The Sweetest Gift



This is a holy season and a time for sweet treats and books so sweet and warm they make you sigh.
All the better if the books hold within them the true meaning of Christmas.
To celebrate Christmas two things
A sweet treat:
Connealy Crunch
Seriously if you haven’t got the recipe and/or have never made this (Heaven knows I’ve posted it before)
You will be back here in Petticoats & Pistols thanking me!
It is just so delicious.

Connealy Crunch
2 pound package Almond Bark (melted) 
Melt in microwave 1 ½ minutes. Stir. Melt 1 ½ minutes. That should be enough. You might need slightly longer. Almond bark doesn’t lose its shape when it melts so you have to stir it to see if it’s enough. Add:
3 C. Captain Crunch Peanut Butter Cereal
3 C. miniature marshmallows
3 C. Rice Krispies
3 C. mixed nuts
Spread out on waxed paper. Let cool. Break into pieces. 

Talk about the Sweetest Gift–a new granddaughter!


And a Sweet Book
I am giving away a signed copy of my Christmas Novella collection called:
Three Christmas Novellas
Those three books are all previously released, but two have never been in print before, just ebooks.
The middle book, The Sweetest Gift, is a fictionalized story about my grandparents marriage of convenience. I’ve changed times and dates and locations, for example my grandpa was a farmer in eastern Nebraska, in this book he’s a cowboy in western Nebraska. But the fundamentals, the train ride, the widower, the deathbed promise my grandpa made to married his dying wife’s college friend, the piano…though it wasn’t gained in quite so dramatic a way as in the book, my grandparents old country farmhouse had a grand piano in it, so big, in this room that was so small you couldn’t walk around the piano. I never knew how it got in there and I imagined they built the room around it, left a wall open to get it in, then boarded up the wall. 
My mom (the fourth child born to this marriage) didn’t know when they’d gotten the piano, how they’d gotten it in that room or how long they’d had it. And you’d think she’d know that. And when my grandma died that piano vanished. (this part of the story isn’t in the book)
Now I’m sure someone just took it and either has it or sold it but it’s not known to me or my mom where it went.
I always thought of that piano as a bit magical. It appeared in that little country farmhouse and when my grandma died it disappeared.
Anyway, that’s book two in:
Three Christmas Novellas

Longhorn Christmas, The Sweetest Gift and The Christmas Candle

Longhorn Christmas 

An Advent Story


Netty Lewis, a lonely young widow is saved from a raging mama longhorn by a passing cowboy who’s been wandering since the end of the Civil War.

She needs help surviving her rugged life and caring for Jeremiah, her young son. And that means rounding up a nice-sized herd of wild-as-wolves longhorns.

Netty and Roy, along with Jeremiah begin a journey toward Christmas, family, home and love.

And a herd of longhorns are making the way hard.

The Sweetest Gift

She longs for music. He needs a valuable horse to improve his herd.

When Christmas comes the gift they truly give is the gift of love. 
A sweet re-telling of The Gift of the Magi–with a happy ending

The Christmas Candle

A lonely widower with a pair of out-of-control sons he never got to know while their mother was alive.

A woman with a love of nature and beauty and scent…and the little boys seem determined to destroy her way of life.

A feisty Ozark mountain granny who doesn’t put up with much nonsense.

The gift of a candle for Christmas and a Christ child who is a perfect match for this scent of heaven.

I’m giving away a signed copy of Three Christmas Novellas–leave a comment to get your name in the drawing.

And the recipe is for everyone!!!
And just up, I have a new Garrison’s Law out!

Loving the Texas Stranger

An assassin takes a shot and hits two people with one bullet.
Natalie Brewster, a deep undercover agent for a group that doesn’t officially exist, saw the gunman aiming. He definitely waited, lined up the shot, and tried to kill both of them. Nat and Case Garrison hit the ground bleeding. They both come up shooting and kill the assassin—but that just makes him mad.
Now Case and Nat, who have never before met, have to figure out what they have in common to make them prey for a killer.
And they have to do it while running for their lives because, despite the two of them being highly skilled at keeping a low profile, the killer keeps finding them. They are running at break-neck speed, hiding with all the skill of long-time undercover agents, and falling in love with a passion that might be part of what brought a killer down on them.

