The 12 Days of Christmas

Day #5On the Fifth Day of Christmas,

My true love gave me a party tip.

For our Christmas potluck next week,

I should bring my guacamole dip.

I used to be intimidated by what I thought would be hard recipes, like guacamole. But I found a great spice packet in my produce section that’s made one of my favorite appetizers easy.

Take 2 large or 3 small avocados. Pour in the spice packet (it comes in mild or hot). I also take half of a small tomato and chop it up fine. Add a dash of lemon and lime juice. (This not only adds a hint of flavor but also helps it keep from turning when sitting out on a food table. Mix thoroughly, cover with foil, and refrigerate until ready to serve. This is a great recipe to make several hours before, to let the spices mix well with the avocado..

Serve with chips. Get creative with pita chips and fiesta colored chips.

Now, to the spotlight of my post. Welcome Jessica Jefferson, author of the wonderful Compromising Miss Tisdale, Taming Miss Tisdale, and the soon-to-be-released Chasing The Other Tisdale. If you haven’t had a chance to read this series, it’s a must!

Taming Miss Tisdale by Jessica Jefferson

perf5.000x8.000.indd

Miss Tamsin Tisdale believes herself to be completely unsuitable for London life. After a myriad of social mishaps, and the potential ruination of her family name, she’s shipped away to her cousin’s northern estate. Only after she accepts the type of existence Society dictates she must follow will she be welcomed home.

Marcus Winston, the Duke of Grayson, has a lackluster reputation. The last in a dying line, he’s endured a protected life—rank with privilege, but encumbered by isolation. After a brief encounter with rebellion, he learns the devastating consequences of his carelessness and willingly accepts living life from inside his gilded cage.

However, a chance meeting with the brazen Miss Tisdale gives Marc the opportunity to reinvent himself into the man he’s always dreamed of being. But when his deception comes to light, and ghosts from both their pasts threaten to unravel the intimacy they’ve come to cherish, will either of them set their fears aside long enough to embrace love? Or will Miss Tisdale’s stubbornness divide them?

Pick up your copy today at Amazon.

12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop Button with Frame

As part of The 12 Days of Christmas celebration, Jessica donated a $10 Starbucks card, paired with an autographed PB of Marked from Jeanne Hardt to the prize list. Click HERE for this and many more random drawings. To follow the celebration, find a new recipe, pick up a holiday decorating or shopping tip, click HERE.

About the Author

Jessica Jefferson makes her home in northern Indiana, or as she likes to think of it – almost Chicago. Jessica originally attended college in hopes of achieving an English degree and writing the next great American novel. Ten years later she was working as a registered nurse and reading historical romance when she decided to give writing another go-round.

Jessica writes likes she speaks – which has a tendency to be fast paced and humorous. She is heavily inspired by sweeping, historical romance novels, but aims to take those key emotional elements and inject a fresh blend of quick dialogue and comedy.

Connect:   Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter Goodreads

The 12 Days of Christmas

Day #4On the Fourth Day of Christmas,

My true love took me to the mall.

We’d bought a few presents already,

But we hadn’t found them all.

As exciting as Christmas is, it can be stressful trying to find just the right gift for everyone on your list. If you have children, that list gets even longer when you include multiple teachers, daycare workers, Sunday School teachers, and bus drivers. So, how can you cover all the bases without the added stress of spending lots of money? And what can you really buy for just five or ten dollars these days?

Well, if you’re willing to put a little elbow grease with your dollar bills, you can stay within a reasonable budget.

Gifts Under $10

Go to the Dollar Store, Dollar Tree, Walmart, or Target, and buy several mugs. They don’t have to be Christmas mugs unless that’s what you want. They can simply be trendy or oversized.  Go to the clearance section and see what’s there. Or look for mug ‘sets’ that you can open and give individually. Then, buy clear plastic bags with Christmas designs. The ones that are 10-12” tall with twist ties.  Fill the mug with Christmas miniature chocolates, candy canes, some of those large mint balls, or a solid chocolate Santa (you can usually find them somewhere for $.99). Once filled, slide it down into the sack. Pick up some curling ribbon – cut three or four 8” strips. Tie them around the sack to close it and curl the ends.

Alternatives:  You can also fill the mugs with hot chocolate packets. Most grocery stores sell gourmet singles for $.75-$.99. If yours doesn’t, Swiss Miss with marshmallows is always a good choice.. Flavored hot tea bags are also great. If you have time to spend in the kitchen, make some chocolate chip or no-bake cookies. Find a recipe for easy fudge. Make it a family project.

Don’t forget that it’s the thought that counts. The recipient will know you spent time creating the gift and that will mean more than the price tag.

Now, help me welcome Christi Barth, author of Tinsel My Heart.

Christi Barth   Tinsel My Heart    Book CoverBecca Huntley’s produced the Lyndale Park Player’s over-the-top Christmas pageant for ten years. The beloved Minneapolis tradition is the theatre’s main fundraiser. But this year’s production is almost canceled when their director disappears into rehab at the last minute. Good thing his directing partner steps in to save the day. Except for the minor fact that he hates everything about Christmas.

