Friday, February 14, 2020

Book Review: The Navajo Family Blessing Series by Cheryl Reavis

By Kristy McCaffrey

I’ve previously reviewed One of Our Own by Cheryl Reavis, but now that I’ve completed the entire series, I thought I’d put all the books together in one post. This series features contemporary Navajo culture in the Window Rock area. Since I lived for a year on the Navajo reservation when I was nine years old, I can appreciate the time and care that Reavis took in researching the setting and beliefs of the Native Americans. She gets it right, and so much more. Please don’t be deterred by the old covers. My guess is that despite these books being decades old, Ms. Reavis has been unable to gain the rights back, so her hands have been tied as to updating and labeling the stories (it took some digging for me to identify which books were in the series and in which order they should be read). As an added bonus, I’ve included an additional book (by a different but no less talented writer) that also features a Navajo hero.

One Of Our Own
Book 1

Sloan Baron has come to Navajo Country to see her estranged brother, who is in critical condition after a car accident. She already has been caring for two of his children, and now she learns that he has a third child, a young half-Navajo boy named Will. As she navigates the mess her brother has left behind, she finds an unlikely ally in Navajo Tribal Policeman Lucas Singer. Together, they try to unravel the laws regarding children on Indian Reservations. They also fall hard for each other. This is such a wonderful book! Ms. Reavis has created well-rounded characters that you’ll love and root for and cry over, along with a peek into the traditions and beliefs of the Navajo people. This is a story that will stay with you long after it’s ended. Moving and deeply romantic, I highly recommend.

Meggie’s Baby
Book 2

This story features Meggie Baron, Sloan’s niece, who was a child in the first book, and her love for Jack Begaye. The story begins with their estrangement, but the bond is still there. However, Meggie has gotten pregnant by another man, and although she didn’t love the father, this is a hurdle that she and Jack must overcome, as well as the custody issues by the grandparents of the unborn child. This is an engaging and emotional read, with wonderful details about the Navajo and their culture.

Mother To Be
Book 3

The heroine in this tale, Lillian Singer, is older sister to Lucas from Book 1 and in her forties. Wanting to carve an identity away from the reservation, she became an attorney and works out of Albuquerque. But family draws her home to Window Rock, and she’s tasked with getting Tribal Police Chief Johnny Becenti out of his self-imposed exile after the death of his wife. Lillian and Johnny have a history of not getting along, but that’s about to change. This book really got to me, as I didn’t expect to love these two as much as I did.

The Music Box
Book 4

When Eden Trevoy learns from her archaeologist mother she was adopted, and that her father was Navajo, she’s drawn to Tribal policeman Ben Toomey to learn more about her heritage. But when she discovers the true identity of her father, her world is turned upside down. To say more would ruin the surprise, but through it all, Ben and Eden can’t help but fall for each other. Another wonderful love story set against the backdrop of the Navajo culture.

Medicine Man
Book 5

The last installment in the Family Blessing series features Will Baron, who was the child involved in the custody issue from Book 1. Now a paratrooper stationed in North Carolina, he’s awaiting orders when he meets single mom Arley Meehan. The timing couldn’t be worse, since he’ll be leaving soon and she’s in a custody battle with her ex. Will, half-white and half-Navajo, had trained to be a medicine man, but is now at a crossroads as he faces the legacy of his father, Sloan’s brother, a man he never knew. This story didn’t have quite the sparkle as the others, and I think it was because it didn’t take place on the reservation but rather in North Carolina. But several of our favorite characters show up, so it’s a fitting end to the series.

If you enjoy stories with a Navajo hero, don’t miss this bonus read!

