A Blissful Week of Cooking

I got to take a break from my drama teaching, directing, and producing hats this weekend and cook!

I organized a Week Without Walls cooking experience called Hot, Spicy, & Sasse. Yeah, I like the name too. I had twelve students, most of which had never cooked before, and I helped them build their cooking skills and techniques over the course of the week. It was a blast, and we ate a ton of good food.

P_20190319_113211_BF

Here’s a look at our set-up. We had four booths installed in our loading dock. They were wired for lots of small hot plates, an oven, refrigerator, and, of course, rice cooker. Then I started with a demonstration and let them go at it, walking around to give them guidance as needed.

It was fun to see students who had never cooked before gain some experience, and more importantly, confidence that they don’t have to rely on anyone else for delicious food. They have the power! And now the skills.

P_20190321_102509

Here are two students making our final dish of the week: garlic butter stuffed crust pizza. Yeah, it was phenomenal.

Here’s the menu boards of ingredients we used for the week. I hope to do it again next year.

 

 

j

Advertisements

RELEASED: A PARTING IN THE SKY

Now available for purchase in both KINDLE VERSION or PAPERBACK – the complete story of THE FORGOTTEN CHILD

BOOK 3 – A PARTING IN THE SKY

BOOK 2 – THE AFRICAN CONNECTION (ON SALE THIS WEEK FOR 99 CENTS!)

BOOK 1 – A MAN TOO OLD FOR A PLACE TOO FAR

aPartingFRONTNEW

The Trilogy Concludes in Two Days

A Parting in the Sky – Book 3 of The Forgotten Child Trilogy goes live on Wednesday, March 20 – only two days!

I’m really excited to finally get the ending to this special story released. I’ve spent two and half years writing these three stories, and I’m pleased with how they turned out. Hopefully the readers will as well.

To celebrate the release: Book 2 The African Connection is available for only 99 cents all week! It’s a steal, so please pick yourself up a copy.

And, of course, Book 3 is currently on Pre-Order  and is set to send to your Kindle on Wednesday.

Plus, if you are a KINDLE UNLIMITED member, you can read the entire trilogy for free!

Trilogy 3 FRONt cover

One last thing: Box Set in the works! Stay tuned.

 

Short Story Release: THE HUNDRED PITCH AT BAT – available now!

I’m pleased to announce the release of my first ever baseball story. I’ve been in love with baseball since I was nine years old, and I’ve been wanting to write a baseball story for a long time.  I finally have, and now it’s available for only $0.99!

THE HUNDRED PITCH AT BAT

In fact, this is just the beginning of a complete work of fiction I plan on writing which will be a historical fiction work about a fictitious minor league independent league team. But it’s more than just about baseball. I’ll admit it. I have definitely been influenced by W.P. Kinsella in this regard and will certainly focus on the mystical elements and lore of the game as well as the human emotional part of our national pastime.

So this story is just a teaser of where I’m going with it, and I can’t wait to keep writing on this project. Soon!

In the meantime, here is the story’s blurb. I’ll post a excerpt later in the week. Please share this with all the baseball-loving folks in your family.

Thanks!

THE HUNDRED PITCH AT BAT – BLURB:
August 1949. Rochelle Stadium. Town of Winosook. Deep in the Alleghenies.

This is the story of how I became a doctor. I give all the credit to Archie Showalter, a ballplayer on the independent league team the Winosook Iron Horses. I was there that day when he had his historic at bat—an impossible one-hundred pitches. If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes … but I did. I was sitting right behind the crafty reporter Pepe Weiss from the Winosook Watcher as he came to sit next to Archie Showalter’s wife down the third baseline in order to ascertain the meaning of the improbable at bat. As her husband kept fouling off pitches, she started crying, and I eventually understood why.

It didn’t matter what was thrown: high and tight, way outside, ten feet high, or right down the middle. Showalter fouled off every one with a determination and whimsical flare that bordered on the miraculous. But when Iron Horses owner Raymond Blythe announced over the loudspeaker that each additional foul ball would earn Showalter a bonus, Archie did something that no one had ever seen, or will ever see again. Because he wasn’t hitting for his team. He wasn’t playing out his contract. He was on a deeply personal mission, and his courage changed the course of my life.

This is the story of the hundred pitch at bat, and why I went back to medical school.

HundredPitchAtBatCOVERFINAL

AVAILABLE NOW – READ FOR FREE WITH KINDLE UNLIMITED

Feb Book of the Month @ MANY BOOKS: A MAN TOO OLD

I was thrilled to be awarded the Best Action & Adventure Award for February 2019 from Many Books for book one of the Forgotten Child Trilogy: A MAN TOO OLD FOR A PLACE TOO FAR.

Hey, look! There’s a badge on my book!

mantoooldBOOKOFTHEMONTH

If you haven’t started it yet, GIVE IT A TRY! (READ FOR FREE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED)

The MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW called it “A unique, entertaining, and deftly crafted novel by an author with a genuine gift for imaginative and engaging storytelling.” – Small Press Bookwatch, Midwest Book Review

Thanks for the recognition, Many Books!

Boh on Bose, Tea & Music

I have concluded this: Boh Tea is my favorite in the world.

