Only $1.99! I can’t believe I almost missed this Nook Daily Find! They don’t normally have Christian fiction for their specials so be sure to snatch it up quickly before the day ends! I absolutely love Marta Perry’s books and her romantic suspense novels are kickin’! If you don’t have an ebook reader, you can also read this on your computer or your smartphone using the Nook app. Land’s End by Marta Perry (Love Inspired Suspense) Confused and angry, Dr. Sarah Wainwright returned to the Georgia island of St. James in search of answers to her husband's mysterious death--in an apparent lovers' tryst with the wife of wealthy industrialist Trent Donner. Anger seemed to be the only edge Sarah had--Trent's control of the island and his protectiveness for his young daughter were enough to drive even this scandal back into the shadows. A man whose life depended on keeping his secrets; a woman whose future depended on learning the truth--could her quest set them free, or would
How many Love Inspired Suspense books can you read this month? Join us for the party! http://community.harlequin.com/showthread.php/412-JUNE-Spotlight-Reading-Challenge-Love-Inspired-Suspense (Sorry, I fixed the link, it was wrong earlier)
In Protection for Hire , I needed a really gnarly name for Charles’s date at the big cocktail party, so I sent out a tweet/Facebook status on Saturday night, November 6th, 2010, around 10 pm: Anybody around? Quick, give me first and last name ideas for a nasty old lady. I got a ton of ideas! People came up with the most horrific names! LOL I finally chose Velma Crackenburg. Velma because it sounded faintly vampish to me, and Crackenburg because it brought to mind one of those old ladies who are so outrageous and crazy that when you tell your friends about her later, you say, “This woman was on crack, I tell you!” Velma was from Mia Fisher, Cracken was from Rebecca Stanford, which I altered to Crackenburg. (Tryphena Sturgeon was a close second!) Mucho gracias to: On Facebook: Rebecca Stanford, Mary Vee, Mia Fisher, Carla Olson Gade, Martha Artyomenko, Molly Scharper, Kimberly Tapley, Diane Savocchi Shaw, Helen Bratko, Laura Brokaw, Kristi Robinson, Richard Mabry, Patty Smit
There’s one song I started singing for worship, Desert Song . It was introduced by one of the other youth staff workers this year. It’s very catchy with very good lyrics. I like it. However, on the recording, there is one phrase that doesn’t match the other phrases in the chorus. Rather than being on beat, one note is syncopated instead. If you listen to the recording, on the chorus, you can hear that the words “praise,” “praise,” and the second syllable of “declare” are on the beat, but the second syllable for “rejoice” is not. The second syllable of the word is sung syncopated rather than on beat. I am torn between singing the chorus exactly like the MP3 recording, or not syncopating that one note in order to make the chorus just simpler to learn and to sing for my church congregation. So what do you think? Should I sing it according to the recording, or should I sing it a little differently to make it easier for my church congregation?
I was really pleased to see this ebook as the Nook Daily find for today--only $3.40! Be sure to snatch it up quickly before the day ends! Rachel Hauck is a great Christian women’s fiction author. I haven't read this book by her, but I've read some of her other ones and enjoyed them. If you don’t have an ebook reader, you can also read this on your computer or your smartphone using the Nook app. The Sweet By and By by Sara Evans and Rachel Hauck It begins with a little red envelope . . . . . . the one Jade doesn't want to send. The envelope that invites her mother, Beryl, to her wedding-and opens up more of her past than she cares to deal with. Jade has worked so hard to put her hardscrabble childhood behind her. And she's found everything she wanted in the beautiful green hills of Whisper Hollow, Tennessee. A thriving vintage shop all her own. A lovely one-eyed shepherd dog named Roscoe. And Max, the almost-too-good-to-be-true man she plans to marry in just a
I came across this article on Sparkpeople and despite it’s tabloid-type title, it’s a rather intelligent article about ways to get the most bang for your buck (time and effort-wise) when you’re at the gym. What do you think? I admit I don’t do weights very much but the 2-4 tempo and supersets sound interesting.
When I got a bunch of basil in our organic co-op basket, I stuck it in a mug of water on the counter and intended to use it within a few days before it got wilty. Except it didn’t get wilty! It’s actually growing--you can see some flowers sprouting on one of the basil sprigs. This is a surprise to my hideously black thumb (which is NOT genetic, because my dad grows gorgeous hibiscus and my mom always had a vegetable garden when I was growing up). So I have been very good and replacing the water every day, and keeping the basil several inches away from heat sources like the toaster oven, stove, and my hot water pot (it is only temporarily in front of the espresso maker since Captain Caffeine isn’t home at the moment). I wonder how long I can keep it growing???
