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Greetings all. This is the final newsletter for our Sizzle in the Snow anthology. Actually, I am a tad late, as this was due out yesterday. My apologies. Without any further ado…

soulmate_heart_llc

December 15, 2015

SIZZLE IN THE SNOW: A SOUL MATE CHRISTMAS COLLECTION

Eight steamy romances by eight Soul Mate Publishing authors . . .

SIZZLE IN THE SNOW_800x1200 (2) NEW

BUY NOW

Buy Link

This Christmas season, Soul Mate Publishing and editor, Char Chaffin, presents Sizzle In The Snow: A Soul Mate Christmas Collection, an anthology now available on Amazon and Soul Mate Publishing. The featured authors and their stories include:

Welcome to our eighth and final newsletter in celebration of the release of

Sizzle In The Snow: A Soul Mate Christmas Collection.

Inside you’ll find great decorating tips, recipes and cocktails, excerpts, craft ideas, song links, holiday memories, and personalized cards and poems by the authors!

xmas girl

Book Corner

We promised a sneak peek, so here goes . . .

Author Amy Deason shares an excerpt of her short story, Second Chances: A Christmas Story!

 

Octavia turned and was headed out the door when she stopped, looking back over her shoulder, her mouth turned up in a smile. “I just thought you might be interested to know that Michael Dennison is the coach.”

Grace stopped in her tracks. “Michael?” she asked, her heart skipping a beat.

For a moment, she forgot to breathe. Michael Dennison. Good Lord, that man had been hot. Tall with an athletic build, dark brown hair and incredible blue eyes, he caught her attention no matter where she was. Or he used to the last time she’d seen him, several years ago when she’d been down here for a visit.

“I see you remember him,” Octavia laughed, topping in the doorway and turning back.

“Of course I do. How could I not? But wait, he’s the basketball coach here? I thought he moved away to the city.”

“Oh, he did, but he got divorced three years ago and moved back. He’s got a little girl, Nicole. Actually,” Octavia mused, tilting her head, “she’s about the same age as Gracie. Hey, maybe they could become friends. And no, before you ask, I don’t think he’s involved with anyone. Yet,” she drawled out, her intention crystal clear.

Grace could feel her face heating up. “Come on, you don’t seriously think he’d be interested in me do you? I mean, he was so good looking . . .”

“And you’re what? Chopped liver? Give me a break.”Octavia rolled her eyes dramatically. “I know for a fact that the man had the hots for you for a long time. I doubt that’s changed. Oh and one more thing…”

“What?”

“If I were you, I’d find that charger for your phone. I have a feeling that you might be getting a message pretty soon,” her friend replied mischievously. “Well, gotta go. See you tomorrow about five.,” she said, dashing out the door before Grace could say another word.

“Mom, Lee won’t get out of my room!” Grace yelled, her voice traveling down the stairs.

With a sigh, Grace started up the steps and heard Lee giggling hysterically.

Oh man, she thought, I’ve got to find that charger.

 

Cocktail Corner

 

Busy shopping, wrapping and socializing?

Kick back with a festive cocktail!mocktail pic

Recipe shared by Kim Hotzon:

Cuban Mojito

Recipe = single serving

  • 2-3 fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar, or more to taste
  • 1/4 cup ice cubes, or more as needed
  • 5 – 2 fluid ounces white Bacardi rum
  • 4 1/2 ounces club soda

Place mint leaves, lime juice and sugar in bottom of a glass and muddle with a spoon until mint is crushed. Fill glass with ice cubes. Pour rum and soda over the ice; stir. Serve with stirring spoon and garnish with fresh lime wedge.

Optional: Muddle fresh blueberries, raspberries or blackberries in with mint, lime and sugar for a refreshing switch to this classic cocktail.

Optional: Replace club soda with 7-UP for a sweeter, fizzier drink.

 _____________________________________________________

 

Holiday Memory Corner      Oct 15 holiday memory

Authors CD Hersh share their unforgettable holiday memory . . .

A Paper Christmas Tree

What do you do when you’re poor and don’t have the money for a Christmas tree?

Years ago when we were recently married college students, we were in that predicament. Not only did we not have a tree, we didn’t have much floor space to spare in our on-campus studio apartment. What we did have was access to hundreds of discarded, rectangular, IBM punch cards which Catherine liked to turn into paper wreaths. So, we got creative.

 

Using the IBM punch cards, some staples, a few cardboard rounds, and some string, we created a one-of-kind, paper Christmas tree that we hung from the ceiling.

sizzle dec 15 No 2                         sizzle dec 15

We put the Christmas cards we received in the center of the wreaths as decorations.

After the holiday was over we pitched the paper tree (we had no storage room either), but the memories of that first Christmas tree linger—unique and precious like our love.

_______________________________________________________

Oct 15 recipe         Recipe Corner

 

Company coming over? Author Tina Susedik dishes up her favorite holiday recipe:

 Holiday Recipe: Fruit Nut Sheet Bars

 

This is a recipe that was a favorite of my siblings (there are seven of us) as we grew up. I made it a few times for my husband and kids, but I’m the only one who ever ate them, so I stopped. Last year we were at one of my older sisters’ for a Christmas party. To my joy, there they were, sitting right on top of other bars. She said she was the only one who ate them, but since several of us siblings were coming, she made them. Ah, the joy of sitting with her, dipping the bars in hot chocolate, just like the old days.

 

Fruit Nut Sheet

Ingredients

1 cup chopped English walnuts

1 cup brown sugar

1 1/4 cup seedless dates – cut into small pieces

1 cup flour

3 eggs

1 tsp. baking powder

Powdered sugar

 

Beat sugar and eggs together. Dredge dates and walnuts in flour/baking powder mixture. Add to sugar and egg mixture. Pour into shallow, greased baking pan. Bake for 1/2 hour at 300 degrees. Cut and shake bars in powdered sugar until coated.

 

These tend to get hardened after a time, so dipping them in coffee or hot chocolate is a fun way to soften them up.

 

 

_________________________________________________________

 

MUSIC CORNER

Listen up! Cheryl Yeko shares her favorite holiday song:   Oct 15 music

 

Song Title: O’ Holy Night

By Susan Boyle

 

Song Link: https://youtu.be/JxCO5BGQIcs

 

 

 

Oct 15 craft corner

Craft Corner

 

Looking for a simple craft to do with your children or grandchildren? Feeling crafty?

Crystal Firsdon shares an easy to do, festive DIY craft:

 

When I open the ornament box every year and see pictures of my family and how they looked 2 or 5 or more years ago, I love it. Photo ornaments are my favorite, and so easy to make yourself. I take a favorite family photo from the past year, or my kids’ school pictures, and glue the picture to the cover of an old Christmas card. I cut out the shape I want the ornament to be out of the card, punch a hole in the top, string some ribbon through the hole, and voila! Instant picture ornament. Getting it laminated will help keep it safe.

You can also glue the picture to some cool wrapping paper, then glue the wrapping paper to a piece of cardboard or other sturdy backing. And of course, there are lots of pre-made kits out there where you put the pieces together and then insert your picture. Those are great, too.

 

 

 

 

Decorating Corner      Oct 15 decorating

Time to bring out the mistletoe! Author Beth Carter has a great decorating tip!

Fill a glass bowl with a bag of cranberries. Add water. The cranberries will float to the top.  Add several white tea lights. These will also float. Enjoy this natural, pretty holiday decoration!

__________________________________________________________

Holiday Card

What’s a holiday without a personalized card by one of your favorite authors? Author Ryan Jo Summers shares her holiday wishes:

sizzle Dec 15 cardWarmest thoughts & best wishes for a wonderful Christmas holiday and a happy new year!

 

Of course, as authors we love our readers, and we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to offer swag, free books, and a grand prize which was awarded to one lucky blog/newsletter follower!

Congratulations to our grand prize winner Brooke Patricia! Several other winners were chosen for free gift cards, books and prizes!

grand prize launch sizzle

Grand Prize

Thank you to everyone for joining our Facebook Launch Party on November 19th!

Missed the Facebook party? You can now purchase a copy of Sizzle In The Snow: A Soul Mate Christmas Collection!

Sizzle In The Snow Buy Link

Follow the authors’ blogs for a sneak peek of this wonderful collection!

Read Full Post »

soulmate_heart_llc

________________________________________
December 5, 2015
SIZZLE IN THE SNOW: A SOUL MATE CHRISTMAS COLLECTION
Eight steamy romances by eight Soul Mate Publishing authors . . .

