Friday, July 28, 2017

Meet My Character (a blog tour)

A huge shout-out and thank you to Alyssa Goodnight for twisting my arm suggesting I participate in this Meet My Character blog tour! (Hi Alyssa! You know I'm just kidding. Look! I linked to you twice!)


1. What is the name of your character? 
Raine Watson. I know, I know. Raine is kind of a weird name. And, believe me, I was pretty sick of it by the time I finished the last revision. But the name does have a bit of history. Thirteen years before the book opens, this character was born in the middle of a storm in the back seat of a car. And that's how her free-spirited mom came up with the name Raine. Hey, I could've gone with Pontiac!

2. Is he/she fictional or a historic person? 
Fiction all the way.

3. When and where is the story set? 
Modern day in a made-up town named Yielding in upper New York state. The geography is similar enough to where I grew up (Ontario, Canada) that it felt like a little trip home to the Muskoka area.

4. What should we know about her?
Besides an interesting name, Raine has an interesting gift. She can pick up other people's memories from objects. I actually think I wouldn't mind having this gift myself. Especially when I sense there's more to the story than one of my children is admitting!

5. What is the main conflict? What messes up her life?
So, Raine and her mom move to Yielding and a rented house in time for Raine to start 8th grade. Turns out a girl, Emily H., who used to live in the same house . . . disappeared about six months earlier. The police never found Emily. They never even found one solid clue.

Raine starts picking up memories of Emily H. Can Raine figure out what happened? Throw in the person or persons who don't want the truth to surface, a new school, lying mean girls, a certain boy and, yeah, there's a bunch of conflict.

6. When can we expect the book to be published?
TUESDAY, MAY 12, 2015! I sweated bullets over this book. In fact, there was a point when I wondered if I'd ever get it right. I suspect my editor had the same worry. TUESDAY, MAY 12, 2015. Whew. I will be dancing all over San Diego.

What happens next? See the names below...bolded, enlarged and linked to websites? Those authors will be posting on Oct 6, 2014 about one of their characters. In fact, you might want to click through now...

Alli Sinclair combines her passion for exotic destinations, the quirks of human nature and the belief that everyone can dance, even if it's to their own beat. Luna Tango is the first in The Dance Card Series, published by Harlequin MIRA. Flamenco and the Russian Ballet will be released in 2015 and 2016 respectively.


Maureen McGowan is the Amazon bestselling author of the action-packed YA sci-fi thriller series The Dust Chronicles: Deviants (2012), Compliance (2013), and Glory (2014).

Misty Simon loves a good story and decided one day that she would try her hand at it. Eventually she got it right. There’s nothing better in the world than making someone laugh, and she hopes everyone at least snickers in the right places when reading her books. She lives with her husband, daughter and three insane dogs in Central Pennsylvania where she is hard at work on her next novel or three.

After a fifteen-year stint as an electrical engineer, P. J. (Tricia) Hoover started writing books for kids and teens.  Her middle grade novel, Tut: The Story of My Immortal Life was released this month by Starscape/Macmillan and tells the story of a young immortal King Tut, who's been stuck in middle school for over 3,000 years. Her first novel for teens, Solstice was published in 2013 by Tor Teen/Macmillan.


Visit Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore for Indies 1st Day Nov 26!


Next Saturday, November 26, 2016 is ...drum roll...

INDIES FIRST DAY + SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY!

I'll be at the one-and-only Mysterious Galaxy, 5943 Balboa Ave, Ste 100, San Diego, 92111.*

And...I'll be working...as a bookseller! Yes, it's true. No bonbons or couches for me from 1:00-3:00pm. 

Mysterious Galaxy let me order for their shelves six of my favorite mysteries and fantasies. Please stop by and talk books. Or just come see me putting in an honest 2 hours of work. Or bring me a coffee.

Other bookselling authors will be: Mishell Baker, Lisa Brackmann, Nick Cole, CB Lee, Cindy Pon, Kat Rocha and Laura Tims.

