Christmas Book Exchange, Plus Contest News

Merry Christmas from the Banditas

Thank you so much for joining our informal little holiday fete. We offered to give the cabana boys the day off, but the sweet lads couldn’t think of anywhere else they’d rather be. They’ve brought several large, cushy sectionals into the Lair, their glistening muscles softly lit by the twinkling lights on our beautiful tree.

Her Christmas Earl: A Regency NovellaThere’s a variety of finger foods over by the fireplace. It’s a potluck, so I hope you brought a dish to share.

It’s a very low-key sort of festive, the perfect setting for our virtual Christmas Book Exchange. It’s sort of like Secret Santa, Bandita style. What book did you bring, and what do you love about it? (No fair bringing a book that you wrote!)

My contribution is HER CHRISTMAS EARL by our very own Anna Campbell! Not only is this the perfect treat for keeping that Christmas feeling going just a little while longer, but the red on the cover matches our holiday décor.

The party is very come-and-go today. We’re all spending the day with our families, and popping in as we have time to visit with our wonderful friends here.

Speaking of which… you should pop over to the Secret Room at to enter the Paperback-a-Day Bookapalooza. Which is just what it sounds like… during the month of December, I’m giving away a book every single day.

Kate Carlisle Contest

Again, wishing you the very happiest of holidays! May your day be filled with love.

What finger food did you bring to the party? And more importantly, what book did you bring to the book exchange?

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  • flchen1 says:

    I’m bringing a platter of this–chocolate graham toffee bark. Half with almonds, half with crushed candy canes 🙂

    As for the book exchange, I’m bringing hmm… Rogue Spy, by Joanna Bourne. I’d heard about book one in her Spymasters series when it came out in 2008, but I’d put off reading it. I stumbled across it a couple years later and picked it up after finishing up the dishes one night on a lark. I didn’t put it down until the birds were nearly chirping and I’d turned the last page. Since then I devoured and loved the others in the series and had long awaited this latest. It didn’t disappoint 🙂

  • Jane says:

    Hello Kate,
    Merry Christmas. I’m not great in the kitchen, so I brought a cheese ball to this fancy party. I also brought Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None.” I figured that would get us in the mood for a murder mystery party after we’ve dined.

  • Deb says:

    Merry Christmas to one and all!!
    I am bringing a children’s picture book to the book exchange because it is a lovely story about love and blessings. The book is THE YEAR OF THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS TREE.
    I made English toffee for Christmas Day, and made some extra for everyone in the Lair.
    I hope everyone has a wonderful day, and blessings to you all for love, peace, and joy!

  • Helen says:

    Hi Kate

    Well Christmas lunch is all over here in Oz we had a lovely day although very humid and now it is storming and time for a nanny nap 🙂
    I have bought some watermelon and cherries it is too hot to Cook and I will bring Louisa Cornell’s A Perfectly Dreadful Christmas what a great story this one is

    Merry Christmas
    Have fun

    • LOL! That is such a great title, isn’t it, Helen? Makes you want to read the book immediately. This is a fun book exchange – lots of variety! Love it (she said around a mouthful of watermelon…)

      • Helen, I’m reading Louisa’s book today. I’ve been waiting until the madness is over so I can really wallow in it. It’s such a fun title, isn’t it? Happy Christmas to you!!!

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Ooh, ooh! Helen! You pipped me at the post. I loved Lousia’s story!! Grins.

      Glad you’ve had a lovely holiday – eventhough it’s hot! – and may your New Year be just as cherry-filled and bright. Grins.

  • Amy Conley says:

    Merry Christmas to all my favorite Banditas.

    I’ve brought a cheese ball made with cream cheese, pepperoni, and green chilis, rolled in chili powder. Yes, perfect for Christmas with the green chikis and chili powder.

    The book I’ve brought is CONFESSIONS OF A CRACKED SOUTHERN BELLE by Susan Rheinhart. This book is one I think every woman who’s thinking about getting married, is married, divorced or single should read. Ms Rheinhart will have you laughing and crying in her debut novel ( she used to write for the Asheville, NC paper) and has had several of her stories (all true ) put into books, including NOT TONIGHT HONEY, WAIT TIL I’M A SIZE SIX. I know ya’ll will enjoy both the novel and her stories. Not only is she a wonderful writer, she also does great Sarah Palin imitations. She’s also a wonderful woman.

