Monday, November 23, 2020

Announcement: Black Friday Special!

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Money can be tight with the holidays, let me help you make your publishing dreams come true with my Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday special! Anyone who hires me to work on their manuscript and puts down a 50% deposit from November 23rd - December 1st will receive 15% off their total project cost. This is for not only new clients, but current clients as well.

If you'd like to take advantage of this special, please reach out to me either via Facebook (Katrina Roets) or via email (

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Friday, November 20, 2020

Book Review: The Road to Little Dribbling

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The hilarious and loving sequel to a hilarious and loving classic of travel writing: Notes from a Small Island, Bill Bryson’s valentine to his adopted country of England

In 1995 Bill Bryson got into his car and took a weeks-long farewell motoring trip about England before moving his family back to the United States. The book about that trip, Notes from a Small Island, is uproarious and endlessly endearing, one of the most acute and affectionate portrayals of England in all its glorious eccentricity ever written. Two decades later, he set out again to rediscover that country, and the result is The Road to Little Dribbling. Nothing is funnier than Bill Bryson on the road—prepare for the total joy and multiple episodes of unseemly laughter.

The Good:
I've been a fan of Bill Bryson's writing ever since I picked up a copy of A Walk in the Woods. This book is a trip around England and I fell in love with his ability to describe places in such a way that they made me want to visit and see if they're just how he makes me picture them.

The Bad:
I didn't find as much humor in this book as I have his other books. This was a bit more grumpy old man wishing that times didn't change. Honestly, I can relate to that, but it's not necessarily what I was looking for after reading multiple of his other books. 

The Summary: 
While I did enjoy this book, I didn't enjoy it as much as I have his other books. Still, I expect that I'll read it again and any book that I would read more than once gets a pretty decent recommendation from me.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Wordsmith Wednesday: Meet the Characters!

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Hi, all! I've been working hard on finishing Apo's Army! In fact, as of right now, I only have one story left to write and then it will be finished! I've sent all of the photos off to Eric so that he can start turning them into art for the book. After that, it will be writing the book blurb and things like that. The book will be going to Kickstarter the first of February for pre-order and then later, it will be available on Amazon.

For now though, I want to share with you the characters that I sent to Eric! 

Please meet: Priscilla, Blue Moon, Zeus, Sunshine, Kitty Bowie, Apollo, Dorian, Pawdrey Hepburn, Kazu, Azael, Cookies and Cream! Most of these gorgeous babies live in cat colonies down in Florida. You may recognize Apollo and Dorian as two of my own cats. That's not my Zeus, but he was a feral baby just a week ago who now belongs to a wonderful family down in Florida.

Stay tuned...there are more updates to come! 

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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Signed Copies

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Guys, I have some exciting news! For the first time ever, I have some copies of Tales from the Toy Store here at the house and I'd love to be able to send out some signed copies to all of you! Supplies are very limited and I don't know that I'll be able to do this again before the holidays, so if you'd like a signed copy, don't delay. At this point, I believe that I only have seven copies left. Just seven! Eek! Getting a copy is super easy though! Just fill out the form below and then I'll reach out to you to let you know how to pay for the book. These will be $10 plus $4 for shipping. Make sure that you include a way for me to get in touch with you! 

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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Greeting Card Giveaway

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Some of you may know that I was raised by my grandparents. My grandfather died when I was still in high school, but my grandmother only passed away about eight years ago. When she died, somehow I inherited a whole bunch of unused greeting cards. All this time they've been sitting in a box in my studio, just collecting dust. Well, I'm slowly in the process of downsizing because I have waaaay too much stuff for this house. I don't want to just throw these cards away because that would be a huge waste.

Instead, I thought that I would pass them on to all of you! My plan is to choose a card each week randomly from the box and send it to someone who has signed up to receive one. I will write a personal note inside of each one. It's my hope that getting a card in the mail will help spread smiles during what is a difficult time for so many of us. 

If this is something that would interest you, all you have to do is fill out the form. Easy peasy! 


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Thursday, September 24, 2020

I Disappeared!

