Cover Reveal…Followed by First Tuesday Recipes for September!

It’s here! First my street team saw it, then my newsletter subscribers, and now it’s time to show the rest of the world. The cover of The Worst Noel is here and I love it! Are you ready?

The Worst Noel is available to pre-order as an ebook through all the major online retailers and, through some glitch that is no doubt my fault, as a paperback from Amazon. Other retailers will have the paperback in November.

Want to order a paperback copy? Click here.

Want to order an ebook from Amazon? Click here.

Want to order an ebook from another retailer? Click here.

If you’ve already ordered, THANK YOU! As we get closer to the ebook release date, I’ll be posting more about The Worst Noel, so stay tuned. And feel free to use the share buttons below!

And now for The First Tuesday Recipes for September. If you get my newsletter, you already have the recipe for Muddy Buddies. Here on the blog this month we’ve got a summery salsa, a dessert, and a fabulous side dish that’ll go with almost anything.

First, thanks to Maggie King for submitting her recipe:

Cucumber and Avocado Salsa

1/4 c. diced and seeded cucumber

1 lg. avocado, peeled, seeded, and chopped

1 sm. Roma tomato, diced

1 1/2 T. red onion, minced

2 t. Serrano chile, minced

1 t. fresh cilantro, minced

3/4 t. salt

2 T. fresh lime juice

Carefully fold all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, guacamole-style. If doubling, don’t double the lime juice.

Makes about 1 1/4 cups.

Thanks to my mother for this side dish recipe:

German Potato Salad

6 medium potatoes

6 slices bacon

1/2 c. chopped onion

2 T. flour

2 T. sugar

1 t. salt

1 t. celery seed

dash pepper

1 c. water

1/2 c. (you may like a little less) white vinegar

2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced

Cook potatoes until tender, then drain well, peel, and slice. Cook bacon until crisp; drain, reserving 1/4 c. drippings. Crumble the bacon and set aside. Cook the onion in the reserved drippings until tender (and a little browned). Stir in flour, sugar, salt, celery seed, and pepper. Add water and vinegar; cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1-2 minutes more. Stir in bacon and potato slices. Heat through, tossing lightly. Add egg slices; toss gently just to mix.

And last, but certainly not least, thanks to Sharon Aguanno for contributing this dessert recipe she found here on allrecipes.com:

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Foil Packets

1 1/2 T. brown sugar

1 T unsalted butter

1 pineapple ring

1 maraschino cherry

1 shortcake dessert shell

Vanilla ice cream for serving (optional, but why wouldn’t you include it??)

Preheat grill to medium-high or an oven to 450 degrees.

Tear off a 12′ x 12′ square of aluminum foil.

Mound the brown sugar and butter in the center, then top them with the pineapple slice and the cherry.

Top with the dessert shell, flat side up.

Fold in the sides of the foil and seal to form the packet. Grill each packet for 12-13 minutes.

To serve, flip the cakes over. Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired.

 

Thanks to everyone who contributed! And thanks for being part of my cover reveal for The Worst Noel. If you haven’t subscribed to my mostly-once-a-month newsletter, click this link.

Until next time,

Amy

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I’m Somewhere Else…

 

Good morning! Today I’m sending you over to Lindy’s Lair, the blog of John Lindermuth, where I’ve got a guest post up. It’s about writing three series and what works for me. Click here for the post, and many thanks to John for hosting me today.

Locals, I’ll be at the Avalon Free Public Library tomorrow evening at 6:00 as part of the Summer Authors Series. I’d love for you to join me!

Until next time,

Amy

 

Book Recommendation: The Outermost House

The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod

Henry Beston’s book, The Outermost House, was on my list of summer reads this year (see post from June 19th) and I’m happy to report that I enjoyed it very much.

It’s not what I expected, but that’s okay. What I expected was a day-to-day diary of the mundane things Beston did for a year on Cape Cod: what he did to ready the house for winter, the things he cooked, what he did when he encountered snakes, how he communicated with the rest of the world, etc.

What I got instead was a season-by-season account of the natural world on Cape Cod: how the tides change, how the beaches shift and move, where the birds and animals go when it storms, how the grasses move in the wind, and what the sun looks like on the water. It’s a beautifully-written book that manages to describe everything from sunrises to deadly storms with lyrical language that soothes, surprises, describes, and teaches.

One can see how it had such an impact on Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, one of the seminal books on environmental protection and conservation.

The Outermost House wasn’t like any other book I’ve read: it wasn’t fast-paced, there was no suspense, and it didn’t keep me up at night. Rather, it was something I looked forward to reading when I wanted to relax and be calm. And from what I’ve read about the book, it has that effect on lots of readers. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about the natural world, who wonders what life might have been like on a deserted New England beach in the early decades of the twentieth century, and who wants a break from the busy-ness and hectic schedules we all have. I think you’ll enjoy it.

Until next time,

Amy

What Day is It, Anyway?

photo courtesy of Larisa-K, pixabay

Did you know that as of July 17th in the United States we’ve already missed National Stay Out of the Sun Day (July 3rd), National Strawberry Sundae Day (July 7th), and National Give Something Away Day (July 15th)? Did you know the whole world celebrated International Kissing Day on July 6th?

If you’ve been as negligent as I have in observing these crucial holidays, it’s time to set things straight.

