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Check out my science fiction series - The Fall of the Altairan Empire

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thursday Recipe - Chili Sauce

This is an old recipe from a church cookbook I got as a wedding present. It's attributed to Helen Lake, so wherever you are, Helen, thank you. I first made it years ago when one of my kids was allergic to corn to the point they couldn't even have corn syrup. He was only a year old and loved ketchup, but every brand I could find back then had corn syrup. I found a bottle of chili sauce that didn't have anything he was allergic to, but it was expensive. So I tried making my own.

This is a mild flavored sauce, with a kick of vinegar. You can chop it as fine as you like. It will still be a bit watery, not thick like commercial ketchup. I like to use it to make sloppy joes.

Chili Sauce

2 dozen large tomatoes (about 18 c., peeled and chopped, seeded if you like)
4 green bell peppers (chopped very fine, about 2 c.)
2 red bell peppers (chopped very fine, about 1 c.)
5 large onions (shredded fine, about 3 c.)
1 t. ground cloves
1 t. dry mustard
1 t. nutmeg
3 1/2 c. vinegar (5% acidity, IMPORTANT! This is for food safety, make sure you use the right acidity. Plain white vinegar is the best, although you can use cider vinegar.)
2 1/2 c. brown sugar
3 T. pickling salt (non-iodized)

Mix everything except vinegar, sugar, and salt, in a very large, heavy saucepan, 10-12 qt stock pot should be big enough. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for one hour, until sauce thickens. Make sure you stir it every 10 minutes or so to keep it from scorching on the bottom, especially as it thickens. Stir in vinegar, sugar, and salt. Cook for another 5-10 minutes. Ladle into clean pint jars and process to seal. This recipe makes anywhere from 6 pint bottles to about 10 pint bottles, depending on how long you let it cook and juicy the tomatoes are.

For processing, clean rims and screw on a new lid insert. Boil for 40 minutes (this is at my altitude of 5000 feet above sea level) to seal. Remove and let cool. Wash jars and label with date and contents. Check seal before storing.

For canning, check out these books and sites:
USDA Guide to Home Canning (PDF download)
Ball (brand of canning jars) site
National Center for Home Food Preservation

Sloppy Joes My Way

1 lb. ground beef
1 pint chili sauce
2 T. prepared mustard
1 c. quick-cooking oatmeal

Brown hamburger in large frying pan, drain off grease. Stir in chili sauce and mustard, bring to a simmer. Reduce heat, cook for 15 minutes. Stir in oatmeal. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir well before serving.

The oatmeal helps thicken it, stretch the meat a bit farther, and add fiber. If you don't like the gummy texture, try using 1/2 c. of instant grits or cornmeal, or 1 c. instant rice.

Serve over buns or bread with plenty of extra chili sauce, mustard, ketchup, sliced tomatoes, etc.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Thoughts

Me, by August 31
It's been a chaotic month-book release, major remodeling, writing, birthday, kids going back to school, etc. The paint fumes and other fumes from remodeling my kitchen gave me migraines most days. My house is a complete and total disaster, boxes stacked in corners, furniture shoved wherever, stuff torn up and shifted around. But, and it's a big one, the job is almost done. I've wanted to rip out my kitchen for years. I finally did it. And I couldn't be happier about the results. I *love* my new kitchen.

Now to put the rest of the house back together. We're repainting part of the dining area, the part that wasn't affected by the kitchen remodel. Once that's done, we're turning it into an office space for me and a homework space for the kids. With a couple of desks and the printer stand and maybe a cabinet for office supplies, it will be a great space.

The tv viewing area has moved to the family room I repainted last November. We splurged on a flat screen and wifi enabled Blu-ray player so we can watch Netflix together. It's working well so far. That family room has become the media room, with the tv stuff, wii, and computers.

Now on to the last remodeling project for a while: the master bedroom. The carpet needs to go away, along with the popcorn ceiling. Once we're done with that...

