Paty Jager’s Christmas Kitchen Memories


Stop the Presses! Big News: Silver Belles and Stetsons has received a 5-STAR Review from Dii – TOP 500 Reviewer on Amazon! You can read it on the product page: Amazon

Paty-Jager.jpgNow, please welcome one of my favorite author friends, Paty Jager, who has dropped by for a visit today. Paty is sharing special memories of Christmas as a child along with a scrumptious cookie recipe that will make your mouth water. She also serves up a tasty excerpt from her novella, Christmas Redemption, one of ten stories included in Silver Belles and Stetsons, a new release you don’t want to miss.

 

 

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Christmas Kitchen

by Paty Jager

There is nothing better than walking into a kitchen in December. The smells bring back so many memories. My grandmother lived in a two story farm house with us until I was twelve, making Christmas at our house a mixture of my grandmother’s favorite goodies and my mom’s. Grandma’s specialties were cookies, cinnamon brittle, peanut brittle, and divinity. My mom’s specialties were sugared nuts, popcorn balls, fudge, toffee, and liquor laced fruitcake.

Our house was full of wonderful smells the whole month of December. My brother’s and I loved the failed batches. The batches my mom and grandma deemed not good enough to give to friends, but good enough to make the kids happy.

My favorite cookie my grandma made at Christmas was the spritz cookie. They are the ones that are put through a cookie press and make designs, like trees and stars. There was one disc that I think was a dog but we called it a reindeer at Christmas time. The cookies melted in your mouth and were just the right touch of sweet and almond.

Here’s the recipe:

Spritz Cookies

2 ½ cups flour

½ tsp salt

1 cup butter, softened

1 ½ cups powdered sugar

1 egg

½ tsp almond extract

1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

1) Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Sift together the flour and salt; set aside.

2) In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the egg, almond extract, and vanilla extract. Gradually, blend in the sifted ingredients. Fill a cookie press with dough and shoot cookies about 1 ½ inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. If you like, decorate with sugar or sprinkles before baking.

3) Bake for 6 to 8 minutes in the preheated oven.

Makes 3 dozen.

Christmas Redemption Cover

In my Christmas novella, Christmas Redemption, that can be found in the historical western romance anthology, Silver Belles and Stetsons, the hero returns home after being in prison and walks into his mother’s kitchen while she’s baking.

Blurb:

Van Donovan returns to Pleasant Valley, Oregon where twelve years earlier as a boy of fifteen he left in handcuffs after standing guard for a bank robbery. He’s learned a trade and excelled at it and is ready to prove to his father and the town he can amount to something.

Upon his return he learns the fate of the daughter of an innocent man who died in the robbery crossfire. To make amends he takes her out of the saloon and gives her a job, not realizing she’d been squatting in the very building he’d purchased for his business.

Can two battered hearts find solace or will the past continue to haunt their lives?

Excerpt:

The leafless cottonwood trees appeared stark and ominous hovering around the farm house. The two-story structure held pleasant memories. His mother’s cooking and laughter. Would she welcome him back or follow her husband’s lead? His stomach knotted, and he once again wished Tessa were by his side.

A multi-colored mutt ran out of the barn barking. Half-way to the wagon he stopped and looked back toward the barn. A girl of about eight strolled out of the building wrapped in a heavy coat, scarf, and mittens.

“Button. Stop barking,” she said when he stopped the wagon in front of the house. His mother’s eyes stared at him from the child’s face. This was his sister Grace.

“Is your ma or pa home?” he asked uncertain what to do. He wanted to pick her up and hug her, but reasoned she wouldn’t care for a stranger grabbing her.

“Ma’s in the kitchen. Christmas is coming.” She put a hand on the dog’s head.

“It sure is. How about you take me to the house then rustle your ma out of the kitchen so I can talk with her?” He started walking to the familiar front door.

Grace grabbed his hand. “We can’t go in that door. Ma doesn’t like snow on her wool rug.” She tugged him to the back of the house.

Van smiled and allowed his sister to haul him around to the back of the house. The garden patch looked larger. And the cellar which he’d help dig was grown over sprouting pale weeds through the six inches of snow.

Grace pulled the screen door open, then shoved the door into the kitchen. Familiar aromas wafted around Van’s head. He sniffed and savored each spicy nuance.

His ma turned. “Grace, shut the door, I have bread ris—”

Ma was the same other than gray wisps in her dark brown hair. She blinked, and her hands clasped in front of her chest.

“Hello, Ma.”

“Van?” She took a step toward him. He smiled and nodded, and she lunged into his arms, crying.

He hugged her tight as tears burned his eye sockets. His heart, which had been torn in two when he never heard from her, slowly melded back together. “I’ve missed you,” he said, holding on, wishing he had all those years back.

She drew out of his arms and studied him. “My, you turned into one handsome man.” She wiped at the tears on her face with her apron. Then motioned to Grace. “Come say hello to your big brother.” His mother’s smile warmed him like a toasty fire on a cold day.

