Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Ride Blog! Come One Come All...Remember the Carols You Sang As a Kid! And An Interview with Patti Shenberger!

Christmas is just around the corner. I finally finished my baby boy's stocking. When my first daugther, Dianna, was born, I made her a stocking. You know, one of those crafty kits you buy at a craft store made of felt. They look super easy and I was thinking, "This won't take me too long and I'll have it forever." Well, my oldest is now 12 and that particular kit had all these really hard stitches, including some roses made with silk ribbon on this beautiful, very detailed Christmas tree with toys scattered underneath...not easy and don't get me started on those dang French knots! My French knots never look like my mother's but she made my stocking and my three brothers a stocking so I figured I better carry on the tradition. Okay, so my mom had to help me with the silk roses and French knots but I did 90% of it and it's really pretty so four years ago, I had another baby girl and bought another kit. Well, Annalisa's stocking will be easier...I thought. It had tons and tons of sequins. I can do sequins. I'm good at that. When I say tons of sequins...I'm not kidding....hundreds of them. It's a stocking decorated with Christmas ornaments made from the little gems. It took me forever!!! But it's beautiful and I'm so proud of it. Well, now I had to make Benjamin's stocking. Most of the kits looked so girly but I chose one with a big teddy bear and two red birds decorating a tree. That teddy bear is gigantic and I think I had to cut out fifty pieces and all the dang sequins...but I love it! It's beautiful, just like the other two and I can cherish them for years to come. Did I tell you I hate satin stitches too? Ughhhhh! Talk about time consuming! That teddy bear had the buggers all over the place, so when I got to the Christmas tree, one of the last pieces on the stocking, the satin stitches were replaced with these beautiful beads I use to make book thongs and actually, I think it makes the stocking look much prettier.

Now that the stockings are hung near the while the fake yule log crackles across the screen.....I can do last minute Christmas shopping and drink tons of egg nog celebration of surviving the last minute rush. I always shop last minute. I'm one of those Christmas Eve shoppers. I'm even stopping by the liquor store on Dec. 24 to have that all important Bailey's and spiked egg nog. One must have all the necessities in order to deal with the in-laws...groan.

I'm giving away an ebook today in celebration of the Christmas Ride Blog...reader's choice. Tell me the name (leave me a comment)of the notorious serial killer I feature in my latest release and I'll enter you into the drawing to be done after midnight tonight CST. Doesn't that just make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? Killers and Carols. So festive. Sorry, I'm a paranormal author. Halloween is always fun for me, but it's Christmas so let's spread some cheer, even if it is a bit on the dark side.

Here's my favorite Christmas candy recipe:
I call it Spider Legs but it's Christmas so let's just call it Reindeer Poop (Better? No? Well, hell....then call it Yultide Spider Legs)

Yuletide Spider Legs or Reindeer Poop
1 Bag of Hershey's Dark Chocolate Chips
1 Bag of Hershey's Butterscotch Chips
1 Can of Chinese Noodles
**Melt both bags of chips in microwave for 3 mins. in a mixing bowl. Pour in chinese noodles. Mix it up with a spoon and scoop large spoonfuls onto foil or wax paper. Allow to dry for an hour. Enjoy your reindeer poop. Yum!!!**
~If you're a chocolate lover like me, you will be emailing me, telling me how much you love me when you eat this. Tip....DRINK WITH RED WINE!!! ~Extra yummy!

And to spread more Christmas cheer, everyone hosting the CHRISTMAS RIDE came together and we’re giving one lucky person a $75 Wild Rose Press gift certificate! All you need to do to enter is attend each day's blog post, identify the carol, and make a complete carol list to submit after the final blog post on Christmas Eve. Don't forget to check the list twice! Send it to by midnight, CST Dec. 31st 2008!

"Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Jack Frost nipping at your nose."

Start at P.L. Parker's Blog to begin the Blog Ride that connects all the blogs and all the carols. Visit each blog to hunt for the clue to the carol of the day!

Hop on the sleigh because the ride continues tomorrow at The Wilder Roses Blog!

Please welcome my special Christmas Ride Blog Guest, Patti Shenberger!

Alisha: Can you tell us a little bit about your childhood? Favorite memories?

Patti: My childhood was a bit out of the norm. My mother was 17 and widowed, with a baby- me! My great grandparents who were in their 60’s at the time offered to raise me so she could focus on getting her life back together. I ended up living with them till I was 18 and heading for college. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Favorite memories were traveling the world with my great grandfather. He worked for General Motors back in the day when Harley Earl was in charge (bet no one remembers that).

Alisha: Tell us about the hero and heroine in your latest release.

Patti: My hero is Laird Kyle MacLay, a Scottish ghost who can’t pass on to the other side. Devon Noone is a feisty red-haired American who inherits the title of Lady along with Laird MacLay and a smelly canine. Kyle needs her help and while Devon is willing to give it, she also finds herself falling for the sexy ghost.

Alisha: Ooooh, I love ghosts! If you were granted three wishes by a genie, what would they be?

