Posts Tagged ‘Christmas books’



November 15, 2015



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



1 shot of vanilla rum

1 shot white chocolate liqueur

1 shot peppermint schnapps

Candy cane garnish


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


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


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


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.


Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano


Song Link:





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



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!

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Sizzle in the Snow Newlsetter, vol. 3

October 25, 2015


Eight steamy romances by eight Soul Mate Publishing authors…


Available November 25, 2015!


book corner


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



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


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



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

candy cane cocktail

Recipe by Cheryl Yeko.

Candy Cane Cocktail


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


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.



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



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


Craft knife

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



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.

•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

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