On a personal note…
Since this is my first attempt at a newsletter, I really want to thank everyone for all the amazing support I’ve received thus far in my writing journey. I can’t believe how well Return to Ruby’s Ranch has done. Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to leave a review as well. I‘m thrilled that you like the craziness that comes from my brain. You never really know when you throw a little piece of your soul out there – if it’s going to be loved, or hated. I’m so blessed that it has been well received. But I digress. I want this newsletter to be about you. What do you want to know? What do you want to read? PLEASE use the Contact page on my website rhondafrankhouserbooks.com to let me know what you want me to cover in these newsletters. I’m hoping to put one out quarterly, but we shall see. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and my website for updates.
Let’s see, in addition to learning all the angles of social media, I’m currently working on the prequel to the Ruby’s Ranch series, Escape to Ruby’s Ranch. This will tell Katherine’s story – solving many of the mysteries that arose in Return to Ruby’s Ranch. This character is stubborn, just like her daughter, but she’s also adventurous and driven toward her goals. She’s taking me on a wild ride so far. I can’t wait to get it out to all of you to read. Below is a little sneak peek at Chapter One just for you.
HEALTH NUT CAFE IS COMING...
I’ll soon be in first round edits on my second release with SoulMatePublishing.
This story, Health Nut Café, is honestly, the book love of my life. It was a true joy to write and I can’t wait for you all to read it and let me know what you think. Becca Clemmons is a workaholic who runs the family owned cafe. She has no time or interest in such nonsense as love. Once Jonathan Parker opens up the antique book store next to the café, there are mysteries to be solved, and unwarranted feelings sparked between them that need to be explained. I LOVE this couple and their adventure. I hope you all will love it too. Keep in touch for updates on the release day.
IND’TALE RONE AWARD VOTING! I NEED YOUR HELP!!!
I do have one GIANT FAVOR to ask of all of you. Return to Ruby’s Ranch has been nominated for the prestigious InD’Tale RONE Award in the Cops, Jocks and Cowboys Group!
YOU MUST VOTE BETWEEN MAY 15TH - MAY 21ST
STEPS TO VOTE:
SUBSCRIBE AT INDTALE.COM (you can always unsubscribe later!)
CONFIRM ON THE EMAIL THEY SEND YOU (Proves you're not a robot.)
VOTE FOR RETURN TO RUBY'S RANCH by clicking this link.
Then share this link with all your friends and family so they can vote :-)
To get to the 3rd round in the contest, I need for you to vote for the book at this link VOTE FOR RETURN TO RUBY'S RANCH, during the week of May 15th through May 21st. If I get enough reader votes, I’ll be placed into the final round where I have the opportunity to be judged amongst the best writers in the business, by professional reviewers. If, BY SOME MIRACLE, I win the RONE award in my category, Return to Ruby’s Ranch will be publicized in every major romance market, and hopefully will become a bestseller!!!! SO PLEASE OH PLEASE VOTE AND HAVE ALL YOUR FRIENDS, FAMILY, NEIGHBORS, CO-WORKERS, STRANGERS YOU TALK TO IN LINE, EVERYONE TO VOTE AS WELL. I appreciate your support so much.
A RECIPE FOR HAPPINESS…
One of my favorite things to write into my books is my love for good food and cooking. I was raised by amazing country cooks, so I have picked up some delicious recipes along the way.
If you like it – I’ll share a new family recipe in each newsletter.
Let’s start with something simple:
MAMA’S CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS
IN A LARGE POT, BOIL 6 THIGHS IN SALTED WATER UNTIL CHICKEN IS DONE. MAYBE 30 MINUTES. FILL THE POT ¾ WAY UP BEFORE PUTTING THE CHICKEN IN, SO YOU HAVE PLENTY OF BROTH. THIGHS MAKE THE BEST BROTH HANDS DOWN.
REMOVE THE CHICKEN FROM THE BROTH.
REMOVE CHICKEN FROM THE BONE IN SMALL PIECES, RUB IN SALT, PEPPER AND A LITTLE OIL TO TASTE, SET ASIDE. I TAKE THE SKIN OFF TOO.
IN A BIG SEPARATE BOWL, MIX 4-6 CUPS OF FLOUR, TSP OF SALT, TSP OF POULTRY SEASONING AND CANNED CHICKEN BROTH UNTIL DOUGHY, BUT NOT STICKY.
