Resume the Cake Beating

COOKING ADVENTURE #34: Angel Food Cake

Dear Lord! I have gone an entire week without posting a Cooking Adventure. I am ashamed of myself. If it is any consolation, I have been dealing with trying to get my new car repaired as it had the following things wrong with it: bad tires, bad brakes, a leak in the head gasket that was dripping on the exhaust pipe, shredded alternator belt, a bad alternator connection, shifter improperly installed, faulty neutral safety switch, and the most disappointing of the problems, a broken CD player. For the record, I’m extremely thankful to the folks at Rockport Automotive for doing all of those repairs for me. You folks are awesome! You can’t really blame me for not having the time to make a cake in the midst of not having a vehicle to get groceries. Not that it really matters anyway. After making the cake, I discovered that it was destined to flop. After thinking I was getting so much better at baking, this recipe has made me reconsider.

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Cooking Adventure Sunday

Once again, I’m here to apologize. This month has been the worst month for me to try and get anything done. This week, I was without a car and was unable to grocery shop for the ingredients for my Cooking Adventure. It was also my birthday earlier this week and tonight is the long awaited White Russian Munchkin Soiree (see link for further explanation.) I haven’t been able to get anything done in the way of editing this week either. In light of all of this, I’m a bit frustrated. However, I have the next two days off in which to finally get some work done and Sunday, I should have an Angel Food cake (either glorious or horrible) to share with you. Thanks for understanding. Hopefully in September, I’ll have everything sorted out.


Ten Interview Questions For The Next Big Thing!

Good morning!

I’ve recently had the opportunity to participate in an online interview of myself and my WIP (works in progress) which I’m thrilled to do. As many of you know, I have several different items in the works right now but for this interview I’ll limit my focus to only three of them. First, though, I’d like to take a moment and thank Elizabeth Lawrence for the chance to be a part of this. You can find her blog here! Now, on with the interview!

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Inspiration Through Music: Imogen Heap

First, I apologize again that this blog was not up for Monday. Two, today is my birthday. I really wanted to share with you my favorite musician on this day because her music really means a lot to me in terms of what I write and what feelings I try to evoke with my work. When I discovered Imogen Heap, I didn’t really get a clear taste of what her music was. I’d only heard the one song (Hide and Seek) and though I loved it, I wasn’t able to hunt down the rest of her music then. It was only when her later album Ellipse came out that I finally saw the light. Whilst rooting around on youtube (which I often do), I found the music video for the song “Canvas”. Intrigued by the thumbnail, I clicked on it. And folks, I was blown away. I’m a true Imogen Heap fan now.

For those of you who are not familiar with Heap, she is an English songwriter, singer, and composer who usually creates her music all by herself — literally. She’ll set up at a concert with a keyboard and several computers and pull out a gorgeous song by using copy and repeat tools to replay the sounds she’s made. It’s really pretty cool. If you follow the link here, you’ll be directed to a live version of “Just For Now” where she does this. I’ve listened to her works for a number of different projects and have always come away feeling closer to my project because of the connection her music has made. Today, I’ll be sharing 8 of her songs with you. Have a pen and paper ready. You may be inspired, too!

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Miserable Mixxy-Matchy-Whosie-Whatsits

COOKING ADVENTURE # 33: Turkey Avacado Sandwich and Pear Tapioca Graham Cracker Dessert

Having an ulcer complicates things. And it makes things a tad redundant as well. There are only so many times I can have rice, chicken, tapioca pudding, and bananas before I start to freak out a little. So, I decided that this week I’d mix it up a little. I combined a few different things that I could eat together in order to (hopefully) create some fantastic combinations. My efforts were a tad forced, I’ll admit. The sandwich turned out wonderful. It wasn’t too complicated, tasted pretty bland, but was still different enough from what I’d been eating. The dessert? Probably would have been fine if I’d restricted it to only a combination of two items instead of three… Oh well. That’s how you learn, I suppose.

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Inspiration Through Music: Wye Oak

There are times when I am so thankful that I was introduced to a particular television show. Such is the case here. Last year in September, I made myself a lovely bowl of chorizo and squash soup (oh, how I wish I could eat that now) and some homemade garlic bread. I opened my my Netflix DVD and sat down to watch a movie and eat some dinner. This, folks, was the moment I was introduced to The Walking Dead. After falling madly in love with the first episode, I googled it and found that the second season was set to begin soon. I then found the trailer for it online. And this, this was truly the best moment of all. In the video, they had used a little song called, “Civilian” by a band that I’d never heard of: Wye Oak. Within the next few months, I was hooked on this band. Their music has so much flavor and a certain eccentricity that I really enjoy. I also love that it brings out my creativity on various writing projects.

Wye Oak is an American indie folk band comprised of two people, Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack. Since their start in 2006, the band has released four albums. I have songs from each album. This band tends to be one of my go to bands for inspiration when I’m really having trouble writing. I have four songs of theirs which usually get me un-stuck pretty quickly. One of these (which I didn’t include below) is the song Holy, Holy which is probably my second favorite of the songs they’ve done. I’ve listened to their music while working on westerns, my indie travel novella, and of course, The Monstrum Chronicles. Today, I’ve selected 7 of their songs to share with you.

