Shahtsi’s Snack @AprilA2Z

Hi, how are ya? Shahtsi, here. No, you can’t call me Uncle Shahtsi. I’m not your uncle, that’s why. I’m the uncle of Tosun, one of the main characters in SIDESHOW IN THE CENTER RING, if you can call that a book title. What kind of a title is that? What does it even mean?

Oh, well, it’s about that Earthling, Connie Phelan, and if there’s something about Connie you don’t understand, trust me, don’t ask. You might find out. And that usually means trouble for somebody.

The woman who wrote about us — oh, and am I in SIDESHOW IN THE CENTER RING? Maybe about as much as the tip of my little claw. But then she wrote down a short story that I told her — about Connie — called “The Woman Who Wasn’t A Shave-Tail.”

So anyway, this woman says that Wednesday is Food Day around here, and she wants me to tell you about my favorite snack. Which is difficult, because I love snacks.

I guess maybe my favorite is Secret Sweethearts. You take some nuts, okay? That’s what you call them on Earth, right, the seeds that big plants like those — yeah, trees — tree seeds. Those are nuts, right? So take a bunch of those and crush them up. Mix in enough honey to make a paste. It’s okay if it’s lumpy. Then you take a little piece of dried fruit, Connie says like apricot? Is that right? Is that a fruit? Apricot? Okay, a little piece of that and wrap some of the paste around it, then roll it in some more of the crushed nuts so it’s not sticky. SecretSweetheartSounds easy, doesn’t it? Well, it isn’t. It doesn’t want to hold together, but it does want to hold onto your fingers, even if you shave all the fur off your hands first. That’s why most people buy Secret Sweethearts, except for the crackpot purists. And, of course, the sweety-sweet-sweethearts who think it’s romantic to lick the mess off each other’s claws.

So, anyway, that’s it. If you want to read another April A-to-Z post, go read Shanjeniah’s Lovely Chaos.


merit badgeShahtsi, Connie, and Tosun appear in SIDESHOW IN THE CENTER RING, which is a perfectly good title. SitCR is available through Indiebound and at Amazon in print and electronic versions.

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: A character attempts to make something usually bought and discovers why it’s usually bought.


p.s. I made Shahtsi’s recipe and Secret Sweethearts are AMAZEBALLS!!!

Rhu beren Robia @AprilA2Z

As Chamberlain of the land of Layounna, my duties are many and varied.

I was raised in Thane Oliva’s thanehold, a companion of her youngest son, Landry, from the time I was a boy.

“Companion” is an imprecise word for my actual status. “Whipping boy” might come closer, although I was more than that. We played together — he, I knew instinctively, must always win, until he reached an age to relish competition, at which point he must usually win. We were educated together, and his marks were always higher than mine, no matter who had a better grasp of the material. We got into boyish mischief together — and, yes, if any punishment fell, it fell on me. To do him credit, this led him to devise better plans, to spare me pains.

Can I bear life without him? Oh, yes.


ModerRhu, Oliva, Landry, and many, many more appear in my fantasy trilogy, SAGE, available through Indiebound and at Amazon in print and electronic versions.

For A-to-Z, please visit The Ranting Monkey, for a list that will be sure to make you smile, think, and/or shake your head in bemusement.

It’s Tuesday, so I’m also posting at Fatal Foodies, with a recipe for BBQ Cauliflower.

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Write about a character who was forced to take a punishment for somebody else.


Quatro in a Quandry @AprilA2Z

Okay, I’m scrapin’ the bottom of the alphabet, here, and I’ve had to break open an out-of-print book that I’m polishing for republication. FORCE OF HABIT is a humorous science-fiction cop caper book, kind of THE HOT ROCK in space only not. This is the book that launched the Holly Jahangiri short stories. Holly isn’t in this book, unless I write her into it … hmmmm….

ANYWAY, Quatro Petrie is a character in FORCE OF HABIT.


What shall I say? I wish this blogger had tapped my sister, Tetra, for this assignment but, of course, Tetra doesn’t begin with the letter Q. While she’s rewriting the story, she could always rename Tetra so that it — the name she chooses in place of Tetra, I mean, of course — does begin with the letter Q. But, no, that would be too much trouble for the great and powerful author. She would rather put me in an uncomfortable position.

Tetra is much better with humans than I am. Oh, no, we aren’t human. We’re Gilhoolies. Yes, from the water planet Gilhoo. Would you like to see my gills? No? Well, please yourself.

Since this is the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge — hence, my compulsory appearance here — please go visit The Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment.


Thanks, Quatro. You’re more fun than a barrel of sea monkeys.

What do you think? Should I give Holly Jahangiri a bit part in the polished FORCE OF HABIT?

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Someone your character doesn’t know asks if they would like to see something questionable.



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