Tapioca pudding & Boba Tea how Djerah became a storybook god, Lawrence Oliver, writing reviews i

National Tapioca Pudding Day is on July 15th.

Most of us have a tapioca Pudding memory that we love or hate! Mine was a memory of summer camp at Our Lady of the Hills, a Catholic Camp near Hendersonville, NC. I sat at a table for twelve girls and tapioca pudding was served. I ate my pudding with great delight. The girl next to me didn't want hers and so I ate her pudding too. Soon I had eaten all twelve servings and oddly enough didn't get sick, but I certainly felt green. I even continued to like tapioca pudding as my favorite kind of pudding. I asked readers to tell me if they liked Tapioca pudding and to maybe tell a story as I did. I didn't get many stories but I did get votes, most of them positive

Aaron Henley Was told by my grandfather when I was 5 that it was fish eyes in my vanilla pudding. Never touched the stuff since.

Hilary Anderson Frog spawn pudding - horror of school meals, warm, sticky and the eyes went gloop. Shudders. Though had as adult both as pudding and tapoica in bubble tea and it was tolerable.

Maureen Kolenc Love it

Guy Donovan I love it. Rice pudding too.

Chele Pedersen Smith Love it! And rice pudding, esp with raisins!!

Christine Baker Can’t eat tapioca, it’s too sweet for my taste

Suzie Wong I love it! Always have. I like the texture.

Michelle Lilykoi Adams Love it. It’s pudding... any pudding, any time. That is all 😬

Gayreth Walden I love it! Especially after eating spicy foods. Makes my tummy feel good.😊

Sandra Valencia I definitely like. Somehow, it always felt like I was popping bubbles as I ate it.

Gigi Lovegrove I like it but I'd rather have rice pudding with raisins or even more Banana pudding because it has more flavor.

Stephanie Leone-Germano I like it

Charles Patton Love me some tapioca pudding..

Jena Baxter I don't have any stories. I liked it, but Mum LOVED it

Tapioca is a starch derived from the cassava root. While the root is similar in shape and color to a sweet potato, in its natural form cassava contains cyanide. Grinding down the root produces a flour or powder used as a thickening agent. It can also be made into pearls. Also known as manioc or yucca, cassava is cultivated around the world. A part of the Euphorbiaceae (spurge) family, this woody shrub is native to South America but is also grown in Asia and Africa.Once a staple in early American households, tapioca was dehydrated to survive long sea voyages without spoilage and even still have a long shelf life.

To make a truly homemade tapioca pudding takes planning. The pearls must be soaked overnight.

For those sensitive to gluten, substitute tapioca in place of flour as a thickening agent in recipes. Tapioca is also an excellent source of vitamin B, manganese and iron. If you’re having trouble gaining weight or have a sensitive stomach, tapioca is both gentle and helps to gradual add healthy weight.The minute and instant tapioca puddings have made the process easier. A quick parfait with layers of fruit and whipped cream may make a perfect celebration, too. However, another way to enjoy tapioca is also found in Boba tea, a Taiwanese tea-based drink. I encountered this on a visit to my son in California. These pearles are usually larger than those used in pudding and most that I have seen are black rather than clear.

Even if you love tapioca pudding, it’s doubtful you’ve tried tapioca in all its forms. Some of the most common variations include bubble tea - Here's a recipe:

Milk Tea Bubble Tea Recipe - By Chichi

Prep Time :2 minutes

Cook Time :25 minutes

Yield : 6 glasses


Black tea bags - 12 Sweetened condensed milk - 1 can Water - 1 1/2 Litres Tapioca pearls - 1 package Instructions

Cook the tapioca pearls according to the directions on the package. Boil the water in a large pot and add all of the tea bags. Boil for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the sweetened condensed milk, adding a little at a time until you achieve the sweetness that you want. Set aside and allow to cool. This can be made the night before and let chill in the fridge. Put the tapioca pearls in a tall glass and add the milk tea. You can also add ice if you like. Serve with a large straw. Enjoy!

