Mama Diaries

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Soup Project

Last night, after I came home from work, my son came up to me and said, "Mama, we need to boil some potatoes."


I looked at the kid. "Boil potatoes? Why?"


"I have a school project that's due tomorrow, and I have to make Russian potato soup."


I couldn't imagine why in the world he'd have to make such a thing. "Okay. You need to back up. What kind of school project involves Russian potato soup?"


"I have to teach the class how to do something, and I wanted to teach them how to make that."


"Why couldn't you teach them how to write a program for video games? You know how to do that."


He frowned. "Because I'm Russian, and Russian potato soup is good."


Right.


"So, Bubba, do you know how to make Russian potato soup?"


He nodded. "It's all in my head." 


I thought I'd test that theory. "What are the ingredients?"


"Potatoes."


"And?"


The boy shrugged.  Just as I thought. He had no idea of how to make Russian potato soup.


I sighed and pulled out the ingredients, which he was very lucky that I happened to have. At ten o'clock at night, it might have been  a little tough to find a grocery store that was open.


"Okay, Bubba. Start peeling."


He took the peeler and attempted to do the job. He had no clue how to peel a potato. So I showed him. I ended up peeling the potatoes, because he claimed that the cast on his arm made it difficult. This may or may not be true, but I wasn't going to argue about it, because I just wanted to get it done.


I showed him how to make the soup.  When it was done, I asked him how he was going to get it to school and serve it.


He shrugged. "You'll figure it out."


Of course. Mamas always figure it out!



Monday, May 23, 2016

Surprise Party

When you think of surprise parties, you think of some guest of honor arriving at a location and being unexpectedly greeted by friends and family. That's the way they should be. But the one that happened at my place was nothing like that.


I came home a couple of days ago and found my house decorated with balloons and other party paraphernalia. "What's going on here?" I asked my daughter who was busy with the preparations.


"We're having a party."


"We are?" Somehow I had missed that memo.


"Yeah," my daughter said. "It's my friend's birthday, and her house is under construction, so her mom asked if we could have the party at our house."


I looked around. "Obviously you said, 'Yes.' How many are we expecting?"


"Five. And it's a sleepover."


Guess that surprise was on me!


(In case you're wondering, the party was just fine. My daughter had it under control. All I had to do was supervise.)


  

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Drippy Nose

There was a drippy nose in my household, and it wasn't mine. It wasn't my husband's, or my daughter's, or even Bubba's. It was Schultz's! He's our hundred-pound German Shepherd.


The hairy beast had apparently contracted a canine cold. He kept trying to wipe his nose with his paw. It wasn't working so well. My daughter saw this, and decided to help him out. She grabbed some tissues and wiped his big, black sniffer.


He thought this was some kind of game. He rolled on his back and tried to eat the tissue.


"Schultz!" my daughter yelled. "Cut it out!"


He didn't. Soon the tissue was in shreds.


My daughter got up and huffed, "Fine. Have a drippy nose. See if I care!"


What did Schultz do? He got up, walked over to our sofa, and used it as his personal hanky.


"Schultz!" I bellowed. I gave the beast my meanest Mommy look and banished him to his crate.


Ugh! Yet another job for the steam cleaner.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Guest Author, Chrys Fey, and a Giveaway



Today I have special guest, Chrys Fey, talking about her awesome new book, Seismic Crimes.

How did you come up with the idea to write a series involving natural disasters, crime, and romance? 

At first I didn’t have the idea. I published Hurricane Crimes and thought that was it. Then a couple readers expressed wanting to know what happened before and after Hurricane Crimes. I pondered a sequel and realized that the story wasn’t over…a killer was still at large. As soon as I thought of the second book, the idea of a series bloomed, and I knew they would all feature a different disaster and contain what I love about romantic-suspense stories: crime and romance.
I'm so glad you decided to continue the series. Book 2 is just terrific!


The earthquake scene was so realistic. Have you ever experienced an earthquake firsthand? 

I have never experienced an earthquake. The closest I got to this was the Disaster! ride at Universal Studios. While you’re sitting in a subway train, there’s an earthquake and a water main breaks, sending a wave of water toward you. I remember sitting on the side where the water comes and thinking it was going to go over my head.
I've never been on that ride, but I have been in two earthquakes. Not fun! You did a great job with the scene, because it pretty much matches the reality of what happens during an earthquake.


What's your favorite scene in the book?

The fight between Donovan and the killer. It is intense and brutal. I wrote it all in one sitting while listening to some rock music.
That was seriously intense! I guess listening to rock music would really set the mood.
 

What did you enjoy most about writing this book? 

I am fascinated by disasters, so I enjoyed learning all about earthquakes: the science behind them, real firsthand accounts, and the aftermath to cities. I created pages and pages of notes.
You did a great job on the research, because like I said before, the earthquake scene was very realistic.

What are your future writing plans?

I’ve submitted Book 3 in the Disaster Crimes to my publisher for consideration. The disaster in this one is a tsunami. The stakes raise like never before!

And I am currently writing Book 4!
Excellent! I can't wait to read them!


What do you like to do when you're not writing?

Garden. Read. Relax. Go to local libraries. Take nature walks. Anything that gets me out of the house or helps me to unwind.
That's a big contrast from the crime fighting books you write!


If you had one super power what would it be?

I’d like to be able to talk to animals, and even plants. I’d never be lonely. I could have full conversations with my sunflowers and my cats!
That would be pretty cool, although I'm not sure I'd really want to have a conversation with my dog. He's nuts!


What is one place you want to visit that you haven't been to?
Ireland. Going to Ireland has been my dream since I was a little girl. I’m saving up for it…one dollar at a time. ;)
I hope you get there. I've heard the castles are fascinating.  But watch out for ghosts. :)

Where can we find your book?

