Christmas Recipe by A E Lister

Christmas has always been my favourite time of year.

It used to frustrate me so much that our family tree would only go up two weeks before Christmas, and the wrapped gifts only went under the tree a few days before Christmas morning!

There was nothing I enjoyed more than looking at the decorated tree in the evening with all the presents wrapped underneath it. Each of us four kids had a spot, as well as my parents, for our gifts to be placed. It was thrilling when the gift wrapping was going on and my mom would come out with her arms full and either myself or one of my brothers or my sister would distribute the gifts to their proper spots.

I honestly didn’t even care what was inside the parcels, although it was exciting to guess and ponder what each thing could be. Looking forward to Christmas morning was my favourite thing in the world.

Now my own two children are past the age of crazy pre-Christmas excitement but I still feel it sometimes. Not like I did when I was a child but it’s still there—a low hum of excitement and anticipation.

Perhaps this year more than most, I’m looking forward to the magic and beauty of Christmas.

This year has been hard for everyone, not least my two kids whose world changed so much in the blink of an eye. At least I know we will be together, the four of us, with our decorations and our good food and our hope for the future.

Ginger Sparklers

2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ginger

½ tsp. cloves

1 cup brown sugar (packed)

¾ cup margarine

¼ cup molasses

1 egg

Sugar, for rolling

Mix the dough. Roll into one inch balls and toss in white sugar. Place on a cookie sheet, leaving room for the cookies to spread, then flatten each cookie down. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.

Photo by Anuja Mary Tilj on Unsplash

If you like your free Christmas stories sex-heavy and kinky, The Little Drummer Boy is a story I wrote several years ago featuring the characters from my James Lucas Trilogy.

You can read or download it here:

My current release (Nov. 2, NineStar Press) is called Stable Hand and is a very kinky cowboy story:


The Braided Crop Ranch is looking for stable hands.

But this is no ordinary horse ranch. The Braided Crop Ranch caters to men with a certain interest. An interest involving harnesses, tails and trainers.

Managed and expertly run by registered psychologist, Adam Marsland, the Ranch is a safe place for the expression of sex positive and kink positive needs and fantasies.


Jensen Moriarty is desperate for a job.

He can handle horses. In fact, he’s a pro at it.

Too bad the BCR doesn’t deal with real horses. But they do have “ponies”.

If Jensen can wrap his head around what the BCR actually stands for, he may have the opportunity to expand his resumé, and experience something completely unexpected in the process.

Christmas Cocktail by Coco Thrift

To celebrate both Christmas and her birthday today, Coco has given us a recipe for the perfect cocktail for a night out on the town.

Photo by Christine Trant on Unsplash

Pink Panty Pulldowns…


  • 1 L Sprite
  • 2 cups Pink lemonade
  • 2 cups Vodka


  • Shake well

One of my favorite Coco Thrift books is Howler. It’s about a dating app for supernaturals, I loved it!

 Step into a world of steamy fun with the hottest new dating app, Hellmatch, to pair yourself with a local supernatural hottie. Local single shifters, vampires, and fae are in your area and waiting to mingle.


Christmas Recipe – Jaqueline snowe

Starting off our twelve days of delicious treats and delights is Jaqueline Snowe author of Internship with the Devil, amongst many others.

Here she shares a favorite family recipe…

Bacon-wrapped water chestnuts are a STAPLE of our family holidays. They are easy to make, smell amazing, and are the perfect thing to bring to any potluck.

What you need:

  • a box of toothpicks
  • two cans of water chestnuts (halved or whole–all depends on how much crush you want)
  • one pack of bacon
  • baking sheet

So, fun story. My dad was a chef for a while when I was a kid so lots of things I know how to make didn’t come from recipes, more, they came from watching him cook. So there are some steps that take a few trials and errors to get it right. Totally worth it though. 

Once you have the materials, you want to cut the bacon in half and open up the cans of water chestnuts.

Wrap the half-piece of bacon around the water chest-nut and secure it with the toothpick. It’s easy to slide the toothpick in at an angle so you have an easy way to flip the bacon so both sides get cooked. Once you use every piece of bacon, you should have a full baking sheet of them. Again, unsure the amount but we use every ounce of bacon we can.

While you’re finishing up wrapping the bacon around the water chestnuts, turn the broiler on in the stove. Let it get hot.

