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American Rose Christmas

American Rose Christmas

"The stories in American Rose Christmas bring joy, laughter, and happy-ever-afters...varied and vibrant with life, each story is compelling in its own special way." ~Camellia, Long and Short Reviews

Novel Notes


My story in An American Rose Christmas Anthology is the first in this delightful collection from Wild Rose Press authors and is entitled A Warrior For Christmas

I really enjoyed writing A Warrior For Christmas and hope you will equally enjoy reading it, amongst others, in this collection of American Historical holiday romances to warm your Christmas.  An American Rose Christmas is available in print and digital download from The Wild Rose Press and other online booksellers.

Corwin Whitfield, the hero in A Warrior for Christmas, is based on a character and story I'd envisioned for years--a young man forced to return to high society in colonial America after a stint with the Indians.  How would he adjust, and what could entice him to embrace his new life...or better yet, who?  When I began the story I sensed the heroine was handicapped in some way.  As I wrote the scene where Corwin first met Dimity, I realized what her impairment was.  She didn't look around when he and his uncle spoke.  She couldn't hear them.  Writing a former Shawnee captive hero and deaf heroine was a challenge but the romance between them took off immediately, as did their conflict. 

Story Blurb:
Reclaimed by his wealthy uncle, former Shawnee captive Corwin Whitfield finds life with his adopted people at an end and reluctantly enters the social world of 1764. His one aim is to run back to the colonial frontier at his first opportunity––until he meets Uncle Randolph’s ward, Dimity Scott.

Illustrated Excerpt:

Chapter One

December 1764

An estate outside Philadelphia

Blinking against wind-driven sleet, Corwin Whitfield followed the stout man through the front door of the massive stone house, far larger than he’d imagined. A dozen cabins or Indian lodges put together could fit inside and still leave ample room. With winter lashing at their heels, Uncle Randolph had pressed both man and beast hard to reach Whitfield Place before nightfall.

Icy pellets hit the door as his uncle shut the solid wooden barrier. Better than a skin flap, Corwin supposed. He was well accustomed to the wet and cold, but a fire would feel good. His gloved fingers were numb from riding over snowy roads all day, not to mention all the previous days. Puddles spread at his boots on the flagstone floor in the entryway.

“Welcome home, Mister Whitfield.”

By the light of the small glass lamp on the stand inside the door, he saw a woman in an apron, severe skirts and gray shawl. The cap engulfed her pinched face. Inclining her head and curtsying, she said, “How was your journey, sir?”

“Wretched, Mistress Stokes.” Uncle Randolph waved a gloved hand at Corwin. “My nephew.” He swiped a paw at her. “My housekeeper,” he added by way of introduction. “Fifth cousin of my late wife’s, or some such connection.”

“Indeed.” Mistress Stokes curtsied to Corwin. “Welcome to Whitfield Place.”

He considered the etiquette drilled into him by his uncle and offered a brief nod. A bow didn’t seem required.  Uncle Randolph scowled. “Foul weather.”

She seemed unperturbed by his gruff manner. “Yes sir.”

“Bound to worsen. See to it the fires are built up.” Unbuttoning his brown caped coat, Uncle Randolph flung it onto the high-backed bench along one wall. He peeled off his gloves, tossing them and his tricorn onto the sodden heap.

Corwin did the same with his newly acquired garments. He couldn’t fault his uncle’s generosity, but the man had the temperament of an old he-bear.

Uncle Randolph ran thickened fingers over gray hair pulled back at his neck and tied with a black ribbon. “Where’s Miss Dimity keeping herself? Is she well?”  Corwin detected a trace of anxiety in his tone.

The dour woman gave a nod. “Quite well, sir. She’s in the drawing room just after having her tea.”

“Good,” his uncle grunted. “Tell cook we’ll have our supper in there. Stew, pastries, and ale will serve. Don’t neglect the Madeira.”

Another curtsy and the housekeeper turned away to pad down a hall partly lit by sconces wrought of iron. His uncle frowned after her. “She’s a good body and keeps this place tidy but tends to be lax on the fires. We mustn’t risk Dimity taking ill. Delicate girl. Cold as a tomb in here.”