I’m contracted for book 17 in the Miracles of Marble Cove series by Guideposts (available through their book club subscription and a few books are also available as ebooks on the Guideposts website ) and I’m trying to finish it early. Please pray I can get it done in the next few days! I might be a little sparse online.
Twice a month, Captain Caffeine and I have a Bible study and some people who come have young children, so we ask one of the youth group kids to babysit during the Bible study. As thanks, we usually take our babysitter out to dinner after Bible study. This past Bible study, it was one of the high school girls, Amy, who loves beef chow fun, so we took her to our favorite Chinese restaurant, Union Chinese Restaurant in Campbell. Our favorite dishes are the Hong Kong-style Crispy Noodles, the Wor Won Ton Soup, and the Walnut Prawns. I don’t have a pic of the Hong Kong noodles (the Captain took a photo with his phone) but here are the soup and prawns: Their broth is REALLY good and the won tons are homemade. The veggies are also always perfectly tender-crisp. The Captain says that these are the best walnut prawns he’s had, and he’s been to a lot of Chinese restaurants. Union doesn’t use mayonnaise for the base of their sauce like other restaurants do, which might be why he like
I usually knit a graduation gift for the girls graduating high school from my youth group, and one of them, Becca, asked for a chunky circular scarf. So I picked this neat Tanis Gray lace scarf pattern from Vogue Knitting and used Knitpicks.com Full Circle Bulky Yarn in Latte . It’s a lot heavier than I expected it to be, but it’s absolutely beautiful! It’s long enough for her to loop twice around her neck and will be toasty warm. I hope she likes it!
I’m currently writing about a woman who spends a lot of time traveling to exotic places, and for some reason I thought of having her enjoy Turkish coffee. Except I really didn’t know much about what Turkish coffee was! So I turned to my trusty friend, Google. WOW there are a lot of different ways to make Turkish coffee, but I think I’ll choose the simplest for my book: Fine grind the beans, put them in the cezve coffee pot with cold water and sugar and spices, stir, then heat slowly over medium heat. When it boils, distribute evenly in all the tiny coffee cups and wait a minute or so for the grinds to settle on the bottom before drinking. Some recipes call for pouring only some of the coffee at the first boil, the returning the pot to the heat for a second boil, and then pouring the rest into the cups. Some recipes call for spices like cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves. So naturally, I had to try making this, right? Except I don’t have a cezve pot so I decided to use a small
I just finished this book yesterday and it was WONDERFUL. What was interesting about it was that it was published in 1945, so it was probably written in 1943 or 1944 in Great Britain during World War 2. So although it’s a “contemporary” romantic novel, the setting and characters and dialogue are straight from the 40s and very authentic. It reminded me a bit of some of Grace Livingston Hill’s novels in its calm tone and slang-ish language. The plot was a little predictable, but it made me cry at the end anyway (and at some points in between). What I especially liked was that I thought that each character got what they deserved (mostly). It was a terribly satisfying ending. Unfortunately, it’s mostly available in the UK and hard to find in the US. I had to special order it from a UK used bookstore. But it was SO worth the extra money and hassle. It’s become one of my favorite books. I really love Elizabeth Ford. I read one of her books by accident and enjoyed it so much that I we
Funny that I read this article today, because I woke up with the beginnings of a migraine around 3 this morning. My migraines are usually hormonal because of my peri-menopause, so I drank soymilk (to even out my fluctuating hormones) and this time I took some willow bark pills rather than Tylenol. They seemed to work well so I’ll try that again next time instead of Tylenol. Do you think the stretches in the article are useful? What do you do for your migraines? Any tips for me?
I admit to loving Zuma Blitz, which is a Facebook game. There’s also a version you can download on your iPad/iPod/iPhone and a computer game version, but I like the Facebook version best since I get to compete against my Facebook friends. (If you play Zuma Blitz, friend me so we can play together!) You can see above that I enjoy playing with authors Vickie McDonough and Rhonda Gibson. Usually it's just the three of us on the leaderboard that shows on my screen. I also tried Words With Friends and I completely, utterly SUCK at it. No, I am not being modest. I was also playing Packrat for a while but stopped because it just didn’t interest me as much anymore. Any Facebook games you like to play?
Captain Caffeine and I love going out to lunch after church on two Sundays each month. It’s kind of like our special date lunches each month. One of his favorite eateries is Yiassoo, a Greek restaurant that has some of the BEST gyros on the planet!!!! Plus their french fries are really good too. :) Any of you like Greek food?
