Ivanhoe’s Drive-In

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Chocolate.

In the small Indiana town of Upland lies an unlikely hero.

In 1965 this drive-in opened to sell burgers and shakes, like so many others. It’s expanded and changed with time, but it’s also specialized and become internationally famous for its impressive dessert lineup. Continue reading

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Soda

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Chocolate.

The next installment in my chocolate sampling series! And I just plain forgot to plug in my mic for this one, so the camera mic was picking up background noises and my dog Undómiel warning off some nocturnal creature outside. My apologies. Also my camera was a bit high, but at least that means you get to see a better view of Mr. Snaggles, one of my dinosaurs. Continue reading

Japanese Chocolate and Japanese Fiction

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Chocolate.

This is the first in a new series of posts, and I don’t know how many there will be, on chocolate.

Because chocolate.

My intention is to share some unusual chocolate thing and tell you why it’s remarkable. Continue reading

Contest for Hall of Heroes

Hall of HeroesTo celebrate the release of the anthology Hall of Heroes, I’m having a contest.

I have two stories in this anthology, “And Only the Eyes of Children” and “Teamwork.” To enter the contest, you must answer this question: Continue reading

Revisions In Progress

The Songweaver's VowSo I’ve been chatting on social media this month about The Songweaver’s Vow, sharing tidbits for #WIPjoy. Right now I’m throat-deep in revisions, which is always a challenge but especially so with this book, as I did not write it linearly (start to finish, straight through).

I know a lot of writers who can write out of order. Apparently I am not one of them. These revisions are kicking my butt like… well, like Vikings trashing a fishing town. Continue reading

A Chocolate Coffin

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Chocolate.

That’s a very literal title.

After all, I wouldn’t lie to you.

It’s no secret that I have a thing about the classic Universal monsters and gothic tales. Nor is it a secret that I have a small problem with chocolate. And so I was absolutely delighted to receive this chocolate coffin. (Or casket, really.) Continue reading

Guest Post: Counting Down to Giftmas

TGiftmas Blog Tour December 2015oday is my turn to host in the Giftmas Blog Tour, and I bring you author and editor Rhonda Parrish. Rhonda has written and edited a bunch of things, but readers of this blog will know her as the editor of Fae, Corvidae, and Scarecrow. Please don’t forget to enter the contest for free books and stuff! You’ll find the entry below the post. Catch the whole tour here. Thanks, and in case I don’t catch you tomorrow, Merry Christmas!

Counting Down To Giftmas

Growing up my family had holiday traditions, traditions that I carried on even after I moved away from home. Then, when I moved in with my husband fourteen (!!) years ago he had his own holiday traditions and we (my husband Jo, daughter Danica and myself) had to find a way to try and mesh our traditions together into something that worked for us. One of Jo’s traditions which I was super happy to adopt was advent. Continue reading

Halloween Candy & Risk

English: A PayDay candy bar, broken in half. C...

But where is the razor blade?!  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So in Orphan Heirs & Shades of Night, Robin reflects upon the real and imagined dangers of Halloween, including the popular fear of tainted candy. However, Robin says, the risks are actually quite low, as there has never been a confirmed case of Halloween candy poisoning.

Every year, parents are lashed into a panic by hyberbolic warnings of trick or treating dangers. Alternative candy-grab events are promoted, at shopping malls or store parking lots. (I’m really not sure how accepting candy from a stranger at a shopping mall is significantly safer than accepting candy from a neighbor on your street, but whatever makes you happy.) But the risks are somewhat overstated. Let’s look back on this last Halloween and see how we did. Continue reading

Irvington Eats – a Robin Archer Gastronomic Tour

So Orphan Heirs & Shades of Night comes out Friday, and it’s set in Irvington. I’ll let Robin tell you about Irvington:

Back in the nineteenth century, a town was plotted outside of Indianapolis, which of course has since swallowed it, and it was called Irvington, after Washington Irving. Yes, that Washington Irving, and because his most famous tale is perhaps “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” the community seized on Halloween as its patron holiday.

Irvington’s Halloween Festival is now over a week long, the oldest and largest in the country, and it features not only the ghost tours and costume parades and seasonal film screenings you’d expect but also roller derby and scholarship competitions and anything else which sounds fun.

This was a really fun setting to use, because not only is Irvington generally bonkers about Halloween and the supernatural (in a good way!), which is great for an urban fantasy, but Irvington has some fabulous local eats where I could send Robin and Jimmy. I mention only two by name, because you can only name so many restaurants in a novella before it looks like paid placement (it was not), but you really ought to know about these two. Continue reading

A Writers’ Group Feast

This image shows a red wine glass.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My writers’ group had a cooler-than-usual meeting last month.

Writers’ groups are generally pretty cool. We don’t always sit around in black berets and drink coffee or wine and comment on existential truths in literature; that’s for special occasions only. Usually we have a few snacks and critique each other’s submissions. But this session was a special occasion of another kind; we had a fiction pitch-in. Continue reading