Merry Christmas! Welcome to my stop on the Christmas Carol Blog Train. I hope you enjoy your visit. I'll be giving way several prizes during the day, so be sure and leave a comment. The prizes will include copies of my two Christmas stories: A COWBOY'S DREAM, just released yesterday and THE PRICELESS GIFT, a November 2007 release. Below is an excerpt from A COWBOY'S DREAM. It has the title of my song in it. Have fun and good luck.
Marcus stared at her hand a moment, then cleared his throat. Raising his gaze to her face, he smiled. “So, how are you going to celebrate?”
“Celebrate? Oh, I hadn’t thought about it.” Leah glanced around the kitchen. She hadn’t shopped in over a week. When on a deadline, fast food worked best. She lifted her hands palm-up and frowned. “I don’t have a beer, let alone a wine cooler.”
He went slack-jawed. “You don’t have a beer?”
“No, not even a light beer. Though I might have some tequila about.” She glanced toward a cabinet near her bare Christmas tree, then back.
He stared, squint-eyed, at her Christmas tree. “Expecting elves to decorate for you?”
She came around the counter to stand beside him, then wished she hadn’t. Forget the tequila. His body heat warmed her through the jogging suit and his aftershave intoxicated her. She blew out a slow breath. “No, aside from the fact I’ve been under a deadline, I’m a traditionalist.”
He glanced her way, blue eyes sparkled with curiosity. “A traditionalist?”
“Hmmm, yes. I decorate on Christmas Eve and celebrate the Twelve Days of Christmas, December twenty-sixth through January sixth.”
He leaned a hip against the granite bar. “Do you exchange gifts every day then, too?”
She shrugged. “When I have someone to exchange with.”
“And you won’t this year?”
Great, now she not only appeared to be a waif, she’d sound like one, too. “No. My parents are in Australia doing an archeological dig. They won’t be back until the middle of February. I’m an only child.”
“An archeological dig?”
“Let’s just say I had a very unusual upbringing. I suppose that’s why I enjoy writing historical novels. I’ve been to many of the places I write about in my books.”
“No kidding? That sounds exciting.” He propped an elbow on the bar and leaned toward her. “Growing up on the ranch as I did, I never went anywhere outside Texas until I played ball for college.”
She chuckled. “Not me. By the time I started high school, I had more stamps in my passport than most people have underwear.”
His gaze slid lazily down her body. A hot shiver of desire swept through her at the glimmer of interest in his eyes.
“Well, I know one way to celebrate.”
Had his voice dropped an octave? “Do you now?” Had hers risen one?
He pushed off the counter and stepped toward her. “Hmmm, yes, ma’am. Change into some celebrating clothes and I’ll be back in an hour. I know a great restaurant to celebrate grand slams...as well as book births.”
Here's a copy of recipes that go with my stories. In THE PRICELSS GIFT, Christina loves to bake, and this bread recipe is one of her family's favorites.
In The Priceless Gift, Christina loves to bake at Christmas. One of her favorite recipes to make is Grandma Scott's Pumpkin Bread. I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as she does.
Grandma Scott’s Pumpkin Bread
3 C sugar 1 C oil
4 eggs, beaten 2 C cooked pumpkin (1 16-oz can)
3 ½ C flour 1 tea baking powder
2 tea salt 2 tea baking soda
½ t ground cloves 1 tea ground cinnamon
1 tea ground nutmeg 1 tea ground allspice
¾ C water 1-1 ½ C chopped nuts
Combine sugar, oil and eggs until light and fluffy. Stir in pumpkin.
In another bowl, combine dry ingredients. Stir into pumpkin
mixture. Add water and nuts. Spoon batter into well greased and
floured pans (2-3 depending on size). Bake at 350º for 60-70 minutes.
***NOTE: If you use 1 pound bread pans, you can get 6 loaves....perfect for teacher, neighbor, co-workers or family gifts.
And in A COWBOY'S DREAM, Leah makes Angel's on Horseback for her Christmas Eve party:. That recipe is just a couple of posts below. But here's a recipe for Peanut Butter Balls.
Peanut Butter Balls
1 pound powdered sugar
1 stick butter or margarine
8 ounces peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
12 ounces chocolate chips *
1/2 block paraffin wax *
Mix sugar, melted butter, peanut butter, and vanilla. Roll into balls and place in refrigerator. Melt wax and chocolate chips in double boiler. Dip balls in chocolate and place on wax paper to cool.
*In place of the chocolate chips and paraffin wax, you can use the chocolate candy melts found in hobby stories in the cake decorating area. They work just as well.
Enjoy. And now, for tomorrow's Blog Train stop:
Hywela Lyn at http://hywelalyn.blogspot.com/
P.S. I forgot to tell those who haven't played in the blog train what to do....since November 29th, a different author has hosted the blog train for the day. Each author has a Christmas song listed on their blog. You need to find the songs of all the authors and keep a list of them. On December 24th, the last author will have her song, as well as where to send the list of songs (putting in the comment section of the blogs doesn't help...you need to mail the list in). All those with the correct titles will be in a drawing for a $75 The Wild Rose Gift Certificate. If you've not played yet, no need to worry, just start at Blog No. 1 and follow the links until you reach me. Then you'll have the list of titles. Start with: http://plparker.blogspot.com/