Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmas Weddings--One, Two, Three!

You are cordially invited to the wedding ceremony
which will join
Celia Ann Davis
and James D. Yeary
in Holy Matrimony
December 21, 1958
Harmony Baptist Church
Levelland, Texas
2:00 pm

    One....My Davis grandparents were married on Christmas day…way back in the 1800s. I never knew why, but I suspect it was one time of the year the entire family could visit the North Texas farm which was owned by my grandmother’s parents. We don’t have a photo, but I would love to have one.
    Two.....Then my older sister—named after our grandmother—was married on Christmas Day around 1952. Her fiancĂ© was a military man, and he asked for a leave to come to Texas to marry her. They had a simple wedding in our family living room, and Mother made the cake. A small group gathered there and wished them well.
    Three....In 1958, I married on December 21 in the same town as my sister married. But I wanted a church wedding, and Mother and Daddy granted me that wish. I know it was not easy for them, because we were not rolling in wealth. My older sister made her Matron of Honor dress and the two bridesmaid dresses.

    Mother and I drove to Lubbock one Saturday to Dunlap’s Department Store, where I tried on wedding dresses until I found the perfect one. To this day, I wonder how much my parents saved and scrimped together enough money to pay for all this.
    My older sister helped make the dresses--in fact, I think she did most of the sewing. 
     Our wedding had a Christmas theme. The bridesmaids’ dresses were red velveteen. The flowers on the altar were poinsettias. I adored my wedding…and my new very handsome husband. The small church was full because he had many brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews, and my family knew many in town.

    You might ask why Jim and I married on the twenty-first of December. Because it was Christmas break at Texas Technological College—now called Texas Tech University.
    Over the years, I’ve learned I was not alone in getting married between semesters.
I offer a story about a Christmas Wedding—but the wedding is not between the hero and heroine. It is 99cents on the Kindle and 95 pages long.
You’ll have to read it and learn what happens.
Kailey Lovelace, maid of honor in her brother's Christmas wedding in Austin, Texas, hopes the best man Alex Dunn won't bolt when he sees she is six feet tall and has frizzy hair. At the airport, she almost loses her breath when she learns he's even taller and looks like a dream. If only he likes her enough for the week of the wedding to go smoothly.
Alex Dunn, recently discharged from the Army, can't believe his good luck when he meets his partner for the wedding. Kailey is just the right height and gorgeous, as well. He looks forward to a pleasant week in Texas.
What could possibly go wrong?

     Shelley had poured out her heart in-between bowls of popcorn, wine, and chocolate. Both she and Kailey had overdosed on such rich indulgences. 
     The doorbell rang…and rang and rang. Kailey stumbled to the door and peeked through the security peephole. Alex. And Sam.
     With a little adrenalin perking her up, she opened the door, standing there in her lacy black bra and a pair of too short sweat pants that came to mid-calf. She pointed a finger at both men and said, “If you laugh, you can just turn around and go home.”
     Sam groaned and covered his eyes. “Sheesh, sis, put on some clothes.”
     She glanced at Alex. He stood with his hands in his coat pockets, grinning, looking from her eyes to her breasts, and back to her eyes. Funny, she wasn’t embarrassed. I’d have on less if I were in my swim suit. And she liked the little thrill that ran through her.
     Leaving the door open, she turned away, waving her hand at them. She looked around the room, under the table, behind the sofa, when finally she found the sweatshirt—one of Sam’s, too—behind a door. Pulling it over her head, she walked as straight as she could to the sofa, shoved Shelley’s feet to the side, and sat down.
     “Sit up, Shelley. The guys want to talk.” She glared at both of them. “Well, sit, both of you. I’ll get a crick in my neck looking up. Hey, Shell, wake up. Look who’s here.”
     Shelley slowly moved to a sitting position and barely glanced at Sam and Alex. They’d taken the chairs facing the sofa. Alex still had that stupid little grin—it used to be intriguing, now it was stu… no it wasn’t. Who was she trying to fool? He still displayed that dimple, the one she couldn’t take her eyes off when he did that little mysterious smile thing.
     Sam leaned forward, propped his arms on his thighs, and linked his fingers. “Shelley, what the hell are you doing? You’ve got to tell me. I’m going crazy, here.”
Amazon Link:

Celia Yeary...
Romance, and a little bit of Texas
Sweethearts of the West-Blog

Monday, December 26, 2016



This month on Sweethearts of the West, our members are sharing memories of Christmas past. Since this is after the big event, I’d like to share an experience that I remember clearly even though it was (mumble, mumble) years ago.

Do you remember the first time you saw snow? For you folks in the Midwest and Northern part of the country, I’m sure you don’t.

My parents lived in a tiny North Texas town near Childress when I was born. I was only a few months old when we moved to the Bakersfield area of Southern California. How I dreamed of snow for Christmas but none fell on our locale.

My grandparents lived in a small Oklahoma town, Hollis, which is only a few miles from the Texas state line. My grandfather was severely injured in a tractor accident and was told he could no longer farm.  While he was in the hospital, my resilient grandmother sold the farm, bought a house in town, and hired a neighbor to move furniture and belongings to the new home. Not new, but new to them.

My precious grandmother
Each summer my dad would drive us to visit my grandparents. This summer he was particularly busy and couldn’t get away. Mother was anxious about her mother and step-father and their welfare. For Christmas, Mother and I rode the train to visit my grandparents. An adventure for a six-year-old girl!

