Wednesday, December 13, 2017


Please welcome one of my best friends, Anna Jeffrey, an award-winning author. Not only does she write as Anna Jeffrey, she has also co-written books as USA Today bestselling author Dixie Cash. As you'll see below, she's also a gifted artist as well as an accomplished author.

Remember to comment during Advent to be eligible for the Christmas Eve drawing of the Kindle Fire 7.

What is your favorite childhood Christmas memory?

Christmas at my great-grandpa’s house, when all of the family would come and bring presents. I was around 5 to 7 years old. At that time, my great-grandparents had 9 kids living, and most of them had kids of their own, so it was a lot of people. The Christmas tree was usually in the corner of the living room, which was a room never used at any other time of the year, and the presents would stretch out to the center of the room. Oddly enough, one of my most vivid memories is that my grandmas always got pots and pans for presents.

This photo is my great-grandpa's house in West Texas where I spent the first 8 years of my life. The people on the porch are my great-grandpa and great-grandma and 7 of their 9 kids. This picture was taken when the house was fairly new, somewhere around 1900 and was where the whole family gathered every holiday. The lumber for the house was hauled by horse and wagon from Abilene, which was about 80 miles away. I don't know who built it in the first place, but it had 8 bedrooms. Unfortunately, I have no pictures of the inside.

This is an oil painting I did of the old gas station and mechanic's garage not far from my great-grandpa's house. It was also the post office. The white stuff on the ground isn't snow. It's cotton. The cotton gin was just down the road from it. It's gone now, but when I was a kid, it was a thriving business.

What is your favorite adult Christmas memory?

When my husband and I lived in Idaho, one Christmas Eve we had a heavy snowfall that didn’t let up for days. All around our house, the depth was about four feet. My daughter and her husband had gone to his family’s house for the holiday, so my husband and I were alone. We and some friends did a progressive dinner riding on snow machines. We always had a white Christmas in Idaho, but we usually weren’t out in the weather and usually didn’t have quite that much snow. It felt very Christmas-y.

Is there a Christmas song that’s your favorite?

A.   Secular: “White Christmas” sung by Bing Crosby
B.   Religious: “O Holy Night” sung by any large choir

Tell us about your family’s Christmas traditions.

They are long gone now, but my great-grandpa used to always give all the kids a bag of apples and oranges. Don’t know where he got them at that time of year in West Texas.

The coat is an opaque water color I painted of my husband George's
old work coat hanging on the door of his  cabin in the mountains about 
50 miles from McCall, Idaho. We used to spend a lot of time up there. 
Talk about silence! 

What about Christmas do you most enjoy?

Most people seem to be happy at Christmas. They seem to work at it.

The old barn is an oil painting I did and I don't even remember where
it is. Obviously in the Northwest somewhere.

Is there something about this holiday that drives you crazy?

Not any more. I used to work in the retail business, so all of it drove me crazy in those days.

What do you hope for this Christmas?

Time and good health and a little more good will.

This is an oil painting of a deteriorating gold mining dredge in Warren Creek, Idaho. This is how they pulled many dollars worth of gold from that area. I don't know how old it is, but it wasn't far from George's cabin. Believe it or not, one year, I won the Blue Ribbon and the "Best of Show" ribbon at the Idaho State Fair with this gold-mining dredge. Interesting history.

Do you have a treasured Christmas food?

Christmas cookies and candies. I used to make both and give for Christmas presents. In Idaho, we had wonderful fruit available at that time of year. I always made chutneys and various jams and fruit honeys to give for presents. One of my faves was pear honey. Larruping!

Divinity Fudge

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup white Karo syrup
2 large egg whites, stiffly beaten
1/2 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon cream tartar
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts

 Beat egg whites until stiff and set aside. Cook sugar, Karo, water, salt, and cream of tartar until it forms a hard ball in water. Pour over stiffly beaten egg whites. Add vanilla and nuts. Beat and pour into lightly buttered pan to harden.

Warning: Do not make this on a cloudy or rainy day or it may not harden. 

Do you have a book you’d like to share?

Since I mentioned Idaho, I'll share a book set in Idaho: THE LOVE OF A COWBOY, book 1 of the Callister Trilogy.

THE LOVE OF A COWBOY was published as a result of winning a contest. It started out to be a saga about a legendary ranching family: Luke McRae, his parents and his siblings and the various dramas that affected their lives. The editor who judged it and bought it wanted to pluck out only Dahlia and Luke's story. The revision was a daunting process that required cutting around 50,000 words. The editor encouraged me every step of the way and in the end, my debut book became a work I'm proud of.


When Texas beauty Dahlia Montgomery and her best friend journey to Idaho for a change of scenery for the summer, the last thing she expects to encounter is Luke McRae, a lean, rugged cowboy intent on sweeping her off her feet and into his bed. Dahlia can't resist his rugged cowboy swagger and his sky blue eyes, even though she knows he can break her heart.

Luke is part owner and manager of the legendary Double-Deuce Ranch in the Idaho mountains. With the ranch, and alcoholic ex-wife, a shrewish mother and three kids to worry about, he has no interest in romance. But that doesn't mean he has given up on casual sex with beautiful women...But is either he or Dahlia prepared for the consequences of a sexy summer romp?

Amazon buy link: 

Anna Jeffrey, Author

A few words about Anna Jeffrey….
Anna Jeffrey is an award-winning author of romance novels as well as romantic comedy/mystery. She has written 10 romance novels and co-authored 7 as USA Today Bestselling author, Dixie Cash. Her most recent book is “The Cattleman.”
She loves most things western, from the customs and culture to the philosophy of life. She enjoys many hobbies, i.e., reading, painting and drawing, crafting, needlework and beading. Anna is a fifth generation Texan. She was born and grew up in West Texas, where most of her family members were farmers and ranchers or worked in the oil fields. She left Texas for many years and lived in four of the western states, a rich experience she’ll never forget. These days, she’s back home in Texas. She and her husband currently live in a small town not far from the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.
Twitter: @AnnaJeffrey


catwoman1a said...

I just love all your pictures!! They are really terrific.

Kathy Davis said...

I love seeing old house like your pictures. My grandparent's house looks similar to yours, and it was a kit that they ordered from Sears (or Montgomery Ward), and then added on. I think that's so interesting. I can't imagine ordering a house from a catalog. ;0)

Caroline Clemmons said...

Thank you for sharing with readers, Anna. I am so impressed that you are both a gifted artist and a gifted author.

Carnola said...

Anna you're a wonderful artist. Your childhood Christmas sounds awesome.