Four-in-one Historical Romance Collection
Includes Carrie’s novella: “A
Barbour Publishing, ISBN 1602609691, 352 pages, $7.99
Ride the transcontinental railroad as
marriage arrives by mail-order—and just in time for Christmas. Annika arrives
in Wyoming to discover her intended is missing. Jolie’s
journey to Nevada is derailed by disaster. Elizabeth carries
a load of secrets to Nebraska. And Amelia travels to California
to wrap up her final attempts at matchmaking. Will the holiday
season be the ticket to spark love in unexpected ways?
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A TRUSTING HEART by Carrie Turansky
Swedish immigrant Annika Bergstrom travels to Wyoming as
a mail order bride, but when her prospective groom, Chase
Simms, disappears, she finds herself falling in love with
his brother Daniel. Will she take hold of her chance for
love, or wait for the man she has promised to marry?
THE PRODIGAL GROOM by Vickie McDonough
Jolie Addams is 18 and must leave the orphanage she grew
up in. The headmaster has arranged for her to work for
a lecherous benefactor. She decides to become a mail-order
bride to escape what she fears would be a dreadful existence.
But on the way to Nevada, her stage is robbed. She and
a wounded passenger are stranded. They are rescued the
next day, but Jolie’s intended refuses to marry her
after she spent the night alone with Clay Jackson. She
and Clay are forced to marry. Can a relationship and love
grow from such an awful beginning?
HIDDEN HEARTS by Therese Stenzel
After facing a series of tragic events, Elizabeth Lariby
agrees to become a mail-order bride. Hoping to build a
new life in Nebraska, she is determined to hide her grief-stricken
heart from her new husband. Driven to be a success, Zane
Michaels quietly obtains a wife through a mail-order bride
society, but feels he must hide his past and his recent
wealth from his new wife. When their secrets are revealed,
will their fledgling marriage survive?
MRS. MAYBERRY MEETS HER
MATCH by Susan Page Davis
Amelia Mayberry’s rewarding career as a matchmaker
is winding down. She’d like to close shop and spend
her sunset years in peace. There’s only one unfinished
piece of business—an unsatisfied customer for whom
she needs to set things right. The question is: will Lennox
Bailey allow her to make amends?
• • • • •
• • •
painted by Lizzy Mack, 1880
A Trusting Heart takes place in 1880, the same year this
painting was made.
In Carrie’s novella, “A Trusting Heart”,
the heroine’s family comes from Sweden, so she brings
Swedish Christmas traditions with her when she travels to
Wyoming and shares them with her new family. Here are two
articles about Swedish Christmas traditions.
Swedish Christmas Traditions
from Christmas World/WorldofChristmas.net
In Sweden, Christmas begins with Saint Lucia ceremony on
13th of December. Lucia was a Christian virgin who is remembered
for her devout faith in Christianity in the 4th century
at Syracuse. The ceremony is held in her honor and is quite
recent and is often associated with the traditional thanksgiving
for the return of the sun. On this day, the youngest daughter
from each family puts on a white robe with a red sash before
dawn and wears a crown of evergreens with tall-lighted
candles attached to it. Then she wakes her parents accompanied
by other children and followed by star boys in long white
shirts, pointed hats and carrying star wands, and serves
them with coffee and Lucia buns.
Similar to Scandinavia, Swedish people move in procession
to the church with lighted candles in hand. At home, mothers
lights the candles on Christmas Eve. Christmas trees are
set up in Sweden two days before Christmas and are decorated
with candles, apples, straw ornaments Swedish flags and small
gnomes wearing red tasseled caps. Christmas home decorations
include red tulips, Pepparkakor or the heart-star and goat-shaped
gingerbread biscuit. Christmas Eve is known as Julafton in
Swedish. Traditional Christmas Eve dinner includes smorgasbord
or a buffet may also be arranged featuring Julskinka or Christmas
ham, pickled pigs feet, lutfisk or dried codfish and variety
A popular Christmas tradition is to serve Risgryngrot, special
rice porridge with a hidden almond. Anyone who finds the
almond in his or her bowl is believed to marry in the coming
year. After the festive Christmas Eve dinner, a friend or
family member dresses up as Tomte or Christmas gnome who
is believed to live under the floorboards of the house or
barn and used to ride a straw goat known as Julbok. Tomte
wears a white beard and red robes and carries a sack with
gifts in it. He gives out the gifts and presents, often accompanied
by funny rhymes, hinting at the contents of the package.
Previously, it was Julbok who gave out presents and then
Tomte or Santa Claus came in. Today, Tomte and Julbok are
no longer associated together though a little brownie known
as Jultomten, helps Santa Claus to give gifts to good children
in Sweden. Modern American figure is quickly catching up
in Sweden and Tomte is losing his original identity.
Holiday Traditions of Sweden
from Mayaco Marketing website
The biggest and longest holiday of the year is the magical
Christmas of Sweden. The excitement begins the first Sunday
of Advent with the lighting of the first Advent candle.
Each Sunday prior to Christmas, another candle is lit with
Feasting and celebrating begin on December
13 with Lucia Day, which legend says is the longest night
of the year and a time when man and beast need extra nourishment.
A Lucia (Queen of Light) is chosen from each home, club,
school, etc. She is dressed in a white gown with a crown
of candles in her hair. She brings coffee, rolls, and ginger
biscuits. She is generally accompanied by a train of white-clad
attendants. The girls wear glitter in their hair and the
boys wear tall paper cone hats decorated with stars. While
delivering their precious fare, they sing traditional Lucia
The Swedish Christmas tree is not brought
into the home until one or two days before Christmas. It
is decorated with gaily wrapped candies, glass bulbs, and
often straw trinkets, with electric lights or candles.
