December 21, 2012

Holiday Cheer - Gifts from the Afterlife

WIN A NOOK HD in Holiday Cheer Event

By Sarah J. McNeal

Nothing is more fun than blogging around Christmas, especially when there are free prizes offered. It doesn’t get much better than a free Nook HD.

To help spread the cheer and enjoy a little time talking about Christmas and great stories during the season, I would like to celebrate my single release, Gifts From The Afterlife, just out for just $.99. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I love the $.99 store. I can’t think of anything more fun for the price. To add to the fun, I am giving away a digital copy of Gifts From The Afterlife to someone who leaves a comment. Be sure to include your email address at the end of your comment.

How dark must it get before Lydia sees the light?
Lydia Sinclair’s life has run off the rails.  She has lost everyone she loves and Christmas has lost its meaning.  As Christmas approaches, Lydia wants to go to sleep and never wake up again.  Perhaps an angel, some ghosts and a childhood sweetheart can convince her that life is worth living again.  Can Lydia let go of what once was, renew her joy in Christmas and find the promise of hope for her future? 
Short Excerpt:
She searched her memory and it suddenly came to her that she had, indeed, met a young boy from next door. However, her contacts with him had always been brief. He had been a cute kid, but she couldn't remember much of what he ever said except for once. Lydia, her sister, and a couple of their friends were camping out in an old tent. Austin came over with a bag of fresh baked cookies his Aunt Mimi made to give to them. They shared a few cookies while Lydia told them a ghost story with only the moon to illuminate the tent. When she finished and everyone stopped screaming, Austin had leaned over and whispered in her ear. "Some day when I'm grown up, I'm going to marry you."
The memory came floating back like a pink bubble. She definitely wouldn't tell him about that memory. Instead, she kept it simple and neutral. "I do remember seeing you from time to time."

He smiled and his eyes told her he remembered that night in the tent, too.

Buy Links:

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

       Provided by Sarah J. McNeal

½ cup butter or margarine                               1/3 cup Hershey’s cocoa

2/3 cup sugar                                                   ¼ teaspoon salt

1 egg yolk (set aside the egg white)                Vanilla Filling (below)

2 tablespoons milk                                          Granulated sugar  

1 teaspoon vanilla                                           ½ cup walnuts or pecans ground

1 cup unsifted all-purpose flour                      2 dozen Hershey kisses 

Cream butter, 2/3 cup sugar, egg yolk, milk and vanilla in small mixer bowl; blend into creamed mixture.  Chill dough about an hour or until firm enough to handle.  Keep the egg white at room temperature until dough is ready to handle.  Then beat the egg white until frothy and place in a small bowl.  Roll each ball in either the granulated sugar or the ground nuts and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet.  Make a thumbprint in each cookie. 

Place in oven preheated to 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
While the cookies are cooling,
Prepare Vanilla Filling:
Thoroughly combine ½ cup confections’ sugar, I tablespoon butter, 2 teaspoons milk and ¼ teaspoon vanilla
Once the cookies have cooled, place a dollop of vanilla filling in the thumbprint and top with a Hershey Kiss. 

Where you can find me:


Sarah J. McNeal said...

Thank you for allowing me a spot on your Holiday Cheer Blog today, Anna.

Barbara Edwards said...

What a lovely excerpt. Made me want to read the rest of the story. thanks.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Hello there, Barbara. Thank you so much for your kind comment.
Ya know, I forgot yesterday that the world was supposed to end today. Good to know we made it through. I wonder if all those doomsday preppers are in their burroughs right now.
I appreciate you took the time to come by today,
I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and, now that we lived through the end of the world, a very happy New Year.

Linda Swift said...

Good morning, Sarah. I loved your excerpt and this sounds like a wonderful story. I actually know a couple who have that same romantic story. And the cookies made my mouth water. I'll put this recipe on my list of things to bake while my children are here next week. Thanks.

Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Hi, Sarah. Thanks for being my guest today. Great excerpt and recipe.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Linda, you are such a treasure. I want to know about that couple you mentioned. What happened to them?
I hope you do try the cookie recipe. My niece has often asked me to make a batch of these cookies just for her instead of buying her a present.
Thank you so much for coming by today and for being so kind.

Renee Vincent / Gracie Lee Rose said...

Mmmm...Sarah, those cookies sound delicious! Think I'm gonna have to try those.

do not worry about entering me in your wonderful contest. I've already bought your book, just need to find the time to read. After my blog tour, and the holidays, I imagine my schedule will let up a bit.

Wishing you a very blessed and safe Merry Christmas, dear!

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Renee, you little darlin'. Thank you so much for buying my book. That really makes me happy. I sure hope you like it. I know what you mean about a backlog of books in the TBR. I love to read, but I can't keep up with mine either. LOL
Thank you so much for coming by and leaving a comment. It was very sweet of you.

Mary Preston said...

GIFTS FROM THE AFTERLIFE sounds just wonderful.

Thank you for the recipe.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Mary, thank you so much for dropping by and thank you for your kind words.

Cheryl Pierson said...

I was gone most of yesterday, but here I am, better late than never! LOL I have your book, too, and just need to find time to sit down and read. I feel like yesterday I lived in Wal Mart, along with the rest of everyone in Oklahoma City. LOL These cookies sound wonderful. Today and tomorrow are going to be my baking days, and I'm going to make these. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Your book sounds very good. It is now on my TBB list.

Love the recipe. Will be making them this weekend.

Deb T
mammy4423 (at)

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Hey Cheryl. Sounds mighty busy for you right now. Oh the joy of the holidays. Late or early, it's always great to hear from you and I appreciate your wonderful support.
I hope you love these cookies. They don't last a m inute around my family. LOL

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Deb, thank you for that compliment and for coming by today. I hope you try that recipe. Warning: they are addictive. LOL

Karen Michelle Nutt said...

The cookies sound yummy!

Loved the excerpt. Sounds like a really great read. Of course all your tales are fantastic. :)

kmnbooks at yahoo dot com

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Karen, what a wonderful compliment about my work. Thank you so much. I hope you get a chance to try the cookies. Yummm...

Sarah J. McNeal said...

The winner of Gifts From the Afterlife is Barbara Edwards. Congratulations, Barabara. I'll get this book to you ASAP.
Omce again, I would like to thank Anna for allowing me to be a part of her Holiday Cheer Blog.