Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Savvy Reasons to Use a Pen Name (For Authors Only)

By Cal Orey


AT THE START of a writing career, your name may seem so perfect ... but as time goes by, sometimes a pen name becomes a must-have tool of the trade. And it's not just the famous writers who use one. Here's why playing the name game can be smart.

For privacy and safety. Using a pen name provides protection. If a topic is controversial or crime-related, going "undercover" may be wise. I did just that when I wrote an expose for a popular men's magazine about escort services (which provide customers with a companion for dates). I didn't want the local escorts or managers to harass me if they didn't like what I wrote about their business. So I took a double identity, just as they did, to stay out of harm's way.


To get very personal. If you want to write about something embarrassing to you, switching names is the ticket for sharing your story. Forget blushing. I wrote an intimate, first-person piece called "I fell for the guy next door" for Complete Woman magazine. By altering my name and the subject's, I got to tell my tale of woe and get paid for it.

To explore different genres. I spin many subjects, from nonfiction health to erotic fiction. In the 1980s, adult magazines for men (and women) were hot. Because I wrote from a woman's perspective, I got assignments. But I was also creating a name for myself in mainstream women's magazines. I chose an alias for the risque work, which allowed me to explore two worlds apart without offending more conservative readers or losing my writing position.

For maximum marketability. Using a pen name can make an author more noticeable, too. Jane Doe might be too plain a name to stand out next to J.K. Rowling (another pen name). "The main reason I use Lady J is because it gets more attention," says children's writer Teresa Jose of Ontario.

For pragmatic gender bending. As a rookie, I fell into technical writing. After a swarm of rejections, I sensed that my real name, Denise, was too feminine to be taken seriously. So I made a gender switch to help market articles. I chose Cal for its masculine sound, and because California is my native state. When I received my first acceptance letter addressed to Mr. Cal Orey, I knew I had chosen the right name.

To find anonymity. Using a nom de plume gives an author the freedom to keep his identity separate from work. One author who is a gambling expert maintains a low profile. If he uses his real name, he risks being blacklisted from the gaming industry. Putting a pen name to work as he does offers the best of both worlds. It's a win-win situation.

Some famous aliases:

THERE ARE many examples of pen names among famous writers. Here is a brief sampling:

Pearl Gray dropped his first name and wrote his Western novels under his middle name and with a slightly different last name, Zane Grey.

Stephen King has written four novels under the name Richard Bachman. "I did that," he explained, "because back in the early days of my career, there was a feeling in the publishing business that one book a year was all the public would accept."

Samuel Langhorne Clemens used an old riverboat term, Mark Twain, as his pen name. Often called out on deck, the phrase meant that the water was 2 fathoms, or 12 feet, deep--deep enough for safe passage.

Mary Ann Evans wrote under the name George Eliot.

Ellery Queen was actually a single name for the collaborative team of Frederick Dannay and Manfred B. Lee.

--C.O.  Published in The Writer 

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Author Unveils Sweet Inside Secrets--Honey Book

By Cal Orey

1.    Cal tell us a little bit about your background? I'm an author-Intuitive…known for the internationally popular Healing Powers Series. 

2.    When did you get interested in the healing power of foods? Since a teen back in the 70s I was a “granola girl.” I ate fruits/vegetables/yogurt. It was “in” to be lean and fit. So I was and still am a “health nut.” I was going to be a nutritionist but ended up getting my master’s degree in English (Creative Writing).
3.  I understand you have written several other healing power books? The Healing Powers Book Series began back in 1999 when I penned The Healing Powers of Vinegar. The rest is history. Several years later, the book was a success. Olive oil, chocolate, and honey followed. Then came coffee, tea, and superfoods. 
4.    Your book draws on interviews with medical doctors, beekeepers, and researchers about the positive effects of honey? Yes, I did go to the “experts” who know about how honey and honey bees…and they told me how this superfood which has been used since biblical times can heal via health improvements to home cures. Also, I met a  beekeeper and his queen Italian bees…and I spoke with beekeepers around the globe.  I interviewed the editor of Bee Culture Magazine (The Healing Powers of Honey received a positive review in the October issue) about trends of city hobbyist bee keepers to CCD—the mysterious vanishing and die-off of bees with an unknown cause. And I got to taste straight from the hive… honeycomb. A hexagon structure made from beeswax by honey bees to hold honey. 
5.    Tell us what makes honey so healthy? It’s got vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting antioxidants (molecules in superfoods like fruits/vegetables) that can stall Father Time and enhance the immune system and  keep our cells healthy.


