Tatyo Cheese and Onion Crisps

A Yank’s Opinion of Ireland’s Crisps

Karin Kallmaker Chocolate and Inspirations 8 Comments

It had to be done. I donned the mantle of science and tasted the most common crisps on the Emerald Isle. A great personal sacrifice, I know. This is my evaluation, which nobody asked for. Plus, I’m quite sure that no one in Ireland cares a rusty nail about what a Yank thinks on the subject.

But I have a pile of receipts from SuperValu and Tesco and have to write them off somehow! Onward!

You Want Onion with Your Cheese? Cheese with Your Onion?

No matter where we went, onion/cheese flavor was always in the prime position to be purchased, and there were twice as many as all other available flavors put together. It appeared to be the favored flavor combo across all counties we visited, which was any county that touched a shoreline.

As a reference point for my experience of the brilliance that is Ireland’s crisps, in the USA we have three basic flavors. They are available more or less in the same quantities in a typical market: sour cream and chive, barbecue, and good ol’ plain and salty.

Plain was almost impossible to find in Ireland, and if there was a second flavor available, it was usually salt with vinegar or a variation on onion and cheese. Sometimes there were a few bags of prawn cocktail Read More

Belleek hounds in progress

Now It’s More than a Teapot – Travel Synchronicity

Karin Kallmaker Book News, My Lady Lipstick 8 Comments

It all started when I was fleshing out the character profiles for my next novel, you know, like you do. Paris, the main character of My Lady Lipstick, shares a house with her landladies. I had already decided the landladies, living in Revere Massachusetts (a Boston suburb), would logically have strong ties to Ireland.

More than two months ago I worked out their age and their history as Irish immigrants. They like to invite Paris up for tea whenever they have news to share. Tea means teacups and teapots and, well, TEA.

tea bags with loose tea

A Word about Tea. Tea’s the Word.

I wondered – what do the Irish call “Irish breakfast tea”? Wouldn’t it just be “breakfast tea”? I turned to the Googlez and discovered in short order that there is no such thing as Irish Breakfast Tea if you’re Irish. There is TEA.

And on my trip to Ireland a few weeks ago, I further discerned that it’s either Barry’s or Lyons Read More

statue fearless girl

Art Doing What Art Does – Fearless Girl Makes Us Reflect, Evolve

Karin Kallmaker LIFE + STYLE 6 Comments

statues fearless girl with charging bull

There is a heated debate over Fearless Girl, the new statue in Wall Street who currently stands defiantly in the way of Wall Street’s iconic Charging Bull. Because the discussion is about art, intent, history and how that evolves, I offer two opposing blogs from this debate. I find that both have valid points, and both offer perspective.

Seriously the Guy Has a Point – Greg Fallis

The first is Seriously the Guy Has a Point. Written by photographer (therefore artist) Greg Fallis, who asks: Doesn’t the artist’s intent and how the sculpture Charging Bull came to be placed matter? How does the reality that Charging Bull is Read More

New York at Night by Kevin Hosseini

Same Thing Just Different People – When “Fix It” Means “Kill It”

Karin Kallmaker LIFE + STYLE 2 Comments

New York at Night by Kevin Hosseini

April is Autism Awareness Month

Cue the fundraising appeals and Facebook frames about raising awareness and “giving blue” and so on. Much like pink ribbon frenzy in October, lots of charities want you to help raise awareness about Autism. The big player in Autism “awareness” is Autism $peaks. Sounds great, putting a voice to help autistic people be better understood. Except that’s not what Autism $peaks is about.

Couple of things here, let’s break them down.

If You Want to be Aware of Autism, Be Aware of ALL of Autism

First, I am all for awareness of autism. It’s hugely misunderstood. So before you jump into supporting “awareness” make sure you’re aware.Read More

Glamour photo of red lipstick and red sunglasses of young woman

First Look the Second: My Lady Lipstick (Diana)

Karin Kallmaker Book News, My Lady Lipstick 1 Comment

Glamour photo of red lipstick and red sunglasses of young woman
You’ve had the chance to meet the puzzling Paris Ellison, and learn how she meets the dazzling, mysterious Diana. Who is the woman behind the red hair, impossibly green eyes and red, red lips? If only Paris knew what you’re about to learn! This is the rough draft, unedited second chapter of my next lesbian romance: My Lady Lipstick.