No, no more remodeling for several months, at least.

My writing? Ha! I signed up for CampNanowrimo for August. It pushed me to write quite a bit and finish up a novel that is not science fiction and not related to the series I'm publishing. But it's rough, very rough. Lots of editing ahead of me on that one. But it's airships and elves and magic in Fairyland. Even if it never makes it to the light of day, I had fun writing it.

What have you been up to this month?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thursday Recipe - Grandma Hansen's Tempura Sauce

My grandfather loved to fish. I remember summers visiting their dairy farm in Oregon. We ended up at Bully Creek Reservoir at least once while we were there. The crappies were usually biting. They're small fish, not good for much besides two small fillets, but if you have an entire cooler of them, you can feed an army. My grandmother would batter them and deep fry them. We'd pour tempura sauce over them, drenching them in fresh garden goodness. Did I mention my grandmother considered her 1/4 acre garden small? Fresh tomatoes, peppers, onions - everything except the pineapple. She would have grown it if she could. We'd stuff ourselves on fresh raspberries and apricots for dessert. Good times.

Tempura Sauce

1 14.5 oz can tomatoes
1/2 c. vinegar
1/2 c. onion
1/2 c. chopped green pepper
1/2 c. pineapple chunks with juice
1/3 c. sugar
1 T. soy sauce
dash cayenne pepper
1 T. chopped ginger or 1 t. ground ginger
3 T. corn starch

Mix everything together in a large pot. Simmer for 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Alternate: Mix everything in a 2 quart crockpot. Cook on high for 2 hours.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Kitchen Check-In

Amidst the excitement of a book release, getting kids back to school, finding out I'm temporarily unemployed for a couple of months, and just life in general, I'm still tickled pink over my new kitchen. We now have a working sink, dishwasher, stove, and microwave! Only the tile backsplash, lights, and cupboard doors are left to go in. A few more days of work, and my brand-new shiny kitchen will be finished. I'm so happy with it. I love the new layout, the really big deep sink, the expanse of countertop, the extra tall cupboards, all that open space. They even managed to save the floor and re-install it.

Here's the latest pictures:

Look! Countertops!

My new buffet area. I'm so excited for this.

Not the kitchen, but check out this bad boy we bought. Bigger than any tv we've ever owned.

Appliances installed! And bonus, the stove sings...

My grandson, eating a banana. Silly monkey boy.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thursday Recipe - Gluten-free, Cow-free Mac'n'cheese

Here's a version for those of you that love macaroni and cheese but can't do the noodles or the milk sauce. This version uses coconut milk and goat cheese. Feel free to use the soy cheese substitute or another type of cheese if you like.

GF Dairy(sort of) Free Macaroni and Cheese

2 c. GF pasta, cooked according to directions. Use a sturdy noodle, like an elbow. The brown rice or quinoa ones are good.
1 12 oz can coconut milk, NOT low-fat
1 c. rice, almond, or soy milk
1 T. corn starch or other thickener
1/4 c. water
1 t. salt
black pepper to taste
1 c. crumbled goat cheese or goat mozarella

Cook pasta according to directions. Set aside.

In medium saucepan, mix coconut milk and rice milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Dissolve cornstarch in water. Add to boiling milk. Cook and stir until thickened. Remove from heat. Add salt, pepper, and cheese. Stir until cheese is mostly melted. This depends on which cheese you choose. *IT WILL NOT LOOK LIKE REGULAR MAC'N'CHEESE* Pour sauce over noodles and toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.

If you try this and find a way to make it tastier or easier or better, please leave a comment. I'm still working on this recipe.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Grand Prize Winner!

Announcing the winner of the book release Grand Prize!

April Hennis, you are the winner! Congratulations!

For the rest of you, as soon as I get my hands on print copies of Priestess of the Eggstone, I can sell you a signed copy if you want. Or for free, I can send you a signed bookplate sticker. Sound good? Thanks for playing along with me.