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Wow, it has been far, far too long since I posted anything here. I won't lie. It wasn't intentional. I had planned on keeping everyone in the loop as to what was happening with the various projects that I've been working on, but the truth is that Covid depression swallowed me up. With kids in college and friends scattered all over the world, my anxiety got the best of me at the beginning. Then, with panic buying, lockdowns, masks, and everything else that has become our new normal, I found myself becoming more and more depressed. I discovered that I wasn't as ready for any of this emotionally as I thought. I'm someone who spends most of their time home and alone, but suddenly being told that it had to be that way felt being trapped. 

I'm still struggling with it. I think that a lot of us are. None of us are alone in any of this. The world has become a really scary place. My best friend in the whole world lives in Canada and I can't get to him. He was seriously injured a few weeks ago and it broke my heart that I couldn't go and help him. We don't know when we'll get to see each other again and that's so hard. This is the case for so many people. Families divided by borders, divided by the pandemic. My heart goes out to all of them because I truly understand how hard this is. 

But, I do owe everyone an update. So, let's jump to that:

Tales From the Toy Store:
Holy crow, guys! I just realized that I never actually posted here that it was now available. Wow. That just shows how bad things have been. This book, my first solo book, is now available on Amazon! I absolutely love how it turned out. Eric did such an amazing job on the cover and all of the art inside. 

Apo's Army:
This is my brand new book that I'm working on! It's all about cats. Not just any cats, though. There are stories about my cats, but also cats who live in feral colonies in Florida. One of my favorite Twitch streamers (Apoinsettia, hence the Apo in Apo's Army) goes out nearly every day and he feeds and cares for so many wonderful cats. I've taken about 15 of those babies and I'm writing stories about them. My goal for this book is to actually be able to donate a portion of the proceeds to TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release) programs. Again, the amazing Eric is joining me on this project to do the cover and interior art. We're hoping for a February release via Kickstarter with an Amazon release right after.

The Tether Saga:
Guys, I don't know what to tell you about this one. I wish I had some great news, but I just don't. I wrote the (really) rough draft of this book about 10 months ago and sent it off to Nick. I know that he read it, that he wrote a ton of notes on it, and that's all I know. The book series is back in his advertising rounds, but other than him saying he was going over the notes again, I've heard nothing. I so badly want to get back to Sarah and finish telling her story. As soon as I know anything, I promise to let all of you know.

Those are my writing projects. I'm still editing and loving it. I've gotten to work with some fantastic creators over this summer and fingers crossed that it continues to be that way! Speaking of fantastic creators and projects, I should sign off so I can get to work on Russell Nohelty's newest book. I took yesterday off for my birthday so I'm a teensy bit behind now. 

Thank you all for your patience and your support! I couldn't do what I do without it. You're all amazing.


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Friday, August 28, 2020

Book Review: The Silver Bowl

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Unwanted at home, Molly goes to work for the king of Westria as a humble scullery maid. She arrives at the castle with no education, no manners, and a very disturbing secret: She sees visions, and those visions always come true.

One day, while she's working in the king's great hall, young Prince Alaric passes by. Molly finds him unbearably handsome—but also unbearably rude. But what does it really matter? She'll probably never see him again.

In time Molly is promoted to polishing silver and is given a priceless royal treasure to work on: the king's great ceremonial hand basin. But there's something odd about it. The silver warms to her touch, a voice commands her to watch and listen, and then the visions appear. They tell the story of a dreaded curse that has stalked the royal family for years. There have already been deaths; soon there will be more.

As tragedy after tragedy strikes the royal family, Molly can't help but wonder: Will the beautiful Alaric be next? Together with her friends Tobias and Winifred, Molly must protect the prince and destroy the curse. Could a less likely champion be found to save the kingdom of Westria?

A month or two ago, I snuck into the library to see what they had on their giveaway shelves. I had heard that they were doing a purge of their children's book section and I was curious. I didn't expect to find much, but man, I hit the jackpot! Old Nancy Drew books, a bunch of other books, and this gem. I took so many that I had to make two trips to my car. I'd feel bad if I hadn't put hundreds of books on those shelves over the years for people to enjoy. Anyway...

