Posts Tagged ‘butterfield books inc’

Millie Marries a Marshal

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog, Brides with Grit series

Millie Marries a Marshal by Linda K. HubalekAlthough this scene from Millie Marries a Marshal (from the just released book two in the Brides with Grit series) is not a Christmas scene, it reminds me of my favorite Swedish cookie, “Kisslings”, which I’ve made every year for Christmas since I was in grade school.

I grew up near the Swedish settlement town of Lindsborg, Kansas, also known as “Little Sweden USA” so our Swedish heritage, and Christmas baking is an important to our community to this day.

Please enjoy this 1873 scene between town marshal Adam Wilerson, mail-order bride Millie Donovan and her two-year-old nephew, Tate—and try this simple cookie recipe too!

Millie Marries a Marshal

Millie heard Adam come in late last night, because she and Tate were in the room across the hall from his bedroom and she was wide-awake, still thinking about his statement that he wanted her “upstairs”…and how she wished she could be “upstairs” enjoying being his wife.

But then thoughts of why they were upstairs, because Tate was in danger, killed the mood. Now she had breakfast ready and he was stalling coming downstairs.

Millie heard Adam’s boot steps come down the steps and enter the room, but didn’t turn to look at him until Tate screaked in terror. She spun around then stopped, looking at Adam’s bruised chin. His face had been a target for someone’s fist last night.

“Tate, it’s okay, Adam just has a boo-boo on his face. He doesn’t even need a bandage.”

“Why is he so upset?” Adam asked above the child’s screams.

“Think about it, Adam…” Millie knew when Adam realized Tate had seen—and felt—bruises before.

Adam crouched down to Tate’s height at the high chair. “Oh, no. I’m okay, Sweet poo-Tater, I really am. Please don’t cry…”

Millie glanced at Adam, then Tate, wondering if her remedy for Tate’s “boo-boos” would calm the toddler down. “Tate. Tate, don’t you think Adam should have a ‘Baker’s Kiss’ on that boo-boo?”

“Huh?” Tate stopped his crying and looked between the adults. That caused Adam to look between her and Tate in confusion as well.

“What’s a Baker’s Kiss, Millie?” Adam asked warily.

Millie opened the pie cupboard and took out a little tin container and a larger one from a shelf, put them on the table in front of Tate, and took off the lids.

Millie smiled at Tate and asked sweetly, “Shall I give you a Baker’s Kiss first so Adam can see what they are? Where was your last boo-boo, Tate?”

Now Tate was excited, waving his left arm and pointing at it with his right hand. “Here, here!” The tot was transformed into an excited, happy child compared to the terrified boy of a minute ago.

“Okay. We take the special cookie, dip it in the special sugar, and pat the boo-boo. Then…” Millie paused to lick her tongue all over her lips, “you get the special Baker’s Kiss on your boo-boo.” She wet her lips again and carefully touched her puckered mouth on his skin, taking off a bit of sugar, leaving the imprint of a kiss on his arm.

Tate grinned in delight, then took the cookie from Millie’s palm and stuck it in his mouth, happily chewing on the shortbread cookie.

“No wonder the kitchen smells like cookies half the time, and my socks smell like sugar if I walk in stocking feet around the kitchen. Tate’s been having lots of boo-boos?” Adam quietly asked Millie.

“Oh yes, but it’s become a happy game and I’m fattening him up at the same time,” Millie whispered back.

“Adam’s turn! Gets a kiss from Illie!”

Millie sucked in a breath to fortify her intention. There was another reason she wanted to give Adam a kiss besides to calm Tate down. She wanted to announce her feelings to Adam.

She had formed small round shortbread cookies, and pinched up a bit of dough on top before she baked them to give a little handle for her to dip into the tin of fine sugar. Millie ground sugar with a mortar and pestle to make it very fine and added a little corn starch to make the sugar stick better to the skin.

“Sit down in the chair by Tate, Adam, so he can see your kiss. What’s the simple version of how you got your boo-boo, Adam?”

Millie took a cookie from the tin, dabbed it in the sugar tin, and carefully touched the bruise on Adam’s chin.

“I overreacted when Ralph Peters…uh yelled at his wife, and I got a boo-boo on my chin.”

“He hit you, just because of that?”

“Uh, I swung at him first without thinking and…Ida decked me.”

Millie giggled and touched his chin again because the sugar fell off when Adam talked.

“Ida is twice the size of Ralph, so I’m sure she can protect herself.”

“Yeah, I think of that every time I move my jaw.”

“Kiss! Kiss!” Millie licked her lips as Tate started chanting. She watched Adam stare at her lips as she slowly moved towards his face. She took a breath, then gave him a long, wet, kiss right in the middle of the sugar smear.

