#BookReview: My Sister, the Serial Killer

5 stars Genre: Humorous crime fiction My Sister, the Serial Killer Pros: Funny; dark humorPlenty of great Nigerian referencesWildly original Cons: Entertaining; had me flipping the pagesUnusual ending that didn’t quite meet my expectationsSome loose ends left dangling, particularly regarding the backstory This book totally blew me away. It feels like poetry jumping off the pages.  First off, I loved the idea of the sister relationship as it involves murders. … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Jellyfish Salad

Jellyfish Salad: cold, marinated jellyfish appetizer The jellyfish (look for the white strands) is mixed in with shredded carrots and cucumbers. Jellyfish is often the centerpiece in a cold appetizer dish. Nestled next to sliced meats, you'll find long strands of milky white. Despite the similar appearance, jellyfish isn't noodle-soft. Instead, it has a slippery and chewy texture. On its own, jellyfish doesn't have any flavor. It takes on whatever sauce it's been marinated with; … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Loquat

Loquat: oval-shaped fruit; also known as Chinese plum Recently, I've had the chance to savor home-grown loquats. These fruit are generally bright orange and soft to the touch when ripe. The flesh tastes sweet but also has some tang. It is definitely plum-like in texture. However, due to the huge seed inside each single fruit, you've got to eat a lot of them to feel satisfied. Thankfully, they grow in huge clusters. Loquats are a once-in-a-while treat for me. They've got a fair … [Read more...]

Robot Revenge Audiobook

Here's a quick announcement for folks who like listening to their books: Robot Revenge is now an audiobook! You can find it here: https://www.audible.com/pd/Robot-Revenge-Audiobook/B07MTNZ2SH One reviewer calls it a fun cozy mystery that's "unique and well thought out." Plus, "Humor, an all important element for me, was sprinkled liberally throughout." Happy listening! … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Arepas

I love being part of a writers' group. One of my friends there, Lisbeth Coiman, is Venezuelan. I had the luxury of being treated to her home-cooked arepas. Arepas: tasty "pancakes" made with maize dough I don't quite know how to describe these puffy bits of dough. They're maybe akin to pupusas and have a biscuit-like texture. However, they're not flaky. There's a heartiness to them as you bite in. Arepas can act like bread, and you make sandwiches with them. A lot of  times, the interior … [Read more...]

LA Times Festival of Books

"A thrilling time is in your immediate future." The last time I went to the Festival of Books, it was held at the UCLA campus (go, Bruins!). Most recently, though, the event occurred at USC. A weekend-long event (April 22&23), it gathered together readers, writers, and book-lovers. There were sessions for listening to speakers and opportunities to get signed books. Rows of booths (I was at the SCBWI one) provided a chance to hobnob with authors and also seek out services: the library … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Yellow Sweet Potato

Yellow sweet potato: starchy, sweet root vegetable Now I've eaten yams in the U.S. (although actually, true yams are bland-tasting) and sweet potatoes (with very pale inner flesh)...But in Taiwan, I ate yellow sweet potatoes. They're definitely a lot sweeter than the American pale version--more akin to the bright orange counterparts used in Thanksgiving cooking. Eating them steamed results in a quick and delicious snack or breakfast! Fun fact: Sweet potato plants grow beautiful … [Read more...]

Freebies

"A friend asks only for your time and not money." Who doesn't love free? This is a quick post to let you know that Dragonfly Dreams is free on iTunes (my Apple friends) and only 99 cents on Amazon for a short time. Enjoy! What other nice freebies have I scored before? Free museum days Free birthday treats (usually a dessert of some kind) Free goldfish (see my 626 fairy tale) What's your favorite freebie? … [Read more...]

Moon Viewing

“You will soon witness a miracle.” Okay, so it’s not quite a miracle, but it hasn’t happened in 33 years. I was already primed to watch the night sky because of the Mid-Autumn Festival, when the moon is supposed to be big and bright. (It's also a fun time to eat moon cakes.) The blood moon was just one more reason to take a peek last night. As an aside, friends tell me they can see the lady in the moon when they look up. There's a Chinese myth that says the lovely Chang'e saved … [Read more...]

Senior Living, Star-Trek Style

"Tomorrow your creative side will shine forth with exceptional ideas." Okay, maybe not exactly like Star Trek, but there are some cool developments for senior living. When your entire apartment is a medical monitor, can robust health be maintained? One new live-in-laboratory in Texas examines this idea. It boasts amenities, like: face recognition software (to analyze skin color and potential health issues) keyless entry sensors-studded floor (monitors the body 50 times a … [Read more...]