Memories of Christmas @CarolinClemmons #decorating #divinity #Giveaway

The Holidays are hectic trying to shop for everyone one else, so myself and several other authors decided to get together and help make your Holiday brighter! To celebrate this festive season, I am bringing you 26 fabulous authors that are going to share how they celebrate and maybe a treat and decoration. We are also having a huge giveaway. One Lucky winner will get a Kindle fire 7 and some gift cards to help fill it. Then each author is offering an ebook as individual gifts and there are a few audio codes too! So not only one winner but 26! Read to the end to see how!

So grab a cuppa your favorite beverage and settle in your favorite spot with a warm throw and enjoy!

Cat: Today our guest is Caroline Clemmons. Hello, Caroline. Are you ready for Christmas?

I am ready! My favorite time of year is from Thanksgiving until Christmas Day. Especially during this month, my thoughts are centered on Christmas. I love everything about this time of year—decorating, gift buying and wrapping, church’s hanging of the greens, cards (yes, I still send them but the list grows shorter each year), Christmas Eve church service, driving around to look at lights, family events, and special foods.  Many happy memories are resurrected at this time.

Probably each of us has a particular food associated with Christmas. For me, it’s the Divinity Fudge my mom made. We always lived in areas with very low humidity. The first time I tried to make Divinity, I lived near San Francisco and couldn’t understand why—although I followed the recipe—the candy never set properly. Now I know to choose a sunny, dry day for this recipe.

Since my mom only made Divinity Fudge at Christmas, I was grown before I realized it wasn’t ONLY a Christmas treat. When I was young and we lived in Bakersfield, California, Mom used walnuts in the recipe. After we moved back to West Texas, she switched to pecans. She made several batches of the candy each year and always tinted one batch pink to please me. As a child, I was certain the pink tasted much better than white.

A crockery bowl that had belonged to my grandmother is the one Mom used to whip the Divinity or chocolate fudge. Somewhere through the years, the bowl cracked and my mom put clear packing tape over the outside of the crack. She was not amused that we laughed at her method of mending the bowl. Um… although I have this bowl, we use a different one for making candy.

Even though Mom has passed on, our family members still associate this treat with her and with Christmas. This year, our youngest daughter plans to make the Divinity for our celebration. We’ve even saved the ceramic canister which Mom set on her coffee table to store the Divinity for her granddaughters. It doesn’t look like a candy holder, but that’s how it’s been used for decades.

MawMaws Candy Canister

I’ll share Mother’s recipe:

Divinity Fudge

Preparations:

Butter the bottom and sides of a glass casserole dish about 8” x 8”

Beat whites of two eggs until stiff and set aside

A cup of cold water set aside.

Mixture:

2 cups sugar

½ cup clear Karo syrup

½ cup water

Pinch salt

½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts

1 teaspoon vanilla

Cook sugar, Karo, water, and salt until it crackles when it hits the cold water you’ve set aside. Pour mixture over the stiff egg whites, add nuts and vanilla. Beat until firm enough to spread into a buttered dish. When cool, cut into pieces and store in an air-tight container until served.

As far as I know, Melody Fraser doesn’t make divinity but MELODY is a Christmas season book. Or, perhaps she nibbled on the candy treat while I was away from the computer.

Title:  MELODY

Series:  Angel Creek Christmas Bride, book 7

Author:  Caroline Clemmons

Publisher: Caroline Clemmons

Genre: historical

Heat Rating: sweet

Pages 158

Blurb

Desperation drove her…

She couldn’t know the risk…

After the death of her grandmother, Melody Fraser must quickly leave what has been her home in South Carolina. There are those who think she murdered her Nana Fraser. She’s innocent but there’s talk about arrest and prosecution. To escape, this Southern belle agrees to become a mail-order bride in far away Montana. Surely things will work out, won’t they?

Eager to escape the memories and ravages of the Civil War, Nicholas Walker buys a medical practice in Montana Territory. He wants a competent nurse who can assist him with operations and care for patients as his plans expand for a hospital. He wants a well-organized wife to keep him company and start a family. With his usual efficiency, he combines the two into one job description when he requests a mail-order bride.

What will it take to teach Nick that—although she isn’t what he expected—Melody is exactly what he needs?

You can buy it here: universal Amazon link is http://mybook.to/Melody

How about a little more?

Melody looked through the window at the lovely view of live oaks from which Spanish moss dangled. The moss she loved swayed with every breeze. At times, she could almost believe the war hadn’t destroyed so much of Charleston.

“There you go, Melody, over thinking this. There’s nothing for us here and you know it.”

She snapped from her woolgathering. Not bothering to correct her friend, Caroline, she didn’t explain her sorrow was at the devastation in their beautiful city.

