The 12 Days of Christmas

Day #9On the Ninth Day of Christmas

My true love asked for a cake.

So I looked through my easy recipes,

And found something new to bake.

Start by baking a plain white cake in a 9×13 pan. Follow recipe on box. After it’s completely cooled, take the handle side of a wooden spoon or spatula and poke holes all over the top, approximately an inch apart, going all the way to the bottom.

Next, in a side bowl, mix 1 box of your favorite flavor of jello with 1 cup of boiling water. Stir. Once powder is dissolved, mix in another quarter cup of cold water. Pour liquid over cake, letting it seep into the holes. Let cool for one hour.

Thaw a small container of cool whip in refrigerator. When it’s soft enough to spread, cover top of cake. Variations: for the holidays, I recommend cherry, strawberry, or strawberry-banana flavored jello. Depending on the flavor you pick, you can add sliced fruit on top of the cool whip. Or you can shake green and red sprinkles for a more festive look. Instead of a 9×13, you can also make two 9” round cakes and stack with cool whip in between the layers in addition to covering the entire outside. Or make cupcakes and poke four holes in the top of each. For more flavor, use 2 boxes of jello and 2 cups of boiling water, with half cup cold water.

Now help me welcome Meda White, who released the first book in her new series just this summer.

Play with my Heart by Meda White

Meda White PlayWithMyHeart850 Book Cover

Southern musician and closet geek Liz Baker enjoys her quiet life. While in Los Angeles helping her brother with a house project, the simple life gets complicated when British television actor Ian Clarke walks into the picture.

Ian enjoys his celebrity status in Hollywood and is determined nothing and no one will get in the way of his plans for success on the big screen. He never counted on meeting a woman like Liz, but she’s the only one who can help him with a personal problem.

Forced into close quarters where priorities and cultures clash, an intense attraction catches them both by surprise. Secrets, old lovers and the paparazzi threaten their new dreams and a chance for love could be lost forever.

Play With My Heart is a finalist in the 2014 BTS Reader’s Choice Red Carpet Awards.

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, Meda donated Bodycology Moroccan shower gel & lotion, plus author swag 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

Meda White was born with Georgia clay running through her veins, and she continues to enjoy the Southern lifestyle with her husband and Collie.

She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and affiliate chapters: Southern Magic, Georgia Romance Writers, and Contemporary Romance Writers.

When not writing, you might find her singing harmony, attempting to play guitar, shooting zombie targets, quoting movie lines, traveling, teaching yoga, or explaining the meaning of her unusual first name.

Connect:  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

The 12 Days of Christmas

Day #8On the Eighth Day of Christmas,

My true love said “I can’t sing.”

So instead, he turned on the TV,

And let the holiday music ring.

I don’t think I could ever choose just one favorite holiday song. Depending on the artist and my mood, I have a list of favorites:

All I Want for Christmas is You, Michael Bublé. (His entire Christmas album is great!)

I have a smooth jazz CD with Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!

The Christmas Song from Kenny G’s Faith album

Tennessee Christmas from Alabama’s Christmas album

What Child is This?

Sleigh Ride

Those are just a few. Whatever your favorites are, be sure to take some time during the holidays, in between shopping and cooking, to sit back and enjoy the sounds of the season. And share with us a few of your favorite songs.

Then mark your calendar. You won’t want to miss this debut novel from my sister Soul Mate author, releasing in less than a month:

Hands Full of Ashes by Kim Hotzon

Kim Hotzon  Hands Full of Ashes  Book Cover

Olivia promises to fulfill her dying husband’s wish – to scatter his ashes around the world. Wading through grief and depression, she journeys to a remote orphanage in Uganda. Living amongst the children in their threadbare surroundings, she vows to fight for the children’s lives as she begins to fight for her own. While Olivia develops a passion for humanitarian work, the lonely director of the orphanage develops a simmering passion for her.

Just as time begins to heal the wounds of Olivia’s fragile heart, her world is shattered when she is involved in a violent encounter with an armed rebel group in the picturesque mountains of Uganda. Olivia flees to the safety of Rwanda, where she learns the truth of her husband’s unimaginable betrayal.

As Olivia hovers on the brink of an emotional collapse, her broken soul is reawakened with a startling new love – but her life is about to take another dramatic turn as she struggles to survive in a region left torn apart by civil war. It will take every ounce of Olivia’s courage to hang on to those she loves the most but it may come at a great cost to all of them.