First of all, my grandmother had an eight-foot Christmas tree in the living room. My parents always had a tiny table-top tree, so I was thrilled to see what—to me—was a huge tree. Of course, there were already presents underneath. But, the best was yet to come.

One day during our visit, four inches of snow fell. Real snow! Mother and I built a lopsided snowman, but he looked grand to me. I wore my grandmother’s too-large rubber boots and clomped in the snow until Mother insisted I come inside.

This is NOT how our snowman looked.
Let me tell you, my friends, that was a magical time for me. So much so that I remember it clearly still. The smells, the sunlight on the snow, the joy.

My hope for you this special season is that you see the world’s magic with the eyes of a child. May you find health, prosperity, and peace in the coming year.  

Caroline Clemmons is an award-winning and Amazon bestselling author. Her latest releases are MURDOCH'S BRIDE  (set in snowy Montana in 1887), WILD WESTERN WOMENMISTLETOE, MONTANA (set at a snowy Christmas time in 1890), and ANGEL FOR CHRISTMAS (contemporary). Each title above is clickable in the event you wish to purchase one (hint, hint). Snuggle down with a book to relax and recover from the season's hectic demands. 

Caroline and her husband live in cowboy country of North Central Texas with a menagerie of rescued animals whose numbers seem to grow. Resistance is futile.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Baubles, Orbs, and Glitter by Paty Jager

Christmas Ornaments first came into use in Germany in the 16th century when a man wanted to make the tree more entertaining for children and added candles. The trees were also decorated with foods such as wafers, candies, fruits, and hard cookies baked in various shapes. Non-edible decorations were paper flowers and tinsels made from tin and silver.

In the 1800’s Lauscha, Germany was the main glass blown Christmas decoration manufacturers.  Other items used to make decorations at this time were: silk, wool thread, chenille and stiff spun glass.

The pickle ornament originated in Germany. It was put on the tree by parents to discover which of their children were the smartest. That child received an extra present from St. Nicholas.

Christmas trees and ornaments were introduced to England in 1840 when Queen Victoria married German Prince Albert. England added their own twist on decorations; paper baskets with sugared almonds, glass ornaments, decorative beads, and hot air balloons.

It was 1880 when Christmas decorations entered the United States. J.W. Woolworth imported the glass decorations for his store. Other American decorations were cut outs of old magazines, cotton wools, and tinsel.

Do you use traditional decorations or are you a rebel and decorate your tree with unique baubles? Do you decorate with a theme or just make the tree colorful and full of memories? 

I have to admit, I went with a theme one year and decided I like the chaos of years of decorations. 

If you're looking for a book to keep you company during the holidays, may I suggest, my latest re-release, Bridled Heart. The last part of the book takes place during the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas and ends on New Years Eve.

Bridled Heart
Contemporary Western Romance

ER nurse, Gina Montgomery, uses a self-imposed vow of celibacy to keep from getting too close to anyone. Music saved her from an abusive past. But that same solace compromises her solitary life when her piano playing draws the attention of a handsome bareback rider. 

Holt Reynolds let his sister down when she needed him most. Seeing similarities between his sister and Gina, he can’t get visions of the woman or her poignant music out of his mind. He vows to find a way to free her of her past and prays it doesn’t resurface and destroy their chance at happiness.

Universal Buy Link: Click here to find the ebook vendor of your choice.

© Can Stock Photo / 2mmedia 
© Can Stock Photo / borisss

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas in Yellowstone

By: Peggy L Henderson

Growing up in Germany, we usually had a white Christmas. When my family moved half-way across the world to sunny California, Christmas no longer included snow. It was replaced with warmth and sunshine. To this day, I miss a white Christmas.
This year, a few weeks before Christmas, I received the most wonderful gift from a friend, which fulfilled two of my greatest wishes – to experience winter in Yellowstone, and to have a white Christmas. While I didn’t actually spend Christmas in Yellowstone, the week before was close enough.
For everyone who knows me, I love Yellowstone! It’s why I wrote a 13-book series time travel/western historical series set there, after all. In all my years of visiting the park, this was the first year I got to visit and experience it in winter. I returned three days ago from the most amazing trip I’ve ever had, and came away with a greater understanding of why I chose to write a time travel series set in this amazing place.
When I was asked before why a time travel and why Yellowstone, the second part of the question has always been easy to answer. The first part – the time travel part – was a bit harder to pinpoint. “The premise always intrigued me”, was my standard answer.
Experiencing Yellowstone in winter suddenly made it clear to me what the answer to that first part of the question is. Nothing beats the solitude and quiet of a winter experience in the park, when there are few people around, and when one can stand and gaze out at the magnificent landscape and features without standing elbow to elbow with other people. It’s easy to imagine what it must have been like to be the first person to experience this magical place when you’re surrounded not by people talking on their cell phones when they should be enjoying the natural splendors before them, but by the peaceful sounds of nature.  
So, for me, this Christmas will always be special 
for this wonderful gift I received to see Yellowstone in winter, and to have a magical pre-Christmas winter-wonderland experience. 


Comment for a chance to receive a signed paperback copy of my Christmas stories set in Yellowstone and in related Grand Tetons, A Yellowstone Christmas and Teton Season of Joy. (make sure to leave your contact information in your comment)

Peggy L Henderson
Western Historical and Time Travel Romance
“Where Adventure Awaits and Love is Timeless”

Award-Winning and Best-Selling Author of:
Yellowstone Romance Series
Teton Romance Trilogy
Second Chances Time Travel Romance Series
Blemished Brides Western Historical Romance Series
Wilderness Brides Historical Romance Series