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Showing posts from November, 2010

1000 Ingredient Chili

I've never met a chili recipe I wouldn't try...but then again, I've never met a recipe I'd follow to a T. So when I read country music star Zac Brown's recipe for Camfire Chili in last week's Parade magazine, I knew I had to try it. But I also knew that it wouldn't be long before I started to improvise....I've never been good at following directions.

You can click on the link above to get Zac's original recipe. What follows is my interpretation, with rifs from the Foodnetwork's uber chef Bobby Flay (love his Throwdown show) and hottie chef Tyler Florence (woot!).

Okay, so there's not really 1,000 ingredients...maybe 950.

One of the reasons I wanted to try this recipe was the use of three different kinds of meat. One pound each of: ground pork, ground bison, and cubed beef. Next time, I'd keep all of the meat cubed rather than ground, I think it would add more to the flavor of the chili than the ground meat.

Anyhooo, begin by browning the…

Thank You Brother John!

This Thanksgiving is just a week before I note the first anniversary of my arrival in Evergreen. As I reflect back on all the events of the past year, I realize that I have much to be grateful for since my arrival. However, one of the things I am most grateful for occurred just a couple weeks ago when my brother John came to visit.

I won't go into specific right now, because things are still in the works, but as I look back at the past year, John's visit exemplifies one of the greatest blessings of the year. Our family has grown closer despite the miles that now separate us. How amazing is that? When I was at my wits end, my siblings called to offer encouragement and my brother John stepped in and provided much needed guidance. I'll share the rest of the story once all the details are finalized...

During John's visit, since Mom and I knew that we wouldn't be flying to Florida for Thanksgiving, we decided to celebrate an early Thanksgiving with John. The picture ab…

Elk in My Backyard

One of the things I love about Evergreen are the elk.

Usually we see them roaming around downtown, stopping traffic as a herd ambles across the road.

They are so prevalent that locals take no notice of them as they drive by, yet are aware enough of their presence that if one steps on the road, traffic in both directions quickly comes to a stop and no one actually beeps a horn as they wait for the elk to cross.

But up here on the side of the mountain where I've been living for the past six months, elk sitings are pretty rare. Deer, we see all the time. Elk...not so much.

Which is why it was such a thrill to wake up this morning and look out my window and see a herd of elk grazing below.

Let's Trade Reviews!

I have been madly participating on the Community boards on to promote my debut novel: Mrs. Tuesday's Departure. Because reader reviews of a book can be an integral part of the buyer's decision making process, I've offered to trade reviews with some of my fellow kindle book authors.

If you've recently published a book, kindle or otherwise and would like to trade reviews, please leave a comment below and I will contact you so that we can swap book info.

If you don't have a book to promote but you've bought Mrs. Tuesday's Departure, please leave a review on the book's Amazon site: here.

Thank you!!!!

I Love the Snow, But Not the Ice

After a month of incredibly mild weather (we're talking sunny, dry, and in the high 60's for most of October) it's starting to act like winter here in Evergreen. As you all know, I LOVE the snow. Love it, love it, love it!!!!

However, as I discovered this morning, my Hummer and I do NOT like slushy icy stuff under the snow that causes as to go sliding around, especially as we try to navigate our way down our steep driveway....yes, those are the remnants of my tire's skid marks as my 4,000 pound vehicle slid down the steep drive.

Which is particularly nerve-wracking since the bottom of the driveway gives way to a very steep drop-off.

So after my neighbor came out and helped me get my car into the garage, I went out and started shoveling and tossing rock salt on the icy parts of the sloping driveway. I wanted to get a handle on this because we are expected to get more snow before it warms up again.

And those errands I'd planned to do today? They are going to wait un…

How to Promote Your Ebook

As I mentioned in last post, now that I've published Mrs. Tuesday's Departure as an ebook, I need to promote it so that readers can find my book!

Throughout this journey I've mentioned two authors who have been continual inspiration in this self-publishing journey: JA Konrath and Karen McQuestion. Well, they continue to inspire. In a recent interview on JA Konrath's blog A Newbie's Guide to Publishing, Mr. Konrath interviewed Karen McQuestion about how she promoted her books after she'd published them on Amazon. Here's a link to the incredibly insightful interview.

So You Want to Self-Publish?

If reading of my self-publishing experience over the past two weeks has inspired you to self-publish you own book, here are links to the major publisher/distributors. Best of all, publishing on each of these platforms is free and as easy as uploading your Word document.

Amazon's Kindle: Go to to set up your account. This is the best place to start since Amazon's ebook sales make up over 70% of all sales, thanks in large part to their hugely popular Kindle platform. Setting up your account and uploading your cover art and manuscript is easy and will take no more than thirty minutes. After that, it takes Amazon about 48 hours to approve and publish your book to After you've published your book, you'll want to set up your Author's page, which will allow you to introduce yourself to readers. Also, Amazon's help desk was very responsive when I had questions. is the second most popular site to upload books. The advantage of Sm…

Editing My Ebook

When I decided to self-publish one of my novels as an ebook, I really had only one choice. I've written three, or rather two and a half, novels. The first novel will someday need a complete re-write. The second novel, Mrs. Tuesday's Departure, was done but needed some tweaking. The third is the murder mystery that I am currently working on. So the choice was made for me: Mrs. Tuesday's Departure would be my debut.

Since I had not opened the novel's Word file in over two years, editing it was like visiting an old friend. The first meeting was awkward. The first few pages of editing were strange as I found places where I had changed the book from first person POV to third person, where I'd changed the names of the characters, and even changed the city the book is set in.

But like visiting a good friend that you haven't seen in years, the awkwardness quickly wore away and I found myself drawn into the story, and really enjoying myself. The more I edited, the more…