Holiday Cheer – Melanie Macek

by Anna on December 16, 2014

First, thank you, Anna Kathryn, for opening up your blog this month.

For those who don’t know, one of Anna Kathryn’s favorite things is to include recipes with her stories. I have a few of them sitting on my shelf 😉

She’s opened her blog to other writers and asked that we share recipes with her readers. Of course, I have to be the oddball. My family is scattered across the country and hasn’t all been together for Christmas in 30 years. My husband’s family is very small and we all decided Christmas would be a finger-food feast!

My favorite thing to do is mix up different drinks. The non-alcoholic type. Wait! Don’t leave just yet. I’ve been told that alcohol could easily be mixed with any of these so keep reading.

Here are a few of my favorites.

1/2 Orange Juice and 1/2 Cran-Raspberry

1/3 Orange Juice, 1/3 Cran-Raspberry, 1/3 Ginger Ale

1/2 Sprite and 1/2 Cranberry Juice

1/2 Cranberry Ginger Ale and 1/2 Orange Juice

1/2 Cranberry (Cran-raspberry or Cran-cherry work fine too) and 1/2 Ginger Ale

We use unsweetened orange juice and the Ocean Spray 100% juice flavors.

You could substitute the Ginger Ale for Club Soda if you prefer a less sweet, but still carbonated, version. Add crushed ice to give it a daiquiri feel. Hey, no one will know there isn’t alcohol in it unless you tell them.

Renaissance Wench

Here’s an excerpt from this year’s release, Renaissance Wench. It’s a contemporary romance set in Houston and New Orleans. This is the second exchange between Callie and Simon, at Callie’s brother’s promotion party. Hope you enjoy it!

“You never called.”

“No, I didn’t.”

She cursed the blush of embarrassment she felt staining her cheeks.

“May I ask why not?”

The fabric of his coat pulled slightly across his biceps as he crossed his arms over his chest. The urge to squirm under the scrutiny was almost too much to resist. Somehow, she kept her feet planted and gave him her best smile.

“Let’s just say I’ve yet to be impressed by anyone in the corporate world.”

One perfectly arched eyebrow raised slightly at her comment.

“Did the offer tempt you even the slight bit?”

“A bit.”

He laughed and the skin beside his eyes crinkled. Good Lord! The man was gorgeous and he knew it.

“Only a bit? I can’t decide if I should be offended. Why didn’t you call?”

Callie settled on the truth because he would be able to tell if she lied.

“Well, besides the fact that I don’t have time, I didn’t want to be another notch in your proverbial bedpost. You boast quite a bounty of beauties according to the Internet.”

He grimaced at her comment, making her wonder. Most men would have smiled at the perceived compliment. She moved to the pillar across from him, trying to block the sudden wind gusting in from the greens. She shivered and he immediately removed his jacket and placed it around her, the warmth seeping into her flesh. His scent assaulted her, making her knees tremble in response.



He wanted for her nod before taking his place against the opposite pillar. Definitely better. Without his jacket, she had a better view of the muscles straining against the fabric of the plum-colored dress shirt. Simon looked more like an athlete than someone who sat behind a desk all day. He continued the conversation, unfazed by her scrutiny.

“The paparazzi like to make up stories to go with those photographs. I do attend a lot of events where woman accompany me. Most of the time, they’re colleagues of my mother and nothing beyond basic escort duty ever occurs.”

Her head tilted at his comment. She studied the look in his eyes.

“Why does my thinking you’re a player bother you?”


Hmm, why indeed? Check out the rest of Renaissance Wench to read more about Callie and Simon’s adventures.


Kindle version


Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy Kwanzaa, Merry Yule and a fantastic New Year.


Thanks again to Anna Kathryn for letting me take over her blog for the day.


Melanie Macek

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