A conversation, an essay and a recipe from Valerie Ann Winne

 In Articles, Biographical / Reflective, BOOK BLOG, Essay, Everything

Gliterary Girl welcomes Valerie Ann Winne, debut author of science fiction. This dynamic writer has gifted us an interview, an essay and a fabulous recipe to go with it all. So first, let’s get to know a little about Valerie.

So you’ve written a sci-fi book about bees entitled, Plight of the Honeybee. I’ve heard the environmental outcomes from the extinction of these creatures but give us a little insight.

Well, the dwindling honeybee populations is a current topic being reported by news media via the internet, television, newspapers and magazines. There have been special documentaries created, as well as “Save the Honeybee” tee-shirts and bumper stickers, to promote awareness of this developing phenomena. Researchers are desperate to find answers to this puzzling occurrence.

Why is this so important?

Albert Einstein said it best: “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.”

Tell us a little about your book and how you integrate these theories.

In using the science fiction genre, Plight of the Honeybee takes a unique approach in bringing awareness to this critical issue. The cast of characters in Plight of the Honeybee include protagonist, Heather, along with her close set of family/friends, a highly secret governmental organization, foreign terrorists and aliens from outer space. These groups intertwine throughout a maze of adventures, which include elements of suspense, surprise, fear and frustration. Their paths are lightened with doses of love, loyalty and humor.

Sounds awesome. What age group do you think will be most interested in this intriguing story?

Plight of the Honeybee will appeal to the young-adult/adult science fiction reader, as but I think it really appeals to everyone because this could potentially impact humankind. The message is clear. The existence of this tiny, at- risk insect is intricately linked to the survival of all mankind.

Thank you so much Valerie and check out this short essay she wrote as well as the pie recipe we know you’ll enjoy. 

Fresh Orange Pie, an essay

Southern California has always been known for growing oranges. Groves once covered thousands of acres. Packing houses flourished. Although much of the acreage has been transformed into vast housing tracks in recent years, you can thank the honeybee for Southern California’s sweet, juicy oranges. The orange tree’s fragrant blossoms, which are pollinated by honeybees, produce this luscious orange fruit.

Nestled back among the trees of an old orange grove in Redlands California, Edward’s Mansion stands as a reminder of days gone by. The Victorian style home, named for its citrus grower owner, is now used as a restaurant where guests can dine in the quaint rooms within. One unique selection on the original menu included Fresh Orange Pie.   The original recipe card for this delectable orange creation used to be handed out to visitors at Edwards’ Mansion.

This delightful pastry invokes memories of fragrant orange blossoms scenting the air, smoky smudge pots burning at the first sign of frost, and honeybees swirling around the trees, on a mission to produce orange blossom honey at their nearby hives.

orange blossoms3

Edwards Mansion Fresh Orange Pie Recipe

  • 1 ¼ cup flour
  • ¾ cup (1 ¼ sticks) soft butter or margarine
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel


  • 6 Tbls. cornstarch
  • 1 ½ cups fresh orange juice
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup orange marmalade
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 6 large oranges, peeled and sectioned (navels are best, but Valencias may be used. Be sure all membrane and seeds are removed.)

Combine all ingredients and press on bottom and sides of a 10” pie plate.
Bake at 375 degrees for 15-18 min.


Dissolve cornstarch in ½ cup orange juice.
Put remaining 1 cup of orange juice, and next five ingredients in a saucepan.
Cook, and while constantly stirring add the orange juice/cornstarch mixture to the saucepan.
Continue to cook until thick and clear.
Add orange sections and mix gently.
Pour into cooled pie crust.
Chill 3-4 hours.
Serve at room temperature, garnished with sweetened whipped cream.

Sara O'Connor
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