6.    How many honey varieties are there? Hundreds…more than 300 in U.S. from different floral sources. I got up close and  intimate with more than 30…we’re talking different flavors from different sources.The darker varieties are the healthiest…a bit of a challenge for the palate: manuka to buckwheat---which are commonly used in health and honey studies. My faves are sage, wildflower, white honey from Hawaii, pumpkin, blackberry--and orange blossom. Once you taste the varietals there's no going back to one honey flavor. 
7.    Are there major differences between raw honey and the commercial varieties? Yes, raw is healthier but mass market varieties still have benefits, too.  The real, raw, unprocessed, unheated, unfiltered kind of honey that you get straight from the hive—honeycomb—is the real deal with the good for you antioxidants. Think pure ACV, quality dark cocoa. 
8.    What are some short-term health benefits of consuming honey? Home cures:I've turned to honey for sore throat, allergies, cough, cuts, anxiety, stress, fatigue, and it can even boost libido! What's more, manuka honey--found in Australia and New Zealand--is simply amazing for its healing perks. If you have a cut, like I did on my foot, it can heal it in days, thanks to honey's super amazing antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits.
9.    You say honey can help lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, increase longevity and even reduce boy fat and unwanted weight? Indeed… If you stay clear of the big diseases…you’ll up the odds of living longer. And honey can help stave off the major life-threatening diseases because of its different compounds. I show studies with humans (not just lab rats) in my honey book how it works to back up this fact.
10.   You say pure, raw, unprocessed honey is a healthier sweetener than table sugar and high fructose corn syrupYou get only empty nutrition with white table sugar…HFCS is controversial but I stay clear from it--found in fruit juice drinks to processed foods. Honey contains dozens of different substances (minerals, vitamins, antioxidants) which makes it more like a fruit than sugar. Sugar and HFCS are simpler compounds containing only glucose and fructose, honey is more of a “functional or superfood”—because of its compounds.
11. How many calories typically per teaspoon? 21--a dieter's dream. And just a spoonful will provide energy to get a move on and boost your metabolism as well as curb that sweet tooth so you're not tempted to overeat sweets that are laden with saturated fat, calories, and added sugar. 
12. How much Honey do you recommend people eat daily or weekly? 5 teaspoons/8 teaspoons women/men. (None for babies younger than one year old.) 
13. How can you use honey in your beauty routine? It’s used in DIY recipes/store bought beauty products/top-notch spa treatments. I use all types to help keep my hair and skin healthy. I was treated to a honey bath at a plush European-style hotel and the story is unforgettable. My skin felt so smooth.
14.   What kind of recipes are there in your book? Scrumptious recipes that'll wow you. The book was purchased by The Good Cook Book Club. Spa chefs/honey companies (big and small) provided many recipes including Honey Biscotti, Bee Breakfast Smoothie, Honey Poppy Seed Salad Dressing, Honey Glazed Hen, Honey Berries with Lime Pound Cake, and Sweet Potato Pie. Wholesome, down-to-earth ingredients are used--mostly from the Mediterranean diet--are used. I'm talking whole grains, nuts, fresh fruit and vegetables, dark chocolate, and olive oil as a primary fat.
 15. What easy ways can our listeners use honey in their everyday lives? Use a teaspoon of honey in tea/coffee daily and/or drizzle on fresh fruit or whole grain bread to get a double punch of antioxidants.
The Healing Powers of Honey (Kensington Books by Cal Orey) available at  online bookstores; now available in gift size mass market format and ebooks as well as paperback. 

