Cranberry Pumpkin Energy Bites

Posted by debjulienne | 10:19 AM | 4 comments »

I'm always on the lookout for a healthy snack that tastes REALLY good. I found one in this recipe. I love flavors, textures, and scents, this recipes hits all those markers, it's healthy, and you don't feel as if you're simply making due, they really are satisfying.


1 (11.5- oz.) box Natures Path Organic Pumpkin Flax Plus Granola
1 cup dried cranberries or blueberries (I like both)
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 cup nuts (cashew, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, add your favorite)
1 cup Brown Rice Syrup
1/2 cup Cashew or Almond Butter


Spray an 11 X 7-inch baking dish lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Stir together granola, cranberries and spice in a medium bowl; set aside. Bring brown rice syrup to a boil over medium-high heat in a small saucepan. When bubbles start moving from the outside of the pan to the center, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and quickly stir in nut butter. Immediately pour over granola mixture and stir well. Press into prepared pan and let cool completely before cutting into 3/4-inch squares. Store in an airtight container.



I write fiction, I make it all up. I tell lies for a living now. Yep, that's what I do. I used to be a more honest person. In my former career I taught school and I prided myself on my honesty. Not so anymore.

My Daddy was a consumate liar. He was famous for it. He'd tell the same lies so many times that he'd believe them himself. I guess I owe my dad for my gift of writing fiction. He taught me to tell stories. I learned  how to embellish the truth.

An idea pops into my head and I run with it. Easy as pie right? I gave up writing historicals because I didn't have time to do the research. But guess what, even writing contemporary fiction requires research, so I spend many hours gathering facts and articles, maps and pictures all to insure that my stories, while fiction, ring true.

Right now I am working on a romantic suspense set during a major snowstorm in the Atlanta area. Guess what I've been researching?

You got it, the great Snowpocalypse of 2014. I've found so many details of that event to include in my story. When I started developing this plot, I had no idea who my hero would work for, so I reached out to a retired military friend for that information. I waited a couple months for the answers to my questions because he had to get permission to give me those answers. Wow, I was impressed. Maybe he wasn't quite as retired as I thought he was.

Once while working on a story that involved agents from the GBI I called the Atlanta office and talked to an agent. He was very informative. I promised him a copy of that book, but haven't managed to sell it, so he's still waiting. Now maybe I'll pull it out and go the indie route, so I can send him his copy.

I've decided historicals might be easier after all, history doesn't change like contemporary times do. Don't even get me started about sci-fi or paranormal or fantasy. Yes, you make it all up. Yes it's fiction. But you still have to get the details right and that means research.

Don't get me wrong, I love the research. I'll waste... uh work for hours researching. Did I mention I majored in history in college? Well, I did and I love research. I love researching and digging up the little details that make my lies ring true. What about you? How do you make your lies ring true?

Most of you know I love to cook. Biscuits are a real weakness, probably because I associate them with my Grandmother. The woman could cook circles around any chef on television. I've been on a quest for the best biscuit and this is the closest I've come to matching Grams.


5 cups (Pioneer Brand) buttermilk baking mix
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk
1-1/4 cup 7-up soda
1 cube butter, divided
1 tablespoon bacon grease


Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

Whisk together the dry ingredients.
Add in the sour cream and buttermilk, stir.
Add 7-up a little at a time, until dough comes together and is shaggy.
Add more baking mix if needed.
Sprinkle a bit of the baking mix on the counter, turn out dough onto counter and gently pat dough into a round about 1 inch thick.
Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter or a glass dipped into flour, begin to cut out biscuits. (DO NOT TWIST THE COOKIE CUTTER)
Melt 1/2 cube butter and bacon grease in baking sheet, only until melted, use a fork to swirl butter and grease together, covering the entire bottom surface.
Place them on a hot baking sheet, sides slightly touching for soft biscuits, or about an inch apart if you like the edges more crisp.
Melt remaining butter and brush the tops.

Bake at 500 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown.

If you're fond of your biscuits, I'd like to hear what you thought of trying this recipe.



 One of my quick fix solutions.

 Strangely enough it works for a while. Is it pretty? Nope! Does it let me see traffic on my right? It does for a while. 

