Tour Stop & Giveaway: Winter Oranges by Marie Sexton & Blueberry Boys by Vanessa North

blueberry boys ban

winter oranges ban

Vanessa and Marie’s Fabulously Fruity Holiday Recipes

Hello, everybody! Vanessa North and Marie Sexton, here. Since we both had releases from Riptide on November 30, and both of our books had fruit in the title, we decided to do a joint post and share some fruity holiday recipes.

Blueberry Stuffed French Toast

Marie says: My family has this every year as part of our Christmas brunch.

  • 12 slices French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, chilled and cut into 1-inch squares
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained
  • 12 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 cups milk

Blueberry syrup:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 TBS cornstarch
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained
  • 1 TBS unsalted butter

Grease 13×9-inch baking pan. Place half of bread cubes evenly in prepared pan. Scatter cream cheese cubes over bread and sprinkle with 1 cup blueberries. Arrange remaining bread cubes over blueberries. In large blow, combine eggs, syrups, and milk. Whisk to blend. Pour evenly over bread/blueberry mixture. Cover with foil and chill overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Back, covered with foil, 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 30 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. (Shake the pan a bit. If it’s still wiggly, it isn’t done yet!)

Syrup: In small saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, and water over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until thickened. Stir in 1 cup blueberries and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until most berries burst. Add butter and stir until melted. (May be prepared up to 1 day in advance. Chill and reheat gently.)

Marie’s notes: If you like your stuffed French toast extra gooey and guilt-ridden, use a can of pie filling instead of fresh blueberries. ?

Recipe from my favorite cookbook ever, Colorado Collage, Junior League of Denver, © 1995

Vanessa’s In Case of Emergency Clementine Cake

Christmas 2007 was our first Christmas in the house where we live now; I was 35 weeks pregnant with twins and unable to travel—so ended up hosting family here instead. A dear friend from Ireland sent me this recipe and suggested I make it ahead as a “tea or breakfast or emergency cake.” I suspect the “emergency” would have been me going into labor on Christmas Eve (I didn’t, thank goodness) and leaving my guests home with nothing to eat. This is a fantastic make-ahead cake, and we did indeed eat it for breakfast on Christmas morning.

  • 5 clementines (a seedless variety like Halos or Cuties will save you time in the first step)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 250 grams (just over 1 cup) ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Put the clementines in a pan with cold water to cover, bring to a boil and cook for 2 hours. Drain and allow to cool, then cut each clementine in half and remove any seeds.
  • Put the clementines in your blender or food processor with skin and pith still included and pulse a few times until roughly blended. Then add the remaining ingredients and pulse to a pulp.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter and flour an 8 inch Springform cake pan.
  • Pour the cake mixture into the prepared pan and bake for an hour, when a skewer will come out clean. (if the top starts getting too brown after the first half hour, cover it with foil)
  • Cool on a rack, but still in the pan. Release from the Springform carefully once the cake is fully cooled.

This recipe is Americanized from the version my friend sent me, which you can find here:

For more Fabulously Fruity fun, check out our Pinterest Board at

Have a blueberry or orange recipe you’d like to share? Leave a comment with your Pinterest user name, and we’ll send you an invitation to contribute to the board. And be sure to check out Blueberry Boys and Winter Oranges, while you’re at it.

winter orangesTitle: Winter Oranges by Marie Sexton
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, M/M, Romance, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Length: 327 pages/Word Count: 85,600


Jason Walker is a child star turned teen heartthrob turned reluctant B-movie regular who’s sick of his failing career. So he gives up Hollywood for northern Idaho, far away from the press, the drama of LA, and the best friend he’s secretly been in love with for years.

There’s only one problem with his new life: a strange young man only he can see is haunting his guesthouse. Except Benjamin Ward isn’t a ghost. He’s a man caught out of time, trapped since the Civil War in a magical prison where he can only watch the lives of those around him. He’s also sweet, funny, and cute as hell, with an affinity for cheesy ’80s TV shows. And he’s thrilled to finally have someone to talk to.

But Jason quickly discovers that spending all his time with a man nobody else can see or hear isn’t without its problems—especially when the tabloids find him again and make him front-page news. The local sheriff thinks he’s on drugs, and his best friend thinks he’s crazy. But Jason knows he hasn’t lost his mind. Too bad he can’t say the same thing about his heart.

Winter Oranges is one of Riptide’s 2015 charity titles.

Twenty percent of the proceeds from this title will be donated to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) National Help Center.

Founded in 1996, the GLBT National Help Center is a non-profit organization that provides vital peer-support, community connections and resource information to people with questions regarding sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Utilizing a diverse group of GLBT volunteers, they operate two national hotlines, the GLBT National Hotline and the GLBT National Youth Talkline, as well as private, volunteer one-to-one online chat, that help both youth and adults with coming-out issues, safer-sex information, school bullying, family concerns, relationship problems and a lot more.

To learn more about this charity or to donate directly, please visit their website:

Add to Goodreads.

Purchase Link: Riptide Publishing

Author Bio

Marie Sexton lives in Colorado. She’s a fan of just about anything that involves muscular young men piling on top of each other. In particular, she loves the Denver Broncos and enjoys going to the games with her husband. Her imaginary friends often tag along.

