Hi, Lyn….turn about is fair play, right? On Monday, I was on Lyn’s blog, so today she’s returning the favor. I’m so glad you joined me on Holiday Cheer! Don’t forget to leave a comment to be eligible for Texas Devlins 4 Book Bundle Lyn is giving away and the $25 Barnes and Noble gift card I’ll give away at the end of Holiday Cheer.
Egg nog or hot chocolate? Hot chocolate, but eggnog runs a close second.
What is your favorite Christmas tradition? Baking cookies with my kids and grandkids. We just held our annual baking day this past Sunday.
What is your favorite holiday song? The Little Drummer Boy
What is your favorite holiday movie? A Christmas Carol, the 1984 version starring George C. Scott.
What is something on your gift wish list? A Kindle Fire — I want to see my book covers in color!
What is the most important thing about the holidays for you? Sharing time with family and friends.
What tops your tree? An angel with a white light glowing behind her. She’s a girl, of course!
What’s your favorite holiday quote? “Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn’t come from a store.” – Dr. Seuss
What color lights do you put on your tree? We used to always prefer multi-color lights, but our small tabletop tree has all white lights. Both are lovely.
Do you wrap as you go or do you do a marathon wrapping ‘party?’ I wrap as I go. It’s much less hectic.
Where would you spend the holiday if you could go anywhere in the world? I’d like to visit lots of places in the world, but not on Christmas. For me, at home with my family is the only place to spend Christmas.
What is your favorite holiday book? Like my favorite movie, it’s A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I’m nothing if not consistent!
Do you have a favorite holiday decoration? I don’t know if this is exactly a decoration, but my favorite is our Christmas village. Most of the lighted building were made for us by my sister-in-law, who used to do beautiful ceramics. The village is 19th century style with lots of little people I’ve collected over the years. Our grandkids are fascinated by the scene.
What is your favorite holiday dish? South Carolina Sweet Potatoes (see recipe below).
What is your favorite holiday treat (pie, cake, cookies, etc)? Fudge, when it turns out right. This year’s batch didn’t. Boohoo! This is the first time it ever failed, probably because I doubled the batch. I’ll never do that again!
South Carolina Sweet Potatoes
3 large sweet potatoes
¼ cup sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 stick butter
½ cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp. flour
3 Tbsp. butter
½ cup copped pecans
Cut sweet potatoes in quarters and boil until tender. Remove skins and mash. Combine hot sweet potatoes (approximately 3 cups) with next 5 ingredients and beat well. Put potatoes in 1 ½ quart casserole. Mix remaining ingredients and sprinkle over top. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Serves 8.
Blurb: Texas Devlins 4 Book Bundle
Psychics in the Old West? Yes indeed! Meet Lyn Horner’s Texas Devlins, a trio of siblings descended from Irish Celtic Druids. Each one is blessed with a rare psychic gift. This 4 Book Bundle combines the Texas Devlins trilogy plus a prequel novella, White Witch. These award-winning books deliver fast paced action, steamy romance and high adventure sparked by flashes of psychic power.
Darlin’ Irish, book one in the trilogy, is Jessie Devlin’s story. Jessie possesses second sight, the ability to look into the future. After surviving the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, she endures nightmares in which a man she’s never met saves her from burning to death. She believes they are fated to love and a prophetic vision sends her west in search of him. But a second vision warns of a fiery-eyed madman who may also await her beyond the horizon. Will her quest lead her to happiness . . . or into a deadly trap?
The following scene takes place in Omaha’s Union Pacific Depot, where Jessie meets Captain David Taylor, a Texan banished from home after fighting for the “wrong side” in the War Between the States. Is he the man she seeks?
A woman’s shriek rent the air, interrupting his ruminations and jerking him to attention. The sound had come from inside the depot.
“What the devil?” he muttered. Cutting a path between startled travelers, he shoved open the door and stepped into the building. The stuffy interior reeked of tobacco and sweaty bodies. Finding a gap in the crowd, David caught sight of a red-faced young corporal. The trooper bobbed and weaved, arms raised to fend off blows being rained upon him by a woman in a brown poke bonnet. Her weapon was a heavy looking black reticule.
