Welcome! Kick off your shoes, get comfy and join in as we chat about books, romance and the ups and downs of everyday life.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Coming Attractions!


 
 
Tomorrow marks the start of a brand new year and we have a brand new edition of coming attractions at The Romance Dish! Please help us celebrate January by stopping by often. We have some great guest authors lined up along with some tantalizing reviews, regular monthly blogs, and a bunch of wonderful prizes! Happy New Year to all!

 

 

 
 
Grab a pen and paper to write down your favorites from Andrea’s New Releases list for the month of January on Friday, January 4th!

 

 
 
 
 
Drop by on Monday, January 7th, as we welcome back contemporary author Jodi Thomas to the blog! Jodi’s latest in her Harmony series, Chance of a Lifetime, released December 31st and was reviewed by the lovely Janga here!

 

 
 
Make Your Reservations on Wednesday, January 9th, as we let you know which books we are most looking forward to in February.

 

 
 
 
 
The delightful and talented Trish Milburn will catch us up with all the wonderful things happening in YA in her Teen Menu on Thursday, January 10th.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Thursday, January 24th, is when the always witty and glamorous Anna Campbell will bring us her Second Helping of a book or books that we may have missed the first time around.

 

 
 
 
 
 
New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Teresa Medeiros dishes with us on Monday, January 28th! Teresa’s latest historical masterpiece, The Temptation of Your Touch, hits shelves the next day, January 29th.

 







On Tuesday, January 29th, we welcome historical author Manda Collins back to the Romance Dish! Manda’s newest book, How to Entice an Earl, is the third and final book in her Ugly Duckling series and is already getting great reviews!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Today's Special - - Pamela Palmer

The Dishes are delighted to welcome paranormal author Pamela Palmer to the blog!  A Love Untamed (Dec. 26, 2012) is the seventh book in Pamela's popular Feral Warriors series.  Pamela is joining us today to blog about experiences and how they shape the people we become.

Welcome, Pamela!










Experience Makes the Man (or Woman)

Our past experiences, whether from early childhood, our teen years, or later, can, and often do, affect our perceptions, our actions, and many times who we become as we get older. We are, in essence, a combination of nature and nurture, who we started out changed by all we’ve experienced.

I’ve often wondered who I might be today if I’d grown up in one home, going to school with the same kids from kindergarten through high school. Instead, I grew up moving constantly. My dad was an Air Force pilot until he retired when I started high school. At fourteen, we moved into the eleventh house I’d lived in. Friendships were temporary things to me, but family was everything, even though mine was small—just my parents, my brother, and me. Home meant family, period. Because the house and the city we lived in changed constantly.

Moving all the time formed me, I’m sure of it. I handle change extremely well, as you can imagine. But I was also taught to embrace the changes in our lives by a mother who loved the Air Force life. She grew up in a small town dreaming of travel and adventure. She was the perfect Air Force wife. For decades after Dad retired, Mom claimed that every three years, she and the furniture headed for the front door, ready to move again.

My nomadic childhood may have formed me, but it was happy and left me with few traumas. The only one, really, happened when I was five and we were living in Boulder, Colorado. One day the Chinook winds barreled through Boulder at over 100 mph. Mom called Dad at work—he was in Denver where the winds were mild—and said, “The winds are terrible. I think you need to come home.” Dad told one of his co-workers he was heading home and the man shook his head. “The winds are nothing.” My dad’s reply, “In the eight years we’ve been married, this is the first time Pat’s ever asked me to come home. I’m going.” By the time he entered Boulder, he could hardly keep his big old station wagon on the road. Within an hour of his getting home, the plate glass window in the living room blew out. Then other windows started to go. The house was less than a year old. By the end of the night, my brother’s room, a lower level one of our split-level, was the only one in the house with the windows still intact. We all slept in that one small room that night. I’ve never forgotten it. And to this day, when the wind starts blowing hard, I tense, subconsciously waiting for the windows to break.

Past events, past traumas, change who we are, or at the very least, affect us in ways we often neither realize nor understand. Sometimes, if we’ve been victims of violence or trauma, we know exactly what’s changed us, even if we can’t do anything but live with it.

