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!



We Have Winners!

We have lots of winners on the blog today.  The winners of the grand prizes for the St. Patrick’s Day Blog Hop are Melissa L. and Shadow.  And the winner of my portion of the blog hop is Barbara Cunningham Vogel.  Finally, the winner of Jessa Slade’s great prize package from the other day is Barbara Elness.

Congratulations to all the winners!  The organizers of the blog hop and I will be in touch.  Thanks to everyone for stopping by the blog these last few days, and participating in all the fun.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Guest Author: Jessa Slade & Giveaway!

I have an awesome guest blogger with me today–acclaimed Urban Fantasy romance writer, Jessa Slade.  Jessa writes the Marked Souls Series, which has received many wonderful accolades from heavy-weight reviewers like Publisher’s Weekly and RT Book Reviews.  I’m turning the blog right over to Jessa, so she can tell us about her latest book in the series.

First off, thank you, Vanessa, for giving me a chance to share my new story. My usual haunts have had enough of me 😉

Even though I write urban fantasy romance, which might seem like a far cry from Vanessa’s sizzling historical romances, EVERY character has a history. Moody broody bad boy wounded alpha male heroes often have more of a history than most. And since my heroes are immortal warriors whose long-ago sins left them vulnerable to possession by repentant demons… Yeah, they have a LOT of history.

In my first Marked Souls novel, SEDUCED BY SHADOWS, the hero, Archer, was possessed during the Civil War. In FORGED OF SHADOWS, Liam (no relation to Liam Neeson, except for the accent) fell to his dark burden shortly after the Irish Potato Famine. And in VOWED IN SHADOWS, ex-missionary Jonah walked out of early 20th century Africa minus his faith and plus one demon. In every time period, these men fought their darkness…and lost. Now they are battling for their chance at redemption.

In my latest Marked Souls novel, DARKNESS UNDONE, Sidney Westerbrook is a modern-day man, but as a demon researcher, he knows all about the history of evil, maybe even more than the men who lived it. The half-feral demon-possessed waif he finds wandering Chicago, however, has forgotten everything about her past. It’s a match made in… well, heaven or hell, pick one 🙂

As I research all the different time periods, looking for good times for men to fall prey to bad things, I bet you’re not surprised that every epoch has its darkness. What I find interesting, though, is that different times tend to have different flavors of darkness, and yet somehow the overall patina is very similar. It’s sort of like adding soy sauce to a stir fry; at first the tofu was white, the peapods were crispy, and the broccoli was stinky. After you add the soy sauce, then the disparate elements become one dish: demonic stir fry.

Maybe it’s because, really, despite the passing of centuries, men don’t change. And by “men,” of course, I mean “men.” 🙂 Pesky testosterone hasn’t altered its biochemical signature in a very long time. A moody broody bad boy is the same whether he is a duke or demon-ridden!

On the positive side, the struggle against darkness also continues unabated, and I’ll make sure my heroes never, ever give up the fight.

If you had to pick a time period to live in, which would it be? Medieval might eliminate hot showers (definitely an evil) but you do get real knights in shining armor. If you jumped forward, you’d have to battle death stars, but you’d do it with a hot spaceship captain at your side!

*          *          *

Leave a comment for your chance to win a signed copy of DARKNESS UNDONE, a set of Marked Souls Romance Trading Cards, a music download card with the album containing the Marked Souls theme song, and a pair of earrings inspired by the storyworld. And everyone who stops by today can download a free copy of my science fiction romance novella, “Enslaved By Starlight,” in the HOTTER ON THE EDGE anthology. Just go to Smashwords and use coupon code UW37U, or download at Amazon, and other ebook retailers for 99¢. Thank you for reading!

 *          *          *

 The war between good and evil has raged for millennia,

and as a powerful new enemy ascends,

the Marked Souls are pushed to the ragged edge…

Sidney Westerbrook has always studied darkness and damnation from a sensible distance. Now, to earn his place as a league Bookkeeper, he must discover why Chicago is such a battleground of soul-linked warriors. But the research becomes personal when he finds himself over his head and under attack — and at the mercy of a waif with demon-lit eyes and a deep yearning in her heart.

Alyce Carver has been alone longer than she can remember, battered by the living nightmares that haunt her city. Cornered by yet another gang of demons, she unwittingly joins forces with a handsome scholar who can salvage her past, and she in turn may be the key to his investigations. But she won’t let him go until he shows her everything she’s been missing.

What begins as an experiment in possession becomes a trial by desire so powerful it threatens both their lives, even as it binds their souls.

“Slade’s plot packs plenty of action…in a group of forceful personalities.”– Publishers Weekly

“[A] fish-out-of-water story that keeps a rapid pace, delivering a strong plot, enjoyable characters and a stunning world.” –RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

Read Chapter 1 of DARKNESS UNDONE and find links to favorite bookstores.

Read the first chapters of all the Marked Souls novels at

You can find Jessa online at:

Vanessa, here.  Wonderful post, Jessa!  And readers, talk about generous–great prizes Jessa is handing out today!  So be sure to answer her question, and also check out the free download for her novella or find it at other e-tailers for only 99 cents!


We Have Winners!

The winners of Cate Lord’s contemporary romance, Lucky Girl, are Gayle Cochrane and Shannon.  And the winner of my VK Sykes contemporary romance, Hardball, is jeanette8042.  Congratulations, ladies!  I’ll be in touch.

Thanks to everyone for stopping by the blog.  My guest blogger tomorrow is acclaimed Urban Fantasy romance author, Jessa Slade.  You won’t want to miss that!