Friday, October 30, 2015

Halloween Pumpkins Tips 3 of 3

Here are a Halloween pumpkin tips I’ve come across:

·        Use an ice-cream scoop to clean out your pumpkin instead of risking bending your favorite kitchen spoons.
·        Insert a bowl into a carved pumpkin and add dry ice and warm water to create an extra spooky, smoke filled jack-o’-lantern.
·        To make your pumpkin last longer, apply a light coat of petroleum jelly to the cuts to seal the wounds. And, after carving, place your Jack O’Lantern in a cool, dark place. It will spoil quicker if left at room temperature and may attract fruit flies, depending on where you live.
·        To revive a shriveled pumpkin try soaking it in a bucket of water.

The most important Halloween tips are to have fun and be safe!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Halloween Pumpkin Carving Tips 2 of 3

Here are some simple safety tips. They may seem obvious, but it’s always good to remind oneself prior to picking up that knife.

·        If using a pumpkin carving kit, choose one appropriate for your child's age and skill level.
·        Do not let a young child use a knife.
·        Always point knives away from you.
·        Keep your free hand away from the direction of the knife.
·        Use slicing motions and never force the knife.

·        When using candles to light a Jack O'Lantern, do not leave it unattended, or better yet, for indoor lighting, use battery operated pumpkin lights. 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Halloween Pumpkin Carving Tips 1 of 3

The first step in creating the perfect Jack O’Lantern is selecting and preparing the pumpkin. When selecting pumpkins for carving, choose a lighter colored one with a nice stem and a carvable face. Lighter colored pumpkins are softer and carve easier, but unfortunately they don’t last as long.

Clean the outside of the pumpkin with plain water and a sponge. Allow to dry. Store the pumpkin outside, or in a cool place, until you’re ready to carve it.  To start carving, cut open the top of the pumpkin and clean out the inside seeds and guts, being careful not to pull too hard on the stem as it breaks easily. Clean the inside of your Jack O'Lantern by scraping the inside wall to an inch thick. This will make carving a lot easier. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Make a Difference Day

If you want to make a difference, mark your calendar for the fourth Saturday in October. Initiated in 1990, this is a national day devoted to helping others by doing volunteer work in the community. Activities can be almost anything from an area cleanups, sprucing up parks and municipal facilities, or helping a non-profit organization, the community, your town, nursing home, a church, a food kitchen, or any other group in need. It doesn't matter what project you take on, what matters is that you participate. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Adventure Inspirations - Wilderness’s Peculiar Charm

“All life in the wilderness is so pleasant that the temptation is to consider each particular variety, while one is enjoying it, as better than any other. A canoe trip through the great forests, a trip with a pack-train among the mountains, a trip on snow-shoes through the silent, mysterious fairy-land of the woods in winter--each has its peculiar charm."

- Theodore Roosevelt -

Thursday, October 15, 2015

A Coin Can Get you Killed and $0.99 can get you The Coin

Who ever thought a coin could get you killed?

A cunning killer trusted his secret was safe, an innocent woman holds the key to his destruction, and an intelligence officer must keep her alive before the madman can strike the fatal blow.

When Gabriela Martinez finds a mysterious coin in the French Riviera, she is thrust into a struggle between governments, terrorists, and madmen, all seeking knowledge she doesn't know she has. Richard Harrison, the intelligence officer assigned to protect her, has all he can do to keep her safe.  

But when the psychological games to terrorize Gabriela escalate beyond his control, Richard must find a solution, if not, it may be too late for them both.
Set in the exotic French Riviera, The Coin is a story of hatred, betrayal, love and duty—of terrible and painful choices that, nonetheless, bring about personal triumph. 

Get your copy for a limited time only for just $0.99!



Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra is a romantic suspense author with a unique point of view. Her adventure novels take place in locales across Europe and the United States, reflecting her international upbringing and extensive time as a global traveler. In her duology, The Coin and The Book of Hours, her characters, Gabriela and Richard, walk the same paths as their creator, though her life was never in so much danger.
Ms. Alonso-Sierra’s writing career began circa age thirteen with a very juvenile science fiction short story, but the writing bug hit, and she has been writing, in one capacity or another, ever since. She has worked as a professional dancer, singer, journalist, and literature teacher (and not necessarily in that order—she likes variety) and holds a Masters in English literature. She loves to hear from readers and, when not writing, roams around to discover new places to set her novels.
Ms. Alonso-Sierra is currently working on her third novel, and lives in North Carolina with her husband and her dog, Amber.

Author Links:

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Hooked On Adventure

Welcome to this week’s Book Hooks blog hop. Here’s a tiny tidbit from my newest contemporary romantic suspense novel set in Wyoming, A Dose of Danger.  Enjoy!
“You already have more than a full-time career. This situation will most likely be long-term, so I need to get into a rhythm with the chores and my job, and not get too dependent upon your kindness and nice muscles,” she added with a shy smile. 

“So you like my muscles?”

“Don’t let it go to your head, Deputy. Remember I work with a bunch of researchers, PhDs, and marketing executives.”

He laughed as he turned and walked out the door.

Grace stood on the porch and watched until the truck’s taillights disappeared over the rise.

Just my luck, I may have met “Mr. Right,” and the timing couldn’t be more wrong.

When researcher Grace Talbot and her team discover a possible solution for weight loss they become targets of a group dedicated to controlling the multi-billion dollar a year diet-product industry. Her unsanctioned testing methods bring tragedy to the family ranch, and the attention of the local sheriff’s deputy. With her colleagues either dead, missing, or on the run she soon realizes she must trust the deputy with her life, but can she trust him with her heart?

For information on all my adventure novels, including my newest release, A Dose of Danger, please follow me on twitter at  Click here to download A Dose of Danger from Amazon.

For more book hooks from other great writers visit any of the blogs below or go to

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Adventure Inspirations – The Wild West

“The West of which I speak is but another name for the Wild; and what I have been preparing to say is, that in Wildness is the preservation of the World. Every tree sends its fibres forth in search of the Wild. The cities import it at any price. Men plough and sail for it. From the forest and wilderness come the tonics and barks which brace mankind.”

-Henry David Thoreau-

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Adventure Scrapbook – Thai Elephant Excursion

At a small village outside Khao Yai National Park in Thailand, we had an expected opportunity to ride an elephant. Before we could get used to the lumbering sway, we found ourselves slogging through the jungle, belly deep in murky water. This little side venture wasn’t in the plan, but often those are the most rewarding experiences, and our impromptu elephant ride turned out to be an unexpected highlight.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Dreams and Success

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” 

Henry David Thoreau

Friday, October 2, 2015

Leaving Civilization in the Dust

I recently got to spend some time in my home state of Wyoming. We visited family and caught up on the local happenings. Thanks to the pleasant fall temperatures, we also got the opportunity to get off the pavement and take in the rugged arid beautiful landscape of my youth. When I was young, my sister and I had mini-bikes that we often took out behind the house and we would explore for hours. We could also ride our horses from home, and in minutes civilization was left in our dust. I often miss those carefree times, which makes me all the more appreciative of the chance to go back and see that some things haven’t changed.