It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas (Reads) GIVEAWAY: Holland and Ivy

Posted December 12, 2023 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, Christian, Christmas, contemporary, giveaway, It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (Reads) 2023, Kathy Geary Anderson, romance / 22 Comments

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas Reads 2023

today’s 2nd book: Holland and Ivy

We are continuing this year’s blog series spotlighting (over 70 this year) new and recently-released Christmas reads! This is the 7th year for the Christmas Reads Giveaway series, and I think I get more excited about it every year 🙂 Christmas is only 13 days away, according to Google! So… snuggle in, grab your fave hot beverage (wassail anyone?) and comfiest blanket, turn on some Christmas tunes and start your bookish Christmas list! And no doubt you know the drill by now – there are GIVEAWAYS with EACH POST in this series??!! (Because authors are awesome!)

Holland and Ivy by Kathy Geary AndersonHOLLAND AND IVY by Kathy Geary Anderson
Wild Rose Ridge Christmas #4
GENRE: Contemporary Romance (Clean)
PUBLISHER: Purple Autumn Press

RELEASE DATE: November 7, 2023
PAGES: 162

He’s betrayed her before.
She’d be a fool to trust him again.
And Ivy Weaver is nobody’s fool.

Beloved town baker, Ivy Weaver, is capable of so much more than frying up a mean apple fritter and now’s the time to prove it. Winning Wild Rose Ridge’s annual Diced competition would show the town her chef skills and help get her fledgling catering business off the ground. But when her biggest competitor from culinary school enters the contest, her dreams seem destined to die. Again.

Holland K. McIntyre IV may have been born into privilege, but he’s fought and clawed his way to success in the restaurant business on his own. Nothing is going to keep him from his goals. If beating Ivy in another cooking competition is what it takes to make a name for himself, then that’s what he’ll do.

But when the two of them are forced to be teammates rather than competitors, they just might face their biggest challenge yet. Will trusting Holland keep Ivy from realizing her dreams once again?


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Christmas treats

by Kathy Geary Anderson , author of Holland and Ivy

One of my favorite things about Christmas is the treats you don’t get at any other time of year. In my book, Holland and Ivy, I had a lot of fun creating menus for my two chefs to make during all the Christmas festivities. My favorites by far were the desserts. Black Forest tortes, molten lava cakes that taste like hot chocolate, pumpkin tiramisu shooters, mini gingerbread cookies . . . my mouth was watering most of the time I was writing.

Do you have a favorite treat that you just must have (or make) each Christmas? The one that screams, “Now it’s Christmas” when you bite into it? I have two. One is an old family recipe passed down from my Scottish great aunts called Scottish Shortbread. Family recipes are the best, right? They’ve continued from generation to generation for a reason. They just taste so good. The recipe for Scottish Shortbread requires that you knead the dough by hand. It’s really the only way to get the consistency needed for the cookies. As I immerse my hands in the silky flour and butter, I like to imagine the women before me who did the same thing year after year, Christmas after Christmas, to create this yummy Christmas delicacy for their friends and loved ones. It’s my small way of connecting with ancestors I never knew. And it’s pretty yummy too.

The second recipe I can’t skip is one given to me by a woman who was like a second mom to me growing up. A best friend’s mother was a wonderful cook who welcomed anyone and everyone to her table. I can’t count the number of meals I ate in her kitchen. Christmas at her house was always the best though, with all types of cookies and treats. My favorite was her English Toffee, and (lucky for me) she shared her recipe with me. Each year when I make it, I remember her generosity and the Southern hospitality that was almost as sweet as her tea.

In the spirit of giving, I thought I’d share both of those recipes with you today.


