Friday, December 24, 2010
It's the time of year when families and friends gather to share food, gifts and memories.
My January contemporary western release, Bridled Heart, which was released early this week in print from my publisher Wild Rose Press is about Gina Montgomery. She's a woman who had the strength to heal herself after a childhood of sexual abuse and learned to help others heal. She encounters the one man who will test the order and rules she's made to keep herself from falling apart.
One of the characteristics I give Gina in the book is a strong memory of her mother. The one person who's love, even after her death, she clung to for strength. And the memory that surfaces in the book is the scent of baking cinnamon rolls and the comfort and love she feels when she eats one.
Do you have any memories that certain foods conjure up?
Here is the blurb and excerpt from Bridled Heart and at the end is my recipe for Cinnamon Rolls.
A specialized placement schedule and self-imposed vow of celibacy keeps ER nurse, Gina Montgomery, from getting too close to anyone. Music is her only solace and release from a past laced with abuse. But when that music draws the attention of a handsome bareback rider, her chosen solitary life—not to mention her vow—gets tested to the limits.
Holt Reynolds let his younger sister down when she needed him most. With the similarities to his sister far too evident in Gina, he can’t get the woman out of his head, or her poignant music out of his heart. But how can he find a way to free her bridled heart before the past resurfaces to destroy their one chance at happiness?
“Why do you help with this event?” He laced his fingers together resting his hands on the table in front of him. His coffee-colored gaze held admiration.
She dropped her gaze and picked at her napkin. His interest was flattering, and he hadn’t attended the event just to inflate his image. If that had been his agenda, he would have stayed to be photographed with the person who purchased his art. She peered into his smiling face. He waited so patiently for her to answer. By this time most men would have given up on her and moved on to someone else. She searched his eyes. He seemed genuinely interested.
She took a deep breath and hoped she wasn’t going to regret divulging more. “I see so many children in the ER rooms who…” she turned her head and chewed on her cuticle. When they arrived needing her care, she put aside her emotions and did the job, but afterward, she always broke down. How could a parent do that to a child? She knew how it felt to grow up feeling different.
He placed a hand over the one on the table. “It’s okay, you don’t have to tell me. I can see their plight affects you.” He squeezed her hand. “I could tell when you were playing the piano your heart is filled with sorrow.”
She stared into his eyes. The sincerity of his words and the acceptance of her pain, even though he thought it was all for others made her want to weep. She hadn’t had anyone care about her in so long, she didn’t know how to act.
Jerking her hand out from under his, she stood. “I have to go.”
“Wait.” He snagged her hand as she grabbed her coat from the back of her chair. “Do you have a phone number?”
He held her firm but gentle. Warmth spiraled up her arm and settled in her chest. Why didn’t she feel frightened or invaded by this man? She shook her head. She didn’t want to see him again. If she did, it would be hard to remain faithful to her vow. He’d started to seep into the empty cracks created over the years.
3 1/2 - 4 1/4 cups flour
3 TBSP sugar
1 tsp salt
2 packages Active Dry Yeast
1 C milk
1/2 C water
1/4 C margarine
In a large bowl thoroughly mix 1 1/2 cups flour, sugar, salt, and undissolved yeast.
Combine milk, water, and margarine in a saucepan. Heat over low heat until liquids are very warm.(I use the microwave) Margarine doesn't need to melt. Gradually add to dry ingredients and beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add 1/2 cup flour. Beat at high speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in enough additional flour to make a soft dough. Turn out onto lightly floured board; knead until smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; place bowl in pan of water at about 98 degrees F. Let rise 15 minutes.
Turn dough out onto floured board. Roll out 12" by 20". Spread with soft margarine sprinkle liberally with brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll up the long side like a jelly roll and cut into 18 pieces. Place cut side down in a pan that has melted margarine and sprinkled with brown sugar. Let rise 15 minutes in draft free warm place.
Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Frost with powder sugar or butter cream frosting. 18 servings.