Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Blog Tour: Holly's First Noel by Faye Robertson (Guest Post & Giveaway)

Title:  Holly's First Noel
Author:  Faye Robertson

Synopsis:


Music teacher Holly Jones is in a festive predicament. Her boyfriend just dumped her the week before Christmas, so why is she only depressed he made off with the mince pies? When the charming science teacher next door overhears the dreaded call and suggests she accompany him on his Scottish holiday retreat, she accepts, eager to spend a quiet week rediscovering herself.

Noel Coward’s wife died on Christmas Eve three years ago. To bury the memories of that day, he spends the holidays getting drunk and watching action movies—which makes him perfect company for a fellow teacher in need of solitude. Except, instead of wallowing in his grief, Noel finds himself comforted by Holly’s presence, fascinated by her mind, and after one innocent kiss, on fire for her touch. As the snow piles up outside, the temperature inside soars, while together, they discover the human heart’s amazing capacity to heal…and love.
 
Enjoy Holly’s First Noel, a $2.99 Entangled Ever After!
Get your copy at

Faye Robertson lives in the sub-tropical Northland of New Zealand with her wonderful husband and gorgeous teenage son. She writes fun, flirty, and sexy contemporary romances for the modern woman who likes intelligent, spirited heroines, and hunky but approachable heroes. She’s won several romance writing competitions and is a member of the Romance Writers of New Zealand. She would much rather immerse herself in reading or writing romance than do the dusting and ironing, which is why it’s not a great idea to pop round if you have any allergies. She also writes romance under the name Serenity Woods.

You can find Faye at her website, on Twitter or connect on Facebook!

 
In this festive romance, food doesn’t play a large role for Holly and Noel, two schoolteachers who find themselves alone and miserable at Christmastime. Noel’s wife died three years ago, and Holly’s boyfriend has dumped her—and they decide to spend the weekend on the shores of Loch Ness in Scotland being miserable together. They have no decorations, no roast dinner, and no family get-together around the dining table. However, they discover that even though there are no customary paper hats or tinsel—and their festive dinner consists of beans on toast—magic and romance is waiting for them out in the snow. They find out it’s what’s in your heart that counts, and love can turn any day into a celebration.

In spite of all this, however, Holly still manages to sneak a few mince pies in her suitcase, because what’s Christmas really without a festive dessert to brighten the day? Here in New Zealand, the pavlova is a national treasure, and so here’s a recipe for Mocha pavlova, which I will be baking for a treat over the Christmas weekend. It’s supposed to serve 8. In my family, that’s probably four healthy portions! But of course, you can always double the amount if you need to feed more people.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoons instant coffee powder
½ tablespoon boiling water
200g milk chocolate
3 egg whites
¾ cup caster sugar
300ml thickened cream
250g marscapone
1 tablespoon coffee-flavoured liqueur

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/180ºC fan-forced.

Line 3 baking trays with baking paper and mark a 12cm x 25cm rectangle on each piece of paper.
Dissolve the coffee in the boiling water and cool.
Grate half the chocolate.
Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
Gradually beat in the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dissolved.
Beat for 3 minutes or until meringue is glossy.
Fold in the coffee mixture and half the grated chocolate until just combined.
Divide the mixture into 3 and spread a third on each piece of baking paper inside the rectangles.
Bake for 10 minutes or until firm and crisp.
Turn out the meringue onto sheets of baking paper and carefully remove and discard the baking paper from the top of the meringue, then turn top side up onto racks and set aside to cool.
Melt the other half of the chocolate and drizzle over each cooled meringue.
Using an electric mixture, beat cream until soft peaks form. Fold in marscapone and liqueur.
Place 1 meringue on a platter, spread with a third of the marscapone mixture.
Repeat twice, finishing with the marscapone mixture.
Sprinkle with the rest of the grated chocolate and serve!

Another treat for you!

Snippet:

Holly stared at him. Surely she’d heard wrong. “What?” she asked stupidly. Why did he always make her feel as if he was head of Mensa and she was the forerunner for the role of village idiot?


Noel finished off his coffee and pushed his cup away. “It’s a big house. There are four bedrooms and two living rooms. It’s in the middle of beautiful countryside and it’s guaranteed to snow.”

She blinked at him. It didn’t make sense. He wanted to get away for Christmas—why would he ask her to go with him? Unless… Jeez. She had just talked about stockings and liking lots of sex. What guy wouldn’t get ideas after that sort of conversation?


“It’s not a come on,” he said as if he’d read her mind. “You don’t have to speak to me at all if you don’t want. You can spend the whole weekend in your room, or come and watch DVDs with me and get drunk. I don’t mind. You look like you need a break, that’s all.” He frowned at her smile. “It’s not a proposal or anything."

She smiled. “You’re very sweet.”

“I’m really not. I’ll be inebriated most of the time. I’ll probably be obnoxious and insult you and fall into a coma on the sofa.” He picked up his glasses and put them on as she laughed. “Anyway, the offer’s there. We’d better get back now. Are you all right to take period six?”


She stood, surprised as he retrieved her coat, and held it up for her to slip her arms into. “Yes, I’ll be fine thanks. Wow, you really are an old-fashioned gentleman, aren’t you?”


“It’s the way I was brought up.” He held out his arm. “Allow me to escort you back to school, Miss Jones.”


Laughing, she said, “If we’re going to spend Christmas together, you’re going to have to stop calling me that.”


He looked surprised as he opened the door and popped his umbrella, gesturing for her to go out first.

“You’re coming to Scotland with me?”


She placed her hand in the crook of his arm as she ducked out of the insistent rain. “Might as well. We can have a ‘Who’s going to be most miserable on Christmas Day’ competition.”


“I’ll win,” he said. “I win every year.”


“I’m sure I can give you a run for your money.”


“Well, I can drink more than you can.”


“Hah! Don’t bet on it. I’ve been known to drink copious amounts of Chardonnay at certain times of the month.”


He snorted. “Malt whisky’s what you need, girl. That’ll put hairs on your chest.”


“My breasts are perfectly nice hairless, thank you very much.”


His lips curved. “Well thank you for filling my head with that image just as I go into a lesson on voltage and electrical currents.”


“It’s the last day of term,” she said. “Put a DVD on for God’s sake like everyone else.”


He glanced down at her. His glasses had misted up as they came out into the cold air, so he looked over the top of them at her. Why did that give her the shivers? “Holly, I’ll say it one last time and then I won’t say it again. I didn’t ask you to Scotland for any other reason than that I thought you could do with somewhere quiet to go.”


“Shucks,” she said. “And there’s me hoping it was for the sex.”



GIVEAWAY!!

In honor of Faye's visit today she's giving away an e-book copy of her novella
"Holly's First Noel"!!

This is open internationally!  Giveaway will run until Wednesday December 21th.

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment and tell us what your favorite Christmas dish is!
Make sure to leave your email address so I have a way of getting in touch with you.
(example:  aislynnt(at)gmail(dot)com)

Happy Holidays!

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