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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Heroines: Sweet or Spicy? + Cookie Giveaway

Yesterday, I said I'd giveaway a surprise book to one lucky commenter, and I drew Kirsten Rinehart. Congratulations! Please leave me your e-mail in the comments below, so I can get your snail mail address.

And if you weren't chosen this time, keep reading to discover what I'm giving away today.

If this if your first time joining us, let me fill you in. Each of the seven authors of Seven Brides for Seven Texans will be taking turns sharing on this blog. We are appearing in the order of our stories. Since my story "The Heart of Texas" is second in the book, I get to follow the terrific Gabrielle Meyer.  You can go back and read her posts if you missed them, and Erica's from Saturday about the story behind the story. Next week, Amanda Barratt will be your hostess.

Week One: Nov. 28-Dec. 2 ~ Gabrielle Meyer
Week Two:  Dec. 5-9 ~ Lorna Seilstad
Week Three:  Dec. 12-16 ~ Amanda Barratt
Week Four:  Dec. 12-23 ~Keli Gwyn
Week Five:  Dec. 26-30 ~ Susan Page Davis
Week Six:  Jan. 2-6 ~ Vickie McDonough
Week Seven:  Jan. 9-13 ~ Erica Vetsch



Things are Heatin' Up with Caro
What do you like in the heroines you read about? Do you like them to be sweet or do you like them to have a little spice? If you like them spicy, then Caro Cardova will be your kind of gal.

After Caro's father is killed fighting in a rebellion, she and her mother flee Mexico. They find a new home taking care of the ranch house and cooking at the Walking Diamond. When Texas Ranger Chisholm Hart shows up, Caro struggles with his presence. She believes her father's sense of duty made him abandon them and believes the same thing will happen with Chisholm. After all, who's more duty-bound than a Texas Ranger?

Caro's heart and fear might be palpable, but she doesn't wallow in pity.  She's a woman who can take care of herself--or at least she thinks she can--and doesn't want to give her heart to any man with a star on his chest. Situations heat up quickly whenever spicy Caro is around.

One of my favorite scenes in "The Heart of Texas" involves a special dinner plate Caro serves Chisholm. I don't want to give it away, but clearly Caro knows her way around the kitchen. What she doesn't realize is that Chisholm can take anything she dishes out.

Let's Get Cookin'
Since we're on the topic of food, let's get down to some food for ourselves. Like Caro, I love baking. In fact, I sell cookies at Christmas and am known as The Cookie Lady around here. The photo above is from one of the big order days. One year, I made 145 dozen cookies. I make a lot less nowadays--maybe 50 dozen or so.

I have my own tried and true cookie recipes that I seldom share. However, for all of today's special guests, I will giveaway a .pdf of my personal recipe book with the most often ordered cookies to anyone who leaves a comment along with their e-mail. I know it's an unusual giveaway, but hey, Caro is an unusual gal and this is her day! So everyone's a winner today.

Yesterday, I mentioned Mexican Wedding Cakes and promised you all the recipe. That one is in the .pdf along with 21 others. Mexican Wedding Cakes or bizcochitos are an old tradition, however, the name Mexican Wedding Cake is new, dating to the 50's or 60s. These butter-rich shortbread, nut-filled cookies have been served at celebrations, like weddings, since Medieval times.

Mexican Wedding Cakes use the same recipe as Russian Tea Cakes. Growing up, my mother always said that Mexican Wedding Cakes used pecans and Russian Tea Cakes black walnuts, but I can't find anywhere that confirms this. Still, whatever you call them or whatever you put in them, the melt-in-your-mouth texture and the distinctive appearance, like a little powdered sugar dusted snowball, make this a must have cookie recipe.

So grab a cookie and let's chat. How do you like your heroines--sweet or spicy?  What's your favorite Christmas cookie? Have you had any baking disasters? And did any of you recognize my inspiration photo of Caro from an old Western? Erica did. Let me know if you can guess which one.


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Lorna Seilstad
Lorna Seilstad brings history back to life using a generous dash of humor. She is the author of the Lake Manawa Summers Series and the Gregory Sisters Series and is a Carol historical romance finalist. She and her husband are almost empty-nesters and call Iowa home. 
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18 comments:

  1. Oh man, you go girl! I fail at almost everything baking and cooking. I really wish I could bake well, but that gene passed me right by. I love trying new recipes, though. I like my heroines spicy and feisty. Caro sounds like a good one! lattebooksAThotmailDOTcom

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    1. Susan, I'm glad you like trying new recipes, and I hope you like some of the ones I'll be sending you. :)

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  2. My dad loved baked goods and enjoyed the displays I would create at Christmas time growing up. Once, when I returned for the holidays after having left home, I arrived with a carload of yummy desserts. Seeing his face light up was my sweet reward.

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    1. What a sweet thing to do, Keli. (Pun intended.) I'm sure you doubly blessed him.

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  3. Ooooh! I LOVE to bake...and collect recipes...and try a new recipe daily...I pretty much love to be in the kitchen! Love it! And thank you for sharing your talent of writing and your love for baking!
    ttmom42 at gmail DOT com

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    1. Terressa, you sound like my kind of baker! Hope you enjoy every bite.

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  4. Caro was a bit spicy! I loved the dinner scene with Chisholm, and Caro's reaction. I like heroines sweet, with a bit of spunk. Sometimes they can be too spicy, where it gets in their way. Caro has a good heart underneath her spiciness.
    I like to try new cookie recipes when I'm visiting my sister,she has a better kitchen and more people to try things out.
    andreastephens(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. You pegged Caro correctly. She had a good heart, and her spiciness was a defense mechanism. I hope you enjoy trying a few new recipes.

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  5. I go back and forth between the sweet and spicy. Variety is my forte in books.
    Talk about a disaster. When I was new to cooking, someone gave me a cookie recipe that was "easy". I mixed them, put the dough in the fridge overnight. The next day it was still runny. I added flour and finally gave up. Being a sugar addict, I ate the whole bowl of dough!
    josieringer(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. LOL, Martha! I like variety in heroines as well. I want believable, 3-dimensional characters and that's the kind I try to write.

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  6. Hey Lorna my email address is kirstenrinehart@gmail.com Thank You so much for the giveaway. I'm looking forward to read about the Hart Brothers.

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    1. Your welcome, Kirsten, and congratulations again!

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  7. I love to bake and would love a copy of your recipes. I've always called the Mexican wedding cookies Russian tea cakes and love to eat them, no matter what they are called! Burnt cookies is probably my worst disaster. Although for company breakfast I made a strawberry cake of some sort that was made w/ yeast and, you betcha, I forgot the yeast! It actually tasted fine just not as light as I'm sure it was intended to be. Thx for sharing w/ your readers!
    Anne at Rightler dot com

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    1. I think Mexican Wedding Cakes and Russian Tea Cakes are basically the same. A friend of mine from Russia said she always has walnuts in her cookies, and for the most part, I've only heard of folks using pecans or almonds in Mexican wedding cakes. I'm impressed that your cake still turned out.

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  8. Hey, Lorna! I'm glad you have my email address already, because I would love to get your cookie recipes. They look phenomenal!

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    1. And they taste pretty good, too. ;)

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  9. I collect recipes, but cookie recipes are one kind I do make! A friend and I make and decorate gingerbread and sugar cookies with our daughters each Christmas. Thanx for sharing!!!! j4hibdon(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  10. Sweet is great.. I can't make a cookie to save me.. Even store bought ready to bake are a challenge. Would love to try again with yours :) dkstevensneAT outlook(DOT) com

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