Wednesday, December 11, 2013

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS BLOG HOP



December 1st - 12th 





The Christmas Season is upon us
Let's bake some Thumbprint Cookies!

 Ingredients

1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar

1 egg, separated
2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup baking cocoa

1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup finely chopped walnuts


FILLING:
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon butter, softened
2 teaspoons milk

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

26 milk chocolate kisses


Directions
1.    In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk, milk and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until or until easy to handle.
2.    In a small bowl, whisk egg white until foamy. Shape dough into 1-in. balls; dip in egg white, then roll in nuts. Place on greased baking sheets. Using a wooden spoon handle, make an indentation in center of each cookie. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until center is set.
3.    For filling, combine the confectioners' sugar, butter, milk and vanilla; stir until smooth. Spoon or pipe 1/4 teaspoon into each warm cookie; gently press a chocolate kiss in the center. Carefully remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Yield: 2 dozen.
Originally published as Chocolate Thumbprints Cookies in Taste of Home October/November 1995, p29


 
While your cookies are cooling check out Chasing Victory. Book one of the Winters Sisters Series....humm...it would make a great Christmas Present!!

BLURB:

Victory Winters possesses an unusual innate sense of communication, bordering on telepathic when relating to animals.  This unique ability has elevated her status to world renowned genetic research specialist.  She is blackmailed with threats to her family, forcing her to work for a rival corporation, Biotec and run by a madman CEO.

Naval officer Tristan Farraday is sent undercover to track Biotec’s experiments.  These experiments involve implanting genus canis DNA into humans thereby manipulating their genetic makeup, in hopes to create the perfect soldier.

First suspecting Victory as being associated with Biotec, Tristan later realizes that she has been pulled into this world against her wishes. Victory refuses to divulge the genetic answers Biotec demands because she knows that they are looking to exploit her findings, by using them in a destructive manner.  Will Tristan be able to rescue her from this madman’s grip and save her family? Can he keep the research Victory discovers away from enemy hands?

What is your favorite Christmas Cookie?
Leave a comment at the bottom of this post and enter to win
an eBook and bookmark of Chasing Victory.

Make sure to go to the bottom of this post to enter the
 GRAND PRIZE ~ 
$150 Amazon OR Barnes and Noble Gift Card 
OR
$150 Paypal Cash!!

FIRST PRIZE ~
1 eBook from every participating author!






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Monday, December 2, 2013

~CHRISTMAS PAWS BLOG HOP~


Happy Holidays to you and your 4-legged family members 
from my 4-legged family!


Welcome to the Christmas Paws Blog Hop!

We’d like to extend a special thank you to Wild Child Publishing, our co-host for the Christmas Paws Blog Hop!

Thank you to our co-sponsors:
A.R. Von  
Bewitching Book Tours  
Charley Descoteaux 
M.L. Ryan 
Normandie Alleman  
Susan  Griscom  
Denyse Bridger 
Literal Addiction 
Joanne Jaytanie
Patricia Tostado
Books to Go Now
Cristal Ryder
Jami Grey
Victoria Vane
Running with Scissors






Chasing Victory

Chasing Victory is my debut novel which was recently released at the end of March. It is a paranormal, romantic suspense and the first book in The Winters Sisters Series. There is a thread that runs through this series, and that is to portray my love of the Doberman. I have owned and loved this amazing breed for thirty years and truly believe they are a breed unto themselves. Their intelligence, commitment, dedication, tenacity, and unconditional love can only be experienced by living with great animal.

As I began writing my first draft of Chasing Victory, Dax weighed heavy on my mind and I knew at that moment that he would be Victory’s dog. Writing the scenes that included the dobermans came very natural to me.

The doberman on the cover of my novel is Dax. The picture was taken over ten years ago by my friend Denise Caley Stringfellow. Dax and Ralph were a team unto themselves --     

Am/Int'l Ch. Starlaine's Virtual Reality, CD, NA, NAJ, ROM
‘DAX’
1995 – 2002

In the year of acquiring his Companion Dog (CD), Dax was the Doberman Pinscher Club of America (DPCA) Highest Scoring Dog earning a CD and placed first in his class at the DPCA National. He placed first in his class in agility at the DPCA Nationals. He was the first in his litter to achieve an AKC breed championship and the first to be awarded a DPCA Register of Merit. In 2001 Dax was tied for the number 3 Novice Doberman for Agility in Front and Finish Magazine. Two months after we lost him, we learned that he was rated number 6 doberman in AKC Novice Agility.



