Larger Font   Reset Font Size   Smaller Font  

Holiday Wishes

Nora Roberts


  Also by Nora Roberts

  Title Page


  Holiday Recipes

  Home For Christmas

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  All I Want for Christmas


  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Special Excerpt from Calculated in Death

  About the Author

  Nora Roberts

  Hot Ice

  Sacred Sins

  Brazen Virtue

  Sweet Revenge

  Public Secrets

  Genuine Lies

  Carnal Innocence

  Divine Evil

  Honest Illusions

  Private Scandals

  Hidden Riches

  True Betrayals

  Montana Sky



  The Reef

  River’s End

  Carolina Moon

  The Villa

  Midnight Bayou

  Three Fates


  Northern Lights

  Blue Smoke

  Angels Fall

  High Noon


  Black Hills

  The Search

  Chasing Fire

  The Witness


  Irish Born Trilogy

  Born in Fire

  Born in Ice

  Born in Shame

  Dream Trilogy

  Daring to Dream

  Holding the Dream

  Finding the Dream

  Chesapeake Bay Saga

  Sea Swept

  Rising Tides

  Inner Harbor

  Chesapeake Blue

  Gallaghers of Ardmore Trilogy

  Jewels of the Sun

  Tears of the Moon

  Heart of the Sea

  Three Sisters Island Trilogy

  Dance Upon the Air

  Heaven and Earth

  Face the Fire

  Key Trilogy

  Key of Light

  Key of Knowledge

  Key of Valor

  In the Garden Trilogy

  Blue Dahlia

  Black Rose

  Red Lily

  Circle Trilogy

  Morrigan’s Cross

  Dance of the Gods

  Valley of Silence

  Sign of Seven Trilogy

  Blood Brothers

  The Hollow

  The Pagan Stone

  Bride Quartet

  Vision in White

  Bed of Roses

  Savor the Moment

  Happy Ever After

  The Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy

  The Next Always

  The Last Boyfriend


  The O’Hurleys

  The Last Honest Woman

  Dance to the Piper

  Skin Deep

  Without a Trace

  The Donovan Legacy





  Cordina’s Royal Family

  Affaire Royale

  Command Performance

  The Playboy Prince

  Cordina’s Crown Jewel

  The MacGregors

  Playing the Odds

  Tempting Fate

  All the Possibilities

  One Man’s Art

  For Now, Forever

  The MacGregor Brides

  The Winning Hand

  The MacGregor Grooms

  The Perfect Neighbor

  Rebellion & In from the Cold

  Night Tales

  Night Shift

  Night Shadow


  Night Smoke

  Night Shield

  The Calhouns

  Courting Catherine

  A Man for Amanda

  For the Love of Lilah

  Suzanna’s Surrender

  Megan’s Mate

  Irish Legacy Trilogy

  Irish Thoroughbred

  Irish Rose

  Irish Rebel

  Best Laid Plans

  Loving Jack


  Summer Love

  Boundary Lines

  Dual Image

  First Impressions

  The Law Is a Lady

  Local Hero

  This Magic Moment

  The Name of the Game



  The Welcoming

  Opposites Attract

  Time Was

  Times Change

  Gabriel’s Angel

  Holiday Wishes

  The Heart’s Victory

  The Right Path

  Rules of the Game

  Nora Roberts & J. D. Robb

  Remember When

  J. D. Robb

  Naked in Death

  Glory in Death

  Immortal in Death

  Rapture in Death

  Ceremony in Death

  Vengeance in Death

  Holiday in Death

  Conspiracy in Death

  Loyalty in Death

  Witness in Death

  Judgment in Death

  Betrayal in Death

  Seduction in Death

  Reunion in Death

  Purity in Death

  Portrait in Death

  Imitation in Death

  Divided in Death

  Visions in Death

  Survivor in Death

  Origin in Death

  Memory in Death

  Born in Death

  Innocent in Death

  Creation in Death

  Strangers in Death

  Salvation in Death

  Promises in Death

  Kindred in Death

  Fantasy in Death

  Indulgence in Death

  Treachery in Death

  New York to Dallas

  Celebrity in Death


  From the Heart

  A Little Magic

  A Little Fate

  Moon Shadows

  (with Jill Gregory, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Marianne Willman)

