Saturday, November 29, 2014

Friday, November 28, 2014

Another snippet from CATTYWAMPUS CHRISTMAS

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A heartwarming tale with bite.

Another short excerpt from the new holiday satire:
Dot walked around slowly, taking in the decorations. The room was decked out like an upscale hotel lobby with everything modern—all in black, purple and lime green. A huge wreath the size of a wagon wheel hung above the fireplace and was decorated with black and purple ornaments topped off with a huge lime and white polka dot bow. A string of garland hanging over the front of the fireplace was also festooned with purple glass ornaments.

Dot stared in dismay, but tried to think of something to say that wouldn't hurt her mother's feelings. "Wow, looks like you’ve already done all the decorating. And it looks so . . . modern. And fancy. Not like you at all, to tell the truth." Sort of like you're decorating for Halloween, she thought.

Her mother smiled. "Yes! I know! Don't you love it? We just couldn't wait to get busy. We started decorating the day after Halloween, transitioned right past Falloween, on through Thanksgiving and are headed right smack dab into Christmas!"

"Once we got going, there was no stoppin' us!" Doris explained. "Me and your mama were just a couple of crazy whirlin' dervish decorators!" She flung her hands up, twirled then collapsed on the sofa. "Whew! We've had a bit of eggnog, dear," she explained. "To help the process along."

For more, click through to the sales page on Available in e-book and paperback.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Poem about Thanksgiving. . .and Christmas

Dear Reader-Friends,

A few years back, I wrote a Thanksgiving poem. It's recently been unearthed here in the Cave du Chukran and I thought I'd post it here. Ironically, one of the themes of my new Christmas novella, CATTYWAMPUS CHRISTMAS, is all about WANTING stuff. I thought I'd share the poem with you. Feel free to share, but please give credit to the author, me. :-)

Thankful for ALL my readers!

Thanksgiving Cancelled for Lack of Interest

Christmas wreaths on Credit Union wall
decked with colors never seen in nature.
First week of November, plastic needles
wilting in the hot Texas sun.

Halloween décor still hangs
from trees two blocks away.

Children rush to their parents,
chatter with glee and clamor about
what they WANT for Christmas.

Parents smile and take out
scraps of paper or phones and
take it all down, nodding,
with promises of e-mailing it to Santa.

Straight from sugar shock
to shopping excess
with no pause in between
for gratitude or thankfulness.

Has Thanksgiving
been cancelled,
due to lack of interest?

Copyright © 2014 by Bobbi A. Chukran

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The New ANTHOLOGY OF COZY-NOIR -- Review and a giveaway!

Dear reader-friends,

Please check out the new (great) review of THE ANTHOLOGY OF COZY-NOIR by Cynthia Chow in the Kings River Life magazine.

AND...enter their giveaway and you might win a free copy!

Cynthia gets it right, and saw exactly what Andrew MacRae, the editor/publisher (Darkhouse Books) and authors were trying to do with this unique new genre.

This is my first anthology publication (my story, Dead Dames Don't Wear Diamonds, is a sort of spoof), and I'm so proud to be in the company of these other fine authors!

Happy trails from wet and warm Texas!

bobbi c.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

How to Cook Greens in the Crock Pot--A Recipe from Aunt Jewel--Slow Cooker Turnip Greens with Potlikker

Aunt Jewel is one of the spunky main characters in my "Nameless, Texas" fiction series. She's "somewhere between 50 and ancient," she says, and she loves to cook. And she loves to cook things she grew in her own garden. For Thanksgiving, she often makes a mess of greens to go alongside all the other traditional foods. I asked her if she'd share her family recipe for Crock-Pot greens here, and she said "OK, as long as you make sure those folks do 'em right."

So folks--do 'em right, OK? I'd hate for Aunt Jewel to get after me with her rolling pin.

Aunt Jewel’s Slow Cooker Turnip Greens with Potlikker 

 Like any good Southern recipe, this healthy one pot meal doesn't include precise measurements.  You make enough for your family, and have extras for leftovers.  Here are the ingredients I use to make a "mess" of greens.  I use a Corning Ware slow cooker, 10-quart size.  If you want to use a smaller size,just use less greens.

Greens 'n cornbread! The way it's meant to be
Fill the cooker with one large bag of pre-washed greens from the store OR enough fresh greens from your garden—well washed, of course. Get those snails out of there! Don't worry if they won't all fit.  Cram them on in. The lid will hold them down, and the greens will shrink and cook down over the course of the day.