I wanted to take a picture of these new socks I just finished knitting, so I went outside where Snickers came to greet me, expecting me to play with her or at least scratch her tummy (which I did). And while she was on her side, I threw my socks on top of her and snapped this picture: Her look says it all: “I don’t believe you’re embarrassing me like this.” Wouldn’t I be simply AWFUL if I had kids???? I’d probably dress them up in tomato costumes or as mini-me.
I absolutely adored the TV show Chuck . So in Protection for Hire , Charles’s alias at the party, Charles Carmichael, is in honor of Chuck Bartowsky’s favorite alias from the TV show. There also used to be a Captain Awesome reference, but unfortunately my editor took it out. So here’s the original excerpt from chapter 23: Josh led Velma out onto the dance floor and Charles drew Tessa into his arms. He felt as if a circle had been completed. She looked up at him, her brown eyes glowing with flecks of emerald. He thought she might have stopped breathing—he knew he did. He’d been wanting to hold her since the moment he saw her at the foot of his stairs, regal in that blue gown. She hadn’t been transformed so much as enhanced—before, her confidence had been in her walk and her athletic grace, but tonight, it shone from every pore, in the tilt of her chin, the sway of her hips, the toss of her head. His hand at her waist tightened. “The music’s started,” she murmured, and he rea
You know what’s freeing? Realizing that if I’m not liking what I’m eating, I don’t have to finish it. I was eating leftovers yesterday and not really enjoying it (it was Minnesota wild rice soup , but I had added too much kale). I kept slogging through until it hit me, Duh , I don’t have to keep eating. So I dumped the rest down the garbage disposal and refuse to feel guilty for all the starving children in Africa who wouldn’t have eaten my yucky soup, either. I didn’t waste the calories on bad food. I should have realized this earlier, because it’s like how I’ve been with my reading lately, I don’t have time to waste on a book that doesn’t interest me. There are lots of books that I ought to read, or that are well-written, but if the story doesn’t resonate with me for whatever reason, I don’t have to finish reading it! How about you? Do you finish your food and your books?
Yes, that is as weird as it sounds. Every so often I like to try unusual things, and I just got this Rice Cooker cookbook which had an unusual savory steel-cut oatmeal recipe that I wanted to try. It has cayenne, nutmeg, a little honey, olive oil, and salt. I thought that the heat and the sweetness might compliment the barbecue sauce used on the beef brisket that Captain Caffeine made. The texture of the oatmeal was actually rather good. It was more like bulgar or quinoa than your typical mushy oatmeal. However, the oaty flavor was still really strong, and it overpowered the smoked brisket and the barbecue sauce. Blech. I ended up picking out the brisket and eating only that. I thought perhaps the oatmeal was old and turning rancid, but the expiration date on the package says 2013 so I guess that’s not it. Anyway, although this recipe was a bust, I’m glad I at least tried it. I only lost about a cup of oatmeal.
In Protection for Hire , there’s the character of Josh Cathcart who appears twice--once when Tessa is picking up her new friend Karissa, and again at a very dangerous and romantic ball. Those of you who read my Sushi series may also remember Josh from a particularly memorable scene in Single Sashimi that involved massive amounts of red peppers and a slice of pizza--which really happened to a youth group member at my church. :) In case you haven’t read it or need a refresher, here’s Josh’s first appearance in Single Sashimi . I think it completely explains his behavior in Protection for Hire . :) In this scene, Venus is helping with the church youth group and the scene opens with a youth group game that we really did at my church several years ago. Josh, a tall high school boy, clutched his stomach with one hand while the other still held the half-eaten slice of pizza. Except it was no ordinary pizza—this one had gobs of dried red pepper flakes piled on top of it. Sweat streame
Yes, this is my version of Just Do It. :) It seems like this happens for every single book I write. I’m in the first quarter of the book, struggling to get the words down. It feels like slogging through New England clam chowder. Then I suddenly remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Just write crap. Edit later. Click here for the rest of the blog post .
Some of you may know, I wrote Whispers on the Dock , book three in the Nantucket Dreams series by Guideposts. There’s a mystery thread in the series that’s solved in my book. The three main characters needed some information from the Nantucket Historical Society--there’s a real historical society, but for the purposes of the book, we made up our own. Since it was made up, I had a little creative license about the characters who showed up to help the heroines with the mystery. I needed someone with expertise on Massachusetts history, so I borrowed a character from the Patchwork Mysteries series , Irene Stuart! Irene is the historian at the Maple Hill Historical Society. She used to work for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston and moved to Maple Hill about ten years ago. Irene is a recurring character in most of the Patchwork Mysteries series books since she helps the main character, Sarah Hart, to solve some of the mysteries that involve historical facts and people.
