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Showing posts from May, 2012

Lady Wynwood #7 early release Kickstarter

I worked on my first Kickstarter and it got approved! It’s for the Special Edition Hardcover of Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 1: Archer and the release of Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 7: Spinster. I contacted my graphic designer about the Special Edition Hardcover of vol. 1: Archer—it’s going to be SO beautiful! The Kickstarter focuses on the Special Edition Hardcover, but it’ll also include vol. 7: Spinster so that it’ll sort of be like a launch day for vol. 7, too. A third special thing that’ll be in the Kickstarter is Special Edition Paperbacks of all the books in the series. They won’t be available in stores, just in the Kickstarter (and later, from my website, and also in my Patreon book box tiers if I decide to do them). The Kickstarter is not live yet, but you can follow it to be alerted when it has launched. (You may need to create a free Kickstarter account.) Follow Camy’s Kickstarter

Captain Caffeine and the Elusive Brisket

The Captain and I watch a lot of food shows, including the barbecue cookoff competitions, and we drool over the amazing barbecue those guys turn out. We’re especially impressed by the brisket, because the brisket on TV always looks so juicy and delish. The Captain has been trying to make brisket in his smoker for a while now but it always seemed to come out a bit dry. He tried again this past weekend and I think he’s made his best brisket yet! (He thinks it’s still a bit dry, so maybe my expectations aren’t quite as high.) I seriously loved his brisket. The meat has a nice smoke ring and I thought it was really tender and juicy. Any of you use the smoker to make brisket? Any tips or advice?

Kale chips in the dehydrator - success!

I posted earlier about how I was less than impressed by the kale chips I made in my dehydrator (as opposed to deep frying) because the dehydrated chips still had that bitter “green” taste. But then I made kale chips with garlic salt (lots of garlic salt) rather than regular salt, and they turned out FANTASTIC! The garlic salt masked the “green” taste and even Captain Caffeine admits that the dehydrated kale chips are darn close to the deep fried ones we love. Yay! I have a new favorite snack!

Getting books again!

This is Whispers on the Dock (by Moi), book 3 in the Nantucket Dreams series from Guideposts! Just got the box yesterday! It’s a light-hearted Christian women’s fiction series with a light mystery thread. You can read about the series here at Guideposts Books . Patti Berg wrote book 1, and Pam Hanson and Barbara Andrews wrote book 2. I got to conclude the mystery thread in book 3. :)

Swiss Chard and Pasta Timbale

Isn’t the color just like a stagnating pond??? Anyway, this is a casserole-custard type of Italian dish that I tried, and despite it’s similarity to pond scum, it was actually quite tasty. It has a lot of cheese in it, and the reason it’s so atomic green is because you puree the cooked swiss chard before mixing it with the egg, milk, and cheese mixture. The recipe is from The Joy of Pasta by Joe Famularo and Louise Imperiale, which is out of print (which means you can get it really cheaply used). I absolutely LOVE this book. They have like 13 different tomato sauces and all kinds of neat Italian pasta dishes that I’d love to try. I was trying to find a similar recipe to post, but then discovered that the EXACT recipe from the book was posted here . (Is that illegal? I think it might be.) Anyway, I used 1% milk instead of whipping cream and I used half the amount of cheese. It was still a bit soupy at 25 minutes so I cooked it for about 15-20 minutes longer. I also used foil

Selling a $12.5 castle on the Potomac River

Isn't this gorgeous???? Sigh.

Steel cut oats in the rice cooker - ideas?

I didn’t even think of this until recently, and when I did an internet search, I came up with a simple recipe I tried right away. Basically 1 part steel cut oats and 3 parts water, then throw them into the rice cooker and hit Cook. They turned out perfect, in 30 minutes. (No, this is not my rice cooker. This is the rice cooker I wish I had. :) It has like a million settings for different types of rice and a porridge setting.) Anyway, I had been wanting to eat more oatmeal because of my cholesterol and also because they say it’s good for women when they’re PMSing because sometimes you get low serotonin and eating whole grains helps increase serotonin in more steady, sustained levels. Now I need more interesting things to add to steel cut oats. Any ideas? I’ve done (separately) fruit, maple syrup, brown sugar, and butter. What else can I do?

TMI warning: I think I figured out why I had that carb binge

So I went monkey crazy suffered from a slight lack of self control last week when I pigged out on tortilla chips and some cookies. I think I know why I ate so many chips. I hadn’t run for a while because of my plantar fasciitis, but I went for a run yesterday for the first time in a while and took my salt tablet like I usually do. I have a tendency to sweat a lot, and I found when doing my marathon training that I had to take a salt tablet every hour I ran or else I suffered from hyponatremia , which is basically low salt in my body. I suddenly realized that while I’ve been exercising the past couple weeks, I haven’t been taking any salt tablets. And tortilla chips are loaded with salt. I think my carb binge was more about the salt than the carbs. My body was craving salt and the chips were right there. That doesn’t explain the cookies I ate, but I guess I have to put that down to lack of self control. :) So now I’m going to make sure that I intake enough salt and electrolyt

