Day 5 of my 12 Authors of the Holiday Season...with Justine Alley Dowsett of Mirror World Publishing!
When it comes to gift-giving, I very much believe in the adage, ‘it’s the thought that counts’. I like to put a lot of thought into the gifts I give, so much so that I balk at the idea of giving something as impersonal as a gift card, unless the thought behind the gift of one is ‘I know this is your favorite restaurant’ or ‘here’s a gift card to the movies because you deserve a night out on me.’
Generally speaking though I prefer, where possible, to make the gifts I give or carefully curate them tailored to each individual. In the past I’ve made quilts, paintings, stuffed animals, tins of cookies or fudge; whatever I think would best suit the person I’m creating for. This works great for birthdays or big events like baby showers and weddings, but Christmas is another thing altogether because there are just so many people to get gifts for. I still do my best to create some when I can, but years ago I started a tradition that really helped with this process and though it’s still a fair bit of work, it’s also a lot of fun and people always seem to appreciate it.
I started making truffles. The tradition goes a little like this:
Each year I go to the dollar store and pick up a number of holiday themed boxes or occasionally mugs. Then from Bulk Barn I buy different types of chocolate, toppings, decorative doilies, and those little paper truffle cups. Throw in some liqueurs, condensed milk, ribbon and gift tags and I have everything I need to get started.
I set aside a whole day and make sure I have someone available to help me then I start making and rolling truffles. Usually I aim for three or four different flavours like peanut butter, coconut, vanilla, or just plain chocolate. I used to do mint sometimes, but that was before I developed a severe allergy to it. Sometimes I even throw in a couple batches of fudge or cookies just to mix things up. I package everything up as nicely as I can, tie the boxes shut with ribbon and then I have gifts to take with me wherever I go over the holiday season.
This year is going to have to be different, unfortunately, as I don’t think sending food through the mail is necessarily the best idea, but I look forward to a time when I can spend the day making chocolate for my loved ones again. Until then, I guess I’m going to have to eat it all myself!
Read on for more about Justine and Mirror World Publishing...
Mirror's Despair, Mirror Worlds book 4, by J.A. Dowsett and M. Damodred
Mirena’s back to claim what’s hers; this time, Tendro is ready for her.
Following ten tense years of absence, Mirena Calanais suddenly resurfaces as the Avatar of the Destroyer. With Abraxas’ dark army at her back, she’s determined to reclaim what she feels is her due; control over the lands the Panarch’im once ruled.
His political career and his marriage both drying up, Tendro Seynor long suspected this day would come, but what he isn’t prepared for is Mirena’s return to his personal life. There’s more to Mirena than her persona as the Dark Avatar; she’s the mother of the son Tendro hasn’t seen since the day he was born. As her presence in his life grows, Mirena confides in Tendro that she’s being haunted by someone who should be dead. As this vengeful presence closes in on her and the Destroyer’s hand touches the world once more, they begin to realize their son may be at the center of it all and his innocence hangs in the balance.
Can Tendro and Mirena put aside their rivalry for the sake of their families, or will the bad blood between them finally escalate to the point where it has the power to tear the entire world apart?
Ruins of Sapphire, Crimson Winter Vol. 1, by J.A. Dowsett
The repeating Tuesdays are only the beginning…
When Japanese high school student Yukari Namikoya finds herself suddenly and inexplicably on another planet, she must quickly come to terms with the fact that she may never see Tokyo again. With a sun that never sets, the desert world of Crimson Winter is on the brink of extinction and day-to-day survival can be difficult; especially for someone used to the modern-day conveniences of Earth.
Following the only clue she has to a way home – a cryptic message from a woman long dead – Yukari heads into the desert searching for the Temple of Sapphire. There, she finds the temple in ruins, but what waits there for her is her destiny as a Chosen of the gem god Sapphiros.
Stranded on this new world and hunted by the Vile Emperor and his vast forces simply for being what she is, Yukari has no choice but to learn how to fulfill the role she’s been cast into and become the long-awaited saviour of a dangerous planet she doesn’t yet understand.