Thursday, July 14, 2016

Spotlight: Cathy Gillen Thacker

Bon Appétit and a Book: A delicious recipe to enjoy alongside the book with an image.

Triple Berry Scones
2 and ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tsp grated orange or lemon zest
¼ tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 Tablespoons salted butter/room temperature
1 cup mixed berries (blueberries, blackberries and raspberries)
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
Directions:  Preheat oven to 400.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl, and use a pastry cutter to mix, until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Add berries to flour mixture and toss carefully to coat.
Whisk buttermilk, egg, and vanilla in a small bowl.   Gently mix wet and dry ingredients just until combined.  Flour hands and pat out into an 8 inch circle ¾ inch thick.    With a sharp knife, cut into eight pie shaped wedges and place on parchment paper, leaving spaces in between.  Brush with extra buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake 14 minutes or until tops are golden brown.  Cool on wire rack, and enjoy!

Song Playlist: A prepared playlist of songs that embodies the book’s characters and their love story.
“Home” by  Dierks Bentley
“Take Your Time” by Sam Hunt
“Heart Like Mine” by Miranda Lambert
“I Don’t Wanna Be Your Friend” by Scotty McCreery
“Humble and Kind” by Tim McGraw
“I Did With You” by Lady Antebellum
“One Song Away” by Cassadee Pope
“Hold On” by Shel and Gareth Dunlop
“Make You Miss Me” by Sam Hunt
“I Hold On” by Dierks Bentley
“Falling For You” by Lady Antebellum
“What The Hell Did I Say” by Dierks Bentley
“When The Right One Comes Along” by Clare Bowen and Sam Palladio

How-to Tips for Aspiring Writers: Tips for those looking to get their work published/break into the industry.
1.    Finish the book.  You can learn a lot from writing the whole story, and you won’t learn enough if you only write proposals—aka first three chapters and an outline.  Plus, if you are unpublished, you need to present a full manuscript.
2.   Once you have finished the first book, send it out and then begin another completely new story.  The more novels you have out there, the more likely you are to make a sale.
3.   Read everything you can on perfecting your craft.  I am still studying books and articles on plot, characterization, pacing, conflict, and so on.  And I am still learning.
4.   Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was a publishing career.   Persistence and dedication to craft pays off.  It took me seven full manuscripts, in three different categories, written over five years before I sold my first book.  But what I learned during that time was invaluable.  Which is why, 35 years later, I am still able to earn a living, writing.  When success came, I was ready for it.
5.     Believe in yourself.  Only you can write your stories, your way.  That’s your voice.  It’s unique to you. 
6.   Listen to your editors.  They are your friends, and have a perspective you will never have when it comes to your stories.   If they tell you something needs work, fix it, don’t argue.  Trust in their judgment will pay dividends.  Remember, if you don’t succeed, they don’t succeed, so they have every reason to want you to put your best work out there.
7.     Pay attention to quality.  Although it is important to get enough books out there, to develop name recognition, it’s also important to make each and every book better than the last.  So make sure each new project has a fresh spin that makes it seem new and exciting.
Writer’s Space: Photos and a brief description of the place where they do their writing.
I write in the study on the first floor of my home.  When I have just finished a book, and have cleaned up my office, it looks something like the photo.  When I am in the midst of writing a book, which is almost all the time, it’s pretty messy.  The view from my desk, through the French doors, shows my faithful companion Daisy, asleep on her cushion while simultaneously guarding the front of the house.
Love Lessons Learned: Real life romance lessons learned from the book.
Garrett Lockhart was raised in a wealthy environment where it seemed to him that no one ever said what they meant or meant what they said—so he countered that by becoming blunt to a fault.  He didn’t want anyone to have any doubt about what it was he meant.  Hope Winslow grew up, catering to those in crisis.  She saw firsthand the difference a careful spin on a situation could make to one’s overall outlook and ability to cope.  Hence, she carefully parses every word that comes out of her mouth.  Garrett and Hope clash when she tries to help his family deal with a huge public relations crisis, and Garrett won’t cooperate and follow her carefully thought-out script.  Eventually, Hope becomes more direct, Garrett more cautious.  When a miscommunication still leads to their break-up, however, both realize things much change.  They realize holding back on what they are thinking and feeling is never going to be right.  To have a solid, long-lasting relationship, they have to promise to always bare their souls and speak what’s on their minds, and trust the other will understand.  And when they do, they find their happily ever after.
Movie Star Cast: The author picks movie stars to play the characters in a movie.

Hope Winslow would be played by Mamie Gummer.
Garrett Lockhart would be played by John Krasinksi.

Texas BBQ Recipe: A recipe of your favorite cowboy-barbeque dish for summer nights.

Texas Coleslaw

1 bag 16 oz. coleslaw mix
¾ cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 medium Granny Smith Apple, diced

Whisk together mayonnaise, sugar, and lime juice in small bowl.  Add coleslaw mix and apple, and combine well.  Chill and serve.

This is the perfect side-dish for smoked brisket, sausage and or ribs.



On the last leg of his tour of duty, Captain Garrett Lockhart is summoned home to Laramie, Texas, to handle an urgent family matter—a scandal that could destroy the enduring legacy of the Lockharts. Except it's already being "handled" by Hope Winslow, a professional crisis manager. 
Hope is also the beautiful single mother of the most adorable baby boy the Army doctor has ever seen. Garrett is resisting Hope's efforts at damage control—and pushing her clearly defined boundaries. Too bad she can't resist him…and fantasies of a future with her Lone Star soldier!

Learn more about Cathy Gillen Thacker by visiting her website at

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