About threeglindas

We are three writers who met and formed a sisterhood of support as we each individually and collectively navigate our publishing journeys. We have four Master's Degrees, seven children and four grandchildren between us. We love to write and live to love--our passions include music, cooking, baking, knitting, golf and shopping.

We’re Back!

After an extended hiatus, the Three Glindas are back and ready to rock and roll. We’ve all been so involved with our individual projects that some of our other promotional duties were waylaid. 

To update our status:

Ann has sold a new book to Harlequin’s Carina Press, and her new indie book IN A PICKLE is available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/In-A-Pickle-Ann-DeFee/dp/1623097959/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1373046022&sr=8-3&keywords=in+a+pickle

Linda is finishing up a secret masterpiece. Catch up with her http://lindacardillo.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=17&Itemid=9

Geri is writing book #3 in her Whidbey Island Series, and her latest release is NAVY ORDERS, available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Navy-Orders-Harlequin-Superromance-Krotow/dp/0373718659/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1373046121&sr=1-1&keywords=navy+orders+geri+krotow

All three of us will be at Romance Writers of America in Altanta, July 16-21. Look for us–you can tweet @threeglindas, @gerikrotow, @anndefee or @lindacardillo to reach us. We’re all also on Facebook. 

To catch up with old business, Geri got to meet the winner of the Three Glinda’s Gift Basket from Brenda Novak’s 2012 Diabetes Auction at RWA2012 in Los Angeles last summer. ImageGeri and Carol had fun posing for the camera. The Three Glindas auctioned off a Kindle Paperwhite ereader in Brenda Novak’s Auction for Diabetes this year, as well. We need a cure for this insiduous disease, pronto!

Geri will be tweeting from #RWA13 as will the Three Glindas. Thank you for supporting our writing and art, and let’s have some fun!

 

The Family

 

Poet Ogden Nash once said, “A family is a unit composed not only of children but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold.”

The common cold notwithstanding,  most people think of a family as a group consisting of parents/a parent, siblings and perhaps grandparents.  These are the folks who can engender our most passionate feelings – love, exasperation, disgust, admiration, respect, etc.  And as they say, you can chose your friends but your family is the card that’s been dealt to you.

The extended family may include aunts, cousins, second cousins twice removed (whatever that means) and a variety of other participants.  This is an interesting group in that you can chose to either ignore them or embrace them.  I have a cousin in New York that I’ve tried to contact a couple of times when I was in the city – notice the word “tried” in that sentence.  I suppose she just wasn’t up for a cup of coffee.

The more amorphous family units can be made up of friends, colleagues, fraternities and sororities, or organizations and groups that are working toward a single purpose.  These may be my writer sisters, such as TheThreeGlindas (Geri Krotow and Linda Cardillo), or my Air Force family who was always there for us when we arrived at a new base.  They can also be your church family or your football team.  The only requisite is that the people involved care for each other.

Families are very important in my books.  In Summer After Summer Jazzy’s relationships with her core family and her girlfriends help her through the agonizing process of going from puberty into adulthood.

The moral of this story is that we have many families, and as such we’re blessed to have their love and friendship.  “Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family; whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need it.”  Jane Howard, author.

Savoring Memories and Meals

The preparation of food plays a central role in the lives of my Italian and Italian-American heroines, and many of the most dramatic or meaningful moments in their stories take place around the table. The night before my heroine Giulia leaves her mountain village to sail for America—a voyage she sees only as exile from everything she loves—her grandmother prepares one of her favorite dishes, lamb roasted with rosemary and garlic. Giulia recalls the meal like this:

“Despite my sadness and my unwillingness to eat at midday, my body now gave in to hunger. I devoured the meal, savoring every mouthful.”

In America, food becomes for Giulia a way both to hold on to her memories and express her love.

Roast Lamb

½ cup olive oil
¼ cup soy sauce
Juice of one lemon plus grated peel
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary or 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
4 large cloves of garlic, slivered
Boneless leg of lamb (4-7 pounds)

Combine olive oil, soy sauce, lemon juice and peel, rosemary and garlic in small bowl and blend well.
Place lamb in a glass baking dish and pour marinade over the meat.
Cover, refrigerate and marinate for several hours, turning frequently.

Roast at 325° F for approximately 20 minutes per pound for medium rare, 25 minutes per pound for medium or 30 minutes for well done. Allow the meat to sit for approximately 10 minutes before carving.

 

Texas Hill Country Peach Crisp

Most of my books are set in or near the Texas Hill Country.  The best place to buy peaches in that part of the world is the quaint little town of Fredericksburg.  And here’s one of my favorites.