Then put the baking sheet with all the pieces on it into the stove. I would set a timer for about 3 minutes and then check. Our stove is REALLY hot so it goes fast, but you’ll need to use your judgement. Once the bacon starts to crisp on one side, take out the sheet and flip them. Do it again another 3 minutes, then check. 

It’s easy to burn them if you forget they are in there. If three minutes seems too long, do 2 minute intervals and check on them. Because my dad doesn’t believe in writing down recipes, it took me two tries to get the timing right for our stove but it’s soooo worth it. They are delicious and go SO fast at holiday gatherings!

You can find out more about Jaqueline Snowe here.

Her latest book, Sliding Home is available here.

Two years ago, she shut the door in his face. Now, he’s opening it…

Michelle Benning is determined to pursue her dreams and escape her past. This means working two jobs and going to school, which leaves no time for relationships. So when the one guy she never got over shows up two years after their fling, she’ll avoid him at all costs. No problem.

Famous baseball player Brooks Madsen knows there’s more than just attraction between him and Michelle, no matter how much she tries to fight it. But for every step closer he gets to her heart, she forces him two steps back…and Brooks intends to find out why.

Brooks finds her stubborn and she finds him difficult, yet the sparks between them burst into red-hot flames. But when a figure from her past returns, Michelle’s forced to make a tough decision, one that threatens any second chance at love that she and Brooks might have…

Summer of Love – Carrie Lomax


Today I’m joined by the beautiful and talented Carrie Lomax.

Make sure you read right down to the bottom of the page for a nice surprise!

I suppose this summer is a little peculiar for most people, how will you be spending it?

It is a bit different, for sure. Ordinarily I like to do one big trip a year but we are sticking close to home this summer, with one brief driving trip to visit family planned. We have all been social distancing for months and will be camping outdoors on their lawn. So it will be a weird visit, for sure.

Are you more of a beach person, a tourist destination person or do you prefer to holiday in the countryside?

Why not all three? 😉

I love the beach but not nearly as much as I love international travel. Because of the time and expense we did not have much opportunity to do so in recent years. The instant travel restrictions lift, however, I’ll be looking seriously at Portugal, Australia, Germany, Croatia or Peru. Until then, I’ll be visiting my in-laws at the beach or taking day trips to the countryside.

In previous years have you gone anywhere exciting over the summer?

I’ve been to many places. Not always in summer. For example, I’ve taught English in France for a year, backpacked through Europe for a spring, and otherwise taken every opportunity to go abroad that I can find. The last big international trip we did was to London, with a stopover in Iceland. I would love to go back to Iceland – what an amazing geography!

Let’s go back further in time, did you ever have a summer romance?

Yes – although I doubt Mr. Lomax would appreciate my reminiscence of events from 20+ years ago, so I’m mum on the details. Suffice it to say that it’s a lovely memory which probably would have been spoiled if we had tried to turn it into more than a summer fling.

My kids love going to summer camp, did you ever go to camp for summer vacation?

I grew up as a country girl in Wisconsin. I went to Girl Scout camp every summer and made friends with the daughter of the campgrounds caretaker. Even when I was not enrolled I was hanging around the camp year-round!

What’s will you be reading this summer?

This is a hard one to answer because I am struggling to focus on any particular story ever since the pandemic hit. While I need the escape, I’ve been attracted to Serious Topics which I then have a hard time finishing, i.e., How to Be An Antiracist, Evicted, etc.

Romance-wise, I *loved* Mia Sosa’s The Worst Best Man. I’m working my way through The Rakess by Scarlett Peckham – which is fabulous and scratches my itch for seriousness along with my escape – and next I’ll dive into Sarah MacLean’s Daring and the Duke, with Robin Lovett’s latest Sex Planet release, Forbidden Desire next in the queue. Also on my TBR is Jayce Ellis’s Andre, Alexis Daria’s You Had Me at Hola in August, Victoria Helen Stone’s Problem Child, and I’m really looking forward to diving into the Stacey Adgern book I won at auction. 😀

Do you have any favorite summer romances?

Of course! I love to read Judith Ivory’s Black Silk once a year. Maya Rodale’s The Rogue and the Rival is an underrated gem. I bought a hammock to read in this summer, but my kids have overtaken it. :/

Movie-wise, I got to introduce my 9-year-old daughter to The Princess Bride recently. She absolutely adored it.

