The Story Behind Darlene’s Redneck Recipes~#Free June18-20 Humor&Homestyle #Cookbook #KU

Get a free copy of the cookbook this weekend. Click here

I’m not good at writing non-fiction. That’s one reason I have a hard time trying to do blog posts. Whenever I have to write an article or an essay, whatever, I have to struggle with it. I couldn’t be a journalist if my life depended on it. But when it comes to fiction, I was born to be a storyteller. Stories filled with fictional characters are my cup of tea when it comes to a being a writer.

A couple of years ago, I decided I wanted to put together a cookbook filled with the recipes that I’ve cooked for several years, along with recipes from my mother and my aunts. One of the reasons I wanted to do this is that I’m practically the only one left in my family who knows how the women in my Southern family cooked.

However, the idea of typing a bunch of recipes bored me. I didn’t have any enthusiasm for it. Until one day and I thought about Darlene, a comic character I created who became one of my most popular characters. She’s a redneck Marilyn Monroe/Lucille Ball. Outspoken, naughty, and ambitious. Wheels started turning in my mind and I thought why not let this be Darlene’s cookbook? Let her narrate it and tell little stories related to food and cooking in the South.

That’s when the cookbook became fun for me. All the anecdotes/names in the book are all fictional, but they are based loosely on some family gossip or things that were commonplace or some things I experienced. For example, whenever there was a big meal cooked, the men always got to eat first. The women would cook, put it on the table and they were the last ones who got to sit down and eat. That used to annoy me so much. LOL.

My one criteria for the recipes is that they be simple and made of basic ingredients because that’s how the women I grew up with cooked. My grandmothers both had twelve children and lived on farms. They didn’t drive and there were no supermarkets handy. They cooked what they raised on the farm. There are no fancy ingredients needed to make any of the dishes. And I leave it up to the cook to get creative with herbs and spices if they want to add those.

If you’re looking for holiday desserts, I will say that my pecan pie is one of the best ever. I make it for Christmas gifts. Also I included my mother’s old-fashioned chocolate pie recipe. It is so good. And my aunt’s chocolate cake recipe. I called up friends and gathered recipes from them. One had a local ladies club cookbook from 1956 that she loaned me. I went out to my friend’s country beauty shop on a Friday when she does weekly shampoo-and-set for her elderly clients. I took a notebook and talked with them about their memories of their mothers cooking, the old kitchens, and got recipes from them. I ended up with over 200 recipes in the book.

The rest is history. My family has a cookbook for future generations. Goal accomplished.

This weekend, June 18-20, the cookbook, ebook version, is free on Amazon. If you like it and prefer, there is a print version too. For some reason, I can’t get them to link on Amazon, but it has the same title so it is easy to find.

Meet the Characters: Travis and Cameron from A Date for the Wedding

I started writing A Date for the Wedding in the spring of 2020. At that time, Covid-19 was slowly becoming a reality and brought about a change in my life as in no job. I decided I wanted to write a fun story that was cute, sexy, and charming. A Date for the Wedding was the result. It isn’t totally fluffy as it does have some serious moments.

Travis was the ideal hero for this book. He was a joy to write. He’s a firefighter who lost his fiancée in a car accident several years ago. He’s searching for love again and having no luck. In fact, he’s dated so many women that he’s developed a reputation as a womanizer. Travis is outgoing and friendly. Growing up in Lafayette Falls, he was a popular kid and everyone in town knows him. The girl of his dreams, Molly, is new to Lafayette Falls and when Travis sees her, he falls head-over-heels. At last, he’s finally found “the one.” Yet his reputation precedes him and he finds himself fearing he’ll never win over Molly. Travis is so in love that I felt sorry for him at times. LOL.

The character who has to be there for Travis is Cameron, his older brother. Cameron was an unplanned character. I had no idea Travis had a brother and Cameron just showed up. That’s what I call story magic. Cameron is the opposite of his younger brother. He’s not friendly or outgoing. He’s more of an intimidating loner, who runs the Wolf Creek Horse and Cattle Company. He and Travis have some of the best sibling dialogue. By the end of the book, I knew I had to write a book featuring Cameron and I am working on the final draft now.

I love hearing from readers. Leave a comment or sign up for my newsletter. If you do read and leave a rating or review for any of my books on Amazon, I want you know I deeply appreciate it so much! Thank you!

XOXO

Patricia 🌷

Romantic Settings~Creating Lafayette Falls

I love all things romantic and I’m guilty of creating romanticized settings in my books. Having grown up in a small town, I wanted to recapture the friendliness and familiarity that small towns evoke especially the historical downtown areas and court square. Lafayette Falls has a historical downtown area dating back to the 1900s, but it has expanded as most towns have over the decades.

I wanted a town large enough to have a variety of businesses, shopping centers, restaurants, parks, and a modern medical center so it would lend itself to my characters having a variety of occupations. The fictional town is about an hour’s drive from Nashville. It is near the Natchez Trace Parkway, which is one of my favorite drives. My mother grew up in Cypress Inn, Tennessee, near the Trace.

The area was always my first choice for a setting because I wanted to write about an area I know well. Plus I love the beauty of the rolling foothills of the Cumberland Plateau because it lends itself to beauty scenery. Forested hills, lakes, waterfalls, and trails. I love seeing the fall colors during the autumn. I have two books that will be set in the fall, my favorite season.

Check out some of the photos I’ve taken during my travels that inspired the Lafayette Falls setting.

I hope you will join my characters as they find love in Lafayette Falls!