It’s the Holiday Historical Cookie/Sweets Hop 2023! Grab your biscotti!

Cinnamon Chip biscotti on a classic Corelleware white plate. Placemat and linen on table

Italian cookies that originated in medieval Tuscany – sigh! Cookies that are twice-baked (which is what biscotti means in Italian) and hold up to dunking in tea or milk or chocolate or wine or Prosecco. Another bonus in addition to the wide range possible flavors is that being twice-baked gives them a longer shelf life – so more time to enjoy them! Yes, it’s true – I love biscotti!

My favorite flavors tend to be plain – vanilla (or a touch of almond flavor) is my usual one but I do like chocolate chip, too. Oh, and gingerbread, too. Or one called a Snicker-cookie biscotti that turns out like a sugar cookie with a hint of cinnamon. Mmmmmm. They are easy to make and simply delicious. And although they don’t have a specific link to the Holiday season, I find I make them more near Christmas than other times of year.

I should admit that I turned to trying them because of my cookie-baking failures. It’s true – I can successfully make most other baked goods – gosh, my pound cake is always in demand at family gatherings and events. But cookies? They defeat me. Too flat. Too hard (often compared to small hockey pucks!). Not right. Not enough. So, when I made my first batch of biscotti and they turned out hard and crumbly, I realized they were perfect — LOL!

There are lots of biscotti recipes all over, online and in cookbooks and in family recipes so it’s not difficult to find one to try. I’ve found a great basic recipe along with more recipes that turn them into so many flavors on the Kristine’s Kitchen Blog. I’ve also had some success with recipes from an online site ( but it seems to be gone now. Luckily I have print and digital copies of those recipes!

Have you tried making biscottis or other holiday cookies? Are you a Pizzelle maker? Those were my younger sister Mar’s favorites and she made them every year…so good! Or is your Holiday superpower eating them? Hey, bakers need people to enjoy their creations!

Since I’m part of the Historical Authors Holiday Cookie (and Treats) Hop, here’s the list of all the participating authors (many of whom are doing giveaways on their pages so don’t miss them!):

Historical Romance Authors Cookie Hop Link List 2023

(look below for directions if you haven’t seen them)

Heather McCollum
Alanna Lucas
Allison B. Hanson
Anna St.Claire
Tara Kingston
Celeste Barclay 
Michelle McLean
Katherine Bone
Kathryn Le Veque
Terri Brisbin 
Melanie Rose Clarke
Brenna Ash
Gina Conkle
Deb Marlowe
E. Elizabeth Watson
Jane Charles
Amy Jarecki
Collette Cameron
Lauren & Devon Royal
Maeve Greyson
Aurrora St. James 
C.H. Admirand 
Emily Royal 
Margaux Thorne
Jennifer Seasons
Aubrey Wynne
Elizabeth Ellen Carter
Sara Adrien
Eliza Knight
Ruth A. Casie

After you collect the names of all 30 recipes, e-mail the list of authors with their treats to with the subject line: Historical Romance Authors are Sweet. One winner will be chosen on Wednesday, 13 December and announced on the FB event page and on Heather’s website: .

For my giveaway, I’m giving one winner who makes a comment below a lovely 2024 Scottish calendar along with a wee Scottish giftie, too! So just tell me if you bake or make Holiday treats or just like to eat them or what your favorites are and I’ll choose a winner TWO WINNERS who will be announced on December 13. Could be one of these calendars below or another of the ones I’ve collected for the New Year! Good luck!

Historical Romances? We’re giving them away!

For the next week, I’m taking part in a huge giveaway of historical romances by bestselling and award-winning authors you love (and me!)….


All you have to do is FOLLOW us on BookBub – a great place to find authors and books and deals on ebooks – to enter! Easy peasy and it’s helpful for authors, too. We’d love to see you all over there – recommending books and finding new ones…to read and love!

Across a Windswept Isle – it’s here!

Nothing more exciting that releasing a book into the reading world and, today, I’m doing that!

Across a Windswept Isle is the tale of a love forbidden and lost forever….or was it? This novella was previously part of the very limited edition collection THE FORBIDDEN HIGHLANDS but is now available on its own. Hope you will give it a try!

Ailis lost the love of her life … or is he standing right in front of her?

Lachlan MacLean loved his enemy’s daughter but duty called for him to marry another. Attacked by an unseen assailant and left to die in a fiery grave, he survived and now wanders the isle of Mull without any memory of his past. He seeks anyone who might know him but the one he wishes to find is the woman who haunts his dreams and visions. When he encounters her, she is being given in marriage to another man. He doesn’t know her name, but he knows he must have her to regain his life.

Ailis MacKinnon lost the love of her life in a terrible fire and months later is being forced by her father to marry. When she refuses and is given to the next man who enters the keep instead, she discovers that the mysterious ‘Iain’ reminds her of the man she lost. Worse, he encourages her to be the woman she should be. As the battle of wills between father and daughter builds, so does the passion between her and this hooded man.

Will she be able to claim the man she lost knowing that exposing his identity brings danger back to him? Or can she give him up now that she has found him?



Brandywine Brides – and the Writers Who Lunch

A couple of years ago, after decades of knowing each other, a small group of writer friends began to gather for lunch once a month. We would talk about family and life but then the topics would turn inevitably to writing and stories, the market and contracts, and other publishing topics. We were a mixed group – all published, most by traditional publishers, some of us trying our hand at indie publishing, too. Finally, someone said — hey, we’re all writers, we should write something together!

And that was the beginning our our series – The Blackwood Legacy – and our first anthology – Brandywine Brides!

We gathered for planning sessions. We climbed into cars and did road trips all over Chester County PA, looking at stone houses, horse farms and the Brandywine River as it ran down through historic Chadds Ford. It took months before the family’s history and the idea of the first connected collection took shape. One writer had to bow out and we recruited another to take her place. Finally, seven stories about seven generations of the Blackwood family took shape – from the patriarch Finlan Blackwood in 1721 down to the current owner and namesake Finn Blackwood.

Brandywine Brides is now available for pre-order and will debut on April 25 — we hope you’ll give us and the Blackwood Family a try…. it’s at a special price now – 99¢ – and available at most retailers

One Family ~ Seven Generations ~ A Legacy of Love




Upon a Misty Skye – preorder now!


I was so excited to be invited to write a story for a limited-time-only Celtic ghost/haunted castle collection of novellas last fall and even more excited when that collection – ONCE UPON A HAUNTED CASTLE – hit the USA TODAY bestseller list! Now, I’m releasing my novella UPON A MISTY SKYE by itself — and it’s available now for preorder!

The story — On Scotland’s Isle of Skye, Alexander MacDonald and Isabel MacLeod were not supposed to meet or fall in love or marry. Now that they have, their parents mean to separate them, by any means possible. But the ghost of Duntulm Castle has other plans for the forbidden lovers.

Here are some links to the preorder pages —