Wednesday, December 30, 2020

THE GIFT COUNSELOR

 


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The Gift Counselor
Gift Counselor Book 1
by 
Sheila M. Cronin
Genre: Holiday Romance

Do all gifts have strings attached?
Yes, believes Jonquil Bloom and she intends to prove it. She's a psychologist who uses her skills in a department store to help shoppers of all ages become good gift givers. Yet, her ten-year-old son wants a dog she won’t let him have.
Enter the handsome bachelor who is ready to settle down.
A timeless mix of romance, family drama, psychological and inspirational breakthroughs, all served with humor, this story will warm your heart year round. 



 Later that evening as she tucked Billy into bed after listening to his prayers, he asked, “Mom? How will the kids get along without you?”

She tried to assure him that the staff at Children’s Home would take good care of the residents, but he persisted. 

“Yeah, but they aren’t like you. You have the gift.” 

“What gift?” 

“You know, your teacher told you the night of our Halloween party when we were all in the kitchen. He said you have the gift. What did he mean?” 

Jonquil sat down on the side of his bed, stroked his soft, sandy-colored buzz cut and saw her reflection in his grayish-blue eyes. “Well, Billy, it’s an expression adults use when someone is naturally good at something, like playing piano or doing their job. It’s something God gives each of us to share with others. Sometimes if we’re lucky, it becomes our work. 

“Maybe Dr. Paxton meant that I seem to know how to help kids with problems. Not everyone does.” She never felt quite as self-conscious talking about her skills as with this precious and precocious child. 
Billy sat up in bed all excited. “He was right, Mom! Remember that skinny girl who wouldn’t eat?” 

Jonquil thought back on her caseload of the past summer and recalled a shy, black adolescent in the early stages of anorexia. “You mean Luella?” 

“That’s the one. Luella’s back in school ’cause of you. And Tommy didn’t even talk till you helped him to.” 

Tommy Cregier. With a pang, she remembered telling him good bye. “Why, Billy Bloom, when I started this work, I thought you were jealous of these other kids in my life.” 

“Aw, I got over that. Besides, we’re a team, right?” 

“Right.” 

“So, since every team needs a mascot, can we get a dog? Please, Mom?” 

She was annoyed, partly because, even though he’d had dinner at his favorite restaurant and a trip to the movies on a school night, he wanted more, like all kids do. He also knew the subject of dogs was taboo with her. 

 Winner of Beverly Hills Book Award, shortlisted for the UK Wishing Shelf Book Award.

The Gift Counselor is suitable for young adults. Book club recommended.


**Only .99 cents!! **




Sheila M. Cronin is the author of the Gift Counselor novels. Her stories have appeared in Woman's World Magazine, Good Old Days Magazine, The Golden Domer--online publication of the University of Notre Dame, and Spark Magazine.
AWARD NEWS: Winner of the Beverly Hills Book Award. Shortlisted for the UK Wishing Shelf Book Award. 2018 1st prize: The Joy Story Contest. 2nd place winner, Beneath the Rainbow Christmas Short Story Contest. 2019 Chicago winner of Alignable's SmallBiz Short Story Contest. Poetry Nation semi-finalist, National Amateur Poetry Contest.
Writing fiction, painting portraits and composing songs on piano are her favorite "cre-activities" next to reading a good book.




Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!


$15 Amazon giftcard – 1 winner,
ebook of Heart Shaped II-- a collection of 20 short stories – 5 winners



 

Monday, December 28, 2020

THE HOUSE HUSBAND

 


Don't miss the Rafflecopter at the end of the post!


The House Husband
by 
Shelia E. Bell
Genre: Women's Fiction, Clean Romance


Ellie Cooper loved celebrating the Christmas holidays until a tragedy changed it all. Now Christmas is the worse holiday ever for her. After years of being alone, her aunt pressures Ellie to give love a second chance by opening up her heart. To ease the pressure from her aunt, Ellie tells her that she has found true love and is engaged to be married. Her aunt surprises her with news of an upcoming Christmas visit. With only a few weeks to execute her plan, Ellie must find a way to cover her trail of lies.

