Time Cake Recipe

Time* Cake (Chocolate)

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Swirling the Time Cake

Where I live, it’s the start of summer, and so I decided to celebrate by baking a Time Cake! You can bake one too. No fancy ingredients or special tools needed. This cake is 100% meat-free, and… it’s even vegan. The cows and chickens are happy.

 (Recipe adapted from http://www.thehungrymouse.com/)

3 cups flour
2 cups white, brown, or coconut sugar
1/2 cup 100% pure cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. sea, iodized, or kosher salt
3/4 cup olive, canola, or coconut oil
2 Tbls. white or apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups water
extra oil

optional: vegan dark chocolate syrup

Lightly coat a cake pan with extra oil. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Put the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl and whisk until uniform.

Add rest of ingredients (all the wet ones).

Mix until batter is batter-like.

Do NOT overmix.

Pour and scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 – 40 minutes.

In time, the cake should pass the spring-back test. Let cake cool completely before messing with it.

Optionally swirl with chocolate syrup.

*Time Travel, Hard Time, Good Time, Summer Time, Party Time, Easy Time, Old Time, Time Out, or Just in Time

*

Right after I took this cake out of the oven, my hubby came home and said, “It smells like pizza in here!” Obviously my hubby experienced a temporal abnormality. Your results may vary. If you’re brave enough to bake this Time Cake, let me know if you or your housemates experienced any temporal abnormalities in the comments below!

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Displaying the Time Cake

A further explanation of time ingredients: http://bigthink.com/videos/time-travel

Snowpocalypse 2015… and Beyond!

Snowpocalypse2015backdeck Is it spring yet? Not here, but that doesn’t matter. Snowpocalypse 2015 has (hopefully) ended, and those of us who survived can celebrate by stocking up on iron (more about that further down). Or diving into reading and writing projects. I’m doing both. Care to join me? Here is a list of writing and reading activities I’ve either done in years past, or plan to do this year:

  1. Read or write poetry. Join a progressive poetry group.
  2. Reread a favorite book from your childhood.
  3. If you have children or are a caretaker of children, read to them.
  4. Buy a book for a child.
  5. Watch a movie based on a favorite book.
  6. Get a writing or reading buddy.
  7. Create a book cover for your book-in-progress.
  8. Map out a publication timeline for your WIP.
  9. Watch youtube videos of your favorite authors reading excerpts of their work and giving lectures or talks. I highly recommend Stephen King and Harlan Ellison.
  10. Read chapters of some of your favorite books out loud, and make notes of how you would improve the writing.
  11. Get involved with a local library event during National Library Week, April 12 – 18, 2015 (USA).
  12. Support your local bookstore by shopping on Independent Bookstore Day, May 2, 2015 (USA).
  13. Donate books to a book charity. If you don’t have any books you want to donate, buy some new or used and donate those.
  14. Attend a local author reading.
  15. Take a free online class. It can be a creative writing class, a literature class, or any class.
  16. Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses as a writer. Commit to strengthening the strengths, and improving the weaknesses.
  17. Start or join a writing or reading group.
  18. Commit to writing a set number of words per week, or per month.
  19. Submit a story to a call for submissions for an anthology.
  20. Apply for a residency retreat.
  21. Write a book review and post it on your blog. If you don’t have a blog, make one.
  22. Attend a writers’ conference.
  23. Read an edited and polished excerpt of your writing out loud at an open mic night.
  24. Enter your writing into a contest.
  25. Join an association, like the Independent Book Publishers Association.
  26. Write or read a novel outside your usual genres. If you do that already, then check out my genre list.
  27. Go on a solitary writer’s retreat of your own making.
  28. Read banned or challenged books during Banned Book Week, September 27 – October 3 2015. Tell people.
  29. Go on a literary pilgrimage to visit a place where a favorite author lived or wrote about.
  30. Write the draft of a novel during NaNoWriMo.
  31. Donate books to a juvenile detention center, homeless shelter, prison, half-way house, rehab center, or place of worship. Call to make arrangements first.
  32. Get a Fisher Space Pen and keep it next to some paper on your nightstand!

