Pull back the curtain and see how a suspense writer puts the thrills and chills together.


Last month, two amazing women nominated me for two different blogging awards. I’m sorry to say I’m just getting around to my part of the deal now.

Kellie from Princess & The Yard Ape kindly chose me for the Liebster Award, which celebrates blogs that deserve a larger audience. Kellie blogs about wine (she’s a Sommelier), gardening, and thrifting.

Chrys Fey from Write with Fey gave me the Creative Blogger Award, which speaks for itself. Chrys blogs about writing, sharing a ton of information for authors of all genres.

Both of these awards require me to answer some interesting questions and introduce you to more awesome bloggers.

First, Kellie asked:

1.  If you could snap your fingers, and without risk of failure do anything in the world what would it be?

I would drive again. I miss it. I haven’t driven in years.

2.  What side of the bed do you sleep on?

The left.

3.  The thing about blogging that turns you on/ makes you happy?

Meeting new people and seeing the posts I write inspire spirited conversations or debates. I want my blog to be a community in the true sense of the word.

4.  Blogger who’s influenced you the most?

Many bloggers have inspired me, but I had to forge my own path. That said, I love Molly Wizenberg’s blog Orangette. Molly has such a lovely way of describing things. I’ve been reading her blog for years.

5.  If you could share a glass of wine with anyone whom would it be?

My boyfriend Chris. He likes wine a lot better than I do. Unless the wine in question is Moscato–then he’d better get out of my way.

6.  Best meal you’ve ever eaten?

I’ve had so many great meals, especially during the month I spent in China. It’s hard to beat jianbing, a traditional Chinese street food that is basically the most delicious omelet wrapped in a crepe with sauce and crunchy bits on top. It’s made while you wait, and it’s insanely delicious.

7.  Are you a morning person?

Hells no. I’m a true night owl. My mother recently told me that even when I was an infant, I didn’t want to sleep at night.

8.  When do you get your best work done?

Whenever I stop procrastinating. 

9.  Introvert?  or Extrovert?

I’m an extrovert, but I’m not obnoxious about it. And I do need time to myself–just not too much.

10. Yes?  or No?  (just have fun with this, write the first thing that pops in to your head)

Yes? Not sure I understand the question.

11.  Have you ever won anything before?

I’ve won two of author Joanne Fluke’s reader contests. I named one of her recipes (Berried Treasure Bars) and came up with new mischief for her protagonist’s pet cat to get into.

Chrys has asked me to share five facts about myself.

1. I share my bed with my boyfriend, three cats, and a giant stuffed crab cushion we call Phineas. He’s a souvenir from our trip to Maui, in a roundabout way.

2. I haven’t seen dead people, but I’ve heard them–more than once.

3. I’ve had a sushi roll named after me. The Holli-Whoot. It has cranberries, shrimp, and goat cheese, among other things. It’s very tasty. 🙂



4. My first ever published article was about the racism experienced by university students. I got so emotionally involved with that story that it made me physically ill.

5. My greatest fear is that I will lose my sight.

Now, last but not least, I’m supposed to tag about a gazillion blogs. To be honest, I’ve had no luck with these things. People have the best of intentions, but something usually goes wrong. So I’ll just tag four amazing blogs that I love, in no particular order, in the hopes of introducing you to someone new. (Kellie and Chrys would be on this list if I hadn’t already tagged them.)

  • Roland Yeomans: I only recently discovered Roland’s blog, but so far I love it. His posts are always insightful and unique.
  • Annie’s Eats: Food porn. Need I say more?
  • Yes and Yes: Sarah of Yes and Yes writes about travel, running a successful business, and pretty much everything else you can think of. Her true-story interviews are a personal favourite.
  • Mommy’s Abroad: My friend Niki’s always fascinating tales of her expat adventures in China. If she doesn’t make you laugh, you’re a stone.

There are a ton of wonderful bloggers I’ve met through the A to Z Challenge and the Insecure Writers’ Support Group, but since we all seem to travel in common circles, I tried my best to choose bloggers you may not have heard of. But I think you’re all amazing!

Thanks so much to Kellie and Chrys for these awards, and for their patience.

What are some of your favourite blogs? What’s the best meal you’ve ever had? Please share an interesting fact about yourself!

1 part newsletter, 1 part unnerving updates,
2 parts sneak peeks of new projects.


  1. Alex J. Cavanaugh

    You have sushi named after you? Now that is really cool.

    • JH

      Thanks, Alex! It’s my one claim to fame. 🙂

  2. Nicole

    Oh my! Thanks for tagging me! I’ll get on it..soon…soon. I must hear more about phineas!

    • JH

      He’s awesome, even though he can get…er, crabby from time to time. We couldn’t leave him behind.

      And no problem! I always enjoy your blog, even when it’s about parenting stuff. 🙂

  3. Javier

    Nice post! I can attest that the Holli-Woot roll is delicious (in its vegetarian form), and also that you are NOT a morning person, ha ha ha. Good thing you don’t need to show up in an office by 8:30 anymore.

    Take care,

    • JH

      Instead I have a contract where I have to start work at 7:30 each morning. I must be crazy.

      Thanks for commenting, Javier! Always good to hear from you.

    • JH

      It is a rare accomplishment. 😉 Thanks for the kind words, Anna.

  4. Madeline Mora-Summonte

    I’m definitely more of a morning person, but I’m open to writing more at night, see if that gets creative juices flowing.