Excerpt from Chasing Victory:

Victory opened the door and was greeted by a big black Doberman madly wagging his short stub of a tail. “Hey there, Parker.” She lovingly rubbed the top of his head. “You holding down the fort? I guess everyone else must be ringside.” As if understanding every word she said, Parker responded with a whine. “I know it’s terrible to be retired. Look at it this way, you get your pick of the furniture while everyone is out.” Victory rubbed his head one last time and closing the door she headed toward the show grounds.
The show grounds were humming with activity. People were pulling carts stacked high with dog crates and grooming supplies in one hand and leashes with excited dogs in the other. The dog show scene was its own little world distant from the day to day responsibilities of everyday life. It was no wonder Payton loved it so. What could be better than spending the day with your dogs with not a care in the world, at least for that moment in time?
Victory followed the flow of people towards the main building. Stepping through the door the activity magnified; she was enveloped by barking dogs in crates, vendors, the loudspeaker, and the flow of exhibitors and their dogs warming up around the rings. Victory stood in the doorway surveying the building’s layout.
For the first time since Jeffery’s murder, Victory felt a soothing feeling flood her body. Being around all the dogs gave her stability, made her felt safe. She wandered through the building, stopping every now and then to look at all the different breeds of dogs and some interesting items at the different vendor booths. She could feel the excitement in the air radiating off the dogs.



This is one of my all time favorite pictures
The Magnificent Five
 They were wonderful bunch of red dogs.
Top row, left to right: Captain, Kes, Anya
Bottom row: Dax, Misty
I miss them dearly... 



What is your favorite breed and what special things do you do with your dogs for the holidays?

Leave your comment below and enter to win a Chasing Victory bookmark and eBook.
There will be two winners.

~GRAND PRIZE~
$200 choice gift card
and
A special treat for the pet in your life
Enter Rafflecopter at bottom of this post!



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Thursday, November 28, 2013

HOT AUTUMN NIGHTS BLOG HOP


Welcome to Hot Autumn Nights
 Blog Hop

What's your idea of the perfect hot autumn night? 

A cup of hot chocolate,
sitting by a the fire enjoying a glass of wine with the one you love. 

I love to sit by the fire and enjoy my magnificent view. 


Tell me what your favorite
hot autumn night is?

Leave your comment below and enter to win this Chasing Victory bookmark and an eBook of Chasing Victory


AND ~ GRAND PRIZE IS

 $80 Barnes & Noble or Amazon Gift Card. 

Enter for Grand Prize at first stop.


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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

FOR THE LOVE OF OUR FURRY FRIENDS CHRISTMAS BLOG TOUR


Happy Thanksgiving Eve!
Ready or not the holiday season is now upon us.
I can't think of a better way to ring in the season then with a blog tour for two of my favorite authors,
~Jennifer Conner and Sharon Kleve~


For The Love Of Our Furry Friends Christmas Blog Tour

November 20th-30th

Best-selling authors Sharon Kleve and Jennifer Conner adore animals. That's why they collaborated on this blog tour together. To showcase their Christmas stories celebrating our beloved pets. They hope you enjoy reading them as much as they did writing them.


You can find all the blog stops here:




Book Title: Halo's Wish (Book one in the Dreams Come True Series)
Author: Sharon Kleve
Publisher: Books to Go Now
Genre: Contemporary Christmas Romance
Release Date: 9.13.2013
Length: 50 pages
Heat Rating: Sweet


Book Blurb:

Halo Ann Carlyle wishes for a home, family, and a boat-load of pets. What she gets is a bruised hip, a lump on the head, a broken ankle, and her new yellow Honda Civic is demolished.

Rich McFarland, a sexy veterinarian, keeps showing up in the most unexpected places, promising everything she's ever wanted.

Halo believes she only has time to pursue her career as a pet detective and must ignore her growing attraction to achieve her dreams.

Will Halo trust her heart, and find a way to get both for Christmas?


