Free Starbucks & Last-Minute Gifts

Come celebrate with me over at my Facebook page, where I’m giving away four Starbucks gift cards, in honor of hitting over 400 page likes! Today (Saturday) is the last day to enter, so don’t wait! Tell me your favorite coffee treat, or coffee-related treat. Or just say hi — I’m flexible!  :)




Then, head over to N. N. Light’s Book Heaven, where they’ve rounded up the Best Books of 2018 into a last-minute stocking-stuffer gift guide. And don’t forget their BIG Holiday Gift Guide, where you can find all the books, for all the gifts!!

One month to Release Day!

And I:

1. Got up at 4:00 to head to the airport, leaving the mild, Spring-sprung NW for 20’s-30’s and snow in the Midwest.

2. Drove RIGHT OVER a downed powerline, coming out of our neighborhood (thank God for tires, because – DUH – the power was out and we didn’t see it until we were right on top of it)!

3. Am now sitting in the airport, waiting to board, sipping Perrier and contemplating the merits of peeing on land vs. the hassle of dragging all my stuff to the bathroom and back. It’s probably worth it, right? *lesigh*

Happy Saturday/30 Days to Go!!!

Because Romance. And Besties.

Yep. Those are exactly what you think they are. Although DEAD is more of a “paranormal adventure,” I do also write romantic mystery/suspense. And when you write any kind of romance, people give you “interesting” cookie cutters. And by people, I mean my BFF, who I’ve known since we were 7&8, respectively, and who gave me the cookie cutters not because I write romances, but because, well, DUH.

They came with a pin that has Bobby from Supernatural on it, saying “Balls!” (Of course they did.) I don’t have the pin handy at the moment, so enjoy this pic instead:

Hope you all have a peaceful finish to the year. See you in 2018!

Accidental Pie

So this happened:


Yes, I made four pies for Thanksgiving. FOUR.

I can already hear you saying, “Well, Kerry, that seems reasonable. When you have fifteen or twenty people for dinner, you need four pies.”

Maybe. But we only ever have five people. Yes, FIVE. That’s 0.8 pies PER PERSON (#mathteacher  ;)).

And the even more ironic part is that I only intended to make three pies. The fourth was an accident.


“Um, Kerry — how, exactly, does one accidentally make a pie? Did you drink ALL that mulled wine I see in those crockpots in the photo, all by yourself?”

No. But I do use a FABULOUS website to store/access all my recipes (*), and when I planned to make a single pumpkin pie, to round out the Apple and Marionberry pies, I forgot to change the quantity on the digital recipe. I bought the small can of pumpkin, but when I started making the filling, I blithely added four eggs, a whole teaspoon of cinnamon, etc., until I got to the pumpkin and realized it said I needed 3 cups instead of 1.5.

Oops. But I couldn’t throw out the filling and start over. I’m frugal — what can I say? Besides, I also happened to already have an extra pie crust dough ball in the fridge.


“Of course you did, Kerry. Who doesn’t keep extra pie crusts lying around in their fridge, for no apparent reason? Sheesh.”

Well, that one I can explain reasonably. I think. See, whenever I make pies, I like to make enough crust to have some extra, in case one tears, or I don’t have enough for the edge fluting, or whatever. So since I was making two double-crust pies and one (or so I thought) single-crust pie, I decided to make three double recipes of dough (enough for six crusts), to have plenty extra. But as it happened, the first five crusts needed no additional dough, so I had one entire dough ball left.


DH and DD wanted a little excursion anyway, so I sent them out to buy another can of pumpkin, and voilá — accidental pie was born.

And in case you’re wondering, we do all the other fixings, too, even though we’re a small group: turkey, cornbread stuffing, garlic smashed potatoes, pistachio-buttered green beans, lime jell-o with fruit cocktail, cranberry-pear chutney, jellied cranberries in the can (for ma mère), cream cheese stuffed mushrooms, and gravy. All of it gluten-free, homemade (except the canned berries), and delicious.