In A Love Untamed, the heroine, Melisande, is an immortal, an Ilina mist warrior. Yes, she’s virtually indestructible, but that doesn’t mean she can’t be hurt. And she has been. Melisande is over 5000 years old. That’s a lot of time to acquire baggage. And Melisande has baggage, in spades. It’s no wonder her emotional armor is three feet thick, and no wonder no one’s been able to penetrate it. Not until Kieran, the new fox Feral Warrior, takes an interest in her and begins to burrow not just under her skin but beneath those impenetrable barriers. It hurts when defenses shatter. But sometimes that’s the only way to start healing.

The back cover blurb for A Love Untamed:

The newest member of the elite Feral Warriors brotherhood, Fox is eager to prove himself on the frontlines of battle against the Daemons. When paired with the legendary Ilina warrior, Melisande, he expects the fierce beauty to quickly fall under the spell of his quite considerable charm. Instead, he finds himself spellbound by a woman who's his match in every way.

Beneath Melisande's brittle exterior lies centuries of pain and a violent hatred of all shape-shifters--a hatred that slowly crumbles after they're caught in a deadly and cunning Mage trap and she glimpses a surprising depth in her far-too-seductive partner. Their survival demands unconditional trust--and their salvation surrender to a wild, untamed love.

Question for you: Who’s your favorite character (in a book, movie, or television show) with a tortured past? Comment for a chance to win a signed copy of Desire Untamed, the first book in my Feral Warriors series. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!



PJ and I are spending Christmas with our families and friends,
but would like to wish you and yours a safe and happy holiday!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Conders for Christmas!

by Anna Campbell

Hey, happy Christmas to those of you who celebrate the season.

Thank you to everyone who has swung by to read or comment on one of my Second Helping reviews this year and a big special thank you and huge hug to the Dishes who let me share some of my favorite reads with you every month. I'm really looking forward to talking about more great books and finding out about books you've loved (my TBR pile is groaning under all your recommendations) in 2013! 

I seem to have had a Harlequin kinda year. Perhaps because I've been so busy and I love how a category romance can give me my romance fix within a couple of hours' reading time. Whatever the reason, I've read some great Harlequins this year and discovered a couple of fabulous new authors including Fiona Harper and Ellen Hartman.

I'm currently head down on a new book, but just to freshen up my brain before I began the latest Sons of Sin story, I took a few veg days when I read and pottered around the house and watched TV and just basically relaxed. These days gave me a chance to catch up on some of the books lurking in the TBR pile (some of those are so old, they've got whiskers on them!). Hiding shyly behind a bush consisting mainly of historical romance I WILL read soon, I discovered these two treasures by Aussie author Michelle Conder.

The Australian Romance Readers Association held a signing back in August in conjunction with the Romance Writers of Australia conference at the Gold Coast in Queensland. I was lucky to sit next to Michelle and she was kind enough to give me signed copies of her first two books.

And when I say lucky, I mean LUCKY! I devoured both these books in a single morning (I wake up early!) and then groaned when I realized I had to wait until January 2013 for her next book LIVING THE CHARADE which sounds fantastic! Because she's a new author, there's no backlist so I've got one message for Ms. Conder - WRITE FASTER!!!! ;-)

Michelle's highly polished and compelling debut is GIRL BEHIND THE SCANDALOUS REPUTATION. Rising film star Lily Wild is the child of scandal and the paparazzi have given her a totally unjustified reputation as a party girl. She's long had a love-hate relationship with her best friend's brother, Tristan, the future Duke of Greythorn. Tristan has saved her from numerous scrapes, not usually of her creation. Not that Tristan will ever believe that. When Lily's caught with drugs hidden in her bag at Heathrow, Tristan comes to her rescue again but the only way he can save her from jail is to become her custodian himself.

A classic Presents scenario. Two people who dislike and mistrust each other but are likely to combust with the heat of the chemistry between them are trapped under one glamorous roof. As you can imagine, sparks fly sky high. This is a really fun read! The dialogue in particular is great.

Michelle's second book, HIS LAST CHANCE AT REDEMPTION, inhabits a similarly glitzy world. After all, one of the pleasures of the Presents line is that it gives us all a chance to live vicariously in the milieu of bumptious billionaires.

Leo Aleksandrov, the hero, is the richest man in Russia. After a horrific childhood, he's built himself up from nothing. Words like 'love', 'family' and 'commitment' just aren't in his vocabulary. But he does possess his own steely honor and when the ditzy mother of his son disappears, leaving the boy alone, Leo steps in to take over. Taking over includes blackmailing his son's childcare worker, Lexi Summers, into becoming nanny for a long weekend on a yacht in Greece (see what I mean about glitzy?).

