A new project

Published 12:22 pm Wednesday, April 6, 2022

I am currently working on a new project. In fact, I have more than five projects going and by projects I mean books. I have over 40 books published and when I finish one I immediately begin a follow up book then suddenly I am hit with new inspirations, and then more inspirations. The next thing I know I have five books started ranging from 1,000 words to 10,000. And then I get the fire when one book captures my attention. Sometimes it could be a character or I suddenly get inspired to finish a series (of which I have many going), but then I was watching one of my favorite movies the other day and suddenly I was struck with a bolt of electricity of an idea. I have a series titled Noir. The first one is mainly about a police detective named Jack Manson, the second about a private investigator. This series is called Detroit Noir, and in this series I have a villain I created way back (this sounds funny to say) in the 1990s. The villain’s name is Mannford Van Johnson and he is a crime lord of sorts. What makes him unique is he was first a street thug. A homeless boy that along with his brother was raised by a blind African American preacher. In the Noir books, Manny, as he is called, sits on top. He owns the mob, and everyone answers to him. Politicians, police officers, and other mobsters. He even owns newspaper outlets. He is not above street brawling if it gets his point across, and in his down time he climbs into a boxing ring with a clutched cigar between his teeth and dukes it out with the toughest Detroit has to offer. He is also a man of refinement. He loves the opera, fine wines and lacquers, and he is never seen without his expensive tuxedos, which he swore if he could get off the streets and make it big he would wear it to work in every day.
In the Noir books he has to share the spotlight with detective Jack Manson, the vigilante Brandon Addington, and many others. But I decided that the character is so unique that his father was of Dutch descent and his mother was from Italy. Being that he was not of full Italian descent means he could never be a “Made Man” inside the mob so he made himself the boss and with fearless tenacity he became the top crime lord in Detroit. I thought more of his story should be told so I began the project and am loving every second of “Manny.” I know I have made myself seem like a procrastinator, however, in reality in only two months this will be my third book that will be produced into audio-book format and so far it is shaping up to be my most favorite work to date. Of course I would be remised if I did not include my wonderful Girl Lori. She will sit and listen to me enthusiastically go on and on about my book and whether she feels like listening or not she always has a word of encouragement and feeds my enthusiasm with some of her own. This alone is a new experience for me. So If you get the chance please check out some of the Noir books and get to know these interesting if not a little odd characters.

The Love of Pasta Salad
Lorie Ann McReynolds
The first time I tried this pasta salad was at my in-laws at Christmas time some 20 years ago. My sister-in-law made it and I thought it was the best pasta salad I had ever tasted. It wasn’t your ordinary pasta salad. It was creamy with a sweet taste to it. It also had green peppers and shredded carrots. I had to have the recipe. I started making it for my side of the family when we would get together and it was loved by them as well. Over the years, I took over making it for all holidays for both sides of the family.

When I first started working at the orthopedic office, we had a luncheon where everyone brought a dish to share. I decided to make my beloved pasta salad. Little did I know that my coworkers would love it so much that I would be asked to make it ALL the time. They requested it at every luncheon we had from then on. It almost became a chore to make it. I made it so much that I knew the recipe by heart. I believe one of the reasons I disliked making it was having to shred the carrots. However, I have found carrots already shredded so now it isn’t so bad — but don’t tell my coworkers. At one point, I even gave out the recipe but they accused me of leaving something out of it because they said there’s never tasted as good as mine. So, now whenever there is a luncheon at work, I never have to think of anything to bring. My name is already written down along with the words “Pasta Salad.” When I see that, I always complain and say to them “you know, I can make other dishes.” And their replies are always, “we know, but we want pasta salad.” Actually, I have to admit, I do enjoy the fuss they make over the pasta salad. The almost “notoriety” it gives me. The love I feel from my coworkers. Sometimes I wonder if it is love for me or just the pasta salad. Anyway, I will continue to make it for them for as long as they request it. And I will continue to complain about it. But deep down, it actually makes me feel good that they love it so much.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Pasta Salad
1 lb. Rotini pasta
2 cups of Mayo (I use Kraft)
1 cup of white sugar
1 can of sweetened condensed milk (I use fat free for creamier sauce)
1/2 cup white vinegar
2-3 carrots shredded or a couple handfuls of already shredded carrots
1 green pepper, diced
Boil pasta and drain. While pasta is cooking, mix the first 4 ingredients together. Add pasta and then carrots and green pepper. It is better if you make it the night before you plan on serving it. Stir well before serving.

Please enjoy one free audio review copy of Marla McDonnell: Clean Slate (Chicago Noir Book 1), now available on Audible. Redeem the one-time use code below at https://www.audible.com/acx-promo