Category Archives: Chautona Havig

Neal’s Hot Chocolate: The Cheater Gourmet

Just don’t call him that to his face.  He might not like it!

neal's hot chocolate

In Christmas Stalkings, Neal Kirkpatrick tries, or so it seems, to sweeten his disposition with a cup of doctored hot chocolate.  I spent quite a bit of time trying to come up with the version I imagined him using and I did it!

Neal’s Cheater Gourmet Hot Chocolate


(makes 2 mugs or 1 large mug)

  • 2 hot chocolate packets (I used Swiss Miss)
  • 3 TBS Hershey’s cocoa powder
  • 1.5 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 capful (small bottle) of almond extract
  • Redi-whip (or whipping cream to whip your own)


Heat the milk on medium-low until near boiling.  Add all ingredients and stir continually.  Just before boiling, pour into your mug(s) and top with whipped cream.  Cocoa powder sprinkled on top is optional but looks quite “gourmet.”


stalkings quote

THIS… is what Wendy thinks of Mr. “You don’t know how to make a decent cup of hot chocolate.”  For more quotes from the book, visit my Pinterest board for Christmas Stalkings!

To read all the books for an insanely low price, purchase The Christmas Lights Collection while it’s still on sale for just 0.99!

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The Christmas Lights Collection Debuts!

Something magical happens on Thanksgiving day.  In homes all over the country, families gather, friends without anywhere to go find themselves folded into families as if a testament to the Psalmist’s words.  I’ve always loved those words, “God places the lonely in families” (Psalm 68:6 NLT).  Laughter, gratitude, and often mountains of food fill the day.  Football, family stories, Uncle Herbert’s trademarked jokes that even the toddlers know the punchline to.

christmas lights- turkey

Later, as the day draws to a close, as cars load up with children on the trip back home from Grandma’s or Aunt June’s, as Grandma redistributes the single slices in half a dozen pie tins into one motley circle on a cake dome, it happens.  Often, we don’t even know what “it” is.  But a shift forms in the air.

In our hearts.

People all over America rise at ungodly hours and brave freezing temperatures to stand in line for sales that will stretch their Christmas budget. Still others wait until the sun shines and brave the cold to haul out boxes and plastic totes loaded with lights–Christmas lights.

Christmas Lights - a novella collection

All white–with or without icicles.  Vibrant colors that blink. And of course, just blue, just pink, just green, gold, purple.

Over the next few days, yard decor springs up on lawns all over the country. Candles appear in windows.  In some homes, advent readings begin.

It’s easy to be pulled into the hectic side of the season–the race to find the perfect gift, the flurry of activities, the baking! Time becomes a precious commodity to be spent with the same judicious care as the gift and charity budgets.

However, if we don’t take small moments to refresh and reflect, if we don’t take the time to pause and appreciate, it becomes easy to see this wonderful season as a burden. As a matter of fact, often it becomes just another series of check boxes in our frenetic dance to finally complete our never-ending “to-do” lists.

Christmas Lights Collection

That’s where The Christmas Lights Collection comes in.

Four short novellas in a variety of genres–that’s all they are.  Just four stories to quiet your heart and soul as you embrace the beauty of the season.  Inside, you’ll find Vikki Kestell’s historical romance and a reminder that the Lord’s plans are always just what we need.  We’ll introduce you to Cathe Swanson’s unlikely romance about a woman who sets out to do one good deed as she is drawn into the lives of a cast of eccentric elderly people.   And you don’t want to miss meeting April Hayman and her southern madcap mystery.  And you’ll find my book, Christmas Stalkings, a Christian fiction novella that blends comedy, suspense, and a garnish of romance.

We hope that through these light Christmas stories, to lighten and brighten your hearts, so we offer you this collection. Merry Christmas! And a happy, light read!

chautona havig