Thursday, September 26, 2013

Mistletoe Memories / Tis The Season by Carla Olson Gade

Spend a heartfelt Christmas on Schooley’s Mountain as four generations make a house a home. Carpenter Stephan Yost vows to build a precocious spinster a home by Christmas. Civil War widow Mary Ann Plum learns the greatest peace on earth comes from giving and receiving love. Olympia Paris must protect the orphanage she grew up in from a man intending to play Father Christmas to most of the town. Joy Benucci turns to a modern-day Scrooge to save a transitional home for foster kids. Will Christmas be a season of miracles in their lives?
’Tis the Season (1820, Schooleys Mountain Springs, New Jersey)

Stephan Yost, resident carpenter of Schooley’s Mountain, New Jersey’s fashionable resort, spends off-season working on repairs, renovations, and constructing new buildings. When he is hired to build a permanent home for the resort's physician and his spirited daughter, Annaliese Braun, in time for Christmas, Stephan finds himself enamored by the precocious spinster. But will he be able to compete for her affections against the advances of a manipulative iron baron? 

‘Tis the Season

Schooley’s Mountain Springs
Washington Township, New Jersey
Late October 1820

            Slow there, boys. Whoa, Hippocrates. Whoa, Galen!”
Annaliese Braun arched back as she drew in the reins with a firm grip. Spooked by a high-pitched whistle, the pair of riled horses continued their unsteady trot. The conveyance
shook and the horses lurched ahead. The carriage shuddered beneath her as she tried to maintain control and pull the horses to a stop.
“Ea–sy fellas,” Annaliese called out to them, peering at the packed dirt road before her. The carriage felt askew. She leaned over and beheld the large wheel wobbling at her side, looking up in time to see a large branch strewn across the mountain road. The team shifted and with a jolt, angled back.
            The rear wheels of the wagon slid into the wide gulch at the side of the road. Wet with leaves from last night’s storm, the slippery descent tipped the carriage at a precarious angle on
the uneven terrain. The carriage rocked from side to side, back and forth, as the horses wrestled to gain footing.
I must stop the horses! Annaliese moved to the edge of the footboard of her father’s red landau. As she felt for the tread, her cotton pelisse caught on the side lantern. She steadied the toe of her ankle-boot on the small step and tugged at her long cloak. As she struggled to free herself, the horses bucked and knocked her onto the damp ground where she landed in a most unladylike fashion. Hippocrates and Galen shuffled about as they dug their hooves into the rocky, leaf-strewn slope.
            She looked up at the carriage looming over her, trying to find her voice. The harnesses pulled taut and the wheels rolled forward—toward her legs beneath the coach. Annaliese pushed against the ground trying to move, when strong arms grabbed her by the shoulders, hoisting her from harm’s way.
She landed with her back against a warm, thumping, masculine chest, facing the bent knees of buckskin breeches tucked into knee boots. “The horses!” she screeched out. “I am
all right, please get them!”
“You are sure?” he asked, with a slight guttural intonation.
“Please, hurry!” Schnell!
The man sprang to his feet and climbed up the shallow embankment to the road, running after the confused horses. He took hold of Galen’s harness and yanked back. “Ho. . . halte,” he called out, working his way in front of the team, bringing them to a stop. Hippocrates tossed his head and blew out reverberating snorts.
The man led the horses to a small glade off the side of the road, drawing the faltering carriage behind them.
Annaliese was taking deep breaths, trying to regain her senses, when the handsome rescuer squatted down in front of her, taking deep breaths of his own. His green eyes, brightened
by his ruddy face, gazed at her intently. “Miss Braun, it is good to meet you at last,” he said, a subtle inflection of Dutch upon his tongue.
            Annaliese blinked. It really was he, and she was not dreaming after all. The man she’d longed to meet, had continued to avoid all summer, took her by the hands and gently pulled her to her feet. She rose, finding herself in such proximity to him that there was nothing else she could say but, “Why, Mr. Yost, how do you do?”
“Stephan, if you please, miss,” the Heath House resident carpenter said, taking a few steps back from her. “It is what I am accustomed to.” His eyes roamed the top of her head with
curiosity. “To answer your question, I believe I fare better than you this day.”
From the corner of her eye, Annaliese noted her plaid chin ribbon dangling somewhere in the vicinity of her temple. She winced. “I must be quite a sight.” She lifted her hands and felt
the disheveled state of her bonnet.
A crooked grin rose above Stephan’s cleft chin.
Annaliese withdrew her bonnet of braided straw and gathered taffeta, and her thick plait plopped onto her shoulder. She often wove her unruly locks into a neat coif surrounding the crown of her head, but the pins from the back must have come undone, as had her pride.
She released a deep sigh as she glanced down at the hat, turning it about in her hands.  The back was crushed and fall leaves were plastered to it. “Perhaps I should begin a new fashion and leave them.” A nervous laugh escaped her lips and she began to pluck the leaves from amongst the small plumes and other trimmings. “I should have thought of it before the resort guests went back to their grand homes in the cities. They could have shared the latest fall headdress with their elegant friends.” Enough of her nervous chatter. What did he know of fashion, with his rugged apparel befitting a tradesman?
Stephan nodded, muffling a laugh, and turned to look at the horses.
As he did so, Annaliese pulled off her soggy chamois driving gloves and discreetly felt the back of her pelisse, finding that the damp ground had saturated the fabric.
“If you are all right, Miss Braun, we should see to the horses and your carriage.”
“Yes, of course.”
Stephan took long strides up the incline and turned to her, extending his hand. She placed her ungloved hand in his firm grip and he carefully helped her to the road. Then the handsome Dutchman motioned for her to walk ahead of him.
“You may go ahead, thank you.” She fanned her warm face with her gloves in the absence of her fan. Who would have ever expected to need a fan on a morning outing in the country in late October? She followed Stephan to the roadside patch where her geldings nosed through wet leaves and nibbled on the spiky grass. Careful to keep her backside away from Stephan’s view, she worked her way around the team and wagged her finger at them. “Hippocrates and Galen. You have been most naughty today. There shall be no carrots for you.”
Stephan’s eyebrows lifted. “Hippocrates and Galen?”
“My father named them after the ancient physicians,” she answered. Stephan issued a slow nod.
Annaliese raised her brow and shrugged. Did he understand the logic or simply find their names peculiar?
            He cocked his head. “Now tell me, Miss Braun, how did your intelligent horses deposit you and your carriage into that gulch?”
Annaliese swallowed. Gulch? It was a gulch all right, and she had fallen straight in. Stephan Yost may have rescued her, but her heart was in the precarious position of rebelling
against her plans for the future.

