24 of our fabulous Tule authors are coming together for our first ever 24 Days of Cookies party in the Tule Book Club! From December 1-24, an author will be stopping by everyday to share their favorite cookie recipe, some holiday memories, and a fun giveaway. Check back here for all the delicious recipes, and let us know if you make any!
Read more about our new releases for August. GIVEAWAY: We will pick ONE winner to receive a book of their choice from the August releases. Comment down below with your name, email address, and which book you’re looking most forward to reading! Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
A little over a year ago, Jeannie Moon invited Jennifer Gracen, Jolyse Barnett, and me to write a continuity series together that would eventually be called Christmas in New York. I was all for it. But there was just one problem.
I’d never written grown up romance before. My forte was in the YA space.
With Jeannie’s encouragement, I began to brainstorm ideas. At the time, my son and I were planning a trip to Manhattan’s September 11th Memorial and I became consumed with the idea of writing a story about two people whose losses that day left them each deeply scarred. Since I recently lost my mom to breast cancer, I ended up writing that loss into the story — hero and heroine both lost moms. The story, A Match Made at Christmas, was well received and nearly every reader who left a review asked for the same thing: When will you tell Kara’s story? Kara was introduced in the Christmas book as Elena’s older sister. Abandoned by her baby’s father, Kara is nearing the end of her pregnancy and Elena returns to New York to help her sister cope, where she finds true love with the help of a little matchmaking from her mom in heaven. My sister authors wrote their Christmas stories on the same timeline so all of the friends in Kara’s and Elena’s circle found true love that holiday.
Except for Kara.
So when we decided to write a Summer in New York series, I knew immediately whose story I’d be telling.
My mom was always dumping guilt on me — “You’ll miss this when I’m gone!” she’d say. Another favorite was “Just wait until you have kids of your own; then you’ll understand.” Two years after her death, I was a mess — missing her more than ever and wishing beyond reason I could call her to ask advice about my sons.
Kara’s daughter is eighteen months old and rambunctious, making Kara doubt her abilities and second-guess her decisions. She misses the mom she lost more than ever. Since I could so thoroughly identify with those feelings, the writing came fast and easy and the story started taking shape.
Reid Bennett was harder to develop. I wanted someone who understood the kind of loss Kara was struggling to deal with but he also had to be someone who could help her handle that rambunctious toddler. I actually DID lose my toddler twice in the same day — once in a department store, and once in a park. So that ended up in the story, too. But in this case, I had Reid be the hero both times, just for the sake of being able to add that little touch of magic again….could this be Mom sending another sign from heaven?
Patty Blount writes instruction guides by day and novels by night. On a dare by her oldest son, she wrote her first novel in an ice rink. Though never published, Penalty Killer was the subject of so many seventh grade book reports, the English teacher requested a copy and later returned it, covered in red ink. Patty is always looking for great story ideas. Her debut novel, Send, was conceived after her boss suggested she learn about social networks. Patty lives on Long Island with her family, a fish, and lots of books.
Delicious recipes straight from the kitchens of your favorite Tule authors.
Patty adores baking and in her Christmas in New York novella, Goodness and Light, main character Elena bakes a family favorite, Italian Rainbow Cookies.
Like colored Italian glass, these tiny cookies boast layers of green, yellow and red. A mistake in this recipe improved it, according to all members of Patty’s family. She bakes several batches of these cookies each year and her mother, who gave her the recipe, kept complaining that Patty’s tasted better than hers. That’s when Patty discovered her error: she substituted Almond Filling!
Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes; makes about 6 dozen.
- Hand or stand mixer
- 3 bowls
- Egg separator
- Waxed paper
- 3 13 x 9 x 2 pans
- 4 large or medium eggs, separated
- 1 can of Solo Almond Filling (Note: Other recipes call for Almond Paste, but the secret to success is using almond FILLING.)
- 1 1⁄2 cups (3 sticks) of butter, softened in microwave
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- Green and red food coloring
- 1 jar of apricot or raspberry preserves
- 2 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate (either squares or chips) for glaze, or use preserves
- 1 ounce of cream or Crisco to soften the chocolate
- Grease three 13 x 9 x 2 inch pans; line each pan with wax paper and then grease the paper.
- Hint: Let wax paper over-hang short edges of pan to use as ‘handles’ when removing baked layers. Set out three sheets of wax paper on heat-proof surface to receive baked layers when removed from pans.
- Beat egg whites with electric mixer in small bowl until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
- Break up almond filling with a fork. Add butter, sugar, egg yolks. Beat with electric mixer at high speed until fluffy. Beat in flour a little at a time and salt until blended.
- Fold beaten egg whites into mixture with wire whip.
- It helps to tint one batch at a time. Remove about a cup and a half of batter; spread evenly into one of prepared pans. This will be your yellow layer. Use a spoon to force batter to coat bottom of pan and reach the edges. If you find there just isn’t enough, remove a scant spoonful at a time from the bowl and add to the pan until the pan is covered. Use another bowl to divide the remaining batter in half; tint one half green and LEAVE THE REMAINING HALF YELLOW UNTIL NEXT STEP. Spread the green batter in the second prepared pan. You may add a spoonful of untinted batter, mixing carefully in the pan, until the pan is completely covered. Finally, tint the remaining batter red; spread into last prepared pan.
- Bake in moderate oven (350o) about 15 minutes until edges are lightly brown. Center should not be sticky or shiny. Note: layers will be very thin; less than a quarter inch.
- Immediately upon removing pans from oven, invert each layer onto the waxed paper you laid out in Step 1. Peel off the baking liner paper carefully, trying not to tear layers. Cool completely.
- Heat preserves; strain. Use the waxed paper to carefully lift the green layer onto a jelly roll pan or other flat pan that will fit into a refrigerator. Spread a thin layer of preserves onto green layer; spread to all edges. You may remove any remaining lumps, if desired.
- Use the waxed paper to carefully lift, align and flip yellow layer on top of preserves-topped green layer. If you do not align edges properly, CAREFULLY try to slide layer into place without tearing. Spread another layer of preserves on top of the yellow layer; spread to all edges.
- Use the waxed paper to carefully lift, align and flip the red layer on top of the yellow layer.
- Cover tightly with plastic wrap; weight with large book (phone book or textbook) and refrigerate over night to encourage the layers to adhere.
- Next day: Melt chocolate in microwave until smooth. Add cream or Crisco to keep the chocolate from re-hardening. Spread chocolate over top of assembled cake. Smooth to all edges. Let set in refrigerator, about 30 minutes. Optional: Top with ice cream sprinkles or nuts.
- Trim the rough edges from cake and discard. Cut trimmed cake into 1 x 1 inch squares with a very sharp, non-serrated knife. (Serrated knives ‘saw’ the cake, grinding the fragile layers.) It helps to cut a length off the cake and flip it on its side to slice into squares so the chocolate layer is not ruined.