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Friday, December 14, 2012

Holiday Gifts of Love Blog Hop


< also check out End of the World Hop for The Pilot & more giveaway >

Christmas is a time of giving and to me that's the most fun. On Christmas morning, I watch the rest of the family as they open their gifts to see their reaction to what I gave them. Do they like it as much as I thought they would? Are they pleased? Then, someone will say “Mom/Nana, aren’t you going to open your gifts?” and I quit watching and start opening.

A traditional cookie we always have at Christmas is O Henry Bars. This came from Hubs’ aunt and my kids love them. (Me, too.) Chocolate and peanut butter. How can you go wrong with that?

So here’s my gift to you. I hope you enjoy.

O Henry Bars

2/3 cup margarine
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
3 tsp vanilla
4 cups uncooked oatmeal
1 cup chocolate chips
2/3 cup peanut butter

Cream together margarine and sugar. Add corn syrup and vanilla. Beat well. Add oats. Mix. Spray (with non-stick spray) 13x9x2 pan. Spread oats mixture in pan. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes (don’t bake any longer even if it doesn’t look done). Cool.

Melt chocolate and peanut butter together. Pour over cooled cooked oat mixture and spread evenly. Cool several hours before cutting into bars. Quantity depends on how big you cut the bars.

While you're cyber-munching on an O Henry Bar, here's a little taste of my newest sci-fi romance The Pilot, which kicks off  the Outer Rim series about strong women on the frontier of space.

There's no place like home and he just stole hers.Cargo hauler, risk taker Celera d'Enfaden must work with rule-bound Administrator Trevarr Jovano to save her brother from a galactic gangster.

     Celara pushed her chair away from the table and climbed up on it. “Quiet down, you Rimmer scum.”

The patrons laughed then quieted. Someone paused the Seinfeld vid.
     She lifted her drink again. “A toast, Rimmers. Let’s hear it for the wonderful, fantabulous, yada, yada, yada, Administrator Jovano. May he live long enough to enjoy good health.”
     To her surprise, silence met her toast. No one raised their glasses or mugs, even in jest. Everyone was looking at her, standing on the chair.
     No, they were looking past her. Only thing behind her was the door. Kleema groaned and buried her head on her arms on the table. Booted footsteps rapped on the rough-hewn plank floor then stopped behind her.
     “Thank you for the compliments and the good wishes for my longevity.” The baritone-and-chokiris voice sounded just over her shoulder.
     If ever she needed a personal cloaking device, it was now. Or a magic ring with which to disappear. Sec Admin Trevarr Jovano stood behind her. Waiting. She swore she could feel him breathing.
     Undaunted, she turned around. As the room tipped, she reached for the back of the chair. “Whoa, those mudslides sneak up on you.”
     Missing the chair, she grabbed the closest thing—Trevarr Jovano’s black-clad shoulders. Beneath her fingers, the strong muscles contracted. “Hey there, Admin Man. Heard my toast, did you?” She grinned down at him.
     He wasn’t smiling. “You should sit down before you fall down. Or better yet, go home and sleep it off.”
     A dark fury swept away the sweet tranquility of two, tall Kruferian mudslides. “I can’t go home, you snake. You stole my home.”
     She swung a round-house punch at him, missed her objective and would have fallen ignominiously off the chair had he not caught her. For several long secs, he held her tightly against his chest, her feet dangling off the floor a good twenty-five centimeters. His green eyes caught hers and darkened.
     The heat in the room rose ten degrees. Her heart tripped, the air leached out of her lungs. His eyes. She could drown in those green depths. 

I think Celara had a little too much Christmas cheer. :)

What is your favorite food around the holidays?

Leave a comment for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card. Be sure to leave your email address. For more chances to win, enter in the Rafflecopter giveaway.

Now for the Grand Prizes. When you leave a comment (with your email address, of course), you’re eligible for one of the Grand Prizes listed in the graphic below.

To continue on the Hop go to http://carrieannbloghops.blogspot.com/ for more links and to qualify for the THREE grand prizes. There are over 200 participants in the Holiday Gifts of Love Blog Hop. You can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times! So, be sure to leave a comment! And don't forget to leave your email address.


