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Tea Party Winners: Carla Gade's winner is Becky Dempsey, Andrea Boeshaar's winner Caryl Kane, Gina Welborn's winner Jasmine A., Carrie Fancett Pagels' winners book copy -- Lynda Edwards, teacup and saucer -- Wendy Shoults

Friday, February 6, 2015

February New Releases Tea Party - Susan F. Craft's "The Laurel" & Carla Olson Gade's "Proving Up"









Today's party takes us to a small town in the Great Plains in the 19th century, occupied by many Swedish immigrants who have settled there.

May I offer you some Swedish Egg Coffee, as the Swedes prefer, and some Brunscrackers (shortbread cookies)? This is what the Swedish immigrant characters in "Proving Up" from The Homestead Brides Collection enjoy for refreshment.






The Homestead Brides Collection (Barbour)9 Pioneering Couples Risk All for Love and Land


Through nine historical romance adventures, readers will journey along with individuals who are ready to stake a claim and plant their dreams on a piece of the great American plains. While fighting land disputes, helping neighbors, and tackling the challenges of nature the homesteaders are placed in the path of other dreamers with whom romance sparks. And God has His hand in orchestrating each unique meeting.

Proving Up by Carla Olson Gade


Swedeberg, Nebraska, 1886
A young Swedish widow applies her scientific theories to growing trees on the barren Great Plains intruding on
a handsome homesteader’s hard work and experience. Will their dreams come to ruin or will love prove their success?

Pinterest Story Board



Native New Englander Carla Olson Gade writes adventures of the heart with historical roots from her home amid the rustic landscapes of Maine. With seven books in print, she is always imaging more stories and enjoys bringing her tales to life with historically authentic settings and characters. An avid reader, amateur genealogist, photographer, and house plan hobbyist, Carla’s great love (next to her family) is historical research. Though you might find her tromping around an abandoned homestead, an old fort, or interviewing a docent at a historical museum, it’s easier to connect with her online at carlaolsongade.com.



Image Sources: Pinterest


Laurel - A Post-Revolutionary War Romantic Suspense
Susan F. Craft

May 1783, Blue Ridge Mountains

Desperate to rescue their kidnapped daughter, Lilyan and Nicholas Xanthakos trek two hundred miles through South Carolina mountains and backcountry wilderness, fighting outlaws, hunger, sleeplessness, and despair. When the trail grows cold, the couple battles guilt and personal shame; Lilyan for letting Laurel out of her sight, and Nicholas for failing to keep his family safe.

They track Laurel to the port of Charleston as post-Revolutionary War passions reach fever pitch. There, Lilyan, a former patriot spy, is charged for the murder of a British officer. She is thrown into the Exchange Building dungeon and chained alongside prostitutes, thieves, and murderers. Separated from her husband, she digs deep inside to re-ignite the courage and faith that helped her survive the war. Determined to free his wife at any cost, Nicholas finds himself forced back into a life of violence he thought he’d left behind.

Following a rumor that Laurel may be aboard a freighter bound for Baltimore, Lilyan and Nicholas secure passage on a departing schooner, but two days into the voyage, a storm blows their ship aground on Diamond Shoals. As the ship founders, both are swept overboard.

Will their love for each other and their faith sustain them as they await word of their missing child? Or is Laurel lost to them forever?


Susan F. Craft writes historical romantic suspense. Her Revolutionary War novel, The Chamomile, won the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Okra Pick. Susan recently retired after a 41-year career as a communications director, editor, and proofreader. To assist authors to “get it right about horses in their works,” Susan worked with the Long Riders’ Guild Academic Foundation to compile A Writer's Guide to Horses that can be found at www.lrgaf.org. Forty-five years ago, she married her high school sweetheart, and they have two adult children, one granddaughter, and a granddog. An admitted history nerd, she enjoys researching for her novels, painting, singing, listening to music, and sitting on her porch watching the rabbits and geese eat her daylilies. She has two post-Revolutionary War novels being released in 2015 by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas—Laurel, was in January, and its sequel Cassia in September. She is represented by Linda S. Glaz, Hartline Literary Agency.