Friday, October 12, 2018

Fall into the Art of Smoothies for the Chill of It!

Autumn is Time for Super Smoothies!

By Cal Orey

When I first moved to Lake Tahoe I was infatuated with the town, feeling like I landed in heaven. During the first fall I recall walking amid the towering pine trees and trails was my favorite mode of exercise. 
One afternoon after walking to the Lake, down to the casinos, and along Highway 50 I stopped at McDonalds. I ordered a chocolate shake with vanilla soft serve ice cream and chocolate syrup. (The calories I burned gave me permission to indulge, I rationalized.) When I left sipping the cold, creamy beverage, I started analyzing (blame it on the sugar high) the sweet shake. My health-oriented food cop inner voice said, “Uh, exercise negated by fast food. Hello? Can you hear me?" But I tuned out the voice of reason and continued this ritual walk-for-a-sugar shake phase.

As the seasons passed, I weaned myself off the fast food faux milkshakes--home-style is best. I time traveled back to the sixties and seventies--two decades when smoothies lured health-nut hippies. I’d whip up a superfood drink or buy one at a health food store. But then, I moved on to eating not drinking fruits and vegetables--and even buying frozen cobblers and casseroles for the quick fix. Then, I, like many folks including busy millennials and boomers, have discovered wholesome and scrumptious smoothie--umpteen varieties--for nutrition and convenience.
So, this week I celebrated the changes we see, smell, and feel. I put together a group of fall fruit, warm spices, local honey, and some chill ingredients. Here, take a look at the Lake Tahoe-inspired recipe for smoothies with autumn stuff.
FALL FRUIT AND SPICE SMOOTHIE
¼ cup pear, chopped
¼ cup Honeycrisp or Fuji apple, chopped
½ banana, sliced
¼ cup orange juice, fresh squeezed or fortified juiced
½ cup vanilla bean gelato
1 tablespoon wheat germ (optional)
1 teaspoon honey
¼ cup ice cubes
Ground cinnamon and nutmeg to taste
Basil or mint sprigs for garnish
In a blender put in fruit, juice, gelato, honey, and ice. Whip or blend (a Smoothie button is ideal) until thick and creamy. Pour into a glass mug. Serve with a straw. Serves one.
Serve with local honey and fresh herbs. Using premium gelato and fresh ice will make your smoothie creamy. The pear apple combination with warming spices is a nice touch for the beginning of a new season. And sipping the comforting mix is a super welcome to all the autumn changes we’re going to experience in the upcoming days and nights. Enjoy this fall harvest smoothie day or night for its nature’s goodness is good any time. *For super smoothie recipes, pre-order a copy of The Healing Powers of Superfoods! 32 color photos!
Cal Orey, M.A. Is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, Tea, and Superfoods) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.) Her website is http://www.calorey.com.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Coffee Grounds for Fall/Winter Furniture Cleaning? You Bet!

AMAZING
COFFEE GROUNDS FOR YOUR HOME
Bring in the fall season and holidays with versatile coffee and beautify your environment.

Drinking coffee for its healing powers is healing, but did you know that you can use coffee for healing your personal environment, too? Welcome to the world of coffee uses in the home, another perk of the coffee tree.
Before you enter Coffee World, surprise! Coffee grounds are eco-friendly and something to use. God bless nature’s little dark coffee grounds for their multi-purpose uses indoors and outdoors.
INDOORS
Kitchen
Use An Abrasive Cleaner. Use grounds as a scouring agent to tackle any greasy or dirty surface. It also can get rid of pungent odors from pans and your hands.
Go for a Deodorizing Buzz. Dry coffee ground (not soggy used ones) placed on a cookie sheet and put in an open container in your fridge or freezer can be an instant way to help absorb odors. Also, fill a sachet with dried grounds paired with cinnamon sticks and whole cloves and place it in close drawers (baby and pet-proof).