We're all very friendly. :) And it's always good to support a local independent bookstore.


*store hours=10am-5pm

The Book Review Club (November 2016)



Guess what Emily Dickinson said about November? "November always seemed to me the Norway of the year." What's a really great way to cheer up a dreary month? AND to take your mind off the elections? BOOKS! How propitious (there's your $5 word for the month!) that you stumbled upon this blog. Presenting: the November 2016 edition of The Book Review Club with reviews of books we want you to read! Welcome!

13 WAYS OF LOOKING AT A FAT GIRL 
by Mona Awad (debut, adult, literary)

I'm trying to write this review carefully because 13 WAYS OF LOOKING AT A FAT GIRL is a very, very good book. I want to do it justice. Actually, a lot of people think highly of this book. For example, it's: a finalist for the Giller Prize, winner of the Amazon Canada First Novel Award, one of the most anticipated books of 2016 according to Elle, Bustle, and The Globe and Mail. Whew.

The book consists of thirteen interconnected vignettes that follow Lizzie/Beth/Elizabeth/Liz from teenage hood through college, temp work, inappropriate relationships, marriage and more until her early thirties. Lizzie changes her name depending on her weight. (See how FAT is partially erased on the cover?!)

In the first story, "When We Went Against the Universe," Lizzie is an overweight high schooler, hanging out with her best friend, Mel, at a McDonald's in suburban Toronto ("...here in Misery Saga which is what you're allowed to call Mississauga if you live there.") By the last story, "Beyond the Sea," Lizzie is in her thirties, thin, unhappy, divorced and living in a gated community where she fights for time on the Lifecycle and questions the point of all her exercising and neurotic, cautious eating/starving.

13 WAYS is the story of Lizzie March, a multi-dimensional character we see interacting with several other characters, in a variety of settings, from a dressing room to a nail salon to her bedroom to a hospital waiting room to various restaurants and the list goes on. 13 WAYS is also the story of women in today's society. How we're pressured to look a certain way, dress a certain way, even to think in certain ways. And how we're so very often ill at ease in our very own skin.

13 WAYS is witty, caustic, insightful. I laughed. I cringed. I kept turning pages.

I think perhaps People magazine said it best: "A hilarious, heartbreaking book."

Highly recommended.

(Dear FCC: I bought this book.)

And now....onto the rest of our reviews. Please click through. You won't want to miss a single one!

YOUNG ADULT FICTION BOOK REVIEWS

Ellen Booraem:  DREAMHUNTER by Elizabeth Knott (YA Fantasy, bk #1)
                           DREAMQUAKE BY Elizabeth Knott (YA Fantasy, bk #2)

Jody Feldman: THE CANDYMAKERS by Wendy Mass (middle grade, bk #1)
                         THE GREAT CHOCOLATE CHASE by Wendy Mass (middle grade, bk #2)

Stacy Nyikos: THE ADVENTURERS GUIDE TO SUCCESSFUL ESCAPES by Wade Albert White
                        (middle grade, fantasy, sci fi)

Beth Bonini of TRAC: ASKING FOR IT by Louise O'Neill (mature YA)

Stacy of the Cat's Meow: SALT TO THE SEA by Ruta Sepetys  (YA historical)

ADULT FICTION BOOK REVIEWS

Alyssa Goodnight: A STUDY IN SCARLET WOMEN by Sherry Thomas (historical mystery)

Jenn Jilks of Cottage Country: THE HUMMINGBIRD by Stephen P. Kieran (contemporary)

Linda McLaughlin: THE LAST WALTZ by G.G. Vandagriff (Historical/Saga)
                             
Lucy Sartain of Ranting and Raving: THREE WISHES by Liane Moriarty (contemporary)

Ray Potthoff: PEOPLE OF THE BOOK by Geraldine Brooks (historical)



Note to Reviewers: Any errors (broken link, missed review, etc), just shoot me an email or leave a comment. Thank you so much for your reviews!