Corwin found Whitfield Place equally as welcoming as a grave. The chill was pervasive. A furlined wican would be warmer. He followed his uncle across the frigid entryway and through a wide double door. His relation paused just inside the spacious room and Corwin halted beside him.

“There she is,” Uncle Randolph said with the hint of a smile in his normally reluctant features.  “My ward, Miss Dimity Scott. The little Quaker as I call her.”

Corwin thought it highly doubtful this staunch Anglican had taken in an actual Quaker. Looking past assorted tables, gilt-covered chairs and a gold couch, he spotted the feminine figure seated before the glowing hearth. A padded armchair the color of ripe berries hid much of her slender form. His first impression was of fair curls, like corn silk, piled on her head beneath a circle of lace; his second, that the young woman bent over her embroidery seemed oblivious of all else.  One this unaware would never survive in the frontier. He’d been taught to move with the silence of a winged owl while observing all around him. “Why does she not look up at our coming?”

“Ah, well, that’s a matter I’ve been meaning to discuss with you.” The hesitancy in his uncle’s tone was unlike this man who knew his own mind and was swift to instruct others. He squinted at Corwin with his good eye; the other perpetually squinted from an injury he’d received in a duel. “I trust you’ll not hold it against the poor girl as a sign of weakness, my boy. Warriors sometimes do and you’ve kept company with those savages far too long.”

It wasn’t like his uncle to ramble, and Corwin shifted impatiently upon hearing his adopted people disparaged again. “What are you saying, Uncle?”

He rubbed his fingers over a chin grizzled with whiskers. “Dimity cannot hear us.”

Additional stories in this anthology: Tory captain Dr. Nicholas Clayton discovers stolen military secrets on a severely injured female spy. When her wounds heal, Holly Masters must decide if she can kill the man who saved her life.

While pretending to be a male soldier, farm girl Sara Brewster falls for a handsome Union army surgeon. When her secret is revealed, will a lavish Christmas Eve ball work in her favor--or will her heart be broken?

Southern belle Marybeth Dawson discovers Santa Claus can’t cross the Mason Dixon line--but handsome Union soldier, Trevor Sutton can.

When a strong willed upper class New York girl falls for a dashing, compassionate stable boy, it will take a Christmas miracle to bring them together. Thankfully, true love is on their side. All reformed prostitute Eva Baird wants for Christmas is to have her daughter back in her arms. But gun-toting outlaws, spiteful in-laws, and a sweet-talking stranger with arresting gray eyes threaten to turn her dream into a lump of coal.

Reviews


An American Rose Christmas by Lori Anne, Donna Dalton, Susan Macatee, Lauri Robinson, Carol A. Spralding, Beth Trissel
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full (332 pages)
Heat: Sensual
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Camellia of Long and Short Reviews

Reclaimed by his wealthy uncle, former Shawnee captive Corwin Whitfield finds life with his adopted people at an end and reluctantly enters the social world of 1764. His one aim is to run back to the colonial frontier at his first opportunity–– until he meets Uncle Randolph’s ward, Dimity Scott.

Tory captain Dr. Nicholas Clayton discovers stolen military secrets on a severely injured female spy. When her wounds heal, Holly Masters must decide if she can kill the man who saved her life.

While pretending to be a male soldier, farm girl Sara Brewster falls for a handsome Union army surgeon. When her secret is revealed, will a lavish Christmas Eve ball work in her favor--or will her heart be broken?

Southern belle Marybeth Dawson discovers Santa Claus can’t cross the Mason Dixon line--but handsome Union soldier, Trevor Sutton can.

The miracles of Christmas come in all shapes and sizes, even in unusual disguises. The stories in An American Rose Christmas bring joy, laughter, and happy-ever-afters, albeit after an incredible number of obstacles are overcome. Varied and vibrant with life, each story is compelling in its own special way.