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Acquolina is now available!

Good morning everyone!

My first short story in The Monstrum Chronicles, Acquolina, is now available for download on Kindle here. At 99 cents, this 46 page story chronicles the tale of Sibyl, a year old fledgling of the Kume bloodline. The Kume are the water-dwelling bloodline of lilitu (vampires) from The Monstrum Chronicles. They have mutated from so many years spent in the water. They have blue tinged skin, black eyes, and scales, occasionally. These creatures are also extremely artistic. The bloodline was created during the Italian Renaissance in the 1400’s. The novel takes place in the late 1800’s in the Kume city of Vitoria, which exists in the Erebus, the dark shadow realm where the lilitu hold territories. Vitoria is the capitol and the home of the Artigianti di Alta. They are the group of highly skilled artisans who protect a collection of the most highly valued artwork pieces created by their kind.

As the novel opens, we find Sibyl preparing for the annual Festival Della Costola, a celebration where one Kume is picked to join the Artigianti di Alta and the various Houses (clans) celebrate their creativity. However, there are also civil tensions rising between various houses which are building toward a terrible possible outcome: war. As Sibyl finds herself chosen as the new inductee to the Artigianti di Alta, she will be pulled in opposite directions by two men: a mysterious outsider who might be her only escape from the rising unrest, and The Ghost, another outsider, who has a vested interest in saving Vitoria by using any means necessary. But do they have their own agendas as well?

Here is the cover:

Acquolina is written for those who want a taste of what’s to come in Aequitas: Book 2 of The Monstrum Chronicles. It gives the background story for two characters who play large roles in the series. The short story also gives further clarification to an event that is referenced in Book 2. Later this evening, I’ll have a soundtrack list up for the short story on my website, so stay tuned for that!

Also, (and I feel pretty bad about this) sorry I wasn’t able to get Inspiration Through Music up on Monday. It was a busy day, I was getting my new car (Izze 3!) and then the new car had a dead battery so I got home rather late. Yesterday, I was rushing to get the short story published and then spent the entire night reformatting it because I hadn’t done it properly. I’m hoping to write the blog this morning. If I’m not able to, I’ll have it up for you later tonight.

Right then! Stay tuned for new stuff! 🙂


Where There’s Smoke… There’s Baklava


I made this purely for you guys, just so you understand. Because of my ulcer, I can’t partake in this fine Turkish culinary beauty, though I desperately wish I could. As you all know, I was unable to make this dish last week because of that gastrointestinal disaster. I’ve been subsisting on a diet of rice, rice products, crackers, canned fruit, and very, very weak coffee. It’s getting old pretty fast. I’ve been craving flavor like you wouldn’t believe. So imagine my jaw-dropping depression, when I realized that the dessert I was about to make before this happened, consisted of dough, sugar, and a life-time supply of butter? You don’t even know, my friends. You don’t even know.

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Cooking Adventure Delayed Until Sunday…

Folks, it’s just the way it’s got to be. If you’ve been following recent posts, you’ll know that not only was I hospitalized for an ulcer, I also got in a car accident. That makes things in my life kind of crazy right now.

I have SO much work to do. I’m in the middle of negotiations for a new car, I have the rest of Acquolina to edit, lay-out, and put the final spit and polish on for next week, I have to gather materials to present to the Rockland Library for the reading in October by Friday, I have to finish writing my second short story Tulip, and let’s not forget the rest of the editing and lay-out to do for Aequitas. I’ve got an immensely full schedule right now. I don’t have a day off again from my day job until Sunday… so, that’s when I’ll create the Baklava and post my Cooking Adventure.

I know you didn’t get to have it last week but on Sunday you will. And I will have another Cooking Adventure for Thursday next week.


Once this week is over, things will be back to normal-ish. Thank you for understanding!


Inspiration Through Music: Maynard James Keenan

At the end of last week’s Inspiration Through Music, I said that Maynard James Keenan was the musician that I had been waiting to do all year. The reason is that I find his songs so deeply inspiring. I’ve used several of his songs as inspirations for my Monstrum Chronicles series and other songs of his for my various mysteries, thrillers, and other dark fiction. There is a rawness and a depth to Keenan’s voice that really makes it easy for me to imagine my characters fighting their inner darkness’s. In the same way, I can also get into the heads of my antagonist’s better because I can empathize with them more. And the lyrics? They are some of the most fitting I’ve ever seen, holding descriptions of things that I’ve always found it hard to find words for.

Maynard James Keenan is an American rock singer who has formed and been a part of influential bands such as Tool, A Perfect Circle, and Puscifer. I first heard A Perfect Circle back in high school with the album “Thirteen” and was immediately a fan. More recently, I re-found Puscifer (earlier this year) and fell in love again. The new album, “Conditions of My Parole” was really quite spectacular and held a bevy of songs that I’ve now listened to many times over for inspiration. Today, I’ll be sharing 7 of Keenan’s songs with you and how they’ve inspired me.

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