In the latest novel by Candace West readers enjoy revisiting the mountain town of Valley Creek where they are able to reconnect with members of the Steen family and catch up with what is going on in their lives and the lives of other familiar characters.
Dogwood Winter is an emotionally charged narrative that draws on real life experiences that includes birth, death, serious illness, estranged relationships, etc. to weave together an enthralling book that made me wonder what on earth could possibly happen next. This beautiful story of romance, encouragement, redemption, renewed faith, reconciliation, courage, and even a miracle or two is one for the keeper shelf.
The book description is sufficient without my repetition. Just take my word for it, Dogwood Winter is a book well worth reading. It can stand on its own but is so much better if the preceding books of the Valley Creek Redemption series are read first.
I voluntarily reviewed a digital copy of this book provided by Celebrate Lit. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Book: Dogwood Winter
Author: Candace West
Genre: Historical Romance
Release date: August 24, 2021
Click here to get your copy!
A Lukewarm Correspondence. A Tattered Reputation. Two Hearts at Odds.
He is walking away while she is fighting to walk.
After a springtime swim, Ella Steen is stricken with a dire illness, leaving her without the use of her legs. Meanwhile, Dr. George Curtis, the man she secretly loves, faces ruin. For over a year, the crusty New York City bachelor and vivacious spinster have exchanged dozens of letters and formed a wary friendship.
Neither are willing to open their hearts completely. Until they face each other. The past looms between them, however. Does George still love another or is his heart completely free?
A trip to Valley Creek holds the answers. Instead, when George and Ella arrive, they encounter obstacles that force other truths to the surface. Is George brave enough to confront what he fled in New York? Can Ella confess why she hates dogwood winters? Will their hearts survive?
If only their pasts would keep out of the present.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Candace West was born in the Mississippi delta to a young minister and his wife. She grew up in small-town Arkansas and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello. At twelve years old, she wrote her first story, “Following Prairie River.” In 2018, she published her debut novel Lane Steen, book one of the Valley Creek Redemption Series. By weaving entertaining, hope-filled stories, Candace shares the Gospel and encourages her readers. She currently lives in Arkansas with her husband and their son along with two dogs and three bossy cats.
MORE FROM CANDACE:
Biscuits and gravy has been a staple for generations in my family. It’s perfect for any occasion or breakfast, dinner, and supper. Yes, in our neck of the woods, dinner is lunch, and supper is—well, supper.
And then, we have biscuits and gravy with a twist. We’ll shove the traditional aside for a bowl of chocolate gravy. That’s right, chocolate.
Now, don’t get grossed out. Some people believe chocolate gravy is this weird, mysterious concoction made with meat grease. It’s the gravy part that boggles their mind, but it’s actually straightforward and easy—not true gravy at all. Trust me, if you like chocolate, you’ll want to try this. When you butter a biscuit and drizzle the chocolate over it, you’ll get a little taste of heaven on earth.
And you’ll get a little taste of the Appalachians and Ozarks.
My grandparents, both raised deep in the Arkansas Ozarks, were raised on “chocolate an’ biscuits” and passed the recipe down to us. Throughout the mountains and in pockets throughout the country, you’ll find this lesser-known treat on kitchen tables and family gatherings.
Every recipe is a little different. Every family has their own special way of making it. My family likes their chocolate gravy a little thinner while my husband’s family wants theirs to be the consistency of pudding.
In Dogwood Winter, my characters would’ve eaten chocolate an’ biscuits. Their corner of the Ozarks is famous for it. I can see Ella and George, along with the Steen family, gathering around a table, saying the blessing, and passing the fare to each other. The only skeptical one in the bunch would be George, a New Yorker who wasn’t raised on it. One bite would make him a believer.
Have you ever eaten biscuits and chocolate gravy? If not, would you try it?
This is our family recipe.
1 ½ cups sugar
1 tbs Hershey Cocoa powder
2 ½ tbs flour
Mix dry ingredients in a saucepan
Add 1 ½ to 2 cups of milk (depends on the thickness you want)
Bring to a boil and cook until thickened (3 or 4 minutes) Note: Bring to a slow boil and continually stir. Remove from heat then add 2 tbs butter and 1 tsp of Vanilla extract. Pour over buttered biscuits and enjoy!
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Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 27
Connect in Fiction, August 27
Inklings and notions, August 28
For Him and My Family, August 29
Locks, Hooks and Books, August 30
Reviewingbooksplusmore, August 30
Connie’s History Classroom, August 31
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 1
Texas Book-aholic, September 2
To celebrate her tour, Candace is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a paperback copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.