We Are the World Blogfest #WATWB

It’s the last Friday of the month–time again for some good news to take you into April (how is it already April??) with a smile.

The story I’ve chosen for this month is about a man from New England who came up with a brilliant way to recycle plastic and polystyrene cups. Many thanks to my friend Carol Thompson for making me aware of this story. As a resident of a beach community, I find it especially useful and interesting.

Click here to read the story.

Here’s how #WATWB works: On the last Friday of each month a number of bloggers participate in a blog hop in which each blogger highlights a story that spreads good news, happiness, and hope.

These are the cohosts for this month: Shilpa Garg, Sylvia McGrath, Belinda Witzenhausen, Dan Antionand Damyanti Biswas.

 

Want to join? Click this link to sign up and help spread some happiness!

 

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Last Tuesday Book Round-Up for March

Happy Last Tuesday in March! I don’t know if it’s going out like a lamb, as the old adage says, but it’s going out in a flurry of springtime weather, and I love it!

I read three books and one manuscript in March–I can’t tell you much about the manuscript except that it was by D.B Corey, an author skilled in the art of the thriller. The manuscript will hopefully be the eventual sequel to his book The Lesser Sin. I can tell you more when it’s available!

So on to the books I can tell you about: the first one, Messing Around with Words, is a stark, heavy-hitting book of poetry written over the span of fifty years. Here’s my review from Goodreads:

“Stephen M. Honig has amassed a collection of poetry written over fifty years of his life, and the collection is like no other I’ve read. It’s passionate, raw, and poignant, yet relatable and accessible. The reader is both invited and thrust into the mind of the author, and the collection offers a fascinating look at the ways he and his world view have evolved.”

The second book is A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle. I had read his book The Vintage Caper years ago, so I knew I would enjoy this one. I wasn’t disappointed. This follows the lives of Mr. Mayle and his wife just after they move from England to the Provence region of France. Their first year is filled with new neighbors, a new language, a new and befuddling work ethic, and lots of wonderful food. This was an enjoyable read from the first page to the last.

And finally, a friend told me of a book she was reading by Kimberly Belle. I looked for Ms. Belle’s books at one of my local libraries and I chose Three Days Missing, a chilling account of a young boy who goes missing from a class camping trip. The book is told mostly from three points of view, but I won’t tell you who does the talking. And the narrator of the last chapter brings a little twist to the story. This is a book that will leave you breathless and reading long past your bedtime.

Please share what you’ve been reading in the comments below!

Until next time,

Amy

 

 

 

Trudy’s Diary

If you receive my newsletter, you’re going to get a note today that looks suspiciously like this post. But bear with me, because I’m so excited to announce that Trudy’s Diary: A Libraries of the World Mystery is finally available for pre-order!

Here’s what you need to know:

Daisy Carruthers is an anthropologist who moves to Washington, DC, for a new start following an emotionally-wrenching period in her life. 

After her boss’s wife and the wife’s paramour are found dead within days of each other, Daisy finds herself thrust into the investigation when both her boss and her best friend are implicated in the crimes. 

And when she comes across a diary and an antique novel with suspiciously similar stories and unknown origins, she knows all the mysteries are somehow connected.

Can she figure out the identity of the killer–or killers–before it’s too late?

Trudy’s Diary is available for pre-order on ebook and in paperback. Click the following links to reserve your copy!

Kindle ebook

Amazon paperback

Nook, Kobo, iTunes

Thanks for your support! I am very grateful for it.

Until next time,

Amy

Podcasts for Readers

photo courtesy of stokpic, pixabay

Have you ever tried reading and exercising at the same time?

It’s not easy.

I’ve tried reading books on the treadmill and the spin bike, and I usually end up putting on music or turning on the television because either the book or the Kindle falls on the floor or the sweat in my eyes prevents me from seeing anything. I have to do something or I’ll get bored.

Recently I’ve turned to podcasts. If you’ve heard any good podcasts recently, you know they’re great for those times when you want to be engaged, entertained, and hands-free.

I thought I’d compile a short list of some of the podcasts I’ve enjoyed. Give them a try next time you’re using your headphones or driving (not all cars will have that capability, though) and by all means, share your favorites in the comments below!