“Scoundrel! I’ll teach ye some manners, I will!” she vowed in a furious Irish brogue. Swinging wildly, she sent the corporal’s blue cap flying.
“Take it easy, lady!” he cried. “I didn’t mean no harm.”
Wondering what offense the man had committed, David shouldered his way through the crowd until he stood directly behind the woman. Slim and a head shorter than himself, she wore a calico gown, the same drab color as her bonnet. Some settler’s wife, he assumed. But where was her husband?
“No harm, indeed! Stand still, ye heathen, and take what’s comin’ to ye,” she ranted. As she spoke, the yellow-haired corporal spotted David’s uniform and threw him a desperate look.
Feeling duty-bound to step in, David cleared his throat loudly and said, “Excuse me, ma’am, but perhaps that’s enough. The corporal might be needed in one piece when he gets back to his post.” His remark drew laughter from several bystanders.
The woman snorted angrily. “Indeed? Well, I don’t give a fig whether the lout is in one piece or twenty!” So saying, she landed a solid whack on the corporal’s noggin that made him yelp.
“Get ’im, darlin’!” a man in the crowd shouted, egging her on.
Afraid the young soldier might retaliate, David reached out to grasp the woman’s arms, stopping her in mid-swing. “Ma’am, if you’ll just settle down . . . .”
“Let me go!” she shrilled, attempting to wrench free.
He should have complied with her demand, but some primitive instinct made him slip an arm around her and haul her back against him. A sweet scent of lilacs and woman washed over him, and he instantly grew aware of her feminine curves.
She gasped indignantly. “How dare ye? Bithiúnach! Muclach! Take your filthy hands off me.”
Glad he didn’t understand Irish, David cursed under his breath when she rammed her heel into his shin. It didn’t hurt much thanks to his leather boots; nor did the small fists pounding on his arms. But her frantic twisting sent the wrong signal to his male parts.
“Calm down, you little wildcat!” he growled. Releasing her, he stepped back before he humiliated himself.
Whirling around, the woman drew back her arm as if to slap him, only to freeze when their eyes met. A choked sound escaped her lips and the angry color drained from her cheeks. Seeing her sway, David grasped her shoulders to steady her. Her hands clutched his forearms as he returned her wide-eyed stare.
Her eyes were sapphire blue, so dazzling that he had trouble breaking their hold upon him. When he did, he noticed how young she looked – eighteen or twenty, he guessed – and what a beauty she was.
His gaze wandered over her smooth, creamy cheeks and dainty nose then lingered on her pink parted lips. Forcing himself to look elsewhere, he noted the dark auburn curls framing her brow. Her ugly bonnet hid the rest of her hair, but he bet it would look like silk when she let it down.
Then he noticed how rapidly her breasts rose and fell, and desire surged through him, swift and strong. He felt a loco urge to pull her into his arms and kiss her. Reluctantly dragging his gaze back to her sapphire eyes, he wondered what had come over her. A moment ago, she’d been mad as a hornet. Now she stared at him as if she were seeing a ghost.
Dazed by the sight of him, Jessie wondered vaguely if she was having one of her visions. Her gaze kept returning to his gray-green eyes. Crowned by dark brows with an eerily familiar slant, they matched those she’d so often seen in her dreams. Could this tall, uniformed stranger be the man she had left home to find? She hadn’t expected her quest to bear fruit so soon. And the longer she studied his sun-bronzed, square-jawed face, arrow-straight nose and unyielding mouth, the more she doubted he was the one.
Those rakish features were hard, not gentle, and his hauntingly familiar eyes did not caress her like the ones in her dreams. Instead, they devoured her, making her stomach flutter and her heart race. When he boldly stared at her breasts, they tingled as if he were actually touching them. Stunned by her reaction, she inhaled sharply, catching the scent of shaving soap and virile male. She wondered if he would kiss her.
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