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Welcome to Wednesday Writers.

Christmas is coming and there’s nothing I like better during the holiday season than a good Christmas romance (or movie). So, on Wednesdays and Thursdays I’m filling out the year with a variety of Christmas romance book posts. Today’s guest is Jolene Navarro. She’ll be sharing her book The Texan’s Surprise Return and a bit about her family’s Christmas tradition.

BTW, Jolene, you’re talking about one of my favorite foods–TAMALES!

Hola from the Texas Hill Country. I’m Jolene Navarro and I’m honored to be visiting today. As a writer I love pulling from family traditions. My stories are a celebration of family. In my current release, The Texan’s Surprise Return, not only do they eat tamales on Christmas Eve, they make dozens upon dozens on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

It’s one of my favorite scenes. The hero is trying to reconnect with his family after a near death experience that created a brain injury.

Four generations (including his triple sons) gather in the kitchen to create an assembly line as they make each tamale. This is a common holiday event in the Navarro house.

Growing up my family didn’t make our own tamales, but when we gathered for Christmas Eve the main attraction was the tamales. Growing up, I thought everyone celebrated Christmas Eve with tamales.

Since then I learned it was more of a Texas thing. But I still take our traditions and customs for granted. That was brought home recently when I created a potluck list for my writing group, I included tamales (by the dozen) to sign up to bring. They are listed as such: Tamales doz.

One of our new members asked what that meant. She is from far up the east coast. This is the answer she received from another member: “1 dozen tamales…it’s considered a holiday food around here. Forget drugs. A good tamale maker/supplier is worth their weight in gold. LOL (Although, HEB works in a pinch).”

This is true. The best tamales I’ve ever eaten were made by my husband’s family, led by his mother. She made spreading the masa onto the corn husk look easy (it’s not). They made them with a mix of beef and pork (Fresh from the ranch). They can come stuffed with chicken and bean too.

The best and the most fun way to make them is with generations working as a team and lots of laughter.

Do you have a custom or tradition that you family celebrates that the rest of the country is not aware of? Maybe you are from Texas. Do you celebrate with tamales?


The Texan’s Surprise Return.

by Jolene Navarro

His greatest Christmas gifts…
“Is that you? You’re…you’re alive.” An unforgettable family reunion for the holidays.

For three years, Xavier De La Rosa’s family thought he was dead. Now Xavier is back home in Texas for Christmas and finds a wife he can’t remember and adorable triplets he never knew existed. Can Xavier reclaim his memories and the love he left behind…before he returns to the job that nearly killed him?




You can find Jolene’s book at Amazon


About the Author

Jolene, a seventh-generation Texan, knows, as much as the world changes, people stay the same. Good and evil. Vow-keepers and heart breakers. Jolene married a vow-keeper who showed her that dancing in the rain never gets old.
Her life, much like her stories, is filled with faith, family, laughter, dirty dishes and all of life’s wonderful messiness. She loves spending time with her four kids, and can be found at jolenenavarrowriter.com