Excerpt:

She'd just placed another call through to Pemsky's office, which went straight to his voicemail, when the office door opened. Halo smiled and looked up into dreamy, gold-flecked green eyes, short sandy brown hair, a slight cleft chin, and full lips set in a hard line. Even with the stern look he had on his face, my hormones jumped into overdrive.
Mr. Dreamy cleared his throat—she must've been staring. In her most professional voice she said, "Good morning. How may I help you?"
He removed a piece of paper from his shirt pocket and unfolded the sheet.
"I was parked in front of the Beacon Hill Ale House and my driver's side mirror was sideswiped by one of Pemsky's Security's SUV's Friday night."
Halo loved the Beacon Hill Ale House. Every Saturday night the Ale House allowed local bands to jam together. That's where she'd met her last loser boyfriend. She'd had a lot of loser boyfriends. She's currently on a hiatus from dating, but she wouldn't mind jumping back into the dating game for this dream-boat.
He handed her the piece of paper.
"I wasn't able to get a look at the driver, but I got the license plate number of the vehicle that hit my car and drove away."
He emphasized the last part.
"I'm very sorry about your car. I'm sure Mr. Pemsky will be happy to cover the damage." Halo checked the company log and Pemsky's name popped up as the driver—she gulped.


Buy Links:



Book Title: Brenda’s Christmas Desire (Book two in the Dreams Come True Series)
Author: Sharon Kleve
Publisher: Books to Go Now
Genre: Contemporary Christmas Romance
Release Date: 11.20.2013
Length: 50 pages
Heat Rating: Sweet


Book Blurb:

Like any child Brenda Howser loved Christmas until her parents were killed by a drunk driver during their annual shopping trip.
Brenda went to live with her aunt, who blamed their death on everything that represented Christmas; the gifts, the tree, and all the decorations.
The festivities' Brenda once cherished became something she dreaded under the shadow of her parents death. She lived in fear of something happening to the people she loved during Christmas.
Christmas approaches and Brenda has to decide if she’s going to let the past hold her prisoner for another year or if she can finally enjoy what Christmas used to mean to her—love.
DEA agent, John Smith knows the significance of December fifteenth to Brenda, but when the head of the Nuevo Cartel escapes federal prison he's forced to let her face the day without him, but not quite alone.
Can Daisy, a golden Labrador puppy, a huge sale on decorations at the hardware store, and a gift from her aunt restore her love of Christmas?


Excerpt:

December 2013
The weather forecast for the Western Washington area, specifically North Seattle, predicted a good five-to-six inches of snow. Brenda Houser watched the flakes float like cotton balls from the sky as she dipped a tortilla chip into a bowl of thick and chunky salsa and popped the morsel into her mouth. 
Her boss, Corny Myers, tapped her pencil on Brenda's reception desk to the beat of The Little Drummer Boy, which streamed from the Green Hornet Investigations Bose speakers.
"Hey, Brenda. I have bad eating habits but I've never started the day with chips and salsa. What's up?" Corny asked.
"You know how I feel about all the holiday hoopla. I'd rather stick my head in the sand and pull it back out in January."
"Do you really think Mexican food is going to make you feel better?"
"Probably not, but a couple margaritas might help."


Buy Links:



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

Sharon is a writer 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 deserve—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.



Social Media Links:




Book Title: Central Bark At Christmas (Book one in the Dog Tails Series)
Author: Jennifer Conner
Publisher: Books to Go Now
Genre: Sweet Contemporary Christmas Romance
Release Date: 11.09.2013
Length: 50 pages
Heat Rating: Sweet


Book Blurb:

When Tennyson’s boyfriend left her for her best friend from high-school, all Tennyson received in the break up was her dog. She’s sworn off men and now is rebuilding her life. The only thing Par does is work. He barely has time to do anything he wants for himself other than take his dog to the dog park. When Par and Tennyson find an abandoned dog at the park named Duke. Will they find room in their hearts to take him in? And can this Christmas season weave some special magic for the two of them?


Book Excerpt:

 “I’m happy this wasn’t your worst date ever, because I had a great time.” He lifted her chin with the tips of his finger. Slowly he lowered his head until she thought she would die of anticipation. He clamped his hands to her waist and gazed into her eyes. “You’re so beautiful…” There was depth and sincerity in the tone of his voice. She felt special. Desired. He dropped his head and kissed her.
Gentle at first and then deep. She couldn’t breathe. He’d sucked all the air from her lungs, but there was no way she wanted him to stop. As she brushed his firm lips to hers, she relished the feel of her blood simmering in her veins. Par slid his fingers through her long hair to cradle and position her head to kiss her even more thoroughly.
His lips pulled away from hers and he stepped back. She reached for the roof of the car to steady herself. Oh. My. God… could this man kiss.
“Not bad for a first date,” he whispered and then kissed her gently again.
Okay… so it was a date. After that kiss it turned into an ‘official date’ and she had no regrets at all.