  The Once Upon Series

  (with Jill Gregory, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Marianne Willman)

  Once Upon a Castle

  Once Upon a Rose

  Once Upon a Star

  Once Upon a Kiss

  Once Upon a Dream

  Once Upon a Midnight

  Silent Night

(with Susan Plunkett, Dee Holmes, and Claire Cross)

  Out of This World

  (with Laurell K. Hamilton, Susan Krinard, and Maggie Shayne)

  Bump in the Night

  (with Mary Blayney, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Mary Kay McComas)

  Dead of Night

  (with Mary Blayney, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Mary Kay McComas)

  Three in Death

  Suite 606

  (with Mary Blayney, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Mary Kay McComas)

  In Death

  The Lost

  (with Patricia Gaffney, Mary Blayney, and Ruth Ryan Langan)

  The Other Side

  (with Mary Blayney, Patricia Gaffney, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Mary Kay McComas)

  The Unquiet

  (with Mary Blayney, Patricia Gaffney, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Mary Kay McComas)

  Also available . . .

  The Official Nora Roberts Companion

  (edited by Denise Little and Laura Hayden)


  Published by the Penguin Group

  Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

  375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA

  Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)

  Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

  Penguin Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.)

  Penguin Group (Australia), 707 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3008, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.)

  Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi—110 017, India

  Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, Auckland 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)

  Penguin Books Rosebank Office Park, 181 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parktown North 2193, South Africa

  Penguin China, B7 Jaiming Center, 27 East Third Ring Road North, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100020, China

  Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have control over and does not have any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.


  An InterMix Book / published by arrangement with the author



  Harlequin Books edition / October 2004

  InterMix eBook edition / December 2012


  Harlequin Books edition / October 2004

  InterMix eBook edition / December 2012

  Home for Christmas copyright © 1986 by Nora Roberts.

  All I Want for Christmas copyright © 1994 by Nora Roberts.

  Excerpt from Calculated in Death copyright © 2013 by Nora Roberts.

  Cover landscape © Nikolai Tsvetkov/shutterstock.

  All rights reserved.

  No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

  For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,

  a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,

  375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

  ISBN: 978-1-101-56971-9


  InterMix Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,

  a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,

  375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

  INTERMIX and the “IM” design are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

  Nora Roberts’s

  Holiday Recipes

  Pop’s Pancakes

  A longtime tradition in my family is Christmas breakfast. My parents’ home was always crowded and noisy, and everyone lent a hand—watching the light on the waffle iron, holding their plates out for more. We were allowed to fry the bacon or flip the pancakes on the griddle. But nobody—nobody—made the pancake batter except my pop. There were two huge bowls of it to feed the horde before we got down to exchanging gifts and ripping colored paper to shreds. Because there were so many of us, we often ate in shifts, crowding around the dining room table and spilling over to the breakfast bar. Wherever I sit, the first bite takes me back to childhood.

  6 eggs, beaten

  1 can evaporated milk

  ¼ cup butter or margarine, melted

  1½ cups regular milk (1 cup for waffles)

  3 cups flour

  6 tbsp baking powder

  Combine ingredients in the order listed. Mix well. Let stand for 10 minutes to rise. For pancakes, spoon batter onto hot griddle. Be patient—don’t flip until bubbles appear.


  Plain or Painted Holiday Cookies

  Baking helps put me in the mood for the holidays. There’s nothing like a little flour on your hands to start “Jingle Bells” ringing in your head. The tradition in my house goes this way: First put on an album of Christmas music. It isn’t possible to work over a hot oven without the proper setting. Gather your ingredients:

  ¾ cup shortening

  1 cup sugar

  2 eggs

  1 tsp vanilla extract

  2½ cups flour

  1 tsp baking powder

  1 tsp salt

  Optional: evaporated milk, food coloring, small paintbrush, colored sugar or sprinkles

  If you have kids, this is the time to step back and let them do some of the work. It makes it fun, and the mess is almost worth it. Let one of them mix the shortening and sugar together. Let another one crack the eggs into the bowl. Then you can help by picking out the pieces of eggshell. Add the vanilla extract and mix thoroughly. Blend in flour, baking powder and salt. Cover and chill for at least an hour.

