Cooking With a Writer – Ghostly Pizza

As you know, I’m trying desperately to make the family vegetarian and I am TOTALLY failing.
But here is my recipe for Halloween pizza. Halloween is a frantic night for us because we get about 800 – 1,000 trick-or-treaters. So, I tend to make things that are fast and easy like calzone snakes or mummy Stromboli, but this… this, my friends, is the ultimate in easy. It’s sort of embarrassingly easy. Stay tuned below for the story of my first-ever ghost sighting.

Ghostly Pizza

So, sometimes I cheat because on Halloween things get hectic here. 

Course dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword ghost
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 338 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Frozen Pizza Doug do not judge
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • .75 cup pizza sauce
  • .5 lb mozarella slices
  • some little capers for the eyes

Instructions

  1. Realize that you have no time to make food that isn't candy.

  2. Preheat oven to 475ºF. 

    Spray bottom of a 16-by-11-inch rimmed baking sheet with the stuff that makes things not stick. Or use olive oil, but olive oil is expensive, so maybe don't. I mean olive oil is awesome, but we're already using pre-made pizza dough here so pretension is gone, right? 

    Spray the darn sheet.

    Celebrate by eating candy.

  3. Stretch that dough evenly to cover bottom of sheet. 

    This is a lot like stretching your 20,000-word story into a 50,000-word novel. You might have to take a couple of rounds, and rest in between to get this stretched.

    Do not give up.

    Celebrate by eating candy.

  4. Open the jar of sauce. 

    Cry because you have no wrist strength.

    Celebrate when you finally open the jar. Celebrate by eating candy.

    Spread that sauce over the dough. Try to make it even. Leave a border on all sides of the rectangle. Try to make that border a 1-inch border. 

    Celebrate with candy.

    Set a timer. Put it in the oven.

  5. Bake about 15 minutes. 

    Celebrate that. Celebrate that with candy.

    Now, you get to have fun! Yay, fun! Remember fun?

    Scrounge up a ghost-shaped cookie cutter and cut ghosts out of cheese. 

    That is so cool.

    Put the ghosts on the pizza. It is hot. Be careful. Obviously these ghosts have been hanging out in hell. The sauce is like red flames. And the whole scene is hot. 

    Celebrate liberating the ghosts from hell with candy.

    Hide the candy wrappers in the garbage during the final five minutes of baking.

  6. Take the pizza out. Look how cool that is! 

    Put caper eyes on each ghost.

    Let is stand for five minutes. Eat it. Eat it with a celebratory side dish of candy.

Man Verdict: It needs meat and more cheese.
My Verdict: Seriously? I’m so full from the candy.
Dogs’ Verdict: We agree with the man. If you’re going to dress us up, the least you can do is add more meat.

GHOST STORY TIME!

This is the story about the first ghost that I ever saw. . . Or the first possible-ghost I ever saw for you nonbelievers.

I grew up in what used to be rural Bedford, New Hampshire and I lived up on a hill on the corner of Hardy Road and Route 101, which was then a little two-lane highway that led from Manchester, New Hampshire (a thriving metropolis former mill town) to points west. People thought my house, a dark brown ranch with red shutters, perched up on the hill was creepy. It was the kind of house people would dare each other to go to. On a positive note, we didn’t get a ton of  door-to-door solicitations.

I remember when I met a girl in second grade and told her where I lived she said, “Oh. But you’re so normal. You’re not creepy at all.”

And I was like, “Huh?”

“Your house,” she said. “Your house looks scary.”

My house was scary, but my house was also home, which is sort of this weird concept for some people, a dichotomy that doesn’t make a ton of sense. How can your home be scary but also comforting? They have created entire entertainment enterprises out of this concept – things like the Addams Family where the macabre is comforting. Or the vampire family in Twilight where their vampyric nature is hidden by the clean, modern lines of wealth and big windows and good hair.

In the last ten years, I’ve incorporated a lot of the scarier things that have happened to me into books. That’s because they seem more presentable and understandable when they are fiction instead of shouting to the world, “Hey! My house was weird. Maybe haunted. Who knows?” Or, “Yeah… this happened at a seance I had in fifth grade.”

And the stories?
They add up.
You can only hear so many footsteps in so many houses before people start to think that you’re either lying or a freak. I spent a lot of time trying to quash the differences inside of me – of being poor, of slurring my s’s, of being the freak with the haunted house, the person who sometimes knew things she shouldn’t logically know.

So, yeah, I grew up in this house my dad built in Bedford, NH. It was on a hill. There’d been another house there about 100 years before but it had burned down.  And after that some people from Connecticut built a camp in the woods and would come there in the summer. That was in the early 1900s, I think. But those were the only known houses before ours.

Anyway, we had this great big picture window in the living room. My dad and mom were arguing at the kitchen table, so I toddled off and went into the living room. It was night time. I was really little, probably somewhere between three and five, because my parents were still married enough to be living in the same house.

I really hated them fighting so I waddled over to the picture window and decided to blow on it, so I could make those hand footprints in the mist that comes from your breath.

So, I started to blow on the window to see if it would frost up, but then I noticed something outside on our front lawn. Our front lawn was a big, grassy hill that sloped down to the road. I cupped my hands around my eyes so I could see better and peered out because it was getting dark. There was a woman wearing a long, white dress walking across the lawn, from left to right.

That was weird. Nobody ever walked across our lawn at almost night. We were really rural then, up a long, dirt driveway, up a hill.

I was little, but I knew it was funky.

But something else was wrong, too.

She was walking right above the hole for the septic tank. It was a big hole about three feet deep that was covered with two granite slabs. I knew it was there because my mom was always warning me about falling in and breaking an ankle. My mom was really, really worried about my ankles. I grew up thinking pretty much anything could break my ankle — holes, bikes, skis, horses, soccer….

So, anyway, even though there was a hole there, the lady walked right over it.

“Mommy!”

I yelled for her but they kept arguing. The woman kept walking. She lifted her arm and waved. She seemed nice.

“Mommy!”

“What?”

“There’s a lady in the lawn.”

“What?”

“There’s a lady…”

My mom and dad both rushed to the picture window.

“There’s nothing,” my dad said.

“I thought I saw something…” Mom interrupted. She turned me around to look at her. “What did the lady look like?”

“She was a lady… she was wearing white… you could see through her dress…”

My mom put me to bed, right away, but my parents stopped arguing, at least for that night.

Writing News

Last Time Stoppers Book

I love this book baby and you can order my middle grade fantasy novel Time Stoppers Escape From the Badlands here or anywhere.

People call it a cross between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson but it’s set in Maine. It’s full of adventure, quirkiness and heart.