I bought a Nook for my dad for his birthday

I’m over at the Love Inspired Authors blog today: Camy here, and I just bought a Nook for my dad for his birthday. I wasn’t entirely sure how that would fly since Dad turned “seventy-mumble” this year. He’s actually rather decent with new technology, but once in a while it will take him a little longer to figure something out than it used to. Click here to read about my dad’s foray into ebooks! Secrets of Success page

I didn’t know about this page until I saw the mention of it on my Start page today. This is really cool! I only browsed the Healthy Eating topic and found a couple really good tips, like this one : When eating out and not having nutrition facts available, I d first try to choose a smart meal choice. Then when my food arrives I automatically divide it exactly in half. I take the remaining half home. Then I measure or weigh the remaining half so that I can best estimate the contents of my meal. It is a good method of portion control and helps me eat out without losing track of my daily intake. Isn’t that a great tip? I never thought of that, but it totally makes sense that if you bring half home, you can automatically know fairly accurately how much you ate. Here’s the link to the Secrets of Success page .

"Altered" Protection for Hire trailer

Did anybody else notice something different about the Protection for Hire book trailer? My Zondervan marketing director told me they’d do this, so I was kind of expecting it. The words on the trailer applied for both books because the trailer was introducing the premise of the entire series. So rather than making a brand new trailer for book 2, A Dangerous Stage , which would have a lot of the same stuff in it, they instead changed the background coloring and design of the existing trailer to mesh the color and art schemes for book 1 and book 2. Originally it was all green and yellow, and now they’ve added more of the red and yellow from the cover of book two. Check it out: What do you think? Preorder A Dangerous Stage ! It’ll release November 2012!

I hope everyone’s having a great Memorial Day

Reading a Grace Livingston Hill novel sent me on an internet search ...

For 1929 women’s fashions, and I found this webpage with stunning gowns from 1928-1931 . The book I was reading was Ariel Custer , which has a copyright date of 1929 so I’m assuming it was written around 1927 or 1928. In the book, the hero is rather put off by the bold, brassy flapper girls his mother keeps pushing on him, but I wanted a picture of what they would have looked like, hence the internet search. Some of the gowns on the webpage (the photos are from a charity fashion show) are absolutely beautiful. They’re also in much more vibrant colors than I would have expected, but then again I might be influenced by the fact there were only silent black and white films produced at the time, so maybe a part of my brain was thinking everybody walked around in black, white, or gray colors. :) My favorite is the first gown, the tangerine beaded one. I wonder if all that beading was hand-sewn? It’s gorgeous! A close second is the 1929 green silk crepe. Yes, not the pink one (gasp!) b

Anyone looking at my internet history might be alarmed

I searched for “symptoms of depressions” and “cancer treatments” yesterday, but I promise I’m okay! I’m doing research for a book I’m writing for Guideposts’ Miracles of Marble Cove series. It’s a feel-good Christian women’s fiction series with a light mystery thread. Here’s the series blurb: Discover what's possible when four friends, bonded by shared secrets, delve into life's mysteries and begin the adventure of a lifetime! Escape to Marble Cove, a quaint seaside town, and see how these courageous women discover God's plan for bringing them all together.  My books will be books 13 and 17, but you can subscribe to the entire series here .

Calcium supplements might increase risk of heart attack

I was completely shocked to hear this on KLOVE yesterday and then I saw this article on WebMD . I don’t get how they say the increase in risk is “moderate” but then they say there’s an 86% increased risk of heart attack. Maybe because out of 24,000 patients, only 354 of them had heart attacks. Hmm. Maybe I’ll stop taking my calcium supplements and drink milk instead.

Review: The Joy of Pasta

The Joy of Pasta by Joe Famularo My rating: 5 of 5 stars I love pasta, so naturally I picked up this book and I'm so glad I did. There are several tomato sauce recipes alone, and tons of different pasta sauces. There are also baked pasta dishes and recipes for making homemade pasta, and what types of sauces to pair them with. Each recipe has a wine suggestion, but I haven't really paid attention to that. I've tried maybe 20 out of the 100 recipes in this book, and they've all been good. I'm eager to try some of the more unusual recipes when I have more time to make the homemade pasta for some of them. View all my reviews

Tips for saving time

Right after blogging about limiting my online time, I found this article on with tips on how to reduce time wasters during the day. Some of it is common sense, but others are good reminders, like setting rules for checking email, and going grocery shopping only once a week. Right now we go twice a week because we often forget to think of what to make for lunch for college Bible study until a couple days before, but we could certainly think ahead and go shopping all at once. Any other tips you have for saving time?

