Tag Archives: Christmas

Guest Author – ALLYSON CHARLES

Allyson Charles

Allyson Charles is my guest author today. She lives in Northern California and is the author of the “Pineville Romance” series, small-town, contemporary romances published by Lyrical Press. A former attorney, she happily ditched those suits and now works in her pajamas writing about men’s briefs instead of legal briefs. When she’s not writing, she’s probably engaged in one of her favorite hobbies: napping, eating, or martial arts (That last one almost makes up for the first two, right?). One of Allyson’s greatest disappointments is living in a state that doesn’t have any Cracker Barrels in it.

Following is the blurb for her new Christmas book. Sounds like fun!

SOMETIMES YOU GET WHAT YOU NEED . . . 

Allison Stuart has always been the odd-woman-out of her family. She wears her jeans a little too tight, BookCover_TheChristmasWeddingSwapcolors her hair a little too blonde, and instead of going into medicine and law like her sisters, she runs a diner. She’s also the only single sibling left. And while she won’t change her style, and her meatloaf is to die for, thank you very much, she wouldn’t mind her share of wedded bliss. So she makes an early New Year’s resolution: No more meaningless flings.

 

Drop-dead sexy Luke Hamilton is everything Allison has sworn off. His only serious relationship has been with his five-star restaurant, Le Cygne Noir, in Chicago. When he’s threatened by a lawsuit, Luke decides to hide out in Pineville, Michigan, until the statute of limitations runs out. The small town is filled with Christmas charm, but he can’t imagine living there. Heating things up with the hottie who owns the local diner would make his exile bearable—if he can convince her to give up her ridiculous resolution . . .


AND HERE’S AN EXCERPT FOR YOU TO ENJOY!

“This is a small-town diner. Your stock isn’t going to drop if you have a bit of fun with your newest employee.” His eyes raked her body, taking in every curve.

She swallowed and rose to her feet. Staying seated while he stared down at her looking like he wanted to…well, eat her up, wasn’t a strong authority position. Since this man now worked for her, he was off-limits. Her stomach quivered.

No. No, making him the forbidden fruit. He might be sexy, but he was also an arrogant know-it-all. At this stage in her life, she wanted someone she could settle down with, not tear up the sheets. She thrust her shoulders back, realizing too late it could look like she was shoving her D cups in his face. Fighting the heat crawling up her neck, she said, “If you want a tour, my advice would be to visit the tourist bureau. They have information on the sights to see. The holidays are a busy season for me, more so with Sadie’s wedding. I don’t have time for anything else. Got it?”

He nodded slowly, but Allison didn’t believe him. The tilt to his full lips was impish, as if she was a challenge he couldn’t wait to take on. The moment he spoke, she knew she was right. “I get it. You own a restaurant; you’re busy.” Sauntering to the door, he waited until he was just outside before hitting her with his parting shot.

“But a month is a long time. You won’t always be busy. And I’ll be waiting.”


DON’T FORGET…..

Allyson is giving away a $25 Amazon/BN Gift Card

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HTML:  <a href=” http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f2464″>Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>


STAY IN TOUCH!

Sign up for Allyson’s newsletter at http://www.allysoncharles.com/newsletter

You can find her at http://www.allysoncharles.com, on Twitter @1allysoncharles, and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AuthorAllysonCharles.


Buy links for THE CHRISTMAS WEDDING SWAP:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s/?field-keywords=9781601836090
IBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-christmas-wedding-swap/id1209823636?mt=11
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-christmas-wedding-swap-allyson-charles/1125489708;jsessionid=7895472FF3C5A0BDE501E6AB0E760A87.prodny_store02-atgap02?ean=9781601836090
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-christmas-wedding-swap
Google: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=9781601836090&c=books

 

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YIKES! IT’S HERE AGAIN…

christmas04

Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday, fellow readers. Hope you had a hale and healthy year and are looking forward to another one.

What better time for good wishes than Christmas Eve? I cannot believe how fast this past year has gone. I’m hoping Santa put ointment and Band-Aids under the tree for all of the cuts and bruises the past year has visited on me.

Still, DH and I have been lucky. No major health issues. When you get down to basics, that is the most important part of our lives. From what I’ve seen of life in general, without good health, nothing else is much good either.

One major event for us this past year was an automobile upgrade. My 10-year-old car was badly battered after years of sitting in the parking lot where I work at my real job. DH’s old pickup had gone beyond reasonable repair. So we donated the pickup to charity and traded the car in on an SUV. Now we’re a one-car outfit. Silly me, I thought scaling back to one vehicle would save money on insurance. Wrong. The insurance premium on the new rig is higher than it was on both older vehicles. <Sigh>

AnnaJeffrey_TheCattleman800I released Book #2 of the “Sons of Texas” trilogy, THE CATTLEMAN. It’s now for sale at all of the online retailers as an e-book. If you would prefer a print copy, one is available from Amazon.

