Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **AUTHOR SPECIAL** with JOSIE MALONE!
Welcome to my Friday bonus feature called Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **Author Special**!! Today, in lieu of one of my own recipes, I’m going to introduce you to a new author who will share one of her favorite recipes. Not only will you and I occasionally learn how to make something new and delicious, but we’ll get a chance to check out some wonderful authors. Introducing author, JOSIE MALONE, and her favorite recipe for OLD-FASHIONED DOUGHNUTS!
TRAIL THROUGH TIME
Liberty Valley Love Book 5
BY JOSIE MALONE
When a suspected murderer escapes from the Junction City jail, the marshal’s younger brother, Kyle Morgan feels honor bound to follow him from 1888 Liberty Valley to 2018. From what his new sister-in-law, former homicide detective Beth Chambers-Morgan has shared, Kyle knows a woman he’s only seen in pictures is in mortal danger. Somehow, he must convince her that he’s traveled more than a hundred years to protect her.
The survivor of a horrendous attack, horse rescuer, Nina Armstrong blames herself for the death of her best friend who pursued her assailant and vanished in Mount Baker National Forest. Now, a battle-scarred stranger arrives determined to guard Nina from the serial killer planning to eliminate the sole witness to his crimes. Intelligent, brave, Kyle Morgan talks like an old-time cowboy, but Nina wonders about his claims to be from a distant place and time, inescapably drawn to him.
Love may prove to be the biggest threat of all when survival is on the line. Will they create a future together in Liberty Valley or will Kyle abandon her and return to the days of yesteryear? What is home and where will they find it?
Eagleville, Washington – Thursday, September 27th, 2018
Civilian and police cars filled the parking lot around the funeral home, although the memorial service wouldn’t start for almost two hours. Nina Armstrong parked her twenty-year-old Ford Ranger in the space reserved for her and switched off the engine. She dreaded facing everyone, but what choice did she have?
My best friend died trying to bring the man who raped and battered me to justice. Quit whining and whinging and go for it. She would do the same for me.
Nina clambered out of the truck and limped toward the brick building. At least, she was off the crutches. She hadn’t been able to make herself wear anything but black jeans, a subdued top under her black western-style jacket. Regardless of the occasion, she doubted she’d ever wear a dress again.
Last month, she’d had hysterics when her brother-in-law tugged gently on her braid at a horse show, causing onlookers to stare at her. Her mother and stepfather suggested she continue to avoid crowds if she couldn’t control her emotional meltdowns. The following afternoon, she’d visited Ginger Taylor and demanded the former hairdresser shave her head. Ginger refused, saying a cap-style cut was enough, and promised to deliver the chocolate brown, waist-length braid to the local Locks of Love wig-making drive.
It was time to quit stalling, Nina told herself sternly. Sooner or later, someone would see her standing by the truck in the parking lot and try to escort her inside. Taking a deep breath, she headed into the lobby and looked around. A photograph of Beth Chambers in her formal cop blues stood on an easel near a door. Nina winced, remembering the day she’d taken the picture. Afterward, the two of them had gone to lunch at Beth’s favorite restaurant, Billy-Bob’s where they enjoyed giant slabs of cheesecake with their coffee, not bothering to feel guilty because they’d split one of the huge, specialty burgers and a mountain of hand-cut, crispy French fries first.
In the room, several other easels held large pictures of Beth. Many showed her in different Army uniforms. In one corner was a candid shot of her in jeans and a Western shirt, holding her horse’s reins while Luke, her retired K-9 partner stood by the pair. The light gray Arabian nuzzled her arm and Nina recalled her friend always had horse cookies in a coat pocket reserved especially for Tigger.
Blinking back the tears, Nina went past the cluster of police officers to the front of the room. Beth’s foster father, Will Dawson, stood there with one of his many relatives, a petite brunette that Nina recognized as Audra Dawson, Beth’s favorite cousin.
Despite wearing a formal black suit, he looked like a silver-haired, singing cowboy with one of his favorite Stetsons. Will smiled and reached out to hug Nina when she joined him. “Thanks for coming. I’m glad you made it.”
Nina slipped out of the sideways embrace, hoping she didn’t offend the older man, but she couldn’t bear to be touched, even five months after the attack. “Beth would hate all this fuss.”
“Yup, she sure would. She always threw a fit about the ‘falderal’ when we got together every time before she deployed.” Will smiled, all the way up to warm brown eyes. “But this way her friends can say goodbye and wish her well.”