TMI warning: Two steps backwards

I should have known it would happen, that I’d had too many “good” days, but yesterday I completely binged on sugar and carbs. I mean, SERIOUSLY binged. gave me a daily calorie range of 1200 to 1550 calories a day, and I had been doing pretty good for almost 4 weeks in keeping my calorie intake to around 1300 calories a day, mostly through eating more slowly and changing my food choices and portions through looking at my nutrition tracker on I only had one day where I went over the maximum (I ate 1800 calories that day) and only three days where I went up to my maximum of 1550 calories. The rest of the time for the past 27 days, I’ve been at 1300 calories a day, so I guess only four days of straying is a really good thing. But then yesterday I was simply DYING for sugar and carbs. I’d never felt a craving like it in the entire 4 weeks I’ve been tracking my food. I had been really good at staying within the carb range that SparkPeople gave me, even

The (slightly odd) traits of a book collector

I was reading a book on my Nook the other day, Blue Like Jazz , which we’re going through in the college Bible study my husband and I are leading. After I finished the two chapters I needed to read before this coming week’s Bible study, I went to my Nook library. I must have spent a good 10 minutes just browsing through my Nook library, looking at all my lovely books, most of which I haven’t read yet, feeling such joy just to have them ready to read anytime I want (assuming I actually have time to read them all--at this point, I might have more books than I can physically read in my lifetime). I kept seeing a cover and thinking, Oh, I forgot I had that book! How wonderful I have it! Then I took a step back and looked at what I was doing. I see nothing wrong with it, but Captain Caffeine would probably roll his eyes at me, mostly because he’s not a book collector. (Actually, he’s not really a collector of anything, unless it’s empty boxes that he can’t get himself to throw away. :

Amusement park or coffee shop?

Captain Caffeine said, “There’s a new Transformers ride at Universal Studios down in Los Angeles.” Me: “I think I’m getting too old for that stuff. I don’t get a good enough Return On Investment.” Captain: “What do you mean?” Me: “Before, I used to love roller coasters. I didn’t mind paying the park fee and waiting two hours in line for each ride. Now, it’s just not worth it to me anymore. Those are two hours of my life I’ll never get back.” Captain: “What if you went with your friends and you guys could talk while you’re in line?” Me: “But it’s hot. Why would I want to spend money to stand in a hot line with lots of people when I could instead spend money to be in a coffee shop with my friends, or go have High Tea somewhere and talk there? I’d be in air conditioning and get scones and Devonshire cream.” Captain (thoughtfully): “You have a point.” What do you think? Amusement park or coffee shop? What floats your boat at your stage in life?

A Voucher to Almack’s

Many of you know I’m a huge fan of Regency romances, and I recently came across this photo of an actual voucher to that elite social club, Almack’s. I think that’s totally cool! I think one day I’d like to write a Regency under a pseudonym.

Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter!!!!!

I absolutely love this spread! I’m so glad Captain Caffeine gave in to impulse and bought it. It’s a spread made with crushed biscuits (cookies) that has the consistency of Nutella but tastes kind of like gingerbread. I spread it on some of the ciabatta I’m working through and it’s AMAZING! It’s warm and comforting but not too sweet. I love it! I had it with a special limited-edition tea called White Christmas by Lupicia teas: black tea with white chocolate and apricots. It’s totally delish. That adorable cup and dessert plate was a gift from my Aunty Janet and the tiny stainless steel teaspoon was from an old set from my Grandma, so that’s quite a homey photo. :) Update: They have this spread at Amazon !!!!!

Solar Eclipse photos

I forgot to post these yesterday (because I know you’re all just waiting with baited breath to see these). Here’s the photo of the eclipse through a pinprick in a piece of cardboard: Captain Caffeine had read that you can also view the eclipse through a pair of binoculars, so he got his out and we looked at the eclipse projected onto the side of the house wall. Cute, huh?

I’m such a sucker for buy-one-get-one-free sales.

Especially when it’s artisan bread!!!!!!! They had a sale at Nob Hill and so I came home with 4 breads, plus the loaf of Nob Hill Dutch Crunch bread I’d gone to get. I got a ciabatta, a three-cheese loaf, a pugliese, and cheese ciabatta rolls. Yummo! I actually decided to freeze the last 3 and am now eating the ciabatta. I’ll thaw them when I’m done with the ciabatta. :) Anyone else love bread almost as much as me???? And isn’t it ironic I’m blogging about bread right after blogging about tracking my food intake? But I’ve been really good about recording my bread intake, too. :)

Tracking my food intake changes the way I eat

Tracking my food takes more time than I’d like, especially if the database doesn’t have the food I’m looking for (like black bean sauce shrimp) or if the food item lists portions as a “serving” (WHAT THE HECK IS A SERVING???). But it’s been good because often I’ll see what I need to eat to hit my target ranges. For example, most of the time I’ll look and see that I need to eat more protein for the day, so sometimes I’ll choose cheese instead of a biscuit at tea time. Or if I’m high on my fat range, I’ll be careful to go low fat for dinner. I’ve also noticed that when I know I need to track my food, I start to change how I eat food. I start thinking, “I need to eat only about 1/2 cup of rice” or I’ll weigh that slice of bread (yes I know that’s kind of freaky anal) or I’ll use a measuring cup when I scoop out soup to reheat. It just makes it easier for me to record my food later, because otherwise I’m really guessing at how much I ate. But I recently read this article on SparkPeop

Trying to limit Facebook and Twitter time

There have been lots of articles on Facebook since they went public, and there have been a few about people who deliberately refuse to get or re-up their Facebook profiles, for various reasons. Some of them don’t want to do it because it ended up sucking too much of their time. I don’t think I could NOT be on Facebook or Twitter, but the articles have been making me more aware of how much time I’m on social media. I need to be a good steward of my time. The other day, I spent half a hour just browsing around on Facebook. While that’s not necessarily bad, if I’m on Facebook when I should be working, that’s wasting the gift of writing full-time that God has given to me. So I’m trying to be more conscious of my Facebook and Twitter time and trying to limit it to once or twice a day. Let’s see if I can do it!

