Select Page
The Nutcracker Reimagined Day 4- Recipe Swap & Giveawy

The Nutcracker Reimagined Day 4- Recipe Swap & Giveawy

The Nutcracker Reimagined by Kathryn Le Veque, Claire Delacroix, Barbara Devlin, Eliza Knight, Suzan Tisdale, Hildie McQueen, Tina DeSalvo, Laura Landon, Layna Pimentel, and Emma Prince.

Hopefully by now you’ve already one-clicked this collection for your holiday reading. If not, there is still time to add it to your e-readers!

On the last day of The Nutcracker Reimagined Blitz the authors wanted to share a favorite recipe. So, from their holiday table to yours Happy Reading & Happy Cooking, or Drinking 😉

 

~ From the Kitchen of Claire Delacroix ~

We eat a lot of British foods at Christmas in Canada, and there’s nothing more British than a good trifle. This is a showy dessert to bring to the table and serve.

Claire’s Trifle
Custard, fruit and ladyfingers in layers.

For the vanilla custard:

1 tbsp conrstarch
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups homogenized milk
2 cups table cream (18%)
1 piece vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
6 egg yolks

In a heavy saucepan, blend cornstarch with sugar. Whisk in milk and cream, add vanilla bean. (If using vanilla extract, add it after the custard is cool.) Stir constantly over moderate heat and bring to a simmer. Stir and simmer for 10 minutes to develop vanilla flavor; reduce to low. Beat eggs and egg yolks until smooth: blend in one cup of hot milk, then whisk back into hot milk in saucepan. Stirring constantly with a whisk, cook until custard is thick and smooth, 7 – 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Whisk custard as it cools. If you’re using vanilla extract, add it now. You can keep the custard covered with plastic wrap in the fridge for a day.

Three hours before serving, assemble the trifle.

1 package ladyfingers soaked in sherry

1 pint blueberries
1 pint raspberries
Custard (recipe above)

In an 8-cup glass or crystal bowl, layer the custard with the ladyfingers and fruit – I do ladyfingers, custard, fruit, ladyfingers, custard, fruit. Refrigerate until serving. You may wish to serve the trifle with fresh whipped cream. You certainly want to serve it with dark chocolates and brandy!

~ From the Kitchen of Kathryn Le Veque ~

A perfect Medieval holiday recipe (one I have tried and it’s very good!)

Maximus’ Tart
Guaranteed to make all future knights very happy with full tummies!

4 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. salt
pinch saffron
6 eggs
1/2 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 lb. soft cheese, grated
1/2 cup currants
1 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. parsley
1 tsp. sage
1 tsp. hyssop (this is an herb with a minty-ish taste)
1 tsp. powder douce (equal parts ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves)
Grind saffron with salt, mix with butter, and set aside.
Place onions into boiling beef broth and cook until just tender and drain.
Beat eggs and combine with saffron-butter, onions, and remaining ingredients, pour into pastry shell, and bake at 350°F for one hour.

~ From the Kitchen of Laura Landon ~

Old Fashioned Candied Pecans

1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
1 pound pecan halves
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C).
Mix sugar, cinnamon, and salt together in a bowl.
Whisk egg white and water together in a separate bowl until frothy. Toss pecans in the egg white mixture. Mix sugar mixture into pecan mixture until pecans are evenly coated. Spread coated pecans onto a baking sheet.
Bake in the preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, until pecans are evenly browned, 1 hour.

~ From the Kitchen of Tina DeSalvo ~

Cajuns love bread pudding…heck who doesn’t. Best way to not let any food go to waste, right. This is made (or can be) with stale bread. Enjoy
Serve with a nice strong cup of cafe’ au last!

Old Fashioned Bread Pudding – (w Rum sauce)

4 cups of milk
4 eggs, separated
10 slices of stale bread (or use French bread)
1 ½ cups of sugar (cane sugar is best)
1 teaspoon of vanilla
I small can of evaporated milk
1 regular size can of condensed milk
pinch of salt

-Heat the milk and pour it over the bread. Mash it together.
-Cream the egg yolks and sugar together. Add it to the bread mash.
-Add evaporated milk, vanilla, salt and half of the condensed milk to the bread mash and mix well. Make sure it is very moist but not runny.
-place in a buttered, rectangular pan and bake uncovered at 375 degrees for about an hour. Make sure the eggs are cooked and mixture is springy to touch.
-Extra: This is not necessary, but you MAY want to add this to the pudding. Take the egg whites and combine it with four tablespoons of sugar and beat until it is dissolved and stiff. Pour it over the top of the pudding and return it to the oven and brown at 350 degrees.

-Drizzle the remainder of the condensed milk over the top and serve warm.

If you want to add a Rum Sauce to the top of this bread pudding- here is a recipe you may enjoy:

½ cup (1 stick) butter
¼ cup water
1/3 cup sugar (cane sugar is best)
1 ½ tablespoon dark rum
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

-bring the bugger, sugar, water and rum to a boil in a small saucepan. Cook, until the sugar dissolves, making sure to stir continuously. This should take about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir int eh vanilla. Let it stand for a couple of minutes, pouring it warm over the pudding. YUM! You can top it with a little bit of whipped cream too.

For your Fur Babies:

Molasses Cookies recipe (for dogs or three-legged deer)- that Aurora would have used. 

Ingredients:

2 cups cornmeal
2 large eggs
2 tbsp molasses
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup powdered milk
Preheat oven to 400º. In a large mixing bowl combine all the ingredients. Blend until smooth. Roll this mixture out ¼ inch thick and cut into shapes or shape into dog biscuits by hand. Place 1 inch apart on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.

~ From the Kitchen of Barbara Devlin ~

Italian Christmas Cookies

4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 tsp. vanilla
3 1/2 cup flour
4 tsp. baking powder

Sift dry ingredients. Cream butter and sugar, beat in eggs; add vanilla and dry ingredients.

