Saturday, December 7, 2013

Welcome Katya Armock

Since we are now in the holiday season, I wanted to focus this post on one of my favorite holiday drinks: eggnog. Many different cultures have a traditional recipe and name for eggnog. Most include a particular type of liquor.

There are various stories of the history of eggnog, but it is believed to have originated in Europe around the 14th century. It was always seen as a social drink, and an unknown Englishman is credited with this quote about it: “Christmas is not properly observed unless you brew egg nog for all comers; everybody calls on everybody else; and each call is celebrated by a solemn egg-nogging...It is made cold and is drunk cold and is to be commended.” 

With the popularity of rum in the Americas, the tradition became to add rum vs. other liquors, ales or wine. The English word for the drink is eggnog. In Spanish-speaking countries, it is often called rumpope. In Belize, the only country in the area whose official language is English, it is called rum popo. One thing notable about rum popo is that it is traditionally made with a lot of rum.

It is said that every household in Belize has their own rum popo recipe. This is one that looks perfect for a party. Visit the original site for pictures to help you make it.

Rum Popo

·         18 eggs
·         6 cans condensed milk
·         6 cans evaporated milk
·         2 whole nutmeg seeds, grated
·         Strong Caribbean rum

Beat eggs until foamy. In large bowl, mix together condensed and evaporated milk. Add beaten eggs slowly, stirring carefully as you pour. Add rum while slowly stirring mixture. Add ground nutmeg and mix well. Strain through a fine-meshed strainer or cheesecloth to remove inconsistencies.

In my novel To Growl or to Groan, the story encompasses the holidays. My hero Jorge’s family is from Belize originally, and rum popo is served. The heroine, Chloe, is a bit surprised when she takes a chug thinking it mere eggnog. Alice is Jorge’s mom.


“Break it up, you two lovebirds. I have rum popo.” Alice walks into the room carrying a tray of glasses filled with what looks like eggnog.
I jump back from our kiss, but Jorge keeps an arm around my waist. Alice hands us each a glass. I take a swig, and my eyes start to water.
Jorge laughs. “It’s heavy on the rum, not so much on the rest of the ingredients.”
“I just wasn’t expecting it to be so strong.” I take another much smaller sip, then turn to Alice, who is also laughing. “It’s actually quite good.”
Alice raises her glass to us. “Wouldn’t be a Christmas drink without a kick in the ass. It’s a tradition in Belize.”
“Do you normally require such strong drinks for Christmas? I usually associate heavy drinking with awkward dinners.”
She pulls me in for a raucous hug, dragging me away from Jorge and almost causing all three of us to spill our drinks. “Well now you’ll learn to associate strong drinks with fun afternoons, dinners, and parties. Speaking of which, we’ll be having an open house for the neighbors tomorrow and I need to finish decorating. Would you like to help, Chloe?”
I look at Jorge, questions in my eyes. The place is already crammed full of decorations.
He shrugs. “In Belize, the tradition at Christmas is to super clean your house and then decorate it to the nines. We had fake pine trees in Belize, although my grandparents always had the real ones in Ohio.”
“Any other traditions I need to know about?”
“Yeah. All the woman have to dress up as elves.”
Alice breaks into peals of laughter, and Jorge follows soon after. She hip bumps me, which reminds me I still don’t quite know how to handle Jorge’s family. “Ah, it’s so good to see my serious Jorge teasing you. It brings my heart joy.” She gives us a look very similar to the one she gave us our first day here when she talked of marriage and grandbabies.
The room starts to close in on me a little, and I set my glass on an end table.

Her gift could save a missing girl…or destroy her relationship forever.

After receiving a troubling Tarot reading, Chloe just knows something big and bad is about to happen. Her ability to communicate with animals and shape-shifters is going awry, and her growing psychic abilities are beginning to scare her. Despite her unease, she won’t let anything interrupt her trip to Scotland to spend the holidays with her shape-shifter boyfriend’s family. Jorge is everything she’s always wanted, and the fire between Chloe and the passionate panther-shifter burns hot. But meeting his family has her nerves in knots.

When Jorge’s sister goes missing, Chloe’s psychic abilities might be the only thing that can help them find her. But things don’t go as planned, and with confusing psychic visions clouding her judgment, Chloe makes a mistake and an animal is injured. And Chloe fears she might hurt Jorge as well…

Buy links:
·         Amazon
·         BN
·         AllRomance
·         Amazon UK
 Author Bio:
I like books that are funny and fun to read (and hot!) but also make me think or look at the world in a new way.

These days you’ll find me writing, pet sitting, juggling a number of freelance gigs, and reigning as my home’s domestic goddess. I live in the Midwestern U.S. with my husband, dog and cats. Alas, I have, as of yet, been unable to teach my husband how to purr.

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