Welcome to February's Valentine's edition of  SECOND FRIDAY RECIPE. On the second Friday of each month, I've invited a fellow author to share a favorite recipe with us and maybe a little something about their latest book. This week Sandra Ardoin has a sweet treat for us. Take it away Sandra...

You know what they say about finding the way to a man’s heart? Violet Madison’s apple cake was only one of the reasons Hugh Barnes fell in love with The Yuletide Angel.

Violet Madison’s Apple Cake Recipe
(a version of a recipe in use prior to 1890)
by Sandra Ardoin

2 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced (about two apples)
3 cups brown sugar (the original calls for two teacups full of molasses)

Cook apples in brown sugar on low until the apples begin to become clear (about thirty minutes, so do this early), then let the mixture cool completely.

1 cup sugar
½ cup butter (one stick)
4 cups flour
2 eggs
1 cup sour milk (add 1 tablespoon lemon juice to enough milk to make on cup – let sit five minutes)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon nutmeg

Add apples and brown sugar to cake batter and mix. Grease and flour two cake pans. Divide batter between the pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Let cool and remove from pans. Keep one cake and give one away. 

It's Christmastime in 1890s Meadowmead, and someone is venturing out at night to leave packages at the homes of the needy. Dubbed The Yuletide Angel, no one knows the identity of this mysterious benefactor. 

No one, except Hugh Barnes, a confirmed bachelor who finds himself drawn to the outwardly shy but inwardly bold Violet Madison, a young woman who risks her safety to help others. 

When Violet confesses her fear of eviction from her childhood home, Hugh longs to rescue her. His good intentions are thwarted, however, when Hugh's estranged brother shows up in town ... and in Violet's company. 

But Violet faces an even bigger threat. A phantom figure lurks in the shadows, prepared to clip the wings of The Yuletide Angel.

Sandra Ardoin is a multi-published author of short fiction who writes inspirational historical romance. Her Christmas novella, The Yuletide Angel, is available on Amazon. She’s the married mother of a young adult and lives in North Carolina.

Visit her at and on the Seriously Write blog. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and Pinterest. Sign up for her newsletter.

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