Monthly Archives: December 2016

Review: A Family For Christmas

Standard

family-for-christmas

Title: A FAMILY FOR CHRISTMAS

Author: Mona Ingram

  • Print Length: 176 pages
  • Publication Date: September 19, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • ASIN: B009DRUP9C

Genre:  Holiday/Romance

Source: I purchased this book for personal use.  I decided to review it on my own.  The opinions are my own and honest.

BOOK DESCRIPTION, FROM AMAZON

Unlucky in love, Maddie LaRocque moves to Calgary at the urging of her college roommate. Maddie’s luck goes from bad to worse when she’s laid off from her job two months before Christmas. Undeterred, she sets up a gift wrapping business in the lobby of the Drummond Building in downtown Calgary where she meets Annie, a ten-year-old who has recently lost her parents.
When Maddie falls into the arms of the building’s maintenance man it looks as though her luck is changing, but she soon learns that Brent isn’t who she thought he was.
Maddie’s roommate Lily hasn’t fared too well in the romance department either, having been used for her beauty and Asian heritage by a man in Calgary.
The moment Chase Drummond spots Lily, he’s stunned by her beauty, but Lily resists his advances, unwilling to have her heart broken by the most eligible bachelor in town.
Will a young orphan girl be able to convince the two women that love is the best gift of all this Christmas?

MY THOUGHTS

Maddie was having a bad day.  Just being laid off from her job, she realized it was never her dream job, but she would need to find a new job fast, especially so close to Christmas.  Things started to turn around for Maddie when she met the niece of a very hot maintenance man for the building.  Maddie was soon “falling” for this man, but miscommunication was a real problem for Maddie and her good friend and roommate Lily.  Things seemed to be going good, but nothing was really what it seemed.

I purchased this book for my personal collection about a year ago.  I feel behind with my TBR list and this book feel between the cracks.  After seeing the book cover and reading the blurb, I had to read this right away.  I am really glad I read this book.  I think its a nice Holiday Romance.  Not erotic so its tame for those of you that just want  a nice romance to read.  This is a great book to read while you travel during the holiday.  I also noticed that the book is free on Amazon Kindle today.  I have no contact with the author, I just noticed the price so this may change anytime.  Definitely worth the read.

Cover Reveal: Going South

Standard

Love, Adventure, and Possibility in Australia
Elena Eames ~ Kolleen Fraser ~ S. Hartley
Megan Lowe ~ Aria Peyton ~ Gen Ryan
Title: Going South

Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: January 26, 2017
Cover Designer: RMGraphx
 Add to TBR
PREORDER FOR HALF PRICE
Love, adventure, and possibility. It’s all attainable when going south. Join six incredible authors in their fun and hot romantic comedies as they celebrate the wonders of all things Australian.



DARED by ELENA EAMES
When Leesa Olsen is rescued by handsome firefighter Dare McCarthy, she knows she didn’t exactly make a good impression. Will accepting a date with him help her cause?

CRAZY by KOLLEEN FRASER
The only thing Kat Winston fears more than Australia is love. She’s about to get a crash course in both.

FINDING LOVE DOWN UNDER by S. HARTLEY
Aspiring author Dylan Phillips travels all the way to Australia to start the next chapter of her life. Neither she nor sexy Aussie pub owner Ian King are searching for love, but that is exactly what they find.

UPSIDE DOWN, BACK TO FRONT by MEGAN LOWE
To Vermont native Georgia, Australia is a little back to front. Then she meets Sam and he turns her already back-to-front world upside down.

PINEAPPLE DREAMS by ARIA PEYTON
On the first real holiday she’s ever had with her teenage twin girls, all Belle expects is sun, sea, and to see all Australia’s “big” things. The last thing she anticipates is finding love in a giant pineapple.

PLAYING FOR KEEPS by GEN RYAN

Pro rugby player Mason James St. Patrick is known not only for his skills on the field but in the bedroom. When PR rep Delaney Matthews is hired to clean up his image, will she be able to resist his charms or will she fall for the type of man she swore she never would?

 PREORDER FOR HALF PRICE 

Cover Reveal + Pre-Order Sale: Promises of Virtue

Standard
Author: Randi Perrin
Title: Promises of Virtue
Series: Earthbound Angels, Book 2
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: February 4, 2017
Publisher: Hot Tree Publishing
Cover Designer: RMGraphX
 Add to TBR
PREORDER NOW FOR HALF PRICE

Love has never been Cheryl Brigham’s plan. She’s not cut out for second dates, relationships, or happily ever afters.

All that changes when she’s on vacation in Paris. First dates lead to second dates, which leads to a whole lot more than she ever bargained for—but she knows it’s all over when she returns home. That’s okay with her.

Until it’s not.

When it’s no-strings-attached, what will Cheryl do when her heart gets tangled up?

 
PREORDER NOW FOR HALF PRICE
 
Earthbound Angels, Book 1
Virtue of Death
Randi has spent her entire life writing in one form or another. In fact, if she wasn’t writing, she’d likely go completely and utterly insane. Her husband has learned to recognize when the voices are talking in her head and she needs some quality time with an empty Word file (the key to a successful marriage with a writer).She lives with her husband, daughter, and four-legged children—all of which think they are people too.

