We’ve moved! But don’t worry – you can still read about your favorite authors in the recent posts.




Queen of Afternoon Tea Author, Nancy Jill Thatea partymes










Welcome! Let me pour you a cup of Ceylon Black Tea and we’ll get started. Please help yourself to an egg and olive finger sandwich. We’re having Lemon Pound Cake for dessert. Readers may find your recipes at the end of the interview.
Thank you for having me, Nancy. I just love having afternoon tea. I’ve been looking forward to having a chance to sit down and talk with you.
Tell me about your tea set.
The tea set was my grandmother’s. This is a good example of how a genealogist confirms or discredits a family story.
The story that went with the tea set when my mother gave it to me was that it was the set given to my grandmother by her mother when she was married in 1914. I found a contemporary newspaper article which said that her mother had given her a teapot, and people had stuffed money in it for their wedding gift to her. That much was right. Then I checked the bottom of the teapot and traced its origin. The codings identified the pattern, its date of production and the place of production. The date ended up being 1945; therefore, it wasn’t the same pot. My great grandmother died in the 1920’s. She couldn’t have bought it for my grandmother.
At least that one I could solve. One I’ve yet to clarify is the family story about my great great aunt who either sang in New York City in the opera or burlesque, depending on which side of the family we consult. 

Where do you live? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I live in Leander, TX currently. I was born and raised in Central New York where I met my husband.
Our daughter graduated from the same school district as I did. Once she was off on her own, my
husband pursued his dream of becoming a school administrator, and I followed him to downstate New
York and later out to rural Eastern Oregon where lived for 13 years. During that time I wrote daily,
developing the novel series I am now publishing.
Are you a traditionally published or Indie author?
I am an Indie author.
What are your hobbies?
I’ve been an active gardener, traveler, and cook.My main hobby now is genealogy. For 47 years I have chased down information on ancestors, mainly
in New York and New England, but I have traveled as far afield as England, Scotland, Canada, Italy
and Barbados to research. I have put together an extensive family tree which I am now publishing
on a blog at www.nancylanni.com. It’s been a satisfying hobby, and I’ve been able to view history in
some sense through my ancestors’ eyes. I love their stories.Tell us about your current book. What was your inspiration?

My current book, Ysabet I: The Two-Edged Sword, is science fiction. I was inspired to write it because
of a fascination for the character of the empath, one who senses emotion. The first I ever heard the
term was in a Star Trek episode. A number of authors have treated the subject since. Ysabet is my own
interpretation of that psychic ability.

How did you become a writer? When did you start?

As a child I told stories and wrote poetry. I didn’t begin seriously trying to write a novel until long into
my adulthood. I remember thinking to myself… What would happen if…, and it flowed from there.
Once I started, I didn’t stop.

How long did it take you to finish your first book?

Years… It went through many, many rewrites, and sequels and other novels filled in between. As I
learned the craft of writing, I knew I wanted to share it with others.

Where do you like to write?

I have my own library/den where both the genealogical and novel writing take place. It’s quiet at
home with a minimum of distractions, and I have all my tools at hand.

Favorite author(s)?

In historical fiction, I have always loved Walter Edmonds. His most famous novel was Drums Along the
Mohawk. I watch for new books from mystery writers such as: Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child’s,
Michael McGarrity, James D. Doss, Lee Child and Janet Evanovich. Of authors’ of science fiction/
fantasy, I like Sharon Shinn, George R. R. Martin, Sarah Monette, Elizabeth Moon, and I’m currently
reading Michelle Sagara. I think it’s the idea of the series that attracts me to them. That’s why I like
your character, Jillian Bradley. We really get to know her over the course of the series.

How many books have you written, so far? Do you plan to write more?

In the Ysabet series I have completed five and am working on a 6th. I also have a fantasy completed,
and another science fiction.

Would you like to share a link where we can purchase your books?

It’s available in paperback and the Kindle version on: amazon.com

What about a link to your website?

