2014 ACFW Conference Debrief: Breathe. Brave.

Genesis Finalist PinI’ll lead with the big news: I’m so pleased to be a 2014 Genesis Finalist! While I did not win in my category, my silver finalist pin is very, very shiny. :D

Congrats to all Genesis and Carol Award winners and finalists!

And now it’s time for an ACFW 2014 conference debrief

Actually, it’s a week later and darn near past time for an ACFW 2014 conference debrief. Am I fully decompressed yet? I don’t know. My goals were to learn and to network–the latter being a big step out of my comfort zone. Nonetheless, it was a great conference, even though I lost track of my days around the time the guy at the airport car rental hub said, “Have a nice weekend.”

“Thanks!” I said, although I was thinking, It’s only Wednesday. Right?

I’m only mostly kidding when I say, I’m still not sure.

Wednesday, September 24

My husband and I made it safely to St. Louis. Since we only had one true day of vacation, we spent it on the logical thing: visiting the Gateway Arch!

ACFW 2014 (the ARCH!)

And of course, the Museum of Western Expansion was lots of fun.

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Then we had a lunch date, a nap, and a dinner date. I tried (unsuccessfully) not to be distracted by all the ACFW members I recognized from the Internet. ;)

Thursday, September 25

This was the official conference kick-off day. I started with a fun two-hour shift volunteering in the conference bookstore.

And then it was off to the Welcome and keynote address.

Speaker Lauraine Snelling gave the first part of her address. Some notable quotables:

“If God has called you to be a writer, you’d better do it!”

“God is growing us. He asks us to do things, but He says to us, ‘Ask Me and I’ll help you.'”

“Lots of our dreams get put on hold. Life gets in the way, but everything that gets in the way can be fodder for a book.”

“Start writing down the things God has done for you.”

She made reference to Jesus calling Peter out to walk on the water, which dovetailed with the lyrics to “You Make Me Brave.” My take-home: doubt sunk Peter, and there’s not much different about that for me. Also, “Lord, help me!” is a perfectly good prayer in that situation.

 Genre Dinner

Next was the Genre Dinner, a favorite conference event where authors may dress for the genre or time period they write. (I write mostly contemporary, so I didn’t dress up–but I did get to be a “lady’s maid” and help a friend into her Regency gown beforehand!)

After dinner, I had my appointment with official conference photographer Emilie Hendryx, so I’ll be debuting pretty new headshots soon. (Can’t wait!)

Then it was off to the Spotlight Sessions. I went for a glimpse of HarperCollins Christian Publishing and Revell.

HarperCollins Christian Publishing

VP and Publisher Daisy Hutton led a session focused on expanding their reach to broader audiences without abandoning their core reader. They are looking to get books into the ABA independent bookstores channel and optimize the publishing channels they are a part of.

Regarding self-publishing, they referred to an ongoing conversation of how they can add value for authors, how to increase ebook growth and how to price ebooks. However, they see no conflict between indie and traditional publishing. Daisy expressed an “all ships rise” mentality in the publishing world, stressing that there is a place for everyone.


Executive Editor Vicki Crumpton gave a brief history of Baker Publishing Group and Revell both independently and then as a division of Baker. She spoke briefly about their program and spent the majority of the session on Q&A.


I think it was Thursday evening that my husband and I watched Maleficent. I liked it a lot!

Friday, September 26

The Zone Breakfast is a chance to make connections with other writers in your region–but silly me, I completely forgot, in my attempt to get to breakfast on time, that it was a themed meal. I found my friend Jennifer Sienes, who gently pointed out to me that I was wearing a Southeast zone ribbon on my nametag, and they were a different zone at that table. Ohhh, right right right. Sorry!

A cool “God moment” happened right there–clear across a room with 500 or so people all looking for a seat, I heard my name called out. Ane Mulligan, a friend from the Southeast zone, spotted me floundering and called me to the table! And then I had coffee and the clouds of brain fog parted.