Living Room/Dining Room/Bedroom
Furniture Concealer:  Coffee grounds can do away with smells and unsightly scratches on furniture, too. Steep grounds and apply the dark brew to wood furniture with a cloth. I tried this household treatment on an antique dark chest in my bedroom and it worked. A bonus: Drinking a good cup of premium joe will provide energy to help beautify your leather sofa and rugs. When coffee doesn't to enough no problem! More help comes to the rescue! 

Fireplace Dust Buster: Ever notice that when you clean out the ashes from the fireplace that dust gets in your eyes and nose? You can control the dust by using wet coffee grounds on the cool ashes because they keep the dust down and not in the air. Note to self: Try to see if this method works.
Bathroom
Ant Repellent: Rather than using a chemical spray, try using coffee grounds on the area thirsty ants go to. (Be sure kids, cats and dogs are not around as the natural ant eater does its job.)
HEALTHY COFFEE FENG SHUI TIPS
Welcome your home sweet home to the art of Feng shui—the ancient Chinese art of placement—with a twist of coffee. By putting stuff in the right spots in your kitchen and other rooms it can enhance the flow of positive energy and zap negative vibrations, bringing you good health, happiness—and even fortune.
·        Declutter Your Coffees. If you’re a coffee lover, chances are you’re going to have more than less java beans and gadgets in your home. Rather than stuffing it all in one place, such as your pantry, try storing it in a variety of places just in case of a blackout. You’ll find cans of coffee (these have expiration dates) in my pantry. Plus, they are sealed so I feel safe and secure that my fur kids won’t get into the java. 
·        Clean the Coffee Pot(s) to Coffee Grinder. This is a chore but it’s good chi to have a squeaky clean pot (or two) and grinder. For the pot, use vinegar, water, and lemon (use hot water, let soak). As far as the grinder goes, day by day cleaning will keep you and yours healthy coffee drinkers.
·        Brighten Up with Lighting.  In your kitchen, you’ll want to have neutral of earthy coffee colors, from a tan, light coffee or wood paneling.  Fresh, white curtains will lighten up the room and your energy.
·        Scent It Up. And, of course, the constant aroma of fresh brewed coffee will linger from room to room.
·        Boost Your Mood with Coffee Mugs. Select your favorite coffee mugs and place them together or in a mug holder on the counter. This is inviting for you or coffee.
·        Use Coffee Art. Framed coffee prints can give your kitchen a nice visual effect, especially if they boast Mediterranean colors: red, brown, gold, and blue.
    ·        Hide the Gadgets. Too many coffee makers will give you clutter. So, choose your coffee toys and store the others in cupboards. Recycle these to fit the season and your mood. 
·        Place Coffee Books in Piles. Cookbooks are attractive and show that you like being in the kitchen. Line these up in an appealing way or pile books in stacks. Either way it will give a nice coffee literary feel and will be on hand to inspire you.
A bonus tip: Purchase a coffee calendar. It will keep you up-to-date on seasons and holidays—a great coffee lover’s tool so you can plan meals and coffee accordingly.
Excerpt from The Healing Powers of Coffee (Kensington Books) by Cal Orey. All rights are reserved.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Autumn TEAS and HONEY for Allergies, Colds, Flu

Autumn TEA Home Cures from Your Kitchen


Colds: During the fall and winter months, cold season is at its peak. But, if you are under stress, a cold can pay you a visit year-round, especially if you're traveling. If your immune system is under attack, a cold can be prevented or the severity lessened with tea.
What Tea Rx to Use: Drink one 8-ounce cup of black tea (hot or iced) with or without 1 teaspoon honey two to three times per day while symptoms last.
Why You'll Feel Tea-rrific: Tea researchers believe it's the compound antigen (a molecule capable of inducing an immune response) in black tea that bolsters the body's immune system and may help guard against colds. Known for being rich with antioxidants, tea also contains tannins which may help to stave off viruses like a cold