SIZZLE IN THE SNOW_800x1200 (2) NEW

______________________________________
BUY NOW
Buy Link

http://www.amazon.com/Sizzle-Snow-Soul-Christmas-Collection-ebook/dp/B0186SCT74

This Christmas season, Soul Mate Publishing and editor, Char Chaffin, presents Sizzle In The Snow: A Soul Mate Christmas Collection, an anthology now available on Amazon and Soul Mate Publishing. The featured authors and their stories include:
• Beth Carter http://bethcarter.com/, Santa Baby
• Amy Deason https://amydeason.wordpress.com/, Second Chances: A Christmas Story
• Crystal Firsdon http://crystalfirsdon.com/, ‘Twas the Crazy Night Before Christmas
• CD Hersh https://cdhersh.wordpress.com/, Kissing Santa
• Kim Hotzon http://kimhotzon.com/, The Snow Bird
• Ryan Jo Summers http://www.ryanjosummers.com/, Tamed by Christmas
• Tina Susedik http://www.tinasusedik.com/, Operation Santa
• Cheryl Yeko http://www.cherylyeko.com/, Christmas Eve Surprise

xmas girl

Welcome to our seventh newsletter in celebration of the release of
Sizzle In The Snow: A Soul Mate Christmas Collection.
Check your inbox every ten days for each newsletter. Inside you’ll find great decorating tips, recipes and cocktails, excerpts, craft ideas, song links, holiday memories, and personalized cards and poems by the authors!
________________________________________
Book Cornerbook corner

Author Beth Carter shares a blurb of her short story, Santa Baby!

________________________________________
SANTA BABY by Beth Carter

Unlucky-in-love Brooke Woods finds herself with a Christmas delivery and it isn’t from Santa. When her boyfriend leaves her for their neighbor, she heads to the nearest bar, meeting hunky, nice guy Anderson Bradley. The two only exchange first names, and their hot fling leaves them both wanting more but their anonymity makes that impossible.

Brooke never thought she’d end up in a hospital pregnant at Christmastime. Will a Santa Baby bring the new mother and father together or tear them apart?

___________________________________________________________

Cocktail Corner

Busy shopping, wrapping and socializing?
Kick back with a festive cocktail! mocktail pic

Recipe shared by CD Hersh:

Mocktail recipe:
Cranberry Sangria by the glass (original recipe by C.D. Hersh)

For each 8-ounce champagne glass you will need:

1/4 cup brewed Hibiscus Watermelon tea (we use Republic of Tea brand)
1/8 cup brewed Chamomile honey and vanilla tea (we use Twinings brand)
Sparking apple cider
1 rounded TBS jellied cranberry sauce (smooth or whole berry)
Fresh fruits (grapes, whole cranberries, pineapple chunks, peeled sliced star fruit, or peeled kiwi—or fruits of your choice)
Short skewer or sizzle stick

Directions:
Thread fruits on a skewer or swizzle stick and set aside.
Place teas and cranberry sauce in the glass. Mix until sauce is dissolved. Fill glass with sparkling apple cider. Enjoy!
Mock Champagne by the glass (original recipe by C.D. Hersh)
In an 8-ounce champagne flute, place ¼ cup white grape juice and 1/8 cup Chamomile tea. Fill glass with regular or diet ginger ale. To give the drink a holiday flare, add a slice of star fruit and a couple of whole, fresh cranberries to the glass before adding the liquids.

________________________________________

Holiday Memory Corner     Oct 15 holiday memory

Crystal Firsdon has an unforgettable holiday memory to share . . .

Holiday memory
This holiday memory is more of a true story that’s been told for years. At 2 years old I was too young to remember when this happened. The story goes . . .

Christmas Eve in my family has always been celebrated at my maternal grandparents’ house with my mom’s side of the family. After a long evening of church, dinner, and presents, my parents brought my sister and me home only to discover someone had broken into our house by kicking in our back door. They ransacked the house and stole all our Christmas presents! (Side note: Yes, they ransacked the house, but the house was already a mess when they broke in. My mom was so embarrassed about the mess that when the police came, she blamed it all on the burglars—even the clothes thrown all over the bedroom floors.)

Christmas day was always spent at my paternal grandparents’ house with my dad’s side of the family, and by morning they had all heard what happened. My aunts and uncles snatched some of their own kids’ presents, changed the tags, and gave them to my sister and me so we’d have gifts to open from Santa on Christmas day.

A few days later the police caught who did it. They came to our house with a garbage bag filled with what they could recover, including a red velvet robe for my dad. (It was the 70’s, don’t judge.) I remember hearing stories that when they caught the man, he was wearing the robe. Nobody remembers if that part is true or not but my mom said the robe had obviously been worn when they got it back.

Luckily, none of my own Christmases that I remember have been that dramatic. I’ve grown up with that story and will someday pass it on to my own children when they’re old enough that it won’t scar them for life.

music corner

________________________________________

Recipe Corner

Company coming over? Author Ryan Jo Summers dishes up her favorite holiday recipe:

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 20 min.
MAKES: 4 servings

Basil Halibut Steaks       salmon basil

INGREDIENTS:
6 plum tomatoes, cut into 1-1/4 inch slices
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 to 6 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
Water
4 halibut steaks (1 inch thick)

TOPPING:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup soft bread crumbs
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped ripe olives
Nutritional Facts
1 serving (1 each) equals 739 calories, 36 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 141 mg cholesterol, 492 mg sodium, 11 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 87 g protein.
Directions
1. Place tomatoes on a baking sheet; drizzle with oil. Wrap garlic in aluminum foil and place on the baking sheet. Bake at 450° for 20 minutes or until edges of tomatoes are lightly browned and garlic pierces easily with a fork. Place tomatoes and garlic in a food processor or blender; cover and process until smooth. Add vinegar, basil and water to achieve desired thickness; set aside.
2. Place halibut in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Combine mayonnaise and mustard; spread over fish. Combine bread crumbs, basil and olives; sprinkle over mayonnaise mixture and press down gently. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 20 minutes or until topping is golden brown and fish flakes easily with a fork. Spoon tomato sauce onto four dinner plates; top with fish. Yield: 4 servings.

_________________________________________________________

Music CornerOct 15 music

Listen up! Tina Susedik shares her favorite holiday song:

Song Title: Mary, Did You Know?
By Pentatonix
Song Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifCWN5pJGIE

________________________________________
Craft CornerOct 15 craft corner

Looking for a simple craft to do with your children or grandchildren? Feeling crafty?
Amy Deason shares an easy to do, festive DIY craft:

My DIY craft is not very expensive and is totally cute and fairly easy to make.

il_340x270.667243691_awgo

· Shadow Box
· Scrapbook Paper
· Vinyl Lettering
· 1 1/2 packages of bells (any color, multiple colors might be festive)

**Your shadow box doesn’t have to say Jingle Bells. You can have it say anything you like: Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Let It Snow, etc. And for the interior, you don’t have to use bells. You can use whatever you want. The possibilities are endless.

DIRECTIONS:

1. Apply vinyl lettering to the outside of the shadow box.

2. Place box upside down and fill with bells.

3. Trim paper to approximately 9″ (9.25″ might actually work for the shadow box better).

4. Place trimmed paper behind the bells and close the box.

There you go, now you have a beautiful Christmas craft to enjoy for years to come.

________________________________________________________
Holiday Card
What’s a holiday without a personalized card by one of your favorite authors? Author Kim Hotzon shares her holiday wishes:

holiday card

________________________________________
Of course, as authors we love our readers, and we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to offer swag, free books, and a grand prize which was awarded to one lucky blog/newsletter follower!
Congratulations to our grand prize winner Brooke Patricia! Several other winners were chosen for free gift cards, books and prizes!

grand prize launch sizzle

Grand Prize
Thank you to everyone for joining our Facebook Launch Party on November 19th!
Missed the Facebook party? You can now purchase a copy of Sizzle In The Snow: A Soul Mate Christmas Collection!

http://www.amazon.com/Sizzle-Snow-Soul-Christmas-Collection-ebook/dp/B0186SCT74
Sizzle In The Snow Buy Link
Follow the authors’ blogs for a sneak peek of this wonderful collection.

Read Full Post »

soulmate_heart_llc

________________________________________
November 25, 2015
SIZZLE IN THE SNOW: A SOUL MATE CHRISTMAS COLLECTION
Eight steamy romances by eight Soul Mate Publishing authors . . .