Timestoppers3_005

Moe Berg

The Spy Who Played Baseball is a picture book biography about Moe Berg. And… there’s a movie out now about Moe Berg, a major league baseball player who became a spy. How cool is that?

It’s awesome and quirky and fun.

OUR PODCAST – DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness as we talk about random thoughts, writing advice and life tips. We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

dogs are smarter than people carrie after dark being relentless to get published

Writing Coach

I offer solo writing coach services. For more about my individual coaching, click here.

I’m WRITING BARN FACULTY AND THERE’S A COURSE YOU CAN TAKE!

I am super psyched to be teaching the six-month long Write. Submit. Support. class at the Writing Barn!

Are you looking for a group to support you in your writing process and help set achievable goals? Are you looking for the feedback and connections that could potentially lead you to that book deal you’ve been working towards?

Our Write. Submit. Support. (WSS) six-month ONLINE course offers structure and support not only to your writing lives and the manuscripts at hand, but also to the roller coaster ride of submissions: whether that be submitting to agents or, if agented, weathering the submissions to editors.

Past Write. Submit. Support. students have gone on to receive representation from literary agents across the country. View one of our most recent success stories here

 

Apply Now!

 

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Cooking With a Writer – Chill out, Mom – Creamy Green Bean Soup

So, my mom was a really big proponent of eating meat with every single meal.

She didn’t like fresh vegetables except for corn on the cob and cucumbers. To be fair, she only like cucumbers when they were thinly sliced and put on a massive caravan of mayonnaise and smooshed in between two slices of white bread.

Wait.

I liked

She was also fine with tomatoes and lettuce (ice berg) on hamburgers.

That was pretty much it.

So, when I had Emily (my kiddo) and I was reverting to my vegetarian ways, my mother FREAKED OUT and would legit drive 2.5 hours to visit us just to cook roasts.

My favorite cookbook was Horn of the Moon, which was a vegetarian cookbook written by Ginny Callan who owned Horn of the Moon restaurant. I didn’t see the cookbooks until after the restaurant closed or I totally would have tromped to Vermont and sobbed, hugging this woman, who I sort of thought as my vegetarian food savior.

HornoftheMoon

Anyway, one afternoon my mom called and asked me what I was cooking.

“Creamy Green Bean Soup,” I said.

And she said, “Sweet Mother of God, Carrie. What is wrong with you? You don’t do that to green beans. Are you trying to die?”

So…. Yeah…

Here’s the recipe adapted from Horn of the Moon.

Yes, You Can Do This With Green Beans - Creamy Soup

Adapted from Horn of the Moon

The calorie estimate is probably high. 

Course Soup
Cuisine vegetarian
Keyword green bean
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 humans
Calories 300 kcal

Ingredients

  • 5 cups water
  • 1.5 lbs green beans chopped into 1.5-inch pieces (6 cups)
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 3 whole onions
  • 1 tsp thyme dried
  • 1.5 tsp dill dried
  • 2 whole bay leaves I never have these
  • 3.5 tbsp white flour
  • .5 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • dash dashy siracha to taste.

Instructions

  1. Curse out your mother for harshing on your soup as you boil 5 cups of water in a big pot. 

    Add cut green beans to water once the water boils.

    Return the water to boil, cover. 

    Lower the heat to simmer and let it simmer for 30 minutes.

  2. Write a poem about your mother. 

    Realize that whenever you were little and drew your mother would declare, "Nobody in this family are artists. Not one of us has a lick of artistic ability."

    Realize you would rather be an artist that a writer. 

  3. Let this sink in.

  4. While you are despondent over the course of your life as a writer not an artist, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a bit pan. 

    Once butter is melted, saute the onions and herbs until those onions are a light brown.

    Realize you should be drawing this right now instead of writing about it. 

  5. Once the onions are done, add the contents of the pan to the green beans and water. Turn the heat off of the green beans and water.

    Let everything sit a bit because it's super hot - much like your temper right now. 


  6. Puree about 3/4th of that green bean mix. 

    Use a blender.

  7. Put the pureed mix back into the soup pot.

    Throw in bay leaves.

    Bay leaves would be fun to draw, wouldn't they? 

  8. Wonder if your whole life is a lie and you should have been an artist instead of a writer. 

  9. Write a poem about it. 


  10. Melt the rest of the butter in that pan you'd been using before. 

    Add flour to melted butter. Use low heat. 

    Stir it until it gets a light brown color.

    Find cream. Whisk that into the butter and flour.

    Add one ladle of soup to it. 

    Do this two more times then pour all of that back into the soup.

  11. Add salt. Add pepper. Add milk. Add hot sauce. Taste it. Adjust it to what you want it to be.

    Wish you could adjust your parents' beliefs about art and family proclivities the way you can adjust soup taste. 

    Simmer on low heat.

    Simmer for 15 minutes. 

    Use this time to sign up for art class. 

As you know, these weekly recipes are my attempt to getting the family to eat more food without meat. And I always put down their verdicts.

Man Verdict: You know what would make this perfect? Ham.

My Verdict: Have you been communicating with my mom in the spirit world?

Dogs’ Verdict: Ham or bacon. Either would be okay. You could drop some on the floor, you know. That would be nice.

carriejonesbooks.blog
Sparty: Everything is better with bacon.

Writing News

Next and Last Time Stoppers Book

It’s  out! You can order my middle grade fantasy novel Time Stoppers Escape From the Badlands here or anywhere.

People call it a cross between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson but it’s set in Maine. It’s full of adventure, quirkiness and heart.

Timestoppers3_005

Moe Berg

The Spy Who Played Baseball is a picture book biography about Moe Berg. And… there’s a movie out now about Moe Berg, a major league baseball player who became a spy. How cool is that?

It’s awesome and quirky and fun.

OUR PODCAST – DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness as we talk about random thoughts, writing advice and life tips. We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

dogs are smarter than people carrie after dark being relentless to get published

Writing Coach

I offer solo writing coach services. For more about my individual coaching, click here.

Ebook on Sale for October! 

And finally, for the month of July, my book NEEDis on sale in ebook version on Amazon. It’s a cheap way to have an awesome read in a book that’s basically about human-sized pixies trying to start an apocalypse.

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 3.56.50 PM

I’m WRITING BARN FACULTY AND THERE’S A COURSE YOU CAN TAKE!

I am super psyched to be teaching the six-month long Write. Submit. Support. class at the Writing Barn!

Are you looking for a group to support you in your writing process and help set achievable goals? Are you looking for the feedback and connections that could potentially lead you to that book deal you’ve been working towards?

