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Looking for a ghostly Christmas tale?

How about a really good chocolate Christmas cookie?

christmas winter background with wooden planks

Christmas is just eleven days away,  and if you’re looking for a cozy Christmas book to curl up with,  check out The Ghost Who Came for Christmas.

While I advise reading the books in the Haunting Danielle series in order (this is Book 6), it isn’t critical for enjoying the story.

With a house full over the Christmas holiday, Danielle has been spending a great deal of her time baking—recreating culinary memories and holiday traditions from her childhood. One of those is a chocolate drop cookie borrowed from my own childhood.

If you are in the mood for baking, here’s the recipe.

Chocolate Drop Cookies

This cookie was a Christmas tradition when I was a child. During the holidays my paternal grandmother, Madeline, would fill a roasting pan with chocolate chip cookies and the chocolate drop cookie. My father (the original Walt) loved both, yet I believe the chocolate drop was his favorite. These are moist cake-like cookies, a delight to any chocolate lover! But don’t over-bake!

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 egg (beaten)
1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (dissolved in 1/2 teaspoon of warm water)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 squares (2 ounces) unsweetened chocolate (melted)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375º. Cream together sugar and shortening. Stir in egg, milk, then remaining ingredients, one by one. Blend well. Drop by teaspoonful on cookie sheet. Bake for 8-9 minutes (Do not overcook!) Frost while warm. About 3 dozen cookies.

Chocolate Drop Cookie Frosting

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons cream or milk
2 squares unsweetened chocolate (melted)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Blend together sugar and cream. Add melted chocolate, stir well. Add vanilla, mix thoroughly. Frost warm cookies.

 

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

Christmas SeasonInstead of writing, Don and I spent the afternoon decorating for Christmas. It reminded me of one of the (many) reasons I love my husband. Don’s sentimental and traditional, and he loves getting out the Christmas decorations each year. Of course, ever since we got the pre-lit artificial tree, it makes it easier for him to love.

We both miss a live tree, especially the scent of pine. But it’s dry in Arizona, and live trees don’t fare well here. The risk of a fire simply isn’t worth it to me.

I’m determined to slow down and enjoy the Christmas season. Seems like it comes quickly each year, while I’m engrossed with other matters of life, and it slips by with minimal fanfare. Last year, I was dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis and surgery in early December. Hardly the stuff to get one in the Christmas spirit.

This year I’m feeling pretty good, and I intend to savor the season.

It’s also the perfect time to read The Ghost Who Came for Christmas–but if you haven’t yet read books 1 through 5 in the Haunting Danielle series, you might want to do that first. While each book in the series is a standalone story, they are told in chronological order, and I believe readers enjoy the books more if read in order.

The Ghost Who Came for Christmas is at Barnes & Noble

BarnesYesterday, The Ghost Who Came for Christmas went live at Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords, and iTunes. It also went live at Barnes & Noble, the only problem; it didn’t come up in the search, so I couldn’t share its Barnes & Noble product link with my readers. I actually had some sales on the book over on Barnes & Noble yesterday; how the readers found the book there, I have no idea.

I have the link now, so if you are a Nook reader, you can now find it at Barnes & Noble!

Barnes & Noble

The Ghost of Valentine Past

HautingDanielle_BOOK7While waiting for The Ghost Who Came for Christmas to go live, I’m already working on the next book in the Haunting Danielle series—The Ghost of Valentine Past. Its release date is Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2016—and it is already available for pre-order at Amazon.

I recently discussed on my  Haunting Danielle Facebook page a question I frequently get from readers: Will there be more books in the series?

The answer is yes, providing the three following conditions are met. As I said in the Facebook post, all three conditions must be met.

1. Readers of the series want more books. What would be the point in adding more books if no one wants to read them?

2. I must have fresh new stories to tell. Fortunately, ideas for Danielle and the people of Frederickport keep popping into my head. But if that stops—and my stories are nothing but a rehash of previous stories—then I shouldn’t be writing them anymore. I want the characters and storyline to evolve.

3. I am physically able to author the books. Last year around this time, I decided not to put the book I was working on up for a preorder. The reason—I had no idea if and when I could finish it, because I was facing breast cancer. I am happy to report I am feeling pretty good these days and back to writing fulltime, but I understand we never really know what is around the next corner.

A reason to stay home on Black Friday!

woman holding shopping bagDo you really want to fight the crowds on Black Friday? I have a better idea—stay home and read The Ghost Who Came for Christmas, because that’s its release date!

Yep, the Ghost Who Came for Christmas goes live on November 27, 2015.

But if you have your heart set on getting trampled at the mall, you can pre-order the eBook and when you get back from shopping, you can kick off your shoes and curl up with the book. It’s available at Amazon, iTunes, Smashwords, and Kobo for pre-order. It will be at Barnes & Noble after November 27, 2015.