*

And so I’m back! And at a less frenetic pace than last year. At the end of January I had to go to the ER for severe anemia… Then spent about a week at home just managing to crawl in and out of bed… After countless blood tests, and a month of recovery, my iron count is almost up to human level. Next month I have a hospital visit for even more tests. Maybe they’ll find another part of my internal parasitic twin (I’m assuming I have one. Where else is all my iron going? They already found my twin’s kidneys, so I assume I didn’t fully ingest her in the womb. Live and learn.)

*

In the meantime, I (rather, my hubby) dug myself out of Snowpocalypse: Snowpocalypse2015frontyard

(This is my front yard. The snow is still over my head.)

*

And I found (actually, I won) this: CMStewartBWP

Horror author J. Thorn gives away scary things at his Dark Realms website.

*

And HDWP Books was hacked, but our fearless leader Charles Barouch saved the day! Check it out, I have a short story in every Theme-Thology anthology so far…

Theme-Thologies

Authors

*

Speaking of my stories, my over-arching project this year is working on the novel I wrote during the last NaNoWriMo: MEATFUL THINGS. I feel like I have a solid draft, and I’ve been steadily improving it as my own health improves. I have some beta readers lined up, but could always use more. So if you’d like to provide feedback on a complete supernatural horror novel of approximately 52,000 words, shoot me an email (click on the “Who is CMStewart?” link), or leave a comment below. I’ll be sending the draft, along with a few book critique questions, to my beta readers at the end of March. Thanks!

Spicy Lentil Soup with Rice and Beer – Vegan Recipe

For days when you can't decide between rice and potatoes

Simple and easy dish to fight the cold weather, or if you’re where it’s hot, a dish to turn up the heat even more. SPICY!

Feel free to omit either the rice or the potatoes if you prefer one starch at a time. Also feel free to adjust the pepper to your tolerance level (I lean toward HOT and SPICY) and add other vegetables.*

*

6 cups Water

2 cup dry Lentils

2 cups diced starchy Potatoes

Olive Oil

2 cups chopped Onions

2 teaspoons Cumin Powder

1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder

1 teaspoon Black Pepper

2 teaspoons Sea Salt

4 cloves of Garlic, chopped

chopped fresh Cilantro

Lemon Juice

Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

 *

Beer

Salted, Cooked Rice

 *

I used a bean mix which included peas as well as lentils

*

1. Put the first 3 ingredients into a large pot, cover, and bring to a boil.

2. Cook according to lentil package directions, until tender. Remove pot from heat.

3. Put enough oil in a frying pan to easily coat the bottom, and turn to low. Add the cumin, turmeric, pepper, and salt. Stir constantly for a couple minutes. Do not scorch.

4. Add the onions and garlic to the frying pan and stir thoroughly.

5. Turn off the heat, cover with a lid, and let sit about 10 minutes. In the meantime, have a beer. Then scrape the spiced onions into the lentils and potatoes.

6. Sprinkle with lemon juice, cilantro and pepper flakes.

7. Serve with rice and beer.

*You can also add tomatoes, if you’d like.

Dead Hunger / From the Ashes / Red Sky / Dying Days (books 101 – 104)

Dead Hunger / Eric A. Shelman

synopsis – Prepper Man puts his guns, ammo, gear, and survival skills to the test when society disintegrates into… ZOMBIES! He’s all decked out, ready to roll, but… dammit. Seems his sister turned into a zombie. No prob. He’ll just wrap her in tarp and chuck her in the cargo carrier. In the meantime, drug the orphan kiddie so she won’t cause trouble. And whoa! His girlfriend shows up to team up. Good thing she’s not a zombie. Then – awesome! They join forces with a brilliant scientist, and another kick-ass chick with a crossbow! Plenty of love all around in this happy family. Er… what about that zombie sister? She still wrapped up in the tarp somewhere?

reaction – Prepper Man is overflowing with love, as long as he’s got his woman. Prepper Man’s woman is overflowing with love as long as she’s got her man. Together, they do what they can in zombie land. You get the picture. A touchie-feelie zombie story with plenty of misting eyes (both non-zombie and zombie). Read this for a heart-swelling and brain-bursting tale of fun, friends, family, and the undead. Plenty of action with a cliffhanger ending.