“A Warrior for Christmas” by Beth Trissel

Corwin (Black Hawk) Whitfield, at age fourteen, was taken by Indians after the death of his parents. At age 22, he returns to the white man’s world as the heir to his uncle’s estate, Whitfield Place. The primal call of the frontier pulls at him; he wonders if the warrior part of him can ever fit into the polite society of the white man’s world.

Dimity Scott, Corwin’s Uncle’s ward and a beauty, has been deaf since her bout with scarlet fever. To her Corwin exudes masculine energy and guards many secrets. Even though in love with him at first sight, she thinks, it would take a Christmas miracle to win his heart away from his life with the Indians.

The secondary characters play important roles in Corwin and Dimity’s decisions about their future.

“Redcoat and Sleigh Bells” by Carol A. Spralding

Holly Masters, estranged from her family because of her loyalty to the Patriots in 1775, repeatedly risks her life as a spy for the Colonials. When her luck runs out, she is shot and wakes up in the care of a Redcoat doctor. Her heart and body is oblivious to political convictions, putting Holly in conflict about duty and desire.

Dr. Nicolas Clayton is a doctor first and a Loyalist soldier second. His relationship with the community is unique. The young ladies and their mother’s compete for his attention. But none of them touches his heart like the little spy.

The descriptions, undercurrents, and foreshadowing in this story make it a page-turner, plus the humor sparkles.

“The Christmas Ball” by Susan Macatee

Sara (aka George) Brewster, a soldier in the Union army, grew up doing man’s work. When the opportunity came to make more money by being a soldier, she enlisted. Her family needed the money. When she is shot and Dr. Kirk Ellison learns she is female, her life changes forever. In the elite Washington, D.C. society, Sara recognizes her limitations and loves Dr. Ellison too much to be a hindrance to him in this elite society he takes for granted.

Dr. Kirk Ellison has an unrelenting need to protect and love Sara regardless of her background. As he and Sara interact with D.C. society at the Christmas Eve ball, events keep the reader in breathtaking wonder. Riches and social position take a back seat for love.

“A Soldier for Christmas” by Lauri Robinson

In December of 1863, the war seems distant to Marybeth Dawson. She longs for Edmond to return home. He planned to be gone only a few months and it has been almost two years. Being responsible for Granny, four-year-old Dane, and three-year-old Sally is a heavy load. With money non-existent, and with few things to barter or ways to earn money, Marybeth worries about how she can keep her family fed and safe through the winter. When a lone Union soldier appears on her private path, a whole new set of worries race through her mind, but a primal need deep inside responds to this gorgeous man with the twinkling eyes.

The best qualities of humanity come to light as Major Trevor Sutton encounters Marybeth. Some unexplainable force urges him to help her. His actions reinforce one’s faith in the goodness of humankind.

This beautifully written story makes one believe in miracles. I loved the humor, the surprises, and, most of all, the LOVE.

“Her Holiday Hero” by Lori Anne

Eighteen-year-old Marie Callen’s strong moral sense makes her sensitive to the many cruelties in the world that need to be stopped—in New York City in 1866, these cruelties abound. Educated, opinionated, and a touch rebellious, Marie hates parental machination and her mother’s quiet, calm, privacy is maddening to her at times. As Marie’s sexual awareness awakens, she finds Edward Forest, the stable man, to be her heart’s desire—not suitable as far as her father is concerned.

Oh, what a delightful story ensues as each major character works to achieve his or her own goals—from the master of the house to the maid, each has a decided agenda. “Her Holiday Hero” sparkles with fun and love that is nothing short of a miracle for Christmas.

“The Gift” by Donna Dalton

In Kentucky in 1870, widow Eva Baird strives to make a living and be respectable in spite of her past and her vindictive ex-in-laws. Lyle Haggard, captivated by Eva, is also trying to put his past behind him, but old running mates show up, setting both Eva’s and Lyle’s lives on a new and risky course.

This story touches the heart as the “best Christmas gift ever” come to three very deserving people—makes the reader want to give Eva and Lyle a high five for setting things right.

An American Rose Christmas is an anthology to keep and enjoy every Christmas.