Our Write. Submit. Support. (WSS) six-month ONLINE course offers structure and support not only to your writing lives and the manuscripts at hand, but also to the roller coaster ride of submissions: whether that be submitting to agents or, if agented, weathering the submissions to editors.

Past Write. Submit. Support. students have gone on to receive representation from literary agents across the country. View one of our most recent success stories here

 

Apply Now!

 

I Miss My Mom – Tempura Vegetables

When I was little I decided to be a vegetarian. This was caused by:

  1. Reading Charlotte’s Web.
  2. Reading Where the Red Fern Grows.
  3. Thinking cows are cute.
  4. Not really actually liking meat.

My family was not cool with this decision. My mom would try to sneak meat in the spaghetti sauce. She would moan about me only eating the sides. She would bribe me with stuffing. And she would moan, “THERE ARE NO VEGETARIAN DISHES TO FEED YOU.”

Spoiler alert: My mom was not big on vegetables unless they had cheese on them.

By the time I went to high school, I was basically existing on carbs and apple juice. My boyfriend decided this was terribly wrong and bought my mom a Moosewood Cookbook, which was super sweet of him.

She sighed, flipped through it, read his inscription and said, “There is nothing in here I want to cook!”

But we made her try the tempura vegetables and the cheese bean pot.  It did not convert her from her canned-vegetables, meat-eating ways. But I did appreciate that she tried. I’ve been missing her a lot lately and she’s been showing up in my dreams, standing just a few paces ahead of me. There’s always this moment where I recognize the back of her head.

A lot of my friends have recently lost their moms, too. So, I think I’m mostly sharing this recipe out of mom love and mom missing.

This recipe is mostly influenced from the Moosewood book, but is also influenced by The Spruce Eats, which is a cooking blog you should definitely check out because it’s a real cooking blog, unlike this. 🙂

Tempura Vegetables of Mom Missing

This is taken from a very old copy of the Moosewood Cookbook, mixed a bit with the fantastic The Spruce Eats. And also I totally round-up on the calories. But also, I'm completely guessing on the calories. Shock! 


NOTE: If you use thick veggies like sweet potatoes, you might want to pre-steam them, because they take awhile to cook.

SECOND NOTE: You can add a dash of sesame oil in the oil if you want. 

THIRD NOTE: Try not to overmix the batter. 

Course dinner
Cuisine vegetarian
Keyword tempura
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 250 kcal

Ingredients

  • 2.5 cups cake flour or sifted all purpose flour
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 3 individual egg yolks
  • .5 tsp salt
  • 3-4 cups oil
  • .5 tsp sugar
  • 3 cups vegetables

Instructions

  1. Look at your beautiful vegetables. Cry at how cute they are.

    Realize the truth: You miss your mom.

    She might be alive. She might be dead. But you miss her. Unless she was a totally sucky mom and then you miss the mom that you should have had. 

    Moms are complicated. 

  2. Dads are complicated, too. Obviously. But we're focusing on moms right now. No.

    Focus on the vegetables. Think about how you'd like them to look under the tempura batter. Make them into cool pieces. Tiny broccoli floweret trees. Onion slices. Carrot hunks. Cauliflower blossoms. Mushrooms of wholeness if they are little.  

  3. They are so pretty. Wish you could show your mom. Take a photo and show Instagram instead. 

  4. Make the batter. Think of how flour is messy. 

    Beat the egg yolks into water. Then when it is smooth add the flour, salt, and sugar. Keep stirring until the batter is all combined but do not stir forever! 

    Chill that flour for 15 minutes

  5. Heat the oil in a really large pot. Remember how your mom would not let you do this when you were little because she thought you'd burn yourself.

    Try not to burn yourself. 

  6. If you are me, you burn yourself. 

    Do not be me.

  7. Dip veggies in the batter (which is no longer in the fridge). Then drop them into the oil, which should be at least 325-degrees Fahrenheit. 

    Do not burn yourself again. Ban everyone from the kitchen because they will be gasping and telling you not to burn yourself and honest to God that is so distracting that you probably will burn yourself. 

  8. Have someone get the first-aid kit. 

  9. The veggies are done when they are puffy, brown, and have risen to the surface. Maybe we should call them Resurrection Vegetables? That would be cool, actually. Worry that this is offensive somehow. Decide not to call them that just in case. 

    Plop the on some paper towels to soak up extra oil.

  10. Eat those babies with rice and a tamara-ginger sauce. Or just clean and sauce free. 

Man Verdict: I love these. Thank you for not using tomatoes.

Dog Verdict: YES!

Carrie Verdict: My mom would still hate them.

Writing News

Next and Last Time Stoppers Book

It’s  out! You can order my middle grade fantasy novel Time Stoppers Escape From the Badlands here or anywhere.

 

People call it a cross between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson but it’s set in Maine. It’s full of adventure, quirkiness and heart.

Moe Berg

The Spy Who Played Baseball is a picture book biography about Moe Berg. And… there’s a movie out now about Moe Berg, a major league baseball player who became a spy. How cool is that?

You should totally buy Carrie’s book about Moe. It’s awesome and quirky and fun.

OUR PODCAST – DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness as we talk about random thoughts, writing advice and life tips. We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow.

dogs are smarter than people carrie after dark being relentless to get published

Writing Coach

Carrie offers solo writing coach services. For more about Carrie’s individual coaching, click here.

Ebook on Sale for October! 

And finally, for the month of July, my book NEED is on sale in ebook version on Amazon. It’s a cheap way to have an awesome read in a book that’s basically about human-sized pixies trying to start an apocalypse.

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 3.56.50 PM

I’m WRITING BARN FACULTY AND THERE’S A COURSE YOU CAN TAKE!

I am super psyched to be teaching the six-month long Write. Submit. Support. class at the Writing Barn!

Are you looking for a group to support you in your writing process and help set achievable goals? Are you looking for the feedback and connections that could potentially lead you to that book deal you’ve been working towards?

Our Write. Submit. Support. (WSS) six-month ONLINE course offers structure and support not only to your writing lives and the manuscripts at hand, but also to the roller coaster ride of submissions: whether that be submitting to agents or, if agented, weathering the submissions to editors.

Past Write. Submit. Support. students have gone on to receive representation from literary agents across the country. View one of our most recent success stories here

Apply Now!

COOKING WITH A WRITER – Black Bean Soup of the Soul

So, I am a bit down lately, mostly because:

  1. I am a writer
  2. I live in the U.S.
  3. Politics

I gave up and am giving you all this – the Black Bean Soup that Reflects the State of My Inner Soul Right This Second Because I am DIRE.

Yeah.

