Happy Holidays – Mari Carr – HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

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Happy New Year from Mari Carr!

When I think of New Years, I think of football games, movie marathons and SOUP! Nothing warms up a chilly January day like your hands wrapped around a bowl of nice hot crab soup. Thought I’d share a recipe for my favorite soup (FYI—no part of this is lowfat—that’s why it’s so yummy! LOL).


¾ cup butter
¾ cup flour
2 chicken bouillon cubes (crushed)
white pepper (dash)
salt (to taste)
1 tablespoon Old Bay
1 quart whole white milk (beware–skim/low fat milk won’t thicken)
1 quart half and half
1 pound back fin crabmeat (I use Phillip’s crabmeat from Costco)

In a Dutch oven, melt butter. Blend in flour, pepper, and Old Bay. Stir and simmer over low heat 2-3 minutes. Add milk, half and half, and bouillon. Simmer and stir constantly until bullion is absorbed and the mixture thickens enough to coat a metal spoon. Salt to taste. Add crabmeat. Heat through; do NOT boil. You can double recipe for a bigger amount.

And nothing goes better with soup then a nice red hot read. Tell me what your New Year’s resolution is for 2012. One commenter will win their choice of any ebook title from my backlist. Winner will be selected 1/1/12, using random.org

Wild Irish Christmas recently released at Ellora’s Cave and I thought I’d share a bit of it with you today.

Wild Irish, Book Eight

It’s Christmas Eve, and the Collins siblings have given their father a precious gift. All seven have gathered together to spend the night in his apartment above the family pub, the warm, loving home where Patrick and Sunday raised their large brood.

You’ve witnessed each child find their happy-ever-after. Now gather ’round the tree and join the Collins family as they pass a bottle of Jameson, and Patrick shares the story of how he won the heart of Sunday, his true love, his soul mate…and the mother of his seven Wild Irish.

Patrick claimed his recliner as the rest of his kids pulled up chairs or grabbed pillows and plopped down on the floor around the tree. “I still can’t believe you’re all spending the night here.”

Keira grinned. “We’re here because it’s the holidays, Pop. You haven’t been yourself the last few months. We worry.”

Patrick grasped his oldest daughter’s hand. “I’m a tired, old fool. I suppose I lost my way for a bit. Let the daily grind get me down. You crazy kids have reminded me what’s important in life with this gesture. It’s a lovely gift.”

Keira squeezed his hand. “We love you. It’s been years since the eight of us were alone together in this apartment…all busy with kids and jobs. We thought it was time we took a night to reconnect. To remember where we came from.”

“Oh,” Sean added, “and a word to the wise, Pop. Next year, when the girls ask you what you want for Christmas, say a flashy tie or an animal-print Snuggie or some bull like that. Don’t say, I only want you all to be happy and healthy. Leaves too much room for interpretation—especially from Riley.”

Riley picked up a pillow and lobbed it at her younger brother’s head. “Way to ruin Keira’s sappy speech, smartass.”

“Language, Riley,” Patrick said, the words a familiar joke more than a true rebuke.

“Sorry, Pop.” Her face told him she wasn’t sorry at all.

Tris lifted the whiskey, proposing a quick toast. “We’re here, Pop, because we’re family. To the Collins clan.” He took a swig from the bottle and passed it to Teagan, who followed suit with her own cheers.

Patrick wasn’t sure what it said about his character that he was proud of the way all seven of his offspring could hold their whiskey.

As the bottle moved from hand to hand, they each offered up words of thanks or wishes for the New Year. When it reached Patrick, he lifted the bottle and proposed a toast he hadn’t used since the last Christmas he’d celebrated with his wife, Sunday.

“To Conall Brannagh.”

Ewan took the bottle from his father. “Who?”

“Conall Brannagh,” Patrick repeated. “If your mother had chosen him over me, none of us would be here tonight.”

Sean leaned forward, a definite gleam of interest in his eyes. “So you had some competition for Mom, eh? I never knew that.”

Keira grabbed a bag of pretzels. “I didn’t either. Was Mom in love with him?”

Teagan looked at Patrick. “I always thought you were her first love.”

Patrick smiled at his daughter. “I was her last love, Teagan. That’s a much better spot to claim. Besides, I don’t know if it’s fair to say she loved Conall, though he certainly turned the women’s heads. What’s the word you girls use for handsome men? Dreamy?”