Add 3 cups of organic chicken broth, either canned/boxed from the store (I use organic) or homemade. This is not a precise measurement; if you don't have enough, substitute water.

Pour in a big splash of good olive oil, and some chopped garlic cloves—as many as you can stand.  If desired, add some leftover ham or a small ham bone, bacon or pork fatback cut into small pieces.  This is not required, but does make a traditional "mess" of greens and really adds a lot of flavor and protein to the dish without using a lot of meat.

Add enough water so that the greens are moist. Gently toss the greens so that they're coated with the liquids. 

Replace the lid on the cooker. Have a glass of wine. (optional)

Cook the greens on HIGH for the first four hours, stirring occasionally, then reduce the temperature to LOW and let them cook until they are done—the longer the better. Traditionally, this means that they are cooked down into a very concentrated dish, with lots of lovely potlikker on the bottom.  Serve the greens in a bowl with plenty of the potlikker and serve with homemade cornbread.  Drink the remaining potlikker—that's where all the vitamins are hiding, and it's good for you!


Aunt Jewel

Friday, November 21, 2014

Where the Heck did THAT Story Come From? CATTYWAMPUS CHRISTMAS

Dear Friends-Readers,

 Here's another story to put in my "Where the Heck did THAT Story Come From?" file.

In my new Christmas comedy, CATTYWAMPUS CHRISTMAS, there is what writers call "the inciting incident." The incident here is when the main character, Dorothy Norton, AKA "Dot," comes home for the holidays to "Nameless, Texas" and helps her father catch a giant runaway inflatable helicopter with a Santa in it.

Sort of like this one. It's SEVEN feet long! Jeepers!

 Have you noticed that these things are getting larger EVERY year? Scary. But I digress. . .

 Dot isn't paying attention and gets knocked down by her neighbor's VW Bug. I'll leave it up to your imagination to figure out what's real and what isn't, but all sorts of craziness ensues—vintage toys come to life, there's a spunky British Christmas fairy, some ravenous invisible flying monkeys and a very rude Santa who is NOT your typical ho-ho-ho jolly old elf! (Think The Wizard of Oz meets Monty Python meets Lost in Space with Snagglepuss. I think I used up my quota of atrocious groaners with this one.)

Parte Dos! Anyway, when I was a kid, we lived in Ft. Worth, Texas--home of Bell Helicopter. We passed Bell on the drive to our grandmother's house in Dallas. Every year, they'd put one of their older helicopters on their front lawn with an animated Santa inside, and he moved back and forth, waving at the traffic. It was such a thrill to anticipate it. We'd keep asking "How much longer?" and Daddy would frown and say "We'll get there when we get there! Be quiet and let me drive!" Then we'd finally see it and squeal. Daddy would cringe, slow down as we passed and we waved back to Santa, never doubting that he was real. Sigh. Good memories.  

 (Does ANYONE have a good photo of this? I'd give anyone a free book if they come up with one I can stick here in the blog. Seriously. This would have been back in the '60s.)

So, back to CATTYWAMPUS CHRISTMAS--take an errant yard decoration, a few childhood memories, a love for vintage Christmas with just a bit of snark against all the "holiday hoo-hah" insanity and mix all together. That's where THIS story came from.

And I hope y'all enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Happy holidays,

bobbi c.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Available now! New Christmas Comedy. Warning! This is NOT a Children's Book

New Christmas Comedy Available Now! 

Part of my "Nameless, Texas" series, a new Christmas parody/satire/spoof novella loosely based on The Wizard of Oz (and other things). 


Just to whet your appetite, here's a short quote from the book: 

"I don't know how to fix this thing! I can fly around the world in one night. I can wink and go up a chimney in a split second. I can be in 500 shopping malls on the same weekend. I can even fit enough gifts for the entire world into one tiny sleigh pulled by eight tiny reindeer, but I CANNOT FIX THIS CONFOUNDED COMPUTER!"
"Oh my goodness, Santa," Dot said. "That is bad."

Available on as an e-book.

Happy trails,

bobbi c.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Gobble Up these Thanksgiving Short Stories!

Dear friends, 

If you're looking for some fun Thanksgiving tales filled with quirky people getting into trouble, check out my three "Nameless, Texas" stories set around the holiday. Thank you!

Death at Do-Lolly's Diner

Aunt Jewel and the Poisoned Potlikker

Aunt Jewel and the Purloined Pork Loin