Monday, August 13, 2012

I Have Winners!

Thanks for celebrating the release of Priestess of the Eggstone with me. Time to announce all the lovely winners of all the lovely prizes for my blog party. If your name is listed, PLEASE email me your mailing address so I can get these prizes sent off.

First off, the party question winners. (Note, these were determined randomly between the commenters for each post. Really. I made my son roll dice to pick the winners.)

#1 - April, you have won 3 crocheted flowers of your choice. Please let me know which ones and what colors you want.

#2 - Tyrca, you have won an aventurine skystone of your very own.

#3 - Voss Foster, you have won guava candy.

#4 - Voss Foster, you have won an Eggstone.

#5 - Angie, you have won Rainbow Cthulhu toilet paper cozy.

#6 - Ishtheintrepid, you have won a sodalite skystone!

#7 - Angie, you have won an Eggstone.

#8 - Voss Foster, you have won two beautiful flower doilies. Oh, yeah.

#9 - Angie, you have won the Sunbonnet Cthulhu pillow.

#10 - Frances Pauli, you have won an aventurine skystone.

#11 - Judie Eatough, you have won the undersea adventure pack.

#12 - Ishtheintrepid, you have won the Cthulhu cat toy.

#13 - France Pauli, you have won an Eggstone. Let me know if the voice starts talking to you.

#14 - Frank Hennis, you have won an aventurine skystone.

Everyone is a winner, though. You get a free ebook out of this! Use the code WV89X at to get Nexus Point for free.

Remember, the grand prize is still to be announced. Anyone who commented on the book party posts can win it. I'll post that tonight.

If you won, please contact me at with your mailing address so I can ship you your prize. Thanks for partying with me!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Party Wrap-Up

Whew! Look at the mess. Confetti everywhere. Cupcakes wrappers dangling from the ceiling fan. Crumbs in the sofa. Popcorn littering the house. I don't know what it looks like at your house, but we partied here.

Thanks for coming to my book launch party. Thanks for celebrating with me. Thanks for being great friends and offering support.

Now I'm getting all sniffly. Sorry, allergies.

Okay, one prize left - the GRAND PRIZE. Anyone who commented during the party is entered once. Anyone who leaves a comment before midnight Sunday will be entered, too, just in case you had to miss the party.

Grand prize winner will be announced Monday morning. Along with the other winners. I'll be in touch to for addresses, which is why I want your email.

What is the GRAND PRIZE? Glad you asked.

Grand prize is a whole box of stuff:
A paperback signed copy of Nexus Point (book 1)
A paperback signed copy of Priestess of the Eggstone (book 2)
A big Eggstone, 3 inches high
A round skystone, about an inch across
Your choice of a crocheted Cthulhu cat toy or a sunbonnet Cthulhu pillow
Probably some guava candy, if my kids haven't eaten them all

Check out Priestess of the Eggstone, if you haven't already.
Here's an excerpt:

