Book Review: Iced in Paradise

Iced in Paradise 5 stars Genre: Contemporary cozy mystery Hirahara pens an excellent ice-cold murder mystery in Iced in Paradise, her first book in the new Leilani Santiago series. As always, Hirahara does an excellent job of infusing interesting historical and contemporary details into her story. I particularly like the insider’s perspective on living in the Islands as opposed to the typical Mainlander view. All the characters in the novel are strong and unique. Leilani, the … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Boba milk tea ice cream bar

Boba milk tea ice cream bar: boba—but as a popsicle! My brother kept telling me about these, but whenever I popped by the grocery store, I couldn’t find them in the freezer aisle. I finally located a box the other week. Hurrah!They actually really taste like milk tea, with that decadent flavor combo of rich black tea and sweetened milk. (Perhaps a little too sweet.) The tapioca balls are frozen, so they’re not quite the same chewy texture. If you lick the ice cream bar, though, it … [Read more...]

Wordless Wednesday: Book Sale

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Book Review: Your House Will Pay

Your House Will Pay 5 stars Genre: Contemporary fiction (mystery/thriller) A literary revelation.There are no easy answers or one-sided characters in Cha’s latest novel. Instead it offers a finely drawn dual perspective about racial relations through the main characters, Grace Park and Shawn Matthews. Rooted in authentically detailed Los Angeles history, Cha pens an illuminating work about racism, family, and society—a timely read for us all. A taut novel that features a raw and … [Read more...]

Wordless Wednesday: Optical Illusion

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Tips on Virtual Speaking

Whew! I just finished my first virtual reading last Thursday. It was a fun time with other great authors (see flyer below). Plus, it even raised much-needed money for a Minneapolis nonprofit & an amazing bookstore. After this speaking experience, I tweaked some advice for typical real-time readings and learned to: 1) Look at audienceWhen speaking to a live audience, it’s definitely good to break contact from the page and visually connect with listeners. A few of the other authors … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Muddy Water Iced Tea

Muddy water: Sweet tea and lemonade If you don’t already know, I’m a tea aficionado. However, I haven’t had a chance to try out a muddy water drink until now. After locating a Black-owned restaurant from the L.A. Times list and ordering some food, I also added on a beverage.I really enjoyed this muddy water, which was described as a mix of sweet tea and lemonade. It wasn’t too sugary, which I appreciated, and just had a nice refreshing feel to it. Perfect for summertime. Any refreshing … [Read more...]

Wordless Wednesday: Homemade Berry Pie

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Making Do Around the Kitchen

I've been trying to space out my trips to the grocery store. Instead of running to buy something if I can't find it in my pantry, I'm opting for substitutions. Here are a few examples from around the kitchen: 1. Swapping ingredients Instead of using eggs, I added applesauce to a baking recipe. Yes, you got me! It was banana bread, which is apparently the essential COVID comfort food: https://www.delish.com/food-news/a31931597/coronavirus-banana-bread-baking/ Also, since I ran out … [Read more...]

Wordless Wednesday: Ducks in a Row

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