Holiday Cookie Blog Hop!!

Welcome to the Holiday Delights Cookie Blog Hop, in honor of National Cookie Day and the wonderful books you can read while you’re eating them!  I didn’t know there even was a National Cookie Day, but you can bet I’m going to celebrate it from now on.

And what better way to eat cookies than while reading holiday-themed romances!  Thirty or so romance authors, led by the fabulous Jessa Slade, are sharing their favorite recipes and dishing about their latest holiday-themed books.  The list of authors is at the end of this blog, so make sure you check them out after you’ve spent a little time drooling over my recipe.  I guarantee that by the end of the day you’ll have some great recipes, and maybe even walk away with a few new books to read.

My contribution to Cookie Day comes from my mother’s vault of recipes.  Mom was a wonderful baker, and she spent weeks before the holidays putting up tins and tins of cookies in the freezer.  The following recipe was always my favorite – Swedish Tea Balls.  Easy to make, and oh-so-good!

Swedish Tea Balls

1 cup butter

1/4 cup sifted powdered or confectioner’s sugar (10X)

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 tablespoon water

2 cups flour

1 cup chopped pecans

Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla.  Stir in the water.  Add flour and mix.  Stir in nuts.  Roll into one inch balls and baked on an ungreased cookie sheet for twenty minutes at 300 degrees.  Cool before removing from pan, then roll in frosting.


4 cups icing sugar (4X)

1/2 cup milk

Blend sugar with milk to achieve a smooth consistency.  When cookies are cool, roll in frosting then set on wax paper covered cookie sheet to dry.

Easy peasy, and delicious!

And what will go wonderfully with my cookies and perhaps a cup of tea?  My latest Regency-set historical romance, that’s what!  Here’s the blurb for His Mistletoe Bride:


When Major Lucas Stanton inherited his earldom, he never dreamed his property would include the previous earl’s granddaughter. Phoebe Linville is a sparkling American beauty, yes, but with a talent for getting into trouble. Witness the compromising position that forced them into wedlock. Whisked away to Mistletoe Manor, his country estate, it isn’t long before she is challenging his rules—and surprising him in and out of bed…

Phoebe has no intention of bowing to Lucas’s stubbornness even though he offers all that she wants. His kisses and unexpected warmth are enticing, but Phoebe is determined to show the Earl of Merritt what real love is all about. And if that takes twelve nights of delicious seduction by a roaring fire, she’s more than willing to reveal her gifts very slowly…

I’m happy to say that His Mistletoe Bride has gotten great reviews, and spent one month on the Amazon bestseller list for historical romance.  To read an excerpt and for buy links, check out my books page.

I’m giving away a copy of His Mistletoe Bride to one person who comments today.  Just tell me what your favorite cookie recipe is for a chance to win.  Then check out the links to the authors below, and start hopping away!



Happy Labor Day!

To all my friends and readers in the U.S. and Canada, here’s hoping you have a happy and safe Labor Day.  Or as we like to say above the 49th Parallel, happy Labour Day!

In honor of the last big summer holiday of the year – and all the cookouts this weekend – here’s a great recipe for old-fashioned macaroni salad, care of my mother.


This salad has a secret ingredient – juice from the olive jar! Don’t skip this step. The salad won’t taste right without it.

  • 4 cups cooked macaroni (Flora used elbow macaroni for this recipe)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped green olives stuffed with pimento (if you really like olives, feel free to add more. And buy good olives)
  • 1 cup mayo (plus extra, to finish)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion (optional)
  • Juice from the olive jar
  • 2tsp good vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix together the olives, the mayo, the onion, and the vinegar. Carefully pour juice from the olive jar into the mayo mixture, enough to thin it into a dressing that will coat the macaroni – without being too thick (not too precise, but that’s how Flora did it). If the dressing is too thin, add a little more mayo. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the macaroni and mix carefully. Refrigerate for several hours before serving. After several hours, the macaroni will have absorbed a lot of the dressing. You can thin a bit more mayo with olive juice, and mix it in the salad to moisten it up before serving.

Guest Author: JoAnn Ross & Giveaway!