recommendation – This book renewed my will to live.

get it herehttp://www.amazon.com/Dead-Hunger-Flex-Sheridan-Chronicle-ebook/dp/B005SHO3BC

also available in an 8-book boxed set here http://www.amazon.com/Horror-Within-Book-Boxed-Set-ebook/dp/B00JEQUW8Q

*

Survivors of the Dead: From the Ashes / Tony Baker

synopsis – Worldwide virus-, government-, or bioterrorist-induced… ZOMBIES?! A retired hero cop is called back into action when the undead take over his beloved San Fran. First he observes. Then he plans. Then he kicks zombie ass, with the help of a few other hero cops. BAM! POW! BIFF! SPLAT! Then they get the giggles ’cause ya gotta keep the jokes crackin’ in between bouts of zombie skull crackin’.

reaction – Plenty of weapons descriptions and battle strategizing in this “Good Cop VS Zombies” tale. Variations on “too old for this shit” is an oft-repeated sentiment. Lots of battle scenes, even for a zombie story. Camaraderie. Man crushes. Bromance. Duty. Honor. Courage. Et cetera. Every cop is a “good” cop, even in the disintegrating face of a zombocalypse. Yeah, right. Read this if you’re a guns and ammo fan.

recommendation – You’re taking your chances with this hit and miss book.

get it herehttp://www.amazon.com/SURVIVORS-DEAD-ASHES-Tony-Baker-ebook/dp/B00HW7BA8A

also available in an 8-book boxed set herehttp://www.amazon.com/Horror-Within-Book-Boxed-Set-ebook/dp/B00JEQUW8Q

*

Red Sky / Travis Tufo

synopsis – It’s Nazi Pigs VS Russki Scum in a war tale overflowing with hate, sadism, and… ZOMBIES! SOLDIERS! After killing, killing, and, er… killing, all this Russki wants to do is get home to his woman. But he has just one more assignment from his commanding officer. So he and his wartime buddy, who also happens to be a killingkillingkilling machine take the mission. They find their target. Now all this Russki has to do is kill so he can get home to his woman. Does he have a ghost of a chance?

reaction – Gory and sadistic. A sad tale of what war does to people. The characters were puzzlingly simplistic in their brutality, and I had less than zero sympathy for them. A couple of times they showed humanity, but it seemed out of character. A quick, ghostly read for fans of graphic wartime violence.

recommendation – You’re taking your chances with this hit and miss book.

get it herehttp://www.amazon.com/Red-Sky-Travis-Tufo-ebook/dp/B00HD1XME0

also available in an 8-book boxed set herehttp://www.amazon.com/Horror-Within-Book-Boxed-Set-ebook/dp/B00JEQUW8Q

*

Dying Days / Armand Rosamilia

synopsis – When the zombie brains hit the fan, Maine Woman hits the road and becomes Florida Woman, only to encounter… more ZOMBIES! Florida Woman must live by her wits and her machete as she slashes and flashes her way across the Florida landscape. She treks all the way to America’s wangland, but when she meets up with more Florida People, can she control her raging libido long enough to focus on eating, sleeping, and not getting raped and eaten by Florida Zombies? Then again, that one zombie out by the beach looked pretty damn hot, and I’m not just talking about sunburn either…

reaction – Florida Woman was oddly entertaining, as expected, but she also made me cringe, as expected. Too much overt sexuality in the middle of a friggin’ zombocalypse. I didn’t connect with and felt no sympathy for Florida Woman. A couple supporting characters showed some refreshing sexual restraint. No actual chickaboom going on, but… yeah. A quick read with an unexpected twist / cliffhanger ending…

recommendation – You’re taking your chances with this hit and miss book.

get it herehttp://www.amazon.com/Dying-Days-Armand-Rosamilia-ebook/dp/B004RVZXN2

also available in an 8-book boxed set herehttp://www.amazon.com/Horror-Within-Book-Boxed-Set-ebook/dp/B00JEQUW8Q

