It’s my favorite holiday. No, not Christmas. Thanksgiving! Let’s not race past the fabulous time of family and feasting to get to the holly and ivy. Stay tuned at the end of this newsletter for my family’s delicious cranberry salad recipe.
Another thing I’m thankful for is an interview with the award-winning author, Lisa Carter, who writes sweet tea-infused, contemporary and suspense romance with a dollop of humor.
Who would you consider your book boyfriend or literary ideal man?
I love the restrained, sophisticated chemistry both physical and verbal that sizzles between Jane Austen’s heroes and heroines. I’m thinking in particular of Mr. Darcy, Mr. Knightley and Captain Wentworth.
Was there a specific moment when you realized you wanted to be a writer, or did it sneak up on you gradually?
I come from a long line of Southern story tellers with a rich oral tradition. I told myself a story in my head every night to go to sleep. I thought everyone did. Only later did I realize that might brand me as “unusual.”
I love to include humor in my stories. What do you consider a hallmark of your writing?
I think humor makes characters more relatable, more human. Seeing the humor in situations has always been a coping mechanism for me in my personal life. I love to make readers laugh—and then wham!—to zing them into tears. Usually, I’m sobbing even as I write those scenes. Other hallmarks of my writing I believe to be: evocative settings that become almost a character in their own right; deeply layered characters, a longing for “home”; and romantic tension.
Are there any upcoming books you’re excited about?
I was invited to write one of the books in a new limited series by Love Inspired centered around the theme of companion dogs. It was a furry departure from my ongoing matchmaker series, but it was fun to learn about the varied work of therapy dogs and their handlers. I love the cover, and I think readers will enjoy this February release, Finding Her Way Back.
Your latest novel is a Christmas romance. Do you have any special holiday traditions at your home?
On Christmas Eve, my entire extended family gathers at my aunt’s farmhouse, including cousins with their children and grandchildren. The children under 18 get to open a Christmas present. We eat; we laugh; we talk. We sing Christmas carols together and someone reads Luke’s account of the birth of Jesus. This—more than Christmas Day—is Christmas for me.
Can giving this baby a holiday refuge help heal his reluctant heart?
Taking in a mother and child is the last thing Luke Morgan expects this Christmas as he struggles to keep his tree farm afloat. But when Shayla Coggins and her baby boy are stranded during a snowstorm, he can’t turn them away. Even as Shayla’s little boy draws them together, her dangerous secret comes home…and makes falling in love riskier than ever.
You can find many more books by Lisa at www.lisacarterauthor.com.
Here’s the recipe I promised you. Don’t be surprised if it steals the show at your family get-together.
Grandma Dunlap’s Cranberry Salad
2 Cups Fresh Cranberries
1/2 Cup Chopped Apples (I use Granny Smith apples for the tart flavor.)
1/2 Cup Sugar (The original recipe called for a full cup!)
1 Cup Crushed Pineapple
1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts
3/4 Cup Celery
1 Package of Raspberry or Cherry Jello (Cherry makes it sweeter. I prefer Raspberry.)
- Boil 2 cups of fresh cranberries in 1 1/4 cups of water until the berries “pop” and the insides are oozing out.
- Add 1/2 cup of sugar and cook on stove for 5 minutes more.
- In a dish about the size of a small cake pan, sprinkle one package of Jello powder.
- Pour the cranberry mixture on top of the Jello, stir well, and refrigerate until partly jelled.
- Before the Jello hardens completely, mix in chopped apples, chopped walnuts, crushed pineapple (drained), and celery.
- Return to the refrigerator and let it cool until it sets.
Please email and let me know how it turned out – good or bad. I have my own share of Thanksgiving blunders. Once, I cooked the turkey with that little plastic bag of gravy/gizzards still inside the bird. (I was young and didn’t know it was in there. We ate it anyway.)
Happy Thanksgiving to all!