Sleigh bells are ringing

Peeps, it’s almost Christmas! I’m very super pumped!

I do love me a bit of Christmas, and the house is decked in boughs of fairy lights and tinsel. I’ve made the Christmas pudding and the mince for the pies, my shopping is almost done and the red-suited fat guy is in residence at the Magic Cave. It’s all go for launch.

As always, I’ll be making goodies and treats. Here’s some recipes that are faves:

Edible Christmas Treats – Fruit Mince Pies

Edible Christmas Treats – Macadamia and Pecan Shortbread

Edible Christmas Treats – Chocolate Peppermint Crinkle Cookies

I hope you and yours have a fantastic holiday season and a happy and safe New Year.

 
 
 

Winter Warm-Up Blog Hop

20141219 WinterWarmUp
 

The Winter Warm-Up Blog Hop is hosted by
Romance Blog Hops.
Let the celebrations begin!

 
 
 
 
Hey peeps,

Welcome to the Winter Warm-Up Blog Hop! Big thanks go to Jane Wakely of Romance Blog Hops for hosting. There’s a giveaway below, so make sure you scroll to the end.

I love this time of year, though where I live in Australia, it’s certainly not cold. In fact, warm is a good description…it can sometimes get scorching hot here in dear old Oz. Our Christmas contain air conditioning and cold beer rather than roaring fires and eggnog, swimsuits and sunscreen rather than mittens and scarves, and we don’t get to wear the fabulously tragic Christmas jumpers/sweaters that are the bane of every Christmas movie ever (much to my disappointment).

One day, I’d love to experience a white Christmas, to have the cold sting my face rather than the heat slap me about. However, even if I do one day get to experience this, I have a sneaking suspicion I’ll miss my sweltering Aussie Christmas…

In my latest release, SLUMBER, the climate is also quite warm. I envisioned Dormiraa, the kingdom my hero and heroine hail from, is loosely (VERY loosely) based upon Kings Landing in Game of Thrones. It has the same warm colours, the same heat, the same feel of endless summer…much like Australia right about now!

I hope you enjoy the hop, peeps. Thanks for stopping by!

Cassandra
xx
 

Latest Release

 
Slumber by Cassandra Dean Part of Beyond Fairytales from Decadent Publishing

The Tailor has been tasked to find the princess…
Upon decree from his king, Sebastian, Tailor to the entire kingdom of Dormiraa, embarks on the mission to fetch the Princess Thalia home, her seven year Royal Tour over. He didn’t expect to find her working with clockwork and gears, encased within a coffin of glass. He did not expect the sight of her wild black hair to set his heart to pound, or the flash of her dark eyes would heat his blood. He did not expect he would want her so badly, not when he could never have her.

The princess must become the Queen…
Thalia has always known she must return to the capital to prepare for the throne. She did not expect her father to send the Tailor to fetch her, or that this man with his extravagant clothes and subtle cosmetics would intrigue her so well. There was something about him, something that spoke of danger and secrets, even as his wicked mouth and knowing eyes made her yearn.

However, not everyone desires the princess’s return. When they are attacked, they can only turn to each other. Will they overcome status and secrets to discover a love for all time?

Fantasy Erotic Romance
ISBN 9781613337660

Decadent Publishing
Amazon: AU | US | UK
iTunes | B&N

 
 

Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
 

GRAND PRIZE

a Rafflecopter giveaway


 

Get hopping with these other fantastic participants


 
 
 

Christmas Wonder Giveaway Hop #ChristmasWonderHop

christmas wonderfinal
 

The Christmas Wonder Giveaway Hop is hosted by
The Herd Hops.
Celebrate the Wonder of the Season! Visit all of the blogs to see what they love most about the season and which books have made their Christmas wish lists! There’s a giveaway at each stop so be sure to visit them all!

 
 
 
 
Hey peeps,

Welcome to the Christmas Wonder Giveaway Hop! Big thanks go to The Herd Hops for hosting. There’s a giveaway below, so make sure you scroll to the end.