Kale chips in the dehydrator ... eh.

Yeah, that was my reaction when I ate them. I think I’m spoiled because I’m used to deep frying them, and kale deep fried tastes absolutely amazing. I think the frying causes some caramelization and so the kale tastes a little sweet, and it’s lost the “green” bitter taste it usually has. I used this recipe minus the apple cider vinegar. Maybe I need to add that next time? Anyway, I took them out today and they were crispy and salty, but they were still “green” tasting, which I don’t really like. I think I’ll try this again with the other bunch of kale I have and add the vinegar. I really don’t like vinegar, but maybe something in it will get rid of the “green” taste.

Proverbs 29:11

A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man holds it back. My friend Mary DeMuth posted this verse on Facebook right when I needed it. I’d just read an article by a Christian that insulted me (not specifically, but generally) in a very hurtful, condescending way, and I was so upset I wanted to fire off some angry blog post in response. But this verse reminded me that it’s not necessary. I have been blessed with a job that is a mission given to me by God. I love what I do and I’m not afraid to admit it. If I don’t live up to other people’s ideas of what a Christian should be like, whose fault is that? Not mine! My conscience is clear before Jesus, and He’s all that matters. Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace. 2nd Corinthians 1:12 (TNIV)

Review: Identity Crisis

Identity Crisis by Laura Scott My rating: 5 of 5 stars One of the best Love Inspired Suspense novels I've read yet. The action starts fast and the pace is great. The heroine's character is really likable and the romantic tension is unusual and interesting. I'm a little sad the mystery thread is continued in the next book, Twin Peril, coming out in August, but it was a satisfying book on it's own. View all my reviews

Code Ninjas - learn computer code

I got information on this opportunity from my friend John Olson. In case you were remotely interested in learning computer code, here's your chance! From John: If you’re interested in learning PHP (the language Facebook and are programmed in), my good friend Carl Nasal, the owner of Camna LLC ( ), is running a similar small group class in PHP. I’ll be helping Carl with his class, and he’ll be helping me with mine. If you’re interested, please visit our site at Here’s the important info : Dates :  June 19 – August 16  (NOTE: We’ll video tape sessions in case you have to miss a few weeks) Commitment :  2 hours per week Java Course Times :  Thursdays 1-3pm PT / 3-6pm ET PHP Course Times :  Tuesdays 1-3pm PT / 3-6pm ET Location :  Your own home through live, interactive webinars. (Which means you’ll be able to talk to everyone in the group and watch what the instructor is doing.) Cost :  $360 for the 9 week course

Climactic scene = girdle

I’m writing the synopsis/outline for a cozy mystery for Guideposts, and trying to think of a “climactic scene” for the end is starting to feel like trying to squeeze yourself into a girdle two sizes too small. You shove and twist and try different positions like a yoga master and nothing is working.

Going "green" in leading worship

I lead worship music for my church’s Sunday service twice a month, and my team is mostly junior high, high school, and/or college students except for me and Captain Caffeine. (The Captain plays electric guitar, I play acoustic guitar.) One Sunday, one of my high school singers arrived at church and instead of bringing printed out pages with the lyrics, she had the music on her iPad. I thought that was brilliant! So this past Sunday, I took the chord sheets (they have the lyrics and the guitar chords on top of the words where you change chords) and put them all in one document. Then I made the document into a .pdf file and loaded it into the iBooks app on my iPad. I had my iPad on the music stand during service and used that instead of sheet music. It worked great! I had to make sure my iPad’s settings had it falling “asleep” at 15 minutes and not 5 minutes, or else I would spend time needing to wake up and unlock my iPad, and I didn’t want to do that in the middle of a song! T

Quinoa in my rice cooker!