1.  Mystery Rat’s Maze Podcast by Kings River Life Magazine (KRL). This podcast comes out about twice a month and features a mystery short story or the first chapter of a mystery novel. It’s a great way to sample a book before deciding to buy it or borrow it from a library. Each podcast is narrated by an actor or actress from California’s San Joaquin Valley. Click here to be redirected to the homepage of KRL’s podcast.

2.  Death in Ice Valley by the BBC World Service. Back in 2018, a BBC documentary maker teamed up with an investigative reporter from Norway to try to figure out the identity of a woman who died in the Isdalen Valley (also called Ice Valley) of Norway in 1970. Through a series of ten podcasts, the two investigators travel throughout parts of Europe, following clues wherever they lead to discover where the woman may have come from, for whom she might have been working, and why she may have been in Norway at the time of her death. Click here to be redirected to the podcast.

3.  BBC World Book Club by the BBC World Service. In this monthly podcast, some of the best-known authors in the world discuss their best-known books. The show doesn’t focus on any particular genre–they’ve had fantasy, thriller, memoir, you name it. Click here to be redirected to the home page.

4. Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine has a podcast archive of over a hundred shows featuring readings and dramatizations from some of the best suspense writers in the world. Check out their offerings here

The next one is a website compilation of great podcasts for readers of mysteries, thrillers, and suspense novels.

5. Bustle.com 

6. Fiction by The New Yorker. In each podcast of The New Yorker: Fiction, a different author is chosen to pick a story from the magazine’s archives to read and discuss. Click here to check out what this podcast has to offer from the eclectic collections of The New Yorker.

photo courtesy of milyoung23, pixabay

Until next time,

Amy

First Tuesday Recipes for March

Photo courtesy of pixabay/alexas_fotos

It’s the first Tuesday in March, so you know what that means…it’s time for a few new recipes to try. I’ve got some good ones for you.

The first one is good for nights when the weather is still cool during the early weeks in spring.

Chicken Vegetable Chili

If you’re a chili purist, call this a stew and enjoy! I adapted this recipe from one by Chef Ed Daggers.

3 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

olive oil

1 med. zucchini, diced

1 med. yellow squash, diced

1 onion, chopped

4-5 green onions, sliced

8 oz. mushrooms, sliced

8 oz. fresh spinach, chopped

1 can black beans

2 15-oz. cans crushed tomatoes

1 8-oz. can tomato sauce

4 T. chili powder (you can use a mixture of different types of chili powders)

1 1/2 T. cumin

salt and pepper to taste

Toppings (optional): sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, jalapeno slices, corn chips

In a Dutch oven, cook chicken in olive oil over medium heat until browned. Add zucchini, yellow squash, onion, green onion, mushrooms, and spinach. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.

Add tomatoes and tomato sauce; mix well. Add beans and seasonings (NOTE: if you don’t like your chili/stew spicy, adjust the seasonings to suit your tastes); simmer soup over low heat for 45 minutes.

Serve with cornbread or over rice. Garnish with optional toppings.

 

Porcupine Balls

I grew up eating these. The first time I made them for my own family, they were a huge hit!

1 lb. ground chuck

1/3 c. uncooked rice

1 t. each salt and pepper

1 t. dried basil

1/4 t. celery salt

1 T. canola oil

1/2 medium onion, chopped

1/2 green pepper, chopped

2 small cans tomato sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8 x 8″ baking dish with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients together except for one can of tomato sauce. Form into loose meatballs. Place meatballs in baking dish and cover with remaining tomato sauce.

Cover and bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours.

Please note, these may fall apart when you serve them. They’re still delicious!

 

Pistachio Cake

Courtesy of my sister. This disappears in a jiffy anytime I take it somewhere.

Cake:

1 pkg. white cake mix

1/2 c. canola oil

4 eggs

1 c. sour cream

1 pkg. pistachio pudding

Mix above ingredients and set aside.

Filling:

1/2 c. sugar

1 t. cinnamon

1/2 c. chopped nuts (I use pecans)

Mix filling ingredients.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a Bundt pan very well.

Layer the batter and filling as follows:

Bottom: 1/3 batter

2nd layer: 1/2 filling

3rd layer: 1/3 batter

4th layer: 1/2 filling

5th layer: 1/3 batter.

Bake for one hour.

Enjoy!

As always, please send me your recipes to share! And if you try any of these, please let me know what you think!

Until next time

Amy