 GIVEAWAYS:

One copy of The Homestead Brides Collection, autographed by all nine contributing authors.



One copy of Laurel and an 8 x 10 print of this beautiful painting by Susan that inspired her as she wrote her book.
 
CFP: Isn't this beautiful?
A package of Young Hyson fine tea (loose) from Colonial Williamsburg plus chamomile tea bags to one winner. If you haven't read Susan's wonderful novel, The Chamomile, you need to! It is one of the best colonial era books I've read! It's full of colonial gems that delighted me as I read it!

Please leave a comment here on the blog to enter! We will announce the winners up top--come back late Sunday afternoon to check!  We also have a Facebook party page if you'd like to post your gown!

121 comments:

  1. Congrats ladies on your releases! So excited for you! :)

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    1. Thank you, Caryl. I'm excited too. I can't wait for people to meet the Xanthakos family. They have become my family and I hated so much to let them go, I wrote a third book about them that's coming out this September.

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    2. Susan, I am looking forward to meeting the Xanthakos family and following their journey! :)

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    3. Thank you, Caryl! So glad you are here to celebrate with us and you look lovely in your gown!

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  2. Congratulations, Carla and Susan, on your new releases! I've already had the pleasure of reading "Laurel" by Susan, but I'm going to order your book as well, Carla! So excited for you ladies! I know the depth of research you both undertake in your stories and all I can say is, "Bravo! Well done!."

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    1. Thank you, Elaine. I hear you just finished another novel. Cannot wait to read it.

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    2. Thank you, Elaine. Yes, much research went into this novella. I know I am in good company with Susan and with you as well who are all just as excited about the research as with writing the story.

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  3. Congratulations! I also have a copy of Laurel coming in the mail & excited to read it!
    Living in Nebr I'm looking forward to reading The Homestead Brides Collection! Swedeberg, Nebraska is straight north of where I live..

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    1. Hi, Deanna. Your copy of Laurel is in the mail :-)

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    2. Deanna, that is so cool that Swedeberg is so close to you. While researching my story I did a bit of research of the whole region. It is so interesting to learn how the different townships were established.

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    3. We now live in a town that has a Homestead monument.. So fun to spend the day enjoying all the displays.

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  4. Congratulations Susan and Carla on your new releases. I'm in the midst of Reading Laurel, which is keeping me from my chores. ;-)

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    1. Thank you, Janet. I'd rather read any day than do chores. I'd even read the Dictionary rather than do chores. What am I saying, I love the Dictionary - so many words to choose from. :-)

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    2. Thank you, Janet dear. Our celebration wouldn't be complete without you!

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  5. Congratulations, Susan and Carla! I loved the Homestead Brides collection and we'll be reviewing that soon on the OWG blog. I had the privilege of reading the first several chapters of Laurel several years ago and look forward to reading the rest. You're both such talented ladies.

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    1. Thank you very much, Carrie. That means a lot coming from you. You have done so much to encourage and support our writing. You are the best!

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  6. Congratulations Susan and Carla! Both of these books sound wonderful! :-)

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    1. Thank you, Teresa. I loved writing Laurel. My husband and I visited the NC Outer Banks to do some research for it. I visited the Beaufort, NC, Maritime Museum and spent so much time there, my husband found a comfortable chair and fell asleep. The museum still uses a card catalog, so I felt right at home.

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  7. Suzanne Richelieu here in my French court gown. I simply had to pull it out when I heard about the party! I'm afraid the gentleman repairing our carriage house is occupying much of my attention this morning. He has an incredible device that will pull the carriage house doors up and down. Can you imagine! Must have very strong pulleys. I wonder what he means by new "remotes" though? Perhaps he will run the rope from the pulleys to us by a long cord overhead?? Je ne sais pas! I don't know!

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    1. Suzanne, I am just as befuddled as you over that carriage house door business! I have heard, however, that there are many innovative individuals that are making progress in our society.

