Christmas Town Bake-Off
Welcome back to our annual blog series spotlighting (over 60 again this year) new and recently-released Christmas reads!
Christmas is only eleven days away, according to Google. Break out the Christmas playlist and the Christmas cookies!
Continuing through just after Christmas, I’m going to spotlight several Christmasy releases from 2022. Most days will have more than one post, just FYI. So… snuggle in, grab your fave hot beverage and comfiest blanket, turn on some Christmas tunes and start your bookish Christmas list! Oh… and did I mention there are GIVEAWAYS with EACH POST in this series??!! (Because authors are awesome!)
CHRISTMAS TOWN BAKE-OFF
AUTHORS: Beth Carpenter, Tanya Agler, LeAnne Bristow, Melinda Curtis, Cheryl Harper, Anna J. Stewart & Cari Lynn Webb
SERIES: Heartwarming Christmas Town
GENRE: Contemporary Romance Collection (Clean & Wholesome)
PUBLISHER: ChelseaBeth Publishing
RELEASE DATE: October 11, 2022
Welcome back to Christmas Town, Maine!
This year, you’re invited to the Christmas Town Bake-Off! Holly House, one of Christmas Town’s oldest homes and landmarks, needs a significant face-lift and upgrades before becoming the town’s new museum and historical preservation site. It’ll take a lot of holiday magic and special ingredients to pull off Christmas Town’s first holiday baking fundraiser competition, but residents are up to the challenge, even if it means being the target of some holiday matchmaking by the Knotty Elves.
You’re invited to the event which features seven new romances mixed in with the flour, sugar, and fun of bake-off competitions. From prelims to the crowning of a champion baker, this collection of connected, sweet romances from Harlequin Heartwarming authors will warm your heart.
On your mark, get set, bake…Christmas Town style!
Compare this anthology to multi-storyline, heartwarming movies like Love, Actually or Valentine’s Day. You’ll find all kinds of competitors to root for – from men in uniform to the town wallflower – and all kinds of romances, from enemies to sweethearts, blended families, and opposites attract.
Be sure to check out our companion series The Christmas Carousel, with a prequel novella (The Christmas Carousel Proposal) and 12 full-length books set in Christmas Town and featuring the restoration of a beloved carousel and a Christmas wedding.
You can also find Christmas Town Bake-off and all the Christmas Town books on Kindle Unlimited.
by Beth Carpenter, author of Christmas Town Bake-Off
Here’s an excerpt from “Return to Holly House,” one of the seven stories in Christmas Town Bake-Off. In this part, Sierra, ably assisted by Troy’s young cousin, Tessie, has stepped in to entertain the crowd after an unexpected problem in the bake-off tent.
Stan picked up the microphone. “Everyone, as you know, we’re suffering from technical difficulties, but in the meantime, you’re in for a special treat. Granddaughter of our own Merrilee Beck, may I present Sierra Beck and her sidekick, Tessie!”
Troy’s mom started the enthusiastic applause, but it quickly spread throughout the tent. Sierra flashed a smile in her direction as Olivia arrived with a sturdy box and set it behind the workstation.
Tessie stepped up, and Sierra began. “It’s wonderful to be here in Christmas Town again. Today, Tessie and I plan to make my grandmother’s favorite candy recipe. You may know Merrilee was famous for her baking—”
More applause erupted, and Sierra waited for it to die down. “Yes, it was that good, but what you may not know is that my grandmother never did master the concept of a candy thermometer. So, instead of candies that require precise temperature control, she always made buckeyes. And that’s what we’re making today. Right, Tessie?”
“Right.” The girl nodded decisively. “But my family calls them Reindeer Droppings.”
The audience laughed. And the demonstration began.
(AKA Reindeer Droppings)
2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 stick butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups powdered sugar
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons shortening
1.In mixing bowl, beat together peanut butter, butter, and vanilla until well blended. Gradually add powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Form into smooth tablespoon-size balls and set on a parchment-paper lined cookie sheet. Put in freezer for 15 minutes to firm up.
2.Meanwhile, melt chocolate chips and shortening. If using microwave, add chips and shortening to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave at 50% power for one minute. Stir. Continue microwaving at 50% for about 2-3 more minutes, stopping to stir every 30 seconds, until chocolate is smooth. Or melt the chocolate and shortening in the top of a double boiler over simmering water, stirring often.
3. Remove peanut-butter balls from freezer. Use a toothpick to spear a ball, dip it into the chocolate until most of the ball is covered but a circle of the filling is still exposed. Return to parchment paper and smooth over the toothpick hole. Repeat until all balls have been dipped. Wait for chocolate to harden to serve. You can speed this up in the freezer if you like.
Beth Carpenter grew up on a farm reading everything she could get her hands on, from cereal boxes to the encyclopedia. Saturday visits to the library were the highlight of her week. Due to motion sickness, she couldn’t read on the school bus so she made up her own stories instead. She still consumes books like popcorn and loves to create happy endings for her imaginary friends. She believes dogs, books, and laughter are key to happiness. And dark chocolate. And love. Visit her at her website.
Beth Carpenter is offering a copy of A Gift for Santa AND An Alaskan Family Christmas to one of my readers! (US only for print, ebooks if winner is outside the US. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What makes you want to read the Christmas Town Bake-Off collection by Beth Carpenter and 6 other authors?