Favorite brand and flavor of hot chocolate?
Hmm…nothing too sweet, so probably Starbucks with a hint of mint.
Fictional character you’d most like to be stuck under the mistletoe with.
From one of my books? Or can I choose a movie star? If it’s a movie star, definitely Chris Hemsworth (I guess a lot of people feel that way; I just heard he was chosen as PEOPLE’s Sexiest Man Alive, and I would have to concur). If it’s a fictional hero from someone else’s book, I’d say Susan Elizabeth Phillips’s Bobby Tom Denton. And if it’s a fiction character from one of my own books, I’d say Virgil, from INSIDE, or Dylan, from WHEN SNOW FALLS. I love the wounded alpha hero.
Favorite Christmas tradition and recipe:
My favorite Christmas tradition is getting in a circle with all of my kids and taking turns as we open our presents so that everyone can see what everyone else is getting. It slows the process down and gives us a tremendous amount of vicarious enjoyment.
I have a lot of favorite Christmas recipes, but the one I’m craving most this year is my mint brownies from scratch recipe.
2 c. sugar
2 cubes butter (softened)
8 TBS cocoa
1 TBS vanilla
1 TSP salt
1 3/4 cup flour
Cream sugar, eggs and butter. Sift cocoa, vanilla, salt and flour together and add to wet ingredients. Spread in a greased 9″ x 13″ pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes.
3/4 cup butter
2 2/3 cup powdered sugar
2 TBS evaporated milk (up to 1/4 cup)
1 TSP mint extract
Green food coloring
Beat together until you reach the desired consistently and spread on cooled brownies. Then drizzle with real chocolate thinned with Crisco (if you want them to look fancy).
If you could pick one holiday destination as a dream vacation where would it be?
I just got back from New Zealand, which was about the most wonderful place on earth. So I’d love to go back there—or maybe Australia, since I didn’t get to include that in my travel plans.
Best holiday memory:
This would probably be the first Christmas I was married to my husband, Ted. We had VERY little money, and yet he had gone all out. When I walked into the living room on Christmas morning, there was a pyramid of presents that went all the way to the ceiling. My family couldn’t believe it (but having him in my life was the best gift of all).
What things are in your grown-up Christmas list?
The older I get, the less I care about physical things. I’m happy with another year of health and happiness for my family and friends—and another year spent writing, which is doing what I love.
The Heart of Christmas
by Brenda Novak
mass market paperback
Imprint: MIRA Books
Release date: Tuesday, October 28
Amazon * B&N * Indie bound
Eve Harmon has always enjoyed Christmas, but this year it reminds her of everything she doesn’t have. Almost all her friends are married now, and that’s what Eve wants, too. There’s no one in the small town of Whiskey Creek she could even imagine as a husband—until a handsome stranger comes to town.
Tell us about your characters and setting in a nutshell.
THE HEART OF CHRISTMAS is part of my popular Whiskey Creek series, which is set in a fictional gold-rush town nestled into the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas (similar to Sutter Creek or Jackson not far from where I live). All of these romantic stories feature a backdrop of 1800s architecture, wooden boardwalks and scenic mountains. THE HEART OF CHRISTMAS is Eve Harmon’s story. She owns the Victorian Bed and Breakfast in town (Little Mary’s, named after the resident ghost), and she’s trying to get ready for Whiskey Creek’s annual tradition of Victorian Days. Since almost all of her friends are married, she thinks she’ll be spending this Christmas alone—like every other. But then a mysterious stranger comes to town….
Brenda Novak: Brenda and her husband, Ted, live in Sacramento and are the proud parents of five children—three girls and two boys. She juggles her writing career with her children’s softball and soccer games, field trips, carpool runs and homework sessions. Readers can find out more about Brenda at her website www.brendanovak.com.
To be entered to win an autographed ‘Just Likes Mom’s’ apron from author Brenda Novak, share in the comments section of this post, your favorite holiday dessert (along with the recipe, if you’re so inclined).