You may also find the links at: http://www.nancylanni.com

It has been such a pleasure to have you over for tea. Thank you so much for sharing about your new book. I wish you every success!
Nancy Lanni’s Recipes:
Hard boiled eggs diced   
Green olives, sliced
Mayonnaise for binding


Cream together:
2/3 cup solid shortening (if using butter, cut milk to ½ cup)
1 ¼ cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon peel
1 tsp baking powder
1 ¼ tsp salt
Beat in:
2/3 cup milk
2 ¼ cups flour
3 eggs, one at a time
Place in buttered loaf pan. Bake 300° 1 ¼ hrs.





Welcome! Let me pour you a cup of Lemon Lift tea and we’ll get started. Please help yourself to a chicken salad sandwich and a raspberry walnut scone. We have Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake for dessert.

Where do you live? Tell us a little bit about yourself.

 I live in Shreveport, Louisiana.  I am a mother of two beautiful children, a girl 11 and a boy 2.  I am married to my best friend, my illustrator, and my co-writer.  We love camping, anything outdoors with the kids, we love to go to the diamond mine (digging in the dirt).  I have always had the love of writing.  I love kids so it was easy to make my kids’ books.


Are you a traditionally published or Indie author?

I am self-published.  With low funds and year and a half of research what companies fit my budget, I decided to self-publish.


What are your hobbies?

 I love writing, photography (anything with butterflies or nature), face booking, and social networking.


Tell us about your current book. What was your inspiration? 

My current book is “Searching for the Unknown”.  It is a story about a couple who moved to a small town after the husband was transferred for his job.  They bought a nice house they had to fix up.  They loved the property, the fishing, and everything but there was something they didn’t like, the other people who lived in the house.  They have passed and started haunting them. The inspiration for this story was some happenings that has happened to my husband and I.  And then our imaginations ran.


How did you become a writer? When did you start? 

I have always loved writing poetry.  When I was in high school and had a crush I would write.  I could not express my feelings aloud like I could on paper.  I am not a good talker.  So if I had a feeling deep within me I would write.  I divorced in 1999 and lost someone dear to me in the split, he was my stepson.  He had many difficult situations in his life that I wanted to write something positive for kids.  Now with my own two kids I write things that I would want them to read instead of all the fake stories out there.  These are based on our lives only where children can relate. 


How long did it take you to finish your first book? 

My first story did not take long at all.  It is a kid’s short story so not many pages.  For “Searching for the Unknown” it took a couple of months.  It is also a short story for teens to adults.


Where do you like to write?  

With two kids it is hard to find a nice quiet place to relax and write.  So I have to take time when my husband gets off from work and go to our room and write.  I either write when our two year old is taking a nap (like now), or late at night while he is sleeping.


Favorite author(s)? 

I can’t really say I have a favorite.  Every author out here is putting so much work together to strive for a good book.  The work an author does to research everything for their book to publishing, editing, etc. is very hard work.  Once published then you have to find your audience and then put a lot of time into social networking.  I respect every author out there.


How many books have you written, so far? Do you plan to write more? 

I have written over 11 books.  I have put my Ted and Raymond Series together as 3 books in one.  The projects are coming, more Ted and Raymond Series books.  We have another paranormal book almost finished “The Spirits of ChesterVille General Store”.  They all will be great reads.


Would you like to share a link where we can purchase your books?


Barnes and noble, books-a-million, amazon, CreateSpace, and many more sites.

What about a link to your website?


Rhonda, thank you so much for joining us and allowing us to get to know you better. May you continue to enjoy success in your writing endeavors.

Our winner for Micki Peluso’s book “And the Whippoorwill Sang” is Deirdre Tolhurst. Congratulations!









Welcome! Let me pour you a cup of Raspberry Royale tea and we’ll get started. Please help yourself to a Smoked Chicken Mushroom Tart and a finger sandwich. The tart is a recipe from Tea Party Girl, a cute site I’ve subscribed to recently. We’re having your wonderful Cherry Topped Cheesecake Pie for dessert. I’ve included the recipe at the end.

