December 18, 2008

Christmas Carol Blog Train

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 well as book births.”

Holiday recipes:

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 350ยบ 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

Anna Kathryn

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 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:

Good luck!


Stephanie said...

I'd like to agree with Leah and say I'm also 'A Traditionalist' but the wait is too long and usually I do love my decorations. I so love the thought of 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' Carol. Though I do wait until after Thanksgiving has passed and usually into the first week of Dec.
This year's been hard to celebrate without my mother but I'm trying to get into the spirit with this blog train, and it's really helping.
Your stories certainly look full of Christmas spirit. Thank you so much for sharing!

Judy said...

I enjoyed the excerpt from your Christmas story, A Cowboy's Dream. The Twelve days of Christmas is your carol.

Thanks for the recipes, they both look very good and easy. I went down on your posts and I have never heard of Angels on Horseback!! Being from the south, we eat oysters, I am going to have to try them.

Thanks and Happy Holidays!!

Anonymous said...

Twelve Days of Christmas

Babyblue22 said...

My son loves peanut butter so i will definitely be trying out the peanut butter balls recipe.
The Twelve Days of Christmas is the carol for today.

Thanks for sharing it with us.
Happy Holidays

Debra St. John said...

Your story sounds great! I love decorating for Christmas. I start right after Thanksgiving!

Drea said...

Oh, that pumpkin bred sounds amazing! I really want to try that one. A friend of mine mails me peanut butter balls every year...just ate some yesterday. YUM!

It too me a sec to get the twelve days of Christmas carol...yes, I need more coffee.


Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Good afternoon. Thanks so much for your comments so far. I've held my first drawing for the day....Debra St. John has won a copy of A Cowboy's Dream.

E-mail me at to claim your prize.

Anna Kathryn

Mindy said...

Your carol is The Twelve Days of Christmas.
The recipe for Pumpkin Bread sounds Great!

I kind of push Christmas too, I decorate a few days after Thanksgiving & keep the decorations up till a warm day in January.

I LOVE the excerpt from A Cowboy's Dream.
Merry Christmas,
Mindy :)

Cherie J said...

Wonderful excerpt! So The Twelves Days of Christmas is your carol. Thanks for sharing those yummy recipes.

blessedheart said...

Loved the excerpt, Anna! Merry Christmas!

Rhonda :0)

Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

My second winner of the day is Mindy, she'll get a copy of The Priceless Gift, my short story from last Christmas.


Anna Kathryn

peggy said...

I enjoyed reading the except of a
cowboys's Dream.The 12 days of christmas is your christmas carol.
and the recipes sounds yummy.

Debby said...

I love the Twelve Days of Christmas. I am having a hard time this year. I hope it gets better.

LJ White said...

The Twelve Days Of Christmas is the carol of the day. I have a recipe similar to your PB Balls but with Rice Krispies in it.

Happy Holidays!

Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

My third winner for the day is Debby. She's won a 2009 Tex-Mex recipe calendar (a new recipe every month) as well as a copy of A Cowboy's Dream.

Debby, send me an e-mail at and we'll work out getting you your prizes.

Anna Kathryn

kaisquared said...

I love the pumpkin bread recipe. One of my favorite articles that the paper runs almost yearly around now is how much it would cost to send all of the gifts from The Twelve Days of Christmas to your true love.

lindseye said...

I have made banana bread but never pumpkin bread. I will have to try this recipe.

Kim S. said...

Awesome excerpt!

This carol is the Twelve Days Of Christmas.

Love the recipes. Thank You! We have a version of Pumpkin Bread too. Very close to this one! LOVE it to pieces!! Haven't tried the Pumpkin Balls, will have to give them a go!!

Happy Holidays!!