Okay, this is my geek side coming out: I’m pretty excited to see what the new cell phone plans from Verizon will look like. The biggest change will be the ability to allow my phone to be a Wi-Fi hotspot for my iPad for no extra charge. That will be so cool! Most of the time I use Wi-Fi, but once in a while I’m stuck somewhere without Wi-Fi and I need to access the internet. I usually use my phone, but I’d love to be able to use my iPad. Do you have a smartphone? Do you use it to connect to the internet very much? (My lovely assistant is Danica Favorite , except that now I can't remember what was on her smart phone that made her want me to take a picture of it.)
According to Sparkpeople, I am WAY low on fiber intake, which was surprising to me because I thought that since I eat so many vegetables, my fiber intake would be better than it is. What do you do to get more fiber?
Captain Caffeine and I have arguments about this all the time. I like chocolate mint, meaning chocolate with mint flavor added. However, I do NOT like mint with chocolate chips. Something about the texture doesn’t appeal to me and the dominant flavor is mint with chocolate as almost a sidenote. The Captain doesn’t understand why I make such a distinction. But to me, it seems very different. One is chocolate with mint, the other is mint with chocolate. Then yesterday I tried a new tea, chocolate mint flavor. I hated it. Basically, it had more mint than chocolate, which put me in mind of mint with chocolate chips. Am I being too picky about this? Which of you guys likes mint with chocolate chips?
I have been DYING--dying, I tell you!--for a new laptop computer because mine, while a sturdy thing, is very heavy and slow (I only have 3GB of system memory). So I was waiting with bated breath for the Apple WWDC keynote yesterday. Hooray! New MacBook Pro ! I am SO all over that! I just got a new contract with Guideposts, so that’s what my advance will go toward. :)
I’m reading Jane Austen’s Letters and there is something about them that makes me want to grab my fountain pen and some nice thick letter paper and write somebody a chatty letter. These days, there’s email and Facebook and Twitter to keep people up to date with any news about us, but it’s so much less personal than a letter. Then again, it also takes less time for us to update lots of people. :) I’m rather torn because I like the convenience of writing one blog post or one Facebook post to tell hundreds of people (or at least the five who read my blog) about anything interesting (or not interesting) that has happened to me. Then again, what is it about a thick sheaf of creamy paper that’s so enticing? Or the feel of a smooth fountain pen that glides across the page like an ice skater? I wonder if I like the process and tools involved in writing letters more than people actually want to receive them? LOL Any of you still write letters?
I admit, I’m going a little nuts with my scanner. Blame it on ebooks. I’ve been getting used to the convenience of having electronic copies of paper, which don’t take up space on my bookshelf. I am one of those infamous people who cut recipes out of the newspaper and keep them, intending to one day make them. And so I have a folder FULL of clipped recipes which I don’t want to throw away because I might actually want to make one of them one of these days. But then I remembered, I HAVE A SCANNER. So I’ve been scanning my recipes in as .pdf files, and I use AABBY FineReader Express for Mac to transfer the .pdf files into a text file. Voila! Electronic copy! Goodbye lots of little newspaper clippings! I’m free! I’m free! (Okay, maybe I’m overreacting a tad.) The OCR reader software isn’t perfect, it seems to enjoy turning fractions into faintly derogatory nonsense words which I have to edit in the .rtf file. But on a whole, I am definitely happy to have electronic copies of th
My parents in Hawaii have a black poodle named Kuro. He is PSYCHO. He’s not mean but it has the energy of a Mexican jumping bean. I got the following message and photo from my dad: Kuro listening to classical music. Getting cultured. Maybe there is something about the power of music to tame psycho poodles. :)
Okay, so the great war for control of Middle Earth, it ain’t. :) I blogged earlier about battling plantar fasciitis in my feet, and it’s still something I’m working to heal. I’ve been stretching, using a golf ball, and I also tried a Strassburg sock to use while I sleep, but it ended up being uncomfortably tight just under my kneecap and made me wake up in pain. I got a new sock, Thermoskin Plantar FXT Ultra , which feels much more comfortable and might do the trick. Anyway, I laid off my running for almost two weeks before I couldn’t stand it anymore, and I went running again yesterday. It felt GREAT. I’m a little sore today, but it’s that good sore that makes you feel super healthy and skinny enough to fit into a size 2. I’m still a bit dismayed at the extra weight I’ve put on, especially because it jiggles a bit in all the wrong places, but I’m hoping that if I can get back into my running and keep up with the decent eating habits I’m learning (let’s conveniently forget the
Yesterday, I went bike riding for the first time in literally YEARS. For a while I hadn’t had a rideable bike because my last one was old and needed new tires and (surprise!) I was too lazy to get new ones. Then Captain Caffeine found a really nice bike at Goodwill for only $50. Of course, this one also needed new tires (or at least new treads) but after I bought them, the Captain put them on my bike for me and filled up the tires. So then I had to buy a bike helmet that didn’t look like it had been through WW3. My last helmet had been with me since college, and I’d been in a couple accidents with it. I think I’m technically not supposed to use it after it’s been in an accident, but I was (surprise!) too lazy to go get another one, plus at the time I had my old unrideable bike and saw no need to get a new helmet. So yesterday, finally, in an effort to be green and save gas, I took my new bike out to the grocery store. I was REALLY shaky on that bike. People who say you never fo
Lately, some of the health articles on Yahoo have been a bit bogus, or just not applicable. But this one was actually a good one: 15 Hidden Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight I didn’t know that about target fiber amounts, so I’ll add that to my SparkPeople.com nutrition tracker so I can know if I’m eating enough fiber each day.