*

 Happy ZOMBIE New Year!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUlBD6DQMFM

Meat Camp / Zombie Fallout / This Plague of Days / The Unwashed Dead (books 97 – 100)

Meat Camp / Scott Nicholson and J.T. Warren

synopsis – Something’s up at the stay camp for delinquent boys. Something that shouldn’t be “up.” Something which should be dead and down… ZOMBIES! Ever since old coot Fraley let his daughter take up a silly notion ’bout tryin’ to do some good in the world and open up that city boys’ camp, things just ain’t been right in this here neck of the woods. And now that them punk boys are gettin’ all zombified, it’s up to old coot Fraley, his day-dreamin’ kin, a kooky camp counselor, and a chicken-shit sheriff to set things right.

reaction – True to its name, “Meat Camp” is meaty and campy. It’s a B movie plot with fun characters, and is delightfully gruesome to boot. Having been a camper and a camp counselor, I appreciated this tale of camp kiddies blossoming into camp zombies. Not too far from real life. Ever been camping or counseling? Read this with a big bowl of popcorn and let the zombie-augmented memories come flooding back.

recommendation – This book renewed my will to live.

get it herehttp://www.amazon.com/Meat-Camp-Thriller-Scott-Nicholson-ebook/dp/B00CHECGRM/

also available in an 8-book boxed set here http://www.amazon.com/Horror-Within-Book-Boxed-Set-ebook/dp/B00JEQUW8Q

*

Zombie Fallout / Mark Tufo

synopsis – A family man, doin’ what he can, and… flu shot-induced ZOMBIES! Holy crap, they’re everywhere, and now he must do more than he can to save his wife, kids, his daughter’s fiancé, his son’s co-worker, the family dog, a couple of BFFs, somebody else’s dog, and whomever else is still left in the neighborhood… Argh, there’s too many zombies and non-zombies to deal with… When the gore hits the floor, who and what will be left standing?

reaction – A wide cast of diverse characters, a twisting plot, and non-stop humor made this a thrill to read. The storyline kept me guessing, and the tone, despite the shock and gore, was lighthearted and conversational. Not an easy task to pull off, but Tufo did it. Not only that, but he believably got into the minds (what was left of them) of the zombies. A must-read for zombie fans.

recommendation – This book renewed my will to live.

get it herehttp://www.amazon.com/Zombie-Fallout-Mark-Tufo-ebook/dp/B003A022YO

also available in an 8-book boxed set herehttp://www.amazon.com/Horror-Within-Book-Boxed-Set-ebook/dp/B00JEQUW8Q

*

This Plague of Days / Robert Chazz Chute

synopsis – If things weren’t already difficult enough in the life of autistic Jaimie, now he has to deal with… ZOMBIES! As Jaime’s family struggles to adapt to a too-rapidly changing world of disease and scarcity, Jaime continues to plow through life with superhuman clarity of understanding… yet has no way to communicate his knowledge. Will he find a way to process his new world? His senses are in constant overload, yet he senses he will survive.

reaction – This is an introspective look at a differently-abled person’s take on a zombocalypse. The main character is unusually drawn, especially for a zombie story, yet is well-developed. The supporting characters are poignant and heartfelt. A great example of sensory integration in a survival story. Read this for a quick, yet thoughtful, zombie story that opens a new zombie horizon…

recommendation – This book renewed my will to live.

get it herehttp://www.amazon.com/Plague-Season-Zombie-Apocalypse-Serial-ebook/dp/B00DGC8C72

also available in an 8-book boxed set herehttp://www.amazon.com/Horror-Within-Book-Boxed-Set-ebook/dp/B00JEQUW8Q

*

The Unwashed Dead / Ian Woodhead

synopsis – Life is tough and gritty in the Breakspear housing project. So is death. So are… ZOMBIES! Yep, zombies have invaded Breakspear, thanks to a secret, sinister government experiment. Now the survivors must choose between banding together to fight the unwashed dead, or going it alone. On one hand, there’s strength in numbers (this is also not lost on the zombies). On the other hand, Breakspear has more than its share of thugs, thieves, and roving gangs (both zombie and non-zombie). Will the human spirit prevail in some small pocket? Or will the government zombies devour every last soul?