I’m so thrilled to be featuring one of my favorite authors today – JoAnn Ross, the acclaimed writer of dozens of contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels.  To date, JoAnn has written around one hundred novels (she stopped keeping track a while ago), and her books have been published in twenty-six countries.  Two of her titles were excerpted in Cosmopolitan Magazine – which definitely makes her a Cosmo Girl – and her books have been published by the Doubleday, Rhapsody, Literary Guild, and Mystery Guild book clubs.

Not bad for someone whose first career choice was to play center field for the New York Yankees!  JoAnn swears that writing was intended to be her backup occupation, something she was only going to resort to after her retirement from baseball.  Luckily for us, the Yankees never called and JoAnn was forced to write all those wonderful books, going on to win (more than once) the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award and eventually making it onto the Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll for best-selling authors.

I could wax on and on about JoAnn’s truly distinguished career and her fascinating personal history – she married the same man twice, for instance – but you can find that stuff out for yourself on her great website.

Okay, you DO have to check out her 10 things you probably didn’t know about JoAnn page, which includes such fascinating tidbits as the fact that her early years were spent in a bungalow on Santa Monica Beach.  The best part about that?  Her babysitters were the bulked up bodyguards from L.A.’s Muscle Beach!  And then there’s the fact that…well, you get the idea!

What I really want to talk about are JoAnn’s books, which are fabulous.  As readers of my blog already know, I’m a huge fan of romantic suspense and JoAnn’s are among my favorites.  The books in her recent High Risk series are suspenseful and fast-paced, with a compelling group of military heroes who generate a whole lot of heat and chemistry with their heroines.

Here’s what RT Book Reviews had to say about Shattered, JoAnn’s third book in the High Risk series:

“The third book in Ross’ High Risk series is a fine addition to her oeuvre dealing with veterans of our current conflicts. The story is compelling, and showing characters dealing with some of the issues men and women face when they return from war adds depth.  Highly recommended. ”  *4 1/2 Stars*

JoAnn’s new series leaves the action of the battlefield for the small town of Shelter Bay, Oregon.

Fortunately, she hasn’t left behind the fantastic, emotional stories her readers have come to love.  The latest book in the Shelter Bay series is One Summer, which made the New York Times, the USA Today, and the Publishers Weekly bestseller lists.

See what I mean?  This woman knows her stuff!

Here’s the blurb for One Summer:

It was supposed to be nothing more than a brief encounter…

Former U.S. Marine photojournalist Gabriel St. James doesn’t see the world as others do. His work reflects the heart of a dispirited, disillusioned loner. When he arrives in Shelter Bay to help out a fellow Marine, the last thing he expects is for that cynical veneer to crack. Then again, he never expected to meet a woman like Charity Tiernan.

A veterinarian with a past that would have defeated a less resilient woman, Charity still possesses a heart as generous as her name. She’s known men like Gabe before—a guarded soul with an elusive nature. With a shared attraction impossible to deny, Charity and Gabe agree to a simple affair with no expectations.

But as summer unfolds, and Gabe finds reasons to extend his stay in Shelter Bay, he and Charity realize that there’s nothing simple about falling in love, and nothing easy about the choices of the heart.

I’m reading One Summer right now, and I can tell you that I fell straight in love with Gabe.  I know you will too, and you’ll also fall in love with the small town of Shelter Bay.  Trust me – this series is fantastic.

For my readers today, JoAnn has graciously donated a copy of One SummerNaturally, you have to answer a question first!  On JoAnn’s very cool website she has a number of recipes that match up to her books.  Just check out her recipes pages and pick one you think looks really great (well, they all do – but just pick one).  Then hop on back here and tell me what it is.  One lucky commenter will win the book, and we’ll all get to savor JoAnn’s wonderful recipes!

On The Road Again…

I’m guest blogging today at Chicks In The Kitchen, sharing recipes and doing a book giveaway.  Drop by to get my Italian mom’s authentic spaghetti and meatballs recipe, and for a chance to win a copy of my latest book, An Invitation To Sin.

Oh, and here’s a picture of the finished dish.  Doesn’t it look great?

See you at the Chicks!