Monday, February 26, 2018

Souper Blog Hop

Today Chrys Fey is hosting the Souper Blog Hop on behalf of her mom Elaine Kaye.  Elaine is releasing a children's book, and it looks souper fun!

To help celebrate, I'm going to share a soup recipe I love, and then I'll tell you a little more about the book.

The recipe is for cheesy chicken enchilada soup, and it tastes amazing.  I found the recipe here on the blog Center Cut Cook.  It is absolutely delicious and easy to make.  I will note, though, while the recipe uses a specific brand of shredded cheese, I used what I had on hand, and it all turned out just fine.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large purple onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 10 ounces red enchilada sauce
  • 1 - 14.5 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 - 4 ounce can diced green chiles
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 cup Horizon Organic Shredded Mexican Cheese, additional for garnish
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken (can use a rotisserie chicken)
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro, reserve some for garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 green onions, chopped, reserve some for garnish


  • Chopped green onion
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Diced red onion
  • Crushed Tortilla chips
  • Diced avocado
  • Horizon Organic Shredded Mexican or Cheddar Cheese
  • Plain Greek yogurt or sour scream


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large soup pot/dutch oven over medium high heat.
  2. Add in chopped purple onion and red bell peppers and cook until peppers are softened and onions translucent.
  3. Pour in 4 cups chicken broth, 2 teaspoons ground cumin and enchilada sauce. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to medium, add in diced tomatoes, black beans, green chiles, chopped green onion, chopped cilantro and shredded cooked chicken. Stir and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Reduce heat to low. Add in cubed cream cheese and Horizon Organic Shredded Mexican Cheese. Stir to combine and continue to stir while the cheese melts and incorporates.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Garnish with chopped green onions, additional Horizon Organic Shredded Mexican Cheese, etc.
Servings: 6-8

BLURB: Gregory Green loves his mom’s pea soup, but when he eats it at school, all of his friends make fun of how it looks. He doesn’t think it looks like bugs, and it tastes good! Then at recess, his friends run from him, screaming, “He’s a monster!” Gregory doesn’t know why his friends are being mean until he sees his skin is green. The teasing gets worse until an unlikely friend comes to the rescue—his teddy bear, Sammy. Sammy usually only comes to life for Gregory and his family, but Sammy has an important lesson to teach Gregory and his classmates.

Available in Print:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Elaine Kaye got the idea for Pea Soup Disaster from her son who loved to eat her homemade pea soup. Pea Soup Disaster is the first of many fun stories featuring Gregory Green and his teddy bear, Sammy, as part of the Gregory Green Adventure series.

Kaye has worked as a library assistant and teacher's assistant in elementary schools in the Sunshine State. She currently lives in Florida, but she has called Michigan; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Okinawa, Japan home. She is a grandmother of three boys.

Find Elaine:
Website / Instagram / Litsy - @ElaineKaye

Be sure to visit the other participants to see their favorite soups and recipes!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-February 23, 1028

It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  I am her co-host.

I'm celebrating getting a new laptop!  My old one has its fair share of issues, including missing keys.  This new one has a touchscreen, which my kids absolutely love.  It also works wonderfully so far, and I'm pretty excited about that.

I also reached 70k in my novel this week.  It's crazy that I've made it that far considering my only time to get good writing done is after the kids go to bed.  I'm typing this post ahead of time, so Zoe is currently climbing all over me.  I could never write an entire novel like that.

The latest Write . . . Edit . . . Publish event happened earlier this week.  If you'd like to read some great pieces centered around the theme In Too Deep, then check them out!  You can find the list of entries here!

What would you like to celebrate?

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

WEP: In Too Deep

It's time once again for Write . . . Edit . . . Publish!  Thank you to all the wonderful people who make it possible: Denise Covey, Yolanda Renee, Nilanjana Bose, and Olga Godim.

This time around, the theme is In Too Deep.  This is a wonderful theme with countless possibilities, and I deeply enjoyed writing this piece!  (Please excuse my terrible pun.  I couldn't resist.)

I hope you enjoy reading it!