  1. My favorite holiday treat is pumpkin pie.


  2. Love the recipe. I think my favorite holiday is fudge. With walnuts.

  3. You all know I hate to cook, but I still thought I was the world's greatest baker. I did win a raisin pie contest. I cheated by rubbing egg white and sugar on the top crust, which was really one of those roll out things. Well, anyway I made two, two mind you three-hour stints with filo dough and pie crust, almond paste, blueberry paste, apricot paste, Brazil nuts, walnuts, crushed pecans and prepared icing. Guess what? The first batch dissolved into a wet mess you couldn't pick up. The second looked like a mad two year old had thrown them at the wall after burning their bottoms. Thank God for Pettridge Farm Pecan Nougouts.

  4. Just a reminder, if you want to be entered in the Grand Prizes drawing, you need to leave your email address here. The coordinators gather the addresses from here. Rafflecopter is only for this blog's prize ($10 Amazon gift card). If you want to avoid spam, write your address like this: janedoe(at)gmail(dot)com

  5. Hi Diane,
    I do the same thing with the gift giving --I do believe in the saying "it's better to give than to receive." The most fun for me is to pass our the gifts (well, tell the kids to pass out the gifts). We open ours one at a time so everyone sees what everyone else gets. I love to watch their reactions. Love it when I get it "right."
    Thanks for the recipe. I'll have to try it. Happy Holidays.

    1. Heck, I might as well enter the contest....tis the season and all... :)

  6. I apologize to everyone who hates the word verification (I do) but as soon as I lifted it for this Hop, I started getting spam. Please don't let the word verify thing discourage you from leaving comments.

  7. I love the cookies that you only get this time of year. I make Monster cookies once per year at Christmas. It's too much work and too big a recipe to do any other time.


  8. thanks for the great blog and wonderful giveaway


  9. Great excerpt. Thanks for the contest. Happy Holidays.

  10. Ooh, more recipes - I'll be as big as a cyber-house after this blog hop ;) My mom makes amazing lolly cake at Christmas and rum balls (to die for....) :)

    toni at toni kenyon dot com

  11. The recipe looks wonderful, Diane. Once a year we wrap whole water chestnuts in bacon and bake. After, we dab with barbecue sauce. Not too fancy, but yummy and worth the effort. Happy Holidays!

  12. Anything with peppermint in it and pumpkin rolls (cake with cream cheese icing, not bread). Thanks for the giveaway!
    pinkbonanza{ AT }gmail{ DOT }com

  13. It's a tie between Christmas cookies and homemade tamales.


  14. My favorite are ham rolls :)
    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  15. Chocolate fudge! Homade of course!
    Thanks for the chance to win a great giveaway!

    kacidesigns AT yahoo DOT com

  16. Cutout Christmas cookies for sure

    fencingromein at hotmail dot com

  17. Homemade Fudge is the best!

    Rafflecopter Name: Dawna N.


  18. Christmas cookies
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    by.evie at yahoo dot com dot br

  19. I love Chocolate No Bakes and Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies
    Thanks for the giveaway and Merry Christmas

    crystaley73 at yahoo dot com

  20. Chocolate Chips cookies!
    Merry Christmas to you! Thank you for the giveaway!
    verusbognar (at) gmail (dot) com

  21. Good morning, everyone. Thanks to everyone who has commented so far. The foods you've mentioned make me hungry! I want you all to know that I do read every comment. Have fun making all those wonderful foods.

  22. My two youngest sons would love those. They are peanutbutter lovers. But I like to figure out how my step dad makes what he calls Honky rolls. That's what he tells me the name of them are. They put me in mind of the Italian Kolachi. It's a pastry, with a nut filling, the sides fold up and sprinkled with confection sugar and baked. Mmmm

    Raonaid at gmail dot com

  23. Fudge! Happy Holidays! Great giveaway!


  24. cookies..any and all:)
    Happy Holidays!

