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Hot in Phoenix and Cool Watermelon Pie

June 9th, 2016

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Ah, summer in southern Arizona. We had a relatively cool May, but the minute June came in the Weather Gods decided to make up for it. We went from zero to sixty in less than a minute, metaphorically speaking. May temps were averaging high 80’s to mid 90’s, then it went over 100 degrees on June 1 and reached 115 degrees by June 4. Fortunately it has backed off a little, with the temp today (June 9) forecast to be 105. But the average for June 9 is 103, so that is to be expected. I’m never ready for it when the hot weather comes, but I suppose that’s the price we pay for our spectacular winters. Since it is so hot, I thought I’d include a hot weather treat for this month’s Recipe page, watermelon pie. Watermelon is the quintessential summer food, and if you make an” ice box pie” out of it, you’ve really got something. It’s easy and delicious. Give it a whirl.

I’ve been under the weather for the past few days (no pun intended), so I’m a bit late posting my June entry on this blog.  Last Sunday some horrible bug or food poisoning overcame me and I’ve been out of it until today. I do feel much better, thank you very much. It’s ironic because I just finished the first draft manuscript of my next Alafair book, tentatively entitled Return of the Raven Mocker, which  takes place during the flu pandemic of 1918. For the recipe section in the back of the book, I’ve been gathering old flu remedies and foods and drinks for invalids that were recommended at the turn of the 20th Century. Over the past week, some of those remedies and suggestions have come in very handy. My mother used to give us kids 7Up when we got sick, and I dearly wished I could have included that suggestion in my book, but of course 7Up wasn’t available when Alafair’s kids were young, so she had to make do with ginger tea. She could have given her patients ginger ale, but knowing Alafair, she wouldn’t buy soda pop when she could make something just as effective at home.

My editor asked me to send her the MS at the end of the month, so I expect that if all goes well, the book will be out early in 2017.

I don’t have a busy public appearance schedule this summer, but I will be moderating a panel on traditional publishing vs. self-publishing at the end of this month, June 26, at 2:30 p.m. at Tempe Public Library, for the Society of Southwestern Authors, Valley of the Sun Chapter. SSA-VS is a great group if you’re looking for a place to be with other writers (all genres and types) and learn your craft.

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