Author: Geri Krotow

Kate James is Helping to Send Books to Military for the Holidays

Kate James
Author Kate James

Today we welcome author Kate James, who writes heartwarming contemporary romance–and she has her first book with Harlequin out this month– a Christmas book!

What do you like to do for the holidays, Kate?

Kate's Dogs at Christmas
Kate’s Dogs at Christmas

My husband and I love to spend the holidays at our cottage in northern Ontario. I must admit that until I met my husband, I wasn’t overly enthusiastic about cooking or baking. After all, there were so many more interesting, active and entertaining things to do. But now, with the snow swirling outside, a fire burning in the woodstove, Christmas music playing in the background, our dogs sleeping close by and a nice bottle of wine to share, what is there not to like about cooking for the holidays?!

Christmas Turkey Braid
Christmas Turkey Braid

 

We even get creative with the leftovers!

And while we feel gratitude for all that we have and are able to enjoy, we will say thanks and prayers for those serving in the military oversees and at home.

Do you have a special military connection? 

Kate in an F-18F cockpit
Kate in an F-18F cockpit

My husband was a cadet as a teenager and a police officer for seventeen years. Two of our closest friends are stationed at Fort Hood in Texas. He’s an Apache helicopter pilot and a Vietnam veteran. She is a doctor and a high-ranking civilian at the base hospital. Both my husband and I have tremendous respect and gratitude for all the men and women who serve our countries; however, my greatest honor was when I was able to meet so many of our Canadian veterans by virtue of a position I was privileged to hold a decade ago.

To be able to shake the hands of so many amazing men and women, and be able to thank them personally for all that they have given to and done for our countries was a great honor and privilege. For our company to be able to give back in a small way by commemorating their efforts is one of the things I am most proud of in my career.

 Read about Kate’s latest two releases Silver Linings and A Child’s Christmas on her website. You can also find Kate on Facebook and Twitter.

Remember, we are doing this to send holiday love to military families and Active Duty who are away from home for the holidays. Harlequin is donating one book (while supplies last) for every 20 new newsletter subscriptions to the Geri Krotow Newsletter, which gets you free membership into the Geri Krotow Loyal Reader Program. Sign up here. 

 

 

 

 

Julie Miller is Helping Send Books to the Military for the Holidays

USA Today Bestselling Author Julie Miller
USA Today Bestselling Author Julie Miller

Please welcome USA Today Bestselling Author Julie Miller to our holiday celebration in support of the military. Julie is a spectacular author who writes edge-of-your-seat romantic suspense. On a personal note, we met when Julie told me she loved my books. It was a jaw-dropping moment for me as I’ve long admired Julie and her stories. We found out we share a military connection, too.

What do you make, bake or create for the holidays?

One of my favorite family holiday traditions are finding or putting together “Ho-Ho” gifts. These are pure fun, and every member of the family gets one. As soon as we get up Christmas morning, we get into our stockings. Then, because of some blood sugar issues in my family, we stop and have some breakfast. But before we dive into all the personalized packages and gifts under the tree, we each open one Ho-Ho gift. We even have dedicated gift bags with our names on them that we reuse year after year. My Mom has usually put these together, but in recent years I’ve become her personal elf and help her brainstorm ideas. So now the both of us are always on the lookout for these special gifts throughout the year.

What’s a Ho-Ho gift? It’s a gift that’s either something funny related specifically to something that person has said or done, or it’s a fun addition to something that person loves or collects. For example, my mom is notorious for burning the potatoes–stove top, in the oven or microwave–it’s a rare talent she has. So one Christmas, I got her an oven timer that has no numbers on it. She keeps it by the stove and calls it her potato timer. Or, my son is a big Star Wars fan, and it’s been fun over the years to find the craziest little knick-knacks and collectibles–like the year we got him a Darth Vader pancake turner for his new apartment. Ho, ho, ho!

Do you have a special military connection?

I’m the daughter of a lifelong Marine–even after Dad retired from the Corps! He served during the Korean Conflict, and in the Reserves for several years afterward. My “baby” brother, a “retired” Marine who served during Desert Storm, went back into the Army National Guard after 9/11, and is now an Army Major, soon to become a Lt. Colonel! So yes, I definitely have military connections, and am very proud of my family.