Tucker Adelson, a handsome, eligible bachelor is a successful executive. When he unexpectedly becomes the guardian of two children, one by one, the women in his little black book walk away from his ready made family, leaving Tucker to fend for himself as a single parent.

When Tucker and Ellie's paths cross will they be able to help each other? Or will their past drive a wedge between them?

The House Husband is a tender love story about the possibility of giving love a chance. 




(From Chapter 2 of The House Husband)
“Mr. Adelson, Ellie Cooper is here for your one o’clock,” Rosie, his administrative assistant, informed him. 

“Will you seat her in the small conference room?” 

“I already did.” 

“Great. I’ll be there in about five minutes. Perhaps if I let her sit there and stew for a while, she’ll get over herself. I heard that woman is like someone out of a horror story.” 

Rosie held on to the doorknob of Tucker’s office and smiled. She glanced over her shoulder and then came farther into Tucker’s office. “Word around the office water cooler is Ellie Cooper is all work and no play. Practically every man in this building has been trampled on by her, and that’s just for looking at her.” Rosie looked around like she was expecting the woman to pounce on her from out of nowhere. 

Tucker leaned back in his office chair and clasped his hands. “She doesn’t have to worry about me. I’ve got the scoop on her and nothing I’ve heard about her has been positive either, well except that she’s supposed to be a savvy businesswoman.” 

“Who knows, you and her might actually hit it off.” 

“I’m not looking to hit it off with anyone. I have my hands tied with two kids running around. I can’t possibly handle a relationship even if I wanted one.” 

“Maybe that’s what you need; someone to help you raise those babies.” 

Tucker smiled his charming smile, stood up, and walked from behind his desk. He reached to his right and grabbed his suit coat, put it on, and strolled toward Rosie. “Forty-five minutes tops. If I’m not out, rescue me.” 

Tucker walked into the conference room. His breath caught in his throat when he saw Ellie Cooper. She was more beautiful than he ever imagined. Her brunette hair was cut in a bob, and her complexion was flawless. He could smell her perfume as he entered the room. It wasn’t overpowering, but the scent was just enough to entice him. 

He cleared his throat and walked further into the room. “Good afternoon, Mrs. Cooper.” He moved over to where she sat and extended his hand. 

Ellie gladly accepted the handshake while she tried not to stare into his deep ocean blue eyes that reminded her of her late husband. As they talked, she couldn’t believe that this guy didn’t even bother to acknowledge that he knew her from high school. Surely she hadn’t changed that much, at least people said she hadn’t. She may have been a few pounds thinner— okay a lot thinner than when she was in high school, but she had the same color hair and even her eyeglasses were similar to the ones she wore in school, yet he waltzed into the room like he was God’s special gift to women. NOT! She played right along with him. Since he acted like he didn’t remember her then she did the same. 

The meeting went well and they discussed how their departments would work together to ensure the success of the company while helping to maintain the safety of its products. During their meeting, Ellie appeared pleasant, smart, engaging, but quite serious. She had many valuable ideas and seemed to gladly and openly welcome his. He believed that they would definitely be able to get along as co-workers. Things would probably be even easier since they worked in different departments across the building from one another.

The meeting was suddenly interrupted by a light knock on the door. Tucker glanced slightly at his smartphone. He had told Rosie to interrupt the meeting if it was still going on after forty-five minutes but they had been in the conference room a little less than half an hour. He could hear the sound of a crying baby and wondered who in the world would be in their office with a hollering kid. 

“Come in,” Tucker said and Ellie watched as the door cracked open. Both of their eyes loomed large as the slender, attractive, blonde woman walked in looking flustered and red in the face with Rosie behind her, trying to keep her back. She held one kid in her arms and another one was standing beside her with tears running down her cherub shaped face too. 

Tucker bounced up from the chair and met the woman and Rosie at the door. “What’s going on?” he asked, turning a shade redder himself while Ellie looked totally shocked and in disbelief. 