Coyote Dream
Jessica Davis Stein

Sarah Friedman has come from New York City to the American Southwest to buy Indian art for her family’s store. When her car breaks down, she finds herself in the company of Ben Lonefeather, a solitary Navajo with a great talent for sculpture and pet coyotes he's raised since they were pups. While waiting for the parts to repair her vehicle, she falls hard for Ben. But after a whirlwind affair, she returns home believing that she and Ben could never really be together. Their differences—she’s Jewish and he’s Navajo—are simply too great. This is an epic love story that I had trouble putting down. A sad side note: this was the only novel Ms. Stein wrote before passing away a few years ago. It’s a shame, because it’s quite simply incredible.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

The Peppermint Tree is now available wide

๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฃ๐—ฒ๐—ฝ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—บ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜ ๐—ง๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ is a contemporary western romance long novella. (Note: it was previously published in the Amazon-exclusive anthology ๐˜ˆ ๐˜Š๐˜ฉ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜Š๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜บ ๐˜›๐˜ฐ ๐˜’๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฑ but is now available at all eBook platforms.)

Heat Level: 5/5 (but the excerpt is 1/5)

๐‘ณ๐’‚๐’˜๐’š๐’†๐’“ ๐‘บ๐’Œ๐’š๐’† ๐‘ด๐’‚๐’๐’๐’๐’“๐’š ๐’“๐’†๐’•๐’–๐’“๐’๐’” ๐’‰๐’๐’Ž๐’† ๐’‡๐’๐’“ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’‰๐’๐’๐’Š๐’…๐’‚๐’š๐’” ๐’…๐’–๐’† ๐’•๐’ ๐’‚๐’ ๐’–๐’๐’†๐’™๐’‘๐’†๐’„๐’•๐’†๐’… ๐’Š๐’๐’‰๐’†๐’“๐’Š๐’•๐’‚๐’๐’„๐’†, ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’„๐’๐’˜๐’ƒ๐’๐’š ๐‘ฑ๐’๐’† ๐‘ช๐’‚๐’“๐’“๐’Š๐’ˆ๐’‚๐’ ๐’”๐’•๐’‚๐’๐’…๐’” ๐’Š๐’ ๐’‰๐’†๐’“ ๐’˜๐’‚๐’š.


Joe Carrigan watched as the red taillights in the distance slid from left to right and then right even more, finally stopping. He’d been following the Prius for a while, and the driver had been conservative, but their luck had just run out. He was in his Bronco—the same one he’d driven in high school on these very roads—and it could still be trusted in bad weather. He’d been able to afford better cars over the years, but he still had a habit of jumping in this one, especially on a night like this.

He checked his rearview mirror. Thankfully, no cars behind him. He slowed the Bronco and guided it as far to the right as he could without getting stuck.

Stepping out of his vehicle, a blast of cold air hit him as heavy snowflakes engulfed him. He really shouldn’t be out in this, but he’d agreed to meet Oliver and Celeste and a friend of Celeste’s, a blind date he’d been badgered into. His life had been too busy of late for a woman, but it didn’t mean he actually needed or wanted one in his life.

He reached inside the Bronco and grabbed his heavy canvas coat, quickly pulling it on and zipping it to his neck. The snow crunched beneath his boots and his breath came out in white puffs as he crossed the beam of his headlights and approached the Prius. He tapped on the driver’s window, the shadowy figure of a woman on the other side. She hesitated a moment then rolled the window down.

“Are you all right, miss?”

As the woman’s face became fully visible, he did a double-take. “Skylar?”

Her forehead pinched into hard ridges, and her eyes registered a flash of outrage. “Carrigan?”

As if a freight train had hit him, he uttered, “It’s been a long time.”

Copyright © 2020 K. McCaffrey LLC

Learn more about The Peppermint Tree here.

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Monday, January 13, 2020

An Update On Marley The Rescue

By Kristy McCaffrey

Another year with our sweet boy Marley has flown by, so I wanted to let you all know how he was doing. Since I shared the details of his rescue in my post from last January – Marley The Rescue – I won’t rehash it here. (Click the link in case you missed it.)

