Monday, December 12, 2011

My Favorite Christmas Story...and a Chance to Win One!

Christine Rimmer

It's a pleasure to welcome Christine Rimmer to our blog. Christine has written over seventy-five contemporary romances for Silhouette and Harlequin Books. A reader favorite, Christine’s stories consistently appear on national bestseller lists, including the Waldenbooks and USA TODAY lists. She has won Romantic Times BOOKreview’s Reviewer’s Choice Award for best Silhouette Special Edition. She has been nominated three times for the RITA and four times for Romantic Times Series Storyteller of the Year.

A California native who first longed to be an actress, Christine says she earned her theater degree from California State, Sacramento and then went to New York to study acting. Moving back to  California,  she began her writing career with short stories, plays, and poems. Her poems and short stories were published in a number of small literary journals. Her plays were produced at The Back Alley and Group Theaters in Southern California and have been published by Dramatists Play Service and West Coast Plays.She now lives in Oregon with her family and two very contented cats named Tom and Ed. Welcome Christine.

Hi everyone. So pleased to have a chance to visit with you here at As We Were Saying.

As I’m sure is true of most writers, I learned to read at an early age. And oh, how I loved it! Books to me were—and are—the very best place to go to experience all that life has to offer. In a book, I could get all the thrills and chills and challenges of fighting monsters, living through the French Revolution, surviving World War II, falling in love for all time...anything. All of life’s variety and wonder were and are right there, between the pages of my favorite books. And I could go there instantly from the comfort of my favorite chair.

I have a younger sister. Early on I drew her into my love of the written word. Starting when I was five and she was two, I would read to her. With lots of vocal and facial expression. I expected a great deal of her, as my audience. And she always rose to the occasion, sitting there rapt as I swept us both away to worlds we would never know in real life. I was a taxing big sister. Now and then I would stop out of nowhere and demand of her, “What did I just read?” Inevitably, she would repeat my last sentence back to me verbatim, brown eyes wide with wonder at the thrill of the tale.

When I was seven and she, four, we started reading A Christmas Carol every year. Ten pages a day starting the first of December. Our grandmother had given me a lovely copy of the Dickens tale, illustrated so beautifully by an artist called Maraja. The reading of A Christmas Carol became one of our favorite holiday traditions. Oh, how we looked forward, my sister and I, to our yearly adventure with Scrooge and Marley and the three wise spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Yet-to-Come. We would cry together in joy, every year, when Tiny Tim crowed “God bless us, Every One!”

And yes, I still have that book. It’s a little the worse for wear now, tattered and frayed at the binding, some of the pages wrinkled and coming loose. But I treasure it greatly as I do all the books that have swept me away and made my life richer and more full of meaning.

For me, a book was always the best, most exciting and uplifting place to go to get away from my everyday troubles. That’s still true, to this day. If I couldn’t read…well, I just don’t know what.

And I love to give and receive books for Christmas. In fact, I’m always on the lookout for great books I ought to read—or give as a gift. Christmas-themed books are perfect. But don’t stop there.

Is there a book you love and cherish and want everyone to read? I need to know about that book. And in the spirit of the season, I’m offering my latest holiday release, A BRAVO HOMECOMING, to one commenter here.

Good luck, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah—and God bless us, every one!

By Christine Rimmer
November 2011 Release
ISBN: 978-0373656325

Travis Bravo was sick of his meddling mother and her matchmaking ways. So what better way to stop her than to bring a fiancĂ©e home for the holidays? One catch—

he wasn’t even dating anyone. But that was where his rough-and-tumble oil-rig friend, Samantha Jaworski, came in.
An unpolished tomboy, Sam was game for anything for a good friend. But after her girlfriend-ready makeover, she fell easily into the role of Travis’s loving partner—

and into his arms. Would she be standing under his mistletoe…for keeps?

Bravo Family Ties…

Stronger than ever...
Contact Christine at
Books available now:
Never Kiss Me Again--available in ebook
A Bravo Homecoming 11/11
Upcoming books:
The Return of Bowie Bravo 2/12
The Prince's Secret Baby 4/12
The Prince She Had to Marry 11/12


A special christmas cookie recipe

My absolute all-time fave cookies. I got it from my friend Paz who has the best cooking blog, The Cooking Adventures of Chef Paz. Paz got it from a blog called Simply Recipes. So delicious! So simple--and yep. You're reading it right. No eggs, no leavening. I always double it and there are still not enough! Enjoy! --Christine Rimmer

Paz’s Butter Pecan Cookies

3/4 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/3 cup sugar, plus more for coating

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

1- Preheat oven to 350°. On a baking sheet, toast pecans until fragrant, about 6 minutes. Let cool completely; finely chop.

