Thursday, October 22, 2015

Straight Browsing from the Library: The Christmas Cradle by Charlotte Hubbard

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Charlotte will be awarding $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


For the peaceful town of Willow Ridge, November presents an early holiday surprise. Stranded in the snow, 18-year-old Lena Esh and her boyfriend Josiah Witmer need more than a place to stay for the night. Lena defied her strict family and their judgmental beliefs to run away with Josiah and have his baby. But she’s starting to wonder if he can prove as responsible as he is passionate. And she isn’t sure how—or if—they can ever find a place to truly call home.

Expecting their own miracle baby, Miriam and Ben Hooley rally the town to help the young couple, and Lena draws strength from their unexpected support. Though trouble may come calling, in this season of joyous rebirth, a little child will lead them. And two couples will see their dreams of forever family come true…


After Nora and Luke had cut their tiered wedding cake, Miriam, Lena, and a few other ladies began to plate cake for the guests. Nora had decided to serve the cake right after dinner rather than later in the day as newlyweds traditionally did. This suited Miriam, because she was feeling heavy and tired—maybe because she needed to speak with Naomi about her decision not to work at the Sweet Seasons anymore.

How should she break the news to her business partner, her cook, her best friend? As she sliced the large bottom layer of the beautiful white cake she’d made, Miriam searched for the right words and the right time. When all the guests were visiting and Lena had gone to sit with Josiah and Savilla, she smiled at Naomi. “How about us two stayin’ right here in this corner to chat?” she suggested. “I’ve got something to say, and it’s not for just anybody to hear.”

Naomi’s brown eyes widened. She picked up two plates of cake and handed one to Miriam before scooting her chair so they sat side by side. “I hope ya haven’t had a bad report from Andy about the baby,” she murmured.

“No, no, nothin’ like that.” Miriam pressed her fork through the layer of moist cake and frosting, but didn’t eat the bite she’d cut. “Ben and Tom are sayin’ I’ve overstepped by workin’ at the cafĂ©, especially with a baby comin’. So Saturday’ll be my last day,” she murmured. “I hate springin’ it on ya this way, but—”

“Oh, dearie, I’ve been waitin’ for this shoe to drop ever since ya married Ben,” Naomi said with a chuckle. “When we closed up for a couple weeks between last Christmas and your New Year’s Day wedding, I figured ya wouldn’t come back to work after that.”

Miriam let out the breath she’d been holding. Why had she lain awake the past two nights, fearing Naomi would fuss or feel overwhelmed?

“I’m mighty glad ya did come back to work, though,” her partner added as she squeezed Miriam’s hand. “Won’t be the same without ya there, Miriam. It’ll be a challenge to find enough help with the bakin’ and servin’, because three people won’t be able to fill your shoes.”

“I’m relieved that you’re takin’ this so well.” Miriam laughed nervously. “Should’ve known you’d be prepared for this situation.”

Naomi blinked quickly, busying herself with a bite of cake before she spoke again. “Like everybody else, I knew ya should be stayin’ home, but I was hangin’ on to every day we could work together.”


Drawing upon her experiences in Jamesport, the largest Old Order Amish community in Missouri, longtime Missourian Charlotte Hubbard writes of simpler times and a faith-based lifestyle in her Seasons of the Heart series. Like her heroine, Miriam Lantz Hooley, Charlotte considers it her personal mission to feed people. Faith and family, farming and food preservation are hallmarks of her lifestyle. She’s a deacon, a dedicated church musician and choir member, and when she’s not writing, she loves to try new recipes, crochet, and sew. Charlotte now lives in Minnesota with her husband and their border collie.

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  1. Thanks so much for featuring my book on your blog today!

  2. I enjoyed the excerpt and the author's bio, thank you for sharing! Food preservation is a dying art in some areas but certainly not in mine. It's wonderful to be able to open a jar of green beans, tomatoes or whatever that you have preserved.

    1. I so agree, Betty--I can green beans, tomatoes and beets every year! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  3. I would love to win this! Thanks for the chance.

  4. I can't wait to read it, it sounds great.

  5. Great excerpt, Sounds like a wonderful book, thanks for sharing!

  6. Bailey Dexter Great excerpt! Looking forward to reading the book! Thanks for the post!

    1. I hope you'll enjoy it--thanks for coming by today!

  7. This sounds really good, love the cover. Enteriong under the name of Virginia

  8. Thanks for sharing the excerpt, can't wait to check out the series :)

  9. If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to?