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    2. Oh, and careful, madam, that your beautiful gown does not get caught on those mechanisms.

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  8. Miss Suzanne, how handsome is your repairman? We may not be able to pull you away from the view....;)

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    1. Bonjour, I blush as I tell you the carriage door tradesman was quite handsome but I have my eyes on another blond man, a Palatinater! I met him many years ago in the French countryside, while practicing my escape route!

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  9. Good morning!!! Congratulations to Carla and Susan on their new releases! I'm so glad Carrie reminded to leave my comments over here. I was having so much fun on FB with all the tea and dress talk. :)

    I have to run out and do some food shopping for our send-off party tomorrow. But I will try and check in around lunch to see what's been happening. I'll be famished by then and need a bit of sustenance. Hopefully, I won't embarrass myself and scarf down too many Brunscrackers, but I do love a good shortbread!

    I'll probably need to refresh my dress then too, so I'll be able to wear that second beautiful gown I picked out. :) I'm a bit jealous (in a good way) of Susan's fantastic shoes!

    Until later my lovelies....

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    1. Anne, so happy to find your here on CQ. Several people have admired my shoes that match my dress so perfectly and they've asked me who my cordwainer is. I would give you his name, but he's a bit put out with me for my last-moment request to make my lovely shoes. Artisans are so temperamental. I'm sure when he calms down, he will be happy for the commerce I'm sending his way.

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    2. You are always so beautifully attired, Madame Payne! I knew you'd have at least two changes with your gowns! Tea?

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  10. Congratulations ladies!
    I just stepped out for a moment to say hello. I'm about to enjoy some lemon curd cake so I best head back to the tea party...

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    1. That lemon curd cake is scrumptious. Please do partake until your heart's content!

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  11. Lovely tea party ladies, and congratulations on your books. I love the covers and eager to read the stories. We lived in SC for tweleve years and enjoyed going to Charles Town to see the exciting Seaport city. Have to return to the party my tea needs refreshing. Blessings~

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    1. Madame White, I believe you've also lived in New France. N'est ce pas? Tea?

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    2. We are so glad you have joined us in this sweet celebration, Diane!

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  12. Such lovely gowns! Delicious tea and cake :)

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  13. Good morning, ladies! My don't you all look lovely! The gowns are exquisite. Congratulations Carla and Susan on your new releases! They both sound wonderful. I will definitely be adding them to my wish list! For now, I believe I'll have a piece of that yummy looking lemon curd cake and a cup of tea. *waving to Suzanne Richelieu*

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    1. Bonjour, Mademoiselle Angela! Can I pour you more tea? It's green with a little peppermint in it and delicious!

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    2. Why thank you, Mademoiselle Suzanne! The tea sounds delicious! I've just come from taking a LONG walk (2 miles) and could use some tea. Whew! ;)

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  14. Just taking a quick peek as I'm on the road this morning. It is entirely too cold, but fortunately my carriage is warm as I am covered in blankets and furs with a warming brick at my feet. When I arrive at my destination, I will be certain to come back for a visit at length. Before I depart, I will have a cup of tea and bring one for my traveling companion.

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    1. Safe travels, Carla. Keep warm with the blankets and furs. We're serving coffee now, since it is time elevenses. I just started serving the scones. Savories will be next and then the sweets.

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    2. Safe travels, Carla. Good thing you are bundle up. Can't have you becoming ill.

      Blessings

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  15. (Chappy enters with a smile and lovely flowers for Carla and Susan)
    Good morning beautiful ladies! I pray that all is well with you. I was able to drop in to say hello and to say congratulations to two great ladies. I will try to pop in now and then throughout the day. My hubby says hi as well.....He is home and recovering very nicely. Still in pain, but doing good.
    Both of these books sound great. I won a copy of Laurel already, just waiting to get it. Everyone looks wonderful and seem to be having a great time. Enjoy the party and hope to see you later. Hugs and God bless.
    (Chappy leaves, waving and smiling)

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    1. Debbie, thanks for the flowers! So happy your hubby is recovering. I just received my copies of Laurel in the mail, so yours should be on the way soon. Hope you enjoy it.

