Sunday, October 4, 2015

Welcome WHAP 1340 Listeners

KIM'S JAMMIN' JELLIES (using ingredients you can pronounce) and

Kimberly K. Comeau, author of the social science fiction novel Moons' Kiss

Thank you for tuning in to WHAP 1340 AM and for your interest in Kim's Jammin' Jellies. My jams and jellies are only available for purchase through the Virginia Hopewell Farmers Market on the following, final Saturdays, October 10th, October 24th, and November 21st, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., and at Richmond's 17th Street Farmers Market on Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Look for the jars with the colorful ribbons and tags, and please say hi to Harold, KJJ's top (and only) salesman. All greetings, comments and feedback are greatly appreciated.

UPDATE: Hopewell Farmers Market is now closed until spring; however, Kim's Jammin' Jellies are still available Sundays at Richmond's 17th Street Farmers Market throughout the holiday season.



Blueberry Apple

Honey Peach

Peach Apple Jam

Blushing Peach Preserves (more peach than cherry)

Cherry Peach Preserves (half cherry, half peach)


Mulberry Jam

Wineberry and Wineberry Apple Jams


(Wonderful served on crackers & cream cheese):

Pepper Jelly (mild)

Strawberry-Jalapeno Jam (hot)


Mint Jelly and Apple Mint Jelly (Lamb)

Orange Thyme (Chicken)

Cranberry Spice Jam (Turkey and Pork)

Pineapple and Pineapple Ginger Preserves (Ham)


Red White & Blue Jam (raspberries, strawberries, apples and blueberries) (INDEPENDENCE DAY)

Amber Jam (orange, lemon & grapefruit marmalade)

Cranberry Spice Jam (available for Thanksgiving and Christmas)

Damson Plum Jam


Apple Butter

Peach Butter


Make Jelly Rolls

Pour over or melt and pour over angel food cakes and bundt cakes

Make Linzer cookies (using shortbread cookies, or peanut butter Linzer-style cookies for PBJ cookies)

For homemade jelly donuts

For homemade banana splits (use two or more jam flavors as toppings for bananas and ice cream)

Strawberry Jam

Apple and Apple Cinnamon Jellies

Concord Grape Jelly

Dutch Apple Pie Jam (apples and raisins with apple pie spices)

Ginger Pear Preserves

Orange Jelly

Peach Jelly

Blackberry Apple Jam

Raspberry Apple

Plum Jam and Preserves

Plum Apple Jam

Prune Conserve (made with delicious, fresh-picked Stanley prune plums)

Blue Strawberry Jam (blueberries & strawberries)

Peach Jam

Spiced Peach

Strawberry Peach

Cherry Peach Preserves [half cherry, half peach)

Blushing Peach Preserves (more peach than cherry)

Razz-a-ma-Straw (Raspberry & Strawberry: “Strawberry with Pizzazz.”)

Apricot and Cherry Apricot

Nectarine Mint Jam

Kiwi Jam

ALL Jams and Jellies ARE:

Made with in-season fruit

Tree, bush and vine-ripened fruits picked fully ripe (for greatest flavor and highest sugar content)

Contain more fruit than sugar (excluding jellies)

Made without commercial pectin whenever possible (uses apples for natural pectin and as natural sweeteners)

Use local honey in No Sugar jams [Buzzing Bee (wildflower) honey]

Apple-fruit combinations contain more fruit than apples; typically, one green and one sweet apple per batch

Sold-out jams aren’t remade until next fruit harvest

Some jams contain a very small amount of butter, added to reduce foaming, so if you’re allergic to dairy/milk, please check the labels for those jams and jellies that are safe for you to eat.

Friday, October 2, 2015

On The Radio

If you're in the greater Hopewell, VA area, tune into WHAP 1340 on the AM radio dial this Sunday, October 4th, from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00. I'll be talking about my social science fiction novel Moons' Kiss, and the jams and jellies I make and sell at the Hopewell Farmers Market. Out-of-town Internet users can listen on

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Tantalizing Tidbits on Tour

Tantalizing Tidbits: 21 Stories to Make You Sigh, Shiver or Blush is on tour. Check out today's blog stop here for a list of stories along with their blurbs, plus an excerpt of "Onyx" by H.D. Smith. To celebrate this new release, I'm offering my full-length, social science fiction novel Moons' Kiss for $2.50 (which is half price) until August 31, 2015. Purchase an e-copy of Moons' Kiss from Smashwords and use the coupon code CF35K at checkout to get this special promotion price. When August ends, so does this special. Also check out Tantalizing Tidbits on Amazon, a steal of a read for $2.99.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

4th Annual Authors in Bloom Blog Hop

Dianne Venetta_AIB Logo_2015

Warm days, cool nights, and a riot of pastel blossoms are the siren’s song that lured me into the yard this past week to dig in the soil and breathe deep of its loamy scent. Freedom from winter’s imprisonment feels wonderful!

