Month: January 2021

10,000 Snacks and Swoon Awards Voting

10,000 Snacks, a cookbook, by Cora, Rose, and Bob Brown

My mother-in-law gave me what is possibly the greatest book ever written: 10,000 Snacks by Cora, Rose, and Bob Brown. This is a 1937 masterpiece that reads like it could’ve been written today (but hopefully minus the problematic stereotypes/naming conventions that were popular in 1937).

This book is less about the snacks—most of which sound terrible, to be he honest—and more about the writing. The section on Equipping the Home Snack Bar is especially fun:

One of the greatest appeals of snacking is that it requires neither equipment nor etiquette. All that’s needed is appetite and a lusty interest in proving that fingers really were made before forks.

Yet your beginner, after being thwarted by an obdurate sardine can and finding it still soldered against him, though he’s whacked it on the stove and jumped up on and down on it, finally weakens, give in to civilizing science and buys a ten-cent combinations can opener, bottle cap remover and corkscrew.

[…]

The habit of acquisition creeps up subtly on him. […] After that he’s sunk and goes in giddily for hardwood cheese boards and wire baskets in which to swing his salad lettuces bone dry in the French fashion.

From 10,000 Snacks by Cora, Rose, and Bob Brown

I bet you didn’t know a salad spinner dried your greens “in the French fashion.” 😂

There’s also a whole section on popular snacks from countries around the world, including Hawaii which wasn’t yet part of the US, but my absolute favorite entry is from Vatican City:

Wine and holy wafers.

That’s it; that’s the entire entry. :dies laughing:

And, of course, the book doesn’t forget your pets. After all, it takes a lot to get to 10,000 snacks.

Though dogs should be seen and not heard, they will occasionally yap for a little between-meal surprise. A bit of toast or pretzel from your tray, and if it’s a dachshund, and occasional sip from your mug of beer or a pull at your pipe will be appreciated.

Why do only dachshunds get beer and tobacco? No one knows! It was stated as a universal truth and then they moved on to some new pet, like snakes, ant eaters, and lady water buffalos. I sense maybe this section was a little tongue-in-cheek. 😉

There’s also a section with favorite snacks of famous people. I didn’t recognize a lot of the names, but Eleanor Roosevelt prefers hot dogs, Betty Grable prefers Spanish hash, and Ruth Zuckerman (listed as “the gal who typed this book”) prefers southern fried chicken with sautéed sweet potato slices. I’m with you, Ms. Zuckerman.

While the snacks don’t sound great, they are a fascinating look into life in 1937—at least life in NYC, because I doubt the rest of the country was eating fresh oysters with any regularity. I’ve very much enjoyed thumbing through the pages and finding some new turn of phrase or type of snack pretty much every time I pick it up.

Finally, before you go, the final round of the Swoon Awards is open for voting for a few more days. Thanks to you all, both Chaos Reigning *and* The Queen’s Triumph made it into the semi-finals! Thank you so much! 💕 If you feel like voting again, you can vote for up to three books this round, which makes a very difficult SFR category (so many good books!) a little bit easier. :)

New Theme is Up!

After a week of wrangling, the new website theme is here. I’ve deleted all of the caches on my side, but browser caching may take a little longer to update, so you may see some wonkiness for a bit. I’m still squashing the last few bugs as I find them, so if you see something weird, let me know and I’ll look into it.

The change wasn’t too drastic, but I’m using a new base theme that’s a little more modern than the one I had before, and hopefully will be a little easier to maintain going forward.

Also, today is the last day to vote in the inaugural Swoon Awards! Both Chaos Reigning and The Queen’s Triumph are eligible for votes in the SFR category, and you can vote for up to five of your faves in each category, which makes SFR a little easier because it includes so many excellent books. :)

Happy Book Birthday to Blood Heir!

Blood Heir by Ilona Andrews is out today!! I haven’t gotten a chance to read it yet, because by the time it was done with copyedits, I was too deep in deadline hell to pester Ilona for a copy. But now it’s waiting for me on my Kindle, and I’m so excited to read it tonight! I’ve been in a reading slump since turning in New Shiny, so I’m hoping this breaks me out of it. :)

From award-winning author, Ilona Andrews, an all-new novel set in the New York Times #1 bestselling Kate Daniels World and featuring Julie Lennart-Olsen, Kate and Curran’s ward.

Atlanta was always a dangerous city. Now, as waves of magic and technology compete for supremacy, it’s a place caught in a slow apocalypse, where monsters spawn among the crumbling skyscrapers and supernatural factions struggle for power and survival.

Eight years ago, Julie Lennart left Atlanta to find out who she was. Now she’s back with a new face, a new magic, and a new name—Aurelia Ryder—drawn by the urgent need to protect the family she left behind. An ancient power is stalking her adopted mother, Kate Daniels, an enemy unlike any other, and a string of horrifying murders is its opening gambit.

If Aurelia’s true identity is discovered, those closest to her will die. So her plan is simple: get in, solve the murders, prevent the prophecy from being fulfilled, and get out without being recognized. She expected danger, but she never anticipated that the only man she’d ever loved could threaten everything.

One small misstep could lead to disaster. But for Aurelia, facing disaster is easy; it’s relationships that are hard.

Read an excerpt on Ilona’s site!

Get your copy!
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Google Play | Kobo | Bookshop


We had snow last weekend, which is always fun, especially when you can stay home and not drive. Mr. M and I spent an hour outside checking out the wintry change. Kids were playing on impromptu sleds, mostly plastic storage bin lids and water equipment (boogie boards, pool inflatables, etc) because we don’t get snow often enough for real sleds.

We made a few snowballs, but didn’t throw them because it was the wet, heavy kind of snow that turns snowballs into deadly ice missiles. It would’ve been great for building forts, though, and we did see quite a few snowmen, including this little guy who had a carrot nose and everything.

This week, I’m working on the site. I’m planning to update the theme in the next few days, so if you see any weirdness, that’s to be expected while I work out the bugs. The change shouldn’t be too drastic, but the site is overdue for a little cleanup.

I hope you all are staying warm and healthy! The first week of 2021 was a little rough, but I remain optimistic that the rest of the year is going to improve. I hope. 💕

New Shiny (aka HUNTED) Snippet!

This morning, I sent my latest book to my editor! By the end, New Shiny wasn’t exactly an accurate description anymore (more like Die, Book, Die STAB STAB STAB), but now it’s done and sent off! 🎉

I did the world’s fastest reread and edit, since I wrote until Christmas, but I have to say—I love this book. Writing it was really difficult, what with 2020 being *waves hands,* but I think it turned out pretty good! And Mr. M said it was his favorite book so far (replacing Aurora Blazing, lest you think every book is his favorite, lol).

Before I get to the promised snippet, I have more good news: both Chaos Reigning and The Queen’s Triumph are in the semi-final round of the inaugural Swoon Awards!

As you can see from the tweet above, the SFR category is rife with fantastic books, but thankfully, in this round you can vote for up to five books! If you feel so inclined, I would love for you to vote for mine. :)

And now, the snippet. The usual disclaimer applies: rough draft, subject to change, etc, etc. If you haven’t read any of the other snippets, then you might want to do that first just to get a little context.


The proximity chime cut off whatever Eli was going to say. “Show me,” I said, moving to the nearest screen.

Torran Fletcher had arrived without so much as a message of warning. As I watched, he climbed the cargo ramp, three Valoffs in full armor behind him, each of them pushing a levcart piled with supplies.

I growled under my breath.