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    2. Thanks Susan...after reading all of your teasers, I can't wait to read it! I loved The Chamomile and I know I will love Laurel!

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  16. I've never heard of egg coffee before. I'm not a coffee drinker, though, so I doubt I'd try it if I got the chance. Congratulations on your recent releases, ladies!

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    1. Thank you, Vickie. If you get the chance come on over to the FaceBook tea party anytime today until 9 p.m. We just finished serving coffee for the elevenses. This evening we will have someone playing the piano forte and will talk the gentlemen into dancing. It will probably be during the Royale Tea Time around 4 p.m. and in addition to tea, as part of the tradition we will serve champagne at the beginning and sherry at the end. High tea will be at sixish.

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    2. I do enjoy the egg coffee. Am hoping that the gentlemen will do the honor of dancing with us. Dare say that I think they would enjoy rea
      ding these wonderful books as well!

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  17. Congratulations on the release! It looks great! I love these novella books! Nancycooks4u(at)gmail(dot)com

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  18. I found a ride to the tea and am so glad that I did, so many beautiful ladies all decked out in gowns with hats too...it is a pretty sight. I like shortbread so am going to try those brunscrackers. I love reading a good book and look forward to seeing those mentioned in my home. The cover on "Laurel" is so fetching. I must find a spot of tea to go with my shortbread....

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    1. Hi, I love the cover too. My publisher had two covers designed and we put it on FaceBook for people to vote. The cover with the woman and child won the most votes. People liked the other one too. It was fun listening to different people's perspectives. Enjoy the brunscrackers :-)

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    2. It was so good of you to come! I agree thoroughly, everyone looks so lovely! Do have some brunscrackers, they will be delightful with tea.

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  19. My deepest felicitations to both Susan and Carla! I look forward to reading both stories!

    Oh, those brunscrackers look delightful ... might you have a recipe to share, dear lady?

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    1. Thank you, Shannon. I hope your enjoy Laurel as much as I enjoyed researching for it. (I won't say writing it, because I love doing the research so much more) :-)

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    2. Thank you dearest Shannon! You are a joy to have around. I jotted down the recipe here for you:

      http://allrecipes.com/recipe/swedish-cookies-brunscrackers/photo-gallery.aspx

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  20. Hi everyone! Sorry that I am late. I am going to post a picture of my dress and I will be back. Congrats to the wonderful ladies on their new releases!

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    1. Madame Yost, bonjour! Could to see you here! We're so happy for Madames Roof and Gade!

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    2. Thank you, Gracie. I love your dress. It looks stunning.

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    3. Gracie, your gown is lovely. It is a beautiful shade of green. Thank you for joining us today!

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  21. These brunscrackers are heavenly. I'm having a wonderful time at the party. :)

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    1. Always lovely to see you, Caryl. Tea?

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    2. Lovely seeing you here too! Tea would be so refreshing. Thanks you so much. :)

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    3. I am delighted that you like the brunscrackers. They are a favorite of the characters in my novella.

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  22. Hi, Ladies!!

    Lady Bonnie here from the beautiful state of Ky. - a long ride, but well worth it for the pleasure of your company at this delightful tea party!! I would love a cup of tea to warm myself and one of those delicious looking Brunscrackers, and then I'd love to hear more about each of your wonderful literary efforts.

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    1. Madame Roof, I am pouring tea now before I take my red carriage off to the postal carriers before their horses depart town--I have a special package for you! Madame Craft and Madame Gade are excellent authors!

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    2. Hello, Lady Bonnie. So happy you had a safe journey. Lilyan and Nicholas Xanthakos, when searching for their kidnapped daughter, had to make their way through the wilderness and backcountry of South Carolina. There were no roads to speak of then and lots of danger along the way.

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    3. Why, Bonnie, it is so nice of you to have come all that way to help us celebrate our new books. It means so much to us! And please do have another brunscracker, there are plenty.

