…and the Jaunty Quills are celebrating! Today we’ve compiled our favorite drink recipes for your pleasure. If you’re looking for a cocktail to mix up tomorrow night, try one of these.

new-years-day-1020100_640

Kathleen O’Brien’s Apple Cider Mimosa
 
Dip rim of glass in water, then into decoration of your choice–cinnamon sugar is my favorite, but red-green rimming sugar, or even gold sprinkles look great, too.
 
Fill 2/3 full with apple cider–you can use apple juice if you like a clearer, brighter drink.
 
Top off with champagne.
 
For fun, end with a curly bit of apple peel or apple slice propped on the rim.
 
Katherine Garbera’s Beer Margarita

 

Ingredients:

* 2 chilled, 12 oz bottles of beer

* 12 oz frozen limeade concentrate (slightly thawed)

* 12 oz tequila

* lime wedges

* Salt to rim glasses

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher.  Mix until the limeade concentrate is dissolved.  Pour into glasses rimmed with salt. Enjoy immediately.

Theresa Romain’s Hot Toddy for cold winter evenings
 
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 oz. bourbon (make it 2 if you’ve been shoveling snow and are extra-cold!)
6 oz. boiling water
4-8 dried cherries, depending on preference
 
Put dried cherries, sugar, and bourbon into a mug. Add the boiling water, then stir until sugar is dissolved. Sip and get warm and cozy, then enjoy the soft boozy cherries at the bottom of the mug.
 

 Cindy Kirk’s Crazy Coyote Margarita

cocktails-386776_640

Ingredients:

½ tbsp. granulated sugar

3 tbsp. fresh lime juice

1 ½ ounces Coyote Gold margarita mix

Instructions:

1. Use a cocktail shaker to mix together 1/2 tsp. of granulated sugar, 3 tbsp. of fresh lime juice, 1 1/2 ounces of Coyote Gold margarita mix, and a handful of ice. Shake vigorously for 20 to 30 seconds.

2. Rub a slice of lime along the rim of a margarita glass. Turn the glass upside down and coat the rim with salt from a plate.

3. Pour the margarita mixture through a strainer into the salt-rimmed margarita glass. Add a lime wedge to the rim.

 Vanessa Kelly’s Kir Royale

One of my favorite Christmas drinks is a Kir Royale, which is basically a champagne cocktail. The Kir Royale is a dash of creme de cassis topped off with champagne!

 Nancy Robards Thompson’s Classic Manhattan

Ingredients:

2 ounces bourbon (or if you want a slightly sweeter drink, use one ounce of traditional bourbon and one ounce of honey bourbon)

1/2 ounce sweet vermouth

2-3 dashes Angostura bitters

Instructions:

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a martini glass.

Garnish with a maraschino cherry. 

Kristan Higgins’s St. Germaine Martini

martini-glass-623438_640

Ingredients:

1 parts vodka

1 part St-Germaine

1 part lemon juice

Instructions:

Combine, shake gently, add a splash of vanilla seltzer water. Supremely delicious!

Mia Marlowe’s Hot Wassail (for the kids too!)

This is a seriously easy recipe that makes the house smell like Christmas. Here’s what you need:

1 QT Apple Juice

1 QT Cranberry Juice

1 Orange

Cinnamon Sticks

Whole Cloves

 Instructions:

Pour the juice into a 5 quart pot and heat on low setting. Stick the orange with cloves. (This is a great project for kids. They love poking the cloves into the orange in fun patterns!) You can leave the orange whole or cut it into quarters. Float the cloved orange and the cinnamon sticks in the juice. Let it simmer till you’re ready to serve!

If you prefer the vino…

Jesse Hayworth with our wine selection.

cork-738603_640

I’m more of a wine girl, and love to celebrate with a Benefit Wine [http://www.benefitwines.com/beechbrook_s/480.htm]. 

They taste good—though I’ve been known to enjoy Cardboardeaux (aka boxed wine), so take that for what it’s worth—have cool labels, and ~30% of the sale price goes to the charity you select.

 Shana Galen

I usually celebrate by toasting with my daughter and a glass of sparkling grape juice.

However you choose to celebrate, we hope it’s a wonderful beginning to 2016!

 


Jesse Hayworth
Jesse Hayworth

Discussion:
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FallHowdy! Jesse here–I know the picture on the side doesn’t *look* like Cindy Kirk, but this is her blog! I’m posting it because, well, Mercury is in retrograde, and Cindy had some technical issues. She’ll be checking in to comment, though!