reaction – This is life in a British ghetto during the zombocalypse. Foul low-lifes with foul motives and foul language. This story had a great voice, with high tension throughout. I enjoyed the “band together / every one for themselves” knife edge. Lots of interpersonal conflict and emotion. Read this for a richly told British grit zombie story.

recommendation – This book renewed my will to live.

get it herehttp://www.amazon.com/Unwashed-Dead-Zombie-Armageddon-ebook/dp/B00DQ3BKZ2

also available in an 8-book boxed set herehttp://www.amazon.com/Horror-Within-Book-Boxed-Set-ebook/dp/B00JEQUW8Q

*

Fear / Run (books 95 and 96)

Fear / L. Ron Hubbard (Yes, that L. Ron Hubbard.)

synopsis – Professor Lowry, a rational man, writes and publishes an article pointing out the irrationality of demons and angels. Then curiously, he loses his hat along with the last four hours of his life. Soon after, things really start to get freaky. Seems an alternate reality has opened up around him. Even his wife and his best friend somehow aren’t the same. Have the demons and angels decided to toy with him? Or has something more sinister transpired? Maybe Professor Lowery isn’t so rational after all…

reaction – A fantastical tale about an everyman’s decent into a psychological breakdown. Sympathetic, engaging characters, and a tumbling, tumultuous plot. I thought I had it all pegged, but at the very end, BAM, a twist I did not see coming. All the while I thought I was indulging a fantasy novel, but the conclusion hit me like an ice-cold splash of reality. An a-ha moment. No wonder Mr. Hubbard was so successful as a cult leader.

recommendation – This book renewed my will to live.

get it here http://www.amazon.com/Fear-L-Ron-Hubbard-ebook/dp/B008Y8CGPM

*

Run / Blake Crouch

synopsis – Mysterious lights appear in the night sky. Soon after, a rash of murders. Then the shooting sprees. And it only escalates. Those who saw the lights are the “affected.” And those who aren’t affected are now on the run – like the members of the Colclough family. But is the young Cole Colclough affected? How far and for how long must they run from the roving mobs who want to capture, torture, and kill them? What are the limits of physical and psychological endurance when your house, your car, your food, and your water have been taken away, and you’re forced to watch yourself and your family slowly dying? Will you have the strength of mind to end the misery?

reaction – This is the most fearfully suspenseful book I’ve ever read. Real, tangible characters and non-stop edge-of-seat momentum. Passages of breath-taking terror interspersed with breath-taking descriptions of the American West countryside. The luck afforded to the Colcloughs is written believably. Mercifully, and wisely, no rape scenes in this one. In the horror genre, this is how suspense is done. I will be reading more of Crouch’s novels.

recommendation – This book renewed my will to live.

get it herehttp://www.amazon.com/Run-Blake-Crouch-ebook/dp/B004PGNF0W

*

A Winter Heart / While It Was Snowing (books 93 and 94)

A Winter Heart / Annette Blair

synopsis – Since losing her baby, husband, and sister in a buggy accident, Hannah has had a winter heart. With Caleb – similar deal. He lost his wife to cancer-induced suicide, and now his baby has turned into a screecher. Cue ghost of Hannah’s sister… She’ll lead Caleb to Hannah and they’ll get married. Too bad Hannah’s already been promised to another. Only another baby could possibly set things right. Cue baby… Er, where’s the baby? Cue Amish poontang already…

reaction – This is an Amish romance novel. Every element is straight up Amish. And so… this has a long, drawn-out, Amish sex scene. It read exactly as I thought it would read – Amish sex described for the Amish. Lyrical, a bit skittish, but also gentlemanly and lady-like, while avoiding all those secular sex words, and embracing the Godliness of the Amish baby-making act. Groaningly awkward. (Or is the “awkwardly groaning”?) I actually laughed out loud more than a few times. Moving on, a predictable storyline and a shrug of an ending. Read if you enjoy Amish poontang, or if you just want a few laughs.*

recommendation – You’re taking your chances with this hit and miss book.

get it here http://www.amazon.com/Winter-Heart-Sensual-Historical-Novella-ebook/dp/B008SNT430

*No offense intended for any Amish people reading this over a non-Amish person’s shoulder. You guys are great. Except when you join the Amish mafia and cut each others’ hair.

