Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Writers Wednesday:Lyn Horner Sets the Stage for Christmas With Cookies

We're celebrating winter (I hope a bit early) and Christmas with Lyn Horner, whose short story is all about Christmas cookies. A Northerner by birth, Lyn says she loves the holidays and she especially appreciates the differences in season between her early home Minnesota and her current residence in Texas. Welcome, Lyn. Looking forward to your comparisons.

Hi Barbara. You know, autumn in Texas can be kind of drab compared to autumn in Minnesota, where I was raised. Up there, you’re more likely to see bright red and orange displays, mixed with the evergreen pines and fur trees. Down here where I live in Fort Worth, most leaves turn duller shades of orange or brown. However, there are exceptions, as shown by the two photos below. 

                                                 Beautiful Red Maple in Texas Autumn


                                                   Fall foliage along a sparkling creek

Our winter landscape tends to look barren and brown, except when a rare snow storm blows in. Then everything is magically transformed into a wintery fairyland. But it doesn’t last. As soon as temps climb above freezing, usually within a day or two, the snow melts and we return to normal. Normal for this part of Texas, that is.

                                           Dry browns of winter beneath a bright blue sky


A temporary frosting of snow

That’s down here in North Central Texas. If one travels northwest to the panhandle it’s a different story. Hardy residents of that high plains region sometimes suffer severe blizzards. In late February 2013, a storm carrying hurricane force winds brought whiteout conditions, knocked out power for thousands, caused numerous accidents and left motorists stranded.


Such storms can also cause ranchers to lose cattle. Calves are prone to group along fences and suffocate under the snow. Cattle on feedlots may lose weight due to the cold. Here's a photo of a Texas longhorn grazing in snowy field

**All photos were obtained by the author from dreamstime.com.

Now I’d like to give you a peek at my recent release, Christmas Cookies for Tristan.

Blurb: Tristan Jameson isn’t happy to attend a stuffy New York Christmas party, but when Charlotte Dixon walks in, the evening promises unexpected excitement. A tin of homemade Christmas cookies helps bring the two of them togeth

Excerpt:

Tristan tensed when he saw a striking auburn-haired woman hand her coat to a butler in the penthouse foyer and walk into the crowded living room. He’d never met her, he was certain, yet he felt instantly drawn to her. Despite his avoidance of female companionship over the past two years, his pulse quickened and the chatter of partygoers faded away as he watched her.

She wore a cranberry red dress with tiny cap sleeves that went surprisingly well with her mahogany hair. Smiling brightly, she exchanged air kisses with Johanna Cantrell, their hostess and Tristan’s distant cousin, who had opened up her lavish Park Avenue suite for this early Christmas party. So gracious of her, everyone agreed. Of course they all knew tonight’s party was aimed at garnering backers for the lady’s upcoming mayoral campaign.

The redhead had arrived unescorted. Was she a personal friend of Johanna’s or some high-placed business executive who might be convinced to throw her support behind the candidate? Tristan doubted it was the latter. She didn’t look old enough to fill such a role.

Curious to discover her identity, he edged his way through the crowd and followed the woman down a hall toward the kitchen, admiring the slender curves revealed by her subtly flowing skirt. Members of the catering staff buzzed past like worker bees, carrying empty food trays to be refilled and filled ones back out to the buffet table in the spacious living room, or salon as Cousin Johanna called it.

Pausing in the kitchen’s open doorway, Tristan leaned against the door jam and observed the redhead as she held out a large Christmas tin to a portly, bearded man in a white chef’s uniform. 

“Please arrange these cookies on a tray and set them out with the other desserts,” she said in a low, smoky voice reminiscent of actress Kathleen Turner’s.

The man scowled. “Madame, I personally prepare all food for every event I cater, including the desserts.”

“Oh, but I baked these especially for tonight as a gift for Jo . . . I mean Mrs. Cantrell. She told me to bring them back here for you to serve.”

“I doubt that, young woman,” the pompous ass sneered. “That good woman knows I never allow anything prepared by another hand to be served at one of my events.”

“Are you calling me a liar?” The redhead’s voice shook slightly, either with distress or anger.

