11 September 2014

Launch Party for Carrie Fancett Pagels' "The Fruitcake Challenge"

The Fruitcake Challenge by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Celebrating the book launch of Carrie Fancett Pagels' new release, a novella in the Christmas Traditions series with eight other authors.  This is the 3rd book in the series.

The Fruitcake Challenge blurb

When new lumberjack, Tom Jeffries, tells the camp cook, Jo Christy, that he’ll marry her if she can make a fruitcake, “as good as better than the one my mother makes,” she rises to the occasion. After all, he’s the handsomest, smartest, and strongest axman her camp-boss father has ever had in his camp—and the cockiest. And she intends to bring this lumberjack down a notch or three by refusing his proposal. The fruitcake wars are on! All the shanty boys and Jo’s cooking helpers chip in with their recipes but Jo finds she’ll have to enlist more help—and begins corresponding with Tom’s mother.


Step back in time to 1890, in beautiful Northern Michigan, near the sapphire straits of Mackinac, when the white pines were “white gold” and lumber camps were a way of life. Jo is ready to find another life outside of the camps and plans that don’t include any shanty boys. But will a lumberjack keep her in the very place she’s sworn to leave?


Here's my first review by one of our OWG angels!
Review by Noela Nancarrow
5 Stars *****

Christmas fun, cake, and romance!

A well-educated and cocky lumberjack, a pretty camp cook who wants to leave, a spicy romance, and a nourishing spiritual message are just a handful of the ingredients making up this mouth-watering and engaging novella. Yum!

In the towering Northwoods of Michigan near Mackinaw city in the year 1890, former teacher Tom Jeffries takes up a position as the new axeman of the logging camp, in an effort to earn more money for his widowed mother. Smitten with the beautiful auburn-haired Jo Christy who is the boss’s daughter and the camp cook, Tom carelessly proposes to marry her if she can bake a fruitcake as good as his mother’s. But the spunky Jo only accepts the handsome lumberjack’s challenge, because she plans to take him down a few pegs by declining his offer when she produces the cake of his memories. During the cake-baking trials, couples left and right of them are becoming engaged, but will this stubborn pair find their way towards a future together when their paths are heading in opposite directions?

Set amongst the imposing and breathtaking evergreen woods of Michigan that echo with the songs of bountiful birds, while aromatic fruitcakes are baking in the camp oven, the descriptive imagery throughout ‘The Fruitcake Challenge’ tantalizes the senses and might I say, gives you a craving for fruit cake! You’ll find the rich historical insights permeating this story, fascinating and well-researched, bringing the yesteryear setting alive. And enriching this cozy Christmas tale that’s full of surprises is a reassuring message that reminds us to never give up, because God has a plan for us all.


Thanks so much, Noela!  What a wonderful review!!! I've really been so blessed by the reviews that have been posted on Amazon so far, too! Big hugs!

The Christmas Traditions Series
We're celebrating the launch and release of my latest publication, The Fruitcake Challenge, which is part of the Christmas Traditions series with eight other authors.



Cynthia Hickey's Handcarved Christmas and Niki Turner's Sadie's Gift have also released and have been reviewed on the OWG blog.
Handcarved Christmas by Cynthia Hickey


Sadie's Gift by Niki Turner

Link to purchase: The Fruitcake Challenge on Kindle.  The paperback copy should be available within two weeks as will the Nook copy.
A Cup of Christmas Cheer 
Giveaways: An ebook copy of The Fruitcake Challenge, an autographed copy of the paperback when it releases OR a copy of Return to Shirley Plantation (if preferred), and a boxed set of the hugely popular hardcover A Cup of Christmas Cheer collection from Guidepost Books that I contributed to with an autograph card. Ebook copies of the first two Christmas Traditions novellas: Cynthia Hickey's Handcarved Christmas and Niki Turner's Sadie's Gift.