Without further ado, here’s Cindy Kirk!

***

Autumn is my favorite season.  I love the cool nights, the days when a jacket or hoodie keeps me warm and seeing the brilliant colors worn by the trees and bushes.

As the season progresses, I love the sound of leaves and acorns crunching beneath my feet, the bite in the air and being able to sleep under a down comforter.  I love pumpkin spice lattes and hot apple cider.  And, is there really anything like stuffing and turkey and pumpkin pie with real whipped cream?

The only problem with autumn is that it’s followed by winter.  Sometimes, if I’m not careful, I find myself focusing on what’s to come rather than enjoying the here and now.  I think about the upcoming days when I’ll need to put on all sorts of cold weather gear (hat, scarf, coat, gloves and boots) simply to go outside.  I shiver as I envision icy roads and blowing snow and below zero temperatures.  I remember two years ago when we had snow on May 1. Ugh!

Not much different really than when I worked a day job.  Then I found myself dreading Sunday nights, because it meant the start of another work week (even though I actually loved my job).

Baby on His Doorstep-LR cover

I was just wondering if you, like me, find yourself wishing your life away–wishing it was Friday, wishing it was summer, wishing it was a holiday weekend or a different season.

Share your thoughts on this topic and THREE of you will win a copy of Baby on His Doorstep, on sale now for only .99 on Kindle.

Check back tomorrow to see if you’re a winner!     

 


Several of the Jaunty Quills were in San Antonio last week for the Romance Writers of America conference. We thought you’d like to see some photos from the conference (at the bottom of the page, there’s a legend telling about each photo).

Cindy and Nancy at the HQ party Cindy and Nora HQ party

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

photo

 

Jaunty Quills breakfast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kristan and her Rita awards date

Nancy at the HQ authors signing

Kristan at the HQ signing

Nancy and Kathy before their workshop Nancy and Kathy with Jane Porter Nancy and Kristan with RaeAnne Thayne photo (2) photo (3) photo (4) Robyn at the literacy signing Shana  going to the Source books dinner Shana and Mia looking fancy at the Rita awards Shana at the literacy autographing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nancy at the RWA literacy signing

 

 

 

 

unnamedKristan, Gail Kirkpatrick Chianese, Virginia Kantra  and Jesse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Cindy and Nancy with former Jaunty Emily McKay at the Harlequin Party.

2. Cindy and Nora Roberts.

3.  The gorgeous decorations at the Harlequin party.

4. Friday was Cindy’s birthday.  Harlequin threw a big party just for her. Shhh! Don’t tell her they the party was for everyone. ;)

5.  The annual Jaunty Quills breakfast.

6. Kristan and Alexander Rodriguez.

7.  Nancy at the Harlequin authors book signing (signing Cindy’s birthday card).

8.  Kristan at the Harlequin authors book signing.

 9. Nancy and Kathy before the workshop they presented.

10.  Nancy, Jane Porter, and Kathy at the Harlequin party.

11.  Raeanne Thayne, Nancy, and Kristan.

12. Cindy, Nancy, Kathy and Harlequin editor Susan Litman at the Harlequin party.

13. Harlequin editor Patience Bloom and Cindy at the Harlequin party.

14. Nancy and Kathy.

15.  Robyn at the RWA Literacy signing.

16.  Shana looking beautiful before her publisher’s party.

17. Shana and Mia before the Golden Heart and Rita awards.

18.  Shana at the RWA Literacy signing.

19. Nancy at the RWA Literacy book signing.

20.  Nancy, Kathy, and Mary Louise Wells realize former Jaunty Terri Brisbin was on their flight home.

21. Kristan, Gail Kirkpatrick Chianese, Virginia Kantra,  and Jesse.

 


…and the Jaunty Quills are celebrating! Today we’ve compiled our favorite drink recipes for your pleasure. If you’re looking for a cocktail to mix up tonight, try one of these.

Cindy Kirk’s Crazy Coyote Margarita

Ingredients:

½ tbsp. granulated sugar

3 tbsp. fresh lime juice

1 ½ ounces Coyote Gold margarita mix

 crazy_coyote_margarita

Instructions:

1. Use a cocktail shaker to mix together 1/2 tsp. of granulated sugar, 3 tbsp. of fresh lime juice, 1 1/2 ounces of Coyote Gold margarita mix, and a handful of ice. Shake vigorously for 20 to 30 seconds.

