By: PenPower | December 02, 2016

Robins Nest on the Katy Trail
Robins Nest on the Katy Trail

I have lived in Defiance, Missouri for a few years, appreciate the natural beauty and have met some fine people, mostly at the local watering hole,  The Roadhouse. Yet recently, with the launch of my first novel, I’ve discovered a very special local merchant community. They have tucked me and First Rodeo  under their wing. Robin White at Robins Nest (I know—wings, bird,  robins, angels —it’s for real) has carried First Rodeo for weeks now. Their praise has sold countless books.     Now, the Distillery of Defiance has launched their new and delicious vodka, "Judgment Tree," and has partnered with me! How fun could that be? It makes sense if you have read First Rodeo. Kate, the heroine loves her martinis. We'll call these wildly entertaining events the "First Rodeo Judgment Tree Martini Tour." And IT IS our ‘first rodeo,' in publishing for myself, and in distilling spirits for distillery co-owners Chris Lorch and Scott Koziatek. defines defiance as “a daring or bold resistance to authority or to any opposing force.” We are guilty as charged! We have banded together, outlaw merchants from the small town of Defiance who have large dreams. Who says we can’t make the big time?

Distillery of Defiance
"Judgment Tree" Vodka and First Rodeo

Please join us December 11th 4-6pm a for the very first "Bottle and Book Signing" at Robin's Nest , 2998 S. Hwy 94 (click for map) in Defiance. Meet the posse, do some Christmas shopping, wet your whistle, and checkout Redbooks' “must read”, First Rodeo.

We hit the trail and will have another "Bottle and Book Signing" at Ladue Pharmacy, in Ladue Missouri, December 15th  from 4-6pm.  Stay tuned for more events!


Happy holidays!!! 

Judy Hennessey, December, 2016

By: PenPower | November 10, 2016

Is Old Man Winter asleep at the wheel? You’d never guess that Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away. The warm weather and James, the infamous Viking Gardener here at Ravens Ridge, have kept us in the green, growing beautiful organic lettuce, arugula, Kale, mustard greens and even tomatoes! Lucky for you, he will be at this season’s last Wine Country Market on Sunday, November 13th at the Trail Smokehouse.

This fun, stress free, open air shopping experience offers local food, crafts, artisans and gifts. You will find everything you need and then some for your Thanksgiving feast (minus a turkey) including green beans and sweet potatoes.

My good friend Trish Perkins will be there offering her incredible sauces, salsas and jams, perfect for party apps (pictured here with my favorite new chips), stocking stuffers, or hostess gifts. 

Before or after, don’t forget to check out the Trail Smokehouse, serving some pretty tasty BBQ and southern classic dishes. Their beautiful patio is the perfect spot to relax, listen to live music and sip on a beverage or an adult libation, beer, bourbon or wine.

Judith Hennessey

November 10, 2016

By: PenPower | October 27, 2016

It turns out that I love the Booksigning Events, especially when they go so well. I guess it's that people lover, car seller part of me that always loves a fun gathering. These are pictures from the Barnes & Noble event in Ladue, MO earlier this month. Thanks to old friends, new friends, cowboys, cowgirls, all of you who have been such great support. I loved signing that big stack of books -- every one of them! Yes, and thanks to that handsome cowboy, my husband, Tim!

The other thing that was so enjoyable was all the guys who showed up for this so-called "Chick Lit" book. Look at this picture. OK, they may say they are buying it for their wives or girlfriends, or they may be good friends! But some guys have actually enjoyed First Rodeo and I hope you all do.

Check my event page for the next ones coming up. Or talk to me about coming to your area!

By: PenPower | October 06, 2016

Back at the Ranch Boots
"Back at the Ranch"

“I’m so proud of you!” I heard it over and over again as people approached me with hugs. Some of these folks I had not seen for several years, yet they were there, at my very first rodeo, the launching of my novel by the same name. The first night, at Evoke Contemporary, my favorite visual art space, I felt so much love and support. Some folks drove over an hour to show up, see me, wish me well and purchase a signed book. It was magical.

The next day at Back at the Ranch, my favorite wearable art custom boot store, I was equally blown away. They had set up the most fabulous table with books, boots, spurs and hides that delighted the senses and made my heart burst open with gratitude. More folks filtered into the store. There were new faces; my husband had invited two couples from our hotel. And friends that had come the night before stopped by AGAIN. Plus there were others that could not make it the evening before. Again, “I am so proud of you” was what I heard. Well, I want to say, "I am so proud of them." My eyes tear up as I feel so blessed and grateful to all of these people in New Mexico that took the time out of their hectic, busy lives to come see me and buy a novel that I poured my heart and soul into for nearly fifteen years. THANK YOU! You know who you are.

Judy Hennessey, Oct. 2016

By: PenPower | September 15, 2016


On the eve of my birthday I think about my mom. I know that may sound odd but she IS the woman who gave birth to me. I also think of my roots. Mom’s ancestors were from Scotland, Ireland, and the United States. I’m told I am one eighth Indian. That probably explains my fascination with Native American culture. My father’s family tree extends directly south from my mother’s European ancestors to Sicily. His parents immigrated from the Comune di Siculiana in Sicily in the early 1900’s. I’ve always loved Italian food. And I have more recently discovered my soul is happiest living in the country, on a farm.

After visiting my grandparents’ home in Siculiana this past spring, a light bulb went off in my head. Sicily is all about agriculture. Farmers raise beef and lamb, grow fruit, vegetables, grains and grapes for extraordinary wine. It’s like one big giant Garden of Eden. And of course, with all those regional ingredients available (let’s not forget fresh fish) they are masters at preparing amazing, farm to table, delizioso cuisine. I have come to realize that the passion I feel for farming and food is literally in my DNA. It’s a gift and since it is my birthday I want to give a gift to my readers – my super secret recipe for Spaghetti Sauce.


Sicilian Red Gold Spaghetti Sauce: Serves 4-6

1/2 cup virgin olive oil (quality is very important -Badia a Coltibuono available Straub’s in St. Louis – have them ship it to you – it’s that good.)

1 cup chopped yellow onion

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp black pepper

3 tsp organic sugar

3 tbls fresh chopped basil

2tbls fresh chopped Italian flat parsley

1 tsp dried organic oregano

1 and ½ tube of Amore all natural Tomato paste (this is double strength and equals 12oz)

28 oz chopped Roma and/or Juliet tomatoes  (if not in season use Pomi chopped tomatoes from Italy)

½ cup red wine (Italian if possible, robust and dry)

½ cup water

1 lb Italian sausage


Judith Hennessey


Brown sausage; drain, pat with paper towels to remove excess fat and set aside. Heat oil in large pot. Add onions and saute 5mins or until onion is translucent. Stir in salt, pepper, sugar, basil, parsley, oregano, tomato paste, tomatoes, wine, water and the browned sausage. Cover and simmer on very low heat for at least 2 hours (the longer the better- I find 3 hours is best), stirring frequently. Remove lid if you find the sauce is to thin for last half hour. For maximum flavor, refrigerate the sauce overnight and serve the next day. Freeze any any leftovers – my guess is there won’t be. In fact, I double the recipe every time so I CAN freeze the red gold.

 Sept. 2016

by Judith Hennessey