Knead and add flour as needed to keep dough from sticking to hands. Pinch off dough, roll in your hands to form a log and then twirl into shape. Place on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes.

Icing
2 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
6 tsp. water
Stir until creamy

Dip cookies into icing and sprinkle with trim. Place on wire rack with wax paper on counter to collect the dripping icing and sprinkles.

Now, this isn’t a personal recipe. Like most cooks, I collect all sorts of recipes, and I can’t even begin to say where I found this one, but it’s a holiday winner.

~ From the Kitchen of Eliza Knight ~

Spicy Sparkling Sangria

Ingredients:

1 bottle of prosecco (or moscato if you prefer)

1 cup of Fireball whisky (or other cinnamon whisky)
2 bottles of hard apple cider beer
2 cups of apple cider juice
2 of your favorite apples cut into cubes
2 blood oranges sliced in thin rounds
Cinnamon sticks for garnish (optional)
Pomegranate seeds for garnish (optional)

Directions:

Soak the cut up apples and oranges in the whisky for about 2 hours
After 2 hours, mix in the prosecco, beer and apple cider and cinnamon sticks
Refrigerate for about 2-3 hours
Pour over ice, scoop some soaked fruit into the cup, and sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds


~ From the Kitchen of Hildie McQueen ~

Golden Apple Martini.

1 shot
Butterscotch schnaps
Hot Damn schnaps
2 shots
Skyy Vodka
Sour Apple schnapps

add chipped ice

2 dollops or a equivalent whipped cream from can into shaker

Shake and pour into glasses

Sprinkle top with nutmeg

If you try it, let me know what you think. It’s super yummy!!

~ From the Kitchen of Layna Pimentel ~

Great Pumpkin Cookies

Kids will love these fun pumpkin cookies. Decorate with all sorts of goodies like chocolate chips, icing and candies or enjoy them plain

Prep Time: approx. 20 Minutes Cook Time: approx. 15 Minutes Ready in: approx. 35 Minutes. Makes 20 large cookies (20 servings).
Printed from AllRecipes.com, Submitted by Libby’s Pumpkin

2 cups all-purpose flour 1 large egg
1 1/3 cups quick cooking oats 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 3/4 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon salt decorating icings,
1 cup butter or margarine NESTLE@ TOLL HOUSE@
1 cup packed brown sugar Semisweet Chocolate Morsels
1 cup granulated sugar candies, raisins or nuts
1 cup LIBBYS@ 100% Pure Pumpkin

Directions

1 PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees F. Grease baking sheets.
2 COMBINE flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter, granulated and brown sugar in large mixer bowl until light and fluffy Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract; mix well* Add flour mixture; mix well* Stir in nuts and raisins. Drop 1/4 cup dough onto prepared baking sheet; spread into 3-inch circle or oval Repeat with remaining dough.
3 BAKE for 14 minutes or until cookies are firm and lightly browned Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes remove to wire racks to cool completely as desired with icing, morsel* candies, raisins or nuts.


~ From the Kitchen of Emma Prince ~

Bourbon Balls (one of my favorite holiday cookies)

Ingredients:

6 oz. chocolate chips
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp. corn syrup
1/3 cup bourbon (and maybe a wee dram for yourself as you work!)
1/2 box nilla waifers, crushed/crumbled
1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

Melt chocolate chips (you can do this in a microwave-safe bowl and just microwave until the chocolate chips are smooth)

Mix all the ingredients together with your hands (yep, time to get messy!)
Form into balls
If you like, you can roll the balls in more chopped nuts for a pretty coating

That’s it! No baking, just mix and enjoy!

Don’t forget…one more day to enter for the giveaway. TWO winners will receive a kindle e-book of The Nutcracker Reimagined! Open to US residents only.

** When you make these recipes please post a picture and tag the authors on social media with the hashtag #NutcrackerRecipe 

Happy Reading and Happy Eats!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Nutcracker Reimagined -Four days of Holiday Fun

The Nutcracker Reimagined -Four days of Holiday Fun

Welcome to The Nutcracker Reimagined, a holiday collection of tales from 10 authors who present their take on a beloved classic story. What will happen ? Where will the story take place? What adventure awaits? For the next four days I’ll present these tales and end with a holiday post at the end.

I’m also giving away TWO Kindle e-books for two lucky readers. Open to US residents only.

Now, let’s begin…

Fall in love with Hildie McQueen’s Laurel Creek series and find out will a cowboy in on a quest to locate a runaway groom in Brash: Frederick (A Laurel Creek Novella.)  Love is not something you can just whip up. Will Rick Edwards find his purpose in the most unexpected place? It might take chasing a groom to unlock his true desire. A family man at heart, Rick is on a quest to save his family and sets out to fix the biggest mistake of his life.  

Kennedy Brooks is saddled with a ranch in need of help. When her prayers drive onto her ranch, it will send her hormones running a blaze like the wild horses on her land. Will she stay or sell out?

Escape to Montana in this two pepper spicy latte that has just the right amount of heat to warm your cold winter nights. Brew a hot mug of your favorite drink, grab your cozy blanket and get comfy in your favorite reading chair. It’s time to meet a cowboy and find out how he saves Christmas. For mature readers 18+. I received this ARC from the author for a fair and honest review.2 Jalepenos

Author Info: USA Today Bestselling author Hildie McQueen loves unusual situations and getting into interesting adventures, which is what her characters do as well. She writes romance because she is in love with love! Author of Romance in Highland historical, Western Historical and contemporary, she writes something every reader can enjoy.

Most days she can be found in her pajamas hiding from deliverymen while drinking tea from her David Gandy coffee mug. In the afternoons she browses the Internet for semi-nude men to post on Facebook.

