Posts Tagged: checkers

Sinclair Sisters Fun and Yum for Book Clubs

Essential Handbook for Victorian Etiquette

Do the members of your book club or reading group enjoy reading series and spending time with an ensemble cast? If so, the four Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series might be a great fit. And I’m happy to say the 1890s Colorado mining camp series lends itself well to having fun with Victorian, Old West, Mining Camp flair.

Your group might want a themed meeting after each of the books, or may choose to save the party for after they’ve read Twice a Bride, the conclusion of the series. Either way, here are some meeting ideas and resources for a Sinclair Sisters celebration.

Sinclair Sisters Four

Decorations:

Decorate with Victorian flair–quilts, hats, checker boards, irons, phonograph, phonograph records, vintage books, etc.

Decorate with a sisters’ theme in mind–plaques, gift books, portraits, pictures that celebrate sisters, etc.

Decorate with Miss Hattie’s boardinghouse in mind. Perhaps things you might find in the parlor–settee, armed chair, phonograph, oil lamps, quilts, etc.

Decorate with a mining camp theme–headlamps, candle lanterns, gold mining pans, books on mining and miners, etc.

Miss Hattie's Phonograph Records?

Miss Hattie’s Phonograph Records?

Food:

Plan a tea party and serve Miss Hattie’s Lemon Scones or Miss Hattie’s Vanilla Pound Cake and Berry Sauce.

Prepare Nell Sinclair Archer’s Peanut Cabbage Salad for a luncheon.

lemon scones

Games and Activities:

A Checker’s Tournament, a favorite Sinclair family pastime.

Anyone in the group have Victorian costumes? Maybe a time period fashion show?

Has the group read all of the Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek novels? If so, who are the members’ favorite heroines and heroes? Why?

Choose a favorite photo from my Cripple Creek Album to Share with the group or look at the album on a screen linking to it from my website: www.monahodgson.com.

Have someone share a devotional inspired by the book or series. Or read Got Laughter? A Twice a Bride devotional.

Have someone read a list of humorous or poignant Victorian Etiquette tips. The Essential Handbook of Victorian Etiquette is a fun resource.

Essential Handbook for Victorian Etiquette

Costumes:

Encourage everyone to wear at least one “Victorian Era” clothing item to the meeting, could be fun too. For instance: A hat or lace gloves, a shawl or cape, a brooch or cameo pendant.

Book Signing at Flying W Ranch, Colorado Springs

Book Signing at Flying W Ranch, Colorado Springs

Author Participation:

If you’re reading a Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek novel, I’d be honored to “attend” your book club meeting. In person, if I live within an hour of the group or if I’m going to be visiting the area. Otherwise, we could arrange a virtual meeting and chat via Skype, FaceTime, or speaker phone. If we schedule the virtual event far enough in advance (preferably at least a month or so ahead), I’ll mail you a Book Club Packet that includes bookmarks and/or recipe cards, flyers or brochures, and signed book plates for each member of our group.

Watch the Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek series Book Trailer

Discussion Questions for THE SINCLAIR SISTERS OF CRIPPLE CREEK BOOKS . . .

Two Brides Too Many

Too Rich for a Bride

The Bride Wore Blue

Twice a Bride

Twice-a-Bride_980x300

I’d love to hear your ideas. Does your book club enjoy themed meetings? What kinds of things does your reading group do to celebrate a good read? 

Make That 8 Sinclair Sisters Gift Ideas

fudge[1]

Can’t believe I’d forgotten #8 when I first made this list!

We all know books make great gifts. What makes an even better present? A themed gift package centered around a book. Since I’ve heard from a few folks who are gifting my Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek books this Christmas, I decided to add to the fun and put together seven gift package ideas that would compliment the series.

