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!

Better Late Than Never? by @JoanReeves #mgtab

I think the phrase “better late than never” came from someone who was simply overwhelmed with life and had too much to do in too little time.

Take today for instance. I had my day planner marked to post to this blog on the 23rd. However, I was so busy playing catch-up in other areas and meeting appointments that I completely forgot to check my day planner yesterday.

I hate missing something I’d scheduled. So, this post is “better late than never” I guess. Saying that once again made me investigate the origin of this expression which I’ve been using far too often of late.

According to what I found, the origin of “better late than never” can be found in classic literature. Attributed to Geoffrey Chaucer—yes, that far back—the phrase was first seen in 1386 in The Yeoman’s Tale, found in The Canterbury Tales, to wit: “For better than never is late; never to succeed would be too long a period.”

Rather than preen about quoting something that is vaguely intellectual, I think I’d rather promise myself to be better at prioritizing and always check my day planner at the end of the day.

I think I need to take a day off and do something fun like this sign says. Keep calm and read a book.

I have just the thing in mind too. Well, it’s not actually a book but a collection of short stories by my friends and me.

I’m talking about CHRISTMAS SHORTS, only 99cents on Amazon. My story in the collection is STUCK ON THE NAUGHTY LIST. I’ve been wanting to read the other stories in the set. Today, the weather in Houston is sunny and mild. I think I’ll take my Kindle outside to the patio and read.

CHRISTMAS SHORTS is a #1 Best Seller. some stories are sweet; some are spicy and deliciously naughty. In other words, there’s  something for everyone.

Grab a copy and see why everyone loves this box set.

Personally, I love short stories because they allow me to read and finish something in the fragments of time that somehow describe my days. Like many, I’m so busy that I find myself gravitating to short stories that satisfy my desire to read.

Be sure and enter the Authors Billboard November Giveaway and check out all the featured books on the Home Page. We have published many Box Sets so visit our Books Page and browse the wonderful bestselling collections we’ve created.

Enjoy this Season of Giving Thanks and the calm before the storm of holiday shopping!

Ghost Towns of Texas by @JoanReeves #mgtab

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Well, it does if you’re a writer who began plotting and writing Christmas romances a few months ago.

You’re going to be delighted with CHRISTMAS SHORTS, the new holiday romance collection we’ve created just for you. I’m taking the opportunity today to do a cover reveal for my story in the box set, Stuck on the Naughty List, a romance about a girl who left the man she loved so he could live the life he’d been groomed for since birth.

Now, you may wonder what that has to do with Ghost Towns of Texas, one of my hobbies one might say.

Stuck on the Naughty List is set in Capitola, Texas, a town that no longer exists. Like many of the more than 1,000 ghost towns, Capitola, located in Mason County which is part of the Texas Hill Country,boomed briefly and then faded away.

This was the 3rd book I’ve set in a town that was once a real town and is now just a memory.

Capitola intrigued me from the moment I read about it because it was founded by a woman—and not just any woman, but an avid reader.

Sarah E. Jenkins, the postmistress, founded the community was founded in 1894. She loved to read and named the town after the heroine in a popular novel of that era: The Hidden Hand, or, Capitola the Madcap by American author E.D.E.N. Southworth. (That’s Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte Southworth.)

The little community failed to thrive, and the post office closed its doors a dozen years later. Then the route of the main road was altered, and the town faded away. However, it was the perfect inspiration for me to create a series with a western swing dance hall, the Capitola Palace Dance Hall, as the center of the social life in the town and surrounding counties.

In case you don’t know, American Western Swing music is a genre that’s entirely Texan. It came out of the Great Depression with Bob Wills as one of the co-founders of the genre.

The song by Waylon Jennings, “Bob Wills Is Still the King,” is a tribute to Wills and Western Swing music which is played in Austin and by popular bands like Asleep at the Wheel. (Check YouTube!)

I loved “meeting” Cassie and Ben and will feature them in the second book as they join forces with a couple of newcomers to save the Capitola Palace Dance Hall from destruction.

While you’re waiting for CHRISTMAS SHORTS, be sure and check out all the other wonderful holiday collections and other box sets we’ve produced. Remember to enter our Giveaway.

Enjoy autumn! It’s delightful here in Texas.

Confessions of a Binge Reader by @JoanReeves #mgtab

Hi! My name is Joan, and I’m a…a…Binge Reader.

There I said it. Whew! I feel so much better now.

I’ve been a binge reader my entire life. I was the kid with the book and flashlight under the covers because I couldn’t bear to close my book at night.

Come to think of it, that may be why I’m an insomniac. At any rate, I still read far past my bedtime at night.

Wonderful World of Ebooks

Today’s ebook world is a wonderland for readers like me. I think the Kindle is one of the best inventions ever.

Another great invention? Box sets! Wow. How did we binge readers get along before there were box sets.

My trusty Kindle is loaded with happily-ever-after box sets so I can happily read one book after another. We here at Authors Billboard have embraced the concept of box sets and offer several to readers who are like me.

Are you a binge reader too? If you suspect you are but aren’t sure, here’s a questionnaire that will help you discover whether you too suffer from this awesome disorder.

Binge Reader Questionnaire

  1. Are you unable to place a bookmark and close a book once you’ve started reading?
  2. When you finish a book, do you immediately start reading another one?
  3. In the rare event that you have no books to read, do you find yourself in an online bookstore and don’t know how you got there?
  4. Would you rather read than watch TV?
  5. Do you sneak a read when you’re supposed to be doing something else like laundry, working on a spreadsheet, or cooking dinner for the family?
  6. Do you stay up late at night reading even when you’re tired and should be sleeping?
  7. Do you have stacks of books to read and a full ereading device, but you can’t resist buying another book or box set?
  8. Have you ever said: I can quit any time I want?

If you answered yes to at least half of these questions, you may have a problem. If you answered yes to all of them, you’re a Binge Reader. You probably have a cluttered home and piles of work awaiting you.

Who cares? There are worse addictions than reading. Look on the bright side.

  1. You’re well-read.
  2. You can converse on many different subjects.
  3. Your kids are probably readers too, and that’s helped them develop critical thinking skills.
  4. And you’re probably happy.
  5. If you’re happy, chances are, your family is happy too.

Read on!

Check out our July Giveaway. I hope you’ll click my Rafflecopter button even though my name is listed as Joanne rather than Joan. *LOL*

While you’re at the July Giveaway page, take a peek at all the wonderful box sets available from The Authors of Authors Billboard.

By the way, pick up a copy of my free romance short story LuvU4Ever, Book 1 of A Moment in Time.

He promised to love her forever? So what happened? Can nine little words destroy love? “I told you to never call me at home.

I love a good short story with a beginning, middle and strong ending and ‘LuvU4Ever’ delivers with no cliffhangers to cheat the reader. ‘LuvU4Ever’ is one short story I would recommend to all lovers of romance!” ~Jane Jones, Top 1000 Amazon Reviewer