Season’s Greetings! I’d like to thank Anna for welcoming me over to her Holiday Cheer blog event. Be sure to comment for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.
As always, it’s wonderful to join authors and readers alike when celebrating the holidays. Though we might only ‘see’ one another via the internet, there’s no time like Christmas to share a bit of what life’s like when we step away from the computer. That said, I’d like to welcome you into my ‘house’ this Christmas if only in this blog post.
My home? A one hundred and twelve year old New England Victorian covered in snow. The outside lights? Blue in the windows with sparkling white trees dappling the lawn and porch. When you enter the foyer with its sweeping archways and curved balustrades things get a little crazy. But in a good way! If there’s one thing I can say for my home it truly comes alive at the holidays. Between the laughter of my son and his friends and the ever amusing escapades of our rambunctious pups, things are busy. Yet in the midst of all the activity, there remains a soft festive glow. The seven foot tree is lit, cheery music playing and garland strung about. The nativity scene reminds us about the true meaning of Christmas and Santa Central, a window alcove full of various Santa’s (even one from Scotland), is a source of entertainment for the wee ones.
1. Share one of your favorite holiday memories. It will always be Christmas of 2010. My Dad was terminally ill so we cherished that particular time more than any other. Though I know it sounds sad we truly made the best of it by reflecting on Christmas’s gone by. We were all closer than ever.
2. What is your favorite Christmas tradition? Decorating the tree of course! My son and I do it together. It’s been cute watching him over the years. Those first few he could only hang bulbs on the bottom and typically preferred ten ornaments on one struggling branch. Now, at eight, he’s decorating three quarters of the way up! J
3. What is your favorite holiday song? Oh, I love Sleigh Ride. It always puts me in a good mood!
4. What is your favorite holiday movie? Probably, A Christmas Carol. But then, I’m a product of the 80’s. 😉
5. What is the most important thing about the holidays for you? Spending time with family and being thankful for one another.
6. What do you do on Christmas Eve? We open up one present and enjoy each other’s company.
7. What tops your tree? It varies year to year. We go back and forth between a star and an angel.
8. What color lights do you put on your tree? Blue and white.
9. Where would you spend the holiday if you could go anywhere in the world? Scotland and/or Ireland! Where else? J
10. Do you have a favorite holiday decoration? Yes. It’s most definitely the Scottish Santa I mentioned in my post. He’s all done up in a kilt and boots, playing his bagpipes. Love it!
All that aside, Christmas wouldn’t be quite right if not for the smell of the kid’s favorite, Wicked Good Peanut Marshmallow Brownies. I know, sounds like an odd mix. But my son and I came up with it one day and whoa, is it a scrumptious, melt-in-your-mouth treat! Here’s the super simple recipe.
1 box Duncan Hines Chewy Fudgy Brownie Mix.
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 cup miniature marshmellows.
1/3 bag of mixed chocolate and peanut butter chips.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Follow directions on box and make brownie mix. Pour half the batter in a greased 7×11 pan. Sprinkle peanut and chocolate chips evenly, and then do the same with the marshmellows. Drizzle Hershey’s syrup over the marshmellows. Evenly spread the remaining brownie mix over the top. Bake for approximately 35-45 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out mostly chocolate free.
Thanks for spending some time with me this holiday season. Before I go, allow me to share my latest release, Highland Mystic. Off to the medieval Scottish Highlands we go!
Two romances. Four destinies. One extraordinary outcome…
Alan Stewart loves the lasses. Beautiful all, he’s never been one to settle. Until, that is, Caitriona appears. Shy yet alluring, her unexpected and rare gift gains his respect. Though his need to protect her grows, a dark ending looms. Only Alan knows that her death soon comes and he will not be able to save her.
Caitriona Devereux is not who she seems. Her fate was foreseen long before birth and so important it will impact all future MacLomains. When dreams of Alan Stewart begin, she knows the time has come. But how to convince a Highland laird from another century that he must die for her? Especially when it soon becomes apparent that she couldn’t bear his death.
When their paths cross with Stephen and Arianna of the Broun clan, a powerful prophecy begins to unravel. Though promised to Iain MacLomain, Arianna Broun is in love with Stephen. They’ll do anything to be together. Alan and Caitriona will afford them just such an opportunity.
Betrayal and loss will intertwine with passion, friendship and new beginnings as the four race toward their destinies. All will discover how far they are willing to go for love. But will the journey be worth the ultimate sacrifice?
Find out in Highland Mystic (The MacLomain Series- Early Years).
Alan shook his head and grabbed her hand. “Nay, not yet. There is time. Come. I want to show you something.”
Every time he wanted to show her something it was an even more intimate location. Her resistance was weakening as it was. She stopped. “Nay. ‘Tis never so simple with you.”
His brows arched. “Now lass, I will carry you if forced.”
Dubious, she pulled her hand away and crossed her arms over her chest. “I said nay, Alan. I mean to stand by it.”
“Well which way will you have it then? Over my shoulder or in my arms.”
“Neither! I dinnae want to see what you have to show and that is final.”
“You dinnae want to see?” He shook his head and started toward her.
There was no moving fast enough when this man gave pursuit. The cave flipped and the next thing she knew the floor was far below. Air puffed out of her lungs when her belly hit his shoulder.
“You really thought over the shoulder the better of the two choices?” she gasped.
“I wasnae the one given the choice. When you didnae make one, I made it for you.” His hand tightened on her backside. “Besides, this allows me to climb.”
Climb! Oh no. She held on tight.
“Dinnae worry. I willnae drop you.” He began climbing. “Yet.”
It was impossible to see what he climbed as they moved up. Caitriona squeezed her eyes shut. “Bloody hell, Alan.”
“Such language. And all for naught had you just followed when asked.”
“A little more debate over this might have been nice. You put in no effort to persuade,” she muttered.
“Remember when we discussed our equal amounts of determination at the loch? I believed you. So why continue bantering?”
Higher and higher he climbed. She wasn’t about to tell him that he might have convinced her otherwise. Upon reflection, perhaps she should have. At least then, she’d have a wee bit more control. But would that much matter? Wherever he brought her now there would be no easy escape from.
If he set to seducing her she’d all but be trapped.
What seemed far too much time later, he finally stopped climbing and stood. He took his time about lowering her, choosing to let her slide slowly down his long, hard body. Caitriona would be lying to herself if she said it was the climb that made her tremble. Nay, it was the highlander.
His eyes sought hers, their dark depths churning with something quietly vicious and blatantly possessive. If any air was left, the last of it fled her lungs. He’d brought her someplace all his and he intended to make it all hers. Getting around him this time would mean trying to get past not only the warrior and chieftain but by his other side too, the seasoned wizard.
“Did you truly think I would let you protect me forever?” he said softly.
“I thought you would honor my wishes.”
“Then you gave me too much credit.” He made no move to release her. “I would rather have you in every way a lad should have a lass than never to have had you, all for the sake of remaining alive. There will come a day when I battle alongside my clansmen and you willnae be there. If a blade is aimed true, what good will your healing do then? I would die without ever having known you as I should.”
His words were moving, profound, troublingly convincing. As such, she had no rebuttal.