We’ll be eating leftovers for a week. Starting with stuffing-topped turkey pot pie, followed by biscuit-topped turkey pot pie. I love turkey pot pie, in case you’re wondering!

Oh yeah — we also have a spare turkey in the freezer downstairs, because yanno, if you spend enough at WinCo, they give you a turkey. And even though we already had one, I thought, why not? I can always find something to do with an extra turkey. (Har, har.)

How was your Thanksgiving? Peaceful and pleasant, I hope!

(* I love! Super easy meal planner, list maker, recipe clipper/storer/accesser. And this weekend is their annual half-price sale, so if you’re looking for something new to try, hop on over. And no, I get NOTHING extra if you do — I just really-really love them!  :))


I had one official goal this summer (finish ALOS) and one unofficial goal (publish DEAD). Obviously, I’m good on the second one, but crazy as it sounds, since I was about 75% of the way done back in June, it looks like I will NOT be able to finish ALOS “this summer.”

Apart from the intrusion of grad school into my life, aided and abetted by a super fun but time-sucking Spanish class, and the two equally fun but time-consuming trips we took, I did a ton of revising on that first 75% before adding any new words. I’d say I’m around 85% done now, but school officially starts tomorrow, and within that context, I’m essentially starting a new position in a new hall, on a new team.

All GOOD things, but (as happens every year at this time….) I’m feeling very unprepared for the reality of students in my room in roughly 46 hours. About 100 new names, personalities, learning styles, needs, etc., to learn and manage. New curriculum, new room, new furniture/configuration, 100+ degree weather, second year in a row with central AC in our building that isn’t actually working, yada-yada, blah-blah-blah.

So what am I doing? Blogging about the crazy-busy-ness of my life, instead of doing something…not “more productive”…that’s the wrong term, since actually, writing about all this helps me feel calmer about it. And feeling calmer means I can do something, instead of being paralyzed with overwhelmed-ness.

That and the fact that the DD, while also being Very Busy, has learned how to make almond milk fruit smoothies. They are AMAZING, and very restorative. This is a terrible pic, because I’m feeling too lazy to get up and find a better background, but here it is nonetheless:


Okay, now that I’m feeling better, I really will go do something. Probably not finish ALOS, but maybe I’ll get at least a little more done on it after I finish a few more pressing items on my list. Like this smoothie….  ;)

How about you? Is September a time for new beginnings and new-old goals? Or is it just another day in the life?

Eclipse Madness, part 2

So the eclipse itself was AMAZING. Mi madre and I got in the car at 7:15 and drove as far into Totality as we could reasonably get, which turned out to be Dallas (Oregon, not the Big D  ;)). We only hit one bit of bad traffic on the way down:


But after that, it was smooth sailing. We found a friendly Starbucks, for a bathroom + caffeine refill break, and then we scored an AWESOME viewing location, purely by chance — a dead-end street at the top of a hill, with nearly 360 degree views:


We got there after the partial had already begun:


And then it started getting darker, until, bam! We were in Totality:


It was so incredible — peaceful, no crowds, just us and three other cars, plus one or two people who lived in the neighborhood. I sat on the hood of the car and drank my iced tea (see “Starbucks” above  ;)) and literally soaked it all in. Truly a once in a lifetime experience!

As was the drive home. This is the line on Wheaton Ferry Road, which we inched-along in for over an hour:


[Side note: Did you know that SOMETIMES a “(insert name) Ferry Road” actually DOES end in a ferry? I didn’t! We have so many “Ferry Roads” around here that now lead to bridges, or long-dried/filled-in creeks, that it was a surprise to find this one leading to a real-live active ferry boat.]

Unfortunately, Wheaton Ferry is a “9-car ferry”, not a “post-eclipse madness 10,000-car ferry”, hence the wait. But it was so cool to ride across, even if it was a super short trip:


Still, after the 2.25 hour drive down, it took us double that — over 4.5 hours — to get home. It was a LOT of riding in the car for one day! I managed to take the dogs for a walk after I got back, and that was about it.

But it was an amazing day, one I’ll never forget. What about you? Did you make it to Totality, Partiality, or…?