Digital:







The Wild Rose Press:


 

Print:




The Wild Rose Press:


 

 

BLURB:

An Internal Affairs Investigator was murdered and his brother, Donovan Goldwyn, was framed. Now Donovan is desperate to prove his innocence. And the one person who can do that is the woman who saved him from a deadly hurricane—Beth Kennedy. From the moment their fates intertwined, passion consumed him. He wants her in his arms. More, he wants her by his side in his darkest moments.

Beth Kennedy may not know everything about Donovan, but she can’t deny what she feels for him. It’s her love for him that pushes her to do whatever she has to do to help him get justice, including putting herself in a criminal’s crosshairs.

When a tip reveals the killer's location, they travel to California, but then an earthquake of catastrophic proportions separates them. As aftershocks roll the land, Beth and Donovan have to endure dangerous conditions while trying to find their way back to one another. Will they reunite and find the killer, or will they lose everything?

MY REVIEW:
Investigator, Donovan Goldwyn, was framed for the murder of his brother. The only person who can help clear his name is Beth Kennedy, a young woman who helped him during a hurricane. As the two become romantically involved, they find themselves travelling to California, where they endure yet another natural disaster: This time, an earthquake. It's a life and death battle, struggling to survive the earthquake and avoid being killed by the dangerous criminals.

Seismic Crimes is an action-packed novel that contains a little bit of everything. There's the suspense of a crime-fighting story, the adventure of surviving natural disasters, and the passion of romance. Just when you think the protagonists will get a break, something else happens. The action continues all the way into the last chapter. The chapters where the earthquake occurs are very well-written. Readers can easily picture the dangerous scene that unfolds. Fans of romantic suspense novels will enjoy this book.  (5 stars)


 


BIO:

Chrys Fey is the author of Hurricane Crimes, Book One in the Disaster Crimes series, as well as these releases from The Wild Rose Press: 30 Seconds, Ghost of Death, and Witch of Death. She is an administrator for the Insecure Writer's Support Group and has participated in the Blogging from April A to Z Challenge.

When Fey was six years old, she realized she wanted to be a writer by watching her mother pursue publication. At the age of twelve, she started writing her first novel, which flourished into a series she later rewrote at seventeen.

Fey lives in Florida and is always on the lookout for hurricanes. She has four adopted cats who keep her entertained with their antics, and three nephews who keep her entertained with their antics. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and through her blog, Write with Fey. She loves to get to know her readers!

 

AUTHOR LINKS:



Twitter https://twitter.com/ChrysFey





HURRICANE CRIMES 99¢ SALE!




DIGITAL LINKS:
Amazon CA / NOOK / KOBO 



a Rafflecopter giveaway



Monday, May 9, 2016

Question of the Month and Boredom Buster



I'm a little late for the Question of Month, hosted by Michael D'Agostino. But, better late than never. The question is, "What three pieces of advice would you give to a new blogger, to help them on their blogging journey? "


1. Blog about something that interests you. You'll have a lot of blogging to do, so you might as well like what you're writing about.


2. Blog at least three times a week, especially when you're getting started. (I used to blog 7 days a week, but now I just can't. It's a challenge just getting on here a couple of times a week. Sorry!)


3. Reach out to other bloggers and comment regularly on their blogs. That's what makes blogging fun. You develop relationships. You comment on their blogs, they comment on yours.


And just because I'm the Mama, and I like to give advice, I'll give one more.


4. Participate in the A-Z challenge in April. If you're having trouble connecting with other bloggers, this is a great place to meet them and get the relationship process going.


Do you have any advice for new bloggers?




Now for the story:


The other day, I watched my daughter as she tapped on her phone. The sounds she produced on it were strangely familiar.


"What are you doing?" I asked.


"De-boring myself," she answered.


I wasn't sure "de-boring" was a word, but I went with the flow. "And how exactly are you doing that?"


She showed me her screen. Numbers were on it - just like how it would look if she was making a phone call. (I know, it's kind of odd to see a phone being used as a phone these days.) As she tapped the numbers, they made tones. And the tones made music. "It's a One Direction song," she said.


I listened again. It was indeed a One Direction song. She played quite a variety of tunes that way. I was impressed. (It's just too bad she wasn't interested in playing something called a piano. That would be a real boredom buster!)

Friday, May 6, 2016

The Day of Mayonaise

Yesterday, was Cinco de Mayo - a big party day for Americans and the fine folks in Mexico. (Personally I think it's just an excuse to drink a lot of alcohol.) Anyway, my son learned about this day  in school. But before he did, he had to take a test to see what he already knew. Here's how that went:


Question:  What does Cinco de Mayo mean?


My Son's Answer:  Hold the Mayo.


Question:  What does Cinco de Mayo celebrate?


My Son's Answer:  The glorious existence of mayonnaise.


So there you go, ladies and gentlemen. Cinco de Mayo is all about mayonnaise. Bet you had no idea!




Before I go, I'd like to wish all moms a very Happy Mother's Day! (We celebrate here in the United States this Sunday.)

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Hungry Boys

If you are friends with me on Facebook, you know that Bubba broke his arm on Friday. He was not a happy camper! His friends decided to come over our house and cheer him up. We're talking five teenaged boys. Naturally, we had to feed and entertain them. My husband ordered two large pizzas and two, two-liter bottles of Coke. The boys plowed through all of it in no time.


In the meantime, I had gone to the grocery store to do our weekly shopping. I came home and brought in the food-filled bags. It took several trips. On my last trip, I noticed all five boys digging through the bags. I also noticed five empty yogurt containers sitting on the counter.


"Did you just eat all the yogurt I bought?" I asked.


My son grinned. "Yes. And the blackberries. And the bananas. And the box of pita crackers!"


Oy!