My gardening attempts have always been unending experiments to learn what works, what doesn’t. Years ago, my mother introduced me to Louise Riotte’s book, Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening. The idea of grouping plants in a way that would attract beneficial insects which would combat “bad bugs” without the use of pesticides strongly appealed to me, as did the idea of harvesting two crops from the space traditionally allocated to one.

After experimenting with companion planting for several years now, I’ve begun to think of it as homeopathic medicine for the garden: not a fast cure, but something that works over time. Plus, I love the bright spots of color provided by the nasturtiums, tansy and marigolds blooming among my vegetables.

My favorite planting combination so far is strawberries and onions. Both crops thrive, and the onions that don’t get harvested for kitchen use bloom above the groundcover of strawberries, creating unique visual interest.

If you’ve tried companion planting, what is your favorite plant combination? If you’ve never tried companion planting, have you tried some other experimental or controversial gardening technique with good (or mixed) results? Do you have a favorite gardening reference book to share with us? Reply in the comments section below, and be sure to include an email address for entry in the grand prize drawing. The Authors in Bloom grand prize winner receives an e-reader of their choice (up to a $200 value). Second prize is a $25 gift card to an ebook retailer of winner’s choice. To be eligible for the grand prize drawing, visit and comment (include an email address) on each participating blog hop "Authors in Bloom" post. The linky list is located at the bottom of this post.

I’ll be giving away a Kindle version of Louise Riotte’s Carrots Love Tomatoes and an e-copy of my novel Moons’ Kiss to one randomly drawn visitor who comments on this blog post. International visitors are welcome to compete in my blog giveaway.

Good luck, everyone, and happy planting!

They found him in the South Ofrann Desert, where everything evil lived. Most called him a demon. One leader thought this man-without-a-past held the key to tribal peace and prosperity. That leader's enemies saw an opportunity to gain control of the nation.

* * * * *

There had been no explanation for Tackta's rage that day, just as there had been no explanations for prior and subsequent beatings. Manerra could recall vague episodes of disappointment, where Tackta demanded answers to questions Manerra did not understand. But then, he had been a child—a babe!—and lacked the coordination and understanding to please his mother's mate, where even the nature of Tackta's tests were lost beneath the burden of more searing recollections.

Would those who envied him envy him still if they knew the price he had paid for being what he was? Every one of them, including Aya, would be shocked to know how desperately he yearned to avoid succession.

"Please bring forth a shecaren," that plea-whisper broke, backed by the full weight of his desperation. He was running out of time. If a sibling wasn't born at this year's Ingathering, he would lose his chance to abdicate.


Manerra startled and whirled. He had not heard Denassa approach. He had not been aware that he'd stopped walking. His first wonder was whether she'd overheard his plea, but she stood, head bowed, in a deference they rarely used privately. Her formality reminded him of how deeply the janquer were affected by shecaren arguments.

"What does he want from me, Dee?" Manerra bypassed the expected acknowledgment.

Denassa's head lifted.

"Is he afraid I'll challenge his decisions? Or challenge his rule?"

Discomfort overcame her surprise. "He's not confided in me."

He interpreted that as a plea not to compromise her position. "Then tell me what I've missed these last four years. What happened to him?"

"After leaving Kita, we returned to Ayahn Rahh—"

"I know where you went!"

She stopped talking, her frustration evident.

"Dee . . ." he floundered in his search for the one question that would make sense of their arguments. Then suddenly, "Did he want me back?"

Her composure dissolved. "All the years you were gone, he did little more than talk about your return and relate stories of his own tribal years. He planned our arrival in Thurra to coincide with the completion of your training."

Manerra flushed hotly. "Then why can't we talk? Did he have feelings for Hyran he’s never mentioned? Have I failed him?"

Denassa was shocked again. "It's only been a day. Give—"

"No. No, it's not," he cut her short. "We only spoke of it today. Whatever's been wrong has been wrong since Thurra." But because Hyran's death was the obvious answer, Manerra asked, "What, in my father's name, is that thing I risked my life to save?"

"Shecaren . . ." she pleaded as though she could not possibly know any of the answers he wanted. "Is your shoulder broken?"

He blushed. He had tried to hide an injury. "I don't think so."

"May I examine it?"

He choked on a laugh of dismay, but sank to his knees in silent submission. "You could as easily have asked to cut off my leg," he offered as she approached, then flinched when she shifted aside fabric and her fingertips brushed skin.