We are huge Princess Bride fans in this house, I very much approve.

What about food and drink, do you have a favorite summer dish, or drink?

In summer I lose my appetite. I live in Maryland, which is technically the south, and I am not well-adapted to warm weather. I love sour beers (gose) and pink wine, and I can eat a popsicle for lunch and be content.


(Photo by Vincenzo Landino on Unsplash)

I’m posting several cocktail recipes; do you have a favorite cocktail to sip by the pool?

I’m a big fan of the classics. For summer, I like to mix a high-quality gin with fresh-squeezed lime and add a splash of tonic for fizz. Dogfish Head, Hendricks and a local brand, McClintock, are all great choices. I also like Twin Valley Distillery for bourbon – we are lucky to have them down the road from where we live. I like a good Manhattan in colder weather.

And for our final question, what advice would you give to our readers so that they have a great summer?

Sleep a lot, use sunscreen, buy a hammock (and try to keep your kids away long enough to read a book in it, if you have them). And, wear a mask!


You can buy Carrie’s new book, Once Upon a Twelfth Night, here.


The honor of your presence is requested by The Earl and Countess of Stapleton at their house party to celebrate TWELFTH NIGHT. Festivities include: a titillating masked ball, ice skating, a romp in the local village, a naughty treasure hunt, midnight kisses in the garden and the Twelfth Night Ball where holiday magic brings about seven perfect matches.

A Twelfth Night Wager by Christina Alexandra… After spending half her life in service, lady’s companion Adelaide Shipley longs for a modest life of her own making. But a midnight wager with Win Maddox has her dreaming of more. Losing to the silver-tongued barrister would cost her everything, but winning could lead to her dreams coming true forever.

Ruination of a Rogue by Clair Brett… Will Lord Zander Milford find rumination an acceptable outcome if only at the hands of Miss Maria Lightowler?

It Was Only a Kiss by Sofie Darling… Snow falling, the Twelfth Night Ball, a stolen kiss—but no one would’ve expected bespectacled spinster Violet Hotchkiss to be the one stealing a kiss from Bumpstead Hollow’s most eligible bachelor, Will Sinclair. And now that she’s had a taste of passion, she refuses to settle for a life without romance, adventure…or Will.

Christmas Chase by A.S. Fenichel… Sarah Sommers has a plan—find the father who abandoned her and live happily ever after as his beloved daughter. Not even the handsome Lord Monty Witmore with his determination to deliver her to yet another guardian will stop her. Her heart, however, has other ideas about where the chase will end…

Twelve Nights of Ruin by Carrie Lomax… Holly Mayweather was the delight of London society–until her reputation was tarnished by a shocking scandal. Can the spirited beauty find happiness with William Sharp, a stoic former soldier? Or will their wedding vows end with “I don’t”?

What If I Still Love You by Erica Taylor… After a failed elopement ten years earlier, Henry, Earl of Eddington, and Anna, the widowed Viscountess Newcroft, are reunited at his aunt’s Twelfth Night party. As they search the castle for a box of letters left to Henry by his late father, can this star-crossed pair find their way back to each other? Or will fate intervene, again, and separate them for good?

Three Kisses Before Christmas by Tanya Wilde… Wolfstan Robert Ward, the Earl of Wicke and Selborne, lost his head for his best friend’s sister the day he saved her from a frightful bully in their youth. There is just one problem. Rebecca is in love with another man—his cousin. Winning her would take every trick in the book, but what is Christmas if not a time for miracles?


Carrie Also has a free book available through to the end of August, here.

Summer of Love – Elizabeth Hollows


Today I’m joined by the gorgeous Elizabeth Hollows. Welcome, Elizabeth.

Are you more of a beach person, a tourist destination person or do you prefer to holiday in the countryside?

While I love the beach, I’d prefer a countryside holiday. There’s something calming to be found lying in a hammock with a cool drink, some shade and a good book. I’d happily laze around like that all day.

In previous years have you gone anywhere exciting over the summer?

I once followed a music festival up the West Coast of America with some friends. It was so much fun, but I remember seeing people’s shoes melt to the ground in Las Vegas. That was a little bit too hot!

