Friday, December 08, 2017


Please welcome one of my favorite people, Jacquie Rogers. Remember to comment for Jacquie’s giveaway. Your comment also enters you for the Kindle Fire 7 on December 24.

What is your favorite childhood Christmas memory?

I grew up on a dairy farm.  Cows don’t take holidays off, so our celebration had to wait until Dad finished his morning chores.  On Christmas morning, my brother and I couldn’t go into the living room where the tree was (and Santa’s presents were!) until Dad got done with the milking.  Of course, we’d get up earlier than usual, so that made the torture that much worse. 

Mom would sit in her wheelchair and guard our door, but she also brought us hot cocoa with marshmallows.  Then, of course, we’d have to use the restroom, and you know that on the way in, we’d sneak peeks at the tree.  Sometimes we’d get a tantalizing glance at something really cool, but Santa was quite good at positioning gifts so we couldn’t see them from the hall.

Then I remember hearing Dad come into the house, and to prolong the agonizing wait, he had to clean up in the mud room before Mom would let us come out of the bedroom.  He’d take his own sweet time washing up.  LOL.  More torture!  Once he was finally done and dried off, he’d holler at us, and the stampede was on!  Fun times.

What is your favorite adult Christmas memory?

Christmas tree farm

That would have to be Mr R’s and my first Christmas together.  We’d bought a Queen Anne house that had a big parlor and two huge bay windows, so I wanted a tree that would fill it.  The scrawny things at the supermarket parking lot just wouldn’t do.  My sister told me about a nifty tree farm out by Parma [Idaho], so after much persuasive discussion—not all of it talking—I convinced him that we needed to go there.

We bundled up in heavy coats, boots, gloves, and stocking caps to search for just the right tree.  We tromped through the six inches of snow over every square inch of the five acres, evaluating every single tree.  I finally found The Perfect One—it was 12 feet tall and the trunk was at least 6” at the base.  Symmetrical.  Beautiful.  I had to have it.

Mr R had quite a tussle cutting down that tree.  He got down on his back in the snow and sawed and sawed and sawed.  Just as the tree was tipping, his stocking cap came off, exposing his follicley-challenged head, and steam billowed out!  I laughed so hard.  We loaded the tree into the pickup and headed for home

The next challenge was getting the tree through the front door.  Well, that’s a whole other story that involves a considerable amount of bad language.  Finally, once he managed to get the tree upright in the parlor, we proceeded to decorate.  He put over 1,500 lights on it, plus other decorations and garland.  It was the most beautiful tree ever!

Then the cat climbed it and tipped it over.

Is there a Christmas song that’s your favorite?

A.   Secular – Carol of the Bells
B.   Religious – O Holy Night

Tell us about your family’s Christmas traditions.

My daughter and grandkids cook all sorts of delicious goodies.  We start a week ahead of time and bake cookies.  Usually there’s an assortment of monster cookies, chocolate chippers, sugar cookies, peanut butter cookies, gingerbread people (because as my grandson pointed out, the cookie cutter doesn’t designate a particular sex), pumpkin cookies, persimmon bread, pumpkin bread, and fudge. 
On Christmas Eve, we bake pies—generally apple, lemon meringue, pumpkin, and custard.  Of course, that day is also spent dashing about looking for scissors and tape to wrap the last presents.  Or, in my case, all the presents.  Then we wait for Santa to come.

Christmas Day, Mr R and I usually have strawberry waffles while we wait for our kids and their families to show up.  Good grief, it’s no wonder we gain weight over the holidays!  Then we prepare the turkey and whatever other fixin’s we can do ahead.  By then, the horde has arrived.  We unwrap gifts, laugh a lot, maybe sip a bit of wine then have our big Christmas Dinner.  By the end of the day, we’ll all very ready to hit the hay.

What about Christmas do you most enjoy?

The Christmas Spirit—peace and good will to all—and hanging out with family.  I just wish my other daughter, who lives in Boise, and her family could be here as well.  I also love Christmas carols and reading Christmas romances.

Is there something about this holiday that drives you crazy?

The commercialism really gets to me.  I long for the olden days when we actually made our gifts and didn’t hammer our credit cards until they squawked.  And I really get annoyed when stores put out their Christmas displays before Halloween.

What do you hope for this Christmas?

A nice visit with my family, good health, a new house, and an RV so we can visit our special friends in Texas more often.  Oh, and I’d like my Muse to whisper in my ear.  She’s been rather quiet lately.