“And the family can, too,” Audra said, turning with a friendly nod. “I’m Audra Dawson-Watkins now. Don’t worry about missing my wedding. Joe and I eloped, and the relatives don’t know what to make of that.”
Nina nodded, glancing around, and seeing several more members of the Dawson clan. “I saw Joe at the vet clinic when I took in my puppy for his shots last time. He was nice. He even gave Pooka the teddy bear that he’d chewed up.”
“That’s my husband,” Audra agreed happily. “Animals first and people barely second. He’ll be back as soon as he straightens out the chaplain. Joe will find a tactful way to explain that nobody will be happy if he opts for one of those surface speeches that are so popular and make it obvious that he really didn’t know Beth even if she was sent to him for counseling for her P.T.S.D.”
The conversation eased some of Nina’s nervousness, but she still had to ask, “Have you heard anything more from the District Attorney? Does he have anything new to say about Gary Smith?”
“Oh, the fellow still claims Beth is alive and well in 1888,” Will said. “Detective Watkins assures us that Smith’s trying for an insanity plea, but he won’t get it. He had her coat and everything she kept in the pockets for trophies, plus there was more evidence when they found his saddlebags and that dead horse in the National Forest.”
“There’s no way Beth would give up her things,” Nina said. “She got her man. Smith will spend the rest of his life behind bars once he goes to trial.”
Will drew an antique gold watch out of his pocket, rubbing the case with a calloused thumb. “You’re right. She did get her man. And all of the Dawsons can live with that. Time to stop blaming yourself for what she did, sweetness.”
“But it’s my fault she tracked him into the National Forest and got herself killed,” Nina said. “I’d never want her hurt.”
“Same goes for you,” Audra said. “She’d hate it if she thought you blamed yourself. She always took care of everyone even before she became a cop. It was her job and she stepped up. Again, no blame attaches to you.”
Not for the first time, Nina wished she believed that. The topic changed to her horse rescue operation and she repeated the party line she’d come up with last spring. “It’s fine. Donations are up and horse abuse is down so everything works. I’ve been adopting out some of my rescues, but that takes work too.”
Audra nodded. “You bet it does. Trying to sell luxury items in a down economy is never easy and it may not be politically correct, but horses are tough to support even when people aren’t worrying about mortgages and taxes. And looking for homes when the animals are psychologically damaged can’t be easy at the best of times.”
Nina felt some of her tension ease. She’d prepared to be criticized and judged, not hear this much understanding on so many levels. She glanced across the room and saw Joe Watkins coming toward them. He never had been a big guy, barely six foot. He was still lean and wiry, accompanied by a younger man in a dark suit, carrying a black cowboy hat. Was that the minister? It couldn’t be, not with that hat.
Audra turned her smile on them. “Nina, you remember my husband, don’t you? And this is a friend of ours and Beth’s, Kyle Morgan.”
Nina tensed for a moment, concerned he might try to shake her hand. Instead, he stood still, and then slowly smiled until it touched his dark brown eyes. While she didn’t smile back at him, she relaxed again. He wasn’t a giant of a man, shorter than both Joe and Will, but three inches taller than she was at five-feet-four. Faint amusement trickled through her. No wonder he needed the hat to make himself bigger. Sun-streaked blond hair reached his broad shoulders and she realized it was longer than hers. She noticed the faded line of a jagged scar that sliced his right cheek and wondered what happened. Was it some kind of a war injury? Had he and Beth served together in Afghanistan?
“Where did you meet Beth?” Nina asked. “I don’t remember her mentioning you.”
“In the woods on one of her hunting trips.”
Nina met his gaze, wary now. “Beth didn’t hunt.”
“He means a camping trip,” Audra said. “You’re her best friend. You know she used to head for the hills whenever she could around the holidays because she hated fireworks after all those Army tours in the Middle East. They triggered her PTSD.”
“Then, why didn’t he say that?”
Kyle shrugged. “Wasn’t sure what you folks called it. And she was downright unsociable when I stumbled into her camp looking for my brother. Her dog attacked me. Knocked me down and held me in the dirt.”
“Not really?” A burst of rare laughter bubbled up inside Nina. “What did your brother do?”
“Laughed. He never was the sensitive sort. Probably why he and Bethany get along so well.”
