I have another treat for you today on this Cutter’s Creek Christmas tour! I have an excerpt for you from the book that I reviewed last week, Season of Love by Vivi Holt. Take a look at what Ms. Holt brings to the spirit of the season!
It’s a Christmas sugarplum celebration! Christmas in Cutter’s Creek means a Christmas social; sugarplum contest, dancing, a dash of mayhem and a heaping helping of romance.
First off is Kit Morgan’s Recipe for Christmas. This novella is set in 1866 and is the very first Cutter’s Creek Christmas social, and so much mischief happens, it’s a wonder they had another!
Lucius Judrow from Love is Blind has a brother and he’s on his way to Cutter’s Creek. Come see who Eldon meets in this hilarious and sweet romance!
The next is Vivi Holt’s Seasons of Love. It takes place in 1872. The social has changed just a bit. You’d think they’d learned with all the trouble, but no, the social is more fun than trouble. Margaret is a lonely school teacher from the East looking for a little love and adventure. She finds just that and a whole lot more in this sweet Christmas romance!
Third Christmas novella is just a few years later and the social has changed yet again, to a cider competition! The contestants get a little rowdy and words are said that might ruin Christmas! Felicity will need special help to solve this mess. Find out more in Annie Boone’s Christmas Spirit.
The fourth and final Christmas novella takes place in 1892 and rumors of Christmas social’s past dominate the festivities. Carol needs to find a husband and the new doctor in town provides a great opportunity. A snowball fight leads to romance in Kari Trumbo’s A Carol Plays.
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Margaret cinched her scarf more tightly around her neck and shivered as her booted feet crunched through the icy snow. The main street of Cutter’s Creek sparkled in the sunlight, and drifts of snow pushed up against storefronts and house walls all up and down the street. Juniper and hemlock branches drooped under the weight of the white powder, and icicles hung from the eaves. Her breath burst from her mouth in white clouds as she struggled along, being careful not to lose her footing.
When she pushed open the door to the mercantile, a bell dinged above the doorway, announcing her arrival. She stamped the snow from her boots, and unwound her scarf to greet Abigail Smith.
“Abi, it’s good to see you. How’s Jasper Jnr? Last time I came in he had a cold.”
“Why, hello there Meg. Junior is doin’ just fine now, thank you for askin’. He’s still got a bit of a cough, but nothin’ some chicken broth and gruel won’t fix.”
The bell over the door rang again, and Margaret turned to discover Mrs Agatha Waverley tapping her boots on the welcome mat.
“Mornin’ Abi, mornin’ Meg. What a day it is.” Agatha had a habit of grumbling and complaining first thing, to get it out of the way so she could deal with the more important matters of conversation over the rest of the day.
“Good morning Mrs Waverley. It’s lovely to see you on this fine day.” Margaret removed her gloves with a tug at each fingertip, and smiled at the older lady. She strode to the counter, and began perusing the wares behind it, calculating in her head the supplies she’d need to get through the week.
Mrs. Waverly nodded, and followed Abigail, who was stacking a new supply of brooms in a corner of the store. “Did you hear about the incident over at the school,” she whispered conspiratorially, with a dip of her head.
Margaret’s ears pricked at the mention of the school. She listened closely, her eyes still focused on a barrel of red and white striped candy.
“No, I did not. But I’m sure you’ll tell me all about it,” sighed Abigail as she pushed the last of the brooms into place. She turned and hurried back to the counter to wait on Margaret. Mrs Waverly followed her like an eager pup.
“As you know, Mr Waverley checks on the schoolhouse regular-like through the winter months, since no one else seems to feel the responsibility.” Here she paused with a meaningful look at Margaret, who was running her fingers over a bolt of blue and tan calico. She gasped in surprise and turned to face the women. Abigail’s face flushed red. She scurried the last few steps, to stand before Margaret.
“I’m so sorry to keep you waiting, Meg. Have you decided yet what you’ll need?”
“Yes please. I’ll have a pound of flour, a half-dozen of your wonderful eggs, and a half pound of butter, thank you kindly.”
Abigail set about wrapping the items in brown paper.
Mrs. Waverley waddled close, and interrupted them to continue. “Well, he went by the schoolhouse yesterday, and noticed smoke comin’ from the chimney. Well now, he says to hisself, ain’t no one supposed to be in there, then how come there’s smoke a’comin’ from the chimney?” She grinned with delight at the intrigue of her own story, and Margaret and Abigail exchanged a glance of aggravation.
“Is that so?” asked Abigail, strumming her fingernails against the counter top.
“Yep. And when he went inside, do you know what he found?”
“I do not. Pray tell.”