Book Giveaway Linky: #Freebooks

Book Giveaway Linky

Thank you to Mother Daughter Book Reviews for hosting the Book Giveaway Linky. It provides a great platform to let authors inform readers about their book giveaways.

Please click on the link and enjoy all the free books.

Happy reading.

Two books for only 99 cents !!! The Anticipation Builds for Dee Dee Makes Three

sticks and canvas in the grass

I mentioned in my last post that my new Gator McBumpypants picture book will have props. What do you think the one in the picture could be?

You can find out soon! As soon as this weekend!! I sent Gator McBumpypants in Dee Dee Makes Three off to Createspace review mere hours ago. I can’t wait to share it with the world.

In the meantime, Gator McBumpypants Hears a Scary Noise is still free to download and as of today, Gator McBumpypants in Herman Learns to Fly is only 99 cents.

You don’t need to read the first two books to enjoy the third adventure of Gator McBumpypants and his friends. But here’s your opportunity to meet a happy alligator and his friend Herman, read how they became friends and learn how Herman learns to fly. All of that, and you will have the inside scoop for Dee Dee Makes Three for only 99 cents!

🙂  But wait, there’s more  (:

You don’t have to have young children to enjoy Gator McBumpypants. Photographers, artists, writers, alligator lovers, stuffed animal aficionados–Here is your chance to inspect progress over time. The first book was inspired by a new DSLR camera and a photography class. The second book was inspired by feedback from readers and some new photography techniques. In my last post I mentioned many of the fun new things to expect in the third book, but I will add: this last year my photography focus was light and I received weekly critique. Have my efforts paid off? You will need all three books to judge. 🙂

I can’t wait to hear what you think  is in the picture!

Enjoy the books and happy writing.

Free Download!! : A Week of Anticipation for Gator McBumpypants in Dee Dee Makes Three

cover of third book in Gator McBumpypants and Friends series

New cover first look!

Back Cover DDMT

Gator McBumpypants’ new adventure has been a year in the making, but it is finally almost here. For those of you who have not read the first two books in the Gator McBumpypants and Friends series, get over to amazon for specials this week. Starting Oct. 27th, the first book Gator McBumpypants Hears a Scary Noise is free to download until the jack-o-lanterns go out on Halloween night. And, starting Oct. 28th, the second book Gator McBumpypants in Herman Learns to Fly is only 99cents for a week.

What is so exciting about this new picture book that would make you want to read the first two books in anticipation?

  1. Maria designed and made Dee Dee the duck (completely one of a kind) with wire armature in her beak, feet and wings(that detach).
  2. Maria bounced ideas off of an awesome think tank of her niece and second cousins which led to extra fun.
  3. Artist Spencer Matthews helped with image planning and visual action as photography assistant.
  4. This time there are props!
  5. And swimming as well as flying!!

Dee Dee the duck is a character of many talents. Everyone around her became more daring (especially Maria).

I hope you take advantage of the Gator McBumpypants specials in anticipation of Gator McBumpypants in Dee Dee Makes Three.  I would love to hear from all of you who write children’s books, want to talk about Gator McBumpypants, have any encouraging words, or have questions.

Happy writing and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

The Harvest

I admit I gave up on my daily garden photo project before it was finished, but as you can see from my video above, I did not give up easily. It was a tough summer for my little garden. As usual, I started with very high hopes, but then summer started in March and wasn’t pretending. The daily mist dried up and disappeared and the Seattle rain so highly promoted in TV and film spent all its time on the east coast. But, luckily, I do not, at this time, have to live off of my harvest and can celebrate every little bite.

The one cucumber, that stopped developing about half-grown, was juicy and had an extra flavor that I do not know how to describe–a deeper note for the back of the tongue.

The one green bean (flowers on tendrils leave me hope for more), split in half to share, balances perfectly with the flavors of the one lunch of sauteed rainbow chard (makes me look good no matter the weather) with hazelnuts and Parmesan, but screams out with every crisp bite, “I am more flavorful than anything around me.”

Two kinds of kale (I tried blue dinosaur this year), became my favorite kale chips. My adaptation of Pesto Kale Chips from The Everything Raw Food Recipe Book by Mike Snyder with Nancy Faass has  changed kale for my family and friends. As a vegetarian in a family of carnivores, I was teased and taunted, until they tasted these kale chips. I have tried every other kale chip recipe that I have encountered, but this is the best.  As a Harvest gift to all here are my secret changes:

Maria’s take on Pesto Kale Chips:

For four cups of happy, straight out of your garden, kale (I cut out the largest stems in little V cuts, my kale leaves were small so for most of them, I did not need to cut out the central vein):

Ingredients: 1/2 cup pine nuts

1/8 cup lemon juice (one small lemon)

1/8 cup olive oil

1/8 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or Nama Shoyu)

1/2 Tbs. Onion powder

1/8 cup fresh basil (finely chopped) pulsed in last

Place all ingredients in blender (except basil) and chop, then mince, then liquefy. It will take a while to get the pine nuts to really liquefy. I recommend stopping to take a spatula to the sides and top of your blender a couple of times. When you are happy with your mixture, add your basil and pulse it in a few times.

Put your kale in a medium sized bowl and pour the blend over the kale. Gently massage the mix onto the kale by hand making sure to equally coat both sides of all pieces. At this stage the kale is likely to break into smaller pieces. That’s why I try to start with full pieces of kale with only the largest bits of stem cut out.

I like to make my kale chips in my dehydrator. This recipe fills 4 shelves. Gently lay the pieces of kale out flat on your trays. Dehydrate and 115 degrees Fahrenheit for five hours to get delicious, crisp chips.

[If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can put the coated kale on parchment paper on a cookie sheet and bake in your oven. (Leda Meredith at says 325 for 12-15 min). I have no idea about those results.]

Try this recipe on that special someone who won’t eat their greens. You’re Welcome.

Published! Oh, the joy of the first acceptance letter.

Cover Art for October Issue of Five On The Fifth

Artwork by Erin Baird used with permission of Five on the Fifth

As the gross jelly-blob predicted, October continues to be fun, gross and creepy. Why you ask? Because fun, gross and creepy can describe my flash fiction story, “My Collection”, that the editors of Five on the Fifth kindly chose for their October Issue!! I was delighted by the variety of stories and styles they chose. And for you short fiction writers, they are accepting submissions for November.

This is an exciting day for me. Two of my friends put the event of being published in great perspective. One said, (paraphrasing) A stranger, someone who has never met you, liked your words enough to want them, and the other posted, “It’s one thing to publish your own work, quite another for someone else to see its merit!“. It feels good to finally get an acceptance letter and see my name with other authors. And the timing couldn’t be better, because at the end of the month, I receive feedback on my novel from my first readers. Hope this success feeling is strong enough for the work ahead.