Marie has one daughter, two cats, and one dog, all of whom seem bent on destroying what remains of her sanity. She loves them anyway.

Author Links: Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

Follow the rest of the Winter Oranges tour HERE.

blueberry boysTitle: Blueberry Boys by Vanessa North
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, M/M, Romance
Length: 186 pages/ Word Count: 46,100


Connor Graham is a city boy—a celebrated fashion photographer in New York. When his uncle’s death drags him back to the family blueberry farm, all he wants to do is sell it as quickly as he can. Until he meets his uncle’s tenant farmer.

Jed Jones, shy and stammering, devout and dedicated, has always yearned for land of his own and a man to share it with. Kept in the closet by his church, family, and disastrous first love, he longs to be accepted for who he is. But now, with his farm and his future in Connor’s careless hands, he stands to lose even the little he has.

Neither man expects the connection between them. Jed sees Connor—appreciates his art and passion like no one else in this godforsaken town ever has. Connor hears Jed—looks past his stutter to listen to the man inside. The time they share is idyllic, but with the farm sale pending, even their sanctuary is a source of tension. As work, family, and their town’s old-fashioned attitudes pull them apart, they must find a way to reconcile commitments to their careers and to each other.

Add to Goodreads.

Purchase Link: Riptide Publishing

Follow the rest of the Blueberry Boys tour HERE.

Author Bio

Author of over a dozen novels, novellas, and short stories, Vanessa North delights in giving happy-ever-afters to characters who don’t think they deserve them. Relentless curiosity led her to take up knitting and run a few marathons “just to see if she could.” She started writing for the same reason. Her very patient husband pretends not to notice when her hobbies take over the house. Living and writing in Northwest Georgia, she finds her attempts to keep a quiet home are frequently thwarted by twin boy-children and a very, very large dog.

Author Links: Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads


To celebrate their new releases, Vanessa North is giving away a $30 Amazon gift card and Marie Sexton is giving away two titles from her backlist and a $50 Amazon gift card! Your first comment at each stop on each tour (Blueberry Boys, Winter Oranges) enters you in the drawing. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 5, 2015. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. Entries. Follow the tours for more opportunities to enter the giveaway! Don’t forget to leave your email or method of contact so Riptide can reach you if you win!

One comment at Book Reviews and More by Kathy will count for both tours.

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Filed under Blog Tour, Contest

23 Responses to Tour Stop & Giveaway: Winter Oranges by Marie Sexton & Blueberry Boys by Vanessa North

  1. Tanja

    I have read Winter Oranges and I loved it. A perfect Christmas story.
    Blueberry Boys is on my to read list and given the blurb I will enjoy it.

  2. waxapplelover

    Thanks for the recipes. I don’t think I have any yet for either fruit.

  3. Christine LaCombe

    What an awesome giveaway, I am looking forward to reading both of these books, they sound awesome. Thanks for the chance!! 🙂
    lacombejc (at) suddenlink (dot) net

  4. Elizabeth Marshall

    I love the recipes – they sound gorgeous! I might just have to give them a go! ;D
    And congratulations on the new releases they both sound like great reads and perfect for this season. Will definitely be adding these to my wishlist and TBR pile 😀
    And thank you for the giveaway too! 😀

  5. Thanks very much to Book Reviews and More by Kathy for hosting us here today, and thanks to the readers who have stopped by. We hope you’ll have fun trying out a couple of our recipes. 🙂

    (And if you have an orange or blueberry recipe to add, be sure to share your Pinterest user name in your comment, and we’ll invite you to contribute to our Pinterest board!)

  6. Trix

    Both books (and recipes) sound fantastic!

    vitajex@aol dot com

  7. Serena S.

    I look forward to reading both books, I have them in my wishlist.

  8. Jen

    I am looking forward to reading both the books. Thanks for the scrumptious recipes.


  9. Nancy

    Both books and recipes sound yummy and are now on mt to read or bake lists.

  10. Sharon

    These recipes sound amazing, OMG I love stuffed french toast so much and anything orange flavored! Congrats on the releases!! slickreads1100 @ gmail dot com

  11. Timitra

    Love the sound of both books!

  12. AnnMarieF

    Congratulations on the books!
    annmarief115 at gmail dot com

  13. H.B.

    Thank you for the recipes they sound delicious. Congrats on the release of these books! They both sound spectacular.
    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  14. bn100

    tasty recipe
    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  15. Al

    Looking forward to all of the books, now!

  16. Ree Dee

    I love the recipes and can’t wait to try them. Thank you so much!

    ree.dee.2014 (at) gmail (dot) com

  17. Lisa

    I’ve picked up the bundle & am looking forward to reading it. I love Marie’s books! legacylandlisa (at) gmail (dot) com

  18. Carolyn

    Even though I’m not one for cooking, these recipes are appreciated, and I’ll have to pass them on. Yum!

    caroaz [at] ymail [dot] com

  19. Jessica Lynn

    I love French Toast!!!

  20. Jenny B

    I have read Winter Oranges and am looking forward to reading Blueberry Boys. Congratulations to both authors on their great work!