Contemptible Cupid

Don’t piss off Cupid.  He’s a vindictive twerp.  We’ve worked together for countless years, so I should know.
Dispense with all your mental images of Cupid.  The little cherub in a diaper you see on Valentine’s Day cards is adorable, but that’s not a practical work uniform.  Instead, he wears tight jeans and a button-down black shirt that he leaves open to show off his washboard abs.  With a quiver of arrows slung over his shoulder and rings of golden hair falling into stunning blue eyes, it’s a wonder half the population doesn’t fall into lust at first sight.  Maybe they do for the brief second they see him before his arrow redirects their amorous interests.
The work is straightforward.  He shoots people, ensuring their budding love.  I have the glamorous job of fetching those arrows and cleaning them so they can be reused.  What?  Did you think the arrow supply was limitless?  Nope.  It would be too cost ineffective not to reuse them.
Cupid likes to brag about the skill it takes to send the arrows sailing painlessly into the correct target.  And yeah, I must admit, it’s not an easy task.  I’ve tried my hand at target practice, so I appreciate the fact that the dude is good.  He’s just insufferable when he’s been going on about how magnificent he is over his third beer of the evening. 
Judging by the faces of bar patrons from all over the world, I’m not the only one he’s irritated.  People simply don’t say anything, because his muscles and weaponry make him intimidating.  Which is fortunate, because he has the power to mess up their love lives.  That’s dangerous stuff.
One time we were chilling after work in a London pub, and Cupid started in with his usual antics.  I watched from my seat, nursing my pint of ale and bowl of salted peanuts while he droned on about his prowess.  A guy named Richie, who was three sheets to the wind, told Cupid to stop being such a wanker.  I sputtered, beer pouring out of my nose.  Even as pain flared in my nostrils, my main concern was for the poor fool who’d unwittingly stepped into the biggest metaphorical pile of crap he’d ever stumbled upon.
Cupid’s pale cheeks darkened, fury igniting his eyes.  The sight of a grown man with actual flames licking at his pale irises made Richie stumble back in fear.  Cupid waved his hand at me.  “Come on.  Let’s get out of here,” he barked.
Maybe the guy felt relieved that we left instead of starting a fist fight, but he would have been better off were that the case.  Instead, we went to Richie’s house and, by the time we were done, his boyfriend was head over heels in love with their neighbor.
I should have known better, but that didn’t stop me from screwing up.
On the night of my epic mistake, I’d had a few beers.  We were at a bar in New Jersey, and closing time was fast approaching.  Cupid’s captive audience had dwindled, leaving only me to suffer.  He was in the middle of a top ten list of his best matchmaking strikes when something inside me snapped.
I slammed my mug on the bar.  A wave of beer slopped out over the rim, drenching my hand.  “Can you please shut up for once?” I demanded.  “You’re so damn full of yourself.  Yes, your job is hard, but you’ve been doing it for millennia.  It’s kind of reasonable to expect you’d be good at it by now.  And my job isn’t as easy as you might think.  Sure, you send your arrows in painlessly, but pulling them out painlessly is harder.  Have you seen the way they’re shaped?  I’m good at what I do, too, but you don’t see me prattling on about it to people who don’t care!”
The moment the words were out, I regretted them. Flames erupted in Cupid’s eyes.  I tried to make a beeline from the bar, but he caught up with me on the sidewalk outside.  The arrow he struck me with carried with it a special kind of curse.  “May your love always bring you torment.”  It hurt like hellfire going in.  When I tore it from my body, it left a gaping hole.
I stared at Cupid, arrow in hand while blood gushed from my wound.  I trembled, but it wasn’t with fury at what he’d done.  I looked in his eyes as the fire receded, cooled by icy blue, and my knees went weak with longing.
Realizing what that meant, resentment bubbled in my chest, but it was nowhere near powerful enough to dampen the surging love.
I’m in deep.  I love him, and I loathe that I love him, but the love keeps growing despite my wishes against it.
I look at Cupid’s strong arms, the way his sinewy form tenses as he’s about to release an arrow.  When he lets it fly, I feel once again the anguish of that fateful arrow he struck me with.  The ache settles deep into my bones, consuming me.  I watch those full lips quirk into a cocky grin after the arrow burrows deep into its unwitting target, and I wonder if the touch of those lips to mine would ease the pain or literally set me ablaze.  Not that such a thing would ever happen.  He feels no such need for my touch.  He designed his spell that way.
I am immortal.  So is Cupid.  We are stuck together for eternity.  There is no escape.  I’ve accepted my fate, but I despise it as I’ve come to detest love.
Have you ever fallen in love and felt that painful twinge of realization?  That’s me not caring whether it hurts you as I retrieve the arrow from your tender human flesh.  Why should I concern myself with your fleeting pain when I’m stuck with eternal agony?
Let it burn.