Where do you live? Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a California girl. I’m not married and I have no children, although nephews and nieces, and great-nephews and nieces (yes I am that old) make up for it. I have a degree in Theatre Arts which greatly influenced my writing style of telling a story through the dialogue between my characters. My work experience is in the clerical field in a lot of different industries, which is convenient for plot lines. Long story short, I’m boring.

Are you a traditionally published or Indie author?

I’m an Indie author.

What are your hobbies?

Embroidery, knitting, and walking.

Tell us about your current book. What was your inspiration?

My most recent book is called “The Wrong Ghost.” The inspiration actually came from an assignment I had in a Spanish class. One assignment was to ask different people about the story of La Llorona (The Weeping Woman) a variation of “The White Lady” legend. What fascinated me was the number of variations I heard on the theme, no two stories were alike. Which fits into the plot line of “The Wrong Ghost.”

How did you become a writer? When did you start?

According to my mother I’ve been making up my own stories since before I could read. She said I would take sister’s comic books and sit under the kitchen table and make up the story to go with the picture. I thought Spiderman was the bad guy because he scared me. However I actually started writing in junior high when I got hooked on reading. However it wasn’t until I was in my forties that I actually sat down to the work of writing and try to put together an actual novel. Then it was a matter of trial and error.

How long did it take you to finish your first book?

My first book in the series “The Mystery of Hurtleberry House,” took about six months to complete.

Where do you like to write?

On my laptop computer in front of the TV. Not that I’m actually watching the show, but I do like the background noise for some reason.

Favorite author(s)?

Do I have to pick? I love so many. However, C.S. Lewis, John Bunyan, Arthur Conan Doyle, R. Austin Freeman…Oh man there are just too many!

How many books have you written, so far? Do you plan to write more?

So far I have written four in The Reboot Files Series, and yes I plan on more. How many? Well that’s up to God who has to give me the ending.

Would you like to share a link where we can purchase your books?

The Reboot Files #1 – The Mystery of Hurtleberry House



The Reboot Files #2 – The Island of Living Trees



The Reboot Files #3 – The Harbinger of Retribution



Reboot Files #4 – The Wrong Ghost:



What about a link to your website?

My blog, called Short Mysteries and Tall Tales is located at http://www.shortmysteriesandtalltales.blogspot.com

Cindy, it’s been so much fun to have you come for tea. I’ve enjoyed reading the Reboot Files and wish you great success in all your upcoming endeavors. Thanks for sharing!

Congratulations to last week’s contest winner Linneann! She will be receiving a copy of  “Extraordinary Dreams of an Ireland Traveler” by Rosemary “Mamie” Adkins.

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Cindy Ragsdale’s Reboot Files #1

“The Mystery of Hurtleberry House”:

1. Leave a comment with your e-mail address (so we can send a copy to you if you win).

2. Follow “Queen of Afternoon Tea.” (You must comment and Follow by Email to qualify for the drawing.)

Now here are the recipes!


1 8 oz pkg cream cheese (softened)

½ cup sugar

1 8 oz container thawed frozen whipped topping

1 9 inch unbaked graham cracker crust

1 21 oz can cherry pie filling

With electric beater combine cream cheese and sugar until integrated. Blend in cool whip.  Pour into graham cracker crust. Top with cherries. Chill before serving.

Smoked Chicken Mushroom Tarts


1/2 pkg. puff pastry dough, thawed
1 tsp. water
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 C. diced smoked chicken, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 C. shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
1 pkg. Cremini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
12 Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped, divided
2 T. olive oil
1 T. finely chopped parsley, divided
1 egg
1 T. finely minced scallion stems, divided

Preheat oven to 450*. Roll out pastry dough and flatten seams. Cut
pastry sheet into 9 sections and place sections on a greased baking
sheet. In a large pan over medium high heat, saute’ sliced onions,
minced garlic and chopped mushrooms in olive oil until softened.
Remove from heat and let cool. In a small bowl, beat egg with
water. Brush the borders of the pastry with egg mixture. Spread
mushroom mixture into the center of each pastry section. Fold up
1/2″ of each pastry side, pinching the corners together to hold the
filling. Bake for 10 minutes.