2. Rub a slice of lime along the rim of a margarita glass. Turn the glass upside down and coat the rim with salt from a plate.

3. Pour the margarita mixture through a strainer into the salt-rimmed margarita glass. Add a lime wedge to the rim.

Vanessa Kelly’s Kir Royale

One of my favorite Christmas drinks is a Kir Royale, which is basically a champagne cocktail. The Kir Royale is a dash of creme de cassis topped off with champagne!

 Kir Royale 2

Nancy Robards Thompson’s Classic Manhattan

Ingredients:

2 ounces bourbon (or if you want a slightly sweeter drink, use one ounce of traditional bourbon and one ounce of honey bourbon)

1/2 ounce sweet vermouth

2-3 dashes Angostura bitters

Instructions:

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a martini glass.

Garnish with a maraschino cherry. 

Kathleen O’Brien’s Max’s Hot Apple Pie Cocktail

This was created by Max Scherff at The Fairmont in San Francisco.

Ingredients:

3/4 ounce(s) Stoli Vanilla Vodka

1 1/2 ounce(s) Butterscotch Schnapps

4 ounce(s) apple cider

1 ounce(s) whipped cream

1 cinnamon stick

Cinnamon powder, for garnish.

TheFairmont-MaxsHotApplePie-recipe-th2

Instructions:

Combine spirits and cider, steaming until warm. Add cinnamon stick to footed mug and pour in liquid. Top with whipped cream and sprinkled cinnamon powder.

Kristan Higgins’s St. Germaine Martini

Ingredients:

1 and a half parts vodka

1 part St-Germaine

1 half part lemon juice

Instructions:

Combine, shake gently, add a splash of vanilla seltzer water. Supremely delicious!

Katherine Garbera’s Sorbet and Champagne Cocktail

mld105045_1209_champagne_hd

Ingredients:

1 tsp. sorbet (perhaps raspberry or passion fruit)

Chilled champagne or Prosecco

Instructions:

Scoop sorbet into a champagne flute. Fill with chilled Champagne or Prosecco; stir.

Robyn DeHart

Robyn’s no whiz behind a bar, but she does love eggnog with a little kick of rum. Good choice, Robyn!

Mia Marlowe’s Hot Wassail (for the kids too!)

This is a seriously easy recipe that makes the house smell like Christmas. Here’s what you need:

1 QT Apple Juice

1 QT Cranberry Juice

1 Orange

Cinnamon Sticks

Whole Cloves

 Wassail with oranges and cloves

Instructions:

Pour the juice into a 5 quart pot and heat on low setting. Stick the orange with cloves. (This is a great project for kids. They love poking the cloves into the orange in fun patterns!) You can leave the orange whole or cut it into quarters. Float the cloved orange and the cinnamon sticks in the juice. Let it simmer till you’re ready to serve!

If you prefer the vino…

Jesse Hayworth with our wine selection.

I’m more of a wine girl, and love to celebrate with a Benefit Wine

BBFER+wines

They taste good—though I’ve been known to enjoy Cardboardeaux (aka boxed wine), so take that for what it’s worth—have cool labels, and ~30% of the sale price goes to the charity you select.

Shana’s Sparkling Cider

I usually celebrate by toasting with my daughter and a glass of sparkling grape juice. However you choose to celebrate, we hope it’s a wonderful beginning to 2014!

 


JQ 1

As a special treat today, I asked some of the Quills about their most memorable Valentine’s Days. Here’s what they said:

Shana: When I was in high school, there was one Valentine’s Day that I didn’t have a boyfriend,ifyougivearake-300 and I felt so sorry for myself. I moped all day, didn’t get out of my pajamas, and didn’t put any make-up on or fix my hair. This was in the days of lots of make-up and big hair. My mom kept telling me to get dressed, but I was having a pity party. What I didn’t know was that a guy I’d dated a few times had called her and asked if it was okay if he stopped over and surprised me with flowers. He showed up, and I was so embarrassed. It was actually very sweet of him to bring me flowers but being all of sixteen I was too worried about how I looked to be as excited as I should have been.

