Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Say Hello To My Writing Friend

Some of you may already know Kevin Craig. I met Kevin a few years ago at the Ontario Writers' Conference, but I knew him before that as a fellow writer on the Absolute Write forums. Kevin's FOURTH book is set to be released soon, and I'm happy to share in his celebration!

Curiosity Quills is excited to reveal the cover for contemporary, young-adult Burn Baby Burn Baby, by Kevin Craig, which is due for release December 11, 2014. The cover was designed by CQ managing partner Eugene Teplitsky.

  Burn Baby Burn 1000

About Burn Baby Burn Baby: Seventeen-year-old Francis Fripp’s confidence is practically non-existent since his abusive father drenched him in accelerant and threw a match at him eight years ago. Now badly scarred, Francis relies on his best friend Trig to protect him from the constant bullying doled out at the hands of his nemesis, Brandon Hayley—the unrelenting boy who gave him the dreaded nickname of Burn Baby. The new girl at school, Rachel Higgins, is the first to see past Francis’s pariah-inducing scars. If Brandon’s bullying doesn’t destroy him, Francis might experience life as a normal teenager for the first time in his life. He just has to avoid Brandon and convince himself he’s worthy of Rachel’s attentions. Sounds easy enough, but Francis himself has a hard time seeing past his scars. And Brandon is getting violently frustrated, as his attempts to bully Francis are constantly thwarted. Francis is in turmoil as he simultaneously rushes toward his first kiss and a possible violent end. Add Burn Baby Burn Baby to your Goodreads 'to-be-read' list. --

  Kevin Craig - Author pic

About The Author: Kevin Craig is the author of three previous novels; Summer on Fire, Sebastian’s Poet, and The Reasons. He is a 4-time winner of the Muskoka Novel Marathon’s Best Novel Award. Kevin is also a playwright and has had eight 10-minute plays produced. His poetry, short stories, memoir and articles have been published internationally. Kevin was a founding member of the Ontario Writers’ Conference and a long-time member of the Writers’ Community of Durham Region (WCDR). He is represented by literary agent Stacey Donaghy of Donaghy Literary Group. Find Kevin Craig Online: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 You can pre-order Burn Baby Burn Baby here.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Door to Door Salespersons Aren't What They Used To Was.

Tonight we had a visit from a nice young gentleman in an orange traffic vest. When I opened the door and saw his clipboard, I immediately tensed up.
He said he was here to inspect our water heater to see if it qualifies for a "free upgrade." My scam radar immediately went BOING.
After I stressed that I don't do door to door solicitations, I gave him the heave-ho. As I closed my front curtains, I saw him heading up my neighbour Lilian's driveway. He saw me through the window and gave me the stink eye.
Lilian is 91 years old. She's a smart cookie, but too polite. I suspected she'd hmmm and huuuh long enough for him to get his talons into her.
I went to my back porch window and leaned against the sill, staring at him. He caught my eye, and faltered. When a minute or so went by and Lilian didn't send him on his way, I called out to her not to sign anything, and to ask for a brochure.
He came over and asked me why I was so suspicious. I said anybody can show up in an orange vest and print up a fake ID card and carry a clipboard.
After a lot of this and that, Lilian piped up that she had let someone like him in her house to “inspect the water heater” and the woman put her wet gloves on Lilian’s dining room table and ruined it. She laughed and said she never forgot that.
The guy kept trying. He flashed the 1-800 number on the back of his clipboard and challenged me to call the number to see if they were legit. I said anybody can be at the other end of a 1-800 number, including scammers.
I told the guy (with a smile) I’d never let him in my furnace/water heater/laundry room anyway because it’s disgusting.
Anyway, the guy gave up. I don't know if he succeeded on our street, or his partner who was covering alternate homes.
Mark was standing in the shadows behind me, listening to the whole exchange. When I looked at him, he raised his eyebrows and said he’s scared of me now. He gave me a high five and went downstairs.
I went over to Lilian’s to make sure she was okay with me butting in. She said, “Thanks for coming to my rescue.” She would have been too polite and eventually the guy would have taken advantage of her good nature.
In hindsight, I would have loved to ask him to wait while I looked up National Home Services on my laptop. What would I read on his face then?

Later, I looked up the company name on the trusty Interwebs (don't believe everything you read on the Interwebs) and concluded we had made the right decision.

Side note: Forgive the weird text and background. I haven't posted in a while and Blogger seems to think Normal is something from another planet. I'll figure it out...

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

More Time To Write, Paint, And Cook... Because Of Reasons

I've been meaning to tell you all about my change of circumstances this year.

Back in April, our company dissolved the department in which I was working. They gave us options: other positions elsewhere or a departure package.

I thought about this, and decided to use the opportunity to make a serious go at this writing thing. While revising my latest novel, I've been going nuts cleaning and organizing my neglected home, and also indulging in one of my other loves: cooking!

My friends at Musa Publishing prompted me to submit a recipe for their blog, so I sent them this recipe for shrimp, chicken and salmon risotto. I made this recipe up on the fly, but wrote it down right afterward, because it ended up delicious!

Shrimp, Chicken & Salmon Risotto

1 cup chicken stock
1 boneless chicken breast
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
1 tsp. smoked paprika
250 g sliced mushrooms (8.8 ozs)
1 tbsp. butter
½ cup Arborio rice
A few threads saffron (optional)
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup raw peeled shrimp, medium to large size
1 boneless salmon filet
1 cup white wine
1 tbsp. cream cheese
salt & pepper to taste

Heat chicken stock in a small saucepan. Keep warm until needed.

Cut chicken into bite size pieces and sauté in olive oil. Stir in tomato paste and garlic while sautéing. Sprinkle with paprika and stir well.

Add mushrooms and butter. Sauté until mushrooms are tender.

Stir in rice, saffron, and chicken stock. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Check for sticking and stir if necessary.

Carefully drop in peas, shrimp, and salmon. Cook over medium-low heat until sauce has thickened. Be sure to stir occasionally. Drizzle white wine in every few minutes until you’ve added ¼ cup. The same method as if you were making risotto.

Blend in cream cheese and the rest of wine. Cover and simmer until the shrimp is pink and the salmon is flaky.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serves 4

Hope some of you try this! For dessert, try The Toast Bitches with strawberry jam.

Now, off to finish that watercolour painting I've been neglecting. Oh, and of course, WRITING.

Wish me luck.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

A very big Oops.

Hi, guys! Lots to tell you, but not right now.

I wanted to give you a heads up that I just discovered my website is down and has been for a while. I've got my "team" working on it. Hope to at least get it back on the tracks.

Later, I might give it a face lift. I have the time now, for reasons I'll explain soon.

Love ya!


Edited to add: Looks like it's fixed for now. Thanks for your patience.