Happy New Year’s Eve!
Today, Tracy Garrett & Phyliss Miranda are sharing their two stories from WISHING FOR A COWBOY.
HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM TRACY GARRETT
When I started writing Her Christmas Wish and first “met” Katie & Will, I knew they were opposites in so many ways. Where Katie was fiery tempered, Will was calm and deliberate. Katie came from a working-class Irish family, where money was tight and special sweets like Christmas cakes and cookies were anticipated even more because they were only made once a year. Even a simple pound cake, like the one Katie made for Will in Her Christmas Wish was a rare treat because of the sheer number of ingredients it took. Katie would have had to save her pin money for many months to be able to afford a dozen eggs, a pound of butter, a pound of sugar and rose water just to make a cake.
Will, on the other hand, was from a wealthy family, and something as simple as a pound cake could be served whenever a member of the family wanted it. But, even with his privilege, Will worked. He knew the value of his inheritance because he knew what it took to earn it.
And that had to make him love his Katie even more.When Katie made Will an old-fashioned pound cake, he loved it not only because it was his favorite, but because of what Katie sacrificed to buy the ingredients—maybe fabric for a new dress or hair ribbons or a hot cocoa after ice-skating with her friends.
Have you tried Katie’s Old-Fashioned Pound Cake? The recipe is included in the Anthology, Wishing For a Cowboy. In fact, there are eight recipes in all – one from each of the short stories. Check them all out!
HER CHRISTMAS WISH
Her only wish for Christmas was the man who left her behind.
Even a woman capable of living on her own…
Kathryn McConnell is a widow celebrating a milestone birthday alone. Though she feels a woman should be able to mourn the passing of her thirtieth birthday any way she wants, she won’t turn away a cowboy in need of lodging—until she learns it’s the man she’d expected to marry thirteen years earlier.
…never forgets her first love.
Will O’Brien had challenged his father’s prejudice against the woman he loved only to discover he was unable to stand against his family’s wealth and connections. Without a way to support his bride, Will struck out for the west, determined to earn a living for them both. When he returned after two years with no word from Katie, he found she’d married another and moved away. Heartbroken, he returns to his work, but never stops hoping to find her.
When chance lands Will at the remote stagecoach station run by the widowed Kathryn, he grabs at the opportunity he’s been handed, hoping to win back the only woman he has ever loved.
Happy Holidays to you all from Phyliss!
When I agreed to write a short story for Wishing for a Cowboy, one of the requirements was to have a recipe to share with our readers. The concept was easy for me since each of my single title books have a recipe in the story and then it’s listed in the back of the book. In A Christmas Miracle, I selected date nut loaf candy which my grannie made every year for Christmas. It was only fitting, plus the ingredients are indicative of what would be available in 1889.
Here’s a little excerpt from my story in Wishing for a Cowboy:
Children should not suffer for the sins of their fathers, Mattie Jo Ashley thought, as she put two mugs of beer on the table for a couple of regulars of the Longhorn Saloon.
Lucas Jones had posted the House Rules on each wall. Although the watering hole was one of only two in the temperance colony known as Carroll Creek, Texas, its owner wanted to make sure everyone understood what he expected. He wouldn’t stand for a rowdy crowd that might run away his patrons who never missed three opportunities. A good tent meeting. A good church sermon. And, a good drink with a quiet game of cards.
Mattie Jo looked up at the rules posted prominently at eye level.
Rule 1: Check your weapons at the door.
Rule 2: No cussing allowed.
Rule 3: Rowdy behavior will not be tolerated.
Rule 4: No touching my ladies.
Rule 5: Only women are allowed upstairs.
The swinging doors flew open and her friend and fellow saloon girl Violet rushed in. Not bothering to acknowledge anyone around, she literally screamed, “Mattie Jo!” She rushed on without taking a breath. “The baby’s taken a turn for the worse.”
Blood ran like cold well water through Mattie Jo’s veins. “Slow down, Violet, and tell me what is going on with her.” Her heart beat out of control. She couldn’t lose another family member.
“Tell me exactly what’s going on.” Mattie Jo’s asked again. With each word her legs got weaker. It wasn’t typical of Violet to get so upset, even though it involved Mattie Jo’s baby sister, Katie.
“She won’t eat. Her eyes are more matted than ever. One is completely shut.”
“Her fever has gone up. Cool towels haven’t helped, so I gave her a cold bath. By the time I left, it still hadn’t brought down her fever. I don’t want to upset you, but it’s a whole bunch higher. She’s even more listless, refusing her bottle and is coughing more. I think she seems to be having a little trouble breathing.”
All of the worsening conditions Violet described balled up and hit Mattie Jo between the eyes. She swallowed hard and looked over the crowded saloon at her boss, Lucas Jones, who was delivering a tray of drinks to another table of card-playing cowboys. Tears brimmed in her eyes, just thinking about the possibility that she might lose her precious sister. She needed to go home and take care of her, but also had to work her shift because the jar in the kitchen out at her place had only three pennies and a dime in it. Not enough to pay for the doctor to make a house call especially three miles outside of town.
Phyliss and Tracy will give away copies of the anthology to two winners, so they can try all of our recipes next Christmas … if not before. Happy Holidays!