Monthly Archives: March 2016


Happy St. Patrick’s Day from the Quid Pro Quills!


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Posted by on March 17, 2016 in Uncategorized


Animals & Authors with Joan Deneve

Writing – they say – is a solitary occupation. But is it? Let’s visit with author Joan Deneve and ask her about her constant companions.

QPQ: Joan, thanks for joining us! Please introduce us to the dogs you’re sharing with us today.

JD: Hello, Jericha. I’m thrilled to tell you a little about my furry family members.

In the forty years we’ve been married, every animal we’ve ever owned has chosen us and not the other way around. You name it: cats, dogs, and even a baby bird that we somehow kept alive. My husband actually had to teach him how to fly!

Sugar showed up on our doorstep six years ago. My granddaughter named her Sugar because her fur was the color of brown sugar. Well-named, indeed, for she is the sweetest, most loving dog we’ve ever owned!

Sassy came a year later. For a few days, we called her “dog 2” but finally settled on the name Sassy. What a character! She wags her tail in a perfect circle. When she’s excited, it looks like she will take off, tail first!

QPQ: Aww! I love your fur babies already. How do Sugar and Sassy help you in your writing?

JD: Sugar has to be where the humans are. Always! If my husband were still up, Sugar would be at his feet. But I do most of my writing after he has gone to bed, so Sugar finds me and lies beside me well into the night. She’s the perfect writing companion. She’s quiet, and her presence calms me.

QPQ: That’s so precious. A sweet girl, indeed. Have you ever written one of your pets into a story?

JD: Funny you should ask. In my second book, Freeing Ellie, there is a rather rambunctious dog named Lady modeled after my son’s very active (and bad) dog. In Saving Eric, there are a couple of cats that are a composite of all the cats we’ve owned.

QPQ: I’ve read Saving Eric, and I know just which kitties you’re talking about! I love those cats! One more question… Tell us three things you, Sugar, and Sassy have in common.

JD: Oh my goodness! What a great question! I wish I could say I’m as sweet and forgiving as Sugar.

Okay. Let me think about this one. Well, I can honestly say she and I are both besotted with my husband and want to be where he is when he’s at home. So I guess we’re both attention junkies and can never get too much loving. Also, Sugar and I both love to eat. All the time! And I confess that I can get pretty animated and excited, just like Sassy… but without the circular tail-wag!

Facebook dogQPQ: Too funny! Joan, thank you so much for visiting the Quid Pro Quills today. It was so nice to visit with you again, and to get acquainted with your dear pets. My last question for you… Where on the web can readers connect with you and your books?

JD: I always love visiting Quid Pro Quills! Readers can find me at or Joannie Deneve on Facebook. I’d love to hear some of your readers’ animal “tales”!

QPQ: So would I, Joan! I look forward to your next visit at the Quid Pro Quills!

~ Jericha Kingston


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Bird Nest Cupcakes

birdnest cupcakes

Easter family gatherings are on the way! Spring is in the air and so are fun spring recipes. Bird nest cupcakes is one of my favorites.

Start with the cupcake flavor of your choice, bake, and cool completely.


Next, spread sweetened coconut on a baking sheet or baking dish, covering the bottom.

Then add 1/8 tsp of brown food coloring gel and 1/8 tsp moss green food coloring gel. (I use Wilton Icing Color gels- they add rich color without changing the consistency of the recipe.) Using your hand, toss the coconut around, spreading the color onto each flake. It takes several minutes of tossing and rubbing hand fulls of coconut together to incorporate colors.


“mossy” coconut

Once the color is incorporated as evenly as possible, place dish of coconut in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes. This will dry out the coconut and slightly toast to make a realistic bird nest look. Cool coconut completely before decorating your cupcakes.

Frost cupcakes with the icing of your choice. Using your hand, apply a large amount of coconut on top of the icing pressing it into the frosting so it will stick. Make sure coconut covers as much of the icing as possible to create a realistic bird nest effect.

Place three candied eggs in the middle of the nest and you have now created a “Bird Nest Cupcake.”

~Candice Sue Patterson writes Modern-Vintage Romance–where the past and present collide with faith. Her debut novel How to Charm a Beekeeper’s Heart will release November 2016. When she’s not decorating cakes, Candice is working on a new story. Visit her website at


Posted by on March 14, 2016 in Uncategorized


Animals & Authors with Jennifer Uhlarik

Welcome! Today we chat with another exceptional author, Jennifer Uhlarik, who tells us about her faithful writing companion.

QPQ: Hi, Jennifer! Introduce us to the dog you’re sharing with us today.

JU: I have four pets—two dogs and two cats, but one of my dogs is my special writer dog. Her name is Gracie—a beautiful black lab mix whom we adopted from the Humane Society in the summer of 2009. My hubby wanted me to have a special dog, and one Saturday, we went to four different shelters in four counties to search for that special animal. Of course we found her in the last shelter, a half-hour before they closed. But it was love at first sight. She was 8 months old at the time, and the cutest girl I’d ever seen. Black coat with white toes, chin, and chest, huge ears, and a tail that curled over her back.

