Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Joys of Podcasting 2 - Learning Curve

Joy of Podcasting 2 - Learning Curve

Joys of Podcasting 2 - Learning Curve

My podcast: Virginia Waytes' Sexy Stories is now up to episode 8 and chugging along nicely. For those not in the know, my podcast is a serialised paranormal romance for adults only where each week:
  • the podcast🎧 has a brief recap and all the naughty bits from the week's episode 
  • and there is also an eBookπŸ“• with all the plot that would make the podcast far too long. 
Sexy Stories 08 - The Manor s01e07 Sexual Tensions: Werewolf Distraction Techniques

There are lots of supernatural beings and magic and excitement, as well as plenty of sensual sexy times.

So the whole podcasting thing can be a bit confusing, as I found out, because there are many different ways to do things. For example where to host, how to get the best sound, how distribution works etc. So welcome to my second post about podcasting and here are some of the things I have picked up along the way.

I shared the equipment I use over at this post: The Joys of Podcasting: A Beginning so I won't go into that again. Suffice to say I am still using the same stuff.

However, podcasting has other trip wires I had not appreciated, but once we know they are there it is easy to skirt around them. Please be aware, I am no expert, this is a post about how I went about things.

#1 Create a Podcast Trailer

Some podcasting sites, including Apple allow us to create a trailer for our podcast. A trailer is just what is sounds like, a short introduction to our podcast, usually about 2-3 mins in length. This is really useful for several reasons:
  1. We want out podcast approved on streaming platforms before episode 1 goes live
    For example Apple takes a while to approve new podcasts - it can be anything from hours to a week - and there has to be at least one "episode" live for them to approve it. This means if we want our podcast to launch on Apple at the same time as it goes live everywhere else we need a valid episode before we actually launch. A trailer counts as a valid episode.
    Most other places take less time to approve, but it is still best to have the podcast live on other platforms before launch,
  2. A trailer gives us a chance to introduce our style and hook listeners before launch day. We're trying to interest people in our product just like movies do, so a trailer is a great idea to gather interest. If we are very lucky they might even subscribe to our podcast.
I use Podbean as my hosting site and it allows settings for an upload to let services know if an episode is a trailer or a full episode. I can only assume other hosts do the same, but you'd have to check.

#2 Where to Get a Podcast Seen

There are many streaming platforms where it is a good idea to make sure our podcasts are seen. These are the ones I use and also the articles I used to find out how to submit my feed to them:
Now these do not all update instantly when a new episode comes out. I tend to set my eps to go live at 1AM because then, usually by breakfast/commute time (which is when podcasts are often listened to when the world is normal) they tend to have percolated through. The one that is always not there is Apple Podcasts. Every week I log in to my console as soon a I get up and hit refresh on the feed - it then refreshes usually in under half an hour.

N.B. we MUST make sure our podcast season and episode numbers are set. If they aren't no matter how many times we hit refresh, the ep will not show up on Apple. One week I forgot to set them and the moment I figured it out I added them in and voila, everything worked.

This is not an exhaustive list of where to list our podcasts, but there are just sooo many and these are some of the biggest.

BTW - I made these little graphics for linking to the various sites on my VirginiaWaytes.com blog and anyone is most welcome to use them if they find them useful. They are all png and were created from various sizes of logo available online, just right click and save them.

#3 Make Sure to Tell Everyone About the Podcast on Social Media

This is an obvious one to most of us who have been trying to get out work out there in any way online, but I think it deserve reiterating. No matter how many podcast services our podcast is on, the best way to get the message out there is with our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts, and our mailing lists.

When my podcast goes live it gets a handful of views before I get to social media. Then as I pimp it around the numbers start to jump up. All these sites have algorithms that boost podcasts, but they have a nasty habit of only boosting the ones that already have an audience, so we have to do all the hard graft on our own. C'est la vie in the world of the independent producer πŸ’–.

#4 Fantastic Advice from the Experts

There are many people out there who know more about this than me and many of them are very, very helpful.