Yes, I am the epitome of lazy. While making quinoa on the stovetop is not hard, I wanted to know if I could throw it into my rice cooker and leave it. And it worked! I don’t know if my rice cooker had anything to do with it, although my cooker is not a super fancy one. It is nicer than the aluminum ones, but not as expensive as my parents’ rice cooker which has a million settings on it. Mine is a 3 cup rice cooker. I put in 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups of water and turned it on. After it had cooked and switched to “keep warm,” I let it steam for about 15 minutes (which is what I do when I make rice in the rice cooker) before I opened it. Voila! Perfect quinoa! I especially like quinoa because it has a nutty taste and it has more protein than rice.

iPad Mini

I heard this rumor several weeks (maybe even a few months) ago on’s Apple Byte video podcast, and at the time, I really didn’t think Apple would do something like this. It’s not as trendsetting as Apple usually is with their products--a smaller iPad would seem more like Apple is keeping up with the trend, instead. But then I read this article about rumors that the iPad mini is coming maybe in the fall. Granted, I really can’t believe everything I see on the internet, but now I’m starting to wonder. I don’t know if I’d buy a mini iPad since I have my regular sized one, and I like the larger screen for watching movies. But if choosing between an iPad mini and a Nook color or a Kindle Fire, I’d definitely go for the iPad mini because the screen and software would be so great, plus the connection to iTunes. What do you think?

10 Reasons You Eat When You're Not Actually Hungry And What You Can Do About It!

I just read this article on and could really relate, especially the clean plate syndrome. I’ve only recently gotten to the point where I am no longer hungry and I can leave one or two bites of food on my plate, although I still sit there in agony to not eat it. I’ve had to get up and dump the food in the garbage FAST or else I’ll stare at it. Which point did you relate to the most?

Went to Five Guys burgers

I knew from the Yelp reviews that some people loved Five Guys and some people hated them. I didn’t hate them, but I was disappointed in the food. For one, they messed up the order: I ordered a single patty with mayo, lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms. Captain Caffeine ordered a double patty with lettuce, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, and A-1 steak sauce. Also, there was one order ahead of us and no one behind us, they were in a lull between rushes of people. I would have though that with only two orders, they wouldn’t mess up anything. What was got was a single patty with lettuce, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms and no sauce, and a double patty with lettuce, tomatoes, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, mayo and A-1 steak sauce. It wouldn’t have been a problem if we could just exchange buns or patties, but the A-1 steak sauce had been slathered between a patty and the lettuce, which was also next to the mayo. I hate A-1, and Captain Caffeine gets sick if

More unpopular thoughts about The Hunger Games

I am in the middle of Mockingjay so if you’ve already read it, PLEASE don’t spoil it for me. But for what it’s worth, here is a thought that came to me yesterday: In The Hunger Games (book one), Peeta doesn’t actually know that much about Katniss because he never spoke to her much before the games, yet he said he’s in love with her. That’s not really love. I know, all you bleeding romantics will be complaining. But it’s true. How can you love someone when you don’t know them? That’s not love, that’s attraction. Or infatuation, which starts going into stalker category. (Yes, I know Peeta’s not a stalker.) Infatuation doesn’t live long in the real world when you realize how different the two of you are, or when you see him pick his nose while farting. Infatuation can grow into love, but I don’t think someone should say they love you if they hardly KNOW you. If someone says they love you, it should mean they know you, your good side AND your faults, and they love you anyway. Th

There are times I don’t know where my brain was.

I just finished doing edits on devotionals I wrote for Mornings With Jesus 2013 edition (published by Guideposts) and most of the questions my editor had are stuff like, “I don’t really get how the conclusion of the devotional ties with the verse/first line.” And I looked at it, and I was like, “Hmm, I don’t know how the conclusion ties with the verse/first line.” Ever had moments like that?

Completing cleaning chores fast

I’m rather annoyed at this article because the only tips for completing a cleaning chore fast are #s 4 and 5. The rest are simply reminders of things to clean that we don’t often clean. Any of you guys have tips for how to complete a particular cleaning chore fast? I could use all the help I can get.

Preorder A Dangerous Stage, the 2nd book in the Protection for Hire series!

I didn’t notice until yesterday that book 2 in my Protection for Hire series, A Dangerous Stage , is now available for preorder! Isn’t that cover awesome? Zondervan’s art team ROCKS! Back cover blurb: Tessa Lancaster worked for her uncle in the Japanese mafia until she was sent to prison for a murder she didn't commit. Now, after finding God behind bars, she takes odd jobs as a bodyguard to keep her distance from the family business. In A Dangerous Stage, the second book in Camy Tang's Protection for Hire series, Tessa gets caught up in the web of lies surrounding a shady singing competition. Hired by one of the contestants, she works with Charles Britton---the lawyer who sent her to prison---to discover the dark figures manipulating the contest from behind the scenes. Tessa's abilities will be tested like never before as she's forced to balance the safety of her client's family and her deepening relationship with Charles. In the midst of the chaos, she ho

Healthy brunch/breakfast recipes

I downloaded this free ebook, Light and Easy Mother's Day Brunch Recipes from SparkPeople . It’s labeled for Mother’s Day, but I think a lot of the recipes are easy enough to do during the week or at least on weekends when I have a little extra time. If you download it, let me know what you think or if you have ideas for healthy breakfast/brunch recipes.