That sounds incredible. I don’t know if I’m a fan of shoe-meltingly hot weather though!

My kids love going to summer camp, did you ever go to camp for summer vacation (the summer holidays)?

I never went to summer camp or on summer vacation. I grew up in Cairns, Australia. It was summer all year round. I lived five minutes from the beach and I used to love walking on the sand and climbing the various rocky outcrops to look out at the ocean and check the tide pools. There was nothing quite like the spray of the sea as you watched the waves break.


(Photo by David Clode on Unsplash)

What’s on your summer reading list this year?

Oh, there are too many titles to pick! Pride Publishing and Totally Bound have a Rules of Summer collection and I’m eyeing off a number of them. But, I should probably finish the books I’m already reading. My biggest problem is being distracted by a sudden shiny idea for a new novel.

The bain of being a writer, a head full of new ideas when you’ve already got a pile of unfinished WIPs and TBRs!

What’s your ideal summer food?

Vanilla ice-cream in a waffle cone will always mean summer to me. It doesn’t matter if you’re by the pool, walking along a boardwalk or sitting in the park. A good ice-cream cone is that perfect summer indulgence.


(Photo by Wine Dharma on Unsplash)

I’m posting several cocktail recipes; do you have a favorite cocktail to sip by the pool?

I love to drink a good Moscow Mule. It’s cool and refreshing with that perfect zing of lime and ginger.

(I found a recipe for anybody who wants to try

To finish off what advice would you give to our readers so that they have a great summer?

There can never be too much sunscreen; I speak as someone with very pale skin!  And if you want something cool and sweet on a hot day, one of my favourite childhood memories is being given frozen grapes by my mother. They were an easy, healthy snack my brother and I would eat to cool down.

 Excellent advice for sunscreen. I burn terribly if I haven’t got my factor 50! Thank you Elizabeth. I’m off for an ice-cream now, yum!

You can pre-order Elizabeth’s book, Return to Duty here,



Jay never thought attraction would get him into so much trouble. First an explosion, now a spy agency. This man had better be worth it.

Jay is a thief with a past he’s trying to forget. He just wants to relax, have fun and flirt with attractive men. He has spent the last few weeks on his favorite moon doing just that with the handsome waiter who works at the local diner. Bryce has shown clear interest in him but has suddenly changed his tune. Jay wants to know why.

He doesn’t expect that his persistence will find him witnessing a kidnapping and escaping the burning diner before it explodes.

Fleeing the moon to avoid being killed wasn’t in Jay’s plan. Neither was being caught by a spy agency and thrown in a cell. Things are going from bad to worse and Jay is soon forced to face his past to protect his future.

And to place the cherry on the cake, he finally finds out why Bryce stopped flirting with him.

As if he needed any more surprises.


Summer of Love – New Releases

If 2020 has been good for one thing it’s the incredible quelity of the romances released this year, here are a few from this summer you might like to try…


Liquor & Laundry, Tasha L. Harrison

adassah Ibrahim’s high school crush is in town for his little brother’s graduation and she is avoiding him like it’s her job.

The last time she saw Ahmad Williamson, she drank too much and spent the night on her knees in his hotel room doing things that still make her blush and cover her face with shame. The last thing she wants to do is relive that humiliating moment. She’d much rather spend the evening at her family’s laundromat; sweeping and mopping the floor as she reconsiders her life choices.

Ahmad Williamson is certain that Hadassah doesn’t remember that night the same way he does.

And he’s spent every night since last summer wishing one of them had been brave enough to call. Was it just a fling for her? Was all that flirting she’d done over the years just a joke?


Hairpin Curves, Elia Winters

Megan Harris had hopes of seeing the world, but at twenty-five she’s never even left Florida. Now a wedding invitation lures her to Quebec…in February. When her ex-friend Scarlett offers to be her plus-one (yeah, that’s a whole story) and suggests they turn the journey into an epic road trip, Megan reluctantly agrees to the biggest adventure of her life.

A week together in a car is a surefire way to kill a crush, and Scarlett Andrews has had a big one on Megan for years. The important thing is fixing their friendship.

As the miles roll away, what starts as harmless road-trip games and rest-stop dares escalates into something like intimacy. And when a surprise snowstorm forces Megan and Scarlett to hunker down without the open road as distraction, they’ve got a bigger challenge than making it to the church on time: facing the true nature of their feelings for each other.


