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Stealing Christmas #MFRWhooks

Secrets abound in Benson's Bakery. A crazed Santa wants something valuable hidden inside the building, and only two things stand in his way...Jake and Sara.

 

When Sara Henderson receives threatening letters just days before Christmas, she asks sexy bread baker Jake Benson for help. Jake is more than happy to provide the muscle to keep the beautiful cake decorator from harm, but he has an ulterior motive--to steal a kiss under the mistletoe. Sara wants that kiss as much as he does, but first they have a mystery to solve.

 

Will they find out who is stalking Sara, or will Santa succeed in stealing Christmas?

 


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Excerpt

Once Tori arrived, Sara returned to the office.  Jake stood in the prep area, still up to his elbows in dough.  He glanced up as she walked by. “I’m going with you to the bank.”

 

“You’re behind on the breads. I can take Tori with me or wait until Seth gets back.”

 

“I won’t be that long, Sara.”

 

She faced him.  “Neither will I.”

 

He plopped a portion of dough on a scale, checking the weight before rounding it in a ball.  “I’ll be done by the time you’re finished with the deposit.”

 

She groaned.  He wouldn’t leave her alone until she agreed to his company.  “Fine, I’ll even start the car to give you extra time.”

 

Jake inclined his head and continued his task.  Sara studied the way he manipulated the dough, used the heels of his hands to push the bread away and his strong fingers to fold it over and bring it back.  Over and over, he tugged and pulled, kneading and twisting. For a moment, Sara envisioned him doing the same thing to her, even when he occasionally pinched the dough to see if it was ready.

 

“You’re staring,” he said.

 

She swallowed.  “I wasn’t. How long will the dough take to rise?”

 

“Depends on how much heat and moisture it gets.”

 

“What happens if there’s too much heat and moisture?”  She met and held his gaze.

 

“The dough gets too sticky and it won’t rise as much.”  He never stopped moving his hands.

 

She wondered what would get a rise out of him.  “I-I’ll be in the office.”

 

He rounded the dough.  “I’ll be here.”

 

She spun on her heel and bumped into the door, her face burned when he laughed behind her. Head held high she entered the office and closed the door.  What was she doing thinking about Jake like that? Could he really want to pursue something with her now? She put her hands to her flaming cheeks, glancing through the door window. He still had his eyes on her. She spun away, and leaned against the door, a hand over her racing heart. A faint smile brushed the corners of her mouth as she went to the safe and pulled out the deposit.

 

Ten minutes later Sara had the money bundled, her change order ready, and her coat on.  She stepped out of the office, digging in her purse for her keys. “I’m starting the car.  It’s snowing again.”

 

“Wait for me. I just have to wash my hands.”  Jake placed the last of the dough in loaf pans.

 

“My car is three feet from the door.”  She shook her head. “I’m just warming up the car!”

 

He chuckled.  “I still have to wash my hands.”

 

With a huff, Sara stepped into the back alley and slammed the door.  She paused, thumbing through the jumble of keys for the right one and peered around the drab gray world.  Her car wasn’t exactly three feet from the door, more like thirty. She pulled her hood over her ebony hair and started forward.

 

She was perfectly capable of going to the bank by herself, but now that she was in a winter wonderland alone, her bravado failed.  Sara crunched across the snow, bare asphalt peeking through in spots. The keys jangled as her foot slid on an icy patch. She stuttered stepped and came to a bone-jarring halt. That could’ve been bad, she’d have to throw down more salt. Drawing in a deep breath, she moved forward again.

 

Rough hands seized her jacket.

 

Sara struggled for purchase while jerking away from her assailant.  How could she have been so stupid? Panic turned her limbs to jelly, her breath came in stuttered gasps. She had to get away. His strong grip held her purse and jacket.  She pried at his hands, but he refused to release her. Twisting in his grasp, she stared into his cold eyes, his thin lips curling into a sneer.

 

“Let go!” she shouted.

 

“Give me what I want!”

 

Sara wrenched away from him, ripping her coat.  He struggled to retain his grip, yanking the purse tangled around her arm. If she could get enough room to maneuver she could get away. His fingers slipped. She raised her foot and kicked, her boot connecting with his shin.  He howled, but didn’t release her.

