Saturday, November 22, 2014

Round Robin, November 22nd, 2014

"What is your favorite food or meal? (Doesn't have to have anything to do with Thanksgiving, although it can if you want it to.)  Tell why it is so scrumptious, and how you got hooked on it, where you first had it, etc. If you want to share a recipe, great!"


“You might get him with the way you look, but you’ll keep him by the way you cook.”

My mother, a cross between Jane Austen’s Mrs. Bennet and Indian saintly mothers, (and a very outspoken woman to boot) always said that. 

Growing up in post British India and in an Army family, we were exposed to both Western and Eastern cuisine.  Coming from a family of foodies we loved everything we ate!   My mother made a wonderful British dessert that I loved…Trifle.  She said the reason I liked it so much was the alcohol in the recipe  and she was afraid that I would follow in my father’s footsteps and become enslaved by the demon rum!
  I got hooked on Trifle as a child I guess.  I had inherited my mother’s sweet tooth and that made all desserts the best part of every meal.  This one with it’s layers of sponge cake (angel food), custard, fruit, cream and sherry/rum/brandy is superlicious.
  When I was 14 and enrolled in cooking class (in the hope that talent would make me irresistible to future prospects in the field of matrimony) I came across Trifle again…this time as Pineapple Trifle.  I can’t remember if it was my mother or I who changed it to Mango Trifle, with the fruit we love best. 
  From the time I was 16, I made the trifle for any party/get together at home.  My mother would proudly announce that I was a good cook, in the hope that the family and friends grapevine would relay this to the parents of prospective grooms and snag me a good match!!!  Sorry that’s such a long sentence but it has to be read like that to get the full impact.
  In the ‘mango season’ here I get the best Kent mangoes for the trifle and then freeze some of the chopped up fruit, so that on Christmas  or New Year’s we can have this delectable dessert.
It isn’t just the dish, it’s the memories associated with it that makes it a favorite.

  Hope you enjoyed this story and if you know an editor who wants a book of them, just give her my email address. While there’s life there’s hope …and Mango Trifle.
  Anyway to cut a long story short, here’s the link to the adored ‘Mango Trifle’ on my cooking blog “Payt Pooja’ which literally means worship of the stomach.  (Indians do it all the time with food.)

Now lets wander over to the other delicacies other chefs have posted for this Round Robin. Thanks Robin for thinking this one up!

Friday, October 24, 2014

BOO! 'The scariest thing that has ever happened!'

Round Robin Blog OCTOBER 2014
(Rhobin thanks as always.)

Topic: What is the scariest thing that has happened to you?

In 1986 (yes, all that time ago), I was driving on the freeway to pick up the kids from school when the car lost speed.
Wondering what was happening I tried to pull to the shoulder and stop and realized my brakes had failed and I couldn't stop my car.
I used the handbrake and nothing happened.
Fear swamped me.
The steering wheel seemed to work because I got off the freeway and took the exit...coasting.
It was a slope and in a horrible minute the car had picked up speed.  
I looked up.
I was about to enter an intersection and the lights changed against me.
Fear escalated to terror and all I could say was, "Oh God! Oh God! Oh God!."
I braced myself as the car raced through the intersection and thank God went  through four lanes of traffic and up against a pole and stopped with a horrible crash!
All that in five seconds.
School had let out and I was just aware I hadn't hit anyone, especially the children walking home, before I passed out.
I had concussion and severe whiplash as I had done the worst thing I could possibly do...braced myself for the accident.  It took months of therapy to be able to use my arms properly and the pain in my neck and shoulders has never completely gone away.
The car was totaled but eventually I was fine. 

That was one of the two most scariest things that have ever happened to me.  Even writing about it now revives memories of the horror.

Now lets float over to Marci's and see what she has to say on this topic.