Top each tart with smoked chicken, shredded Montery Jack cheese
and chopped olives. Return to oven for an additional 10 minutes,
until cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven and sprinkle each tart
with chopped parsley and scallions. Serve warm. Makes 9 servings.






Greetings Jill, and thank you for having me today.

My pleasure! Let me pour you a cup of tea and we’ll get started. I’m serving your lovely Tostado Salads today with the Berry Shortcakes for dessert. Thanks so much for including the recipes that readers can find at the end of the interview.

1. Where do you live and tell us a little about yourself?

Currently we, my husband, myself and chocolate lab Sandy live in Bremerton, Washington which is across the sound from Seattle. I was born and raised in Houston, Texas and brought up with two brothers. Herb, five years older and my 11-1/2 month younger brother John. Most of my family is no longer in Texas but scattered around. My older brother lives in Wyoming with his wonderful wife Diane while my younger brother John lives in Colorado at the top of the Grand Mesa with his wife Lucinda. Our beautiful daughter Kecia and husband Jonathan also live in Colorado far too far away! My husband, Douglas and I just celebrated our Twenty fourth (24th) wedding anniversary last week on the 6th of August. Doug has been the extraordinary man in my life always standing by my side and caring for me while ill without ever a complaint. He recently retired just before our extraordinary journey to Ireland and keeps reminding me what retirement is suppose to mean! Doug, Mamie, Kecia, Jonathan. Together we have owned a candy store where we manufactured all our own chocolates to include 33 flavors truffles, founded the American Diabetes Association where we held fund raisers one of which was aboard the USSCarl Vinson and the first of it’s kind in history and after retirement, started Imported hand knit Irish Woollen knits while finishing my first book.

2. Are you a traditionally published or Indie author?

I am an Indie author. I own all my own rights, bought my ISBN and am not connected to any publishing house. I contracted out my layout, professional editing, and finally found my own printer for my books. A lot of work but I am in control of my own destiny.

3. What are your hobbies?

The only hobby I have is quilting. The last quilt I finished was about six months ago but one year I got ambitious or crazy-made 13 quilts for
Christmas gifts and burned myself out for a while. Now, my hobby is writing and I love it. Fortunately, I can write whenever I want as long as I have time after promoting, blogging and answering e-mails!

4. Tell us about your current book. What was your inspiration? 

My book, Extraordinary Dreams of an Ireland Traveler started out as a journal. My husband and I have been married twenty (24) four years and most of that time, I fell ill to the crippling effects of Diabetic complications. The complications were tremendous and I was unable to work for years. He never once complained taking are of me with every kind emotion anyone could have. One day I woke up and felt like I was new again. God had granted me a whole new life. After seeing my doctors they agreed that it was unbelievable and yes I could plan a vacation. That is what I had asked them because I wanted to surprise my husband with a retirement vacation like we had not been able to take before. Secretly, I planned this trip keeping a journal with where to go and tours to see. My friends had ask me if for Christmas (after we had taken our trip) to gift them a copy of my journal with photographs we had taken in Ireland. As I was rewriting the journal for this one friend Cathy, I decided to turn it into my dream to write a book. So my book was born. Douglas, my husband was my inspiration. My book takes you on a journey to Ireland for a three (3) week adventure that tells you what we found for the best value for your money, where to stay, tours to take, what to pack, weather, rental cars, and an in-depth history of each location we visited so you can decide if that is where you want to spend your vacation dollars. I have included over 160 color images and 249 plus pages in a 6 x 9 format. I also negotiated special offers exclusive for the owner of my book that will save them hundreds of dollars.