“I think you missed the exact spot,” Adam slowly smiled while looking at her sugar-covered lips.”

“Oh, I know I did,” Millie said as she dipped the cookie into the sugar mix and this time dabbed directly on his upturned lips. She put the cookie on the table and wrapped her arms around Adam’s shoulders before lowering her lips to zero in on her target.

(Excerpt from Millie Marries a Marshal © 2014 by Linda K. Hubalek)

Kisslings, A Swedish Christmas recipe, featuring in Egg Gravy by Linda Hubalek

1 ½ cups butter

¾ cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 c. finely chopped pecans (or almonds)

3 ½ cups flour

Cream butter, sugar and vanilla together, then mix in rest of ingredients. Roll out dough on floured surface until a quarter inch thick. Cut the dough into “half moon” shapes using a small glass inverted to make the inside and outside of the cookie. (You can also make shapes with your choice of cookie cutters.) Move the shapes to an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 7-10 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Take the sheets out of the oven when the edges (not the whole cookie) turn golden brown. Immediately dip in powdered sugar while still hot, then move to cooling rack to cool. (The powdered sugar will “melt” and stick to the cookies.)

Enjoy these special cookies at Christmas—or any time!

The Writing Process Blog Hop

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in about Trail of Thread book series, Blog, Butter in the Well book series, Kansas Quilter book series, Planting Dreams book series, western romance

Thanks to Terry Odell for invit­ing me to join in the Writ­ing Process Blog Tour, where writ­ers share their writ­ing processes. We were given four ques­tions to answer, so here are my responses.

What am I working on? Patching Home by Linda K. Hubalek

I’m working on Patching Home, the second book of the Kansas Quilter series, which is about my great grandmother Kizzie Pieratt’s trip to the Indian Territory. This will be my twelfth book about pioneer women who homesteaded in Kansas. All my books so far have been based on my ancestors, their original homesteads, and the communities that grew around them. And I’m also putting together the outline for an eight book western romance series, set in 1873 around the Ellsworth, Kansas area, a real cow town back in the cattle drive days. I wrote a short story, The Perfect Homestead Bride for the anthology book, Lassoing a Groom, and I’ll be expanding the theme, only with fictional characters this time instead of real people like past books. Although this anthology is full of lighthearted sweet romance stories, my western series be more in tune with the actual real-life drama pioneer women went through to find a husband and a safe home.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Butter in the Well by Linda K. Hubalek. Published by Butterfield Books Inc.My first dozen books were based on real people—most of them my direct ancestors—with added real and fiction stories to fill out the time frame these people lived in. My Butter in the Well series was written in the form or diary entries to tell the story of the Swedish immigrant woman that homesteaded the farm I actually grew up on. The Planting Dreams series told of my paternal ancestors’ journey and homesteading days. My Trail of Thread series, written in the form of letters written back to family, tells the story of my maternal ancestors’ wagon train trip to Kansas. The book series continue telling the Bleeding Kansas and Civil War stories that rocked the state and the nation in Thimble of Soil and Stitch of Courage. I’m sure other writers have done similar themes, but my books also include photos of the families and township maps of where they lived.

Why do I write what I do?

I’ve always been curious about my Swedish ancestors, but I wanted to know more about them than just their birth and death dates. Why did they travel all the way from Sweden to the middle of the Kansas prairie? What did they think of the open plains when they first saw it? I wanted to learn about the actual person’s life, or dream of what it was like before my time. When I researched my next series I wanted to learn and tell how Kansans (and my relatives) were drawn into the Civil War even though all they wanted to do is build a new home for their families. I’ve been told I’m a good storyteller, even though my formal education wasn’t for writing. I guess I’m tying my agriculture degree with stories of pioneer women to fulfill the need of both writing and farming.

How does my writing process work?

Trail of Thread by Linda K. HubalekI have over twenty years of research material stashed in the basement, so I go through boxes and pull out files that I want to concentrate on. I put them in my desk drawer so I can easily look up facts and dates I want to add to the book I’m currently writing. Outlines scribbled on note pads become outlines typed up into a word document. Then I add more thoughts and facts, expanding the story line until they become scenes. Sometimes I know exactly where the story is going, and other times a scene might be moved into another book. And facts I find later may cause a story to change, mainly because my books were based on real people whose descendants are now reading the stories of their family, and I want the facts correct for them. I edit each time I read a section, but I like to wait a week or two between the second and third edit because by then I have moved on to other scenes and thoughts. When I read older work later I’m seeing it with a fresh mind again. All books are edited by a professional editor, and then I read them again before formatting  them into both digital and printed versions.  The books are published under Butterfield Books Inc.

Thank you, Terry Odell for including me in this blog tour. I appreciate the chance to connect with both current and future readers through this tour. Click­ing the link in Terry’s name will take you back to her stop on the tour, and you can go back or forward to read other author’s questions. Every author’s responses are unique, so please take a moment to read and enjoy them.

