When he started out with, "Just call me Tony," all the butterflies in my stomach settled. Antony Kolenc, author of The Harwood Mysteries, had read my book, The Demons Among Us, and liked its clean spiritual message. He had invited me to discuss the demons that face our youth on his weekly Catholic podcast, The Shepherd's Pie. And there I sat twisting my hands in my lap and hoping I'd say something profound. We ended up engrossed in a lively discussion that lasted far longer than the usual 30 minutes.
The podcast will air mid November. As soon as I know the date, I'll post it on Facebook and Instagram.
Thinking About Writing A Book?
You might consider joining the American Christian Fiction Writers. I've served as the president of its N. GA Chapter this past year. On Jan. 1, 2023, we'll merge with the NW GA Chapter to form the ACFW Georgia Chapter. Sadly, there's never been a S. GA Chapter.
The newly formed chapter will offer monthly Zoom meetings (2nd Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. EST) featuring prestigious speakers, information on conferences and contests, and publishing industry news. We'll meet in person a few times a year. You can join for a mere $15 after you join the national chapter, and you don't have to live in Georgia. You can hail from anywhere in the world. If interested, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You'd think that after my knee surgery in May, I'd put off any other surgeries for a while. However, I was forced to change my mind when mucous cysts, caused by arthritis, formed on my left forefinger and long finger joints, generating quite a bit of pain. My orthopedist removed them Oct. 21. The big bandages, covering about eight stitches on each finger, slowed me down for a few days, but now I'm wearing Band-Aids and can type for short periods of time. I understand my finger physical therapy starts next week. Can you imagine? LOL!
Following are my ratings for the books I read in October. I had a lot of time on my hands (pun intended) following finger surgery. Friend me on Goodreads to view how I've rated books since 2010.
The Merchant's Curse, Antony Barone Kolenc⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4th in a Christian dystopian series. See review below.)
Fairy Tale, Stephen King ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (This is his 60th novel! It could be YA, except for the bad language.)
How the Light Gets In #9, Louise Penny ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Long Way Home #10, Louise Penny ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Nature of the Beast #11, Louise Penny ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Thursday Murder Club, Richard Osman (Audible) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Man Who Died Twice, Richard Osman (Audible) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Taylor Jenkins Reid (Audible) ⭐⭐⭐
YOUNG ADULT DYSTOPIAN BOOK REVIEW
The Haywood Mysteries
This award-winning Christian middle-grade series kept me on the edge of my seat as I raced through its four unputdownable books. Set in 1184, Shadow in the Dark, The Haunted Cathedral, The Fire of Eden, and The Merchant’s Curse follow the confusing, yet brave, experience of a young boy who lost his memory. While convalescing at Harwood Abbey, he’s nicknamed Alexander—Xan for short. He soon befriends Joshua and Lucy, who help him track a frightening shadow that threatens the abbey, learn the truth about his heritage, then face unspeakable terrors in a haunted cathedral in the neighboring town of Lincoln. He gains two new friends, Christina and Simon, who help him confront his fears during a dangerous exploration of suspicious activities in Lincoln, where he has moved to apprentice with relatives. Throughout the books, Xan not only searches for his parents, but also for his spiritual purpose. This is high-adventure clean reading at its best for both boys and girls.
Turkey Pot Pie
Looking for something to do with leftover Thanksgiving turkey? I've been making this recipe for decades. It's also great to take to shut-ins.
2 cans (15 oz. each) Veg-All mixed vegetables, drained 1 can (10-3/4 oz.) Cream of Potato soup undiluted 1/4 cup milk 1 lb. shredded cooked turkey 1/4 tsp dried thyme 1/4 tsp black pepper 2 (9-inch) refrigerated ready-to-bake pie crusts
Preheat oven to 375° F. In medium mixing bowl, combine first six ingredients; mix well. Place one pie crust into 9-inch pie pan; pour vegetable mixture into pie crust. Top with remaining crust, crimp edges to seal, and slit top with knife. Bake for 50-60 minutes on lower rack or until crust is golden brown and filling is hot. Allow pie to cool slightly before cutting into wedges to serve.
Seen vs Saw
My editor, Miriam Romain, asked that I provide a tip on the use of seen vs saw. Evidently, she sees misuse like, "I seen this on TV," a lot.
Know that seen and saw are not interchangeable. Seen is the past participle used to form perfect verb tenses, as in I have seen every episode of Friends.Saw is past tense, as in I saw you admiring that red Porsche.