About The Author

Carla Olson Gade has been imagining stories most her life. Her love for writing and eras gone by turned her attention to writing historical Christian romance. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. An autodidact, creative thinker, and avid reader, Carla also enjoys genealogy, web design, and photography. A native New Englander, she writes from her home in beautiful rural Maine where she resides with her “hero” husband and two young adult sons.
Purchase Mistletoe Memories at:
Carla Olson Gade is giving away a copy of Mistletoe Memories. To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice—once on each Spotlight post for the author. Please note: The giveaway is for U.S. addresses only.


karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this novel ;)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

squiresj said...

I would love to win and read this book. Along with it you would get a review. And I would share it with someone else.
jrs362 at Hotmail dot com

Boos Mum said...

Sounds good. Just in time for the holidays. Please enter me. Thanks.

sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

Mary / Touch of Heaven said...

I love Christmas stories! Would love to read this one. atouchofheaven2010 at gmail dot com

Wendy Newcomb said...

This sounds like a good Christmas story, thank you for the chance to win it.


Lis said...

Funny excerpt, I'd enjoy reading the book.

Susan Johnson said...

I love Christmas stories, and this looks like a good one. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to win it.

HomePlace Gatherings said...

Love, love, love Christmas stories!

priviesandprims at yahoo .com

Anonymous said...

I love the cover. This sounds like a wonderful Christmas read.

Katie J.

Cindi A said...

This looks like a really good novel. Please enter my name in the drawing to win a copy.

Joy Hannabass said...

Would love to win a copy of this book, I love Christmas books!!
Thanks so much!

Carla Olson Gade said...

Thank you all for stopping by. I'm so blessed to be included in this collection of wonderful stories, each set in a different generation. I hope you'll enjoy it to.

bonton said...

Love Christmas stories, & always buy a new Christmas book, music cd, & movie every year.

Like the different stories within Mistletoe Memories - thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!

Merry said...

Perfect time to search out great Christmas stories. Please add me!
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

Bonnie Traher said...

Looks like a must read.

Bonnie Traher said...

Forgot to leave my email

Lane Hill House said...

A gulch-hanger ~ I would love to win Mistletoe Memories. Christmas stories are keepers to share; special on a shelf together to be reread through the year. Carla's name drew me ~ I have just received her Patterns for Romance ~ Quilts of Love story. Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House

Library Lady said...

Hopefully your book will get me in the Christmas mood. Thanks for the giveaway.
Janet E.

Linda Marie Finn said...

I would love to win and read this book.
Linda Finn

Linda Marie Finn said...

I would love to win and read this book.
Linda Finn

Linda Marie Finn said...

I would love to win and read this book.
Linda Finn

Anonymous said...

Hi Carla and BDBL fot this interview. I think this Spinster has found her a mate. Sounds like a handsome one also. Glad her coach didn't turn over. I thought it was going to. I really love this cover. One of the prettiest I've seen on the Christmas books. I want to thanks these girls for having you today. I would love to win this book. Thanks for the chance Karen. MAXIE mac262(at)me)dot)com

Carol Q. said...

Book looks rather interesting! Thanks for the chance to win it

sam said...

I love reading historical romance, Christian style. Thanks for your interview. sharon, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

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