Vicki Batman's Apricot and Almond Bacon Bites and her holiday short stories: Sommerville Holidays too

Really, I'm not a Cook

I'm not really a cook anymore. I call myself a food assembler. I take things, throw them together and serve. But there is one time of year when I bring out the inner chef—Thanksgiving.

Many years ago, a friend brought an appetizer to a writers' retreat. Instantly, I fell in love and have served it at many parties, but especially at Thanksgiving. This sweet and salty bite will be popular with your guests.


Apricot and Almond Bacon Bites

1 package of dried apricots

1 package of whole almonds

1 small package of bacon


Cut the bacon strips in half. Place one dried apricot on the half slice of bacon. Set an almond on top of the apricot. Roll the bacon around the apricot and almond and skewer with a toothpick. Set on a baking sheet. After the sheet is filled, bake at 375 degrees until the bacon turns brown. You may desire to flip the bites over to ensure thorough baking. When done, set them on a plate and serve warm.

I have made multiple uncooked bites and stored them in the freezer in a freezer bag. Thaw and bake as usual.


When I am not assembling or eating food, I indulge in a favorite pastime—reading! I began my writing career by writing short stories, particularly holiday ones. I love them and have written three for Sommerville holidays too.

In “The Great Fruitcake Bake-off” I was inspired by a fruitcake my grandmother made every holiday, Tomato Cake. I know the name is weird, but it is delish!

I love cruising and have a secret desire to go on the Christmas ones. All that shopping sounds like fun. I wrote, “Christmas Romeo” based on my trip down the Rhine.

Real Fraser fir Christmas trees hold a special place in my heart. I feel like I am in a forest wonderland when I go to the lot to pick out my tree. From there came “Twinkle Lights.”


Love blossoms in the small town of Sommerville in these heartwarming holiday tales,  filled with fun and forever possibilities.

The Great Fruitcake Bake-off:

When a five-time baking champion teams up with her new neighbor for The Great Fruitcake Bake-off, they discover baking a prize-winning entry is complicated, bad guys are plotting to take the crown, and first prize isn't just about a ribbon.


“I’m not entering this year.” I pinned an unbreakable stare on Bethany, my co-worker and long-time friend, who lived in the same apartment complex as me. We arrived early for work and piddled over coffee in her cubical like we always did before diving into the nuts and bolts of company business. Standing firm, I crossed my arms. “Period.”

Bethany rolled her eyes in the “I'm so not believing this” fashion and tweaked the Santa garland decorating her cube's walls. “Why not, Samantha? You should be proud to be the five-time winner of The Great Fruitcake Bake-off. You're a-a”--her words trailed off as she searched the ceiling for the ultimate in descriptive--“legend.”

I twitched my black skirt in place, and then I tucked my shoulder-length hair behind my ear. I let loose a long exhale. “Is being a legend in the fruitcake world a good thing?”


Christmas Romeo:

When two feuding co-workers win Christmas river cruises at the company holiday party, they discover each other isn't so bad after all.


My gaze shifted to the conference room doorway where our office Romeo, aka Richard Stokes, stood. A carefree grin shaped his mouth, one which accompanied his breezy walk as he acknowledged our co-workers he passed with a cheerful “good morning.”

Romeo infuriated me every time I saw him. Every. Single. Time.

“Well-well-well, look who’s here.”  With a nod in his direction, I snorted a “humpf.”

“Oh. Him. Finally, Romeo graces us with his presence.” Crossing her arms over her chest, Melanie, my cube mate, dropped her chin and nearly spat with disgust.

“Could anyone look any more repulsive?” I slid my mouth sideways.

“He doesn’t appear one bit fazed by his appearance, Julianne.”

“His clothes are always-always-always rumpled. And does he ever comb his hair? I know rules are different about employee dress in today’s work environment, but I don’t like his style. He looks like a teenager.” I slammed my fist into my palm. “Professionalism, dammit.”


Twinkle Lights:

When the owner of a Christmas tree stand has a heart attack, a do-gooder and a reformed high school delinquent turned lawyer meet the challenges of running the establishment; yet, when revenue goes missing, fingers are pointed.


"I don't believe it." Hands on hips, I stood in front of the large, white plastic tent. No happy shoppers bustled in and out. No “All I Want For Christmas Is You” blasting from a boom box. No holiday cheer at all.

Instead, I found under the same ol' AXEL'S CHRISTMAS TREES neon sign, which wasn't flashing, a notice, which looked to be hastily printed and stuck on the tent flap with gray duct tape:

Closed. Heart attack. Pray. Axel’s son

I shook my head, saying to the nippy wind whipping my hair, "Poor Axel. This is horrible. Where will the funds for the Sommerville Hospital come from?"

I sensed my stomach kink into a hard knot as I hugged my tote to my waist. I always bought my Christmas tree at Axel’s since...forever. Definitely, since I was a blossoming idea in my parents' mind. Every year on the first Saturday in December, Mom and Dad brought my brother and me to Axel's for the family tree. Who could forget the ensuing arguments over the perfect one—Mom usually won—and the joy of trimming it over hot chocolate and homemade cookies.

All grown up, I continued the tradition.


Find Sommerville holidays too at:




More about Vicki Batman: Funny, sweet, and quirky, Vicki Batman's stories are full of her hallmark humor and romance and will delight all readers. She has sold many romantic comedy works to magazines, several publishers, and most recently, three humorous romantic mysteries. Along the way, she has picked up awards and bestsellers. Avid Jazzerciser. Handbag lover. Mahjong player. Yoga practitioner. Movie fan. Book devourer. Chocaholic. Best Mom ever. And adores Handsome Hubby.


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