Have you tried to leave a review on Amazon but aren't allowed?

Amazon's new policy was designed to prevent "spam" reviews that over inflated some authors rating (these are usually posted by fan groups.

It also cut out many "revenge 1-star" reviews as well so it's a good thing more than a bad one. This came on the heels of an older policy that refused to post "friend and relative reviews" That meant if you mentioned you knew the author in your review it would count.

I even heard of reviews declined if the reviewer lived in the same town.The newer policy forbids reviews by someone who isn't an Amazon customer.

To post a review you have to spend at least $50.00 a year. It doesn't affect me, because I shop at Amazon but many of you don't spend that much there. Try Goodreads.

Try the Author's page, post a review on your own page with the author's link.

Post a review on any number of blogs and genre sites or groups. Amazon isn't the only show in town. Whatever you do, just leave one and spread the word.

It's how we authors get known.

Teaching myself - the Uphill slog

The constant complaint I hear from authors, both small press and indie is about marketing. We all have to do it, or hire someone, often costing us more than we might ever net in book sales. The choice is to learn how to do it. How well you do it is largely based on how comfortable you are with technology and how much you already know about marketing in general. My lack of computer skills and technology skills are legendary! I type and do limited cut and paste. I run for help a lot.

My sales skills are no deeper than EBay experience. Unlike most authors, I'm NOT an introvert and rather enjoy the thrill of a live book sale and meeting new people. But that gets expensive, too. The next best thing is online sales. Naturally I was in for a shock. The first stumble was a website. A friend helped me start but didn't have time to help me maintain it or make updates. I also couldn't get a mailing list to work. Basic Mail Chimp instructions assumed basic knowledge too. Every time I realized if I was studying marketing, I wasn't writing. I could learn marketing but have no product, or I could write on in ignorance. I chose the latter. I've reached a crossroads. I have to do better.

First up? Learning how to create a REAL and interactive mailing list. Once I've learned how and the list is running well, I will reduce and change the content on my Group page to one of "How to find me" so that only those truly interested will be led to the website. Finally--I'll accept any and all marketing advice and help, AS LONG AS IT'S FREE or open to some form of barter. (Once I am successful enough, I'll be glad to financially reward people who help.) Message me anytime on Facebook or through the website here! www.maryrwoldering.com

My characters. Last week I interviewed Maatkare Raemkai, but left out an important fact or two. Maatkare is in one spinoff and looking to be in a second one.

The first is a short story called "Raemkai's Stairs" in Ghostly Writes Anthology 2018 - Yep he's a ghost now and it's a fictionalization (really? - well--) of how we met in 1970. Anticipated is "Miss Hattie and the Hoppers" (details as they become available) where he is Matt Kerry - time-travelling wizard and wolf/shifter. Anticipated too is another tale tentatively called "Swamp Johnnie---" about a cajun brawler who falls in lust with a two-timing witch (a prequel to Raemkai's Stairs and my first attempt at PNR - LOL!)

Today we'll chat with his once bitter rival and later traveling buddy Djerah.

1. Go ahead and introduce yourself.

I am Djerah bin Esai. Once I was a poor guy, a half breed sojourner just trying to raise my family. Later I became so much more.

2.Tell us where and when were you born.

Near Ineb Hedj on a riverside farm, in a tidewater hut about 21 years ago at the start of the stories this author tells.

3. How would you describe yourself?

I’m tall and slim. I started out in the story looking like most other men in my neighborhood. I had dark hair with sun-bleached bronze highlights and black eyes, ugly sparse beard. Later on I had increasingly golden hair, and crystal blue eyes. Always had tawny and tan skin . Why? Well you'd have to read about that in Opener of the Sky - Book 3 .