Riley laughed. “Um…yeah, not in this decade. I definitely don’t use the word dreamy to describe Aaron.”

“Then what would you say?” Pat asked.

“He’s hot. Totally doable.”

Killian turned to look at his younger sister and shook his head. “Jesus. How are we related?”

“Dreamy works for me, Pop,” Teagan said quickly.

Patrick looked at his kids and silently marveled at how different they were. Somehow, miraculously, their unique qualities meshed perfectly, creating an amazing family.

Ewan, always the steady one, hadn’t been distracted by the asides. “So Mom thought this Conall was dreamy?”

“All the girls in Killarney thought Conall was handsome, but he only had eyes for Sunday. Not that I could blame him. Your mother was a beauty, with that long dark hair and those crystal-blue eyes. She caught every man’s attention.”

“But you didn’t fall in love with her because of her looks, right?” Keira asked.

“Och, Lord no. While Sunday’s face was pleasing, it was her heart, so kind and compassionate, that I found attractive. That’s what captured me by my hand and—pardon the expression—balls and kept me holding on to her for dear life.”

“So what was the story with this Conall guy?” Tris asked.

“Well now, that is a tale.” Patrick leaned back and closed his eyes, letting his mind drift to a different place, a different time.

“I was working on my family’s sheep farm during the day while tending bar at Scully’s Pub every night. I was a young buck of twenty when Sunday, who was just nineteen, moved to Killarney to live with her aunt. Scully hired her to sing in the pub and from the first moment I laid eyes on her, I was lost…”

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Also by Mari Carr

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44 thoughts on “Happy Holidays – Mari Carr – HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

  1. I want to do volunteer work at a nursing home. I would love to go, either once or twice a week, and read the classics to the residents.

    Happy New Year to All.

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  2. I love cream of crab soup! You must be from my neck of the woods if you use Old Bay. It is the best seasoning on crabs hands down! My MIL makes the best crab soup ever. Just started this Wild Irish series. so far so good!

  3. I would like to be able to volunteer at our local library with the reading program for children. When I am free to do so, I will be signing up.
    Happy New Year!!!!

    koonie2888 at yahoo dot com

  4. I’m going to try not to curse so much. It’s hard with three teenagers in the house. I’ve cut done quite a bit but I want to try to stop altogether.
    Happy New Year!!


  5. Happy New Year Mari!!! Thanks so much for such a yummy read and a yummy recipe!!

    Best of wishes to you for this new year of writing!

    billi jean

  6. Woot, Mari!! Thanks for reminding me of that yummy recipe! I resolve to make it at least once this year 😉

    Actually, my goal is to declutter the house sufficiently so that we can park the cars in the garage 😉 *urgh*

    Happy New Year, Mari!

  7. I love the Wild Irish series. I’m up to Sweet Thursday and adore the Collins family! My goals for 2012 are to complete a couple home projects and work in a trip to some place tropical. 🙂

    The recipe sounds delicious; will have to try it. Thanks for the giveaway! Happy New Year!

    bimmergrlmd at gmail dot com

  8. I don’t really make any. I just try to be do for others and try to make people happy. Not always easy to do. Happy Holidays!

  9. I am going to make that cream of crab soup!
    I am going to lose at least 10 pounds this year. I have some “social” playdates coming up and I need to look better.


  10. I’ve started my New Year’s resolution early–to broaden my reading tastes–by discovering book blogs and new (to me) authors. Thanks for helping me with my resolution and for heating up my reading list!

    Ho, Ho, Ho…

  11. My New Years Resolution is to spend more time taking care of myself in the new year, getting healthier and hopefully thinner!

    – Susan R aka SusanMik

  12. My resolutions are the same as every year; lose weight, get healthy, date, volunteer and spend time with family. This year I am adding get a job! Here’s hoping that I can at least get one or two of those done in 2012!

