Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Toledo Talks - Blood Moon and Thunderstorms

Toledo Cats
I know I shouldn't complain about rain in April. It is necessary for the plants to grow. However, I am glad we had a few dry days so I could plant my broccoli, cabbage, kale, and kohlrabi on Sunday. Thankfully, they are cold-hardy, so they won't be bothered by our frosty morning.

Khrou-ach and Sassafras battle
In honor of the rainy days of April, we are participating in the Rainy Day Reads blog hop. All you have to do is subscribe to our monthly newsletter and you will be entered to win a free signed paperback copy of Rips in the Weave and The Desert Rose. These novellas go together because they are both about how my Aunt Delilah drug my Mama into a battle with Khrou-ach, the God of Storms. Everyone who subscribes to the newsletter will also receive a free coupon for a Rips in the Weave ebook, plus a pdf pre-release chapter from our upcoming release Striking Angels as soon as it's ready for other eyes to see.
I'm also glad the skies cleared off last night so we could get a glimpse of the lunar eclipse and that beautiful blood moon. I think even Regan was impressed by the way Mars shone red to the upper right of it. Unfortunately, Hanover didn't set up his professional photography equipment, so we only have the snapshot Mary took to share with you.
Blood Moon - April 15th
I hope you got to see it for yourself. It was worth it, even though I'm a little groggy this morning.

Thanks for stopping by. Make sure to fill out the subscriber form to win your prize and visit all the other blogs on the hop. 

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sunday Scramble - Angels in Hell's Kitchen

Mary O'Malley
Good morning, everyone. I hope you had a good week. We're in need of some decompression here in the Dime Store Novel world. Most of us have been hard at work getting ready for some exciting announcements. Regan, on the other hand, is convinced that Hanover pranked her on April Fool's Day. He denies it, but she won't leave it alone. So that hasn't helped one bit.

Here's the solution to last week's scramble. The quote is from From the Gator's Mouth, the urban fantasy novella that tells the story of Hanover Fists' birth.

She watched  his eyes widen as his boat moved back away from him. “Now children, it is not nice to play with your food,” Agatha giggled softly.

abto - boat
glegigd  - giggled
ildcenhr - children
odfo - food
lypa  - play
chwedat  - watched

This week's scramble is from Angels in Hell's Kitchen, the urban fantasy novella that begins my father's story. 

O'Malley watched the late night __________ dribbling in, their eyes half closed. As they caught sight of O’Malley in the __________   shirt, their eyes __________. Most __________, but one __________ his eyes with worry.


Solve the scramble by filling out the form and receive a coupon for Angels in Hell's Kitchen. Any ebook format is available.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Toledo Talks - Companion Gardening

Nothing says springtime like gardening. I didn't start any seeds this year, so today I visited our local nursery and bought my winter-hardy vegetable plants -- kale, broccoli, chard, cabbage, and kohlrabi. I love fresh greens, so I tend to plant a lot of them. My plan was to go home and plant them before dinner.

Unfortunately, before I got home, it started to rain. So my planting plans were put on hold. Instead, I sat down and sketched out some rough plans of where I'd plant this year. Choosing the right companion groupings is important, not only for natural pest control, but also because some plants affect the flavor of other plants. For example, planting kohlrabi stunts the growth of tomato plants. Tomatoes stunt the growth of carrots. Basil makes tomatoes taste better -- as if most tomatoes don't taste good enough on their own.

It's a big puzzle and I should have asked Hanover to help me with it. He loves puzzles. But he was busy calming Regan down about some foolish monkey thing he did to her. I'm sure she'll fill you in on all that later. So here is the plan I came up with. It's not perfect and I'm sure I'll modify it some as I start planting. It also doesn't show the herbs and flowers. I like to intermingle them with the vegetables in a more natural way. There is nothing like the smell of fresh basil to perk you up when you're weeding the tomatoes or checking the squash for squash bug eggs.

Are you planting a garden this year? I'd love to hear what you do to help it thrive.

Here's some more information about companion gardening.
Golden Harvest Organics
An In-Depth Companion Planting Guide