Deal With the Devil, Kit Rocha

Nina is an information broker with a mission—she and her team of mercenary librarians use their knowledge to save the hopeless in a crumbling America.

Knox is the bitter, battle-weary captain of the Silver Devils. His squad of supersoldiers went AWOL to avoid slaughtering innocents, and now he’s fighting to survive.

They’re on a deadly collision course, and the passion that flares between them only makes it more dangerous. They could burn down the world, destroying each other in the process…

Or they could do the impossible: team up.


Sweetest in the Gale: A Marysburg Story Collectio, Olivia Dade

“Sweetest in the Gale”: Much ado about love…

Candy Albright has always stomped confidently through the halls of Marysburg High, passionate and loud and entirely devoted to her students and her various English department initiatives. From his first day as her colleague, Griff Conover couldn’t look away, despite his best efforts.

After a summer apart, though, Candy returns to school a changed woman. Muted. Dimmed. Bowed by a grief Griff recognizes all too well, but doesn’t yet understand. And when they’re thrown together to coordinate a poetry project, he can’t resist the urge to read between her lines once and for all–even if doing so means he’ll have to confront his own loss…and his own lonely, longing heart.

“Unraveled”: The more tightly wound a man is, the faster he unravels…

Math teacher Simon Burnham–cool, calm, controlled–can’t abide problems with no good solution. Which makes his current work assignment, mentoring art teacher Poppy Wick, nothing short of torture. She’s warm but sharp. Chaotic but meticulous. Simultaneously the most frustrating and most alluring woman he’s ever known. And in her free time, she makes murder dioramas. Murder dioramas, for heaven’s sake. But the more tightly wound a man is, the faster he unravels–and despite his best efforts, he soon finds himself attempting to solve three separate mysteries: a murder in miniature, the unexplained disappearance of a colleague…and the unexpected theft of his cold, cold heart.

“Cover Me”: First comes marriage…

Elizabeth Stone has no health insurance. No savings. No one to turn to when she finds a lump on her breast…except James Magnusson, her friend of over twenty years. When he offers her a marriage of convenience for healthcare coverage, she’d be a fool to say no. But given the emotions she’s buried for so long, saying yes might lead to a broken heart.

James won’t take no for an answer. Not when marriage could save Elizabeth’s life, and not when he’s finally realized how much he needs her. Even during his doomed first marriage, James considered Elizabeth a special friend–one he had to keep at a safe distance. Now he’s free, and Elizabeth is his wife…but will they finally have the chance to be together, only to have everything torn apart?

Summer of Love – Recipes

Todays recipe is brought to us by Roxanne D. Howard and it is 100% chocolate deliciousness!

It’s time to get indulgent…


(Photo by Michelle Tsang on Unsplash)

Scrumptious Brownies

1 c Soft butter
2 c Sugar
1/3 c Cocoa

Stir in:
4 eggs

1 ½ c Flour
2 tsp Vanilla
¼ tsp Salt
1 ½ c Chopped nuts (optional)

Pour into greased 1” deep baking sheet bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until done.
Cover with 1 pound mini marshmallows
Bake for 30 minutes
Add frosting.

Spread 1- 7oz. Jar of marshmallow crème over cooled brownies. No need to put back in oven.


Combine 12 oz. Semisweet chocolate chips, 3 TBSP. Peanut butter in a small

sauce pan, cook over low heat stirring constantly, cook until melted and well

blended. Remove from heat. Stir in 3 cups of chocolate rice cereal. Spread over the marshmallow layer.


Roxanne’s Book, Type Dirty to Me is available for pre-order from 25th August here.




When hot actor Brem Lockwood enters her life, Madelyn has a choice—stay safe with an online fling or risk her heart for a chance at real love.

Divorcee Madelyn Stacilli has baggage deeper than the Grand Canyon, and her move to New Haven to start a new life is the perfect change she needs. When vicious gossip stunts her plans to open her own business, she can’t confide in anyone around her. But online, beneath the blanket of anonymity, she can let loose and find comfort with the mysterious Easton216. Their natural, open relationship is a breath of fresh air.