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Author of Romantic Comedy...with Cowboys including the bestselling Kincaid Brides Series

37 thoughts on “The Sweetest Gift”

  1. Merry Christmas, your novella sounds amazing especially the story of your grandparents. The Texas Stranger sounds awesome too, I love books like this. I’ll go check out buying it. Hope you’re having a great December. Thank you for the recipe.

  2. All these books sound awesome! Now I want to know more about that piano! Have a very Merry Christmas!

  3. Thanks for the recipe. The stories sound wonderful. I’m also curious about that magical piano.
    Congrats Mary on your beautiful new granddaughter. Wishing you a Blessed Christmas.

  4. Good morning, Mary. There is something about a Christmas story, isn’t there? Like every experience we’re going through, good or bad, is magnified. Every human emotion goes into overdrive. And they’re a perfect venue for Christian writers to explain God’s love. My current WIP is a Christmas story and I’ve enjoyed working on it during the season it celebrates.
    I must try the Crunch!
    Kathy Bailey

  5. You look like a proud grandma congrats. Your books sound fantastic and I would love to read them. Also I will have to try this recipe I am in the middle of making some Christmas goodies right now myself. So much to do and so little time.

  6. I like the simple recipes and this one sounds great! Now I will always wonder where that piano went! Thanks for sharing.

  7. congratulations on being a grandma. this was one of my moms highlights, her grandbabies. thank you for the recipe. that is so cool about the mystery of the piano.

  8. Hi! This recipe is a keeper. Will enjoy it for the Holidays!! Loving The Texas Ranger, sounds like a awesome read. Thanks, for your blog. Congrats! on your new granddaughter. Happy Holidays to you & your family.

  9. I’m so going to make this Christmas crunch!!!! I love Christmas books at this time of the year! It’s such a magical time.

  10. Congratulations on your new grandbaby! She will make for a Merry Christmas, that’s for sure!
    I’m just finishing up “Montana Rose” and I hate for it to end. I just love Cassie and Red but especially Red. It’s so lovely to read about such good people, especially a good man like Red. Thank you so much for this story.

  11. Mary, congratulations on your new grand girl! She is precious! Thank you for sharing that yummy recipe.

    Have a blessed Christmas!

  12. Merry Christmas ?and thank you for the recipe. I love your books ? I hope you and your family have the best Christmas.

  13. The Novella with the piano sounds like a great read. I have enjoyed every book I have of yours. Thank you for sharing your talent with us. Merry Christmas

  14. This sounds yummy and easy to make! I so will try it. I am so enjoying the Christmas and holiday stories. They lift my spirits! Thank you!

  15. I might have to try that recipe! Your grandparent’s story sounds like it is right out of a book. Can’t wait to read it. Thanks for the chance to win.

  16. Thank you so very much for this chance to read about your grandparents love story and the magic of their family! Cant wait to try this recipe I’m very sure its going to be a hit with my family!

  17. Mary, I love your books and when we met I learned I loved your laugh! Now I hear it as I read your books.

  18. Your granddaughter is beautiful! Nothing like a new bundle of love! Thank you for reshaping your recipe for those of us who are new. There is definitely gonna be some crunch in my fututre! I have been gobbling up Christmas stories lately and yours sound perfect to add to my collection! We had a MAJOR early snowstorm come through my area here in Bristol, VA last weekend and I am sure there will be more on the way. Perfect weather to snuggle up with a good book. Thank you for sharing them!

  19. I love all your books, Mary! I’m looking forward to rereading this collection of novellas. I have it on my Kindle so I think I’ve read it. Thanks for the recipe!

  20. Thanks Mary for sharing your recipe and the chance to win your novella. Both sound so good.
    Merry Christmas!

  21. Mary, thanks so much for the recipe. It sounds like a handy treat for get-togethers.
    The piano story is fascinating. It would make me wonder how accurate my memories were. Of course, since your mother doesn’t know what happened it makes it more mysterious. All stories in your anthology sound perfect to add to my collection of holiday books.
    I hope the release of Loving The Texas Stranger is most successful.
    May you and yours have a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous 2019.

  22. Congratulations on your new grandbaby. What a wonderful blessing. The recipe sounds amazing. Thank you for sharing. One of my 26 grandbabies was born on Dec 23. They’re such a blessing to have.

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