Getting the Prefect Sound

There is a channel on Youtube with the most fantastic advice for all things audio run by a chap called Mike Russell. He has some wonderful videos which can help us take the sound of our podcast from good to great. This is my favourite vid of his:

I cannot express how good the advice in these vids is.

So Much Good Advice

Live365 has so many articles about so many different aspects of podcasting. It is so useful.

#5 Make a List

[Edit] I forgot to add this, but, if you like me forget things, make a list of what there is to do every time an episode goes live. Since I have made my list I have found it so much easier. Of course I have all the book things to do as well, but it never hurts to have a checklist πŸ˜ƒ.


And that's all I can think of at the moment. Podcasting is an ever expanding world, but I hope this might help a few people sift through the information overload that is out there. Best of luck if you are launching a podcast, drop me your links in the comments if you are. Let me know any useful bits of advice you have picked up along the way too. Thank you πŸ’–

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cake - no added refined sugar

Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cake

Chocolate Chip Cake - no added refined sugar

So as I have mentioned before, I am trying to cut down on the refined sugar in my diet, and hence I am baking with things like honey and maple syrup as sweeteners. This recipe uses maple syrup instead of the brown and white sugar it originally had, so it is not as cookie like as the original, but it is very yummy and the maple gives a wonderful flavour.

I also cut the ingredients by half, since there are only the two of us at home, and it was still more than enough for a family. Just double up if you would like the 24 pieces the original recipe promised.

This is best eaten with a beverage of choice and would be heavenly with a glass of milk, but goes equally well with tea or coffee.

You could also throw in some nuts or some dried fruit if that floats your boat.


  • 165g (1 1/3 cups) all purpose flour
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 85g (3/8 cup) unsalted butter
  • 140ml (~2/3 cup) maple syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 100g (1 cup) dark chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the over to 160C/325F
  2. Melt the butter in the microwave or in a pan and allow to cool slightly.
  3. Line a 4x8'' baking pan with baking parchment/grease-proof paper.
  4. Add the flour, baking soda, corn starch and salt and mix together in a bowl.
  5. Put the melted butter into a large bowl, add the maple syrup and mix together.
  6. Add the egg and vanilla to this mixture and whisk until it is light brown.
  7. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and combine.
  8. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  9. Put the mixture into the lined baking pan.
  10. Bake for between 25-30 mins depending on your oven until a tooth pick comes out clean.
This cake will keep up to a week in an airtight container and it gets better the second day.

And it's Tuesday!

That means it's Sexy Stories podcast day over at VirginiaWaytes.com. The Manor is taking a 1 week mid-season break, so I have sexy vampires for you on the podcast.

We have the podcast for all the naughty bits, and the eBook for all the plot and the naughty bits.
Forgotten Soul is one of my permanently free eBooks too, so win/win.

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Recipe: Tofu & Spam Fritters with Egg Fried Rice

Tofu & Spam Fritters with Egg Fried Rice

Tofu & Spam Fritters with Egg Fried Rice

So this is two recipes I saw on Youtube combined to make a lovely meal. And I know you're thinking "Spam?!" - but trust me, this is delicious and really easy and it's the tofu that makes it so easy and the spam that makes it delicious. My husband hates tofu, but really loves this. Original fritter recipe is here on a wonderful site called Aaron & Claire's Korea and their Youtube channel is fab. This is one of the channels where I saw the steamed egg recipe too.

The spam provides a wonderful flavour which permeates the tofu, and the tofu provides a fabulous second texture, nutritious content and means the spam is not fatty or too salty. A great balance. I mean you could probably use some comfit pork belly if you want to go posh for a dinner party, but for a week night, spam is good πŸ˜„.

