At breakfast, add a few blueberries to your pancake, flapjack or hotcake. National Blueberry Pancake Day is always observed January 28.
Early pancakes consisted mostly of flour and milk and were more like biscuits. Later, eggs, milk, a leavening agent (such as baking powder) and fat were added creating the fluffier, lighter pancake we know today.
Adding blueberries to the pancake batter when mixing up the ingredients may result in a bluish hue. To avoid this, add them right after dropping dollops of batter to the hot griddle.
Blueberries add a freshness to pancakes and nutrients like vitamin K, vitamin C, manganese and copper.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Whip up some pancakes with my favorite (from scratch) recipe:
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons raw or granulated sugar Combine these, then add 2 teaspoons pure vanilla 2 beaten eggs 2 tablespoons melted butter or coconut oil 1-1/2 cups milk (more if it is too thick) last minute add 8 oz fresh blueberries stir only enough to fold them in. Cook in a pan or griddle. Top with blueberry compote or syrup of choice I use butter and confectioners sugar on mine! ENJOY (Makes 10-12 4 inch pancakes)
A recent Review of
Voices in Crystal
Book 1 Children of Stone
Another Great Review -Thanks Lil Sis 7
Lil sis 7 4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting January 26, 2019 Format: Kindle Edition Over all this was a good and interesting book. It's well researched and well thought out. I would have given 5 stars but it's a little slow going in spots but it's well worth the slow parts once you get to the great parts. I would highly recommend this book and this author to anyone that likes mythology because the Egyptian myths that are spoken of in this story are really well done.
Lastweek's interviewee was Daryl Ballauthor of The Tannis Project. Here is the blurb from the book!
Being a nearly 200-year-old vampire comes with a lot of experience... and a lot of baggage.
In his weekly blog, Tannis reflects on the experiences and people that have shaped his life, as well as his budding romance with single mother, Kayla. Adaptation ensures survival but offers little insight on falling in love with a human. Kayla accepts him and his struggles, but can he do the same? Her teenage son, Tie, is a challenge all on his own. He may not be ready for a new father, especially one who's a vampire.
For the first time in his life, Tannis struggles to adapt. Do the rewards outweigh the risks? Having his own family seems like a dream come true, but dreams can just as easily become nightmares.
And now in Tannis Words himself!
1. Go ahead and introduce yourself.
My name? The name I primarily use is Tannis. By no means is it the one I was born with, but merely the one I have most often used to identify myself by. A dear departed friend gave it to me and it is very fitting.
2.Tell us where and when were you born.
I was born in a village not far from Paris, France..it has long since disappeared as a place unto itself. As for when, my actual date of birth stopped having any real meaning when I was turned into what I am now, re-born as it were, and that was in 1841.
3. How would you describe yourself?
I would consider myself a researcher, one who strives to learn why things work the way they do, why we behave in the manner that we do, so that I might take that knowledge, share it, and utilize it to help make for a better world.
4. Tell us about where you grew up.
I grew up rather poor, but we survived. I wanted better than the life I had though, as such the moment the opportunity came along, I took it, leaving home, to see the world. I’ve since travelled the world and gained much from everywhere I stay. In that sense, where I grew up really is the entire world itself.
5. How old are you?
Age really does become meaningless after a certain point, especially when the body so rarely ages physically. I will give you the same answer as I’ve given for years now – I am near 200 years old.
6. Did you have a happy childhood? Why/why not?
My childhood was a full one, when it is the only one you ever knew, you don’t have another childhood to compare it to. I suppose other than wanting more out of life than I was getting, it couldn’t have been that unhappy now could it? However, I have no bad memories from that time.
7. Past/ present relationships? How did they affect you?
Romantic relationships? They give you a chance to share life, that can be hard when you don’t age, your outlook will be different from someone who physically seems your age but your life experiences will be vastly different. At a certain pint, everyone is younger than you by at least several years. I filled my life with travel and research, the need for a proper relationship simply never existed. I’ve had brief ones with other vampires but they don’t
last long, there is no attachment involved. That is why right now is proving such a struggle.
I want to at least try and see if I can make it work, at least for a while. Kayla is willing to give me that chance, and in so doing, I also get the chance to try and be a father figure to her son. It’s different from being a sire to a vampire you’ve turned, but I do want to try.
If we never try anything we never learn and as I have indicated before, I am all about learning.
8. What do you value above all else in life?
Knowledge. In it lies the power to shape your world
9. What are you obsessed with?
Presently, I am discovering the joys of Lego
10.How do your beliefs make life better for yourself and the people you care about?