Julie’s latest is Crossfire Christmas, from Harlequin Intrigue. Check it out here.

Link to some free excerpts.

Connect with Julie at the usual places:

Website: www.juliemiller.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/julie.miller.5473894

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Julie-Miller/25063057967?ref=hl

Twitter: @JulieMillerAuth https://twitter.com/JulieMillerAuth

Thank you, Julie, for joining us in supporting the military at the holidays. Remember, you can do your part, too, by signing up for the Geri Krotow Newsletter. My publisher, Harlequin, will donate one book to the military for every 20 new subscribers, while supplies last. Sign up here.

Catherine Mann is Helping Send Books to the Military for the Holidays

USA Today Bestselling Author Catherine Mann
USA Today Bestselling Author Catherine Mann

Please join me in welcoming USA Today Bestselling Author and Rita-Award Winner Catherine Mann to our holiday promo to support the military. Catherine is an exceptional writer of military heroes and she should know–she married one! Another special cause that Catherine supports is animal rescue.

What do you like to make, bake or create for the holidays?

We have a large family with diverse schedules, so there’s no telling when the holiday meal will actually happen. So our meals tend to include simple, old home cooking dishes, nothing too delicate that it can’t survive an extra hour or two in the over or crockpot. My family’s favorite recipe is actually crock pot macaroni and cheese.

Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese
________________________
8 ounce box macaroni – par boiled
2 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese grated cheese
2 eggs beaten
1 cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons butter
Milk
1 teaspoon salt

Drain parboiled noodles. Place in greased crockpot. Dot top with butter. Mix beaten eggs, sour cream, 1 cup milk, salt. Pour over noodles. Stir in all cheese (reserving 1/2 cup). Pour milk until noodles are covered. Place remaining cheese on top. Cook on low for 3 hours or high for 90 minutes. Yum!!!

Do you have a special military connection?

My husband served for 22 years in the Air Force as an aviator/tester.
My son-in-law is in the Army
My brother-in-law is an Army chaplain.

Catherine’s latest release is SHELTER ME, “Second Chance Ranch” book 1, from Berkley Sensation, August 2014.
Read an excerpt here.

You can connect with Catherine in the usual ways:
Website: http://www.catherinemann.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CatherineMannAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/catherinemann1
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/catherinemann/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/93454.Catherine_Mann

Thank you so much for joining us, Catherine, and for your support in sending books to the military for the holidays.

You can do your part, too, by signing up for the Geri Krotow Newsletter here. Remember, for every 20 new Geri Krotow Loyal Reader subscriptions, Harlequin has committed to send a book to the military (while supplies last).

Susan Wiggs is Helping Send Books to the Military for the Holidays

New York Times Bestselling Author Susan Wiggs
New York Times Bestselling Author Susan Wiggs

Susan Wiggs bakes Walking Dead Gingerbread Cookies for the holidays!

Please join me in welcoming New York Times Bestselling author Susan Wiggs. What better way to start off our first full week of November than with the most glamorous, talented, kind-hearted, honest author I know?

Susan Wiggs and I met over a (gasp) decade ago, when she helped me get to my first RWA meeting after having moved to Whidbey Island (aka a remote island in the Pacific Northwest). She describes more of our unique bond below.

Recipe:  Walking Dead Sugar Cookies

“Twisted traditional cookies are always a hit with kids. Also, it makes good use of the broken ones. Everyone knows a broken cookie tastes just as good as a perfect one.”–susan wiggs

Walking Dead Cookies
Walking Dead Cookies

Ingredients

2-1/3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1-1/4 cups granulated sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter

1 egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cookie Icing: 1 cup confectioners’ sugar 2 to 3 teaspoons milk 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 3 to 4 drops red food color

Directions: Beat granulated sugar and butter in large bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Gradually beat in dry ingredients on low speed until well mixed. Refrigerate dough 2 hours or overnight until firm. Preheat oven to 375°F. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into humanoid shapes with gingerbread-person cookie cutters. Place on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely. For the Icing, mix all ingredients except food color. Divide white icing into two small cups, and use the red drops to dye one lot blood red. Use the white icing to create mummy bandages, and the red to create wounds and bloody stumps. Use decorative sprinkles and red-hots liberally. [Source: Freely adapted from McCormick Spice collection.]