Word Count: 997

Friday, February 16, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-February 16, 2018

It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  I am her co-host.

I'd like to start by giving a shout out to WRiTE CLUB 2018 and thank D.L. Hammons for all the hard work he does to make this possible.  If you've been curious about it but have hesitated to give it a shot in the past, I'd like to encourage you to try.  It's a fun time, and even if your piece doesn't make the cut, you can get involved by reading each time a bout is posted and vote for your favorite!

My boys have a four day weekend, and they are so happy about that.  We don't have anything special planned, but I did get to sleep in an hour later than normal this morning, so I'm celebrating that.

As for writing, I met my monthly goal of reaching 65k in my WIP this week.  In the days following, my progress slowed a little, mostly because I'm working on a tricky scene.  I know where the story needs to go, but I have to get this part done to get there.  I'm trying to remind myself that it doesn't need to be perfect now, because anything can be fixed later on.  

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, February 9, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-February 9, 2018

It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  I am her co-host.

It's been snowing a fair bit this week.  While that doesn't make me want to jump up and down in excitement, my boys love it.  They built snowmen after school yesterday and had an amazing time doing it.

Writing continues to go well for me.  I'm well on track for meeting my goals for the month, which makes me feel pretty optimistic.

I'm also celebrating Valentine's Day next week.  My husband and I don't have any big plans, but the holiday makes for a good excuse to eat chocolate, so that's enough for me!  My boys are excited for the Valentine's party they're having at school next week.  What kid isn't happy about having a school party, though?

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!  Enjoy this lovely image, which I found here and couldn't resist sharing.  It's cool, right?

What would you like to celebrate?

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Insecure Writer's Support Group: February 7, 2018

It's the first Wednesday of every month, and that means it's time to gather for another meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group!  Our leader Alex J. Cavanaugh has assembled another wonderful group of co-hosts: Stephen Tremp, Pat Garcia, Angela Wooldridge, Victoria Marie Lees, and Madeline Mora-Summonte.

Be sure to check out the IWSG website!

I'm feeling pretty excited about my writing progress lately.  My goal for my WIP last month was to reach 45k, which I did a few days ahead of schedule.  Once I did that, I decided I wanted to see if I could hit 50k by the end of the month, which I did!  My word count at the end of the month was 50,657.  Woohoo!  That means I wrote about 20k last month alone, which is really good for me.

I am now publicly stating my writing goals for February.  It worked out well by holding me accountable, after all.  My goal is to reach 65k words by the end of the month.  My larger goal is to complete the rough draft of this novel by the end of April.  I really think I can do it if I keep up this momentum.  I'm trying not to think about all the revising and editing I'll eventually have to do, because I'm worried that will hinder my progress.

Now let's move on to the question of the month!

The question for February is: What do you love about the genre you write in most often?

The genre I write in most often is science fiction.  My stories vary.  Some take place in the far flung future, or in space, or both.  Others take place on Earth in modern times and come with a super weird science fiction twist.  My current WIP falls in line with this last description.

What do I love about science fiction?  It's filled with possibilities.  As a writer, I can enter any world my brain can conjure.  I can also use those strange places and scenarios to ask interesting questions about the nature of being human and what kinds of challenges we as humans could possibly face.  I love asking these kinds of questions and exploring the answers, and it's even more fun when I can do it on a space ship or on the surface of an alien world.

What genre do you write in most often, and why does it speak to you?

Friday, February 2, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-February 2, 2018

It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  I am her co-host.

I've started setting public writing goals since that helps motivate me and hold me accountable.  My goal for January was to reach 45,000 words in my untitled WIP.  Did I achieve that goal?  Yes, yes I did!  My word count at the end of the month was 50,657.  I surpassed my word count goal by more than 5,000 words, and I'm pretty excited about that.

My goal for February is to have at least 65,000 words written by the end of the month.  I'd really love to have the first draft of this novel written by the end of April.  I really think I can do it, too.  Life has to cooperate with my aspirations, of course.

Zoe has become a real climber in the last week.  She's been driving me crazy with the way she loves to climb onto the glass coffee table and knock everything off of it.  Nevertheless, it's still good to see her grow and excel at things.  If only she weren't so stubborn, though.  She can't seem to accept the word 'no' as something she should take seriously.  I'm afraid she's inherited my own stubbornness, and if that's the case, this kid is going to keep me on my toes for a long time to come.

What would you like to celebrate?