Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Day 5 of 15 Days of Christmas - Welcome Helen Hardt!

Our guest today is the gorgeous Helen Hardt.  Helen is the full package, in addition to being beautiful and talented, she's also nice.  So join me in welcoming my friend and fellow author, Helen Hardt.

And the Music Returns… 
The winter holidays are my favorite time of the year.  I love the colors, the aromas, the preparations, rekindling old and beginning new traditions…and I especially love Christmas music!  Unlike some, I’m ecstatic when I hear those melodies playing before Thanksgiving.  This year my house is a little more quiet than usual.  My older son, Eric, left Colorado for Florida this fall when he entered the University of Miami as a freshman vocal performance major.  This time last year, his rich bass filled the house with holiday joy.  Times change… 

Today is a great day though – he’s coming home for the holidays!  I haven’t seen my baby since August, haven’t heard his beautiful voice for four months.  Yes, times do change.  Eric won’t live at my house permanently ever again, but I’ll still get to see him (and hear him!) during the holidays.  His singing and playing the piano have become tradition at our house. 
Another tradition is the wassail I make every Christmas Eve.  There are as many recipes for wassail as there are stars in the sky.  I hope you enjoy mine. 
Thank you for stopping by!  I’ll be giving away two gifts today.  One commenter will receive a copy of my current release, Ivy League Cowboy.  Another will receive deep edits on the first twenty pages of a completed manuscript.  Don’t forget to leave your email address.  Good luck! 

Holiday Wassail 
I c. sugar
2 c. water
1 c. lemon juice
1 qt. apple cider
14 whole cloves
4 sticks cinnamon
8 allspice berries
Bourbon or Brandy

Boil sugar and water ten minutes.  Add spices and let stand one hour.  Strain spices, and add juices and cider.  Heat carefully.  Do not boil.  Serve warm.  A half shot of Wild Turkey makes it perfect!  My husband goes for a whole shot J. 

Ivy League Cowboy available at Musa Publishing

Dusty doesn't fear the feisty bull...but his owner's another story.

Dusty O’Donovan, an accomplished bull rider, isn’t afraid to ride El Diablo, a feisty stud whose owner, Zach McCray, is offering $500,000 to anyone who can stay on him for a full eight seconds. Though Zach refuses to let a woman ride his bull, he's intrigued by the headstrong Dusty, who he last saw when he was thirteen and she was six. Sparks fly when they’re together, but will Dusty’s secrets tear them apart?


They stood outside the door to her room while she fished for her key card.

“You sure about this, darlin’?”
“Yeah, yeah.” She had a hard time breathing. “I’m sure, Zach. I want this.”
“Oh God.” Zach grabbed her purse from her. “Where the hell is that damn key?”
He found it and pushed it in the slot, then pulled her into the room, shutting the door and pushing her body against it. His hardness protruded through his jeans and poked into her belly. She wanted to touch him everywhere, lick him everywhere. She wanted to rip his clothes off, then her own, and get down and dirty right there on the hotel rug.
“You’re so beautiful.” He cupped her face in his hands. “You have the longest eyelashes I’ve ever seen.” He pushed his erection into her. “Do you feel that?”'
“Feel how much I want you. How much I hunger for you.”
“Yes, yes.” Her breathing was unsteady, her pulse wild.
“Do you want me?”
“God, yes. Yes.”
“Say it, darlin’. Say you want me.”
“I want you.”
His mouth, reckless and possessive, claimed hers. His strong arms enveloped her and carried her to the bed. He laid her down gently and began to unbutton her shirt. He moved slowly, letting his fingers linger as he tantalized each inch of flesh. She squirmed as tiny flames ignited every place he touched her. She wanted to rip her shirt off and move things along.
When he finally exposed her breasts and lavished his attention on them, she wanted even more. She wanted to be naked. Naked under his touch. She wriggled and groaned, whispering his name.
“Please,” she said, and found herself repeating the word.
“Please what, darlin’?”
“I…don’t know.”
“Do you want me to touch you?”
“Yes, please.”
He cupped her breast, lightly running his thumb over her taut nipple. She shuddered.
He ran his fingers lightly over her belly, circling them around her navel. She squirmed.
He unsnapped her jeans and ran his fingers under the waistband, sending tremors through her.
“Oh yes,” she said, sighing.
He slowly unzipped her jeans, eased his hand inside her panties, and found a sensitive spot that sent her writhing.
“Here?” His voice was hoarse, needy.

