Today, Melissa Snark visits with her holiday secrets, a vegetarian recipe and an excerpt of her book Learning to Fly.
Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a PDF copy of Learning to Fly and a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card to be given away at the end of Holiday Cheer.
Egg nog or hot chocolate? Hot chocolate
What is your favorite Christmas tradition? Gathering with family on Christmas Eve.
What is your favorite holiday movie? Die Hard
What do you leave for Santa? A cookie, a glass of milk and a shot of Jack Daniels. (Hey, Santa works hard!)
Do you have a real or artificial tree? Artificial.
What tops your tree? A star.
What color lights do you put on your tree? Multi-colored.
Do you wrap as you go or do you do a marathon wrapping ‘party?’ Wrap as I go.
What is your favorite holiday book? A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
What is your favorite holiday treat (pie, cake, cookies, etc)? Peanut butter chocolate kiss cookies.
Quinoa Vegetarian Stuffing*
- 2 cups cooked red quinoa
- 2 pounds chestnuts, roasted, shelled and coarsely chopped
2 cups fennel, chopped
- 2 cups celery, chopped
- 4 shallots, minced
- 1 10-ounce box seasoned stuffing
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- Vegetable broth
- Rosemary, to taste
- Fresh sage, to taste
- 1 cube butter, salted
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Saute fennel, celery, shallots, chopped sage, and rosemary in melted butter.
- Combine the vegetables with quinoa, chestnuts, stuffing, and cranberries.
- Over low heat, add vegetable broth until moist.
- Add salt, pepper, and any other desired spices.
- Move to baking dish and cover with foil.
- Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 40 minutes.
*For a carnivorous variation, add 1 pound of browned Italian sausage.
Cassandra Claeys is a bohemian artist with a passion for shoes and architecture. Her past wasn’t pretty and she’s got the scars to prove it, but she’s determined to live and love again and she’s hoping her newest client is just the man for the job. But the crazed serial killer that once held her captive escapes from prison, willing to kill again to make his maniacal fantasies come true.
Architect Kyle McCloud hires the fiery redhead to illustrate his latest project, never dreaming that she would bring passion and danger to his door. Cassie is easily spooked and as flighty as one of his injured birds, but he’s willing to work overtime to make her soar for him alone.
“I can take you.”
Her front teeth sank into her lower lip and her green eyes widened. “Oh no. I mean—no thank you. I’d like to go alone.”
His brow rose; suspicion glimmered in his eyes. Too late, she realized how her response must seem both rude and inappropriate. She needed to buy enough clothes to last through her stay and wanted to do so without drawing undo attention to her predicament.
She turned red. “It’s just—I’m going to be a while. I have a lot to do.”
His lips curved up in a bland smile. “I only thought you might appreciate a ride, Ms. Claeys, since you don’t have a car.”
Crap. He had her.
She swallowed and quelled the urge to apologize. She doubted her attractive employer heard the word “no” very often. She sensed he wasn’t trying to gaslight her on purpose. However, he made her nervous, and as her boss, he had power over her. If he changed his mind about having her here and told her to leave, then she had nowhere else to go. She didn’t like it at all.
“Thank you, Mr. McCleod. That’s a very thoughtful offer, but I’d hate to take up your entire day with trivial errands. Perhaps someone could drop me in town?”
He gulped the rest of his orange juice and set down the glass, regarding her with unblinking brown eyes. “I appreciate your concern for my time, but I don’t mind at all.”
Approaching the table, the housekeeper stopped and surveyed them, curiosity written all over her face. Cassie felt Shelly’s eyes on her face and she avoided eye contact, well aware of how her expression gave everything away. She sucked in a deep breath and tried to quell her rising panic. The last thing she needed was to make a scene, but thanks to Kyle’s stubborn determination to have his way, they were well on the way.
She forced a smile. Time to resort to scare tactics. “I’m going shopping.” She paused and lingered on the S word, allowing the implication to sink in. “I’ll be trying on clothes and shoes. I love shoes. I’m going to be a long time. Hours, I imagine.”
Kyle licked his lips and Cassie stared at the tip of his tongue as it emerged past his teeth. Her cards were on the table. If he refused to back off, then she resolved to drag him through every store in the entire town, especially the embarrassing ones full of frilly things.
“No problem, I’m not in a hurry,” he said.
Melissa Snark is an erotic romance and paranormal fantasy novelist. She lives in Northern California with her husband, three children and a glaring of domestic house cats.
Where to find Melissa Snark on the Internet:
Email: melissasnark at gmail.com