Marilyn Turk: No Iced Tea?

The fillies are handing a big hey welcome to guest blogger Marilyn Turk! Come on in!

When I began planning the menu for the Cowboy Café in my new novella, Love’s Cookin’ at the Cowboy Café, I was pretty sure I knew what foods would be served. After all, my main character, Sarah Beth Taylor, is a southern belle who hails from a Georgia plantation not far from Savannah. Since I, too, am a southern belle, (ahem), I’m familiar with southern food, and I was certain she’d serve iced tea.

But when I discovered our setting in Crinoline, Texas was in 1868 west Texas, I had a problem getting ice to her café. After years in the food service business, I had to rethink how they managed food preservation in 1868. How did they keep things cool in hot, dry Texas? Some of the gracious western writers on this blog offered solutions like spring houses, wells and basements. But ice? Now that was another matter.

Researching the history of commercial ice, I discovered that natural ice was originally harvested in the winter from frozen lakes, ponds and rivers in the north and stored in icehouses through the summer. Frederick Tudor of Boston began the ice trade in 1805, shipping ice blocks stacked with wood shavings and sawdust for insulation by ship or train. By 1847, ice was shipped to 28 cities in the United States, including those in the South like Savannah and Galveston. From there, the product was shipped inland via train or wagon.

As demand grew for natural ice, so did the competition. In 1851, Dr. John Gorrie of Florida (of course) invented mechanical refrigeration and the first ice machine. By 1876, the process had been perfected by other inventors. And in 1877, Elisha Hall and R.R. Everett established the Houston Ice Manufacturing Company, then other ice companies followed. Most ice plants produced 300-pound blocks of ice. Once made, block ice was delivered to homes and commercial businesses, first by mule or horse-drawn wagon. Of course, these wagons were not refrigerated, so they couldn’t travel too far from the ice plant and keep their ice frozen.

But Crinoline Creek was too far to get deliveries by wagon and there was no train there yet. It never got cold enough for the lakes and rivers to freeze, so they couldn’t cut ice from them. So, Sarah Beth couldn’t get ice in 1868 and she couldn’t serve iced tea. The best she could do was make lemonade as long as the general store could get lemons, or maybe order some bottles of sarsaparilla and hope to keep them cool in the well. I’m sure that eventually, ice was available in Crinoline Creek and the Cowboy Café could finally offer iced tea to its customers.

Hey guys, Marilyn has graciously offered to give away a copy of this marvelous book (I know that because I love these authors!!!!) Leave a comment, an opinion, or a pithy remark below about how you’ve managed to “make do” without something you’d like to have over the years? It could be ice… or chocolate?

No. 🙂 Not chocolate! Let’s see what you’ve got below!

Love’s Cookin’ at the Cowboy Café” by Marilyn Turk

A refined but feisty southern belle inherits a saloon she plans to convert into a genteel café. Even though her lack of cooking skills threatens disaster, she rejects the town banker’s advice. What will happen when the two lock horns and an unlikely romance simmers on the back burner?

 

A “literary archaeologist,” Marilyn Turk writes historical fiction flavored with suspense and romance for Barbour Books, Winged Publications and Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. One of her World War II novels, The Gilded Curse, won a Silver Scroll award. She has also written a series of novels set in 1800 Florida whose settings are lighthouses. In addition, Marilyn’s novellas have been published in the Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides collection and Crinoline Cowboys. Marilyn also writes for Guideposts magazine and Daily Guideposts Devotions.  She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association and Word Weavers International.

When not writing, Marilyn and her husband enjoy boating, fishing, playing tennis or visiting lighthouses.

Marilyn is a regular contributor to the Heroes, Heroines and History blog. https://www.hhhistory.com). Connect with her at http://pathwayheart.com, https://twitter.com/MarilynTurk, https://www.facebook.com/MarilynTurkAuthor/, https://www.pinterest.com/bluewaterbayou/, marilynturkwriter@yahoo.com.

Linda Broday Has a Winner For the Christmas Ornament!

Thank you all for coming to tell me about your sweet treats on Tuesday! You gave me some great suggestions for new ones.