4. Tell us about where you grew up.

On the river making baskets and selling over-ripe fruit

5. How old are you? 21 at the start. Stopped counting after a while

6. Did you have a happy childhood? Why/why not?

I did. It was a hard life but happy at first.

I married at 15 to a girl a little younger named Raawa. We began our family almost immediately but soon we moved to the city of Ineb Hedj with the rest of my family.

7. Past/ present relationships? How did they affect you?

My family always came first. We were going hungry so I marched in the King’s army as an archer. That's when I first went to Ta-Seti and met Prince Maatkare Raemkai. He was strict, mean, and full of himself more than he needed to be.

Then I found work in the construction business.

That’s when my life began to fall apart. Raawa didn’t want to live in the builders village. She was about to have her fourth child and couldn’t sleep. So my family stayed on the other side in the market. I came home on the holidays when no work was done.

After the young child was born it was obvious I was not the father. He was early and very large for a babe so unripe. I still refused to believe the gossip even though it was staring at me. I couldn't believe my Raawa would lose her faith in me after all the work I was doing to bring in goods for trade.

8. What do you value above all else in life?


9. What are you obsessed with?

Now that I am no longer married, finding a faithful wife would be nice. She wouldn't even have to be pretty. Maybe the little stone Marai gave me will help me find one.

10.How do your beliefs make life better for yourself and the people you care about?

I don’t really have many beliefs. The gods have never blessed me with a thing.

I feel a man needs to be devoted to his family. Cheating on a mate like my wife did is something I doubt I would do.

The man Marai who says he was my great-grandmother Houra’s half brother works with me to restore my faith in mankind. I am learning his way of magic.He say's I'm good and far more adventurous. We'll see if I can shock him some more.

11. Biggest fear?

That I will never find another wife or have a family again.

Women say I am either too smart or too eager or I talk too much, so they will enjoy my body and then take off.

12. What line will you never cross?

For a long time it was succumb to my temptations. Marai’s wife Naibe is so sweet and his wife Ari actively chases me. I’m at least trying not to cross that line, because they DID help me. But Ari just keeps on telling me about "energy displacement"

13. What is the best thing that ever happened to you?

Meeting Marai I guess. I would have said the birth of each child, but that’s changed.

The worst? Realizing my wife never loved me and even hoped I would die at work so she could get the widow’s pension the king issues and be with her new man.

14. Most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?

Realizing the truth about my wife, and behind that opening a dimensional gate and letting in something nasty.

15. Biggest secret?

I don’t know. I’m learning at a crazy rate. I want to go to other times and places and am building a craft that will help of an old leaky boat we found. It’s gonna Fly!

16. What is the one word you would use to define yourself?


17. What is your current goal?

To make the boat fly.

Now learning about me without a spoiler will be tough.

There’s a part on Book 3 Opener of the Sky when Marai and I are going on a journey. We find a boat for the journey. That’s when I really learned about his magic and wanted to learn it too! Marai tells it this way!

“Look at that. I told you.” Djerah pointed at the droplets beading on the crack in the pitch inside the boat as soon as both he and Marai set it in the water, loaded their supplies, placed the oars and seated themselves.

“Mm.” Marai grumbled, then thought to himself and to his Child Stone Could have let us get a little further up the river before sinking us. Then aloud:

“So let’s row. If we’re moving quickly enough, the water can’t come in that little crack. We’ll stay close enough to the shore so if we take on too much, we can put in and fix it.” Marai knew Djerah would have to man the rudder constantly that close to shore or they would get stuck on shoals.

“You do the rudder and push us out. I’ll row.”

“But the water…” The young man pointed at a little rivulet starting to drip from the crack in the floor of the boat.

“Go.” Marai pointed forcefully to the stern of the small wood boat that was smaller than half the size of Wserkaf’s boat.

Djerah took one timid step to the rear and positioned the long oar in the bronze rudder guide.