I love books where the hero and heroine find themselves attracted to the last person they thought they'd ever want. Leo lives in a world of super-rich and supermodels, but he can't get ordinary girl Lexi out of his mind. And when she's ready to go toe to toe with him over his son's welfare, basically he's a goner. Leo's a damaged man and Lexi has baggage too. It's wonderful watching these two battle it out to a very satisfying happy ending. Again, highly recommended.

I'm hoping to do some more TBR demolishing over Christmas. What are your reading plans for the Holidays? Season's greetings to everyone!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Kat Martin Winner



The winner of an autographed copy of AGAINST THE ODDS by Kat Martin is

librarypat

Congratulations!  Please send your full name and mailing address to
theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com


Friday, December 21, 2012

Guest Review -- Sea Glass Winter

Sea Glass Winter
By JoAnn Ross
Publisher: Signet
Release Date: December 31, 2012




Shelter Bay’s newest residents are jewelry designer/glass artist Clair Templeton and her fifteen-year-old son, Matthew.  The two have had a rough year. Clair, still a teenager herself when Matt was born, has always been a single mother, and the death of her mother, who had been her support system through all the years, has left a hole in her heart. Matt too has had a rough time with the loss of the second most important person in his world. When his grades slipped and more serious trouble threatened to mushroom, Clair started looking for a place with a slower pace and fewer temptations than Los Angeles to see Matt through his last three years of high school. Shelter Bay, a place she’s always found restful on visits there, is her choice for their new home.

Matt doesn’t share his mother’s enthusiasm. The top freshman basketball player in California, the previous season, he sees his dreams of an athletic scholarship and NBA stardom vanishing if he’s stuck in Podunk USA playing for a team that hasn’t had a winning season in a a dozen years. He takes an even dimmer view when it turns out that his new coach is more interested in building a team and developing character in his players than he is in winning and inflating the egos of stars.

Dillon Slater’s career as an explosive ordnance disposal specialist blew up less than thirty days before he was scheduled to leave Afghanistan. His new job acquired through Troops to Teachers, a program that places former military personnel in rural classrooms and other places where they meet a special need, was waiting for him. Texas-born Dillon is assigned to the high school in Shelter Bay, Oregon, where for at least three years he’s going to be teaching physical science and physics and coaching basketball. He immediately feels at home in Shelter Bay and has already made some good friends, but he has concerns about the Booster Club members who have big expectations of the 6 foot, 3 inch kid who’s transferring from California.

A winning season may not be Dillon’s primary objective for his team, but he has a definite interest in winning the attention of Clair Templeton. A connection sparked between them on their first meeting, but Clair, who has a history with men who leave, is determined to focus on her son and her art, in that order. She’s not interested in complications, and Dillon Slater is one temperature-raising complication. But even a woman as determined as Clair finds resistance increasingly difficult when her new match-making friends keep throwing them together; Matt, who’s soon convinced Dillon is the best coach ever, decides he’s just the man his mom needs; and her own heart tells her Dillon is unlike any other man she’s ever known.

I cheered when JoAnn Ross returned to writing small-town romances, the kind she was writing long before the current trend, and I’m loving the Shelter Bay series. Sea Glass Winter is the fifth Shelter Bay book, following The Homecoming, One Summer, On Lavender Lane, and Moonshell Beach. Clair and Dillon, like the protagonists of the earlier novels, are interesting, likeable characters who have overcome difficulties, found what they are meant to do with their lives, and are committed to living those lives with passion and integrity. I especially appreciated the look Ross gives readers at Clair’s development as an artist and at Dillon’s teaching practices as well as his coaching.

Ross also does a superb job of creating the teenage Matt who is an important part of this story. She captures the confusion, the moodiness, and the contradictory blend of adolescent self-absorption and familial love that characterize this basically good kid. She also manages to bring us up to date on the lives of characters from the other books in an organic manner that never distracts from Clair and Dillon’s story. Friendships are formed, pets are adopted, babies are born, and marriage is proposed as Ross weaves bits of the lives of Kara and Sax, Charity and Gabriel, Maddy and Lucas, Mary and J. T., and Phoebe and Ethan into the central story.

Sea Glass Winter can be read as a standalone, although I expect most readers will be so hooked by the secondary characters that they’ll want to read the rest of the series. I recommend them all, and I already have Castaway Cove, scheduled for release on July 2, 2013, on my new must-read calendar.

