Posts made in May, 2015

Sunday Quote is at Phoenix Comicon

Posted by on May 31, 2015 in Blog, Quote | Comments Off on Sunday Quote is at Phoenix Comicon

“As for “Write what you know,” I was regularly told this as a beginner. I think it’s a very good rule and have always obeyed it. I write about imaginary countries, alien societies on other planets, dragons, wizards, the Napa Valley in 22002. I know these things. I know them better than anybody else possibly could, so it’s my duty to testify about them.”
~ Ursula Le Guin

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B is for Broken

Posted by on May 29, 2015 in anthology:story, Blog | Comments Off on B is for Broken

You might remember that last year I was part of the A is for Apocalypse anthology. The Alphabet series continues with B is for Broken, out this week!

B is for Broken

Broken people, broken promises, broken dreams and broken objects are just some of the ways these 26 fantastic stories interpret the theme of ‘Broken’. From science fiction to fantasy, horror to superheroes the stories within these pages cover a vast swath of the genres under the speculative fiction umbrella.

Featuring original fiction by:

~ Brittany Warman ~ Milo James Fowler ~ C.S. MacCath ~ Sara Cleto ~ Samantha Kymmell-Harvey ~ Megan Arkenberg ~ Gary B. Phillips ~ Alexandra Seidel ~ Jonathan C. Parrish ~ Simon Kewin ~ Beth Cato ~ Cory Cone ~ Cindy James ~ Alexis A. Hunter ~ Michael M. Jones ~ Steve Bornstein ~ BD Wilson ~ Michael Kellar ~ Damien Angelica Walters ~ Marge Simon ~ Michael Fosburg ~ Suzanne van Rooyen ~ L.S. Johnson ~ Pete Aldin ~ Gabrielle Harbowy ~ Lilah Wild ~ KV Taylor ~

Excerpt from K is for…
by Beth Cato

The man on the rock looks up at us. His face so sad, emotion sharp, like a slap to the face. Tommy grunted like it hit him, too.

“Tommy Smith. George Blackworth.” He says my name and I feel it in my bones, like my mother, God rest her, yelling out the back door.

“Who’re you?” I ask.

“Who am I?” He stares at his hands. “A king without a queen, proof that the undying are not immortal.”


You can buy the book in most electronic formats and in paper:
Amazon (paperback and kindle)
Barnes & Noble

Add it to your shelf on Goodreads.

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Bready or Not: Mint Chocolate Chip Bars

Posted by on May 27, 2015 in Blog, Bready or Not, brownies, chocolate, mint | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Mint Chocolate Chip Bars

These super-easy bars are packed with chocolate and minty goodness.

Mint Choc Chip Bars

My husband’s favorite flavors include snickerdoodle, lemon, and chocolate mint. I figured I was overdue to revisit that last flavor.

Mint Choc Chip Bars

I had a bag of dark chocolate and mint chips I picked up on holiday clearance. Therefore, I used that whole bag to account for the 1 cup of dark chocolate and 1 cup of mint chips. You could easily do this with chocolate from separate bags or even use more York Patties to substitute for the mint chips.

Mint Choc Chip Bars

The basic fact is, you want a variety of dark chocolate and mint chocolate, and there are a lot of paths to achieve that. I do like the mix I used here–it’s pretty!

Not only is it photogenic, but it’s pretty darn tasty, too.

Mint Choc Chip Bars

Modified from Chocolate Chips Bars at Roxana’s Home Baking.

Bready or Not: Mint Chocolate Chip Bars

Bars loaded with minty goodness!
Course: Dessert
Keyword: bars, chocolate, mint
Author: Beth Cato


Chocolate Layer:

  • 2 cups chocolate chips semi-sweet or milk or mixed
  • 14 ounce sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract

Cookie Dough:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups mint chocolate chips


  • Prepare the mint chocolate filling first: Place semi-sweet and/or milk chocolate chips and condensed milk in a small saucepan. Heat on low, stirring often, until everything has melted and the mix has thickened. Remove it from the burner and pour in the peppermint extract and stir. Let the pot cool until it's about room temperature.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prep a 9x13-inch pan with parchment paper (the combination aluminum foil/parchment paper works well here) and lightly butter or use nonstick spray. Have paper overhang the sides for easy lifting later.
  • Prepare the cookie dough: Place the butter and sugars in a large bowl. Mix until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix with the butter mixture. Add mint chocolate chips last.
  • Place about half the cookie dough in the prepared pan. It will be sticky, but drop it in dollops and smooth it to the edge as best you can. With a solid layer on the bottom, now dollop the cooled chocolate from the saucepan. Use an offset spatula to smooth it to the edges. Plop the rest of the cookie dough on top and don't worry if some chocolate shows through. The dough will ooze out and even as it bakes.
  • Bake until lightly browned, about 20 to 25 minutes. Set aside to cool for a few hours, then place in fridge to completely set. Cut into bars. Store in sealed container in fridge or on counter.


    Mint Choc Chip Bars

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    Tips for Phoenix Comicon

    Posted by on May 26, 2015 in Blog, public speaking | Comments Off on Tips for Phoenix Comicon

    Phoenix Comicon kicks off this Thursday and goes through Sunday. I’ll be attending every day; my panels and signings are listed online.

