Tuesday, August 12, 2014

International Potluck

 The International Pot Luck BlogFest, hosted by Beth Fred, Lexa Cain, and Medeia Sharif, is a celebration of books and taste buds. Pick a story and suggest a recipe inspired by its pages.

I chose Medeia's story, Snip, Snip, Revenge. All these ladies are talented writers, but slow-reading-me has only made a tiny dent in her reading list, and Snip, Snip was one of the books I've enjoyed this year.

Buy It Here!

Talented, vengeful, and loving...this sassy little diva teen doesn't ever worry about making it big in the kitchen. She's going to be a star and stars don't sweat over pots and pans. She'll have five star chefs whipping up delightful smorgasbords of wonder.

One day.

But for now, she's a teen who can't cook much more than a toasted cheese sandwich.

Since star dust sprinkled dreams may be years off, here's a couple of recipes for Tabby. Super easy. Super quick. And teen palate friendly.


No delivery, or even the braggadocious  Digiornos can make a pizza as tasty as one made at home.

Start with a box crust mix.
Stir it up (just follow the directions on the box) and spread it over an oiled cookie sheet. Then add some butter and some garlic salt and bake it until it's half cooked (about ten minutes).

Now add the pizza sauce. Lots and lots of sauce. I like a jar and a half per pizza*
       (*this is the reason for the pre-baked the crust, so it's not a doughy mess!)

Then add cheese. Then for good measure add some more cheese. And since you can never add too much cheese...just pile a little more on there.

Then add your toppings. Me? I like everything- peppers, onions, olives, mushrooms...if it makes a six year old say yuck, I probably like it on my pizza.

Then bake. How long? Who knows...just be sure to take it out before it burns. Keep checking. When the cheese is melted and it starts to smell like Heaven, it's probably about ready to eat.

That too hard? Here's another, simpler teen friendly feast-

Pepperoni Bites

Pop open a tube of biscuits

Break each biscuit into three pieces. Wrap those pieces around a few slices of pepperoni.
Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet until golden brown.
Now you have bite-sized pepperoni rolls that are certain to make the Doughboy giggle.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Picking Winners

The Bella's Point Challenge has a winner!

All I can say is- 
I'm glad I didn't have to choose. 
You guys rocked this challenge!
I had so much fun reading all the posts- 
so many clever ideas. 
I don't know why I was amazed...
you are all so talented!
But sadly, there can only be one winner-
and the judges have chosen and the winner is....

Special thanks Alex Cavanaugh and this months awesome co-hosts:

Before we get to the winner- let's talk insecurity.
My insecurity this month comes from beta reading.
I always wonder- who am I?
It's not like I've written a run away best seller and know all the secrets.
So, I'm always a wee bit hesitant to be totally truthful...to say- I think it would be better if you did this. 
It's easier with friends, because they know I know that opinions are like noses, everybody has one and in the end we all must pick only from our own. 

How about you? Does beta reading give you anxiety?

And don't worry! I didn't forget. 

Congratulations to Melissa Maygrove!

 Melissa's post stole the judge's hearts, so here is her badge of honor and her writer friendly surprise package is headed her way (right after I email her and get her address!)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The End...

It's the last day of the Bella's Point Challenge! Just when you think you've read it all- the romantic,  ghostly, mysterious, and more...today's challengers add something a little different...ensuring the end is as amazing as the beginning.

Christine Rains adds a democratic twist to her entry. We all love the freedom to choose, right?

Michelle Wallace raps things up with a timely rhyme.

JL Campbell wrote up a story that reminds me quite a lot of young me...though I was a girl growing up in 1970's America.

Fellow West Virginia native, Cassandra Jones, makes it in under the wire with some heartfelt poetry that is sure to touch readers' hearts.

Bella's Point was dreamed up when I asked myself- what would a character be like if she had the spirit of Scarlet O'Hara, but the heart of Melanie Wilkes? 

 In memory of the lady who inspires the imagination with her epic tale of  of cavaliers and cotton fields...