 


My Lady Lipstick – Preview

by Karin Kallmaker

Chapter Two

Diana Beckinsale put two blocks between herself and the helpful but unsettling Paris before she paused in her brisk pace to savor the moment. The wind snatched at her cap but the bobby pins held. She imagined her package whisked away instead, carried over the green expanse of the impossibly large American continent until it floated to a gentle rest on the desk of Read More

Glamour photo of red haired young woman in red lipstick and red sunglasses

First Look: My Lady Lipstick (Paris)

Karin Kallmaker Book News, My Lady Lipstick 16 Comments


A work in progress has reached a milestone when I feel confident enough to share the first chapter. With the forewarning that this is as yet unedited, and completely subject to change, behold! The first chapter of my next lesbian romance: My Lady Lipstick.

P.S. Recognize anyone?
P.P.S. Interested in Chapter Two?

 


My Lady Lipstick – Preview

by Karin Kallmaker

Chapter One

Paris Ellison was so angry she made a seven-layer English Trifle and two large pans of double cocoa brownies.

She even dribbled water over the letter from Portman House, Proud Member of the Portman Media Group but the ink refused to smear and the words continued to taunt her.

She’d said no once, and now the nerve—the nerve! To offer her first-class tickets, reservations at the Omni Park Central, and the assurance of Hamilton seats—how rude!

She whipped ganache into submission and drizzled it on the first pan of still warm brownies. She’d slice them later before taking them to Lisa’s tomorrow. The second pan of brownies went into the oven, and she paused to read the infuriating letter again. Anita Topaz did not make personal appearances. Paris had been perfectly clear about that from the get go. But all the new people at Portman House since the merger meant nobody wanted to remember that little detail.

A scratch and yowl at the door made her look at the clock. Hobbit was right on time and sidled in to gift Paris’s jeans with orange tabby tomcat fur.

“You’re not fooling anyone, you know. I know I’m just Second Breakfast to you.” Aware that the cat had a single-minded agenda, Read More

Munch painting The Scream

Surviving that First Reading

Karin Kallmaker Business of Books, Events and Appearances, Readers and Libraries 2 Comments

Edvard Munch The Scream
I have had twenty-mumble years to get used to reading passages of my books aloud. My very first reading at a bookstore in Vacaville, sadly now closed, is still a vivid memory. I had flop sweats from minute one. I plowed onward and at the exact right time in the scene the audience laughed.

Once I got that laugh I was hooked. I enjoy readings immensely, and one of the most common requests for advice from new authors is how to make that Read More

cover, Castle Wrath by Karin Kallmaker

Castle Wrath – Not Your Mother’s Jane Austen – Now Available

Karin Kallmaker Book News, Castle Wrath, Novellas 0 Comments

Burning curiosity. Wild imagination. Put them together and the breathless discoveries of an ingenue who reads far too many lurid novels come to life. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen is all that and more. The dizzy chapters of young Catherine’s exploration of the Abbey are glorious fun to read. Cabinets that lure her with their tantalizing closed doors. The secrets! The treasures! Things that go bump in the night!

illustration from 1833 edition of Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

She had not been used to feel alarm from wind, but now every blast seemed fraught with awful intelligence… What could it contain? To whom could it relate? By what means could it have been so long concealed? And how singularly strange that it should fall to her lot to discover it! – Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen

As most readers know, Northanger Abbey isn’t the first time Jane Austen inspired me to pen a very lesbian version of her work. A year prior I wrote Just Like That (2005), setting Pride and Prejudice in California’s vineyards. It’s not as if I’m alone in thinking Austen is great for lesbian adaptations. Autostraddle’s brilliantly excellent mash up of pulp novels and Jane Austen is one of the things that makes life worth living.

classic pulp novel art with Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen as book

Castle Wrath was written for an erotica anthology (Stake through the Heart, Bella Books 2006). After deciding that a story about an ingenue who sees horror around every corner was where I wanted to go, well, I had to get a bit naughty with it.

