Christmas Angels — Carole Brown
Today I’m happy to welcome author Carole Brown as she shares about her story, Christmas Angels.
Christmas Angels has a tiny bit of suspense, nostalgia, and romance in it. The novella has been called a tear-jerker. Written some time ago, I loved this short sweet tale set during WWII.
I love to add quirks or special touches to evoke the spirit of the story, the characters, and/or the era. Below, I will share a short scene that touches on the era—the “call to action”—that the people from WWII lived through—that of rationed food.
I love to bring to life characters that convey emotional reactions to their storybook life. In all I write, I want strength, goodness, and faith to prevail. In Christmas Angels, Abigail’s wavering faith is barely flickering, her fear and doubts are crushing, so is God truly listening? Does he see her struggles?
And most of all, what kind of Christmas miracle could possibly save her?
Here’s a brief scene
Gingerbread Scene from Christmas Angels (From the Lake to the River Anthology)
He beckoned with his gnarled hand “Come in. Come in, Abigail. Want some tea? That dismal Dana—even if she is a good cook—brought me some gingerbread last evening. Have some. Have some. It’s good even if I didn’t make it. Sit down, child, for a minute.” Albert toddled over to the fridge and brought out a quart of milk. “Want milk with your tea, Abigail?”
Where had he gotten real milk?
But she shook her head, not wanting to use up his precious supply, and sniffed. The spicy, delectable smell of the gingerbread wafted toward her, and she closed her eyes to savor it. When was the last time she’d had such a treat? Suddenly ravenous, she couldn’t wait any longer and crammed her mouth full of the sweet bread. A little sound of moaning escaped from between her lips. This was so-o-o good.
And the reasoning behind all this…
During WWII most people were food rationed. Delights such as nuts, milk, sugar and eggs were sometimes hard to come by making delights such gingerbread non-available throughout the war. Everyone was touched by the rationing and all encouraged to participate in “giving up” for the soldiers and the war.
In Christmas Angels, elderly Mr. Albert, Abigail’s boarding house neighbor shares his loaf of gingerbread that another resident (Dana) had given him. Though reluctant to eat any of his treat, knowing how hard the ingredients were to come by, Abigail can’t resist. Both Mr. Albert and Abigail enjoy this special blessing through Neighbor Dana’s generosity.
May you be blessed as you feast on this moist, delightfully spiced dessert.
Ingredients for the loaf:
1 stick real butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup of applesauce
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
chopped walnuts, for topping (optional)
for the frosting:
1/2 block (4 oz.) cream cheese, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 – 2 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray a 9×5 loaf pan lightly with nonstick cooking spray (or shortening and flour). Using a stand mixer or an electric mixer, cream together the butter and the sugar until fluffy.
Beat in the vanilla and the egg. Blend in the apple butter (or applesauce.)
Slowly add the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices (ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.)
When everything is mixed, pour the batter into your loaf pan. Bake for about 55 minutes until it is risen and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely on a rack before frosting.
To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese with the vanilla and then add 2 cups of the powdered sugar and beat until smooth and creamy. Add a little more sugar if it’s not as thick as you like.
Spread a thick layer of the frosting over the gingerbread cake. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts. Enjoy!
ABOUT THE BOOK: Christmas Angels Blurb
Her mother called her a failure, and maybe she was. Her husband was gone—in the service, yes, but if he loved her—really loved her, why didn’t he write? Or call? Or send the money she needed?
She was scared too, afraid of being alone, and though she loved this sweet little bundle of joy—her baby—well, was she smart enough and strong enough to raise her? She didn’t mind doing without all the nice things she’d love to have, but not being able to provide luxuries like Christmas trees, ornaments and presents for her baby girl was beyond enduring.
What she needed was a miracle…and that wasn’t going to happen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Carole Brown
Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. An author of ten fiction books, she loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?
Brown’s books include:
The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman
2015 USA Best Books Winner
2015 Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year
2015 EPIC’s eBook Awards, Romantic Suspense
2014 Selah Debut Fiction finalist
2014 Genesis semi-finalist
2014 Clash of the Titles, Laurel Awards finalist
2014 Oklahoma RWA International Digital Awards, 2nd place
The Denton and Alex Davies Mystery series:
Appleton, WV Romantic Mystery series:
Sabotaged Christmas (best seller and award winner in book and cover)
Knight in Shining Apron
The Spies of WWII series:
With Music in Their Hearts
A Flute in the Willows
Christmas Angels, a novella in the From the Lake to the River collection
Connect with her here:
Personal blog: http://sunnebnkwrtr.blogspot.com/
Stitches in Time: http://stitchesthrutime.blogspot.com/