Brenda’s Banter & Balm

My fave pickle recipe

»Posted on Jul 15, 2017 in Brenda's Banter & Balm | 0 comments


As promised in my guest blog post with fellow author and good friend, Victoria Chatham… here is the recipe!


16 cups washed and thinly sliced medium-sized pickling cucumbers

4 cups peeled and thinly sliced white onions

1 green pepper and 1 sweet red pepper washed, seeded and cut into thin strips

Combine the vegetables in a large preserving kettle, sprinkling 1/3 cup coarse salt between layers.

Mix ice cubes through the vegetables and cover with more ice cubes.

Let stand 3 hours.

Drain vegetables well.


3 cups white wine vinegar

5 cups white sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric

1 1/2 teaspoons celery seeds

2 tablespoons mustard seeds

Pour over drained vegetables.

Heat to boiling point only. (No further cooking required).

Pack in hot sterilized sealers, seal and store in a cool place for 1 month for using.

Yields approx. 8 pints.

Note: For crisper and better colored pickles, I divide the batch in half and cook separately.

These are a family favorite! Enjoy!

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»Posted on Dec 14, 2016 in Brenda's Banter & Balm | 0 comments

Today is the release of the final book in the Thurston Hotel Series!

A Thurston Christmas

After months of preparation, Riley Hamilton is finally marrying Brock Anderson one week before Christmas. With only three weeks to go, the wedding planner, Wendy Thurston is still going crazy with demands from the bride’s mother, Riley is second guessing the choice for a wedding dress, and everyone’s favorite senior, Mrs. Arbuckle, has taken ill. And the wedding planner is finding the best man to be the biggest complication of all.

Thirteen years Wendy’s senior, Reg Anderson had no trouble convincing himself that the teenager he met years ago was too young for him. Now, when he sees the gorgeous forty-year-old woman she has become, the old argument is losing steam. Especially when he’s spending time with the overstressed wedding planner at the gym or at dinner.   

As the citizens of Harmony prepare for the marriage of the mayor’s daughter during the busiest time of year, new problems keep showing up. How much more can go wrong?

Available today at

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Thurston Thursday #9 is here!

»Posted on Nov 24, 2016 in Brenda's Banter & Balm | 0 comments

the-thurston-heirloomTHE THURSTON HEIRLOOM (sweet romance) is Book 9 in the 12 book Thurston Hotel Series of sweet-to-warm, stand-alone romance novels, connected by common settings, characters and events. (

It was time to move on. Time to start over.

Mariah Patrick, Jill-of-all-trades and recently dumped by her fiancé, has decided to leave town. She wasn’t marriage material. Better to learn that now, than later.

With her debts finally paid, she has enough money for a Greyhound ticket south, and a peanut butter sandwich. The funny thing is, once she arrives in Harmony, the town looks so welcoming—and familiar. Almost as if she’s been here before.

Teague Farraday, businessman, owner of Mountain Jewel Sports, and mountain guide—mostly, mountain guide—watched as the young woman stepped down from the bus. She had reddish brown hair, and lots of it. Creamy white skin, and tired eyes. And he―

He had a feeling he knew her, from somewhere. Somehow. But even if he didn’t, he was going to meet her now.

Buy your copy here and happy reading!

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Thurston Thursday Continues

»Posted on Nov 17, 2016 in Brenda's Banter & Balm | 0 comments


Betting on Courage

(warm) is Book 8 in the 12 book Thurston Hotel Series of sweet-to-warm, standalone, contemporary romance novels, connected by common settings, characters and events.

On the run from her stalker ex-boyfriend, Charity Wong finds herself in Harmony. She takes a job waitressing at the 100-year-old Thurston Hotel and rents a room from an older man–a man one of her co-workers warns her about. She’s not sure what to expect from him and the last thing she expects is to fall in love.

All David Evans wanted was someone to run errands and help him stay cocooned from the world. But with his new boarder, he’s experiencing more joy in his life than he has in years. Can he possibly fall in love when he can’t even manage to go out on a date?

And, when he learns Charity is in danger, can he overcome his fears and save her?

Get your copy of the next book in the series at the link below and Happy Reading!

Check out all the books in the Thurston Hotel Series on our Facebook page





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Thurston Thursday #7

»Posted on Nov 10, 2016 in Brenda's Banter & Balm | 0 comments

thestarlightgardenlgThurston Thursday #7 means

the July story

and what’s more romantic than

a starlight garden in summer?


Born and raised in the mountain town of Harmony, Alberta, psychic and New Age bookstore owner, Nora Fitzgerald, is resigned to being single.

That’s until handsome newcomer, Jim Barnes, arrives in town with his young daughter. Nora’s deepest desires are reawakened and the possibility of love finally seems to be within her reach.

But even her psychic powers can’t predict that love will lead her into grave danger.

Happy Reading!


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»Posted on Nov 3, 2016 in Brenda's Banter & Balm | 0 comments

With Open Arms (The Thurston Hotel Series Book 6) by [Stelmack, M. K.]

With Open Arms

The Thurston Hotel Series Book 6

On vacation in Spain, Bailey Thurston abandons her cautious existence as an accountant at her family-operated hotel for a whirlwind romance with Daniel O’Leary, a bush pilot in the Congo. Two weeks later, they’re engaged. The next day, he vanishes to reappear a year later at Thurston Hotel, expecting her to receive him with open arms.

Not after he ripped her heart apart.

Dan is a natural charmer though, with answers that make her ache to believe in love again. As her family and the people of Bailey’s mountain resort town of Harmony reach out to him, so does she. But Dan has a soul-corroding secret from his war-torn years in the Congo. A secret so awful the woman he loves would surely leave him because of it. Then he discovers that one man in Harmony is determined to reveal it.

Another great Thurston read. Get your copy here! And Happy Reading!

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