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Once Upon a Christmas Cookie by @OkatieO is a Christmas and Holiday Festival pick #romance #giveaway



Title: Once Upon a Christmas Cookie


Author: Katie O’Sullivan


Genre: Holiday romance


Book Blurb:


Matt Jamieson is done with casual hookups, but his playboy reputation isn’t easy to shake off. Volunteering with his niece’s scout troop is the ticket to showing everyone he’s ready to settle down, but the fiery redhead who pushes all his buttons is an obstacle he didn’t anticipate. Chelsea Greene never meant to move back to Cape Cod. Thanks to grad school loans and a mountain of debt from her cheating ex, she’s once again sleeping in her childhood bed. But when the holidays and the annual open house competition roll around, her mom asks for a favor she can’t refuse. All Chelsea needs to do is go on a date with the obnoxious guy from the craft fair to get the cookie recipe her mother needs. But when one date turns into two, and then three… can they still blame it on the Snickerdoodles? Or is there a pinch of holiday magic in that secret recipe?


Excerpt:


Traffic slowed when Matt got to the edge of downtown Harwich Port, thousands upon thousands of white lights creating a glow over the entire area. Between the long line of cars and the pedestrians spilling off the sidewalks, he felt like he’d been time warped back to the height of summer, even though all of the visitors now wore puffy jackets and long pants instead of tank tops and shorts.


The Town of Harwich always held their annual Holiday Stroll on the first Friday in December, kicking off the official holiday countdown on Cape Cod. Every small town on the Cape had their own version of a stroll, designed to help the local brick-and-mortar shops compete against the big box stores and online merchants. Every weekend was filled with holiday-themed events in towns up and down the coast, right through the big New Year’s Eve First Night celebration on the streets of downtown Chatham.


Twenty minutes of stop and start traffic later, Matt finally turned down a side street. Like a Christmas miracle, he found an empty parking spot behind the Old Church, which seemed to glow from the inside with otherworldly light, stained glass windows shooting bright colors into the darkened parking lot. Their destination was actually the adjacent church hall, a no-nonsense white clapboard building that was well over a hundred years old. One of Matt’s first jobs after graduation had been on the team of restoration woodworkers involved in the lengthy project of bringing the church and its outbuildings up to code and ready for the next hundred years.


“Uncle Matt, are you dropping me off? Or are you gonna stay and help?” Lilly’s high voice piped up from the back seat.


He caught her eyes in the rearview mirror. “Of course I’m going to stay with you, Lilly-pad. Your mom signed me up to help sell stuff with you at the stroll tonight.” He got out of the car and helped his niece unbuckle her car seat. “Why are you so worried?”


She shrugged and pushed her long blond braids behind her back. “None of my friends are going to be helping tonight.”


“Aren’t all the girls in the troop your friends?” Matt wasn’t exactly sure how scouting worked, but he was pretty sure being “a friend to every scout” was on one of those patches on her vest. Or maybe it was left over from her old troop in New York.


Her little face screwed up into a sort of frown. “Kind of? But I don’t know them too well yet. The girls who signed up for tonight are all third graders. So, you know, they’re old.”


Lilly and her mother came to Cape Cod in September, moving back into the house Matt and Maureen grew up in. Maureen used the money from the sale of her New York house and restaurant to purchase her shop. Cooking had been her husband’s thing. Maureen was the baker in the family, so it made more sense for her to open a bakery. His seven-year-old niece seemed to take the transition to a new town and new school in stride, but her comment made Matt wonder if she was doing as well as everyone thought.


He forced a smile onto his face, ignoring the turn of his thoughts and responding to her words. “Well, that’s what events like this are for, right? Getting to know each other better. But don’t you worry. I’ll be right by your side.”


“Thanks, Uncle Matt.”


“Although, you’re going to have to fill me in on what exactly we’re selling.”


“Ornaments. We made a bunch of different ones at our last troop meeting.” Holding firmly onto his hand, she hopped down from his truck onto the pavement. “I’ll show you which ones I made, in case you want one for your Christmas tree.”


