Monday, July 11, 2011

Contests, Tours, and a Recipe

First I want to remind everyone about the Free Author Website Contest running until July 29th. See above for details and how to enter.

Also, there is still time to enter the Goodreads Giveaway for Wined and Died. The link to enter is in the right sidebar.

In the next few weeks there will be a few changes blogging-wise, as I’m guesting around the web on my blog mini-tour for Wined and Died. The schedule is intentionally scattered throughout the month, and I’ll either post here or elsewhere, but not both. Because, really – how much do you really need to hear from me? ; )

Here’s the schedule so far, but I seem to keep adding stops …

July 8: Thoughts in Progress

July 12: Terry's Place

July 13: Mystery Lover's Kitchen

July 14: Patricia Stoltey's Blog

July 16: Dot Dead Diary

July 20: Mystery Writing is Murder

July 29: Killer Crafts and Crafty Killers

You can find updates to the above as well as a list of where I’ll be talking and signing in Colorado and Washington state on the News and Events page of my website.


And last but definitely not least, it’s mosquito season again. After trying every gadget and goo I finally figured out last year that the best way to beat the little suckers is a fan. They don’t deal well with any wind over six miles an hour. Which is fine sitting on the patio or porch, but sometimes you’re moving around, and a fan just isn’t practical.

So recently I made up a batch of my homemade mosquito repellent, and thought I’d reshare the recipe with you.

There are quite a few essential oils that drive mosquitoes away.

  • lemongrass
  • eucalyptus
  • citronella (of course)
  • cinnamon
  • clove
  • basil
  • cedarwood
  • rosemary

To make a spray, add 2 teaspoons of any of the above, or a combination, to a cup of vodka. The alcohol dissolves the oil, allowing it to disperse in the solution. Then it quickly evaporates from your skin. Put in a spray bottle and apply at will.

Other good repellents are neem oil and castor oil.

The spray works for some, but I need something stronger. My solution is an oil applied directly to the skin, rather than a spray. Combine:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of essential oils (clove and cinnamon are my favorites -- use what you like, but if you haven't use an oil before, test a drop diluted with carrier oil on your skin)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons neem oil
  • 1/ 1/2 teaspoons castor oil
  • with 1 cup of jojoba oil (you could use another, less expensive oil -- even a very light olive oil)

and apply liberally to skin as needed.