 

Black Bean Soup Because The World Sucks

Sometimes the world sucks and you need a dark soup to match your feelings. Am I right? 

This is a new version of a black bean soup I wrote about before. You can never have enough black bean soup recipes. Can you?

Course dinner
Cuisine soup, tex-mex, vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6 souls
Calories 350 kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
  • 2 whole onions chopped
  • 6 whole garlic cloves chopped/pressed
  • 3 ribs celery chopped
  • 1 whole carrot chopped
  • 5 tsp cumin
  • .5 tsp red pepper flakes or hot sauce to taste really
  • 60 oz black beans canned, drained
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • .5 cup cilantro optional, to taste
  • 4 cups broth!

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in soup pot over medium heat. 

    Stare at it until it shimmers. 

    Remember when you used to shimmer.

    Sigh dramatically.

    Throw in the onions, celery and carrot.

    Sigh again because honestly? What is the point.

    Put in salt, blood pressure be damned.  

  2. Stir once in awhile. Eventually the vegetable will get soft.

    "Eventually" is 10 to 15 minutes. This is a much shorter 'eventually' than when waiting for your editor to return your email. But whatever. 

  3. Add in the smelly things -  garlic, cumin and red pepper flakes.

    Wonder if you're a smelly thing? When did you last bathe? Was it before 2018? Join the club.

    Cook until things smell more than you do  - 30 seconds. 

  4. It's time for the dark soul part of this soup. You are miserable, aren't you? Yes, writer you are. 

    Add beans. Add broth.

    Put the heat on medium high and watch it simmer. Reduce it so it only simmers gently. If only YOU were simmering gently, but honestly? The state of the world makes you SIMMER INTO ROARING, doesn't it? Yes. Yes. It does.

    Soup is not you though. So simmer GENTLY for 30 minutes, or else it will boil over and stick to the pot and believe me, you do not have the emotional reserves to deal with that mess. 

  5. Put about 4 cups into a blender (make sure not to overload your blender because it is hot and you will get burned and you probably don't have the medical insurance to deal with that if you are an American writer). 

    Blend carefully.

    You can also use a hot-pink immersion blender if you are tired of the darkness of this soup, your soul, and this world. 

    JUST BE CAREFUL! 

  6. Put the blended stuff back in the soup pot. Mix. Add in  cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper.

    Sigh.

    Eat it.

    Sigh more. 

Man Verdict – It tastes sad.

Dog Verdict – Isn’t this not good for dogs? 

My Verdict – Yep. Uh-huh. 

WRITING NEWS

ENHANCED, the follow-up to FLYING is here! And the books are out of this world. Please buy them and support a writer.

31702754 copy

The last TIME STOPPERS BOOK is out and I love it. You should buy it because it’s empowering and about friendship and bias and magic. Plus, dragons and elves.

Timestoppers3_005

How to Get Signed Copies: 

If you would like to purchase signed copies of my books, you can do so through the awesome Sherman’s Book Store in Bar Harbor, Maine or the amazing Briar Patch. The books are also available online at places like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

For signed copies – email barharbor@shermans.com for Sherman’s or email info@briarpatchbooks.comand let them know the titles in which you are interested. There’s sometimes a waiting list, but they are the best option. Plus, you’re supporting an adorable local bookstore run by some really wonderful humans. But here’s the Amazon link, too!

Art Stuff

You can buy prints of my art here. Thank you so much for supporting my books and me and each other. I hope you have an amazing day.

A new episode of Dogs are Smarter Than People, the quirky podcast with writing tips, life tips and a random thought came out yesterday! Check it out, like and subscribe!

Veggie Nachos, Baby

Why, hello. Yes, it is me, Carrie, a carb-loving writer on a quest to make her household (gasp) vegetarians.

Because I felt guilty about the kale and the tomatoes that I’ve been throwing at the man lately (Only after he threw them at me first), I’ve adopted a recipe that I think will not incite any sort of unhappy incidents.

Why?

Because they are nachos and nachos, my friend, are awesome.

Veggie Nachos, Baby

I like nachos. Nachos have carbs. I don't care. The end.

This recipe is taken and adapted (and also adopted) from the amazing blog, Cookie and Kate. The link to the true recipe is here: https://cookieandkate.com/2018/loaded-veggie-nachos-recipe/

Course dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, tex-mex
Keyword nacho
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 normal humans who aren't obsessed with nachos
Calories 530 kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 oz tortilla chips rugged ones
  • 1 can pinto bans
  • 4 oz cheddar shredded like it was at a really good book launch
  • 4 oz pepper jack shredded and hot like it was at a really good book launch somewhere warm (Hint; Not Chicago. I always get sent to Chicago. I like Chicago. Chicago is not warm)
  • 1 whole pepper green, red, orange - just dice it up
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese because I live in Maine and we have no cool Mexican cheese
  • 1/3 cup onions green or regular, diced
  • 2 tbsp cilantro You can blow this off if you hate poor Cilantro
  • some or whatever guacamole or avocado if you're into it
  • some or whatever salsa pre-made, homemade, it's up to youPreheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place handfuls of chips on the baking sheet and distribute evenly, minimizing the gaps between chips. Set aside.

Instructions

  1. Find your oven. It should be in the kitchen. It was there last time you looked and I don't think you're living in a T.C. Boyle or Vonnegut novel so it should still be there. Okay. Found it? Put it on 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

  2. Find a baking sheet. Line it with parchment paper. DO NOT FEEL GUILTY ABOUT EATING NACHOS! 

    If you are a writer who solely makes money from writing ignore the parchment paper and just spray the sheet. It's cheaper. 

    Put the chips all across the sheet. Try not to have gaps because stuff will leak through. NO LEAKING ALLOWED! 

  3. Okay. You have a nice bottom layer. It is the supporting structure of your nachos just like you have to have a supporting structure of your new story: A LOVE STORY: ONE WRITER AND HER QUEST FOR CONSTANT CARBS. 

    On top of that layer you want to put the beans. Spread them out nicely. Do the same with the cheeses, pepper, feta and any spicy things. 

  4. Put that party in the oven. Love it. Admire it. Obsess over it. The carbs. The cheese. The beauty. Bake until the cheese melts.

    This should be somewhere around 10 minutes. 

  5. Take it out of the oven. 

    I know you want to gobble it all up but refrain, my carb-loving friends, refrain. 


  6. Why, refrain? Because it isn't over yet, my friends. Wave bye to ketosis and dollop on the guacamole. Then sprinkle onions and cilantro on there.  

  7. And there. Eat it! Call it good. Forget about ketosis and whole-day-diet stuff of 30 things or whatever the heck they call it. Gobble up those nachos. It's one life, baby. Let's live it. 