“I can’t do this, Tucker. You said you would be gone a couple of hours at the most and hours have passed. I’ve tried to be here for you during all of this, but I am not your glorified babysitter. I’m supposed to be your girlfriend, but I’m sorry, I don’t want kids right now. I’m young, I have too much I want to do, and to be honest, after trying to take care of these two, I don’t think I ever will.” 

As if matters couldn’t get any worse, the youngest child the woman held suddenly vomited and it went all over the woman’s clothes, sending her into a full uproar. 

“Oh, God,” She screamed and hurriedly passed the kid over to Tucker while the little girl standing next to her started bawling louder than the youngest one. 

“Look, uhhh.” Tucker looked around like he was expecting Rosie, Ellie, and his girlfriend to say something to make the situation easier, but no one said a thing. They all appeared to be too shocked at what was going on. 

Finally, Ellie jumped up and went over to the little girl. She knelt down to become eye level with her. “Hi, I’m Ellie. What’s your name?” she asked the crying child. 

The little girl stopped crying momentarily while Ellie soothed her by rubbing on her back in a circular motion. The little girl fell into Ellie’s arms and Ellie embraced her. She rubbed the little girl’s silky straight hair. “It’s going to be all right. Why are you crying?” 

The little girl looked over at the woman who introduced herself as Tucker’s girlfriend and then she looked at Tucker who had walked over to the coffee station and retrieved some napkins to give to his girlfriend to wipe the vomit off of her. 

“I’m out of here,” the girlfriend barked. “And, I guess it goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, just so we’re clear—you don’t ever have to call me again.”





Shelia E. Bell is an award-winning, national bestselling author with over 20 titles to her credit in the genres of faith based fiction, women’s fiction, young adult fiction and nonfiction. Her books have garnered numerous awards and accolades, including Black Expressions Top 10 and Top 25, Black Christian News Network (BCNN Top 10, 25, 50 Christian fiction), Dallas Morning News Bestsellers List, USA Today Favorable Review, 2017 Christian Literary Readers' Choice Award, 2015 Rosa Parks Award, 2014 Christian Literary Award, AAMBC Nate Holmes Honorary Award, Kindle Award, OOSA Book of the Year, and many more. Shelia is a literacy advocate, freelance book editor, and former publisher who is passionate about helping, encouraging and promoting others to ‘live their dreams now.’




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$15 Amazon, 
ebook of choice from Shelia E. Bell 
– 1 winner each

 

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

THE SECRET OF DUNHAVEN CASTLE - CATE KENSIE MYSTERIES

 


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The Secret of Dunhaven Castle
Cate Kensie Mysteries Book 1
by 
Nellie H. Steele
Genre: Cozy Mystery

How in the world could she now own a castle?

Shy, introverted Dr. Cate Kensie never imagined that she would inherit a beautiful, and oddly quirky, castle nestled in the picturesque Scottish Highlands. Truthfully, she was sure that she didn’t have any family left after her parents died in a car accident several years before, but then she had gotten the phone call, and her entire world had turned upside down.

That was when she discovered that she had family in Scotland, and her distant family member, Gertrude MacKenzie, had passed away, leaving her Dunhaven Castle and a golden timepiece with the mysterious phone call: ALWAYS KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR TIME.

Soon after she leaves the only life she’s ever known in the US with her four-legged best friend, the adorable Riley, she quickly finds that owning this castle is not the fairytale she expected. Mysterious events occur that leave Cate wondering if her new home is haunted or if she’s losing her mind.
Will Cate be able to unravel the mysteries of Dunhaven Castle before it’s too late? Or will the secrets be too much for Cate to handle?

Find out if Cate can uncover the secrets her new home holds in The Secret of Dunhaven Castle!


 


Leaving the town behind, they drove on towards the castle. Cate could see it clearly, sitting stoically in the distance. It grew larger and larger as they approached. Cate also saw the rolling lawns with their perfect landscaping surrounding the castle. 