SIZZLE IN THE SNOW_800x1200 (2) NEW

________________________________________
BUY NOW
http://www.amazon.com/Sizzle-Snow-Soul-Christmas-Collection-ebook/dp/B0186SCT74
This Christmas season, Soul Mate Publishing and editor, Char Chaffin, presents Sizzle In The Snow: A Soul Mate Christmas Collection, an anthology available December 2 on Amazon and Soul Mate Publishing. The featured authors and their stories include:
• Beth Carter http://bethcarter.com/, Santa Baby
• Amy Deason https://amydeason.wordpress.com/, Second Chances: A Christmas Story
• Crystal Firsdon http://crystalfirsdon.com/, ‘Twas the Crazy Night Before Christmas
• CD Hersh https://cdhersh.wordpress.com/, Kissing Santa
• Kim Hotzon http://kimhotzon.com/, The Snow Bird
• Ryan Jo Summers http://www.ryanjosummers.com/, Tamed by Christmas
• Tina Susedik http://www.tinasusedik.com/, Operation Santa
• Cheryl Yeko http://www.cherylyeko.com/, Christmas Eve Surprise

Welcome to our sixth newsletter in celebration of the release of
Sizzle In The Snow: A Soul Mate Christmas Collection.
Check your inbox every ten days for each newsletter. Inside you’ll find great decorating tips, recipes and cocktails, excerpts, craft ideas, song links, holiday memories, and personalized cards and poems by the authors!

xmas girl
_________________________________________________________
Book Corner

We promised a sneak peek, so here goes . . .book corner
Author Cheryl Yeko gives an excerpt of her short story, Christmas Eve Surprise!
She swung her legs back around and gave his chest a hard shove so she could get down, but he didn’t budge.
“Move,” she said with a glare. Trying not to admit to herself how good it was to see him again. He hadn’t changed. Except his crystal clear blue eyes were now clouded with worry. His full mouth pinched, a tense expression on his oh, so handsome face. His wavy dark hair was shorter than she remembered, but his sexy square jaw still looked as stubborn.
Staring into her eyes with a determined look, Steve slid three fingers between the buttons of her winter coat and lightly rubbed her belly. His other hand tucked a loose curl behind her ear. “Afraid not, sweetness. We need to talk.”
Her breath caught at both the feel of him touching her, and the sound of the endearment she’d thought never to hear again, bringing back all kinds of wonderful memories. But the hurt from his abandonment ran deep and she focused on that, and not on how great he looked or how good he smelled.
“There is no ‘we’ and I have nothing to say to you.”
Liar! She’d spent the last six months, two weeks, and a day thinking about nothing but what she would say to him if she ever saw him again. But now that he was here, standing before her, all she could think about was how she’d missed him, and how she wanted to run her fingers through his dark, wavy hair, just like she used to.
Pathetic!
But the way he looked at her with those piercing blue eyes still made her insides quiver and her breath catch. His well-muscled body was just as powerful as she remembered. And that mouth . . . God, the things he could do with that mouth.
The babies took that moment to start moving around again, and her belly undulated under his fingers. Dropping his gaze, Steve sucked in a deep breath and took a small step back. He brought both hands up to cradle her belly on the outside of her coat as the babies continued to play.
When his gaze rose to meet hers his eyes were filled with wonder, and just like that, her heart expanded with a feeling of love and affection for him.
Before she thought better of it, she said quietly, “I’d like you to meet your sons.”

________________________________________

Cocktail Corner

Busy shopping, wrapping and socializing?
Kick back with a festive cocktail!
Recipe shared by Crystal Firsdon:         hot toddy

I don’t drink but once every few years or so. The last time I drank was because I went to a wine party and found myself in possession of a bottle of wine afterward. It took me a month to drink the darn thing because I only had one glass every Saturday evening for 4 weeks. And by glass, I mean coffee mug. I don’t own a wine glass. The only reason I was able to get the cork out was because I found a very old Swiss Army knife of my husband’s that happened to have a cork screw on it!
So for my Christmas cocktail, I asked my mom. Here’s what she gave me:
Hot Holiday Toddy
1 shot of rum
5 oz. ginger ale
Mix it in a holiday themed mug and microwave for 20 seconds.
Repeat every half hour until you’re in the holiday spirit.

________________________________________

Holiday Memory CornerOct 15 decorating

Amy Deason has a heartwarming holiday memory to share . . .
My husband and I started dating in January of 2011 and by June of that same year, we knew that we belonged together. So in October 2011, we moved in together. One of my most favorite holiday memories is of Christmas 2011.

It was wonderful. The children and I baked cookies for Santa while Shaun kept sneaking in and stealing them.

Snuggled together on the couch, nibbling Christmas cookies and drinking got cocoa, we watched Christmas specials including Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, It’s Christmas Charlie Brown, and A Christmas Story.

Before bed, gathered on the floor beside the Christmas tree that we had decorated together, Shaun read The Night Before Christmas. Tucking the kids into bed, we knew they were so excited for Christmas morning. And we were too. We had a wonderful little family.

amy deason pic 1

The next morning, the kids ran into our room and pounced on the bed, their voices happy and excited. We wanted to sleep in but there was going to be none of that with 3 kids on Christmas morning. What were we thinking, sleeping in?

One by one, we took turns opening presents and I, of course was taking a million pictures. While the kids and Shaun (the big kid that he is), played with all of the toys, I made a breakfast of pancakes, sausage, bacon, and eggs.

It was one of the most wonderful and special moments of my life. One that I will carry with me forever.

I hope that everyone has at least one holiday memory like this.

Merry Christmas,
Amy Deason

___________amy deason pic 2_____________________________
Recipe Corner

Company coming over? Author Kim Hotzon dishes up her favorite holiday recipe:

Homemade Cranberry Sauce            cranberry sauce

1 12 ounce bag frozen or fresh cranberries
1 cup white sugar
1 cup orange juice
lemon zest
Rinse cranberries and place in saucepan along with sugar and orange juice. Add 2 teaspoons of lemon zest. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook mixture, stirring constantly, until cranberries ‘burst’, about 10 minutes. Lower heat and continue stirring until mixture thickens (approximately 10 minutes). Remove from heat and place in serving bowl. Garnish with lemon zest. Serve at room temperature. *Leftover cranberry sauce can be refrigerated for several days afterward.

_____________________________________________Music Corner

Listen up! Ryan Jo Summers shares her favorite holiday song: Oct 15 music

Titles and Song Links:
Gloria Excelsis Dao link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLS6qZt9WLQ
Sleigh Ride https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OATi34PKNPw

Winter Wonderland https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5daQbThsDU
Snoopy vs The Red Baron https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oxzg_iM-T4E

________________________________________
Craft Corner Oct 15 craft corner

Looking for a simple craft to do with your children or grandchildren? Feeling crafty?
Beth Carter shares an easy to do, festive DIY craft:

My DIY is filling Pringles cans with home-made cookies and wrapping the cans with festive Christmas paper. I saw this suggestion on Facebook and think it’s a great idea!

beth craft

________________________________________
Decorating Corner
Time to bring out the mistletoe! Tina Susedik has some great decorating tips!

Kim H Christmas Memory

Decorating Idea: This one is very simple. Find a pair of skates – or like I did, use one that hasn’t seen ice in years. Tie the top of the laces together for hanging. In the skates, place pine cones, pine branches, holly, berries, etc. to decorate. You can use real or those found in craft stores. Hang on a door. I place mine on the wall beside our entryway door.

________________________________________

Holiday Card
What’s a holiday without a personalized card by one of your favorite authors? Authors CD Hersh share their holiday wishes:

CDHersh-Card-1

________________________________________
Of course, as authors we love our readers, and we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to offer swag, free books, and a grand prize which was awarded to one lucky blog/newsletter follower!
Congratulations to our grand prize winner Brooke Patricia! Several other winners were chosen for free gift cards, books and prizes!

grand prize launch sizzle

Grand Prize
Thank you to everyone for joining our Facebook Launch Party on November 19th!
If you missed the party, don’t worry! You can still enter giveaways and pre-order a copy of Sizzle In The Snow: A Soul Mate Christmas Collection by visiting and following the authors’ blogs! Follow the authors’ blogs for a sneak peek of this wonderful collection!

Read Full Post »

soulmate_heart_llc

_________________________________________________________________________________________

November 15, 2015

SIZZLE IN THE SNOW: A SOUL MATE CHRISTMAS COLLECTION

SIZZLE IN THE SNOW_800x1200 (2) NEW

Eight steamy romances by eight Soul Mate Publishing authors . . .

This Christmas season, Soul Mate Publishing and editor, Char Chaffin, presents Sizzle In The Snow: A Soul Mate Christmas Collection, an anthology available November 25th on Amazon and Soul Mate Publishing. The featured authors and their stories include:

Welcome to our fifth newsletter in celebration of the release of

Sizzle In The Snow: A Soul Mate Christmas Collection.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Check your inbox every ten days for each newsletter. Inside you’ll find great decorating tips, recipes and cocktails, excerpts, craft ideas, song links, holiday memories, and personalized cards and poems by the authors!

Book Cornerbook corner

We promised a sneak peek, so here goes . . .

Author Tina Susedik gives an excerpt of her short story, Operation Santa!

How much trouble can a man get into while trying to win back his estranged wife?

In this scene, David has received the package of goodies he’d ordered for his wife. Things don’t go quite the way he planned.

David’s hand hovered over the last package. Long and thin, it contained items from Marci’s book. Resting on top of everything was a pair of pink, fuzzy handcuffs. He tore the plastic off and placed them on the bed next to the book he’d left on the covers last night.

One of the bottles of massage oil smelled of vanilla, the other something exotic and spicy he couldn’t identify. Shots of desire swept through him. A candle in the same scent made his head swim.

“Wow. What the hell do they put in this stuff?” He reached down and gave Bubbles another neck scratch. “Do ‘ya think she’ll like this?”

The cat perked up when he pulled out a pink feather tickler. She jumped on the bed.

“No, you don’t,” David said, setting her on the floor. He put the tickler back in the box.

A leather flogger, nipple clamps, mask, and edible underwear lay on the bottom. Then something caught his eye.

“What the hell? I didn’t order this.” He picked up the invoice.