We’ve had Marley for two years and he’s doing well. His age is still a mystery. My husband, youngest daughter and I frequently try to guess (maybe 12 or 13 years old?), but the truth is we have no idea. His body moves like an old man, but his mind and temperament are full of the verve and excitement of a much younger dog.

Marley on his Gotcha Day, January 2, 2019.
We consider this his birthday.
At first he didn't like the car, but now he enjoys
going for a ride.

Marley will often take his stuffies outside with him.

He frequently sleeps perfectly inside the boundaries
of his bed, probably a remnant of his time in a cage.

He’s a creature of habit and loves his routine. Each morning, my husband rises very early and let’s Marley and our 12-year-old chocolate lab, Lily, outside for bathroom duties. After that, they return to our bedroom (Marley on a dog bed on the floor and Lily in bed with me) until a I awake a few hours later. They’re always very excited when I head to the kitchen since that means it’s time for a small breakfast. They also receive their medication—Lily for low thyroid and valley fever (the unfortunate circumstance of living in the desert) and Marley for his bad hips. A year ago the veterinarian showed me an x-ray of Marley’s pelvic region and regrettably it’s bone on bone. He receives pain medicine, glucosamine supplements, and CBD oil twice daily. I want to make him as comfortable as I can without drugging him to the point where he sleeps all day. While I don’t know exactly how he feels, or how much pain he might be experiencing, he appears more relaxed and happier now. He still can’t walk far, but he enjoys his time outside and loves to sit and enjoy the fresh air, the birds, and the sunshine. Luckily Arizona has more than its share of sunny days.

Early last year the vet discovered that Marley’s prostate was enlarged. This was, as you can imagine, very concerning. Our first step was to have him neutered, something I hadn’t planned to do (I didn’t see the point – he was too old to go carousing) but we hoped that this was the cause of the enlargement. Thankfully, it was! Since the procedure, he’s had no further problems with this issue.

We know little of what his life was like before we got him except that he’d been caged in the months leading up to our finding him. The state of his teeth, however, has told us a different story. Unfortunately, the vet had to pull two of his canines, top and bottom on the same side, because of abscesses. There were notches in the teeth indicative of extreme cage chewing, something that had likely gone on for a long time, longer than we’d initially been told. It broke my heart to pull those teeth, but I hope that his mouth feels much better now. He’s been a real trooper through these extractions. He never lets anything stand in the way of mealtime. Or treat time. Or food-of-any-kind time.

He’s very playful. He loves his stuffed animals and collects them on his dog bed. It’s quite adorable. He loves chew bones. He loves any type of treat, actually, so I have to be careful with his weight since he’s not able to exercise anymore. He enjoys playing with Lily (it took many months for him to feel comfortable with her), and the two of them are now good buddies. They especially enjoy the timeless game of ‘steal the bone.’

Halloween 2019.
Lily was a shark and Marley was a stegosaurus.

Over the holidays our family went on a ski vacation and we left Lily and Marley with my mom and dad. He knows them well, along with their three dogs, and he’s previously been to their house, but leaving him was still difficult. My mom said he was depressed for the first few days and wouldn’t eat any treats. I was so sad that he might have been thinking we’d gotten rid of him, but once he became accustomed to the new routine, my mom said it got better. Still, we were so happy to return home, give him a big hug, and get him settled back into the groove he’s come to rely upon.

When I rescued him two years ago, I had no idea how long we would have with him, and I’ll admit that I never anticipated having two years with him. But he’s happy, alert, and still curious about the world. The last two years have been a blessing, and my family and I cherish each day forward we have with him.

Marley has an Instagram account which my daughter and I run together. I hope you'll check it out: marley_therescue.

Friday, January 3, 2020

My Writing Schedule For 2020

By Kristy McCaffrey

I always begin the new year with much optimism and ambition in regard to my writing/publication schedule. I sincerely hope I can stay on track, because I’ve been known to get lost in research piles along the way, or sometimes sidetracked by a shiny new publishing venture (group projects – always a welcome challenge and great fun).