The Good:
Great characterization. Each character had their own personality, their own viewpoints. The story itself was also very entertaining with little twists and turns that I didn't see coming. Since this book was written for middle grade readers, I was happy to see that nothing was so complex that a child wouldn't be able to dig into this book and enjoy hours of happy reading.

The Bad:
The beginning of the book felt a little slow, but that's very short lived.

The Summary:
While written for middle grade fantasy fans, I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed it so much that I went on Amazon to find the other books in the series. I'll be picking them up soon and will hopefully be reviewing them as well.  The library's loss was certainly my gain.

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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:

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


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?

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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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:

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


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.


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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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Writing Prompt Thursday: Used

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Today's question has me doing some thinking...

Write about something that you bought used.

What do I choose? My cars? My couch? Books? Books! Yes!

Most people know that I own an insane number of books. What they don't know is that I've had a dream of owning one series of books since I was a child. The series is Cherry Ames. She's a nurse and has all sorts of adventures. I first read them when I was a child and the series has always stuck with me. The problem is...I don't really buy them online. I have this weird rule that I have to trip over them to get them. That could explain why I only own like four of them. I found one at a Goodwill and two at a candle store in Dundee, Michigan. Whenever I find one, it's like Christmas morning. I hold onto it. I won't set it down. I'm afraid someone will scoop it right up if I even place it in my cart. I don't know how many people even know about my love for this series, but now I guess everyone who reads this does!

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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Wordsmith Wednesday: Book Release Date

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It's time! I finally get to reveal to all of you our release date for Tales from the Toy Store! After working on this book for so long, everything is suddenly coming together. Eric did an amazing job on not only the interior art, but also the cover for the book. I couldn't have asked for anything better. I've done my first live reading with A Tiger's Tale....and now....the release date!

On July 14th, 2020, this book of children's stories will be available on Amazon! The book will be available in both paperback and ebook formats. I cannot wait to share this book with you.

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Monday, May 25, 2020

Crockpot Monday: Old Fashioned Pot Roast

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Old Fashioned Pot Roast:

4 pounds beef roast (chuck or rump)
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced in rings
2 large Russet potatoes, cut in 2-inch chunks
1 cup baby carrots
1 cup sliced celery
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup beef broth


Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Brown the outside of your roast if you’d like, but it isn’t required.

In a plastic zippered bag, shake a thawed beef roast with flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Remove roast from the bag and brown all sides in a large skillet with olive oil (browning is optional). While your meat is browning, place the sliced onion in the bottom of the cooker. Add meat, and toss in the potatoes, celery, and carrots. Pour Worcestershire and beef broth over the top. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

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Thursday, May 21, 2020

Writing Prompt Thursday : Morning

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Writing Prompt Thursday
This week's question is definitely going to give you some insight into my personal life!

What is the first thing that you do when you wake up every morning? Why?

I could give you the silly answer and tell you that I open my eyes, which would be true. Of course, the serious answer would be that I reach for my phone. I check to see if there's a message from "the man" first thing. There rarely is, but I still check. I also skim my email, check Facebook, and clear any unnecessary notifications. By this point, I usually desperately have to pee so I give the cats a couple of scritches and hurry myself downstairs. I'm not an exciting morning person, but I'm me!

What do you do first thing in the morning?

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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Wordsmith Wednesday: What Little I Know About Comedy

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So I said I'd write about what I know about humor.  But then I realized I couldn't just write down the word nothing a thousand times or so.  So I feel I should come with a disclaimer. This is how I work humor. Some of these tricks are universal. But the real challenge of humor is that it's a matter of taste. You have to accept that you aren't always going to be funny, no matter how amazing your dad joke is. Or mine in this case.


So my novel is apparently pretty funny, quirky for sure. So how did I do it? Since “I have no idea” is the kind of answer that you didn't come to read, I'll give this a shot.

Comedy is hard

Groucho Marx wasn't kidding. Drama is easy.  We all understand pain. We all feel pain. Humor is a more fickle beast. Jokes that may crack you up. They may not. Comedy is very subjective. So with this great truth, how do we approach humor then?

