Just in time for Christmas reading, The Forgotten Christmas Tree, the newest in my Barbourville series, is available as an e-book on Amazon. Following is a bit about the book and its characters.
Abby Grant grieves because she failed to fulfill her father’s dying wish—that she take care of her identical twin sister and their mother. Now her sister has gone her own way, their mother is dead, and Abby’s left to fend for herself and her five-year-old nephew Blaine—and she’s failing again. Homeless and almost broke, she travels to Barbourville, Tennessee, looking for a clue as to the identity of Blaine’s father. What she finds is a man who holds her responsible for the death of his best friend and a place that she longs to call home, both for Blaine and for herself.
After Jim Markman lost his best friend to an IED in Iraq, he returns home to Barbourville, hoping to heal his spirit in the peacefulness of the quiet mountain town. Then she arrives—the woman who jilted Anthony, causing him to drop out of college and join the Army. Except she claims to be Abby Grant—not Annie, the female he blames for Anthony’s death. Although he first tells Abby to get out of town, he’s soon eager for her to stay, at first because he hopes to determine if the boy she has in tow might be Anthony’s son and later because he can’t imagine going on without her.
As Jim and Abby get caught up in Barbourville’s many Christmas festivities, can they also make peace with their pasts and learn to embrace the promise of their future?
I hope you enjoy this addition to the Barbourville series.
For the next few days, beginning November 3, my Regency Christmas romance titled The Secret Christmas Ciphers is on sale for 99 cents instead of the usual price of $2.99.
Someone recently asked me what a cipher is. The dictionary definition for cipher (which can also be spelled “cypher”) is “a message written in a secret code.” A second definition is “a secret method of writing.”
The Secret Christmas Ciphers
When I was writing The Secret Christmas Ciphers, I researched ciphers and learned that to “encipher” or “encode” means to convert plain text into a cipher or code that can only be deciphered or uncoded by someone who has a “key” as to how the text was enciphered to begin with.
Although my story, which is set during the time of the Napoleonic Wars, is fiction, ciphers were reportedly used by Napoleon and his generals. I used this information in plotting the story by providing the heroine with the knowledge she needed to help her husband decipher intercepted messages from the French and thus provide invaluable information for the English.
I enjoyed writing a story about ciphers, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading it, especially at a reduced price! But hurry before it goes back up to $2.99! Buy it now by clicking on the following link: http://amzn.to/1bOlp36
The second book in my Barbourville series, Falling for Dallas, tells the story of wealthy Chicagoan Dallas Vance and Barbourville native Beth Ann Stanfield, a single mother with a struggling business and a huge Victorian house that gobbles up all her extra cash. Despite the many differences between the two, their mutual attraction keeps pulling them together. It takes a crisis and lots of determination for them to finally figure out where their relationship is headed.
In the meantime, Beth Ann invites Dallas to a cookout where she serves her locally famous hamburgers. I’m copying her recipe below.
By the way, if you’re new to the Barbourville series, the first book in the series was A Summer Sentence.Falling for Dallas was next, followed by Dealing with Denver and Dreaming of Dayton. A Christmas book set in Barbourville will be out later in 2013. I hope you’ll stay tuned.
BETH ANN’S HAMBURGERS
1 lb ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
Grated rind and juice of one lemon
1 t paprika
1 t dry mustard
1 egg, well beaten
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Shape and grill burgers as desired.
I hope you enjoy these hamburgers as much as the residents of Barbourville do!
As I contemplated sharing recipes on my blog, I felt a disclaimer was in order. I am not a chef. I am not even an especially talented cook. But I do know what tastes good to me. That’s why I’ve referred to some old family recipes throughout my Barbourville series, and now I’d like to share them with my readers.
The Special Baked Beans recipe I’m sharing today is one that my mother cut out of a newspaper many years ago. It’s easy and delicious and has become a specialty of my husband, who never allows me to make the recipe these days because he thinks he can make it better (and he’s right, darn it).
This recipe is also a specialty of Sheriff Daniel McCray in my first Barbourville book, A Summer Sentence. That book was published in 2005 by Avalon books (now Montlake). I hadn’t intended it to be the first in a series when I wrote it, but three brothers (triplets) appeared in my book and each demanded his own story. (Characters are pushy that way sometimes. ;-)) But they were still secondary characters when the sheriff made his special baked beans for a Barbourville luncheon. My mother, my husband, the sheriff, and I are all pleased to share the recipe with you. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
SPECIAL BAKED BEANS
2 cans pork and beans
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 slices bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
2 Tablespoons bacon fat
2 Tablespoons minced onion (dried minced onion works fine)
2 teaspoons dry mustard
Fry bacon and drain, reserving 2 tablespoons bacon fat. Brown minced onion in bacon fat. Mix all together. Bake in 350-degree oven for 30 minutes or until warm.
I’m pleased that Dreaming of Dayton is now available as a print book for those who prefer paperback books to electronic. The paperback is currently on sale for $8.07 as opposed to the list price of $8.99. (Note, too, that the introductory price of 99 cents for the electronic version of Dreaming of Dayton has expired, but it is still available at a very reasonable $2.99.)
As most of us are aware, the rise of electronic books has been phenomenal in recent years, and I’m one of the converts, although I still enjoy holding a paperback from time to time. At the same time, it’s great to be able to download a book to your device and be able to start reading a new book any time of the day or night.
What’s your position on reading electronic books? Are you, too, a convert, or do you prefer always to hold the printed product in your hand? In any case, it’s an interesting time we live in.