*

While It Was Snowing / Elyssa Patrick

synopsis – Curvaceous candy-maker Felicity and her BFF nerdy accountant Harry have a cabin in the woods for a winter weekend. Will hot and horny Felicity be able to seduce her OCDed shy guy? Should you sign a sex contract before sexing your BFF? Never mind all that – will whipped cream stain hardwood? You can write your own joke with that one!

reaction – Because Harry was described as a bespectacled, lean, numbers guy, and (redundantly) as both sexy and nerdy, I kept picturing science god Lawrence Krauss as Harry. Rawr. So yeah, I couldn’t wait to turn the pages and see “Krauss” described in all his virulent glory whether “Krauss” would be as charming offstage as on. Turns out Krauss Harry was a virgin, and not ready to blind anybody with science have sex with another person. Written with humor and passion. Read for a quick tease.

recommendation – You’re taking your chances with this hit and miss book which renewed my will to live.

get it herehttp://www.amazon.com/While-Was-Snowing-Elyssa-Patrick-ebook/dp/B00IW9DNG4

*

LZR-1143: Within / 314 (books 91 and 92)

LZR-1143: Within / Bryan James

synopsis – The zombie apocalypse is here, and only a hero can save the day now. Too bad there’s no heroes left, though. Zombies took ’em all out. That’s what zombies do. So it’s up to a run-of-the-mill everyman to save the day. Too bad an everyman isn’t up to the job. That’s what an everyman is – a man who isn’t up for the job. But within every man there’s the fight to be the last one surviving…

reaction – A solid zombie apocalypse story told in chunks of “outside the barricaded place” and “inside the barricaded place.” Long, drawn-out suspense with plenty of internal speculation. I enjoyed the perspective of a guy who knows he’s no hero, and will never be a hero. Read this for a quick and creepy zombie tale with just enough gore to set the scene.

recommendation – This book renewed my will to live.

get it here http://www.amazon.com/LZR-1143-Within-Novella-Bryan-James-ebook/dp/B009XIQKMM

*

314 / A.R. Wise

synopsis – Star-crossed lovers Alma and Paul just can’t keep away from each other. So when goody two shoes Alma finally decided to confront her repressed abusive childhood memories, bad boy Paul swears to be her knight in biker’s armor. Filling out the roster are a couple of indie paranormal investigators, a wanted man, and a prostitute. This band of misfits take a journey into the past of the time-looping Widowsfield, Alma’s childhood hometown.

reaction – This story was told looping from 2012 to 1996, and described the circumstances and aftermath of a horrific abuse which opened a hellish portal to the supernatural dimension. The characters were well-developed, and I identified with and cared about all of them. The Skeleton Man, green fog, and dog-children mutants appearances were puzzling, but kept me turning the pages. A graphic description of adult and child torture near the end. An open-ended ending which invited further speculation (further reading).

recommendation – The book renewed my will to live.

get it herehttp://www.amazon.com/314-Widowsfield-Trilogy-R-Wise-ebook/dp/B00AST1XJU

*

Ting-A-Ling / Phone Kitten (books 89 and 90)

Ting-A-Ling / Mike Faricy

synopsis – A PI gets a call from a woman in a bathroom stall. Seems his number was written on the wall. Well, business is business, right? He takes the case, and delivers a pay-up-or-get-a-(further)-pounding message to the woman’s alleged loanee. Of course, later, the loanee ends up dead. So a cop with an axe or grind brings him in for questioning. Then does it again. And again. In between interrogations, the PI get laid again. And again. But before – er, after – the PI gets in over his head, his childhood pal comes to the rescue.

reaction – A rambling story with shaky character motivations. The investigation seemed to drag a bit, but the story was written with humor, which kept me engaged enough to finish the book. I didn’t connect with any of the characters, but the odd sexual fixation of the PI was interesting. A bit like Columbo, but with less charm and more sex. Mercifully, the sex parts were only mentioned in passing. A fizzle of an ending. Read this if you’re into bumbling PI stories.

