Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Guest Post & Book Feature - The Christmas Bridge by Elyse Douglas

Snookie was a little girl who lived down the block from us.  She was all elbows, floppy feet and tangled blonde hair.  It was easy to get lost in her moonstone eyes whenever she talked about her boyfriend, little Frankie, or about her cat, White Toe, or about Christmas and Christmas cookies—especially Christmas cookies. 
Snookie had an endless curiously about life and at 8-years old, she knew, without any doubt, she wanted to be a writer.
“I’m going to write great big books,” she said, her arms extended wide in either direction.  “And they’re all going to be about Christmas.”
“That’s silly,” I said.  “Christmas only comes once a year.  What will you write about the rest of the year?”
Snookie thought about this, while she played with a tangled blonde curl.  “Cookies,” she said.
And so Snookie went on a tear, gathering Christmas cookie recipes.  She roamed the neighborhood, going house to house, pestering every girl, single woman and housewife, begging them for their favorite recipe for Christmas cookies.  Snookie even gathered the courage to visit old man Grumpy (our name for him) to ask him if he had a Christmas cookie recipe, and he did!  It seemed like everyone had their own favorite Christmas cookie recipe. 
After two weeks, Snookie had collected a pile of recipes and she and I sorted through them, separating the ones that appealed the most.  Next came the laboratory testing. 
Snookie’s mother was a lovely, distracted woman, who loved dogs, cats, birds, goldfish and squirrels.  They had two dogs, 4 cats, 2 goldfish bowls, a parrot (who couldn’t or wouldn’t speak) and yes, a pet squirrel named, as I recall, Mr. Monty.  There must be a story there, but I don’t remember it.
Snookie and I were allowed to use her mother’s kitchen to try out the recipes that appealed to us.  There were ten.  We worked frantically and systematically.  The neighborhood filled with the sweet smells of clove, cinnamon and butter.  We tested, ate, chewed, got bloated and a little sick, and kept right on going.
Finally, by the first week of December, Snookie and I arrived at a consensus as to which recipe tasted and looked the best.  We had baked dozens of cookies and distributed them to the neighbors Snookie had pestered.
I found this recipe some years ago in an old box up in a closet, along with a high school year book and some old diaries.  (Yes, of course, I stopped to read some of those diaries!  Wow!)
Since that time, nearly every Christmas, I bake cookies using this recipe.  Of course, whenever I do, I think of Snookie and her bright girlish grin.  I also remember Snookie’s mother and her hectic circumnavigation of the house, when it was pet-feeding time, hearing the barking, the meowing and the squawking.  Those were delightful days.
Our favorite Christmas cookie recipe is below.  Snookie and I hope you and yours enjoy the cookies and have a very Merry Christmas.

Walnut Crescents


1 cup soft butter
2 cups flour
One fourth cup confectioners sugar
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 and one half tsp water
2 tsp vanilla
Confectioners sugar for rolling them in

Cream the butter and one fourth cup confectioners sugar. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
Shape into rolls about one-half inch in diameter and cut into 1 inch pieces. Put onto cookie sheets and pull ends down slightly to form crescent shapes.
Bake in 375 degree oven about 15 minutes. But check to make sure they are not getting too brown. They should be only lightly browned when you take them out.
Let them sit a few minutes. While they are still warm, roll in confectioners sugar, and then again when they are cool.
Makes about 6 dozen small crescents.   You do have to keep the crescents small. 

By the way, pecans can be used instead of walnuts, but I’ve found that the pecan flavor blends in with the flour and can hardly be tasted, as it’s more delicate.  So my advice is to use walnuts!
The key to these delicate cookies is to keep them small.  If you make the crescents too big, they won't come out as light.
Epilogue:  I lost track of Snookie years ago.  The last I heard, she was happily married with two children.  I bet she’s still baking these cookies and remembering those magical, innocent days, just as I am.  I don’t know if Snookie ever did become a writer.  I hope so.


Copyright © 2015 by Elyse Douglas

Publisher: Elyse Douglas  (September 15, 2015)
Category: Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Holiday Romance, Christmas novel
Tour Date: Oct & Nov, 2015
ASIN: B0141RDSCE
Available in: ebook,  183 Pages

About the Book:
A First Love. A Second Chance.

A young widow travels to New York on business a few days before Christmas. She has reluctantly made a date with a lover she hasn’t seen in 20 years, and she is nervous and apprehensive. Twenty years before, she made a difficult decision that has both troubled and haunted her ever since. She knows she’s about to come face-to-face with her past and she’s hoping for some redemption and resolution. She also wonders if she can somehow pick up where she left off 20 years ago and start again.

An exciting chance encounter changes everything. Now, not only will she face the past with hope to rekindle an old romance, but there is the possibility that this chance meeting will bring her love and happiness she never thought possible.

Once again, she will have to choose. She will have to make the right decision. She will have to believe that Christmas miracles can still happen.

Praise for Christmas Diary by Elyse Douglas:
“The Christmas Diary is a tender hearted story of one woman’s journey of self-discovery and finding true love that will pull at your emotional heartstrings. The authors weave an inspirational tale written in the third person narrative, that draws the reader into Alice and Jack’s lives, and the issues that they’ve faced: love and loss, questioning one’s life choices, and the decision of which road/path is best to take in one’s life.
This is a wonderful story that has a meaningful message within the storyline that will touch your heart. The authors’ descriptive writing style is phenomenal: the characters are realistic and down-to-earth people whose emotions, dialogue and interactions are palpable, you can feel the range of highs and lows that they endure. The reader is transported to the picturesque holiday setting of the Pennsylvania towns of Eden Grove and Meadow Green.
This captivating story has a mixture of mystery, tender romance, and a supernatural twist that makes The Christmas Diary a compelling and entertaining story that will warm your heart.”- Kathleen, Jersey Girl Book Review

“If you are a fan of Richard Paul Evans novels then you definitely want to grab The Christmas Diary. This is a super quick read that you pick up on a Saturday afternoon and devour in one sitting. One glorious afternoon sitting.
It is a story of love and changes with a paranormal twist.
I adored this book. It was quick and simple and really perfect. I loved how everything was tied together through a ghost.
A quick holiday read that makes me think of Lifetime and Hallmark channel movies.”- Andrea Guy, A Chick Who Reads

” The Christmas Diary” is a nice smooth read filled with emotions and a touch of the paranormal world. Elyse pens her characters well developed, believable and lovable in this Christmas romance story. Highly recommended for all who love a nice enjoyable romance tale.”- Susan Peck, My Cozie Corner

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About the Author:
Elyse Douglas is the pen name for the husband and wife writing team of Elyse Parmentier and Douglas Pennington. Elyse’s mother was a painter and her father a textile consultant. Elyse began writing poems and short stories at an early age, and graduated with a degree in English Literature. Douglas grew up in a family of musicians, astrologers and avid readers. His great grandfather lived to be a 134 years old, and was the oldest man in the world when he died in 1922.

Some of Elyse Douglas’ novels include: The Other Side of Summer, Christmas for Juliet, Wanting Rita, The Christmas Diary, The Christmas Bridge and The Summer Diary. They live in New York City.

Website: http://www.elysedouglas.com/

Blog: http://www.elysedouglas.com/blog-index/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elyse.authorsdouglas

Twitter: https://twitter.com/douglaselyse

Buy Christmas Bridge by Elyse Douglas: Amazon

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for taking part in the tour and hosting Elyse Douglas!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am going to try the Walnut Crescent recipe because it sounds so yummy.

    ReplyDelete