Sunday, December 2, 2018

Sweet Treats and 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 Seekerville 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 available for preorder. The ebook is up, the print book is coming. I don't know how to make it available for pre-order, every time I've tried the book just PUBLISHES. So I'm waiting but it's coming soon.

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.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

62 comments:

  1. Mary,
    WOW - I can't believe I'm the first to comment - I'm usually the last - 2 or 3 days later!
    The candy sounds delicious - can't wait to try it! Please put my name in for the drawing - would love to read your Christmas novellas!
    Happy Advent, everyone!

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    1. Edwina, it is no fail, super fast, so delicious. The trick to Connealy Crunch is it's sweet AND salty, because there are nuts. Too sweet candy limits the amount you can gobble up. But not this stuff, you can keep eating for HOURS!!! :)

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  2. Mary, we made this a few days ago and tucked a bunch into the freezer for next week's party here... and it was so fun! Made it with kiddos and they loved it. I used Reese's Puffs instead of Captain Crunch peanut butter cereal, but any peanut butter style cereal works... I love this stuff!

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  3. Advent Party in full swing! OH MYLANTA!!!! I'm so excited about this month, my friends!!!!

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    1. Full Swing!!! Now I feel more excited than ever!!!

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  4. Replies
    1. I could post SO MANY BABY PICTURE!!!!!
      I'm still babysitting. We got through the first night!

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  5. Pre-ordered your newest. Love the Garrison series. I'm a fan of all your stuff. Your Christmas collection sounds like a sweet weekend retreat.

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    1. Hi Jubileewriter. Thank you so much for buying and reading my books. I sincerely, deeply appreciate it.
      I haven't read the Christmas novellas for a while and they really are sweet.

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  6. Thanks for the giveaway. The novellas sounds great. The baby is so precious!

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  7. Congrats on the newest addition to the family.

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    1. Thanks, Kim, a fun little Advent addition to the family!

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  8. Congratulations on your new grandchild!

    I just printed off the recipe. I will need to try this.

    I would love your novellas.

    Had a great time Teaching in Children's Church with the preschoolers yesterday. I love teaching with a manger and baby doll in the classroom. I finally came up with an idea for making a quick and easy manger. I took a laundry basket. Put a couple small decorative pillows in the bottom and covered all with my Sherpa throw. Then placed the doll in the manger. The kids loved taking care of baby Jesus.

    I'll come back later to do the rafflecopter. Today is the Staples and Michael's Run to the closest one an hour away

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    1. Staples and Michael's? Shopping heaven!!! Enjoy your trip!

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    2. Wilani, That's a great idea for a manger. I'll bet the kids loved it! Such a wonderful time of the year. And I love office supplies and Michael's. Once you get in the door it's hard to get out! :)

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  9. Good morning, Mary!

    I love that Connealy crunch. So simple and easy, but SOOOO good! I have to make a batch for my crew this year.

    That baby... stinkin' adorable.

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    1. Jan, take it with you to the NORTH POLE!!! Seriously, this candy can be bagged up and given as gifts. You'll be beloved!

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  10. Mary, I'm assuming that's a new grandchild. Congratulations!
    Looking forward to, well, everything about Christmas. Had a busy weekend, a Festival of Trees on Thursday, out for afternoon tea Saturday and a "Nutcracker" performance yesterday, now I need to get down to work. Back later,
    Kathy Bailey
    Kathy Bailey

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    1. That is a new granddaughter born on November 30. She is FOUR DAYS OLD! Her mama, daddy, big sister and I have no survived one night at home.
      Sleep is overrated, so it's all fine.

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  11. Mary, this post is full of sweet things. Sweet Connealy Crunch, a sweet new baby and sweet books. What more could anyone ask for?

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  12. Wow! Thanks for the chance to win! Love your books, Mary! Merry Christmas!

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    1. Hi Janelle, tis the season for giving right? :D

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  13. Love Love Love the picture of you and your sweet grandbaby! The joy on your face is priceless!
    I'm definitely going to get your Christmas novella collection, because it sounds fabulous! To write about your grandparent's story...what was that like? I think that is just the coolest thing ever.

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    1. My grandparents story is and always has been, a cool story. The deathbed promise, the difference in their education and life experience. My grandma, such a fish-out-of-water on a Nebraska farm.

      Honestly, my dad's parents have kind of a strange story, too. I don't know as much about that, I think it's because my dad just wasn't as much of a talker. So more fictionalizing!!!

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  14. Thanks for all the giveaways and congratulations on the new baby!

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    1. Hi Linda! You're welcome and thanks for the congrats!

