today’s book: Covert Amish Christmas
Welcome to the second to last post in my annual blog series spotlighting new and recently-released Christmas reads! (We had over 50 this year but I still can’t believe it’s over already!)
Christmas is only TWO DAYS away – and today is the last day of the Christmas Reads Giveaway for this year. I hope y’all have enjoyed this year’s book spotlights and guest posts! I couldn’t have done it without the fabulous authors providing their posts and giveaways & without y’all visiting each post & entering the giveaways in droves – i love the bookish community so much!
Today’s first book is a romantic suspense, set in Amish country with a former CIA agent heroine – plus author Mary Alford shares thoughts on Christmas past, present, and future (and a recipe)!
COVERT AMISH CHRISTMAS
GENRE: Inspirational Romantic Suspense
PUBLISHER: Love Inspired Suspense
RELEASE DATE: November 1, 2020
Fleeing to Amish country
might be the only way to survive Christmas…
Hiding in Amish country, former CIA agent Victoria Kauffman’s determined to find evidence to catch the corrupt agents who killed her partner. But when her Christmas refuge is discovered, the sole person she can trust is Amish widower Aaron Shetler. With ruthless—and dangerously powerful—enemies after them, Victoria must use all her training to make sure they live through the holidays.
USA TODAY Bestselling Author Mary Alford
From Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense: Courage. Danger. Faith.
Christmas Past Present and Future
by Mary Alford, author of Covert Amish Christmas
I cannot believe it’s almost Christmas! It seems to go by faster each year. The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas passes in a blink of the eye.
Growing up was a different story, though. I didn’t think Christmas would ever get there as a child. But then, December would finally roll around, the Christmas specials would begin to appear on TV, and I knew Christmas was close. Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas—all were great, but my favorite was Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol. It was an animated TV musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ a Christmas Carol. Mister Magoo played Ebenezer Scrooge who was visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future.
I find myself visited each year in the form of Christmas memories past and present.
With the approach of the holiday season, I look back on the many Christmases past. Remembering those precious childhood memories spent with loved ones each year. Family gathered round the table. Some no longer with us, but those who were made the holidays so special.
Along with the Christmas shows, the arrival of our family Christmas tree was another signal that the season was quickly approaching. Each year, we would pick out the perfect Christmas tree and bring it home. Soon, the smell of the tree would fill the house and my mom would get out our ornaments that had been in the family for years. And I would impatiently await that special day.
And then Christmas Eve finally arrived. As a child, I anticipated Santa’s arrival for weeks, and painstakingly selected my favorite toy to put on my wish list. Our family would open our presents before attending the Christmas Eve service.
Even today, I can still see those smiling faces gathered round the table. The delicious meal prepared by my mother and a little by me. I would watch her cook everything from memory and help whenever needed. Mostly, I just snuck little tidbits when she wasn’t looking.
As I grew older, I realized the real meaning of Christmas wasn’t found in presents delivered by Santa. The holiday became even more special with the realization of the careful planning God put into His Son’s birth in that stable to humble parents whose lives were changed forever.
This year, as I decorate the house for the holiday, I see many of my family traditions still present in the way my husband and I celebrate Christmas with family gathered round the table, missing those who were no longer with us. For the past eight years, my husband and I have put up his father’s Christmas tree as a tribute to the man who was a true hero. I decorate the tree with personalized photo ornaments of his great-grandchildren, and homemade ones they created through the years. A new Christmas tradition that I hope will be passed on.
But what about Christmases to come? Well, none of us know what the future holds so it remains to be seen, but just like Mister Magoo, I hope I get many more Christmases in the future to gather with loved ones and remember the true meaning of Christmas is not found under the tree or around the table. The true meaning came to us from God and is the best Christmas present ever. The birth of our Savior. Thank you, God!
What about you? Do you have any special Christmas traditions that have been passed down through the years? They are a lovely way to keep your family memories alive, and I hope this Christmas is filled with many new and precious memories to keep close through the coming years.
Of all the special foods my mother prepared each Christmas, her fruit salad is the one that reminds me of her the most, and I thought I would share it with you.
Mom’s Creamy Fruit Salad
2 medium apples, cored and cubed
1/2 tbl lemon juice
2 medium banana, sliced
1 orange (you can use more if you’d like)
1/2 chopped pecans
2 cups of whipped cream (homemade or Cool Whip works great)
1 tbl Miracle Whip salad dressing (or to taste)
- Core and peel apples and mix with lemon juice to prevent discoloring or browning.
- Add all other ingredients and mix together.
- Chill until served.
Through the years, I’ve experimented with adding other fruits, such as strawberries and grapes. Both work great. I’ve also added marshmallows or coconut flakes or both.
From my family—past and present—to yours now, Merry Christmas!
2-time USA Today Bestselling Author, Mary Alford, loves giving her readers the un-expected, whether it be in a rugged mountain setting or a peaceful Amish community.
Her titles have appeared on the USA Today Bestselling List, Publisher’s Weekly Bestselling List, and have been finalists in the Daphne Du Maurier award of excellence, The Beverly, The Maggie, and The Selah Awards.
Mary lives in Texas with her husband, two very spoiled cats, and a sweet rescue dog name Cody. Mary is very active online and would love to connect with readers on Facebook and Twitter or any social platforms listed at www.maryalford.net.
Mary Alford is offering a print copy of Covert Amish Christmas to one of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What makes you want to read Covert Amish Christmas by Mary Alford? Do you have any special Christmas traditions that have been passed down through the years?