Hildie’s favorite past-times are romance conventions, traveling, shopping and reading.

She resides in beautiful small town Georgia with her super-hero husband Kurt and three doggies.

Visit her website at www.hildiemcqueen.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HildieMcQueen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HildieMcQueen

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/hildiemcqueenwriter/

A Christmas festival, a town that’s picture perfect and a reunion that is tissue-box worthy will squish your heart. It’s time to head to Cloud Hill for the holidays where you’ll find out why a painter, a musician, one crazy deer, and a lot of cookies make this a holiday to remember.

It’s time to step into the colorful and magical world of Tina DesSalvo’s writing. The vibrancy plays out in the words on the page and she has crafted a new series to share her love of storytelling with a new holiday romance. Yay!

If only Aurora Morgan could forget that fateful night that’s haunted her and now, when face to face with the one man who could’ve stopped it all is back, it will almost crush her.

Daniel Brooks is now a successful musician and has returned to Cloud Hill but when he runs into Aurora Morgan will it be a merry homecoming? Will his reunion be merry or bring a dark cloud over the holiday events? 

What will Aurora do when the truth is revealed? Will Daniel seek revenge and win her heart? I just love a story where there is so much depth and vivid descriptions in a tiny tale. I can’t wait to read more from this new series and am thrilled it’s part of this collection. I’m never disappointed with Tina’s stories and can’t wait to see who’s next in this series.

Escape to Cloud Hill in this two pepper spicy latte that has just the right amount of heat to warm your cold winter nights. Brew a hot mug of your favorite drink, bake a few batches of cookies, grab your cozy blanket and get comfy in your favorite reading chair. It’s time to meet a musician and find out how he saves Christmas. For mature readers 18+. I received this ARC from the author for a fair and honest review.2 Jalepenos

Author Info:

Tina DeSalvo, a fresh, humorous voice in romance, brings her knowledge and passion for the culture, traditions and people of Cajun Country (where she lives) and New Orleans (where she grew up) to her Second Chance Novel series-Elli, Jewell and Abby. Tina is also a journalist who spent her career in television news and as one of the first female sports broadcasters in Louisiana. A Breast Cancer Survivor, Tina donates her proceeds from Elli to help individuals fight the disease. She loves to write, but she especially loves spending time with readers…sharing laughs, tears and hugs. Learn more about Tina at tinadesalvo.com

One Mystical Moment by Laura Landon is a sweet and tender tale of a soldier who avoids the holidays and his ability to forgive when an angel saves his soul.  

Major Frank Collyard is asked to assist in a mission to uncover the truth involving a workers issue. It will force him to the one thing he has avoided, the holidays. Will he finally unwrap the festive tinsel and drink the holiday punch? Oh, I hope so.

If Frank can find solace this holiday season, despite the painful memories he might be able to love again. It will be a battle of will, the heart and soul for a solider who has faced so much. Will he be able to perform one last selfless act and his final battle with his past?

Mathilde Rowley is vibrant, full of life and finds the Major intriguing. If Tillie can ignite a spark in Frank that can bring out the happy and vibrant man he used to be, this may be a Christmas miracle for all? An angel for one man and a comfort to ease his past.

A tale of a new homecoming and a love to last a lifetime that is worthy of a place in this collection.

Author Bio:

Laura Landon enjoyed ten years as a high school teacher and nine years making sundaes and malts in her very own ice cream shop, but once she penned her first novel, she closed up shop to spend every free minute writing. Now she enjoys creating her very own heroes and heroines, and making sure they find their happily ever after.

A vital member of her rural community, Laura directed the town’s Quasquicentennial, organized funding for an exercise center for the town, and serves on the hospital board.

Laura lives in the Midwest, surrounded by her family and friends. She has written more than two dozen Victorian historicals, thirteen of which have been published by Prairie Muse Publishing and are selling worldwide in English, one in Japanese, and several in German. Two are Scottish historicals.

Always beautifully set and with a mysterious twist or bit of suspense, Laura’s books average over a million and a half pages a month read by her loyal readers.

Rodrick the Bold by Suzan Tisdale is a tale of a warrior with family conflict, a clan betrayal, and one wish. The one that matters.

Dreams plague Rodrick of a woman who needs him, they affect his actions and have left him alone and unhappy. Can he find the woman that haunts his dreams? Is she real or a figment? Does she love him? Too many questions make this most stressing for Rodrick but he will not rest until the truth is uncovered. 

Muriel is desperate for help and forced to live in fear. Can she find a way out? Will she find true love despite the tragedy that has befallen upon her? Will Rodrick have what he’s always wanted?

A two pepper spicy latte for mature readers 18+. I received this ARC from the author for a fair and honest review.

2 Jalepenos

Click on the cover to pre-Order your copy for $0.99 and have it in your e-reader in less than three sleeps!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Book Birthday Abby (A Second Chance Novel Book 3)

Happy Book Birthday Abby (A Second Chance Novel Book 3)

****Congratulations Sabrina Templin you have won the giveaway *** 

Please comment to collect your prize

Abby is the third installment in Tina De Salvo’s A Second Chance series and it’s time for more Cajun fun and excitement.

Abby McCord needs to get out of LA while a few minor details are sorted out with the police. To make things more complicated, she needs to head to someplace where no one will recognize her. That makes Cane, Louisiana the perfect place for a second chance.

Jackson Bienvenu never imagined returning to Cane but fate had other things planned for him. Small towns are chock full of secrets, gossip and memories. When he meets Abby his world will be turned upside down and perhaps be more dangerous than his time in the military.

This book oozes sexy, glitzy southern charm and I love that both characters are not run-of- the-mill lawyers. Tina has made them fresh, fun and inspiring. If you are looking for a story that has mystery, great one-liners, characters that will squeeze their way into your heart and a story that keeps you reading till the last page, one-click now.

