Monday, November 28, 2016

#Holiday romance #Recipe Honey Balls and From Here to Fourteenth Street by @DianaLRubino


Please welcome author Diana Rubino who will share her holiday recipe with us. 
First let me tell you about her historical romance, From Here to Fourteenth Street.
Can an Italian sweatshop worker and an Irish cop fall in love on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in 1894? The answer is a big YES, and once they’re enjoying wedded bliss in their Greenwich Village brownstone, they spend their first Christmas together feasting on her Strufoli! (Italian for honey balls). The recipe comes later in this post.





In FROM HERE TO FOURTEENTH STREET it's 1894 on New York's Lower East Side. Irish cop Tom McGlory and Italian immigrant Vita Caputo fall in love despite their different upbringings. Vita goes from sweatshop laborer to respected bank clerk to reformer, helping elect a mayor to beat the Tammany machine. While Tom works undercover to help Ted Roosevelt purge police corruption, Vita's father arranges a marriage between her and a man she despises. As Vita and Tom work together against time and prejudice to clear her brother and father of a murder they didn't commit, they know their love can survive poverty, hatred, and corruption. Vita is based on my great grandmother, who left third grade to become a self-made businesswoman and politician, wife and mother.

Vita’s hero Tom McGlory isn’t based on any real person, but I did a lot of reading about Metropolitan Policemen and made sure he was the complete opposite! He’s trustworthy and would never take a bribe or graft.

FROM HERE TO FOURTEENTH STREET is Book One of the New York Saga, three generations of the McGlory family, through Prohibition to 1963.





Here’s Vita’s Honey Balls recipe:


When my grandparents came from Naples and landed at Ellis Island in the early 1900s they brought many recipes with them, but only in their heads. No one brought cookbooks or written recipes on the boat along with their possessions. A favorite Christmas treat is Struffoli, better known as Honey Balls. One Christmas when I was a kid, I watched my grandmother make them and scribbled down the ingredients as she sifted and mixed and baked and drizzled. Here's an accurate recipe in English!

Ingredients
Dough:
•2 cups flour, plus extra for dusting
•1 large lemon, zested (about 2 teaspoons)
•1/2 large orange, zested (about 2 teaspoons)
•3 tablespoons sugar
•1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
•1/4 teaspoon baking powder
•1/2 stick (2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, at room temperature
•3 large eggs
•1 tablespoon white wine, such as pinot grigio
•1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
•Canola oil, for frying
•1 cup honey
•1/2 cup sugar
•1 tablespoon lemon juice
•1 1/2 cups hazelnuts, toasted (see Cook's Note)
•Vegetable oil cooking spray
•Sugar sprinkles, for decoration
•Powdered sugar, for dusting, optional

Directions
For the dough: In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together 2 cups of flour, lemon zest, orange zest, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the eggs, wine, and vanilla. Pulse until the mixture forms into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Cut the dough into 4 equal-sized pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece of dough until 1/4-inch thick. Cut each piece of dough into 1/2-inch wide strips. Cut each strip of pastry into 1/2-inch pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a small ball about the size of a hazelnut. Lightly dredge the dough balls in flour, shaking off any excess. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, pour enough oil to fill the pan about a third of the way. Heat over medium heat until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 375 degrees F. (If you don't have a thermometer a cube of bread will brown in about 3 minutes.). In batches, fry the dough until lightly golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. (The rested and quartered dough can also be rolled on a floured work surface into 1/2-inch thick logs and cut into equal-sized 1/2-inch pieces. The dough pieces can then be rolled into small balls and fried as above).
In a large saucepan, combine the honey, sugar, and lemon juice over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the fried dough and hazelnuts and stir until coated in the honey mixture. Allow the mixture to cool in the pan for 2 minutes.
Spray the outside of a small, straight-sided water glass with vegetable oil cooking spray and place in the center of a round platter. Using a large spoon or damp hands, arrange the struffoli and hazelnuts around the glass to form a wreath shape. Drizzle any remaining honey mixture over the struffoli. Allow to set for 2 hours (can be made 1 day in advance). Decorate with sprinkles and dust with powdered sugar, if using. Remove the glass from the center of the platter and serve.
Note: To toast the hazelnuts, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven until lightly toasted, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool completely before using.
Total Time: 4 hr 12 min
Prep: 1 hr 30 min
Yield: 8 to 10 servings

