Find Your Joy.

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Can I be honest?

2018 has been a bit of a trash fire of a year, hasn’t it?

Stepping away from the chaotic whirlwind of bad news has been a struggle. Being creating in 2018 has been even more difficult. It’s important to write, even in the middle of the muck.

I think, more than any other time, it’s also important to find happy moments and pursue them.

For me?

This weekend, that meant baking, reading, and video games.

Baking? That went brilliantly. I made Mary Berry’s recipe for profiteroles, photo evidence above. They tasted AMAZING. They also didn’t last the weekend lol. Yum.

Reading? I finally got around to reading Alison Weir’s Jane Seymour, The Haunted Queen, which I enjoyed immensely. I love a good historical fiction. And this one was definitely half fact and half fiction. Brilliantly done though.

Video games? I’ve gotten completely obsessed with the latest Assassin’s Creed game, Odyssey. Epic, brilliant, amazing. Love it so much.

Now, I’m back to writing on my new work in progress–an urban fantasy. Should be great fun.

How about you? What moments of joy are you finding for yourself this year?

An Introduction to Akash Robinson.


(My visual inspiration for Akash is Raza Jaffrey)

In book four of The Sin Bin, The Royal Marine, which comes out in October, Akash Robinson gets his chance at love. He finds himself in the midst of an awkward love triangle. The baker has shown up a few times in the series thus far, but only as brief mentions.  This is the first real chance readers get to meet him.

I thought I’d give a brief introduction to him with a few random facts.

  1. He’s biracial (or mixed race, depending on what term you prefer). His mother is Indian, and his father is Caucasian.
  2. Akash is completely obsessed with cooking reality TV shows. His personal favourite is The Great British Bake Off.
  3. He always wanted to be a baker.
  4. Until recently, Akash lived at home with his parents.
  5. His hands and arms are covered by tiny scars from getting burned while baking.
  6. Ganesh is the cat that his sisters gave him. Akash has a love/hate relationship with his cat.
  7. Akash played cricket at school–badly. He doesn’t like talking about it. His dad loves to tease him about it.
  8. As a youngster, Akash learned self-defense and has picked up several martial arts.
  9. One of his greatest joys in life is creating spice combination that represents both of his heritages.
  10. Of the three Robinson siblings, Akash has the worst memory.
  11. He and his two sisters were all given Sanskrit names.
  12. Akash’s name means sky or open space. His mother wanted him to feel free to grow into a great man.

Anyway, so there’s a bit about Akash Robinson. The strong-willed, sassy baker who tries to run away with the heart of a certain retired Royal Marine.

An Ode to My Grandmother.

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My adoptive parents are an interesting mix.  My father is the epitome of the stereotypical American from the ‘deep south,’ and all the good and bad that comes with it.  My mother was born in Canada, but moved to England as a toddler and was raised in Oxford up until she met my father(a dashing American airman) at the age of twenty.  Despite her Canadian passport, my mother was all British.   I have no idea how they fell in love. They are polar opposites.

It was very odd growing up in a house with such a deep culture clash.    My brothers and I were essentially forced to learn to versions of the English language.  Biscuits could mean the savory, flaky goodness that my paternal grandmother baked, or they could mean the sweet treats we dipped into our tea.   Football could evoke images of men running around with an odd shaped, pig skin ball in their hands, or men running around kicking a black & white colored round ball.    Words could be spelled with or without an additional ‘u.’

My mother home-schooled all three of her children, so we’d get docked points for spelling words like colour without the ‘u.’   Yet, when my father graded our homework, he’d cross out the u as a mistake.

We were often very confused.

In any case, I was channeling my paternal grandmother last night when I made the American version of biscuits.   My grandmother was a very lovely woman who encouraged me frequently to be everything I could possibly be, and not simply follow along the path my over-bearing parents wanted me to go.   Both my grandmother and grandfather spent a lot of time with me.  They worked very hard to counter-act some of the more negative things in my life, and I’m forever grateful to both of them.

Anyway, so I made biscuits last night – the American Southern style savory type, not the sweet British cookie type.   They were delicious and easy so I thought I’d share the recipe.

It’s basically the Bisquick basic biscuit recipe, with a twist:

2 1/4 cups of bisquick mix

2/3 cup of milk

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp Italian seasoning

1/2 a cup of shredded Italian blend cheese (won’t lie, it was probably more like 3/4 a cup.  We like our cheese lol)

I dropped eight biscuits by the spoon onto a greased pan.

Baked for about eight minutes in a 450 degree oven. YUM.  (the recipe says 8 – 10 minutes, I found with our oven that the bottoms get a bit too browned if you go over 9 minutes).