Hey everyone, today is your last chance to comment or tweet me with your #resolutions progress. 2 random commenters will be chosen to win an ARC of RUN FROM FEAR and a copy of the iTunes playlist that helped inspire me as I wrote.

As for my resolutions (eating more mindfully and lowering the volume on my inner critic), I would give myself a B- on both. While for the most part I’ve made a point to put everything I want to eat on a plate and actually sit down at the table to eat it, I still catch myself picking things off my boys’ plates and walking around the house with food in my hand. And yesterday there was a bit of a cheeto incident at the park…
My inner critic has taken a back seat, but I can’t decide if it’s because I’ve brought her back down to a manageable level, or because I’m just don’t care as much about certain things right now. Hmmm. things to ponder.

  • January 31, 2012

Don’t Forget to Send Me Your #Resolutions Tweets

It’s the last week to comment here or tweet me #resolutions to let me know what your New Years resolutions are this year and if what progress you’re making.  Mine were (are) to eat more mindfully, which is a lot harder that it seems like it should be. But just this past Sunday I had half a sandwich in one hand and was digging through basket of clean laundry with the other looking for socks for my son.  That being said, I have to say I now eat 75% of my meals at home from a plate or bowl and sitting down in a chair.  Trust me, this is a huge improvement.

My other resolution was (is) to get a ball gag for my inner critic.  I haven’t managed to fully silence her, but the the volume has been turned down.  When I beat myself up about work or start thinking that my WIP is such a pile of crap that I should just throw it out and start all over, I remind myself that I have written over 10 published works, and no matter how frustrating the process is or how much trouble I have figuring out my plots and characters, I somehow manage to pull it together.   There’s no reason to believe I won’t this time as well.

And if I’m feeling a little bloated, a little wrinkly and noticing that my arms are starting to resemble a couple of easter hams, I remind myself that a)I don’t have  sports illustrated swimsuit issue cover shoot coming up b) my husband is still pretty psyched when he catches me in the shower c) my body is strong and healthy and capable of walking for miles and lifting 40 and 60 pound boys to give them bear hugs and fish kisses, and d) I’m fueling said body with delicious, healthy, mindfully consumed food that I really enjoy, and unless I cut back on that, I’m never going to have anything approaching a six pack.

Frankly, I’d rather have my camembert.

Hope you are all doing well with your own resolutions, and those of you who’ve fallen off the wagon, tell your inner critic to shut the f$%^ up and get back on the wagon!

  • January 24, 2012

#Resolutions Progress Week 2

Just a quick update for this week. So far I’ve been pretty successful about being more mindful about my food. I even managed to mindfully eat my way through a weekend celebration for a friend’s 40th birthday.  My wine consumption? Uh, not so mindful.

And so far my inner critic has been mostly silent, but that’s because I’m sort of avoiding diving into my new WIP. Circling it like a shark, too chicken to actually dive right in yet.

Oops, I think IC just called me a chicken….

You have 3 more weeks to tweet or comment to win an ARC of RUN FROM FEAR and a copy of its accompanying playlist!

Have a great week!

  • January 9, 2012

#Resolutions Progress

So I’m nearly a week into my resolutions to 1. be more mindful in my eating and 2. put a ball gag on my inner critic. I’ve been doing pretty well on the eating thing – the other day I caught myself getting up from the table, sandwich in hand, about to get my son another glass of milk and move the laundry from the washer to the dryer.  I sat back down, explained to my son I was eating some of my lunch right then and that he was welcome to get himself a glass of milk or wait until I had finished more of my sandwich. Actual meal times have been much better – I’ve done less random picking during preparation, and I’ve made a conscious, concerted effort to eat more slowly, “dine,” as it were instead of forking food in my piehole like I’m trying to break some speed eating record.

That being said,  I did find myself sneaking a few olives while making dinner (beef picadillo, roast sweet potatoes and shallots, and spinach salad, in case anyone is wondering) and nibbling leftover broccoli during clean up. Yeah, yeah, it’s broccoli, not exactly a cardinal sin. But still, the whole point of this is to think about what I want to eat, focus on it, and actually enjoy it while I eat it.

How are you doing week one of #resolutions?  Comment or tweet me with hashtag #resolutions by January 31 for a chance to win an ARC of RUN FROM FEAR and the book’s “soundtrack” from iTunes!

  • January 6, 2012

New Year, New Resolutions, and New Contest!

It’s that time of year again, where many of us take the opportunity to make a few changes in our lives.  This year I thought I’d roll my resolution blog into a contest, just to make things a little more interesting. Here’s how it works:  any time between now and January 31, comment here or tweet me with #resolutions, and let me know what your resolution is and how you’re doing!  At the end of the month I will pick 2 posters to win ARCs of RUN FROM FEAR, which will be out in March, and I will also gift you the iTunes playlist I developed for this book (you can get a sneak peak of it here:

So to start things off, I’ll share my own resolutions.

1. Try to keep my inner critic under control.  Wow, a writer with insecurities? Go figure! But seriously, the little voice in my head who likes to whisper I’m not that great of a writer/parent/wife and remind me that my body is nothing near what it used to be and even then it wasn’t that great has become way too intrusive lately.