JQ NancyNancy: I don’t know that I can single out one most romantic Valentine’s Day in particular. That’s because The Chef is a master at making all Valentine’s Days special and romantic. He never forgets and always brings me a dozen red roses, champagne and the perfect card. Usually, he gives me chocolates, depending on how loudly I’ve proclaimed I’m on a diet. Still, calorie counting or not, there’s always a fabulous meal: lobster or filet with cognac peppercorn sauce. Or Lobster AND filet with cognac peppercorn sauce…. One of the best touches is that he also gives our daughter flowers-a bouquet of pink carnations. There’s something extra romantic in him not only being a great husband, but also being such a wonderful father.

Kristan: My first Valentine’s Day out of college, I was alone in a new city, worked for povertyJQ Kristan wages and didn’t have too many friends. Boo hoo! Valentine’s Day with a guy? As probable as running into a Saudi prince at the pizza place on the corner. Imagine my surprise when a beautiful bouquet of flowers was delivered to work! “From your secret admirer,” the card said. I called my dad and thanked him. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said, but I could tell he was smiling. He died that same year. I think of him every day, but I always smile on Valentine’s Day, remembering how dear old Dad made sure I got flowers from someone who loved me a whole heck of a lot.

Sizzle BlazeKathy: One of my favorite Valentine’s days was when my kids were about 8 and 13 and they got totally into the holiday picking out stuffed animals and chocolates for each other and my husband and I.  They even made Valentine’s for us from our dog.  It was such a fun time for us all.

Mia: This Valentine date was the first time I’d gone out with this red-headed guy I knew from church and it promised to be a lovely one. He took me to a dance at the Surf Ballroom, a place that epitomized romance in my little corner of the upper midwest. And I did enjoy the evening of dancing, but then he ran out of gas (Does anybody ever really do that?) on the way home (which was about 20 miles away).JQ Mia He had to hike back into town for a can of gas while I froze my tootsies in the cold car (February in Northern Iowa is no joke!) To make matters worse, we were cutting things close on my curfew. I’m a railroader’s daughter. At my house, not being on time was regarded as only slightly less heinous than becoming pregnant out of wedlock! I knew I was going to catch it when I got home.

However, my date was not in a hurry to let me out of the car once we got in my driveway. I managed to pull out of his grasp, but he tailed me to the pool of yellow light at my back door and forced a kiss on me. It was our first date and I really didn’t want to kiss him. I wanted to get inside so I could explain to my folks that it was not my fault I was seriously late. I JQ Cindyfinally told the guy I didn’t think things were going to work out between us and made a break for it. Then he stalked me for the next six months and made creepy phone calls.  So the moral of the story is…beware of red headed men!

Cindy: Worst Valentine’s Day? Most memorable Valentine’s Day? I racked my brains but couldn’t come up with anything. My husband and I have been together since high school. We’re the kind of couple who goes out the weekend before the big day, so we don’t have to fight the crowds. We buy the boxes of heart-shaped Valentine’s Day candy after the big day (when it hits 75% off  )because it’s a better deal. I’d call us practical. You might call us boring. But we’ve been together a
long time and hey, it works for us!securedownload

Robyn: Valentine’s Day is one of those I’ve had a love/hate relationship with. As a little girl, I loved it because my Daddy would give me sweet cards and my own (small) heart-shaped box of chocolates. I loved that. But with a series of disappointments through high school and college, I pretty much ignored the holiday for a few years. Then I met The Professor. Our first Valentine’s Day together was actually a month before we got married. I was trying to eat healthily so that I could fit into my wedding dress so he went to a gourmet chocolate shop here and bought me sugar-free candies. I thought that was so sweet and thoughtful. Every year he brings me a sweet card (that I know he spend so much time trying to find the perfect one) and WarriorLaird[1]roses. I know that might seem too traditional and not creative, but I love it!

Margo: The absolute best Valentine’s Day gift was from my mom. Our kids were about 2, 4 and 6, and Mom called and said she would take the kids overnight if we wanted to make reservations somewhere. Omg, it was hard to know what to do! Stay home and enjoy the peace and quiet? Go to a Red Wings hockey game, drink some beer and go home? (not)  When it came down to it, we went to a play, had a late, romantic dinner, and then stayed the night at the Ritz Hotel. In those days when it was non-stop kid stuff, that night out was absolutely heaven!

Do you have a Valentine’s Day memory that stands out? Tell us, and we’ll pick three random participants who will each receive a copy of one of our books. Come on – what was your most memorable (good or bad) Valentine’s Day?


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