I sprang a leak as Rachel Hauck and the band led us in worshiping our Lord. :’)

The Power and Heart of a Novel — Gail Gaymer Martin

Friday was the Continuing Education day. Highlights from the two-part sessions I attended:

The novelist’s three-fold mission: conflict, tension, and emotion.

Conflict is the power that moves the story.

Characters’ personalities change their reactions. Think about how different people in different situations would see a scene, object, or circumstance through their unique personalities and back stories.

Some methods to create tension in a story: introspection, dilemmas, a ticking clock, dialogue, subtext, avoidance, and pacing.

Emotion will follow very closely with tension.

 Keynote, Part 2

At lunch on Friday, we received the second part of Lauraine Snelling’s keynote. And here is where #ACFW2014 started getting really personal.

Lauraine told us to breathe. From the diaphragm. Shoulders down. Fill our lungs and expand at our belly buttons. Hold…. and release.

Once again, this recalled for me a line from one of the worship songs. “It’s Your breath in our lungs, so we pour out our praise…” It’s astounding with a few deep breaths will do to invite peace and calm into the body and spirit. And then to remember what God has done for us, that our Creator breathed life into us and that our very breath belongs to Him, it’s still astounding, and yet that peace begins to make complete sense.

She advised us to study people. To realize that the person who can hurt you the most is the one you love the most… but  that (1) God will never let us go, and (2) it’s going to be part of a story someday.

This quote challenged and humbled me: “None of us are grateful enough for the gift He has given us in us. In the experiences God has given us.”

And this: “Mine the wealth God has given.”

In summary: If God made me a writer, and gives me tough stuff to go through, He’s giving me lots of material. I can bless others with it. I can give Him thanks for it. I can thank Him for everything.

Breathe. He makes me brave.

 Down-time, Downtown

Friday night was scheduled free time, and mine was spent at the Hartline Literary Agency client dinner. We went to the Old Spaghetti Factory. It was great fun to connect with agency founder Joyce Hart, my own agent Jim Hart, and other writers represented by the agency.

Outside the restaurant, there was such a cool view of the Gateway Arch in the distance, framed by buildings as I looked up the alleyway. My phone just couldn’t do it justice.

ACFW 2014 (Old Spaghetti Factory)

Saturday, September 27

Saturday brought another “moment” at breakfast.

I won a book on Renee-Ann Giggie’s blog last week, and she said she’d bring it to me at conference. We texted and planned to meet at breakfast. She saved me a seat.

When I found her, a very tall man was standing there, kind of leaning on the empty chair she saved for me.

I stood there, semi-smiling, all awkward-sauce, while they conversed. Then he turned to me and gave my name tag a look. “Hi, Brandy.”

“Hi… Allen. What do you write?” (A pretty safe question at a writers’ conference, usually.)

“I don’t write.”

With all the wit of the Heineman I was raised to be, I fired back, “Oh. Then what are you doing here?”

“Well, I’m on the [ACFW Executive] Board, and I’m a publisher.” Another few words of chit-chat, and then the emcee, Brandilyn Collins, called Allen Arnold up on stage to say a few words to the entire roomful of people. Yep, you heard it here: Brandy’s mouthing off to the brass. As per usual.


The moral of my two breakfast parables is this: Feed me coffee. Early and often. Not terribly profound, but there you go.

The day-time schedule was full of classes! A brief rundown:

Publishing Contracts — Rick Acker & Steve Laube

This lawyer-and-literary-agent duo teamed up to explain common contract clauses from both a traditional publishing standpoint and the indie distributor contracts offered by Smashwords, CreateSpace, et al.

The session covered these basic kinds of clauses: the Grant of Rights (trad)/ Grant & Territory (indie); Out of Print (trad)/ Termination (indie); Royalties (everyone’s favorite); Audit Rights, Copyright Notice and Registration, Noncompetition, Editing and Publishing Details (all trad); Author’s Representations and Warranties (trad)/Warranties (indie).

It was a good session. I caught up with Steve Laube afterwards to thank him for injecting a little humor into what can be a dry and confusing topic.

