Down to Earth Romance

Archive for the ‘Holiday Fun’ Category

Livin’ For The Weekend by Adele Downs #photography

Copyright Adele Downs 2017

Christmas Lights On The Beach

There’s nothing like the sound and scent of the ocean… and a stroll on the boardwalk at Christmastime.

I love the beach any time of the year, even when it means bundling up in a coat, hat, and gloves to pay a visit. My husband and I took a ride to our favorite resort town to enjoy a view of the ocean while Christmas lights illuminated the sand. The play of colors, and the tranquil sound of waves lapping the shore, offered a welcome break from the holiday rush. I think we’ve started an annual tradition.

Do you have a favorite out-of-the-way Christmas stop?


The tree and the bandstand on the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk.


Santa greets children and their parents on weekends in his cottage by the sea.


These lights made me smile. Santa goes fishing.


Santa’s reindeer on the sand behind his house.

Merry Christmas!

Yay, Summer’s Here!

The unofficial start to summer Memorial Day weekend arrived on a cra-crazy weather menagerie of 90 degree July-like days, followed by 12 plus hours of torrential rain and flooding on the eastern shore. Our little beach community on the bay buzzed with activity until the monsoon came; and then the joggers, bikers, swimmers, gardeners, tennis and basketball players, and children in the park vanished inside. Even the ice cream truck that tours the neighborhood twice a day disappeared.

My long weekend wasn’t all sunbathing and margaritas. I finished the first round edits to Luxury Model Wife and turned them into my publisher (yay!) then read The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins (gave the book a five-star review; wish I’d written it and gotten that sweet movie deal). For me, the Memorial Day weekend was the perfect blend of remembering those who served our country, honest work, and entertaining relaxation. I hope your kickoff to the season was enjoyable, too.

Welcome, summer, my favorite time of year.


(Photo copyright Adele Downs 2016)

National Margarita Day-Unique Tequila Recipes!

February 22 marks a truly momentous occasion–National Margarita Day!

Since the Margarita is my favorite adult beverage, I decided to share a few unique recipes. Tonight I’ll tip a few of the traditional lime version. :cheers!:

Candy Apple Margarita


Photos and recipes courtesy of Sauza® Tequila. Used with permission.

Ingredients: Serves 9

1 can Limeade

6 parts Sauza® Blue 100% Agave Silver Tequila

3 parts Cinnamon liqueur

8 parts Candy Apple Soda

To Make:

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher filled with ice. Salud!


Tequila Lime Shrimp


You’ll Need:

1 lb. large shrimp in shell (21 to 25 per pound), peeled and deveined

¼ cup Sauza® Gold Tequila

1 tbsp. lime juice

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. kosher salt

2 tbsp. butter

¼ cup green onions

¾ cup cream or sour cream

To Make:

Toss shrimp with salt, green onions, lime juice, kosher salt and ¾ teaspoon coarsely ground pepper.

Heat butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then sauté shrimp, turning, until pink and just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat and add Sauza® Blanco Tequila, then increase heat to medium high. Tilt skillet over gas burner to ignite Tequila (or ignite with a long match; use caution, as flames may shoot up high). Cook, shaking skillet gently once or twice, until flames subside. Remove from heat and stir in cream. Serve sprinkled with chili powder.

With shrimp, lime and a splash of tequila, our tequila lime shrimp recipe can be ready in minutes!


Here’s a fun recipe for Margarita cupcakes. This yummy snack will fill your kitchen with the smell of sweetness and capture the spirit of the day.


Margarita Cupcakes


2 sticks butter, softened

2 cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs, plus 1 large egg white as room temperature

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

2 ½ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

¾ cup plus 2 tbsp. whole milk

2 tbsp. fresh lime juice

½ tsp. vanilla

Zest of 3 limes

Ingredients for the frosting:

1 stick butter, softened

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar

2 tbsp. Sauza® Blue Reposado 100% Agave Tequila*

1 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. fresh lime juice

Zest of 2 limes

To Make:

Pre-heat your oven to 350° degrees. Line 2 cupcake pans with baking liners. Using an electric mixer, beat 2 sticks butter and the granulated sugar until creamy. Gradually beat in the eggs, egg white and oil.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a glass measuring cup, stir together the milk, 2 tbsp. lime juice and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract. Mix in one-third of the wet mixture to the butter mixture, then one-third of the dry mixture. Repeat until it is all combined, but do not over mix. Mix in the lime zest.

Fill each cupcake liner about three-quarters full with batter. (I like to use an ice cream scoop to fill the cups). Bake 25 minutes or until the cupcakes spring back when gently poked. Let cool completely before icing.

While the cupcakes cool, make the icing. With an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1 stick butter until creamy. Beat in 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, 2 tbsp. Sauza® Blue Reposado, 2 tbsp. lime juice, ½ teaspoon vanilla, and lime peel and 1 teaspoon salt until smooth and creamy. Beat in the remaining 1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar one-third at a time until just soft enough to spread.

Spread the frosting on the cooled cupcakes. Be creative: top each cupcake with a piece of lime zest or sprinkle with sanding sugar, or put a wedge or round of lime or a lime wedge candy on top. If you want you can add a drop of green food coloring to the frosting, too.


Photos and recipes courtesy of Sauza® Tequila.

Visit for more entertainment ideas.

Happy National Margarita Day!