*Margaret (Peggy) Mitchell died at the age of 49 on August 16, 1949 after being hit by a drunk driver. She was crossing Peachtree Street on her way to see a movie with her husband.
*Peggy had notes for a sequel to GWTW, but after it was released, she felt the story belonged to the readers and everyone imagined a different ending, so she ordered her heirs to burn all notes and the original manuscript, with the exception of a few numbered pages that were to be sealed and put in a vault in Atlanta.
*She was adamantly opposed to anyone writing a sequel to GWTW and charged her heirs with maintaining the copy right.  
*Her family was certain that her obituary made no mention of her first husband, Berrien Kinnard Upshaw, or "Red" as the notorious rogue was better known.
*The last Mitchell heir, her nephew Joseph, bequeathed half of the GWTW estate to the Catholic Diocese. 

photo credit: fliegender via photopin cc

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

History and Books

Tour bus at Gettysburg

Running a little behind today. Took the family to Gettysburg this weekend. It's only a few hours from our house, and yet we had never visited the historic site. Came away with a thought:

America can turn the worst of tragedies into a booming business. I'll admit, at first, this bothered me. This was the site of a horrific human tragedy, a veritable blood bath of neighbor vs. neighbor- sometimes brother vs. brother. If you pause a minute and think of the numbers-  over 50,000 souls lost in a three day battle. 


Those sort of numbers are difficult to grasp. The testimonies of the townspeople spoke louder than the statistic:

Hardly a field in the area without a dead body. Even their homes and streets were part of the battlefield.

Twelve dead soldiers to every one resident of the little town of Gettysburg. 

The smell of death in the heat of an Eastern July was noxious and sickening. 

There weren't any dogs left in the town. All the canines fled- hopefully to safety.

But there, in the midst of the tales of horror, were these facts:

Within twenty-four hours of the assault, the people of Gettysburg were at work burying the dead, marking the graves thoughtfully, mindful that each of the fallen had family who would want to find their loved one's resting place. Every soldier found was hastily buried in his own grave, with his name penciled onto a cross.

Immediately, there was a movement to create a final resting place worthy of the fallen. 

Four months later, the Soldier's National Cemetery was being filled. During its dedication, President Abraham Lincoln took the stage at the site- though ironically, not as the key note speaker- to deliver the Gettysburg Address

A century later, Gettysburg is a tourist spot with museums, tours, and souvenirs. 

And I decided that is all right. It is in our nature to heal. Looking down from Cemetery Ridge, where the final and bloodiest day of fighting occurred, there are now monuments, not scars. Mother nature forgot. There is nothing but rolling hills of green. No ruts from cannon brigades or worn out grass from the trample of boots. 

And perhaps that is the lesson. 

We aren't meant to mourn forever. Healing is natural. 

Maybe it's all right that a place of tragedy is criss-crossed with tour buses and camera wielding tourists. At least they are there. Listening. Learning. Ensuring the lives lost aren't completely forgotten as time ticks on. 


Speaking of ghosts, history and moving on...

The Bella's Point Challenge continues!

Join the challenge HERE!

C Lee Mckenzie brewed up a tale of ghosts and books that is a must read.

Medeia Shariff knows books. Even the centuries old ones! 

Check out all the contenders HERE!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

New Challengers...New Book

Join the challenge HERE!

Get your copy Here!

 Tara Tyler is all about making the rest of us mortals look bad.  Her Bella's Point  challenge has such a twist, I read it twice to  verify.

 Oh, and she has a Beastly Survey you need to check out. I      was all goblin.

Dr. Faerie Godmother has a SUPER post most of the ladies can relate with. She is offering up some fun with her POWERFUL insight.

Loni Townsend mixes historical fact with her fiction...and it's a masterful blend rich in fun and excitement.

Two question interview! Welcome C. Lee Mckenzie!!

What's a mistake writers make and how do they fix it?
What shivers my timbers are grammar errors writers make. This one really makes me search for my red pen. “Between you and I.” Arrrg! Please writers, at least get the last vestige of the case system right.

 Here’s one that’s not as bad as nails on a blackboard (blackboard’s very outdated, but descriptive): “That story is different than my last one.” No! Repeat after me. “It’s different from. . . .” Of course, I’ve probably made that mistake. It’s sneakier than some.