I did a blog tour to kick it off and raffled a new Kindle Fire for people who visited the various blogs. I was unfamiliar with any of the book blogs where I was a guest. I had no idea there were so many. I felt like I had been living under a rock!

The ever-changing publishing landscape is just that—ever-changing. Amazon sort of yanked the rug from under self-publishing authors with its new subscription service. It’s like Netflix for books. Good deal for readers, not quite as good for authors. I don’t know how many readers have joined, but authors are grumbling and some are starting to bail. Hopefully, it will sort itself out soon.

I put only one book into it, mostly as an experiment. Given the experience I’m having, I’m glad one book is all that’s there. AnnaJeffrey_CallisterBundle3D_200When its term expires, I’ll be taking it out. So if you’ve joined Kindle Unlimited, it’s part of their monthly package. Or if you are not a member of KU and want to read three of my Anna Jeffrey books for a discounted price, check out THE CALLISTER BOOKS. It’s a bundle that includes THE LOVE OF A COWBOY, THE LOVE OF A STRANGER and THE LOVE OF A LAWMAN….

The bundle is $6.99 at Amazon. That’s $2.33 per book. After its term in KU expires, I’ll be putting it for sale with other online retailers as well.

I have a steamy novella underway. MIRANDA’S MAN. AnnaJeffrey_MirandasMan_200 I hope to be releasing it within the next few months. Here’s the cover. Let me know what you think.

And I will soon be starting Book #3 of the “Sons of Texas” trilogy, THE HORSEMAN. No cover yet. This book will be about Troy and the woman who finally captures his heart, Chloe. I will also wind up the Lockhart family story. I have the last chapter in my head, but I haven’t come up with the first chapters yet. Oh, well. I suppose backward is good as long as you come out at the right place in the end.

Enjoy the holiday, everyone.

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Filed under Books and Publishing, Lifestyle

The Holidays Have Landed…

And so has holiday food. The weather turned cold, we got a little rain, so the Christmas spirit finally hit me. I even got out and did a little shopping.

I also did a little baking. I made one of my favorite cookies and loaded them up with white chocolate chips, dried cherries and fresh pecans. I thought that sounded festive. They turned out fine.   …..  The price of dried cherries and this year’s fresh pecans just about left me gasping, but then you’ve heard me whine about the price of food before. I calculate those cookies must have cost more than 50-cents apiece to make. And they aren’t very big cookies, either.  😦

 

After that, I took a recipe for one of Emeril’s cakes off the Food Channel website and made it. It’s called Chocolate Swirl Bundt Cake with Nutty Topping. It’s a fluffy marble cake accented with praline liqueur and fresh pecans pieces. I haven’t tried a piece of it yet, but the recipe sounded so good, I know it will be larruping. Emeril’s receipe called for walnuts and walnut liqueur, but I had fresh pecans on hand rather than walnuts, so I rushed to the liquor store and bought the praline liqueur  stuff. If you want the recipe, you can go here:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/search/delegate.do?fnSearchString=bundt+cakes&fnSearchType=site

 

If you make it with the walnut liqueur as he recommends, let me know how it turns out.

(On a side note, that praline liqueur is very good on ice cream.) 🙂

(On another side note, I read somewhere that chocolate is going to nearly double in price in 2012! That is pure evil!)

I will probably make more cookies. I always do. So how about you? What are you baking for the holidays?

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When my daughter comes to visit, we always make things. This year she brought a recipe called Chocolate Eclair Icebox Dessert. Believe it or not, this is kind of low-cal. And it’s so light, delicious and easy, you don’t feel guilty if you have more than one piece. Guilt-free. That’s the ticket. So here’s the recipe.

CHOCOLATE ECLAIR ICEBOX DESSERT

22-1/2 sheets low-fat honey graham crackers (enough to make 2 or 3 layers in a 9×13 pan), 3 cups fat-free milk, 2 (3.4 oz.) packages vanilla or cheesecake instant pudding mix, 1 (8-oz.) pkg. reduced fat cream cheese at room temperature, 1 (8-oz.) tub frozen light cook whip, thawed

Arrange graham cracker sheets to cover the bottom of 13×9 pan coated with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine 3 cups milk, pudding mix and cream cheese and beat at low speed 1 minute, or until thick. Fold in shipped topping. Spread half the pudding mixture over graham crackers and top with another layer of graham cracker sheets. Repeat with the remaining pudding mixture and another layer of graham crackers. (You can cut out the middle layer of graham crackers if you like.)

TOPPING

1/4 cup fat-free milk, 2 tbsp. margarine or butter, softened, 2 tbsp. honey, 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted, 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar (We doubled the topping.)

Combine 1/4 cup milk, softened butter, honey and melted chocolate in medium bowl. Beat well with mixer. Gradually add powdered sugar and beat well. Spread chocolate over graham crackers. Cover dessert and chill 4 hours. Make sure your cover doesn’t touch the chocolate topping. It’s okay to leave it uncovered if necessary.

There you go. Let me know how you like it.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Food and Recipes, Lifestyle