Book Review: Dial Meow for Murder

A while back I reviewed Death by Chocolate Lab. Dial Meow for Murder is the amusing second book in that series by Bethany Blake.

Poor Daphne, once again she finds a dead body. That girl should never go anywhere alone. She finds bodies every time she does. She says she is trying to stay out of this investigation, but she’s not. LOL.

The murder felt super low key in this book. The focus seemed more on the complications in everyone’s lives, which I can’t say made the book any less enjoyable.I’m kind of invested now and I want to see where things are going.

The series also makes me think I’d like to live in a small town. Just maybe not Sylvan Creek, people keep dying there. LOL.

℘℘℘℘ – Four Pages. I can’t wait to get my hands on Pawprints and Predicaments.


Sunday Sup: Hash and donuts

Winter just calls for breakfast for dinner, don’t you think? And sometimes it’s so easy I can’t help but indulge.

Sweet Potato and Brussels Sprout Hash

Pre heat your oven to 425.

Peel Sweet Potatoes and chop into smallish (1/2 inch) cubes. How many? Well I did 4 small ones for my family of 3 and had two breakfasts worth extra.

Dice one medium red onion or half a large one.

Toss both veg onto a sheet covered with metal oil. Spray with olive oil and roast 20-25 minutes. Just shy of done.

Cook 1/2 pound of bacon cut unto 1 inch pieces. (Cook a full pound if you are making the donuts that follow.) Usually I do bacon in the oven but I want the fat for saute the Brussels Sprouts.


After you pull the bacon to drain on paper towels add a pound of shaved Brussels Sprouts to the pan and saute. After about five minutes, I pulled my oven veg and tossed those into the pan, added half the bacon back in, and sauteed on.

Serve warm with a fried egg or two on top.


Apple Bacon Donuts

The idea for these donuts came from a recipe at Delish. However, that recipe was gluten heavy, sugar bombed, and fried. I needed better. When I have an idea of what I want to do but I’m not quite sure on the specifics, I go to, every time, and I am never sorry.

Put 7 pitted dates in your food processor. Pulse until they form a ball. (If your dates are super dry you might soak them ten minutes in warm water first)

Add 1/2 c applesauce, 1/4 c melted butter, and 4 eggs. Blend til soupy.

Add 1/3 c gluten free flour blend, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp baking powder, and a few shakes of cinnamon (unless your applesauce was already cinnamon).

Blend until batter.

Add half the cooked bacon from the hash.

Spoon into greased donuts pans. This made 11 donuts. (I know, right. 11?)

Bake at 350 for 12 minutes. They’ll look spongy and you’ll question if they are done but when you press it feels slightly firm and no batter sticks to your finger.

Cool in the pan but don’t let them linger too long. I find baked donuts stick, even if you greased, if you leave them in longer than a couple of hours.

Top with maple cream cheese frosting. (Cream cheese mixed with maple syrup. Your call on the sweetness factor. 4oz to 1/4 c gives a super “this is real frosting, holy cow feel”.)






Fiendish Friday: Positive Peer Pressure

I talk now and then about my son. He has special needs and we’ve had some learning challenges. His eyes were misaligned and he could not see correctly to learn to read until we figured this out and got him medical assistance to realign his eyes. Which insurance didn’t cover because it was a learning disability? Seriously? Whatever, that’s a post of other horse.

All of this is to explain it has taken some effort to get my son to embrace reading as a fun past time. I started with books about star wars and avengers and scooby doo. But then he quickly moved past those type of readers. Now what?

He would not try anything new.

Then I hit upon a scheme of epic proportion. I would get audio books from a new author, play them in the car without telling him it was a new author and then when he loved it, I would whip out other books from the same author and say look, more x, y, z.

But that is a lot of work. Like seriously. I do it, because he’s my kid. But holy cow batman, that’s a lot of planning and effort.

So the other day we’re at the library for a chess meet up and afterwards the kids are all looking through the youth section books. A very pretty little blond girl hands my son a book he has never read, by an author he has never read, and says “You’ll like this.”