About Diana

I'm a self-confessed history nut, my favorite eras being Medieval and Renaissance England, and all American history. I've written several novels set in England and the U.S., two time travel romances, a vampire romance, and an urban fantasy, FAKIN’ IT which received a Top Pick award from Romantic Times. I'm a longtime member of Romance Writers of America and the Richard III Society. I now write biographical novels about strong women, with no fictional characters. In my spare time, I bicycle, golf, play my piano and devour books of any genre.
Contact me at Diana@DianaRubino.com

www.dianarubinoauthor.blogspot.com





Friday, November 25, 2016

#Holiday Romance #Recipe Welcome to Serenity Harbor by Kat Henry Doran

Before I put the spotlight on Welcome to Serenity Harbor, I'd like to give you Kat Henry Doran's recipe for a holiday "Country Boy" drink. It will get your party started.


Serves 10 [16 oz. size]

32 ounces unsweetened brewed black tea [we call it 'sun' tea because we brew it in the sunshine]

32 ounces lemonade

20 ounces [2 1/2 cups] bourbon

1 bunch [4 oz pkg] fresh mint

2 lemons, sliced into rounds

Directions:  stir tea and lemonade in a pitcher and chill in the frig till cold [at least one hour].

To assemble each drink: fill a 16 ounce glass with ice about 2/3 full. Add 2 oz bourbon. Pour tea/lemonade mixture over and stir. Dress with mint and lemon rounds. Enjoy!  

Highly recommended for readers of contemporary romance--
Welcome to Serenity Harbor by Kat Henry Doran


BLURB
          Madeleine Flynn returns to Serenity Harbor intent on restoring her beloved home to its former grandeur. Nothing will get in her way. Including a man whose jeans fit in all the right places and who handles a staple gun with the with the grace of a philharmonic conductor.
          Acting on their own agenda, local power brokers expect general contractor Azrael Hanson to monitor renovations on That House--and toss in a few diversions whenever possible. 
          Torn between duty to superiors and a private life he craves, Az knows standing with Maddy will damage his career beyond salvage. If he follows orders, he'll lose a future with the only woman who has brought a new word to his life: hope

EXCERPT  
          “Hanson,” she rasped between swollen, broken lips. “Are you from around here?”
          He nodded. “Born and raised. Why?”
          “I remember a family with six, maybe seven kids. All were named after the minor archangels. Are you part of that clan?”
          “I am. My family owns Hanson Scapes.”
          “So, you're from here, too,” he said, feeling more than a little stupid at the lame statement.
          Despite the ER doc's warning to not let her talk, Az liked the sound of  her voice. She may have lived in Serenity Harbor long enough to know about his mother's obsession with angels, but she hadn't stuck around long.
          With her height and that Lauren Bacall voice, a woman with her looks stayed in a man's mind. And this one fell under RLT.
          Real Looker Territory.
          “My name is Maddy Flynn.”
          One of his nastier habits was spitting out the first thing that came to mind. What came out of his mouth earned both feet, one elbow and the opposite fist all in one bite.
          “Oh, sure. You're the girl who wants to rehab the whorehouse.”

BUY LINKS:

D2D: https//books2read.com/u/m2XRPK

BN:    https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/welcome-to-serenity-harbor-maggie-robinson//1124773371?ean=2940153499062

Kobo:   https://store.kobobooks.com/en_us/ebook/welcome-to-serenity-harbor

iBooks:  https://geo.itunes.apple.com/US/book/welcome-to-serenity-harbor/id1162465860?mt=11

Amazon:  https://amzn.com/BO1LXRQEZ7

AUTHOR BIO

          Writing under the pseudonyms of Veronica Lynch and Kat Henry Doran, author Kathy Cottrell uses her past experience as a nurse, victim advocate and insurance investigator as fodder for her award winning stories which center around women and men who stand for the “less thans” of the world and manage along the way to find that one person who completes their lives.
          Outside of writing and creating tote bags, she serves as a devoted hand maiden and personal slave to the four brightest lights in her universe: Meredith and Owen, Ashlin and Kieran.

To learn more about Veronica and Kat, and the stories they create, go to:

Email:          WildWomenAuthors@yahoo.com

Blogs:          www.WildWomenAuthorsx2.blogspot.com
         
                     Amazon:      www.Amazon.com/author/katdoran

Facebook:    www.Facebook.com/wildwomenauthors

Make Today Yours with Wild Women Authors. . .
Celebrating those who trifle with, exceed or otherwise defy
conventional wisdom...    

Monday, November 21, 2016

#Holiday romance #Recipe and New Release: Lily and the Gambler by @LyndiLamont

Please welcome author Linda McLaughlin who will share a holiday recipe with us. First, I have the spotlight on her new release, a sensual western holiday romance,  Lily & the Gambler.  