When British A-list actor Bremond Lockwood rents the house beside her to escape an intense media spotlight and malicious past, he charges headlong into her life. Madelyn grows torn between her steady, emotional online connection and a fiery affair with a Hollywood star. Brem’s intense passion ignites the embers of her sexuality from a long slumber, making her burn hotter than the sun.

Should she stay safe with her online love or risk her heart with the man in front of her? The road to recovery just got a whole lot more complicated.


Madelyn leaned against the car headrest and eyed the FedEx envelope on the dash. Her new bookshop, Book Nook, was due to open in three weeks. Her hands were full, but the worry paled compared to the stress of the last few months. She wrapped her fingers around the steering wheel and thumbed the soft padding. She knew what the envelope held. She had expected its arrival and the potent cocktail of change and loss it represented. She sighed, reached for the packet, ripped open the tab and slid out the divorce papers.

Technically, they’d been divorced for over two months, but her ex had played hardball over assets, so they’d engaged in a game of paperwork tug-of-war back and forth through their attorneys. What a timely relief this envelope was. The cream-colored stationery stapled to the front read— All set, done, filed and dusted. Here is your copy . The paperwork from her attorney was addressed to Madelyn Saunders, but she’d recently changed her surname back to her maiden name, Stacilli. She rifled through the sheets to check her ex’s signature on the last page. Sure enough, he’d signed below her signature.

“Thank God.” She exhaled with relief, returned the papers and stored the envelope in the glove compartment. “Bye, Chris.”

A calmness washed over her. She leaned her head back again, savoring the sensation. Some people sported angry visible scars, jagged surgery marks or gunshot exit wounds in plain sight from their marriage and divorce wars.  Her scars ran deep inside, where they’d festered until the day she’d chosen to walk away.

Her cell vibrated. She lifted the phone from its dock attached to the car’s air vent and looked at the notification. A familiar wave of excitement surged through her. Another private message from Easton216. She brought the phone in closer and opened it.

Easton216: Hey. I got a weird feeling and thought I should contact you. How are you?

Madelyn shook her head, amused. Trust  him to get vibes about her. She typed into her phone, smirking.

BookCat: Funny you should ask. I got the papers less than half an hour ago. He signed.

Easton216: Good. And strange, how I felt like I should contact you at the same time. You okay?

Madelyn touched her hair and raised her eyebrows. What a loaded question. In the past, she would have pacified any concerns with a sunny “I’m fine.”

But since her divorce, she’d sworn to be honest with herself, including any future relationships. She and Easton216 were open and candid with each other. Their unfiltered connection took some getting used to, though she found it clear and refreshing. He’d revealed that he’d chosen the moniker Easton216 because of his apparent obsession with baseball, telling her there were two hundred and sixteen stitches wrapped around each single baseball, and that the Easton was his favorite type of bat. She keyed in her response.

BookCat: I’m getting there. It was weird at first, but TBH, I’m better than okay. I’m liberated, and while it’s going to take some getting used to, it feels amazing.

Easton216: Fantastic, Cat! I know he gave you a fight, from what you mentioned before. I’m glad you’re free. Listen… I have to hop on a flight in a sec, but would you like to talk later tonight, after I land?

BookCat: Yes, I’d like to, and I’m glad you messaged me. Same time?

Easton216: You know it.

BookCat: Talk to you then. Have a good day. Be safe.

Easton216: You too. This is  excellent news. See you tonight.

She closed the message and redocked the phone, pleased. She’d battled like hell after life had sucked her dry with a supersized straw and threatened to drag her into a bottomless tailspin, but her fate and self-respect were back. The clouds were clearing.

She killed the engine, shouldered her purse strap and got out of the car.

Author Bio:

Roxanne D. Howard is a U.S. Army veteran, and a Columbia College alumni. She loves to read poetry, classical literature, and Stephen King. Roxanne resides in the western U.S., and when she’s not writing, she enjoys spending quality time with her husband, children, and furry companions. Roxanne loves to hear from her readers, and encourages you to contact her via her website and social media.

Roxanne D. Howard, Award-winning Author

The sizzling stories you crave, the characters you deserve. |

Type Dirty to Me | When You Close Your Eyes | Sonnet Coupled | Flip the Beat | The Romancing the Seas Series | Astraeus | Retaliation

Summer of Love – Memories

Today’s memories are my own personal top ten of Summer Movies.