101 comments:

  1. Hi Carrie!
    I would love to read this!
    This sounds like a wonderful read! Plus knowing you, with me also being from Northern Michigan and it being my birthday in 6 days! lol
    Many blessings to you and everyone with this series.
    Wendy
    wendyshoults(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. TY Wendy! I really enjoyed meeting you this summer after knowing you online for all these years! Yes, this setting is only a few miles away from you, between Petoskey and Mackinaw City. So glad you came by to celebrate!

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  2. On the road today but will be.on and off..Would love to win.

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    1. Hi Bonnie, always so good to see you! Wishing you well!

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  3. Hi Carrie, I have been waiting to read this.Can't wait to read how the fruitcake turns out. Thank you for a chance to win! ~ Blessings ~ lisastifler(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. LOL about waiting to see how the fruitcake turns out! Poor Jo sure gets to make a lot of them in this story! Big hugs!

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  4. Congrats on your latest release, Carrie! Whoever wins your novella is in for a special treat.

    The Christmas Traditions series has some great book covers.

    Blessings
    Janella

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    1. Thanks so much, Janella! Cindy Hickey made all the covers and the banners. She's a talented author and cover designer!

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  5. Oh, this looks so lovely and maybe even a little bit mischievious. I can't wait to read it! I'm ready to get into the Christmas season! Thank you for the giveaway and the chance to win!
    Blessings!
    Kelly Y.
    kelly *at* dkcountryarts *dot* com

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    1. Kelly, the story begins in summer so its not too early to start reading it. And for only 99 cents at the start, all of these novellas are very affordable. Thanks for coming by!

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  6. Congratulations and blessings on the release of your charming Christmas novella, Carrie! I have just stared reading about Tom and Jo in the lumberjack camp and am enjoying it immensely. Looking forward to finding out what's in store for them and for the fruitcake to make an appearance - yum! The novella is also going to released in paperback? Awesome. Best wishes for much success to all the Christmas Traditions authors. Love the covers.

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    1. I'm so glad you are enjoying it, Lisa! Yes, the paperback will be available through Amazon probably in about two weeks. There are always readers who enjoy a book in their hands plus they are great for book signings. Cindy did a great job and we've all had fun.

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  7. I have read your book, The Fruitcake Challenge and just finished last night Cynthia Hickey's Handcrafted Christmas. Both are very good books. Am currently reading Sadie's Gift by Niki Turner.
    Congratulations ladies!
    blessings, Tina

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  8. Oops, that should be Handcarved Christmas not Handcrafted.
    Blessings, Tina

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  9. CONGRATS, Carrie, on your new release! This sounds like an amazing story and I love the cover! Have 1/2 of another book to finish and then on to The Fruitcake Challenge! I'm not like others who can read two books at the time -- I have enough trouble just reading one with my foggy head!!

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    1. TY Diana! I hope you will enjoy the story! Hugs!

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  10. You know I am thrilled for you Carrie and I love, love, love The Fruitcake Challenge. A great author writes great books....you are it, my dear!!!!!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. Ohhhh, this makes me feel so great, Melanie!!! Bless you for your kind words!!! Hugs!!!

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  11. I adored The Fruitcake Challenge, Carrie!!! I am so excited for you and know everyone will love this delectable tale! The first three stories in the Christmas Traditions series are fantastic and I can't wait for more. Hugs and blessings!

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    1. I am SO glad Britney!!! Thanks so much! Jo and Tom wouldn't leave me alone until I wrote their story!!! I really enjoyed spending time with them this summer!!! Hugs!

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  12. Yikes! My post disappeared! I refreshed the page but still didn't see it. :( Anyway, I would love to throw my name in the pot. Thanks!
    RW620(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. sorry! Will check n see if it went to spam or if the Blogger gremlins got it! Thanks for coming by!

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  13. I had to smile. My mother makes the best fruit cakes.

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    1. Recipe, Mary!!! Let me see if I can bug you for that on FB!

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  14. Congrats on your new Novel!! So excised and very happy for you.
    I would love to win your book to read.
    oh.hello.hiya@gmail.com. I wish that all of these Christmas books would be out in hard or soft cover and not just ebooks for 99 cents.