As they pulled in the drive, Cate couldn’t believe this was her life. Mr. Smythe drove on toward the house as Cate gaped from the backseat. Riley, sensing Cate’s excitement, was darting from window to window to peer out, wagging his tail and eyeing Cate as if to confirm that his reaction was appropriate. 

As they approached the castle, Cate could see a few people standing near the front entrance. “Ah, good,” Mr. Smythe said, eyeing them, “I asked the staff to meet us, they’ve timed it well.”

“Probably got the warning call from the village,” Gayle joked.

“Staff?” Cate mumbled to herself, her brow furrowing. 

She said it a bit too loudly as Mr. Smythe overheard her and replied, “Yes, Charlie and Emily Fraser. Mr. Fraser oversees most of the handiwork, landscaping and the external landscaping company, Mrs. Fraser provides light cooking and house cleaning. A hired company does most of the other house cleaning. Finally, Jack Reid, the estate manager, a new addition who will also take over most of the handiwork and landscaping from Mr. Fraser soon. Lady MacKenzie hired him just before passing away.”

Cate was impressed. She hadn’t given much thought to the upkeep of the castle, it was good to know someone else had.

Mr. Smythe interrupted her thoughts. “Can I assume that you will keep the staff on?” he questioned.

“Ah, yes assuming they would like to stay on.”

“I think they very much would, Cate,” Gayle answered. “I think they may have been on edge that the new owner would do a clean sweep and bring in her own people. They will be relieved to find out that you are keeping them on.”

“Oh, yes, no, I mean to say, I’d never do that to anyone!” 

As the conversation came to a close, Mr. Smythe eased the car parallel to the front entrance. The youngest of the three staff, Jack, approached the car to open doors and begin unloading luggage. Cate scooped Riley into her arms and stepped out of the car. Kissing him on the top of his head, she looked up at the castle and said, “We’re home, Riley, we’re home.”

 





Murder at Dunhaven Castle
Cate Kensie Mysteries Book 2

If you could go back in time and clear your family’s name, would you?

Dr. Cate Kensie, now known as Lady Catherine Kensie, the mistress of Dunhaven Castle, still can’t believe her life. Somehow, moved to Scotland, inherited a castle that’s more than meets the eye, and is the proud--and sometimes reluctant-- owner of an amazing family heirloom. But there’s a secret Cate must protect about her new life, a secret that no one but Jack Reid, the estate manager, knows of.

As Cate learns more about her new home, she discovers that in 1856 there was a murder at Dunhaven and non-other than her own ancestor, Randolph MacKenzie, was accused and convicted of the crime. However, the more she learns about the murder at Dunhaven, the more confusing things become. All of the evidence is there, but the answers still don’t add up.

Will Cate have the courage to dive into a centuries-old murder to clear her family’s name? Or will she find out the hard way that sometimes it’s best to leave the past in the past where it can’t hurt you?
Find out in the nail-biting second installment of the Cate Kensie Mysteries series, Murder at Dunhaven Castle!




Holiday Heist at Dunhaven Castle
Cate Kensie Mysteries Book 3

Cate knew she had seen those jewels before.

As her eyes scanned the newspaper article from 1925, she is shocked to read about the theft of two priceless necklaces from her family’s home. When Cate recognizes one of the stolen necklaces from when she traveled back in time to the year 1856 to solve a murder mystery, Cate knows there’s only one thing left for her to do. Despite the hectic holiday season approaching, complete with two grand holiday events, Cate must travel to 1925 and unravel the mystery surrounding the jewelry theft.

However, things take an unexpected turn when she arrives. As Cate discovers more unanswered questions, she starts to wonder if there’s a piece to the puzzle she has yet to uncover.

While Cate and estate manager, Jack, try to unravel the puzzle in the past, another mystery brews in the present for Cate. Strange and eerie nightmares centered around a bookcase in Dunhaven Castle’s library disrupt Cate’s sleep, rattling her mind even during her waking hours. She wonders if these are connected to the jewelry theft or if something darker lurks in Dunhaven’s halls.