~Janga
http://justjanga.blogspot.com


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Guest Review - - Chance of a Lifetime

Chance of a Lifetime
By Jodi Thomas
Publisher: Penguin Group
Release Date: December 31, 2012

Jodi Thomas takes readers back to Harmony, Texas, for a fifth installment in this small-town series filled with quirky characters who show that there’s always something extraordinary about the lives of ordinary people. In Chance of a Lifetime, the focus is on three of these characters: Emily Tomlinson, the town librarian, whose painful secret has leached the color and dimension from her life; Rick Matheson, a lawyer whose empty office seems like his biggest problem until someone starts trying to kill him; and Beau Yates, a young country singer-songwriter with bad memories and big dreams.

Tannon Parker was Emily Tomlinson’s best friend throughout their childhood, the kind of friend who never let her down until one day he wasn’t there when teenage Emily most needed someone. Their friendship never recovered, and for years they have been little more than passing acquaintances. But when Tannon needs a favor from Emily, life gives them the chance for the wounds of the past to heal and a renewed friendship to grow that will give them a future richer and brighter than their youthful dreams.

Emily is an only child whose parents are dead, but Rick Matheson, a member of one of Harmony’s original families, has the opposite problem. The town is filled with Mathesons and their connections, all of whom are determined to protect Rick when it becomes clear that he has an enemy who wants to rid Harmony of the lawyer permanently. Enter Trace Adams, a motorcycle-riding U. S. Marshall on leave who possesses the skills and training to protect Rick from his assailant and the appeal and passion to jeopardize his heart in the process. Trace is a loner not looking for permanent ties, but Rick believes in the future they can build together enough to take a chance on rejection.

Beau Yates’s fundamentalist preacher father cut loose the son he’s convinced is headed for hell, but the growing popularity of Beau’s music in Harmony and beyond and moonlight rides with a mystery girl are giving Beau a taste of heaven—his idea of it at least. Life in small-town Texas may be a long way from the Nashville stardom Beau dreams of, but it nurtures him and gives him rich material for his songs. Meanwhile, Beau’s belief that his chance will come is growing stronger.

Harmony has become one of my favorite fictional places, and I look forward to each new book in the series. Thomas deftly weaves together the stories of new characters and characters readers have met in earlier books. She also includes enough bits about lead characters from earlier books to assure readers that their favorites are flourishing but not enough to distract from the new focal characters. If parts of the plot in this one seem to defy the logic of small-town life, the characters are such a delight that it’s easy to suspend disbelief and just enjoy another visit to Harmony. I finished Chance of a Lifetime satisfied that Emily and Tannon are all set to live happily ever after, hopeful of seeing Rick and Trace move toward a more definite HEA in future books, eager to see Beau’s dream continue to develop, and persuaded that the next book in the series will leave me as primed for more Harmony stories as this one and its predecessors did.

~Janga
http://justjanga.blogspot.com




Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Today's Special - - Kat Martin


We're happy to welcome Kat Martin back to the Romance Dish today.  Kat's newest book, Against the Odds releases today and is already pulling in terrific reviews.  RTBook Reviews gave the romantic suspense story a TOP PICK 4.5 star rating, saying "Martin just keeps getting better and better! Her characters have more depth, and her plots are more sinister, as the Against series continues.  Set in the sizzling desert of Texas and rife with mystery, intrigue and twisted family secrets, this entry is sure to earn a spot on any fan's keeper shelf."  I don't know about you but that sure makes me want to read this book! Thanks for joining us today, Kat!  





HERO AND HEROINE
Two Peas in a Pod
(or finding the right match)
by Kat Martin

When I come up with a story idea, one of the most import things to do and sometimes the hardest is to find the right romantic match for the hero or heroine.  It was easier in AGAINST THE ODDS because I got to meet Alex and Sabrina in Against the Sun, where they showed up as friends of Jake Cantrell and Sage Dumont. 

I liked both characters right away, but it wasn’t until SUN was well underway that I realized Sabrina and Alex just had to have their own story.  They were both larger than life people and their attraction to each other sizzled through the pages.

As AGAINST THE ODDS begins, Sabrina receives an inheritance from her uncle--an abandoned silver mine in the West Texas desert.  Running out of money, Rina is determined to find the mine and make it productive, even if it means putting up with the cocky jet jockey she is determined to dislike but finds ridiculously attractive.

