☘️ Something special for Saint Patrick’s Day! ☘️

Saint Patrick’s Day is by far the most famous Irish holiday, and it has come to be celebrated all over the world. Saint Patrick was a 5th-century Romano-British Christian missionary whose name marks the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. Today, he is the foremost patron saint of Ireland. On March 17 many people across the globe celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day with parades and festivals, Irish traditional music sessions, and the wearing of green attire or shamrocks. At the end of the celebrations, a shamrock is put into the bottom of a cup, which is then filled with whiskey, beer, or cider. It is then drunk as a toast to Saint Patrick, Ireland, or those present. The shamrock would either be swallowed with the drink or taken out and tossed over the shoulder for good luck.

As fun as this sounds, no wonder so much of the world celebrates Saint Patrick’s Day!

I’ve become fascinated by Irish culture through several Nora Roberts books, so much so that I’ve decided to create my own series that takes place in Dublin. The Irish Garda Squad is a series of detective mysteries/police procedural books with a touch of romance. Each book features exciting new characters and follows the journeys of the Irish Police detectives, the complicated cases they solve, and the challenges these cops face in their personal lives.

All the stories can be read as stand-alone novels, in any order.

The first two books, Dare Game and Killer Score, have both received Crowned Heart Reviews of Excellence from Ind’Tale Magazine, a distinction that is not given lightly. I’m particularly proud to have gotten two such reviews for two books in a row, and I hope the third Garda book will live up to the standards.

To be honest, I planned to release Silent Strike, the next Garda book, today on March 17, but I weaved such a twisted plot I got tangled in it myself. 😂 After many ups and down, I’m finally working on the last chapters, and with a bit of luck from Saint Patrick himself, I will be releasing the book in April. If you’d like to be notified when it’s published, make sure you follow me on Amazon and BookBub, or subscribe to my Newsletter.

If you haven’t checked out the published books yet, you can find them on Amazon and read them for free in Kindle Unlimited.

I hope you have a wonderful day, whether you celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day or not. We could all use a bit of luck right now. 😉

Stay safe and read books!

 

Hugs,

Gingerbread Cake Means Christmas by @JoanReeves #mgtab

In our home, it’s not officially Christmas until I make Old-Fashioned Gingerbread.

Everyone talks about gingerbread men and gingerbread houses during the holidays, and both of those items are really cute. But, to me, they look better than they taste.

I don’t like crisp, hard-baked gingerbread cookies. Maybe it’s because my mom never made gingerbread people or houses. She made gingerbread cake and served it warm from the oven with a dollop of cream cheese frosting sprinkled with lemon zest on top. From scratch.

Oh, my goodness, the smell of the gingerbread baking made salivary glands go into overdrive. And the taste? Amazing.

Many people think it takes too long to make a cake from scratch so they buy a cake mix. I’m sure the cake mix is probably a good product, and you may want to try it.

However, I’d like to share my recipe for homemade gingerbread with you. It’s darker in appearance than the picture shown on the box. That’s probably because my recipe calls for molasses. That’s what gives it the darker color, rich aroma, and depth of flavor.

Old-Fashioned Gingerbread

  • 1/2 cup sugar, white or brown
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup hot water (hot from the tap, not boiling)
  1. Butter a 9x9x2 inch baking pan and set aside. Turn your oven on and set it for 350 degrees F.
  2. Sift flour into a small bowl along with the ginger, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl, and add the egg. Beat well.
  4. Add the molasses to the butter mixture and beat well.
  5. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the butter mixture a little at a time. Mix well after each addition until all is incorporated.
  6. Carefully stir in the hot water and mix well.
  7. Pour the batter into the baking pan and place in the preheated oven.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 40-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  9. Serve warm plain or with a dollop of whipped cream or cream cheese frosting.

I made Gingerbread this past weekend so, for me, it’s officially Christmas!

Be sure and enter our Rafflecopter on our Home Page and check out all the wonderful Holiday Romances—books and box sets galore—you’ll find from the very talented authors of The Authors’ Billboard.

Holiday Romances by Joan Reeves

Above are a few of my Christmas Romances for your consideration. I invite you to sign up for my Newsletter which has new release information and giveaways too.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy, Healthy, Prosperous New Year!

The Beauty of Joy

I love hanging out with people who are joyful. They radiate kindness, tenderness, and a love for life. With a smile and kind encouragement, a person filled with joy brings a feeling of expectation to everyone around them.

Joy is contagious, bringing lighthearted pleasure and laugh out loud moments.

So, during this magical holiday season, make a joyful noise. May your homes be filled with love, and your moments filled with laughter.

I have two new sweet holiday romances for December, and only 99¢!

A Cbocolate-Box Christmas: Love is sweeter with a touch of mischief.

A Chocolate-Box New Years: Fresh pasta isn’t the only specialty that takes extra time…

A Chocolate-Box New Years

Why My Outdoor Lights Stay Up Until March

Why My Outdoor Decorations Stay Up Until March by @_NancyRadke #mgtab

I am one of those who put my outdoor lights up around Thanksgiving and don’t take them down until after March. I especially love the white fairy lights that cast a warm glow on everything. This year I plan to put up some larger, colored lights, but I still want the tiny white fairy lights around my windows.

So why do I leave my decorations up so long? It has nothing to do with decorating and everything to do with a slight amount of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). I live near Seattle where it gets dark around 5 pm, starting in November and continuing through February. I happen to be very sensitive to outdoor light or lack of it.

In the summer, I get up with the sun and am pretty much happy all day. I rarely close my curtains. (Some of my windows don’t even have curtains.) But in the winter, when it is dark out, it makes me want to sleep and not get anything done. Closing the curtains doesn’t work. I KNOW it is black on the other side. Pitch black. Dark as the inside of a wolf’s mouth at midnight.

One year I put up fairy lights as a decoration. I didn’t think much of it until I realized that it kept my windows from feeling dark. Even though I KNEW it was dark outside, it didn’t FEEL that way. I could leave my curtains open. Even with them shut, light shone on them from the outside, as if it wasn’t dark out.

I no longer wanted to start closing down at 3:30, 4 pm, and instead felt full of energy. Hooray! Fairy lights are wonderful. I put them on a timer so that they would come on before it started getting too dark and not go off until 10 pm. This worked so great that I left them up until the spring equinox was close enough that I no longer needed them.

So if you feel dreary during the long northern winter nights, get those fairy lights working for you. Don’t take them down in January just because the holiday season is over. You may be the only house on the block with your lights on, but if it works, keep them on.

My Christmas story this year, Three French Hens, takes place on a Montana ranch, with freezing cold weather, darkness, and the bank threatening to foreclose on a widow and her son. The hero finds his way to her door because she had put a bright light up on the barn to help guide herself back home. He thought at first it was a star helping him find his way. That’s the way I feel about fairy lights.

Click here for set containing this story.

The set shown here is Unforgettable Christmas Dreams, put out by the Authors’ Billboard. If you want to enter our monthly contest, click this link.

https://authorsbillboard.com/