Saturday, November 30, 2019

@CeliaBreslin's #Holiday Extravaganza: #Recipes, #Books on Tour, & More!

Hi Everyone!

“Tranquilli

 The holiday season is upon us! I'm kicking off the holidays with a fun multi-author book tour for my Tranquilli Bloodline vampires and Black Hills wolves, plus a fab giveaway, December 2 - 20. Visit my website in December for more info. To help you get in the holiday spirit, here are tunes you might like to check out, and...cookies! Enjoy!

Celia's Holiday Spritz Cookies “our
Cookies are one of my favorite, sweet indulgences for the holidays. My family makes spritz cookies every December. Delicious! Here’s my mother’s recipe (that I love to post every year around this time). Requires cookie press.

3/4 cup regular sugar (some recipes call for “powdered”, but mom swears by regular!)
1 cup margarine, or butter, or shortening (mom uses shortening; I use butter. Both are delish.)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. In a bowl, mix together margarine (or butter or shortening), sugar, vanilla, egg until fairly fluffy.
3. Stir in flour, salt, baking powder.
4. Optional: separate dough into bowls, add food dye of your choosing (see photo).
5. Fill cookie press; press dough onto ungreased cookie sheets.
6. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes.
7. Remove from sheet and cool on cookie rack.
8. Eat. All. The. Cookies!

 

“Black

Celia’s Holiday Playlist

Music is a big part of our holiday celebrations. Here’s one of our playlists for the December holidays. Happy listening!

  • “Another Christmas Song,” Stephen Colbert
  • “Not Tonight Santa,” Girls Aloud
  • “Frosty the Snowman,” Cocteau Twins
  • “Christmas Time Is Here Again,” Ringo Starr
  • “Sleigh Ride,” The Ronettes
  • “The Lonely Jew On Christmas,” Kyle Broflofski with Special Celebrity Guest
  • “Santa’s Beard,” They Might Be Giants
  • “Winter Wonderland,” Cocteau Twins
  • “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” Darlene Love
  • “Thanks for Christmas,” XTC
  • “December Will Be Magic Again,” Kate Bush


Have a great December, Dear Readers, and I'll see you back here on December 30th with some holiday viewing recs and another tasty recipe, just in time for New Year's Eve.

xo,
Celia


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Thursday, November 21, 2019

GIVING THANKS

It’s the time of year when we all stop and give thanks for all the blessings in our lives. We’re getting ready to roll into the holiday season. It’s a festive time for many of us. I like to stop and think about everything wonderful in my life. I’m healthy and have a wonderful family. I have a roof over my head and food in the kitchen. I’m able to make my living doing something I love. Life is good.



Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. I wish you peace and prosperity in the days and months ahead. I hope you enjoy a festive meal with family and friends.

And if you’re looking for a sexy holiday read to help you unwind after the holiday madness, you might want to pick up Naughty Temptations: Collection Two—a collection of bestselling stories from the Naughty Literati (Berengaria Brown, Katherine Kingston, Nicole Austin, and N.J. Walters). It includes two of my previously published novellas—Unmasking Kelly and Lady’s Minstrel.




UNMASKING KELLY by N.J. Walters
It’s Halloween and a masquerade party is in full swing at Brannigan’s Pub. Waitress, Kelly Allen, has been in love with her boss—Liam Brannigan—almost from the first. Tonight, hiding behind her costume and mask, she can keep her identity a secret as she attempts to seduce him into one long, hot night of pleasure.

LADY’S MINSTREL by N.J. Walters
Barely a bride before her husband left on Crusade, Alicia now fears the king will order her to remarry or take the castle. The arrival of a mysterious hooded minstrel makes her wary. She’s shocked to discover he is no stranger. But her husband is not the man he was. Can their love be rekindled or is it gone forever?

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Z219NXQ
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/2940163576005
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/naughty-temptations-collection-two
IBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1483717734
Print: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1699316228
Universal: https://books2read.com/u/bPRlNA




N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.

Visit me at: Website: http://www.njwalters.com
Blog: http://www.njwalters.blogspot.com
Newsletter Sign Up: http://eepurl.com/gdblg5
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/N.J.WaltersAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/njwaltersauthor
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/NJWalters
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/njwalters
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/n-j-walters

Friday, November 15, 2019

EXCERPT FROM THE MEATBALL MISTRESS

Available on Amazon in paperback or FREE on Kindle Unlimited
* * *

As the weather turns colder and activities switch more to indoors, I thought I'd share an excerpt from my romance which takes place in a small beach town on the east coast during the summer months. Cara Manzoni flees Bensonhurst, Brooklyn to the Jersey Shore after catching her fianc√© cheating with her hairdresser. Problem is she has no clothes, no money, and no place to go. This is not where she thought she’d be at almost thirty years old.