  1. A Checkers Game, a Sinclair Sisters favorite. I used a checkers tournament to first introduce the four Sinclair sisters in Two Brides Too Many.
  2. A Family Bible–like the one the Sinclair Family has, with pages for Family Records. Or simply a Bible that you can personalize for your sister, mom, daughter, or aunt. The Family Bible played a key role in Vivian Sinclair’s story in The Bride Wore Blue.
  3. First Congregational Church Cook Book with recipes from Cripple Creek folks at the time of the Sinclair Sisters series. Also, the First Congregational Church was Miss Hattie’s home church in Cripple Creek and where Tucker Raines from Too Rich for a Bride pastored.
  4. A camera (even just a good disposable one) in honor of Trenton Van Der Ver, the hero photographer in Twice a Bride.
  5. A journal, giving a nod to Kat Sinclair, who by the end of Two Brides Too Many has her first job as a “real” writer.
  6. A tin or box of tea. Peppermint was a Sinclair Sisters favorite, featured in Too RIch for a Bride, The Bride Wore Blue, and in Twice a Bride. Camomille tea scented the parlor in Two Brides Too Many. Ginger tea was served in The Bride Wore Blue.
  7. Photo Credit: McFadden's Fabulous Fudge

    Photo Credit: McFadden’s Fabulous Fudge

    A copy of Harper’s Bazar, the magazine Kat Sinclair Cutshaw was writing for in Too Rich for a Bride. I had fun finding my copies of the magazine in antique stores and thrift shops.

  8. Fudge. Pecan fudge was a big deal in Cripple Creek in Twice a Bride.

You can purchase or order any of the four Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek novels from your favorite bookseller, but here are some links, for your convenience.

Amazon.com

Christianbook.com

What have you paired with a book in a gift package? Which book? What gift?

© 2012 Mona Hodgson, Author and Speaker

INTERVIEW WITH IDA SINCLAIR OF TOO RICH FOR A BRIDE

Too Rich for a Bride Pinwords

“Ah! A book I’ve been waiting for. Too Rich for a Bride by Mona Hodgson will charm your socks off. All the ups and downs of a romance with a delightful dose of history and characters who will sneak into your heart and take up residence. More, more, we want more.” —Lauraine Snelling author of No Distance Too Far and the Daughters of Blessing series

Book 2
The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series

In preparation to write Too Rich for a Bride, Ida Sinclair’s story, I interviewed her. I thought you might like to glimpse of Ida before she left Portland, Maine to join her sisters Kat and Nell in Cripple Creek.

Mona: Who are you? 

Ida: I am the big sister, the oldest daughter, the responsible one. I’m the one who makes things happen for other people. Isn’t this what the first-born does?

Mona: What do you want?

Ida: I want to make things happen for myself. I want to be a successful businesswoman, respected for my abilities and my hard work.

Mona: You expect to do that in a mining town out West?

Ida: You think it’s wrong for me to want success in the world of business, to earn my own money?

Mona: No, but it’s certainly not going to be easy. I only wanted to clarify your intentions for your fans.

Ida: My fans?

Mona: Yes, the Sinclair sisters—each of you–have a following of readers who care about you and your journey. What has your life been like since your mother died?

Ida: The moon was high when I heard my father crying. I rushed into the hallway outside my parents’ bed chamber. Dr. Haufbauer stood there rocking back and forth, shaking his head and puffing his pipe. Ever since then, I’ve felt responsible for my father’s well-being and my sisters’ care. Now it’s time for me to follow my dream.

Mona: Have you left any room for romance in your plans? Do you believe in love?

Ida: Although I would like to eventually find love and wed, I’m not searching for a man. Right now romance would be a distraction I can’t afford. If I ever do decide to pursue love and marriage, it’ll be after I’ve found success in business.

Mona: What about your father’s wishes that you and your sisters find a man in Cripple Creek, Colorado who can provide for you?

Ida: Father isn’t in Cripple Creek. He’s busy working in Paris. Besides, I’m not one of the daughters he was worried about. He knows I can take care of myself. Soon, I’ll prove it to him.

Mona: What has your life been like since your father moved to Paris?

Ida: Focused and lonely. I take my business courses in the mornings and work in the school’s office in the afternoons. Aunt Alma’s house is comfortable, but cluttered. Vivian has a beau, but you don’t want to get me started on him. Anyway, between Vivian’s schooling and her fascination with Gregory, she’s too busy for much more than a Sunday checkers game with her big sister.