The winner of my fabulous Christmas ornament is……..

DEBORAH KEITH

Congratulations, Deborah! Watch for my email and once I get your mailing address, I’ll send the ornament. 

Have a great day and read lots of Christmas books this holiday season

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Happy Thanksgiving!

I love Thanksgiving. I love the old New England version of Thanksgiving with the turkey and stuffing and potatoes and all the trimmings, minus green bean casserole. (No offense, green beans, but I don’t like them mushy!)

Cranberry and orange relish…

Eggnog.

Apple pie, pumpkin pie, chocolate cream pie, pecan pie, banana cream pie, cream puffs.

I love a great dessert table after a beautiful meal, mostly because we spend summer and fall living on burgers and sandwiches and whatever we can grab quickly because there’s little time for fussing. So it’s fun to fuss on Thanksgiving and there are a whole bunch of us helping.

Now we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday (today). We do the family Thanksgiving tomorrow so that my kids with in-laws aren’t split by two hours at one house, two hours at another, and then two hours at another. So today whoever is at our house baking for tomorrow will have Chicken French and Artichoke French and for the two fellows who don’t love those, we’ll throw a steak on the grill….

That picture is two years old, but you get the idea… All hands on deck for baking!

And then tomorrow, tradition reigns.

I love seeing family all get together, but it happens rarely with a couple of kids far away, so whenever it happens, we celebrate! It doesn’t have to be a holiday because anytime I’ve got my kids around is a holiday.  And that’s even when we’re grabbing bologna sandwiches during the busy farm season because we’re all doing this together. And together is what makes it special.

And if you’re at a stage of life where you can’t or don’t get together with family for Thanksgiving, then you can spend your day with the sweet Lord who offers life and hope. It’s fun to have family around, but I know it’s tiring, too.

God isn’t tiring. He’s inspiring and loves you to distraction, so whatever your day holds, I pray that it’s a warm, embracing day, filled with love near and far.

A day to just simply give thanks.

God bless you!

And yes, I’m giving away another copy of our Christmas anthology “Christmas at Star Inn”!

I love these stories!

Leave a comment about whatever you’re giving thanks for today… no thought is too little or too grand. It’s all good. And if you’d like prayers for something, well we’re happy to do that, too!

Happy Thanksgiving, sweet friends!

Ruthy

Julie Benson’s Winner

I hope this finds everyone having a wonderful Thanksgiving! The winner of the glass, ornament and signed copy of To Catch A Texas Cowboy is:

                                                   Patricia B

Congratulations, Patricia. Look for an email from me on how to claim your prize.

Again, thanks to everyone who took time out of your busy day to stop by the corral. May your Thanksgiving Day be filled with endless blessings.  

                                      Julie

My Blessings and a Cover Reveal!

As Thanksgiving approaches this year, I find myself with a long list of blessings. I’ll share a few with you.

I’m thankful for my good health and those who’ve made it possible. I’m grateful for my family, particularly my boys who have grown into young men I’m incredibly proud of. I’m ecstatic the universe sent Kim, my partner in crime as my dear husband calls her, into our lives. I’m grateful beyond measure for meeting Jinger Cahill when I wandered into her shop, Maxine’s Uptown Boutique in Glassboro, New Jersey. Jinger’s wisdom and insight has changed my outlook on life in ways I never imagined. She might even make an optimist out of me! (Check back in January 8, 2020. I think sharing what Jinger’s taught me will make a perfect New Year blog!) I’m thankful to two dear friends, Lori Halligan and Jennifer Jacobson, who continue to be there for me through life’s ups and downs. Everyone should be so blessed to have two such caring, beautiful women in their lives. I’m beholden to the staff at Starbucks, Custer and 15th and their steadfast support that the words will in fact come. Lastly, but certain=ly not least, ’m thankful for my loyal readers who’ve been with me on this crazy writing journey, and I’m pleased to share the cover and release date for the next book in my Wishing Texas Series.                                                                          

To Tame A Texas Cowboy coming January 9, 2020!

Click here to pre-order.

Here’s the back cover copy.