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    1. TY Danie. I'm still working on getting mine out in paperback but it will be a couple of weeks I think.

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    2. Yah I am so excited I can't wait to read it when it comes out in paper back. :).

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  15. Congratulations again on your delicious novella!! I'm pretty sure I was licking my lips by the end lol. A beautiful romance told in one of favorite settings of the lumberjack camps - thoroughly enjoyed it!! :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Noela, and I'm going to copy and paste your review into this party post!

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  16. CONGRATULATIONS Carrie on your new release! I hope Jo includes her finale recipe :) How many different fruit cakes did you bake making sure it was a winner? :) Hugs and blessings from Texas!! caryl(dot)mcadoo AT yahoo(dot)com

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    1. We are collecting recipes to be included in my own Fruitcake Challenge to readers! Do you have one, Caryl? Share!

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  17. Congratulations, Carrie. Your novella sounds like a fun Christmasy tale!

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    1. Thanks, Carla, I hope you get a chance to read it! Blessings!

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  18. Congratulations Carrie on your new book. I would love to win it. Sometimes I hope to have all 8 of these books. I have no doubt they will all be wonderful. I do love Christmas books. Of course, I just LOVE books! Thanks for this generous give-away. (((Hugs))) to my OWG girls and congrats to the other authors. Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

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    1. I hope you will, too, Maxie, and thanks for being part of the Christmas Traditions team! Always love seeing you! Hope we can meet in person some time!

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  19. Fruit cake has never been a favorite of mine and I wish Jo the best in her baking efforts. :)
    jennydtipton (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. LOL Jenny, Jo became so real to me I was wishing her the same!!! Hope you'll get the story and enjoy!

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  20. Congratulations, Carrie! I smiled just reading the description of the book and cheered for Jo putting that guy in his place. How dare he say he'll marry her IF ...! :)

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    1. Thanks, Sandy! As soon as I thought of this story and the heroine at the camp, I got this idea for a well-educated but cocky new lumberjack who is just a little too full of himself, despite having been brought up well. Of course, from the story, you see he's not as arrogant as he comes across! Hugs!

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  21. I am looking forward to reading this novella. I didn't like fruitcake for a long time. Then my pastor's wife when I lived in Nevada made two different recipes of fruitcake every year and I loved them both.

    wwchildren at gmail dot com

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    1. My mom used to make fruitcake every year, as a tradition. I think part of her secret was to make sure there were lots of cherries, pineapple, and pecans or walnuts in there. A lot of fruitcake is over baked.

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  22. Good morning all. Congrats on you new release Carrie. Would love to win any of the books listed. They all sound like they would be great reading. I must say that I have never been a big fruitcake fan, however, I have eaten some that were quite wonderful. I will be watching for the recipe book, Carrie, to see if I can find a recipe to become a family favorite

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    1. Thanks so much, Betti! Maybe I do need to make up a mini recipe book to go with this novella, lol! Hugs!

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  23. hoping to win the ebooks of the Christmas Traditions series as I have all of the others mentioned but if I win something I already have I will give it to a friend! and congratulations Carrie

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    1. I hope you will enjoy them all, Debbie! Great to see you here. Do you bake at Christmas?

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  24. All of you please have a terrific book launch day. God bless u

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    1. Thanks, Chris! You're such an encourager ! Hugs!

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  25. Congrats on the release of your novella, Carrie!!! :-)

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    1. Thanks so much, Melanie! Thank you for being such a great accountability partner! Hugs!

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  26. I think your new book sounds great and I would love to read it! Congrats on the new release!

    Blessings,
    Wanda
    flghtlss1(at) yahoo (dot) com

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    1. I hope you'll enjoy spending time in the lumber camps of the deep north woods, Wanda! This was a FUN book to write! TY!

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  27. Congratulations, Carrie, on the launch of your new novella.

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    1. Thanks so much, sweet Janet! I'm looking forward to seeing you soon. We need to get our writing group up and scheduled again! Hugs!

