Holiday Delights: Holiday cookie & story blog hop

Today is National Cookie Day!


To celebrate the return of the cookie season (not that the cookies season ever goes out of style for me) some of my favorite authors are sharing their favorite holiday cookie recipes AND their holiday-themed books!

Read to the bottom to find the list of authors and read more of their sweet, sweet delights! You’ll find great ideas for your holiday baking…and in the 10 minutes or so between batches, you can read!

Mom’s Spritz Cookies

These are some of my absolute favorite cookies. They are easy to make and I always have the ingredients. Plus, their delicately sweet and comforting flavor is perfect for short, cold days accompanied by a cup of tea.

  • Jessa Slade tea and cookiesButter, 1 cup softened
  • Sugar, 2/3 cup
  • Vanilla, 2 teaspoons
  • Flour, 2 1/4 cups
  • Salt 1/2 teaspoon

Preheat oven to 400. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla. Add salt and flour. Beat until just mixed. Use a cookie press or cookie cutters. Sprinkle with sugar-in-the-raw or colored sugars for decoration. Bake 8-10 minutes until lightly browned. (The browning brings out the flavor). Cool on racks. Keeps well for days…if you don’t eat them 🙂

For more holiday spirit, check out the new Marked Souls Christmas novella:

The Darkest Night by Jessa Slade

A Marked Souls Christmas Novella

Possessed by a divine entity, Cyril Fane fought rampant evil and the pain of more private losses with a fiery golden sword…until he was beaten and left for dead by a malevolent force. Now exiled from his angelic brethren, he reluctantly joins the Chicago league of talyan—immortal warriors possessed by repentant demons—as his only chance to reclaim his sword and his place in the holy sphericanum.

Bella McGreay, mysterious mistress of the Mortal Coil night club, has also danced around an uneasy affiliation with the talyan. She has secrets of her own to keep, and as the days shorten toward the winter solstice, shadows are deepening all around. Even as she barricades herself against the joys—and terrors—of the Christmas season, she’ll have to decide whether the shadows or her secrets are more dangerous.

Bella and Cyril have good reason to fear evil when an old enemy returns to torment them and the Chicago league. But only together will they find a way to the light after the darkest night.

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Smashwords  |  All Romance eBooks  |  Kobo

Find more Holiday Delights from  these fabulous authors:

Do you have a favorite holiday cookie? Leave a link to your recipe in comments. The more cookies, the merrier!

Creativity Against Bullying

October 2012 is Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. If you’ve been bullied — or if you’ve been a bully and realize you need to stop — there are more resources now then ever. Please find the help you need. One place to start is the PACER National Bullying Prevention Center.

*          *          *

If you are reading this, chances are you are a reader. And if you are a reader, there’s a fair to middlin’ chance you were bullied as a kid. There is apparently something irresistible to a bully about a kid with her nose in a book.

Nerd. Geek. Freak. Weirdo. The ever-popular Four-Eyes.*

Yeah. Guilty as charged, and proud of it. Proud now, anyway. At the time, I sat in the way back corner of the lunch room by myself with my sack lunch (no way would I risk standing in the line at the counter where I might have to talk to someone) and of course my book. I was lucky. My schools were mostly safe suburban places with mostly safe suburban kids. Plus, I had the advantage of being less a target (with a few exceptions) than a ghost. Most of the time, I was invisible. Books were a way to enhance and actually enjoy that invisibility.

Can you identify the future Jessa Slade?

Can you identify the future Jessa Slade?** It’s a little tricky because for once she doesn’t have a book. Horses were almost as good as books though. Actually, book + horse = girl dream.

When author and advice columnist Dan Savage founded the It Gets Better project, I thought it was a great message. Because it really DOES get better. With time, the insular, powerless world of the bullied does widen. You find your people and find your voice.

Today, some of the coolest people I know come from the bullied classes: the quiet ones, the smart ones, the weird ones. To get through the hard times, they read, they wrote, they made music, they drew and painted, they took photographs. They created new worlds for themselves. Maybe at first those new worlds only existed on paper, but eventually those worlds came to life. Creation as a way to escape became creation for passion’s sake, a passion that could never be slapped out of their hands and was too strong to be mocked.

I hope the new focus on anti-bullying helps those who need it. And I wish everyone could find the spark that turns negativity into creation.

Much thanks to Yasmine Galenorn and Mandy Roth for proposing and organizing this anti-bullying blog hop.

To read more from Authors Against Bullying, follow the blog hop with these authors and feel free to post a link to your blog in comments:

* Also, Giraffe. What sort of weak-minded bully uses Giraffe as an insult? First of all, there’s nothing wrong with being tall and quiet with admittedly knobby knees. And second, giraffes are awesome, as anybody could tell you.

** I’m the one in the pink pants with the oh-so-welcoming body language. I never liked photographs because they messed with my invisibility superpower.