But here’s where my head is at the start of 2020.

I’m currently in revision mode of ANCIENT WINDS, Book 3 in my Pathway series. I wrote a first (very rough) draft in November, and then spent December reading, reading and more reading to figure out my characters in more depth. I’m happy to report that I’m starting to uncover what makes archaeologist Brynn Galloway and physicist Dr. Tristan Magee tick. This is my “Indiana Jones” meets “The X-Files” story, so expect adventure alongside some weirdness (ancient aliens anyone?). Stay tuned! I’m hoping to have it out by March or April.

Once I finish Brynn and Tristan’s story, I’m planning to write COBALT SEA (Book 4), which will star Chloe Mann (Grace’s sister – Grace was in DEEP BLUE) and Nick (he doesn’t have a last name yet). Chloe, like Grace, is a computer programming wunderkind and she’s working on deciphering the language of Sperm whales. She’ll travel to Dominica (a Caribbean island that has a year-round population of Sperm whales) where she’ll meet Nick, who runs the program that studies them. I can’t wait to write this one! Anyone who knows me can attest to my deep love for the whales of this world. I’m really hoping I can have this one completed by August or September.

I’ve been focused on the Pathway series for the past few years because I wanted to give it a chance to find a readership before I went back to my westerns. (Thank you so much to my western readers for being patient.) Since COBALT SEA will give me four novels in the Pathway series, I’m planning to pen the first book (a full-length novel) in a new historical western romance series in the fall. Tentatively titled COPPER CANYON, it will be set in southern Arizona in the late 1870s (my favorite old west time period) and will feature three brothers (not blood-related but adopted together) and the women who tame them. The stories will be filled with colorful characters, gritty settings, and steamy romance. I’m not sure if these will cross over with my Wings series – still trying to figure that one out.

Despite my ambitious schedule of producing three novels this year, I’m also hoping to carve out time here and there to add to the Pathway short stories. I’ve got several about Grace and Alec from DEEP BLUE in mind, and another climbing adventure for Lindsey and Ty from COLD HORIZON. Fitting them into the timeline is proving to be a bit tricky, so I may hold back on publishing them until I get the new novels completed.

I would also like to add to my Wings of the West series, as many of you have requested more stories (although the series itself really came to an end for me with THE BLUEBIRD). However, I’m exploring the possibility of side stories. I’ve had a long novella called THE SONGBIRD on the backburner for a while, and hopefully I’ll have a chance this year to spend some time on it. Stay tuned.

I really want to thank the readers for embracing my work – for reading and sharing and posting reviews. Please know that your support is so appreciated and helps tremendously in keeping my small business (with one employee – me!) going.

I wish you all a fantastic 2020!!

“I simply do not distinguish between work and play.” ~ poet Mary Oliver

Monday, December 2, 2019

A Christmas Cowboy To Keep

By Kristy McCaffrey

It's that merry time of year once again. Last year I published a contemporary western long novella in the anthology A Christmas Cowboy To Keep, so if you didn't have a chance to read the collection then, be sure to grab a copy now. It includes stories from Carra Copelin, Andrea Downing, Devon McKay, Hildie McQueen, Hebby Roman, and Patti Sherry-Crews.

Only 99 cents at Amazon or read it in Kindle Unlimited

The weather is cold, the atmosphere is festive, and the cowboys are hot. How do you keep a cowboy at Christmas?

Nashville event planner, Liberty Ann Hart, tries not to fall for a local carpenter, but his charisma is difficult to ignore, especially at Christmas and in the rustic setting of a Texas town called Mistletoe. Daniel Dylan Layman is determined to show the headstrong city woman a country life. Will a Christmas fundraiser spark a lifetime of love?