Why haven't I repaired the mirror? I used that money to repair other things on the car.
I have heard of women who used duct tape under gowns for beauty pageants years ago. It held things(breasts, I presume) in place, they said.  

Today I suspect there are fancier garments and tapes that work well, but are they as cheap as duct tape? Do they stick better? Hurt less to remove?

Please share your experiences with duct tape! Or tell me your reactions to my uses!

Maybe we should explore the ways we use "duct tape" on our relationships! Check www.Mary to see if I do and add your comments.

https://www.facebook.com Sunday July 20 4-10 ish!

When it comes to the heroes in our stories we want them to be fun, lovable, exciting, charming, and above all capture our hearts.

I started writing Sex, Lies, and Beauty Aids back in 2000, my story didn’t click until I found my true hero for the part of Travis Wellington.

If you’ve seen the cover (above), my pinterest page about my books, or the trailer, you’ve seen Paul Walker is my chosen muse for the character of twins Trent/Travis Wellington. One of the deciding factors for choosing Paul wasn’t just that he’s handsome, oh and believe me he is, but it was discovering the personal side of the man beyond the movies.

I wanted an admirable man, not just a handsome one. I wanted my character to stand out as someone to look up to. In a time and age where Hollywood is spitting out movie stars with no real heart, soul, honor, and conviction…I spent months searching for the right man.

Paul Walker – Just look at that smile…how can you not fall for him?

In addition to his movie endeavors, Paul founded Reach Out Worldwide whose mission statement reads: “REACH OUT Worldwide is a quick-response, mobile first aid organization aiding in rescue and recovery after major natural disasters around the globe.”

Their relief efforts have helped with Tornados in Illinois, Alabama, and Oklahoma City, the Colorado Flood, and Typhoons in Haiyan and the Philippines. It’s amazing to see such a humble man who cared so much, then gave even more of himself, not to mention how far reaching his efforts have gone.

But Paul’s story doesn’t end here.

In my opinion, Paul is not the only hero in the Walker family. Enter Cody Walker.

I’m using Cody’s official Facebook Bio here with his permission:

“I’m the youngest of the Walker siblings. I grew up in Southern California and graduated from La Canada High School in 2006. I then went on to Santa Barbara City College and eventually graduated from UCSB with a Bachelors in Cultural Anthropology. Immediately after graduating I earned my EMT certification from UCLA center of Prehospital Care and moved up to Oregon where I pursued schooling to become a Paramedic. For the last two and half years I worked on an ambulance as an EMT and then in June of 2013 I completed school and became a licensed Paramedic. At that time I continued with the ambulance and began working as a Paramedic.”

This in and of itself is a remarkable man. And again, the story doesn’t stop here.

In light of the loss of Paul Walker, who passed away on November 30, 2013, Cody made a life changing decision to make sure his brother’s legacy lived on. He packed his bags and moved back to California: “to give ROWW all I’ve got. I wanted to make Paul proud in life, and I want him to look down on ROWW now knowing that its future is bright. I look forward to working with the ROWW team and fulfilling the unmet need.”

Paul Walker will be truly missed, but his legacy lives on in his beloved brother, Cody. Way to go Cody, my new hero.

Please join me in supporting Paul Walker, Cody Walker, and Reach Out Worldwide and help make a difference. I will be donating half of the profits of my debut books: ‘Sex, Lies, and Beauty Aids’ and ‘Antics, Antidotes, and Angel’ to ROWW.

Bless you Paul and Cody!


When I dreamed up the kinky little town of Bayou Gavotte, Louisiana, I assumed it had the standard kinds of fetish clubs – BDSM, vampires, and so on. That’s how it started out, anyway. Then I happened upon a book about unusual sexual practices. One of the chapters dealt with playing with food. Sometimes the play was related to sex, sometimes not—but it all involved making a mess for fun.

Oh, wow, I thought. A food-fight club! Bayou Gavotte needs one of those.

So I wrote Back to Bite You, a novella with a hero who inherits a food-fight club that he hates, and a heroine (who happens to be a hereditary vampire) who loves the place and bakes banana cream pies for the customers to play with.  (For a great banana cream pie recipe, see yesterday’s post at EmbracingRomance.)  

