This week, I am thrilled to introduce you to author, Deborah Raney. Deb is giving away a copy of the Inspirational Christmas Romance collection, Currier and Ives Christmas, which includes her novella, A Circle of Blessings (Barbour 2002). Other novellas in this collection include: Dreams and Secrets by DiAnn Mills, Snow Storm by Lynn A. Coleman, and Image of Love by JoAnn A. Grote.
Here is a blurb about the collection:
The artistry of renowned lithographers Currier & Ives captures the beauty and nostalgia of simpler days and Christmases past. Yet, while a picture may be worth a thousand words, there are times when even the best illustrations leave viewers with a yearning to know more. These seasonal, historical love stories delve deep inside the artists' portrayals to imagine the untold tales behind each wintry scene.
Comment on this blog post for your chance to win a copy of Currier & Ives Christmas.
A FAVORITE CHRISTMAS RECIPE:
Here's a recipe that's a tradition in my family. It's named after Jewel Fuson, a sweet neighbor (to whom I dedicated A Nest of Sparrows). Though Jewel and her husband had no children of their own, Jewel used to invite all the children of our little farming community to "paint" and decorate cookies at her farmhouse every Christmas. After Jewel moved into town, my sister and her family moved into Jewel's farmhouse and my sister continued the tradition for her children and mine, with Jewel as an honored guest.
With mixer, cream together:
1 cup shortening
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Add 2 eggs and cream again.
1 cup sour milk
5 cups flour
With wooden spoon stir in milk and flour alternately until dough is stiff. Chill several hours or up to one week before rolling out. When ready to bake, roll 1/4 of the dough at a time to about 1/4-inch thickness and cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Paint cookies with Edible Cookie Paint (see recipe below) and sprinkle with colored sugar before baking. Bake just until cookies begin to brown lightly around the edges, about 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees. Baking time depends on thickness of cookie dough. For crisper cookies, roll thinner and bake longer, for softer cookie, roll thicker and reduce baking time.
Edible Cookie Paint: With a fork, mix 2 egg yolks and 1 teaspoon water until smooth and frothy. Divide into several small cups and add a different shade of food coloring to each until colors are dark “jewel tones.” Apply to unbaked cookie shapes with clean paintbrushes. Bake until cookies are lightly brown around the edges.
As an alternate to painting, cookies may be baked, cooled and decorated with frosting and candy sprinkles.
DEBORAH RANEY is at work on her 19th novel. Her books have won the RITA Award, HOLT Medallion, National Readers' Choice Award, Silver Angel, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. Her first novel, A Vow to Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title. Her newest books, the Clayburn Novels, are from Howard/Simon & Schuster. She and her husband, Ken Raney, have four children and enjoy small- town life in Kansas.
Learn more about Deb and her books at http://www.deborahraney.com/
**Contest disclaimer: Void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents. Odds of winning depend on number of entrants. Only one book allowed per person throughout the duration of the event.