Blurb:

Respectability is in the eye of the beholder. Or so Lily Penhallow hopes when she assumes the guise of the widow Albright. She has learned the price of flaunting convention and is determined to obey society's rules from now on. After her lover, Nigel Albright, was killed in a duel over a card game, Lily dons widow’s weeds and travels to Grass Valley, California where she plans to marry the man her uncle works for, a respectable mine owner named Hugh Ogilvie. Then, on the riverboat from San Francisco, she meets Creighton 'King' Callaway, a professional gambler, just the kind of man she should avoid.

King believes that since life is a gamble, there's no point in planning for the future. You have to trust Lady Luck. After meeting Lily, King knows he has found his Queen of Hearts. But can he convince her to pass up a sober businessman for a foot-loose card sharp?

Only Lady Luck knows for sure...

(Previously published in a shortened version by Amber Quill Press)

Buy links:
Coming Soon to Other Retailers

Excerpt:

Lily smiled at him. “That was quite a trick. Do you tell fortunes, too?”

“As a matter of fact, I do. Is the lady interested?”

“Perhaps,” she said, aware he was flirting with her again and annoyed with herself because she was enjoying it. “There should be a deck of cards here somewhere.”

“No cards required. Just let me see your palm.”

Unable to stop herself, Lily stripped off her gloves and let him take her hand. He held it in his left hand, and with his right index finger, traced the lines on her palm. Shivers ran up her arm at each caressing touch. His scent, a mixture of bay rum, male musk, and a faint hint of tobacco, overwhelmed her.

“What do you see?” she asked, her voice suddenly breathless.

“Health and long life.”

“What, no handsome stranger?” she joked.

He raised his head and stared into her eyes. “Oh, yes, I see romance ahead for you. With a dark haired fellow. But he isn’t a stranger.”

For what seemed an age, she stared into his green-gold eyes while her pulse quickened and warmth stole through her veins. It would be so easy to surrender to the feelings he evoked.

“I also see a fork in the road ahead,” he added softly. “You have a decision to make. A very important decision.”

She snatched her hand away, knowing she couldn’t afford to be distracted by him. It wasn’t as if he had made her any promises. “I think you need to practice your fortune-telling skills, Mr. Callaway.”

He chuckled. “There’s something else I’d like to practice.” Cupping her chin, he stared at her, his eyes full of half promises. “Oh, hell, I may get my face slapped for this, but…” His hand moved to the back of her neck as he lowered his head and captured her lips in a kiss that stole her breath away.

For a moment, she closed her eyes and gave herself up to the kiss. Then a door slammed somewhere in the house, reminding her of where they were. She pushed him away. “How dare you?” she hissed.

He gave her a lazy grin. “What’s that old saying? Nothing ventured, nothing gained?”
“I think you’d best be going.”

He paused at front door, turned and held her gaze for a moment, then left.

She sighed and leaned against the doorjamb. What had she been thinking to let him kiss her, however briefly?

Original Holiday Recipe: Lyndi's Cranberry-Blueberry Delight


Ingredients:

1 14 oz. can of Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
1 package of fresh blueberries (about 4 oz.)
1 cup of golden raisins

Mix, chill and serve. That's it!

The recipe serves 8-10 ladies. (The attached photo doesn't reflect the full recipe. It's what is left over after a couple of days of snacking on it.) I’ve also spread it on turkey sandwiches in lieu of regular cranberry sauce.

Since it's so simple, it's easy to experiment. Add nuts for crunch or sweeten to taste, if it's too tart. I'm thinking about adding some of those little marshmallows next time for color and sweetness.

About the author, Linda McLaughlin:


Linda McLaughlin grew up with a love of books and history, so it's only natural she prefers writing historical romance. She loves transporting her readers into the past where her characters learn that, in the journey of life, love is the sweetest reward. Linda also writes steamy to erotic romance under the name Lyndi Lamont, and is one half of the writing team of Lyn O'Farrell. A native of Pittsburgh, PA. she now lives in Southern California.

You can find her online at http://lindalyndi.com

Twitter: @Lyndi Lamont https://twitter.com/LyndiLamont

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

#Holiday romance #recipe spotlight on Whitley Cox-- Love, Passion, & Power

Please welcome author Whitley Cox who believes:
Love and eating are what the holidays are all about!
Whitley Cox - Contemporary Erotic Romance -For the Curious Kink in all of Us.