    • Amy Conley says:

      PS One of the things which appen to the heroine of “Cracked” is something which happened to me, almost word for word, although I never remember telling Susan that story, nor does she remember me telling her about it, although I could have and neither one of us remembers. LOL

    • Amy, that sounds like a really fun book!

    • Thanks for the recommendations, Amy. I know things have been tough in your family this year so sending you hugs and prayers.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Anyone who can do a good Sarah Palin imitation is aces in my book. Grins. And the book is one I’ve eyed, since my family is from the Mountains of NC. Two of my sibs live in Asheville and many friends as well. Grins. My SIL has mentioned the book too, so I’m thinkin’ I’ll be buying that one!

  • Minna says:

    I brought some apple-cinnamon pasties and chocolate pasties and The Return of Luke McGuire by Justine Davis. It’s about a bad boy who has wised up and has now returned in order to help his little brother, who has decided to follow his brother’s bad example. And of course there is Amelia, who tries to help Luke to help his brother. (If anyone is interested, I’m really giving this book away on Bookmooch, as I now have it as an ebook.)

  • Shannon says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

    I’m bringing cookies–russian tea cakes (traditional) and vanilla-peanut butter pudding cookies (non-traditional). Someone was going on about finding Christmas Reese’s cups, and I wanted something peanut butter so bad but can’t have chocolate. So I made the cookies with peanut morsels.

    The book that I’m bringing is Carla Kelly’s Miss Grimsley’s Oxford Career. I cried at how she to watch her brother despise the attending Oxford, the very thing she coveted.

  • Debbie Oxier says:

    Chicken wings and The Billionaire’s Christmas by J. S. Scott. Have a wonderful day everyone!

  • Dianna aka Hrdwrkdmom says:

    I am bringing sausage balls, they work for an appetizer or a breakfast. My book for the exchange is a series by Debora Geary, she is no longer writing the series but there are enough to keep you satisfied. They are The Witch Central Books and I love them all.

    • Dianna, sausage balls are always a hit! The Geary series sounds intriguing. I’m going to have to check it out.

      • Dianna aka Hrdwrkdmom says:

        You would love it Nancy, I just know you would, it is just like your books, you get pulled in to that world and you just want to live there. Just not dangerous like your world.

    • Happy Christmas, Dianna!

    • Mmmmm, sausage balls… that sounds like it would really hit the spot. I think we should get at least five meals on Christmas Day, don’t you, so we can have a taste of everything we love?

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Dianna! Happy Holidays! I’m now jonesing for sausage. Thanks. Grins. Gotta love a food that you can have at any time of the day and enjoy. Ha! (Pizza, anyone?)

      Ill be checking out the Geary books as well. I love Nancy’s books and fantasy romance of that ilk, so I’m betting I’d like ’em too.

  • Kate, I’ll bring cranberry orange oatmeal cookies (still debating whether to give Sven the recipe). For the book, I’ll supply Alyssa Day’s The Cursed, the first in a paranormal romance series with a mage, elves, and all sorts of other magical creatures set in contemporary world.

    The guys and I have had our stockings. The boy is upstairs playing with one of his gaming gifts, and the dh is in the kitchen making our traditional Swedish pancakes, from his mom’s recipe.

    We’ll see what’s under the tree shortly. We got into the habit of leisurely Christmases when the boy was small. He liked to open a gift and play with it a while before moving on to the next, and we discovered we liked that pace.

    Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it, and for those who don’t, I hope you have a great day!

  • gamistress66 says:

    Merry Christmas (or other appropriate holiday greeting) to all the Banditas & buddies as well as all the handsome & charming help 😉 while I’m not quite the culinary expert as Sven, I do think the apple cake I brought is pretty yummy (just watch out for crumbs). I would have brought some whipped cream to top it off but figured that wouldn’t be safe idea around here even on Christmas 😉 I picked up a copy of Joanna Bourne’s latest The Rogue Spy for the grab bag (my copy is safely stashed on my bookcase with her other books for easy future pleasure rereads). I just love her way with words & the stories she creates full of wonderful interesting characters with lots of action, mystery and of course love 🙂 just love getting lost in her books 🙂

  • Hey Kate! MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone!

    I’ve been stuffing mushrooms with crab, so I’ll bring a platter of those!

    Can I exchange two books? I just read both of them this week…
    1. Deadly Delivery by our own Jeanne Adams. Loved it!!
    2. Wolf’s Fall by JD Tyler. Great continuation in her Alpha Pack series.

    I plan on checking some of these exchange books out this week…since I’m still on vacation until the first of the year.