Plantar Fasciitis strikes again

I first got plantar fasciitis back when I was working in biology research, because I’d spend long hours standing and walking around my workbench while doing assays. I had sneakers on, but standing for four hours at a stretch, twice a day, and no opportunity to sit because of the nature of the assays, was tough on my feet. Well, it’s back again although not as bad as before, because I’m breaking into my new Vibram FiveFinger shoes and with my flat feet and old plantar fasciitis injury, I should have eased into the shoes even slower than what they recommend. Ah well, hindsight and all that. Luckily it’s not bad, and I have a book, Fixing Your Feet by John Vonhof (Ignore the hideous cover of the foot sticking out at you.) It’s a really awesome book and it gives good advice and stretches and exercises for plantar fasciitis (assuming it’s not too severe). So I’ve been doing the stretches, icing my feet, doing a combo ice/heat, and also eliminate (for now) the running in my Vibram’s,

Habakkuk 2:20

The LORD is in his holy temple; Let all the earth be silent before him. (TNIV) I forget so easily how powerful and holy God is, then I read something like this in my daily Bible reading and I have to stop and mediate on it. Somehow remembering how holy He is makes me feel closer to Him.

Just 10 minutes

Lately I’ve been trying to exercise every day, and I’ve adopted a “10 minute” rule for my cardio. I only have to do 10 minutes minimum, but I’m trying to do it every single day. 10 minutes is pretty easy to do, especially on the exercise bike, so I’ve been doing pretty good. I’m not sure if only 10 minutes is actually going to do any good for my body, but I think it’s good discipline.

The Expositor’s Bible Commentary

One great resource my friend Dineen Miller told me about is the Expositor’s Bible Commentary (abridged) that’s available as an e-resource on the Olive Tree Bible software app . It’s originally a hardcover book from Zondervan that’s an abridged version of the 12 volume set. (All I can say is, thank goodness it’s abridged. I could not handle a 12 volume commentary set. I am just not that smart.) So anyway, when I’m reading my Olive Tree Bible (I’m using TNIV) with a split screen with the Commentary on the other side of the screen, it syncs the verses of the Bible Commentary with the verses I’m reading, which is really cool. Right now I’m in Jephaniah which has always confused me when I read it before, but this time, thanks to the Commentary, I now understand the historical and political setting of the book of Jephaniah and some of the meanings behind the prophecies. It’s so awesome! If you are looking for a commentary that won’t feel like slogging through academic pea soup, this

Olive Tree Bible software app

I discovered the Olive Tree Bible app for iPad and iPhone thanks to my agent, Wendy Lawton, and ever since I got it, I’ve absolutely LOVED it for my Bible reading. (It’s available for PC and Android, too.) I can take notes and they can be as wordy as I want since it’s electronic and the notes are stored next to the verse as a little icon I can click to read it. I can also highlight in five or six different colors. It’s especially helpful for church, because when I’m listening to the sermon, if I want to take notes on the pastor’s message, I can take notes directly in my Olive Tree Bible. Whenever I took notes before, there wasn’t space in the margins in my regular Bible, and if I took notes on the worship service program, I would never transfer the notes to my Bible later or do anything with them. What’s even cooler is that you can have several different translations of the Bible. For example, I have both NIV and TNIV. It’s really fast to switch. I’ll usually use NIV for youth g

A page from Stalker in the Shadows

In case you haven’t read it yet, here’s a page from the book to whet your appetite. I absolutely love Shaun O’Neill--I modeled him after actor Karl Urban except with very blue eyes and blond short hair. (photo from From the back cover: "Consider this a warning." Lately, nurse Monica Grant feels she's being watched. Followed. And then she receives a threatening letter—accompanied by a dead snake. If she doesn't stop her plans to open a free children's clinic, she'll end up dead, too. Terrified, Monica turns to former lawman Shaun O'Neill—who believes the same madman murdered his own sister five years before. She understands how much it means to the handsome, heart-guarding man to save her—and her dream. Even if he has to lure a deadly stalker out of the shadows—straight toward himself. Excerpt: Monica nodded, but they were interrupted by a bustling at the front of the restaurant as her aunt, Becca Itoh, hurried into the dining room.

Buying books online late at night

I just noticed this last week when I splurged and bought a bunch of Elizabeth Ford novels: most of the time, my book buying is online late at night. Literally in the early morning hours, after Captain Caffeine has already gone to bed. Why is that? Is there something in the night air that induces a book-buying sickness of the mind? Are my money-spending inhibitions down when I’m tired? Is there something about Captain Caffeine’s snoring that helps me remember the books I want to buy? I know it has nothing to do with my husband not knowing what I’m doing because I could easily buy those books while he’s at work and he’d still be uninformed. :) Although, in the interests of full disclosure, I do tell him if I’ve spent more than $50 on books. When do you tend to buy your books?