G.Q. handsome and obscenely wealthy, Alex is a private investigator and an ex-Navy pilot.  Alex is just the man Rina needs to fly her safely into the desert in search of her late uncle’s property.  I knew the characters, but I struggled with the story.  Even half way through, I was still finding my way, trying to figure out who the real bad guy was.


The best part was the story gave me a chance to get to know Ben Slocum (Ben’s the hero in Against the Edge), another character I fell in love with as I was writing Against the Sun.



I hope you’ll watch for Alex and Sabrina in AGAINST THE ODDS.  It’s a sexy tale of survival, murder, betrayal, and intrigue that kept me writing far longer than I should have been.  The book is out December 18th, just in time for Christmas shopping. 

So how did you find your perfect match and are the two of you still together?

Have a wonderful holiday, 
Kat

Kat is giving away an autographed copy of AGAINST THE ODDS to one randomly selected person who leaves a comment on today's blog!



Title and author: Against the Odds, by Kat Martin
Publication date: December 18, 2012
Publisher: MIRA
Format: Mass Market Paperback, Kindle, Nook


THIS CASE MAY PROVE TO BE TOO HOT TO HANDLE
There's silver out there: Sabrina Eckhart is sure of it. And when she finds the hidden mine on that big piece of West Texas desert, all of her financial problems are solved. That is, if she can find it. The man with the skills she needs is private investigator Alex Justice─a former navy fighter pilot and a current pain in the neck.
When mysterious "accidents" start to plague their search, it seems Rina's multi-acre inheritance might be more of a curse than a blessing. And yet, there's still something sensual about the heat...his arrogance...her stubbornness...being thrust into each other's arms by danger...But the vultures are circling, and if they don't watch their backs, the relentless desert sun could be the last thing they ever see.



Purchase Links: 
Bn.com
Amazon.com
Indiebound.org
http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780778314226


Other Links: 
BOOK TRAILER ON YOU TUBE

Monday, December 17, 2012

Tawny Weber Winner


The winner of an autographed copy of NICE & NAUGHTY from Tawny Weber is

girlygirlhoosier52

Congratulations!  Please send us your full name and mailing address to claim your book.

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com


Today's Special - - Katie Lane


Today, we welcome contemporary author Katie Lane to The Romance Dish!  Katie's recent holiday romance, Hunk for the Holidays earned 4.5 stars from Andrea.  (read her review here)  Her newest book, Trouble in Texas looks to be just as much fun.  Andrea recently interviewed Katie about her books.  Take it away, Andrea and Katie!






Hi, Katie, and welcome to the Romance Dish! We’re happy to have you join us today. Congratulations on your newest releases, Hunk for the Holidays (September) and Trouble in Texas (out tomorrow!). Can you please tell us a little about each book? 

Trouble in Texas is about Miss Hattie’s Henhouse, an infamous house of ill repute.  Elizabeth Murphy is the straight-laced librarian who has inherited the henhouse, along with the three old women who still live there.  Brant Cates is an emotionally wounded cowboy who comes to Miss Hattie’s in search of his great-grandfather’s murderer.

Hunk for the Holidays is about Cassie McPherson, a workaholic who ends up hiring an escort for her family’s company holiday party.  Except the escort turns out to be more than Cassie bargains for, and she’ll soon discover a few surprises beneath the sizzling smile and sexy tuxedo.   

As you can tell by my review, I absolutely loved Hunk for the Holidays, which is a Christmas-themed romance. What was your favorite part about writing a Christmas story?  

I adore Christmas, the entire shopping-decorating-cookie-baking craziness.  So I loved putting all those elements into my story and making it one big festive holiday party!

The upcoming Trouble in Texas is the fourth book of your Deep in the Heart of Texas series. What can readers expect from the books in this series?   

A hot cowboy.  A strong heroine.  Zany townsfolk.  And, hopefully, a lot of laughs.

What prompted you to write a series set in the great state of Texas? 

I traveled there with my husband and fell in love with the friendly people.  So I brought them home with me:o)

Which comes first for you, the characters or the story?  

Always the characters.  They are the ones who tell me how the story is going to play out.

What do you find is your biggest challenge while writing?  

Sitting down and writing.  I can be easily distracted so it’s hard for me to get started every day.  But once I write that first sentence, I’m golden.

Which of your heroines is most like you and why?  