The Book Review Club (October 2016)



Welcome to the October edition of The Book Review Club. Apparently, October is a crazy, busy month. Who knew? It's Caramel Month, Cookie Month, Dessert Month, Pasta Month, Pickled Peppers Month, Pizza Month, Popcorn Popping Month, Pork Month, Pretzel Month. Here's the link to everything Oct is hosting. I say, let's offset some of that eating with...READING. Oh, you thought I was going to say EXERCISE? Did you see the blog title? The BOOK Review Club? (October is also National Sarcasm Month.). Enjoy our reviews!


ROOT BEER CANDY AND OTHER MIRACLES
by Shari Green (middle grade)

First off, can I just say that I'm in awe of anyone who can write a book in verse. And not just verse, but good verse. So, kudos to Shari Green!

In a nutshell: Eleven-year-old Bailey and her younger brother are sent to spend the summer with their grandmother on Arbutus Island (by British Columbia) while their parents try to repair their marriage.

Digging a little deeper: Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles is about family, friendship and community. Bailey is worried about her parents splitting up. Also, her mother and grandmother never buried the hatchet after a falling out before the book opens. Bailey is also worried about her new friend who suffers from cystic fibrosis. And there's in-fighting in the island community over a prophesizing ice cream seller.

Bailey wants a miracle. Badly. Over the course of the novel, she matures and comes to grips with what she can and can't change.

What I Loved: Well, lots of things! In no particular order, I loved the language. Here's a small sample: "I never saw such turmoil on the sea--dark water snarling at us and grabbing whatever it could in the white claws of its waves." I loved how all the conflicts were not favorably resolved. Just like real life. I loved how island life (sea cave, ocean swimming, a dolphin, driftwood, and more) was a natural part of the story.

Highly recommended for the middle grader in your life. :)

(Dear FCC: Guess what? I actually received and read an ARC of this book. Oh so unusual! But I reviewed it because I loved it.) 

And now....onto the rest of our reviews. Please click through. You won't want to miss a single one!

CHILDREN, MIDDLE GRADE, YOUNG ADULT FICTION BOOK REVIEWS

Lucy Sartain of Ranting and Raving: GIRAFFES CAN'T DANCE by Giles Andreae (children)

Stacy Nyikos: THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON by Kelly Barnhill (middle grade, fantasy)

Beth Bonini of TRAC: A COURT OF MIST AND FURY by Sarah J. Maas (YA Fantasy)


ADULT FICTION BOOK REVIEWS

Alyssa Goodnight: MAISIE DOBBS by Jacqueline Winspear (historical mystery)

Jenn Jilks of Cottage Country: BROKEN PROMISES by Nick Nichols (legal thriller)

Lucy Sartain of Ranting and Raving: EVELYN, AFTER by Victoria Helen Stone (women's)

Patti Abbott:  A MAN CALLED OVE by Frederic Bachman (literary)

Ray Potthoff: VICTORY AT YORKTOWN by Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen (historical

Scott Parker: THE HALLOWEEN TREE by Ray Bradbury (fantasy)

Stacy of the Cat's Meow: LIFE AND OTHER NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCES by Camille Pagan


NONFICTION REVIEW

Jenn Jilks of Cottage Country: 3 self-help autobiographies


Note to Reviewers: Any errors (broken link, missed review, etc), just shoot me an email or leave a comment. Thank you so much for your reviews!



Friday, August 26, 2016

Apple Crisp Recipe



I had some apples in the refrigerator, so I thought I would make an Apple Crisp.
I always enjoy the smell of apples baking with cinnamon.


