Thursday, June 11, 2020

Writing Prompt Thursday: Teaching

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Writing Prompt Thursday : Teaching

If you were to teach as a career, what would you teach?

Wow...this is a tough one. It'd be nice to say that I'd teach editing or writing, but I don't know that I would. As much as I'm a professional in both, a lot of what I do is based on instinct. Yep, I'm stumped. I have no idea what I'd teach. My gut instinct is to say that I'd work with little ones because my favorite age group has always been birth to five. I once worked at a daycare and loved it. Every age group has something that makes it special, but there's something great about watching little ones discovering things. Perhaps that's why I write children's books right now. There's something special about the joy in children's faces as they listen to a good tale.

Is it possible to teach story time, block building, and splashing in water just for fun? If so, that's where I'd love to be. Maybe I haven't totally grown up myself and you know what? I'm okay with that. Imagination is a beautiful thing and without that spark, being an adult can get mighty boring.






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Monday, June 8, 2020

Crockpot Monday: Red Ribs

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Red Ribs:

Ingredients:
2 pounds boneless beef short ribs
2 teaspoons ground ginger
4 cloves smashed and chopped garlic
1/2 cup cooking sherry
3/4 cup beef broth
6 Tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (depending on personal heat preference)
1 (8oz) can sliced bamboo shoots, drained
1 (8oz) can water chestnuts, sliced or whole, your choice
1 cinnamon stick
2 cups sliced mushrooms

Directions:

Add your meat to the crockpot. Open the cans of bamboo and water chestnuts and drain. Add dried ginger powder. Add mushrooms and the cinnamon stick. Smash the garlic, chop and add. Add your wet ingredients.

Stir to distribute.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.




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Friday, June 5, 2020

Book Review: The Christmas Remedy

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When an Old Order Amish woman takes a job at a small-town pharmacy struggling to survive in a world of "big box" stores, her motive is to help her Plain community. But the advent of the holiday season brings an unusual mystery to the surface--and possibly love.

Twenty-four-year-old Holly Zook lives a unique life for a young Amish woman. Years ago, her bishop allowed her to continue her education and become the lead technician for Greene's Pharmacy, an old-timey drugstore that looks out for the Amish community--a group largely without secure healthcare plans. She knows she can't marry and hold onto her professional job. She's Amish, and she can only have one or the other, so she spurns love and works toward addressing treatable diseases--like the one that claimed her father's life.

As long as Holly continues to avoid Joshua Smucker, the one man who draws her like a warm hearth in winter, she should be fine. When something unexpected threatens Greene's Pharmacy, Holly and Joshua must work together to unravel what's happened and find the "missing" patient before the Board of Pharmacy shuts them down. As the snows of December arrive, with Christmas in the air, will Holly succumb to the generous spirit of the season?

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The Good:
This is a sweet story told in a way that you end up feeling as if you know the characters. I was pulled in and read this in one sitting.

The Bad:
Honestly? I can't think of anything. The characters are likable, the book moves at a nice pace and while short, I didn't feel as if it were cut off or that things were left out.

The Summary:
If you like sweet Amish stories, then I can't recommend this book enough. It's full of characters that the reader connects with, each in their own way. The pacing is great...and who can resist a good mystery?

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Thursday, June 4, 2020

Writing Prompt Thursday: Color

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Color
When I saw this week's question, out loud I said, "Oooh...I like this one."

What color are you today?

I don't know why I love this question so much. Perhaps because it's more of a creative question than a dull about me question. Not that you guys weren't fascinated by what I do each morning. I know that one was particularly exciting for all of you.

I think I feel like I'm a blue today. Not a sad blue, but a deep, dark sleepy blue. I haven't been sleeping well and my body keeps wanting to drag me back to sleep. Or maybe a happy, cheery sky blue because I'm so excited about my book and about the forward progress my life has been taking. It could be the color of the river or the ocean. Or maybe it's a bit of a tie dye because life is always changing and flowing...Life comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors and none of those are stagnant. That's one of the things that makes it so special. It's always changing, flowing, and is never the same twice.

What color are you today?






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Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Wordsmith Wednesday: Book Pre-Order

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I am so excited to tell you that as of June 1st, Tales from the Toy Store is officially available for pre-order in ebook format! Unfortunately, Amazon doesn't have a way for me to do the same with print copies so you'll just have to wait until July 14th to place those orders. The ebook is selling for $4.99 and I promise that it's worth every penny. Don't wait. Order your copy today so that on July 14th, you can start reading right away! 




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Monday, June 1, 2020

Crockpot Monday: Italian Beef Sandwiches

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Italian Beef Sandwiches:

Ingredients:
3 to 4 pound beef rump roast
1 onion, sliced in rings
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons dried basil
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon anise
1 (14.5-ounce) can whole tomatoes (undrained)
1 (12-ounce) bottle beer
8 hoagie rolls
8 slices of mozzarella cheese

Directions:

Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Put the meat into your crockpot (frozen is okay). Top with sliced onion, and all the dried herbs and spices. Add the entire can of tomatoes and bottle of beer. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or until meat shreds easily with two large forks. Shred the meat completely, and stir well.

Serve on toasted rolls with melted mozzarella cheese. (Bake the rolls for 10-12 minutes until it feels toasted and the cheese is melted.)





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Friday, May 29, 2020

Book Review: When the Stars Fade

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When the Stars Fade
It’s the year 2236, and humanity can’t catch a break.

While we’re licking our wounds from a bloody civil war, two alien armadas stumble into the Solar System fighting one of their own. At odds are the fearsome Boxti Horde and their ancient enemies, the Nangolani.

Naturally, we can’t resist picking sides and joining the fight, but after several crushing defeats, we’re forced to open Pandora’s Box to win the war: A top-secret special forces program.

Meanwhile, a hotshot starfighter has his mettle tested when the war separates him from his best friend and favorite wingman.

Tech-savvy and full of action, humor, and intrigue, When The Stars Fade is the first in a six-book series, The Gray Wars.

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The Good:
I have to say that Adam Korenman knows how to build a world that's familiar and yet strange at the same time. There are touching moments, a lot of action, and the book doesn't stop until it's done.

The Bad:
There are a lot of characters and it can be overwhelming to keep track of them. The book also starts out a bit rough, but by the time you're less than a third of the way through, it pulls together.

The Summary:
If you enjoy military based books, this could certainly be one that pulls you in. This book was first released in 2013 and since then only one other book in the series has been published (2017). That makes me a little nervous for how long it will be before all 6 books in the series will be completed. Still, it's a good read and one that, even though military books aren't my thing, I ended up enjoying.






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