QPQ: How precious! Since you’re an author and you come up with names all the time, how did you come up with Gracie?

JU: The same way I come up with any character’s name. I search my naming sourcebooks for the perfect name. I make lists of names I like, trying them out until I find that right fit.

QPQ: You definitely found it! How does Gracie help you in your writing?

2011-08-07 18.47.23JU: Gracie is my writing companion. She watches for me to head toward my writing room, and as soon as she sees me turn in that direction, she bounds down the hall and takes up residence in the corner. She keeps me company, listening when I read my writing aloud, and wagging her tail as if she approves. Writing can be a solitary profession, so it helps to have another warm body nearby to keep me company in those quiet hours.

QPQ: She sounds so sweet! Have you ever written Gracie into a story?

JU: I haven’t yet, but I’ve been planning to for some time. Just haven’t found the right story.

QPQ: Tell us three things you and Gracie have in common.

JU: Three things we have in common…hmm. Well, for one, we both like our environments to be quiet. We both find noise to be distracting, so she makes a great companion for me—quiet and sedate most of the time. Second, we’re both sweet and gentle, but can be fierce when someone messes with those we love. Unfortunately in the seven years I’ve had Gracie, we’ve been attacked by neighborhood dogs a few times when out walking. But Gracie and our other dogs have held their own, protecting me and my husband. The last thing—I’m not sure it’s a trait we have in common, but Gracie is uncommonly attuned to my moods, more than any animal I’ve ever met. She can be napping in my writing room while I’m across the house, and the moment she hears my voice elevate into any kind of a passionate tone (be it excitement, anger, fear, cheering for a baseball game, or whatever), she comes to check on me. She’ll approach me slowly and either rest her chin or her paw on my leg, letting me know she’s there if I need her. And she’ll typically stay there until I tell her I’m okay. Then she’ll trot back to her napping spot until she’s needed again.

QPQ: Calm, protective, and loyal. What a girl! Thank you for sharing Gracie with us, Jennifer! We hope you’ll join us again soon. Where can readers connect with you and your books?

JU: I can be found at:


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He Started it All

AGBOne hundred and forty years ago today, Alexander Graham Bell filed his patent for the telephone. I’m fairly certain Mr. Bell had no idea what he’d unleashed on the world. His cumbersome contraption of wires, diaphragms, and tubes bears no resemblance to the device resting in almost everyone’s pocket today with its slick glass screen that connects the holder to the world.

Idiagramn 1876, Mr. Bell filed his patent and entered the history books. Ironically, he filed only two hours before a similar patent was filed by Elisha Gray. Not wanting to be cut out of this new emerging technology, the powerful Western Union Telegraph Company hired Mr. Gray and well-known inventor Thomas A. Edison to develop their own prototype. Mr. Bell sued to uphold his patent. His case went all the way to the Supreme Court, which upheld the Bell patent. The Bell Telephone Company would withstand many lawsuits in the years to come as it evolved into what we now know as American Telephone and Telegraph … or AT&T.

How did Alexander Graham Bell come up with the idea of such an invention? Born in Scotland, he worked his younger years with his father in London. Melville Bell had developed a written system to teach speaking to the deaf. When he moved to Boston in 1872, Alexander established a school for the deaf there. In the next year he became a professor in speech and vocal physiology at Boston University. Throughout his life he described himself as a “teacher of the deaf.” Speech was, you might say, the focal point of his life.

firstcallHis background and dedication to speech and sound, along with his keen scientific mind, made him the logical candidate to invent the telephone. But he didn’t stop there. With the money he made on his telephone patent, Mr. Bell went on to found and finance both the journal Science and the National Geographic Society.

And yet – he never allowed a telephone to be installed in his study, lest it distract him from his work.

That, my friends, is the lesson for today. Jot us a comment on how you interpret the lesson as it applies to your life and work.

~ Pegg Thomas

Trooper and Pegg cropped





Posted by on March 7, 2016 in Pegg Thomas


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The Club

Good morning suspense fans and welcome to today’s Book Showcase!!! Our suspense feature for the month of March is the supernatural Christian thriller, The Club, by Christian suspense author Karin Kaufman.

Summoned by her father to Elk Park, Colorado, Melinda Maxwell hopes to finally learn why he cut off all contact with his family and became a The Club“monster,” as Melinda calls him. Four days into her stay, and frustrated by his silence, she hires genealogist Anna Denning to locate her long-lost grandparents. Already immersed in trying to locate the family of a murdered man for the Elk Park Police, Anna agrees to the challenge.

Two clues—a severed finger and a scrap of paper with a strange name written on it—lead Anna to believe that Maxwell’s father and the murdered man are somehow connected. When a second murder victim is found, Anna soon discovers what links them all: an eccentric, and dangerous, group of occultists who come together once a year to form the January Club.