‘Please accept this holiday gift with our compliments.’

He tore open the plastic bag. Two men’s thongs stared up at him, one a reindeer with a strategically placed red nose. The other was a snowman with a carrot nose, obviously designed to hold a man’s johnson.

David eyed the items before him. Should he? He hesitated. Why the hell not? No one could see him.

He removed his tighty-whities and slipped on the snowman thong. He wasn’t too sure how he liked the strip of fabric running up his crack, but he had to admit the sight of his johnson stuffed in the carrot was pretty funny. He hoped Marci would think so.

He took the chaps, put the waistband around his hips, and snapped it in place. He tied the strips of leather on the leggings behind his thighs and calves.

“Not bad,” he said, eyeing himself in the dresser mirror. He raised his arms and flexed his muscles. Pumping iron was paying off. He sucked in his gut. Not a six pack, but no flab, either. He swiveled his hips to the beat of the song on the radio, then turned sideways for a glimpse of his bare ass. Nope, no droop.

In the mirror’s reflection, he saw the handcuffs. He wondered how the soft, fuzzy feathers would feel on Marci’s wrists.

After reading the instructions, David set the keys on the dresser, checked the quick release on both cuffs, attached one to a metal bar of the headboard and the other to his wrist. He imagined Marci’s arms stretched above her head, writhing in passion as he ran the tickler up and down her naked body. With the blindfold in place, she wouldn’t know what he’d do next.

His cell phone buzzed, interrupting his dreams. He reached for the phone, but with his right hand cuffed, he couldn’t quite grasp it.

“Ah, the quick release.” With his left hand David pressed the clasp on the cuff attached to his wrist. Nothing. “Dammit!” He tried the one hooked to the bed. No click. No snap.

“The keys!” He turned to the dresser.

A clinking noise stopped him.

“Bubbles, stop,” he yelled as the cat batted at the jingling keys. “Here, Bubbles. Here, pretty kitty.” The keys dropped to the floor.

Stretching his leg and big toe, he nearly reached them. The flogger would help, but before he could use it, Bubbles picked the keys up in her teeth. With her head and tail held high like a queen, she trotted from the room.

“Come back here! Dammit, get your furry ass back here.” He stomped his foot.

David squeezed his eyes shut until tears formed. Thoughts of starving to death when no one came to his rescue flashed through his mind. He’d be nothing but bones attached to pink, fuzzy handcuffs. What could be more embarrassing?

 

Cocktail Cornerchristmas cocktail

Busy shopping, wrapping and socializing?

Kick back with a festive cocktail!

Recipe shared by Amy Deason:

 

Christmas Cocktail

 

Ingredients:

1 shot of vanilla rum

1 shot white chocolate liqueur

1 shot peppermint schnapps

Candy cane garnish

Directions:

Add all ingredients to cocktail shaker filled with ice.

Shake well, strain into a martini glass

Garnish with crushed Candy cane

 Oct 15 recipe      Recipe Corner

Company coming over? Authors CD Hersh dish up their favorite holiday recipe:

Holiday recipe

Grandma’s Sugar Cookies

By

C.D. Hersh

There’s an old ERA Potato Chip can that was handed down to Catherine by Donald’s family. The can always housed Grandma’s Christmas Sugar cookies. After Grandma’s death, her sons found a handwritten recipe for the cookies. When they discovered Grandma had written the recipe for Catherine, she got the can, the baking sheets, and even the leftover shortening Grandma used. Since Grandma’s death it has been Catherine’s job to fill that can—which she faithfully executes every Christmas, sometimes as late as Christmas Eve!

We hope you’ll enjoy this holiday treat as much as our family does.

Grandma’s Sugar Cookies

1 ½ cups white sugar

½ cup brown sugar

1 cup buttermilk (you can use 1 cup regular milk plus 1 tsp. vinegar if you don’t have buttermilk)

1 tsp. baking soda

3 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla

Eggs

4 cups flour or more to make a soft dough

Cream sugar, eggs, vanilla, and milk together. Add dry ingredients a cup at a time, mixing well until you have a soft dough. Cover the bowl, and let the dough stand overnight in the refrigerator. You can leave it in the refrigerator several days as long as it is tightly wrapped. On a floured board, using a floured rolling pin, roll out small portions of dough quite thin and cut with cookie cutters. Bake 5 minutes at 375 degrees. Cookies should be slightly browned on the bottom. Remove from the pan and cool on cookie racks.

NOTE: Grandma’s quite—thin directions are a bit tricky. We always roll a few, bake them, and then test eat to see if they are the right thickness. The cookie should be soft, but the dough well cooked. Naturally, it takes a few tries to get it right. About as many times as you want cookies to eat. J

CDHersh-New-Era-cookie-can

This recipe makes a lot—if you don’t eat too many test cookies. J Enjoy!

Music Corner                                 Oct 15 music

Listen up! Kim Hotzon shares her favorite holiday song:

Given that I’ve spent many Christmases in Mexico, not only do I associate this classic song with Christmas, but I appreciate the snappy, warmth of the tempo and lyrics.

Title:

Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano

 

Song Link:

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=feliz+navidad+youtube&qpvt=feliz+navidad+you+tube&FORM=VDRE#view=detail&mid=4152F6A09E5B8303389A4152F6A09E5B8303389A

 

 

 

Craft Corner

Looking for a simple craft to do with your children or grandchildren? Feeling crafty?

Cheryl Yeko shares an easy to do, festive DIY craft:

cheryl pic

 

HOW TO MAKE VICTORIAN LACE ORNAMENTS

This is an easy way to update those faded out glass ornaments and end up with something pretty and old-fashioned for your tree.

You’ll need:

Old, faded or spotty round glass ornaments (the colored glass ornaments shows though the lace and are really lovely)

White or cream colored lace material (at least a half-yard)

A dinner plate

Pretty ribbon, strings of seed pearls, pretty buttons, tiny silk flowers, etc.

Glue gun and Glue

Very thin ribbon for hanging or clean white string

 

Lay the lace out flat on any surface, then set the dinner plate face down on the lace and using the plate as a pattern, cut around it. Cut as many as you need, one for each ornament you want to cover.

 

Place a tiny dab of glue on the bottom of the ornament and then stick it dead center of the lace. Bring the lace up the sides of the ornament to cover it, gather the lace at the top of the ornament, then use some thin string to tie it off. You can trim the excess lace at the top if there is too much, but you want some extra at the top to fluff out (see picture).

 

Now, use your glue gun and your imagination to decorate your lace ornament. You can loop thin bead strings all around in a scallop, you can glue on any kind of flowers or greenery, add pretty buttons in a pattern. Anything you want to make your ornament unique.

 

Lastly, thread some thin ribbon or cotton string through the wire hoop at the top of the ornament, and tie it off so you can hang it from the tree!

 

decorating corner                    Decorating Corner

Time to bring out the mistletoe! Ryan Jo Summers has some great decorating tips!

A few decorating suggestions, back from my craftier days:

  • First, a taper candle centerpiece. A dollar store tray on the bottom, filled with Styrofoam ring. Insert 12 white taper candles. Fill with dollar store or craft store holly, rosebuds, cinnamon bundles, pearls, pinecones and greenery. Add anything that seems Christmas-y to you.

candle  taper centerpiece

  • Second, cross stitch ornaments, stuffed with cotton batting and sewn/ glued to white fabric. Thick gold rope and red ribbon finish them off nicely.

12 days cc ornaments

  • Third, paper mâché ornaments. Bought at craft store. Paint in variety of colors. I used pastels for some and shiny bold primary colors for the others. When dry, run a bead of glue along the edge and adhere glitter or use glitter glue like I did. Either way works.

paper mache ornaments

  • Fourth, ceramic Santa Claus and raccoon pair around a Christmas tree. I painted these back when I was in love with ceramics. Can be bought at craft stores and fairly inexpensive to paint a few items.

ceramic santas

  • Fifth, not my design but similar to one I did. A tree bouquet. Mine was set in a pretty basket, with greenery and candy canes all around. Topped with a pretty ribbon.

Christms tree bouquet

  • Sixth, one I want to do as time allows. A horse head greenery wreath. Isn’t that too pretty not to want to make? I don’t have instructions but I’m betting it’s pretty simple, with greenery and wire mostly. And I also bet the instructions could be found online at some DIY blog. I find lots of great ideas on those DIY blogs.

horse head evergreen wreath

Other decorating ideas I don’t do but have seen done well are:

  • to cover the pictures in the house or room with Christmas wrapping paper and pretty bows so they look like presents. They could be grouped or done singularly.
  • I love the look of presents so I save small boxes up like shoe boxes and wrap them in assorted paper and bows. At Christmas time, they make the room overflow with lovely presents. Afterward, they are an awesome place to store light strands, ornaments and surplus items. Then they all tuck carefully away in tote boxes in the garage till the next year.

Muldoone's presents 11-27-12  Muldoone, my Maine Coon cat, wondering which presents are his and dreaming under the tree.