A CHRISTMAS CAROLE by Andrea Downing
Carrie Matheson is happy to start a new life at the Wyoming ranch she has inherited, but her six-year-old son wants to return to New York. As Christmas approaches and his pleas to Santa receive replies, it’s alarm bells not sleigh bells that start ringing. Tate Schrugge is amused by his new neighbor when she jogs over with some mis-delivered mail, but after she calls him Scrooge, she’s definitely not on his Christmas list. If these two can get together, it might be the Dickens of a romance.

When an unexpected inheritance draws lawyer Skye Mallory home for the Christmas holidays, she’s surprised by a longing to set down roots in her Colorado hometown. Only one thing stands in her way—a cowboy who broke her heart in high school. Joe Carrigan has returned to the community he left years ago, ready to face his one regret in life—Skye Mallory. But this time, he won’t be so chivalrous.

Some things never change. Kristen Kelly’s hometown is still Christmas crazy. Her sister, Laney, will always need to be rescued. And Cole Lawson will never stop pestering her. The handsome cowboy has picked right up where they left off, teasing her without mercy. And though her head tells her to run from Cole as fast as she can, her heart has a mind of its own.

SLAY BELLS by Hildie McQueen
Carmen and Jared can’t avoid the sparks that fly between them at first sight. But when a dead body surfaces at the Christmas festival, she becomes a witness and he becomes a suspect. Not exactly the recipe for a perfect match. Can they find love amidst the mayhem and sleigh bells?

Sofia Rossi and Gar McCulloch meet under challenging circumstances—her estranged son has been admitted to Gar’s ranch rehab-center. Sofia is a successful New York model who had an ill-advised liaison with a wealthy, married member of New York society and lost her son to her ex’s manipulation. Gar is divorced and lost his daughter to a drug overdose. When they bond together to reclaim Sofia’s son, the last thing they expect is to find redemption in each other’s arms, making this their best Christmas… ever.

Melody Evans, a professional wedding planner, views happily-ever-after endings with a skeptical eye, but she's never lost her childlike enthusiasm for her favorite holiday—Christmas. To veterinarian rancher Leland Jennings IV, Christmas is just for kids. If he could, he'd skip the whole month of December. But he does believe there’s one woman out there for him, and he's holding out for her. Melody revives Leland's Christmas spirit, and he rekindles her heart.

An excerpt from The Peppermint Tree

Skye made the mistake of glancing at Carrigan. His hooded gaze bore into her, and she almost turned to look behind her for the woman that he was obviously shooting lusty thoughts toward, because it sure as hell wasn’t her.

On top of everything else, she now had to contend with broken radar when it came to men.

Man, she needed another drink.

“You can come to the Ball tomorrow,” Celeste said.

The Mistletoe Ball was an event her folks and many of the people in Durango and the surrounding communities attended every Christmas, and Skye had forgotten completely about it. The last one she’d attended had been five years ago.

Celeste glanced around the table. “We’re all going. I even got a ticket for Tina.”

Carrigan’s date.

An invisible anvil clobbered Skye’s chest. He hadn’t professed to having a wife and kids, so obviously Celeste was playing matchmaker. She had done it plenty over the years, meddling regularly in Skye’s own love life. It was the exact reason Skye had never confided in her best friend about Carrigan. She hadn’t wanted Celeste plotting and planning, no matter her good intentions.

But now Skye would have a front-row seat to the Carrigan and Tina show.

“I don’t have a dress,” she said quickly. “But thanks anyway.”

She avoided looking at Carrigan by draining the rest of her Whiskey Sour.

Copyright © 2018 K. McCaffrey LLC

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Write A Novel In A Month #NaNoWriMo

By Kristy McCaffrey

If you’ve been on Facebook or Twitter, then you might have seen posts about National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. During the month of November writers from around the world collectively put their butts in the chair and pound out a novel. There’s a website where you can register your project, track your daily word count, and interact with your friends and colleagues who are also participating. To win NaNo, you must write 50,000 words by November 30. If you’re a writer, you know how tough this can be. And if you’re a reader, you might wonder what all the fuss is about.