 

Man Verdict: Thank God. You don’t hate me.

Doggy Verdict: Why must tortilla chips have salt? We can’t have these, can we? Why do you hate us, human?

My Verdict: Nachos have totally supplanted potatoes as my comfort food.

 

 

Flying

 

ENHANCED PAPERBACK RELEASE!

Carrie Jones, the New York Times bestselling author of Flying, presents another science fiction adventure of cheerleader-turned-alien-hunter Mana in Enhanced.

Seventeen-year-old Mana has found and rescued her mother, but her work isn’t done yet. Her mother may be out of alien hands, but she’s in a coma, unable to tell anyone what she knows.

Mana is ready to take action. The only problem? Nobody will let her. Lyle, her best friend and almost-boyfriend (for a minute there, anyway), seems to want nothing to do with hunting aliens, despite his love of Doctor Who. Bestie Seppie is so desperate to stay out of it, she’s actually leaving town. And her mom’s hot but arrogant alien-hunting partner, China, is ignoring Mana’s texts, cutting her out of the mission entirely.

They all know the alien threat won’t stay quiet for long. It’s up to Mana to fight her way back in.

“Witty dialogue and flawless action.”—VOYA

“YA readers, you’re in for a treat this week. Hilarious and action-packed, this novel is sure to be the perfect summer read.”—Bookish 

“Funny and playful, with a diverse cast of characters and a bit of romance and adventure, Flying is the perfect light summer read.”—BookPage

 

Our podcast DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLEis still chugging along. Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness. We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of.

The Final Time Stoppers Book

What is it? It’s the third TIME STOPPERS book!

Time Stopper Annie’s newfound home, the enchanted town Aurora, is in danger. The vicious Raiff will stop at nothing to steal the town’s magic, and Annie is the only one who can defeat him–even though it’s prophesied that she’ll “fall with evil.”

Alongside her loyal band of friends Eva, Bloom, SalGoud, and Jamie, who still isn’t quite sure whether he’s a troll or not, Annie journeys deep into the Raiff’s realm, the Badlands. The group will face everything from ruthless monsters to their own deepest fears. Can Annie find the courage to confront the Raiff and save everyone, even if it means making the ultimate sacrifice?

What People are Saying About The Books:

An imaginative blend of fantasy, whimsy, and suspense, with a charming cast of underdog characters . . . This new fantasy series will entice younger fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.” –  School Library Journal

“The characters show welcome kindness and poignant insecurity, and the text sprinkles in humor . . . and an abundance of magical creatures.” – Kirkus Reviews 

“An imaginative blend of fantasy, whimsy, and suspense, with a charming cast of underdog characters . . . This new fantasy series will entice younger fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.” – School Library Journal 

How to Get Signed Copies: 

If you would like to purchase signed copies of my books, you can do so through the awesome Sherman’s Book Store in Bar Harbor, Maine or the amazing Briar Patch. The books are also available online at places like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

For signed copies – email barharbor@shermans.com for Sherman’s or email info@briarpatchbooks.comand let them know the titles in which you are interested. There’s sometimes a waiting list, but they are the best option. Plus, you’re supporting an adorable local bookstore run by some really wonderful humans. But here’s the Amazon link, too!

 

Swipe Right: Writing is All About Relationships – DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE PODCAST

Writing is all about relationships, right? The reader relates to the characters that the writer creates. The characters relate to each other.

Relationships are tricky things. They are expansive and minute all at once. They can completely surround you, dwarf you, push against you until all you think about is them. Relationships untended to can also be forgotten – just become nothing things.  I have had relationships become nothing things. And I think when there are huge life transistions are happening, it’s a lot easier for a relationship to become exactly that – nothing, a place of indifference instead of a place of promise and growth.

Sometimes we ignore the things we take for granted.

Sometimes we don’t.

And it’s never healthy to ignore relationships in books or in real life.

 

WRITING TIP OF THE CAST –

Think of your characters like profiles on Tinder, the dating app. What would make your reader swipe right, and commit to knowing more about the character and the book? What would make you do that? Incorporate that. If you wouldn’t swipe right to learn more about your character, someone else isn’t going to either. First impressions matter.

 

DOG TIP FOR LIFE –

Speaking of first impressions mattering, dogs are a perfect example of this. Dogs are all about that first scent, the first size up. Readers are like that. People are like that too. Too often we ignore our first instincts about people and … Well, we shouldn’t.

SHOUT OUT

The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website.Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Night Owl” by Broke For Free.

SECOND SHOUT OUT

It’s the Man’s birthday today and it’s a big one! Happy Birthday, Shaun! We hope you are living happy and large, man.

ENHANCED PAPERBACK RELEASE!

Carrie Jones, the New York Times bestselling author of Flying, presents another science fiction adventure of cheerleader-turned-alien-hunter Mana in Enhanced.

Seventeen-year-old Mana has found and rescued her mother, but her work isn’t done yet. Her mother may be out of alien hands, but she’s in a coma, unable to tell anyone what she knows.

Mana is ready to take action. The only problem? Nobody will let her. Lyle, her best friend and almost-boyfriend (for a minute there, anyway), seems to want nothing to do with hunting aliens, despite his love of Doctor Who. Bestie Seppie is so desperate to stay out of it, she’s actually leaving town. And her mom’s hot but arrogant alien-hunting partner, China, is ignoring Mana’s texts, cutting her out of the mission entirely.

They all know the alien threat won’t stay quiet for long. It’s up to Mana to fight her way back in.

“Witty dialogue and flawless action.”—VOYA

“YA readers, you’re in for a treat this week. Hilarious and action-packed, this novel is sure to be the perfect summer read.”—Bookish 

“Funny and playful, with a diverse cast of characters and a bit of romance and adventure, Flying is the perfect light summer read.”—BookPage

Order Your Copy:

mazon n ooksamillion http://torteenblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/ibooks.png ndiebound

Our podcast DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE is still chugging along. Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness. We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of.

The Final Time Stoppers Book

What is it? It’s the third TIME STOPPERS book!

Time Stopper Annie’s newfound home, the enchanted town Aurora, is in danger. The vicious Raiff will stop at nothing to steal the town’s magic, and Annie is the only one who can defeat him–even though it’s prophesied that she’ll “fall with evil.”

Alongside her loyal band of friends Eva, Bloom, SalGoud, and Jamie, who still isn’t quite sure whether he’s a troll or not, Annie journeys deep into the Raiff’s realm, the Badlands. The group will face everything from ruthless monsters to their own deepest fears. Can Annie find the courage to confront the Raiff and save everyone, even if it means making the ultimate sacrifice?