Did you see this article on Eye-Burn Warning for Contact Lens Solution ? What’s kind of funny is that I had just bought new contact lens solution like an hour before I saw the link to the article. LOL But then I read the article and realized that earlier today I saw this solution in the cupboard for Captain Caffeine’s contact solution. I better make sure he knows that you have to soak the lenses for 6 hours in the special container to allow the solution to neutralize, and not use it straight for rewetting the lenses. But I don’t think that will be a problem for him, because he has hard lenses and usually doesn’t need a rewetting solution before putting the lenses into his eyes. Or he uses water. Do you use this solution? Be careful!
From the Urban Dictionary: Photobomb: (verb)- to drop in a photo unexpectedly...to hop in a picture right before it is taken. The Captain couldn’t resist, apparently. Let me also mention that the ONLY reason Snickers’ attention is so firmly on the photographer (me) is because I was holding a piece of food right next to the camera lens on my phone.
I must admit to being incredibly impressed with the athletes who compete in this. Captain Caffeine and I started watching the original Japanese Ninja Warrior shows (subtitled) which were highly entertaining. There were more “fun” entrants in costumes who really didn’t expect to get far, but were there for entertainment value, I think. The American version is a bit more serious and there are some really amazing athletes competing. There are some unexpected qualifiers like the youth pastor who just walked on that day and ended up in the top 15 for the Midwest region. The Captain and I like watching because we love seeing people complete the course. I think I also like this show because in the Japanese version and also in the American version, everyone is pulling for everyone. The competition is not as malicious and cutthroat because the course is SO hard. Unlike other reality competitions, the atmosphere seems (so far) to be very positive. I really like that. The negativity is one
It annoys me how cluttered my house is. So this year, I have announced to Captain Caffeine that we are getting rid of 50% of our stuff (like how I phrased that?). Most of that stuff are things we intend to get rid of anyway but just haven’t gotten around to. So this past Sunday we spent 2 and a half grimy hours cleaning out the patio. But now, I have a clear table against the wall where before I had trash. Yay! I also now have a clear enough cement floor that the Captain could sweep for the first time in, oh, maybe eight years. I am so proud of ourselves! There are a few larger pieces the Captain will need help to move--maybe we’ll bribe some college kids to help out--but the patio is mostly clean. Next up--the garage!
Before you completely hurl, you have to understand that I grew up eating things like pig’s feet and chicken feet and oxtail and turkey tails. I’ve never had beef tongue, and Captain Caffeine wanted to try it, so he went to the Chinese market and got one. Raw, it looks rather disgusting so I won’t post the picture. He braised it in the pressure cooker with some herbs and then sliced it and braised it again in soy sauce and green garlic. It actually turned out rather tasty, and I’ve eaten liver and kidney and didn’t get grossed out, but something about the beef tongue was a little off-putting. It tasted fine, it was just something in the texture or something that made me not care much for it. Have you eaten beef tongue before? How did you prepare it?
Update: corrected the broken link. Sorry about that! Knowing how much I love champagne, Captain Caffeine sent me the link to this article on 200-year-old bottles that were recovered from a shipwreck, which are to be auctioned off. How cool would that be, to taste one of those? I absolutely love Veuve Clicquot. I wonder how different the champagne would taste once it’s aged 200 years? I started enjoying champagne more after I read the book French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano. I had never really tasted good champagne before reading the book, and since she worked for a champagne company and talked about it, I thought I’d try some. I absolutely LOVED it. Something about the bubbles just makes me happy. :) But instead of saving champagne only for special occasions, I started drinking a glass of champagne with dinner. Once in a while I’ll open a bottle of red wine instead, but most of the time I prefer champagne. I’ve gotten some rather good, inexpensive bottles at Tra