 

He seized her arms, lifting her. Sucking in a breath, she squirmed this way and that to break his hold. Santa’s sleeve fell back. Her eyes fastened on the bit of ink ringing his wrist. She struggled harder. A shriek left her lips and disappeared into the snow. She kicked her legs, hoping to connect with a body part. Nothing but air. He swung her around. She should’ve waited. The door scraped open. He gave her one final, violent shake, dropped her and fled.

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Topsy-Turvy Apple Pie #MFRWauthor

Sharing a recipe for the holidays *bounces in chair* Now we’re talking! One of the few things I do enjoy about the holidays is the food. The spicy scents of nutmeg. cinnamon, sage, butter, brown sugar and vanilla always give me a warm, cozy feeling of home. Yeast rising, and roasting meat reminds me of shelling nuts with my mom and grandmother when I was a little girl or baking cookies with mom and siblings.

 

One of the favorite recipes to share is a topsy-turvy apple pie. We used Granny Smith apples and homemade pie crust, but ready-made is just as good. Originally from Creative Cooks Cookbook. Spicy, sweet, with the crunch of pecans is a great way to celebrate the holidays.

Ingredients

  • 2 (9 inch) pie shell
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 5 large apples - peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch salt

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  • Spread butter or margarine evenly on bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Press pecans, rounded side down, into butter layer. Pat brown sugar evenly over nuts, then lay one pastry shell over brown sugar layer.
  • Place apples in a large bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice.
  • In a small bowl combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Mix well. Toss mixture with apples, coating thoroughly.
  • Spread apples into pie plate. Cover apples with second pastry shell. Crimp edges of pastry and make steam vents in top.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes. Cool 5 minutes then place serving plate over top of pie; invert pie onto plate. Carefully remove pie pan. Serve warm or Cool.

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“He isn’t you.” #MFRWhooks

Coming Soon!

For the first time in a long time, Randa Arnold is happy beyond measure. She has the love of her husband, Linc and her paramour Matteo. After the fulfillment of a mutual sex fantasy and an unbelievable night of passion her world is turned upside down.

 

Lincoln never expected his wife to fall in love with another man, even though he knew that was a possibility. He loves his wife, but just can't wrap his mind around her emotionally attached to someone else, so he does the only thing he can, he forces Matteo to leave.

 

Forcing Matteo to leave has some unexpected consequences. Randa is despondent, yet keeps a brave face. This only intensifies Linc's sense of guilt. If that weren't enough, someone is threatening his wife. His only chance at redemption and to get to the bottom of the threat is to bring Matteo back. Only one problem, the man can't be found.

Excerpt

She grasped his hand and pressed it to her face. He closed his eyes and savored the smoothness of her cheek on his rough and calloused palm. Too long. That small gesture, so comforting and yet so elusive, set his pulse racing. He had been away extensively, not just chasing down bail jumpers, also attending seminars and trainings. Lincoln still had a few more seminars to attend over the next couple of months, and all he wanted to do was spend the time with her.

His only consolation was that neither of them would be alone, but there was nothing like spending time with his wife.

“I’ve missed our time together,” she said, rubbing her cheek against his hand.

“Me too. Even though I know Matteo is here, I miss being with you.”

Matteo, who was tracking a fugitive, helped alleviate the burden of loneliness when Lincoln was out of town.

“He isn’t you.” Sincerity rang in her words.

“It warms me to hear you say that.” Lincoln released Randa to uncork the bottle of wine and poured two glasses.

“It’s the absolute truth. I like Matteo a lot, but he can’t replace you.”

“You sweet talker.” He handed her a goblet of the pale golden liquid and settled next to her on the sofa.

He brushed a strand of hair from her forehead. “It’s been way too long since the two of us have just had some time together.”

She sipped her wine and studied him above the rim.

“One of these trips, you should come with me.”

“That sounds wonderful. Are you sure I wouldn’t be a distraction?”

“A welcome distraction.” He leaned forward and touched her lips with his. Just a hint of a kiss, but it was enough to ignite his desire. “I miss you being by my side when I go out of town.” He combed his fingers through her hair before twisting a kinky coil around one digit. “Do you think we can do that again?”

“I don’t see why not. I enjoy traveling with you. Helping you demonstrate self-defense techniques is a thrill.”

He grimaced. “You were always a little too enthusiastic about helping in that area. Almost makes me wish I hadn’t taught you anything.”

 

 

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