Marai sat with both oars in his hands and gave the signal to push out. As the boat moved out, he took a deep breath, centered his thoughts and whispered once: “Go. Even strokes. Learn the motion. Feel it through me.” then in a voice Djerah could hear:“Go. Fast. Now.” He began to pull.

At first his pace was even and swift, but not unusual for a strong and agile man.

Gradually Marai felt himself sink into his thoughts and the drifting feeling of power come over him in a surge of new strength. He shut his eyes and laughed a little as his speed increased. His Child Stone and the seven in the bag on his sash gave him the needed boost.

Soon, he pumped a little faster. When he focused on a V of geese flying overhead, he sent up the thought.

See that speed! The wings. Make the oars extend like the wings of birds. Almost instantly, Marai felt the surge of power flash through his arms like black lightning again. It had been so long since he had felt that strength that he almost paused to admire it. Sweep back, forward, sweep back…he felt his arms beginning to merge with the shape of the upper oars.

“Hey. What are you…” Marai heard Djerah shout, roused himself slightly and turned to look.

The young man was moving the boat into the deeper water, a half-crazed look on his face.

“Out here I won’t have to steer as hard. I can’t keep up with you. You’ll make the helm snap… How are you doing…?”

“Then just stop steering for now and come up and look to see if we’re still taking water.” Marai resumed his pace.

Djerah pulled the helm oar up and crawled forward to look.

“What?” he cried “It’s dry. It’s like the pitch has melted and reformed. D’you cast a spell on this boat?”


Suffice it to say, I watched and learned. In "Hattie and the Hoppers" far in the future, and even later in "Healing the Wounds" I was the master engineer and could do so many things. A favorite was going to Elysia for the Bacchanals with young Asterii Dio - Man could he party! The other was my helmet that converted thought energy into matter! But like I said... an engineer

The early concept of Djerah began as my friend Annette's guardian and mentor named Jera - a childhood friend. For her he was a young Apollo, a stately but lively and often naughty young god. He also presented with elements of Helios, the charioteer, thus we always depicted him driving some fantastic creation.

But how did he get that way? Read about him in Children of Stone

Next up??? Another new Author Lawrence Oliver.

Welcome Lawrence!!

What made you want to be a writer?

I’ve just always had an overactive imagination and writing seemed the best way to finally express it.

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.

My Space Opera novel THE LAST MARINES is available now on Amazon. THE LAST MARINES is the first book in the series.

How important is it to read books when you want to be an author?

I think it is certainly very helpful and inspiring to read if you are a writer but to what degree I think is different for all of us. I think not just inspiration but style and technical prowess also rub off on people when they are exposed to the finished product and are mindful of such things. So yeah it absolutely can’t hurt.

Do you remember the first book you read?

The Hobbit. I know that is horribly unoriginal but it’s true. Followed by The Foundation.

What book are you reading now?

The Republic by Plato

How did you come up with the idea for the book or series, especially the title?

I had actually found myself with let’s say a few “unplanned” days off work and I was catching up on some reading.

Sitting in my cliché suburban recliner with a fire burning in the fire place and nothing to distract me from my book. Even still I kept finding myself staring out of the window think of another story.

One I wanted to tell, in my own universe with my own characters. The book I was reading wasn’t bad mind you it was good ole’ Space Opera stuff. The hero was very heroic and right and the women swooned.

I imagined something a little darker, with flawed diverse characters that made mistakes. Mistakes with real consequences, and casualties.

So I put down the book I was reading and started writing.

My titles… Well usually I start out with something totally crappy for a working title, then a few months later I come up with something a little less crappy and so on a so forth until I find one I really like.

This first novel I’ve released THE LAST MARINES went through four or five titles before I got it right.

Which character do you identify with most in your novel?

Probably the main character Ben Corbin. Just because he means well but screws things up as often as he doesn’t. This is probably true of most authors but I think we identify at least a little with almost all of our characters that we choose the flesh out. How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Well THE LAST MARINES is science fiction/ space opera set in the distant future so not a lot of it is “real” per say. I like to think the characters react in authentic ways to fantastical problems and environments.