Here’s another eel of an error. Very slippery and so frequent. It’s about that language only a few speak anymore, and then in very special situations. Latin. i.e. (id est) means “that is” or “in other words.” It shouldn’t be used when you want “for example.” That’s e.g. Okay that’s enough. I don’t like myself much when I go on my prescriptive rants. 

                       (But I love how you rant!! They’re so educational.)

What should I cook for dinner and do you have a recipe for that?

If I’m not in the middle of writing a book—my New York Times bestseller— or a book launch—my soon-to-be starred Kirkus Review book— I love to make Spanikopita. Otherwise, like tonight, it’s pizza from the deli.

Spanikopita is easy and it waits patiently, so you can make it anytime. It’s good hot and at room temp. Take a whole bunch of green stuff: spinach, kale, chard. Chop that up. Let it dry on a towel. Chop up some green onions and let them dry, too. Take some fillo and line a 9X13” baking dish with about three layers and slather on olive oil. Toss all those green chopped things with some olive oil, lemon juice, a T. of rice, 1 or 2 beaten eggs, a dash of cinnamon, salt, pepper and tons of feta. Dump that mix onto the top of your fillo. Cover it with three or four more layers of fillo, slather more olive oil on top and stick it into the oven at 350 for about an hour.  Put on your ancient Zorba The Greek movie (Netflix will provide this entertainment) and kick back. 

Thanks Lee. Sounds healthy and delicious!

C. Lee McKenzie knows MG, YA, .... And her latest book comes out on Friday!! Congratulations Lee!

Hutchinson McQueen has a rough life and things get rougher when he is sent to juvie for a crime he had no part of - is there hope in such a place when nothing has worked out right before?

Available for sale Friday 7/25!! Find it HERE!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Time Warps and History!

Just wanted to share some gems from around the web!

Tonja Drecker at Kidbits offers up her spin on the 1865 prompt with a wonderful time warp.


Stephanie Faris shares some history that reminds us what real problems are.

And a few funnies...
(yes, I do have a meme addiction)

Thanks for stopping by...be sure to visit today's challengers. You won't regret it!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

English Answers and Irish Mysteries!

Join the challenge HERE!


Next up for the challenge is my e-twinny's post. Leave it to Mark Koopmans to flip the "It was 1865..." prompt and turn it into a delightful contemporary mystery. Well done cyber brother, well done. 


And last week, Kyra Lennon was here to stump us Yankees to a slang challenge. She's back this week with the answers!

First, I'll refresh your memory on the slang...let you see the attempts at deciphering Here.

Slang quiz:
“Have a butcher’s”
“Knees Up”
“Tickety Boo”
“I’ll give you a bell”
“Rat-arsed” (if you’ve read Game On, you’ll know this one!)
“Rumpy pumpy”
Good luck, and have fun!

Now, for the official answers!!

“Have a butcher’s” – This means “Have a look”. This is Cockney rhyming slang, which makes absolutely no sense to anyone outside the UK because the word that rhymes is missing lol. Butcher’s hook = look.
“Starkers” - Naked
“Knees Up” – This isn’t as rude as it sounds! A knees up is a term we use for a party or other celebration. So, IF England had won the World Cup, we’d have probably gone out for a “knees up” to celebrate!
“Tickety Boo” – Not sure on the origin of this one, but it means “fine.” As in, “Hey, how are things with you?” “Oh, everything’s tickety boo!”
“I’ll give you a bell” – This means, “I’ll call you.”
“Cheerio” – “Goodbye”
“Rat-arsed” (if you’ve read Game On, you’ll know this one!) – Drunk – no idea on the origins of this one, either!
“Skew-whiff” – The obvious word I could think of to explain this is also British in nature, and my end-of-the-day brain told me to go to urban dictionary for a proper description. - turned or twisted toward one side.
“Chuffed” – Happy, pleased
“Rumpy pumpy” – Sex!

Thanks so much to everyone who joined in the fun – I had a great time looking at all the entries! My winner is: Kristin Smith! 

Congratulations Kristin!! Perhaps next time, we should try to stump the Brits!