What am I looking forward to this holiday season? The annual leave! I’m REALLY looking forward to the break from the day job, two glorious weeks where I can sleep in, mess about with family and friends, and just generally be a great big sloth. Ah. Sounds like bliss!

I’m also looking forward to all the Christmas decorations. In South Australia, we have the Christmas Pageant the first Saturday of November, which signifies the official beginning of the Christmas season. Most people put their decorations up after the Pageant…but not us. Sigh. My sister’s birthday is at the end of November and, growing up, we weren’t allowed to put the decorations up until after her big day. Man, how sucky, right?? Such a diva 😉 Now that we’re grown, the habits of childhood still have a strong hold and I can’t put my decorations up until after her birthday. So I’m really looking forward to that!

But now, on with books that are on my wishlist. I’m quite desperate for the next in Kelley Armstrong’s Cainsville series, Deceptions. Alas, I’ll have to wait until the second half of next year for this one. I’m also looking forward to Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews and Meljean Brook’s new book under her pen name, Milla Vane.

What are you peeps looking forward to?

Cassandra
xx
 

Latest Release

 
Slumber by Cassandra Dean Part of Beyond Fairytales from Decadent Publishing

The Tailor has been tasked to find the princess…
Upon decree from his king, Sebastian, Tailor to the entire kingdom of Dormiraa, embarks on the mission to fetch the Princess Thalia home, her seven year Royal Tour over. He didn’t expect to find her working with clockwork and gears, encased within a coffin of glass. He did not expect the sight of her wild black hair to set his heart to pound, or the flash of her dark eyes would heat his blood. He did not expect he would want her so badly, not when he could never have her.

The princess must become the Queen…
Thalia has always known she must return to the capital to prepare for the throne. She did not expect her father to send the Tailor to fetch her, or that this man with his extravagant clothes and subtle cosmetics would intrigue her so well. There was something about him, something that spoke of danger and secrets, even as his wicked mouth and knowing eyes made her yearn.

However, not everyone desires the princess’s return. When they are attacked, they can only turn to each other. Will they overcome status and secrets to discover a love for all time?

Fantasy Erotic Romance
ISBN 9781613337660

Decadent Publishing
Amazon: AU | US | UK
iTunes | B&N

 
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
 

 

Get hopping with these other fantastic participants

 
 
 

Merry Christmas!

IMG_20131126_210422

Merry Christmas, Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays to all. I wish you a wonderful holiday season, full of fun and frivolity and eating good times. Tonight, I’m enacting a Christmas tradition with friends – watching the Christmakkuh episode of The OC and stuffing our faces with homemade mince pies.

Enjoy mightily.
signaturekisses
 
 
 

You guys, it’s totally Christmas!

Hey peeps, hope you’re all super well! Is anyone else excited by the fact CHRISTMAS IS NEXT WEEK??? No? Just me? Oh wells 😉

I do love the Christmas. It’s one of my favourite times of year and I just love all the tinsel and twinkles and the good will towards all humans (and other lifeforms).

TRS xmas_2013_header 1Christmas also means lots and lots of celebrating. To that end, The Romance Studio are holding a week-long party where heaps and heaps of authors are chatting about their books and fun things and there are giveaways! Lots and lots of giveaways!

One of these giveaways is mine. That’s right, trundle on over to The Romance Reviews Christmas Party for your chance to win some stuff…oh, and read tids and bits about my books. Should probably mention that too, huh?

And while I have your ear, I thought I’d let you know to keep an eye out for a series of posts I’ll be doing after Christmas. As some of you may know, I LOVE cooking and every year I make some goodies for friends and family. I’ll be detailing my efforts for your culinary enjoyment once the hustle and bustle of Christmas settles down. So make sure you check back!

Alrighty, hope you all are having glorious days. Chat soon.