Different characters I’m sure are influenced by people I’ve met or known. Unwinnable situations are just part of life and sometimes people, in this case soldiers, have to make hard decisions and sometimes innocent people get hurt.

To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

Only in my imagination. But there are real places in this world that have inspired me.

Tell us how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write. Example, music on or quiet etc.

Quiet or music without lyrics. Usually my Pandora Radio station, “Ollie’s Epic Film Scores” is what I play as I write but very quietly.

What is one goody you must have at your desk when you’re writing?

Diet Dr. Pepper. It’s my last bad habit well other than foul language and… well you get the idea.

Which part of the publishing process do you detest most?

Marketing. Just because I don’t know how to do it very well. I’m learning but slowly. I don’t mind the posting and the engagement at all just like I said not knowing how to do it well and most effectively bothers me.

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.

My own ego, and sense of entitlement. The world doesn’t owe anyone a living or even a fair shake. You’ve got to work for it. “You will be happy,” Life said. “But first I will make you strong.”

When you need some extra encouragement who do you turn to?

Fellow authors, though I don’t often need encouragement. I’m encouraged the most when people like my stories.

How do you market your book?

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… so far. Haven’t done much advertising yet. Have readers ever contacted you? If so, tell us the best thing they’ve said to you. “When is the sequel coming out?”

Who do you trust to read your finished books before publication?

My brother and certain other select betas. But I’m always looking for good diverse betas who love space opera.

Tell us all about your very first book signing. Take us there with your description of people, place, food, décor etc.

I have yet to do a book signing.

Is there a message you’d like to send through your book?

Nothing is black and white. Choices have consequences regardless of your intentions. Most people are the good guy in their own story, even the bad guys in yours.

If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

Sam Rockwell, Ed Norton, Idris Elba, Don Cheadle. Any of those guys or a hundred others, a good actor that is what I would hope for, a good actor.

Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

Quentin Tarantino

Do you have any hobbies?

Drawing, art, building firearms and 3 gun competitions

What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

Love Scifi, fantasy and survival shows or show about building things.

Favorite foods Pizza, Chinese

What’s your sign, lucky number.

Libra, don’t have one.

What’s your favorite color.

Grey …

What music do you hear in your latest book.

Epic scores and classic pop.

Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

I don’t know, interpretive dance isn’t really my thing so I guess maybe more of my other hobbies maybe get into sculpting with metal or carpentry.

You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?

With my family. Breaking minor laws and maxing out credit cards.

What do you want written on your head stone?

“To do right, makes us men.” Marcus Aurelius

Are there any mistakes you made with your first book?

It was too long I had to cut it in half and make it into two books. Queried too early.

What kind of advice can you give to other either aspiring authors?

Do your research, take some writing courses, find writing partners and betas. Good editors are good investments.

When in doubt, who do you trust to help you out?

Time and multiple sources on the internet. If that fails my editor Amber Helt of Rooted in Writing is awesome.

Tell us how we may get a copy of your book. (Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, paperback etc.)



Social media links and websites?



Kyanite Press: JUL/AUG 2019 Kindle Edition by Sarah LaChance (Editor) 7-1-19


Bearly Tamed: A Bear Claw Tale 3 (Bear Claw Tales) Kindle Edition by C.D. Gorri (Author), Tammy Payne (Editor) 7-12-19


Authors Gone Bonkers: The Crazy Antics & Frustrations of Authors' Lives! Kindle Edition by Philipp J. Kessler (Author), Iris Sweetwater (Author), Purea Omallia (Author), C.L. Williams (Author), Maggie Lowe (Author), Cynthia Staton (Author), Rose Withering (Author), Melinda Kucsera (Author), Chandra Trulove Fry (Author), Sondra Hicks (Author) 7-15-19


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