Can Cate solve the mysterious theft of her family’s jewelry? Will the bookcase hold the secrets to the past? If it does, will Cate be able to decipher the clues on its shelves? Or is there something more sinister at work in Dunhaven Castle?

Find out if Cate has what it takes to solve the newest mysteries at Dunhaven Castle in Holiday Heist at Dunhaven Castle, book three of the riveting cozy mystery series Cate Kensie Mysteries.





Nellie H. Steele lives in the South Hills of Pittsburgh with her family and her many fur-babies. When she isn't writing, she enjoys teaching Statistics at a local university or watching her dogs and cats play in the yard.
Nellie is the author of the Cate Kensie Mystery Series, a cozy mystery series following the adventures of Dr. Catherine Kensie, a history professor turned Scottish Countess, and her beloved dog, Riley, as they navigate their new lives in their quirky Scottish highlands castle, solving mysteries along the way! She is the creator of the Shadow Slayers series, a suspenseful series with a supernatural twist! Follow the Shadow Slayers through time as they fight to banish darkness from the world. Nellie also writes an adventure series, Maggie Edwards Adventures. Follow Maggie Edwards as she travels the world solving mysteries and finding unique treasures!




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$25 Amazon

 

Monday, December 21, 2020

RICKY STEELE MYSTERIES!

 


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Prepped to Kill
Ricky Steele Mysteries Book 1
by 
M. Lee Prescott
Genre: Female Sleuth Mystery


Ricky Steele, a fifty-eight year old odd jobber, plays a practical joke on her former boarding school, a joke that plunges her headlong into kidnapping and murder. While she pretends to be an ace private investigator, the niece of Massachusetts’ governor goes missing and a murderer terrorizes the campus. Ricky enlists the aid of her former roommates and together, the three create mayhem during Whitley School’s reunion weekend, bungling along in search of the truth. Join Ricky on her first caper and see how this humorous rollicking mystery series got its start.

**Get it FREE!**




Gadfly
Ricky Steele Mysteries Book 2


Ricky Steele, a fifty-eight year old odd jobber, is at it again, this time investigating the death of the husband of a childhood friend. Following Ron Harp’s funeral, Ricky finds herself on the wrong side of local police as she becomes embroiled in small town politics, uncovers long held secrets and investigates multiple murders. She also rekindles a romance with drop dead gorgeous, Jay Harp, the deceased’s brother. As Ricky pushes and probes, she unleashes a killer’s rage. This first person narrative laced with wit and humor, offers the second glimpse of this PI in action. Coming soon-- Ricky’s third adventure, Lost in Spindle City. This is one “upper middle aged” sleuth, who has no intention of slowing down as she closes in 60!




Lost in Spindle City
Ricky Steele Mysteries Book 3


After discovering a child prostitute on her doorstep, P.I. Ricky Steele begins a wild search for her client’s 12-year-old friend. Her quest plunges her deep into Spindle City’s thriving underworld of drugs and prostitution. From there, the investigation takes her to the city’s wealthiest neighborhoods and its exclusive country club, worlds she happily left behind in her teens.
On home turf with this outing, Ricky enlists the aid of friends like her hunky next door neighbor, Vinnie, and Bunny, her childhood friend and local realtor, who gets her access to the exclusive Aquinesset Club. Running buddy, Phil Rubin, a physician, gets medical attention for her young client, and golfer, Mark Fallon, the north end’s hottest woodworker, pokes around where Ricky cannot go. Even her on again, off again, lover, Jay Harp lends a hand, introducing her to Wilda, a six foot four, martial arts trained, security specialist, who provides critical muscle for the fifty-something P.I.
Murders, beatings, and near misses plague the intrepid sleuth as she closes in on a killer. Join Ricky for this rollicking ride filled danger, romance and surprise.





