Saturday, December 14, 2013

[12 Days of Romance] Upon a Midnight Clear by MJ Schiller + Coffee Cake Recipe #giveaway


Good morning! Melinda was kind enough to invite me on today to share a little Christmas cheer! So I thought, as a gift to you, I’d share one of our family’s traditional Christmas recipes. Now, it may not be what you expect, it’s not a cookie…it’s a coffee cake. Traditionally we make individual “Jesus’ Birthday Cakes.” Even when the kids were young they would help in preparing this dish and would choose their own pan and grease and flour it. I have some small pans that are shaped like Christmasy things, a snowflake, a stocking, an angel, a candy cane, etc.  Then Christmas morning we’d have a yummy treat all ready and we would stick candles in them and sing “Happy Birthday” to the baby Jesus. It can be made in a Bundt pan as well.

Quick Coffee Cake
1 pkg. yellow cake mix          
1 small pkg. vanilla instant pudding
¼ c. oil
¾ c. water
4 eggs, added one at a time
1 tsp. butter extract
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix ingredients; beat for 8 minutes at medium speed. Grease and flour pan Bundt pan. Layer cake mix with *cinnamon mix, beginning and ending with cake. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Cool 8 minutes. Glaze while warm.
* Cinnamon mix- In a bowl, stir together 1/4c. sugar & 2 tsp. cinnamon.
Glaze- 1 c. powdered sugar
            2 T. milk
            ½  tsp. butter extract
            ½ tsp. vanilla
Now that I’ve shared one of our favorite sweets with you, let me add something sweet, and sinister—a peek at my Christmas romantic suspense novella, UPON A MIDNIGHT CLEAR!

Blurb ~
Dylan Fisher is an EMT and part-time Santa Claus at a mall in Denver, Colorado. He has logged plenty of time with children sitting on his lap asking for anything from the latest electronic gadget to a week’s worth of homework passes, but he never heard anyone ask for what little Delaney Kelly asked for on one snowy night in December. A dad! When Dylan’s eyes search the crowd for Delaney’s mother and land on Keira Kelly, the paramedic almost finds himself in need of a little CPR. She is stunning! 
Keira Kelly is still grieving over the loss of her husband, but a reckless driver has her thinking about nothing but survival as she’s headed home from the mall. When Keira wakes in the hospital to find a hunky EMT at her bedside, she begins having a few thoughts that would put her on Santa’s Naughty List for sure! But when she finds out the EMT is only hanging around because the police believe someone is out to get her, she’s not sure what to think about his kindness. Is he helping her because he wants to, or because he feels he needs to? And what about the man who rammed her car, could he have had something to do with her husband’s death?


MJ is a lunch lady in the heart of Central Illinois. My gosh, can you get more folksy than that? She met her husband at the University of Missouri-Columbia and now she has an eighteen-year-old (how did that happen?) and sixteen year old triplets! She loves to read, karaoke (where she can pretend she is a rock star) and spends WAY too much time on Facebook. She grew up in St. Louis and still has family there.

Tell us about your favorite Christmas treat in the comments and we’ll pick one commenter to win a copy of my latest release, the next in my ROCKING ROMANCE COLLECTION, BETWEEN ROCK AND A HARD PLACE!

You can find M.J. at:

BN and Amazon.


  1. Hi, Melinda! Thank you for having me on today! I love Christmas and love talking about it, so this was fun!

  2. Lovely and generous giveaway. Thank you!