But the height of the Christmas celebrations is December
24, Christmas Eve. No work is to be done on this day except
feeding the livestock and last minute preparations for the
splendid Christmas meal. This is the famous Swedish “Smorgasbord.” Dishes
such as ham, jellied pigs feet, “lutfisk” and
rice porridge are traditional. “Lutfishk” literally
translated means “lye-fish” and actually is foaked
in lye to make it soft and palatable. The rice porridge is
made with an abundance of cram, sugar and cinnamon and whoever
finds the whole almond in their porridge is expected to be
married within the year.
After the meal, the “Tomte” comes. He is the
Christmas elf who lives under floorboards of the hours or
barn and looks after the family and livestock throughout
the year. “Tomte” often brings presents and children
graciously leave a dish of porridge for him during the night.
By tradition, Swedes attend church in the
vary early hours of Christmas morning. Occasionally, as in
olden days, the trek to church is made by horse-drawn sleighs.
The ride often becomes a race to the church. It is believed
the winner will have the best harvest in the coming year.
The Christmas spirit and enjoyment linger
until January 14—Knut’s
Day—the day appointed to discard the Christmas tree and
devour all the edible decorations. This is quite an occasion,
especially for the young who occasionally dress as “Old
Knut” and play practical jokes and chant as they fling
the old tree into the snow, with a promise to reunite with
their beloved pine in one year.
St. Lucia Day Bun Recipe
from King Arthur Flour Company
St. Lucia’s Day is celebrated in Sweden on December
13. According to legend, Lucia died a martyr’s death
and was later made a saint. Today, a small girl dresses as
St. (Santa) Lucia during town celebrations and joins the
singing ceremonies of the day. The key figure in the celebration,
St. Lucia dresses in a white gown, and wears a crown of candles
on her head -- sometimes the candles are real, sometime battery-operated,
for obvious reasons. St. Lucia symbolizes the promise of
the sun’s return to bring Sweden from its wintry darkness.
In Swedish homes on Lucia’s day, young girls in the
family dress as St. Lucia and present their parents with
breakfast in bed. That breakfast tray usually includes a
pot of tea, some milk, and some St. Lucia Buns or Lussekatter
(Lucia Cats). The yeasted saffron buns get their names from
the whimsical shapes they take while being made: figure-eight
shaped “cats,” “S” shapes, for saffron,
1 cup (8 ounces) milk
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1/2 cup (4 ounces) butter
1 tablespoon instant yeast (SAF Gold or Fermipan Brown, if
you have it)
4 1/2 cups (19 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose
1/4 cup (1 1/4 ounces) potato flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups glazing sugar or confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 to 3 tablespoons water OR 4 to 5 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 cup (2 1/4 ounces) toasted slivered almonds
In a small saucepan set over medium heat,
heat the milk and saffron to a simmer; remove from the heat
and stir in the butter. Set the mixture aside to allow the
butter to melt, and for it to cool to lukewarm.
MANUAL/MIXER METHOD: In a large bowl or the
bowl of a mixer, whisk together the yeast, flours, salt and
sugar. Separate one egg, and set the white aside. Pour the
lukewarm milk and butter mixture over the dry ingredients,
and mix well. Beat in 2 eggs, the extra yolk and the vanilla
or Creme Bouquet Flavoring. Beat for 10 to 15 minutes. The
dough will be quite soft, but should lose its stickiness
and become shiny as it’s being beaten. This is hard
to accomplish by hand, but easily done in a stand mixer or
Place the dough in a greased bowl, turn to
coat, then cover and let rise for 1 hour. For ease of handling,
and to develop flavor, refrigerate the dough for 2 or more
hours (overnight is fine).
BREAD MACHINE METHOD: Place
all of the dough ingredients, including the lukewarm milk
mixture, and the butter, into the pan of your machine. Program
the machine for Manual or Dough, and press Start. Take a
look at the dough about 10 minutes before the end of the
final kneading cycle, and adjust its consistency with additional
water or flour, as necessary, to produce a smooth, supple
dough. Allow the machine to complete its cycle.
SHAPING: Remove the dough from the refrigerator
been chilled). Knead it briefly to expel excess carbon dioxide,
and divide it into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a thin
strip about 12 inches long; shape the strips into pretzels,
or the shape of your choice.
Place the shaped rolls on lightly greased
or parchment-lined baking sheets; cover them lightly, then
let them rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, till they’re quite puffy. (If your
kitchen or house is colder than normal, the rising may take
up to 3 hours. Don’t despair!)
Beat the reserved egg white with 1 tablespoon
of water. Brush it over the rolls; if you choose not to use
the glaze after baking, a sprinkling of pearl sugar atop
this egg white wash is very nice.
the rolls in a preheated 375°F oven for
12 to 15 minutes, just until they’re very lightly browned.
Remove them from the oven, and transfer them to a rack to
GLAZE: Near the
end of the baking time, prepare the glaze by mixing together
the sugar, vanilla and water or heavy cream. Brush the rolls
with the glaze, and and sprinkle with the almonds. Yield:
Nutrition information per serving (1 bun,
122g): 386 cal, 12g fat, 9g protein, 39g complex carbohydrates,
23g sugar, 2g dietary fiber, 75mg cholesterol, 296mg sodium,
221mg potassium, 107RE vitamin A, 1mg vitamin C, 3mg iron,
48mg calcium, 129mg phosphorus.
This recipe reprinted from The
Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. XII, No. 1, Holiday 2000 issue.