Saturday, August 20, 2016

FOOD--The Choices We Make!

Happy August!

This month, I'd like to revisit an earlier blog on what we eat and how it effects us.

The blogs I'm referring to contained gluten free recipes and how to adapt some of your recipes to gluten free.

Well, I'm still gluten free, but almost 2 years ago, I took a further step after suffering from my second severe attack of Ulcerative Colitis--The Specific Carbohydrate Diet.

It's the best change I've ever made-- regarding food. The choice has sharpened my mind, given me more energy and regained my strength far sooner after the severity of my UC attack than I might have otherwise.

The SCD is simply eating whole foods and leaving out grains, processed foods, dyes, processed sugars and foods high in starch. Very soon, you don't even want to eat those things again.

I still bake--hey, I'm a baker, have been since I was a little girl and mixed up flour, water and sugar and baked it in my little tins then watched while my adorable Grandpa choked down a few bites just to make me happy.

These days, I bake with Almond flour (meal) and Coconut flour. Raw local honey, fresh farm eggs. Some of my favorites are the pancake recipe, which I also make into waffles and freeze them to pop
in the toaster for breakfast.

Also the Date Loaf and The Applesassie cake. I add walnuts, golden raisins and sometimes

unsweetened coconut.

Lots of delicious options! Many of the Paleo recipes will work too, just watch the guidelines in the

SCD books. There are some subtle differences. Pinterest is a great source and network for others who

have made informed choices on their food choices.

The book, Breaking The Vicious Cycle,

will give you tons of ideas and recipes.

Enjoy the rest of your summer--see you in September!


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

January in July!

Happy Summer! This month, I have the distinct honor of interviewing the talented artist and photographer, January Atkinson!

January and I go way back and I’ve always admired her artistry in everything from charcoal to acrylic paints, but when we reconnected recently, I’ve learned she is now also using photography as artistic expression. Of course her photos are superb.
Welcome, January!

Thank you! It was such a wonderful surprise hearing from you again.

In talking about your photography, what initially drew you to taking photos on a more professional level?

I’m certainly not a professional – it’s just something I really like to do - though I will admit that I’m something of a fanatic about it. I take 500 to 1000 pictures almost every day and have for the last 4 or 5 years. Photography did start as sort of a job. While working, I took photos of "stuff". The project evolved into focusing mostly on wildlife photos or anything I happen to run across on any particular day--flowers -- bugs -- my dogs - etc.

Do you still draw and/or paint on a regular basis?

Yes and no. I mainly use watercolor now, but I no longer do it just for my own entertainment. I pretty much work on commission. I paint live subjects-- people and animals, or work off photos and sometimes from the photos of the people who hire me. I still really love the process - I just don’t have the time to create my own paintings "just for fun"

Years ago, you drew a fantasy type picture on a large white piece of cardboard of your son and my youngest daughter as small children. I loved it! As I recall, they were sitting on a crescent moon?

I remember that. I used to draw the two of them frequently as they were around all the time. Do you remember the time that they followed my baby goats up onto the roof of my two-story house? Man - they scared me to death.
Fantasy type pictures are still my favorite and occasionally, I still get to do them. I also create them in Photo Shop using pictures I’ve taken...FUN!

What are you goals with your photography? Do you plan to promote and expand your business?

I *LOVE* taking pictures and it would be "way cool" if I could make more money at it - but I’m not much of a promoter - and there are so many great photographers out there that are better than I am ...soooooooo......... I think it’s basically just my relaxation.

Please share what kinds of paintings you’ve done lately and the medium used?

The last painting was in watercolor using a photo a couple took while in Italy. I’ve done quite a few dog portraits recently too. Also some Buffalo, Mountain Goats and a few fantasy pictures. They were all in watercolor. I’ve done a couple of murals that were in acrylic.

January, I’d love to post some of your work on my author Facebook page, would you be open to sharing your work—if you copyright protect them first of course?

I’ve attached a few—please pick the ones you’d like to post!

Thank you, January for taking the time to appear on my blog. It’s so nice to catch up and share your talents with the readers and writers out there!

August is another month, and I’m searching for that next unique and interesting artist. If you’d like to share your talent on my blog, please comment or PM on my Tesa Devlyn Facebook page.