  25. I love me some eggnog with brandy. Only drink it at Christmas.
    Merry Christmas and may your new year be filled with books.

    flip at ida dot net

  26. One of my favorite Christmas Romance Books is The Untamable Rogue by Annette Blair! The story is about Ashford Blackburne Fifth Earl and he has to get married and get his willing bride pregnant before Christmas or his grandfather won’t let him inherit his money. Ash truly needs to inherit the money because his late father squandered it all away and he is taking care of his mother. After getting stood up at the alter, again, Ash and his friends go to the local pub where the owner plays a drunken Ash in a card game…his consolation prize is the pubs daughter Larkin, who he wants to get ride of. Ash has to learn to forgive…Larkin has to learn how to trust…can two completely different people find love together. This is a cute, extremely funny, romantic story with a surprise Christmas ending!


  27. my favorite holdiay memory is when my husband gave me a gave me a teddy bear that was holding a box that had a diamomd ring in it angelwolfmystic@yahoo.com

    1. Okay, I have to reply to this one. Awwww. What a great memory.

  28. Happy Happy Holidays! Thanks for the great giveaway!
    My fav holiday food is candied yams! Yummy Yummy Yummy!

  29. Decorated sugar cookies!
    Every Christmas Eve we go out to dinner and come home to watch the movie Elf.
    Thanks for the chance and Happy Holidays!

  30. I love cookies, any kind.
    magic5905 at embarqmail dot com

  31. Peanut butter cookies.

    Happy Holidays!

    mslasha at gmail dot com

  32. i love pumpkin cookies and there best this time of year
    gfc kimberly
    kaholgate at ymail dot com

  33. Hmmm. . . . it's hard to pick just one! We usually only make buckeyes and snickerdoodles this time of year. Snickerdoodles are my favorite cookie despite my weakness for chocolate!

    snhoveln (at) gmail (dot) com

  34. I love all food but desserts during the holidays always do it for me. There are two I love that we have every year. One is Snickerdoodle cookies. An in-law recently started making these and they are the exact perfect crispiness. I cannot wait. The second is Cherry Pie that is bakery bought, but so delicious. I could talk about food forever. I love food. I think because I am not currently hungry I will be able to stop now. :)

    Thanks so much for being a part of the hop and for the amazing giveaway.

    Happy Holidays to you and your family,

  35. Sugar cookies. Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  36. christmas sugar cookies are my fav for the holidays - regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

  37. Believe it or not, my fav holiday food is meatloaf. My mother started it years ago & we continue the tradition for dinner. :D
    Happy holidays
    missie25524 @ netzero.com

  38. I love all holiday food but especially love cherry stollen... yum.. Thanks for being part of the hop and merry christmas


  39. Mine is raisins-and-nuts pie.

    Thank you for the chance!

    spamscape [at] gmail [dot] com

  40. Hello, thanks for the giveaway! I love Christmas cookies :)


  41. Gingerbread is my favorite! Actually I love making (and eating!) all Christmas cookies, but there's just something so much fun about decorating gingerbread houses and people. It makes me feel like a small child, all excited for Christmas.

    dancingcelt at gmail dot com

  42. all the cookies and candy

  43. What an awesome hop!! And a fantastic giveaway! Thank you!! Happy holidays to you all! Best wishes and many blessings!

  44. I love nut roll.


  45. Pumpkin Pie. I'm spending this holiday season with my family and hoping to win so I can read more romances. I don't have an ereader. Happy Holidays! lisarayns at gmail dot com

  46. My favorite food is anything sweet and chocolatey! :)

  47. My favorite thing about this season is cookies; I love making and eating them. Everyone is so willing to share.
    planterofhope at aol dot com

  48. My favorite holiday treats are the old-world Italian cookies and pastries my mother, aunt and grandmother made every Christmas season, especially the Venetians and the Zeppoli. Yum!

    1. Forgot the email address: it's jlmiersen@gmail.com -- Lana Miersen.

  49. my favorite food is buckeyes at Christmas :)

    Merry Christmas !

  50. I love all the replies. The food sounds so yummy. Thank you, everyone, for leaving comments. I hope the holidays are filled with peace and hope for a better new year.


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