"Gabrielle Holly spins her stories in a way that will take you on an emotional rollercoaster you'll never forget!"
~Paranormal Romance Junkies

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Santa's Little Helper Cocktail

Christmas Eve usually finds me sitting cross-legged on my bed, buried beneath wrapping paper, ribbons, unwrapped gifts and unstuffed stockings. This year I finished my Yuletide duties early and had time to crank up the Christmas tunes, kick my feet up on the coffee table, and enjoy a little holiday cheer. I hope you’ve all been Naughty and Nice.
Happy Holidays Darlings!

Santa’s Little Helper
·        1.5 ounces Coffee-flavored Liqueur (I used Kahlua)
·        0.5 ounces Peppermint Schnapps (I used Phillips)
·        0.5 ounces heavy whipping cream
·        8-10 ounces strong hot coffee (I love Dunkin’ Donuts brand)
·        1 dollop whipped cream
For an extra festive touch, garnish with a candy cane!
Combine Kahlua, schnapps, whipping cream and coffee in a mug and stir lightly. Top with a dollop of whipped cream. Sip while reviewing your Naughty & Nice list. Repeat as necessary.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

An Erotic Giggle ~ Oh My!

I adore actor George Takei. I stumbled across this video of him reading excerpts from "Fifty Shades of Grey."

I hope you'll take a break from the Yuletide hubbub to enjoy this funny little clip.

Holiday Hugs Darlings!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The CranTini Cocktail

Hello Darlings!
This week’s cocktail is the CranTini ~ a Yuletide twist on the martini. I adore cranberry juice cocktail as a mixer and this is such a pretty and festive drink, I just had to give it a spin.
And now, in the interest of full disclosure: I am not a fan of vermouth. I tweaked and tasted and tweaked some more and the version that’s most palatable for me has almost no vermouth… okay, that’s an overstatement. It had absolutely no vermouth. My husband liked the vermouth’ed version just fine.
My version also doubles the amount of orange liqueur and cranberry juice cocktail found in most recipes. I know, I know… it’s sounding less and less like a martini, but if I’m not sipping my standby Windsor & Diet Coke, I like my cocktails smooth and easy to drink. Traditionalists - feel free to keep the vermouth and reduce the measures of orange liqueur and cranberry juice cocktail by half ~ you won’t hurt my feelings.

The Cranberry Martini
·         1.5 ounces vodka (I used Stoli)
·         1 ounce orange liqueur (I used Grand Marnier)
·         0.5 ounce dry vermouth (OR NOT, but if you want to… I used Martini & Rossi)
·         4.5 - 6 ounces cranberry juice cocktail (I used Ocean Spray)
·         1 Cup ice
·         Whole Cranberries & Orange Slice for garnish (optional)
1.     Combine vodka, orange liqueur, vermouth, cranberry juice and ice in a cocktail shaker then shake vigorously to chill. Alternative Mixing Procedure: I opted for the anti-007 stirred method.
2.     Pour into martini glasses and serve.
3.     If desired, garnish with a whole cranberries and an orange slice. (Highly recommended, just for prettiness).
Serves two-ish.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Erotic Romance or Porn?

My hackles are up. I recently got a message from an acquaintance inviting me to coffee. Neck deep in writing, I asked for a rain check. I wrote back, “Let’s try to get together next week. Right now I’m focused on working out a tricky plot point.” His response was, “Plot? I thought you were writing erotic romance!”
Firstly, he’d outed himself as not having read any of my books, but that’s not what pissed me off. My annoyance came from his assumptions about the genre as a whole. The implication was clear: “Those Books” are just a collection of sex scenes strung loosely together… in a word – “porn.”
Anyone who’s actually read erotic romance (and certainly those of us who write it for a living) knows that it’s not masturbation material populated with cardboard people whose only function is to serve as a collection of body parts to stick into one another. These books are full of multidimensional characters with the full range of human emotions, stories that compel, and – yes – plots.
I tried to give the guy the benefit of the doubt… walk a mile in his shoes, and all that. He’s told me that he frequently posts “stories” to BDSM boards. I read a sampling and these writings are, in fact, whack-off material. They are about nameless, faceless men and women who have sex without emotion and for no other purpose than to reach orgasm. That’s porn – I’m not judging, just observing – and the difference between erotic romance and porn is clear.
This situation made me wonder what his perception would have been if I’d identified myself as a Romance Author without the “erotic” qualifier. Would he have been surprised that my work had plots? Almost certainly not.
That got me to thinking about the difference between “mainstream” fiction and erotic fiction. Both require complex characters that people care about in situations that make readers want to find out what happens next. The difference is that in one the reader is left out in the hallway while the characters go into the bedroom and close the door. In the other, the reader can peek through the keyhole.

To me, describing the act of sex is a natural storytelling progression. I would be bored to tears if I read about characters attending a feast: “And then they ate the appetizer. And then they ate the second course. And then they ate the main course. And then they had dessert.” I want to read how and why the characters got there and what they’re feeling. I need a detailed description of the rich color of the shrimp, the velvety mouth-feel of the soup, the savory aroma of the meat, and the decadent sweetness of the dessert... Without that, it’s just porn.
All three books in my Paranormal Erotic Romance series - Ghost Encounters - are available now. Drop by the website for excerpts and purchase links. Like all of my books, each one in this series has characters you'll care about and one hell of a plot!
xoxo ~Gabrielle

Friday, December 7, 2012

Hot Toddy, Anyone?

This week’s recipe is all about curiosity. I’ve always wondered about the storied Hot Toddy. Until tonight, I wasn’t even sure what was in one. After some poking around in my mixology books and surfing the Internet, I learned that this seasonal drink has many versions. I wanted to stay close to traditional, but with a tweak or two to suit my taste. That said, I have to admit, Hot Toddies really don’t suit my taste at all. I found the cocktail a bit too medicinal-tasting for my liking. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised – I learned that this concoction is an old-school remedy for sore throats. But, I suspect its “medicinal benefits” have more to do with wanting an excuse to imbibe on a cold winter’s eve.

The Hot Toddy
1 cup strong tea
1 Tablespoon (+/-) honey
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 ounce alcohol (whiskey, rum, or brandy)
Lemon for garnish
Cinnamon stick for garnish
Cloves (optional)
·         Prepare a strong cup of tea.
·         While tea is steeping, add honey, lemon juice and alcohol into a footed mug and stir.
·         If desired, drop three whole cloves into mug (or a tiny sprinkle of ground cloves)
·         Stir in tea, garnish with lemon (wedge or curl) and cinnamon stick.
·         Serve hot
My husband and I experimented with a couple of variations on the theme:
·         We tried it with spiced rum and with Canadian whisky. My husband preferred the rum, I the whisky.
·         We tried the drink with and without the cloves and both agreed that the cloves were just too much and better left to the pumpkin pie filling.
·         He felt a Tablespoon of honey was too sweet – I thought it was just about right.
·         We both agreed that a full Tablespoon of lemon juice is a too much. It really did make the drink taste like a cough drop.
Overall, I’m glad I tried the Hot Toddy – if for no other reason than to satisfy my curiosity. However, the next time I’m in the mood for a hot cocktail, I’ll opt for my old standby – The Irish Coffee.
Hugs Darlings!
~~~ Gabrielle