A pop culture junkie, she has been known to have entire conversations in movie quotes and/or song lyrics.

 Hot Tree Publishing

Cover Reveal: Who We Were

Standard
Title: Who We Were
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: February 25, 2017
Publisher: Hot Tree Publishing
Cover Designer: Claire Smith
 Add to TBR
HALF-PRICE PREORDER SALE
“I guess that’s the thing about high school reunions, though. They make you snap a little.”
In the ten years since high school graduation, Maylee’s career, living arrangements, family, and especially her love life are at a standstill. When her twin brother, Mitch, falls for her high school enemy at their ten-year reunion, Maylee’s life is catapulted into chaos.
Maylee’s hatred for the blonde-haired Josephine isn’t the only thing she discovers at her reunion. Benson Drake, the introvert from high school, has matured into a sexy intellect. Now a writer and bartender, Benson’s grown into a man with a perfect balance of quirky wit and sex appeal. After a wardrobe malfunction, a spy mission gone wrong, and a dangerous cup of coffee, Maylee and Benson explore something they never even thought about during senior year. Along the way, they find out that reconnecting with the past can change you… or maybe just help you find your true self.
HALF-PRICE PREORDER SALE
A high school English teacher, an author, and a fan of anything pink and/or glittery, Lindsay’s the English teacher cliché; she love cats, reading, Shakespeare, and Poe.
She currently lives in her hometown with her husband, Chad (her junior high sweetheart); their cats, Arya, Amelia, Alice, and Bob; and their Mastiff, Henry.
Lindsay’s goal with her writing is to show the power of love and the beauty of life while also instilling a true sense of realism in her work. Some reviewers have noted that her books are not the “typical romance.” With her novels coming from a place of honesty, Lindsay examines the difficult questions, looks at the tough emotions, and paints the pictures that are sometimes difficult to look at. She wants her fiction to resonate with readers as realistic, poetic, and powerful. Lindsay wants women readers to be able to say, “I see myself in that novel.” She wants to speak to the modern woman’s experience while also bringing a twist of something new and exciting. Her aim is for readers to say, “That could happen,” or “I feel like the characters are real.” That’s how she knows she’s done her job.
Lindsay’s hope is that by becoming a published author, she can inspire some of her students and other aspiring writers to pursue their own passions. She wants them to see that any dream can be attained and publishing a novel isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

 

Recipe: Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Standard

broccoli cheddar soup

It’s getting very cold out and wins chills are expected to be in the teens soon.  What better way to warm up than with a bowl of hot soup.  This recipe is a quick and easy way to warm up from the cold.  Enjoy!!!

Broccoli Cheddar soup

16 oz. bag frozen broccoli cuts

8 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded

1 pint heavy cream

32 oz. chicken broth

¼ cup flour

1 small onion diced

Salt, pepper, garlic powder, to taste

1 tablespoon butter

 

In a large soup pot add butter and onion, cook until onions are translucent about 2 minutes. Add ½ of the heavy cream and the flour to the onions, whisk the flour in until there are no lumps. Add remaining heavy cream, chicken broth, frozen broccoli and cheese. Let simmer ten minutes. Add salt, pepper and garlic pepper to your taste. Let the soup simmer until it thickens. Broccoli will cook up nice from frozen. Goes great in a bowl and served with bread.

Review: Tree Of Treasure

Standard

image

Title: Tree of Treasures A Life in Ornaments

Author: Bonnie Mackay

Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books (September 27, 2016)
ISBN-10: 0143107844
ISBN-13: 978-0143107842

Source:

BOOK DESCRIPTION, FROM AMAZON

First highlighted in the New York Times, Bonnie Mackay’s annual Christmas tree showcases a lifetime collecting almost 3,000 ornaments.

Now, through beautiful photography and illuminating vignettes, Tree of Treasures shares the heartfelt stories behind a hundred of those cherished possessions, whether it’s the story of a family member, like Mackay’s grandfather, a well-known vaudeville performer; long-held relationships with friends and colleagues in the international community of Christmas crafts makers; a memory of a beloved pet; and much more.

From serene lace angels and vintage Santas, to exquisite glass-blown spheres and small silk purses, Tree of Treasures showcases ornaments both beautiful and well-loved, illuminating how ornaments, as we unpack and hang them each holiday season, tell the story of our lives.

MY THOUGHTS

This book is filled with stories from the author about her love for Christmas and ornaments and the family and sentimental meanings of the ornaments. The photos in the book bring the words in the page to life. Thus is a truly enjoyable book. Due to reading this book, I have decided to photo some of my own ornaments and print out the photos with descriptions and information on the back for future generations. A great read. Great for a gift, just add an ornament and your set.