It's okay for jokes to be bad

So let's look at Peter Parker. Peter cracks jokes all the time as Spider man. I find Spidey is written best when some of his jokes aren't funny. Peter David in particular is great at this technique. He will make Spider man drop some stinkers. Don't get me wrong, David definitely puts a few extra bit of punch in his zingers too. But part of how that works is the fact that some of the jokes are bad.

There are a few lessons to take from this approach. Comedy isn't a steady line of laughter. It's about taking your reader or listener on a journey. Sometimes you go up with the laughter, and sometimes you go down with the groans. Good comedians sprinkle their A material with some not quite so nice stuff. It accentuates the zingers and the A material when it comes out of nowhere.  We can't all be funny like Robin Williams. We just don't have that gift, but we can use technique, and this is a good one.

Dirty your jokes a little bit with some bad ones. They are the ones you tell that you think are funny but aren't. I recently wrote an interview with a zombie. My beta reader for said jokes didn't understand one of them. It wasn't that the joke couldn't work, but the joke didn't work as it was. I modified it to add a layer.

Is it my best joke? Nope. But it sets up my best jokes.

Fun is contagious

Now, there's a point where the quality of jokes don't matter anymore. Comedy and music are similar that once the song is fully in motion it doesn't matter what the tune is, people will dance to it. Finding that balance is tricky.  That all said, another great technique is to have fun with it. Enjoy your own material. Be okay that it won't all hit (it won't, no matter how good you think you are) , but that your authenticity will carry you through the routine.

Here's the thing about fun.  Fun and play are contagious. If you are having fun, and people catch on, they will start to too. Without much in the way of actual nuance, you will convince your audience that you're having a good time. Once they are convinced of this, you will find they will be with you.

Show me a person who doesn't like to play and I will show you a liar. Everyone wants to play. Give them that excuse and more often than not they will do the work for you.  This is true in fiction as well. If the reader can pick up that you are having fun, they will too. They'll want to interact with this experience the same way.


Great humor must include a surprise. One of the great joys of comedy is how they bend the expectations of the reader or listener. Comedy more than anything else, challenges expectations. If anything, expectations motivate comedy to distract you with those very things you come to expect.

Surprise is the true goal of comedy. The outcome will make you laugh, and if the comedian is great, they will make you think. Terry Pratchett is one of my favorite comedians. I remember Eric in particular is where Pratchett eviscerated expectations. There was a reference to a great and noble knight that was going to slay the dragon. Everyone knew it. They talked about it. It was all over but the shouting they'd say.

But the dragon won. That was funny. And then Pratchett took it one step further. The dragon, now in charge was requiring sacrifices and people were doing it. Because they were afraid of the dragon and the dragon would spare their lives for these people being killed.  Comedy turned into deep thought.

There was a famous line in watchmen that shows how a comedic line changed everything. Great comedy challenges convention. The great ones not only make you laugh, but consider the world around you in a new light.

There is more but...

I don't know much more than this actually. I hope if you read the Cloud Diver that you will be pleasantly surprised, and maybe laugh at some of my terrible jokes. That all said, my real hope is that I make people think while enjoying themselves.

Maybe. Or maybe I'm like Peter Parker. Only I laugh at my jokes.

I'm okay with that.

Joshua Pantalleresco writes stuff and podcasts too.  His forthcoming book, the Cloud Diver is his first novel, and fourth book.  Joshua always has written poetry for Mirror World Publishing, and has been published in magazines such as Onspec.  He writes a column for First Comics and has made the leap into the freelance world.

His podcast Just Joshing is fast approaching 400 episodes. He has interviewed debut novelists, New York Times Bestselling Authors, musicians, illustrators, pro wrestlers, politicians, comedians and other creative people twice a week, and reads from his work, along with other authors every weekend. He has won the Aurora for his podcast, and has been finalist for that award twice.  He lives in Windsor currently, but has been known to wander at a moment's notice.

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Wordsmith Wednesday : Live Reading!