I’m a mixture of all my heroines.  Faith’s insecurities.  Hope’s bossiness.  Shirlene’s bluntness and wit.  Elizabeth’s love of books and solitude. 

What hobbies/activities do you like to do when you’re not writing?  

I love to read, play golf, and knit. Although my golfing and knitting leave something to be desired.  Lol!

What are a few of the books on your keeper shelves? 

Hummingbird by LaVyrle Spencer, Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss, and One Summer by Karen Robards.

Can you give us a hint about what is next for you after Trouble in Texas?  

Flirting with Texas comes out July 2013.  This is Beau’s story.  Beau is the younger brother to Brant (Trouble in Texas) and Billy (Catch Me a Cowboy.)  I teamed him up with Jenna Jay, Hope’s and Faith’s younger sister.  Beau is a lover and Jenna a fighter, so as soon as I started writing, I knew they were going to be a fun match. 

Quick Six Time!

Coffee or tea?  Tea
Early bird or night owl?  Early bird
Alpha or beta?  Alpha
Diamonds or pearls?  Both
Heels or flats?  Flats
Blond, brunette, or ginger hero?  Redhead

Thanks for answering all my questions, Katie! Now it’s your turn—is there a question you’d like to ask our readers?  

Absolutely.  Describe your favorite type of hero.

In Grandma's Kitchen Winners


Random.org has chosen our lucky winners.  Congratulations to:

LSU READER
 You've won a book from our prize stash.

JACKIE BURRIS 
You've won a book and a package of goodies from PJ's kitchen.

Please send your full name and mailing address to us at
theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com





Saturday, December 15, 2012

In Grandma's Kitchen

I know I've posted this before but I've been thinking about my grandma a lot these past few weeks.  She's been gone more than thirty years yet I can still conjure up the delicious aromas from her kitchen, still feel her strong, loving arms around me, still live my life using the lessons she taught me.  A customer at the store yesterday complimented me on my "patience, kindness and always present smile."  According to her, I "never get ruffled, always put the customer first and always leave my customers smiling."  Credit my grandma for that; those lessons from her kitchen that have guided me through the years.  So, in honor of Grandma, here again is "In Grandma's Kitchen."

~PJ






Some of my earliest memories are of being perched on a stool at my grandma's kitchen counter, hanging onto her every word as she taught me how to wield a rolling pin, create flaky melt-in-your-mouth biscuits or golden brown, perfectly baked cookies. Much of what I know about baking was learned at my grandma's side but baking wasn't the only thing I learned in her kitchen. Sprinkled so lightly among the various techniques that I was hardly aware of them, were gentle lessons that have guided my life over the past 50+ years. From that wise and kind woman I learned to find joy in creating something with my own hands and mind, to take pride in my accomplishments but not be boastful about them, to share willingly and joyfully with others, to have compassion for those lacking the skills or resources with which I was blessed, to treat others with the same kindness and respect that I wish to receive from them and to honor those who have gone before me by sharing my love, my time, my knowledge and a few gentle life lessons with the young people in my life.

Grandma has been with the angels for many years now but, to this day, I can still feel her gentle hand on my shoulder, guiding me in the right direction. A few years ago I was visiting with some cousins that I hadn't seen in almost 30 years. One of them said to me, "You're so much like Grandma it's almost like having her with us again." I can think of no greater compliment.

MY FAVORITE SUGAR COOKIES

1 cup solid Crisco shortening
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
dash of salt
Cream shortening. Add 1-1/2 cups sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs and flavorings; beat well. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Stir into creamed mixture. Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls 2-3 inches apart onto greased cookie sheets. Dip a fork into flour then lightly press on each cookie to flatten. Sprinkle cookie with remaining sugar. Bake at 375° F. for 9 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.
YIELD: 9 dozen

** For a festive appearance, sprinkle cookies with colored sugar before baking.

Here's another favorite:

OATMEAL CRANBERRY WHITE CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES

1 cup Butter Flavor Crisco (butter can be substituted for a crisper cookie)
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups oats
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 cups sweetened dried cranberries
1 cup white chocolate chunks (or chips)

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Using an electric mixer, beat Crisco and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs; mix well.

Combine oats, flour, salt and baking soda. Add to the previous mixture in several additions, mixing well after each.

Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate chunks.

Drop by rounded teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10 - 12 minutes or until golden brown.