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  23. So good to finally get here after that long ride from Maryland. You ladies look lovely in your beautiful gowns. The brunscrackers look delicious and go perfect with hot tea.
    I see Suzanne Richelieu finally tore herself away from her repairman. I will join her with my tea and brunscrackers...

    ````
    Congratulations ladies on your new releases! They sound very interesting.
    Blessings,Tina

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    1. Bonjour Madame Rice! So good to see you here! The carriage door tradesman kept us busy this morning. I could use a reheat on my tea. Would you like some? I'd be happy to pour for you!

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    2. Mrs. Tina, So nice of you to come all that way from Maryland. It is delightful to have such lovely ladies come to our tea party from around the country. I see Madame Richelieu over there whispering something to a few of the ladies. No doubt she is telling all about that rascally repairman and those carriage house doors.

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  24. Susan, I'm so proud to see you living out your dreams! Congratulations on the release of Laurel! Congratulations and best wishes to Carla as well! -Karen Shipp

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    1. Thank you, Karen. I've always appreciated your support and encouragement.

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  25. Hello, ladies! I've finally made it! All the refreshments look delicious! Everyone looks so splendid in their gowns! It's like all the colors of the rainbow are here! I believe I'll go mingle. Splendid party, just splendid!

    Congratulations, on your new releases!

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    1. Regina, darling! It is so wonderful of you to have come. Madame Craft did an outstanding job setting up the tea with her lovely family heirlooms, don't you agree? What a beautiful thought...all the colors of the rainbow...and just as many personalities. A delightful party indeed. We are so glad you came to celebrate with us.

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    2. Madame Fujitani, I feel sure the rainbow has pink in it!!!

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    3. Yes, Madame Craft did a terrific job. I am sure it does, Madame Carrie! You cannot have pink in the rainbow!

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  26. Suzanne, I will excitedly await your package and will be so honored at receiving it - thank you!! Likewise, I am honored to have the opportunity to be present at this tea to honor Madames Craft and Gade - such wonderfully exciting books they've written, I've heard. It will be my pleasure to purchase and read each of them!!

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    1. Watch for the postal carriers to ride into your Kentucky village (I hear Kentucky is a wild remote place!) with their pack bags full!

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  27. (Chappy pops her head in) Everything smells delicious! I am off to make me and the hubby some lunch! I've never heard of egg coffee before. Does it have an egg flavor?
    Well, I am off again....hope to pop in later!
    (Chappy heads back out)

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    1. Chappy, dear! The party was not complete without you! So glad you popped by. I do not believe the egg taste can be detected in the egg coffee, but I have yet to try my first sip. It is a must though, for me.

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  28. Hello ladies. Sorry to be late. Its a long way from Texas and too cold in this direction. I'm used to warmer weather. Don't think I will try that egg coffee. I will take some tea and scones tho. So beautiful dresses today, and ladies, of course. Congratulations Carla and Susan. I know I would love to have both of your books. Lady Maxie
    mac262(at)me(dot)com

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    1. Thank you for traveling all this way. We do hope you brought a little sunshine with you. You look lovely in your gown and fit right in with the other lovelies!

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    2. Madame Anderson, so good to see you! I always smile when you visit! Praying you'll be one of the winners!

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  29. Welcome, Lady Maxie. Would you like lemon curd on your scone? If you prefer coffee to tea, I have found a MateTea made from the leaves and twigs of the yerba mate plant. It's tea that tastes just like coffee.

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    1. I apologize, but I couldn't help but overhear. Mayhap I will have a taste of that MateTea as well.

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    2. Certainly, Carla. I just brewed a fresh pot. It is a popular tea among coffee lovers.

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    3. Tea that tastes like coffee? I have to try that!

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  30. Yeah, congrats on the great books. May you have great success.

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    1. So kind of you to say so, Tammy! Thank you for coming today!

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  31. Some wonderful conversations ;) I'm off to make me some tea.. Don't think I'm brave enough for that egg coffee!

