Paty Jager is an award-winning author of thirty-two novels, six novellas, and numerous anthologies of murder mystery, western romance, and action adventure. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them. Learn more about Paty and her books at her website.
Did I scare you?
Probably not, but you would have scared me. Yes, I jump at loud noises and someone touching me when I don’t know they are there. My sons loved to wait in a recess in our hallway and jump out and scare me when I’d have an armload of laundry or anything that might fly in the air as I screamed.
Which would make you think, given I am such a scaredy-cat, that I would hate Halloween. I actually loved the holiday as a child. I’d think about my costume for weeks because it was the only time my mother let me play with makeup, wear earrings, and dress in clothing that I wouldn’t normally get to wear. And I loved the candy. I was a chubby child. I adored my sweets, and Halloween was a night where we were given candy, popcorn balls, candied apples…yes, that dates me. I went trick or treating before you couldn’t hand out handmade goodies. It was before there were worries of razor blades in popcorn balls and drugs in cookies.
When my kids were in grade school, the PTA put on a Halloween or Harvest festival with games and treats. At the time my husband had a walking floor semi-trailer. Which meant the floor of the trailer would move. We would set up a haunted house in the trailer and send the kids through. It was tricky standing up and being scared at the same time. I was the witch at the door. I didn’t need to be surprised by the people I knew were in there.
As the kids grew older, we had parties at our house. We’d have spiced cider, caramel corn, and cookies. Here is a recipe that is a hit with my family. I make it all year long because we have one granddaughter with dietary restrictions. She can have these if made with real vanilla.
8 tablespoons butter
1-1/2 cups light-brown sugar
1-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Heat oven to 325°. Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Stir in the sugar until smooth. Removed from heat and let cool. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Beat in the eggs one at a time into the sugar mixture. Beat in the vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture gradually. Pour into the prepared pan and bake until blondies come away from the sides of the pan. 50- 60 minutes. Cool completely before cutting. Makes 16 squares.
A runaway bride, murder, and arson has Shandra Higheagle sleuthing again. Sorting through the debris of her best friend’s childhood, Shandra believes she must solve the murder before her friend becomes the next victim.
Stumbling upon a dead body, Detective Ryan Greer is determined to bring the killer to justice before Shandra becomes too entangled in her friend’s dysfunctional past. He hopes he’s not too late. Her deceased grandmother has already visited her dreams, putting Shandra in the middle of his investigation and danger.