Jack Whittaker wiped the Twin Cities off his shoe with his graduation tassel and never looked back. But duty compels him to fulfill Tyler’s promise to direct the show. Even though it means working side-by-side with Becca, the girl he always wanted, lost to Ty, but never forgot.

It’ll take more than a few handfuls of tinsel to soften Jack’s heart toward Becca’s favorite holiday. Steamy kisses that melt the snow right off his boots are a step in the right direction. They’ll both discover that Christmas is about making each other’s dreams come true. But will doing so destroy their chance at a happily-ever-after together?

Buy Links:  Amazon  |  B&N  |  Carina Press  iTunes  |  Kobo

12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop Button with Frame

As part of The 12 Days of Christmas celebration, Christi donated a complete ebook set of her Aisle Bound series to the prize list. Click HERE for this and many more random drawings. To follow the celebration, find a new recipe, pick up a holiday decorating or shopping tip, click HERE.

About the Author

Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning.  Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes contemporary romance. Christi is President of the Maryland Romance Writers and lives in Maryland with her husband.

Website | Blog | Pinterest | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page |Facebook

The 12 Days of Christmas

Day #3On the Third Day of Christmas,

My true love brought to  me,

An ooh-la-la Peppermint Martini.

 

First, you have to prepare your glasses. For the red rim, put sugar into a blender and slowly add food coloring until it’s the desired shade. Pour onto a plate. Break an egg white onto a second plate. Dip the glass rim into the egg white, then into the colored sugar – set aside until it hardens.

5 oz Vanilla flavored Vodka / 2 oz White crème de menthe / .5 oz Peppermint Schnapps

Pour all three ingredients into shaker with ice. Then strain into sugar-rimmed glasses. Alterations:  You can also use green crème de menthe. Garnish with mini candy canes in red, green, or red & green stripes. Recipe makes 2 glasses.

Enjoy while listening to Christmas music, watching your favorite holiday movie, wrapping Christmas presents, or reading your brand new book.

Check out this great Highland novel released earlier this year. With 75 Amazon reviews, averaging 4.5 out of 5 stars, I know you’ll enjoy it!

Highland Deception by Meggan Connors

Meggan Connors   Highland Deception   Book Cover

When Kenneth Mackay, long-banished rogue and thief, returns to the Mackay holding at the request of his brother, he has no idea what he might find. He certainly doesn’t expect to be confronted with his twin’s imminent death, or with the plan his brother has concocted.

Ten years before, Malcolm made a tragic mistake, and, to preserve the family name—and his own skin—he allowed Kenneth to take the fall. Now that he is dying without an heir, Malcolm plans to atone for his mistake: by giving Kenneth his life back. All Kenneth has to do is assume his brother’s identity. But complicating matters is the unexpected return of Lady Isobel Mackay, the daughter of an English marquess and the wife Malcolm didn’t want.

Isobel barely knows the husband who abandoned her even before their marriage, and she’d long since given up on having a real marriage with him. Yet when she returns to the Mackay holding far earlier than expected, she finds her husband a changed man. Despite the hurt between them, Isobel’s heart responds to this man who cares for his entire clan as if they were family. Who, for the first time, cares for her as if she is, too.

Falling in love with her husband had never been part of Isobel’s plan. But when their future is suddenly in peril, Isobel must find a way to save him—from himself and from the deception threatening to tear them apart.

Pick up your copy today from Amazon.

  12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop Button with Frame

As part of The 12 Days of Christmas celebration, Meggan donated an ebook set and signed PB of The Marker, paired with a $10 Amazon card from Kim Hotzon to the prize list. Click HERE for this and many more random drawings. To follow the celebration, find a new recipe, pick up a holiday decorating or shopping tip, click HERE.

About the Author

I’ve been writing stories since I was little–I finished my first story (3 spiral notebooks) when I was eleven. I think it’s in a box in the garage, actually. Because, really, everyone should keep the first story they ever wrote. Sure, it featured the boy I had a crush on, unicorns and rainbows and a witch that looked suspiciously like my sixth grade teacher, but whatever.

Okay, yeah, it’s super embarrassing. Especially when you consider that I didn’t exactly know the difference between profuse and perverse, and used them interchangeably.

Mmhm. Well. Let’s move on.

While graduate school effectively killed the writer in me for a time, the stories kept percolating in my head.  After my son was born, I decided to try my hand at writing romance novels. I finished my first, wrote a second, and started entering contests. Eventually, The Marker got picked up by Soul Mate Publishing, and the rest is history.

When I’m not writing–or at work–you can find me hiking in the hills behind my house, camping in my tiny camp trailer with my two dogs, two kids, and lawman husband, or with my nose in a book.

Connect:  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

What’s your favorite holiday cocktail?