  Preheat your oven to 400°F. Now comes the time when the kids fight over who rolls out the dough. See that it’s rolled about 1/8” thick on a floured board. If you don’t have cookie cutters in cute little Christmas shapes, you should. We generally stick to the tried-and-true angels, Santas and trees.

  When you cut the cookies, make sure to dip the cutter into flour now and then or you’ll end up with a jammed-up Santa. Place cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet. Now you can either sprinkle them with plain or colored sugar and be done with them, or if you’re feeling adventurous you can use that little paintbrush. Divide small amounts of evaporated milk into several cups, along with a little food coloring in each. Then go ahead and paint. Remember, it doesn’t matter if Santa’s blue or the Christmas tree is red. And just add a little water as the mixture thickens.

  Bake for six or seven minutes. Break off a couple of times to sing a round of “Deck the Halls.” You’ll feel better. You should have about four dozen cookies, but then, if you have children, forget it. When your husband comes home and asks what’s for dinner, shove a cookie in his mouth!

  Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding

  I do a lot of complicated baking at this time of year—time-consuming treats that keep me in the kitchen for hours. I really don’t mind, but there’s something to be said for simplicity. One of my men’s favorites is an old family recipe handed down through the Scottish branch of my family, through my father to me. It’s wonderfully simple and old-fashioned, something that can literally be tossed together when you discover unexpect
ed holiday visitors are coming to call. Best of all, since it’s made in one dish, there’s little to clean up. I should warn you, most of the measurements are estimates. Experiment. It’s that kind of dish.

  6 to 8 slices bread, torn into pieces

  3 to 4 eggs, lightly beaten

  ¼ cup margarine, melted

  ¼ to ⅓ cup sugar

  3 to 3½ cups milk

  About ¼ cup raisins (it’s up to you)

  Cinnamon to taste (I like a lot myself, maybe 3 tbsp or so. I really don’t measure—I go by how it looks.)

  Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix all ingredients, gently but thoroughly, in a casserole dish. Pop it into the oven for one hour. Can be eaten warm or cold.

  Home for Christmas

  Chapter 1

  So much can change in ten years. He was prepared for it. All during the flight from London and the long, winding drive north from Boston to Quiet Valley, New Hampshire, population 326—or it had been ten years before when Jason Law had last been there—he’d thought of how different things would be. A decade, even for a forgotten little town in New England, was bound to bring changes. There would have been deaths and births. Houses and shops would have changed hands. Some of them might not be there at all.

  Not for the first time since Jason had decided to visit his hometown did he feel foolish. After all, it was very likely he wouldn’t even be recognized. He’d left a thin, defiant twenty-year-old in a scruffy pair of jeans. He was coming back a man who’d learned how to replace defiance with arrogance and succeed. His frame was still lean, but it fitted nicely into clothes tailored on Savile Row and Seventh Avenue. Ten years had changed him from a desperate boy determined to make his mark, to an outwardly complacent man who had. What ten years hadn’t changed was what was inside. He was still looking for roots, for his place. That was why he was heading back to Quiet Valley.

  The road still twisted and turned through the woods, up the mountains and down again, as it had when he’d headed in the opposite direction on a Greyhound. Snow covered the ground, smooth here, bumpy there where it was heaped over rocks. In the sunlight, trees shimmered with it. Had he missed it? He’d spent one winter in snow up to his waist in the Andes. He’d spent another sweltering in Africa. The years ran together, but oddly enough, Jason could remember every place he’d spent Christmas over the last ten years, though he’d never celebrated the holiday. The road narrowed and swept into a wide curve. He could see the mountains, covered with pines and dusted with white. Yes, he’d missed it.