2. Be more mindful of my eating.  I have a tendency, especially since having kids, to shove food into my mouth without thinking while I do five or so other things at the same time. Like this morning, when I found myself walking around the house, sandwich in one hand, shoving laundry in the washing machine with the other.  I eat like someone’s going to take my meal from me (or yell for a butt wipe, or ask for another helping of macaroni, or shove a grubby fist in my plate) even when I’m alone in my house.  Now that my kids are 4 and 6 and (slightly) more civilized, there’s really no need for me to shovel my food in like I’m on an episode of Man vs. Food.  So I’m going to try harder to fix myself proper meals (no more picking crusts and bits off kids plates) and actually taking the time to sit down and eat them.

Feel free to post multiple times – I’ll be checking in with my own progress throughout the month.  In the meantime, good luck and happy new year!

  • January 1, 2012

Some Cheesy (Literally) Holiday Cheer

Today I’m sharing my sister in law’s recipe for Mag Mud, one of my favorite dishes of the holiday season. She adapted it from a dish she had at the Magnolia Cafe in Austin, where she went to school. Now it’s become tradition in our family for her to make it to eat while we put up the tree and Christmas decorations.

To be clear, there is nothing fresh, organic, or healthy about this one, but man is it good!





To make the Mag Mud, you will need:

1 Jar of Tostitos Queso dip (if you have a prepared queso you really like, use it, but SIL always uses Tostitos and I have no reason to question that :))

1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 avocado, diced

salsa or pico de gallo


Stir beans in with queso and microwave for about 1 minute or until hot. Fold  in the avocado and spoon the salsa on top. Serve with chips, and if you like, cold beer.

What about you? Do you have any guilty pleasure holiday recipes to share?

In any case, I hope you are all having a wonderful an joyous holiday season!

  • December 24, 2011

And the Winners Are:

Thank you Amanda and Na S. for providing the most stomach turning recipes! Email me your snail mail addys at and I will get the ARCs of RUN FROM FEAR out to you as quick as I can!

  • November 27, 2011

CONTEST: Who wants an ARC of Run From Fear

Guess what I just got? A box of a dozen or so very early copies of RUN FROM FEAR (AKA Jack and Talia’s book) which won’t hit the shelves until the end of February.

This contest was inspired by an episode of Paula’s Best Dishes, one in which I watched Paula Deen combine 2 cans of cream of celery soup, 2 cans condensed cheese soup, and a can of cranberry sauce as a base for her leftover turkey pot pie. When I mentioned this recipe on twitter, the subsequent revulsion expressed by some of my friends inspired me to find the most repulsive Thanksgiving casserole. It can be a dish for the day of, or a particularly disgusting use of leftovers. Post your recipe here before 11:59 Sunday November 27. Whoever submits the top 2 most disgusting recipes according to me and my secret panel of judges will receive an autographed copy of Run From Fear.

Oh, and for those of you who want Paula’s recipe for reference, here you go:*

*you will notice that the recipe calls for cranberries. Apparently the choice of canned cranberry sauce was a last minute executive decision by Paula.

  • November 18, 2011

Cooking from My Box: MEATBALLZ!

A couple weeks ago I found this recipe for Steak n’ Bacon cheddar meatballs and knew I needed to make them for my kids – basically a bite size bacon cheeseburger.

But then I realized that in addition to plenty of ground meat from our delivery service, we also have tons of roasted green chiles we brought back from New Mexico earlier this fall.  And I really, really love green chile cheeseburgers. Wouldn’t it be great to have a bite size version?

Amazeballz! Green Chile Cheddar Meatballs were born.


1 lb ground beef

1 lb ground pork

4 pasilla peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped.  Or you can substitute 1 – 7 ounce can of roasted chopped green chiles – I like the Trader Joe’s brand

1 medium onion, minced

6 oz sharp cheddar cheese, chopped into 24 cubes of roughly equal size

1/2 cup bread crumbs

3  eggs lightly beaten

2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Brush a 13×9 inch baking dish with olive oil.

Heat 1 T olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, add onion and saute until onion is golden brown, about 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and let cool.  Combine onions, meat, chiles, breadcrumbs, eggs, and salt together in a bowl.  Form meat into 24 golf ball size meatballs. Tuck a cube into the center of each, packing the meat firmly to seal the cheese inside.  Place the balls in the baking dish and roast until cooked, 18-20 minutes.  Allow to cool 10 minutes before serving.

You can substitute all beef or turkey (just don’t use all turkey breast – it’s too lean) if you don’t want to use pork. And for a great use for leftovers, substitute them for chicken in your favorite tortilla soup recipe.

  • November 8, 2011

HIDE FROM EVIL Mood Music Day 32: Alice In Chains Rain When I Die

This is the last selection before HIDE FROM EVIL hits the shelves! So tonight I leave you with another selection from Alice in Chains, and tomorrow to commemorate the release I’ll post the entire playlist.

  • October 25, 2011
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