Autumn As It Morphs To Winter

Welcome Gemma! Glad to have you here today.

Thanks for having me today, Cindy!

Autumn_Masquerade_2Where does autumn end and winter begin? When all the leaves have fallen, I usually consider it winter, even if the calendar hasn’t made it to the winter solstice yet. How about you?
This is my favorite time of year, as I know it is for many people. It’s the season of reminiscence and reflection. Not only are we in the month of giving thanks for all the people and good things in our lives, but we are planning family get-togethers and wondering what gifts will give joy to our loved ones. A gift can be a very expensive trinket or a batch of homemade bath salts or favorite cookies.

At this time of year, walking or driving by a copse of trees and viewing the colors of fall as they blend in a pattern all their own, is a feast for my eyes. I can liken it to a spiritual experience. My other great delight now is the kitchen, and all the tastes and smells of autumn – pumpkins, sweet potatoes, cranberries, gingerbread and apples. I’m more inclined to bake at this time of year than any other.

What is your favorite aspect of autumn?

I thought I’d share an unusual dessert recipe I came across that works well at this time of year. Warning: it contains alcohol. I got it from an Irish American e-newsletter and have altered it slightly. It makes enough for 6 servings.

Irish Whiskey Jelly

1 tbsp. unflavored gelatin
2 cups water
1 1/2 tbsp. instant coffee (if you love hazelnut coffee this works well)
4 tbsp. sugar
3 ounces Irish whiskey
Whipped cream sweetened with Stevia and with pumpkin spice added


In a small saucepan over medium high heat, soften gelatin in 1/2 cup of water and heat the remaining water. Stir sugar and instant coffee into the softened gelatin and keep stirring until the gelatin dissolves. Add whiskey and remove the pan from the heat. Pour evenly into small bowls or demitasse cups and chill until the blend is firm. Serve with whipped cream over top.

Christmas_Spirits (1)_2I recently wrote a holiday novella for this time of year called Autumn Masquerade. When I began planning the story I thought it would just be a Halloween story, but it quickly became clear it encompassed a theme of gratitude as well. That meant it could also be a Thanksgiving story. Once that became clear, it made a lot of sense to broaden the scope and make it a tribute to the glorious colors of foliage at this time of year. I’ve had more compliments on the cover of this story than on any other cover so far.

Here’s a little bit about Autumn Masquerade:

Anna Spencer is a smart young woman with a corporate career that is moving in the right direction. She’s also very psychic and has the gift of being able to communicate with the dead, but she learned at a very young age that she needed to hide this gift, as it brought rejection and sadness into her life, and the fear of losing those she loved. Richard Bentley, her boss, is a wealthy widow with an international chain of hotels. The burden of guilt he has carried since his wife’s death two years earlier has weighed heavily on his shoulders. Can Anna successfully hide the fact she is the exotically dressed psychic at the Autumn Masquerade ball thrown by their client? Especially since she has a message for him from his deceased wife…

If you are so inclined, please tell us what kind of personalized gifts you plan to make for your family this year.

Wishing you all the very best of the season!

GEMMA JULIANA is a multi-published author who lives in an enchanted cottage in north Texas with her handsome hero, teen son and a comical dog. She loves making new friends and hearing from readers. Exotic coffee and chocolate fuel her creativity.

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Gemma Juliana

6 thoughts on “Autumn As It Morphs To Winter

    • Thanks for visiting Romy. My internet was down most of yesterday so I wasn’t able to respond but I appreciate you stopping by! I don’t usually “cook” with alcohol but found this a unique idea. Any alcohol could be substituted, and even non-alcoholic beverages with a strong flavor.

  1. Your post is helping me get in gear for the holidays. I am hosting my whole family for Thanksgiving, which is always wild and fun. Now I’m hoping your recipes will inspire my cooking. (Cooking has never been my favorite pastime! I should have an apron that reads: I’d rather be writing a romance!).

    • Hi A! If you ever find that apron, let me know because the same holds true for me. If you make that whiskey jelly your wild and fun family might be a wee bit wilder than usual this year! 🙂

  2. Your novel sounds intriguing, Gemma. Autumn can be a beautiful time of year, but it always makes me sad to realize winter is lying in wait. I hate it when the trees are bare, and the flowers are gone. The only thing I can make is a story. I don’t do arts & crafts, sew, or have a flair for interior decorating. My cooking always favors simple.

    • Hi Karalee,
      Thanks for stopping by! You sound like a true spring and summer lover. I think making a story rates right up there with any other craft creation and probably allows for more free license than almost any other form of self-expression. Sounds like winter might be a great time for you to engage your muse while you await the return of flowers and greenery again.

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