My beliefs shape the core of who I am, and that has dictated how I approach life, and in turn allows me to provide for those I care for most.
11. Biggest fear?
The eventual decay of my mind.
12. What line will you never cross?
I have more than once encountered vampires who were turned as children. I have zero tolerance for any vampire who would do such a thing. Children need to be children, to live and learn, robbing them of that in any way is simply a line I will never cross. That goes for harming them in any way as well.
13. What is the best thing that ever happened to you?
Being buried and having to feed on the blood of insects to restore my strength in order to get free.
14. Most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?
Being defeated by a newly turned vampire their first night.
15. Biggest secret?
If I told you, it wouldn’t be a secret. I have very few though and they stay secrets for a reason.
16. What is the one word you would use to define yourself?
17. What is your current goal?
To succeed at being part of a human family.
CHANGE IS AFOOT - Making a good book better.
I'm nearly finished with the re-boot of my first book Voices in Crystal.
There wasn't THAT much wrong with it, if the reviews are the judge. Most of them were 5 star but there were an equal balance of 3 and 4 star reviews. I listened to what you had to say - what improvements I could make the second time around.
I will have the editing and typos handled by an external editor. The new version will have the same story, characters and basic content, but the story will be told from varied points of view rather than narrated.
I can feel some of you cringing, but I have taken great pains to have very little overlap or repeated parts of the story, which often happens in multiple points of view stories. There will be a map. It's the one my son Thomas Woldering designed for Book 4 Heart of the Lotus. Now you can get a geographical sense of the story's location. It will be somewhat shorter and action filled. Gone are the long "history lesson" passages that slowed the story down. The pace and the read will be quicker. The chapters will be shorter with logical breaks in the reading. There will be a glossary of terms and a speculative pronunciation guide (because pronunciation of Ancient Egyptian is uncertain at best). There will be a cast of characters, who they are, their roles in the story and relationship to each other. Finally, the e-book will have a new and different cover which MAY be eventually placed on later copies of a print run. If you have purchased the ebook, you'll be able to download the update for free. I'm hoping for a Spring release - then it's on to Book 5 Lake of Memory - the finale for the series Children of Stone
Introducing Sam Kates!
What made you want to be a writer?
Since learning to read as a four- or five-year-old, I’ve read voraciously. Writing seemed the natural progression. I still marvel at worlds other authors have created, but now I create my own too.
When is the release of your next novel? Name genre or if it’s part of a series. If your book is part of a series tell the readers about the others that are out for sale.
I’m aiming to release a new novel later this year. It will be a standalone fantasy, though a chunky one of around 180,000 words. A collection of dark novellas might come before it—depends which I finish first.
How important is it to read books when you want to be an author?
I think it’s vital. No doubt there are exceptions but, generally speaking, I don’t see how anyone can hope to become an accomplished writer without reading a lot of books. It would be like hoping to become a cabinet maker without trying to understand how cabinets are put together.
Do you remember the first book you read?
Other than Dick and Jane, or whatever they were called, in nursery school (‘Run, Dick, run!’), it was probably one of the Enid Blyton books about the wishing chair or the enchanted wood. Her books opened my child’s eyes to the endless possibilities to be discovered on a page.
What book are you reading now?
Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson. I’m also picking away at Infinite Jest, but I’m finding it a challenge, to put it mildly, so don’t anticipate finishing it any time soon.
How did you come up with the idea for the book or series, especially the title?
I have two complete series—The Elevator and Earth Haven trilogies. The idea for Earth Haven came from a short story I wrote at the turn of the millennium about a young man who survives a plague that wipes out almost the entire population of the world. The title of the series came from how some of the characters refer to our planet—to them, it represents a haven to which to escape their own dying planet many light years away.
Which character do you identify with most in your novel?
I don’t identify with any of the characters in my books, with one possible exception. The only novel I’ve written that doesn’t come under the broad umbrella of speculative fiction is called That Elusive Something. It’s about a professional in his early thirties who yearns for something more. Funnily enough, when I wrote it I was a lawyer in my early thirties yearning for something more.
How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Since most of the stuff I write is horror or science fiction or fantasy, I’d have led a damned peculiar existence if my books came from true-life experiences.
To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I’ve based parts of books in Sydney and Los Angeles, and Wick in Scotland, places I’ve never visited. That’s when Google Earth is your friend.
Tell us how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write. Example, music on or quiet etc.
