Author Speed Dating

I went to the More Than Malice convention a few weeks ago and participated in something called “Author Speed Dating.” It’s a timed event, where you get one minute to pitch your book to attendees. Honestly, it may have been as nerve-wracking as actual speed dating! I’ve pitched before (see my previous post). That was only to literary agents one at time, though, not simultaneously to a whole slew of people. I think there were over a hundred, close to two hundred folks, listening to the … [Read more...]

Off to Malice

This week from July 14 to July 17, I'm off to the Malice Domestic convention. It's the first time I'm joining. Usually held near Washington D.C. every year, 2021 will be a virtual event. Although I was planning to go in 2020, complete with travel and stay options, I'm glad that I can at least participate in the upcoming online conference. Typically, Malice Domestic honors traditional mysteries (think: Agatha Christie) and features the Agatha Awards (awards in the shape of teapots). The … [Read more...]

Holiday Trip: Taiwan and Japan

Hello, all! I've enjoyed a lovely extended holiday overseas. I'm still battling jet lag, but I have enough energy to highlight some of the spots I visited. Taiwan I launched a sky lantern. There's space on the four sides of the lantern to draw pictures and write well wishes or dreams. I got a treat at breakfast. Look at these cute steamed buns! An amazing sight I visited was the Fire and Water Spring! I learned more about the history of indigenous peoples in … [Read more...]

#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...]