Posts Tagged ‘western romance’

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!

New Book Release- Rania Ropes a Rancher

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

A new book, a new series, and new genre.

Rania Ropes a RancherRania Ropes a Rancher, the first book in my new historical western romance series, Brides with Grit, debuts at midnight tonight.

I smile every time I think “I just finished writing my twelfth book!”

It’s a long process for me to go from an idea to the finished book. I start writing the story—and the characters take over. Their dialogue continues in my brain during my dreams, on walks…and usually when I’m not right at my computer so I have to remember them later and try to reconstruct their conversations.

And then the editor makes some suggestions on her first read through…and the characters throw in another thought or two…but that’s the joy of creative writing, it just keeps flowing and adding to the story line.

I knew the series name I wanted to use, but the individual titles did not come to me until—crediting my editor again —she made a suggestion, which triggered my thoughts in a new direction.

If I change Greta’s name to Rania…the title could be Rania Ropes a Rancher.

So the first book in the Brides with Grit debuts tomorrow, and I have the titles and story lines for the next seven books outlined too. My mind has already written half of Millie Marries a Marshal. Now my fingers need to get busy typing Millie’s story.

Please download the ebook verison or order the paperback to start the story of the Wilerson and Hamner families. The year is 1873 and the setting is near the famous cowtown of Ellsworth, Kansas.

Enjoy my latest story about women living on the Kansas prairie!

Lassoing a Groom

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog, western romance

Lassoing a Groom- a western romance anthologyMy books about pioneer women tend to be quietly dramatic due to what life on the prairie was like for these women, so it was fun to write a sweet, humorous story for a western romance anthology, Lassoing a Groom that just came out by Prairie Rose Publications.

Here’s the theme for the six stories in the book.

How is a woman supposed to catch a husband? In the wild, wild west, she’s got to find a way to Lasso a Groom! Some of them are lawmen…some are outlaws. Ranchers and homesteaders are fair game, as well—none of ’em safe from love’s lariat, or the women who finally manage to rope ’em in!

Here’s the blurb about my story, The Perfect Homestead Bride.

Gussie Hamner paid cash for the abandoned Kansas prairie homestead near Ellsworth, Kansas with winnings her horse Nutcracker won against cowboys coming off the cattle trails. She plans to raise horses on her ranch, but disturbing happenings around the place and with her animals cause Gussie to worry about the safety of all that is dear to her.

Noah Wilerson left his sod house in Kansas to travel to Illinois, planning to marry and bring his sweetheart back to his new homestead. After finding his intended already married, Noah travels home to find it’s been taken over by a horsewoman in trousers.

Pushed together by well-meaning family, Gussie and Noah must work together to finish the homestead he started, but she bought to make into a perfect home and ranch for the future family she’s been dreaming of.  But danger lurking from the past may sabotage their work and lives now—and in the future.

Click now to read the start of The Perfect Homestead Bride. For more information on all the stories in Lassoing a Groom, go to Prairie Rose Publications too. Please enjoy these fun western romance stories. It was fun to participate in this book!