 Whitley shares her holiday recipe.
Cranberry Bliss Bars – BETTER THAN STARBUCKS! And cheaper too!
For years I would make it a sinful habit to treat myself at least once a week to a cranberry bliss bar and a chai tea latte with egg nog, because they’re only around for a short time, so the belly needs to stock up. But then I decided to try and make my own, that way I could eat a whole pan if I wanted to, and in the comfort of my own home (in the dark in a corner with crumbs all over my face…you get the picture). And voila, I found the perfect recipe that mimics the original, if not improves upon it. Now I just have to figure out how to copy their chai lattes with egg nog and I never have to leave my house again!
Recipe
Cranberry Bliss Bars
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (325 for a glass or dark pan). Prepare a 10x15 by lining it with parchment paper or use a non-stick spray.
  2. BARS: With an electric mixer, beat together softened butter and sugars 3-5 minutes until light; gently blend in eggs and orange extract (don't overbeat eggs). Add the flour, baking powder, and ginger and beat briefly. Add the cranberries and chips, stirring just until incorporated.
  3. Spread thick batter in prepared 10x15 pan. Bake 350 for 20-24 minutes until light brown AT EDGES and a skewer tests clean. Don't overbake or your bars will be dry. Let it cool completely. NOTE: If you use a 9x13 pan, the bars will be thicker and will take 26-28 minutes.
  4. FROSTING: Blend cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add orange extract and confectioners sugar and beat until frosting is fluffy and spreadable (adding 1 t. milk if needed). Spread evenly over COOLED bars.
  5. GARNISH: Use a zester to remove rind from an orange; sprinkle zest over frosted bars. Chop 1/3 cup Craisins coarsely; sprinkle over frosted bars.
  6. DRIZZLE: Mix white chocolate and oil in a glass measuring cup. Microwave 1 minute; stirring every 15 seconds until melted. Use a fork or whisk to drizzle the white chocolate diagonally across the bars.
  7. Allow one hour for the white chocolate to set before cutting. **To make signature Starbuck triangles, cut into 20 large squares (5 cuts by 4 cuts with the knife). Then cut each square in half diagonally to create triangles.
Ingredients

·       BARS

  • 1cup butter (2 sticks, very soft)
  • 1cup brown sugar (some cooks reduce this to 2/3 cup)
  • 13cup granulated sugar
  • 3large eggs
  • 2teaspoons orange extract or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2cups flour
  • 1 12teaspoons baking powder
  • 1teaspoon ground ginger
  • 34cup craisins (dried cranberries)
  • 34cup white chocolate chips

·       FROSTING

  • 3ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1teaspoon orange extract (or vanilla)

·       TOPPING

  • 13cup craisins, chopped
  • 1 -2tablespoon grated orange rind
  • 13cup white chocolate chips
  • 12teaspoon canola oil

Love, Passion and Power: Part 1
The Dark and Damaged Hearts Series Book 1
January 29, 2017


Blurb
He was her beginning; she was his undoing.
When personal trainer Kendra Black saw millionaire Justin Williams walk through her door all she saw was money and a practiced swagger. A man who's used to getting what he wants, especially when it comes to women. But Kendra is startled to realize that there is more to Justin than meets the eye, he’s kind and funny and brilliant, and she wants him, desperately. Unable to resist Kendra or her fiery spirit and zest for life, right from the start, Justin pursues her, only her troubled childhood holds her back. She’s been running from love for so long, she doesn’t know how to stop and let it catch up.
Elated when Kendra finally gives into their attraction, Justin jumps in with both feet, only his hectic and demanding life continues to interfere, and Kendra’s past comes creeping back and the two are tested. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionate and physical adventure, Justin discovers Kendra’s secrets and fears while exploring and uncovering his own wild and dark desires.
Excerpt
I turned my head around as I continued up the path and his smile was adorably cocky, shit-eating and amused beyond words. So I quickly spun back around to face the path, wondering if I should give him the satisfaction of playing into his comment and questioning it or if I should play my own game and ignore him, let him sweat -I’m not one for head games!
“What the hell did that mean!?” I asked, stopping in my tracks and facing him.
“Relax,” he said. Smile not leaving his eyes or his lips as he gently placed his hands on my shoulders to ground me, “I’m not asking you to marry me right now. But I KNOW for a fact that I am going to marry you. You’re everything I’ve ever wanted and I’ll wait until you’re ready and feel the same, but I WILL make you my wife, Kendra Black.” He shrugged again and smiled that adorable triumphant grin that made my heart melt and leap and spin and dance.
A small smile crept its way on to my face no matter how hard I tried to fight it, damn he was handsome. “Now get moving and stop fretting. I can see by that wrinkle between your brows that you’re worrying. Please don’t.” He turned me around by my shoulders and smacked my butt again until I started hiking. My mind reeling and going in all directions about what he’d just said. And maybe, just maybe, if I’m being 100% honest, thinking of bridal gowns, honeymoon destinations and flowers.
Author Bio for Whitley Cox