A cup clattered onto the floor behind us. Leon twitched, the cold barrel of the stunner prodded my cheek. I flinched. Let Leon think I was scared, let the Patrol and Station Control think I was scared. This just might work to get me off the hook with the Patrol if I played it right.
"Who's back there?" Leon took a step to the door of the cockpit. "Get us out of here." He waved the gun nervously.
I flipped on the com, keeping half an eye on Leon as he tried to peer into the cabin without moving me out of his gun sights. My left hand crept slowly over the controls to the engine starters.
"Viya Station, this is Twinkle," I said into the mike.
"Go ahead, Twinkle," the same male voice I'd talked to earlier replied.
"Requesting immediate clearance for undocking."
Leon craned his neck farther around the door, trying to peer into the cramped cabin while still keeping the gun on me. I could have knocked him down and taken it away any time, except that wasn't what I wanted. I didn't want to spend the next six months in Patrol custody answering questions and possibly facing life in prison for smuggling. They weren't going to believe I knew nothing. Nobody was that stupid.
"Sorry, Twinkle. Viya is currently under lockdown. You will open your hatches and allow the Patrol to board your vessel."
"You don't understand," I said, lowering my voice and doing my best to sound scared. A muffled thump came from the cabin, followed by an ear-shattering scream. Jerimon had decided to play hero. I hoped the scream carried over the mike. "There's a maniac in here with a gun who is going to shoot me if I don't fly him out."
Muffled talking carried over the headset. It sounded urgent. I grinned. Leon and Jerimon smashed into the table, then crashed onto the floor.
"Twinkle, what is your status?" a new voice, a very mature, concerned voice, asked. This was too perfect.
"There is a maniac with a gun who is demanding I fly him out," I said, trying to get just the right note of panic in my voice. "You have to let me undock!"
Jerimon and Leon stumbled into the cockpit, landing across the control panels and slamming my seat against the wall. My left hand hit the starters for the engines. They came to throbbing life. The men wrestled over the gun, slamming into controls. Alarms shrieked through the cabin.
"Twinkle, what is happening now?" Whoever owned the concerned voice sounded a lot more worried. "We are showing your engines running. Shut them down immediately."
"He won't let me. He's going to take out the docks if you don't let us go!"
Leon's gun went off. The shot ricocheted through the cockpit. Jerimon jerked Leon backwards. Leon shouted incoherently and flailed at Jerimon with his free hand. More alarms beeped and shrieked. I turned up the gain on the mike to register as much noise as possible. I goosed the engines slightly just to add to the confusion.
"Shut the engines down, now!" the very worried voice ordered.
"He's going to shoot me! He's going to kill me!"
Jerimon and Leon tumbled into the cockpit, landing in the copilot's seat, Jerimon on the bottom. Blood dripped from his nose, one eye swelled shut. Leon foamed at the mouth. The two of them yelled so loudly I couldn't hear what the worried voice said. The engine warning lights edged over into yellow.
It must have sounded like total pandemonium to Viya Station because within moments the ship jerked as the emergency releases kicked us free of the station. I shoved the throttles to full, twisting the nose of the ship away from Viya. Leon landed on my lap, shoving the steering too far to the left. I elbowed him off, then corrected course.
Alarms rang in the cockpit. Jerimon shoved Leon backwards and followed, landing on top with a loud grunt.
"Twinkle, follow a course of nine three seven," the worried voice said slowly. "Can you do that?"
"He did something to the controls." I jiggled the steering in what I hoped looked like uncontrolled shifting. An ore tanker lurched into view. I swerved around it. Jerimon and Leon rolled into the wall. More alarms went off, none of them serious. I watched carefully to make sure I didn't push anything into the red.
"We're sending ships to intercept you," the worried voice said.
I shoved the throttles forward, trying to pick up speed. It was time to leave. I suddenly realized we had no course set. We couldn't jump to hyperspace without one, the ship's safety circuits wouldn't let me. I bit my tongue to keep from swearing. I twisted the ship around in a tight loop.
"Twinkle, acknowledge," the worried voice urged. "Heading nine-three-seven. Repeat, nine-three-seven."
I shifted away from that heading. I didn't want Patrol interception, not until I knew what trouble was currently sitting in my cargo bay.
Jerimon slammed Leon's hand against the floor. The gun went off. I ducked as the bolt raced over my head. It reflected off the viewscreen, bounced off the bulkhead twice, zipped past Jerimon's ear, and caught Leon straight between the eyes. Leon went limp. Jerimon yanked the gun from his hand and stared disbelievingly at it.
"What is this? You knew all about this peashooter, didn't you?" He tossed the stunner onto the bunk.
"Twinkle, respond!" the worried voice demanded in my ear.
"Dace," Jerimon said as he loomed over my chair, "what game are you playing?"
"Respond, if you can!"
I jerked the ship onto a new course, flinging Jerimon into the copilot's chair and sending Leon's limp body smacking into the wall. I pulled off the headset, punching the cutoff for the com. "Fly, unless you want to end up in prison." 