Patti: That’s a toughie. The first would be to be healthy the rest of my life (I’m a colon cancer survivor – that was my big ugly battle last year). The second wish would be for my children to find happiness is whatever path they choose in life. The third, ok selfish wish now, to have all my books be New York Times bestsellers!

Alisha: You are such a survivor, Patti! If you could go anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?

Patti: I would love to go to Scotland and explore the ruins of a castle. That is something I have always wanted to do.

Alisha: That would be lovely. I adore castles. If you could see anyone tomorrow (dead or alive), who would it be?

Patti: I would like to meet my father. I was three months old when he died. I have photographs of him, but it isn’t the same.

Alisha: If you could choose six people to spend one week on a desert island, who would it be and why?

Patti: Oh boy, this is a definite WOW! My apologies if I offend anyone by not picking them. I would pick Nora Roberts (I think she would be a fascinating person to have an in-depth conversation with), Bruce Willis (still have that crush), Kenny Chesney (gotta have music), Emeril Lagassi (he can cook for us), Richard Simmons (to keep us in shape), and Richard Dean Anderson (cause he could get us off the island by slipping back into his MacGuyver role)!

Alisha: What word or phrase tingles in all the right places for you?

Pattie: Adored – I think it says it all. If you are adored, you have everything you could ever ask for.

Alisha: If you had one day to spoil yourself, what would you do?

Patti: I would love to spend the day with unlimited funds at the bookstore.

Alisha: If you could change one incident in your life, what would it be and how would you change it?

Patti: I don’t know that I would change anything in my life. Everything that has happened to me, the good and the bad is a learning experience. It doesn’t mean I liked everything life threw my way, but I learned to deal with it. And what doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger, right??? (G)

Alisha: What’s the sexiest thing a man has ever done for you or said to you or both?

Patti: This is easy. From September 06 – June 07, my hubby Randy took care of my every need with me being diagnosed with cancer, having surgery, starting chemo and after chemo was over, having a full hysterectomy! Sorry more than you wanted to know, but he did everything. He cooked, cleaned, took me to every appt, cared for the animals at home and still worked a 40 hour work week. (My kids are grown and out of the house). He is my knight in shining armour.

Alisha: Sniff, sniff..he truly IS a knight in shining armour!

~Merry Christmas everyone! Enjoy the love you see and feel in your lives!


Skhye said...

Wow, Patti! You're a survivor! I thought I had cancer and lived the terror for two weeks until they said nope. So, I'm feeling for you. Love your gorgeous cover and story!

Alisha, I love to embroider with silk ribbon. I bet your stockings are masterpieces. ;) You're so crafty! Isn't it funny how we have a baby and get all sentimental? This year I had the 3 yr old help make pinecone gifts. She loves to steal pinecones out of the neighbors' yards now! ROFL Although, the men are truly thrilled they don't have to pick them up themselves to mow... When we see a homeowner in the yard and ask if we can have the pinecones, they always jump up and down and scream please. MEN!

Ho ho ho!

Toni Anderson said...

Patti, you and your hubby sound like a true HEA. Good for you. I love the sound of your story, and as both my kids were born in Fife I have a special place in my heart for Scotland too.

Alisha, I have to do all the food shopping, but apart from that, I'm think I'm good on the present front. Assuming the postie makes it through the snow...

Judith Leger said...

Wonderful interview, Patti! Your knight definitely has a place at the top of Santa's list.

Alisha, I always loved to embroider and needlepoint. Now that I'm older, the points are way too small for me to see but I can still embroider. Love the Christmas Pictures!

ddurance said...

My mom is a two-time cancer survivor, breast cancer and malignant melanoma. My aunt is currently battling her fourth bout of recurring lymphoma, so I know what an ordeal cancer is. It changes your life forever and fortunately mostly for the better because it definitely makes you stronger.

Gosh, I wish I could set still long enough to create a stocking. You go girl!

Alisha Paige said...

Skhye~Yep, motherhood brings out the craftiness in all of! Pinecone crafts! You need to share. Will you post it on here when you get time?

And I agree! Patti is a survivor through and through!

Alisha Paige said...

Thanks for stopping by, Toni!

Ah yes, the food shopping! That's another full afternoon of shopping. I'm lucky in that my mother makes all the food. I take some Reindeer Poop and Egg Nog and that's my contribution.

I remember one year, about seven years ago, I was a single mom. Dianna was only 5 and I had to wait until Christmas Eve to do my shopping because of money and time. It iced that day! I was slip sliding in the streets, heading to Toys R Us in a panic! Those were the!

Alisha Paige said...

Thanks for stopping by, Judith!

My mother does lovely needlepoint too. And you know what? She just bought this really cool light with a magnifying glass at the craft store and she can see just fine. Have you thought of doing that? It makes all the difference in the world!

I love counted cross stitch too but have not done one in years.

And my DH can crochet! A sweet aunt taught him how when he was 16 and in the hospital with a broken leg. I think that's just so cool!

Alisha Paige said...

Thanks for popping in today, Deidre! It wouldn't be the same without you here! Big plans for the holidays? Do you have any crafts you love to do? Favorite recipes? Please post them here!

