmunks on repeat while the kids
hunted down little “pre-Christmas” gifts he’d hide for them. I loved
witnessing the magic of Christmas and love through their eyes. Now
grown, my kids will sometimes still look out the window at his fire
escape and smile, remembering a grandpa who loved them beyond measure.

paula-quinns-holiday-cookies

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; add
vanilla 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 into
shape.
  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.


MISTLETOE COTTAGE

Debbie Mason

Harmony Harbor, #1

On Sale: October 25, 2016

Publisher: Forever

Mass Market: $5.99 USD

eBook: $5.99 USD

mason_mistletoecottage_mmBook Summary

‘Tis the season for love…

Sophie DiRossi loved growing up in Harmony Harbor. But after fleeing in disgrace many years ago, it is the last place she wants to be. Left homeless by a fire, she’s forced to go back to the small coastal town that harbors a million secrets, including her own. Sophie sees this secret reflected every day in her daughter’s blue eyes—and she must keep it hidden from the only man she has ever loved.

Sophie’s return is a shock for everyone…especially Liam Gallagher. The firefighter had some serious feelings for Sophie-and seeing her again sparks a desire so fierce it takes his breath away. Now Liam will do whatever it takes to show Sophie that they deserve a second chance at love, even if everything they’ve concealed threatens to keep them apart. In this special town at this special time of the year, Sophie and Liam can only hope for a little holiday magic…

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BUY THE BOOK HERE

Walmart | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million

Google Play | iBooks | Indiebound | Kobo

You can read my review of this book here

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.

debbie-mason-1

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.

debbie-mason-2

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.

debbie-mason-3

Find out more about Debbie Mason at her website.


A Christmas Bride

Hope Ramsey

Chapel of Love #1

September 27th 2016

336 Pages

Forever

ramsay_achristmasbride_mmBook Summary

A season of hope . . .

‘Tis the season in Shenandoah Falls and the first time Willow Peterson has been home in years. But she’s determined to fulfill the wishes of her recently deceased best friend and restore Eagle Hill Manor to its former glory-all in time to host the perfect holiday wedding. She just has to get the owner of the historic inn to hire her. Unfortunately, that means dealing with Scrooge himself…

After the death of his wife, David Lyndon has a bah-humbug approach to Christmas. But as December counts down and the wedding planning is in full swing, it’s harder and harder to stay immune to the charms of Willow, especially when he sees how much joy she brings his eight-year-old daughter. After a simple kiss under the mistletoe turns into something more, David is hoping he can turn the magic of the holiday season into the love of a lifetime.

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BUY LINKS

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

My Thoughts

*ARC provided by Publisher*

A lovely, heartwarming romance story about a woman who returns to her hometown to regroup after an unexpected smear campaign rocks her career and a grieving man doing the best he can to keep himself together after losing his wife, the mother of his young daughter.

David and Willow have their share of problems, for sure, both separately and with each other, but they also have their share of chemistry. It was their chemistry and their opposing desires, as well as the wonderful writing and storytelling ability from Hope Ramsey, that made this a truly delightful Christmastime read for me.

If you’re looking for a sweet, well-written, small town Holiday romance, pick up a copy of A Christmas Bride by Hope Ramsey. It’s a great read, and the perfect story for a cold, winter night. (4.5 Stars)

* * *

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.

hope-ramsay-gingerbread

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.

hope-ramsay-gingerbread-2

Find out more about Hope Ramsay at her website.


CHRISTMAS COMES TO MAIN STREET

Olivia Miles

Briar Creek, #5

On Sale: September 27, 2016

Publisher: Forever

Mass Market: $5.99 USD

eBook: $4.99 USD

 

miles_christmascomestomainstreet_mmBook Summary

The mistletoe is out, and the gloves are off . . .

‘Tis the worst season to be single, but Kara Hastings won’t let a little Christmas funk spoil the festive season. Sure, running her own bakery is a little harder than she expected, but she can handle it. And she’ll prove it to a certain infuriatingly handsome, bossy Big City guy. She may be sugar and spice, but she can kick his butt twice.

Nate Griffin is in Briar Creek only for the holidays, and he refuses to fall for the whole “small town, candy cane-scented Christmas Wonderland” thing. He’s more interested in the fresh-faced cookie chef who always knows exactly how to get under his skin. So when Nate challenges Kara in the town’s big holiday contest, it’s not just the competition that starts to heat up. If he’s not careful, Kara won’t just melt his icy resolve against a small-town Christmas . . . she’ll melt his heart too.

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BUY LINKS

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million

Google Play | iBooks | Indiebound | Kobo

You can read my review of this book here

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.

 

 

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