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  28. An excellent story! Five stars from me. Sweetly satisfying christian historical fiction.

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    1. Thanks so much, Robin, for reading and reviewing Jo's and Tom's story! They are such an interesting couple--really unlike any I have written before.

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  29. Hey Carrie! Just popping my head in to say hello and congrats on the novella....this entire set looks great! Hugs to you, my friend! Hoping to pop back in later!

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    1. TY, Debbie, I think they will all be great if this trend continues. I loved Niki's and Cindy's novellas! Hugs!!!

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    2. Chaplain Debbie, you are the first winner--You'll receive a copy of my new novella! Congrats!!!

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  30. Congrats Carrie, I know that you are so excited!
    Keep up the wonderful writing!
    Looking forward to reading it!

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    1. As you know, it's kinda weird trying to look into homeschooling at the same time as this book launch, but God will provide. Thanks so much! Hugs!

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  31. Congrats again, Carrie! NOELA wrote such a lovely and enticing review, but then again...doesn't she always? :)

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    1. TY, Diana! Yes, Noela did write an amazing review and really blessed me with her kind words. The OWG angels are so special! Hugs!!!

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  32. Hey Carrie! Congrats on the New Book! The Fruitcake Challenge sounds like a fun read! The cover is gorgeous! I love fruitcake!

    dowelljanet@hotmail.com

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    1. Hey Janet! TY! I had fun writing it and I usually write a little bit more serious stuff so this was a change for me! Cindy Hickey did a great job on the covers! I love certain types of fruitcake, too!

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  33. Congratulations Carrie! This really sounds like a fun story. Blessings to you and all the authors who have novellas coming out in this series.

    Brittany McEuen
    kbmceuen at yahoo dot com

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    1. I just kinda pictured what my mom would have done if she was a young lady, working in the lumber camps (she helped my grandmother who was a lumber camp cook) and if some brand new lumberjack proposed such an outrageous offer! So the idea was born and I had a lot of fun writing it!

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  34. Congratulations on your newest release, Carrie! I would love to be entered for the giveaway!

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  35. This is so awesome Carrie, bless you as you continue to write for the Lord. So proud of you:))

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    1. Thanks so much, Mary! And am still praying for you, too, and your writing! Hugs!

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  36. This is such a wonderful turnout to celebrate your new release! :)
    Many more blessings to you and yours.

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    1. Yes, I'm very grateful for all the friends who have come by to the party! And I'm finding Jo's green dress is very easy wear and it doesn't stain ;)

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    2. Per random.org, you are our next winner, Wendy, for a paperback copy of my novella when it releases. That may be in about two weeks! Congrats!

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  37. Congratulations Carrie on your new release! I love reading Christmas stories and have really been enjoying the stories in this series (in fact, I'm reading yours now). :) Noela did a great job reviewing "The Fruitcake Challenge". It's such a cute story and I can't wait to see how it plays out. God's richest blessings on you and your writing, my friend!

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    1. Thanks so much, Angi! I hope you will enjoy the story and I'm so glad you are reading it. Yes, Noela, did a super job. She's sleeping right now over in Aussyland. Hugs!

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  38. Carrie, congratulations on your new release! I love Christmas stories! I'm so happy for you. Are you going to ACFW this year? If so, hopefully our paths will cross.

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    1. No, I'm not going to ACFW conference this year, Stacey! Thanks for the congrats. I love Christmas stories, too, and always look forward to new ones each year! Blessings!

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  39. I just realized I was supposed to come here for the party! It just shows how tired I have been! Congratulations to all the winners!! And the ladies who inspired this series!

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    1. Hey Regina, I haven't drawn winners yet. Maybe I should do one. Good idea! Hugs!

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  40. I tried to post earlier, but my iPad just doesn't like to cooperate with posting on blogs. :-(
    I love Christmas, so I'm really excited for all these Christmas books coming out, especially one by our dear friend Carrie. This sounds like a fun book (even if I'm not crazy about fruitcake LOL). Thanks for the opportunities to win one of these Christmas stories.
    Vicki

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    1. You are very welcome, Vicki! About to do one drawing right now. And I think I need to catch up on last week's drawings for OWG blog!

