Friday, December 9, 2011

15 Days of Christmas Kicks Off with Desiree Holt

Today kicks off the 15 Days of Christmas with a prize drawing for each day.  The delightful Desiree Holt starts things off for us and we couldn't ask for a better out of the gate experience.  I had the pleasure of toasting book number 100 with Desiree at RT 2011 this past April.  The woman is amazing!  So hold onto your hats, coffee cups or whatever and here we go!!!  And remember...comments each day gets you entered for the daily drawing.  From those winners I'll draw a grand prize winner to receive a little something special from my upcoming trip to London that I'll pick up over there.

Christmas-Definitely the time to be jolly

To win prizes: leave a comment and you might win a Christmas watch. Or a choice of ebook from my backlist.
Christmas is also a time to eat and fall in love.
And who wouldn’t fall in love when the air is scented with holly and cranberry and pine and of course, Christmas sugar cookies. In my house we have the teddy bear invasion. About fifteen years ago I started collecting Christmas teddy bears, one matched set each year. My late husband always used to make a trip to the store without me and surprise me with them on Christmas morning. Now when you come to my house at Christmas, you have to be careful they only hug you to death!
          He also believed in the power of mistletoe. Whenever we put up the decorations he would hang an artificial ball of mistletoe in our bedroom and we never went to sleep or got up without a Christmas gift. He may be gone but the mistletoe still hangs there and I can still remember his kisses. They were yummy.

          Also very yummy are the sugar cookies we made, and cut them in the shape of Christmas trees, decorating them with red and green sprinkles to simulate lights. So here’s our recipe, for your enjoyment.

                            2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
                            1 teaspoon baking soda
                            1/2 teaspoon baking powder
                            1 cup butter, softened
                            1 1/2 cups white sugar
                            1 egg
                            1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
1.  In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and place onto ungreased cookie sheets.

2.  Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden. Let stand on cookie  sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks. Then decorate.

    And while you’re munching your cookies, warm yourself with a hot love story that could only happen at Christmas – He Came Upon a Midnight Clear from Decadent publishing and available at all your favorite online bookstores.

Cody Alvarez needed to find a wife by Christmas or he would lose the ranch his uncle left to him. Libby Morris just needed, for once in her life, to feel desired. Sensual. Appealing. Especially after an intense reshaping at a high-end spa. Invited to Christmas Week at the Castillo Lodge in Alaska by Madame Eve of 1Night Stand, Cody and Libby were not given the names of the partners chosen for them. As they were forced to wait until they learned who their one-night stands were, they discovered an incredible spark of chemistry and a connection stronger than either had experienced before. Would spending a very erotic night together ruin their arrangements or give them another option?
“I’m not very good at this,” she said slowly.
He squeezed her hand gently. “At eating dinner?”
She shook her head, still not looking at him. “At…small talk. Dating. Things like this.” Her cheeks felt so hot she thought they must match her lipstick.
“Libby?” Cody’s voice barely penetrated the fog of embarrassment. And he still had hold of her hand.  “Libby, look at me.”
Reluctantly she raised her eyes.
“I’m going to order us each another drink and then I’d be interested to find out why someone as beautiful and sexy as you has trouble in a social situation like this. Surely you must be beating the men off with a stick.”
She made herself breath evenly. She might as well tell him. They’d never see each other again and maybe he could give her some moral support. Besides, he made her feel comfortable, something her assigned date night not do.
The waiter cleared their dessert dishes, brought another glass of wine for her and bourbon on the rocks for Cody. He touched his glass to hers.
“To us. Two people enjoying a nice dinner.”
She laughed at that and swallowed some wine.
“Now. Let’s have it. What’s got you skittish as a newborn calf?”
“You’ll laugh at me.”
He smiled. “Darlin’, the last thing I’ll do is laugh. I promise.”
She took another gulp of wine. “Well, they say it’s easier to tell things to a stranger.”
“Oh, but we’re not strangers,” he protested. “Are we? We spent all that time on the plane together, right? But Libby? It’s still all right to talk to me. Tell me.” 
She drained her wine glass and held it out. “C-Could I have another drink? Please?”
Cody laughed. “Yes, but then I’m cutting you off. I don’t want anyone to accuse me of getting you drunk and taking advantage of you.”
Her breath caught in her throat. “I…You…”
He signaled for the waiter then picked up her hand again. She wished he’d never drop it. It felt so good and secure.
“Breathe,” he teased gently. “It’s okay. Just relax. If you don’t want to say anything you don’t have to. Really.”
“I’ve been fat and frumpy and boring all my life,” she blurted out then wished she could dive under the table. When he didn’t say anything she made herself look up and saw him staring at her. “What?”
He cleared his throat. “Libby. I have to say that those are three words I would never associate with you.”
The waiter brought their drinks and she paused long enough to sip some of hers. “That’s because you didn’t know me. Even now I have a long ways to go.”
“For what?” He sounded astonished.
“For, you know. To look like everyone else.”
“Why the hell would you want that? You’re perfect the way you are.”
She snorted. “Oh, sure. That’s nice of you to say but you don’t have to be polite. I just spent two months at a spa to get to this point.” He hadn’t stopped staring at her. “That’s why I booked this thing through 1 Night Stand. A woman at the spa told me about them.” Her face heated again. “I wanted an exciting, erotic night like my girl friends talk about. An adventure. You know. Hot sex.”
Oh, god, maybe the floor would just open up and swallow her.
Cody downed his bourbon in two swallows and signaled the waiter for the check.
“Finish your wine. We’re getting out of here.”


Jennifer Mathis said...

oh tasty excerpt :)

Connie Kline said...

Way to leave us hanging! Now I'm hooked!

JeanMP said...

A very teasing and tantilizing excerpt! Want to read more. Thanks for the cookie recipe, sounds yummy.

skpetal at hotmail dot com

Terra Oenning said...

Very Hot!!!Cant wait to

Anonymous said...

Glad you al like the excerpts. The story is a quick, hot Christmas read, smiting to cuddle up with over hot chocolate and a hot man! And that cookie recipe? You can also roll it out and use come cutters in the shape of trees or Santas and decorate them with crystal sugar. Yum!

Ronda Tutt said...

Wow, after reading the clip I am hooked (Yummy), I just have to read this book. I love the cover too.

Ronda Tutt

Nancy said...

Please enter me in this contest. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

And thanks to you, too.

Shadow said...

This sounds hot! Great book! ;) Thanks for the recipe too! Sounds yummy! Thanks for sharing! Merry Christmas!

Shelley Munro said...

I wonder what he's going to do next. Nice excerpt, Desiree.

books4me said...

Desiree, you are one of my favorite authors and 1NS is one of my favorite series! I had NO idea you had a 1NS book out...I'm over the moon...LOL!

The cookie recipe sounds fantastic and my mouth is watering but would you believe I am on a DIET during this time of year...I know crazy but probably for the best since I tend to eat A LOT during the holidays!

books4me67 at ymail dot com

Lizzie said...

Desiree, love having you here and look forward to out next glass of wine, hopefully in Chicago!

The name pulled out of Desiree's hat is:

Connie Kline