recommendation – You’re taking your chances with this hit and miss book.

get it here http://www.amazon.com/Ting—Ling-Dev-Haskell-Investigator-ebook/dp/B00M0LCC9Y

*

Phone Kitten / Marika Christian

synopsis – A chubby Florida Woman with self-esteem issues loses her newspaper job and starts working as a PSO. A co-ed has to pay her tuition, right? Meanwhile, she loses some of her chub, thanks to her gay manfriend, and gets a few lessons in self-esteem, thanks to her manfriend’s boyfriend. And she even snags her own boyfriend. But when one of her best customers ends up dead, she decides to prove herself once and for all and solve the case herself. Yikes. Does she not know she’s in Florida?

reaction – A humorous, engaging read with lots of “fat girl” tropes: food, gay manfriends, food, granny panties, and food. Working girl’s gotta eat, right? Being familiar with PSO, I appreciated the mostly accurate take on the industry. A few “what the hell were you thinking” decisions, and a few implausible lucky breaks, but the likability of the main character kept me cheering her on. Plus, the story was set in Florida, and that trope did not disappoint. Yikes.

recommendation – This book renewed my will to live.

get it herehttp://www.amazon.com/Phone-Kitten-Romantic-Humorous-Mystery-ebook/dp/B004TNIXYY

*

The Watchtower / Being Neighborly / Swamp Bones (books 86, 87, and 88)

The Watchtower / Darke Conteur

synopsis – A guy takes a job at a mysterious company staffed by unusual people. Even the interior design of the headquarters is odd. Then things really get freaky when a huge egg with a deadly worm inside shows up. So the staff employ their time travel, fire casting, and cyphering super powers. But can the new hire fit in and save the company on his first day?

reaction – I didn’t feel connected to the bland characters or the random special effects in the story. Too much deus ex machina fantasy for my taste. Furthermore, the fantasy seemed “dropped in.” A simplistic storyline with a fade-out ending. This story didn’t hold my interest, and would’ve worked better as a graphically illustrated book, in my opinion.

recommendation – You’re taking your chances with this hit and miss book.

get it here http://www.amazon.com/Watchtower-Darke-Conteur-ebook/dp/B005R1ERAQ

*

Being Neighborly / Carey Heywood

synopsis – An all-American, marriage-minded farm guy. A bootylicious, displaced city gal. A snake bite. A secret revealed. Put them all together, stir, and toss in a generous amount of wanking and sex. Dump it all in a pot, turn it on high, and simmer. Will the recipe turn out tasting completely different this time? Hint: no.

reaction – An erotica novel disguised as a romance novel. Creepy flirting scenes. A few awkward sex scenes. Not my cup of tea. Lots of internal dialogue exposition. One of the main characters had a weird obsession with counting down the time, in months, to ask his love interest out on a date. Also, lots of characters have names starting with the letter “B.”

recommendation – You’re taking your chances with this hit and miss book.

get it herehttp://www.amazon.com/Being-Neighborly-novella-Carey-Heywood-ebook/dp/B00N43YDOY

*

Swamp Bones / Kathy Reichs

synopsis – Forensic anthropologist Dr. Brennan teams up with her ornithologist buddy in the Florida everglades to shred dead swamp creatures. There they discover the swamp version of the chick-duck-key. Gators eating birds eating snakes. Stuff like that. But the swamp creatures aren’t just eating each other. They’re also eating swamp people. But who are the bad guys? Dr. Brennan and sidekick to the rescue!

reaction – I appreciated the distinguishable Florida Characters and descriptions of the Florida swampland. The Florida Men were believable with their combination of face palmery and moral depravity. But this book had a run-of-the-mill storyline. Humorous writing, but heavy on the forensic jargon. Read this if you’re into forensic jargon.

recommendation – You’re taking your chances with this hit and miss book.

get it here http://www.amazon.com/Swamp-Bones-Novella-Kathy-Reichs-ebook/dp/B00LRIUA9U

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