“I’m aware this is our only opportunity to remain with friends while we start over. Don’t think I’m not grateful for the opportunity. I’m tired of being a spinster and want a husband and children and all that goes with them. I’m sick at heart seeing the havoc wrought on our city and won’t mind seeing fresh sights. Having lifelong friends near will make the change so much easier.”

She rose to her feet. “I’d better run along and let you finish packing.” She hugged her friend. “Have a safe journey. I’ll see you in Montana soon.”

Once she left Caroline, she walked the two miles to her home. The closer she came to her land, the more evident were the ravages of war. She skirted rubble still not removed and went to the little building in which she had lived for the past two years. Once it had been the kitchen for her family’s lovely home.

The burned remnants of the house stood as a reminder of the Union’s vengeance against Southerners.  Those Yankees had burned a swath that decimated miles and miles. She turned her gaze away and concentrated on reaching the kitchen. The scorched side nearest what had been her home reminded her of how close she’d come to losing even this.

Inside the small building, she sat at the table. The letter’s writing was well-formed and bold. She tilted the page toward the window and read the page again.

September 20, 1866

Dear Prospective Bride,

My name is Nicholas Walker and I’m a thirty-year-old doctor.  I have dark hair, blue eyes, reach just over six feet in height, and I’ve been told I’m not bad looking. I’m in need of a wife who has nursing experience and can help me with patients as well as manage our home. The clinic is only a few steps from the house, which makes the situation convenient.

I live in a three bedroom home that is quite Spartan. I’m sure a woman’s touch would remedy that. The clinic has room for only one patient but I am in the process of adding room for two more as well as expanding the treatment rooms.

No doubt you will wonder about my habits. I never have over two beers, don’t gamble, and have no outstanding debts. I have never struck a woman and will never strike my wife.

The money enclosed is enough for your fare with sufficient left over for meals and for the purchase of warmer clothing than you probably own now. Warm, sturdy boots especially are necessary to keep the feet dry. I’ve been assured that winters in Montana are quite cold and snow can occur from September through late May. Typically, the snow does not last for that duration. We have already had snow once but it was not bad.

No doubt you lost loved ones in the war. Although I won’t speak of it again, I must warn you that I lost my wife and two children when our home was destroyed by Confederates. I still miss my family every day. Because of the deep abiding love I hold for them, I can only offer fondness in our marriage. If you can accept my terms then I look forward to our union.

Sincerely,

Nicholas Walker

Melody studied the letter then re-read the page. He’d been married before and lost his wife and children. A man of his age would normally have wed. She lowered the letter and gazed out the window.

How badly did she want to escape Charleston? She wanted a husband and a family but wanted that husband’s love. On the other hand, she knew many couples lived long and happy married lives sharing only fondness. 

Could she link herself to a man who admitted he would never love her?  

Meet Caroline Clemmons

Through a crazy twist of fate, Caroline Clemmons was not born on a Texas ranch. To compensate for this illogical error, she writes about handsome cowboys, feisty ranch women, and scheming villains in a tiny office her family calls her pink cave. She and her Hero live in North Central Texas cowboy country where they ride herd on their dog and three rescued indoor cats as well as providing nourishment outdoors for squirrels, birds, and other critters.

The over fifty titles she has created in her pink cave have made her an Amazon bestselling author and won several awards. She writes sweet to sensual romances about the West, both historical and contemporary as well as time travel and mystery. Her series include the Kincaids, McClintocks, Stone Mountain Texas, Bride Brigade, Texas Time Travel, Texas Caprock Tales, Loving A Rancher, and Pearson Grove as well as numerous single titles and contributions to multi-author projects. When she’s not writing, she loves spending time with her family, reading her friends’ books, lunching with friends, browsing antique malls, checking Facebook, and taking the occasional nap.

You can stalk-oops-follow Caroline at these social media links:

Email [email protected] 

Website http://www.carolineclemmons.com 

Newsletter Link – sign up for a FREE e-book https://carolineclemmons.us5.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=0a24664c906875718d975ad7b&id=7c2e488a51  

Amazon Author URL  https://www.amazon.com/Caroline-Clemmons/e/B001K8CXZ6/  

Bookbub Author URL  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/caroline-clemmons

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CarolineClemmonsRomances 

Facebook Readers Group – Caroline’s Cuties https://www.facebook.com/groups/277082053015947/ 

Goodreads  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/458092.Caroline_Clemmons  

LinkedIn  https://www.linkedin.com/in/caroline-clemmons-6130707/ 

Pinterest  https://www.pinterest.com/caroclemmons

Twitter  https://twitter.com/CarolinClemmons

To help you have a happy Holiday season we are having a huge giveaway!

Caroline Clemmons is giving a $10 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner and an e-copy of MELODY, Angel Creek Christmas Brides book 7, to a second lucky winner

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