Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Josey's Christmas Cookie Blog Tour- Sharon Kleve

I'm happy to host Sharon Kleve, a blogger friend of mine, on the blog tour for her heartwarming story Josey's Christmas Cookie. The book is from Books To Go Now. Sharon has some great prizes to give in the rafflecopter at the end of the post. I encourage you to get this Christmas read, and go check out the other books (many!) by Sharon at any of her sites linked to below.



In the blink of an eye, Josey lost the most important people in her life, her parents.

Can a hound dog named Cookie, a pair of mourning doves, and a passionate vet bring the holiday spirit back to Josey's life in time for Christmas?



As I stared at the pathetic dog in his diaper, I realized no one wanted the dog, they were just gawking at him. The sign said his name was Cookie, part Basset Hound and part Redbone Coonhound. I didn’t know anything about either breed. I did know he was very large and he was slobbering everywhere and he should have a diaper around his neck. I turned to continue my search and a felt a tug on my pant leg. I looked down and Cookie had a hold of my jeans. When our eyes met,Cookie's eyes twinkled, just like Clint's.


A glob of drool hit the top of my shoe. He let go of my pant leg and licked the goo off my shoe. I wanted to say, "gross," but instead I said,"thank you." I was hooked. His fur was a reddish brown and soft as silk. Not caring about drool or dog hair, I sat down on the floor next to Cookie, wrapped my arms around his neck, and finally felt at peace.


Another glob of drool hit the floor next to my butt. He looked sad, like that was a deal breaker and I'd leave him behind. I looked Cookie in his sad eyes and laughed. He pulled back his goofy lips and smiled back.


That's when I heard Clint's voice, "Well Josey, it looks like you found your soul mate."


He laughed, but not at my expense.




Sharon Kleve was born and raised in
Washington and currently lives on the Olympic Peninsula with her husband.

Sharon is a multi-published author of
paranormal and contemporary romance. She loves romance. She loves reading
romance, living romance, and especially loves writing about romance. She gets
no greater feeling than watching her characters come alive in each other's
arms. Most of all, she loves giving her characters the happily ever after they
with a few bumps and bruises along the way.

One of her favorite things to do is
picking up a new book and sinking into the story, immersing herself in the
emotions between the characters. She hopes to inspire her readers the same way
her favorite authors have inspired her.

When not writing, she can usually be found
either curled up in her recliner with her cat and a good book, or in the
kitchen baking sourdough bread or bagels.









$5.00 gift card

Audio books or (2) eBook copies. Winner’s choice



Cookies, Cookies, Cookies! Gluten-free (but still tasty!)

In preparation for the Josey's Christmas Cookie Blog Tour, which will be coming up tomorrow with a feature from author Sharon Kleve, I'm re-posting one of the most popular recipes on my blog. It was inspired by a recipe from another author. Lucy Burdette, and her recipe on the Mystery Partners website. I made hers gluten-free because I wanted to eat it so badly... maybe I shouldn't admit that.The crowning glory of these for me is the fact that my family didn't know they were gluten free. There is no higher praise for a baker who was formerly proficient than this.

Gluten-Free Peanut-Butter Cookies With a Twist Ending
Adapted from Lucy Burdette


Step One
1/2 c. Salted Butter
1/2 c. Shortening, butter flavor
1 1/2 c. crunchy Peanut Butter
1 c. packed Brown Sugar
1 c. Granulated sugar
2 Eggs
3 t. Vanilla Extract

Step Two
2 c. Brown Rice Flour
1/2 c. White Rice Four
1/4 c. Tapioca Flour
1 t. Xanthan gum
(You can use 2 3/4 c. Gluten-free flour blend instead of the above flours if you prefer. Make sure to add the Xanthan gum if your flour blend does not include it.)
1 t. Baking Powder
2 t. Baking Soda
1/2 t. salt

Step Three
1/2-3/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 t. chili powder (if you like the twist ending)

To make:
Cream together the butter and shortening with the brown and white sugars until fluffy; add the Peanut Butter, mix to combine, and then add the eggs. Mix until absorbed and add the vanilla; stir.

If you want to get all fancy, you can mix together the flours, Xanthan gum, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, and Salt in a bowl with a fork before you add to the butter mixture. Lots of recipes tell you to do so. I'm here to tell you it's a good idea and one I stand behind (it blends things well) but yep, I don't do it. Call it my little piece of anarchy. If you're me, toss the flours and dry ingredients on top of the wet stuff in the Cuisinart and give 'er a whirl. Don't worry about how long it takes to mix-- with traditional flour recipes you don't want to make a baked good tough by overmixing. Not the case in Gluten-free baking since there's not gluten to get all stringy. Make sure the flour mixture is blended well. It will be thick and clump together. Divide the well-blended cookie mixture between two large sheets of waxed paper and shape into an approximate log, wrap the ends, and refrigerate for about a hour. I have it on good authority that if you rotate the logs, they won't get a flat spot, but yeah... I'll leave it at that.

When you've waited the requisite hour (or 45 minutes if you're desperate for cookies) remove from the fridge and slice into 1/4 inch slices on a Silpat-lined baking sheet. They will spread, but not as much as traditional cookies, so place them accordingly. Mix the sugar with the chili powder if you wish, or leave it plain, and dip the tines of a fork in the sugar before putting crosses in each cookie. (See my photo above if you need directions but I'm pretty sure you can get it on your own.)

