2018 Holiday Blog Tour Stop #18
“Welcome to Mountain Brook Ink’s 2018 Holiday Blog Tour! We’re so excited you’ve decided to join us on this journey of family, friends, traditions, and memories over the next month. You as our reader have done so much to pour into our lives, and this season we want to give back to you with insights into our lives AND some giveaways. The more days you follow, share, comment, and engage with us, the more entries you’ll have toward a Kindle Fire Grand Prize or one of three Amazon Gift Cards!”
The holidays at my house inspire a lot of baking. With my busy schedule during the year as an author, a financial assistant for an elderly gentleman, and the unofficial CEO of my daughter’s card business, I find taking time to bake is not high on my priority list. But when Thanksgiving looms large, with Christmas to follow, I know my family would be disappointed if I didn’t serve their favorites.
Breakfast for both Thanksgiving and Christmas always involves a plate of my cinnamon sticky buns. The nice thing about my recipe is that it is so easy. It involves thawing and rising a frozen loaf of bread dough, rolling it out lengthwise, spreading butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and walnuts across its surface, then rolling it up long side out and slicing it into rolls. Line a buttered baking dish with a layer of caramel made by heating two tablespoons Karo syrup, two tablespoons butter and half a cup brown sugar together (don’t boil), pour in pan, and place the rolls on top. Allow to rise. Bake for 25 minutes, invert on a serving plate, and everyone goes, “aaah”.
Cookies are another important part of our traditional holiday celebration. I love having several varieties on hand to fill tins for neighbors, friends who visit, and, of course, the cookie hounds who invade my kitchen and sample to their heart’s content. Pictured here are Almond Butter Cookies, Turkish Hats, Old-fashioned sugar cookies, Peppermint bark, and my original recipe of Peanut Butter Fudge. I’m proud of that recipe because I created it in high school for a class project and twenty years later I ran into my former home economics teacher at a shopping mall and she told me she still had that recipe and made it every holiday. Surprised? I was.
Happy Birthday Jesus cake
This recipe came from my mother’s cookbook and though it is complicated, its richness demands a special occasion. At our house we try to remember whose birth it was that we are celebrating at Christmas so I deemed this chocolate chip torte the birthday cake for Jesus. It’s full of dates, nuts, and chocolate chips, with either a mocha frosting or a dusting of powdered sugar. Cooked in a Bundt cake pan or an angel food cake pan, its moist texture and deep chocolate flavor will have your guests asking for more.
After the baking is complete, my family sits down to a table that’s specially decorated for the holiday.
At Thanksgiving I always use my Pilgrim candles for the centerpiece. I’ve had the candles for forty years and though there have been replicas since, these still have the 39 cent sticker on the bottom proving how old they really are. The candles provide an easy conversation starter about the beginnings of this great land we live in and how that first winter in Plymouth claimed many lives.
At Christmas the entire house is decorated with red and green and my table is red, too. When my guests gather I want them to know they are welcome here.
Christmas invites all of us to draw near the manger and remember the babe whose birth changed the course of history. That tiny child grew to be a man who went to the cross to pave the way to eternal life to all who would believe.
Welcome to my table. And thanks for joining my family and I for a glimpse of our holiday traditions. A joyous season to all of you.
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Yesterday’s blog post: Barbara Scott at http://mountainbrookink.com/2018/10/09/blog-tour-scott/
Tomorrow’s blog post: Linda Thompson at Http://www.lthompsonbooks.com/blog/
Books by Patricia Lee
Left waiting at the altar, Claire Simpson has buried her past and moved on, carving out a life for herself as a teacher on the Oregon coast. When her former fiancé appears, he threatens to unravel the peaceful independence she has worked so hard to achieve after their relationship failed.
Montgomery Chandler has moved to NOAA headquarters in Newport, Oregon to make new, happier memories for his children after his wife died of a lingering illness. Their home in Seattle held nothing but the whispers of their earlier lives. Starting over will help all of them heal, but Monty is resolved not to risk love again.
When the handsome widower enrolls his hurting children at the school where Claire teaches, her determination to remain uninvolved vanishes at the whim of a snowstorm. This family needs her expertise. Can she help them without losing her heart?