I’ve successfully completed two previous NaNo’s—the first was for my western romance THE BLACKBIRD (2014), and the second was my romantic suspense novel about great white sharks titled DEEP BLUE (2016).

How does NaNo benefit a writer? It forces the internal editor to take a vacation. Believe me, this is far harder than it sounds, and is probably the biggest battleground an author will face in trying to complete NaNo. The internal editor not only encompasses good sentence structure and proper grammar, he/she also wants fully-fleshed characters right out of the gate, will insist on researching the name of the road in that western town in 1877 before allowing any more forward movement in the story, and wants to investigate every Irish surname for a secondary character who only appears in one scene. The internal editor can be the harshest of critics, and many a writer has succumbed to crippling self-doubt as a result.

But if an author has already published several novels, he/she must have found a way to work with this ridiculously overbearing boss, right? Excuse me while I laugh hysterically. Okay, I’m back. The short answer is, no. But all is not lost, and that’s where NaNo helps writers to shine. It forces us to push past the persnickety side-commentator and get the story down. NaNo is all about the first draft—those random and sometimes illogical beginnings of our stories. As a reader, all you’ve ever seen is the spiffed up final version of a project, so it’s hard to understand that it didn’t always look that way. Most first drafts would shock the spit right out of you. Just kidding. They’re not that horrifying, but they can be quite the hot mess.

To write 50,000 words in one month (and November only has 30 days), a writer must punch out 1,667 words per day. I usually round up to 2,000, because life doesn’t stop for me to write, so there will be days when I don’t hit that goal. Since my novels tend to be 75-85K in length, writing 50K won’t be the entire book. This leads to the most important advice I can offer about NaNo—make sure you get to THE END. This means that some scenes will be skipped, heavy description and backstory will be lightly touched upon, and character development will be invariably sketchy. But this is a good thing. Getting to the end offers insights that can’t be found any other way, and it will make the first revision pass much more fruitful.

One quirk I’ve learned during NaNo is that my scenes end up out of order. Since I know this about myself, I don’t spend too much time in my transitions from one incident to the next, because I’ll likely be moving them around later. I simply try to find the interior energy of a scene and expound on that as best I can. Then I move on. You can’t dilly-dally during NaNo.

And while it’s true I’ll be forced to discard large chunks of my preciously speed-written prose during the refining stages of the manuscript, it’s never wasted. I almost always learn something from the misstep, either about my characters or a plot direction that wasn’t going to work. I’ve also had delightful surprises. I didn’t find the great white shark star of my suspense book until the very end of the first draft. Her name was Bonnie, and when she arrived she changed the whole tone of the story. That’s why it’s important to get to the end. Once I knew about her, it was clear how I needed to lay the groundwork for her presence earlier in the book, and it completely informed the direction of my revisions.

This year, I’m unofficially participating and I won’t lie, it’s stressful. Some days I just can’t figure out what should happen next, and my mind’s innate tendency to wander off—online Christmas shopping! Let’s do that!—must be held in rigorous check. The manuscript (ANCIENT WINDS, the third book in my suspense series) is unfolding in a choppy and somewhat haphazard way, and it’s downright maddening. But … I’m finding those little gems along the way. (I have a fabulous scene in the Amazonian jungle with my hero and heroine and an anaconda that quite surprised me.) And this is because NaNo doesn’t let up; it forces you to write somethingAnything. It inspires innovation.

So, if you’re a writer and haven’t given NaNo a try, consider it. You might astonish yourself. And if you’re a reader, have sympathy for those participating. We won’t be grumpy lunatics for long.

Connect with Kristy

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Read a Book, Help a Cowboy

Today I'm sharing how my author pal Shanna Hatfield supports injured rodeo athletes, along with her wonderful new book release.