Ryan Garridy is a diehard commitment-phobe, struggling to keep his Italian restaurant afloat. The last thing he wants is a high-maintenance woman in his life. So when Cara runs out on her check, and then faints at his feet the next day, he knows this woman is trouble with a capital T. It still doesn’t stop him from offering Cara a job and a place to stay. There’s something feisty and compelling about her, and no matter how hard he tries, he just can’t seem to say no to her. Or her Sicilian meatballs.

Since Cara has sworn off men, it’s no big deal that Ryan is sexy and charming—until she decides the only way to stop obsessing over her ex is to obsess over someone new. Ryan makes her forget about her ex a little too well, but falling for him could set her up for a whole new world of hurt.

If the undeniable passion between these two doesn’t keep them together, the mouth-watering food will. One man, one woman, both wounded by love. Will they be able to overcome their demons and learn to trust again?

EXCERPT

It was the Fourth of July. Everyone expected the restaurant to be bursting to capacity. Brady had taken the weekend off to go camping with his family, so the assistant chef was fully prepared to handle the onslaught of customers that never came.
            Ryan paced the bar area, nervously running his fingers through his hair. Every once in a while, he’d step outside, his eyes sweeping left to right. Then he’d sigh and come back inside to pace some more.
            When Ginny said, “I have an unhappy guest who’s complaining about her spaghetti swimming in oil,” Ryan pulled out a roll of antacids from his pocket and popped two of them before dealing with the disgruntled customer.
            Ginny turned to Oz. “I need a ring-up for a cheesecake.”
“Do you—” he started to say.
            Ginny held up her hand to stop him. “Save it, loverboy, I got a screaming baby at Table 9 and one of my customers just asked me how much a soda costs, which gives me a glimpse of the tip I’ll be getting. I’m not in a good mood.”
            Oz switched his attention over to Cara. “Do you have a library card? Because I’m checking you out.”
            “That doesn’t even make sense,” Cara said to Ginny.
            “Did you expect it to?”
            Oz was summoned by a group of three giggling girls at the end of the bar.
            “I think Oz might have a crush on you, Ginny,” Cara told her.
            “Lucky me, I already have a boyfriend,” she said.
            Ryan returned with a fake smile plastered on his face. “Give her the Filet Mignon and bill her the same price as the spaghetti. Oh, and she wants the steak cremated,” he said through gritted teeth.
            Ginny shook her head and went to put the order into the kitchen.
            Oz said, “The girls sitting over there are asking for a drink called ‘What the Hell.’” He gave Ryan an exasperated look. “Apparently, there’s an Avril Lavigne song with the same title, because they keep singing it to me.”
            “I’ve never heard of that drink before,” Ryan said. “Unless they can tell you what goes in it—”
            “Gin, dry vermouth, apricot brandy, and a dash of lemon juice and grenadine,” Cara said.
            Ryan and Oz stared at her. Finally, Oz said, “You’re good,” and went off to make the drinks.
            “Make an extra one for me,” Ryan called to Oz. “How in the world did you know that?” Ryan asked Cara.
            “It’s a gift.”
            Johnny-boy came shuffling over. “My last table just left. Mind if I take off since it’s slow?”
            “How’s it going?” Cara asked him.
            “Can’t complain,” Johnny answered.
            Cara waited for him to say more, but he didn’t. He just stood there, rocking back and forth on his feet.
            Ryan checked his watch. “I suppose so. Go watch the fireworks.”
            Johnny went up to an older woman who was sitting on one of the bar stools and kissed her on the cheek. They left the restaurant together arm-in-arm.
            How sweet. That must be his mom.
“Johnny never says much, does he?”
            “One less headache for me.” Oz handed Ryan the drink and he took a sip. “It’s not half bad for an ‘Estro’ drink.”
            “An ‘Estro’ drink?” Cara said.
            “There’s ‘Estro’ drinks and ‘Testo’ drinks—you know, estrogen and testosterone drinks—frou-frou drinks and manly-men drinks,” Oz said.
            “Oh brother. Let me guess, examples of ‘Estro’ drinks would be Sex on the Beach and a Screaming Orgasm, whereas ‘Testo’ drinks would be a Kamikaze or anything involving J√§germeister?”
            “Brains and beauty. You’re killing me here,” Oz said.
            Cara bit her tongue to refrain from calling them both chauvinistic idiots. “I think I’ll go check on my last table.”
            She returned in time to see Ryan ushering a couple into the restaurant. “It’s only 9:59 and we don’t close until 10,” he told them in an overly enthusiastic voice. “You are more than welcome to have dinner.” He pulled Cara aside. “Let the kitchen know there’s one more order and tell Ginny she can leave if she wants. I’ll take care of this.”