Scottish Shortbread (A Christmas Treat)

½ lb. of real butter
½ c. of sugar (fine grain, or even powdered)
2/3 c. white rice flour
2 c. Gold Medal flour

Mix with hands and knead on board. Divide dough into 3 or 4 balls, then shape each ball into a circle about ½ an inch thick. (You can use a rolling pin, just don’t get it too thin, and you can use your hands to make it more of a circle.) Cut the circle into 6-8 wedge-shaped pieces (like cutting a pie). Decorate each wedge with red and green cherries, cut to resemble holly berries and leaves, or use candies. Also can be trimmed with little silver candies.

Bake 35 minutes in a 300-degree oven. Start watching at about 25 minutes—they don’t need to be brown, just barely browning on the bottom edges. A baking stone is great for baking them.

English Toffee

1 lb. of real butter
2 Tbsp. water
2 c. of sugar
1 tsp. of salt
2 c. nuts, finely chopped
1 milk chocolate bar (8 oz.)

Combine butter and water in a 4-quart pan. Cook over medium heat until the butter melts. Add sugar and salt. Mix well. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Goil gently until the mixture begins to lighten in color. Add 1 cup nuts. Continue to cook and stir until the mixture reaches 298 degrees (hard crack). Pour syrup into a buttered 15” x 10” pan, spreading to the edges. Cool slightly, then mark in 1” squares. Cool thoroughly. Melt the chocolate bar over boiling water (or in a microwave). Spread over toffee. Sprinkle the top with the remaining nuts. Let stand until the chocolate is firm. Break into squares.

Kathy Geary Anderson

A south-Texas transplant to the good life of Nebraska, Kathy Geary Anderson has a passion for story and all things historical. Over the years, she has been an English teacher, a newsletter and ad writer, and a stay-at-home mom. When she’s not reading or writing novels, she can be found cheering (far too loudly) for her favorite football team, traveling the country with her husband, or spending time with her adult children. Connect with her at

Holland and Ivy giveaway

Kathy Geary Anderson is offering a signed, print copy of Holland and Ivy to one of my readers! (US only. 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.

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What about you? What makes you want to read Holland and Ivy by Kathy Geary Anderson? What’s one of your fave treats to make/eat at Christmas?

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22 responses to “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas (Reads) GIVEAWAY: Holland and Ivy

  1. A must have activity when it comes to celebrating Christmas is having a Nativity set and talking about why we have one.
    Book looks like a great read and love the excerpt, title and book cover.

  2. Anne

    A captivating story. An activity which is enjoyed by all is tobogganing and skating. We make special shortbread biscuits.

  3. Julie Mullins

    Christmas treats are my favorite and those recipes looks yummy! I love reading books that have food themes! My grandmas chocolate peanut butter fudge is what tastes like Christmas to me! And cutout sugar cookies all decorated for the holidays!

  4. Bea LaRocca

    I love a good second chance romance and the cover and synopsis for Holland and Ivy have intrigued me, that is why I want to read this story. A “must have” for me for our Christmas celebration is the Christmas music, I used to go caroling when I was a teenager and I miss that. I love so many of those Christmas songs!

  5. Roxanne C.

    Competitors who now must be teammates–what could possibly go wrong? This sounds like a great Christmas romance.

  6. Janice Moore

    Now I am ready to eat some mouth-watering English Toffee, while I am reading, of course! I would enjoy this book!

  7. Kasi Walas

    I’m eager to read ‘Snowed Inn’ by Faith Arceneaux as it seems like the perfect winter read. The title alone suggests a cozy, snowbound setting, which I find ideal for a Christmas story. I’m attracted to the idea of a narrative that likely combines elements of warmth, romance, and maybe a bit of holiday magic, all set in an inn covered in snow. The setting of an inn during Christmas time promises a close-knit, intimate backdrop for the story to unfold, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the characters’ relationships develop in such a charming environment.

    As for my must-have Christmas activity, it’s definitely gathering with family to watch classic Christmas movies. There’s something special about revisiting these beloved films every year; they bring back fond memories and create a real sense of nostalgia. This tradition is the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit and spend quality time with loved ones, making it an essential part of my Christmas celebrations.

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