The Pioneer’s Cyber Monday Sales

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog, Butter in the Well book series

While we’re ordering our holiday gifts online today because of Cyber Monday sales, I can’t help but think of the contrast of now, versus 150 years ago, when Kansas was being homesteaded by pioneers of several different nationalities.

Butter in the Well, historical fiction book by Linda K. HubalekThink how simple and thankful the pioneers were for their holidays and gift giving. When you read the diary entries from Butter in the Well, you’ll see what I mean…

“November 26, 1868

 We celebrated the American holiday called Thanksgiving with the Robinsons today. We were thankful to be asked to their home. They live in a dugout too, but have two rooms and real furniture. Benjamin had shot a turkey down near their bend of the river. He said that turkey is the traditional meat for the Thanksgiving meal back East. But Adelaide also fixed venison, potatoes, creamed hominy corn, pickled beets, fresh wheat bread (I had two thick slices) and dried currant pie. Since she has a cow, we also enjoyed fresh butter and cheese. Adelaide sent home a wedge of cheese and a loaf of bread. She is so thoughtful.

December 9, 1868

Since Carl is spending most of his time inside now that it is cold, he has been carving. He has made some wooden spoons and small bowls for me, and tool handles for himself. He carved a doll’s head and I added a little body for it out of one of Christina’s first dresses. It will be her Christmas present.

Carl bought a two-lidded stove in Salina this month to heat the dugout and so I could do some of my cooking inside. It is a very small second-hand stove, but better than cooking everything outside.

Since the days are shorter and sometimes overcast, we need more light in the dugout. Rather than use up the supply of candles, we are burning a plate of tallow, using a piece of twisted cloth as the wick, or burning the tail feathers of ducks geese. I don’t care for the smell of singed feathers, but I have to use what we’ve got.”

(Excerpts from Butter in the Well, © by Linda K. Hubalek)

Gifts were given and received, be it food or a hand-carved item, with thought and love back then. And, actually we’re still doing the same things now, only with a different means of obtaining them.

Have fun today as you think of Christmas gifts to give to others. Will you hand make some items this year, or order them online?

P.S. If you’d like to read more about these Kansas pioneers, or would like to give them as a holiday gifts, the Kindle and Nook ebooks are on sale this month as Butterfield Books Inc.’s Cyber Monday special. Or, you can buy autographed books on my website, where you always get free shipping. Happy Shopping and Giving!

Cleveland Tulip Quilt

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog

Pieced quilt made in Ohio in the 1830s and traveled to Kansas in 1858.In 1938 my mother’s great aunt Martha Pieratt gave her a quilt. At that time the quilt was over 100 years old and had been handed down through her mother’s Kennedy family.  Doing some research on it while planning my Trail of Thread book series, it turns out to be the Cleveland Tulip pattern and it came with Martha’s mother Maggie Kennedy when she moved from Ohio to Kansas in 1858.

Quilts and quilting seemed like a perfect theme for the stories of my mother’s side of the family, so I wove a quilt theme into this book series and featured twelve quilt patterns in each book.  The titles also went with the quilt theme.

My Trail of Thread book was about Deborah Pieratt’s wagon trail journey to the Kansas Territory in 1854. The second book, Thimble of Soil featured Margaret Ralston Kennedy’s decision to move her family from their safe Ohio home to the unsettling territory in 1855. And the final book in series, Stitch of Courage, followed Maggie Kennedy Pieratt during her young years as she marries James Monroe Pieratt during the Civil War.

Postage Stamp Quilt

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog

One inch squares make up this quiltAlmost all of the quilts my family used when I was growing up were made by my great grandmother Kizzie (Hamman) Pieratt, plus a few by her daughter, my grandmother, Irene (Pieratt) Akers. Kizzie was a very prolific quilter, even with raising eight kids and a farmstead to run. She made a quilt for each of her children, their spouses, grandchildren, their spouses, and all her great grandchildren, plus hand quilted other people’s quilts for part of their income.

 We called the quilt she made me during the 1950’s “the postage stamp quilt” because it was made of one inch squares of material, (plus she made a matching quilt for my doll bed). The full size quilt has thousands of hand cut and stitched pieces of material in it. Someday I’ll have to count them!



Linda’s Books & Series

Tina Tracks a Trail Boss

Autographed. Book 8, Brides with Grit Series.
$11.95 (tax incl.)
by lindahubalek

Egg Gravy

Autographed. Book 3, Butter in the Well Series
$11.95 (tax incl.)
by lindahubalek

Rania Ropes a Rancher

Autographed. Book 1, Brides with Grit Series
$11.95 (tax incl.)
by lindahubalek

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