"I can't examine the bone without touching you," she said.

"I know." And although he steeled himself, her probing fingers wrenched out cries of pain. He sat slumped upon his heels and gasping by the time she was certain his bones weren't broken.

Denassa stroked his temple, then his braids. "I need to look at your hip," she said, "but that can wait until you've taken willow bark tea."

He tilted his head in agreement, needing that relief from pain even though getting it meant returning to the tent. Avoiding Aya even for a day was impossible. Sleeping in the desert would not succeed for long.

"I have not seen a man like the one you brought back," Denassa said. "The founding stories describe the division of the tribes and the existence of the Laytose, and Ringgangley histories explain the creation of the Manteen, but no history describes other Yatren-like men."

"Except demons," he reminded her.

She hesitated before answering, "And the gods."

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

And the Winner Is . . .

Congratulations to Brandi L., who won an e-copy of Moons' Kiss in the Is It Summer Yet? Blog Hop.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Is It Summer Yet? Blog Hop

Ah, summer! After a day of gardening and other outdoor fun, is there anything better than relaxing with a good book in the cool of the evening?

One book I remember reading during a summertime break from school is Andre Norton's Time Traders. What a great introduction to science fiction! Ash, Murdock and their fellow time travelers lit a firestorm in my imagination. The next book to strongly impact me was J.R.R. Tolkein's Lord of The Rings.

What book has set your imagination ablaze? Answer in the comment section below for a chance to win an e-copy of my social science fiction novel Moons' Kiss. My contest is open to U.S. and international visitors. Please include an email address so I can notify the winner. For chances to win additional prizes, here's a link to other Is It Summer Yet? Blog Hop participants. Good luck, and don't forget to challenge yourself to try something new this summer . . . even if it's only sampling a genre you've never read before. Who knows what treasure you'll find?

They found him in the South Ofrann Desert, where everything evil lived. Most called him a demon. One leader thought this man-without-a-past held the key to tribal peace and prosperity. That leader’s enemies saw an opportunity to gain control of the nation.

* * * *

When Kayarra's attention returned to the moon dancers, Ryna had extinguished her globe and was circling Trys, sweeping her darkened globe past his, taking Trys through the lunar phases: waning, eclipsed, waxing, full. Twice she circled him, then both dancers turned toward Aya, knelt, and placed their globes on the stone in front of him. Their cloth-covered heads dipped in grave nods, then they sidled sideways, slipped over the edge of the dais, down the stairs, and disappeared among the crowd.

Drum rolls started and the crowd roared, drowning out the flutes and even the drummers for a time. When Kayarra could hear the flutes again, they played a livelier tune, having quit Yatra's heavy, sorrowful music.

"We're free to go or stay," Denassa shouted into Kayarra's ear.

"You leave?" he shouted back.


"I wait," he told her and stopped trying to talk above the crowd's jubilant shouts.

Denassa dipped her finger into one of the marble cups and sucked the liquid from her fingertip. Kayarra did the same before he remembered that she'd told him to eat before taking any of the amber liquid. He reached for another slice of fruit.

Even the little bit he'd taken on his finger coated his tongue and mouth in an unpleasant way. When the fruit didn't cut through the coating, he signaled for water. Denassa reached for a distant bowl, passed it to him, and smiled.

"What is?" He pointed to the marble cup.

Her reply was incomprehensible.

He had meant his question to elicit an explanation, as if he'd asked, What does it do? But that's not what he'd asked, and Denassa had answered literally, and he wasn't willing to continue a conversation that made him feel like they argued.

Several women among the crowd had raised their hands above their heads, and nearby men circled them, thrusting their hips forward. Kayarra watched until his arousal became uncomfortable, then looked toward the shecarens. What he could see of Aya's face was a fleeting profile when the shon regis leaned close to speak to Manerra.

"I leave," Denassa yelled, gave veneration neither shecaren noticed, then thrust her legs over the edge of the dais and started down the stairs in a crouch. Kayarra followed. From the corner of his eye, he saw Shurna touch Aya's shoulder.

Kayarra felt exposed on the stairs; felt safer after they entered the gyrating crowd, although he looked over his shoulder to see whether any of the men from the trail ambush followed.

A bowl was shoved under his chin, and a woman's finger dipped into the amber liquid. He followed the finger back to her mouth, and watched her lips purse as she slowly withdrew the finger. She laughed when he flinched back, then laughed harder when someone's hand passed over his groin. He knocked the hand away and lunged after Denassa, his face burning, his anger sparked.

Just as he reached her, Denassa whirled and collided face-to-chest with him. He grabbed her shoulders as she rebounded.