If you haven’t read any of the Second Chance books, have no fear. This book can be read as a standalone but I know you will want to download the rest of this series. By the time you are finished with this story you will feel like you have come home. It was the little details and vivid descriptions that swept me up into the pages of this must read story. A second chance with romance and redemption, it’s an absolute sensory experience.

A two peppers spicy latte hot delight with the perfect amount of sizzle to make you tingle. Oh, and yes, it’s for mature readers 18+. 

I received an ARC from the author for a fair and honest review.

*** GIVEAWAY ***

Tina De Salvo is offering up 2 I Kissed a Cajun & I liked it mugs along with Lagniappe (“a little something extra-Cajun Style”) Be sure to enter the Raflecopter below. The contest runs 8/24/17  – 9/1/17. A winner will be randomly selected on 9/2/17 and posted at the top of this page. Books I Love A Latte is not responsible for any changes to the prize AND Winner will have 24 hours to comment on this post or a new name will be drawn.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt:

…. “I know youz are here, Abigail McCord!” The familiar, female, Cajun- accented voice echoed through the front door into the silence of the cottage. “Mais, I knowz dat trick of hiding in da dark,” she continued. “I used it plenty times myself when Ida Breaux used to come over to try to sell her cheap vacuum cleaners.” She knocked on the door three times…hard. “Youz cain’t fool me. Youz know dat.”
Yes, she knew it very well because she knew the woman outside on her front porch well. Tante Izzy was the most persistent and tenacious person she knew. Well, Abby was feeling pretty persistent and tenacious herself.
Abby felt her way over to the bed in the inky blackness. She’d sit here in the dark, feel sorry for herself for another half an hour, hope that Tante Izzy would give up, then get her act together. Her unfamiliarity with the space had her bumping hard into the bedside table instead. She stumbled forward, stepping on the thin spikey heel of her favorite party shoes that she’d kicked off moments earlier. Stabbing pain knifed through her heel.
Good. Physical pain was preferable to this gaping ache she had inside her as her fate was being decided thousands of miles away.
She sat on the edge of the large, soft bed. She felt the cool, crisp duvet against the back of her bare legs as her face remained hot from the embarrassment that she’d resorted to hiding from the people she cared for. She leaned back, letting the feathered comforter form around her body. Elli had gone to a lot of trouble to make this one room cypress cottage feel homey. Soft white down pillows, fluffy bath towels and Abby’s favorite snacks in the pantry. Her dear friend wanted her to think of this cottage as her home away from home.
Home was her cozy bungalow in the Hollywood Hills surrounded by pink bougainvillea and rows of palm trees. The place she was separated from because she was the paparazzi’s juiciest story and most exciting hunt du jour. Only it wasn’t just for the day.
“It’z damp out here and my ar-the-ritis is makin’ my bones creak,” Tante Izzy shouted through the closed door. “Mrs dat Margie styled dis afternoon is gettin’ ruined. Abby, youz open dis door now or youz goin’ to owe me da cost of my wash, set, and style…plus da tip.”Abby smiled. Tante Izzy always made her smile even when she felt like the debris left after a flash flood. Oh, Elli had outsmarted her for sure by sending the octogenarian Cajun firecracker to bring her to the reception instead of coming herself. She knew Abby couldn’t ignore a visit from Tante Izzy and would have a hard time denying her anything. This woman, who hadn’t known her for very long, had become her champion along with Elli. She’d talk to Tante Izzy a few minutes, send her on her way, then remove the Dolce & Gabbana dress, her bra, and her bad attitude, and change into comfy sweats. She might even light a fire in the brick fireplace, turn on the high-tech television, and escape into an old eighties romantic comedy.
Abby listened a moment to make sure she didn’t hear anyone with Tante Izzy, then reached over the end table and switched on the lamp.
“I knew youz were in dere hidin’ in da dark,” Tante Izzy said.
“I’m coming,” she called out, taking a moment to raise the side zipper on the chiffon dress that she had started to take off when she got to the cottage. “You win, Tante Izzy,” Abby opened the door. “We can’t have the damp night air ruining your beautiful hair. I’m sorry for not answering the door. I can explain…” Abby’s voice trailed off.
Tante Izzy wasn’t alone.
Jackson Bienvenu was with her.
Although she didn’t really know him, she recognized him right away, standing tall, broad-shouldered and wearing the same black, well-tailored tuxedo he’d had on in church. He also wore a smile and black rain boots with bright green alligators painted on them. The boots he didn’t have on in church.
“Are youz goin’ to just stand dere wit youz pretty robin egg-blue eyes poppin’ out youz head or youz goin’ to let me and Jackson come in?” Tante Izzy pushed her way into the cottage.
Elli and Jewell had mentioned Jackson in front of her as they discussed wedding plans. He was the best man and Beau’s younger brother. Before that, she had sort-of met him. She hadn’t expected to find him on her front porch…smiling with his bright sea-green eyes filled with humor.
“Five minutes longer and I think Tante Izzy would’ve bought it,” he said, his voice deep, smooth and with a hint of a Cajun accent. “You should’ve held out.”

Get your copy here:

Author Info:

Tina DeSalvo, a fresh, humorous voice in romance, brings her knowledge and passion for the culture, traditions and people of Cajun Country (where she lives) and New Orleans (where she grew up) to her Second Chance Novel series-Elli, Jewell and Abby. Tina is also a journalist who spent her career in television news and as one of the first female sports broadcasters in Louisiana. A Breast Cancer Survivor, Tina donates her proceeds from Elli to help individuals fight the disease. She loves to write, but she especially loves spending time with readers…sharing laughs, tears and hugs. Learn more about Tina at tinadesalvo.com

Out-lanta is southern perfection with a floral bouquet and a dash of spice!

Out-lanta is southern perfection with a floral bouquet and a dash of spice!