Hill Country Peach Crisp

3 cups sliced fresh peaches                                                                                                1/4 cup butter, softened                                                                                                         1   1/4 cups sugar, divided                                                                                                      1 cup flour                                                                                                                              1/2 tsp salt                                                                                                                                 1 tsp baking powder                                                                                                                  1/2 cup milk                                                                                                                               1 Tbs cornstarch                                                                                                                       1/4 tsp nutmeg                                                                                                                        1 cup boiling water                                                                                                                  whipping cream or ice cream

Place peach slices in an 8 inch baking pan.  Cream butter and 3/4 cup sugar.  Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk.  Spoon mixture over fruit.  Sift together remaining 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch and nutmeg; sprinkle over batter.  Pour boiling water over top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  Serve with whipping cream or ice cream.

Rainy Days and Tuesdays? On Keeping an Open Mind…

This week, yes. We celebrated Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday yesterday. It reminded me of my motivation to write my second novel, What Family Means, an interracial romance set against the backdrop of the civil rights movement in Buffalo, New York. It’s one thing to espouse ideals, another to live them. I was a little girl during that tumultuous time in American history, but when I wrote about my characters I was there with them. Through every old news article and first-person account I was able to read during my research, I felt the tension, the obvious need for change in our great nation but the unfortunate resistance to it, too.
It’s not only through reading books that I’ve learned about history and am reminded to keep an open mind. As my mother always said, “never judge someone until you’ve walked in their shoes.” Reading books and writing books affords me a precious glimpse into another’s life. And if I do my job right, it gives you, the reader, the same opportunity.

Icicles in Moscow..not unlike Buffalo, NY

Floating Down the River

Book settings are almost as important to the story as the main characters.  Not only do they craft the environment in which our new friends live, they also create the mood for the book.  For instance, a book set in New York City doesn’t have the same ambiance as one set in rural Montana – and vice versa.   As a native Texan it’s only natural for me to feature the land I love.

For Summer After Summer I used the Guadalupe River for the book setting.  When I was a kid the river was our playground.  We swam, water skied and picnicked.  As teenagers – well, that was a bit more R-rated, but still it was a ton of fun.  My characters Jazzy and Charlie had their own special hideaway down by river.  It was a place where their teenage love blossomed, and later where they discovered a more mature love.

But a bit more about the river.  On its 432 mile trip from its origin in the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf of Mexico the cold, green water of the Guadalupe meanders through sheer cliffs of limestone, passes through fields of shrub cedar and live oaks and provides sustenance for pecan and peach groves – and that’s just the flora and fauna.  On the human side there are dance halls dating from the 19th century, swimming holes that are deep and cold, floating block tube parties and world class ski jumping competitions.

For my money, there’s nothing quite like floating down the river on a hot summer day.  Image

Starting the New Year~Making Room in My Writing Life

I am one of those people who finds peace and energy in order and ritual.  As a child, I tended to put my Venus colored pencils back in their box in rainbow array from red to purple; as a mother and manager of a busy household, I have a place for everything and notebooks filled with indexed sheet protectors housing recycling schedules and appliance manuals.  My daughter (who, for better or worse has inherited my organizational trait) used to delight in bringing her high school friends to our basement, where I have a storage room worthy of an army on the move, with every cabinet door labeled with its contents.

It is no wonder that one of my end-of-year rituals is organizing my writing office so that I can make room in my writing life.


The practice of clearing my physical space—my desk, my files, the old but beloved calendar on my wall—sweeps away the mental cobwebs and shakes off the sluggish post-holiday torpor clogged with scraps of wrapping paper and sugar cookie crumbs.  Sitting at my desk at this moment, with shafts of winter light illuminating scrubbed and polished surfaces, inspires and energizes me.  I have all this room to fill—with the dreams and struggles and laughter of my characters.  My mind feels as open as my notebook, its crisp and empty pages waiting for words.

I love this time of year—so full of possibility and intention.

Chili Bacon Breadsticks

My family celebrates Christmas in the German tradition, opening presents on Christmas Eve after we sing “Stille Nacht” and toast each other with Sekt (the German version of Champagne). We open the gifts one box at a time, in chronological order from youngest to oldest, and each of us must guess what might be inside. While we wend our way through the colorfully wrapped pile, we help ourselves to a bountiful table of finger foods. For the last few years one of my contributions to the feast has been chili bacon breadsticks. I first made them for an extended family New Year’s Eve celebration in December 1999 when twelve of us rented a house on the beach on the island of Nantucket in order to witness the first light of the new millennium. It was bitterly cold, with seas so rough the car ferry had been cancelled and we had to scramble to catch the last passenger ferry to the island. We landed late at night with no transportation but managed to find a cab to take us out to the house on the far western end of the island.