And here are the others in the group with spectral insight too:

Heidi M. 
Skye Taylor
Anne Stenhouse
A.J. Maguire
Rachael Kosnski
Margaret Fieland
Geeta Kakade 
Marci Baun
Beverley Bateman
Victoria Chatham
Diane Bator
Fiona McGier
Ginger Simpson
Rhobin Courtright

Friday, August 22, 2014


Topic: Have you ever read or written a story that had a secondary character take over a story?

In my first published romance, ‘Faith, Hope and Love,’ the housekeeper Hannah (thrown in for light relief) stole the scene quite a number of times.
The story begins with Rachel the heroine and Luke the hero in court over custody of Luke’s infant nephew.  When Rachel collapses, Luke blames himself and takes her home to his ranch and Hannah.
Hannah’s worked for Luke’s parents since she was a teenager and is a member of the family now.  Deeply upset by the death of Luke’s brother and his wife and passionately wanting to set things right for their infant son Gordie, Hannah knows Rachel and Luke were made for each other.
As soon as Hannah senses the special tension between Rachel and Luke, she starts matchmaking with a vengeance. 
At one point she almost earned an entire chapter to her ‘good works’.  It was hard to keep her within the parameters of her role as secondary character as the story went on!

A friend told me she got caught up in the book just waiting to see what Hannah would do next to bring Luke and Rachel together.  That’s a compliment every writer needs to hear every now and then.

Thanks Rhobin for all you do.

Let’s head over to Rhobin’s blog to see her input on this topic.

Rhobin Courtright

Here are the other members participating this month:

Victoria Chatham

Friday, June 27, 2014



Post your best explosive (literally or figuratively, physically or emotionally) scene from your writing. Tell about your reaction to writing it, background information, etc.

One of the most emotionally explosive scenes in my writing was in my first book, Faith, Hope and Love. 

Here’s the excerpt from FAITH, HOPE and LOVE, available at

“The judge's entrance fast forwarded the drama.  Luke detached himself from the scene, willed himself into the role of impartial outsider.  It was the best way he knew to help himself. 
Both counsels presented their cases.  Both clients wanted the same thing.  Custody of ten-month-old Gordon Summers.
He was called to the stand, reminded of the oath he'd taken.  Myrna gave him an it's-in-the-bag smile and Luke realized he hated rapacious women with too white teeth.  But then he'd wanted the best lawyer.
"Mr. Summers would you share with the court, the details of the twentieth of July?"
Luke cleared his throat.  His eyes swerved to Rachel Carstairs.  She sat on the edge of her seat.  For the first time that morning she was looking straight at him.  Not through him.  The look in her eyes were twin drills, boring into his brain.
"I was spending the weekend on the ranch I co-owned with my late brother."  The words conjured instant pain.  "My brother and sister-in-law had decided to fly to Palm Springs for a charity gala."  Another pause, longer this time.  The muscle throbbing in his jaw made it hard to sound matter-of-fact.  "Their plane crashed ten minutes after takeoff.  It exploded on impact.  There were no survivors."
He looked her way again.  Her stillness tugged at him.  Both arms were wrapped around her body.  As if she was cold.  As if she wanted to shut out the scene he had just painted.  In that moment Luke knew that she had loved Chris.  The thought landed on the top of his already high pile of doubts, escalating his uneasiness.
They should have found another way of sorting out their differences.”

While writing this scene, I felt the immense sadness of Rachel at losing her only living relative in the world; her cousin Chris.  I also felt Luke’s deep sense of loss over his brother and sister in law’s death.  She had flown half way around the world and had nothing except the love she felt for her late cousin and the urge to do her best for Chris’s son.   The little boy she felt was her one shot at giving and finding love.
Luke has everything…a big ranch, money, power.  Rachel has a small savings account. 
It was a given Luke would win and Rachel would be out in the cold again.
The court case is the beginning of their romance.  Ten month old Gordie is an amazing matchmaker and of course everything ends well.
Feeling Rachel’s pain and sense of inadequacy from the minute she set eyes on Luke helped me paint the scene with the right brush strokes of emotional tension.

Thanks Robin for including me as we light up the sky.

Let's go over to the next blog and see what exploding there...