Out-lanta by Tina DeSalvo is a must read addition to your e-reader! Grab your favorite cocktail or glass tumbler filled with your drink of choice. Then settle in for a roadtrip from Atlanta to Cane, Louisiana!

I’ve been to Atlanta and New Orleans and there is something majestic about the plantations, food, and culture. When you add a Polish bride on the run and new friends, this story is the escape right before the weekend. I loved reading Gone With the Wind with the southern vibe and rich history. When I read this, I felt immersed into a world of blended culture, rich tradition and loyalty. While I can’t jet off to either city at the moment, this book is the next best thing!

Our hero Luck Marcelle is in for the ride of his life when he encounters Ania Darska, she’s on the run and he needs to figure out why. Luke’s world will never be the same and that means this story delivers in spades! Tina’s attention to the little nuances and details of Ania, Izzy, and Ruby, beloved characters, is a emersion of wit, charm, sass and a little spice ;)!

A two peppers spicy latte hot delight with the perfect amount of sizzle to make you tingle. Oh, and yes, it’s for mature readers 18+.

I received this ARC for a fair and honest review. Don’t wait to download your copy, it’s at a one-click price of $0.99!

Excerpt:

Chapter One

“Okay ladies, I’m all yours,” Luke Marcelle said as he climbed into his sleek, deep red BMW M3 convertible. He’d left the Jeep he used for work back home in Louisiana, choosing to make the road trip to Atlanta in what he called his recreational vehicle. Luke put his Nikon digital camera into his backpack on the center console between the front seats. He turned to look at his passengers in the back seat. “I got my photos from the beautiful Swan House and boxwood gardens for work. I’m finished here at the Atlanta History Center. The rest of the afternoon is for your pleasure.”
“And we are here for youz pleasure, too,” eighty-eight-year-old Izzy Bienvenu said from the back seat where she sat under an enormous floppy straw hat to the right of her fifty-something year old niece, Ruby. Both women were from Cane, Louisiana where Luke had moved his business a few years ago. “It’s nice we’ze all happened to be in Atlanta at da same time. We’ze are ready to party wit you and take youz mind off of work.”
Tanté Izzy and Ruby looked like they were ready for a NFL Sunday game in the Superdome rather than ‘partying’ in the springtime with him. Luke appreciated their team loyalty and got a chuckle seeing them in their bedazzled black and gold New Orleans Saints t-shirts and huge black, sunglasses that looked like bumblebee eyes. Even though football season was months away, Tanté Izzy said they were wearing the Saint’s t-shirts because they wanted the Atlanta Falcon fans to know that their rival Who-Dat fans were around. She sure enjoyed making the sport of fan-mania an all year long fandom. The fancy sunglasses they wore had nothing to do with being a super-fan, though. According to Tanté Izzy, she and Ruby wore them because they looked sexier with them on while riding in his red-hot convertible with the top down.
“Party?” Ruby said, shaking her head, causing her bright red bangs to swish across her forehead from under the giant hat she wore. “Don’t you think that’s an overstatement. Luke here doesn’t want to go out dancing and clubbing with us, Tanté Izzy. He’s too busy for that. He’s just going to spend an afternoon with us. Remember, he’s got a lot to do for that big project he’s bidding on. It’s for that new neighborhood that he wants to build not too far from Cane. The one he’s taking all those pretty pictures for.” She looked at Luke. “What’s it called again?”
“Magnolia Row.”
“He’s going to grow his construction company from building houses and commercial buildings one client at a time to building thousands of houses for just one client.” Ruby explained to Tante’ Izzy who was adjusting her own huge hat on her tiny head.
“He hasn’t gotten dat big job, yet,” Tanté Izzy whispered to Ruby, but he heard her just fine from the front seat. “He’s still got to win da bid over two other companies. We’ze here to take his mind off of dat. So hush youz mouth.” Then in a louder voice she spoke directly to Luke. “Ruby and I are ready to go on da Walking Dead Tour.”
“From the Classical 1928 Swan House, or as you ladies refer to it as President Snow’s Mansion from The Hunger Games, to the Walking Dead tour.” He started the car and closed his eyes, enjoying the sound of the powerful engine purring to life. Just then, the passenger door flung open and a rustle of noisy fabric and feathers along with a blur of bright white filled the front seat.
“What the hell?” Either he was hallucinating or a beautiful dark haired bride had just jumped in his car.
“Go, Go, Go,” the stranger in white screamed, banging on the dash. Even though she’d only spoken three short words, he could tell she had a foreign accent. The bride looked past him with big blue eyes focused on the woodland path on the other side of the parking lot.
“Drive! Please.”
“Hell no. I’ve seen this movie and I’m not interested in Buford T. Justice chasing me across Georgia.”
“Oh. I get out then if you do not drive.” The woman started to shift to get out of the car, struggling with the dress. The top of the dress fit like shrink wrap on her very shapely body making it difficult for her to bend and move. Yet, as stingy that part of her dress was with fabric, the bottom more than compensated for it. Starting with a huge flare around her knees, there seemed to be miles of voluminous fabric there. It equally made movement a problem for her. How had she even managed to get into his sports car?