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    1. You might be pleasantly surprised, Deanna. It goes perfectly with the brunscrackers. Ta ta!

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  32. Thank you for the Swedish Coffee and shortbread. I was feeling rather hungry!

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    1. I hope you find it refreshing, Becky. Please mingle with our guests and do enjoy yourself. We are so glad you came.

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    2. The shortbread looks mouthwatering. I haven't had time to stop and enjoy. The animated conversations have been swirling around.

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    3. I've never tried coffee with the egg cooked in it, Madame Dempsey, had you?

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  33. Hello ladies. Congratulations on your books. My name is Debra Dawn and I am having fun at the party. May I have some shortbread? Thanks so much for the party. :)

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    1. Debra Dawn, what a lovely name. We are so glad you could join us for the party. Do have some shortbread, and tea or chocolate as well.

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    2. Thank you Carla. I think I will have some chocolate and shortbread. The books sound very nice. The tea party is lovely. :)

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    3. Hello, Debra. I was about to partake of some myself. I may dash away to a corner and loosen the bows on my shoes. I've been having such a lovely time with our guests, I've quite forgotten to sit down. :-)

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    4. I think I will go mingle with all the lovely ladies. This party is so much fun.

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    5. Hello daughter! I hope you are enjoying yourself.

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    6. Hi mom. I am enjoying myself. The chocolate is yummy!

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    7. I loved your gown, Madame Smith! Chocolate is always good, right?

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    8. Why thank you Carrie. Yes, chocolate is always good. :)

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    9. Okay, now I want chocolate...the kind you eat, not drink. ;-)

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  34. At last my traveling is over, for a few days anyway. And I am so glad to find refreshment among all you lovelies here at this wonderful tea party! It means so much to both Susan and me that you all have come to help us celebrate our new books.

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    1. People have commented on the beautiful cover of your book, Carla. I like it very much. It begs for one to pick it up and start reading.

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    2. Hope your travels went well. Wonderful to see you. :)

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  35. I am fashionably late to this beautiful tea party. Look at all the lovely ladies in their gowns! Mmm, I shall try some of that coffee, it sounds intriguing. Congrats on the exciting sounding releases. Carry on!

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    1. Oh, please do try some coffee. It has an interesting aroma, but it is very satisfying to partake of. The only thing is, it tends to keep me up all night. Yet, while I am at my literary endeavors, I do not mind. You look wonderful in your gown!

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  36. Hi Everybody! So excited to be here! Congrats on your new books, Ladies! I love tea parties.........so much fun! I think I will have some tea and shortbread cookies and mingle around and chat with everyone!

    dowelljanet@hotmail.com

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    1. Oh, thank you, Janet! It was so nice of you to come!

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    2. Good to see you Madame Dowell! Those cookies are so tasty!

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  37. The books sound awesome.............The covers are gorgeous! Can't wait to read them!

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    1. Thanks so much Janet. We hope you'll enjoy reading rhem as much as we enjoyed writing them. Miso glad you made it to the tea party!

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  38. It's been fun reading all the comments.. I just stopped back in for one last cup of tea. Perfect after supper.. thanks, I'm ready to get out of this dress and into my dressing gown :)

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    1. So wonderful you could attend, Deanna! Try this herbal tea!

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  39. I'm looking forward to reading the Homestead Brides Collection. Sounds like an interesting mix of authors, some that I've read before and some that I haven't.

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    1. The book was wonderful. This collection should become a bestseller, Nayda! Loved Carla's beautiful story!!!

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  40. Hello Ladies! I am so happy to have won the Homestead Brides Collection. Thank you for hosting the lovely tea party. It was so nice meeting ALL of you. Blessings

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    1. Congrats, Caryl!!! You will LOVE this book!!!

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  41. Carrie and everyone,
    I feel terrible about missing the tea party. My computer died on me. I now have a new one to set up. Much installing and stuff to get it ready to go. I missed everyone's gorgeous gowns and I really wanted to partake of some tea with you all. Congrats on the new book releases ladies, I am excited for you.
    Hugs, Deanne

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