Mind Magic Writing — Ronie Kendig

Easily my favorite workshop of the day, and possibly of the whole conference. I took tons of notes, so here are a few highlights:

Explaining the session title: “Design + Marketing = Magic”

Focus business writing on action, results and goals. Avoid disqualifiers.

Negative space creates balance but also a paradox: the absence of text/graphics actually draws attention, but a wall of text is painful.

We all have a literary signature. Forensic linguistics (word pairings, word/sentence structure and paragraph length, commonly used words) can reveal us and surprising details about us as writers.

Immersion in story and character: Keep the domino effect in play. If one thing changes, they all change. How does a change impact the character’s job? relationships? decisions? setting? viewpoints? beliefs? emotions?

Remember that God asked you to write and that confidence is like muscle–the more you use it, the stronger it gets. (i.e., Breathe. Brave.)

Side Note: I don’t know how long this promo will last, but the Kindle edition of Ronie’s novel Raptor 6 is free right now… Snag it while you can!

I skipped the 2 o’clock hour of classes for another shift in the bookstore, and then proceeded on to…

Author Law 101 — Rick Acker & Cara Putman

To be honest, my head was full by then and my notes in this class are pretty sketchy, as I had to slip away for a mentor appointment during the session. I’ll catch it on the conference audio later!

And then, it was time to get ready for…

The Awards Gala

Here is where I had to engage that “breathe… brave…” idea. Although I was happy either way, whether I won or not, I was just really nervous.

ACFW 2014 (Awards Gala)

I shouldn’t have been. It was a great night. I got to sit with WORD buddy (and newly minted Genesis winner!) Kristi Ann Hunter. And one of my very favorite authors, Karen Witemeyer, also sat at our table, which was a lot of fun. And the meal was top-notch.

There’s a live blog and lists of all award recipients available at the ACFW site.

Sunday, September 28

You thought that was it? Not at all! The Post-Conference Session started bright and early.

How to be an Insanely Great Indie Author — Randy Ingermanson

Randy Ingermanson is a funny guy. He’s also an intensely smart guy, and if you give him a 3 hour session, he’s going to fill it to the brim with 160 info-rich PowerPoint slides. I’m boiling them down to this:

The definition of “Insanely Great” is modeled after Apple’s success, and it refers to a period of runaway growth;

and this:

The End

And then, we flew home. Good ol’ Atlanta, right where we left it.

God blessed the time, definitely. I enjoyed time with my husband. I connected with so many more new and old friends that I could mention here, but I want to spread some link love to Conni Cossette, Meghan Carver, Cass Wessel, Joy Avery Melville, Ron Estrada, Dana R. Lynn, Christina Banks, Nicole Quigley, Ashley Mays, Holly Michael, Diana Sharples, Becca Whitham, Edie Melson, and Shelia Stovall in particular. The conference theme was Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron so one person sharpens another.” You all surely sharpened me.

I arrived at #ACFW2014 with the goal of learning and networking, but I left with a charge I didn’t expect…

Breathe. Brave.

FoxTale Book Shoppe Hosts Lisa Wingate & Renea Winchester

Celebrating #SIBA14: Baby Goats, Melungeons & Books, Glorious Books

In honor of #SIBA14 (the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance’s 2014 tradeshow!), I’ll divert from the norm to cover a recent event at my very most favorite indie bookstore in the world, FoxTale Book Shoppe! Authors Renea Winchester and Lisa Wingate teamed up for an entertaining evening of chatting about their new books.

Renea Winchester

Renea’s book, Farming, Friends, and Fried Bologna Sandwiches is just as southern as it sounds, and she told some howlers about goats. Yes, goats. Because friends, there is not much on this earth that is cuter than baby goats at play . . .

Ah, the sound of capricious baby goat hooves, clacking against the rock!

Ah, the sound of capricious baby goat hooves, clacking against the rock!

. . . and few things as dis-STINK-tly unappealing as a grown male goat in rut, if you get what I’m saying.

Lisa Wingate

Lisa’s latest book, The Story Keeper, is one of those I know my genealogy friends will just love–a modern woman stumbles into a historical mystery. She talked about how stumbling across an article (and then another, and another) about the Melungeons, coupled with a documentary about human trafficking, prompted her to dream the story. If you’d like to read about it in more depth, Lisa blogged about this as well. This book is bumping many, many worthy titles down the list for a top slot in my abundant TBR pile.