Apples are so good.  I love how I can use them in many ways.  Sometimes my husband and I go on a apple diet....LOL With Fall approaching, apples are in abundance. In the past we have visited Apple Hill.  A lovely place , where there are numerous farms to visit.   It's when the air is filled with the wonderful smell of apple pies.  There are fruit farm and pumpkin patches, as well as apple farms. I tweaked this recipe a little.  The original recipe came from Family Circle.
Remember those fabulous Apple roses I shared before? Those are so elegant looking. I am working on a few Fall crafts...a wreath and a banner.  I have to finish my witch shoe cake platters. I am also thinking about transitioning into Fall a little at a time.  It is still hot here and I am enjoying the pool. Are you working on any Fall projects?
I am loving  this Recipe Generator.  I am using it below. I wrote a post about it HERE.
I am happy to say, Stacey from Poofing The Pillows and Cheri  from My Savory Spoon are using the Recipes Generator, plus Jemma At Home with Jemma is purchasing it tonight.
yield: 12 servingsprint recipe

Apple Crisp

A lovely apple dessert with a crunch topping.
prep time: 25 MINScook time: 50 MINStotal time: 75 mins

INGREDIENTS:

FILLING
  • 3 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
TOPPING
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks melted unsalted butter

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat over to 350 degrees. Use a 12 x 8 x 2 baking dish and spray with non-stick spray. Filling: Combine all ingredients. Spoon into baking dish.
  2. Topping: In a bowl, combine flour and the next 5 ingredients. Add melted butter and stir until large clumps. Sprinkle over apple mixture. bake for 45-55 minutes until brown. Serve with vanilla ice cream if desired.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Garden Pizza

We have a bounty of vegetables from our garden right now, great onions, tomatoes and lots of zucchini. We were hungry for a pizza so why not just use some of these awesome vegetables and create a pizza. The caramelized onions with seasoned zucchini and tomatoes make this a very flavorful pizza that we just love and will be making over and over. Take a look at that really used and well seasoned pizza stone, we have made lots of pizza on that stone.
yield: 1 full pizzaprint recipe

Garden Pizza

prep time: 10 MINScook time: total time: 10 mins

A lovely pizza made with garden ingredients

INGREDIENTS:

  • CRUST
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • TOPPING
  • 4 medium zucchini, sliced
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 3 cups mini cherry tomatoes, whole
  • 3 cups mini cherry tomatoes, whole
  • 2 cups Kalamata Olives, pitted and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 5 cups Italian Mix Cheese, Shredded

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. FOR PIZZA CRUST - Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed bowl. Add salt, olive oil and flour. Mix with dough hook in mixer 3 minutes. Place in greased bowl turning grease top and cover. Let rise 1 hour. Punch down. Brush pan with oil cover with cornmeal. Press dough down on the Pizza Stone or Pizza Pan.
  2. TOPPING - Slice the zucchini and lay them out on a paper towel. Sprinkle a little salt on top that will help draw the moisture out of the zucchini. Let them set for 20 minutes, then take a paper towel and dry them. Put them into a large bowl and over with the olive oil and a little more salt. In a hot skillet heat the butter and begin to cook the onions and garlic on a medium low heat. Let the onions cook until they caramelize, be sure and stir them so they won't burn. On top of the crust begin with a layer of cheese, then zucchini and more cheese. Next layer tomatoes, olives and caramelized onions topping with cheese and fresh basil. Bake 450 for 12 to 20 minutes Makes 1- 14 inch pizza Let It Cool For 5 Minutes Before Serving

Friday, August 19, 2016

Nonnettes

yield: 32print recipe

Nonnettes

prep time: cook time: total time:

French Delicacy shared by Monique @ Latabledenana

INGREDIENTS:

  • 5 tbsps water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 2/3 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 egg room temp
  • 3 tbsps sunflower oil..I used canola.
  • ICING
  • 1 cup orange marmalade.
  • 1 2/3 cup of icing sugar
  • 4 tbsps orange juice.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a casserole..on the stove heat sugar ,honey and water until the sugar is dissolved. In a large bowl mix the flour,baking powder salt and nutmeg. Incorporate wettings. Then add the egg, oil and marmalade until you have a homogenous mixture.Fill your prepped mini muffin tins and bake for 15 minutes..wait 5 minutes before removing from pan..and then cool on a rack.
  2. In a small bowl combine icing sugar and orange juice...then glaze the Nonnettes:) The next day they are just as good if not better..more orangey:)

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