Monday, 2 December 2013

Day 2 of the Magical Christmas with Karla J. Nellenbach + 10 Books International Giveaway

We are going to celebrate day 2 of the Magical Christmas with Karla J. Nellenbach.  Don't miss the previous giveaways!

And today, Karla and Booktrope is giving away 10 books for the winners of today's giveaway.  The winners will be announced on January 1st, 2014!  But, before that, you should seriously read her guest post - it made me crack up! :)

Original Title: A Sliver of Hope
Author: Karla J. Nellenbach
Publisher: Booktrope Editions
Release Date: March 25th, 2013
Genre: New Adult, Romance

My twin sister was the only person in the world I thought I’d known inside and out. Apparently, I was wrong.

Twin sisters share a unique bond, one that can't be broken by miles, time, or even death. Hannah and Hope Morton are no exception. When Hope takes her own life, Hannah loses a sister and a best friend, a catastrophe she isn't sure she'll survive herself. 

With her family in ruins, Hannah is slowly disappearing, drowning in a sea of misery. Even her wild, energetic best friend can't pull her out of her grief. Desperate to help Hannah, her brother comes home from college, bringing his best friend Julian along, the first boy to break Hannah’s heart. None of their efforts are enough to pull Hannah off her self destructive path, though. Julian is the only one who can get through to her, working his way into her frozen soul with cocky remarks and genuine love that warms her from the inside out.

As Hannah works to find answers, she continues to uncover new secrets and people that reveal a side of Hope she had never shared with her twin. Alone now, Hannah must make a decision of her own: move on and start a new life with the people she has left, or let the weight of her grief drag her down with her sister.

Original Title: Always and Forever
Author: Karla J. Nellenbach
Publisher: Booktrope Editions
Release Date: September 28th, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Mia's first reaction is outright disbelief. Obviously, a mistake has been made. Sixteen-year-old girls don't die. But, when the diagnosis is confirmed, she dives headlong into anger. If she has to die, why should it be of cancer? In fact, anything would be preferable to cancer. Better for her to say when, where, and especially how.

Determined to meet death on her own terms, Mia devises scheme after scheme to get the job done. A “fall” down the basement stairs, driving her car off a bridge, and even a dance with a train all end in her survival. 

And through it all, Mia keeps her family and friends at arms' length with her destructive and hurtful behavior. With each failed suicide attempt and burned relationship, she slowly realizes that it’s not the dying that she’s afraid of, but the life she’ll be leaving behind. Now, that life is in a shambles. As time begins to slip through her fingers and death is upon her, Mia fights to rebuild the bridges she has destroyed, but can she do it before the clock runs out?


- Guest Post by Karla J. Nellenbach

Every family has traditions, especially during the holiday season.  One of ours is the Holiday Baking Extravaganza which takes place in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  The main item on that list is always the fudge, the kind with the sugar, butter and milk melted to the "soft crack" stage or in better terms, hot as shit and you don't want to get that on your skin.

Boiling sugar burns are the WORST.  Sadly, this observation comes from experience, folks.

One year, I was visiting the old folks during this festive time of year and The Mother had the brilliant idea that since I was there, we should make fudge right then.  Anyone who had made the sugary confection will agree, fudge is much easier when two people work together.

As long as those two people are not me and my mother, of course.

First batch.  RUINED.

I lay the blame for that batch solely on The Mother's shoulders as she thought a plastic whisk was sufficient to use against boiling sugar.  Sure it worked great for her gravy, but hello? Boiling sugar, here.  Again, I say ruined.  Goodbye 3/4 pound of butter, almost 5 pounds of sugar, and a can of evaporated milk.

We (me and Dad) make a nighttime run to Wal-Mart for more sugar, butter, milk, and of course a WIRE whisk.

Batch TWO...

Our sugar is melted.  This is the point where we switch out the wooden spoon for the whisk (where our last batch went horribly wrong).  Which also happens to be that critical time when you must STIR, STIR, STIR and keep STIRRING as if your life depends on it, because scorched fudge does not make optimum holiday treats.

The Mother and I have a system in place.  Think tag-teams in wrestling.  One of us stirs until her arm is about to fall off, but just before that happens, the other one steps in and takes over the task.  Until that one needs relief.  We do this until the sugar reaches the "soft crack" stage, also known as hot as shit, you don't want to get that on your skin.

You see where I'm going with this, don't you?

When we get to this point, I take over the stirring, while The Mother adds the necessary after ingredients that must be stirred into the boiling sugar concoction.

Vanilla extract goes in.

Karla continues stirring.

First bag of chocolate chips goes in.  (the recipe requires TWO)

Karla continues stirring.

Second bag of chocolate chips DROPS in.  BAG AND ALL.

The Mother, thinking quickly as neither one of us wanted to chuck ANOTHER batch of fudge, reaches down in to fish it out and drags the plastic bag soaked in boiling sugar (235 degree BOILING SUGAR) up along my hand.

KARLA:  You're burning me!  You're burning me!!!

It must be noted that through all of this KARLA CONTINUED TO F***ING STIR!

THE MOTHER: *eyes rounded, face contorted in a look of sheer aggravation* Suck it up.  We're not losing this batch of fudge.

Yes, folks.  That is EXACTLY what The Mother said to me.  And, yes, Karla did, in fact, SUCK IT UP.

Afterward (knowing that she wasn't going to get any sympathy from The Mother, even though her hand was already one massive blister—the blisters had blisters. I'm just sayin), Karla goes into the living room where Dad is watching South Park...with his eyes closed and snoring, of course.

KARLA: *sits down on the couch next to Dad with suitably pathetic pout on her face* Dad.  Mom burned me.

DAD:  *glasses sliding down to the end of his nose, peers sleepily at my hand*  Well, I don't know what you want me to do for you.

Nice.  Thanks, family.

I know what you're thinking.  Yes, my family can't do anything together with somehow injuring, maiming, or scarring ourselves for life.  But, hey.  We're entertaining when we do it!

In other news: The fudge was particularly excellent that year, so I guess that makes the injury worth it.


Thanks to Booktrope, today, I have 10 e-copies of Karla's books (5 copies of "A Sliver of Hope" and 5 copies of "Always and Forever").  So, that means 10 winners!  Yay, readers!  Just enter the giveaway through the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I love Christmas, I come from a huge family, 5 sisters, 6 brothers and this is the only time we all get to see the entire family. It's hard to say good bye to everyone after the holiday.

  2. I remember baking Christmas cookies with my grandma and you learned quickly not to waste any of that dough or use more than the required number of sprinkles on each cookie! Your fudge making story was great -

  3. We actually made Rocky Road yesterday. I think we ate most of the ingredients before it all came together. YUMMO!!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...