Thanks, Lisa!

Happiness is a new (signed!) hardcover book!

(Book links go to their online store in support of the indie booksellers catering to those of us who love to shop local and enjoy paper books infinitely more than eBooks!)

Thanks to the Foxes for hosting such a great event! (Seriously, when you’re in Atlanta, look up their calendar, because there’s bound to be a can’t-miss literary event during your stay.) Big guys online and discount supercenters simply can’t create this kind of experience for dedicated readers!

Tweetable: In honor of #SIBA14: Baby Goats, Melungeons and Books, Glorious Books!

Question for You

If you’ve ever loved a brick & mortar bookstore, tell us about it in the comments!

Bonus Question

If you are actually at #SIBA14, we’d love to hear a tidbit from your time!

2014 ACFW Pre-Conference Mix & Mingle

It’s almost here–the annual American Christian Fiction Writers national conference is only two weeks away! Author Laurie Tomlinson had the brilliant idea to host a virtual ACFW pre-conference Mix & Mingle. I love it! Here are my answers . . . and then go check out the others, too. Thanks, Laurie!

brandy_heinemanName: Brandy Heineman

Location: Atlanta, GA

What you write/tagline/trademark: Christian Women’s Fiction / “Timeslip Fiction, Eternal Truth”

Place in the book world: Contracted! My book comes out . . . soon. Not sure when. LOL! And I’m represented by Jim Hart of Hartline Literary Agency.

On a scale of hugger to 10-foot-pole, please rate your personal space: I mean, I don’t want to be rude . . . *crosses arms awkwardly*

The unique talking point that will get you going for hours: Books (of course!), Bible study, genealogy, and fur-babies, although I will try not to tell stories about my intelligent cats in response to your stories about your intelligent children. No promises. (Kidding! . . . mostly.)

Loved ones at home you’ll be missing: My pitty-pats will be headed to the spa (i.e., the kennel) while I’m conferencing this year!

Not Invited to ACFW Conference--Boo Hoo - Copy

Conference goals we can pray for? This year, I’m going to learn and to network . . . which, since I’m unquestionably an introvert (see above re: personal space), small talk, party chatter, and social niceties just don’t come easy for me. Prayers are much appreciated!

Anything we can celebrate with you? I’m excited to be a finalist in the Contemporary category of the Genesis contest!

One or two ways we can help you build your platform? I do enjoy Twitter, and if you like, you can join my Street Team for my upcoming debut novel.

Going to the ACFW conference this year? Then I hope you’ll meet me in St. Louis!  (Sorry, couldn’t resist!)

Help this introvert warm up by saying hello in the comments!

Tuesday’s Tip: 57 Angles, Tips, & Prompts for Writing Your Family History

Write Your Family History

write your family history-00

If you’ve ever struggled with ways to turn your pedigree charts and research notes into a shareable, readable history for your family to enjoy, read on. This list of story angles, creative tips, and writing prompts is for you.

Some of these ideas might seem on the border of embroidering the truth. Let me clarify upfront that my intent is to suggest fullest use of available facts, as well as drawing well-reasoned, logical conclusions wherever possible. That said, I welcome discussion in the comments!

And now, without further delay . . . !

Basic Structure & Style

1. Choose an ancestor and place births, deaths, and other impactful events on a timeline. Don’t forget their in-laws. (Tweet this)

2. Keep basic narrative structure in mind as you write (exposition, rising action and climax, resolution--i.e., beginning, middle, and end) but also realize that true stories are rare in real life. It's okay to leave a story open-ended.

Image courtesy of luigi diamanti at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

3. Don’t be afraid to be a little repetitive if that works with how you’ve structured your history. Your family is all connected, of course, but ask yourself if your articles make sense as stand-alone works.