Castle Wrath is about half the length of a novel at 31,000 words. Plus there’s smutty good fun when breathless Brittany Brannigan discovers (gasp!) a hotbed of lesbian porn production (shocking!) and other things that go bump (and bump!) in the night. And then there’s the decidedly attractive and very annoying caretaker’s daughter always being right about, well, everything.

Buy Linkapalooza

cover, Castle Wrath by Karin Kallmaker

Available for the first time in digital editions at:

Enjoy, and please leave an honest review for other readers. If you have any issues with formatting please let us know via contentsprite(-at-)kallmaker.com.

Pride Flag in the wind

Reblog: Laurie R. King “Moving Forward”

Karin Kallmaker LIFE + STYLE, Sisters of the Pen 3 Comments

Pride Flag in the wind

Words have been hard to find, let alone the focus to express them coherently. Part of me resists the idea that a man so devoid of common decency or simple shame could set any kind of agenda for me. I am grateful to Laurie R. King for expressing beautifully how I am feeling today about moving forward. Please go read.

From Laurie’s blog:

I don’t intend to post my outrage—that way lies madness—but I will talk about the ground I stand on.  – Laurie R. King

READ THE ORIGINAL in its full glory, especially the last paragraph.

A publishing error limited the distribution of this post. First published 1/20/2017, resubmitting 1/21/2017.
cover, party favors lesbian romance by Jaime Clevenger

Lesbian Storytelling in the New Dark Times – Laurel Bookstore Feb 19

Karin Kallmaker Events and Appearances, Sisters of the Pen

cover, party favors by Jaime Clevenger

Tap open your calendar or get a Sharpie and write it on your paper calendar or on your hand or your gf’s body part (with consent): Laurel Bookstore, Oakland, 2/19, 4 pm, lesbian event. Really all you need to know right there.

Laurel Bookstore is hosting an extravaganza of lesbian writers: “Lesbian Authors Talk About Storytelling – Why We Do What We Do.” Don’t miss out – several are infrequent visitors to the Bay Area. We’re going to talk about why we write the stories we write and how we feel our lesbian voices telling those stories matter. Especially now in what is going to be the suckiest political environment for queer people since the early 90s.

The Peripatetic Lesbian Panoply Participating*

  • KG MacGregor – KG is coming all the way from North Carolina. If you haven’t had the pleasure of the dry wit and southern drawl, your world is incomplete. KG’s latest is Trial by Fury. She’s Read More

Getting Published – Panel in Castro Valley on Saturday

Karin Kallmaker Business of Books, Events and Appearances, Readers and Libraries

program flyer for CV library program getting published
This is an event for new(ish) writers who are generally located in the East Bay. (I dislike reading about a cool sounding event and only finding out at the end that it’s thousands of miles away.) So Oakland, Hayward, San Leandro, Castro Valley, Pleasanton, Dublin, Fremont, Union City and so on and on. You can come from farther away if you’re up for it! The CV Library is not even two blocks from CV Bart.

Start your weekend out with a positive step toward making your publishing dreams happen. This program is FREE. Like just about everything else at the library. #librariesROCK

Please join me this weekend for an open panel of Read More

Cover, Indomitable the Barbara Grier Story by Joanne Passet

Indomitable Should Be in Your Public Library

Karin Kallmaker Readers and Libraries, Sisters of the Pen 4 Comments

Cover, Indomitable the Barbara Grier Story by Joanne Passet
“Glorious and inglorious complexity.” The phrase captures Barbara Grier to perfection, and is used by Katherine V. Forrest on the dust jacket of Indomitable, this new, richly detailed biography of the woman who “changed, for the better, every lesbian life…” as Lee Lynch adds. That means your life, even if you don’t recognize the name.

I’m not exhorting you to read Indomitable (you should). There’s something more important that you can do from your seat.

Biographies of queer people are rare enough, and biographies of lesbian womenRead More