Holiday Card

What’s a holiday without a personalized card by one of your favorite authors? Author Crystal Firsdon shares her holiday wishes:

crystal firsdon card

40 Days ’til Christmas.

41 days ’til you can put it all away and get your house back in order!

Crystal Firsdon

 

 grand prize launch sizzle

You could win this grand prize!

Don’t miss our upcoming Facebook launch party on November 19th (3-7 pm CST) with tons of goodies to giveaway! https://www.facebook.com/events/1644447602494312/

Follow the authors’ blogs for a sneak peek of this wonderful collection!

Of course, as authors we love our readers, and we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to offer swag, free books, and a grand prize which will be awarded to one lucky blog/newsletter follower! For a chance to win these prizes, join the Facebook party and follow and join the author’s blogs!

Read Full Post »

soulmate_heart_llc

November 5, 2015

SIZZLE IN THE SNOW: A SOUL MATE CHRISTMAS COLLECTION

Eight steamy romances by eight Soul Mate Publishing authors . . .

SIZZLE IN THE SNOW_800x1200 (2) NEW

This Christmas season, Soul Mate Publishing and editor, Char Chaffin, presents Sizzle In The Snow: A Soul Mate Christmas Collection, an anthology available November 25th on Amazon and Soul Mate Publishing. The featured authors and their stories include:

Welcome to our fourth newsletter in celebration of the release of

Sizzle In The Snow: A Soul Mate Christmas Collection.

Check your inbox every ten days for each newsletter. Inside you’ll find great decorating tips, recipes and cocktails, excerpts, craft ideas, song links, holiday memories, and personalized cards and poems by the authors!

Book Corner book corner

We promised a sneak peek, so here goes . . .

Author Ryan Jo Summers gives an excerpt of her short story, Tamed By Christmas!

“Do you think we can still find a room or a cabin this late? I think I’d prefer going somewhere in Colorado. Aspen or Denver maybe.”

His face lit up as a smile touched his eyes. Gripping her hand, he squeezed gently. “I’ll check as soon as we get home. There’s bound to still be something.”

She pulled back. “Shane, I have to share something first, to be totally honest with you.”

“Uh oh.” He released her hand and leaned back, crossing one leg over the other, waiting. Again, his expression caused her heart to skip a couple beats. That baleful look he did so well.

She fiddled with her coat hem, trying to find the right words.

“Just try what comes to mind, Paige. It’s bound to be the most accurate.”

She drew in a breath, laced with cold air. “Sometimes I feel like we’re only lying to each other.”

His brows arched in twin peaks of surprise. “Excuse me?”

“I mean that our relationship is based on those lies. Like all we can do right is make love and there’s nothing solid beyond that.”

He shook his head. “I’m not following you.”

She fiddled with the hem again until he stopped her, resting his hand over hers. She wondered how he could feel so warm when she was so cold inside.

“Not actual verbal lies, I mean more to ourselves in thinking we even have a real relationship, beyond the sex.”

“Ah, I got you now.” He nodded, withdrawing his hand, leaving her even colder. His baleful look deepened, causing a chill to slide up Paige’s spine.

“Sometimes I feel as though there’s this wall between us. It’s real big. And I try but can’t figure out how to get over that wall.”

Her heart plummeted and she gave a mirthless laugh. “Lies and walls.” She held his gaze for a moment, licking her lips. “Are we really just kidding ourselves here, Shane?”

 

Cocktail Corner20151102_121651_resized

Busy shopping, wrapping and socializing?

Kick back with a festive cocktail!

Recipe shared by Beth Carter:

 

Jolly Appletini

I’m all about keeping it simple and festive around the holidays.

  • Simply buy a bottle of pre-made Appletini (I found mine at             T.J.Maxx.)
  • Then, mix one part green apple mix with one part vodka in a         cocktail shaker with ice.
  • Pour into a pretty martini glass and adorn the green           concoction with a red maraschino cherry!

We served these beautiful drinks at a Christmas party years ago.

 

Holiday Memory Corner

Cheryl Yeko has a wonderful holiday memory to share . . .

My writing career began when my husband gifted me a Kindle for Christmas. I rediscovered my love of all things romance and decided to try my hand at writing a romance novel. So, I checked out some books from the library, signed up for some online classes, and began my manuscript for Protecting Rose. It took a year to write and edit my first novel. In 2011, Protecting Rose finaled in the Launching a Star contest. This gave me enough courage to send it out to three publishers. I received two offers, and signed with Soul Mate Publishing.

Protecting Rose went on to win the 2012 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. How fun is that!! Today I have eight books out, as well as a few boxed sets and short stories, including my short story for Sizzle in The Snow, Christmas Eve Surprise. I’ve continued to garner awards, and my latest novel, The Notary, hit number 4 in the romantic suspense category on Amazon and I rode the top-100 best-selling author list for two weeks in that category. It was an amazing feeling that I hope to repeat someday.

I just wrote “the end” on my latest book, Between Midnight And Dawn, which is due for release in early 2016. I have two other stories in the works, the third in my Hero Series, as well as a paranormal series in a writing collaboration with my BFF, Char Chaffin, under the pen-name of CiCi Cordelia. Our first co-authored short-story under this name, Sweet Equation, is due for release in January, 2016, in the anthology, Hot Encounters II.

So, lots of stuff going on. And I owe it all to love, and my husband’s wonderful Christmas gift.

It changed my world.

My Kindle Photo edited_edited-1 

Recipe Corner

Company coming over? Author Crystal Firsdon dishes up her favorite holiday recipe:

Holiday recipe

Easy and simple, that’s me. I stole this recipe (though it’s so simple I’m not sure recipe is the right word) from my mom. Whenever it’s made, everyone loves it and there’s never any left!

Ingredients:

1 container of peppermint ice cream

1 pre-made chocolate graham cracker pie crust

Directions:

1.      Take ice cream out of freezer and soften at room temperature for about 30 minutes. It should be easy to stir and smooth with a regular spoon.

2.      Scoop ice cream into graham cracker pie crust and smooth out to completely fill the pie crust. I usually put enough ice cream so that it’s ¼ to ½ inch high from the pie crust.

3.      Cover and put back into the freezer to refreeze, at least 45 minutes.

4.      Cut like a regular pie and enjoy!

Oct 15 musicMusic Corner

Listen up! CD Hersh share their favorite holiday song:

Title:

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

 

Song Link:

Jimmy Boyd: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UI8spatbGEo original singer of I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause.

A jazzy, rap, fun video of I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause for those wanting an updated version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9Y08Ab9VLs

 

 

 

Craft Corner

Looking for a simple craft to do with your children or grandchildren? Feeling crafty?

Tina Susedik shares an easy to do, festive DIY craft:

 

Materials

·         Clear ornament bulbs. They come in plastic so they don’t break.

·         Different colored ribbon used for decorating gifts.

 

Instructions

1. Remove the hanging part of the ornament.

2. Place pieces of ribbon inside the ornament. You can use all one color or mix them up.

3. Replace the hanging part.

4. Attach a decorative ribbon as hanger.

 

Decorating Cornerdecorating corner

Time to bring out the mistletoe! Kim Hotzon has some great decorating tips!

Christmas Decor

Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year when I tromp downstairs and haul out boxes of Christmas decorations stacked in bins in the storage room. I love the ritual of carting boxes upstairs and unloading all the objects I’ve accumulated. Strings of lights, garlands, homemade ornaments and life-sized Victorian Santa’s that have seen better days come out of their dusty wraps and find their spot in the house.

I begin by setting up a Christmas scene on the fireplace mantel, using hand-painted wooden Santa figures that I crafted in the days before I had children. I place a sleigh and wooden trees on the hall table and string garland from the banister and around the front door. My trio of spindly pine trees are arranged in a corner by a window. Christmas lights create a wonderful mood, softening everything and when the snow comes, the house lights up in a soft, white glow.

No matter the layout or size of your home, Christmas ambience can be created with surprisingly few items:

  • lights (strings can be placed along mantels, banisters, counters, and around windows)
  • greenery (either fresh or bought, garlands herald the old days and bring a rustic warmth to your home )
  • groupings (placing similar objects together such as pine cones, Santa’s or angels, Christmas ball ornaments and so on.
  • candles (cinnamon, cranberry, apples and vanilla are great scents that remind people of Christmas)Enjoy decorating, even if your kids are grown. Arrange a night with a group of friends, mix drinks and get creative with a variety of crafts that everyone can bring supplies for. Trust me, as the evening unfolds, the crafts become highly entertaining!
  • newsletter 11-5

Holiday Card/Poem Corner

What’s a holiday without a personalized card by one of your favorite authors? Author Amy Deason shares this delightful and heartfelt poem:

MAY YOUR HOLIDAY SEASON BE FILLED

WITH LOVE AND JOY.

MERRY CHRISTMAS, AMY DEASON

 

 newsletter card 11-5

 

Of course, as authors we love our readers, and we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to offer swag, free books, and a grand prize which will be awarded to one lucky blog/newsletter follower! For a chance to win these prizes, follow and join the author’s blogs!