Join Us! Boroughs Publishing Birthday Bash! @BoroughsPubGrp

Boroughs Publishing Group is celebrating its 4 Year Anniversary!

Join us all day December 15 on Facebook from 9 AM-1 AM ET to celebrate! There will be games and prizes galore from the publisher and all of your favorite authors.

Adele Downs will host from 7-7:30 PM ET.

We hope to see you at our Facebook party!



Barbara White Daille-Chocolate Fudge Cookie Recipe

Mmmm. Chocolate! Please welcome my guest Barbara White Daille who stopped by to share one of her favorite Christmas cookie recipes. I love chocolate and can’t wait to try this. Maybe Barbara’s chocolate fudge cookies will become your faves too.



Thanks to Adele for inviting me to chat!

Today, I’m sharing an oh-so-easy cookie recipe with you.

The holidays are my favorite time of the year and probably the only time I do much baking. I have a few recipes for cakes I make only at Christmastime, and I especially love baking cookies. These are a few of the holiday cookie cutters I use the most.

BWDcookie cutters

But because the holidays are so busy, there are times my plans and schedules fall apart, crumbling like an overbaked cookie. At those times, I pull out an old standby recipe like this one, which is ridiculously easy to make and so perfectly yummy when you need a taste of something chocolate.

Chocolate Fudge Cookies

1 package of Devil’s Food cake mix
½ cup cooking oil
¼ cup water
1 egg
1 cup (6 oz.) chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, stir together all ingredients until well-mixed.

Drop from a teaspoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until cookie tests done with toothpick.

Cool on cookie sheet for one minute, then remove to rack to finish cooling.

BWDcookie rack

And there you have it! Pour a cup of milk or your favorite hot beverage, and you’ll be good to go. If you make the cookies, I’d love to know how you like them. And feel free to share a holiday recipe of your own below.

Meanwhile, here’s a clip from my brand-new release that happens to mention Christmas cookies. : )

BWDThe Lawman's Christmas Proposal

The Lawman’s Christmas Proposal


“Jed is out by the honeymoon cabins, I think,” Paz told them. “Tina wanted to show him something the workmen had done.”

Sagging in relief, Andi rested one hip against the kitchen table. With her son’s short legs, the walk back to the hotel had seemed to last forever, especially with Mitch by her side. Now, thanks to Paz, she could send Mitch off on his own.

“Looks like you’re busy in here,” he said.

Paz nodded. Cooling racks filled with cakes and cookies had taken over almost every flat surface. The kitchen smelled of cinnamon and cloves. “It’s never too early to start my Christmas baking.”

“Cookie, Paz,” Trey demanded.

“What do you say?” Andi prompted him.


Smiling, Paz took a cookie from one of the racks.

“Let’s go track down Jed,” Mitch said.

Andi frowned. “You can do that on your own. I’ll stay here with Trey.”

“I think I’ve forgotten how to get to the cabins.”

She glanced at him, then away again. After what he had said about cops, she didn’t know which was worse from his perspective, locking gazes with him or refusing to look his way at all. She knew what was better for her. Looking. Staring. Getting her fill.

Better for her, but much too risky.

“That’s fine, Andi,” Paz said. “You leave Trey with me and go right along with Mitch.”

“Great,” he said, halfway across the room without waiting for her answer.

Grimly, she followed him out to the porch and down the steps. He took his time, favoring his bad leg. Despite her irritation with him, she had to bite her lip to keep from asking how much he hurt.

She was so wrapped up in concern for him, she hadn’t realized he’d reached the bottom step. He turned back, catching her off guard. Instinctively, she bit down harder, then winced from her own pain.

“It is that bad?” he asked. “Seeing how I hobble down steps like a two-year-old who’s just learned to walk?”

“You handled those steps quite a bit better than my two-year-old does,” she said matter-of-factly. Still, knowing how he must feel made her eyes mist.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Happy holidays to everyone!

About the Author:

BWDBarbara White Daille

Barbara White Daille lives with her husband in the sunny Southwest. Though they love the warm winters and the lizards in their front yard, they haven’t gotten used to the scorpions in the bathroom.

Barbara’s new series, The Hitching Post Hotel, features a matchmaking grandpa determined to see his three granddaughters wed. The series began with The Cowboy’s Little Surprise and A Rancher of Her Own, and The Lawman’s Christmas Proposal has just debuted. Additional books in the series will be coming up next year.

Find The Lawman’s Christmas Proposal:


Barnes & Noble





Find Barbara online:

We Holiday Partied with Benedict Cumberbatch (Sorta’)


Members of Valley Forge Romance Writers, a Pennsylvania chapter of Romance Writers of America, celebrated the holidays in style with special guest Benedict Cumberbatch’s cardboard facsimile. Benedict stood patiently for hours to pose with authors including (left to right) Judi Fennell, Adele Downs, Terri Brisbin, and Leslie Lighton.

Authors pictured with Adele Downs in less than flattering, but fun, selfies, top left to top right are: Veronica Forand, Lynn Kellan, Alleigh Burrows, and Stephanie Julian.

Authors featured in the center photos with Adele Downs are Lynn Kellan, Terri Brisbin, Cate Price, Kristin Contino, and Leslie Lighton.

We enjoyed appetizers, wine, desserts, wine, a gift exchange, wine, desserts, and lots of laughs at our holiday bash. Lucky Veronica Forand won the cardboard version of Benedict Cumberbatch.

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