Thursday, September 6, 2018

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Deanna Sletten, Author of Miss Etta

Good Old-Time Homestyle Cooking 

With a novel set during the years of 1895 to 1912, you can expect that the characters would eat simple, homestyle cooking. That is the case with my new novel, Miss Etta. The main character, Emily Pleasants, has lived two separate lives. Her current life (1911) as Emily, a small-town schoolteacher, and her past life as Etta Place, the wife of the famous outlaw, the Sundance Kid. She’s dined on rabbit, fish, and venison while living on the run, and she’s also dined in the finest restaurants in San Antonio, New Orleans, New York City, and Buenos Aires. She’s also enjoyed the most basic and delicious foods in a homestyle restaurant in her new town of Pine Creek, Minnesota.

While with Sundance and Butch Cassidy in Robbers’ Roost the winter of 1896, the group celebrated Christmas with a meal of venison steaks, potatoes, gravy, and green beans. In 1911, celebrating Christmas with her new friends in Pine Creek, they dined on roast duck, sweet potatoes, glazed carrots and pumpkin pie for dessert.

In her new life in Pine Creek, Emily eats daily at Evy’s Restaurant enjoying a variety of foods made by the warm, friendly Evy Townsend. Breakfasts consist of eggs, bacon, fried potatoes, biscuits, and strong coffee or tea. Dinners are roast beef, ham, or chicken, potatoes, a variety of vegetables, and often homemade apple pie.

During the story, Emily helps a friend who is very sick during her pregnancy. Emily makes her a special tea with ginger root and brings her muffins sprinkled with cinnamon to help alleviate her morning sickness. Before modern medicines, herbs, spices, and food were often used as remedies for illness. Emily uses this knowledge to help her friend.

While visiting old friends at Hole-in-the-Wall in Wyoming, Etta enjoys a delicious steak dinner (they raise beef cattle) and fresh carrots and potatoes. Potatoes were a staple in those days. They filled a person up and were inexpensive—or free if you grew them yourself.

In Miss Etta, we follow Emily Pleasants in her new life in 1911, but also see her past life through flashbacks from 1895 to 1908. She lived in a time when meals were simple, yet she sometimes also lived a high life enjoying the best cuisine. I invite you to follow Miss Etta on her journey in the past and see what becomes of the elusive Etta Place.

Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Deanna!

You can find Deanna here:

Deanna Lynn Sletten is the author of  Maggie's Turn, Finding Libbie, One Wrong Turn, Night Music, and several other titles. She writes heartwarming women’s fiction and romance novels with unforgettable characters. She has also written one middle-grade novel that takes you on the adventure of a lifetime. Deanna believes in fate, destiny, love at first sight, soul mates, second chances, and happily ever after, and her novels reflect that.

Miss Etta: A Novel

Historical Women’s Fiction
Release Date: September 4, 2018

Book Description:

She rode with the most famous outlaws of her time. Then she vanished.

In the fall of 1895, Etta Place falls in love with Harry Longabaugh, alias the Sundance Kid. She gives up everything to follow him and his partner-in-crime, Butch Cassidy, in their outlaw life across the continent and beyond. Breathtakingly beautiful and every inch a lady, Etta can also ride and shoot as well as any man. As their fugitive life begins to crumble, she finds herself alone and living in a convent with her newborn son. Knowing she can’t hide away forever, she moves halfway across the country to begin anew. Etta prays her past won’t catch up with her.

In 1911 Emily Pleasants steps onto the train station platform of Pine Creek, Minnesota with a teacher’s contract in hand and a secret life she’s fled. A young widow with a small son, she’s searching for a safe place to raise her child where no one will recognize her. She meets Edward Sheridan, a successful merchant and bank owner, who quickly falls for her beauty, intelligence, and kindness. Still, she worries her notorious past will threaten the one thing dearest to her—her son. 

From the deserts of Texas to the sweeping vistas of Wyoming, the refinement of New York City to the lush valleys of Argentina, Etta followed the outlaw men she loved so dearly. And then, she disappeared. 

One woman, two separate lives. What became of the elusive Etta Place?

Available at these online stores:

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  1. Thank you for letting me share my thoughts with your readers. This was a fun article to write. :)