5. How did you become a writer? When did you start?

I have always loved to write and started in high school writing poetry. I did not ever follow up on it but tried over a fifteen (15) year period to write a book about a tough subject. I could not get the words out so I laid it down many times. My book about Ireland has now given me the courage to get my original book finished and I believe I have finally found my voice.

6. How long did it take you to finish your first book?

It took me two (2) years from the time I started researching Ireland to the time it was published. I hired a publishing coach, Patrick Snow and attended his classes beginning in late October 2011 and with his help, put my work together, had it professionally edited by Tyler Tichelaar, book published and in my hands by December 31, 2011 for distribution in January 2012!! And so excited!

7. Where do you like to write?

My favorite place to write is at the beach or ocean side but mostly, I sit in my recliner with my IPad and write out my notes. Then, I sit and hand write out my thoughts before transferring them to my computer where I then spend hours writing.

8. Favorite authors?

I do not have a favorite author. I have not been a real good reader except for short stories for years until I began my research for my Ireland book. Now, I enjoy reading history. I also belong to an authors group and am enjoying reading some of the fine books written by my friends.

9. How many books have you written, so far? Do you plan to write more?

This was my first book Jill, but yes I do plan to write more. I am currently writing a book whose title I believe will be Mamie also a follow up on Ireland to include Northern Ireland and try my hand at short stories in between. I am also toying with another book I will title The Man I Married.

10. Would you like to share a link where you can purchase your books?

Oh yes, thank you I am delighted you ask! My book can be purchased in a few locations. The paperback copy can be purchased at my web site which is: http://www.extraordinaryireland.com/where I have a PayPal account set up for convenient ordering.

My book, Extraordinary Dreams of an Ireland Traveler is also available anywhere E-Books are sold. Amazon for Kindle, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Readers Store for Sony Readers, Apple iBookstore for IPad, KOBO, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie.

Here are a few of the links:
Barnes and Noble:
Readers Store for Sony:

11. What about a link to your blogs?

Thank you for asking Jill. I would like to invite anyone to visit my blogs at:



I would sincerely love to thank you for this opportunity to talk about my book. In giving talks with a Toastmasters group, it is not hard to fill up my time allowance talking about my book-it’s just so exciting, almost like visiting Ireland all over again. I hope to do that in 2013 leading a tour group and writing my second book about Ireland. Thanks again, and someday, I would love to serve you tea peach tea!

Sounds delightful! Rosemary, it was a delight to have you today and I wish you great success in all your writing endeavors.

We’d like to thank you for joining us today by giving away a free copy of Rosemary’s book. If you’d like a chance to win a hard copy of EXTRAORDINARY DREAMS OF AN IRELAND TRAVELER, please leave a comment with your email and follow “Queen of Afternoon Tea.” The drawing will be held Monday, August 20, 2012 and the lucky winner will be notified by e-mail. Good luck!

Here are Rosemary Adkins’ recipes.

 Mamie’s Tostado Salad


1.50 pounds 85% lean ground beef
1-large can Refried Beans
Iceberg Lettuce-1/2 chopped
Butter lettuce-3 leaves chopped
Mini bell peppers-3 each red, yellow,
orange cut in long strips
Small White onion-diced
4- Tomatoes- diced
1-Bunch green onions
2 Avacados-Scoop out and in a bowl smash until creamy
4 Tostado Shells
Grated Cheddar Cheese
Guacamole Package mix
Juice from fresh lemon
Salt and Pepper to taste
Basil leaves-fresh (3)
Taco Seasoning Mix- follow package instructions
Mexican sour creme

To Prepare:

In a skillet add olive oil and brown 3/4 of the onion. Add the ground beef and cook until well done. While the meat is cooking, slice and dice all the vegetables above. Cut the avocados in half and scoop out the contents into a bowl adding the juice of one lemon and mash until creamy then adding 1/2 diced tomato, a small amount of the diced onion and 3 tablespoons of sour creme. Cover tightly and refrigerator. We have a favorite restaurant we buy freshly made large tostado bowls and you can usually find a deli in Safeway that will cook them for you or a restaurant.

