Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Perfect Smoothie

As self-proclaimed non-foodies, protagonist Gilda Greco and I are always on the lookout for quick and convenient meals. But we are not willing to sacrifice taste or nutritional value. Whatever we prepare must be flavorful and contain a blast of nutrients.

A smoothie meets these criteria and provides the perfect breakfast on-the-go, a healthy snack, or a great pick-me-upper after a workout. All we really need is our trusted Cuisinart Hand Blender and a willingness to experiment with whatever is in the fridge or pantry.

I’ve tried different recipes and finally settled on the following:

I start with two scoops of Sun Warrior Vegan Protein Powder (vanilla flavor). Recommended by my nutritionist, this brand contains brown rice protein and works well for anyone who is sensitive to eggs, dairy, and soy. I add one cup of my favorite fruit, alternating between blueberries, cantaloupe, watermelon, and kiwi. To increase the fibre content, I add two tablespoons of ground flaxseed. I then add six to eight ounces of water and blend.

Do you have a favorite smoothie recipe?


Hours before the opening of her career counseling practice, Gilda Greco discovers the dead body of golden girl Carrie Ann Godfrey, neatly arranged in the dumpster outside her office. Gilda’s life and budding career are stalled as Detective Carlo Fantin, her former high school crush, conducts the investigation.

When three more dead blondes turn up all brutally strangled and deposited near Gilda’s favorite haunts, she is pegged as a prime suspect for the murders. Frustrated by Carlo’s chilly detective persona and the mean girl antics of Carrie Ann’s meddling relatives, Gilda decides to launch her own investigation. She discovers a gaggle of suspects, among them a yoga instructor in need of anger management training, a lecherous photographer, and fourteen ex-boyfriends.

As the puzzle pieces fall into place, shocking revelations emerge, forcing Gilda to confront the envy and deceit she has long overlooked.


I noticed a man making his way through the crowd that had gathered outside the front window. Tall and lean with salt and pepper hair, the man sported a black leather coat and a light gray suit. When he stopped to talk with Uncle Paolo, he flashed a badge. As I approached the two men, my heart started beating faster. Carlo Fantin. How could I have forgotten my old high school crush? If anything, he looked even better now than he did back then. He hadn’t bulked up or lost his hair. He was still hunk material.
He stared, his blue eyes widening in surprise and something else I couldn’t quite define. Amusement. Anticipation. Maybe even lust. Whatever it was, he had stopped talking to Uncle Paolo and was now giving me his full attention.

He flashed the beautiful smile that had once captivated me and every other female student at Sudbury Secondary. “Hello, Gilda. It’s good to see you again. Uh, in spite of these circumstances.”

“Hi Carlo, I’m–”

“Detective Fantin.” My uncle shouted.

Before I could say anything, Aunt Amelia piped up, “We’re so glad you came, Detective. We’ll sleep better tonight knowing that you’re in charge.”

My mother and Sofia appeared at my side. All those years ago when I had fantasized about connecting with Carlo, I had envisioned many wonderful scenarios where we would bump into each other and fall in love—on the beach, dance floor, even at a bar. Never in a million years, did I think we would reconnect in these circumstances with my family in tow.


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In 2008, Joanne took advantage of early retirement and decided to launch a second career that would tap into her creative side and utilize her well-honed organizational skills. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Sisters in Crime, Crime Writers of Canada, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes paranormal romance, cozy mysteries, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.

Where to find Joanne...


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for your ongoing support, Peggy. You are a wonderful companion on the journey. :)

  2. Oh, your smoothie recipe sounds good. I'll have to try it. I must admit, I haven't prepared any of my own--the ones my g/son whips up look so bad, I can't bring myself to drink them! Hope you book is going well. Love the blurb and the excerpt. I've moved the book up on my Kindle--now for some time to actually read!

    1. Hi Barbara, I experimented for several years before finding the perfect smoothie. I find vanilla-flavored protein drinks not too sweet and nicely complemented by the blueberries or cantaloupe. Thanks for dropping by. :)

  3. Another hit, Joanne. I'm not a smoothie woman thus far although this recipe intrigues me. I so enjoy your sense of humor. It runs through everything you write. Even The End.

    1. Hi Charmaine, I love your delightful comments. Hope you enjoy the smoothie recipe. :)


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