Poof!
Ricky Steele Mysteries Book 4


Ricky Steele is on the case, this time hired to find two missed children, who have vanished, poof! The investigation plunges her into the underworld of child trafficking and exploitation as she moves from dark city streets to a wealthy beach front community, where evil lies behind a fa├žade of gentility. Once again, Ricky is joined by her boarding school buddies, who are visiting for the weekend. Armed with pepper spray and stun guns, the three Rambettes jump right into the investigation, mayhem and humor following in their wake.
In this fourth book in the series, Ricky also finds love when Charlie Bowen, or Dr. McDreamy, as her friends call him, moves into her neighborhood and into her heart. His daughter, Mike, who wants to learn the PI business, joins Ricky, Wilda and the gang on yet another breathtaking adventure filled with danger, humor, pathos, and surprise.





Award winning author, M. Lee Prescott loves the variety of hats she dons when writing. As an educator, she is the author of three works of nonfiction, Reader to Reader: Building Independence Through Peer Partnerships, Writer to Writer: Focus on Fluency and Craft in Multilingual Classrooms and Fluency In Focus: Comprehension Strategies for Young Readers as well as a number of scholarly articles in her field of literacy.
Lee also writes in several genres of fiction—Mystery, Historical, Western Romance, Contemporary Romance, Romance Suspense, and books for children and young adults. Often, writers assume different pen names for different kinds of books, but all of Lee’s fiction is published under her name, M. Lee Prescott. She hopes readers will seek out and enjoy all of her genres. They will discover connections everywhere!
Lee lives in southeastern Massachusetts on a beautiful river, where she canoes, swims, and watches an incredible variety of wildlife pass by. She is the mother of two sons and spends lots of time with them, their beautiful wives, and her amazing grandchildren. When not teaching or writing (both of which she adores), Lee’s passions revolve around family, yoga, swimming, teaching mindfulness to children and adults, and walking.






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$15 Amazon giftcard – 1 winner,
ebook Copy of Gadfly – 3 winners 



Friday, December 18, 2020

MEG, NEW RELEASE!

 I’m excited to share with you that MEG, book 20 in the Angel Creek Christmas Brides Series, released today! I hope you’re one of the many who had it preordered so that you already have the book on your e-reader.  It’s also available in print and is free in Kindle Unlimited. 

I admit I'm pleased at how this book turned out. Beta reader reports have been very favorable. I hope you will read and enjoy Meg and Curtis' story. 

Having children as secondary characters is something I enjoy. How an adult reacts to a child tells a lot about the person. You’ll see what I mean in MEG when Curtis McClain has to adjust to two surprise orphans Meg brings with her to Angel Creek in Montana Territory.

Curtis grew up in a cold-mannered family and doesn’t know how to show affection. Meg has to teach him what being a family means. She’s just the feisty female for the job.



When Meg Todd learns her bullying brother-in-law has horrifying plans for her future, she asks an attorney family friend for help escaping. Meg wants her own husband and home and is willing to move over halfway across the country to achieve her goal. Along the way she agrees to take two children for their dying mother. Is she too impulsive? Will Curtis and the children become the happy family of Meg’s dreams?

Curtis McClain has to be careful with his small savings or it won’t fund his dream of his own newspaper. He wants a wife—and he needs someone to help him with the newspaper. If he can combine the two, then he’ll be all right. In a few years, they can start a family. But, will a woman want to move to the middle of nowhere on those terms? Will she grow to care for him in spite of his reserved nature?

He is slightly annoyed when his wife shows up with two orphaned children. When he learns the amount of her inheritance, he decides she won’t be content to stay with him. What does she need with an almost penniless newspaper owner when she has two children and the money to live wherever she chooses? The boy and girl are well-behaved but he still isn’t certain he could accept them as his own. That is, until a terrifying event occurs that forces him to make a decision and take quick action.


 

When he stepped forward, he was wearing a frown. “I’m expecting Meg McClain.”

He was tall with dark brown hair and startling bright blue eyes. Not Greek god handsome, he was ruggedly attractive. His posture gave her the impression he was ill at ease.

“Hello, Curtis. I’m Meg and these are now our children. Penny is four and Tom is six. How they came to be ours is a long story. Perhaps it can wait until we’re somewhere warm.”