* * *

For most rodeo athletes it is a matter of when they get hurt, not if.

Many are uninsured and for those who find themselves out of work for months on end, the injury can be devastating physically, emotionally, and financially.

That’s where the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund steps in. The JCCF provides financial assistance to rodeo athletes who’ve sustained catastrophic injuries that leave them unable to compete for an extended time. Rather than worry about how they’ll pay their bills, they can focus on healing.

Because she grew up around cowboys and loves to include them in the stories she writes, author Shanna Hatfield supports the JCCF through her Read a Book, Help A Cowboy campaign. In its sixth year, the campaign raises funds and awareness for the JCCF. Now through Christmas Eve, Hatfield will donate ten percent of the proceeds from every book purchase to the JCCF.

A wonderful addition to this year’s campaign is Hatfield’s brand-new book called  A Cowboy Christmas. The book features 300 pages of western holiday fun with more than 70 full-color recipes.

The jangle of spurs mingles with the jingle of sleigh bells in this celebration of Christmas—cowboy style!

Welcome home to a western holiday with A Cowboy Christmas. A collection of unique holiday dรฉcor, traditions, recipes, and guides for entertaining with ease make this your go-to resource for an amazing western Christmas. Filled with stories of real-life ranch families and rodeo cowboys, get a glimpse into their traditions, try their family recipes, and experience their lifestyles. From preserving memories of the past to tips for wrapping presents, discover the special touches incorporated throughout this book that make it a holiday keepsake you’ll cherish for years to come. Brimming with holiday cheer, recipes with full-color photographs, and one-of-a-kind ideas, this book is a wonderful celebration of the holidays that will help make your Christmas unforgettable.

This book is available from:


Chocolate Chex Trees

These yummy and adorable trees are so simple to make and a great project if you have kids at home who need something to do. Set them on a disposable plate, foil-wrapped piece of cardboard, or a large sugar cookie wrapped in cellophane for gift-giving!

3 cups Chex Chocolate cereal
6 pretzel sticks (the thick kind, made for dipping)
½ cup peanut butter
¼ cup Nutella
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar

Mix the peanut but­ter, Nutella, but­ter, and pow­dered sugar in a bowl.
On whatever you plan to use for a base, mold the peanut butter mixture around the pretzel stick until it stands upright and forms a slight cone shape.
Hold it steady by using the tip of the pret­zel as a han­dle and begin insert­ing pieces of cereal into the peanut but­ter mix­ture in a sym­met­ri­cal pat­tern around the stick. You can tip the cereal pieces up or down, depending on your personal preference. Add more cereal pieces, stag­ger­ing them as you move upward, until you get near the top.
For the top of the tree, use broken pieces or cut them in half to get the smaller scale of branches near the top.
Use two pieces of cereal back to back to form the top.
Dust with powdered sugar.
Makes 6 trees

"Absolutely one of the best Christmas entertaining books I have ever read or seen I would hold this up against even Southern Living’s Christmas book they put out every year and that’s saying a huge thumbs up for A Cowboy Christmas. The recipes are all easy and quick sounding which is always the type of recipe I love to use. Once again Shanna Hatfield is the best at what at she does!"
Goodreads Reviewer

 "Such a beautiful book, and such a wonderful celebration of traditions and ideas to introduce into your own family. Included are heartwarming stories, recipes, craft ideas. This book shares with Shanna Hatfield's readers her joy and enthusiasm for the Western Way of life and the continuity of family that needs to be handed down to the new generations."
Amazon Reviewer

About the Author:
USA Today bestselling author Shanna Hatfield is a farm girl who loves to write. Her sweet historical and contemporary romances are filled with sarcasm, humor, hope, and hunky heroes. When Shanna isn’t dreaming up sassy characters, twisting plots, or testing out new recipes, she hangs out with her beloved husband, Captain Cavedweller. She resides near Walla Walla, Washington.