Archive | December, 2013

A simple meal, a simple way to help

30 Dec

It’s not hard to make rice and beans. Even Timbal can do it, as is clear from this passage from Karia’s Path:

“Come and eat something,” he said. “I’ve made some hinarka and kariki. You need it.”

“I’m not hungry,” she said. She did not care enough about anything to get angry at his persistence.

“I don’t care. You need to eat. Put the book down and come eat,” he said. She just stared at him. “I mean it. Put it down. Come get something to eat.”

She knew that look. It was the same look she got sometimes, the look that said, “I’m not taking no for an answer.” She suspected she had even taught him that look, and she didn’t feel like arguing. That meant more talking. She put the book down and went downstairs with him. She sat at the table while he went to the kitchen.

He brought her a bowl of hinarka and kariki, and she ate.

“Do you like it?” he asked.

She hadn’t even tasted it. She had been eating it, but she had no idea what it tasted like. She lied. “It’s good.” She rationalized that it wasn’t really a lie, since she probably would have noticed if it was bad.

“I think I got your mom’s recipe right, or at least close,” he said. “What do you think?”

“It’s fine, Timbal.”

But not even Karia could make rice and beans if she didn’t have any.

And that’s a distinct possibility for the needy people of Nicaragua, who live on $2 a day.

Buying a book, and providing $1 worth of rice and beans for them, is a really big deal.

Rice & Beans Foundation will use 100 percent of the funds to buy rice and beans. The only question is, how much will they be able to buy? This offer ends at midnight tomorrow, so don’t delay.

Spread the world.

Enjoy the journey and feed a family.

Strike a match, feed a family

27 Dec

Did you get a Kindle (or a tablet where you can use the Kindle app) this Christmas?

If so, here’s another great and inexpensive way to feed a family for a day.

People who bought the paperback version of any of the books in my series, The Day Magic Died, from Amazon, are eligible to purchase the Kindle version for only $1.99. Since there’s no shipping cost or sales tax, more than half of what you spend will go to feed needy families in Nicaragua. And that $1 will feed a family for a day.

Amazon calls the program Kindle Matchbook, and it’s a great offering for folks who want a paperback and a Kindle version. Just go to the Kindle versions of the books and look for the option of buying the Kindle edition through Matchbook. Then enjoy the journey as you feed a family.

Use your gifts for good

26 Dec

Did you get an Amazon gift card this Christmas? You can use it to get a book you’ll enjoy, and help feed a family.

Through Dec. 31, Rice & Beans Foundation will get $1 for each book sold in the series The Day Magic Died. They’ll use 100 percent of that for rice and beans for needy families in Nicaragua, where $1 will feed a family for a day.

So enjoy the journey and feed a family, with your Amazon gift card.

Family, rice and beans

23 Dec

With friends and family, even the simplest meal can be a joy, Karia believes. I think that’s clear in this passage from The Hall of the Prophetess:

This left Karia to eat alone again. Up until she was fifteen, she seldom did anything alone. She was always with family or Nana, or with Timbal and Narek – though she later learned they were family too. Since then she had learned to do many things alone. But of all those things, her least favorite thing to do alone was eat.

With friends and family, any meal can be a celebration, and even the most mundane meal is delightful when the conversation is good. Alone, a meal becomes simply an opportunity to satisfy hunger. And to Karia, that made even the most elaborate meal mundane.

She picked at a very tasty dish of noodles in a red sauce containing finely chopped but unfamiliar vegetables and herbs. She tapped her hard roll against her plate. She sipped her wine. It was a very good white wine, served in a crystal goblet. But she barely tasted it, and the flowery bouquet went mostly unnoticed. The plate was covered with gold filigree, as were the utensils. But she would have gladly traded it all for a wooden spoon and a wooden bowl full of hinarka and kariki with her mom and dad. Or even just her mom.

She sat back and pushed the plate away.

Will you help us provide rice and beans so needy families in Nicaragua can sit down together for a simple meal?

In December, for every book sold in the series, The Day Magic Died, $1 goes to the Rice & Beans Foundation. Rice & Beans Foundation will use 100 percent of the funds they receive to buy rice and beans (what else did you expect?) for needy families in Nicaragua.

That $1 buys a family’s meals for a day.

So you can, quite literally, enjoy the journey and feed a family.

Can you spread the word, so we can feed many, many families?

Also coming in February

22 Dec

Along with the release of the fourth book, The Dwarf’s Legacy, planned for February. come some other exciting developments.

I’m looking into a third edition of The House in the Old Wood with some minor revisions. I’m glad so many people have liked the book as it is. At the same time, I’m paying attention to critical comments, and I think a few changes might be in order. If you have any thoughts on what might improve the first book, or any of the others, please feel free to share them. Will I agree with everything I hear? No. But I will listen.

Let me tell you a quick story to try to explain that. I used to work with another writer whose approach was completely different from mine. When she’d review my work, she’d suggest changes – changes that I almost never made. But I could see why she suggested the changes, and when I addressed the issues, my writing was better. That’s why I say, I won’t agree with everything I hear, but I will listen.

I will also be unveiling a new logo for the series, The Day Magic Died. If I knew what I was doing, this would have been done before the first book was out. But since the first book was my first published novel ever, I’m learning as I go.

That logo will go on every cover, meaning there will be updated covers for The House in the Old Wood, Karia’s Path and The Hall of the Prophetess.

I’ll also be using the logo on Facebook and wherever else we’re discussing the whole series. That includes a new bookmark.

The artist who is working on it for me says she’ll have it done tonight. We’ll see.

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