Poor little Tom’s face clouded with worry. “I sure hope you’re not gonna be mad at us or our new Mama, sir.”

“New Mama?” Curtis’ eyebrows raised.

Before she could add anything, Tom added, “We’ll be real good and I’ll do all kinds of chores and help you. I reckon I look small but I’m strong.” He raised his little arm as if he expected Curtis to test it.

Curtis’ gaze turned to Tom and his frown softened. “You’re a hard worker, are you? I can probably find things that need your help.”

“You won’t be sorry, sir.”

Meg cuddled Penny’s head on her shoulder while she repeated her request. “I wonder if we can get inside? I’m sure we’ll be able to tolerate the weather, but we’re not yet used to the cold.”

He handed Tom the valise and then picked up the two suitcases that belonged to the children. “I’ll arrange to get the trunks later. Looks as if there are several.”

Carrying Penny, she followed, glancing at Tom to make sure he could keep pace. “I brought as much as I could. I didn’t know how much in the way of household supplies a bachelor would have. Plus, many are family things I wanted to save.”

“The answer to the first is not much. I only brought a few personal items and the rest was newspaper equipment. It’s heavy and cost a lot to ship.”

“I imagine getting it here safely was complicated as well. Is it far to your house?”

He actually chuckled. “Across town, or what there is of Angel Creek. I recently bought the house from folks who were moving to the southwest.”

The Universal Buy Link is https://mybook.to/McClain  




 The following recipe is included in my newsletter which went out this morning. In the book, Meg gets the recipe for an Apple cake to publish in the newspaper. Although the following recipe uses cooking oil instead of lard or butter, this is the type cake served.

FRESH APPLE CAKE

 

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups cooking oil

2 eggs

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3 cups peeled, cored, and chopped raw apples

1 cup crushed pineapple, drained

1 cup pecans, chopped

             Cream sugar and oil. Add eggs and then dry ingredients. Mix and add fruits and nuts. Mix again. Cooked in greased and floured pan. Makes 2 large loaves or 1 Bundt cake or 4 small loaves. Bake at 350° F for 1 hour and 15 minutes for Bundt cake. Adjust baking time for loaf pans. Cool in pan. Serve warm or cold.

 VARIATIONS

            Add 1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries to batter for color (and flavor) for a holiday cake.

            This cake is also very good served warm with hot spiced apple cider for an afternoon tea or winter evening treat.

Small loaves make great token gifts for friends (especially if accompanied by cookies and perhaps a few pieces of candy).  

My mom used caramel icing on her Bundt apple cake. She made wonderful caramel. I didn’t get that DNA because I have trouble not scorching the sugar.

 


Please remember that CHRISTMAS COMES TO DICKENS is only available for a short time now. My novella in the contemporary anthology is HOLIDAY HEARTS. I love this anthology and hope you will too. Only 99 cents for ten original stories set in a perfect town. The universal buy link is at https://books2read.com/DickensChristmas

 


Also still on sale are the Yours Truly: The Lovelorn historical romances. Mine is DESPERATE IN DELAWARE. They’re 99 cents each through the end of December. It’s at https://mybook.to/Mina


Do you have social-distancing (new 2020 phrase) plans to celebrate the season? Our youngest daughter took me to look at Christmas lights yesterday evening. So many gorgeous displays! One area of a nearby city has a contest and traffic-stopping yard displays. We try to go each year.

Don’t miss the aligning of planets on December 21 on the Winter Solstice. We plan to view them. I expect to get an idea of what drew the wise men to Bethlehem when Christ was born.


As the year draws to a close, I tend to take stock of my year as well as make plans for the upcoming months. I have books scheduled for 2021 and a couple already planned for 2022.

Whether you’re Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Moslem, or any other religion, I hope you receive peace in your heart. No matter how you’re coping now, my hope is the coming year brings you joy, peace, good health, and prosperity. 

This has been a stressful year, but also one filled with blessings. I’m grateful for many things—my faith, my family, my pets (who are part of the family), and for you!