Shannon here: Janet Chester Bly shares romantic excerpts from her Contemporary Western, Wind in the Wires (Book 1 in the Trails of Reba Cahill series), plus Reba’s recipe for Veggie Beef Crockpot Soup. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing for winner’s choice of PDF for digital reader or paperback copy. Deadline: June 30th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Janet:
Beefy Recipe for Romance by Janet Chester Bly:
Cowgirl Reba Mae Cahill’s obsession is to find a rancher husband who will come alongside to help raise cows, train horses, and harvest wheat fields on her grandmother’s land. But she lives in Road’s End, Idaho, population 400. Slim love interest pickings here. Her best friend, Ginny George, of California tries to help out:
“What do you cook that could steal a man’s heart?” she asks.
“That’s easy. Only three dishes I’m any good at … beef stew, beef veggie soup, and tamale pie. I put lots of basil in the stew, dill in the soup, and pile Grandma’s jalapeno cheesy cornbread mix on top the pie.”
“Well, it’s a start. All hope is not dead.”
When she finally finds a suitable guy who asks her to marry him, they go looking for an engagement ring. She decides to fess up about her limited culinary skills. Then he has a confession of his own to make:
Reba wore her favorite tan cowgirl hat, most comfy and clean brown leather boots, a tan button shirt, and brown Wrangler’s. About as coordinated and dressed up as she ever got.
“First stop, Severs Jewelry,” Jace announced.
“Before you invest in a ring for me,” Reba said, “I think you ought to know I’m only good at cooking three main dishes: beef stew, beef veggie soup, and tamale pie.”
“Okay. Sounds good. We’ll start with that.” He offered her a goofy grin.
She pecked his cheek. “I am partial to guys with contagious smiles.”
“And this is very awkward, but I’m basically broke. Gave most of my money to bail out my dad.”
“We can wait on the rings. We can wait on everything,” she assured him.
“Nope. We’re not going to wait. I’ve got enough to do simple.”
“That suits me just fine.”
They finally settled on a plain double set of gold bands.
“Some day, you’ll get diamonds,” Jake promised.
“All I want is you.” Reba meant that with her whole heart.
A delighted Reba discovered crockpots. She got her first one in 1989.
Not one to like to fuss in the kitchen, she could start her soup or stew in the morning after chores and loved knowing it slow-cooked all day.
Off she went to fix fences and wrangle cows with her black horse, Johnny Poe. And try to figure a way for one of Road’s End’s few eligible bachelors to stop by and smell the wonderful aroma.
The veggie choices varied for her on this recipe, but not the spices. She favored the mix of basil, dill and turmeric and didn’t like fussing to fish out bay leaves. But if you don’t mind the extra bother, and prefer that flavor, use 2 bay leaves instead.
Reba Cahill’s Veggie Beef Crockpot Soup courtesy of Janet Chester Bly:
1 lb. minced ground beef or 1 lb. cubed beef stew meat
12 oz. mixed veggies–frozen, canned, or fresh
1 12 oz. can tomatoes & 1 can water
2 medium potatoes, diced
1 onion, diced
1 Tbsp. basil or to taste
1 tsp. dill or to taste
1 pinch turmeric or to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
30 oz. beef broth
6 oz. ketchup
1 can condensed tomato soup
1 clove garlic minced
2 stalks celery, cut up
1 can corn (or use fresh off the cob)
1 can green beans (or fresh out of the garden)
add fresh or frozen (thawed) spinach last half hour
Crockpot or Stovetop Directions:
Add to large crockpot and cook on low for six hours or on high four hours.
Or in large kettle on top stove and simmer several hours.
Serves about six.
About Janet: Janet Chester Bly is the widow of award-winning western author, Stephen Bly. She authored and co-authored with Stephen 40 books, both fiction and nonfiction. She lives at 4,200 foot elevation in north-central Idaho on the Nezperce Indian Reservation. Her most recent novels, The Trails of Reba Cahill Series, include Wind in the Wires, Down Squash Blossom Road, and Book 3, scheduled for Winter 2018 release: Beneath a Camperdown Elm. She writes contemporary western mysteries with a touch of romance. Some call her stories CowgirlLit. Find out more or connect with Janet:
Sign-up for Almost-Monthly Bly Books News. Download Now! 5 Free Chapters Wind In The Wires, Book 1, Trails of Reba Cahill Series: Janet’s Newsletter
About the Book – Wind in the Wires:
Cowgirl Reba Cahill searches for love and her runaway mother. An old man seeks justice in two cold case murders. They take a journey that exposes lies and betrayal. Will the truth be too hard for either to bear?
Question for Readers: Reba loves cooking with a crockpot. What kitchen tool or appliance is your favorite and why?
Come back June 26th for Mary Davis!