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  15. Mary that picture of you and your grand is just the sweetest! Your Connealy crunch sounds delicious! I'll have to see if I can find a way to make it gluten-free. Though I could enjoy tons of it virtually, in real life, it wouldn't end so well. :)

    Your books all sound so good! Not surprising, of course. :) Thanks for such an upbeat start to my Monday!

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    1. Jeanne, add in the Connealy Crunch and the whole WEEK is made!!!

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    1. Linda, I'll try and fix it! I'm so sorry! Erica! Alert!

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    2. Hi, Linda, the link should be fixed now! Thanks for letting me know! :)

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  17. I love novellas, especially at Christmas. They are just the right length for a quick, relaxing read in the middle of the busy holiday season. I would love to win your collection!

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    1. I think you'll love these, Lila. Such fun, sweet, happy books. :D

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  18. Thanks for the delicious candy recipe and the sweet Christmas novel giveaway too. I would love to read about your grandparents story in The Sweetest Gift.

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    1. It came out so nicely. My mom just read it. It was ebook only before and my 90 year old mom doesn't do ebooks. So she hadn't read it. She seemed to really enjoy it.

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  19. I love the story behind the piano! Thanks for the chance.
    Becky

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    1. Hi Becky, My grandma died when I was sixteen. I wish I could go back and see that piano and the house with the eyes of an adult. I'm sure it fit in that room and got in through the door somehow, but it seemed magical to me as a child. A room so full of a piano you coudn't walk around it, and yet...how did it get in there?

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  20. Such a precious little one! So thrilled for the parents...and grandparents. The perfect gift for Christmas. :)

    Thanks for the Crunch recipe! Yum!

    And more wonderful Mary Connealy stories to read! It's all good!

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    1. It's a trifecta of sweetness, Debby. Merry Christmas!

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  21. Congrats on the new grandbaby. Definately the best gift ever. Well, if you don't count the whole Jesus thing. BUT WE DO SO it's definately the 2nd best gift ever ha!! Yay! A new Connealy book! You're having such an exciting start to the Christmas season :))) GO YOU!!!

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    1. The Second Greatest Gift...…….that would make a decent book title! Have a wonderful, Merry Christmas.

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  22. Connealy Crunch is so good it should be illegal. :) We make it every year for our New Year's Open House.

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    1. It makes a gallon of delicious crunch Christmas candy.

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  23. Mary, congratulations on your new granddaughter! She's adorable.

    I'm excited about our December party!

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  24. That piano story is amazing. Love it! And congrats on your beautiful grandbaby! :)

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    1. It is a charming slightly mystical story to me. I tried to catch the way it made me feel as a child.

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  25. Your Crunch sounds so good. I'll have to make some when the grandkids come. I love the story about the piano. What a mystery! Please throw my name in the hat for your Christmas collection.

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    1. You're in Winnie. Let the kids help make it. It is one of those beloved 10 minute recipes.

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  26. The crunch recipe sounds amazing! Though I haven't seen peanut butter captain crunch before. And I love the story of the piano. I've always wanted to own a concert grand and build a room around it with floor to ceiling windows overlooking a lake. A crystal chandelier, and wall sconces would illuminate the room. Black and white tiled floors would be a perfect compliment to the glossy black finish of the Steinway. (Lee-Ann B)

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    1. Lee-Ann B, you can use Reeces Peanut Butter Cereal like Ruthy did, but you STILL HAVE TO CALL IT CONNEALY CRUNCH!!!

      Those are the rules.

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  27. Mary -- what a beautiful grandchild! Congratulations! And I love that you fictionalized your grandparents story. So special.

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  28. Would love to read these sweet novellas! Thanks for the chance. paulams49ATsbcglobalDOTnet Paula Shreckhise. Google doesn’t like me today, so I’m anonymous.

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  29. Thanks for sharing your recipe. Connealy Crunch sounds delicious. I also look forward to reading these novellas.

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  30. Thanks for the chance to win your novellas. Merry Christmas!

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  31. I'm seriously printing this recipe out to make myself Mary, you had me at Captain Crunch Peanut Butter cereal! I can see this becoming a tradition at our house every year :-) Just a side note; my grandma used to make almond bark covered pretzels, both white and chocolate. Good memories are associated with them! I intend to make some one of these days :-)

    I am absolutely in love with the picture of you holding your newest granddaughter, she looks like she's smiling up at you. There's nothing more precious, is there?

    Thanks for the chance to win a copy of your novella set, what's better than a Connealy story? Nothing in my book (no pun intended)

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