Enjoy! I like Adams' peanut butter, which is available nationally, or the grind-your-own variety if you want to get really decadent. I tend to eschew shortening in recipes but I find that in a refrigerated cookie it hold up well to use a half-and half kind of thing. Please know that an all-butter recipe would work just fine. These logs of dough will keep, refrigerated, for about a week, or they can be easily frozen, which is good if you happen to have any teenage boys living at your house who never stop eating (ask me how I know this!)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Angela Ford's Holiday Hop

My favorite holiday traditions are DIYing gifts for my friends and family. Also, cooking-- but that's a given on the holidays. In all of my books, family and loved ones are an important thread. They are especially so in my two Christmas books, Christmas Miracle in the Mall and Christmas in the Comstock.

I'd love to give away a Christmas ornament to one commenter, and a copy of one of my Christmas books too! Just enter my rafflecopter below. I'm asking you to tell me a DIY Christmas tradition, craft, or recipe of your own. I do a lot of knitting and reading and cooking, as a busy writer mama. I usually listen to Christmas carols until my family can't stand it anymore, lol! You can see some of mine on my Pinterest board here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We are celebrating Christmas 2014 by giving away a Kindle and a $25 Gift Card.
Please stop by and visit the authors listed below for more giveaways. Happy Hopping!

Jamie Brumfield Amanda Bennett Michele Mathews Julia Mills Elizabeth Inglee Richards
Carol Ann Kauffman Jennifer Chambers Diane Rinella Angela Ford Terri Carle
Sharon Kleve Melanie James Mariah Dietz Serena Zane Jennifer Conner Amanda Bennett
R.E. Hargrave Ella Medler Aubree Lane Rebecca Sherwin Teri Riggs
Ava O'Shay Andie Lea Dzintra Sullivan Andrea Perno Jennifer Theriot Chris Karlsen
Al Parks L.A. Remenicky Emma Lee Skye A.L. Wood Jayne Hyatt Amber Daulton
Joanne Jaytanie Kelly Cozzone J.D. Hollyfield Patricia Kiyono Elle Klass
T.I. Lowe Tammy Tate Jackie Marilla Casey Harvell Denise Kawaii Natalie-Nicole Bates Kelly Ann Jacobson Moira Keith Michele Gwynn Tracey Alvarez Mary Bernsen

Angela Ford's 2014 Holiday Hop Giveaway Link - Click Here
Here is the direct link for the giveaway raffle http://is.gd/jL5sYV

The raffle directs the entrants to a Pinterest Board called Angela Ford’s 2014 Holiday Hop of Favorite Christmas Stories – each entrant can PIN to WIN! By pinning a picture of their favorite Christmas movie or book to the board and enter their name in the description. Here is the link for the pinterest board.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Christmas Wonder Giveaway Hop!

Welcome to the Christmas Wonder Giveaway Hop!
Celebrate the Wonder of the Season! Visit all of the blogs to see what they love most about the season and which books have made their Christmas wish lists! There's a giveaway at each stop so be sure to visit them all.

My most-anticipated holiday thing is the time I spend with my family. I like to make my own gifts, mostly, (I have been accused of being crunchy-granola-y before). I don't claim any great skill, but a lot of enthusiasm, which I hope makes up for it, lol!

I'm giving away a knitted scarf similar to this one pictured below. Color will be determined-- no guarantees on color, it's whatever wool I am knitting next from my stash. You could wear it while reading my newest Christmas book, Christmas in the Comstock, or my first Christmas book, Christmas Miracle in the Mall. Become my fan on Facebook for an additional gift option (I will choose from the comments on the site.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here's the grand prize giveaway:

Adult Holiday Blog Hop!

Welcome to the Adult Holiday Blog Hop!

The big question on this hop is, "What-- or who-- would you like to see under your Christmas Tree this year?"

For me, it's never a question: MORE BOOKS. Not a surprise. Also, any Le Cruset bake ware, some antique Thermoses or picnic baskets, and Chocolate.

To win a copy of my first Christmas book, Christmas Miracle in the Mall, Enter my Rafflecopter. Also, please check out my new Christmas release, Christmas in the Comstock. I would love to send some chocolate to my winner as well! I'll send a yummy chocolate treat to the winner... to be determined, but sure to be yummy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

GRANDE PRIZE: (Four) $25.00 Amazon Gift Cards!
$25.00 donated by Jennifer Conner
$25.00 donated by Sharon Kleve
$25.00 donated by Natalie Nicole-Bates
$25.00 donated by Amber Daulton

Holiday Gifts of Love Blog Hop!

Welcome to the Holiday Gifts of Love Blog Hop!
Celebrate the Wonder of the Holiday Season! Visit all of the blogs and answer this question, "What is your favorite Christmas Movie?" There's a giveaway at each stop so be sure to visit them all!

My personal long-time favorite Christmas movie is the old standard, It's a Wonderful Life. For a more modern favorite, I like Love, Actually.

For my prize, enter to win a digital copy of my first Christmas book, Christmas Miracle in the Mall I'd love it if you "liked" my Facebook author page, as well, but it's not mandatory. I will send a Christmas ornament to the winner too, since it fits the theme of the book. (It's not guaranteed to be exactly like this one-- I make mine, so each is unique.)

Here's the book:

Also, please check out my NEW Christmas book, Christmas in the Comstock:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

GRANDE PRIZE: (Four) $25.00 Amazon Gift Cards!
$25.00 donated by Jennifer Conner
$25.00 donated by Sharon Kleve
$25.00 donated by Joanne Jaytanie
$25.00 donated by Angela Ford

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Great Review on Vision and Verse

I'm happy to report a great review from Carol Ann Kaufman's website, Vision and Verse:

She called Christmas in the Comstock "well-written" and "historically correct."

Full text of the review here.

Thanks, Carol Ann!