The weather calmed down as the new year approached, our car made it over from the mainland and I was able to get to the market for provisions, including the ingredients below. This hearty hors d’oeuvre was a hit that New Year’s Eve, enjoyed as we watched fireworks over the Atlantic. Early the next morning, after the last of the breadsticks had been devoured, we bundled up and made the trek to the eastern end of the island to watch the sunrise. The photo here is one I took that morning.

Bacon Chili Breadsticks have been at the top of everyone’s list of favorites since then. As the friend who gave me the recipe warned, however, there is no sugar-free, low-fat version of this dish! However, now that there is a vegetarian “bacon,” I can also make a variant for the non-meateaters in the family.

Chili Bacon Breadsticks

1 pound of bacon (let stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes to soften)
18-24 breadsticks (depending on how many slices of bacon you have)
1 cup of brown sugar
3 Tablespoons chili powder (adjust for hotness)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  1. Mix brown sugar and chili powder together in a container large enough to roll the breadsticks in the mixture.
  2. Wrap each breadstick with a slice of bacon.
  3. Roll each wrapped breadstick in the sugar/chili mixture until well-coated and place on a rack in a 13×9 inch roasting pan. Leave about ½ inch between breadsticks.
  4. Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until bacon is crisp. Remove from oven, loosen from rack with spatula and let cool for about 15 minutes on the rack.

Feliz Navidad

In San Antonio the Tamalada and Christmas are synonymous. A traditional Tamalada is an opportunity for the ladies of the family to have a party while making the holiday tamales. From there it grew into a Christmas party where tamales play a starring role on the menu. The tamale dates back to the Mayan and Aztec cultures where warriors used them as portable food. Today tamales come in a variety of flavors from pork to pineapple, but the traditional pork is my favorite. San Antonio’s Lanier High School recently sponsored a world record Tamalada where 1,300 volunteers made over fifteen thousand tamales. Now that’s a lot of tamales!

Homemade Tamales (Note – traditional pork tamales were made by boiling a pig head, but I won’t even go there)
Filling Dough
1 1/4 pounds pork loin 2 cups masa harina 1 large onion, chopped 1 (10.5 oz) can beef broth 1 clove garlic 1 tsp baking powder 4 dried chile pods 1/2 tsp salt 2 cups water 2/3 cup lard or shortening 1 1/2 tsp salt 1 (8oz) pkg dried corn husks
Directions
Place pork in Dutch oven with onions and garlic, add water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until meat is tender, about 2 hours. Use rubber gloves to remove the stems and seeds from the chile pods. Put pods into a saucepan with 2 cups water. Simmer uncovered for twenty minutes, then remove from heat and cool. Blend chiles and water until smooth. Strain the mixture, stir in salt and set aside. Shred the cooked meat and mix in one cup of the chile sauce.
Soak the corn husks in a bowl of warm water for at least twenty minutes. Beat the lard with a tablespoon of broth until fluffy. Combine the masa harina, baking powder and salt. Stir into the lard mixture, adding liquid until you form a smooth dough.
Spread 2 tablespoons of the masa on the center of a corn husk. Place about 1 tablespoon meat mixture in the center of the masa. Fold in sides of the husk and fold up the bottom. Continue process until all tamales are made. Steam tamales forty minutes.
Feliz Navidad and a very Merry Christmas

Cozy Christmas (or any Holiday) Meatloaf

I have so many cookie recipes I could share here, but an all-time favorite at my house is my mother’s meatloaf. I’ve made it “healthier” over the years with ground turkey instead of hamburger or pork, but feel free to use the meet (or meat-substitute) of your choice. I recently share this on the Superromance authors blog, in our cookbook. This is quick, warm and tasty after a full day of shopping, baking, or cleaning. Enjoy!

Geri’s Mom’s Meatloaf

1 lb. ground turkey
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup Italian-flavored bread crumbs (or 2-3 pieces of stale bread, crumbled)
1 egg
salt and pepper to taste
1 small can tomato paste
chopped celery, bell pepper, or whatever you’d like, to taste
1/2 jar Chili Sauce

Mix all ingredients together except the chili sauce. Form into a loaf and place in a 13 x 9 ” pan. Add a little water to the pan, approx 1/2.” Make a “dent” or well in the center of the loaf and pour the chili sauce on this. Bake at 350 for 1 hr. If you need metric measures, tweet me @gerikrotow or @threeglindas and I’ll do the conversions for you. I like to serve this with rice and asparagus or broccoli.