Hands Full of Ashes will be available on Amazon January 14, 2015.

  12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop Button with Frame

As part of The 12 Days of Christmas celebration, Kim donated a $10 Amazon card, paired with an ebook set and autographed PB of The Marker from Meggan Connors 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

Kim grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia and from a young age she developed three passions – travelling, teaching and writing. Always fascinated by different cultures, Kim travelled to Tokyo, Japan as a young adult where she began a two year adventure teaching English.

Ultimately, Japan changed the course of her life by introducing her to the field of education. She started her own business in Japan teaching English and thanks to her students, she gradually developed her skills in teaching. While living in Osaka, she learned to adapt to a vastly different culture and to appreciate the beauty and distinct traditions of this Asian nation.

Upon her return to Canada, she decided to publish her memoir, When the Cherry Blossoms Fall: My Life as an English Teacher in Japan, detailing the experiences and challenges that she faced while living as a ‘gaijin’ in Japan. She also began a lengthy career at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, teaching young adults with learning disabilities.

In October 2012, Kim joined a group of volunteers and she embarked on a humanitarian trip to Rwanda, Africa. Working with the non-profit organizations Developing World Connections and Building Bridges Rwanda, she worked alongside local villagers, building a kitchen facility for a group of genocide survivors. Rwanda has seen tremendous growth and development in recent years, and reconciliation is a major national initiative.  Her debut novel, Hands Full of Ashes, was inspired by this trip.

Connect:  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

The 12 Days of Christmas

Day #7On the Seventh Day of Christmas,

My true love said, “My Sweet,

I’m hungry from all this decorating,

Would you fix a snack for me?”

One of my favorite finger foods to bring to a party is chicken salad sandwiches. It’s better than homemade, so those of you who are as busy as I am will love this recipe.

Wal-Mart and Publix both have really good chicken salad in their delis – the kind with fruit and nuts and a light mayo for the base. Pick up one pound and a package of Hawaiian rolls – both the regular or butter flavored will work. Use a serrated knife to cut the rolls in half (it’s easiest if you leave each row in-tact and halve four at a time). Spread the pound of chicken salad over the entire dozen rolls like a spread, then put the rows of tops back on and cut each row into four. Place on a decorative plate and serve or cover and chill until it’s time to go.

It probably sounds too easy. But there’s something about the sweetness of the Hawaiian roll that blends with the chicken salad just perfectly.

And since you’ve saved time on your party finger foods, grab a book and enjoy the rest of the afternoon. I would recommend:

Love Redesigned by Sloane B. Collins

Sloane B Collins LoveRedesigned400 Book Cover

Give American cake artist Genevieve Haywood a picture of anything, and she’ll turn it into a sweet and decadent creation. She’s not going to let hard work or competition stop her from opening her dream business. But when she’s hired as the cake artist for her cousin’s wedding in France, she never expected to run into the French fashion designer who broke her heart fifteen years ago.

Roman Duchaine is done with living life in the fast lane. Tired of being in the haute couture spotlight, he’s moved back to the small French village where he was born and raised.

Roman’s ready to settle down and have a family until the lost love of his life arrives for his cousin’s wedding. Seeing her reminds him just how devastating falling in love can be.

Their fragile truce is meant to last through the wedding, yet every second together makes their attraction and long-buried feelings undeniable. But old habits and hurts die hard, and while Roman is ready to weave their lives together, Genevieve can’t afford to lose herself in his shadow.

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, Sloane donated a Paris-scented shower gel/lotion/mist set 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

Debut author, Sloane Burke Collins, is thrilled to be a Soul Mate author. Her novella Love Redesigned won 1st place in the Contemporary category of the 2013 Indiana Golden Opportunity contest. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Dallas Area Romance Authors, and Contemporary Romance Writers.

Since Sloane and her husband love to travel, she has vowed to write a novel set in just about every place they visit. From the wilds of Maine, to the rocky coast of Oregon, to the lush paradise of Oahu, and the rolling hills of Ireland, all of it is fodder for Sloane to craft stories of love, intrigue, and perhaps a Paranormal or two.

Sloane is a fifth-generation Texan, and after a stint in Missouri and Florida, she is back home now and lives in the Dallas area with her husband of over twenty-six years, and their four rambunctious cats (all named after characters in her favorite Julia Quinn novel).

Connect:  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads