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Happy Holidays!

Amy Leibowitz available now holiday recommended reading

Strange to think, but this will be my last post of 2017. It's been quite a year. I'm closing it out with a mish-mash of seasonal ramblings.

Last week, I wrote about holiday traditions. When I shared it on social media, I was thrilled to get so many replies about the wonderful ways my fellow readers and writers celebrate. Everyone has favorite ways to spend the season. Food is a common theme, whether that's the fun of baking cookies or frying latkes or simply enjoying the array of treats. Others have meaningful religious practices, from attending midnight Mass to honoring the Solstice.

Our own Jeanne G'Fellers, author of Surrogate and the forthcoming sequel, Surrogate: Hunted, has this to say about the holidays:

Ours is a mixed faith house. I've been a solitary practitioner/ natural witch for a good two decades (though I was raised Methodist) and my [wife] was raised Catholic. She has a beautiful nativity that we put up during the holidays, and I decorate my altar with greenery and pine cones for Yule. We share a holiday tree and, when our children were young, we watched happily as they anxiously waited for gifts from Santa. My favorite thing is my old-world Santa collection. We have mistletoe and our house is a regular festival of lights each year, our eldest son's doing. Reads? I can't say I have any aside from The Hillbilly Night Afore Christmas, because it's just fun.

Sounds like a wonderful way to enjoy the winter holidays!

Today, I'm baking gingerbread cookies, my kids' favorite. Here's the recipe:

1 c. (2 sticks) butter
1 c. sugar
1 c. molasses
2 tsp. baking soda + 1 tsp. hot water
4 1/2 - 5 c. flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. ginger
Cream butter and sugar. Dissolve baking soda in hot water and add. Blend in molasses. Mix flour and spices and add. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Roll out and cut into shapes. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes (do not brown).

I mentioned in my last couple of posts my enjoyment for books. I'll be taking a vacation along with my kids being off from school, so we'll all be cozied up with our new books. At least a couple will be from my colleagues here. If you haven't read our new and recent releases, here's everything that came out this fall:

That Doesn't Belong Here, by Dan Ackerman

Keeping the Faith, by A.M. Leibowitz

Last Rites of the Capacitance, by Christopher Michael Carter

The Cabot Girls of Coventry Island, by Geonn Cannon

What are some of your favorite things to do for the holidays? What great books are you reading now?

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