What People are Saying About The Books:

An imaginative blend of fantasy, whimsy, and suspense, with a charming cast of underdog characters . . . This new fantasy series will entice younger fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.” –  School Library Journal

“The characters show welcome kindness and poignant insecurity, and the text sprinkles in humor . . . and an abundance of magical creatures.” – Kirkus Reviews 

“An imaginative blend of fantasy, whimsy, and suspense, with a charming cast of underdog characters . . . This new fantasy series will entice younger fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.” – School Library Journal 

How to Get Signed Copies: 

If you would like to purchase signed copies of my books, you can do so through the awesome Sherman’s Book Store in Bar Harbor, Maine or the amazing Briar Patch. The books are also available online at places like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

For signed copies – email barharbor@shermans.com for Sherman’s or email info@briarpatchbooks.comand let them know the titles in which you are interested. There’s sometimes a waiting list, but they are the best option. Plus, you’re supporting an adorable local bookstore run by some really wonderful humans. But here’s the Amazon link, too!

Swipe Right: Writing is All About Relationships – DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE PODCAST

 
 
00:00 / 00:24:56
 
1X
 

Push It – Kale Pesto Recipe – Cooking With a Writer

As we all know by now, on Thursdays I try to post a vegetarian recipe that I’m trying in an attempt to seduce the man away from his flesh-eating ways.

 

Wow. I just made him sound like a super bacteria resistant to penicillin. He is not! I promise.

 

Hold on, I keep imaging that’s what he is and I’m laughing too hard to type.

 

This week I attempted a kale and hemp seed pesto because:

 

  1. He sort of likes pesto.
  2. Basil is expensive and I TOTALLY love pesto. It’s still my favorite.
  3. Hemp seeds are cheaper than pine nuts and walnuts, usually. And I am cheap.
  4. He hates kale.

 

 

I know! My logic is twisted. He does like kale chips though, so I figured this was sort of safe.

 

Push It – Kale Pesto Schoop Whatta Man

Course dinner
Cuisine Italian
Keyword kale, pesto
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 440 kcal

Ingredients

  • .75 cup hemp seeds or walnuts or pecans
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 cups kale packed
  • 2 tbsps lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • .25 tsp ground pepper
  • red pepper flakes
  • .25 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • one third cup parmesan cheese grated

Instructions

  1. • I don’t have a food processor. Okay. Actually, I have one, but I am the least mechanical human ever so I don’t know how to make it work. This is also true for my sewing machine. You can use a food processor or blender for the next step. Guess which I use.  

  2. • Mince the garlic cloves (peeled). 

  3. • Add everything else except the poor oil.

  4. • Give the oil a pep talk. It’s not because you’re oily, tell it. It’s because you’re so important that you deserve extra attention. You’re special that way. 

  5. • Put the oil on top and watch. Coo to the oil that it’s special. Blend until you like the way it looks. Remind the oil that it’s because of her that you can make this pesto any consistency you want. Remind her how beautiful she is. 

  6. • Taste it. Add more lemon if you want. Add more salt and pepper. Start singing old Salt-N-Pepa songs from the 1990s. Think about Vlogging this. Decide that would be detrimental. 

  7. • If you want to put your pesto on pasta (LOOK AT THE ALLITERATION!) make your pasta according to directions on the box/bag. Cook it. Think about how Salt-N-Pepa was a trio and not a trio, think about how happy Olive Oil would be if the hip-hop trio had been named Salt-N-Pepa-N-Olive Oil. Realize you are a dork. 

  8. • Wait a minute after pasta is done before mixing in the pesto. Remember to drain the pasta first. 

Man Verdict: This is not kale.

Dogs’ Verdict: It’s green, like interesting smelling poop can we try.

My Verdict: YAY!

Cooking With a Writer – Vampire Tempeh Kabobs

When I First Started Writing, Vampires were really popular.

And it turns out that when I make kabobs?

I think about vampires.

Vampires are kind of the opposites of vegetarians (usually), but what the heck, right?

It’s vegetarian kabobs with a vampy twist.

 

 

Tempeh Kabobs My Friend

Course entree
Cuisine American, vegetarian
Keyword tempeh
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
RESTING TIME HAPPENS 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 800 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 8 oz tempeh
  • 16 whole mushrooms white
  • 16 whole cherry tomatoes
  • 1 whole red pepper

For marinade

  • 8 tbsp tamari cut into 1.5-inch pieces
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 7 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger root granted

For Couscous

  • 1 package couscous
  • 1 cup raisins or cran-raisins
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 1 whole lemon
  • 2 tsp cumin

Instructions

  1. Find a plastic bag.

    Ponder the use of plastics in this world. Wonder if the vampire teeth you bought for Halloween will ever be used again

    Cry a little because the world is too full of plastic and fake vampire teeth and plastic bags. 

    Put the tempeh, mushrooms, and veggies in the bag. 

  2. Find a bowl. Be grateful it's not plastic. Wonder if vampires collect blood in bowls. 

    Whisk  oil, tamari, and honey together Add 1 tbs ginger, 1 tbsp garlic, and salt and pepper.

  3. Pour stuff in the bowl into the bag. Seal bag. Shake bag. Refrigerate - 2 hours. Write a screenplay about vampires collecting plastic teeth in bowls. 

  4. Hit medium-high heat on grill. Make skewers. 

    This seems sort of like torture. Cherry tomatoes are squirting blood everywhere! 

    Yikes.

    OH MY GOSH! SKEWERS ARE LIKE STAKES! YOU KILL VAMPIRES WITH STAKES! 

    Maybe you should write a vampire novel instead of a screenplay because you could have fun describing this.  Yes. Yes, you could. . . 

  5. Make couscous according to directions., BUT BE A REBEL VAMPIRE and add 1 tablespoon ginger, cumin, and salt during the cooking.

    When it is all done cooking add in the raisins and garbanzo beans.  

  6. Grill skewers. Turn them a lot. 

    When they look done to your liking eat them with the couscous and left-over marinade. 

    Feel undead.

    Like it. 

 

Dog Verdict: No.

Man Verdict: THERE ARE TOMATOES ON HERE.

Me: You can pick tomatoes off.

Man: They have contaminated everything! Everything!

Me (eats man’s tomatoes): I like this.

Marsie the cat

If you all remember the whole point of this is to try to convince The Man to become a vegetarian. So… I probably shouldn’t have added the tomatoes. Marsie the Cat agrees this was a bad move.

 

Writing News

Our podcast DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE is still chugging along. Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness. We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of.