Coughs: Coping with a cold can be annoying but coughing (either from a cold or allergies) can be pesky and make your throat and chest ache.What Tea Rx to Use: Opt to brew one 12-ounce cup of black or white tea. For an extra throat soother, add 1 teaspoon of local honey (local honey is especially good for allergies!). Repeat as necessary.
Why You'll Feel Tea-rrific:  Tackling a cough takes a bit of sleuth work to discover why you are coughing. If allergens are the issue, for instance, it's time to get an air purifier, vacuum and dust more, and add tea with local honey to your diet repertoire

FluCatching the flu, which can come on suddenly, drags you down and into bed. Viruses come in all forms and can give you anything from a 24-hour bug to a stubborn virus that'll hang on for weeks.
What Tea Rx to Use: Take 2 cups of tea (black, green, or white) and 1 cup of your favorite vitamin C-enhanced herbal tea- such as hibiscus.
Why You'll Feel Tea-rrific: It's no surprise that tea is chock-full of antioxidants--the good guys that can keep your immune system healthy and stave off germs you could encounter. By drinking tea and a vitamin-rich tisane teamed with a nutrient-dense diet, you'll be keeping your immune system strong.


  • Seasonal Affective Disorder:  Feeling down and sluggish with SAD? Seasonal depression is yet is another monster to face in the colder months. I have tackled the symptoms with an arsenal of remedies--and tea is on the list come late fall through early spring.
  • What Tea Rx to Use: Brew 1 cup of green tea. Steep for 3 minutes. Repeat 2 times per day.
    Why You'll Feel Tea-rrific: Green tea has 45 milligrams of caffeine (which can give you a physical and mental burst of energy). But also, green tea contains L-theanine--a compound that enhances brain chemicals including serotonin and that can give you a calming sense of well-being.

      Sore Throat: 
      A sore throat is a telltale sign that a cold or allergies are looming, so rather than run to the pharmacy for medication every time, why not take an alternative route and turn to tea first?
    What Tea Rx to Use:  Dried oolong leaves combined with rose hips or hibiscus can be a perfect pairing. Put 1 teaspoon of tea leaves and 1 teaspoon of the herbal tea of your choice in 1 cup of hot water. Steep for a few minutes, then strain. Add honey to taste.
    Why You'll Feel Tea-rrific:
     Oolong tea may reduce swelling and inflammation, due to flavonoids. Also,local  honey boasts anti-inflammatory benefits and contains pollen to help balance allergies.

    Ginger Lemon Honey Tea
    Ginger and lemon go together like salt and pepper--two of nature's finest superfoods with an immunity booster that can keep you healthy this winter and all year-long.
    2 cups water
    10 thin slices ginger root, fresh
    1 lemon sliced
    3 tablespoons honey
    1/3 cup lemon juice
    Bring water, ginger root, and lemon slices to a boil for 1 or 2 minutes. Remove from heat, steep 10 minutes, strain. Stir in honey and lemon juice. You can also add apple peel, a piece of onion, and one or two tablespoons of chamomile.
    (Courtesy: Gemma Sanita Sciabica)
     Excerpt from The Healing Powers of Tea 2018. All right reserved. Reprinted with permission  from Kensingtonkensingtonbooks.com . 

