Sweetening Up the Holidays with Sierra Donovan

It’s my pleasure to write Christmas romances for Kensington. My books fall into what’s known as the “sweet” category — love stories with plenty of warmth, where things don’t go as far as the bedroom.

The latest book in my Evergreen Lane series includes another sweet element: the hot chocolate made by Mandy, the heroine from the previous book (“Do You Believe in Santa?“). In Book 2, “We Need a Little Christmas,” we discover that Mandy’s hot chocolate may contain an extra ingredient she didn’t know she was putting in. Her cocoa seems to have a way of making people who’ve never gotten along feel friendlier toward one another. I like to think of it as the milk of loving kindness … or maybe it’s just the Christmas spirit!

Once I included Mandy’s recipe in the story, I decided to try to figure out how she made it. (Tough research, but somebody’s got to do it!) Now I’m sharing my results with you. I hope you’ll find time this season to curl up by the fire or the Christmas tree with a cup. Who knows? A little holiday magic may result.

Merry Christmas!

Mandy’s Hot Chocolate For Two
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
3-1/2 cups hot water
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (scant)

In a medium saucepan, stir sweetened condensed milk into hot water and heat together over low flame. When mixture is hot – but not boiling! – add chocolate chips and stir continuously until chips are melted. Add vanilla, cinnamon and ground cloves and stir over low heat until well blended. (If mixture is too rich for your taste, add a small amount of whole milk.)

May be topped with whipped cream and your choice of cookie décor sprinkles, crushed candy cane, cinnamon, chocolate shavings, chocolate sauce, or caramel sauce.

Add your own special touch of Christmas magic … and you never know what may happen!

 

The best Christmas present? The unexpected romance that brings two former classmates together for a lesson in holiday magic…

With its festive Snowed Inn and year-round Christmas store, the pretty town of Tall Pine knows how to do the holidays right. But this year, Liv Tomblyn’s homecoming trip may be bittersweet. Liv’s grandmother died soon after Thanksgiving, leaving a lifetime of belongings to sort through. Soon Liv is surrounded by memories, including a retro silver Christmas tree. And there’s Liv’s old friend Scott Leroux—the one-time class clown who’s become the town’s go-to handyman.

Scott enjoyed helping Liv’s Nammy with little fix-it jobs in recent years, but now he’s wondering if the crafty grandma had a much larger project in mind. Everything—from Nammy’s mysteriously malfunctioning heater to that silver tree—seems to be conspiring to throw Liv and Scott together. Not that Scott objects. For though Liv insists she’ll leave Tall Pine when the holidays are over, he’s hoping their holiday kisses might thaw her resolve and make this Christmas truly unforgettable…

“Sierra Donovan captures the magic of Christmas in this charming and romantic tale. I smiled the entire time I was reading it!” –Shirlee McCoy, author of Sweet Surprises

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