I envy writers who can work with music playing in the background. That’s not for me, I regret. It has to be quiet so I can escape into the world I’m creating without distraction.
What is one goody you must have at your desk when you’re writing?
Which part of the publishing process do you detest most?
If by ‘publishing’ you mean the narrow process of getting polished manuscript to distributor, there’s no part of that I detest. But if we’re talking about the wider process, then the most detestable thing to me—though, sadly, a necessary evil—is marketing. I’m a complete muppet at it. I’m also not keen on writing the first draft of a novel—it always feels a little like pulling teeth.
What is the worst thing you’ve had to overcome before publishing your novel? IF it’s too personal just make a generalized statement if you can.
Finding the time has always been one of my biggest problems, at least until about eighteen months ago. Then I went part-time in my regular job and my writing productivity shot up.
When you need some extra encouragement who do you turn to?
Terry Pratchett, Stephen King, Tolkien… countless others. They remind me what it feels like to become lost in a fantastic world and why I wanted to write in the first place.
How do you market your book?
I run Amazon ads on the first book of both completed trilogies. The ads just about pay for themselves in terms of sales of the books so advertised, but the real benefit comes in follow-through sales of the sequels. I also blog about writing, reading and publishing, which I enjoy but also regard as a form of marketing.
Have readers ever contacted you? If so, tell us the best thing they’ve said to you.
does sometimes happen, usually through my author Facebook page, or more occasionally by e-mail. I’ve been lucky that they’ve never been less than complimentary about my work.
Who do you trust to read your finished books before publication?
I have a few trusted beta readers, the main one being my brother. If he says something needs to be changed, I listen.
Tell us all about your very first book signing. Take us there with your description of people, place, food, décor etc.
I’ve never done one and, unless it was essential for furthering my writing career, I’d shy away from ever doing one.
Is there a message you’d like to send through your book?
I’m not trying to pass on any messages or make any points with my work. They’re stories told for the sheer enjoyment of telling them and to entertain the reader. If, as a by-product, they make the reader think, that’s a bonus.
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Quite honestly, if any of my books were made into films, I’d be thrilled regardless of who was cast in the lead roles.
Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
It’s difficult to choose only one, but I’ll plump for Stephen King. I grew up with his books and would love to chat with him about writing, over a beer or coffee.
Do you have any hobbies?
I’m a member of a pub quiz team and I watch a lot of rugby and football—I’m past the age where I can play without endangering my joints. Does drinking beer count as a hobby?
What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I never seem to find the time to watch a great deal of television. My go-to shows are The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. I’ll always make time to watch films—although my preference is for science fiction, fantasy and horror, I’ll give almost anything a go.
Ribeye steak, curry, pizza, though not all at the same time.
What’s your sign, lucky number.
Scorpio—a typical one, says my wife, whatever that means. I don’t have a lucky number.
What’s your favorite color.
Since it’s the colour my favourite sports teams play in and the colour of the dragon on the Welsh flag, I’d have to say red.
What music do you hear in your latest book.
My work in progress is edging towards dark fantasy. As such, I imagine it to be Celtic music similar to that in the Lord of the Rings trilogy meets the soundtrack of Halloween.
Do you have hobbies other than writing?
I don’t see writing as a hobby—since going part-time in my regular job, I regard myself as a semi-professional author.
Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
That’s a scary question. I have recently started a part-time proofreading/copyediting business so I guess I’d concentrate more on that.
You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
That’s an even scarier question. I’d spend it with my family, making sure they know how I feel about them. There would probably also be beer.
What do you want written on your head stone?
Here lies he who never gave less than his best.
Are there any mistakes you made with your first book?
Probably, but it was a long time ago now and it’s published (The Village of Lost Souls) so I try not to think about it. But since you’ve asked… damn it.
What kind of advice can you give to other either aspiring authors?
Read extensively, inside and outside the genres in which you want to be published. And, of course, write as often and as much as you can. Prepare yourself for disappointments—almost everyone gets rejected somewhere along the way—and, above all, persevere.
When in doubt, who do you trust to help you out?
In a writing sense? I’ll always seek out my brother’s opinion. But, ultimately, I follow my own instincts.
Tell us how we may get a copy of your book. (Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, paperback etc.)
All twelve of my books are available as e-books on most major online retailers. Six of them are available as paperbacks, again pretty much everywhere online. The first book of the Earth Haven trilogy is also available in audio on Amazon, Audible and iTunes.
Social media links and websites?
Website (where there are links to all versions of my books): http://samkates.co.uk/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/writersamkates/
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