PRESS/ROLL DOUGH OUT TO ½ IN FLAT ON FLOUR COVERED CUTTING BOARD. CUT INTO SECTIONS, WHATEVER SIZE YOU WANT YOUR DUMPLINGS. WE LIKE 2’ SECTIONS. DO THIS PART WHEN YOU START THE CHICKEN SO THEY WILL BE READY TO GO IN THE POT RIGHT AFTER YOU REMOVED THE CHICKEN.
SLIDE DUMPLINGS INTO BOILING BROTH, CAREFUL NOT TO SPLASH OR LET THE BROTH BOIL OVER. STIR CONTIUALLY ON MED-HIGH HEAT UNTIL THE DOUGH IS COOKED THROUGH. THIS KEEPS IT FROM STICKING. USUALLY 20 MINUTES OR SO. WE LIKE THEM DOUGHY.
ONCE THE DUMPLINGS ARE COOKED, ADD THE SEASONED CHICKEN BACK IN AND STIR. I ADD A LITTLE FLOUR TO THE BROTH TO THICKEN IF IT’S TOO THIN.
WE LIKE OURS PRETTY PLAIN BUT YOU CAN ADD PEPPER, MORE POULTRY SEASONING, GARLIC AND ONION POWDER AND SALT TO TASTE.
DUMPLINGS ARE EVEN BETTER THE NEXT DAY. YOU JUST ADD A LITTLE CHICKEN BROTH TO THE THIN THE BROTH AND WARM. DELICIOUS.
THIS IS THE ONE RECIPE THAT I DOUBLE SO EVERYONE CAN TAKE SOME HOME.
Here's your sneak peak at the next installment of the Ruby's Ranch Series!
Escape from Ruby’s Ranch
Augie’s celestial presence covered Katherine with an invisible blanket when Momma’s blood curdling scream rang out over the ranch.
Katherine jerked upright in bed and listened hard against the quiet night. Crickets and dogs rustled outside her open window but the rest of the night was still. The scent of fresh rain over sagebrush filtered in the warm room, causing the white cotton curtains to billow gently against the sill.
“Daddy,” she whispered. It had to be.
She kicked away the fluffy down comforter Momma bought when they redecorated her room, then slipped on her robe and ran down the hall, searching. The rooms in the house were eerily silent and dark, the clock above the antique stove read 11:15 pm.
This was odd. Where was everyone? Augie stayed with her until she hit the kitchen door at a dead run, panic rising in her stomach.
The full moon shined bright across the corrals, lighting the path toward the barn where she spied a single light aglow from the window above the barn door. She ran so fast, her faithful Labradors, Mutt and Jeff, couldn’t keep up.
“Whoa. Stop!” Stan stepped out of the barn and held up a hand just as she reached the door.
“Kat, honey, you can’t go in there.”
"Can't I?" She peered up into the sad blue eyes of her father’s best friend and saw the first of a million tears he would cry. “It’s Daddy, isn’t it?” She tried to maneuver around him, but he grabbed her by the shoulders until her eyes met his.
"Yes, sweetheart.” His voice halted. “It’s your father.” His words choked in his throat, until finally, he looked away from her questioning stare.
Katherine watched him a second longer, waiting for that million-dollar smile to spread across his tired face. Then he’d chuckle and tell her he was just kidding, like always. But she saw nothing there but grief and sadness, sheer heartbreak.
The ribbons of her heart ripped away as she crumbled to the ground, dissolving in tears. Her long, wavy auburn hair fell in front of her face, shielding her from the harsh reality. She didn’t know how or what happened, but her father was gone. Her best friend, her only confidant in the world, taken from her.
“Why?” She screamed out, spooking the horses. Cricket, Katherine’s gentle chestnut quarter horse, trotted over, alerted by her master’s distress. Mutt and Jeff, riled now, ran the perimeter of the corral, searching the darkness for whatever might have caused her such pain.
Stan patted Cricket’s neck, calming her. “She’ll be all right, girl. Go on now.” He leaned down and held out a hand for Katherine to take, but she kept her eyes trained on the star-filled sky. Dirty tears trailed down her cheeks as she tried to envision surviving ranch life without Daddy.
“Come on, child.” Stan urged her again to stand.
Cricket nuzzled in close, sniffing against her hands, offering support. Katherine cradled the probing snout, until the mare was satisfied enough to saunter back to the huddle of horses now watching curiously from the far side of the corral.
“Why, Daddy?” This time quiet, shaking her head in disbelief. “How could you leave me here alone with Momma?” She blinked back the tears and tightened her quivering arms across her chest. A gentle, creative, funny, loving part of her world slipped away and she was instantly consumed by loneliness and sorrow.
Her life would never be the same.
… Stay tuned for Chapter 2 of Escape from Ruby’s Ranch.
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