“My brother? I thought pa said—” Grace stared up at him quizzically.

Silver Belles and Stetsons
Ten Western Romance Christmas Novellas ~ Available as a boxed set for a limited time
Bestselling and Award-Winning Authors bring you ten western romance novellas featuring alpha-cowboys from the past. This boxed set will take you back in time when men were rugged and handsome and the women who loved them, courageous and daring.

Silver-Belles-and-Stetsons-1575x2475_thumb.jpg

The Greatest Gift: A Montana Cowboy Christmas by Kathleen Ball. Amazon Bestselling and Award- Winning Author. Looking for the man who ran out on her, Ginger finds a cowboy worthy of love but he doesn’t want or need love.

Catherine’s Cowboy by Cait Braxton, Amazon Bestselling and Award-Winning Author.  During a supernatural dust storm, Fate steps in when rugged army tracker, Elam, helps Catherine deliver her child.

Stone Mountain Christmas by Caroline Clemmons, Amazon Bestselling and Award-Winning Author. Can Celia restore the town’s Christmas spirit? “A beautifully written story about love and hope and all the emotions Christmas brings out in people.” Karren Lucas

Angel and the Texan from County Cork by Carra Copelin.  Amazon Bestselling and Award-Winning Author. Does Angel trust marriage to the man she suspects of killing her husband or the stranger who promises to pay off her debt and set her free if she decides their marriage of convenience won’t work?

The Drifter’s Proposal by Kristin Holt, Amazon Bestselling Author. The baker’s man is home for Christmas… “Compelling. Heartwarming. Tender.” ~Diane Darcy, USA Today Bestselling Author

The Perfect Gift, A Texas Devlins Christmas by Lyn Horner. Friendship has blossomed into young love, but it seems destined to die on the vine…until an unexpected Christmas gift promises happiness.

Marshal Mistletoe by Susan Horsnell. She married the wrong man. Will fate intervene?

Christmas Redemption by Paty Jager, Amazon Bestselling and Award-Winning Author. Can two battered hearts find solace or will the past continue to haunt their lives? “A story of forgiveness that has a wonderful hero who has worked hard to redeem himself.”

A Hard Candy Christmas by Hebby Roman, Amazon Bestselling Author. Two damaged souls. Can their budding love and the healing power of Christmas bring them together?

Cowboy Christmas by Margaret Tanner. Will a miracle Christmas baby unite two tortured souls, or will it forever keep them apart?

BUY LINK: Amazon

Award-winning author Paty Jager and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon. On her road to publication she wrote freelance articles for two local newspapers and enjoyed her job with the County Extension service as a 4-H Program Assistant. Raising hay and cattle, riding horses, and battling rattlesnakes, she not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.

All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Her penchant for research takes her on side trips that eventually turn into yet another story.

You can learn more about Paty at

her blog; Writing into the Sunset

her website; http://www.patyjager.net

Facebook; https://www.facebook.com/pages/Paty-Jager/132536633482029

Newsletter: Paty’s Prattle: http://eepurl.com/1CFgX

Paty’s Posse: https://www.facebook.com/groups/402519373168442/?ref=bookmarks

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1005334.Paty_Jager

twitter @patyjag.

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I’m Soooo Excited! It’s Launch Day!


At long last, SILVER BELLES AND STETSON, the Christmas anthology I’m part of is live on Amazon! This set of novellas will take you back in time to when men were rugged and handsome and the women who loved them, courageous and daring.

Silver Belles and Stetsons 1575x2475

 

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After months of writing, organizing and getting out the word, I can’t tell you how gratifying it is for all ten authors to see our baby make its debut. Now we wait and hope readers will love the tender, sweet, sometimes sexy stories as much as we loved writing them. If you want to pick up a Kindle copy, you can do so for the phenomenal price of just 99 cents! Each novella by itself would cost that much or more, and this is a limited time offer. So I encourage you to get it while the gettin’s good!

The Perfect Gift, A Texas Devlins Christmas , my novella, brings a family together. It’s Christmas 1885 and everyone comes to celebrate at the River T ranch in Bosque County, Texas. The day promises a feast and fellowship for all, but surprises lie ahead. Scroll down for an excerpt.

 

Now here’s a glimpse of all ten stories:

The Greatest Gift: A Montana Cowboy Christmas by Kathleen Ball. Amazon Bestselling and Award-Winning Author. Looking for the man who ran out on her, Ginger finds a cowboy worthy of love but he doesn’t want or need love.

Catherine’s Cowboy by Cait Braxton, Amazon Bestselling and Award-Winning Author.  During a supernatural dust storm, Fate steps in when rugged army tracker, Elam, helps Catherine deliver her child.