Go green: 25 spring cleaning tips

Two years ago, I was inspired by this article on earth-friendly (and wallet friendly) spring cleaning tips. (Update: I fixed the link) One thing I hadn’t thought of before is that we have tons of hand towels and small square kitchen towels that never get used. So I put them in a little basket on the kitchen counter and we use them in place of paper towels--to cover food in the microwave, wiping down the counter or floors, etc. When they’re dirty, we put them in a laundry basket out in the garage near the washing machine, and when the basket is full, we wash all the cloths. We also switched to cloth napkins--we had a few and I bought a set from TJ Maxx for super cheap, and then we happened to get some when Captain Caffeine’s grandmother died and we were cleaning out her house. She happened to have a ton that had never been used, so we took them and use them now. When they’re dirty, they get put in the laundry basket in the garage. I also found a pattern and knitted a few Swiffer

Thrift store junkie

My To Be Read pile is as mountainous as it is mostly because of thrift stores. I haven’t had as much time to do this lately, but I love going into thrift stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army and perusing their book section, looking for Regency romances. I especially look for the mass market paperback novels of the category Regency romances that used to be printed years ago by Harlequin, Zebra, Fawcett, and Signet. They typically have pretty recognizable spines. I can spend a good hour looking for Regencies at a thrift store if they have a good book section. After a while, I had to take with me a list of the books I already have (titles and authors) so that I don’t get duplicates. I have not had as much luck at garage sales. Whenever I did the round of sales in my area, there weren’t many boxes of Regency romances--there were usually other genres instead. :( I also did buy some boxes of books on eBay where the sellers would auction off a huge box of Regencies, but after a w

The complicated relationship between me and sugar

Okay, so it’s not really complicated, it’s quite straightforward. I love sugar. My bum does not. Since I got back on I’ve been watching my carb and sugar intake more. I’m not depriving myself, but I’m trying to stay near the low end of the range that SparkPeople has given to me. One thing I’m really striving to do is be more mindful of my food as I eat it, taking the time to taste and enjoy my food as described in the book French Women Don’t Get Fat , and that has made my carb intake very deliberate. When I eat a biscuit with my tea, I’m taking the time to taste it and enjoy it more. What I’ve discovered is that I’ve been eating less carbs and not really noticing the change in my diet or feeling deprived. Instead of eating 2-3 biscuits with tea, I eat one or maybe one and a half, slowly in smaller pieces, enjoying the taste as I eat it, and I honestly don’t feel disgruntled at all that it’s less than I typically ate only 3 weeks ago. One thing I did last night

Author Lacy Williams’ birthday bash and bonus extras from Stalker in the Shadows

Author Lacy Williams is celebrating her birthday and the release of a new book this month, and she is giving away birthday gifts to readers, including free ebooks, bonus scenes, extended excerpts and free books from some of your favorite authors! I’m giving away the ORIGINAL first chapters of my Love Inspired Suspense, Stalker in the Shadows ! These are the chapters I first submitted to my editor, but she asked me to nix them and start the story with a bit more suspense. So while these original chapters aren’t as creepy as the published chapters, they’re the original first sizzling meeting between my hero and heroine. Those of you who have read Stalker in the Shadows will get an especially neat kick out of these chapters, but I won’t say why. :) Participating authors include: Regina Jennings Camy Tang Jordyn Redwood Angela Breidenbach Margaret Daley Lena Nelson Dooley Myra Johnson MaryLu Tyndall Vickie McDonough Visit for details and to get

Avengers movie

Who’s seen it? I totally want to goooooo!!!!!!!!!!

Health benefits of tea!

You knew I had to blog about it when I read it, right? :) This article goes beyond just talking about antioxidants to mention 3 teas and 3 tisanes that are good for your health. I didn’t know that puer tea lowered cholesterol, though. I’ll have to get more chocolate strawberry puer tea from, now! {wink wink}

Rich tea biscuits

Speaking of biscuits ... I mentioned earlier about the dark chocolate digestive biscuits I bought due to the Betty Neels books I’ve read. I also bought these rich tea biscuits which I’d read about also. McVitie’s is apparently a well-known maker of digestive biscuits (and I think they’re the ones who originally came up with the chocolate digestive biscuit) so I naturally had to try their brand of tea biscuits. They remind me of a slightly sweet cracker, but more dense than a soda cracker. I have to admit, they are PERFECT with tea because you can dip them and they are just sweet enough to satisfy without being overly sweet. They also settle my stomach as well as a soda cracker, which I discovered yesterday with the lemon juice stomach problems I had. I ate a couple tea biscuits and my stomach felt much better. Anyone else had these? I really like them! Maybe not as much as the McVitie’s digestive biscuits , but they’re still really tasty.

Author Elizabeth Ford

I first discovered Elizabeth Ford when I enjoyed a Victorian romance she wrote under her other pseudonym, Mary Ann Gibbs, titled Horatia . I completely enjoyed the book--it had great characters I liked and admired and a softly rolling plotline that kept me interested to the very end. I discovered I had picked up some of her other titles through garage sales and thrift stores, so I read them, too, and they were all highly entertaining. I did more research and discovered she also wrote mysteries under the pseudonym Elizabeth Ford, but when I tried to find those books at online booksellers, it was really hard because they were all hardcovers that had been issued only in the UK. All her Mary Ann Gibbs romances were mass market paperbacks published (or reprinted) in the US. I got all Mary Ann Gibbs’ romances but pined for Elizabeth Ford’s mysteries. :( But I recently got a new contract with Guideposts books, writing work-for-hire for one of their book club series, and I realized I hav

Bacon on a stick!