She looked somewhere past him again.
“No. He drive,” Ruby said, unintentionally speaking like the runaway bride had.
“Yes?” she asked, her voice shaky one second and in the next her hand flew to her mouth and she shouted with complete assertiveness. “I need you driving. Now. They are coming. Hurry.” Her accent was heavier than it was at first. She was now adding a “k” at the end of her ing words.
“Go. Go. Go.” Tanté Izzy and Ruby screamed at the same time.
“One of those three men wearing the tuxedoes, has a gun,” Ruby shouted. “God, he must be the jilted groom.”
“I gotz my gun too,” Tanté Izzy yelled, reaching into her purse. Hearing that was all the incentive Luke needed. The thought of a shoot-out between an angry fiancé and an elderly Cajun woman had him punching his foot on the accelerator. The powerful engine responded as it was engineered to and they sped off.
The bride’s veil blew up behind her like a kite tail, whipping Tanté Izzy and Ruby in the face as it trailed to the trunk of the car.
“Oh, no,” the bride cried, tugging on the material flying behind her head. It caught the wind and came around to cover Luke’s face. He slammed on his brakes.
“Are you trying to get us killed?” he yanked the white fabric off of his face as she tried bundling it up into a ball. That’s when a ping sounded near the side of the car. All three women screamed.
Luke flinched and floored it. “Holy crap, lady. I’ve heard of shotgun weddings before, but this is ridiculous.”
“Oh, God, I’m going to be dead,” she said, folding over onto her lap and giving Luke a full view of the back of her dress and the deep plunge which left a view of more fair skin than not. Hell, there was hardly any dress in the back at all.
“I’m calling 9-1-1,” Ruby shouted. “A person should be able to say no and leave a wedding if they want…even the bride.”
“Nie. No. Please.” The woman jerked up, reached around and grabbed the phone from Ruby’s hand. A tear slid down her cheek. “No police. I get out of car,” she offered and looked back to see if anyone was following them.
Luke did the same. Two cars cut the corner behind them. He sped up and took the next turn and then three after that without slowing down. His car was a performance dream. The women were grabbing onto the back and bottom of their seats to keep from falling over, even though the car hugged each turn smoothly. Luke hooked a hard, fast left and pulled into what looked like an old office parking garage. He hit the brakes, turned the wheel and stopped the car facing in the direction they had just come it. He turned off the headlights and the darkness from the empty garage closed in around them. He left the engine running.
“Where can I drop you off?” he asked the woman with the white-knuckled grip on his dash.
Tanté Izzy smacked him in the back of the head and leaned between the console seats. “You liked drivin’ fast too much.”
“Hey, I was just trying to keep us from getting shot.”
“You are crazy driver,” the bride said, letting go of the dash. “Thank you for keeping us not getting dead.”
“Youz talk funny. Where are youz from?”
The woman looked over her shoulder to Tanté Izzy, then back toward where cars were passing on the street outside of the parking garage. “Lithuania,” she replied, but something in her tone told Luke she was lying. “You have an accent too. Where are you from?”
“God’s country.” Tanté Izzy said with a big smile. Ruby nodded next to her.
“That’s for sure,” Ruby added. “We’re from a town called Cane in Louisiana. It’s near New Orleans.”
“Ruby and I is Cajun,” Tanté Izzy piped in, as if that explained everything. “Luke’s not Cajun by birth but he’z Cajun by friendship.”
The probably not-Lithuanian bride’s dark brows lifted. She clearly didn’t understand what any of that meant, but didn’t ask for an explanation. She was looking around the quiet parking garage.
Luke pulled out his phone. “Shall I call you a cab?”
“No. I can walk.” She picked Ruby’s phone up off the floor where it had fallen in the mad getaway, and handed it back. “I’m sorry for taking it.” Luke frowned hearing her insert a k again in an ing word – to make taking sound like takink. Her accent made her sound more vulnerable somehow. She opened the door, the bottom of her wedding dress poured out like a flooding river over the banks.
“No. Don’t go,” Ruby said, squeezing her broad shoulders into the small space next to Tanté Izzy so she could get closer to the bride. “It’s not safe for you to walk through the streets with an angry fiancé and his posse of groomsmen chasing after you. Not to mention that it will be impossible to drag that long Cathedral train behind you.” Ruby lowered her sunglasses down her nose and looked over the top of them. “From what I can see—spilling out the door like that—it sure looks like a real pretty train.”
“We’ze ain’t goin’ to throw her to da wolves.” Tanté Izzy said looking at Luke.
He shook his head. “You must have friends or family you can call.”
She sighed. “I can walk.”
Oh hell. That wasn’t the response he wanted to hear. Luke grabbed the steering wheel and looked out his window into the dark, dusty garage.
“Luke Marcelle,” Tanté Izzy said, “dis girl needs our help and we’ze goin’ to give it to her. Don’t make her feel bad about it either. It took a lot of courage to walk out of her own weddin’ when all da people came to wish her a happy life.”
The woman looked at Tanté Izzy. “You are a good Babcia. I thank you but I don’t want trouble for you or your grandson and daughter.”
“Dey aren’t my grandson and daughter,” Tanté Izzy corrected. “Dey are family, Ruby by blood and Luke by friendship. Dey also are da peoples who are gonna help you.”

