Monday, 3 November 2014

My Hero Taught Me To Read

My hero taught me to read. I don't mean literally.

Perhaps I should say, my hero taught me to love reading and in turn, love writing. Who is my hero?

My sister.

She loves to read. She'll read anything she can get her hands on, especially mysteries written by Agatha Christie, Rex Stout, and Dick Francis. Anyway, that love created a love of reading in me. On so many occasions she would push a book at me and insist I read it because she knew I would love it. And she was always right. Eventually it led to a longing to writing, which in turn changed my life. Writing keeps me sane.

So, I would like to thank my sister because she is my hero.

Click the photo above to take you to other Who's Your Hero entries.

Who is your hero, writing or not?

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Holly Sinclair's Delicious Apple Pancakes and Baked Oatmeal

I love cookbooks. Or rather I should say, I love collecting cookbooks. I have a large collection that I rarely use. Instead, I tend to make meals I'm familiar with: Chili, Fried Chicken, and some Mexican Recipes.

So I considered carefully before adding The Breakfast Collection to my collection. Would I use it? Would the recipes be too complicated and I never open it more than once or twice? Then I considered, breakfast is the most important meal of the day and I DID want to know how to make more substantial meals.

I love apples a lot and especially bakes so the first recipe I tried was:

Apple Pancakes

The most time consuming part was cutting up the apple. I melted a little extra butter in the pan and used the rest in the recipe. Also, I don't drink normal milk so I substituted non-sweetened vanilla almond milk. I didn't notice a taste difference.

It cooked up nicely and I put some cooked peaches with brown sugar, nutmeg and cinamon on top.

How did I like them?

One word:


Would I make them again: Yes! Pick up your copy of the cookbook today or win it!

One commenter on this post will win a FREE digital copy of this cookbook. To enter, just leave a comment. If you want to leave a comment but don't want to enter, add "I hate food" to your comment. The winner will be announced on October 31st on Holly's blog.

The Breakfast Collection
Start your morning with perfectly fluffy scrambled eggs and spiced pear muffins or banana pancakes with toffee sauce. This book has recipes for eggs, oatmeal, cream of wheat, grits, pancakes, crepes, French toast, waffles, muffins, scones, fruit dishes, hot drinks, and cold breakfast beverages.
Cost: $10.00 print | $2.00 ebookIf you buy the print version of the book from Amazon, you get the digital version free.

Holly Sinclair, who goes by Southpaw on the Interwebs, finds cooking cathartic. The recipes she's created and collected grew into cookbooks. Holly's trying her hand at fiction and food seems to creep into most of her books.
Holly Sinclair Cookbooks, the website []
HR Sinclair, the blog []

Join Holly on the rest of her Blog Tour [], each stop features a different cookbook and a chance for a free ebook!

You can join in the fun by signing up for the End of Tour Foodie Blog Hop!
Talk about a fond food memory, describe your disasters in the kitchen, post your favorite recipe or pictures of food, or do anything food related. Sign up here. []

Note: I was provided an electronic copy of the book for review.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Survive and Thrive: JANZ Syndrome

I decided to take part in the Survive and Thrive Bloghop put on by Stephen Tremp, Michael Di Gesu, Diane Wolfe, and Alex Cavanaugh. 

While researching a character in one of my books, I discovered a disease called JANZ syndrome, otherwise known as Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy (JME), a fairly common form of idiopathic generalized epilepsy, representing 5-10% of all epilepsies. 

What are the symptoms of Janz? 

(1) myoclonic jerks on awakening usually of the limbs like arms or legs, this will cause some sufferers to knock over things like juice or coffee. 
(2) GTCS generalized tonic-clonic seizures, occurring usually after a series of myoclonic jerks. Also called grand mal seizures. 
(3) typical absences seizures.

What to do if someone is having a seizure:
  • move them away from anything that could cause injury, such as a busy road or hot cooker
  • cushion their head if they're on the ground
  • loosen any tight clothing around their neck, such as a collar or tie, to aid breathing
  • when their convulsions stop, turn them so that they're lying on their side
  • stay with them and talk to them calmly until they have recovered
  • note the time the seizure starts and finishes
DO NOT put anything in their mouth, including your fingers. They may bite their tongue, but this will heal. Putting an object in their mouth could cause more damage.

If you want to see a video from a Janz sufferer, please watch the video below:

If you want to donate to the Epilepsy Foundation, click the link below:

Monday, 29 September 2014

Don't Love Your Characters Too Much

It's so easy to fall in love with your characters.

You're forced to study their lives. To understand why they like what they like, love what they love, hate what they hate. Spend enough time with them and you will fall in love, even the minor characters.

Why is that a bad thing?

Sometimes it's not. Sometimes it can give your story depth and intrigue.

But sometimes it can cause problems.

(a) it can change your plot, sometimes for the worst - especially if you've written half the book and weren't planning the novel to go a certain way
(b) minor characters can changed to major characters - especially in a love story, the character you meant one character to love might not be the one they end up with

Have you ever fallen in love with a character so much that you changed the plot or made the minor character a major character?
Do you think your characters should be able to change the plot?

Photo credit: minifig / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Writing & Wellness: Dealing with Stress, Self-Doubt and Snacking

Today I'm visiting an awesome website where I talk about how I deal with stress, self-doubt and snacking. 

Monday, 22 September 2014

Underrated Treasure: Bo Bruce

I don't really like to participate in blogfests but I really wanted to share a musical artists that I like:

Bo Bruce

About the artist:

  • Appeared on The Voice UK (Series One) and came in second.
  • Her voice reminds me of The Cranberries.
  • She's titled: Lady Catherine Anna Brudenell-Bruce
  • Her webpage: Bo Bruce 

Check out the other participants in the blogfest:

Monday, 8 September 2014

Have Fun and Win a Free Copy of my Book!

Type a sentence or two based on the photo above and you could win one copy (of five) of my latest mystery novel! What could be easier than that? Go to Carol Kilgore's webpage and check out her contest.

Click here:

Also, Mason Canyon did an awesome review of my book. You can see the review here.

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