Sale: Found You

Standard

Fun & Flirty M/M Romance

Author: Dahlia Donovan
Title: Found You (Trade Me Collection)
Genre: Gay Romance
Release Date: November 29, 2016
Cover Artist: Soxsational Cover Art
Add to Goodreads
HALF-PRICE SALE
Kent Casado has lost everything that defined him: his construction business, his husband, his home, and his fortune. He went from one of the first gay men to marry in Colorado, to the first to be divorced. Crushed and alone, his only recourse is to move into a hurricane-damaged cottage in Key West, but his troubles seem to follow him to the beach paradise.Dusk “Doctor Dusky” Keller has never allowed himself to be defined by anyone or anything. Growing up in the Keys with his hippie parents, he ran an animal hospital until a hurricane destroyed it. He never expects to fall straight into lust with an uptight stranger who he sees on his daily beach walks.

Satisfied with a prolonged one-night stand, neither expects to plummet from casual to complicated.

Hot Tree Publishing Exclusive M/M Romance Collection
Trade Me is a new genre-linked collection of 30,000 – 50,000 word novellas. With so many sexy trades to pant over, Trade Me stories offer heat, swoon-worthy men, and HEAs that will leave M/M romance lovers completely satisfied.

While Dusk drifted away from him, Kent found himself drawn to inspecting the man. He had longish dirty-blond hair, wavy, and out-of-control; it matched the scruff on his face which was barely more than a five o’clock shadow. He had tanned skin likely from days spent under the heat of the Florida sun, which only served to make his incredible blue eyes stand out.
Those eyes glanced back toward him as if sensing his perusal. Dusk winked at him and waved cheerily. It only worked to make the blue even brighter.
Kent could easily spot at least three tattoos on the dog walker with his beach attire of khaki shorts and a tank top. He had an island and ocean scene on his left arm while his right had several symbols on it that looked almost like doctor symbols, but might’ve been for a vet instead. The edges of some sort of map peeked out from under his shirt in the back.
A few more steps sent Dusk out of his view. It left Kent with one lasting impression—the man did have a nice ass. He might put up with the barking dogs for a closer look at it each morning. Not the chickens, however. Maybe he could write to Popeye’s to offer them up. The locals might not be too thrilled with him, but he might get to sleep in a little.
Stretching his legs out until his feet dug into the sand, Kent relaxed against the steps with his eyes closed against the sun. Florida had certainly not done anything for his productivity. His type-A need to accomplish tasks had taken a nosedive over the last few weeks.
On sale for half price!

Dahlia Donovan started out working in the insurance world. After ten years, she morphed her love of investigating accidents and studying people into writing about them. She’s a bit of a hermit and despises being in front of a camera. Her life wouldn’t be complete without her husband and her massive collection of books and video games.

 

Recipe: Flan

Standard

flan

To celebrate Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe on December 12th I bring you a Flan recipe.  The above photo was actually my first attempt.  It was really tasty.  I hope you try it and enjoy!!

Flan

 

Ingredients:

1 (14 ounces) can sweetened condensed milk

1 ¼ cup milk

4 large eggs

½ cup sugar (for the caramel)

In a blender mix, the can of sweetened condensed milk, milk and eggs. Blend for 30 seconds and set aside. Place a 8 inch cake pan (I use a Wilton metal pan) on a counter ready for when caramel is done.

In a sauce pan on medium-low add ½ cup granulated sugar. Stir consistently until sugar dissolves and becomes liquid and light brown, do not put on high heat, sugar will burn fast, be sure to stir consistently.

As soon as caramel is done, immediately pour into the cake pan. Spread on the bottom, this will harden fast, so work fast.

Now mix the milk mix for a few seconds just to make sure it is combined. Pour mix over caramel. Cover the pan with Reynolds wrap.

Place the flan in a larger pyrex type dish, add water to the PYREX PAN ONLY, NOT IN THE FLAN. Place the flan pan that is in a water bath in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

The flan is ready when it is set in the center.

When the flan is done, take the flan pan out of the water bath and let it cool completely. Then refrigerate the flan still in the pan for at least 2 hours or overnight.

To serve the flan, you will need a large plate with a lip to hold in the caramel. Right before you are ready to serve the flan, take off the lid to the flan pan. Run a butter knife around the outside edge of the flan to make sure the edges are loose. Then twist the pan back and forth quickly — the flan is loose if it moves freely within the pan. Now place the plate on top of the flan pan where the lid was. Holding the flan pan and plate tightly together, flip the plate and pan over so that the plate is on the bottom and flan pan is on the top. Carefully lift off the flan pan. Your flan should be sitting in the caramel on the plate, ready to enjoy!

Source: I received this recipe from a friend, she was unsure of original post.

Yankee Candle Fan Club

Standard

yc

If your like me, you love candles.  I love to celebrate seasons with the delicious scents of Yankee Candles.

My favorite go to scents are Macintosh Apple, red raspberry and anything pumpkin.  One of my new favorite things is that Yankee Candle now had a fan club.  It’s easy to join and you earn points when you purchase candles, refer friends and there are other ways to earn gift cards for the store.

If you have not joined yet, visit YANKEE FAN CLUB to check it out.

**I am not affiliated with YC company.  The opinions are honest and my own.**