4. Utilize the word count function in most word processors. Aim for 150-300 words for a biographical blurb, 400-600 words for a family legend or interesting story, and 1200-1500 for an involved dramatic account. (And remember that even a broken guideline can aid the structure of your story. If you need to run longer, do, but ask yourself if the narrative contains a natural break where it would makes sense to divide it into parts.)

5. Use bullet lists or timelines if they make more sense than a narrative structure. (Tweet this)

6. Don’t get boxed into a format. Tell each individual story in the way that makes the most sense.

Picture This

7. Answer as many of the 5 W's as you can about your favorite family photo.

Image courtesy of scottchan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

8. Got an obvious family resemblance? Put photos side by side and write about it.

9. If you can take a 3-, 4-, or 5-generation photo, stop reading this and do it, right now. (Tweet this)

10. Try to recreate modern versions of old family photos.

11. Group scanned documents, newspaper clippings and photos by decade to create a visual history. (Tweet this)

Details, Details

12. Check your ancestor's home turf and include any insights in your write-up.

Image courtesy of aopsan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

(Even better if you can find a historic map.)

13. Got a story about a particular day? Check the weather to help set the scene.

14. Search a “today in history” archive to give your story context.

15. When details are sparse about a specific person, tell about the time and place where they lived to create a slice of life.

1906 postcard; public domain.

16. Find a moment of truth–in your ancestor’s life or in your search for him or her–and record both facts and emotions. (Tweet this)

17. Highlight apparent contradictions or discrepancies in the facts. Think about who would have supplied the data and brainstorm possible reasons. For an age variance, did your ancestor lie about their age for vanity, to guard themselves from age discrimination in the workplace, or to dodge–or qualify for–military service?

18. Spend some time researching your ancestors’ friends, associates, and especially neighbors. See if you can find a connection. Adding relevant details will enrich the story.

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Content & Substance

19. Write your family legends, just the way you heard them.

Image courtesy of kanate at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

20. Resist the urge to do a Federal Census recap–unless it reveals something significant. Highlight the details beyond where and when.

21. Write about surname origins. If your findings conflict with what you know or believe about your ancestors’ homeland, highlight the puzzle and try to piece together a plausible answer to it.

22. Resist writing about your search–unless you’ve got a great search story! (Tweet this)

23. On second thought, if you take a genealogy road trip, you'll definitely want to write about your experiences.

Image courtesy of Witthaya Phonsawat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

24. Profile the community where your ancestors lived (especially if they stayed for more than a generation in one place).

25. Write about questions you have without pressure to supply answers. (Tweet this)

More Content & Substance

26. Write about heirlooms.

Image courtesy of Gualberto107 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

27. Write about pets, hobbies, or personality traits. (Tweet this)

28. Type up family recipes (along with associated food memories). If you can, ask the person handing down the recipe where it came from.

29. Contrast lives of two very different ancestors who lived in the same time period.

30. Write about generational patterns you notice–attitudes, beliefs or sayings. (Tweet this)

31. Ask living relatives if they are named for anyone. (This might not be obvious, especially if they are named for a non-family member!)

32. Write what you can infer about relationships. If a clipping lists your relative among a group of unfamiliar names (out-of-town wedding or funeral attendees, for example), see if you can draw connections to others listed.

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Even MORE Content & Substance

33. If the car had a name, it deserves a place in your family history.

Image courtesy of Ron Bird at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

34. Interested in genetics? Find a list of dominant and recessive traits and see how far back you can trace yours.

35. If your ancestor got political, write about a controversial issue of the day. (Tweet this)

36. Write about a law that may have impacted your ancestors. (Tweet this)

37. Interested in medical mysteries? See if you can WebMD a “diagnosis” for a sickly ancestor (but be sure to delineate between fact and speculation).

38. Use prompts to generate more ideas. Geneabloggers has over forty day-of-the-week prompts to get you started and The Armchair Genealogist is a treasure trove of helps for the family chronicler.

Get Creative

39. Read up on creative nonfiction techniques and try applying them to your family history.

40. Write a letter to an ancestor you wish you could have known.

Image courtesy of Tanatat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

41. Write a poem or song about an individual in your family tree. (Tweet this)

42. Posing questions with answers you know, write an imaginary interview with your ancestor.

43. Got a frustrating ancestor with hardly any paper trail? Pen a tongue-in-cheek madlib-style profile and celebrate those maddening blanks for once.

