07 October 2014

Darlene Franklin Christmas Traditions Novella

An Apple for Christmas by Darlene Franklin, Christmas Traditions Series Novella #4

AN APPLE FOR CHRISTMAS (Christmas Traditions Series Book 4)


Blurb:
Ruby Nelson trades her job in the laboratory for teaching in a small girls’ school in Vermont. Twin sisters challenge her position—and their father captivates her imagination. Will the orchard grower graft Ruby onto his heart?

 Sweeter than Apple Pie!
It wasn’t until I finished this story that I thought of the children’s books with Miss Nelson in them as the schoolteacher, and I had to smile! And since Ruby was my mother’s first name, I thought the heroine’s name was beautiful. But names aside, let me say that this is a really heart-warming story that I enjoyed being a beta reader for.

Darlene Franklin is known for her imaginative Christian historical romance with unique elements and this story is not different. Turns out Miss Nelson has a background in agricultural science as related to apples and she’s landed a job in the East with an apple orchard grower who is so enamored of the fruit that he’s named his daughters Margil and Pippin. Mac Cortland has known deep sorrow, having lost his wife and being left to raise his twins by himself.

You’ll find yourself rooting for Ruby as she tries to get Mac more involved in understanding that his girls, too, have been trying to cope with the loss of their mother. At least that’s the reason she gives herself for the more frequent visits to the Cortland household than any other. It can’t be because she wants to see more of the handsome widower!

Darlene does a lovely job of showing the scientist that Ruby is, including the proverbial snake in the teacher’s draw scene that is made fresh by the heroine’s reaction.  Throughout the story Darlene keeps Ruby’s point of view consistently that of a researcher and teacher, which results in some cute exchanges between her and Mac.

Pippin, who is a handful, and Margil, fall in love with their teacher and try to take matters into their own hands. Ruby handles the situation with aplomb. Will she and Mac create a new tradition to celebrate Christmas?

An Apple for Christmas by Darlene Franklin is Book 4 in the Christmas Tradition Series. Cynthia Hickey’s Handcarved Christmas, Niki Turner’s Sadie’s Gift, Carrie Fancett Pagels’ The Fruitcake Challenge comprise books 1-3. Patty Smith Hall’s Christmas Lesson’s is book 5.

Giveaway: We're giving away two copies of Darlene's ebook this week and a copy of each of the other stories as well. 

Do you have a special Christmas tradition? My husband and I exchange Christmas ornaments every year and this was something I shared with Darlene. We've collected quite a few in 27 years of marriage! What do you do to make a special memory?



28 comments:

  1. What a wonderful review, CARRIE! You almost convinced me to like apples! Almost. After surgery I had a lot of stomach troubles from the pain meds, and dr told me to eat applesauce when I took them. I thought I would die -- not from the surgery -- the applesauce! haha

    Love the cover and this sounds like such a sweet, heartwarming story! Thank you for your appealing review! :)

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    1. make that an apple-ing review, lol. They crush meds here and give them to residents who can't swallow . . .it only destroys the taste of the applesauce or jelly

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    2. I started to put apple-ing, Darlene, and couldn't quite figure out how to spell it where ppl would get it! lol

      They wanted me to take it with applesauce or yogurt so that I wouldn't be taking it on an empty stomach...it made me so nauseated! ugh! Imagine me up at 3 am taking my pain meds after major surgery and gagging on applesauce! It was awful! I buy it for hubby, but doubt whether I'll ever eat it again!

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    3. I can see how it would it turn anyone off for life

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    4. LOL Diana. Praying you are feeling all better soon. I love apples. I just realize we didn't get any for hubs at the store. I didn't see any at the Target grocery store.

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  2. I also love to collect Christmas ornaments - they tell the story of our lives. Thank you for your kind review

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    1. We started our daughter on a collection when she was little and now she is 25 and has a bunch of gorgeous ornaments for when she has her own tree!

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  3. Great review Carrie !!! I can't wait to read this - it is so apple-ing to me !!! :-) Every year, right up until my mom passed, we would open one gift on Christmas Eve, and when the kids were little, they got a brand new pair of jammies that night. we still do that on Christmas Eve. I already love the story Darlene, my grandma is Ruby, already smiling... I like the twins, they are making me smile !!!!! I am looking forward to reading this.. Have a blessed night !!!