Don’t miss our upcoming Facebook launch party with tons of goodies to giveaway! Follow the authors’ blogs for a sneak peek of this wonderful collection! (FB launch date TBA).

Read Full Post »

soulmate_heart_llc

Sizzle in the Snow Newlsetter, vol. 3

October 25, 2015

SIZZLE IN THE SNOW: A SOUL MATE CHRISTMAS COLLECTION

Eight steamy romances by eight Soul Mate Publishing authors…

SIZZLE IN THE SNOW_800x1200 (2) NEW

Available November 25, 2015!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

book corner

STORY EXCERPT!

Each newsletter will feature an excerpt from 1 author’s story from the anthology. Next up is Kim Hotzon‘s Snow Bird. (Missed the first two newsletters? Go to my home page and click on the links for vol. 1 or vol. 2.)

Standing beneath him, she caught a glimpse of his butt encased in his jeans. He wore a navy fleece jacket and a matching hat. Even dressed like this, it was evident Tony had a sculpted, God-like physique. Her pulse raced as she pictured him naked, reclining on a sheepskin rug in front of a roaring fireplace. Or wrapping a white towel around his waist as he came out of the shower . . .

Lauren was startled when Tony nearly stepped on her hand. She had been so lost in thought, she hadn’t realized he’d almost descended the ladder.

“You all right? No need to be concerned,” he said. “It’s a small job. I need to cut a piece of wood and fit it in across the hole.”

She hadn’t expected he would work so quickly. How to devise a way to keep him around longer? “I was about to make a pot of coffee . . . can I bring you a cup?”

Tony hesitated, tucking a lock of hair under his fuzzy hat. His brown eyes were liquid, kind and warm. “Sure.”
•Kim Hotzon http://kimhotzon.com/, The Snow Bird

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

HOLIDAY MEMORY

Tina Susedik has a wonderful memory to share . . .

Holiday Memory OCT 15 All four of my grandparents came over from Germany after WWI, and, of course, spoke German as well as English. As my siblings and cousins grew up, we learned a few words of German.

One Christmas when my parents were particularly short of cash for gifts, my mother decided to teach my two older sisters and me to sing Silent Night in German. I was six, my two sisters 8 and 10. We sang in three part-harmony. This would have been 1958.

I remember standing in the doorway between my Grandma’s parlor and living room. We were surrounded by aunts, uncles, cousins (there were a lot of them), and my two sets of grandparents. My mom played the piano. The room was dead silent. Everyone stared at us. Then we started singing (OMG. I’m starting to tear up as I write this). When we finished, tears were running down the adults’ faces, but none more than my grandparents.

This became a tradition whenever we were at my grandparents’ farm for Christmas. One year I had a cold, developed laryngitis, and couldn’t sing. I cried and cried as Barb and Pat sang without me. We’d had this dream of becoming the next Lennon Sisters and I ruined it.
•Tina Susedik http://www.tinasusedik.com/, Operation Santa

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Oct 15 music

MUSIC CORNER

Listen up! Crystal Firsdon shares her favorite holiday song!

Music Corner OCT 15I’ve always liked my Christmas music rocked up, so I’m partial to Mannheim Steamroller. Here’s one of my Christmas favorites, Carol of the Bells.

Song Link:

•Crystal Firsdon http://crystalfirsdon.com/, ‘Twas the Crazy Night Before Christmas

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

COCKTAIL CORNER

Busy wrapping, shopping, and socializing? Kick back with a festive cocktail!

candy cane cocktail

Recipe by Cheryl Yeko.

Candy Cane Cocktail

Ingredients

1 shot vanilla rum

1 shot white chocolate liqueur (recommended: Godiva)

1 shot peppermint schnapps

Candy cane, garnish

Add all liquid ingredients to cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into martini glass. Garnish with candy cane.
•Cheryl Yeko http://www.cherylyeko.com/, Christmas Eve Surprise

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Oct 15 recipe

 

And while we are on a candy cane theme, here is a recipe by Amy Deason:

Candy Cane Bars

Ingredients:

2 (10 ounce) packages vanilla baking chips

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

1 1/2 cups crushed candy canes

1 dash red or green food coloring

Directions: 1. Line an 8 inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, and grease the foil.

  1. Combine the vanilla chips and sweetened condensed milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently until almost melted, remove from heat and continue to stir until smooth. When chips are completely melted, stir in the peppermint extract, food coloring, and candy canes.
  2. Spread evenly in the bottom of the prepared pan. Chill for 2 hours, then cut into squares.

 

amy deason recipe pic

 

Now, those just look so yummy! Paired with hot cocoa and a good book, I’d be set for the night.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A CRAFTY CREATION

If you’re feeling crafty, try this! Compliments of Ryan Jo Summers.

My DIY craft is felt snowmen. Super easy to make and fairly quick. They do not require lots of expensive items either. This would be a super project to work on with the kids.

Start with various sized bottles or jars. Mine all came from white bottles: supplements, OTC medicine, etc… Almost any round Felt snowmen part 1 NOV 25object would work. Also, white felt, black felt, orange felt. Amounts will be based on sizes of bottles and number of snowmen to be made. Lastly, glue. Elmer’s school style or hot glue are both fine.

Felt snowmen part 1

First, glue white felt around the empty bottle or jar. Then glue black felt around the top for a hat. Length will depend on overall desired size of hat. To make the hat brim, cut a hole in the center of a black felt circle slightly larger than the bottle’s/ jar’s diameter. Pull over bottle/ jar and glue in place.

felt snowmen NOV 25Lastly, add googly eyes, orange felt nose and cheeks. Tie ribbons (Christmas design or not) around hat and/or body. Use puffy paint to draw a mouth and outline the nose. If you have a tall enough snowman, glue some buttons under the mouth to indicate a torso. Viola! All done!

 

felt snowmen

•Ryan Jo Summers http://www.ryanjosummers.com/, Tamed by Christmas

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

TIME TO DECORATE!

Bring out the mistletoe! CD Hersh has some great decorating tips!CDHersh-Decorate-1

Decorate your Christmas Table

Catherine loves to set a pretty Christmas table, which she changes yearly. (She has a thing for dishes.) She also loves napkin rings, which are often expensive. To satisfy her dish decorating habit, she came up with a quick and easy way to brighten up her Christmas table using last year’s Christmas cards. You have them right? Doesn’t everyone?

Here’s what you need:

Christmas cards

Clear drinking glass (which will allow you to see the pattern on the Christmas card) or other circle template. A 2 ¼ to 2 ¾ diameter works best.

A marking pen or pencil

Scissors

Craft knife

Ribbons-cord or ¼ inch satin works best. Coordinate them to match your cards or go wild with colors.

CDHersh-Decorate-2

Directions:

Position the glass or circle template on the Christmas card, choosing the part of the card you want to use as the base of the napkin ring.

Draw around the outside edge of the glass. Cut out the circle. With a craft knife cut two slots in the circle, spacing them about ¼ of the way from the edges of the circle. Thread a pretty ribbon, long enough to circle your napkins and tie a bow, through the slots. Slip the ribbon around your napkins, tie your bow, and you have a festive napkin ring for your holiday table. If you want to get even fancier, glue some lace or gathered ribbon to the back of the greeting card circle and cover it with another circle. Slit both front and back circles and slid the ribbon through. Tie the ring onto your napkin and enjoy.

Like this easy table decoration? You can adapt it using any themed greeting cards and have tailor made napkin rings for any occasion. If you add your guests’ names, the napkin rings double as name cards.

CDHersh-Decorate-3
•CD Hersh https://cdhersh.wordpress.com/, Kissing Santa

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A HOLDIAY CARDangel with basket

Beth Carter shares this delightful and heartfelt poem:

Christmas Tree Angel

Bejeweled with strands of pearls

Feathered birds and twinkling lights;

Glittering ornaments and velvet bows

Encircled our tree with delight.

Plump snowmen and toy soldiers

Carefully placed just right;

Shiny Red and Green Packages

Completed the joyful sight.

The most special gift of all

Topped our majestic tree;

A frayed, embroidered angel

Handmade by Mommy and me.
•Beth Carter http://bethcarter.com/, Santa Baby

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Whew, you made it to the end! We have a huge giveaway to go along with the release of Sizzle in the Snow, as well as a Facebook launch party. We hope to see you there. Details coming soon…

xmas girl
•Beth Carter http://bethcarter.com/, Santa Baby
•Amy Deason https://amydeason.wordpress.com/, Second Chances: A Christmas Story
•Crystal Firsdon http://crystalfirsdon.com/, ‘Twas the Crazy Night Before Christmas
•CD Hersh https://cdhersh.wordpress.com/, Kissing Santa
•Kim Hotzon http://kimhotzon.com/, The Snow Bird
•Ryan Jo Summers http://www.ryanjosummers.com/, Tamed by Christmas
•Tina Susedik http://www.tinasusedik.com/, Operation Santa
•Cheryl Yeko http://www.cherylyeko.com/, Christmas Eve Surprise

Read Full Post »

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_____________________________________________________________________

October 15, 2015

SIZZLE IN THE SNOW: A SOUL MATE CHRISTMAS COLLECTION

SIZZLE IN THE SNOW_800x1200 (2) NEW

Eight steamy romances by eight Soul Mate Publishing authors . . .

