Shannon here: Patricia Lee is celebrating the release of her Split Time novel, The Descendant’s Daughter (Book one in the Call of the Frontier series) on Audible. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing for a paperback copy. Deadline: Dec 3rd, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Patricia:
Recipe for Thanksgiving
With Thanksgiving two days hence, all the cooks in America are digging out their recipes, sprucing up their pans, and making sure their ovens are ready for the holiday about to descend.
I’m one of them. Favorite foods that only get made once a year are on the planning docket. I’ve cut back on some of what I usually make—mobility issues forcing the choice—but my family will enjoy their holiday nevertheless.
I mentally list the ingredients I’ll need to make this holiday meal special. A recipe is like writing a romance—you need certain elements to produce a satisfying end. For this post I’ve chosen Strawberry Jello Ring.
- The first ingredient: Jello, foundation for stability just like the plot of a good story.
Jello is not high on my family’s list of favorite things, but this salad needs the stability gelatin provides in which to mix key ingredients.
The plot of the book provides the framework for a good romance. In the five years since I published my debut novel, I’ve learned a good plot drives the story. I’m waiting the release of my seventh novel in May 2023. I have to pinch myself to make sure this is real.
- The second ingredient: Hot water
Jello must be dissolved in hot water. Once done it remains pretty uninteresting until more ingredients are added to give it life.
No hero or heroine is worth their salt if the author can’t plunge them into hot water and they emerge victorious. A plot needs characters in situations that force them to struggle. In my upcoming novel, the two main characters were friends in high school, but their lives since have placed both of them in peril. When they are reunited, they aren’t the same people they were. Changes will be needed as well as the pain that ensues.
- The third ingredient: Nuts and frozen fruit
The key to this recipe is the addition of a can of crushed pineapple (not drained) a cup of chopped nuts, and two one pound packages of frozen berries. I use strawberries for a dessert (it’s sweeter) or I choose raspberries if I want the salad as a colorful side dish. Match the Jello flavor to the choice of fruit.
In any good romance the characters are the nuts and fruits that make the story worth reading. As they interact with each other, struggle with their pasts, and grow as people the story comes together. In this new release, both Jayden, the ex-marine, and Baylie, the aspiring journalist, must overcome their histories and find each other in their futures. Throw in an abusive stepfather and a deceitful ex-boyfriend and you have a recipe for a satisfying read. Love is in the air.
- Put it all together
Once the gelatin is dissolved, add the pineapple, the nuts, and the frozen fruit. Be sure to break the fruit up into smaller chunks before mixing it in. The frozen fruit will solidify the gelatin really fast, so be ready to pour the mixture into your gelatin mold or use a 9 x 13 Pyrex dish.
I have a Tupperware ring mold that I like. I coat the inside with vegetable oil, then divide the mixture in two parts. To give it a festive red and white look, I put half in the mold, refrigerate for about a half hour, cover the layer with sour cream, then add the remainder on top. Or if you’re in a hurry just pour it all in at once. Refrigerate overnight.
If you used a ring mold, remove the salad, warm the outer surface with hot towels, and pull the seal off. The salad will drop onto your plate or serving dish. Add a garnish of green mint leaves for color, or fill the center with sour cream. The effect is a holiday dish on a platter. Serve and enjoy!
So too when the novel finishes and the edits are complete, add a cover and put the story out there with the others, ready for readers. Romance is served.
When I stop and think of the countless individuals who have played roles in my success as an author, I’m deeply humbled. Critique group members, editors, agents, publishers—all were part of the process. Each contributed to the stories I’ve produced, all players on a stage set for one. Add my faithful readers and my recipe is complete. Be thankful, as I am this holiday season. May God bless you each and every one.
Jello Mold Ingredients
Two large packages Jello (strawberry or raspberry)
1-1/2 cups boiling water
2 1-lb packages frozen berries (strawberries or raspberries)
1 #2 can crushed pineapple (about a 14 oz can)
Chopped nuts (optional) 1 cup
Small container sour cream
Question for Readers: What do you look for when reading a romance? Great characters? High stakes tension? Satisfying end? Why does this add to your enjoyment of the story?
About Patricia: Patricia Lee has had a fascination with words and what they can do since she wrote her first short paragraph at the age of six. She worked as a stringer for a local newspaper during her middle and high school years representing the school’s news to the community. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oregon, then went on to work as a tabloid newspaper editor at her local church.
After she married, she began her freelancing career and sold to various publications, including Expecting, Moody Monthly, and Power for Living. More recently she has published in two anthologies, Cup of Comfort Bible Promises and Heavenly Company, as well as featured articles in Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse magazine.
An Anchor On Her Heart, her debut novel, released in July, 2017 with Mountain Brook Ink (MBI). Three more novels, Love’s Autumn Harvest, Love Calls Her Home, and A Kite on the Wind have since joined the series. The Descendant’s Daughter released with Winged Publications in December 2020 and its sequel The Sister’s Plight in 2021.
In Search of Forever releases in 2023 from MBI.
She lives with her husband in the Pacific Northwest. The couple has two grown children.
About the book – The Descendant’s Daughter:
Halle Jayne Murphy can’t imagine change.
She loves her career. She shares an apartment with her best friend. She’s happy.
She has lived an idyllic life in San Francisco growing up as the only child of Maisie and Fred Murphy. A graduate in architecture of the Art Institute, Halle works for one of the city’s historic home tours, a job that suits her.
But one Sunday while she’s working her mother slips at church and falls, the head injury claiming her life. At the memorial service the pastor presents an envelope of documents that he says will rock Halle’s world. Now officially an orphan, everything Halle believed about herself will soon prove to be false. Will she accept the challenge?
Garrett James has studied the life and adventures of his great-great-grandfather Cornelius Joel Hills, tracing his westward migration from Cortland, New York to Oregon’s Willamette Valley in 1847. Garrett has searched for clues that will lead him to a lost bag of gold Cornelius buried but never reclaimed. Garrett believes the answers lie in the old family mansion no one seems to want. He decides to let himself into the house with a hammer and nails, only to discover the long lost owner has finally arrived.
Will this pixie of a girl allow him to look for answers or has he stumbled upon a greater treasure?
Can’t wait for the drawing? Worried you won’t win? Want it on Audible?
Interested in Patricia’s other titles?
Get your copy/copies now! Patricia’s Books
Come back Nov 25th for Alyssa Schwarz!