In a microwave/oven safe sauce pan add refried beans, 1/4 of the diced onion. Add 1 diced tomatoe, add 3 tablespoons of salsa and a handful of cheese. Cook in microwave until hot. Then place in preheated oven until ready to use. Now that everything is cooked and diced, take the tostado shells and place on dinner plates and fill the bottom in a thin layer of shredded cheese followed by refried beans and ground beef -about 6 tablespoons of each. Now Add chopped lettuce mixing the two lettuces until tostado bowls are 3/4 full. Divided for the 4 tostado bowls top with cheese followed by bell peppers, green onions, diced tomatoes and top with a large tablespoon of guacamole.

Jill, I love fresh ingredients so for dessert today I thought it would be nice while fresh blueberries and strawberries are in season to buy the small cakes sold in the grocery stores for shortcakes.

Mamie’s Fresh Fruit Shortcake

Peach low fat yogurt
1-medium box fresh strawberries
1 small box of blueberries
Canned whip cream
Raw sugar
Watkins vanilla-1tbsp-optional

Rinse your berries together and place in a bowl. Then reserve 4 strawberries to top the finished desserts. While they are wet, dip in the raw sugar and refrigerate. Cut the remaining strawberries lengthwise in quarters and add to the whole blueberries and cover with raw sugar adding the 1 tablespoon of vanilla (optional). I use raw sugar as it taste a bit like honey and the natural sweetness of the fruit comes alive. After it sets up for a couple of hours, it is ready to use.

Now comes the fun! Take your cakes and place one on each dish and using a butter knife smooth the peach yogurt inside each cup allowing it to spill over. Now add fruit mixture and top with whipped cream. Repeat again so it is two layers high. Finish with whip cream and top with the refrigerated whole strawberry.

Now enjoy!

Thank you again Jill for having me.





Welcome! Let me pour you a cup of Lemon Lift tea and we’ll get started. I made your favorite eggplant finger sandwiches. I’ve included your recipe at the end of the interview. Hope they turned out like yours! And we have custard pie for dessert.

Where do you live? Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was born in New York, but grew up in Puerto Rico. I moved to Atlanta 10 years ago. Although I miss the beach, I have made Atlanta my home.

Are you a traditionally published or Indie author?

I’m an indie author.

What are your hobbies?

Do writers have time for hobbies? LOL! Seriously, I like to read, I love to cook, and visit museums. I like all forms of art.

Tell us about your current book. What was your inspiration?

My last published book is The Road Home. When I was writing this book I was going through a transition of faith, from a believer to a committed relationship with Christ. The book is not my personal journey, but Desiree’s (my main character) journey to finding true love.

How did you become a writer? When did you start?

I started writing when I was 14 years old. I just had so many stories that would come into my head that I needed a way to get them out. I have always loved writing; it was the one thing that made me happy. After my college I stopped for a while because life took over, but God showed me my way back and I’m not leaving it this time.

How long did it take you to finish your first book?

Although I published a devotional in 2010 (Growth Lessons), my first book is The Road Home and it took me two years to get it ready for publication.

Where do you like to write?

I need a view to write. I have a chaise in my bedroom near a window. Recently I rearranged my office and now I have two windows, one in front of me and one next to me, so that has become my new favorite place, but as long as I have a window to look out of I can write anywhere.

Favorite authors?

I have a few, but I can think of Elizabeth Elliot, Precarious Yates, Nicholas Sparks.

How many books have you written, so far? Do you plan to write more?

I have published two, but I have written a total of 12 some of which are in the process of being edited. Yes, I plan to write as long as God gives me the energy to do so.

Would you like to share a link where we can purchase your books?

Here are all my books on



Barnes & Nobles


These are the links to the book

What about a link to your website?


Thank you so much for visiting with us today, Naty. It was a real pleasure to have you over for tea and we wish you great success with your books.


2 slices of bread

1 Eggplant

1 egg or ½ cup of egg substitute

1 slice of Swiss cheese

Alfalfa Sprouts



Salt & Pepper to taste.

Non-stick spray



Peel and slice the eggplant. On a bowl beat the egg or place the egg substitute. I put salt and pepper to the egg mixture. (Sometimes I would also add garlic powder). Spray a skillet with the non-stick spray. Submerge the eggplant slices and cook on med-high until they are golden. Once the eggplant is cooked, build your sandwich with the bread, cheese, lettuce, tomato, eggplant slices and alfalfa sprouts. (1 eggplant is enough for 3-4 sandwiches depending on the size) Enjoy!




Nancy Jill’s Cozy Custard Pie

1 9″ unbaked pie shell

1  13 oz can evaporated milk                                       

7 oz milk

3 eggs

3/4 c. sugar

1/4 t salt

1 t vanilla

ground nutmeg 

Directions: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine evaporated milk and milk in a microwave safe container (such as large glass or plastic measuring cup) and microwave for 3 minutes until milk is scalded. (A film will form when it is.)

In a mixing bowl (or stand mixer if you have one) beat the eggs until lemon-colored. Gradually add sugar, mixing well. Add salt and mix in. While mixing, slowly add the scalded milk until blended. Add vanilla and mix in. 

Slowly pour mixture into unbaked pie shell and dust with nutmeg to taste. (See picture.)

Bake at 400 degrees until firm or knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. About 40 minutes.







Welcome! Let me pour you a nice cup of Honeybush Mandarin Orange tea and we’ll get started.

Please help yourself to an egg salad sandwich and a mini-empanada. I made your recipe for the egg salad. And thank you for bringing the Carrot Torte for dessert and providing the recipes at the end of our interview.

Hi there, Jill, nice to see you again!

Where do you live? Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I live in Central Texas, about an hour north of Austin.  I was born in the Bronx, NY, but we moved across the GW Bridge to Northern NJ when I was three.  I am the middle of five children, one sister and three brothers.  My father (who is featured on the cover of my book) was a Crime Reporter for the NY Daily News for 38 years and then NBC until he died in 1987. 

I have been married for 31 years to a wonderful man, who is my greatest supporter and the love of my life.  Before he retired from the US Army we lived in Germany for three years.  We have one daughter together, and I have a step-daughter as well.

I work as an editor for a government contractor on Fort Hood, the largest Army base in the free world.  I have been there for almost 23 years now.

Are you a traditionally published or Indie author?

I am traditionally published through Tate Publishing and Enterprises LLC.

What are your hobbies?

I like to make things for my husband to surprise him.  On his birthday two years ago I had people email me what he means to them.  What an amazing tribute with some going back 50 years!  I bound it and added pictures.  It was beautiful, and he just loves it.  I put together little books for him every now and then.  The surprise is the best part for me.  Other than that, writing is my main hobby.  I wish I could make it a full time job!

Tell us about your current book. What was your inspiration?

My current book, A Christmas I Remember came about because my girlfriend asked me to write something for her for Christmas 2010.  She said she loved the way I wrote and wanted something, anything really so that she could frame it.  I agreed and later that evening (26 days before Christmas) I sat down and wrote “To Kindra with Love.”  That was as far as I got for weeks.  I wrote prayers asking God to help me find the words, or to bring me memories of Christmases past.  On the 17th of December the memories started coming, and the next day the poem that became a book was born.  I read it to another friend at work and she declared it was a book!  I told her no, it was a poem for Kindra.  She insisted, as did I a few times, and then she said, “No, it’s a book for children!” Then I looked for a Christian publisher, found Tate, and was accepted.

Deirdre Christmas 1963

How did you become a writer? When did you start?

I have always loved to write.  I really got into writing in high school.  Years later I took a course from Long Ridge Writer’s Group in Connecticut, but chickened out when the freelancing lesson came.  I dropped the course out of fear of rejection. I loved to read letters that my father wrote.  He had a unique style that I haven’t seen anyone else have.  Maybe it’s genetic.