Last question

Since we're almost at the end of the party, what's your favorite dessert? How do you enjoy wrapping up a good meal?

I love dessert. I love making desserts. I love eating desserts. If I had to pick just one...  I can't pick just one. Cream puffs, eclairs, ice cream, mousse, sorbet, fruit pizza, cheesecake, chocolate anything, cookies, candies, s'mores, you name it, I love it.

Last prize for tonight:
A third skystone, another aventurine cabochon. They are so pretty. I think I'll go back to the rock shop I got these from and get me a whole bunch more. Just FYI, these were cut and polished while I waited. Seeing the lump of raw aventurine turn into these beauties was really cool.

So leave your answers and stay tuned for the final post!

#13 is here

Whew. This party has been a lot of work. You want fries with this question? I'm getting hungry. Time for dinner. How does this look?
Mmmm, fudge.

Last scavenger hunt question: Post a link to your favorite space picture and tell us why it's your favorite.

This is what I want to paint on my living room ceiling. This is my all-time absolute favorite space picture. Gorgeousness all over it.

Your prize? An Eggstone.

And now, #12

What's your favorite stupid joke? Please don't post anything racial or off-color or otherwise sick and wrong. Think about the kind of jokes kids tell each other. Yeah, that's what I'm looking for.

What's red and green and goes 90 miles an hour? Frog in a blender.
What do you call it when you add an egg? Frog nog.
What happens when you drink it? You croak.

How can you tell if there's an elephant in your refrigerator? Either the door won't close, or there are footprints in the butter.

That kind of joke. The one that makes me spurt milk out my nose wins this:
Isn't it adorable? It's a Cthulhu cat toy complete with jingle bell ball inside. Now your cat can pretend to have ultimate cosmic powers by repeatedly killing the ancient god of evil and chaos. Crocheted from 100% cheap yarn, it doesn't have any little bits for your cat to bite off and choke on. It does have wings, but it doesn't fly.

Warning: If the real Chtulhu becomes offended and decides to pay you a visit, I will not be held responsible for your drooling, incontinent, brain-dead body.

Question Eleven...

I'm a sucker for nature documentaries, especially those dealing with deep sea life or squids. Weird, wonderful, and definitely alien, these beasties are great sources of inspiration. I've even got my own collection of squid toys around here somewhere...

So, scavenger hunt time! I want news articles or science articles dealing with sightings of strange squid. From giant squid to colossal squid to vampire squid to tree octopi, what fascinating information can you find? Post links!

Three Magic Grow toys - a starfish, a crab, and an octopus. Plus, a box of shark fruit snacks.

Yes, I admit, I'm a kid at heart. I love toys. And gooey things. And booger jokes...

#10 coming right up...

What's your favorite writing or reading spot? It doesn't have to be real, just the place you would most like to be while writing/reading.

I dream of a tropical beach complete with cabana and unlimited fruit smoothies. A soft breeze, palm trees, garlands of flowers hanging from the cabana, and steel drums playing in the distance complete my fantasy. Very conducive to the kind of explosive mayhem I tend to write.

Prize this time is
A skystone. Just under an inch long, it's cut and polished aventurine. It's such a pretty blue-green color, just like the ocean. Well, in some places.

Question #9

If you were stranded on a desert island, who is the one person you would want stranded with you and why? What one object would you die without? What food would you miss the most?

Have fun.

Prize is:
A lovely sunbonnet Cthulhu pillow, because you would need a comforting pillow while you're stranded.
(I made a whole bunch of these to give GoH's at World Horror Con 2012. Perks of being on the committee, I get to freak out big-name horror writers with my sick and twisted craftiness.)