    There’s no way I can declare a winner in the most delicious meal category but I will say I loved everything I ate and drank when in Italy many years ago. 🙂

    • JH

      Italy! I’m so jealous. That’s in the top five of my bucket list. Really hoping to get there in the next two years. I imagine the food was beyond belief.

      I have high hopes for Greece too.

      I also prefer writing at night, but I find whatever I do first thing sets the tone for the day. So there’s that.

  5. Chrys Fey

    I went to an awesome sushi place last week. I am still fantasizing about the roll I had. lol I remember you telling me that you have sushi named after you. I would love to try the Holli-Whoot! Roll. 🙂

    Congrats on your awards!

    • JH

      Thanks so much, Chrys, and thanks for giving me the award! What was in the fantasy roll?

      Unfortunately, the Holli-Whoot Roll was a limited special, but I’m thinking of starting a grassroots movement to bring it back. 😉

  6. Heather M. Gardner

    Congrats on the awards! I love learning more about my favorite bloggers! That Chinese street food does sound delicious and even that sushi sounds pretty good!
    Thanks for sharing with us.


    • JH

      Aw, thanks Heather! I’m touched to know that I’m one of your favourites.

      Real, authentic Chinese food is absolutely incredible. I could easily be a vegetarian in China. They have a way with vegetables that is beyond belief.

      And the sushi was awesome. I’m not even saying that cuz I’m biased.

  7. djinnia

    oh i am sooooo jealous about the joanne fluke one! i love her books! that is amazing! moishe is one of my favorite characters in the book.

    • JH

      Really? That’s so cool! Most people I talk to haven’t heard of her. She even sent me an orange stuffed cat that was supposed to look like Moishe.

      If you read the book where Moishe uses the treadmill, that was my contribution. My cat Samba loves walking on it. 🙂

      • Djinnia

        Omg! That made me die laughing! It was devil food murder, I think. Or blackberry pie. It’s been a while since i read the series. I’m rereading them right now.

        That is cute. I end up putting legit doggie antics in my stories. They are so hilarious creatures. Cats too, but my moms allergic so i only see my friend’s cats.

        • JH

          Blackberry pie, I think. My name is in the acknowledgements. Spelt wrong, but still there! 🙂

  8. Roland Yeomans

    I am new to your blog as well … why can’t you drive? (if it is not too personal).

    I am like a child: when I am up, I want to stay up. When I am asleep, I want to stay in bed! It is the human condition I believe: we don’t want to leave the current condition we’re in. Perhaps life is like that: we do not want to die, not knowing the wonders that lay beyond that threshold. 🙂

    Thanks for tagging me! I know Chrys and will visit Kellie.

    I agree with Kellie: your blog certainly deserves more visitors!

    • JH

      Hi Roland! Not too personal at all.

      I didn’t bring my car when I moved here for college, and my first job was freelancing from home, in an area that wasn’t car friendly. (No places to park, etc.) After doing that job for years, it got easier and easier not to have a car. There was always a reason–first there was debt to pay off, and now we’re saving everything to move to an island next year. It just hasn’t been a priority.

      That said, I still have a driver’s license and I’m capable of driving. Years of not doing it have made me a nervous driver, especially in the city. I don’t understand a lot of the rules of the road here. I’d take lessons again, but without a car, there’s not much point.

      Thanks for the kind words! You can choose whichever award, if any, you like.

  9. Kellie

    Wow, JH I learned so much about you. I absolutely am jealous of the community you’ve built! Such great interaction, you truly have a talent and a special group of commentators.
    I love how you described all the food (I’m starving, right now!).
    The only thing that kind of surprised me was that you are an extrovert, for some reason I ‘pictured’ you as mysterious and hiding away in a coffee shop coming up with all these sinister stories. ha,ha.
    I looked for your book today at my library and it wasn’t there – I’m going to have to order it because it’s my one goal for my vacation in August. I can’t remember the last time I read a book… sad eh?

    • JH

      I am happy to be your summer book! It’s an ebook, which might be why you couldn’t find it, but I hear a lot of libraries are getting better at offering them.

      Yep, I’m an extrovert. I’m an extremely social person, which is one of the hardest things about working at home sometimes, but then again, I hate office politics. You win some, you lose some.

      However, I’m not a loud, party-dominating person, so when people don’t know me, they think I’m quiet. They soon find otherwise!

      Thanks so much for the award and the kind words! I’m thrilled to hear you think I have built a community here. It’s what I’ve always wanted, and have worked towards for years.

  10. Birgit

    If you knew Sushi as I know sushi, Oh Oh Oh what a meal! Sorry I couldn’t help myself and that is a great complement to have one named after you. My first gut instinct is to say “No”-hahahaaa . I won’t say no to a million dollars but I would ask, “What’s the catch?” Nice to learn a little about you and I too, have heard things in my own home but never seen anything, except when my pills reappeared in the closed bottle-that was weird

    • JH

      Thanks, Birgit! That would be weird. Perhaps your ghost was a pharmacist in life?

  11. C. Lee McKenzie

    I’m catching up after being gone in June, so this was a good post read because now I know much more about you. Left side of bed. Night owl. Famous in the foodie world. I’m making notes.

    • JH

      Welcome back, Lee! I definitely missed you.

      I only wish I was famous in the foodie world!

      • C. Lee McKenzie

        If you’re not now, you will be! Famous, that is.


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