Dogs are smarter than people - the podcast, writing tips, life tips, quirky humans, awesome dogs

31702754 copy

ENHANCED PAPERBACK RELEASE!

This is the book that I forgot was coming out. I am so sorry, little book!

Carrie Jones, the New York Times bestselling author of Flying, presents another science fiction adventure of cheerleader-turned-alien-hunter Mana in Enhanced.

Seventeen-year-old Mana has found and rescued her mother, but her work isn’t done yet. Her mother may be out of alien hands, but she’s in a coma, unable to tell anyone what she knows.

Mana is ready to take action. The only problem? Nobody will let her. Lyle, her best friend and almost-boyfriend (for a minute there, anyway), seems to want nothing to do with hunting aliens, despite his love of Doctor Who. Bestie Seppie is so desperate to stay out of it, she’s actually leaving town. And her mom’s hot but arrogant alien-hunting partner, China, is ignoring Mana’s texts, cutting her out of the mission entirely.

They all know the alien threat won’t stay quiet for long. It’s up to Mana to fight her way back in.

“Witty dialogue and flawless action.”—VOYA

“YA readers, you’re in for a treat this week. Hilarious and action-packed, this novel is sure to be the perfect summer read.”—Bookish 

“Funny and playful, with a diverse cast of characters and a bit of romance and adventure, Flying is the perfect light summer read.”—BookPage

Order Your Copy:

amazon bn booksamillion  indiebound

Cough. That was pretty self-promotional, wasn’t it?

The Final Time Stoppers Book

What is it? It’s the third TIME STOPPERS book! It’s also one of the reasons that I forgot about ENHANCED’s release.

Time Stopper Annie’s newfound home, the enchanted town Aurora, is in danger. The vicious Raiff will stop at nothing to steal the town’s magic, and Annie is the only one who can defeat him–even though it’s prophesied that she’ll “fall with evil.”

Alongside her loyal band of friends Eva, Bloom, SalGoud, and Jamie, who still isn’t quite sure whether he’s a troll or not, Annie journeys deep into the Raiff’s realm, the Badlands. The group will face everything from ruthless monsters to their own deepest fears. Can Annie find the courage to confront the Raiff and save everyone, even if it means making the ultimate sacrifice?

What People are Saying About The Books:

An imaginative blend of fantasy, whimsy, and suspense, with a charming cast of underdog characters . . . This new fantasy series will entice younger fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.” –  School Library Journal

“The characters show welcome kindness and poignant insecurity, and the text sprinkles in humor . . . and an abundance of magical creatures.” Kirkus Reviews on QUEST FOR THE GOLDEN ARROW

“An imaginative blend of fantasy, whimsy, and suspense, with a charming cast of underdog characters . . . This new fantasy series will entice younger fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.” – School Library Journal on TIME STOPPERS

How to Get Signed Copies: 

If you would like to purchase signed copies of my books, you can do so through the awesome Sherman’s Book Store in Bar Harbor, Maine or the amazing Briar Patch. The books are also available online at places like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

For signed copies – email barharbor@shermans.com for Sherman’s or email info@briarpatchbooks.comand let them know the titles in which you are interested. There’s sometimes a waiting list, but they are the best option. Plus, you’re supporting an adorable local bookstore run by some really wonderful humans. But here’s the Amazon link, too!

Cooking With a Writer – Tipsy Grilled Pineapples

So, yeah.

I’ve been hanging out in the camper for weeks and weeks now and I’ve got to admit… I’m getting a little punchy. I sort of miss floor.

So, be warned, this recipe? It’s a little punchy, too. Punchy enough to make the rest of the family vegetarians?

No.

But, pretty punchy.

Tipsy Grilled Pineapple

This recipe is adapted from cookingcanuck.com, which is an awesome place to go hang out. 

Course Dessert
Cuisine American, vegetarian
Keyword pineapple, grilled
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 normal humans
Calories 600 kcal

Ingredients

  • .25 cup butter unsalted is better for you
  • .66 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp flour regular kind
  • 1 cup half and half stuff my mom used to love this
  • 3 tbsp dark rum my mom refused to touch this
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • .25 tsp vanilla extract try not to sniff it too much
  • a bit canola oil or vegetable oil to brush the grill
  • 1 big pineapple cut into 8 rings that are about ¾ inch thick

Instructions

  1. Okay. You are cooking with rum. Try to control yourself. 

    Put your heat source on medium. Then melt the butter in a big skillet or regular saucepan.

    Envy the butter. It changes shapes so easily while you have to work so hard to change shape. Realize part of the reason why you have to work so hard is because.... butter. 

    *PREHEAT THE GRILL TO MEDIUM*

  2. Resent the butter.

    Whisk in flour and brown sugar. To be fair, they don't help you change shape (for the better) either. Take it out on them by  whisking constantly.

    Do this for two minutes.

    Feel spent.

  3. Regret your feelings. Butter, sugar, and flour can't help it if you can't resist them, can they? 

    No. 

    No.

    This is on you.

  4. Add the half-and-half. 

    Keep whisking.

    But whisk with love.

    Love them all for five minutes. The sauce will thicken.

  5. Take it off the heat. Murmur loving things. 

    Add the rum, fresh lemon juice and vanilla extract. 

    Try not to sniff the vanilla extract too long because I swear that stuff is like ModPodge or glue and it can make you a bit... Well, it does what rum does. 

    Put the sauce on low. Really low. Keep whisking until you use it. 

    HOW DO YOU DO THIS WHILE GRILLING THE PINEAPPLES? CALL YOUR FRIEND AND COOKING PARTNER OR RUN BACK AND FORTH SUPER FAST.

  6. You ready? It's time to get these pineapples primed so they can get tipsy.

    Brush grill with canola oil. It's like a happy tanning bed back in the 1970s. Didn't people brush their skin with butter back then? 

    Flop the pineapple rings on the grill.

    Those pineapples are ready to party. Turn them over at 2.5 minutes in. They don't want to be unevenly tanned. Cook them a total of 5 minutes. 

    Those babies are beautiful and ready to be tipsy! 


  7. Put ice cream on top.

    Pour sauce all over them. 

    Wow. 

Gabby the Dog: ALCOHOL IS EVIL AND YOU ARE TRYING TO KILL ME.

Sparty the Dog: I like this.

The Man: This isn’t actually a meal.

Me: Hiccup.

Writing News

31702754 copy

ENHANCED PAPERBACK RELEASE!

This is the book that I forgot was coming out. I am so sorry, little book!

Carrie Jones, the New York Times bestselling author of Flying, presents another science fiction adventure of cheerleader-turned-alien-hunter Mana in Enhanced.