And for question #8...

Scavenger hunt!

Post a link to an interview, any interview, with me. I'm really curious just how many I've done over the last couple of years. I'm embarrassed to admit I haven't kept track. Yeah, this is me finding a cheap way to get a good Google search done.

Remember, one entry for the prize for posting a link, one entry if no one else has posted the link yet.

And your prize is...
Lovely crocheted flower doilies handmade by yours truly in a fit of Martha Stewart possession.

We're at #7!

Having fun yet? Eat another doughnut. Am I running low? Let me refresh the virtual goodies.
Your question is, What's your favorite alien in a movie?

Mine has to be the maggot people in Spacehunter in the Forbidden Zone. You can see the zippers in the backs of the costumes. Those actors look like they're having a ball playing giant maggot people. Kind of like the giant padded sumo wrestler suits, I'd guess. They're supposed to be scary, and yes, they're freaky, but they're silly, too. I laugh at them every time I watch the movie.

Prize this time is...
An Eggstone, since we're talking aliens here.

Number Six Coming Up...

Another scavenger hunt question for you.

Gems are important in Priestess of the Eggstone. Skystones are very rare blue gemstones that get mentioned because they really are important to the plot several times. Then there is the Eggstone, although it's not really a gem. It's an alien god or AI or something. It isn't telling.

I'm a sucker for rocks. I have a BS in Geology and buckets of rocks all over my house. I love the folklore and mythology behind gemstones. I love the feel of them in my hands. I was thrilled to go shopping for rocks for prizes.

Where's your favorite site to drool over pictures of lovely stones? They don't have to be jewelry or even sparkly, just really cool rocks. Post a link or three and share.

Prize is...
The picture is kind of small, but that is a lovely azurite cabochon. I got it, then realized the blue color wasn't quite what I wanted for skystones. Neither is the aventurine, but if you blended the two...

This piece is cut and polished in a tear drop shape about an inch long. It's a lovely shade of purplish blue.

Question #5...

What's your favorite color?

Red, no blue. Aaaaaauuuuuugggghhhhhh!!! (Bonus if you can name the movie.)

What color makes you happy? What color do you love to wear? What color do you love to see?

I can't make up my mind, so the prize is this:
Rainbow Cthulhu here to guard your spare roll of toilet paper. Yep, that's right. He's a toilet paper cozy and yes, he will cover a Costco ginormous roll of tp.

I told you I crocheted, didn't I? *cheesy grin*

Question #4...

It's time for another scavenger hunt item.

Post a purchase link for Priestess of the Eggstone. I'm not even sure all the places it's available, so go digging.

Prize is *cue drumroll*...

Your very own Eggstone! This beauty is just over 2 inches long. I think it's obsidian but it might be onyx. Either way, if it starts talking to you, please let me know.

Third Question...

What's your favorite food?

Prize - A nice bag of guava candy! This stuff, although not the full 5 lbs. I'll only send about half a pound your way. Delicious stuff.

I'm a seafood dieter - I see food, I eat food. I love just about anything but chocolate is my downfall. What's yours?

Second question...

Scavenger hunt time! Quick, post a link to a review of Priestess of the Eggstone. I know there are several out there already.

Prize is this:
It's a small, oval, polished skystone of your very own. (Really it's a polished cabochon of aventurine that's a beautiful dark blue-green color. It's about 3/4" long, ready to wrap with wire into a pendant or brooch, or put into a setting.) My camera sucks. It doesn't do the stone justice.

First Question...

I bought this for my birthday, among other things:
It's a fun book. Yeah, I admit I crochet pretty things every once in a while. It's a great way to keep my fingers busy when my brain is otherwise occupied. I also have a thing for wildflowers and this book has some great ones. Check out that columbine on the front cover. I think I'm going to have to make a whole bouquet of those this weekend. Love columbine flowers.

So, for this post, your question is:

What's your favorite flower?