44. If you feel you don’t have enough to say, make brevity the goal and format your stories for Tweets, Facebook posts, or 3×5 index cards.

Collaborating & Sharing

45. If an older generation isn’t forthcoming with stories, make it easy for them. Ask what they remember about ONE photo, person, or place.

46. Think about how to share your writing, whether via blog, CD’s, expensive bound photo books or photocopied printouts in a binder.

47. Looking to bring existing audio interviews into the 21st century? Maybe your family history will work best as a podcast!

Image courtesy of anankkml at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

48. Ask a sibling, cousin, aunt or uncle to write out their version of a well-known family story. Compare notes and see if your relative highlights additional details or remembers it just a bit differently.

Words to the Wise

49. Take on a writing challenge (such as the Family History Writing Challenge in February or #52Ancestors in a year) to stay motivated.

50. Don’t plagiarize.

51. Don't let a brick wall or missing detail stop you. Go ahead and embrace the fact that your genealogy will never be "finished."

Image courtesy of Just2shutter at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

52. Do a little at a time. It’s easier to write a 500-word ancestor profile than it is to “write your family history.” (Tweet this)

53. Stick with the facts, but don’t feel compelled to cram every detail you’ve learned into one article if they don’t support the story you’re telling.

54. Treat stories of ne'er-do-wells and scandals with the appropriate respect for the living.

Image courtesy of Kamnuan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

(If Grandma is embarrassed by her father’s stay at the state penitentiary, realize that what’s interesting to you might have been awful for her.)

55. Don’t wait to get started. (Tweet this)

56. Don’t be afraid to suppose (but clearly state as much, so your assumptions don’t come off sounding like facts).

57. Illuminate your family's history. Make it fascinating for the reader.

Image courtesy of nuttakit at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Your Turn

Share your best angles, tips and prompts for writing your family history in the comments below!

Family Recipe Friday: What’s a “Cannelon?” (Or, Uses for Onion Juice)

Historical Recipes: Novice Cooks Need Not Apply

Recall that last week, I left you hanging with the Cannelon recipe, so it only makes sense to lead with this question: What is a cannelon?

I’m ashamed to admit this, but even after typing up these recipes I still didn’t have a clear picture in my head . . . so I let Dictionary.com bail me out again. Cannelon is just another word for a cannelloni, or a “tubular or rolled piece of pasta, usually filled with a mixture of meat or poultry and often cheese and baked in a cream or tomato sauce.”

In my defense, that isn’t exactly what these recipes describe. Instead, they call for a biscuit crust and meat gravy. I’m pretty certain I’ve said so before, but the contributors to this cookbook definitely assumed a minimum level of skill. Still, “like a cannelloni” helps me to visualize what these recipes are aiming for!

Quick reminder: the coupon code Top Hat Photo Repair gave us is only good through the end of August, so if you wanted to take advantage of that, seize the day! :)

This cookbook was published in 1909 and we’re exploring the recipes and the lives of the women who submitted them. (Want to know more? Read the intro here or the previous entry here.)

Please remember to use 2014 food handling safety practices when attempting to make 1909 recipes!

Pages 25-26

WV WC 25 Cannelon, Hamburg Steak, Tomato Sauce

WV WC 26 Rolled Beefsteak, Cannelon of Beef, Roasted Chicken


[Note: For convenience's sake, of course I'm including the first part of the recipe from page 24!]

One pound of round steak, chopped fine, yolk of 1 egg, 1 tablespoonful of melted butter, 1 tablespoonful of stale break crumbs, 1 tablespoonful of chopped

parsley, 1 scant teaspoonful of salt, ¼ teaspoonful of pepper. Mix well and form into a solid roll. Butter a paper and tie the roll up in it, place in a pan and bake 30 minutes. Serve on a hot platter with tomato sauce.