YIELD: 30 cookies

Are you a baker?  Who taught you?  Did they share life lessons along the way?  Are you passing those kitchens skills and life lessons on to someone in your life today?   Do you have a favorite holiday cookie recipe to share?  I'm giving away two gifts today.  One randomly selected person will receive a book (open to all) and one person will receive a book plus a package of homemade goodies from my kitchen. (U.S. only)


I'm working all day but I'll pop in when I can.  Let's dish about holiday goodies and goodness! 

~ PJ

Friday, December 14, 2012

Today's Special - - Tawny Weber


It's our pleasure to welcome Tawny Weber back to The Romance Dish today!  Tawny has been writing sassy, sexy romances since her first Harlequin Blaze hit the shelves in 2007.  A fan of Johnny Depp, cupcakes and color coordination,, she spends a lot of her time shopping for cute shoes, scrapbooking and hanging out on Facebook.  

Come by and visit her website at www.tawnyweber.com for hunky contests, delicious recipes and lots of fun.



Holiday Style – Tawny Weber

Yay – it’s the holiday season!!  I love this time of year.  Not just the traditions and presents and secrets and good will and great food.  Although I do love all of that.  What really appeals to me this time of year is style-Holiday Style. 

From the fun of picking a fancy dress and killer heels to wear to the parties to the sweater choices people make to the variety of gorgeous boots out there – fashion is fabulous in December.   I like it so much that I integrated it into my current Blaze release, NICE & NAUGHTY.  My heroine, Jade, loves style and studied fashion in college, only to have to sideline her fashion dreams to move back to her small town to take care of family obligations.  Not only did Diego bring Jade some very naughty holiday inspiration, he inspires her to quit hiding behind excuses and embrace her dream.  Oh, he also catches a panty thief, too. 

So fashion style is high on my list of things I love in December for sure.  But really, what it’s all about for me is holiday style.  Decorating!  It’s the holidays, baby.  Break out the tinsel.  One of the traditions we have in my house is to all hop in the car and travel from neighborhood to neighborhood, enjoying the lights.  And, if we can, admire the trees shining bright in the windows. 

There are trees with colored lights, or with white lights.  Some are decorated in an old-fashioned style, others in glitter.  Some people decorate the tree, the room, and the entire house, where others just string lights on a ficus in the corner (yes, I admit, that was me one year). 

Personally, I tend to go traditional for the most part.  Yes, my tree has a few dragons, fairies and unicorns among the Santa’s and bows, but the overall feel is old-fashioned.  Now my mom is more of a glittery coordinated decorator.  Her tree is white and glitters.  Her lights are white and glitter.  Her decorations are white and blue or white and pink, depending on the year.  And yes, they glitter.  I’m pretty sure that the gifts I mail her end up being put in gift bags that match the décor so as not to mess up her overall style, although she won’t admit it. 

So how about you?   What’s your holiday style?  Do you have one you stick with every year, or do you change it up from time to time?  Would you ever use a stylist to help with your holiday style?  How about your personal style?  Me, I’d be open to trying either or both –just for fun!  And for more fun, I’m offering an autographed copy of NICE & NAUGHTY to one commenter today.  Happy Holidays! 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

New Releases winner

 
 
The winner of a random book from my prize stash is:
 
Connie
 
Congratulations, Connie! Please send your full name and address to theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com with "Andrea's winner" as the subject and I'll brave the post office to get your book in the mail. Thanks to everyone who stopped by!

Make Your Reservations!



I know it's hard to believe, but it's time again to mark your calendars and Make Your Reservations for January! Here are a few of the releases we are looking forward to in the first month of 2013. Are any of these upcoming books on your list? If so, which ones? If not, which books are on your list?




The Lady Most Willing...
By Julia Quinn, Eloisa James and Connie Brockway

At the behest of three of the most talented historical romance authors writing today, you are cordially invited to a ball. No, a party. No...a kidnapping.

Taran Ferguson, laird of his clan, is determined that his ancient (if not so honorable) birthright be secured before he dies. When both his nephews refuse to wed, the old reprobate takes matters into his own hands: he raids a ball and makes off with four likely brides...

Miss Marilla Chisholm—the bonniest lass in Scotland, and an heiress to boot.

Miss Fiona Chisholm—her older sister, another fine choice (but for that tiny stain on her reputation).

Lady Cecily Tarleton—true, she's an English beauty, but very, very rich.

Miss Catriona Burns—without name or fortune, clearly someone made a mistake.

Oh, yes. And one very irate duke.

