ARCs, Glorious ARCs

There's something really beautiful about being one of the first. It's a privilege and an honor. This is especially true for getting to read someone's book baby. It does take an extremely long time to write and then publish something. Although 2020 has been an absolute wild ride of a year, there have been silver linings. Advance reading copies, or ARCs, has been a delight for me this year. I've been able to read fabulous work from both established and new authors. In the above photo, … [Read more...]

Wordless Wednesday: Cactus Flower

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Foodie Friday: Hummus

One of the favorite things that I whipped up during lockdown was hummus. I usually purchase a tub of it from the grocery store. There's something artistic about creating customized spices for the dip, though. I also like to add in special garnishes like toasted sesame seeds, parsley, or even green onions. Here's a quick recipe: 1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed) 1/4 c olive oil 1/4 c cold water 2 garlic cloves 2 lemons, juiced 1/2 tsp cumin 1/2 tsp … [Read more...]

Wordless Wednesday: Anemone

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MurderCon

"Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes." --fortune cookie saying MurderCon is an annual training event put on by the Writers’ Police Academy, and 2020 marks the 12th anniversary of the conference. Workshops taught by experts, combined with hands-on learning, are the draw of this special event for writers. I’ve heard about this conference for years, but because of the expenses involved (travel + lodging + fee), I had constantly put off attending it. Due to the pandemic, … [Read more...]

Wordless Wednesday: Red Dragonfly

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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...]