I have another treat for you today on this Cutter’s Creek Christmas tour! I have an excerpt for you from one of the books from this tour that I haven’t yet had the chance to read, Recipe for Christmas by Kit Morgan. Take a look at what Ms. Morgan 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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Eldon had changed, a lot. He’d cut his long hair and now kept his face clean-shaven. He’d sported a long bushy beard and mustache for years and didn’t care much about his appearance. He was too busy. Besides, a bounty hunter didn’t need to look nice, he just needed to be good at his job.
Eldon was quick to learn folks treated him different when the beard, long hair, and raggedy clothes came off. It also helped to smell nicer too.
But the biggest change that got folks attention was the size of his bank account. Yes, they’d congratulated him on striking it rich, and a lucky strike it was, but they’d also treated him differently, some, grotesquely so. He half-expected a few old acquaintances to fall begging at his feet. Others acted as if they might rob him, given half the chance. Then came the ones that humbly congratulated him on his good fortune and went on their way. How, he wondered, would Lucius act?
He spied the town up ahead and stopped his horse, suddenly nervous. He and Lucius hadn’t seen each other since they’d fought in the Chattanooga Campaign three years ago. Someone told Eldon that Lucius was taken down by some Yankee gone loco. There were other ridiculous reports, all of them false. All Eldon knew was his brother had gone missing. Whether he was alive or dead, he didn’t know, but thank the Lord he knew now.
Once in town, he dismounted and tied his horse to a hitching post in front of the sheriff’s office. He then took off his hat, ran a hand through his hair and stepped onto the boardwalk. After he took a deep breath, he entered the small building.
The office was empty.
“Now doesn’t this just figure?” he muttered, hands on hips. “I travel all this way, little brother, and you’re not here.”
“Howdy,” a voice called from the other side of a half-open door.
Eldon stepped to the door and gave it a shove. Two cells occupied the back room, one of them empty. The other held a short, pudgy man with a few days growth of whiskers. Eldon sighed. “Hello. You wouldn’t happen to know where the sheriff has got to?”
“Nope. ‘Fraid not.”
“Do you know when he’ll be back?”
The man’s brow puckered in thought. “Ahhhh, er … well … sorry. Don’t know that either.”
Eldon studied him a moment. “What are you in for?”
The man smiled. “Sheriff says it’s for disturbin’ the peace. I say it’s for havin’ me a good time.”
Eldon smiled at that. “What about the deputy?”
“Lucius? He ought to be along any minute with my lunch.”
Eldon’s heart skipped a beat. “Fine. I’ll wait.”
“Here? Ya know ya ain’t supposed to be back here. Lucius is gonna bust a gut if he catches ya.”
“Good. Let him catch me.”
The prisoner eyed him suspiciously. “What’s yer name, mister?”
“Judrow. What’s yours?”
The man stared at him. “Albert Dunst.” He stared at him some more. “Hey, you got the same last name as …” he peered through the bars at him. “Slap me silly! Ya even look like him!”
Eldon smiled again. “So I’ve been told. I’ll wait up front.”
He’d no sooner turned around when the door in the main office opened, and in walked Lucius. “I got ya a ham sandwich, Albert and some apple pie. If we got time we can have a game of check …,” he stopped up short, almost dropping the plate in his hand, and stared at Eldon.
“Hello little brother.”
Lucius’s jaw dropped like a brick. “Eldon?!” he squeaked.
Before he could say anything more, Lucius launched at him and almost knocked Eldon over in the process. A wail from Albert mixed with the sounds of the brothers talking at once filled the room.
“Where have you been? How did you find me?” Lucius asked then stopped and looked down. The plate he’d been holding was now smashed between them, Albert’s sandwich and apple pie plastered to his vest. He took a step back. The plate hit the wood floor and shattered as the sandwich and pie stuck for a second or two before landing amongst the shards with a plop. Lucius glanced between the mess, Eldon, and his prisoner. “Sorry, Albert.”
“Not as sorry as I am,” Albert huffed and sat on the cot behind him. He glanced at the two brothers, still frozen in place. “Ah go ahead and say your hello’s. But I want another sandwich when you’re done!”
Lucius laughed. “Sure.” He took another step back and studied Eldon. “Where did you come from?”
“Maybe you’d better fetch your prisoner another sandwich, then I’ll tell you. But first I want to hear about this wife of yours.”
Lucius smiled. “Ya heard about that, eh?” He then looked him up and down, even reached out and touched the sleeve of Eldon’s jacket. “That’s a right fine coat ya got there brother. Life must be treatin’ ya good.”
“Yes, I’ve done all right. Now about that sandwich? I wouldn’t mind one myself.”
“Of course, follow me. The café’s just down the street.” He turned, brushing crumbs from his shirt and vest. Eldon followed. They’d worry about the mess when they got back.
“And don’t forget the pie!” Albert called after them.