Friday, December 23, 2011

Guest Post - Romancing Rudy Raindear by Mary Leo

Title:  Romancing Rudy Raindear
Author:  Mary Leo


Rudy Christopher Raindear opened his eyes in the early morning gloom and glanced at the dark-haired girl asleep on the green sofa across from him.

He figured he was dreaming so he rolled over, punched down his uncooperative pillow, pulled the thin blanket up over his shoulders, closed his eyes and let out a heavy sigh.
The sigh triggered the mild headache he’d been nursing for most of the night into a thunderous pounding which reverberated down his spine.

The pounding caused his stomach to pitch several times which made him bolt upright banging his about-to-explode head on the low, slanted ceiling. This in turn reminded him that he wasn’t at home in his ultra-modern apartment in New York City, but in his grandfather’s partially converted attic in North Pole, Maine, the Christmas Capital of the World.

The now dying Christmas Capital of the World.
The town Rudy and his parents had happily abandoned as soon as he’d graduated from high school.

To read the whole story of Christmas Maine, be sure and download Kissing Kris Kringle by Erin Quinn and Naughty St. Nick by Calista Fox..

I’m thrilled to be blogging here today. What a fabulous group of readers and writers. How fun!

This is by far my favorite time of year. When I was a kid, growing up in Chicago, I looked forward to December almost as soon as Christmas was over. Not just because of the presents, but for all the family that would visit and those wonderful cookies, cakes, and meals we would enjoy together. Back then, Aunt Stella was the best cook in the family and everyone looked forward to her visit. She’d bring dozens of cookies, frosted with pink or green icing, dusted with powdered sugar or tiny silver sprinkles, and shaped in everything from crescents to Christmas trees. Of course, she would only bake these delectable morsels at her home in Sparta, Wisconsin. Never would she bake anything at our house. That would mean she’d have to share a recipe, and sharing was completely out of the question. Her recipes were golden and she guarded them like a top military secret.

Dear Aunt Stella passed away a few years ago in her mid 90’s, most likely still clutching her secret recipes. It gave me such joy to add one of them to my recent release, Romancing Rudy Raindear, a story about Rudy and Jenny in the magical Christmas town of North Pole, Main where getting on Santa’s Naughty List just might be exactly what Rudy needs to bring the true meaning of Christmas back into his heart.

While I was writing this story, I was reminded of all those Decembers when I was a child and how the magic of Christmas came alive every December. And how Aunt Stella is probably looking down from pastry heaven, happy that I shared her most guarded recipe for anise cookies with my readers.

Or not…

Romancing Rudy Raindear is part of the Sexy Secret Santa anthology: Naughty St. Nick and Kissing Kris Kringle are also available now.

Happy Holiday’s Everyone and may December Magic touch your heart!



Mrs. Raindear’s Favorite Anise Cookie
Preheat oven to 375
Makes a lot of cookies!

9 eggs
1 cup cooking oil
1 cup sugar
¼ cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
½ teaspoon anise oil
7 ½ cups sifted flour
9 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup powder sugar
¼ cup melted butter
Add enough *Anisette to whip smooth
Silver or colored sprinkles if desired

1.      Beat eggs until thick -  lemon colored
2.      Add oil gradually, then sugar, milk, vanilla, and anise oil
3.      Beat 5 minutes longer
4.      Add in sifted dry ingredients gradually
5.      Turn dough out on floured board and knead until smooth
6.      Cut off enough dough to roll into a ½ inch thick rope about 9 inches long
7.      Cut this rope into three equal parts and place on prepared cookie sheet
8.      Continue this process until all the dough has been used
9.      Bake on greased cookie sheet at 375 for 10 minutes or until delicately brown
10.  Cool on wire rack. When cool, top with a thin coating of icing, add sprinkles while icing is wet.

*Anisette is an Italian liquor which can be purchased at any liquor store

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