            When she poked her head inside the kitchen and said, “Hey guys, one more damn order and then you’re done for the night,” they all groaned and spat out curses. One of the line cooks threw a dish towel at her. “I’m just the messenger!” she shrieked, making a hasty retreat.
            And when she let Ginny know she could take off if she wanted, Ginny practically left skid marks in her wake.
Everyone has a life but me, Cara thought miserably. Here it is, Independence Day and I’m finding independence to be way overrated. Even Oz had plans for the night with friends.
“You’re invited to come along,” he said.
“I think I’ll hang around to see what Ryan’s doing.”
Oz grinned. “Knowing Ryan, I’m sure he has someone lined up for tonight.”
What was Cara thinking? Ryan was a horny man like the rest of them. Of course he would have plans for later. She waited around until the last couple had finished dinner and dessert. When she was sure they were done drinking for the night, Cara slid out without saying goodbye. She went down by the pier in search of fireworks, but the show had been over for a while. Smoke lingered in the salty air. The crowds had thinned. The only people left were obnoxious drunk guys egging each other on to see who could burp the loudest, so Cara made her way back to the restaurant.
She had just reached the side alley to the kitchen when she noticed a man with a bicycle standing at the back door. He looked to be about in his seventies and had a fierce resemblance to Abraham Lincoln. He rapped on the door three times. Cara stepped back into the darkness and waited.
Ryan stuck his head out. “Hi, Edward. How are you this fourth of July?”
“Very good, Sir. How’s business treating you?”
“Could be better, my man. Give me a minute and I’ll wrap some things up for you.”
Cara watched Ryan disappear into the kitchen. When he returned, he handed Edward a plastic bag filled with two large take-out containers.
“We had lots of leftovers tonight.”
“Thank you, Sir. You’re a good man, Mr. Garridy.”
“Let’s keep that between you and me.” Ryan took out his wallet and handed Edward a twenty.
Edward bowed, and then rode off into the night with the bag of food swinging from his handlebars.
So, Mr. Ryan Garridy, you’re a man who tries to pass himself off as an emotionally unavailable, womanizing jerk, yet you take damsels in distress into your life and feed the homeless.
She wasn’t sure what to make of this revelation, but it certainly made her see Ryan in a kinder, softer light.
Cara saw the half-empty bottle of scotch on the counter right away. Ryan was sweeping the kitchen floor with a push broom in one hand, an empty glass in the other.
“Did the kitchen staff leave a mess?” she asked.
He looked up at her with eyes that were tired and bloodshot. “Brady may be a drunken nut, but at least he’s a neat freak.” He leaned the broom against the wall and went to pour himself another drink.
Cara took the bottle away from him. “Speaking of drunk, don’t you think you’ve had enough?”
He leaned in so close to her she could smell the scotch on his breath. “You sound like my mother, Cara.” He grinned. “Do you think I need another mother?”
“No, but I don’t think you need another drink.” She held the bottle behind her back.
“What do you think I need?” His voice was low and seductive.
She inched back slowly until her tailbone hit the counter. “I think you need to stop this self-destructive path you’re on.”
He narrowed his gaze. His eyes had turned a fierce dark green. “That’s not the right answer.” Ryan moved toward her slowly, like a jungle cat about to pounce. His arms trapped her in place. “Try again.”
She gave him a small nudge. “Alcoholics Anonymous?”
Ryan pressed his body against hers. “I don’t like that answer, either,” he whispered, his hot mouth pressed up against her ear. “You have one more chance.”
He was hard against her. Cara’s mouth went dry as other parts of her became wet. “I think…”
He ran his lips down her neck, then his tongue. “Tell me.”
She felt chilly and feverish at the same time. “…you need…” to kiss me just once so I can see if that makes Robbie disappear.
He took her hand and placed it on his crotch. “Can you feel how much I want you right now?”
“Ryan?” a female voice called from the doorway.
Ryan spun around. “Barbara? What are you doing here?”
The woman ventured further inside. She was thin and blonde, with excellent bone structure. “I hated the way we left things…” She caught sight of Cara. “I’m sorry. I didn’t realize you weren’t alone.”
Cara placed the bottle of scotch back on the counter where she had found it. “I was just leaving.” She rushed up the stairs to the apartment in the blink of an eye before Ryan was able to get a word out.

Tiffany N. York prefers warmer weather to cold, which is why she pays over four dollars for a gallon of gas in southern CA. You can visit her website at tiffanynyorkauthor.com