Boh is grown in the lush Malaysian Cameron Highlands, and I started drinking it when I lived in Penang.  I eventually was hooked on unsweetened Boh black tea.  Smooth and flavorful.

I really started missing Boh tea when I moved to Saudi Arabia. I tried a wide variety of teas and eventually settled on a brand name Ahmad tea based out of London. I liked it, and I was happy.

One day, I discovered on Amazon that they sell Boh tea. I was ecstatic and told my kids that’s what I wanted for Christmas. So, sure enough, I unwrapped a bunch of Boh tea boxes which were under the Christmas tree.  I ended up bringing back 16 boxes of Boh tea.

The first thing I did was a taste test – Ahmad Tea beside Boh Tea.

I tried Ahmad. “Okay, that’s good.”

And then I tried the Boh again for the first time. “Wow! Oh my goodness. Throw out the Ahmad!”

Boh blew it away. Flavor – rich & smooth with hints of green tea – so much flavor and I finally remembered why I liked it so much.

The smooth rich flavors of the tea mix so perfectly well with the smooth rich sounds of the Bose, so whether I’m punching out words on my computer or cooking in the kitchen, the Boh and Bose tandem are there to keep me company.

If you are a tea lover, give Boh a try. I am not a paid endorser. I buy the stuff by the Boht load.

So here they are, the perfect pair:

P_20190309_120353_1

Boh Sitting on Top its Buddy Bose

 

 

And here’s a photo I took of the Boh plantation in Malaysia when I visited a few years back.

12928235_10153847578931141_7463748704870101372_n[1]

Enjoy!

The Cologne Cathedral & My Latest Novel: An Excerpt

Part 3 of the Forgotten Child Trilogy, releasing March 20th, begins like this:

***

She cowered in the shadows of the ambulatory, tucked behind the ribbed lines of a granite pillar. Her boy lay limp in her arms, his eyes closed, his breathing shallow and punctuated by an occasional whimper as her soft pats and solemn tones tried to revive the spark within him. Patches of black skin blotted his face, hidden under a blanket wound around him. Voices echoed from the aisle and, with haste, she picked up a bronze basin filled with black ash.
“Lord, I repent. We repent,” she repeated in her native German tongue.
She lifted the edge of the blanket from the boy’s face, exposing him to the chill of the cathedral.

***

The cathedral referred to in the opening scene is the Cologne Cathedral, on the Rhine River in northwestern Germany. I visited it with my family back in 2014, and it made such an impression that it ended up being a location in my newest novel. Here’s a few photos I took of my visit:

It’s spectacular and awe-inspiring. The cathedral even made it onto the cover of the A PARTING IN THE SKY:

aPartingFRONTNEW

Yep, there it is with Francis Frick standing off to the left staring into the sea. The cathedral becomes the backdrop to the backstory of the trilogy. It exposes the origins of the warrior Ash and his relationship with Zette.  Here’s another excerpt from chapter 1.

***

“Ambros, I love you.” She kissed him, blackness and all, disease and all. She kissed him and placed the child in swaddling clothes on the edge of the ornate shrine of the relics of the Magi—the remains of the wise men who had once traveled to Bethlehem to visit a different child, but which now resided in the cloistered sanctum of the Cologne cathedral.
“Please. Take my Ambros.” She lifted her face towards the priests. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry.”
She turned and ran the opposite direction under the arched vault, past the chapel, and down the side aisle.
“Black death!” the priests repeated as they pointed at the child. “Black death! The plague is in the cathedral.”
The child breathed his last. He had no more whimpers—no more carnal cries for help. His body had fought all it could.
The gifts of the Magi were different for this child. No one bestowed him with gold, frankincense, or myrrh—only cursed looks from the contingent of priests who bemoaned the black death defiling the sacred house of God. They scurried out of the ambulatory and called for the bishop to expel the disease from their presence. A lone child lay in the company of the remains of the Magi. There was, however, one more in the child’s presence.

***

Christian tradition holds that the remains – relics as they call them – of the Magi, the travelers from the east who visited the young baby Jesus, were brought to the Cologne Cathedral where they remain to this day. It was an interesting and unexpected twist which I enjoyed weaving into the novel.  This scene takes place in A.D. 1347 as the black plague grips Europe.

I really enjoy using my experiences around the world in my writing, and it’s my wish that the reader will enjoy them too.

A PARTING IN THE SKY – Part Three of the Forgotten Child Trilogy releases on Kindle & Paperback on March 20, 2019.

PRE-ORDER a parting in the sky HERE

One final Excerpt:

***

Death has a way of bolstering doubt and diminishing purpose. The bustling town of Cologne, on the mighty Rhine River, had closed its inner soul to the stench of the plague. The people toiled as a hopeless lot against the unstoppable power of the grave. That may have played a part in why she felt an unmistakable stirring within her. That, and the absurdity of the scene in the cathedral. Ashes poured over a child’s head. The high-brow barking of the priests. The presence of the bones of the long-dead Magi. But in the end, it was the lone child, unable to muster a sound, falling out of life with each breath as his mother ran in anguish the other way that made the watcher see the uselessness of it all.

***

Thanks for all of your support!