  • Suz, Merry Christmas to you, too! Stuffed mushrooms…fabbo!

    Haven’t read Wolf’s Fall but loved Deadly Delivery!


    Sorry I’m late! Kate, absolutely tickled pink that you picked my Earl for your exchange. Thank you so much! And I’m delighted you enjoyed Blair and Philippa’s story.

    Hmm, I’ve been baking like a fiend the last few weeks which means for this party…I’m going to buy ready made stuff. Camembert and water crackers and a couple of packets of chips (crisps for our Anglo sorority). Nom, nom, nom.

    Bookwise, in honor of our mystery queen Kate, I’m going to bring the vintage THE NURSING HOME MURDER by Ngaio Marsh (1937) which I just finished last night and thoroughly enjoyed. Alleyn is such a charismatic main character.

    Have a great day, everyone!

    • Oooooh, I am *so* putting that book on my list! Sounds wonderful, and I’m really curious to see whether “nursing home” had a different definition in 1937.

      Merry Christmas, buddy!!!

    • Anna, I have a serious weakness for cheese. Your appetizer sounds great. Some neighbors just brought us herbed crackers they made, and they’re fabulous–but would also be fabbo with some creamy cheese on them.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Oooh! I read Ngiao Marsh years ago…I remember the name of the hero – Alleyn – so I’m sure I’ve read something with that, but now I”m going to have to go look for it. I went through a Mary Roberts Rhinehart phase and now I should moved up a couple of decades to the 30’s don’t you think!?!?

  • catslady says:

    Happy Holidays to all! Jumbo shrimp and cocktail sauce is my offering! As to book that’s a hard one. I am going to pick The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker – something different for me and I enjoyed it!

  • Jeanne Adams says:

    Hey Banditas and Buddies! Merrrrrry Christmas! Hope you had a happy Hanukah and a bright Yule and are headed to a most wonderful New Year!

    For the buffet table, I brought my favorite…HAM! spiral sliced and ready to serve. Brought cheeses, yeast rolls (NOT donuts, Cassondra!) and condiments as well, so dig in!

    For the book exchange, I brought Tawny’s A SEAL for Christmas, in honor of the season. If it’s cold where you are, this will warm you RIGHT up! Hahah!! Also brought Dixie Lyle’s A Taste Fur Murder. This is mystery, rather than romance, but it’s clever and fun.

    Just for fun, and hey, because it’s CHRISTMAS, I brought a third book too…Barbara Devlin’s Enter the Brethre, first of the Brethren of the Coast books. OMGosh, I love this book.

    I didn’t like historicals that much before I became a Bandit, but Christina and Anna and Donna and Jo and Christie turned me into an historicals reader. So now, I also love Louisa Cornell’s story and would highly reccomend it, and Barb Devlin’s books too. Guess I’m going to have to get on the Rogue Spy train too…

  • Jeanne Adams says:

    Oh, and I’ll bring Diane Kelly’s Paw and Order to the book exchange too, because it is LOL funny!

  • Hellooo and Merry Christmas to all out Banditas and Bandita Buddies! Had a lovely Christmas Day yesterday, full of feasting and fun. I hope you all have enjoyed a lovely day, too.

    Can’t agree more about how perfect a Christmas book Anna Campbell’s lovely HER CHRISTMAS EARL is. Wonderful, choice, Kate.

    I’ve been reading a lot of edgy fiction lately but I’m in the mood for something more mellow to contribute on Christmas Day. I’m bringing Jill Mansell’s DON’T WANT TO MISS A THING. Sweet and funny, a lighthearted holiday read.

  • Kaelee says:

    Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays.

    I will bring some bacon wrapped jalapeno thingies from the pioneer woman site. They are so good and easy to make.

    For a book I’m bringing Still Life by Louise Penny, a Canadian author. I just found out about this police inspector series a couple of months ago and I have only read the first book in the series. I do have the second book on hand to read. She writes in a style similar to Agatha Christie.

    Just wanted to thank all the bandita’s and all the buddies for some wonderful posts. I may not comment everyday but I do try to get in and read the blogs a bit when I need a lift. I love how I always get a luagh out of something even if it’s the Tim Tam fattened GR.

  • Carol Cork says:

    I hope I’m not too late for the party!

    I would bring cheese and pineapple on sticks. I know they are rather 1970s but I still love them.

    I would bring Tessa Dare’s Any Duchess Will Do. I love a Cinderella story and this is one of the best. Romantic, sexy and funny!