Get your copy here:

Author Info:

Tina DeSalvo, a fresh, humorous voice in romance, brings her knowledge and passion for the culture, traditions and people of Cajun Country (where she lives) and New Orleans (where she grew up) to her Second Chance Novel series-Elli, Jewell and Abby (coming this summer!). Tina is also a journalist who spent her career in television news and as one of the first female sports broadcasters in Louisiana. A Breast Cancer Survivor, Tina donates her proceeds from Elli to help individuals fight the disease. She loves to write, but she especially loves spending time with readers…sharing laughs, tears and hugs. Learn more about Tina at tinadesalvo.com

Under the Kissing Bough Day 4

***** Congratulations to the Day 4 Giveaway Winners *****

You have 24 hours to comment on this post or a new winner will be selected at the end of the Blitz!

Tina De Salvo’s Giveaway
sallycootie you have won a basket filled with Cajun Goodies, including good Cajun Coffee, a nice coffee mug and other southern treats!

Joan Kayse Giveaway
sallycootie you have won a kindle download of RUARC: BOUND BY STONE the first in Joan’s Guardian Isle series.

Catherine Kean Giveaway
Carina you have won a kindle copy of Catherine’s medieval Christmas novella One Knight Under the Mistletoe.

ALL WINNERS HAVE 24 hours to comment on this post and if not claimed then a new winner will be selected.

Congratulations and Happy Reading!

under-the-kissing-bough-final-2d 15 brand-new novellas. 15 best-selling romance authors. A holiday-themed collection like no other.

What happens under the kissing bough doesn’t necessarily stay beneath the kissing bough…

According to lore, the origins of which date to the late 12th century, no lady should refuse a kiss beneath the mistletoe, else she will not marry in the next year. In exchange for the kiss, a berry is removed from the sprig until all of the berries are gone and no more kisses can be stolen. Some also believe that a sprig of mistletoe collected from a local church and placed beneath a maiden’s pillow will inspire dreams of her future husband.

What happens when fifteen daring heroines pin their hopes on mistletoe, a little luck, and a kiss in this multi-genre, limited edition holiday collection from 15 bestselling authors? Pure holiday magic!

mistletoe it was commonly believed that mistletoe should not touch the ...mistletoe it was commonly believed that mistletoe should not touch the ...mistletoe it was commonly believed that mistletoe should not touch the ...mistletoe it was commonly believed that mistletoe should not touch the ...

The Whole Latte:

There is nothing better than a holiday anthology to kick off a festive season full giving, treats and LOTS of romance! This collection will cross off all three in one clean swoop and at a bargain price of ninety-nine cents, it’s worth every penny. Do NOT miss out on must read romance!

I’ll be featuring a few novellas every day until release day on November 22nd. Just two more days until you can catch up with characters and authors you know and love, or discover for the first time.

Again, the line-up has many of my favorites and I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Some of these have a little more spice than others and balance the collection perfectly.

Be sure to check out the great giveaways daily and comment for a chance to win.

Happy Reading and Happy Holidays!

mistletoe it was commonly believed that mistletoe should not touch the ...

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000030_00041]

Official Blurb:

Days before Christmas, Lady Honoria Whitford buys a book at the market to add to her prized collection. Lord Tristan de Champagne, her brother’s best friend who will be spending the holidays with them, is Intrigued by her love of romantic tales but resents how enchanting he finds her, for he’s vowed never to risk his heart again. As Christmas mischief under the Kissing Bough unfolds, so does the secret of the book—one destined to bring great peril but also ever-after love.

The Whole Latte:

Lady Honoria Whitford loves to read and when she acquires an old book, her life will change forever.

From her chance encounter with Tristan de Champagne, a friend of her brothers, a real life adventure will begin for Honoria. One filled with deceit, secrets and sabotage. An added measure of desire and longing will round out this delightful story.

There is nothing more exciting at the holidays than a romance anthology filled with magic, mistletoe and adventure.Will Honoria have a happy ending with the fair Knight?

Bio:

Bestselling, award-winning novelist Catherine Kean is a Kindle Unlimited All-Star author of medieval romances. Her love of history began with visits to England during summer vacations, when her British father took her to crumbling medieval castles, dusty museums filled with fascinating artifacts, and historic churches. Her love of the awe-inspiring past stuck with her as she completed a B.A. (Double Major, First Class) in English and History. She completed a year-long Post Graduate course with Sotheby’s auctioneers in London, England, and worked for several years in Canada as an antiques and fine art appraiser.

After she married a tall, handsome, and charming Brit and moved to Florida, she started writing novels, her lifelong dream. She wrote her first medieval romance, A Knight’s Vengeance, while her baby daughter was napping. Catherine’s books were originally published in paperback and several were released in Czech, German, and Thai foreign editions. She has won numerous awards for her stories, including the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Her novels also finaled in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and the National Readers’ Choice Awards.

When not working on her next book, Catherine enjoys cooking, baking, browsing antique shops, shopping with her daughter, and gardening. She lives in Florida with her husband, daughter, and two spoiled rescue cats. Visit her website at https://www.catherinekean.com

mistletoe it was commonly believed that mistletoe should not touch the ...

Tartan Bows and Mistletoe by Sandy Blair is a story woven with family expectations, the importance of money, and the ability to know when to speak out.

John Colin is in need of funds and he must find a way to save himself. When he meets Olivia Conor, he will have a change of heart and discover that sometimes love, lore and magic are the only thing worth pursuing.

mistletoe it was commonly believed that mistletoe should not touch the ...cover-final-hunt-for-christmas-final

Official Book Blurb:

Traditions, mistletoe kisses and second chances…

The Cajun Christmas on the Bayou Celebration is an annual event in the remote town of Fa La, Louisiana, nicknamed – Fa La La. It has supported generations of the families who live in the tiny, isolated bayou community. This year may be the last. Thanks to Hunter James who bought the neighboring island, they can no longer use his land for a major part of the celebration. The island is his home where he expects to find much needed peace and quiet. He doesn’t want Christmas lights, music and revelers on his land no matter what Fa La La’s beautiful advocate, Dr. Camille Comeaux, says as she tries to change his mind…and changes his heart.

Will Camille fight to steal Hunter’s peace so her family can have theirs?

Excerpt:

An Excerpt from a Hunt for Christmas, from the Second Chance Novel series

A Novella from the Under the Kissing Bough Christmas Collection

By Tina DeSalvo

…He did seem to care about his body, she noted. He had wide, broad shoulders that tapered to narrow hips. She imagined that his flat stomach would be firm and toned. Whether he worked to achieve that lean, healthy body because of vanity, the pleasure of working out, or for necessity because his job required it, she didn’t know. She also didn’t know why, when she’d seen thousands of male bodies before, his made her pulse increase. Maybe it was because he wasn’t on an examining table and she wasn’t his doctor.

“I need to talk to you about the Fa La La Cajun Christmas on the Bayou Celebration,” she said, shifting in the rocker to fully face him.

He stood, walked down the stairs and sat on the second step.