Do you have a military connection, Susan?

Thanks to the wonderful Geri, I was able to write a novel about a military family called THE OCEAN BETWEEN US. It was inspired by a change of command ceremony for Geri’s husband, Steve, and to this day, it is a favorite of military spouses. I get mail about it every week!”

Susan’s latest is The Beekeeper’s Ball, and you can have your very own signed edition here. Want some holiday magic from Susan? Check out Candlelight Christmas.

Susan is an active blogger and has a beautiful website. Also, find her on Facebook and Pinterest.

Please join me in thanking Susan for her time and cookie baking talents!

Remember, we are doing this to send holiday love to military families and Active Duty who are away from home or apart for the holidays. Harlequin is donating one book for every 20 new newsletter subscriptions to the Geri Krotow Newsletter, which gets you free membership into the Geri Krotow Loyal Reader Program. Sign up here.

Delores Fossen is Helping Send Books to the Military for the Holidays

Author and Air Force Veteran Delores Fossen
Author and Air Force Veteran Delores Fossen

Please join me in welcoming Delores Fossen to our Holiday celebration. Delores is a sister Romvet with me, as she is an Air Force Veteran. Delores and I along with Lindsay McKenna are in the holiday anthology Coming Home for Christmas from Harlequin Books.

What do you make, bake or create for the holidays, Delores?

I make lots of cookies and candies for Christmas, but pralines are a family favorite. Here’s the recipe I’ve been using for more than 30 years:

Mix 1 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 cup of white sugar, 1/2 cup cream and 4 tablespoons of butter in a heavy saucepan. Stir constantly over medium heat until candy reaches the “softball stage” (240 degrees F). Remove from heat, add 1 cup of pecan halves and stir until candy thickens. Using a spoon, drop the candies onto wax paper to cool.

Do you have a military connection?

I’m a former Air Force Captain, and my husband served in the Air Force for 28 years. Our son continued the family tradition when he was commissioned in the Air Force after graduating from college.

Delores’s most recent release is Cowboy Behind the Badge and you can check it out here.

Delores can be found at her website and Facebook, links below.

www.dfossen.net
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delores-Fossen-Author/115275715199528

Thank you so much for joining us today, Delores, and supporting my efforts to send books to the military for the holidays.

Remember–every new Geri Krotow Loyal Reader adds up to more books for our military! Sign up here.

 

Heidi Hormel is Helping Send Books to the Military for the Holidays

Author Heidi Hormel
Author Heidi Hormel

Please help me welcome Heidi Hormel, the most recent author to have received “the call”  in our November Books for the Military promotion. Heidi recently sold to Harlequin American, in a two-book deal! She is gracious to join us and help celebrate the holidays.

What do you make, bake or create for the holidays, Heidi?

In every family, each member has his or her role. In mine, for the holidays, I’m the maker of sweet treats, from baklava to buckeyes to chocolate chip cookies. Probably the most popular though, is the one that requires the least skill and actual baking: Butterscotch covered peanut butter Ritz bits (we’ve never come up with a snappy name for these).

Here’s the recipe:

One box of peanut butter Ritz bits, one package butterscotch morsels, 2-4 Tblsp. of creamy peanut butter. Melt the butterscotch chips in a double boiler, thin with peanut butter, dunk in Ritz bits, knock of excess butterscotch, place on tray, once tray is full, place in fridge or freezer to set butterscotch. Voila! These keep really well in the freezer–if they last that long.

For various holidays over the years, my mother sculpted a variety of items, usually from Rice Krispie treats. She was a crafter at heart, so having quite a few of her genes, most Christmases I try to create a Rice Krispie treat in the shape of a tree or holly leaf.