Stephanie said...

Beautiful Pictures! And thanks for sharing your memories! My parents did the same things for us kids, making crocheted Santa stockings. We had them until a few years ago.

The Christmas Carol for today is The Christmas Song!

Hywela Lyn said...

Great Blog post Alisha - and beautiful pictures. What a fascinating interview with Patti, too. So sorry to hear of your illness Patti, but glad you have such a wonderful, supportive husband and have come out the other side, still fighting, positive and recovered. (And writing of course!

lindseye said...

Love all the Holiday Lights. I used to crossstich years ago but have not recently. I did do baking last week, banana bread, sugar cookies and molasses cookies.

Jack The Ripper

Alisha Paige said...

Thanks for stopping by, Stephanie!

Make sure you jot down all the Christmas carols from all the Christmas Ride Blogs. Here's the directions for the Grand Prize contest again.

And to spread more Christmas cheer, everyone hosting the CHRISTMAS RIDE came together and we're giving one lucky person a $75Wild Rose Press gift certificate!

All you need to do to enter is attend each day's blog post, identify the carol, and make a complete carol list to submit after the final blog post on Christmas Eve. Don't forget to check the list twice! Send it to by midnight, CST Dec. 31st 2008!

Start at P.L. Parker's Blog to begin the Blog Ride that connects all the blogs and all the carols. Visit each blog to hunt for the clue to the carol of the day!

Hop on the sleigh because the ride continues tomorrow at The Wilder Roses Blog! (Go back to this Blog's post for the exact links)

Good Luck!

Alisha Paige said...

Thanks for stopping by, Lyn, my wonderful muse sister! Happy Holidays! We're expecting ice here today!

Hugs to you, sis!

Alisha Paige said...

Thanks for visiting my blog today, Lindseye!

I'll enter you into tonight's drawing for Nocturnally Vexed. So far you're one else has!

Happy Holidays, my friend!

Debra St. John said...

Ah, the Bailey's is a must, but I prefer it in my coffee! Patti, thanks for visiting.

dpruitt said...

The Christmas Song

Debby said...

Hi, I too am a survivor and plan to be for a long time.

Jack the Ripper.

ddurance said...

Aww, Alisha, you're so sweet. That makes me feel so good. Here's a recipe for Bobby Deen's Caramel Cake. This is so good, it's like heaven. Kind of expensive, time-consuming and messy, but so worth it!

For the cake:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
3 cups sifted self-rising flour
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the filling:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream, or more if needed
1 (16-ounce) box confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chopped nuts, optional
For the cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) cake pans.

Using an electric mixer, cream butter until fluffy. Add granulated sugar and continue to cream well for 6 to 8 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and milk alternately to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla and continue to beat until just mixed. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Level batter in each pan by holding pan 3 or 4-inches above counter dropping it flat onto counter. Do this several times to release air bubbles and assure you of a more level cake. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

For the filling:

While cake is baking, in a saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, and milk. Cook and stir over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Remove cake layers from oven and allow cake to remain in pans as you prepare to stack and fill. Remove first layer and invert onto cake plate. Pierce cake layer with a toothpick over entire surface. Spread 1/3 of filling mixture on cake layer. Top with second layer, repeat process. Top with last layer and repeat process again.

*Cook's Note: As I stack layers together, I stick them with toothpicks to prevent cake from shifting.

For the frosting:

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat and stir in brown sugar and cream. Bring to a boil, and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Beat with a handheld electric mixer until it reaches a spreading consistency. At this time it may be necessary to add a tablespoon of heavy cream, or more, if frosting gets too thick. Just be sure to add cream is small amounts because you can always "add to", but you can't take away. Frost cake and sprinkle top with chopped nuts, if desired.




I so glad you beat the big C. I know that is a tough to win. I love your list to have on a desert island.

Happy Holiday


Alisha Paige said...

Thanks for stopping by Debra, dpruitt, Debby, and Loretta!

And thanks for the yummy recipe, Deidre! I'm jotting this down! I love trying out new things! Anyone else feel like sending a recipe? Please do!!!

Judy said...

Patti your story brought tears (for what you went through) and smiles (that you are a survivor) to me. Good luck in the future and hope your books hit the best sellers list:)

I love the Christmas lights pictures, Alisha. Great interview!

Jack the Ripper

kimmyl said...

"Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire"

Wonderful interview, Patti!

Tamra said...

Patti, I love the sexy laird on your cover. Congrats at surviving colon cancer. OMG, that's some nasty business. You're right about good and bad experiences. They truly make you appreciate the present.

Alisha, where's the pics of your stockings? I can only sew buttons. see you next week!


Alisha Paige said...

Tamra! Thanks for visiting! I haven't taken any pics of the stockings yet but I need to..then I'd have to download them but I don't know how and DH is out of town...wahhhhhh! I'll show you when we go to dinner! I'm looking forward to seeing you in Big D!

Alisha Paige said...

And the winner of Nocturnally Vexed (pdf) is Judy! Please email me your email addy at Congrats!

~Happy Reading and Writing, Everyone!