More from January!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

The little things really do matter

Happy Father's Day to all those marvelous dad's out there! I hope you have a day filled with contentment, love and good food:)

Since the fabulous Rae Monet designed my website and blog in January, I've attempted to maintain the theme of interviewing artistic people. I love interviewing and have found it much easier than promoting myself. Alas, at times I need to promote myself if I want my writing career to grow.

So for my June blog, I'm going to share some thoughts and updates on where I'm at with the next book. It's been a few years since my last book, Just Plain Lucky, came out, but I've been writing, working on a three book series about a group of girlfriends, who met through their jobs at a local resort on a beautiful lake.

"Friend" trips have become popular. As an avid traveler I subscribe to a couple travel magazines and have seen a few articles published on the perfect places to go and things to do. My friends and I, who met while working at our local ski resort, have been to Banff and Calgary Alberta, Fairmont Hot Springs, Alberta, as well as smaller trips in our area. The weekends are always about visiting, (we no longer all work together) shopping, trying new restaurants, and basically having fun.

In my new book series, I've built story lines around a group of girlfriends, all in their late thirties and early forties--a time in life when you've been shaped by experiences, both good and bad, and have time for those second chance at romance events.

The series includes three brothers, special forces military with a Jewish background, who are really citizens of the world and work hard to end terrorism. Under the touch exterior, the Krol brothers want peace, love and family.

Once book one is revised, I'll send it out and finish revisions on book two. Book three is in my head at the moment, but I hope to complete it by next year.

Oh--back to the little things that really matter--as I look out my window over the top of my iMac, the sky is blue with just a few fluffy white clouds, the trees and grass are green. My children are grown, married and very happy. My grandchildren are beautiful (of course) and we're all healthy at the moment and able to weather whatever challenge comes our way. Who could ask for more?

I'd love to giveaway a trade edition copy of my most recent publication--Just Plain Lucky. Please post a comment about your friends and if you enjoy trips together, where is your favorite place to go? I'll enter your names in a drawing and will send the winner a copy.
Have a great, family filled, lovely day!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Book Review Riversong by Tess Harwick

Instead of an interview this month, I've chosen to review a book from an author I've never met, but would like to! Riversong, by Tess Hardwick was part of the giveaways in my goodie bag at the Emerald City Writer's Conference in Bellevue Washington last fall. I'd never read Tess's work, and okay, maybe I took a chance because her name is Tess and mine is Tesa? We're both writers and we both love writing about the Northwest. Those motivations might have been what made me open that first page, but the skill, characters and story development kept me going. The motivation of the main character, Lee Harper, was clear from the very beginning and not to give away more than you'd learn from the back cover blurb, she had a lot to live with and overcome.
Lee Tucker is the kind of woman you find yourself rooting for long after the last page is read. When her husband commits suicide, he leaves her pregnant and one million dollars in debt to a loan shark. Out of options, she escapes to her deceased mother's dilapidated house located in a small Oregon town that, like her, is financially ruined, heartbroken and in desperate need of a fresh start. Lee's resilience leads to a plan for a destination restaurant named Riversong, to new chances for passion and love, and to danger from her dead husband's debt as her business blooms.
When looking for the book cover to share on this blog, I discovered Tess had two more books in this series; Riverbend & Riverstar. I love continuing character series! As a matter of fact, that's what I'm working on right now! Book one is being reviewed by an editor while I work away at book 2 and plot book 3. More to follow on that project! For now, check out Tess Hardwick's 3 book series and prepare to step into the beautiful Northwest and emotion you won't soon forget!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Jenna Night Interview!!

