Pumpkin, Shmumpkin. I’m all about Maple!

Pumpkin, Shmumpkin. I’m all about Maple!

Hello, Spicy people! T’is the season. No, not the one for Frosty and Rudolph. We still have time before the world explodes into red, green, blue and white fairy lights.

Nope, I’m talking about pumpkin season. More accurately, pumpkin spice season. You know what I’m talking about. Everyone from Tim Horton’s to Dunkin’ Donuts to Febreze has seized upon this faux fall notion that everything, and I do mean everything, has to bear the flavour or scent of of some imaginary grandma’s pumpkin pie.

I love pumpkin pie, but I don’t want it in my latte.

Besides, I would argue another flavour is far more deserving of our adulation, and warms the cockles of my taste buds far more than pumpkin.

Maple.

Mr. X and I recently returned from Canada, arguably the land of maple-flavoured/scented everything, and my one true regret is that I didn’t go shopping while we were there.

Maple syrup? Yum. Good on pancakes, in oatmeal and porridge, even on toast!

Maple flakes? So, so good. These crunchy little morsels simultaneously add sweetness and texture to hot cereals, but hey. If you want to eat them by the handful, I won’t tell.

Maple candy? Oh Em Gee. Imagine the rich flavor of maple syrup in the form of a delightful, melt-in-your-mouth candy. Heaven. Amiright?

Okay, I know it’s all about personal preference. And I do love some pumpkin-laden things. After all, Halloween is my favourite holiday. But given the choice between a pumpkin spice scone and a maple scone, maple will win every time for me.  How about you? What’s your favourite fall flavour?

A taste of Xio Axelrod’s FAST FORWARD!

A taste of Xio Axelrod’s FAST FORWARD!

Hey, Spicy people! Xio here. It’s been a while since I gave you a little taste of my work. And it just so happens that today I am releasing my very first MM Contemporary romance, Fast Forward.

The novella spans seven years in the whirlwind love story of a brilliant, young professor Ian Waters, and the god-like Norwegian rock star Jessen Sørensen. There’s angst, humour, and plenty of heat in my debut. I hope you’ll fall in love with the boys as I have.

Here’s a taste! [Read more…]

An age-old debate: Mayonnaisse or Miracle Whip?

An age-old debate: Mayonnaisse or Miracle Whip?

It’s an argument that has divided families and caused endless marital strife.

[Read more…]

Grammy-bound!

Grammy-bound!

by Xio Axelrod

Next month, the music industry will descend upon the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles to celebrate what they consider to be the best releases from the last year. There’s always some controversy, but opinions are subjective. And like belly buttons, everyone has one.

One of my favourite bands, twenty one pilots, performing one of my favourite songs from 2016, “Heathens” – a Grammy nominee. [Read more…]

Globetrotting, fab events, and can I sleep now?

Globetrotting, fab events, and can I sleep now?

by Xio Axelrod

If you could see me, you might notice dark circles under my eyes and a sort of bewildered look in them. Traveling 11,000 miles in one week will do that to you. I think I mentioned before that 2016 has been the year of Xio flying all over the damn place, lol. It’s been a blast! But it’s also been…well…pretty exhausting.

Let’s recap:

Back in April, I flew to Las Vegas for the 2016 RT Booklovers convention. Which. Was. Awesome. I live in Philadelphia, so that’s 4400 air miles roundtrip.

book_fair2_0

The RT Book Fair is HUGE!

[Read more…]

The Best Show You’ve Never Seen

The Best Show You’ve Never Seen

by Xio Axelrod

My love of genre television is not a secret, though love may be too weak a word. I could live off of genre TV alone (well, and romance novels/audiobooks, and maybe water and popcorn.)

My problem, as a writer, is that we’re living in a golden age of television. There are so many good shows on right now, it’s hard for me to keep up with them. Especially if I intend to actually get any writing done.

That said, my DVR and I have a solid relationship. And thank goodness for Netflix! One show I want to turn you onto is A&E’s Damien, starring Bradley James. [Read more…]

Just A Taste of “Starlight” by Xio Axelrod

Just A Taste of “Starlight” by Xio Axelrod

FB ad3Starlight is book two of my FALLING STARS series and concludes (or does it?) the epic saga of Sam Newman and Valerie Saunders, two starstruck lovers that defy logic, social media, and their own personal baggage to find a way to one another.

In book one, Sam and Val spend months fighting the inevitable, while being forced to act out their desires on-screen. In book two, all bets are off. Here’s a little peek. [Read more…]

Going the Distance

Going the Distance

by Xio Axelrod

Next month, I’ll hit the road for the first time this year. And what a doozy of a trip it will be.

The Strip at night, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States of America - getty creative

First up, Las Vegas where I’ll join some of my fellow Spice Aislers at the annual RT Booklovers Convention. It will also be a research trip for me, as I start preliminary work on a new series. I’ve been to Vegas a number of times and every time is different. Not only because there seems to be a new hotel, restaurant, or hot spot for me to try, but because each visit has been for different reasons. The last time, I was there for a mini-writing retreat after the 2014 RWA (Romance Writers of America) conference. And I got my first tattoo.

Guess not everything that happens in Vegas… [Read more…]

My Secret Ingredient

My Secret Ingredient

by Xio Axelrod

How’s your Italian? Try rolling this around in your mouth: Colatura di Alici di Cetara.

Sounds sexy, doesn’t it? Like some exotic locale where you could race your Maserati along a road with curves to rival Sophia Loren.

Far be it from me to dash those sumptuous visions but, the truth is, Colatura di Alici di Cetara is an amber liquid made from…anchovies.

Yep.
Anchovies. [Read more…]

Small Change That Changes Lives

Small Change That Changes Lives

by Xio Axelrod

‘Tis the season of giving, but also the season of big spending. And we’re spending more every year. Black Friday, once an American phenomenon, has spread around the globe prompting sales and discounts on everything from 4K televisions to stuffed toys to luxury cars. This year, an estimated $1 billion dollars was spent online on Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving! We seem to be in a rush to spend more, faster.

Mr. X and I enjoy our gadgets. We both enjoy wine and Scotch. Both love books (naturally) and our Kindles are always full. But come the holiday season, we’ve often found ourselves in competition with one another to spend more. Get the biggest gift. The biggest “oh, babe, you shouldn’t have” response. It was cute, for a time. And then it became…embarrassing. Big gifts sat in the basement, unused, until we either sold them or gave them away.

It really bothered me, the excess. And it bothered him too, so we stopped. We still exchange gifts – great gifts! – but we make sure they’re actually things we want and/or need. A new teapot, tickets to a sold out show, Russian candy. Things that mean something.

Around the time we made the decision to shop smart for the holidays, we redirected that energy into helping others.

[Read more…]