"We must not separate," she gasped breathlessly, caught his hand, and held tightly until they broke free of the pressing crowd. When she tried to release his hand, he held onto it, craving the warmth and familiarity of her touch.

Denassa whirled, yanked free, and took hasty steps backward.

"Dee?" He halted and watched the distance between them increase.

She turned and walked hastily away. He followed because he didn't have a choice.

"Is hand touch bad?" he shouted after her when her pace slowed. He caught up with her when she stopped walking. "I am sorry, Denassa."

"What you did followed the moons' dance."

He knew she wasn't saying that because she thought him too stupid to understand what he'd seen. "I not understand."

"The moons bring the shecarens," she said, avoiding his eyes.

"Denassa, I not Yatren."

She gasped and looked over her shoulder. Too late, he realized his mistake in saying that where he could be overheard. Denassa started walking again, her attention on the ground. "When the moons join, we are given a shecaren," she said. "Men can only duplicate that event with the birth of a child. Will you tell me that you did not feel the power in the dance and the effects of the itenyan?"

The amber syrup. An aphrodisiac? He felt as violated as he had when that hand fell upon his crotch. "I not love you. I not sex you. Why iten--" his pronunciation fell apart in his anger. He started past her, angry at what felt like trickery, angry at all the things he didn't understand.

"It's tradition that we participate," Denassa called after him, following him, because she didn't have a choice in what she did, either.

He stopped and turned. "How--" Distress shredded what vocabulary he had, brought him face-to-face with a concept he had no way to express. How do you cope? he wanted to demand, when the question was better asked of Aya. "I want you," he confessed what she could see by looking at him. "I love you."

"Please stop," she begged.

"Touch me." He held out his hand in entreaty.

She turned and started away.

He followed, careful to keep an arm's length of distance between them. "I not say love because I drink drink," he informed her.

They entered the grove of trees that separated the plaza from the orchard. Intertwining branches cast shadows across her face.

"Tell me you have no wife, no children," she demanded.

"You know I not know," he said. "You say I love you. You now hatred me?"

She stopped and turned. He stopped walking. "There are too many things we don't know, too many things I do know. None of them have anything to do with hatred. That I love you only confuses me."

His heart pounded.

"I know what Aya and Yutrenta suffer," she said.

He took a step toward her. She retreated. "I need to look upon Yutrenta," she said.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Authors in Bloom

Spring is all about the enjoyment of early flowers, returning birds and painted Easter eggs. So whether you're baking Easter goodies or scrambling morning eggs, don't forget to save those eggshells! Eggshells are rich in calcium, and calcium is considered one of the secrets to successful gardening.

How many crushed eggshells do you add to the soil? A gardening friend says she adds about twelve eggshells to the bottom of every tomato planting hole and has never had a problem with blossom end rot. I crushed twelve eggshells using a mort and pestle, measured the resulting coarse powder, and learned that 1/3 cup of crushed eggshells equals 12 eggs. Don’t have a mort and pestle? A plastic container and a smooth rock works just as well. I collect eggshells all winter long so I have plenty for springtime planting.

To thwart lettuce-eating slugs and snails, encircle plants with a ring of crushed eggshells. The slimy villains don’t like the shells’ sharp edges and won’t slither across the barrier.

As an added bonus, worms like eggshells, so eggshell-enriched garden soil may help attract and keep a healthy worm population. Calcium-rich worm castings. That sounds like a win-win situation!

Speaking of winning . . . U.S. residents who comment on every participant's blog will be entered into the grand prize drawing for a Kindle or Nook e-reader and a $25 gift card. Be sure to include an email address in your comment so we can contact the winners.

U.S. and international visitors who enter my rafflecopter drawing have a chance to win one of three electronic copies of my social science fiction novel, Moons’ Kiss. To make it fun, tell us which state or country you hail from.

They found him in the South Ofrann Desert, where everything evil lived. Most called him a demon. One leader thought this man-without-a-past held the key to tribal peace and prosperity. That leader’s enemies saw an opportunity to gain control of the nation.

* * * *

“Ms. Comeau's tale slowly drew me in and by the end I found myself comparing it to another sci-fi book, Stranger In A Strange Land by a master of the genre, Robert Heinlein." --Tavin Gamache, The Indie Bookshelf

“I won't give away any spoilers as that would ruin the joy of reading this story, but I can say that from the tender moments of unfulfilled love to riots that threatened to topple a city, this book grips the reader and just doesn't let go.” —Tarah Scott, Historical Romance Author

“I do not know what I enjoyed more the plot with the challenges the characters had to face or the wonderful ending.” —

“The twist in the ending leaves you thinking about the story long after you have finished the book. This is definitely going to be a book I will remember.” --Misty Rios

a Rafflecopter giveaway