The holiday season can fray the nerves of the most organized woman, and time spent on shopping, wrapping, baking and entertaining can erode the quiet time we enjoy with a book. What to do? Ease the holiday crunch with a short Christmas read and a super easy crock-pot recipe for Christmas candy your guests will love.
Here’s a sample of my contemporary short-read HER CHRISTMAS COWBOY, the standalone sequel to KISSING HER COWBOY, and a delicious recipe for sweet and salty holiday candy that can be modified for gift giving any time of year. I hope you enjoy them.
HER CHRISTMAS COWBOY
Tragedy brought them together, but joy met them on the other side.
Clearly, the man had no concept of his effect on her.
When Daisy pulled up to Trey’s house and saw him standing at the base of the steps to greet her in nothing but low slung denims and work boots, she’d found it hard to breathe. Suddenly, Jack Frost and his Pennsylvania winter lost their appeal. Who needed snow when a smokin’ hot cowboy waited for her? Welcomed her? Wanted her?
If she hadn’t come to Houston, she wouldn’t have met the handsome ranch hand who filled her dreams night after night. Trey had become her single compelling reason to work through her personal pain. That and the fact that she’d never give up police work. She’d find a way to succeed, one way or another. It was hard for a cop to be flexible, since theirs was a structured world, but she was trying her best to adapt to her new environment.
Daisy took a bite of her chicken salad while Trey munched his roast beef. They ate in companionable silence while Big Blue grazed beyond. Trey took a swallow of bottled ice tea and then spoke. “Would you like to spend Christmas Eve together, here? Maybe help me trim the tree?”
Daisy’s spirit lifted again with the invitation, though she tried to stay cool. She and her sister Rose had already been invited to Christmas dinner with Trey’s family, and she’d promised to bring homemade pumpkin pie and oven fresh bread. Rose was making apple pie and a side dish.
Daisy hadn’t expected to spend Christmas Eve with Trey too, but she was glad he asked. “Sure. I’d like that.” The heaviness around her heart broke free and her mood lifted. She imagined the two of them in an embrace, making love beneath the twinkling lights of Trey’s Christmas tree, and realized she was…happy.
It had been so long since she’d known the feeling it took seconds to realize what had come over her. She smiled and savored the moment. Trey made her happy. Spending Christmas with him was the best gift the season could bring.
There would be no snowfall in Texas. Or winter’s chill. No downhill sledding, hot cocoa, or ice covered boots. There might not be snippets of holly gracing the table, but there would undoubtedly be mistletoe. With that final thought, Daisy leaned over and gave Trey a deep, gotta’ get-back-to-work kiss.
He smiled at her, and just like that… Daisy found her Christmas spirit.
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Recipe: Holiday Crock-pot Candy
16 ounce jar of unsalted peanuts
16 ounce jar of salted peanuts
12 ounce bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
12 ounce bag of milk chocolate chips
(2) 10 ounce bags of peanut butter chips
(2) 1 pound packages white almond bark or use vanilla candy coating
Starting with the peanuts, layer all the ingredients inside the crock pot, and turn on low heat. Cover and continue on low for 2 hours. Remove lid and stir to combine the nuts, chocolate, peanut butter chips, and almond bark or vanilla. Replace lid and continue melting on low for another 30 minutes. Stir a final time, and then spoon the mixture onto wax paper, parchment paper, or non-stick aluminum foil. Allow the candy to harden for least one hour. Serve or package the candy for gift giving.
About the Author
Adele Downs is the award-winning author of more than 20 romance titles, including those written under another pen name, and a former journalist with hundreds of articles to her credit. When not writing in her home office in rural Pennsylvania, she can be found reading a book on the nearest beach, taking photographs, or riding in her convertible.
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