This Christmas season, Soul Mate Publishing and editor, Char Chaffin, presents Sizzle In The Snow: A Soul Mate Christmas Collection, an anthology available November 25th on Amazon and Soul Mate Publishing. The featured authors and their stories include:

Welcome to our second newsletter in celebration of the release of

Sizzle In The Snow: A Soul Mate Christmas Collection.

Check your inbox every ten days for each newsletter. Inside you’ll find great decorating tips, recipes and cocktails, excerpts, craft ideas, song links, holiday memories, and personalized cards and poems by the authors!

book corner

Book Corner

We promised a sneak peek, so here goes . . .

Author CD Hersh gives an excerpt of their short story, Kissing Santa!

Anna Noel studied the trim backside of the Santa standing in front of her. He appeared younger than most of the Santas at the Santa Claus conference she’d chosen to attend this year. A lot more attractive than any Santa she’d ever met. For the briefest of moments she let her mind wander, lingering on ‘Christmas Wish Number Nine.’

Make love to Santa.

A heated flush climbed her chest as she envisioned the scene, and she flapped the jacket of her green elf costume to cool down.

Her gaze traveled over his hips, chest, and to the beginnings of a snow white beard; then to his shock of silver hair underneath the white-trimmed, red Santa hat.

Yep. Definitely a Santa she wanted to know. Too bad she wouldn’t be the elf to his mall Santa. They could have gotten acquainted. And more.

The conference registrar drew her out of her Christmas fantasy with a loud, “Miss? Are you with this Santa?”

“What? No. I don’t have a Santa. I’m here alone.”

Sexy Santa turned and held out his hand. “Me, too. I’m Sam S. Klaus.”

A smile curled her lips as she took his hand. “As in Sam Santa Claus?” His warm palm sent tingles through her fingers as he gently squeezed them.

He flashed a slightly lopsided grin. “You have the same warped sense of humor as my parents.” He gave her a mock bow. “Sam S. for Santa, and Klaus, with a K.”

“That’s your real name?” He’d let go of her hand. She fought to keep from grabbing it back. A real Santa Klaus? How great was that?

“The same, and you are?”

“An—” She stopped, suddenly unwilling to reveal her name. A rollercoaster of emotions raced through her, suggesting she might hit number nine with this Santa. If she did, and it didn’t go well, she wouldn’t want Sam Klaus to know her real identity. “An elf who needs a Santa,” she hedged. “How about we team up? I’ll be your personal elfette, and you can be my Santa.”

Oct 15 cocktail

Cocktail Corner

Busy shopping, wrapping, and socializing?

Kick back with a festive cocktail!

Recipe shared by Tina Susedik!

 Tom & Jerry

Ingredients:

6 eggs

1 1/2 pounds powdered sugar

Cream of tartar

Cloves

Allspice

Cinnamon

Nutmeg

Rum

Brandy

Separate eggs. Beat yolks and white separately. Add a dash of Cream of Tartar to whites before beating. Beat yolks until frothy and whites until very stiff. Combine. Gradually beat in 1 1/2 pounds of powdered sugar. Add a dash of cloves, allspice, and cinnamon. Put batter in cup. Add shot of brandy and 1/2 shot of rum. Add boiling water to top of cup. Top off with a dash of nutmeg.

 

Oct 15 recipe

Recipe Corner

Company coming over? Author Beth Carter dishes up her favorite holiday recipe:

 

Pumpkin Rum Cake

1 yellow cake mix

1 15 oz. can of pumpkin

3 eggs

½ c rum or ½ c coconut rum (I like the coconut rum.)

½ c chopped pecans, toasted (Sometimes I skip the toasting!)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine the cake mix, pumpkin, eggs and rum. Beat on low speed to blend, then beat on medium speed for two minutes. Fold in pecans and pour batter into greased 12-cup Bundt pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 20 minutes and turn onto serving platter. Frost with Orange Glaze (yummy). See below.

Orange glaze:

¾ c powdered sugar

2 T plus ½ tsp orange juice

1 T orange zest

Mix powdered sugar, orange juice and orange zest until smooth. Spoon glaze over top of cake allowing it to run down the sides. Enjoy! We enjoy this for Thanksgiving, Christmas and throughout the fall.

~Beth Carter

Oct 15 holiday memory 

Holiday Memory Corner

Ryan Jo Summers has a wonderful holiday memory to share . . .

Many years ago I married a man who had custody of his two sons, six and three. We wanted this first Christmas as a family to be very special for everyone, so we headed to the closest Toys R’ Us with lots of cash and left the kids with Grandma.

Hubby and I were like kids ourselves as we both pushed our carts up and down the aisles, discussing which child would love what present the best. We wrapped and decorated and couldn’t wait to see the boys on Christmas morning. The presents were piled so high and far out, we could hardly reach the tree to plug it in. But it was all worth it when the kids came downstairs that first morning and exclaimed we must have bought out the whole toy store!

Oct 15 music

Music Corner

Listen up! Amy Deason shares her favorite holiday song:

Title:

All I Want For Christmas Is You

By Mariah Carey

Song Link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXQViqx6GMY&list=RDyXQViqx6GMY

Oct 15 craft corner

Craft Corner

Feeling crafty? Kim Hotzon shares a festive DIY craft:

Holiday Ornament Ball

Oct 15 Kim ornement

When my children were young, we spent many weekends crafting homemade ornaments for our tree. This is a simple craft that is inexpensive, and makes a great gift too!

Supplies:

  • scraps of fabric (the more festive pattern the better but plain greens, reds, whites, stripes, etc. work well)
  • festive ribbon (for handle)
  • glue gun
  • glue sticks
  • foam balls from craft store

Steps:

Cut squares of fabric and wrap around foam ball. Glue in place with glue gun. You may need to cut different sizes of squares to fit the ball, depending on the size. Smooth fabric in place with your fingers. Leave a little opening at the top of the ball and insert a loop of ribbon, securing under the fabric with the glue gun. Press down, hold for a minute until glue sets.

Oct 15 decorating

Decorating Corner

Time to bring out the mistletoe! Crystal Firsdon has some great decorating tips!

There’s always a theme to what I do: easy and simple. For years, I never knew what to do with the Christmas cards I received, so I stood them on any available vertical surface. As you can imagine I had to re-stand them up every day and sometimes several times per day, and they made my tables and shelves looked cluttered. Finally I came up with a solution: cards on a ribbon. (In my mind I’m the one who invented this, but a lot of you probably do this already)

First, I cut a 3-5 foot piece of cute, wide Christmas ribbon.

Next, hang it from a higher shelf by taping the top of the ribbon to the flat surface of the shelf. I place a Christmas picture over it, making sure it covers the tape. I’ve learned that several cards are heavier than you might think, so use a lot of tape.

As I receive Christmas cards, I simply staple each card to the ribbon. If I get more than expected, I hang another ribbon.

One reason I love this is because I’ll find my kids opening the cards to read them and see who they’re from. I also like that the funny cards are mixed with the more serious and sentimental cards. It totally fits my family’s hodgepodge decorating style!

 

Holiday Card Corner

What’s a holiday without a personalized card by one of your favorite authors? Author Cheryl Yeko sends her holiday greetings:

Oct 15 Cheryl greeting

Of course, as authors we love our readers, and we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to offer swag, free books, and a grand prize which will be awarded to one lucky blog/newsletter follower! For a chance to win these prizes, follow and join the author’s blogs!

xmas girl

Don’t miss our upcoming Facebook launch party with tons of goodies to giveaway! Follow the authors’ blogs for a sneak peek of this wonderful collection! (FB launch date TBA).

Read Full Post »

soulmate_heart_llc

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October 5, 2015
SIZZLE IN THE SNOW: A SOUL MATE CHRISTMAS COLLECTION
Eight steamy romances by eight Soul Mate Publishing authors . . .

SIZZLE IN THE SNOW_800x1200 (2) NEW

________________________________________________________________________
This Christmas season, Soul Mate Publishing and editor, Char Chaffin, presents Sizzle In The Snow: A Soul Mate Christmas Collection, an anthology available November 25th on Amazon and Soul Mate Publishing. The featured authors and their stories include:
• Beth Carter http://bethcarter.com/, Santa Baby
• Amy Deason https://amydeason.wordpress.com/, Second Chances: A Christmas Story
• Crystal Firsdon http://crystalfirsdon.com/, ‘Twas the Crazy Night Before Christmas
• CD Hersh https://cdhersh.wordpress.com/, Kissing Santa
• Kim Hotzon http://kimhotzon.com/, The Snow Bird
• Ryan Jo Summers http://www.ryanjosummers.com/, Tamed by Christmas
• Tina Susedik http://www.tinasusedik.com/, Operation Santa
• Cheryl Yeko http://www.cherylyeko.com/, Christmas Eve Surprise

Welcome to our first newsletter in celebration of the release of Sizzle In The Snow: A Soul Mate Christmas Collection. Get ready as we unveil new surprises with each newsletter, coming every ten days!
Check your inbox for each newsletter. Inside you’ll find great decorating tips, recipes and cocktails, excerpts, craft ideas, song links, holiday memories, and personalized cards and poems by the authors!
So, let’s get started!
________________________________________
Busy shopping, wrapping, and socializing? Kick back with a festive mocktail! Recipe shared by Ryan Jo Summers!

pear treee mocktail

Pear Tree Mocktail

1 C ice
1/3 c pear juice
2 Tablespoons simple syrup *
2 Tablespoons lemon & lime juice **
4 fresh mint leaves and 1 mint sprig for garnish

*Simple syrup is equal parts sugar and water heated until sugar dissolves. Yield will be the same amount of water used.