    Wednesday, October 3, 2018

    Superfoods Casserole for Comfort

    Noodle Casserole for Warm Comfort
    It’s time. Autumn comfort food casseroles can be easy to make, fast to bake, and oh-so good to eat on a rainy day. Welcome to the 20th century Classic Tuna-Noodle Casserole. When I was a kid my mom made this with egg noodles, canned peas, canned tuna, milk, and canned condensed mushroom soup. For a crunch on top it was potato chips. Okay, this dish was a favorite one on a week night but hey, times change.
    Back in the day when I was at daycare (they called it nursery school), the warden dished up canned pea soup and spam sandwiches on white bread. I was the last child at the table and the first one to go on a protest. No way was I going to eat the green goo and nondescript sandwiches with mystery meat. So, I was told to sit at the table until I finished the pea stuff. Hours later I won the food war and didn’t eat the sad lunch.
    Now, if this woman who wasn't kid food friendly or wise would have put peas in a yummy dish like the Classic Tuna-Noodle Casserole she would have won the battle. But in hindsight, live and learn. Welcome to the New Age Tuna-Noodle Casserole. I’m talking healthy food, including whole grain pasta, organic milk, frozen peas, seasoned bread crumbs, real butter, and fresh herbs.


    NEW AGE Tuna-Noodle Casserole
    2 cups organic half and half
    1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    ¼ cup Parmesan or Cheddar cheese, shredded
    2 tablespoons fresh or dried Italian herbs
    2 cups hot cooked whole grain Rotini, drained (colored is nice for fall with the orange, green, off white)
    1 cup green peas, frozen, thawed
    1-2 (3.5 ounce) can albacore tuna, water-packed, drained (I used one can)
    Cheese, pasta and fish are superfoods
    in this New Age book coming
    Dec. 18--ready for pre-orders
    ½ cup panko seasoned bread crumbs
    ½ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
    2 tablespoons European-style butter, melted
    Fresh chives for garnish
    In a saucepan mix half and half, flour, and cheese. Cook until it just comes to a boil. Remove from the stovetop. Pour into a bowl with cooked pasta, peas, and tuna. Add herbs. Put into a 8” by 8” square baking dish. Top with cheese, panko, and drizzle with butter. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes. Take out and top with a mixture of panko cheese, and melted butter. Bake several minutes until golden brown and cheese is melted. Sprinkle with chives. Makes 6-8 servings.

    This casserole re-do is great as is or paired with a kale and spinach salad, whole grain rolls, and fresh fruit, such as grapes for dessert. Is it tastier than green soup? Well, my desire for it hasn’t changed but peas in a casserole work for me and can for you, too. No promises, but the odds are this dish won’t cause any food fasts and more than likely someone will ask for a second helping. Enjoy the comfort of this wholesome casserole with a fresh flair.

    Saturday, September 29, 2018

    TEA Leaf Reading Gone Wrong!

    Tearooms to specialty teas amid the rise of tea trends are growing in popularity within all age groups of people. During one of my trips to British Columbia, I visited Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver for a traditional afternoon tea. I ordered a pot of chamomile tea and the house apricot and current scones. When the tea server clad in a cheongsam arrived to my table, I was intimidated. In hindsight, perhaps a high pour of the teapot (like “A Lot Like Love” film Oliver does for show in the restaurant scene with Chinese flue music playing in the background) would have impressed her. She left the Blue Willow China tea pot at my table. I didn’t know I was supposed to strain the tea.  Oops. 
    Looking down at the wilted leaves in my cup of I sulked: I thought: “How can I drink this? The leaves will get stuck in my teeth.” And, the leaves steeped too long so it was a dark yellow tea. When the server walked past my table, like a child I pointed to the flawed brew. (But at least I didn’t pick up my saucer with the cup.)  She replaced the full tea cup with wilted tea leaves floating like dead goldfish. I felt my face warm up and turn red from embarrassment because I failed tea etiquette. I asked for a doggy bag for the pricey scones, and walked out like a pup with its tail between its legs. I should have laughed at my gaffe, and offered a tea leaf reading. But remember, I am a just a health author, not a tea master.  What did I know?
    Excerpt from The Healing Powers of Tea (Kensington Books, 2018). All rights are reserved.