They want different things, but they just might need each other

Dennis’s beloved service dog, Penny Lane,

Barrel racer Cheyenne Whitten returns to Wishing, Texas, after an injury, determined to recuperate and return to the rodeo circuit. But living with her over-protective mother only adds to Cheyenne’s problems. Desperate to move out and reclaim her independence, Cheyenne believes a service dog is the answer. That is, until she learns the waiting list for one is up to five years.

Having lost his fiancée two years ago, Cooper Abbott wants to run his veterinarian clinic and rebuild his life. A calm, stable, uneventful life. Then Cheyenne shows up asking for help getting a service dog, and Cooper finds he can’t refuse the feisty redhead.

Cheyenne and Cooper insist a relationship is the last thing they want. Cheyenne is focused on her health and returning to the rodeo. Cooper’s heart is still raw from loss. But it could be they’re exactly what each other needs.

Every book I write is a labor of love and a book of my heart. If they weren’t, I couldn’t write them, but the labor for To Tame A Texas Cowboy was more difficult than most. Because of that, receiving the cover and a release date has been doubly sweet. Another thing that makes this book extra poignant for me is the fact that while I was writing it, Dennis Pisarski who helped inspire the idea, lost his dear Penny Lane. I hope looking down from heaven she’s honored by the character I created. 

As we all prepare for our Thanksgiving feast, leave a comment about your favorite Thanksgiving food (other than turkey!) to be entered in the random drawing for a signed copy of
To Catch A Texas Cowboy, the holiday wine glass and snowman/stocking ornament. Thank you again for being part of my thankful list and stopping by to chat. May your Thanksgiving be full of blessings.

To sign up for my newsletter click here and scroll down. Follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

Favorite Treats From Times Past

Hi everyone, Thanksgiving is two days away and my thoughts are on food…well actually desserts. Maybe I’m being sentimental or maybe I’m just hungry. Ha, probably both!

As I’ve often talked about, times were extremely hard when me and my baby sister Jan were growing up. My parents barely made enough to keep the wolf from the door and in a few instances he slipped in anyway.

Also, as most know, Jan and I have a huge sweet tooth. We learned to be very creative and make things that called for only a few ingredients. Our treats were simple, but satisfying.

Mama made us cookies from pie dough. She’d make up the dough like normal, roll it out and cut into designs, then sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top and bake. They were yummy. In England, they called these tea cakes. We didn’t know we were being fancy.

Rice Krispy Treats were easy and quick with cereal, butter, and marshmallow cream.

But our favorite of all was Chocolate Oatmeal No Bake Cookies. Oh man, we ate a bunch of those at our house.

Here is the list of ingredients:

½ cup of butter

1 ½ cups of white sugar

½ cup packed brown sugar

½ cup of plain milk

4 Tbs cocoa

1 pinch of salt

2 teas vanilla

3 cups dry quick-cooking oats

Put the first 6 ingredients into a medium-sized sauce pan, bring to a rolling boil and once it reaches the boil keep it cooking for one minute. Add the vanilla and stir and then add the dry oats. Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper and cool. That’s it.

I learned to make Applesauce Cake and that was easy as well. It didn’t take any eggs, oil or milk so that made it affordable. All it had was applesauce, butter, flour, sugar, baking soda, and cinnamon. If we had walnuts, we’d throw them in but we usually didn’t. You’ve never eaten such a moist cake. Here’s the link if you’d like to make it: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/7380/applesauce-cake-i/

Mama and Daddy like to make homemade taffy as well, but that when we were too young to help and it was really hot to work with. I still remember watching them stand face to face a few feet apart and pull that taffy back and forth.

I didn’t make this back then but I sure do now—Chocolate-Cherry Cake. Oh my dear Lord, it’s good. Just mix together a dry chocolate cake mix, 3 eggs, and a large can of cherry pie filling. Bake and enjoy.

Back in the 1800s they didn’t have many ingredients to work with either. They made a lot more pies then they did cakes for the simple fact that it cost less.

What were or still are your favorite treats? I’m giving away this beautiful Christmas ornament to someone who leaves a comment.

