Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Toastworthy Teens - Jennifer Mahin

Jennifer Mahin, Day One Hero

What can you expect on your first day at a new job? Probably some paperwork, meeting a few people, maybe a little basic training.

Surely not saving a life, right?

Now, when you learn that, for Jennifer Mahin, that first job was certified lifeguard, you might be inclined to say, “Oh, of course,” as if her accomplishment is slightly less impressive. Don’t.

Because within only hours of clocking into work, the 17-year-old heroine found herself jumping without hesitation into a rip current to rescue a fellow teen. She then had to keep the unresponsive girl’s ahead above the waves – and both of them away from the rocks – until more rescuers arrived on the scene.

Clearly Jennifer – who called the rescue “the most gratifying thing ever” – was the right girl for the job. ;) 

To find lifeguarding classes in your area, visit:

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Michelle Birbeck, Author of The Last Keeper

When it comes to characters who are immortal and have no need for food, trying to discern what their favourite dish is can be quite interesting. Especially when it’s an immortal called Serenity Cardea, who first started cooking some three millennia ago. Most of what she cooked back then amounted to little more than stew, which, though great on cold days, isn’t exactly exciting. 

So what do millennia old immortals who don’t need to eat actually eat?

The answer is twofold: Anything, and nothing.

Serenity has lived with an almost human family for generations, and over that time has consumed more types of food than I have names for. From stews with vegetables I’ve never seen to carved meat from animals that are now extinct. But as times change, it isn’t just tastes that vary. It’s also the availability of food, which is where the nothing part comes from. Because Serenity is immortal, she chooses to go without when her family is in need and food is scarce.

However, when food is plentiful, Serenity loves to cook. One of her favourite things to cook is pancakes. Breakfast or dinner, pancakes make everyone smile.

For breakfast she likes to get up early and start mixing the batter. Then whilst that sits in the fridge, she gets everything else out. All the fruit you can possibly want, different jams and spreads, and whatever savoury stuff happens to be kicking around in the fridge.

Everything gets their own bowls and gets placed in the middle of the table with spoons and knives. Once the table is set, it’s time to call the family down for food. This is normally punctuated by the sound of hurried footsteps hurtling down the stairs. It’s a rare occasion when Serenity breaks out the pancakes, and one never to be missed.

But the whole show isn’t just the food, it’s the production. See, Serenity isn’t just immortal, she’s fast and strong, too. So when pancake mornings happen, it’s a whole production that encompasses every frying pan Serenity has, as well as every ring on the hob. Because if there’s one thing pancakes should be, it’s hot and fresh. 

And so the whole family sits down at the table, plates ready, and Serenity cooks, flips, and serves. Normally in batches of eight, all done at about the same time. It sure is a sight to behold! What’s better than the sight, however, is the food itself. Enough on offer that lunch can happily be skipped, and such variety that it’s like eating something different every day for a month.

Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Michelle!

Michelle has been reading and writing her whole life. Her earliest memory of books was when she was five and decided to try and teach her fish how to read by putting her Beatrix Potter books in the fish tank with them.

Since then her love of books has grown, and now she is writing her own and looking forward to seeing them on her shelves, though they won't be going anywhere near the fish tank.

You can find Michelle here:


And The Keepers' Chronicles here:

Lulu: http://www.lulu.com/shop/michelle-birbeck/the-last-keeper/paperback/product-20107382.html

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Toastworthy Teens - Temar Boggs

Temar Boggs, Child Rescuer

What would you do if you encountered a search party looking for a kidnapped child?

If you’re Lancaster high-schooler Temar Boggs, you do what he thinks “anybody else would do” – you organize your friends into an additional search party and hit the streets.

And not only did the 15-year-old take commendable initiative; it was, in fact, his group on their bikes that located and chased the suspect, who eventually pushed the girl from his car and drove off.

5-year-old Jocelyn is thankfully okay, her family is extremely grateful to their “hero,” and Temar feels like “he just did something very accomplishing today.” I’d certainly say so!

Meet Temar in an interview here:

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Friday, October 18, 2013

FOODFIC: The Peach Keeper - Sarah Addison Allen

Rachel Edney believed that she was, essentially, a practical person. She did not believe in ghosts or superstitions or bells that could ring on their own. But one thing she did believe in was love. She believed that you could smell it, that you could taste it, that it could change the entire course of your life.

Sure, Keeper’s not about Rachel – she actually gets very little “face time” – but she’s one of those supporting players whom we love watching steal a scene. And Rachel does this not with her belief in love, but her belief in coffee…or rather her belief if the meaning behind a person’s coffee choice. She, in fact, keeps a log of customer orders at the shop where she works, noting what she sees as scientific evidence supporting her theory, such as: an iced mocha latte is “a drink for people who are ready for comfort.”

Now, shop-owner Willa stumps Rachel, although Rachel doesn’t know that Willa purposely changes her order daily to keep the girl guessing. Luckily, Rachel has a much better grasp on the handsome and newly returned-to-town Colin Osgood. She doesn’t hypothesize much when he requests a cappuccino with one raw sugar, but the conspiratorial tone with which she shares the info with Willa speaks volumes. And Rachel’s suspicion of her boss’s feelings for Colin seem to be confirmed when Willa returns to work after a date with him and requests “Something frozen and sweet. Chocolate and caramel.” According to Rachel, that means Willa’s “thinking of something that makes [her] happy.” Clearly the coffee reveals all. ;)

So is Rachel the coffeeologist right? Has Willa found love? That’s only one of the mysteries to be solved; an even juicier one is: Who murdered Tucker Devlin???