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    1. That is what we often do is one gift on Christmas eve. I loved the twins in this story too, Chicki! My Mom was names Ruby. blessings!

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    2. Rosemary, hope you enjoy the book! I never ran into so many Rubys.

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  4. Thank you for a lovely interview, Carrie! This wonderful little apple gem sounds wonderful! Since our grands have come along, we get up early on Christmas morning and go to their house so we can watch them as they discover what Santa left. A bit later we sit down to a delicious breakfast and enjoy our morning.

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. Thanks, Melanie! I hope you will enjoy the story. Darlene is so talented. That is so sweet about having grandchildren to celebrate with. I just have a grand puppy!

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  5. TY, Carrie, and lol, DARLENE! Paul loves them, too, but I'm more of a fresh peach, cantaloupe, and strawberry girl. :) Hmmm...can't imagine not finding any apples at Target, Carrie. ;)

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    1. The only Target I knew that had groceries had no fresh food of any kind.

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    2. By the time apples get to ya'll in the South they are mushy, Diana. You need to get them fresh off the tree. We have a grocery in our Target in Williamsburg, Darlene. But it has limited food selection.

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    3. They are mushy, or tart and hard. yuk

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  6. We had the same tradition--opening one gift, usually new Jammie's, so they had new Jammie's to wear to bed and look cute in on Christmas. Now that the kids are grown & have kids of their own & in-laws, we now do Christmas with the kids and grandkids on Christmas Eve. We also have a tradition of reading "'Twas the night before Christmas" on Christmas Eve & then we read the Christmas story from the Bible on Christmas morning...

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    1. Hi Vicki! I'm not getting pajamas for my grand puppy. He's over 75 lbs and only 8 months old! I love reading the account of Christ's birth, from Luke. Blessings!

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  7. Beautiful review, Carrie - thank you!!

    Wonderful, heart-warming story, Darlene!! I just, today, finished "An Apple for Christmas" and loved it!! I loved the twins, also enjoyed the interaction between Ruby and Mac as she was trying to stay in her teacher/scientist mode!! Will be giving it 5 stars!!

    Our family has had various Christmas traditions over the years - we always attend candlelight service at church on Christmas eve, and at times - have opened one gift on Christmas eve. We attend musical/dramas and dinner theater at the different churches in my community, new Christmas movies at the theater, drive around to look at Christmas lights - as well as sponsored Christmas light events, attend tours of decorated homes. I enjoy the Singing Christmas Tree program at churches (I sang in one some years ago), one of my very favorite events was touring "A Walk Through Bethlehem" - a recreation of the village of Bethlehem and the birth of Christ: complete with houses, shops with merchants selling wares, animals, everyone in era attire and enacting the scenes, etc.. My granddaughter and her mother always buy matching p.j.'s and a new Christmas book - which is read Christmas eve. Our main Christmas meal and gift opening event is always Christmas day. We try to let each family member open one gift at a time - so hard for some to wait (LOL)!! Last year we started giving only the children the nicer gifts, playing a "round-robin" gift swap game for the adults with gifts costing no more than $5.00 - while contributing more to community charities and church missions.

    Shared post!!

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    1. I want to come live with you Bonnie!!!! You sound like you know how to have fun!!! Wow. Now I really have to make sure we get together somewhere because you are a happening type of person! Hugs!

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  8. Oh, you're making me homesick. Lovely memories

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  9. I love reading all about family traditions.

    A delicious read, if I may say so.

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  10. Soon we'll need a new section of the dictionary

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  11. I would love to restart our tradition of getting together on Christmas Eve. I would enjoy starting a Christmas Eve ride about town to share all the pretty lights with my grandchildren :) & then home for Hot Chocolate & stories!

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  12. Yes, that sounds perfect. I love to look at Christmas lights. . .

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  13. I love the sound of this book! We buy a new ornament each year, but my favorite tradition is on Christmas Eve. We spend it at home, in front of the fire with snack foods and watch Christmas movies with the children (who are mostly grown-ups now ). :)

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