Cassandra
xx
 
 
 

Holiday eBook Giveaway with @jsubject

ebook giveaway December 2013

Hi peeps,

I’m taking my head out of the sand for a bit to chat about a fabulous giveaway! My good friend and amazing author bud, Jessica Subject, is hosting a HUGE book giveaway over on her blog. A bunch of authors, including myself, have donated books for one lucky person to win. Check out the goodies:
 
 
BOOK Author (Format)
HER DEVIANT LORD by Layna Pimentel (PDF, EPUB, or MOBI)
A GHOST FOR CHRISTMAS and 69 MUSTANG by Kacey Hammell (winner’s choice)
KEIR by Pippa Jay (winner’s choice)
THE PRINCESS AND THE PREPPER by Barbara Elsborg (winner’s choice)
HIDE & SEEK by Valerie Mann (PDF)
I’LL BE MATED FOR CHRISTMAS by Rebecca Royce (PDF)
THE COPPER AND THE MADAM by Karyn Gerrard (EPUB)
FOOL’S GOLD by Cassandra Dean (EPUB, PRC, or PDF) <– That's me!
THE PILOT by Diane Burton (Smashwords coupon)
SANTA’S SLEEPING BEAUTY by Lisa Fox (winner’s choice)
A KNIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS by Alicia Dean (Amazon or B&N)
MARRY CHRISTMAS, BABY by Jane Kent (PDF)
SEX BOOT CAMP by Paisley Brown (ARe)
ACCIDENTAL ROMANCE by Jessica E. Subject (ARe)
 
 
You could WIN all fifteen ebooks simply by visiting Jessica’s website and entering the Rafflecopter giveaway. Couldn’t be simpler and what a wonderful early Christmas pressie. Good luck!
 
 
 

Guest Post: Victoria Blisse!

Hi peeps,

Well, we’re super lucky today in that we also have author Victoria Blisse stopping by, chatting about her Christmas release, PROVING SANTA EXISTS! There’s also a giveaway, so make sure you read to the very end.

Take it away, Victoria!
 
Proving Santa Exists by Victoria Blisse
 

Christmas Traditions

We all have traditions and in my family many of them centre around Christmas. From little things like getting the Festive Radio Times (I never buy a TV listings magazine otherwise) to baking my Christmas cake and Christmas pudding to a precise recipe and visiting the pantomime to the way we decorate the house and what we leave out for Father Christmas on Christmas Eve!

Jenny in Proving Santa Exists has her own set of Christmas Traditions and she pulls the new guy at work into them too. Here’s the blurb:

When Jonathan transfers from the U.S to the Manchester branch of Computers Inc., Jenny is the first person to make him feel at home. Finding out about his bleak Christmases as a boy, she makes up her mind to involve him in all her English Christmas traditions.

Passion sparks between the two as they decorate the Christmas tree. Who would have thought such an innocent activity could become so sexually charged? Can Jenny succeed in seducing the hot American and also prove to him that Santa really does exist?

And here’s a little excerpt full of tradition:

“Mince pies?” Jonathan looks a little horrified and a lot terrified. My explanation about dried fruit and suet in a pastry case doesn’t seem to alleviate the fear at all.

“You’ll love them.” I reach my hand from the gear stick to his knee. “Trust me.” Squeezing, then lingering, my fingers only leave the warmth of his jean-clad leg when use of the gear stick becomes imperative. Really, it wants to slip higher and higher up his thigh…

“Then what?”

I try to focus on the question. I was thinking about sex, but I’m pretty sure Jonathan isn’t asking me about that.

“Erm, well, we’ll need something to eat, then we’ll watch The Muppet Christmas Carol. It’s a tradition, you know. It won’t be properly Christmas until we do. Then, we’ll go to see the Nativity at Tom’s before going on to midnight mass.”

“Just a few things to do then.”

“Aye!” I laugh heartily. “I’ll keep you busy all night long.” I blush as I realise how that might sound.

“I certainly hope so,” he replies, a wicked teasing light in his eye, sparkling white in the depth of his Guinness-coloured corneas. I giggle nervously then gasp aloud.

“It’s snowing! It’s snowing!” I do a little dance in my car seat, wiggling my hips whilst endeavouring to keep the steering wheel straight. “Oh, goody. I really want a white Christmas.”

“Why, so it is. It’s falling fast, too.” We’re just pulling into my drive, so thankfully I don’t have to drive any farther through the flurries of excited snowflakes.

