Friday, October 8, 2010

New Series - New Book

Yes, EMBERS OF LOVE is finally available. This new book in the STRIKING A MATCH series is #1 of three books that will come out over the next year.

I had such a great time researching this series. Set in the late 1800's East Texas, this series deals with the yellow pine logging industry. While in Texas we did research at The History Center in DiBoll, TX. The director Jonathan Gerland and his tremendous crew there were all so helpful. We also visited the Forestry Museum in Lufkin. Everyone was super to help us.

While there we learned about the "company towns" set up Angelina County to support the various sawmills and logging camps. Towns sprang up and disappeared as the wood was cut away and the forests destroyed. Company towns focused on keeping the people buying and selling in their particular town so that control of commerce was pretty much regulated by the owners. Workers were often paid in tokens and script rather than cash. Although I did read that it was often popular for the sawmill owners to pay in cash as a treat for Christmas and sometimes Texas Independence Day.

Here you can see some of the types of money created for the workers.

Provisions in the area were few and far between at times, and life was quite simply lived. A kitchen like this was an extra nice accommodation and often cooking and laundry was done outside year round. Makes me extra glad to have all the nice emenities I have in my house.
I hope you'll enjoy the new series and for the fun of it, we included a couple of neat recipes at the end of the book. Here's another just for the fall season. These are cookies mentioned in the storyline and it's a fun idea to serve them if your bookclub is reading EMBERS OF LOVE.
1 cup brown sugar – packed
½ cup softened butter
1 cup pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 cup oatmeal
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ginger
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup pecans
(Optional add ins – 1 cup of raisins – 1 cup of coconut – add both for a really great treat)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Very lightly grease cookie sheet(too much will cause cookie bottoms to burn)
Cream butter and brown sugar, add pumpkin, egg and vanilla and mix by hand thoroughly
Add in dry ingredients and mix by hand.
Drop onto cookie sheets in tablespoonfuls. Bake for 15-18 minutes.
Makes 3-4 dozen cookies
Frosting – optional
These go well with an orange zest frosting or white frosting with hint of almond.
God Bless

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