Mona: What one word would you use to describe the following people?

Ida: Kat – wordsmith; Nell – homemaker; Vivian – Vivacious; Father – Steady; Aunt Alma – Entertaining

Mona: What word would you use to describe yourself?

Ida: Resourceful.

Mona: What word would your sisters use to describe you?

Ida: Dependable.

Mona: What word would your father use to describe you?

Ida: Capable.

Mona: How would you describe your relationship with God?

Ida: It’s more a battle for control, than a relationship.

Mona: Ida, now that you’ve been in Cripple Creek for a while, has your perspective changed any?

Ida: One, you should know. You wrote the book. Two, my story says it all, and I don’t want to spoil the read for our Sinclair Sisters fans.

“A beautiful tale. Intriguing. Inviting. Inspiring.” -Cindy Woodsmall, author of The Hope of Refuge and When the Soul Mends

Read the first chapter of Too Rich for a Bride.

If you haven’t yet read Ida’s story, or if it’s been awhile since you’ve read Too Rich for a Bride, you’ll want to read it soon. A beloved secondary character in the book will be the main character in Twice a Bride.

Mollie O’Bryan

Ida Sinclair has joined her sisters, Kat and Nell, in the untamed mining town of Cripple Creek, Colorado for one reason: to work for the infamous but undeniably successful businesswoman, Mollie O’Bryan. Ida’s sisters may be interested in making a match for their determined older sister, but Ida only wants to build her career.

Under Mollie’s tutelage, Ida learns how to play the stock market and revels in her promising accomplishments. Fighting for respect in a man’s world, her ambition leaves little room for distractions. She ignores her family’s reservations about Mollie O’Bryan’s business practices. No matter how she tries, she can’t
ignore the two men pursuing her affections—Colin Wagner, the dashing lawyer, and Tucker Raines, the traveling preacher.

As you read in her interview, Ida wants a career more than anything else, so she shrugs off the suitors and pointed “suggestions” that young ladies don’t belong in business. Will it take unexpected love—or unexpected danger—for Ida to realize where her priorities truly lie?

Checkers, Anyone?

Two Brides Too Many Slanted

A checkered board with rounded game pieces—here in the United States, we know it as checkers, a timeless table game.

While waiting to be seated at a restaurant in Phoenix, I watched a family of five gathered around a table. A father and daughter were engaged in a playful, but intense game of checkers. The opponent’s game pieces were being captured, kings were crowned and granted special battle privileges. All the while engaged family members sat on the sidelines cheering and advising.

Checkers is a game with roots that date back to Ancient Egypt, perhaps as early as the time of Queen Hatasu (1400 or 1500 BC). Kings and Pharaohs may have sat about the palace in royal garb engaged in a patteia competition, their version of draughts. Modern checkers dates back to 12th Century Europe. Today, checkers is still a game of choice in countries across the globe, as well as in the United States. However, outside the United States, you’re likely to hear the game referred to as draughts.

Stone Town, Zanzibar, East Africa

Two years ago, while walking the narrow, congested streets of Zanzibar, I encountered many sights that made my jaw drop and my eyes widen. Intricately carved wooden double doors with polished brass fitments and adornments. Portuguese castle walls, the remnants of the slave trade into Europe and Asia. The port filled with fishing dhows. The evening open air seafood grill stands and tables. But one sight in particular tickled me. Two Tanzanian Nationals seated on rough cast cement benches huddled over a cement table that held a thin wooden plank checkered by a felt marker. Coke and Fanta bottle caps served as their game pieces.The game of checkers was an Olympic sport at the 1896 games.

Book 1

In my Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series, set in the late 1890’s, checkers is a favorite pastime. A Sinclair family tradition, the sisters (and brothers-in-law now) engage in checkers tournaments on Sunday afternoons as part of their Sabbath rest.

The series opens with one such scene in the first chapter of Two Brides Too Many and the tournament thrives in the subsequent books—Too Rich for a Bride, The Bride Wore Blue, and Twice a Bride.

Book 2

 

 

Book 3

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