Dear Lord. How do I have a serious discussion with him when he’s a moving target? She promptly followed him down the steps and stood nearby. “Your island is important to the success of the celebration.”

His response was to pick up a pair of running shoes, knocking them upside down against one another, before putting them on his bare feet.

She moved to stand directly in front of him. “It’s quite a serious matter.” He looked at her tapping foot and smiled. Heat rushed into her cheeks. She hadn’t even realized she was doing it. She pressed her foot soundly to the ground.

“You’re wound up with too much energy, Doc.” He tied his shoes in a slow easy manner. “Let’s go for a walk.” He stood.

She joined him as he started to walk away. Her phone dinged in her back pocket as she reached Hunter’s side. She read her text – it was from Edward. Do you want me to come to the island to assist you?

Her phone dinged again. Another text. It was from her mother: Don’t let Edward go to the island. You’ll have a better chance to convince Hunt to change his mind if it’s just the two of you. We’ve met him. He’s safe. You won’t need your papa’s gun from the boat just in case you were thinking about that. Don’t forget to finger-comb your hair.

And then there was a third text from her older sister, Sarah: He’s really handsome. Smile a lot and don’t shoot him.

She’d been home for less than an hour and her family was already trying to tell her what to do and play matchmaker. Both reasons why she’d left in the first place.

“There are always things to do,” she repeated his words. He laughed softly. “I have a thing to do right now,” she said, directing the conversation to the purpose of her visit.

“To discuss the over commercialization of Christmas?”

“To discuss the under-appreciation of tradition,” she replied.

To learn more about Hunt for Christmas, Under the Kissing Bough Christmas Collection and Tina DeSalvo, please visit tinadesalvo.com

The Whole Latte:

It’s time to head to the Bayou and celebrate Christmas. Discover what happens when Christmas is threatened and a stranger attempts to ruin Christmas.

When one family try to intervene they will have to change the way the earn their living during the holiday season. Traditions will have to change and hearts will be broken.

As with most things, change is never easy and love hurts now matter how invested your heart is in the relationship. Will Camille find holiday joy this year with a new man in town?

Kick off your shoes, put a fresh pot of coffee on and relax. Good things truly come to those who have patience.

——Author’s Note:

Happy Holidays and thank you for inviting the authors of Under the Kissing Bough Christmas Collection to your wonderful site—I Love Books a Latte, too! I am so humbled to be with so many amazing authors writing novellas for this collection, and can’t wait to read their stories. That’s because I’m a fan of the authors and because I love Christmas books a Latte! I confess, I marathon read Christmas books, marathon watch Christmas movies and will fight little old ladies for the last Christmas book sold on a shelf. Although I’m exaggerating (a little!) on how obsessed I am over Christmas tales, I am sincere in telling you that I adore Christmas stories because they are the very best telling of hope, optimism, joy and love. I hope my story, Hunt for Christmas, is all of those things to readers.

Tina

mistletoe it was commonly believed that mistletoe should not touch the ...

an-irish-gift-final

Official Blurb:

AN IRISH GIFT

Leithprachaun warrior Killian revels in the joy, love, laughter and good craic of life. After all, that’s the treasure he’s been given to protect, the one ingrained within his very soul. But centuries ago, a vengeful Banshee queen cursed his clan and stole all of the vital essences that bind the mortal and Fae worlds. Killian is a warrior, and maintains a façade of good nature and enthusiasm while he battles increasing despair that threatens his soul. He needs an anchor and finds it in an unlikely place.

Kathryn Smithfield is just the type of female Killian could see himself bonding with. Kind, gracious, full of spirit…and mortal. A flaw easy to overlook but he’s not so certain he can ignore the attraction she displays to his best friend, Colin Earl of Keshlea.

A simple matter to persuade Kathryn of his superior attributes but Killian’s plans are derailed by an attack from dark forces intent on destroying both worlds. With help from his Leithprachaun clan, the enemy is defeated and he turns his attention back to the woman who holds his heart in her hands. But Leithprachaun’s are not the lucky sort. A seer reveals that the key to Killian recovering his treasure lies with the choice Kathryn makes under the Kissing Bough. As the clock strikes midnight, will Killian find the salvation he craves? Only time will tell.

The Whole Latte:

A holiday tale of magic, shifters, Leithprachaun’s and a little bit of holiday romance.

Joan’s fans will rejoice with this tale just in time for the holidays.

BIO:

Joan Kayse loves writing stories that transport readers to other time periods and magical places that she fully believes exist. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky but wishes she could live in Ireland among the beauty and mystical wonders of that island..and the mead. (Ask her about how well she Irish dances :D) She shares her home and keyboard with two baby cats, Cricket Marie and Grayson the Monkey Cat. She believes in HEA and that Prince Charming could be right around the corner.

Um, excuse her, while she peeks around the corner.

gift-boxes-templates-vector

Tina De Salvo’s Giveaway
ONE lucky winner will receive a basket filled with Cajun Goodies, including good Cajun Coffee, a nice coffee mug and other southern treats!

Catherine Kean Giveaway
ONE lucky winner will receive a kindle copy of Catherine’s medieval Christmas novella One Knight Under the Mistletoe.

Joan Kayse Giveaway
ONE lucky winner will receive a Kindle download of RUARC: BOUND BY STONE the first in Joan’s Guardian Isle series.

For a chance to win one of these AMAZING prizes please comment and respond to the following questions on this blog post:

What is your favorite holiday movie? Do you have a theme that spans from the dinner served to the people you watch it with?  

Contest runs from 11/21/16 thru 11/22/16 6:00 PM
Winner will be announced on this blog post on 11/22/16 sometime after 6:00 PM.

Winner MUST comment on this post within 24 hours to claim their prize or a new winner will be randomly selected.

Be sure to follow me the blog (link on homepage),  Facebook Page (Books I Love A Latte Page) and Twitter @RaeLatte.