2- With an electric mixer, cream butter for about a minute. Add 1/3 cup sugar and cream until light, about 1 minute more. Beat in vanilla, salt, and flour, scraping down sides of bowl, just until dough comes together. Fold in pecans.

3- Separate dough into 12 pieces; squeeze dough to shape into balls. Roll in sugar. Place, 3 inches apart, on a baking sheet.

4- Gently flatten with the bottom of a glass (reshape sides if necessary). Sprinkle with sugar.

5- Bake until golden brown, rotating sheet halfway through, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with more sugar. Cool cookies on a wire rack.

Don't forget to leave a comment before you cook these cookies!


J.A. Bennett said...


Thanks for sharing! My favorite book that I think everyone should read is Jane Eyre. Its my new years traditional read :) My first boss gave me my first hardback copy when I was 18 as a Christmas gift.

Can't wait to check out a Bravo Homecoming. I love your description of Sam!

Ruby Johnson said...

I love Pride and Prejudice and so do my daughters. It's a tradition to watch the movie with Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy during the holidays.
Other favorites are the romantic suspense books by Mary Stewart. With titles like Madam Will You Talk, and Nine Coaches Waiting, who could resist picking them up to read? said...

I started reading Harlequins when I picked up a book at an estate sale. The cover was faded and the leaves were yellow, and it was a short little book called To Catch A Butterfly. The author was Marjorie Lewty. Since then I've toured the world through these romances. The writing style and the type of content in some of the books has changed to reflect the changing morals of today's woman but they are still centered on the relationship between a man and woman falling in love.

Christine Rimmer said...

J.A. Thanks for the welcome. Sam was a very fun character to write. And oh, Jane Eyre! I so hear you. Love that book. Hmm. Maybe it's time to read it again...

Christine Rimmer said...

Ruby, hey! All good choices. I'm thinking I want to see the Colin Firth Pride and Prejudice again, too.....

Christine Rimmer said...

Anne, I love Harlequin books, too. Both reading them. And writing them. The older ones had such whimsical titles. Nowadays, the titles are more likely to be literal: The Prince's Pregnant Bride; The Cowboy's City Girl Wife...etc. :)

regencygirl01 said...

I agree with Rub nothing better than Pride and Prejudice. Nobody does Darcy like Colin Firth.
I have been reading Harlequin for as long as I can remember. Love both the contemporary and the historical. Historicals are my favorite now, but I still read a lot of contemp. Love the Bravo family can't wait to read the new onr

C-Jay said...

I'm with J. A. Bennett. I read Jane Eyre when I was in elementary school. (Yes, I was precocious - I read Gone With the Wind when I was 11.) I loved Jane Eyre and talked my daughter into reading it when she was still reading Goosebumps. She loved it! She's more into sci-fi now, but I still bend towards my romances; I love happy endings! :-)

Christine Rimmer said...

regencygirl! Merry Chistmas. We are in agreement on P&P--not to mention Colin Firth. And thank you. :)

Christine Rimmer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christine Rimmer said...

C-Jay! I read GWTW when I was eleven as well. Nothing like it! And as for happy endings...oh yes!

Caroline Clemmons said...

My favorite book everyone should read is Julie Garwood's PRINCE CHARMING. I reread it about once a year. Thanks for sharing.

Christine Rimmer said...

Hi Caroline! Thanks for the recommendation. I've read a couple of Julie Garwood's books and really enjoyed them.

Christine Rimmer said...

And...J.A. Bennett, you're the winner of a signed copy if A BRAVO HOMECOMING! Congrats! Email me at with your mailing address and I'll send the book to you.

Everyone, I so enjoyed visiting with you all. Happy Holidays!

squiresj said...

I could never give you one book I know and love. I have so many I have enjoyed. I have not found one of your books I have not enjoyed reading. I am glad you enjoyed your divinity. I made 9 batches of microwave peanut brittle to mail to my family in Illinois, for Alma, Ron and Sarah's family.
I finally got to Library so I can write you. My computer is in shop. I have not heard anything from them. Pray they can fix it.
I love Little Women and always enjoyed all The Little House on the Prairie Christmas books. Now I enjoy the movies. I buy every Janette Oke book and movie. God bless you special today.
jrs362 at hotmail dot com

Christine Rimmer said...

Jane, I was thinking of Little Women. Loved the book (and the sequels). And I love the movie. I actually own it. Must watch. Here's to that computer coming back a-ok. You have may prayers for that. :) And yes, the divinity was wonderful. I loved every bite. Thank you again! Wow. 9 batches of peanut brittle. Your family will enjoy....

J.A. Bennett said...

Woohoo! *does happy dance* Thank you Christine :) Sending you an email now!

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