At the Kid’s Table

We’re back the kid’s table for another course. I’m attempting a 100 Books of Summer read-a-thon in my living room. Here are books 3 and 4.

Little Cloud by Eric Carle                                                   That Pesky Rat by Lauren Child 

2 and 3

That Pesky Rat is the funny story of a rat who just wants to be loved.

Little Cloud is the story of a dreamer who finds his way home.

Both of these delightful books have made it onto the 100 Books of Summer list. Find the growing list and all the other books over on The Kid’s Table tab.


It’s Made of Actual Paper

coffee break

If you’re feeling old school this summer–break out something retro. A Book. You know, the ones made of paper that you can accidentally get wet and they still work.

(I’m not condoning the pouring of liquid on books, mind you–but life happens.)

Might I humbly suggest mine: Out Across the Nowhere. A collection of stories that are short enough to read during one cup of coffee or in the sparse minutes where your kids aren’t begging for a snack.

Even more: I’m running a Summer Special in efforts to send one of my own snack-begging kids to summer camp.  Just $13.00 includes shipping and you’ll also be entered to win a $15 iTunes card or a $10.00 Starbucks card. It’s a win/win for us all.

Take a break and read a story.  Some old-school rest is good for the soul.



Food & Fiction with Samantha Redstreake Geary

Hi everyone! This month’s guest of honor at the story table is my wonderful friend and amazing writing talent, Samantha Redstreake Geary. Thanks for sitting down at the table with us, Sam!

sam fish



I’ll jump right in! What are you working on?

I’m currently juggling a YA historical fantasy novel and three screenwriting projects. I recently published the pilot (in short story form), OF FORTUNES AND FISH, on Amazon for the UK Storyteller Contest. It’s part of a new magical realism anthology series, ‘Whispers of Wonders’, I’m developing, an homage to Steven Spielberg’s ‘Amazing Stories’.

I’ve read this story, guys, and it’s delightful! Funny and touching and poetic. Her writing is gorgeous.


So, speaking of Amazon, have you seen anything good on Netflix or Amazon lately?

I binged watched Season Four of Orphan Black on Amazon. It was awesome. I’m fascinated with the main actress, Tatiana Maslany’s ability to play a dozen different clone characters so convincingly. Would love to work with her on a future series.

Now, I know you just got back from L.A. We want to hear all about that!

I had an amazing time visiting tons of friends in the music industry and connecting in person with fellow creatives I love & admire, many of whom I plan to work with on future projects. The highlight of my trip was seeing my friend Hans Zimmer, and his incredible crew, perform live–an experience of a lifetime.

sam LA

That looks like fun!

I also happen to know you’re an amazing cook. What’s your go-to dish and what do you serve with it?

My kiddos love Mexican food, and since I spent a good chunk of my childhood in New Mexico, many of my go-to dishes hail from that region. One of my favorite salsas is made with roasted tomatillos, jalapenos, sweet onion and garlic, blended with fresh cilantro and lemon. Pour over spicy Hatch green chile chicken enchiladas and my kids are in foodie heaven.

sam food

Here’s Sam’s recipe for this delicious salsa!

Tomatillo Salsa

8-10 tomatillos, husked and washed, leave whole

2 large jalapenos (seeded for less heat)

1 large sweet onion, halved

6 garlic cloves

Roast in oven @ 400 for 20 mins until tomatillos begin to caramelize – Place roasted ingredients in blender and add the following: Add juice of 1/2 fresh lemon & 1/2 cup fresh cilantro. Sea salt to taste

Delicious! Folks, I have to tell you, there’s never a bad meal at Sam’s house. I’ve eaten well there, very well!

Thanks for joining us at the table, Sam. Readers, you can find this post over the Special Guest page all month! Take your time and get to know Sam and her work!


sam fish

Samantha Redstreake Geary

Author. Screenwriter. Ambassador of ARTistry.

Biochemist by degree―creative and comical by design―Sam creates compelling artistic visions under the steady influence of locally roasted coffee, including speculative fiction novels & charity anthologies, film/television/streaming media scripts, video game storyboards, short films, and international music collaborations. Creative. Dreamer. Rebel. Activist. Philanthropist. Mentor. Parent. Smartass. Swing by her website to read exclusive excerpts from the upcoming YA historical fantasy novel series, Architects of Illusion, inspired by her backyard neighbors, Biltmore Estate.








More From the Kid’s Table

Yesterday I posted our new favorite books. Today, here’s a new favorite treat. For Christmas, my daughter got a gummy bear making kit. It calls for using standard jello and then adding extra gelatin. OK, but not exactly “healthy.”  This look WAY better!

Check out What’s Up Moms  Facebook page for more cool tricks and treats! Below you’ll find her youtube show as well. So much goodness on her channel. Check it out!

Over at the kid’s table…

You know it, you love it–the little knee smashing, folding table reserved for actual children and the friend or relative most likely to say something “colorful” at dinner. 

Well, here at my kid’s table, there’s plenty of goodies to be had. Check out the latest titles we’re devouring!

mossy Hugs

Mossy is the story of special turtle who becomes more famous than she ever wanted to be. This book is absolutely gorgeous inside. The story is lovely and the artwork is just like Mossy–amazing.

Hug Machine caught my eye because my son, Joseph, is a hugger and this book was him to a tee. Delightful and funny!