Week One Giveaway
The Harlequin Holiday Reads prize-pack includes:
• One mass market paperback of each of:
o Christmas with the Billionaire by Carole Mortimer, Maisey Yates and Joss Wood
o Maybe this Christmas by Sarah Morgan
o Snow Angel Cove by RaeAnne Thayne
o The Heart of Christmas by Brenda Novak
o The Lodge on Holly Road by Sheila Roberts
• One copy of Her Holiday Man by Shannon Stacey in the digital format of your choice
• One package of ornament charms
• One box of Harlequin-themed gift tags
Check all three weeks for more giveaways on the
Blog Tour Schedule
12/1/2014 Smexy Books http://smexybooks.com Shannon Stacey (Guest Post)
12/2/2014 Fire & Ice http://www.fireandicereads.com Brenda Novak (Interview)
12/3/2014 Spiced Latte Reads http://spicedlatte.blogspot.com Christmas with a Billionaire, Maisey Yates (Guest Post)
12/4/2014 Wicked Little Pixie http://wickedlilpixie.com Sarah Morgan (Guest Post)
12/5/2014 Bookhounds http://www.bookhounds.net Sheila Roberts (Interview)
12/8/14 Parajunkee http://www.parajunkee.com Christmas with a Billionaire; Joss Wood (Guest Post)
12/9/2014 That Artsy Reader Girl http://www.thatartsyreadergirl.com/ Brenda Novak (Guest Post)
12/10/2014 Fictitious Delicious http://www.fictitiousdelicious.com Shannon Stacey (Interview)
12/11/2014 Curling Up with a Good Book http://curling-up-with-a-good-book.blogspot.com RaeAnne Thayne (Interview)
12/12/2014 Chicks that Read http://www.chicksthatread.com/ Sarah Morgan (Interview)
12/15/2014 Poisoned Rationality http://www.prationality.com Sarah Morgan (Guest Post)
12/16/2014 Bookish Things & More http://www.bookishthingsandmore.com Christmas with a Billionaire; Carole Mortimer (Guest Post)
12/17/2014 Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf http://melissaseclecticbookshelf.com/ RaeAnne Thayne (Interview)
12/18/2014 The Reading Cafe http://www.thereadingcafe.com/ Sheila Roberts (Guest Post)
12/19/2014 Books a la Mode http://thestephanieloves.blogspot.com/ Brenda Novak (Guest Post)
Looking for more holiday-themed reads? Click here to discover.
My favorite holiday dessert is homemade fudge. My favorite place to read a book is curled up by the fireplace wrapped in a blanket with a cup of hot chocolate.
My favorite place to enjoy holiday themed reads is in my big chair, with my feet up on the ottoman, drinking a big cup of hot tea! Hope I find the time to do that a lot!
I love to sit next to the Christmas tree with a blanket and a good Christmas novel!
Such a great giveaway…I would love to win!!! Merry Christmas
I love to read holiday books while sitting by the Christmas tree with the lights on watching it snow outside.
chocolate chip cookies
My family loves my Fool Proof Fudge. Here’s the recipe.
Fool Proof Fudge
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Dash of salt
1/2 to 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Line 8 or 9 inch square pan with buttered wax paper; set aside.
In heavy saucepan, melt chips with sweetened condensed milk and salt. Remove from heat. Stir in nuts, if desired, and the vanilla. Spread evenly into prepared pan.
Chill 2 hours and cut into squares. Store in refrigerator.
Marshmallow Fudge: Omit nuts. Stir 2 tablespoons butter in with vanilla. Fold in 2 cups miniature marshmallows. Proceed as above.
Another Option: sprinkle with crushed peppermint.
Christmas romances are my favorite, what an amazing prize!
Pastel Dessert–simple and pretty.
My favorite dessert is a mille-feuille,
My favorite holiday dessert is cheesecake and my favorite place to read is in bed.
Our favorite holiday dessert is a nice buttery spritz cookie, just like grandma used to make!