Because somewhere there must be one lady most willing to love a Scottish lord.

(Avon)


*******



Timber Creek
By Veronica Wolff

For Laura Bailey, weathering her teen years at her quaint family lodge in a boondock town at the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas wasn’t easy. Fleeing for San Francisco the minute she graduated high school seemed like a good idea—until she lost her job and her fiancé. The blow to her pride sent her back to Sierra Falls to figure out her life. But her hometown is undergoing a bit of renovation.

A new Sierra Falls resort is posing a threat to the Bailey family business. Even worse, the construction company developing the property is run by Eddie Jessup, Laura’s cocky high school nemesis who delighted in locking horns with the little spitfire. Some things never change. But their battle isn’t the only thing heating up between Laura and Eddie, and before long they realize that getting to know each other all over again has its rewards. But fate isn’t through with them. Nor are the games men and women play in the name of love.

(Berkley)


*******


The Seduction of Elliot McBride
By Jennifer Ashley

Juliana St. John was raised to be very proper. After a long engagement, her wedding day dawns—only for Juliana to find herself jilted at the altar.

Fleeing the mocking crowd, she stumbles upon Elliot McBride, the tall, passionate Scot who was her first love. His teasing manner gives her an idea, and she asks Elliot to save her from an uncertain future—by marrying her…

After escaping brutal imprisonment, Elliot has returned to Scotland a vastly wealthy yet tormented man. Now Juliana has her hands full restoring his half-ruined manor in the Scottish Highlands and trying to repair the broken heart of the man some call irredeemably mad. Though beautiful and spirited, Juliana wonders if that will be enough to win a second chance at love.

(Berkley)


*******


A Soul So Wicked
By Sharie Kohler

In the dark world of the Moon Chasers, love and evil are separated by only a heartbeat as an undying lycan searches for the demon witch who cursed him.

For generations, the immortal Darius, doomed to roam the Earth as a lycan, has hunted the one responsible for his terrible fate. He is determined to exact revenge for the untold suffering Tresa has unleashed upon the world, but when the two finally come face-to-face, Darius discovers that she is not the purely evil creature he expected, but rather a tantalizing woman.

Determined to avoid causing further harm, Tresa has spent numberless centuries fleeing the demon who enslaved her. Tormented by the devastating mistakes of her past, she feels she has condemned herself to suffering. Certainly she does not deserve to find passion...Yet it may be that only by becoming lovers will Darius and Tresa find a power that burns brighter than the dark forces arrayed against them, a love pure enough to at last bring them both the redemption that they crave.

(Pocket)


*******


True Love at Silver Creek Ranch
By Emma Cane

Welcome to Valentine Valley, where tongues are wagging now that the town bad boy is back—and rumor has it the lean, mean ex-Marine is about to lose his heart! But like it or not, in a town like Valentine, love happens . . .

Adam Desantis is back—bruised, battle-weary and sexier than ever! Not that Brooke Thalberg is in the market. The beautiful cowgirl of Silver Creek Ranch needs a cowboy for hire, not a boyfriend—though the gaggle of grandmas at the Widows' Boardinghouse thinks otherwise. But from the moment she finds herself in Adam's arms, she's shocked to discover she may just want more.

Adam knows it's crazy to tangle with Brooke, especially with the memories that still haunt him, and the warm welcome her family has given him. But he finds himself in a fix, because tender-loving Brooke is so much more woman than he ever imagined. Can a soldier battling demons give her the love she clearly deserves?

Just about everybody in Valentine thinks so!

(Avon)


*******


Perfect Fit
By Carly Phillips

Always feeling like the odd man out in his family, Michael Marsden wanted to make it on his own. So he escaped Serendipity to become an undercover cop in Manhattan, where the Marsden name wasn’t known. But Michael’s independence is compromised when he returns home to replace his sick father as chief of police. Back in the shadow of his family, he’s as lost and restless as ever, until he’s challenged by someone he never anticipated.

Cara Hartley is the Serendipity cop with whom Mike had a one night stand three months earlier. Neither expected anything more but fate has other things in store. When Mike returns as Cara’s boss, the sexual tension between them is impossible to ignore--and the unexpected emotional connection continues to grow. But Cara’s a small town girl while Mike has a wanderer’s blood in his veins.

Both are convinced a future together is impossible. Until Mike’s real father’s secrets come back to haunt him and he realizes there are some things worth staying and fighting for. Including Cara. (Berkley)