** lemon and lime juice is equal parts freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice to add acidity.

Preparation: Put pear juice, simple syrup, lemon and lime juice, and mint leaves in a cocktail shaker and shake until well blended, about ten seconds. Pour with ice into sniffer or tumbler. Garnish with sprig of mint.

Superfine sugar is a nice garnish for the rim of the glass and dissolves easily.
________________________________________

Company coming over? Author Cheryl Yeko dishes up her favorite holiday recipe:
Rum or Bourbon Balls – Great For Christmas!

cheryl's chocloates

1 Cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup White Sugar
3 Tablespoons Corn Syrup
1/2 Cup Rum OR Bourbon
2 ½ Cups Crushed Vanilla Wafers
1 Cup Chopped Walnuts (optional)
1/3 Cup Powdered Sugar
Place chocolate chips into a microwave-safe medium bowl. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute, stir and then continue to heat at 20 second intervals, stirring between each, until melted and smooth. Stir in sugar and corn syrup. Blend in rum. Add crushed vanilla wafers and chopped nuts. Mix until evenly distributed. Cover and refrigerate until firm.
Roll the chilled chocolate mixture into bite-size balls. Roll balls in a mixture of ground nuts and confectioner’s sugar, or just plain confectioner’s sugar. Store in a covered container for a week before serving to blend the flavors.

Kim H Christmas MemoryKim Hotzon has a wonderful holiday memory to share . . .
There is one special Christmas memory that I’ll never forget. As a teenager, I woke on Christmas morning to an announcement from my younger brother, who was only 3 at the time. “Santa built a house!” His wide-eyed exuberance brought me running to the front window. I wiped my bleary eyes as he pointed at the driveway. “See? Santa built you a house!” He jumped up and down in his excitement. Gazing at the driveway, I was too stunned to speak.
What I learned later that morning, as my dad handed me a set of keys duct-taped twenty layers deep, was that he had re-commissioned an old car donated by the church, turning it into a shiny, fabulous set of wheels for his teen-aged daughter. He’d spent months, along with a family friend, detailing and overhauling the car, getting it ready in time for Christmas. I could never have imagined in my wildest dreams receiving a car on Christmas morning. Naturally, I squealed, standing in my housecoat on the driveway, as I ripped off the cardboard from a hundred boxes covering the car. The entire ‘box’ was wrapped up in a giant, red bow. To my brother’s eyes, it certainly looked like a house, though I had to explain to him that it was in fact a car. I was humbled, surprised, and delighted by the realization that others would go to such lengths to make that car into something special for me. My dad provided a lesson in giving from the heart that resonated deeply. The only condition given to me? I had to save up for car insurance!
________________________________________

music corner  Music Corner
Listen up! Beth Carter shares her favorite holiday song:

Title: Blue Christmas

Song Link:
http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=elvis+presley+singing+blue+christmas&FORM=VIRE13#view=detail&mid=4B63C16C2001EFAE289E4B63C16C2001EFAE289E

________________________________________

craft cornerCraft Corner
Feeling crafty? CD Hersh shares a festive DIY craft:
Santa Mobile

santa mobile 1

Catherine loves to change the Christmas décor in our house—she has five different Christmas trees, enough ornaments to decorate the trees differently for five years and not repeat, and a gazillion village pieces and Nativities. But the one thing that always finds a spot every Christmas is our Santa mobile, originally made by Donald’s father. We don’t know where he got the craft idea, but over the years he, or Donald, has made a Santa for everyone in the family. We thought since our novella is entitled Kissing Santa, this would be a perfect DIY craft to share with you. The mobile takes some time to construct, but will give you years of fun as you watch Santa spin.

Materials:
Three ping pong balls- Two white and one red. If you don’t have a red ping pong ball you can paint one of the three balls.
Heavy thread (button thread works well)
Red and white heavyweight construction board/lightweight poster board
Black marker
Red marker or red nail polish to paint one of the ping pong balls.
Rubber cement
Heavy duty sewing needle

Directions:
1. Using the black marker, draw black circle for Santa’s pupil on two of the balls. Set aside to dry. Color the third ball red, if needed

santa mobile 2

2. Cut Santa’s hat from the red poster board following the dimension on figure 2.

Figure 2                 santa mobile 3
3. From the white poster board, cut 2 bands the same width and height for hat. (see figure 2) Cut one beard. See figure 3 for beard dimensions and shape.

Figure 3  santa mobile 4
4. Using a straight edge, fold the hat on dimensions shown in figure 2.
5. Following the measurements on the figure 4, string the eyes through the bottom and the top of the ping pong balls, leaving enough string on the nose to affix it to the beard. Knot the string at the bottom of the eyes and glue the strings under the white band of Santa’s hat. Glue the string to beard, applying a small square of white poster board over the end of the string to secure it.

Figure 4  santa mobile 5
6. Cut another piece of string to hang the mobile with. Knot and stitch the thread through the fold on Santa’s hat, apply glue if necessary to keep the string in place.
7. Hang and enjoy!

book cornerBook Corner

We promised a sneak peek, so here goes . . .
Author Crystal Firsdon gives an excerpt of her short story, ‘Twas The Crazy Night Before Christmas!
Clara lay flat on her back, dead silent. A rock dug into her shoulder and she fought the urge to wiggle out of the way. The dirt beneath her was dry and chilly while a small pool of sweat puddled between her breasts. The stranger she’d met only a half hour earlier lay directly on top of her, propped up on his elbows on either side of her head, covering her body head to toe in a protective shield. Her hands were pinned between their chests and, no matter how hard she tried to still them, trembled.
He kept as much of his weight off her as he could, but their bodies still clung to one another. He lowered his head an inch and whispered, “Relax.”
Clara nodded. “What did you say your name was?” she whispered back. He’d never told her his name, just grabbed her from the store and ran like hell.
“Shhh.” His breath in her ear sent shivers down the side of her neck, and if they weren’t being chased by a couple of thugs with guns, she’d take time to enjoy the feeling.
She took a slow, deep breath but it forced their bodies tighter together, and dear God, she enjoyed it.
Which made her an idiot.
Maybe she should slide out from under him if the adrenaline rush affected her thoughts like that.

decorating corner    Decorating Corner
Time to bring out the mistletoe! Amy Deason has some great decorating tips!
My family loves Christmas. Especially my husband, Shaun. He’s more like a kid than our kids.
1. Anyway, we always set our Christmas tree up the day after Thanksgiving. My hubby and I do the lights and the kids pick out the decorations to use. One year it’s blue and silver. The next it’s blue and silver. At last, the angel at the top. That is Shaun’s job.

2. We hang lights outside on our porch. But it doesn’t stop there. We decorate the inside of our home with multi-color lights and blue and silver ornaments. And of course the kids want their rooms to look Christmasy too. (Christmas lights make great night lights by the way.)

3. A handmade wreath (made by yours truly) hangs on the front door. I made it for our first Christmas together in 2011 and it has been used ever since.

4. Each year, the whole family-5 of us-buy and decorate stockings to hang up. It is a lot of fun. We use glue and glitter. Sometimes we write our names and other times we just draw Christmasy things on them. We never know what we are gonna do. And of course our 2 dogs have to have their own stockings too. Also every year we all choose and buy one ornament as the family ornament for that year. We write the year on the bottom. It’s nice to look back at our ornaments and remember the years past.

5. And on Christmas Eve, the kids and I bake cookies for Santa and write him a note to go with them (while trying to keep Shaun out of them!). Then right before bed, all of us gather around with a mug of hot cocoa and a Christmas cookie or two and listen to Shaun read us the story of The Night Before Christmas.

What’s a holiday without a personalized card by one of your favorite authors? Author Tina Susedik sends her holiday greetings:


WARM YOUR HEART AND SOUL WITH ROMANCE. HAPPY HOLIDAYS

TINA SUSEDIK

©Photos by Tina

Of course, as authors we love our readers, and we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to offer swag, free books, and a grand prize which will be awarded to one lucky blog/newsletter follower! Don’t miss out! Follow and join the author’s blogs!
Don’t miss our upcoming Facebook launch party with tons of goodies to giveaway! Follow the authors’ blogs for a sneak peek of this wonderful collection! (FB launch date TBA).

Read Full Post »