Stone Mountain Christmas by Caroline Clemmons, Amazon Bestselling and Award-Winning Author. Can Celia restore the town’s Christmas spirit? “A beautifully written story about love and hope and all the emotions Christmas brings out in people.” Karren Lucas

Angel and the Texan from County Cork by Carra Copelin.  Amazon Bestselling and Award-Winning Author. Does Angel trust marriage to the man she suspects of killing her husband or the stranger who promises to pay off her debt and set her free if she decides their marriage of convenience won’t work?

The Drifter’s Proposal by Kristin Holt, Amazon Bestselling Author. The baker’s man is home for Christmas… “Compelling. Heartwarming. Tender.” ~Diane Darcy, USA Today Bestselling Author

The Perfect Gift by Lyn Horner. Friendship has blossomed into young love, but it seems destined to die on the vine…until an unexpected Christmas gift promises happiness.

Marshal Mistletoe by Susan Horsnell. She married the wrong man. Will fate intervene?

Christmas Redemption by Paty Jager, Amazon Bestselling and Award-Winning Author. Can two battered hearts find solace or will the past continue to haunt their lives? “A story of forgiveness that has a wonderful hero who has worked hard to redeem himself.”

A Hard Candy Christmas by Hebby Roman, Amazon Bestselling Author. Two damaged souls. Can their budding love and the healing power of Christmas bring them together?

Cowboy Christmas by Margaret Tanner. Will a miracle Christmas baby unite two tortured souls, or will it forever keep them apart?

Get all of them here: SILVER BELLES AND STETSON

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The Perfect Gift

Char's cover 2015

Blurb:

Nora Taylor adores Vittorio Medina. He’s been her best friend all of her young life, but now she wants more than friendship from him. She’s too young, he insists while fighting his own growing feelings for her. Besides, she is the boss’s daughter. He’s just a poor cowboy of Mexican blood. They can never be together.

Although Nora refuses to accept what Vittorio says, she’s afraid he will go off and marry someone else before she is old enough to fight for his love. This Christmas threatens to bring her more pain than joy. Or will an unexpected gift offer hope for the future?

Excerpt:

Nora stood on the front porch watching for riders. Goshdarn! What was taking Mr. and Mrs. Crawford so long? Uncle Tye and Auntie Lil had come early to help Mama and Daddy get ready. Lil’s parents were to come later with their men, but surely they ought to be here by now. What if something had happened to prevent them from coming?

No! Don’t even think that! They have to come, they just have to!

Smoothing the front of her Mother Hubbard, a short, baggy little girl’s dress she hated, she wished for a grown-up gown, but Mama had decreed she couldn’t start dressing like a woman until she turned fourteen. At least this Hubbard was made of pretty pink calico printed with sprigs of white flowers, and she liked the ruffled shoulders and neck. The color set off her black hair, which Mama had helped her put up, and her black stockings and high tops. She hoped Vito would approve.

She stuffed her hands into deep side pocket and glanced at her brothers and cousins. She’d shooed the four boys outside so Grandda Seamus could nap in his favorite chair in the parlor. Together with Maria’s younger children, they were playing ring taw, a game she’d once loved but now considered babyish. Crouched around a circle drawn in the dirt, they took turns shooting marbles, trying to knock each other’s marbles out of a small inner circle. Her brother Reece, less than two years younger than her, was winning judging by the pile of marbles he’d collected. Not surprised, Nora scowled, remembering how many marbles the little fiend had won from her and their baby brother Seamus in the past.

A faint thudding sound caught her ear. Shading her eyes, she spotted a cloud of dust in the distance. Then she made out a buckboard and horsemen. Finally! The expected company was almost here. Heart thumping wildly, she whirled and ran inside to alert her parents.

“Mama! Daddy! The Crawfords are coming,” she yelled, forgetting about her napping grandfather. At his grumble of complaint, she said, “Sorry, Grandda.”

Aunt Lil stepped out of the kitchen holding a large bowl and spoon just as Mama walked in the back door.

“Are they here?” both women asked.

“Not yet but almost. Should I tell Maria?”

Her mother nodded. “Aye, and your father and uncle. Lil, let’s greet your folks outside.”

“Right, you go ahead. I’ll set the cornbread on the stove and be right out.”

Nora was already dashing for the courtyard. “The Crawfords are almost here,” she announced to her father and uncle as she raced toward the cookhouse.

“What’s your hurry?” her father called.

“I have to tell Maria that Vittorio’s coming.”

Hearing the two men chuckle, she tore into the steamy little building. “Maria, Vittorio’s nearly here!”

“Sí, I heard you, niña,” the cook said with a broad smile. Tall and rather plump, with gray-streaked black hair, Maria was one of Nora’s favorite people. She was kind and good-natured and always ready with a tasty snack for all the children. And she was Vittorio’s madrecita, making her special.

Setting aside the huge kettle of gravy she’d been stirring, Maria mopped her sweaty face with her red-checked gingham apron – only worn on Christmas – and motioned for Nora to lead the way. “Let us go and welcome my son.”

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Have questions? You can find me on these sites:

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