  13. I don’t make New Years resolutions, but I’ve got some tough decisions to make in the New Year. It looks like my job will be disappearing sometime in 2012. I work for my folks & my dad’s memory issues are forcing us to begin the process of closing down. The business has been supporting my folks & myself, but doesn’t really make any profit, so it is unlikely we will be able to find a buyer.

    drainbamaged.gzymo at gmail.com

  14. Happy New Years Mari, Well Im a caretaker for my daughter Alexis since she was dig with luekemia and this year will be no different.Im greatful to be able to spend all my time with her and make sure she is well taken care of. I do Plan on changin alot of my life this year for the better. I love your books and and they let me escape when times are long at the hospital with her so Thank You so much for being a wonderful writer.terra

  15. No resolutions for me this year. I always feel guilty when I don’t follow through. 2011 was a bad year for me so for the New Year I am going to be kinder to myself and try to find joy in every day. Wishing you the best for the New Year.

  16. Sounds like a good recipe. Don’t know about buying crab meat though. Usually we just reach into the freezer to see how much we put up all summer. Of course, I don’t eat crab (don’t tell anyone because every good southern Marylander loves crab) so this would be good for the rest of the clan.

    Have a great new year. I’m hoping to actually get some time to relax next year. (That’s my resolution and I’m sticking to it!)

  17. I’m definitely making that delicious crab soup. Thanks for sharing Mari. I am dying to read this series.No resolutions for me this year either. No more guilt when I don’t follow through.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  18. Great excerpt and recipe, Mari. Makes me wish I wasn’t allergic to crab, lol.

    One of my goals this year is to finally plant a vegetable garden. Lots of talk, but no action in
    2011, so no more dilly dallying around.

    Happy New Year

    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

  19. Mari,
    I so loved the Wild Irish series and this was the perfect cap to it. Thanks so much for the background story and for letting us re-visit with this wonderful family. A very happy New Year to you!

  20. I LOVE Irish love stories, and when it reflect back to the bigining of a family like the “Collins” makes it all the better. Can not wait to read the rest.

    P.S. ~ Thanks for the receipe, sounds dreamy!

  21. My resolution is the same as last year and the year before: To make no resolutions. Soup looks good, books look good. Happy New Year!

  22. My new years resolution is the same as so many others – loose weight!! Good luck with everyone’s resolutions.

  23. Soo I am staying home and relaxing tonight, have some whipped vodka and mixers. I headed to the grocery store this morning with the intention of making this soup….got outside and it’s 74 degrees and humid. I still have a craving for crab so I’m making crab salad instead. I can’t wait to get a “cool” front and make this soup!!

    Happy New Year!!

  24. Happy New Tear to all. Thanks for the recipe and the excerpt – both sound great!

    I hope to spend more time with family.

  25. I have read the first two of the wild irish series and want to get the rest.
    I don’t like resolutions, but I’d like to keep my checkbook balanced and up to date this year.
    Thanks for the recipe.

  26. I read the first Irish book and really want to read the rest. It was so good.

    My new years resolution is to lose weight and get into shape.

    Great contest and post. Thank you!

  27. I want to become a more sustainable farmer-girl…btw, love cream of crab soup!


  28. I have never had cream of crab soup but that sounds great! Unfortunately, with the whole milk and half & half, I think I had better stay away (Lactose intolerance). I could probably hand a small amount, but I would probably want to eat it for days, cause it sounds delicious!
    Have a happy New Years!

  29. I usually don’t do the New Year resolution bit. But this year I kind of have one. Since I’m going back to school for the first time in 12 years. I hope I can juggle it with all the other things I already have going on.

    My husband is very supportive so I believe that it will be a great experience!

  30. Happy New Year!!!! I don’t really have a New Year Resolution that being said I’m hoping to find a job,lessen my tbr pile and continue to do well at school in the new year.

    I love the Wild Irish series!!!! I’ve read all except Wild Irish Christmas, can’t wait to get my hands on it!!!

  31. Yeah! Mari Carr is in the house. I love this series. Actually, I haven’t found anything of yours that I haven’t enjoyed. Happy New Year! I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. I like to set a goal each month and work toward it. I find that the sweeping annual goals just don’t work for me!

  32. Mari, the series look great with that little excerpt. I will start backwards and work my way to book 1. I have enjoyed your other books- so I am sure this will be wonderful reading. Large Irish families have the most fun. Have a Happy New Year and keep on writing!

  33. I hope everyone had a great NYE! CONGRATULATIONS to rainie72 you have won a copy of one of Mari’s backlist!

    Thank you everyone for stopping by!

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