Saturday, December 20, 2014

December Round Robin Blog Fest

Our Merry Christmas Blog Fest!

Welcome back! 'Tis the season for fun, food and visiting with friends. Today's topic is about hope, love, forgiveness, Christmas, or a special gift. I've chosen to use an excerpt from one of my new books The Bakery Lady. Christina Davidson is struggling with keeping the Christmas spirit after losing her mother and feels the sting of not being able to fill her mother's shoes. 
I do hope you enjoy not only my excerpt, but the recipe for Gingerbread Cookies that I've included! excerpt from The Bakery Lady (Books We Love Ltd.)

     Christina squeezed a solid line of icing down the edge of the wall. Her focus never wavered. She set the wall on the foil-wrapped cardboard and held it in place with one hand while she added the second wall. One by one, she assembled all four walls and held them in place with bowls. Only then did her gaze stray to the ornate tree in the corner.
     Her mom had loved Christmas Eve. The lights, the music, the commotion, it was all right up her alley. Every year, she would make a huge gingerbread house to feed all of her customers at the bakery who stopped in for their last minute Christmas treats. Christina and her brother Clancy got to decorate it with candies, cookies and chocolates.
     This year it was up to Christina.
     Scattered on the table were bowls of candy and chocolates. She would get to them soon enough. For now, she had to figure out how to put the roof on and keep it in place. Did she put them on one at a time and let the icing set in between? Did she put both halves on at the same time? Did she just give up and break it into chunks and say there was an earthquake?
     Building a gingerbread house wasn’t as easy as her mom had made it look. Nothing was ever as easy as her mom had made it look. Even her death was a graceful exit from this world to the next. A peaceful smile, a squeeze of her hand and she was gone. At least that was what her father had told her. Christina wasn't able to say good-bye. He'd been too stubborn to call her. Her mom's cancer, to him, had been little more than an over-exaggerated stomach ache.
     She set one side of the roof in place then eased on the second slope. The roof collapsed first then the walls. She stood, frozen in place, and stared. Then she swore a blue streak.
     "Take a deep breath." Her mother's words came back to calm her.
     Christina blew out a frustrated breath then inhaled. It seemed her mom remained with her in spirit while she scraped off the old icing then held the sides upright on the foil-covered cardboard. Instinct guided her to add extra icing to the inside. This time, the structure stood firm.
     She smiled. "Okay. We're halfway there."
     The roof was trickier but didn't slide off this time. She sat back and admired her handiwork. "That's much better."
     She spread a layer of icing on top and added candy after candy until the whole thing looked like one of her mother’s mouth-watering creations. Not quite as perfect but instinctively she knew it was good enough. Her customers would be touched by the tribute to their favorite baker.
     She smiled.
     Her mom would have been proud.

Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups shortening
1 1/2 cups dark molasses
3/4 cup water
7 1/2 cups flour
2 1/4 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp ground allspice
Beat sugar, shortening, molasses and water in a large bowl on medium speed for 1 minute.
Stir in remaining ingredients except raisins. Cover & refrigerate until chilled, 1-2 hours.
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Roll dough 1/4 inch thick on lightly floured cloth-covered surface. Cut with gingerbread men cutter. Lift cookies carefully onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake until set, 8-10 minutes; cool 3 minutes.
Carefully remove from cookie sheet; cool. Decorate with frosting, if desired.

Thank you for joining us on our Christmas Round Robin Blog Fest! Now off to visit the talented Rachel Kosnski and read her story about hope, love, forgiveness, Christmas, or a special gift.
Please be sure to check out the other writers on tour and show them all some love! 
Merry Christmas to all!

Ginger Simpson ~
Beverley Bateman ~
Fiona McGier ~
Diane Bator ~
Rachel Kosnski ~
Margaret Fieland ~
Helena Fairfax ~
Anne Stenhouse ~
Marci Baun ~
A.J. Maguire ~
Victoria Chatham ~
Kay Sisk ~
Skye Taylor ~
Lynn Crain ~
Rhobin Courtright ~


  1. Enjoyed the excerpt and copied down the recipe. Thanks! Enjoy your Christmas and I wish a great 2015.

  2. Enjoyed your sharing today. Merry Christmas to you. I bypassed the recipe. As someone who has been called Gingerbread her entire life...I've sort of lost my tastebuds for anything that shares my name. :)

  3. Hi Diane,

    I'm not anonymous, but I am having issues signing in with any of my accounts. (sigh) This is a great excerpt. I was thinking of making gingerbread cookies with my daughter this year, but time slipped away. (It always seems to do that.) Perhaps after Christmas, we'll be able to do it. Is this your secret recipe? :)


  4. I enjoyed the excerpt. you have some great recipes.

  5. I thoroughly enjoyed The Bakery Lady. Hope you and your family have a great Christmas.

  6. I enjoyed the excerpt. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Nice excerpt and recipe. I've copied it down to put in my recipe book. My husband loves gingerbread cookies so I'll definitely be making these sometime soon.


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