Friday, December 15, 2023

Stone Mountain Christmas by Caroline Clemmons

Stone Mountain Christmas
by Caroline Clemmons

Feeling in the Christmas spirit?  Want to read a sweet story of good over evil at Christmas?  Try this one:

Book Blurb:

Christmas has been Celia Dubois’s favorite time of year as long as she can remember. When she moves back with her parents a year after the death of her husband, the young widow is appalled at the town’s lack of Christmas spirit. Two months earlier, banditos had burned the church and crushed the townspeople. Celia vows to return holiday joy to the town. Perhaps doing so might help mend her aching heart. Will Celia’s plan work magic on the town?

Rancher Eduardo Montoya knows Celia is the woman for him. She enchants him with her winning smile and vivacious nature. When her father warns Eduardo away from Celia, Eduardo is both angry and frustrated. After he stops a robbery in the mercantile, will Celia’s parents change their minds about him? Can handsome Eduardo heal Celia’s sorrow?


Radford Crossing, Texas, November 1874 

Eduardo Montoya focused on the beautiful redhead who swept the walk in front of Sturdivant’s Mercantile across the street. He turned to speak to his friend. “She is a vision, is she not?” 

Micah Stone, his cousin’s husband, asked, “Have you met her or spoken to her?” 

Eduardo’s gaze returned to Celia Dubois. He refused to let anyone shatter his dreams. “See how graceful she is even when performing a menial chore? When we are wed, she will not have to be concerned with such things.” 

Sounding incredulous, Micah said, “I repeat, have you even met or spoken to her?” 

Eduardo had no doubt his friend believed he had taken leave of his senses. He wasn’t so sure he hadn’t, but he placed a hand over his heart. “In good time, my friend. All in good time.”  

Micah clapped him on the shoulder. “Come on, Romeo. We’ve finished our business with Joel. Hope’s expecting us for lunch. You can daydream about the pretty widow on our way home.” 

“I suppose we must go.” He exhaled, reluctantly willing to leave town but unwilling to let anyone derail his plans.  

Micah untied his horse from the hitching rail in front of his brother’s law office and mounted. “Have to say this is the first time I’ve known you to be shy about flirting with a woman.”  

Determination steeled Eduardo’s resolve as he swung onto his gelding. “Never before has a woman been so important to me. You will see. One day, she will become my wife.” 

The two rode toward Micah’s ranch. 

From where she stood on the walk, Celia had known the men watched her. One was the youngest Stone brother. Identifying him was easy because the three Stone men looked so much alike.  

But she hadn’t yet met the handsome man dressed as a Spanish Don. He fit the description she’d been privy to of Eduardo Montoya, one of the wealthiest men in this part of Texas. At least, that’s what she’d overheard while helping in her parents’ store.  

He certainly cut a dashing figure in his black clothes trimmed with silver buttons. She wondered if he was entitled to dress like Spanish nobility or if he merely played a part. The silver on his saddle flashed in the sunlight and she questioned the safety of such a display.  

One thing she’d noticed in her few days in town and working in her father’s mercantile, she heard tidbits of local gossip whether intentionally or not. She wondered what the gossips had to say about her. Probably best she didn’t know. Most people she’d met were friendly but there were a few prunes eager to criticize everyone.  

Wasn’t that true everywhere? Yet she thought an unusual pall lay over Radford Crossing. The town definitely needed a large dose of cheer. As a matter of fact, she wouldn’t mind a measure for herself. With a sigh, she went back inside the store. 

Later that afternoon, ringing of the bell over the door alerted her to a customer and she turned from straightening shelves. 

With a gasp of pleasure, she walked toward the newcomer. “Hello, Rosalyn. How can I help you?” 

Rosalyn Stone glided to greet her wearing a gorgeous blue dress and matching bonnet. They exchanged a hug. 

Her friend smiled. “I came to see how you’re settling in.” 

She fought to keep sorrow from her voice. “Pretty well. I’m sure you remember adjusting to a new environment from when you and Lucy moved here.” 

Rosalyn raised her eyebrows. “Although I left New Orleans when I married, this is very different from there, isn’t it?” 

She forced a smile. “Like another world.” 

“And going from a New Orleans debutante and a member of high society to working in a mercantile—even a nice one like your father’s—requires a giant change in lifestyle.” 

“So far, the transition isn’t as hard as you might think.” Before she could add more, the bell over the door jingled again and two middle-aged women entered. 

Rosalyn leaned near. “Oh, dear, no privacy with those two here. Why don’t you slip over to our house tomorrow and we’ll have tea and a nice chat?” 

“I’d love to. Would three be convenient?” 

“Perfect. I’ll see you then.” With a smile and a wave, Rosalyn departed. 

Taking a deep breath, Celia addressed the customers, “May I help you find something?” 

Author Bio:

Through a crazy twist of fate, Caroline Clemmons was not born on a Texas ranch. To make up for this tragic error, she writes about handsome cowboys, feisty ranch women, and scheming villains from a small office her family calls her pink cave. She and her Hero live in North Central Texas cowboy country where they ride herd on their rescued cats and dogs. The books she creates there have made her an Amazon bestselling author and won several awards. 

Subscribe to Caroline’s newsletter to receive a FREE novella of HAPPY IS THE BRIDE, a humorous historical wedding disaster that ends happily—but you knew it would, didn’t you? Subscribe here:

She loves to hear from readers at 

Find her on her blog at, website at, Facebook at, Twitter at @CarolinClemmons (no E in Caroline), Goodreads, and Pinterest at


No comments: