Kaylin’s Autumn 2013 Newsletter

A Note From Kaylin…When I first established my goals as a self-published author, creating a trilogy was at the top of the list. Two years ago, I completed the first book in the Threads series with Severed Threads and was excited to receive exposure through a virtual tour, which lead to favorable reviews, numerous blogs and personal interviews. Although it’s been a long time coming, I’m excited to officially announce that Buried Threads will soon be following…according to my team of diligent editors. As they say, we all learn from our mistakes and rather than expose my readers to annoying errors overlooked by a single editor, I’ve taken a little extra time with this book to ensure its accuracy. So I ask all of you to please be patient. I’ve been told that before the month is over, you’ll be able to pick up a copy at Amazon.com as well as other book outlets. In the meantime, I have six free autographed copies available on a Goodreads contest which ends on October 31st. Want one? Sign up and you just might be a lucky winner!

I also owe you an apology for not posting a Summer newsletter. The last four months have been very busy and included trips to San Diego, Istanbul, the Greek Islands, Hawaii and Kyoto, Japan, which is the city where Buried Threads takes place. We took lots of photos, so keep an eye out for them on my blog in the next two weeks. Also, be sure to visit my website to read an excerpt and see a video “teaser” for this latest release. I always welcome feedback and would love to hear what you think.

As I’m sure you’re aware, time is flying by and October is nearly half over. Surprisingly, we’re experiencing some late summer weather on the west coast, which I’m sure delights fellow Oregonians. I hope you have a fabulous month as well and that your plans for the upcoming holidays include visits from family members and dear friends.

On the Lighter Side:

I recently purchased an iPhone 5 and have heard all kinds of funny stories about responses to inquiries from its personal assistant. People have used it as much to provoke witticisms as they have to find out the population of China or the location of the nearest Thai restaurant. In other words, Siri may not always be all that helpful, but she’s become an amusing party trick.

Some of the most common questions are based on classic science-fiction movie lines from 2001: A Space Odyssey. “HAL, open the pod bay doors” is a favorite and others rely on ancient philosophical queries. As a result, websites have sprung up around Siri’s crazy remarks. There’s a Tumblr site called “Shit That Siri Says” and a collection of Siri posts called sirifunny.com you might enjoy checking out in your free time.

As you might imagine, Siri doesn’t always understand what I say. Like E.T. or WOPR, she’s sometimes at a loss when the question has nuance. But one of the funniest I’ve experienced while using this silly feature on my phone is the answer you receive when you say, “Talk dirty.” She comes back with, “Humus. Compost. Pumice. Silt. Gravel.” I have to chuckle because what else would you expect from molded plastic, wires and a microchip??

Kaylin’s Favorite Recipe:
Loaded Potato Soup

As in all my newsletters, I thoroughly enjoy sharing some of my best recipes…so here’s a tasty, heartwarming soup – a perfect solution for those chilly fall nights.

INGREDIENTS:

4 (6-ounce) red potatoes
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/4 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 bacon slices, halved
1.5 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1/3 cup)
4 teaspoons thinly sliced green onions

PREPARATION:

1. Pierce potatoes with a fork. Microwave on HIGH 13 minutes or until tender. Cut in half; cool slightly.

2. While potatoes cook, heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; saute 3 minutes. Add broth. Combine flour and 1/2 cup milk; add to pan with 1 1/2 cups milk. Bring to a boil; stir often. Cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream, salt, and pepper.

3. Arrange bacon on a paper towel on a microwave-safe plate. Cover with a paper towel; microwave on HIGH for 4 minutes. Crumble bacon.

4. Discard potato skins. Coarsely mash potatoes into soup. Top with cheese, green onions, and bacon.4-6.

Great Seasonal Tip:

It is a popular bird feeding myth that leaving bird feeders up during all migration will stop birds from migrating, condemning them to a cold death as winter sets in. In reality, feeders give migrating birds an easy and convenient spot to refuel on their long journey, and offering foods high in fat and oil will help tired birds replenish their energy reserves in a nutritious way. Suet, black oil sunflower seed and Nyjer are some of the most popular fall bird foods, and leaving leaf litter on the ground will give birds the opportunity to forage for nuts and insects as well. Trees and shrubs with berries or fruits are another vital source of food that will attract autumn birds and keep them coming back.

Well, that’s it for now. Enjoy the gorgeous colors of autumn, continue to read great books, and keep the sunshine forever in your heart!

All my best wishes,
Kaylin

Kaylin’s Fall 2012 Newsletter

A Message From Kaylin…
The last three months have been filled with excitement, travel and fun developments. First if all, Severed Threads was officially released on July 18th and continues to receive rave reviews. This first book in the Threads series garnered a number of new awards this season, including:

2012 Indie Book of the Day Award Winner for 22nd of September 2012
2012 Golden Acorn Excellence in Writing Contest – 2nd place
2012 AKRWA’s best Break-up contest – 1st Place
2012 Central Ohio Fiction Writers’ Ignite the Flame Contest – 2nd Place

Next, with the wonderful blessing of having a second home in San Diego, I find myself visiting there at least once a month to enjoy the sights, sounds and incredible food – all within a short five-minute walk. The addition of a new writing desk and internet hook-up will continue to keep me producing all year-long and finding inspiration in the views and from the people I’ve become acquainted with during my stays.

Lastly, if you haven’t had a chance to visit my new website, be sure to do so. You’ll find news about upcoming releases, new excerpts, reviews and trailers…as well as easy-to-buy links. If you’re a new author or have been considering self-publishing your work, also visit my publisher’s website atwww.creativeedgepublishing.com. You’ll find helpful suggestions and details about my journey from concept to print.

Kaylin’s Best Review Contest:

From September 1st – 30th, I hosted a Book Review Contest on Amazon.com. My congratulations to “WaFire” (aka Jay Farrell) for the best review of the month. Hope you enjoy your new Wi-Fi Kindle and gift certificate! They’re on their way…

And here’s his winning review:

“Severed Threads – an exciting action adventure into the world of salvage diving, treasure hunting, gangsters and Chinese art history is also my first foray into the literary genre that includes ‘romance’. The story grabbed my attention from the first air bubbles on the tragic initial dive excursion resulting in the untimely death of Rachel Lyon’s father. Author Kaylin McFarren then has your attention wrapped tightly by the throat like the gangster Pollero torturing Rachel’s brother Devon. Explosions, wild seas and unexpected character revelations layer the action, and, yes romance, further into the story like thermal layers on a hundred foot dive.”

Now be sure to visit my website home page at www.kaylinmcfarren.com for new, upcoming contests that you can participate in as well!

Kaylin’s Work In Progress:

At this time, I’m working diligently on the next book in the Threads series: Buried Threads 

Here’s the summary and a fun excerpt to enjoy:

With news of their recent success spreading, Rachel Lyons and her deep-sea diving crew accept a contract to recover a lost sacred treasure in the Sea of Japan. Arriving in Tokyo, she and her partner Chase Cohen soon learn their romantic exploration is more complex than they originally believed and are determined to break their agreement – until the Buddhist monk who hired them turns up missing. In order to rescue him from certain death, Rachel must depend on her buried instincts, form an alliance with one of Japan’s most feared mafia leaders and convince her partner to dive into shark-infested waters to search for the Heart of Darkness.

Excerpt:

Rachel arched a brow. Who the hell was this guy anyway? And why would he refuse first class when given the choice? As Helen stepped away, she eyed the stranger, more mystified than ever.

“I don’t know why you would order food for me when I don’t intend to eat it. That’s a very odd thing to do, Mr. Shinji,” she said.

He shrugged a shoulder. “I suppose I am a bit odd. But I guarantee you’ll change your mind.”

She huffed. “Not likely.” She considered standing up and halting the stewardess’ progress but the drink cart was blocking the aisle.

Within seconds, Helen returned with an assisting attendant holding two filled trays in her hands. More than anything, Rachel wanted to issue a verbal protest, but it seemed she’d already drawn the attention of the Asian couple seated across from her who were glowering for some unknown reason.

The petite blond leaned down, draping napkins across Rachel and Shinji’s laps. She waited for them to lower their tabletops before setting down two plates filled with cheese omelets, blueberry yogurt cups, croissants and strawberry jam. Then she returned again with a fresh pot of coffee and requested mango juice.

Unbelievable. Rachel stole sideways glances at the peculiar man. He picked up his fork and shoveled bread and a sizeable portion of omelet into his mouth. Her cheeks warmed at the practically pornographic noise that came out of her seatmate, as Shinji threw his head back and munched gratifyingly, his eyes closed in contentment. She noticed a spot of jam on the corner of his mouth and looked away determinedly.

“There’s nothing better than warm bread and eggs in the morning,” Shinji said, recovering from his omelet orgasm. “I suggest eating your meal before it gets cold, Miss Lyons. You’re going to need every ounce of strength you can muster to get your job done.”

Rachel glared at the impertinent stranger, willing him be sucked out the window. But then she’d never know his whole story – why he felt entitled and insisted on behaving so inappropriately.

“You’re not a private investigator, are you, Mr. Shinji?” she quipped.

He picked up his torn roll and smeared it with more jam. “I never said I was.”

“But you inferred as much.”

“That was never my intent. If you recall, I didn’t tell you what I actually recover.”

“So, what is it then? If you travel all over the world to find these things, they must be valuable or have some significance.”

“I think you’d have a hard time believing me if I told you.”

“Try me,” she said then inwardly cringed on her insistence.

After another well-chewed mouthful, he gazed deep into her eyes and answered in a calm, matter of fact tone. “Souls.”

On the Lighter Side:

Stuffed deer heads on walls are bad enough, but it’s worse when you see them wearing dark glasses, having streamers around their necks and a hat on their antlers. Because then you know they were enjoying themselves at a party when they were shot. (Ellen Degeneres)

A newlywed couple moves into their new house. One day the husband comes home from work and his wife says, “Honey, you know, in the upstairs bathroom one of the pipes is leaking, could you fix it?” The husband says, “What do I look like, Mr. Plumber?” A few days go by, and he comes home from work and his wife says, “Honey, the car won’t start. I think it needs a new battery. Could you change it for me?” He says: “What do I look like, Mr. Goodwrench?” Another few days go by, and it’s raining pretty hard. The wife finds a leak in the roof. She says, “Honey, there’s a leak on the roof! Can you please fix it?” He says, “What do I look like, Bob Vila?” The next day the husband comes home, and the roof is fixed. So is the plumbing. So is the car. He asks his wife what happened. “Oh, I had a handyman come in and fix them,” she says. “Great! How much is that going to cost me?” he snarls. Wife says: “Nothing. He said he’d do it for free if I either baked him a cake or slept with him.” “Uh, well, what kind of cake did you make?” asks the husband. “What do I look like,” she says, “Betty Crocker?”

Kaylin’s Favorite Recipe:

Butternut Squash Apple Soup Recipe

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes

Note that the smaller you chop your vegetables, the faster they will cook. We like to finely dice the onion. celery and carrot, and cut the squash and apple into 1/2-inch chunks. For a variation add a couple dashes of smoked paprika and/or swirl in a little sour cream at the end (off the heat).

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 rib of celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 Tbsp butter
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, chopped
1 tart green apple, peeled, cored, chopped (squash and apple should be at a 3 to 1 ratio)
3 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth if vegetarian)*
1 cup water
Pinches of nutmeg, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and pepper

*If cooking gluten-free, use gluten-free broth.

DIRECTIONS:

1 Set a large saucepan over medium-high heat and heat the butter for 1-2 minutes. Do not let it turn brown. Add the onion, celery and carrot and sauté for 5 minutes, taking care to turn the heat down if the vegetables begin to brown.

2 Add squash, apple, broth and water. Bring to boil. Cover, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until squash and carrots soften. Puree, and return to a clean pot.

3 Add salt and spices to taste, and garnish with chives or parsley.

Yield: Serves 4-6.

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Well, hope you enjoy our late summer weather and have an awesome, productive autumn!

All my best wishes,
Kaylin