Holiday Cheer with Wareeze Woodson

by Anna on December 2, 2013

Wareeze Woodson, the author of Conduct Unbecoming of a Gentleman,  has joined me today to share her holiday traditions and a Brown Betty recipe.  Oh, yes, Wareeze will give away a copy of her book to one lucky person who leaves a comment (you’ll also be eligible for the $25 Barnes and Noble gift card I’m giving away at the end of Holiday Cheer).

Thanks for be part of my Holiday Cheer, Wareeze.
1.       Egg nog or hot chocolate? Hot chocolate and slivers of toast.

2.       Share one of your favorite holiday memories. I love to recall the past Christmas times my siblings and families gathered at my parent’s home to partake of a feast fit for a king. We sang Christmas songs around the piano, exchanged gifts and recalled past Christmas parties.

3.       What is your favorite Christmas tradition? Now, my children and their families gather at our house for the traditional feast. We open presents, tell the Christmas story of Christ’s birth and sing. Several times we have shared our feast and happy times with a person that would otherwise be alone for the holiday.

4.       What is your favorite holiday song? Silent Night

5.       What is something on your gift wish list? My very favorite present is a gift card to a restaurant, preferable somewhere that serves sea food.

6.       What is the most important thing about the holidays for you? The reason for the season; Christ in Christmas.

7.       What do you leave for Santa? Nothing now. My children have that responsibility. I can set back and enjoy—after I cook the ham, bake 3 pies and make fudge, divinity, fruit salad and yeast rolls.

8.       What do you do on Christmas Eve? Go to the candlelight worship service at church.

9.   Do you have a Christmas morning tradition? Sleep in after I set the rolls to rise and the dressing on slow bake in the over. We eat a big Christmas dinner when the children and grandchildren arrive. Then we open presents.

10.   Do you have a real or artificial tree? Real tree. We like the smell and my children gripe if I have an artificial one. “Aw, this is Christmas. A fake tree makes a fake Christmas.”

11.   What tops your tree? An angel.

12.   What color lights do you put on your tree? White light most of the time with Victorian ornaments in pinks and deep wine reds.

13.   Do you wrap as you go or do you do a marathon wrapping ‘party?’ I tend to put off wrapping, but when the tree goes up on Thanksgiving weekend, there must be presents under it.

14.   Where would you spend the holiday if you could go anywhere in the world? In the lovely picture on a Christmas card with snow, caroling, happy faces and love all around.

15.   What is your favorite holiday book? A Sandcastle Christmas written by my friend JD Faver. I also love the poem of Twas the Night Before Christmas.

16.   Do you have a favorite holiday decoration? All of my Victorian ladies that adorn my tree each year. I have others that I’ve collected through the years that are nearly as precious to me.

17.   What is your favorite holiday dish? Ham and dinner rolls.

18.   What is your favorite holiday treat (pie, cake, cookies, etc)? Fudge and Divinity.  I also make pumpkin and pecan pies.


Brown Betty 


2 cups bread crumbs or graham-cracker crumbs

3 T melted better

4 medium apples

½ cup brown sugar

1 T lemon juice

½ t grated lemon peel

1/3 cup hot water



Combine crumbs and butter: stir over low heat until lightly browned. Place 1/3 in greased 8x8x2 inch pan.

Pare, core and slice apples: arrange half in layers over crumbs. Sprinkle with half the sugar, lemon juice and peel.

Add second layer of crumbs and remaining apples, sugar, lemon juice and peel. Cover with remaining crumbs. Pour water over mixture. Bake in moderate oven (375) until apples are tender, 30 to 40 minute. Serve warm with Lemon Sauce. Makes 6 servings.

Christmas 4

Christmas time is a season for sharing and forgiveness. My hope for you is that you can forgive and forget any past wrongs, imaginary or real.  Holding bitterness and resentment in your heart eats away at your soul. If you hold a grudge, the person that committed the offense is still in control of your emotions, pushing and causing you misery while they are long past the event. Let it go. Live, laugh and love. ~ Wareeze

 I wish every one of you a very happy holiday as well as a Merry Christmas.



Recently widowed Lady Laurel Laningham flees Landings to escape her untenable position. Alone now and at the mercy of her sister-in-law, she decides to nestle under her aunt’s wings for a spell. To add to her burdens, her young son’s new guardian, Lord Adron Gladrey, has announced his intentions to take complete charge of his ward. The killer is stalking her and a devious jewel thief is stealing the family jewels. Can she convince her son’s guardian she is not a dangerous lunatic and is perfectly capable of raising her son or will he always consider her untrustworthy as a mother to his ward? Will his stubborn blindness send her straight into the path of the murderer, or will he relent in time to save her from following her husband into the grave?

Conduct Unbecoming of a Gentleman

 Freedom. Freedom. Freedom. Each rotation of the hired coach’s wheels whispered the word. Laurel cradled her sleeping two-year-old son, the new Lord Laningham, as a heady sense of satisfaction curved her lips. She didn’t even mind the slight musty odor pervading the vehicle, although she leaned over and raised the window cover for a breath of fresh air. With a sigh she settled back against the seat. At least for a while, Rhonda’s constant complaints would no longer ring in her ears and for that she was devoutly thankful.

Out of nowhere, a rider flashed by the coach window and her startled gaze locked with his brief glance. Although she’d caught only a glimpse of the stranger, in that instant his intense, deep-brown eyes mocked her and unease shivered down her spine. She stared after him for a second before instinctively gathering her child closer. Laurel planted a kiss on his blonde curls, drawing reassurance from the nearness of his warm little body. As long as she had Jamie nothing else mattered. Her son must remain safe.

Everything happened at once. The coach lunged to the right and scraped against the bushes beside the road, sending a shower of droplets splashing inside the window. Her book and Jamie’s wooden horse thumped to the floor. The racket of brakes screeching shrilled in her ears as the vehicle rattled and lurched out of control.

“Jamie,” she cried.

* * *

His voice floated down to her. “Are you or the child injured?”

“I think several scrapes and bruises at most.” Laurel trembled and brushed her bonnet out of her face. She heard his quick intake of breath.

“You’re positive? You must have taken quite a tumble when the coach overturned. Possibly you’re more injured than you know.”

“Only a little shaken.” She took a deep, calming breath then continued with more force. “I’m certain we’re both fine.”

He hesitated and exhaled deeply. “A damsel in distress then. Do you perhaps have a name?”

Authority rang in his voice. She clutched Jamie a little tighter and offered him a tremulous smile. “Laurel Jane Laningham. Thank you for coming to our rescue.” She shaded her eyes with one hand, waiting for him to return the introduction.

“Let’s get you out of there. Hand me the boy first.”

He reached down into the overturned coach and Laurel lifted Jamie above her head into the waiting arms of the stranger. Her rescuer leapt to the ground with her son. A chill of foreboding curled around her. He’d said the boy. An unknown man shouldn’t know the child was a male. With every one of her senses alert, she listened intently for the stranger to return. Saddle leather squeaked and the thunder of hooves struck the ground in retreat.

Laurel screamed, “Bring my son back. I’ll see you hanged for this, you blackguard. Come back here. Help. Driver, help me.”


Learn more about Wareeze Woodson:

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