Born and raised on the West Coast of Canada and married to her high school sweetheart, with a spirited toddler and a fluffy dog. Whitley spends her days making food that gets thrown on the floor, vacuuming Cheerios out from under the couch and making sure that the dog food doesn't end up in the air conditioner. But when nap time comes and it's not quite wine o'clock, Whitley sits down, avoids the pile of laundry on the couch, and writes.
A lover of all things decadent; wine, cheese, chocolate and spicy erotic romance, Whitley brings the humorous side of sex, the ridiculous side of relationships and the suspense of every day life into her stories. With mommy wars, body issues, threesomes and role playing, these books have everything we need to satisfy the curious kink in all of us.
Social Links
@WhitleyCoxBooks

Buy Links -Currently available for pre-order

Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog and I hope you and your family have safe and happy holiday season. All the best for a successful and prosperous 2017!

Cheers,
Whitley Cox

Monday, November 14, 2016

#Holiday romance #recipe & #erotic spotlight on The Warrior in Me @anitaphilmar

Please welcome talented erotic writer Anita Philmar!  Her new release, The Warrior in Me is and Erotic Murder Mystery/ Romantic suspense and is published by The Wild Rose Press.  I highly recommend this amazing full length novel with twists and surprises.  





Blurb:

Special Security Agent Sebastian Berlin is eager to track down his partner's killer. Instead, he’s assigned the job of baby-sitting a scientist. His boss thinks she's the key to an Ancient Warrior Prophecy. Science never interested Sebastian, but the know-it-all female standing at the end of his Alaskan dock could persuade him to do a little experimenting. That is, if he can keep his Neanderthal Warrior genes from taking control.

DNA specialist Lily Sinclair is in need of a vacation, or so her over-protective ex-husband tells her. Arriving in chilly Alaska instead of sunny Cancun, she's tired and cranky and so not in the mood for her bodyguard's he-man tactics. Still, there's something about the sexy eye-candy that makes her want to lick him all over even as she's demanding to go home.

Then Lily's ex is poisoned, and Sebastian is certain the two murders are connected and she could be next. She knows he's hiding something, but with the worldwide release of Neanderthal DNA project only days away, she has no choice but to trust him to protect her. But can she trust him with her heart?


Excerpt:

A needy groan escaped him. “Honey, the only activity I want to do with you right now is strip off your clothes and make love to you.”
She blinked. “I don’t understand. You barely know me.”
“That doesn’t mean I’m not attracted to you.” He covered her wrist, fearing her touch might drive him to rush this moment. Slowly, he guided her away from temptation and placed her palm on his chest. “I took one look and decided I wanted you. That’s why I kissed you earlier, and why I’m losing the battle to keep my hands to myself.”
A whisper of a smile played over her lips. “Do you have protection?”
Hope sped through every cell in his body, and a tingle of anticipation sparked in his gut. “I have a whole box in the drawer next to my bed.”
“So you’d like to show me your bedroom?” she teased, and he recalled their earlier conversation.
“Say the word, and we’ll be on our way.”



Now available at 







Bio Anita Philmar


Anita Philmar likes to create stories that push the limit. A writer by day and a dreamer by night she wants her readers to see the world in a new way.
Influenced by old movies, she likes to develop places where anything can happen and where special moments come to life in a great read.
Naughty or Nice?
Read her books and decide.

Email: anitaphilmar@yahoo.com


Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Oatmeal no bake cookies.

1 stick of butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 peanut butter

2 oz of chocolate unsweetened chocolate

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups oatmeal old fashion

melt butter and add brown sugar, stir and microwave 30 seconds. Break up unsweetened chocolate and stir into butter and sugar mixture. Microwave 15 seconds at a time until chocolate is melted.
Add peanut butter and vanilla - stir until smooth

Add oatmeal.

Stir until oatmeal is coated.
Then cover cookie sheet with parchment paper, drop spoonful onto parchment paper.

Place pan of cookies in freezer and allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes.

Eat when ready.

Other alternatives reduce oatmeal 1/2 cup before add one of the alternatives

1/2 cup nuts

1/2 cup coconut