How long did it take you to finish your first book?

Once my prayers were answered the book was written in just a few days, five, I think.  Of course it’s a children’s book, a poem, so it isn’t like writing a novel. But inspiration must still be there, and prayer is a good way to be inspired!

Where do you like to write?

I like to sit on the easy chair in my office.  My best writing seems to come first thing in the morning.  I also like my front porch, which faces east, but only when it is not terribly hot. I write everything long hand first and then type it later. I know doing it this way takes that much more time, but when I type first I don’t ‘feel’ anything. When I write with a pen (or pencil), I see the words come from God through me onto the page. It is then my inspired work. To me, typing is so impersonal, the words look the same no matter who wrote them. Do you know what I mean?


Favorite author(s)?

I don’t have a favorite author.  I enjoy different genres, it’s really what my mood happens to be when I start looking for a new book to read.

How many books have you written, so far? Do you plan to write more?

I have only completed A Christmas I Remember.  I am in the process of writing another book, but not a children’s book (that was such a surprise to me).  I am compiling my thoughts and experiences into either a devotional or book of Christian encouragement.  I am covering topics like trust and things I wish I knew when I was younger.

Would you like to share a link where we can purchase your books?

I certainly would!  People can purchase hardcover and Color Me coloring books as well as the standard soft cover book on my website.  Even my publisher doesn’t carry the hard cover or coloring book.  They sell quickly because children really love them!  I will list my website in the next question.  Also, they can purchase directly from my publisher at: http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=978-1-61346-422-9, or Amazon or Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, etc.. Just about any on-line book store has it.  One quick mention, my book (both hard and soft cover) come with a free audio download, so it is like getting two books for the price of one.  Once downloaded a child can listen to me read the book and they are prompted to turn the page when Christmas bells chime.  It frees up Mom to do other things, especially if the child wants to hear it again and again!

What about a link to your website?

My book is for sale at http://www.deirdretolhurst.com.  I also have a link to my blog in there (Thoughts and Prayers Page – http://www.deirdretolhurst.blogspot.com ), for anyone who needs a pick-me-up and to be reminded that God’s love is all around them.   I do not sell the ebook at my site, but the readers can purchase it at Tate – http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/search.php?search=christmas+i+remember

I hope that your readers will visit and come to love my book and my blog!  And thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity, Jill!  I hope to meet up with you again one of these days and maybe go to lunch together!  God bless you for helping us authors out!

It’s been my pleasure Deirdre, and best success with your writing endeavors!

Deirdre Tolhurst’s Recipes

Good sandwich. I just like an egg salad sandwich made by smashing the eggs and then adding a little diced onion, diced celery, S&P, chives, mixed with a little Hellmann’s mayo and a touch of Dijon mustard.  Spread it on some fresh whole wheat or whole grain bread with a little romaine lettuce and voila!  Fabulous!

Favorite DessertMy mother used to make this and now I do, and it is absolutely my favorite dessert.  I’m sorry I don’t have a picture; it gets eaten too fast to take one when it is still fresh!

Carrot Torte

4 eggs separated                                   grated rind of 1 lemon

1 C sugar                                                juice of ½ lemon

1 C  grated raw carrot                          ½ C  flour – sifted

1 t  baking powder                               ¼ t salt

1 C  heavy cream, whipped


Beat yolks until thick and lemon colored.  Gradually beat in sugar, a few tablespoons at a time.  Add carrot, lemon rind, and juice.  Sift together dry ingredients and fold into yolk mixture.  Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry, and fold into first mixture.  Pour into 2 ungreased 8-inch layer pans. Bake in preheated moderate oven (350º) for 25-30 minutes.  Remove from oven and let stand in pan until cool.

Remove and spread sweetened whipped cream layers on top.  Sprinkle a little fresh grated carrot on top.

NOTE:  I usually double this recipe so that I can have 4 layers.

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