He nods, says ok, and pulls every book in the series off the shelf.

ROFL. Guess all it takes is a pretty blond.

Book Review: Writing Jane Austen

After my mad experience last fall, this was a bit of a natural read. I’ve read it before of course, I adore Elizabeth Aston’s books. She does a delicious series on the Darcy women and then this one, Writing Jane Austen, set in modern times.

The protag, Georgina, has been commissioned by her agent and her editor to write a pastiche of Jane Austen based on a recently discovered first handwritten chapter by Jane. Wow. For some writers that might be a nightmare – sully the memory of one of the most amazing writers in history? Or a dream come true – pay homage to one of the most amazing writers in history.

The kicker of course is A) they want the book ready for PUBLICATION in 12 weeks.

and B)

Georgina’s never read an Austen novel in her life. Gasp. Shock. Horror.

But a series of unfortunate events convinces Georgina she must try. And try she does.

It’s a fun adventure following Georgina around England as she tries to avoid her publisher and her agent and anything to do with Jane Austen while looking as though she’s doing research. LOL

℘℘℘℘ – Four Pages. Amusing. Fun. A titch predictable if you read Austen but a good time none the less.

Sunday Sup: Steak and Veggie Stir Fried Rice

I’ve made this a few times, tweaking it a smidge each go, based off a Buzzfeed recipe. I know. Don’t ask how I ended up on Buzzfeed. I promise it will never happen again.


Steak and Veggie Stir Fried Rice

You have to marinate for this one. I know it’s a pain but worth it.

Into a gallon zip lock add: 1/4 c tamari (gf), 1 tsp minced garlic, 2 tbsp coconut sugar, 1/2 c water, 2 tbsp sesame seeds, 1 tbsp olive oil. (If you have sesame oil sub that for the olive oil and omit the seeds.)

Slice a pound of steak (flank works just fine for this – don’t go high grade) into thin ribbons and then large bite size pieces. Add to the bag. Mash it round to coat the steak and pop in the fridge for an hour.

Saute the steak in its marinade over medium-high heat for about five minutes. You want the steak cooked but not leather. Transfer all the steak and marinade to a bowl. Set aside.

Saute in olive oil: one medium onion – chopped, half a bell pepper – chopped, and a couple of handfuls of broccoli (fresh is best but you can actually get away with frozen broc here). Use the same skillet but lower the temp to medium.

When the veg are soft, 6-8 minutes, add three eggs whisked with 2 tbsp tamari. Scramble them.

Add 3 cups cooked rice, or riced veg of your choice, to the pan. Stir. Add the steak and it’s sauce to the pan. Stir.

Cook for a few minutes until every thing is hot and combined.


Fiendish Friday: And the hits keep on coming

I mentioned before that I teach at one of my local libraries. Been doing it a few years now as part of a co-team. This is my first year out on my own. Thursday was the first class of the new session.

Join local self published author, T.A. Henry, for a year long series on surviving self publishing. From cover design to launch parties, she will walk you through the ins and outs of going it alone in the publishing world. January’s focus will be in cover design: do it yourself, pay big money, or something in between – how do you know what it should look it like, what information to provide, and where to find the help you need.

Sounds awesome right?

Too bad no one else thought so. I sat alone with my laptop and a projector – waiting….


Wednesday Words 1.10

How do you get reviews?

I’ve done everything I have heard suggested before.

I have a link in the back of the book.

I offer a short story, that explains something alluded to in the story, if you review.

I used paid marketing, the only one I could get so far because I don’t have enough reviews, to supply a free day, hoping for reviews. Not a single one.

I bothered every human I know who has read my book to leave a review. (5 did, thank you, you know how wonderful you are and how much this helps me)

I have submitted for “profession review.” (Although I would love to hear more pro sites that are legit from people who have used them…)

Please, Please, tell me how you get reviews if you’re an author? And if you’re a reader, what gets you to review a book?