What a delightful post, Lyn. A great description of autumn and winter in Texas and a terrific glimpse of your Christmas Cookies. Best of luck with your story. Now, you all will have to excuse me. All this talk of cookies is sending for a snack.

Celebrate the Holidays with Christmas Cookies for Tristan. Available on Amazon exclusively for Kindle: 



23 comments:

  1. Hi Lyn,
    Welcome to the blog. Quite timely, what with Christmas a month and a half away. Your story looks delightful. Can't wait to read it. Best of luck.

    And Happy Holidays :)
    Barb

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  2. Good morning, Barb. Thank you for inviting me to your lovely blog. I hope your readers enjoy the photos and excerpt from my Christmas story. As a bonus, there's a cookie recipe included, taste tested by my family.

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    1. Yay, cookie recipe! :) As if I'll ever bake them, but you never know. My now teen g/daughters may just want to resurrect cooking with g/ma :)

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    2. My two youngest grandkids like to help make the cut-out cookies. I prepare the dough using the recipe in my Christmas story, then they help roll it out, cut the cookies and decorate them after they cool. It's a big, messy project but loads of fun.

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  3. Hi, Lyn--just for the record, I don't think it's ever too early for Christmas! I love the vivid excerpt of you Christmas story, and the cover is wonderful.
    I liked all the photos--Texas does have widely varying terrain and weather, too. They were all so beautiful.

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    1. Celia, you're so right about the photos. Almost made me want to see the snow come--almost!!

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    2. Celia, you must be in your glory, cuz Christmas seems to start earlier every year. This year I saw Christmas decorations in some stores the day after Halloween.

      Glad you like the photos, book cover and excerpt!

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  4. What beautiful photos. I used to love making Christmas cookies but none of us need to eat them any more. If only I could find recipes that made just one or two. Tweeted.

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    1. Hi Ella,
      I'm nodding on not needing cookies--and a way to make just a couple. Thanks ;)

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    2. Ella, you could freeze the cookie dough and just take out a little at a time. We often do that at my house. My husband is the original "Cookie Monster" so it's not a good idea to have dozens of baked cookies available. He can eat a dozen at a time!

      Thanks for stopping by and tweeting!

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    3. That's a good idea on making the dough, then freezing. I might have to try that, although I am trying to cut back on sweets.

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  5. Love the post! I don't eat sugar much anymore, but may make an exception this Christmas...

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    1. Hi Ashantay, thanks for visiting! I understand you not wanting to eat sugar. If you should decide to bake some cookies, you can always give them as gifts.

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  6. Okay, now I want to make Christmas cookies.

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    1. LOL, Collette. Don't they look and sound luscious? Glad you stopped by.

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  7. What an interesting post! I live in Western New York, and we've already had our first taste of S-N-O-W. You have to love it, cause it does no good to hate it! Bring on the season -- this was a great start.

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    1. Hi Laura. I come from Minnesota, so I know about snow. I loved it as a kid but not so much as an adult. Still, when we first moved to Texas 28 years ago, it sure did feel strange not having the white stuff around for Christmas.

      Thanks for visiting!

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  8. Grinning, Collette! Christmas brings out the baker in us. Enjoy and thanks for popping in!

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  9. Your Christmas story sounds fun Lyn. Can't wait to read it. Enjoyed the photos too! Time to get in the Christmas spirit and that includes baking!

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  10. Shar, I don't do as much baking as I used to, but once a year I still pull out the cookie cutters. Glad you enjoyed the photos and my excerpt! Hugs!

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  11. Lyn, I agree with, Celia Yeary. I love winter and the Holidays, it's my favorite time of year. Your descriptions are right on, we have so many different areas and experiences in Texas. I'm in the middle of Christmas Cookies For Tristan and loving it!

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  12. Lyn, just bought it. I love Christmas stories. And your pix are glorious. I live on California's Central Coast where everything is pretty much the same year round. But we just travelled to the Canadian Rockies and Vail Colorado...Snow and Fall Color both. We were in heaven!

    Best of luck with your scrumptious story! xo

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  13. Hi Lyn and Barbara. Posted in wrong spot so will try again. I really enjoyed the blog, loved the pics. I look forward to reading your book, Lyn. It was great being introduced to your blog, Barbara.

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