Do you have a treasured Christmas food? Would you share the recipe?

I like it all, unfortunately.  And I didn’t learn to cook using recipes, so that makes it hard to share, especially since I’m a dumper, not a measurer.  But for those of you who don’t eat grains or sugar, here’s a recipe for custard that’s a tasty treat.


Sugar-Free, Grain-Free Lactose-Free Custard
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
4 Eggs, whisked
1 tsp Vanilla
½ tsp Cinnamon
Sweetener equivalent to ½ cup of sugar (or to taste)
Dash of salt
Whisk and add:
2½ cups Almond milk (unsweetened)
Whisk as you drizzle the almond milk into the egg mixture.  Pour into 8” baking dish, put it in a water bath, and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Note: this is even better in an Instant Pot.  Pour into oven-proof pan and cover with a double layer of paper towel and foil, then add 1½ cups water and the trivet to the inner liner, place pan on the trivet (use a foil sling), then pressure cook for 17 minutes, 15 minutes NPR.  If it’s not done, just cook it a few minutes more.

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

I have four Christmas novellas, and the first three are on Kindle Unlimited so if you’re a subscriber, you can get them for free.  Click on the link and you can read an excerpt of each.

I Heard the Brides on Christmas Day

How The Texan Stole Christmas

A Gift for Rhoda

Faery Merry Christmas


I’m offering How the Texan Stole Christmas to one lucky commenter.

Jacquie wearing her four WILL ROGERS
GOLD  MEDALLIONS and holding the
books for which she won the awards

First of all, I can't wait to tell you that the first two books of the Honey Beaulieu --  Man Hunter series won four Will Rogers Gold Medallions for Western Humor. FOUR! I'm still hyperventilating. And the first book in the series won Chanticleer's Laramie Grand Prize. It's such an exhilarating and at the same time humbling experience to win such prestigious awards and to know that someone else loved these characters as much as I do.

Now that's out of the way, here's a little about me. I'm a former software designer, campaign manager, deli clerk, and cow milker but always a bookworm. Reading is my passion--westerns, fantasies, mythologies, and historicals of any era, all with a dash of romance. If an author can make me laugh, I'll buy every book he/she ever wrote. 

While I'm a country girl by birth, I currently live in suburbia with my very patient husband who is also my IT Guy. I don't think you can ever take the country out of a girl's heart. That's probably why many of my stories often take place in Idaho where I grew up. (Hearts of Owyhee series, the second Honey Beaulieu too, and some of my novellas and short stories, too.)

For the latest news, subscribe to the Pickle Barrel Gazette, my newsletter at  my website  You'll get a free short story, too!

For fun times, join my Facebook group, Pickle Barrel Bar & Books.

Why the Pickle Barrel? Because in the Old West, the pickle barrel was prominent in the general store and that's where people would hang out and gossip--sort of the Facebook of the late 1800s. Yep. That's how it was. We do have fun at our version of the pickle barrel, so join us.
You can find all my books and events on my website and I'd love for you to come visit. Drop me a line and let my know you've read my book. I really enjoy hearing from readers.
Amazon author page:



Jacquie and Mark  Rogers


Mary Preston said...

Oh, Holy Night is my favorite Christmas carol too.

Thank you for the recipe.


Caroline Clemmons said...

Thank you for stopping by and sharing with readers, Jacquie!

Kathy Davis said...

Thank you for the custard recipe. My mom used to make custard, but I never got the recipe from her.

Unknown said...

My favorite Christmas tradition is lighting g the yule log Christmas Eve to remember those not with us anymore,disabled people, people with illnesses, homeless, anyone less privileged, military personnel and their families anyone else family wants to add but most of all the reason for the season Jesus.

Jacquie Rogers said...

Mary, you're welcome! I love Tennessee Ernie Ford's version of O Holy Night.

Jacquie Rogers said...

Caroline, I'm honored that you invited me to be at your party. Merry Christmas!

Jacquie Rogers said...

Kathy, custard is the go-to around here. The ingredients are simple and it takes little time to whip up. If you bake it in a shallow dish, then sprinkle sugar on top and torch it, then you have creme brulee!

Jacquie Rogers said...

Magick, that's a very special moment. Thanks for sharing!

JWReinhold said...

Merry Christmas to all!

Carnola said...

Hello Jacquie, I've never had custard before it looks delicious. I love that your family all Gaithersburg your home for Christmas it must be great to have everyone together for the holidays. Merry Christmas to you all.