10. Jaws


9. Stand By Me


8. Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants


7. My Girl


6. Picnic at Hanging Rock


5. Mamma Mia


4. Do The Right Thing


3. Ferris Buellers Day Off


2. Dirty Dancing


1. Grease

Summer of Love – Cocktail Hour


It’s cocktail time again and our resident expert, Sara Ohlin has another great recipe for us to enjoy (you can find her previous posts here and here).

Bourbon Smash

Bourbon Smash


1.5 oz Bourbon

1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 to 3/4 oz simple syrup (I used Demerara sugar to make my simple syrup because it goes so well with Bourbon)

Fresh mint


Put Bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup and a sprig or two of mint in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, cover and shake for 30 seconds. Strain into any fun cocktail glass, over a big ice cube or crushed ice. Garnish with lemon and mint. Enjoy!


To make simple syrup mix 1 cup hot water with 1 cup sugar, stir until sugar is dissolved. Keep in the refrigerator in jam jar or air-tight container and use for all your cocktail needs. Keeps for up to one month in the refrigerator.


You can buy Sara’s first book in the Rescue Me series, Salvaging Love, here.


When a sexy veterinarian rescues a brooding attorney, the temperature rises…

Perfectly content saving animals at her clinic in a charming but run-down neighborhood, veterinarian Ellie Blevins slams into new landlord Jackson Kincaid, who plans to turn the local buildings into condos.

Hotshot defense attorney Jackson is intrigued by the feisty Ellie and gives her one month to convince him not to put his gentrification plans into progress. Attraction soon sizzles between them, but when Jackson makes his desires known, Ellie’s vulnerable heart doesn’t know what to think.

She wants to trust the sinfully handsome Jackson, just as he wants to gain her trust, but finding their way to love isn’t easy when her traumatic past and his criminal clients threaten to sabotage their relationship for good.

Can the enchanting veterinarian and the guarded attorney fight the ghosts of the past and build a new future?


Summer of Love – Recipes

Today’s recipe was provided by Stefania Hartley, you can read her author interview here.

Profile picture April 19

This is a recipe that I’ve actually tried and tested and comes from my grandmother. It’s perfect for summer too.

Another Sicilian recipe that goes very well in summer is Pasta c’anciova e muddica, pasta with anchovies and breadcrumbs.


(photo Unsplash)

When I got married, my grandma gave me a handwritten folder of recipes and this is one of them.


350g pasta of your liking

(optional, not in the traditional recipe: 500g ripe tomatoes)

30g anchovies under oil (in a jar)

60g or three tablespoons of breadcrumbs

Many sprigs of fresh parsley

2 cloves of garlic

Olive oil, salt and pepper

Fry the garlic in some oil until golden, then discard it and add the anchovies and the parsley.

At this point, my grandma would add the tomatoes deseeded and finely cut up, and let them cook under low heat, but the traditional recipe does without the tomatoes.

Meanwhile, you cook the pasta and sauté the breadcrumbs in a little oil.

When the pasta is ready, drain it and toss it in the sauce, then serve with a topping of golden breadcrumbs and pepper if you wish.

Remember that the anchovies are very salty so you might not need to add any salt to this dish at all.

My grandma’s comment at the bottom reads “you can have the sauce without the tomatoes, buona pure è (‘good also is’, with the inversion of the normal Italian word order which is typical of Sicilian dialect)”.

Thanks Stefania, buon appetito!

You can buy Stefania’s book, Sun, Stars and Limoncello here,


(and scroll down for a giveaway)


Sonia believes that men equal heartache and disaster. Brad has sworn never to love a woman again. It’s a pity they’re so irresistibly attracted to one another.

After her traumatic teenage years, Sonia’s teaching job would be the best thing that has happened to her if it weren’t for Brad Wilson. Her arrogant, standoffish colleague never fails to rub her the wrong way. But when she’s faced with the choice between canceling the school trip to Sicily or accepting his ungraceful help, she swallows her pride and resigns herself to spending an entire week in close quarters with him. Little does she know just how close.

A tragedy from his past still haunts Brad, and he’s sworn never to let his heart be shredded by grief again. Loving another woman is not in the cards. That’s why his petite olive-skinned colleague is so very dangerous.

What could possibly go wrong when their mutual destination is one of the most romantic places in the world?


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