Makes 4 fritters & enough rice for 2


  • 1/2 block tofu (I used Cauldron Organic Tofu because that's what Morrisons had)
  • 1/3 of 200g can of Spam 
  • 1/2 cup plain flour (ish)
  • 1 egg
  • 50g panko bread crumbs (ish)
  • black pepper to season
  • oil for frying
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 spring onions (green onions/scallions) chopped 
  • salt and pepper to season
Tofu & Spam Fritters with Egg Fried Rice
Tofu & Spam Fritters with Egg Fried Rice


  1. Cook the rice per instructions on the packet and cool down with cold water.
  2. Cut 4 slices from the tofu about 1cm deep, then cut these in half. Season with black pepper (we don't need salt because there is plenty in the spam).
  3. Place the blocks on kitchen paper to soak up excess moisture.
  4. Cut 2 slices from the spam and cut each in half to the same size as the tofu. I was lucky, mine matched almost exactly, but trim to fit if they don't. The idea is to make a cube (ish).
  5. Dust one side of a block of tofu in flour and press onto the spam. Do the same on the other side so we have a spam sandwich with the tofu as the bread. Repeat for all 4 fritters. Then leave for a minute or so - the flour will bind and stick them all together.
  6. Beat the egg in a shallow bowl, and put the flour on one plate and the bread crumbs on another.
  7. Cover the tofu/spam tower in flour.
  8. Dip in the egg with right hand.
  9. Drop in the bread crumbs with right hand and use left to pat on the bread crumbs on all sides, turning with left hand. Using separate hands for wet and dry dipping will prevent our fingers becoming caked as well. Repeat for all fritters and leave to stand for 10 mins or so to set up.
  10. Preheat the oven to about 120C (~250F)
  11. Take a frying pan and put in about 1,5 cm of oil - heat until a little piece of bread sizzles.
  12. Place the fritters in the oil carefully and fry until the breadcrumbs go golden on the bottom.
  13. Turn over and repeat for the top.
  14. Then turn fritters onto their sides and repeat for each face. The easiest way to do this is use tongs and always turn all the fritters the same way so that there is no confusion.
  15. Pop the fritters in the oven to keep warm.
  16. Take the cold rice and mix through the egg yolks.
  17. In a pan, add a tbsp of oil and heat.
  18. Add the chopped spring onion and fry for a few moments.
  19. Add the rice and egg to the pan and stir fry until piping hot. (You can add other things to the rice if you like, like soy sauce or other veggies, but it is really nice as is).
  20. Serve with the fritters and sweet chilli dipping sauce, or dipping sauce of choice. Would be yummy with some stir fried broccoli on the side too.

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Guest Post - Patricia Josephine - A Quick Bite - Book Launch #WriterlyWednesday

Book Launch - A Quick Bite - Patiricia Josephine

Guest Post

Patricia Josephine - A Quick Bite - Book Launch


It gives me great pleasure to welcome the lovely Patricia Josephine to my blog today, to talk about her new book, A Quick Bite, launched this week. If you, like me, love vampires and all things paranormal, this is a book for you.

However, before we get to that, I'll let Patricia introduce you to some real life vampires.

Three Real Life Vampires (or so they say.) 

by Patricia Josephine

Tales of vampires have fascinated humanity for centuries. Sometimes they are monsters, and other times, they are sexy, sparkling heroes. While most stories are complete fiction, here are three cases of so-called real vampires.

Mercy Brown.

Mercy Brown was a young woman who lived in New England around the 1900s. Disease spread to her family and the locals got the idea that that meant she was a vampire. After she died, her body was dug up to make sure she wasn’t a vampire. Her body hadn’t decomposed and they found fresh blood in her system, leading them to the conclusion that she was a vampire. They cut out her heart and burned, putting the ashes in a drink which was fed to her brother. They believed it would save him since he was sick. Sadly, it didn’t work.

Fritz Haarmann, The Vampire of Hanover

Fritz Haarmann was a German serial killer in the early 1900s. His method of killing was to bite the neck of his victims so they bled to death. That led to rumors of a real vampire prowling for victims. Of course, alleged cases of real vampires weren’t uncommon then, but they were usually baselss. Fritz Haarmann was eventually captures and executed.