Helen Hardt is an attorney and stay-at-home mom turned award-winning author and editor.  She lives in Colorado with her husband and two sons.  Visit her at www.helenhardt.com, www.helenhardt.blogspot.com, www.romanceeditor.blogspot.com, and www.fiction-editor.blogspot.com.


Kerry said...

welcome home to your college boy! I hope he sings to you the entire time he's home...sounds like a wonderful new tradition while he's visiting!

_ said...

Whoa! Hot romance. Leave us hanging...
Sounds like a good romance. Good luck!
Emma Lane

Bette said...

As the song goes: "Hot, Hot, Hot!"

JeanMP said...

Wow that was a hot excerpt! Thanks for the recipe, it sounds delicious.

skpetal AT hotmail DOT com

Helen Hardt said...

Hello everyone! Thanks for stopping by Kerry, Emma, Bette, and Jean -- it's great to see you here. And a special thanks to Lizzie for having me.

Cheryl Pierson said...

Oh, I know you must be SO looking forward to your son being home! I see my kids pretty regularly since we all live here in Oklahoma City. It would be really hard to go for 4 months without seeing them. Sounds like he has a wonderful voice. My mom used to say that once I moved out the house seemed too quiet because there was no piano playing going on--I was a classically trained pianist and did about 2-2 1/2 hours of practice daily, so I am sure that did seem quiet to her after I was gone. LOL Loved that excerpt--that was HOT. And the recipe? I am having a party Saturday evening for my kids and their friends--this is going to be one of the things I serve. Merry Christmas!
fabkat_edit AT yahoo DOT com

Lia Slater said...

Hi, Helen, Thanks for the recipe! Sounds delicious...as did the excerpt. *fanning* I'm gonna need a drink after that.

Waving at Lizzie too!

Patricia said...

I know my day is coming soon when my 17-year-old son will leave the house and no matter how far he goes I'm going to miss him. Have a wonderful holiday with your son.

Nya Rayne said...

Oh that excerpt was hot and heavy!! I'm definitely going to be putting that on my xmas wish list!!

Kaye Manro said...

Hi Helen, I love your wassailing recipe. I'm going to do a medieval post about the wassailing tradition soon. Thanks for yours!

Have a great Christmas with your family and your son.

Amy Denim said...

This story looks great! Thanks for the recipe too. Happy Holidays.

Helen Hardt said...

Hi again! Thanks Cheryl, Lia, Patti, Nya, Kaye, and Amy for stopping in. My son is home as of 5 p.m. and we're having a ball. Happy Holidays to you all!

books4me said...

enjoy the holidays with your family!!!

thankyou for the giveaway.

books4me67 at ymail dot com

Leigh Daley/Arley Cole/me said...

Well, this is my daughter's last year at home as a high schooler, so I am trying to treasure every second! The wassail recipe sounds delish! And the love scene was smokin'! What a strange comment combination. Great giveaway!!
millbranch698 at gmail dot com

Jennifer Mathis said...

great excerpt and yay ur baby will be back home for the holiday s:)


Unknown said...

Hi Helen,

What a great giveaway. I know what you mean about missing your son. I haven't seen mine since Sept and look forward to him coming home next weekend!
Congrats on the new release and I'm going to try this recipe. :)

Lizzie said...

Thank you Helen for a great blog and congratulations to her winners!

Arley Cole - copy of Ivy League Cowboy

Amy Denim - 20 pages of editing by Helen

Ladies, contact Helen and she'll set up things with you.