“You mean got along.” Tears stung and she blinked hard. Now, she had another reason to hate herself. She’d deprived her best friend of a man who undoubtedly would have been her soulmate and given her the ‘happy ever after’ she dreamed of and rarely mentioned. Nina glanced around the room. “Is he here?”
“No. Rad isn’t much for ceremony.”
Another thing he and Beth had in common, Nina thought, glancing at the others in their small group. She saw a faint smile crease Will’s face and realized he enjoyed hearing the reminiscences. It still came as a surprise that he wasn’t blaming her. She knew she ought to move around the room and talk to the other guests, including the police officers who continued to arrive, but she couldn’t make herself do it. The same went for the rest of the Dawsons. Sooner or later, someone would point out that if Beth hadn’t gone after the man who attacked Nina, there wouldn’t be a need for this memorial.
Josie Malone lives and works at her family business, a riding stable in Washington State. Teaching kids to ride and know about horses, she finds in many cases, she’s taught three generations of families. Her life experiences span adventures from dealing cards in a casino, attending graduate school to get her Masters in Teaching degree, being a substitute teacher, and serving in the Army Reserve – all leading to her second career as a published author. Visit her at her website, www.josiemalone.com to learn about her books.
Links to Josie’s website, blog, books, #ad etc.:
99 cent BUY LINKS for Liberty Valley Love – Book 1- A Man’s World Trail Through Time, 3/1-3/31/2022
BUY LINKS FOR TRAIL THROUGH TIME: (Liberty Valley Love – Book 5)
Amazon ebook https://amzn.to/3MaVlrl
Amazon Print https://amzn.to/3IrIFtQ
Apple Itunes Link
Facebook Page: Josie Malone, Author | Facebook
Amazon Author Page: :
Amazon.com: Josie Malone: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle
BookBub: Josie Malone Books – BookBub
I hope you enjoy the recipe Josie is sharing today on Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy Eating!
P.S. We’re at 575 recipes and counting with this posting. Hope you find some recipes you like. If this is your first visit, please check out past blogs for more Killer Fixin’s. In the right-hand column menu, you can even look up past recipes by type. i.e. Desserts, Breads, Beef, Chicken, Soups, Author Specials, etc.
NOTE FROM JOSIE: In this series, one of the characters, Ma Sims in 1888 often makes doughnuts – the recipe is from the Fannie Farmers’ cookbook, the 1908 edition – a book my grandmother used.
Here’s the recipe (or receipt as they say in 1888) for Ma Sim’s doughnuts:
Easier to make and more cakelike than yeast-leavened doughnuts, these doughnuts have a fine, creamy crumb. The temperature of the cooking oil is crucial, so use a frying (candy) thermometer.
½ cup milk
1 tablespoon butter, melted
½ cup granulated sugar
1 ¾ cups white flour, approximately
2 teaspoons baking powder
Vegetable shortening or oil for frying
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
Confectioners’ or powdered sugar for dusting
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
Mix the milk, granulated sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, salt, egg, and butter in a large bowl. Add the flour gradually, using just enough so that the dough is firm enough to handle yet as soft as possible. Cover the dough and chill for about one hour. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead for a few minutes. Roll out about a ½ inch thick.
Cut with a doughnut cutter or sharp knife into 3-inch rounds, cutting out and saving the centers (which can also be fried). Place on a lightly floured piece of wax paper and let rest for about 5 minutes. Using a heavy pan and a thermometer, heat about 4 inches of shortening or oil to 360°F. Fry three or four doughnuts at a time, turning them with a fork or tongs when one side is browned and continuing to fry until brown all over. Drain on paper towels and dust with sugar.
While trailing a serial killer on horseback, homicide detective Beth Chambers finds she has somehow ridden back in time—to 1888! When she comes across injured Marshal Rad Morgan, she has no choice but to try to save his life. Though the handsome marshal believes a lady should stand behind her man, Beth is determined to catch the killer she’s chased through time and prove she’s a capable law enforcement officer in any century.
A former Union soldier, Rad has survived the Confederate hellhole of Andersonville Prison—but his toughest challenge is beautiful Beth Chambers. As the headstrong female detective from the future lets him in on why she’s there, Rad becomes convinced that her stubbornness may get her killed. But when he is shot and left for dead, the marshal has no other choice but to put himself in Beth’s hands—and hope they can both survive!
Two officers of the law from different centuries chasing the same killer could be a recipe for disaster—especially with the distraction of love!
Thanks, Josie, for sharing your story with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!