• Technical Issues?

    A few very lovely followers have commented that either my blog isn’t showing up in the Reader or clicking over from email hasn’t been working. I’ve tried playing around with my settings, but I’m not sure if it’s done anything helpful (other than completely confuse me). So, to make it easier for readers to access my posts, I’ve created a home page that displays almost all of the posts I’ve published over the past 6 weeks (almost all of them because I don’t want to put my more personal posts like my Safer at Home Journal right in front). It’s not pretty because I’m hoping it’s temporary. It’s accessible simply…

  • The Lily Cafe Digest #9 - a summary of what I've posted between February 24, 2020 and April 3, 2020 as well as some favorite bloggers and blog posts

    The Lily Cafe Digest #9

    Well, the past six weeks have been interesting. Let’s see. As soon as I came back from my week-long blogging break at the end of February, my daughter and I were involved in an unexpected, unfortunate incident that completely knocked me down for about a week or so. And then the coronavirus spread to the States and now has us all in a stranglehold. My state is under a Safer at Home order, so, other than about 3 walks, I’ve been inside for the past 3 weeks. So, yeah, fun six weeks. My best friend moved to China several years ago, so I had a bad feeling the coronavirus would…

  • Book Review: The Glass Magician by Caroline Stevermer - a fantasy set during the Gilded Age involving magic and mystery

    Book Review: The Glass Magician by Caroline Stevermer

    Title: The Glass Magician Author: Caroline Stevermer Publisher: Macmillian-Tor/Forge Publication date: April 7, 2020 Genre: Fantasy Summary: It’s the Gilded Age, and there are three types of people in the world: the Sylverstri, who are closely in-tune with nature and look down upon the other two classes; the Traders, who have a human and an animal form and who also are the wealthy in the world; and the Solitaires, who are ordinary, normal people with neither powers nor wealth. Thalia is such a Solitaire, and has taken over her father’s act as a magician. But, when an act goes horribly wrong, she makes an unexpected discovery about herself and her family. And when another magician’s act…

  • Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 24 - a story inspired by Beauty and the Beast

    Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 24

    (Chapter 9 continued) “Nigel is indisposed and will be unable to assist you this afternoon,” were the first words out of Rose’s mouth as Elaina and Robert walked into the dining room. Rose stood beside the table, already filled with plates and platters telling the tale of a cold lunch that would be presided over by an even colder woman. Her hair was, as always, pulled back into a shiny yet severe chignon and she wore a crisp violet dress that looked like it belonged in an office. One hand was delicately resting on the back of one chair, a large diamond ring sparkling from one finger. “What do you…

  • Book Review: The Worst Lie (A Lexie Wyatt Mystery, Book 2) by Shauna Bickley - a suspenseful mystery that takes place in the UK

    Book Review: The Worst Lie by Shauna Bickley

    Title: The Worst Lie (A Lexie Wyatt Mystery Book 2) Author: Shauna Bickley Publisher: Self-published Publication date: December 9, 2019 Genre: Mystery and Suspense Summary: Lexie’s friend Helen needs her help: Helen’s university friend Eden is coming to visit and wants the whole university group to spend a weekend together in Little Stillford, just as they had days before their friend Madelaine was found dead, something that brings great anxiety to Helen. Lexie is there to soothe her, and soon finds herself enlisted by Eden to find out who murdered Madelaine over a decade before. Before she knows it, Lexie and her husband Nathan become entangled in the group, who have more secrets than Lexie could…

  • Finding Magic in Motherhood, Part 14: I'm Going to What Now? - surprise, it was time for me to give birth

    Finding Magic in Motherhood, Part 14: I’m Going to What Now?

    Last time I wrote about the final weeks of my pregnancy. Those final weeks came a lot sooner than I had expected. As a matter of fact, I had no idea they were going to be my final weeks. I had been eagerly awaiting that last month, the month when every mom I’d known had said they gained the most weight. Having been stuck at well under 100lbs my entire life, I was really hoping this pregnancy would tip me over into triple digits. I fantasized about keeping the baby weight and being able to wear those lovely size 2 dresses and skirts that never, ever came in my tiny…

  • Safer at Home Order Journal #3

    Dear Kids, There’s a big ship at our port right now. It’s a big floating hospital that’s usually docked in San Diego or out on humanitarian missions around the world. They’re saying it’s the first time the USNS Mercy has ever directly served the US. It’s supposed to be here until September, and we’re hoping there’s a chance we’ll be able to take you to see it. It’s not here to take care of coronavirus patients, but to provide relief to local hospitals by taking on all non-coronavirus patients. We a little over a week into the safer at home order and two weeks into school from home, and cases…

  • Adventures in Ratio Baking: Souffle Wasn't as Scary as I Thought - making souffle using ratios

    Adventures in Ratio Baking: Souffle Wasn’t as Scary as I Thought

    I was either watching or reading something recently when the idea of making souffle entered my head. I’ve heard it’s difficult, and I’ve heard it isn’t that hard. Still, I’ve never tried making one, so how am I to know if it’s hard or not? Anyways, I decided it was high time for me to try making one. And probably watch it fall spectacularly. There are so many recipes out there, but, since I started ratio baking last year, using a recipe holds zero appeal to me. Now I find I prefer to read about whatever it is I want to bake on Wikipedia and then branching out from there…

  • Book Review: The Sisters Grimm by Menna van Praag - a YA fantasy

    Book Review: The Sisters Grimm by Menna van Praag

    Title: The Sisters Grimm Author: Menna van Praag Publisher: Harper Voyager Publication date: March 31, 2020 Genre: Fantasy Summary: When a demon seeks to dominate humanity and spread darkness, he fathers a string of sons and daughters, pitting them against each other once his daughters turn 18 before giving them the choice of joining his side. Goldie, Scarlet, Bea, and Liyana are four such daughters. As children they discovered the unique link between them, their powers, and a magical place called Everwhere that can only be accessed in dreams at certain points in their lives, and specific gates. When they turned 13, Everwhere became lost to them, as well as their memories of the place and…

  • Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 23 - a story inspired by Beauty and the Beast

    Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 23

    (Chapter 9 continued) Robert chuckled and leaned back in his chair. “Don’t be. That was my reaction, too, but they both found other things to do right after, so my other questions went unanswered.” He gave her a rueful look. “You’ve met my mother. I think you understand why I won’t ask her any more questions.” She nodded and fiddled with a fold in her dress. “It’s almost like they came from another world.” “You’re telling me. How did your parents meet?” Elaina chuckled and her gaze shifted away from him for a moment. “You may not believe it, but I don’t know much about how my parents met, either.”…