 

 

 

 

It’s Yee-Haw Day!

Welcome to Yee-Haw Day, the once-a-month day we’ve reserved to share our news with you – all sorts of fun news!

So check out the post below to get the details on the kinds of things that make us go Yee-Haw!!

Karen Witemeyer

My Texas fairy tale, Head in the Clouds is on sale for only $0.99 for the month of November. Some places have it as low as $0.79! YeeHaw!

When a recovering romantic goes to work for a handsome ranch owner,
her heart’s not the only thing in danger.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christianbook

 

Karen Kay

Karen Kay’s first book, LAKOTA SURRENDER, has just been re-released in its newest 25th Year Anniversary edition.  Beautiful cover!  In e-book and paperback at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

On sale at $3.99.

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |   Kobo   |   Itunes

Linda Broday

 

Check Out The Cover For My January Release!

Book #3 Outlaw Mail Order Bride Series

AMAZON  |  B&N APPLE  |  INDIEBOUND

Winnie Griggs

I’m soooooo excited to announce that I will be writing three Amish romance novels for Grand Central Publishing’s Forever line. I’m in the process of writing the first book which is currently scheduled to come out next December and am really enjoying the unfolding story.

 

Kit Morgan

Sales and New Releases, Yee Haw! Holidays with the Weavers is on sale for just .99 cents for the next few weeks! Enjoy this fun holiday romp set in the old west!

Olivia: A woman who can’t see her past.
George: A man who can’t see his future.
Samuel: An old man with “friends” no one can see.
The Weavers: A family who sees everything. Or so they think…

 

Amazon

 

 

 

Also for just .99 cents, a fun new release and the first in a new series!

When Wendy Preston spied Jack Carlson in Fort Worth, she thought she was seeing a ghost. But no, it was him, the man who broke her heart. After her father carted the family off to Dallas, leaving Montana behind, that was it. No more Jack. Not. One. Word. But what did it matter? She was supposed to marry another man. It’s what her father wanted. It’s what the family business needed. But seeing Jack made Wendy think. What did she want? The bigger question was, could she stand up to her father to get it? 

Enjoy this quick romantic romp and find out!

 

Amazon

Pam Crooks

I remember when I was a little girl, oh, maybe 7 or 8 or so, I would sit at my grandmother’s kitchen table and gaze up in awe at her new dishes, which were tucked safely away in their own cabinet.

They were the most beautiful dishes I’d ever seen.  My grandmother would use them only for special occasions, of course, and not one of them do I recall attending.

My grandparents led frugal lives. My grandfather was a shoemaker, and these were dishes he bought for her from his leather salesman, probably in the late 50’s.  All in all, she had 16 place settings.

Isn’t this plate beautiful?

After my grandmother passed away, my uncle took her china.  After he passed away, it was my hope I’d finally get the dishes for my own.  I had to wait several years, but at last, they were just recently handed down to me.  

I display a few pieces in my kitchen, and yep, I’m going to use them at Thanksgiving.  And at Christmas dinner.  And at another holiday dinner I’m having.

I’m so thrilled to have my grandmother’s beautiful dishes for my own after all these years, and one day, I’ll be passing them on to my daughters.  They’re a treasure I’ll cherish forever.  Yee-Haw!

 

Jeannie Watt

I just got the cover for my February Heartwarming book, Montana Dad. I love it! Harlequin has created new covers for all their lines and Montana Dad is in the first wave. 

 

Shanna Hatfield

I wanted to give you all a peek at the cover of the first book in my new holiday series, Gifts of Christmas. 
Gift of Grace releases December 12!

Available on Amazon!

COWBOYS & MISTLETOE – Only 8 More Days!

Christmas is coming!

And it’s that special time of year for holiday stories that warm your heart with romance and happy endings.

Which is why we’re presenting to you our collection of

Christmas Romances!

Be sure to stop by every day from

December 2 – 5

We’ll make you fall in love with falling in love during Christmas.

We’re giving away lots of $10 Amazon gift cards, too.

Even better, we’re going to make it easy to WIN!

Ho-Ho-Ho!