Spam-tivity
Spam-tivity

In 2010, about six months after my mother died, my sister and I honored her in a very Hormel way. We made a nativity (something she avidly collected) out of Spam (and other assorted meats), along with sauerkraut and tortillas (see the photo for the splendorous beauty of this nativity). This year, though, with the help of my great niece who also has the crafting gene, we will go for a new kind of nativity set using Rice Krispies. Although I just don’t think it will reach the splendor of a king in a Spam-label cape.

Heidi’s books aren’t  out yet but here’s a link to Harlequin American which is where it will be in June 2015: http://www.harlequin.com/store.html?cid=244.

You can find Heidi at the links below.

Twitter-Heidi Hormel

Website: HeidiHormel.net

Facebook: Heidi Hormel, Author

Pinterest: HHormel.

Thank you so much for joining us, Heidi!

Remember, you can do your part to help us send books to the military for the holidays by signing up for my newsletter here.

Let's Send Books to the Military for the Holidays!

Shipping Books to Military for the Holidays
Shipping Books to Military for the Holidays

I’m so excited to share my November celebration. A double release deserves double the effort, and I’m proud to announce that my publisher Harlequin has agreed to provide free copies of my two November releases to the military, with a focus on Active Duty and families separated from home for the holidays.  Over two dozen of your favorite romance authors, from just-sold to New York Times Bestsellers, will join me by sharing their favorite Holiday activity. Want some new recipes? A new craft project? A joyful family tradition? This is your stop for all of that starting November 1st.

For every 20 new newsletter subscribers I get from now through November 30, 2014, Harlequin will send 1 book (while supplies last). Harlequin was so eager to support the military with me that they provided caseloads of  books in advance. As you read this, signed copies of Navy Christmas and Navy Joy (the novella in the Coming Home for Christmas anthology with my Romvets sisters Lindsay McKenna and Delores Fossen) have been delivered to Djibouti, Belgium, the U.S., and another box is on the way to Germany. Soldiers, sailors, Marines, Airmen and their families who are feeling the sting of being away from home for the holidays (or have a loved one downrange) will have something a little extra to read this season.

As an additional treat I made special custom bookmarks/ornaments for every book sent. Lucky Geri Krotow Loyal Readers (newsletter subscribers) will automatically be entered to win their own custom bookmark (and maybe a book or two!).

All I need from you is your continued support: make sure you’re signed up for my newsletter and that all of your friends and family are, too. We are all part of something bigger! Sign up for the newsletter here.

World War II Wednesday: Knitting

Did you know that knitting has been an important source of support for combat troops overseas? 2014-08-21 11.44.00WWII was no exception, when Americans were urged to knit clothing for soldiers and sailors, to include socks, sweaters and hats. Recently there were drives to knit helmet liners for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Knitting has evolved as an art over the centuries, but the most notable development since WWII is probably the variety of fibers available to knit with. Still, the basics are often the best for a lot of my projects, like the “dorm socks” I knit up for my daughter (son’s are still on the needles). A basic sock pattern with worsted wool in a bright shade of purple did the trick.

For me, knitting is brain yoga. I get the best plot ideas in the middle of a purl. I hope you have your own way to chill your brain out, and that you make the time to enjoy it today.

Catch Up Time

A full summer combined with RWA in San Antonio at the end of July has left me wondering where summer went. Are you there, too?

Dorm Socks for Kiddos
Dorm Socks for Kiddos

Both kids leave for college over the next two weeks–one for his last year undergrad and the other for her freshman year at university (do you hear the sob/chortle combo? It’s the sadness of the baby leaving the nest, with the joy of freedom for moi woven in).
Besides the omnipresent work with stories demanding my attention, the offspring have asked for “cozy dorm socks.” In appropriate university colors. Actually, oldest asked for them because a hat I knitted him was waaaay too big (Saskwatch proportions) and since I’d used super wash wool, un-shrinkable. But I’d started a lovely shrug (think Jane Austen) for my daughter, who informed me “um, Mom? I’m never going to wear a purple shrug.” Shrug ripped out, yarn re-purposed for dorm slipper-socks. Need to get the boy’s done this week. I only allow myself to knit after the words are on the page. Will I do it?