(This is a new page on my site that will feature yummy literary treats for the kids, here’s the first course.)

Head of the Table


Somewhere off the Coast of Maine, by Ann Hood, has the head seat at the table today.  It’s celebrating its 30 year anniversary this month and it’s never gone out of print.

I read this book almost twenty years ago when I met Ann at a Wildacres Writers Workshop where I was just starting to come into my own as a writer.

Ann was (and is) a dynamic teacher. Her insights were inspiring and illuminating. She made me want to write and made me feel like I could. When I read her novel, Somewhere off the Coast of Maine, I remember thinking–This is how you tell a story that matters. This is what I want to learn how to do. 

I was hooked and Ann has remained one of my favorite authors. She nails what it is to be human, and for me, that’s what fiction is all about–finding connection and hanging on for dear life.

Meet Ann Hood here and fall in love with her fiction.


Better than the WonderMop

This is what you find when you’re online late at night. OK, it’s only 9:45pm, but it’s dark, I’m hungry, and look at these things! I think the next fiction dinner party should have a sushi theme, don’t you?

Check out the website for the recipe and more yummy stuff

Well Done: Sushi Cups

Who is Writing Whom?


I just love it when your book knows what you’re writing before you do. You know, that way almost unbeknownst to you, that you’ve set up things to go a certain way without really being aware of it.

Sidebar: While you’re sick, you watch Jane Eyre on Netflix because you’re having a “I really should know this story and confession I never read the book” moment so you watch the film adaptation and check the book out to start on that too.

Then later when you’re semi-well and writing again you realize you need a last name for your female character–and you’re all: I’m going to make this little play on Jane Eyre because the female character in my novel has a secret that she doesn’t want anyone to discover (who ever does?) and I’ll make her last name Rochester just to throw a bone to those who love the story.

And you think that’s the end of it. But then you think: Wouldn’t it be neat if the male character actually gave her the book to read and she thinks it’s because he’s figured her out?

So you start to think about why he’d do that and then your book says: We already set that up. Remember, you said he was a former English Lit teacher. So, of course he’d suggest Jane Eyre.

And you shake your head and think, Yeah, Book, we did do that. Cool.

So off you go to do the laundry thinking it’s cool enough that you’re flipping the roles and making little inside insights then you realize, wait, my male lead has a secret too. And wait! It’s sort of Rochester-y if you think about it… so really, he gives her the book because he’s trying to tell her something about himself not about her… but she’s got a secret too and hold the phone… they’re BOTH Rochester. 

Then your book nudges you along and says… and…. considering the end, they might both be Jane if it all goes well. …. see what I did there when you weren’t looking? Glad you figured it out. 

You sit down at your desk in a “whoa” sort of moment and see all the pieces come together in this neat little semi-subplot involving your book and a book you’d never read.

I love story.

Thanks, Book. I can’t wait to see what you’ll do next. I mean, I can’t wait to see what you’ve already done!




Handsome Men and Tranquil Beaches?

Ladies, did I get your attention. LOL.

I was tooling around my website and randomly clicked on a post from February of last year where I was doing a pin-a-thon about a new project. Essentially making an inspiration board on over Pinterest for a book I was working on.

Well, I’m working on a new one again! So let’s take a look inside the world of Buckley’s Beach, a tranquil little seaside town whose residents are about to get all shook up. (I had to throw in an Elvis reference. I could help it.)

Follow this board and see what’s going on at Buckley’s Beach.

And the winners are….


Thank you all for playing The 12 Days of Christmas! Here’s the list of prize winners, but as they say–you’re all winners to me just for being part of this!

Day 2: A signed copy of Matt Moss’s debut novel The Path of Man and gift card to Starbucks!  (Congrats, Tina Lance!)

Day 3: PDF of my story “Jesus Drives a ’65 Mustang.” (Congrats, Shelly Hudson!)

Day 4: A signed copy of my story collection, Out Across the Nowhere, and two mason jar tea lights. (Congrats, Mary Ann Buckosh Dany!)

Day 5: Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants and my Out Across the Nowhere. (Congrats, Leah Senona!)

Day 6:PDF of a new story in the Jesus series, “Jesus Takes and Astronomy Class.” (Congrats, Heather Burt!)

Day 7:  Signed copies of Out Across the Nowhere and Some Things That Stay. Some amazing coffee and a mug from which to drink it. (Congrats, Shelly Hudson!)

Day 8: Out Across the Nowhere, a 2017 Day planner, and a Starbuck’s gift card. (Congrats, Carol Sue Phillips!)

Day 9:$10.00 Amazon Card! (Congrats, Karin Klaustermeir!)

Day 10: Signed copies of The Path of Man and Out Across the Nowhere. (Congrats Valerie Holcomb!)

Day 11:Out Across the Nowhere, and also a lovely writing journal. (Congrats, Rhea Merrick!)

Day 12: (Was a freebie entry to all the categories!)

I’m so thrilled by the participation that I did an extra drawing! These three folks also win a signed copy of Out Across the Nowhere!

Kim Moss, Aimee Patterson, and  Bren Bowman

What about day 1? That was Christmas Day! I can’t top the gift of Christ. He’s way better than a book!

Thank you all again, and please message or email me your address (physical and email if you’re getting one of the PDFs and your prizes will arrive soon!) you can reach me on FB or at

I hope you’ll keep in touch. Please take a minute to sign up for my newsletter to make that easier!