Saturday, December 24, 2011

Tour: Mid-Winter Magic by Nina Croft (Guest Post & Giveaway)

I love when authors share fun posts and especially drink recipes! Please give a warm welcome to Nina Croft who is visiting with a special Christmas post!

Christmas Cocktails

I’m here to talk about my christmas story, Mid-Winter Magic . Mid-Winter Magic is part of anthology of Christmas stories: A passionate Christma. Four stories which intertwine and which all take place around the small town of Five Oaks.
Mine is a reunion story, two people who haven’t seen each other in a long time, coming together at Christmas.

Dina, the heroine, is a witch, and her family really weren’t into Christmas. They were more likely to celebrate the mid-winter fire festival of Yule, where they would burn an oak log and dance around it in celebration of the rebirth of the sun. But Dina has been hiding out in the town of Five Oaks for the last fifty years, and during that time, she’s learnt to love Christmas. All the traditions, the food…the drinks.
There’s something about this blog (could it be the title?) that steers me away from thinking about writing and makes me think about drinking. So as a compromise, I got to contemplating  what Dina would be drinking on Christmas day, and that got me thinking about what I should drink on Christmas day (bearing in mind I will be cooking the dinner so I need to maintain some semblance of sobriety).

Well, Dina is English, and in England, we have a custom of drinking Buck’s Fizz for breakfast on Christmas day (I think Bucks Fizz might be called Mimosas in the States). We make them with orange juice and champagne, half and half, so that’s what Dina will be drinking for breakfast. For me, here in Spain, mine are going to be a little different. I’m going to make them with raspberry vodka  (hey, that almost counts as fruit juice) and cava (that’s Spanish Champagne).
I have my reasons—I live on a farm in the mountains of southern Spain and have a big vegetable garden. This summer I grew loads of raspberries. They’re my favorite fruit, but I couldn’t eat all of them, so I decided to make some raspberry vodka (and some rasberry gin and some raspberry brandy—we had a lot of raspberries!). It’s delicious and will go wonderfully with fizzy wine.
So that’s breakfast sorted. For pre-dinner drinks, I thought, raspberry chocolate martinis. When I was in the UK recently, my sister took me out for cocktails. We had strawberry chocolate martinis and they were absolutely scrumptious. I’m thinking raspberry chocolate martinis might be even better. Here’s my recipe – I haven’t tried it yet, but I do like experimenting, and so does Dina!

Raspberry Chocolate martinis

1 measure raspberry Vodka
1 measure Chocolate liquer (Kalua?)
1 measure of cream
Crushed ice.
Place it all in a shaker and shake, then drain into cocktail glasses and sprinkle with grated chocolate.


What sort of cocktail would you like to drink at Christmas. Let me know for a chance to win an ecopy of Mid-Winter Magic (but it’s got to have rasberry vodka in it somewhere!)

Fifty years ago, vampire Tynan Steele loved Dina and believed she loved him. Instead, she turned out to be an assassin using him to get close to her latest target. Bitter at the betrayal, Ty swore he would make the witch pay.
Dina has loved her time in Five Oaks, living an ‘ordinary’ life—not killing anyone. But the past has finally caught up with her. Fifty years ago, she was scared to let herself love Ty, now she’s willing to take the risk. But Ty isn’t interested in love—he’s after revenge.
Can Dina use the magic of a white Christmas in Five Oaks, to convince Ty that she’s changed and deserves a second chance at love?


Moving fast, before she had the chance to realize what he meant to do, he grabbed one narrow wrist and slid the cuff on, locking it in place, followed by the second.
Her skin was warm and soft to his touch, and he dropped her hands as though they burned him. She rattled the cuffs, turning to face him. Her eyes were huge, drenched with tears, and shock held him rigid. She blinked. A single tear spilled over and rolled down her cheek.
Assassins didn’t cry.
He had to remind himself the tears were an act, but Christ, it was hard, and a shaft of pain sliced through his chest. He fought it down and remembered how she had behaved in the past. She was dangerous, and he could never forget that. “At least I haven’t turned you into a toad.” She sniffed and twisted to wipe her face on her shoulder. “I should have made you a toad permanently.”
“Why didn’t you? Or why didn’t you just kill me?” He was genuinely curious as to her answer. The fact she’d left him alive had puzzled him at the time and returned to confuse him again and again over the intervening years.
Tonight he’d come prepared, knowing what she was capable of, but back then he hadn’t had even an inkling of her imminent betrayal. He’d been in shock, and she could have finished him off with the blink of an eye—yet she hadn’t.
Finally, she shrugged. “I only kill people I’m paid to.”

Fin out more about Nina and her works on her website!

As Nina mentioned, she is giving away one digital copy of Mid-Winter Magic. To enter, just leave a comment answering her question and then enter you name and email address into the rafflecopter below. Additional entries are available but not required. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I'm not really a big drinker but that Raspberry Chocolate martini sounds heavenly. I'd try that. Happy Holidays.


  2. Can a tee-totaller enter the giveaway :) mine's a coffee.

  3. Oh, I'm not a big vodka drinker, but I found a recipe for Sweet & Sinful that sounds tasty:
    1 1/4 oz raspberry vodka
    3/4 oz peach schnapps
    1/2 oz cranberry-raspberry juice
    1/2 tsp grenadine syrup

    Generally for the holidays I mainly prefer a hot cup of tea, a great mug of hot chocolate with marshmellows or a mug of warm spiced wine.

    mljfoland AT hotmail DOT com

  4. Wow, awesome - your book looks like one that you would want to read in front of the fire place all curled up and snuggle in a blanket with a nice cocktail to sip on in one hand and the book in the other.

    Merry Christmas!

    Ronda Tutt

  5. We make these frozen Bartender Parfaits. Its got Kahlua in it.Its so good.But really sweet :)


  6. I am not a huge fan of raspberry, so my choice would be a nice hot Mexican coffee with a hint of chocolate and cinnamon :) yum! Thanks you for sharing the Christmas joy with us today:)

  7. I prefer peppermint mochas. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book. It sounds very good.

  8. I am not a drinker so I'm afraid that I would go with peppermint hot cocoa with candy cane whipped topping.

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

  9. Merry Christmas everyone! Thanks for dropping by and that cocktail sounds fabulous ML!

  10. I don't drink anymore so I can't pick a alcoholic cocktail but during Christmas I love peppermint. So I think maybe a peppermint cocktail minus the alcohol. Thanks for the giveaway. Happy Holidays!!


  11. I'll have to try that raspberry drink... sounds relish! I also like eggnog with a little whiskey. Sometimes something peppermint.... thanks for the chance!
    sebrina_cassity at yahoo dot com


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