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  41. I for got to also say CONGRATS! I know you must be excited for your new 'baby! (((HUGS)))
    Vicki

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    1. TY, Vicki! Yes at the end dealing with all the delivery issues it did feel like having a baby! Hugs!

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  42. Popping in again, Carrie! Glad to see so many others have come by to say congrats. I need to get back to my company...just wanted to pop in again! Hugs!

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    1. Congrats again on winning! I hope you'l enjoy the story. Many blessings!

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  43. Hi, Carrie!!

    Been "on the run" since early this morning, but just wanted to stop by and say "congrats" again!! I loved "The Fruitcake Challenge" - and I enjoy fruit cake when it is homemade. Had never thought of putting a creme sauce on fruitcake though and would love to try it!!

    My favorite part of "The Fruitcake Challenge" was seeing how God worked everything out to the good for everyone. I enjoyed learning a little more about lumbercamps also.

    I've really enjoyed reading the books included in the Christmas Traditions Series and would love to have paperback copies of "The Fruitcake Challenge" and "Return to Shirley Plantation" (I love to keep paperbacks of the books I enjoy, as well as the eBooks), as well as the "A Cup of Christmas Cheer" books!!

    Thank you for your wonderful book, Carrie!! Prayers, love, and hugs!!

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    1. Hi sweet Bonnie, you are such a blessing! I like holding a book in my hands, too, sometimes so I understand. So glad you learned something about the camps. My poor mom, I think it was very difficult for her moving to lumber camp in northern MI from KY in 1942.

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  44. Popping in myself (like popcorn) to say I'm so proud of all the things you do, have done, and are accomplishing! You amaze me with all the things you can do, even with your medical issues. God is good!
    susanlulu@yahoo.com

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    1. TY, Susan, and I am so inspired by your return right back to teaching plus you take care of your parents despite your own medical stuff, too! It's God who keeps us going, so we can give all the glory to Him!!! Hugs!

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  45. Carrie...I could see Jo cooking and rolling her eyes at Tom every time he came in...made me laugh... my mind's eye saw the guys coming for the fruitcake and proposing... and the outside...snow covered trees... you can see them !!! Slow falling in love...Jo not wanting to...but she is !!! Tom has a kindness about him that won't quit... gentle !!! God leading them towards each other...happily ever after !!! Congrats Carrie !!! Another great story !!!

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    1. I am so glad the story became real for you, Chicki! When I write, the story is very real in my mind and I "see" it like a movie. When I write, I am "in" the setting. Hugs! Thanks so much

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  46. Carrie, I am so excited about this book. I think it is wonderful that you have the family ties to the story. I pray for you often and wish you all the best.

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    1. Yes, that makes it so special. Thanks so much, Kay! Praying for you and your family, too!

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  47. CARRIE I think those gremlins were hard at work. I KNOW I came by and left you a comment yesterday but alas it has disappeared!!

    I loved, loved, loved the Fruitcake Challenge!! What a sweet story it is! I have been working on my review and hope to have it up by Saturday!! It is a privilege to be friends with such a talented lady...lots of love to you!! CONGRATS!!

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    1. Hmmm, I thought I saw one, too! Thanks so much, Teresa! God bless you for agreeing to be a professional Beta reader for this story, I really needed the help and encouragement. Blessings!

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  48. The story blurb brought a smile to my face. :) A cocky lumberjack, and a pretty cook intent on having the last laugh. Sounds like my kind of story! I can't wait to read it. :)

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    1. Noela, thanks for your excellent review!

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    2. I hope you will love the story, Gwen! I could just picture my mom thinking--I'll get that guy for thinking he could just stroll up here and think I'm so desperate that I'll fall for his goofy challenge! Thanks for coming by!

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  49. Just bought the Fruitcake Challenge and can't wait to read it.

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  50. I love Christmas books. Great giveaway.

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