(Speaking of piggies ...) Read this article about how Camden Yards baseball stadium serves a hunk of bacon on a stick . Yummo! But even more than that, I’m drooling over the crab cake burger and the crab mac-n-cheese dog! Holy cow! Captain Caffeine smokes his own bacon and it’s AWESOME! So much better than store bought, meaty and it doesn’t shrink like store bacon. Now aren’t you craving BACON???

Bento Guessing - Piggies

Yum, just in time for lunch! Here’s another bento box from the batch of pics my mom sent to me. ( What’s a bento box and why am I doing this? Click here. ) I have to admit, this bento box is adorable and it looks like it actually wasn’t that much work. The box shape is sooooo cute and it’s PINK! The piggies are made from hard-boiled eggs, and then I think they soak the eggs in soy sauce for an hour or so to give it that brownish color on the surface of the egg white. I’m pretty sure the ears and legs are just mushroom pieces, but I’m not sure how they did the snout. I like that this bento has lots of little veggies in it and a slice of kiwi. :) And that orange and white flowerlike thingy I’m pretty sure is bought, not homemade. It looks like the sweet bean paste “cakes” we used to get for Japanese holidays. I think this would have been cute but morbid if they included some marinated grilled pork ( char siu ) in the box. :)

Stomach problems from lemons?

I’ve been drinking water with the juice from half a lemon for dinner the past few nights, partly because it’s good for bloating and I’ve got my, er, time of the month, and partly because I just like the taste of it. But tonight I’ve had an acidic stomach and while it’s not quite queasy, it’s uncomfortable. I’m starting to suspect the lemon juice. Has anyone had any acidic stomach problems from lemon juice?

I am a bad aunt

So here’s what happened at Christmas: Captain Caffeine and I ordered our nieces’ and nephew’s gifts well before Christmas but because postage takes longer in December, we had the gifts mailed to where we would be staying over Christmas rather than to our house. We figured it would be safer than waiting to see if we’d get them in time before traveling. However, when I was doing the ordering, I made the mistake of having the gifts sent to MY name rather than the name of the person whose house we were staying at. Needless to say, the gifts were returned as “undeliverable” because the post office said that “Camy Tang” does not live at that address. Which I totally don’t get because we get mail addressed to other people at our address ALL the time. And so we showed up at Christmas and had no gifts for our nieces and nephew. Bad aunty and uncle. So now I am making sure we got refunded for the gifts that were returned as “undeliverable” and I’m reordering them to send them to our ni

Buy a Nook for Mom for Mother's Day!


I admit it, I’m a breakfast hater. I have never liked it because I have always woken up with a slightly queasy stomach. My family has a history of acidic stomachs, so my genes might have something to do with it. (I used to live off of TUMS and Zantac and just got tired of needing to take something every day for a queasiness that lasts only 60-90 minutes.) I have tried forcing myself to eat a large breakfast, especially because most research shows that people who eat breakfast tend to be more successful at losing weight. But forcing myself to eat made me so sick I’d usually either skip or postpone lunch, both of which are bad. When I read this article on quick and healthy breakfast ideas , I expected the usual stuff like a smoothie or egg white veggie omelet (which are listed). But I was also pleasantly surprised to see a few ideas I hadn’t read before, like making waffles, freezing them, and toasting them in the morning. For some reason I hadn’t thought of doing that, although I ha

Trade Secrets from the SparkPeople Coaches

I really liked this article about the lifestyles of the SparkPeople coaches . It’s interview-style and pretty insightful because these are not super-skinny, athletic people who get up at 4 a.m. to exercise for three hours every day. I was actually surprised a lot of them exercise after work--it makes me feel better that I tend to exercise in the afternoon and early evening, too. I’ve lately been exercising just before my tea time, which is around 5 p.m. I think I am going to try to exercise every day, even if it’s only 10 minutes on the exercise bike. I can totally do that, and I know little things add up.


My dog licked my toes . Twice! Then, while I was paralyzed by grossness, she licked ME! YUCK!

The challenge of the fish and chips

I had been doing decently at keeping to my new calorie range, but then we had Bible study night. Our Bible study group has parents with young children, and my husband and I rope one or two of the youth group kids to babysit during the Bible study. To thank them, we typically take them out to dinner after the study. This past week, my husband wanted to go to fish and chips, which is where he had taken one of the babysitters before and they had really enjoyed it. I didn’t want to say no because this dinner is a thank you to our babysitter. I ordered one fish fillet and fries, and then a cup of water. I ate VERY slowly and made sure to drink TWO sips of water for every bite of food. I went back to get more water three times, which also lengthened the time it took me to eat. I also tried to talk a lot or stopped eating for a few minutes while I was listening to the two of them talk. I’m so proud of myself because I only ate the one fish fillet and six strips of fries. That’s it! My