And your prize is:

Three crocheted flowers of your choice, if I've got a pattern for them or can make one up. Check the link for the book and do some browsing if you want to know what's inside.

My favorite flower is like my favorite child, depends on who's blooming at the moment. I love 4 o'clocks, hollyhocks, columbine, primrose, roses, irises, snowball bushes, lilacs, mock orange, hibiscus, orchids, pansies, lilies...

Welcome to my Book Party!

No, I don't look like this. Really. I don't own red shoes.
I'm nervous. I've never hosted a virtual party like this before. Welcome, welcome. Come on in and join the fun. I've got a scavenger hunt planned. We'll get those lists out in a minute. Here are some rules:

Watch for the post asking for that item, then post the url where you found it. Make sure to include your name and an email address. If you aren't comfortable posting email addresses in the comments, you can email me directly -  I'll keep track of all the comments. Each post you comment on earns you one entry into the grand prize drawing on Monday morning.

Scavenger hunt replies get you one entry for posting a link relevant to that item and one entry if you are the first to post that link.

Question posts just need an answer and your email. Or email me directly, yadda yadda yadda.

Drop in and comment whenever you like this afternoon. Grand prize drawing will be open until Sunday midnight, so if you have to leave, come back later and still comment.

Each post will have its own prize. Commenters on that particular post will be eligible to win that prize. Those will be randomly picked later tonight. This is why I need an email address. I have to be able to find you to tell you that you won. Only the grand prize will be open until Sunday. Everything else will be awarded tonight.

This post prize is a free ebook copy of Nexus Point!!! Everyone who reads this can get it. The coupon expires August 31, so download it soon. Go to and use the code WV89X at checkout.

Are we clear? Yes? Good. Oh, by the way, I DON'T use captcha or make you boogie or prove you aren't spam in order to post comments. I do reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments, usually those with obscenities or links to male-enhancement products. I enjoy a good debate, so don't worry if you disagree with me, just keep it civil and we're good.

All righty. Pull up a chair, help yourself to some snacks, and let's start this thing. A new post will magically appear every twenty minutes until the last one at 8 pm MST. Biggest rule for the party? Have fun! I'm celebrating the release of a novel I first started 17 years ago. It's about time.

Oh, yeah, buy the book. That's why we're celebrating, isn't it?

Scavenger hunt list:
Reviews of Priestess of the Eggstone
Places to buy Priestess of the Eggstone
Cool jewelry and gemstone sites, especially those with folklore included
Author interviews with Jaleta Clegg
Cool news articles about giant squids
Favorite space pictures

Pursued by the Targon Crime Syndicate bent on revenge, the Patrol intent on recruitment, and the Sessimoniss who want their god back, the last thing Captain Dace needs is a handsome copilot with romance on his mind.

It's here! Priestess of the Eggstone officially launches today!

Party time! Throw confetti! Toot the horns! Celebrate with mounds of chocolate!

I'm so excited that Priestess of the Eggstone is officially in print. It's up on Goodreads, Amazon, the publisher's site, and all sorts of other fun places.

Today from 3-8 pm MST (2 pm PST, 5 pm EST) I'm running a party right here on this blog. Watch for posts. Anyone who comments will be entered to win fun prizes like their own personal Eggstone, or a skystone (real aventurine!), or some guava candy, or copies of my books, or crocheted Cthulhu TP cozies, or crocheted Cthulhu cat toys complete with jingle bells inside, or a bunch of other stuff. Some will be post specific, gotta comment on that post to win that prize, some will be for the whole party, and the grand prize will run until Sunday night at midnight my time. Post before that, and you are entered to win the grand prize - print copies of both books (Nexus Point and Priestess of the Eggstone), plus an Eggstone and a skystone. I may chuck in some crocheted doohickies, too.