Happy March! I’m so excited to have Harlequin author, Jenna Night, as my guest this month. Jenna’s first book, Last Stand Ranch, a Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense, was released March 1st in eBook and March 8th in paperback. I give this book 5 stars. It’s definitely worth reading and keeping on your shelf to reread later!
Hi Jenna! Tell us, what first led you to writing suspense and then the added twist of Love Inspired? I’ve loved reading mysteries and suspense since I was a kid. There’s nothing like diving into a book and having that whodunit question lingering over the story. It makes you feel like you can’t stop reading until you get to the end. It’s so fun. As I got older, I also became interested in romance novels. Putting the two types of stories together seemed like the perfect match. Once I discovered Love Inspired Suspense books, I realized I’d discovered the perfect combination of story elements for me. Awesome—so when you decided to write in this direction, where did you find the inspiration to Elijah Morales? As a fan of writing and reading about former special ops guys, I really found Elijah intriguing, both for his military background and the way he uses his strengths and training to help Olivia. Yeah, those special ops guys can make for some fascinating characters. I read several military blogs a while back and learned a lot about the lives of military men and women. And I read books like Lone Survivor and House to House. I wanted Elijah to be a ‘regular’ guy who’d lived an extraordinary life. So my inspiration came from all the humble and extraordinary servicemen I’d read about. I’ve read about the veteran’s groups who attend military funerals and help with charitable fund raisers, were these the heroes who inspired you to put Elijah in the leadership role of such a group? I used to attend a church that had a motorcycle outreach ministry and I was thinking of them when the idea for the story first came to me. But of course that got me thinking about the Patriot Guard Riders and other groups who ride for causes that are near and dear to their hearts. Without giving anything away to those who haven’t yet read your book—you had some nice twists throughout the story and a character I wasn’t quite sure of until the end. Nice job! So my sneaky plan worked? That’s very good to know. And thank you. Jenna, what’s next? Is there a book two coming as a series, or something different? The book I’m working on now has some of the same characters from Last Stand Ranch plus a few new people who find themselves in serious trouble. I can’t wait for the next book—keep writing! Thank you, Tesa.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Selkirk Ridge Photography

Happy January and 2016! I have great hopes and goals for 2016, I hope you do too! This year I'm going to post a new blog monthly with as many interesting interviews as possible--other artists of all kinds and related professions. This month I had the privilege of interviewing Amy Peterson, owner of Selkirk Ridge Photography. When I took the step to hire Rae Monet to build a website for Tesa Devlyn, Rae suggested my then current photos were far too bright and cheerful for a Romantic Suspense writer. While my books aren't dark, I agreed with her. Having watched Amy's work expand, I knew she was who I needed and I'm very happy with the results! Hi Amy! Thank you for joining me on this month's blog. Thank you for having me, what an honor! Amy, what initially drew you to photography? I have to say there's always been a love for photos since my grandmother bought me my first camera in the 3rd grade. I was also influenced by my father as he took photos when I was a kid. But I really started photographing and getting the bug to learn more after I had my kids. I loved photographing their milestones as they grew. I still love taking lifestyle photos and portraits, as well as scenery and wildlife. About 8 years ago my direction changed a bit, since I also have a love for horses, ranching and outdoor life. I read an article in a western magazine about photographer, David Stoecklein, whom I admired very much. He documented ranch life and the ways of the west. His photos are amazing! Little did I know that I would get the opportunity to mentor with him. It was life-changing. and really stepped up my game, sending me in a direction I had only dreamed of going. Unfortunately, we lost Dave just a year ago to cancer. It was devastating. This past May, I was able to go back to David's ranch, located in Mackay, Idaho and work with his sons Drew and Taylor. They are also amazing photographers and I have learned so much from them. I look forward to sharing the same passion that David passed on to me. Amy, with such a wide variety of experience in subjects, do you have a favorite? I'm most passionate about Ranch and heritage style photography. I enjoy capturing ways of life that most don't see these days such as Ranching, farming and logging. I enjoy telling a story about their way of life and all the hard work that goes into it. I want people to know that it still exists in this busy world we life in and that it is so valuable to our culture. I think that's one of the reasons I so enjoy your work. You tell a story with your photos just like writers use words. On several occasions, I've heard it said that looking through a lens gives photographers a different view of the scene. What are your thoughts? I have to agree. I see photos in everything I look at and if my camera isn't in my hand, I feel like I'm missing an opportunity. There are so many different ways to capture a moment or a scene and it's very magical when you see the same thing, yet in such a different way than it's typically looked at. You know the second you snap that photo and look at the result if it's going to be a WOW photo. You can just feel it. What are your goals as a photographer? My goals are to continue learning as much as I can, and to have quality work that tells a story that people can relate to. This year, my plans include growing my business and do a little traveling to work with some ranch magazines. I'd love to have one of my photos published on the cover of a ranching or logging magazine. I'm not sure where it will lead me, but I have a great feeling and I'm going into this year with an open mind and see what it brings! Thank you so much for sharing with us! It's always so interesting to learn about other forms of art. Rest assured, I will highly recommend your work! Thank you, Tesa, it's been a pleasure! Good luck with your books and happy trails! Please check out Amy's work at Selkirk Ridge Photography and at