    I’ve attended Phoenix Comicon for four years. The first two years, I was just another fan in the crowd. Last year I sat on panels for the first time (for the first time ever), though my book wasn’t out yet. This time, I am doing All the Things since The Clockwork Dagger is out. The Clockwork Crown will even on sale early at the Poisoned Pen event and at Mysterious Galaxy inside Phoenix Comicon!

    [Last year: Me and Rachel, all dressed up and ready for heat strokes!]

    [Last year: Me and Rachel, all dressed up and ready for heat strokes!]

    My point is, I’ve experienced the con from all sides. Here’s the scoop on the good, the bad, and the annoying at an otherwise all-star awesome event:

    Saturday has the most going on, but it’s also the busiest. Introverts beware.
    30,000+ people on Saturday. Imagine most of them trying to get to the basement exhibition hall, all at once. Yeah. It can be a 30 minute trek just to get down the stairs/escalators, and that’s in an intimate pack of costumed humanity, and then it’s hard to even look at the goodies for sale because it’s so busy.

    If crowds get to you, go on Friday or Sunday. It’s still very busy, but it’s not quite as bad. Also, if you need alone space, going upstairs from the main level is a much quieter place. I speak from experience. My second year at the con, as just an attending fan, I had a panic attack and required about a 30 minute walk outside to calm down and face the cacophony again.

    Phone, internet, and messaging services are not reliable.
    Last I heard, the convention center was working to improve this, but this must be mentioned as a precaution: service in past years has been BAD. Anywhere around the center was unreliable, but going downstairs to the exhibition hall meant entering an internet dead zone. A few years ago, this caused headaches for me as I kept messaging a friend to meet-up and didn’t know our messages kept failing. Vendors had huge problems if they used things like Square. Last year, I switched my phone to airplane mode most of the time so the battery wouldn’t suck dry in the search for a connection.

    I really, really hope this isn’t as much an issue this year, but be prepared. If you’re splitting up from friends, arrange a time and location to meet. You know, like days of yore, before cell phones.

    taco guild - from left, chicken, lamb, duck

    [Taco Guild – from left, chicken, lamb, duck]

    As River famously pointed out in Firefly, food is problematic.
    It’s a convention center. It’s not fine dining. Expect meh food that’s expensive and requires a long wait in line. The one bright spot in past years has been the frozen yogurt stand, but even that has had long lines (with melting yogurt), and the toppings are pretty well pillaged by afternoon.

    Bring snacks and a water bottle to continually fill. Heck, pack a lunch box. If you want to eat out, do some research. I use Yelp to look at menus and bookmark promising places. I have only been to a few places within walking distance, but I really liked La Piazza last year. Great salad and pizza. It’s a few blocks west of the con. Some of the best dining in the whole country is just a block away–namely, Pizzeria Bianco and Nobuo at Teeter House, though I haven’t tried them for myself. Someday…!

    grilled romaine

    [Taco Guild’s amazing grilled romaine salad]

    I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the wondrous Taco Guild. It has the best tacos, frozen margaritas, AND best grilled romaine salads I’ve had in my life. It is a few miles north, but it’s well worth the drive if you want something that is quintessentially Phoenix.

    Speaking of walking or trekking outside…

    It’s hot outside. Phoenix is NOT cosplay friendly if you wear layers.
    This is where I was stupid last year. I consider myself pretty well adapted to heat, but that heat is a whole lot worse when you’re in insulated boots, a long and tiered skirt, and a corset all day long. Plus, my steampunk costumes made using the bathroom very awkward (petticoats are EVIL), so I didn’t drink enough water. Even if you’re indoors most of the time, your body will be taxed because of the extreme heat. Drink fluids constantly. Be aware of how your body is responding to your environment. Give yourself permission to NOT be in cosplay all day long, every day.

    This year, I will have a hotel room close by. I plan to wear more casual, geeky attire most of the time. I’ll save my steampunk gear for an evening or two.

    Those panel rooms are set to Freeze Your Tushy Off.
    Here’s the bizarre contrast to the blazes furnaces of hell just outside the building. The panel rooms are smaller and the air conditioning blows right down on the audience. If you’re sensitive to cold, you might want to bring a light cardigan. Author Gini Koch is easily recognizable at conventions because she brings bright pink ear muffs to combat the chilly rooms. She’s a smart lady.

    I hope that a few people find this advice helpful. Phoenix Comicon is a wonderful event, run by passionate fans. There’s a reason why I keep going back every year, and why it’s become such a draw for authors from all over the world. Be prepared, take care of yourself, and geek out!

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    Posted by on May 25, 2015 in Blog, others books, public speaking | 1 comment

    The Clockwork Crown by Beth CatoOn Wednesday, eleven seventeen authors unite to sign books and generally goof off in advance of Phoenix Comicon. The big event happens at The Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona at 7pm. The Clockwork Crown will be on sale for the first time! Check out the full line-up in snazzy alphabetical order:

    Stephen Blackmoore
    Beth Cato
    Wes Chu
    Myke Cole
    Delilah S. Dawson
    Kevin Hearne
    Jason Hough
    Richard Kadrey
    Michael Martinez
    Brian McClellan
    Naomi Novik
    Andrea Phillips
    Cherie Priest
    Brian Staveley
    Sam Sykes
    Chuck Wendig
    Django Wexler

    If you’re not able to come, fear not! (Or maybe you should fear?) You can order books through Poisoned Pen and have them autographed and shipped to you!

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