Sauce for above: Take a pint of strained stewed tomatoes, place on the fire until it comes to a boil; then stir in 1 tablespoonful of flour mixed with water, a small lump of butter, 1 teaspoonful of onion juice. Take off and season with salt and pepper to suit the taste.
–Cadiz Cook Book

Six ounces fine bread crumbs, ½ teaspoonful salt, ½ cup milk, a seasoning of sage or thyme, and 2 tablespoonsful chopped parsley; add 1 cup of mixed nuts, chopped fine. Fry one small onion in 3 tablespoonsful butter until slightly colored, and strain into other ingredients. Stir over fire for five minutes, then add 2 well-beaten eggs and stir until mixture leaves bottom and sides of kettle; cool then form into roll. Bake in rich biscuit dough and serve with brown gravy.

Put one pound of round steak through a meat chopper, then add to it one-fourth teaspoonful of salt, one-eight teaspoonful of pepper, one-half teaspo[o]nful of onion juice and a level tablespo[o]nful of chopped parsley. Form into six steaks, being careful not to have the edges thinner than the center of the steak. Broil or saute, and serve with tomato sauce.

Place half a can of tomatoes over the fire; add to them one small onion, one small bay leaf, a sprig of parsley and a blade of mace, and simmer gently for ten minutes, then remove from the fire; press through a sieve to remove the seeds; melt one tablespoonful of butter in a saucepan; add one tablespoonful of flour, rub together until well mixed; add the strained tomatoes and stir a moment; season with half a teaspoonful of salt and four shakes of pepper, and serve at once.
–R. H. M.

Beat a large tender steak thoroughly. Sprinkle it with salt, pepper, sage, minced onion, minced parsley and bits of butter. Have ready some mealy Irish potatoes, mashed fine and seasoned with a little butter and salt. Spread it all over the steak, roll it lightly and fasten with skewer pins, place in a pan with two teacups of boiling water, place on top a few slices of pork. Baste and roast as you would a duck; sift over it browned crackers, pounded fine. Very nice.
–Mrs. J. W. Heavner.

Mix well together the following: One pound chopped beef, two ounces butter, one-half teaspoonful salt, one-fourth teaspoonful white pepper, yolk of one egg, ten drops onion juice, one teaspoonful chopped parsley and the grated rind of half a lemon. Form into roll and bake in a rich biscuit crust. Serve with brown gravy.

Draw, wash well, wipe dry and turn the pinions under; press the wings close to the body and tie to keep in place; make slits each side of the body and force the ends of the legs in; fill with stuffing of bread–

[Note: Yep, leaving you hanging again. Sorry . . . !]

Who (or what) were they?

Cadiz Cook Book: I couldn’t find any information about the Cadiz Cook Book, and I’m disappointed. I’d hoped to find references to a contemporary cookbook–or even a digital copy online–so I could compare dates and see if this recipe was lifted word-for-word from another book. Oh well . . .

R. H. M.: This is the second recipe offered by our mystery contributor, but I’ll tell you a secret: when I scanned upcoming pages, I figured out who she was! So we won’t be in suspense forever as to her identity.

Mrs. J. W. Heavner: When we first met Leeann E. Reger Heavner, we learned that her parents were John W. and Rebecca Reger (1). I noted that there was likely a relationship between her and cookbook contributor Anna Lee Hurst Post’s mother, Mary C./Marion Reger. They were next door neighbors on Main Street of Buckhannon WV in 1880 (3), which quickly shows that Leeann’s and Mary’s ages are eight years apart (with Leeann as the elder at 38). Sisters?

Yep! (Source, and a note: Mollie is a nickname for Marion.)

So, this gives an adorable connection between two cookbook contributors: Anna Lee Hurst Post is the niece and namesake of Leeann Reger Heavner!

(Numbered sources are cited in the index.)

Having fun? :)

Next week we’ll take a look at three (!) Chicken Pie Recipes. Maybe if I get brave, I’ll try one out . . .

I’m hoping to have an update about my novel for you soon, too. Exciting stuff!

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If you are researching one of the ladies credited here, email me! I’d love to hear your story!