1. Do you cook? If so, what is your favorite dish to make?
Of course I cook. I’m Southern. Chicken fried steak. Chili. Chicken enchiladas and all the fixings that go with each. I’m known for making the best hot rolls in the family and the worst meatloaf.
I once called my Aunt Dixie and asked her for her divinity recipe. Thought I’d enclose it for you all.
Aunt Dixie’s Divinity Recipe
(Written on the back of an envelope with a birthday card inside)
From Jodi Thomas, Author
“Put in a quart size pan---works best in heavy pan, medium heat:
2 cups sugar ½ cup water Dash of salt
Bring to a boil---should be rolling boil but not a crazy boil that climbs up the sides of the pan are you’ll have a mess.
Boil stirring most of the time and watching ALL the time for about 6 to 8 minutes until the mixture will go soft ball stage. (That means when you drop a drop of it in a small bowl of cold water, you can push it around with your finger and make a sloppy ball.) Once that happens I usually let it boil for another minute just to make sure it’s ready.
Next: Pour over marshmallow cream from a small jar 8 ounces, and start to mix on low for about 30 seconds, then kick it up to high for about 4-6 minutes. Sometime during this add 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
Stop mixing when the it starts to thicken, losses it’s shine, or the ripples the mixer makes stay up for three seconds.
Add a cup of chopped nuts and make a few more rounds with the mixer
Wait and add a nut on top of each piece. May also add a cherry on top if you don’t like nuts.
Late: Using two spoons drop candy on waxed paper.
If the first few drops go flat, slow down a bit and give the candy time to cool a minute. Once the candy looks right coming of the spoon, move fast.
This makes about three dozen candies. The first few will be flat, but they still taste just as good. The last few may be stiff so eat them first. If you decide to put the nut or cherry on top be sure to dry the cherry’s on a paper towel first and put them on as soon as you drop all the candy.
Never double the recipe. It won’t turn out.
Love you, kid, and remember, divinity is like birthdays, not everyone turns out perfect.
Aunt Dixie Kirkland”
2. If you had to give one piece of advice to aspiring novelists, what would it be?
Start by reading, and reading and reading. Books are like songs, they have a beat. You can only learn it by reading. Also read all you can find on writing. Most of it you’ll toss out, but some will help.
Take a writing class from a working writer if you can. West Texas A&M has a great one that lasts one week. I’m the Writer in Residence there, so I drop in every day. Or find one at your library or college near home. Or take one online through one of the professional writing organizations.
Don’t show anyone your work until you’ve finished a 1,000 pages. Find a critique group on line or in a writing class and start helping each other.
Set goals and write. Even if you can only cut out 30 minutes a day, you can finish a book in a year.
By New York Times Bestselling Author
Rancher Staten Kirkland, the last descendant of Ransom Canyon's founding father, is rugged and practical to the last. No one knows that when his troubling memories threaten to overwhelm him he runs to lovely, reclusive Quinn O'Grady—or that she has her own secret that no one living knows.
Young Lucas Reyes has his eye on the prize—college, and the chance to become something more than a ranch hand's son. But one night, one wrong decision, will set his life on a course even he hadn't imagined.
Yancy Grey is running hard from his troubled past. He doesn't plan to stick around Ransom Canyon, just to stay long enough to learn the town's weaknesses and how to use them for personal gain. Only Yancy, a common criminal since he was old enough to reach a car's pedals, isn't prepared for what he encounters.
In this dramatic new series, the lives, loves and ambitions of four families will converge, set against a landscape that can be as unforgiving as it is beautiful, where passion, property and pride are worth fighting—and even dying—for.
By Jodi Thomas
HQN Books; September 2015
$7.99; 368 pages
AND NOW THE GIVEAWAY
OPEN TO US & CANADA
**No compensation was received for posting. Freda's Voice is not responsible for prize shipment, lost, damaged or stolen prizes.