Arnold Paole

Arnold Paole was a Serbian man who feel to his death in the early 18th century. A sad tragedy, but the story became remarkable because afterwards, local villagers stated he had become a vampire. Their proof: 16 villagers had died recently. His body was due up to be examined. They found no decomposition and claimed to have seen fresh blood on his lips. So they staked the body.

(Sources: http://eskify.com/10-alleged-cases-of-real-vampires/)

A Quick Bite

A Quick Bite by Patricia Josephine

These monsters tickle our imagination.

Sink your teeth into a collection of tales about paranormal creatures that go bump in the night. Each story is told in exactly 200 words and designed to give you a quick bite no matter how busy your day is. 

Are you hungry?

Buy Links: Amazon

About the Author

Patricia Josephine
Patricia Josephine is a writer of Urban Fantasy and Sci-Fi Romance books. She actually never set out to become a writer, and in fact, she was more interested in art and band in high school and college. Her dreams were of becoming an artist like Picasso. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head for fun. That was the start of her writing journey, and she hasn't regretted a moment. When she's not writing, she's watching Doctor Who or reading about serial killers. She's an avid knitter. One can never have too much yarn. She writes Young Adult Paranormal, Science Fiction, and Fantasy under the name Patricia Lynne.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow.

Social Media Links:

Website: - https://www.patriciajosephine.com
PatreonTwitter - Facebook - NewsletterGoodreads - Amazon Author Page - Smashwords

Monday, 4 May 2020

Recipe: Korean Steamed Eggs - #InstantPot & #StoveTop # Vegetarian #GlutenFree

Recipe: Korean Steamed Eggs

Korean Steamed Eggs 

#GlutenFree #Vegetarian

So I saw this recipe on Youtube in many different places and had to try it. I loved it, but my husband thinks it is the most horrible thing on the planet πŸ˜‚. The texture is like a creme caramel, but it is hot and savoury instead of cold and sweet. It goes really, really nicely with a toasted bagel. Absolute heaven. And there are so many ways to change it up.

I forgot to take pictures, but I will try and remember next time. (I forgot the second time too - sorry - in my defence it was breakfast and I was hungry πŸ˜‰).

The recipe below could easily feed 2 if having something with it, 1 if having it by itself. Nice and filling.


  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup stock ( I used chicken, but a nice veggie stock would work brilliantly, or even just water)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Yep, really, that's all - see how herbs and spices could be added to change it up. Some recipes I found online call for finely chopped spring onion (green onion/scallion), but others said that was an optional extra. Ratio of eggs to stock is 1 egg to 1/4cup stock and just go up or down depending on how many it is for.

Variation I tried this morning (yes I wrote the post one day and posted it the next πŸ˜‰) that I came up with while trying to get to sleep last night. So good.
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Beat the egg and stock together with a fork or a small whisk.
  2. Add the salt and pepper (or other spices of choice) and beat in.
  3. Pour through a sieve into a heat proof container suitable for steaming - I used a ceramic Camembert baking pot I have (and a deep individual pie dish this morning). Two smaller ramekins would also work if dividing the recipe for 2 people.
  4. Add the chopped onion if using at this point.
For the Instant Pot
  1. Put 1 cup of water in the bottom of the pot.
  2. Put in the pot of egg mixture on a trivet so it is not in the water.
  3. Put on the lid and make sure the valve is set to sealing.
  4. Use the steam option and put it on for 10 mins.
  5. When the beeper goes off, do a quick pressure release, remove the lid and serve.
For the stove
  1. Set up a deep pan with water in the bottom with a steam rack or something to keep the pot out of the water at the bottom.
  2. Cover the pot in cling film and place the pot on the stand in the pan.
  3. Put on a lid and bring to the boil.
  4. Steam for 15-20 mins until set.
This is a silky smooth egg dish that is a delight to eat. I eat it with a spoon straight from the pot. Nommy.

[Edit - sorry, forgot this earlier Banner Background Photo by Jakub Kapusnak on Unsplash]