Holiday Guest Post by Jolene Haley!
Dec17

Holiday Guest Post by Jolene Haley!

Christmas Books and Christmas Drink Pairings By Jolene Haley Christmas is one of my favorite times of year. For me it’s not about the presents (but they are great). It’s not about the food (but the food is fantastic). It’s not about the cheesy Christmas movies (though they get me every time). No matter who you are or what you believe, I think everyone can appreciate the feeling of joy and love in December and the beauty of a winter wonderland. Before I go all soft on you, one of my very favorite things (unsurprisingly) about December is the literature. I can’t get enough of Christmas themed reads. You know the ones. The bad guy’s heart grows ten sizes and gives back all the presents he stole. Santa sneaks down the chimney. Rudolph saves the day. And since we’re all adults here, I can also appreciate a good jolly beverage. So I’m here to pair some of my favorite Christmas reads with drinks. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!   Christmas Books & Drink Pairings The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton: This is one of my favorite reading traditions. I remember when I first read it, I felt like somebody just understood me. I love the dark nature of this Christmas tale. Pair with: A Purple Martini Ingredients: 3 oz vodka 1 1/2 oz cranberry juice 1/2 oz blue Curacao liqueur 1/2 oz sweet and sour mix 1/2 of 7-Up Directions: Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake gently. Add more blue Curacao if the color isn’t purple enough. Found here. The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore: One of my all-time favorites! I can actually recite this from memory. This is a must have for my Christmas Eve. Pair with: Martha Stewart’s Classic Eggnog Makes 12 servings Ingredients: 6 large eggs, separated 3/4 cup superfine sugar 2 cups whole milk 3 cups heavy cream, plus more for garnish 1/2 cup bourbon, preferably Maker’s Mark 1/4 cup dark rum, preferably Mount Gay 1/4 cup Cognac, preferably Remy Martin Grand Cru Freshly grated nutmeg, for sprinkling Directions: STEP 1 Beat yolks in a very large bowl until thick and pale. Slowly beat in sugar. Whisk in milk and 2 cups cream. Mix in bourbon, rum, and Cognac. Cover, and refrigerate for up to one day. STEP 2 Just before serving, beat whites until stiff peaks form. Fold whites into eggnog. Whisk remaining 1 cup cream until stiff peaks form, and fold into eggnog. (Alternatively, you can fold half the whipped cream into eggnog, and top with remaining half.) Sprinkle with nutmeg. Found here. A Christmas Carol by Charles...

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TWELVE STEPS by Veronica Bartles … cover reveal!
Dec17

TWELVE STEPS by Veronica Bartles … cover reveal!

Twelve Steps by Veronica Bartles Release Date: 03/25/14 Book Summary: Sixteen-year-old Andi is tired of being a second-class sibling to perfect sister Laina. The only thing Andi’s sure she has going for her is her awesome hair. And even that is eclipsed by Laina’s perfect everything else. When Andi’s crush asks her to fix him up with Laina, Andi decides enough is enough, and devises a twelve-step program to wrangle the spotlight away from Laina and get the guy.  Step 1: Admit she’s powerless to change her perfect sister, and accept that her life really, really sucks.  Step 4: Make a list of her good qualities. She MUST have more than just great hair, right? Step 7: Demand attention for more than just the way she screws things up.  When a stolen kiss from her crush ends in disaster, Andi realizes that her twelve-step program isn’t working. Her prince isn’t as charming as she’d hoped, and the spotlight she’s been trying to steal isn’t the one she wants. As Laina’s flawless façade begins to crumble, the sisters work together to find a spotlight big enough for both to shine. About the author … As the second of eight children and the mother of four, Veronica Bartles is no stranger to the ups and downs of sibling relationships. (She was sandwiched between the gorgeous-and-insanely-popular older sister and the too-adorable-for-words younger sister.) She uses this insight to write stories about siblings who mostly love each other, even while they’re driving one another crazy.   When she isn’t writing or getting lost in the pages of her newest favorite book, Veronica enjoys knitting fabulous bags and jewelry out of recycled plastic bags and old VHS tapes, sky diving (though she hasn’t actually tried that yet), and inventing the world’s most delectable cookie recipes. TWELVE STEPS is Veronica Bartles’s first novel.   Author Links:...

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