In the spirit of trying to help you squeeze as much fun out of July as possible, I’m going to list the holidays that take place for the entire month and for the rest of the month, according to nationaltoday.com and nationaldaycalendar.com.

And if these holidays aren’t celebrated where you live?

Who cares?? Celebrate anyway!

July is:

World Watercolor Month, National Anti-Boredom Month, National Baked Bean Month, National Cell Phone Courtesy Month, National Culinary Arts Month, National Grilling Month, National Horseradish Month, National Hotdog Month, National Ice Cream Month, National Independent Retailer Month, National July Belongs to Blueberries Month, and National Picnic Month.

Here’s a breakdown of the rest of the month by day (and, if necessary, by country/region that celebrates), so mark your calendars!!

July 17th:

World Emoji Day

National Yellow Pig Day (had to look this up–it’s specifically for mathemeticians)

National Peach Ice Cream Day

National Tattoo Day

July 18th:

National Sour Candy Day

National Caviar Day

Nelson Mandela International Day

World Listening Day

July 19th:

National Daiquiri Day

Get to Know Your Customers Day

National Hotdog Day (changes annually)

July 20th:

National Lollipop Day

National Moon Day

National Pennsylvania Day

July 21st:

National Junk Food Day (woo hoo!)

National Be Someone Day

National Strawberry Rhubarb Wine Day

Toss Away the ‘Could Haves’ and ‘Should Haves’ Day

July 22nd:

National Hammock Day

National Parents’ Day

National Penuche Fudge Day

National Rat Catchers’ Day

July 23rd:

National Vanilla Ice Cream Day

National Gorgeous Grandma Day

July 24th:

National Cousins Day

National Drive-Thru Day

National Tequila Day

National Amelia Earhart Day

National Thermal Engineer Day

July 25th:

National Hot Fudge Sundae Day

National Wine and Cheese Day

National Hire a Veteran Day

National Merry-Go-Round Day

National Threading the Needle Day

July 26th:

National Aunt and Uncle Day

National Chili Dog Day

National Coffee Milkshake Day

National Intern Day

National Bagelfest Day

All or Nothing Day

National Refreshment Day

July 27th:

Asalha Puja (Buddhists)

Guru Purnima (Hindus and Buddhists, Nepal and India)

National Creme Brulee Day (France, US)

National Scotch Day

National New Jersey Day

National Get Gnarly Day

National Talk in an Elevator Day

National System Administrator Appreciation Day

July 28th:

National Milk Chocolate Day

World Hepatitis Day

National Waterpark Day

National Buffalo Soldiers Day

National Day of the Cowboy

July 29th: 

National Chicken Wing Day

National Lipstick Day

National Lasagna Day

July 30th:

International Day of Friendship

National Cheesecake Day

National Father-in-Law Day

National Whistleblower Day

July 31st:

National Avocado Day

National Mutt Day

National Raspberry Cake Day

 

So do you have a favorite??

Until next time,

Amy

 

We Are the World Blogfest #WATWB

It’s the last Friday of the month–time again for some good news to take you into July with a smile.

The story I’ve chosen for this month is another in a continuing string of environmental/conservation stories that I’ve been sharing for months. Fishermen in India have been retrieving plastic from the ocean instead of tossing it back. The plastic is being used to shore up road construction.

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, Simon Falk, Mary J. Giese, Don Antion, and Damyanti Biswas.

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

Getting Help

photo courtesy of pixabay, wokandapix

The post I originally wrote for today was about my summer reading wish list, but that will have to wait until next week.

Today my heart is broken for a family I’ve never met.

Yesterday a student at the high school two of my children attend took his own life. I found out about it this morning through my church’s prayer chain. I have no words for the sorrow I feel for this boy’s family.

This is not the first time this has happened at the school. In fact, it’s at least the fourth time in as many years. There is something really, really wrong when a child feels there is no hope and no help.

Please, please, if you know anyone who is thinking of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can also contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline via chat at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/.

Whether you contact them by phone or online, someone is there to help 24/7 all across the United States. And because I know people from all over the world read this blog, click here for a list of suicide hotlines by country. Please note that Northern Ireland, Scotland, and England are listed under United Kingdom. If you know any information on that list to be incorrect, please let me know and I’ll post the correct information below in the comments.

If you know someone who is struggling emotionally or mentally, you could be the catalyst for getting that person the help he or she desperately needs. Please visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/help-someone-else/ to find out what you can do to help. There’s also great information about things you shouldn’t do.

Please keep struggling families in your prayers, and please remember to be kind–you never know what someone else is going through.

Until next time,

Amy

 

The New and Improved Reade and Write!

I’ve spent some time in the past week working on the blog to make it easier to read and easier for readers to find my books. I’ve updated the “About Me” page and I’ve added a page listing my books with links to my website and/or Amazon. I’ve also changed the font and, more importantly, the font size, to make the title of the blog and the different pages more user-friendly.

One of my goals is to use the blog more effectively to invite people to sign up for my newsletter. If you haven’t already signed up, click the tab that says “Website and Newsletter” at the top of the blog’s home page and you’ll be redirected to my sign-up form. I’m always trying to grow the newsletter, so I invite you to join us!

One of these days I intend to include some short stories on the blog (and duplicated on the website) that readers can peruse, too.

I hope you like the new look! Let me know what you think and if there’s anything else I could do to make visiting Reade and Write a pleasant experience!

Until  next time,

Amy