“Of course I want one, silly girl. Maybe more than one. First let me grab the cookies your mom sent and then we can go inside.”


Lilly tugged his arm, a giant frown on her face. “Uncle Matt, we’re not allowed to sell cookies! The church ladies have a special bake sale tonight. Ornaments only, my leaders told us.”


Matt considered leaving the cookies in the car to keep for himself. His sister’s Snickerdoodles were the best cookies he’d ever tasted, hands down. But she’d sent them for the fundraiser. “How about instead of selling them, we give them away to customers as a bonus?”


Lilly’s frown disappeared. “That sounds awesome!” She grabbed his hand and tugged him toward the door.


Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):






Share a holiday family tradition:


My mother’s family came over from England in 1901, and brought their secret family recipe for traditional plum pudding with them. If you don’t know what plum pudding is, I’ll let you in on a secret. It’s not pudding. It’s more like a dense cake made with whiskey and mincemeat and… oh right, secret recipe.


It’s a time and labor intensive cooking process, and you need to make the puddings ahead of time so they have a chance to “settle.” The ingredients are mixed together and packed tightly in bowls, wrapped in white muslin cloth, and boiled for hours, before being put up on a cool, dry shelf to settle for at least a month. At Christmas, the wrapped puddings are boiled for hours again, then unwrapped and turned out onto a serving dish. A sprig of holly is stuck in the middle, the cake is doused again in alcohol and the whole thing set on fire for the family to make wishes as the blue flames dance along the surface.


My grandmother and her sister kept the tradition alive for years, and whichever of their kids or grandkids were around would get roped into helping. Each sister only had half of the recipe, as their mother ingrained the secret nature of the recipe. Now that they’ve both passed, pudding has become the family “excuse” to gather the extended family once a year for a weekend of catching up, antique shopping and pudding making. We all go home with our wrapped muslin bundles, much to the consternation of TSA. My oldest living aunt is the one who now has the recipe, and as the oldest living daughter of the next generation, someday it will be entrusted to me for safe keeping, and to keep the tradition of the blue flame alive.



Why is your featured book perfect to get readers in the holiday mood?


Once Upon a Christmas Cookie is set on Cape Cod in December, and the characters meet at one of the annual holiday events we have in my town every year, the Holiday Stroll which “kicks off” the shopping season. Throughout the story I’ve woven in several holiday traditions held in the various towns on the Cape, all of which my kids and I have experienced and enjoyed over the years. Most people only think of Cape Cod as a summer destination, when in fact there’s something going on during every season of the year – and especially during the holidays. Reading my book will give you a taste of the holidays in small town Cape Cod.


Giveaway –


Enter to win a $75 Amazon (US or Canada) Gift Card.



You must have an active Amazon US or Amazon Canada account to be eligible. Open internationally.


Runs December 1 – 31


Drawing will be held on January 3, 2023.



Author Biography:


Katie O’Sullivan is an award-winning writer with over a dozen contemporary romance and young adult books to her name.


A voracious reader, she loves to read and write second chance stories with strong female characters and hot alpha males. A recovering English major, she earned her degree at Colgate University and now lives on Cape Cod with her family and big dogs, drinking way too much coffee and finding new uses for all the sea glass she obsessively collects from the beach right down the road. She writes YA and romantic suspense novels, as well as working full time for a high tech company. Which explains all the coffee.


Social Media Links:


Find her on Facebook

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Find her on BookBub

Follow her on Twitter

Follow her on AMAZON

Check out her website at www.katie-osullivan.com

4 Yorum


andreadrake1
andreadrake1
10 Ara 2022

My favorite Christmas tradition is watching Christmas movies with my kids.

Beğen

Barbara Bettis
06 Ara 2022

Hi Katie. I enjoyed your excerpt. Sounds like another dandy story from you!! Wishing you all the best.

Beğen

Rita Wray
Rita Wray
06 Ara 2022

I like the excerpt and cover.

Beğen

N. N. Light
N. N. Light
06 Ara 2022

Thank you, Katie, for sharing your book in our Christmas and Holiday Book Festival!

Beğen
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