Seventeen-year-old Mana has found and rescued her mother, but her work isn’t done yet. Her mother may be out of alien hands, but she’s in a coma, unable to tell anyone what she knows.

Mana is ready to take action. The only problem? Nobody will let her. Lyle, her best friend and almost-boyfriend (for a minute there, anyway), seems to want nothing to do with hunting aliens, despite his love of Doctor Who. Bestie Seppie is so desperate to stay out of it, she’s actually leaving town. And her mom’s hot but arrogant alien-hunting partner, China, is ignoring Mana’s texts, cutting her out of the mission entirely.

They all know the alien threat won’t stay quiet for long. It’s up to Mana to fight her way back in.

“Witty dialogue and flawless action.”—VOYA
“YA readers, you’re in for a treat this week. Hilarious and action-packed, this novel is sure to be the perfect summer read.”—Bookish 

“Funny and playful, with a diverse cast of characters and a bit of romance and adventure, Flying is the perfect light summer read.”—BookPage

Order Your Copy:

amazon bn booksamillion  indiebound

Cough. That was pretty self-promotional, wasn’t it?

The Final Time Stoppers Book

What is it? It’s the third TIME STOPPERS book! It’s also one of the reasons that I forgot about ENHANCED’s release.

Time Stopper Annie’s newfound home, the enchanted town Aurora, is in danger. The vicious Raiff will stop at nothing to steal the town’s magic, and Annie is the only one who can defeat him–even though it’s prophesied that she’ll “fall with evil.”

Alongside her loyal band of friends Eva, Bloom, SalGoud, and Jamie, who still isn’t quite sure whether he’s a troll or not, Annie journeys deep into the Raiff’s realm, the Badlands. The group will face everything from ruthless monsters to their own deepest fears. Can Annie find the courage to confront the Raiff and save everyone, even if it means making the ultimate sacrifice?
What People are Saying About The Books:
An imaginative blend of fantasy, whimsy, and suspense, with a charming cast of underdog characters . . . This new fantasy series will entice younger fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.” –  School Library Journal
“The characters show welcome kindness and poignant insecurity, and the text sprinkles in humor . . . and an abundance of magical creatures.” Kirkus Reviews on QUEST FOR THE GOLDEN ARROW

“An imaginative blend of fantasy, whimsy, and suspense, with a charming cast of underdog characters . . . This new fantasy series will entice younger fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.” – School Library Journal on TIME STOPPERS
How to Get Signed Copies: 

If you would like to purchase signed copies of my books, you can do so through the awesome Sherman’s Book Store in Bar Harbor, Maine or the amazing Briar Patch. The books are also available online at places like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

For signed copies – email barharbor@shermans.com for Sherman’s or email info@briarpatchbooks.comand let them know the titles in which you are interested. There’s sometimes a waiting list, but they are the best option. Plus, you’re supporting an adorable local bookstore run by some really wonderful humans. But here’s the Amazon link, too!

Cooking With A Writer – It’s spaghetti. It’s risotto. It’s spaghetti risotto?

Sorry for the break last week. I was having some major life issues that involved weeping.

Hint: Major Life Issue = Bringing daughter to the airport to head back to the Army.

But I’m back now and no longer crying, so I can give you this recipe, which is a take on a lot of broken spaghetti recipes I’ve been seeing last week.

Carrie’s internal thoughts: Am I seeing all these broken spaghetti recipes because I feel broken inside? Is this a sign from the universe?

Please ignore my internal thoughts.

Anyway, a lot of us authors have an occasional identity crisis. We want to be a middle grade author and then we realize we’re better at pictures books. We want to write erotica, but then… Apparently, hamster erotica is not a thing and so we write books about psychology instead.

 

This recipe is sort of like that.

 

It’s spaghetti, but it’s not really. It’s more risotto. And that’s cool, actually. Nobody needs to make spaghetti be relegated to clam sauce, pesto and tomato sauce. Let spaghetti live and explore its identity, I say!

So, here you go:

Spaghetti Risotto

Yep. It's weird. Just like me.

Course dinner
Cuisine American, vegetarian
Keyword risotto, spaghetti
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 399 kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 3 tsp herbes de provence say it like you're French even if you aren't
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 8 oz spaghetti break it all up
  • .5 tsp red pepper flakes or to taste or not at all
  • .25 tsp black pepper and salt to taste
  • 1 cup mushrooms, orange peppers, peas chopped - you can pick the veggies you prefer. Beware that mushrooms give off some water

Instructions

  1. Find a big pan. Put pan on medium-high burner. Throw in the garlic and olive oil and some veggie broth (a tablespoon – maybe two).

  2. Add the vegetables to the pan and saute them for 2-3 minutes. Make them soft. 

  3. Break your spaghetti. Imagine it is all the editors and agents who ever rejected you. Cackle with joy and revenge. 

  4. Add the spaghetti. It is broken. But you, my little writer friend, are not broken. You are triumphant! You will write on! Stir it all around. Think about cackling again. Stir and cackle for two more minutes until it is a new color. That color should be light brown. 

  5. Add a half of a cup of veggie broth at a time. Keep stirring. DO NOT STOP STIRRING. Do this until the pasta is all the way cooked. 

  6. Add hot pepper flakes. Add parsley. Add black pepper and salt. 

Man Verdict: I can eat all of this.

Dogs Verdict: We can, too!

Carrie Verdict: Yep. It’s a go.

Writing News

Next and Last Time Stoppers Book

It’s almost out! You can pre-ordermy middle grade fantasy novel Time Stoppers Escape From the Badlands here or anywhere. The official release date is August 7! 

37584945_10156714893329073_1974569355584733184_n

People call it a cross between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson but it’s set in Maine. It’s full of adventure, quirkiness and heart.

Moe Berg

The Spy Who Played Baseballis a picture book biography about Moe Berg. And… there’s a movie out now about Moe Berg, a major league baseball player who became a spy. How cool is that?

You should totally buy Carrie’s book about Moe. It’s awesome and quirky and fun.

OUR PODCAST DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness as we talk about random thoughts, writing advice and life tips. We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow.

dogs are smarter than people carrie after dark being relentless to get published

Writing Coach

Carrie offers solo writing coach services. For more about Carrie’s individual coaching, click here.

Ebook on Sale for July – and July is almost over! 

And finally, for the month of July, my book FLYING is on sale in ebook version on multiple platforms, which means not just Amazon. It’s a cheap way to have an awesome read in a book that’s basically Men in Black meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer but with chocolate-covered pretzels.

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Appearances

Carrie will be at The Books-A-Million in South Portland, Maine on August 8. She’ll be at the Maine Literacy Volunteers Festival on September 8.

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