Book 3 in the Mended Hearts series– https://www.amazon.com/Kite-Wind-Mended-Hearts/dp/1943959501/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1542053304&sr=1-1
What reviewers are saying:
“The second novel in Lee’s Mended Hearts series is a sweet, modern-day love story between two vulnerable people facing intense personal struggles. With a solid plot, complete with genuine characters and strong conflict, Lee brings a tender story that will touch readers’ hearts. Along with the intense romantic connection between Lissa and Kurt, the highlight of this story is the adorable, wounded little boy along with an equally wounded young horse who are both in need of healing. Though it takes a while to get to the heart of the story, once readers reach that point, they will not be able to put the book down. This story is one inspirational, heart-tugging read.
When former Navy officer Lissa Frye meets the old love who broke her heart, Marine Kurt McKintrick, after not seeing him for two years, it is an awkward reunion. Both are back in the same Oregon town, Lissa starting anew as a sheriff’s deputy and Kurt fulfilling a promise to his best friend and dead fellow Marine, Foster Blake. He is working with Foster’s mother at her animal rescue center, tending horses. Kurt knows he hurt Lissa and he wants to explain the reason why, but the tension between them is thick. However, time spent together at the animal rescue center because of a wounded boy begins to thaw the chill between Lissa and Kurt. Suddenly, their love is rekindled. But will their personal fears derail the opportunity of a second-chance romance and a happy future? (MOUNTAIN BROOK INK) Reviewed by Melanie Bates
Book 2 in the Mended Hearts series– https://www.amazon.com/Love-Calls-Home-Mended-Hearts/dp/1943959439/ref=pd_sim_14_1?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=1943959439&pd_rd_r=bf392632-e6b6-11e8-ad8c-c90285654b7b&pd_rd_w=ab8J7&pd_rd_wg=MGvLj&pf_rd_i=desktop-dp-sims&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=18bb0b78-4200-49b9-ac91-f141d61a1780&pf_rd_r=857FA8112KAACZ5Y544Y&pf_rd_s=desktop-dp-sims&pf_rd_t=40701&psc=1&refRID=857FA8112KAACZ5Y544Y
McKenna Nichols, a young wife, abandoned by her husband in favor of his work, is left alone to raise her disabled child. Can she remain faithful to her marriage vows when tempted by the friendship of an unlikely stranger?
Rudy Taylor, who senses her loneliness and understands the difficulty of raising her daughter, struggles to keep his concern for the young woman biblical. Will McKenna’s faith in God and Rudy’s commitment to his Lord be enough to keep their relationship simple?
RT (Romantic Times) Review gave the story 4 stars. This is what they said:
Lee’s latest is an inspirational romance that will warm readers’ hearts. Engaging storytelling and heartwarming characters are the highlights of this story. Both McKenna and Rudy’s integrity and vulnerability make them characters that readers will embrace with all their hearts, and the genuine connection between them will keep readers engaged. McKenna’s struggles with having a special-needs daughter bring the right amount of tension to a tender story. McKenna and Rudy’s faith and dedication to God is inspiring. When photographer McKenna Nichols meets diver Rudy Taylor one day on the beach after he almost drowns in the ocean, her life takes a sudden turn. McKenna is married with an autistic 6- year-old daughter named Sydney. Newly arrived back in her hometown, McKenna is waiting for her husband to return home after two years. Intrigued by each other, McKenna and Rudy form an instant connection and friendship. As McKenna witnesses Rudy’s special connection with Sydney, unlike any Sydney has ever had before, her feelings for Rudy deepen. However, McKenna is determined to remain faithful to her absent husband, with Rudy in full support. Grappling with unexpected emotions and unsure of what the future holds, McKenna and Rudy rely on God to guide them. (MOUNTAIN BROOK INK)
Book 1 in the Mended Hearts series– https://www.amazon.com/Anchor-Her-Heart-Mended-Hearts/dp/1943959307/ref=pd_sim_14_2?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=1943959307&pd_rd_r=464ee81c-e6b7-11e8-a386-658ad9d28ece&pd_rd_w=Gjkhz&pd_rd_wg=uYjPm&pf_rd_i=desktop-dp-sims&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=18bb0b78-4200-49b9-ac91-f141d61a1780&pf_rd_r=PQFBDG51A0QJ6BAGYPT4&pf_rd_s=desktop-dp-sims&pf_rd_t=40701&psc=1&refRID=PQFBDG51A0QJ6BAGYPT4