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Tales From the Toy Store - Live Reading

Tomorrow, on Facebook, I'll be doing a live reading of one of the stories from my brand new book! If you'd like to tune in, just click on my profile on Facebook at 7 pm Eastern and you should find it. I'm so excited to be sharing more of this book with all of you and I really hope that you can join me!

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Monday, May 18, 2020

Crockpot Monday: Lemon Pepper Ribs

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Lemon Pepper Ribs:

4 pounds of ribs
2 Tablespoons garlic powder
2 Tablespoons kosher salt
2 Tablespoons black pepper
3 lemons, juiced


Cut the ribs to fit your crockpot. In a small bowl, combine the dry spices.

Rub the  ribs with the dry mixture, covering all sides of the ribs. Put them into your crockpot. If you have extra seasoning, pour on top. Squeeze the lemons on top of the ribs.

Cover and cook on low for 7-10 hours, or on high for about 5. The meat will be more tender if you cook it on low.

These are delicious with corn on the cob and baked potatoes!

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Thursday, May 14, 2020

Writing Prompt Thursday : Living Space

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This week's question made me stop and think...Have I? Or was it more of an extended vacation?

Have you ever lived in another country besides your country of birth? Would you want to?

In 2006, I flew to England and stayed there for 4 months. I was recently divorced and really just needed a break from my ex-husband and everything that was going on at home. I was blessed to have people in my life who were willing to take care of me if I could buy myself a plane ticket. So, I went. I fell in love with the country. In a lot of ways, it felt like home to me. I don't think I would ever leave the US for good, but I certainly wouldn't mind a cozy cottage somewhere in England. Somewhere not far from the train station so that I could pop around whenever I felt like it.

How about you? Have you lived in other countries? Let me know! I'd love to learn more about all of you too!

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Monday, May 11, 2020

Crockpot Monday: Thai Beef

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Thai Beef:
2 pounds beef chuck roast
1 (8-ounce) bottle peanut satay sauce
1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk (full fat is best)
1 (16-ounce) package baby carrots
*cooked basmati rice for serving
1/4 cup chopped peanuts for garnish (optional)


Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Put the beef into the bottom of your cooker. Add the peanut sauce and coconut milk.

Flip the meat over a few times to get it good and saucy. Add baby carrots. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or until meat is fork-tender and pretty much falls apart. Stir well to distribute sauce, and serve over hot rice.

Garnish with a sprinkle of peanuts, if you'd like.

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Thursday, May 7, 2020

Writing Prompt Thursday: Death of a Pet

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This week's question got me right in my emotional center:

Have you ever had the rotten experience of having to put a pet down?

More than once. The last and perhaps the hardest one ever was about 18 months ago. I had to put my cat, Byron, to sleep after him being pretty much my best friend for 12 years. It's been so hard not having him around. After that many years, you develop habits and just get used to seeing him. It took me a good six months to not say goodnight to him at night.

I still miss him terribly and swear that my next cat will be a black one to honor him. That won't be for a while though. We currently have four cats and that's my limit. I love them all and have no desire to get another one. Now, it's time to give them all some scritches and maybe even a treat or two.

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Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Wordsmith Wednesday: Cover Reveal for Tales From the Toy Store

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Squeal! It's here! I can finally reveal to you the cover of my newest (and first solo) book! It was done by Eric Cockrell and I am totally in love with it. Somehow we managed to have the exact same image in our head and I think, with his skill, it came out perfectly!

What do you think? Isn't it fabulous? Stay tuned for more information on the book, including the release date which will be here soon! 

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Monday, May 4, 2020

Crockpot Monday: Harvest Stew

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I know that it isn't really harvest time, but I can't resist a yummy stew!

Harvest Stew:

1 pound lean ground turkey or chicken
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 chopped garlic cloves
1 can kidney beans, rinsed
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
3 red potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 acorn squash, peeled and chopped
1 can tomatoes and chilies
4 cups chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon all spice
salt and pepper to taste

Microwave squash on high for 2 minutes. Use a paring knife to cut away the skin. Peel and chop all of the vegetables and add to the crockpot. Break up the ground meat with your fingers and add it in. Pour in the kidney beans and the can of tomatoes and chilies. Add the broth and the seasonings. Stir well.

Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours.

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