“I do so love it when it snows!” I dance through the swirling flakes and catch Jonathan’s hand. He twirls around with me, laughing and whooping right along with me. Then he stops twirling and I end up rolling up his arm and bumping into his chest. I am about to apologise when his lips fall onto mine and silence me with a cold but rapidly warming kiss. I melt in his embrace. I wish we didn’t have so many layers between us. I want to feel his skin next to mine. I want to snuggle into him properly, hold him close and make love to him.

We pull apart with a gasping pop.

“Better get inside before we turn into snowmen.” He smiles and brushes snowflakes from my cheek. I return the grin and pull him into the house out of the swirling snow.

I slip off my thick brown coat, and hang it on the end of the stairs. Laying Jonathan’s over the top of it, I linger a moment, appreciating the sweet, musky smell lingering on the material that sparks off images of him on top of me… Oh, stop it girl! Get your hormones in check, there’s mince pies to bake.

For more of Jenny and Jonathan antics pic up your copy of PROVING SANTA EXISTS for just 77p from Amazon UK or for 99 cents at Amazon US

GIVEAWAY#!
Now, what are your Traditions at this time of the year? Comment and leave your email address to win a copy of ALWAYS CHRISTMAS IN LINCOLN, another of my seasonal stories!
 
Thanks so much for stopping by, Victoria. That was a lovely set of Christmas traditions 🙂 and peeps, make sure you enter the giveaway!
 
=====================================================================
# The small print: Comment before midnight on 24 December 2012 (Australian Central Standard Time) to be entered to win a copy of ALWAYS CHRISTMAS IN LINCOLN by Victoria Blisse. Winner will be selected via random.org, with winner’s name posted on this blog within three days of the close of the giveaway. Victoria will also contact the winner by e-mail.
Only one entry per ISP address. Entrants must be over 18 years of age. By entering, you agree Cassandra and Victoria can use your name when announcing the winner if you should win. If potential prize winner forfeits or does not claim the prize, prize will be re-awarded, in Sponsor’s sole discretion. All prizes will be awarded. International entries are welcome. No purchase necessary to enter. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Void where prohibited by law.

It’s beginning to feel a lot like…

Cassandra Dean Mince Pie Recipe

Hey peeps,

I’ve been a busy bee today, meeting new babies, cleaning bathrooms, watching TV (such hard work) and making Mince Pies. Phew, am I right?

Now, because I’m a kind and generous person, I thought I’d share with you peeps the glories of my mince pies. Because I’m Kind and Generous. No, I’m not a braggart at all 😉
 

Fruit mince recipe:
470g can crushed pineapple
¼ cup brown sugar
1 cup sultanas
½ tspn cinnamon
1 cup raisins
½ tspn nutmeg
¼ cup currants
1 tbsn cornflour
¼ cup apricots
¼ cup brandy
1 apple

Peel and grate apple. Combine all ingredients in saucepan except cornflour and brandy. Stir over medium heat until mixture boils, reduce heat, simmer 3 minutes or until fruit is plump. Blend cornflour with brandy, mix into hot fruit mixture. Stir until mixture boils and thickens. Cool before filling into pie shell.

Pastry recipe:
1 cup plain flour
1 egg, separated
1 tbsn icing sugar
1 tbsn iced water (approx)
1 tbsn custard powder
1 tspn finely grated lemon rind
90g cold butter, chopped coarsely
1 tbsn white sugar

Grease 12 round based patty pan (or metal pie shells). Process flour, icing sugar, custard powder and butter until crumbly. Add egg yolk and enough of the water to make the ingredients come together. Knead dough on lightly floured surface until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Roll two-thirds of pastry until 3mm thick. Cut rounds to fit patty pan or shells. Repeat until all 12 are filled. Spoon fruit mix into pastry cases.

Roll reserved pastry until 3mm thick. Fashion pie lids in whatever shape you desire. Place over fruit mixture, brush with egg white and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake pies 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Stand for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool.

Enjoy the deliciousness!