Hi, Cheryl! Thanks so much for being on Holiday Cheer today and sharing not only your holiday secrets, but a recipe of Blonde Brownies…yummy! And be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of WISHING FOR A COWBOY, as well as the $25 Barnes and Noble gift card I’m giving away at the end of Holiday Cheer.
1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? Hot chocolate. I am a chocolate fiend. I’m not very big on warm drinks but that’s one huge exception.
2. Share one of your favorite holiday memories. My favorite holiday memories are of those days when my children were young and all the excitement in the air of getting up on Christmas morning and seeing what was waiting for them under the tree. Those were some very happy times!
3. What is your favorite Christmas tradition? When the kids were little, our tradition was to go out on Christmas Eve and drive around looking at Christmas lights. Then we’d come home and drink hot chocolate and open two gifts, each. One gift was always new pajamas, and the other one was something fun, or something they’d asked for specifically. The rest had to wait until the morning.
4. What is your favorite holiday song? My favorite holiday song is, without a doubt, Silent Night. I’ve always loved it ever since I was a little girl, and my dad used to join me in my mispronunciation of “round yon virgin” and we’d sing together “round John virgin” (I always wondered who that was!)LOL Now I have wonderful memories of us singing that together, and there’s nothing like it when you are in a congregation, and everyone is singing together.
5. What is your favorite holiday movie? Oh, It’s a Wonderful Life is definitely #1, followed by the original Miracle on 34th Street.
6. What is something on your gift wish list? Shhhh….I just bought it for myself, so it’s not on my wishlist anymore! I went to an inter-tribal powwow over Thanksgiving weekend and bought myself and both my kids and Indian flute, instruction booklet, etc. This is something all three of us have talked about wanting to learn to play, and I got a wonderful deal because I bought three. So I already know what Santa is bringing me! LOL
7. Do you have a Christmas morning tradition? When I was growing up, my dad had a super 8mm camera complete with a light bar. My two sisters and I would get up and stand at our doors impatiently with him at the other end of the hallway, and mom saying “Wait a minute! Let me put some lipstick on!” Finally when she was ready, she’d say, “Okay!” and we would come out down the hallway like a swarm of bees and my dad trying to film us. We would all be stumbling along with our arms up over our eyes. That light bar was BRIGHT. LOL
8. Do you have a real or artificial tree? I have an artificial one, and recently downsized it. The huge 7 ½ footer got to be too much for me to put up and take down by myself.
9. What color lights do you put on your tree? All different colors and all different sizes—some with blinkers and some without. And the decorations are things that I’ve collected through the years, from my own things I made in Kindergarten, to the first ornament my mom bought for Gary and me when we got married. Stuff my kids made, and the ones I bought for them to collect. I have got some ornaments!
10. Do you have a favorite holiday decoration? All my growing up years, we had an old crèche with plaster figurines of Mary, Joseph, Jesus, and angel, a donkey, and three wise men. I used to play with that thing from the day we got it out to decorate for Christmas. About 15 years ago, there was a mysterious box under the tree at my parents’ house. When I opened it, I couldn’t believe it—my mom had wrapped up the cardboard stable and the figurines and that meant more to me, I think, than any gift I ever received.
11. What is your favorite holiday treat (pie, cake, cookies, etc)? Fudge, by a landslide!
1 tsp. Vanilla
1½ cups flour
2 ½ cups brown sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
½ cup (OR MORE!) chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Beat eggs well. Add brown sugar gradually, beating until well mixed. Add vanilla, flour, salt and mix well. Add chopped nuts and mix. Pour into a greased, 9×13 pan and sprinkle chocolate chips over top of the batter. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes (depending on your oven). This makes a 9×13 pan of brownies. You can half this recipe for an 8×8 pan, and reduce cooking time to 25 minutes.
WISHING FOR A COWBOY BLURB:
Cowboys, kisses and love in the holiday air make for a special recipe in each of these wonderful new stories. Christmas miracles can happen when you’re WISHING FOR A COWBOY!
*A Christmas Miracle* by Phyliss Miranda
Acceptance comes not through frosty eyes, but from the warmth of loving hearts.
*Outlaw’s Kiss* by Cheryl Pierson
A long-ago schooldays crush is rekindled by an Outlaw*s Kiss that sparks true love, and a new future for Jake Morgan and Talia Delano.
*A Husband for Christmas* by Sarah J. McNeal
A haunting night of horror and a wish for a new life.
*Peaches* by Kathleen Rice Adams
When a strong-willed schoolteacher invades an irascible rancher*s Texas range, not even the spirit of Christmas may be able to prevent all-out war.
*A Gift for Rhoda* by Jacquie Rogers
A mail-order bride disaster!
*Her Christmas Wish* by Tracy Garrett
Her only wish for Christmas was the man who left her behind.
*Covenant* by Tanya Hanson
Can a Christmas blizzard ignite love gone cold?
*Charlie’s Pie* by Livia J. Washburn
A wounded man, a desperate woman, a gang of ruthless outlaws…and the best pecan pie in Parker County!
WISHING FOR A COWBOY EXCERPT
Set up: Talia is remembering what happened a few months ago at the Independence Day picnic, when Jake Morgan brazenly paid $1000 for her boxed lunch at a fundraiser for the town’s new school. Instead of the “peck on the cheek” he was entitled to, along with his lunch, he surprises and embarrasses her by giving her two very thorough kisses in front of the entire town. But she wasn’t scandalized…she only wanted more…
EXCERPT FROM “OUTLAW’S KISS” by CHERYL PIERSON
His lips sculpted hers, as the entire town of Rock Creek watched. His mouth kindled the beginning flame that erupted in a bonfire between them, making her stomach quiver, her heart pound. But it was his velvet demon’s tongue that carelessly sent the cinders of her soul skyward, in front of the cat-calling onlookers who’d gathered for the auction.
There was no defense against his casual, merciless onslaught. Talia’s body warmed as involuntarily, her fingers curled in the front of his cotton shirt, pulling him closer.
Damn you, Jake Morgan. Damn you.
His lips curved upward just before he lifted his mouth, allowing her to breathe once more. She could swear the gunfighter read the thoughts that swirled in her head. He licked his lips slowly, as if savoring the way she tasted. The wicked, slow smile spread, lighting his dark eyes with teasing warmth, deadly to what remained of her will.
The breath she took was nearly a gasp, as if she had just been saved from drowning in rushing waters.
“What do you think you’re doing, Mr. Morgan?” Her voice was quiet, with none of the indignation she knew she should be feeling.
“I’m getting my money’s worth.” His large hands framed her face with a gentleness she wouldn’t have thought possible. He leaned toward her. Again.
“No—” Her protest was unconvincing to her own ears.
“You’re going to ruin me—”
Jake laughed softly. “Later, Talia. Much, much later.” Then, his mouth closed over hers once more.
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