HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Monday, December 11, 2017

BEST GIFTS CAN'T BE BOUGHT

I’m pleased to welcome Joan Reeves, USA Today and NY Times Bestselling author. Joan can’t respond to questions or comments today because—following an accident in which a truck knocked her down—her husband is treating her PTSD of the event by taking her on an anniversary cruise. Remember that your comment will enter you in the drawing for a Kindle Fire 7 on Christmas Eve.

What is your favorite childhood Christmas memory?

When my older brother—my sidekick in all the mischief we got into as kids—and I woke up shortly after midnight, our parents let us open a present. What we opened were Mickey Mouse flashlights. We were very young and thought flashlights were the coolest things ever. We spent the rest of the night playing and shining them on the ceiling. By morning, the batteries were dead!

What is your favorite adult Christmas memory?

My husband and I were married just before Christmas. On Christmas Eve, we came home from a party after midnight. He insisted I open his present to me. The jeweler's box held a pair of silver hoop earrings and a pair of gold hoop earrings. He told me, "I didn't know if you'd like the silver or the gold so I got them both." That told me that he would always go the extra mile to please me and make me happy. And he still does that. As you read this, we are celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary with a Caribbean cruise.

Is there a Christmas song that’s your favorite?

A.   Secular – “Please Come Home for Christmas” by The Eagles
B.   Religious – Just about all of them because my grandfather used to sing them all the time. I guess “We Three Kings” and “O Little Town of Bethlehem” stick in my mind. To this day, I can hear him singing them. He's been gone 35 years now, and I still miss him.

Tell us about your family’s Christmas traditions.

On Christmas Eve, we always have a gumbo (I'm from Louisiana originally.). After dinner, we go to Candlelight services at church then we come home and play games or work a giant jigsaw puzzle—sometimes both. It all depends on whether we have just one of our kids or all of them and their kids!

What about Christmas do you most enjoy?

Church services, having the kids home, shopping, Christmas music in the stores, laughing children, decorating, singing Christmas songs. I'm a sucker for all of it.

Is there something about this holiday that drives you crazy?

Only the repetitive ads for conspicuous consumption. *g*

What do you hope for this Christmas?

I'm a very lucky woman. I'm married to the most wonderful man, and we're still in love and love and like each other. Our kids are mostly healthy and happy. Rarely do my husband and I even give each other presents. Some years we've splurged, but other years we're just so darn content that we'd rather give to others than spend money on ourselves. The only thing I hope for are things that can't be bought: for people to stop driving and texting, for everyone to re-discover common courtesy, for politicians and adults in general to act their age—not their shoe size—for  school kids to embrace learning rather than video games and reality shows, for people to learn there are consequences for bad behavior, and, yes, for world peace without abandoning our Constitution and our freedoms.

Do you have a treasured Christmas food?

I love all of it from pralines to Cornbread Dressing.

Cornbread Dressing

First, make the Cornbread (can be done a day early)



Cornbread Dressing




1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow corn meal
1/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup liquid shortening

          Mix dry ingredients well. Make a little well in dry ingredients and add eggs. Beat eggs until solid color. Add milk and shortening. Pour into greased round cake pan and bake at 425 ° F for 20 to 25 minutes.

CORNBREAD DRESSING

Cornbread (recipe above)
5 slices bread or pan of biscuits, dried and crumbled
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
2 tablespoons parsley flakes
1 stick butter or margarine
3 cups pan drippings and broth * (to make it vegetarian, use vegetable stock here)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons sage (more to suit taste)
3 eggs
3/4 of the boiled wing and neck meat if you wish to include them
3 cups broth and drippings from roasting pan

          In small skillet, melt the stick of butter or margarine. Add celery, onion, and parsley and sauté until onion becomes transparent. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, crumble cornbread and bread slices. Add broth and drippings, sautéed onions and celery mixture and the other ingredients above. Add 3/4 of the stewed meat you have reserved. Taste to adjust seasoning. Add more broth if dressing is too dry.

          Pour into well-buttered pan. Cook at 325° F for 30 to 40 minutes, until beginning to lightly brown on top. Don't overcook, as everything but the egg has already been cooked and you are just blending flavors and heating thoroughly.


Do you have a book you’d like to share?

NOBODY’S CINDERELLA is a Christmas Romance.





This Christmas Cinderella should be careful what she wishes for! Darcy Benton is the oldest cliché in the world—a woman in love with her boss. Other than that, she's no-nonsense, practical, mature, and sober. She's just the kind of woman Chase Whitaker wants as head of accounting for his company. She's definitely not the kind of woman he wants in his bed.

Enter Darcy's meddling, matchmaking best friend who has a plan to transform Darcy into a hottie designed to attract Chase's interest. All it takes? A couple of little lies--and a wish on a Christmas star. Darcy should have heeded that old advice: be careful what you wish for.


Joan Reeves, Author



Joan Reeves is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. All of her romance novels have appeared on various bestseller lists. Her books are available in digital and audio formats with new print editions available this year. Several of her books are available in French editions through Bragelonne-Milady Romance, her publisher in France.

When not writing romance, or nonfiction to share what she has learned in life, Joan divides her time between the hustle and bustle of Houston and the quiet life of the Texas Hill Country. At their country property, she and her hero, her husband, attempt to grow wine grapes and fruit trees while battling gophers, skunks, armadillos, deer, fox, and the occasional copperhead snake.

Joan lives the philosophy that is the premise of all her romance novels: It’s never too late to live happily ever after.


6 comments:

Joan Reeves said...

Thank you, Caroline, for being so understanding! The house sitter just showed up so my hubby is standing behind me saying, "Wrap it up!"

As some wit recently posted online: "Happy Whatever-You-Celebrate-During-December!" I guess that covers it all, but I will say I wish you all the Happiest of Holidays and a Wonderful New Year.

Carnola said...

Hello Joan, sorry to hear about your accident. Congratulations on your anniversary I hope you enjoy your cruise. My son loves playing with flashlights I don't think they can ever go out of style.

Sharon Guagliardo said...

That recipe sounds delicious. I've always wanted to do a cornbread dressing, but didn't. Please, please feel better and enjoy your cruise!! Thank you for the chance.

Sandy Solner Sorola said...

Hope your cruise is a wonderful time! Happy Anniversary and feel better fast! Recipe sounds wonderful!

Kathy Davis said...

Your dressing recipe sounds just like mine. I think we use all the same ingredients, and we call it dressing, not stuffing too. Sounds good right now. Have a wonderful Christmas!

Joan Reeves said...

Carnola, Sharon, Sandy, and Kathy--thank you for your comments. The cruise was wonderful. It's such a bargain too--great food whenever you want it, great entertainment every day and night, foreign ports to visit, new faces, new experiences. Best of all--no internet for a solid week! *LOL* It was lovely being unplugged but kind of weird at the same time.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday and a fabulous New Year!