Either way, it's going to be a fun party. To give you a headstart, I'm going to be asking for links to interviews about Priestess of the Eggstone, links to sites where the book is for sale, or links where reviews about it are posted. Think you can find some? It's a scavenger hunt and you have your first item. Ready, set, go!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Book Launch Details

Tomorrow from 3-8 pm MST, I'm throwing a party right here at the Far Edge of Normal. There will be prizes, mounds of virtual chocolate, and lots of fun. Stop by and comment and the posts. Answer trivia questions. I'll post a new one every hour. Those who comment will be entered to win prizes, including a grand prize of a goody box with a paperback copy of Priestess of the Eggstone and a replica of the Eggstone itself. So stop by tomorrow afternoon, comment, and you could win.

For those of you who can't make it, I'll leave the grand prize drawing open until 10 pm MST SUNDAY. If you post a comment before then, you'll be entered.

Good luck, and good reading!
Pursued by the Targon Crime Syndicate bent on revenge, the Patrol intent on recruitment, and the Sessimoniss who want their god back, the last thing Captain Dace needs is a handsome copilot with romance on his mind.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Book Launch Party in 3, 2, 1...

Priestess of the Eggstone officially releases this FRIDAY! *throw confetti* I'm only a little excited, if you can't tell.

To celebrate, I'm hosting a virtual party right here on The Far Edge of Normal. There will be prizes, trivia, fun, chatting, and loads of virtual goodies. So, put it on your calendar - Friday, August 10, 3-8 pm MST. Drop by the blog, leave a comment or answer a trivia question, and you could win something fun.

I'll have details posted before Friday morning.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Chaos is the New Normal and Book Release Prize Ideas?

Chaos is the new normal at my house. We're not talking usual levels of chaos. We're talking over-the-top, total chaos. But chaos is a good thing, for a while. It means changes are happening, big ones.

One I'm tickled pink over is the release of the next book in my Altairan Empire series - Priestess of the Eggstone. It's happening Friday. You can be part of the fun. Just stop by here Friday afternoon between 3-8 pm MST for a chance to win some fun prizes. If you're in a different time zone and it's the middle of the night, stop by earlier. I'll have a general post up Thursday and if you comment, I'll enter you to win some of the goodies.

I need your help. I need suggestions of party prizes you'd like to win. Keep in mind I'm spending all my extra cash on kitchen remodeling, but I can find a few bucks to sponsor this party. What prizes would you like to win? Free books are a no brainer. I'll be giving away some ebooks of Nexus Point, book 1 in the series, and at least one paperback copy of Priestess of the Eggstone. What else? Gift certificates? Nifty space toys? Other SF books? An old avocado green kitchen sink? Crocheted Cthulhu cat toys with jingle bells inside? Obsidian copies of the Eggstone? Please post comments and let me know. Everyone who does will be entered in the grand prize drawing Friday night. Make sure you leave me a valid email address so I can get hold of you.

Now for fun, here's before pics of my kitchen and its current state:

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Thursday Recipe - Cheeseburger Macaroni

My son made this the other night. It was devoured in nothing flat. Delicious and simple. Feel free to add whatever hamburger toppings you want over the top. The whole idea is a cheeseburger but made from mac'n'cheese and meat filling instead of a bun and a patty.

Cheeseburger Macaroni

3 boxes macaroni and cheese mix, made as per directions OR 8 c. homemade mac'n'cheese
1 lb. hamburger
1 medium onion, chopped
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (we used basil, garlic & oregano flavor)
1/4 c. ketchup
1 t. prepared mustard

Make mac'n'cheese as directed. Set aside where it will stay warm.

Saute onions in large frying pan just until softened. Add hamburger. Cook until meat is completely done and crumbled. Add tomatoes, ketchup, and mustard. Turn heat to low. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until everything is hot and blended.

To serve: Scoop a serving of mac'n'cheese onto a plate. Add a large spoonful or two of meat mixture on top. Add whatever hamburger toppings you want - shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, pickles, onions, etc.