Back to Bite You is the prequel to the already published Bayou Gavotte series. It’s both a romance and a mystery, and today and tomorrow it’s FREE at Amazon! I would love it if you would download a copy—and let all your friends know, too.  

I have a question for you all. Since kink is a big thing nowadays, what do you think of it? Does kink liven up a story or just make it weird? Is spanking erotic? (I can see how it might be.) How about pony-riding? (Um, not to me, but some people love it.)


When vampire Mirabel Lane goes to Bayou Gavotte to hide out from the mobster she just dumped, the last thing she expects is to inherit a house. No, make that the second to last thing. What she really doesn’t expect is to fall for the previous owner’s gorgeous grandson.


When Gerry Kingsley goes to Bayou Gavotte to check out probable gold-digger and possible murderer Mirabel Lane, the last thing he expects is to fall in love with the irresistible twenty-something vampire.


No, what he really doesn’t expect is to unearth―once and for all―his family’s dark, convoluted past.

On warm summer days we think about vacations, not funerals. Some of us have no choice. As parents we don't expect to have to bury our children. (Thank God I haven't done this.) As siblings we don't expect to bury our brothers or sisters.( Again, thank God I haven't done this yet, either.) Some of us have buried our parents, ( I have done this for each parent. It wasn't easy.) and some of us have had to do all three. So much pain comes with burying family members.

Burying friends brings special pain. Some of us have had to do that, too. I have lost friends to death. Some of you have, too. It isn't easy to remember that person is no longer a phone call away.

When our children lose friends to death we comfort them and feel their pain.

Only a teacher can have experience the loss that comes with the death of a student or a former student. It's not like losing a family member, someone connected by blood or marriage. That bond is different, even from the bond of friendship. We nurture our students and expect great things from them, or we hope great things will happen for them. We hope they will have long, happy lives. They are supposed to come to us or see us around and introduce us to their spouses or kids. They are not suppose to die before we do. 

But some do die, and we are left to celebrate their lives and comfort those around them. I thank God for the chance to share in the lives of so many people who needed my guidance as teens and who became my friends as adults. Some still  call me Ms Barfield. Others call me Mary. I call each one my kid and my friend.

Now smile and find your good memories of those who have escaped pain and troubles here with us and celebrate their lives and the joy they brought to us.

 And feel free to download one of my books at

Show your emotions in your writing.


Sarah instinctively touched the antique necklace. Her father’s image began to blur. Oh, no, not now. She tried to stop what she knew would happen as the room faded.

Sarita stood beside an open grave. The sun had no business shining in the cloudless sky or reflecting off the church steeple. Workers waited to finish covering the pine casket made with love by her father, her brothers, and her beloved husband. She had sewn the liner and allowed her aunts and cousins to add small embroidered goodbye tokens.

The wooden marker would be followed by the marble angel her Daddy had commissioned. Her hand rested warmly in her father’s. Her heart felt empty. Today he looked old for forty-nine. His strong broad shoulders slumped in grief. 

To see more of this scene, go to Mary Make a comment both places or on Facebook and I'll give you a chance to win coupons for other books.
The church had been filled to overflowing and the service had seemed to last forever. Only the strength of William’s big body at her side and his big hand gave her strength to hold onto her daddy’s clammy one. The heat and closeness of so many hot bodies and the odor of sweat mingled with the smell of death threatened to make Sarah lose what little she had eaten this morning. The tall windows had been opened to let in fresh air, but people fanned with hymnal covers and papers. Still there was not enough air.
What difference would all the words make? Mama had survived the war, but succumbed to pneumonia. Everyone had loved mama and wanted to say a few words. She had helped every family in the area at births, nursed the sick, and found help for the needy.
Each eulogy reminded Sarita she would never see her mama again. The neighbors had lost a friend and would mourn her but, damn it, this family had lost its heart. (look for a blog there, too!)

If you know me, there is no bigger hero than John Wayne. I really appreciate his patriotism, his love of country, his courage to speak up.

For my part, to celebrate our country’s birthday, I’d like to share another video. This one is the John Wayne’s version of America, Why I Love Her. There is so much passion in the words he speaks.

Get the Kleenex ready, this one always makes me cry....and I defy you not to get choked up with you hear his voice.

I'm keeping this short and to the point...please, just give it a listen.

Have a happy and safe 4th of July.