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Monday, December 26, 2011

Stuff Your Stocking Blogfest: Kate Willoughby

It’s getting to get busy at work for me. See, I work at Starbucks as a barista. The weather is turning chill in my neck of the woods and that makes people crave their favorite guilty pleasure. Yesterday it was crazy busy for hours. By the end of my shift, my shoulder was aching from pouring gallons of milk into those stainless steel pitchers and my brain was fried from the hectic atmosphere. If you’ve ever been in a Starbucks when it’s crowded with caffeine-craving customers, many with their own quirky drink modifications, you know what I’m talking about.

Now, don’t get me wrong. My own favorite drinks aren’t straight off the menu either. For instance, I’ll order an iced Caramel Macchiato, but mine is upside-down, extra caramel, sugar-free cinnamon dolce syrup instead of vanilla and non-fat milk. (Yeah. I know. But it’s good!) For a hot drink, lately I’ve been getting a double short non-fat latte with one raw sugar, whipped cream and caramel on top.

Now it’s holiday time at Starbucks and their signature holiday drinks are out in force. I adore the Eggnog Latte and the Peppermint Mocha, but when it’s raining, even though I get a thirty percent discount on my drinks, I am reluctant to venture out to Starbucks myself. I like staying in my cozy house, looking outside and feeling grateful I don’t have to go out in that nasty weather. So, here’s a nice alternative to the Peppermint Mocha you can keep in your cupboard.

Peppermint Mocha Mix

2 cups nonfat dry milk powder
¾ cup powdered sugar
½ cup unsweetened cocoa
½ cup Andes mints, chopped fine
½ cup powdered nondairy creamer
½ cup instant coffee granules
1/8 teaspoon salt
whipped cream, optional

Whisk all ingredients in a mixing bowl until well blended. Spoon 3 or 4 generous tablespoons of the mix into your cup, add boiling water, and stir well. Top with whipped cream if desired.

Makes about 4 ½ cups of mix. Store in a tightly covered container at room temperature.

Now, it just so happens that Davina, the heroine of my latest book, Just Winging It loves Starbucks mochas. As a fairy, chocolate is like alcohol to her. And she sometimes imbibes more than she should. (Who can blame her? Hello, it’s chocolate!) In fact, a key scene occurs in a Starbucks café. Something happens in that scene that changes everything for Davina.

If you’re interested in winning a free copy of this book, Just Winging It, simply leave a comment. I’d love to know what your regular Starbucks drink order is, or if you have a question that you’ve always wanted to ask the barista but didn’t want to look like an idiot in front of the other customers who all seem to be “in the know” about all things Starbuckian, ask me.

Just Winging It, Book four of the Be-Wished Series, available now from Ellora’s Cave

Ex-wish fairy Davina Traherne has until midnight to choose a groom at the birthday ball or her draconian grandmother Agatha will pick one for her. Panicking at the prospect of marrying a fussy, well-bred bore with no sense of adventure, she flees.

Laszlo can’t believe it when Davina asks him to help her go off-grid. He’s always had the hots for her but kept his feelings to himself. Eventually, close proximity and Davina’s playful teasing get to be too much, especially when he finds out his lust is reciprocated. But when Agatha zeroes in on their whereabouts, his resolve to keep his emotional distance dissolves and he discovers he’ll do anything to protect Davina.

Even marry her.


Kate Willoughby is the award-winning author of eleven erotic romance novellas. She’s held a variety of jobs (podiatrist's assistant, telemarketer, typist, gift wrapper, painter, illustrator's assistant, paste-up artist, calligrapher, teacher, barista) but her favorite so far is writer.

She resides in Los Angeles with her husband, their two sons, and a chihuahua named Mochi. When the testosterone in the house builds up to unbearable levels, she escapes by reading, cooking, and scrapbooking with friends.



wanda f said...

Happy Holdiays to you and yours .Thank you for sharing that yummy recipe with us.
Just Winging It sounds like my kind of read look forward to picking it up.

Kate Willoughby said...

Thanks, Wanda! I really hope you'll enjoy it!

Kate Willoughby said...

So far, Wanda, you're the only one in the running. :) Guess everyone else is out shopping the sales!

Joanne said...

The Peppermint Mocha Mix sounds yummy. Can't wait to try it. Great post and blurb. Normally, when I go to Starbucks, I order a Mocha Frappachino.


Jean P said...

Thanks for sharing the Peppermint Mocha Mix, just discovered them this year and have become addicted!

skpetal at hotmail dot com

Cathy M said...

Hi Kate,

I am a year round mocha frapp with whipped cream girl.

happy new year

caity_mack at

Bookwyrm369 said...

I don't like coffee but I love chai tea so will order that if I go to Starbucks :-)

smaccall AT

Debby said...

My daughter used to manage a Starbucks and she used to make me a great tea drink starting with Earl Gray.
Debby236 at gmail dot com

elaing8 said...

I have never been to a Starbucks. I am a Tim Horton's girl :) I usually just get a regular coffee.And in the summer and Iced Cap

Just Winging It sounds really good

Kate Willoughby said...

Ah! Wanda got some competition! Welcome, book lovers.

Joanne and Cathy, can't go wrong with a mocha frappuccino.

Jean, did you know peppermint mochas are available all year long?

Bookwyrm, the chai tea is delicious. I love that peppery aroma.

Debby, it was probably the Earl Grey tea latte. Managing is a challenging job.

Elaing8, I'm afraid I've never heard of Tim Horton's... No offense! Is that a different chain of coffee joints?

Mountain Laurel said...

Love this recipe! Can't wait to try it out! I would gain a million pounds if I worked at Starbucks! LOL Thanks for sharing!

shadow_kohler said...

Great recipe! Sounds so yummy! Thanks! Happy holidays to you and your family!

June M. said...

I have to say that I don't drink coffee. I have just never developed the taste for it. Now if I start adding chocolate, caramel, whipped cream and stuff, I would probably become addicted quickly.
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

Kate Willoughby said...

Mountain Laurel, I heard a rumor that normally new hires gain a couple of pounds. LOL

Shadow_Kohler, happy holidays to you too!

June, yeah, I hear ya. It definitely is an acquired taste. I learned to like it eating coffee ice cream when I was a kid. :)

Kate Willoughby said...

And the WINNER of the copy of JUST WINGING IT is Bookwyrm369! Congratulations!

flchen1 said...

I just love a good hot chocolate, Kate, whether at Starbucks or elsewhere :) And I wouldn't at all be averse to some whipped cream ;)

Congrats on Just Winging It!