The Club is the fourth book in the Anna Denning mystery series. If you like supernaturally tinged mysteries and a heroine who battles the forces of darkness with the shield of faith, you’ll love this series.

Karin Kaufman writes mysteries, thrillers, and children’s books. Although her mysteries and thrillers are written from a Christian perspective, KarinKaufmanthey don’t downplay the evil we confront in this world—or the isolation Christians sometimes feel in what is a largely secular culture. But she rejects the notion that such fiction must be dark or oppressive. Because there is also goodness in this world—love, friendship, laughter, faithful dogs, piping hot cups of coffee—and it’s every bit as real as the evil.

The Witch Tree, the first book in her Anna Denning mystery series, was a finalist for a 2011 Grace Award. Karin lives near the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains with Dakota Grace, her energetic and lovable rescued rez dog. You can find Karin on her Facebook author page, at!/authorkarinkaufman, or on her website, at

Ready to pick up your copy of The Club? Amazon. Kobo. iBooks.Barnes and Noble.


Kara writes supernatural suspense thrillers and is an ACFW Genesis 2013 Finalist in the Mystery/Suspense/Thriller category. BlogPhoto Resized

She’ll also keep you updated on upcoming writing contests and some of the best reads in Christian suspense.

To contact Kara, email her at or by clicking the below link:

@KaraHunt2016 on Twitter


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Animals and Authors with Erin Taylor Young

Henry-004Writing, they say is a solitary occupation. But is it? Really? Let’s visit with Erin Taylor Young and ask her about her constant companion.

QPQ: Introduce us to the dog you’re sharing with us today.

Erin: That’s probably best done with the first two lines of my new book.

“Henry is a once-in-a-lifetime dog. Mostly because if you had two of him you’d probably shoot yourself.”

Don’t get me wrong. I love him. He can’t help it if he’s a disaster-prone canine catastrophe with megalomaniac tendencies.

His hobbies include distressing wood floors, threatening the mail truck, two-legged hopping about the yard (because he will one day fly into the tree and catch those mangy squirrels), and half-baked suicide attempts (vet ER clinic knows us by name).

Henry’s scar count: 17. And rising.

QPQ: Since you’re an author and you come up with names all the time, how did you come up with the name Henry?

Erin:  Actually my hubby and I let the kids name him. They picked Henry Thomas Young for reasons we don’t know.  The middle name, I’m guessing, came about because they wanted to have something formal to yell when Henry was in trouble. I’m not sure if that turned out to be coincidence, foresight, or causal.  : )

QPQ: How does Henry help you in your writing?

Erin: It’s a fine line between helping and hurting. Most of Henry’s life, he’s had the hyperactive energy of half a dozen toddlers hooked on Mountain Dew, so his antics keep us in constant chaos. Sort of like living in a tornado. But that also contributes to the comedy I call my life. Not a bad thing for a humor writer.

On the other hand, to write said humor stories, I’ve had to resort to writing while I’m sitting on the living room floor with my dog literally pinned under my legs. In some warped way, he enjoys this, which makes me wonder if a doggie straightjacket would be a good purchase for us.

QPQ: Have you ever written one of your pets into a story?

Erin: Henry IS the story.  At least for both my nonfiction humor books.  : )  But in my fiction, I do like to include dogs. They’re always far more normal (probably an outlet for my wishful thinking), but I do give them a fun personality quirk.

QPQ: Tell us three things you and Henry have in common.

Erin: If I’m going to be honest, I’m just as messed up as my dog. I’m fine admitting that because anyone who reads my books will figure it out by page 2.

Let’s see, what else…we both like food way too much. Chocolate, in my case. And coffee. Chocolate coffee—even better. Henry, however, has a far less discriminating palate so that makes me feel superior.

Last issue (I mean, there are many, but we have limited space here), we both tend to take on anxieties over things we shouldn’t. In Henry’s case, it’s the daily reappearance of the mail truck, which Henry believes is out to kill us all. He has yet to realize that no amount of maniacal barking affects its course.

In my case, well, the economy, job security, fibromyalgia, chronic insomnia, launching my college-aged kids…I want to stress over them all, but no amount of militant worry or bald fear can affect them. They’re all in God’s hands, not mine. Which admittedly is a better plan—I don’t have the credentials to run the universe. Henry and I both agree on that.


Surviving Henry_2D coverA little more about today’s guest: Erin Taylor Young is an acquisitions editor and author liaison for Serenade Books, a publishing company she helped to found. Passionate about helping others embrace deep places with God, she teaches workshops about writing and publishing, produces podcasts, and is the co-creator of Write from the Deep and Live from the Deep with Karen Ball. She’s also an award-winning humor writer. Her book, Surviving Henry: Adventures in Loving a Canine Catastrophe, has been repeatedly accused of making readers laugh until they cry. Learn more about Erin at where she blogs about writing, God, and her aversion to spiders.

Connect with Erin in lots of places:





Posted by on March 2, 2016 in Uncategorized