Buy Links:




Book Title: Christmas Gift That Keeps Wagging (Book two in the Dog Tails Series)
Author: Jennifer Conner
Publisher: Books to Go Now
Genre: Sweet Contemporary Christmas Romance
Release Date: 11.06.2013
Length: 50 pages
Heat Rating: Sweet


Book Blurb:

Julian Barrows has his hands full working full time and being a single dad to his kindergarten, special needs son, Gabe. Gabe’s teacher convinces Julian he doesn’t need to do everything on his own and introduces him to a seizure dog trainer, Hanna Acker.
Hanna and her sister grew up without any ‘Christmas Cheer’. She’s trying to get her sister through college and doesn’t have time to let anyone too close, especially the handsome single dad with a kid.
But, Christmas has a way of changing what we thought we wanted… especially when Santa and an adorable four-legged ‘elf’ are involved.


Book Excerpt:

“What’s this?” Hanna asked, as she ran a hand over the grocery bag wrapping paper. Julian took her coat and hung it by the door so she could follow Gabe into the living room.
“Daddy saw this in a store window and said that we had to get it for you. Open it!” Gabe said. “I wrapped it myself,” he added proudly.
“But it’s not Christmas.”
“No. This is a before Christmas gift. You have to open it now.”
She pulled off a half-pound of scotch tape and finally the paper fell away. Hanna stared at the gift in disbelief. “A Christmas sock… with my name on it.”
Julian came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist. “You told me that you’d never had a Christmas stocking of your own when you were growing up. Gabe knew  Santa wouldn’t know where you were if you didn’t have you sock hung somewhere.” He winked. “So you needed it.”
“You can take it to your home or you can hang it here!” Gabe shouted almost tripping over Cody.


Buy Links:




Author Bio:

Jennifer Conner is a best-selling Northwest author who has over thirty short stories on ebook and three full-length books in print. She writes in Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance, Historical Romance, and Erotica. 

Shot in the Dark hit Amazon at #1 in Romantic Suspense and Christmas Chaos was #2 in the Romance category.

Her novel Shot in the Dark was a finalist in the Emerald City Opener, Cleveland, and Toronto RWA contests. 
 
Jennifer is an Associate Publisher for the indie e-book company Books to Go Now that resides in the Seattle area. Books to Go Now offers professional editing, cover design, multiple book format file creation, and most important--publicity. Their staff works to help make our author books a success one book at a time. 

She lives in a hundred year old house that she grew up in. Her semi- small town holds an interesting mix of resident hillbillies, yuppies and Navy Seals. And of course Seattle, only a few miles away, is the birthplace of Starbucks so coffee is always on the check list. She blows glass beads with a blow torch, (which relieves a lot of stress and people don't bother you).

Social Media Links:



Publisher: Bookstogonow@gmail.com www.bookstogonow.com










Rafflecopter Giveaway Info:

Prizes:
  • One (1) Winner will receive a $25 gift card to a book seller of their choice
  • One (1) Winner will receive Sharon Kleve’s Book one and two of the Dreams Come True Series.
  • One (1) Winner will receive Jennifer Conner’s Book one and two of the Dog Tails Series.

Legal Information:
- Entering this contest means you have read, understood, and agree with all rules and regulations stated.
- Entrants must be 18 or older (or age of majority in your country) to enter and to win.
- No purchase necessary.
- Void where prohibited.
- All stated rules are subject to change without notification or reason given.
- Chances of winning vary widely based on the number of entries received.
- Prize is as stated. No substitutions or exchanges.
- Contest host/organizer is not responsible to misrepresented/mis-typed email addresses, spam filters, mailer demons, and other internet wackiness that may crop up at the time of winner notification.
- Winners are final.
- Contest Starts 00:01EST September 15, 2013 and Ends 12:59EST October 16, 2013 and open to International participants.
- Winners will be notified via email, Twitter, or Facebook no later than 12:00EST October 18, 2013
-Respond by date to collect prize is 14 days from notification date.






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