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Winter Cold, Winter Flu, What to do? – PLUS Giveaway!

Author photo for Robin Periniby Robin Perini

Sometimes blogs simply write themselves. As I was trying to decide what topic to explore for my very first visit at Petit Fours and Hot Tamales (which I’m super thrilled about), some irritating little viruses decided to take up residence. It started out so innocently. A bit of a scratchy throat, feeling a little off. And then the little nasties took hold.


So there I was, trying to be creative and funny and interesting, when any minute I was relatively certain my head would absolutely explode. I went through more than one box of tissues and pretty much feeling whiney and sorry for myself.


Low and behold, a week later, I had actually survived. So, what got me through the miserable week when those microscopic beasties had their way with my throat and nasal tissues? Here are my top five comfort and curative steps for surviving a very icky winter head cold.


1)      Chicken Soup. Okay, this is a no-brainer. Really. Of course homemade would have been better, but in a pinch, low-salt soup and a roasted chicken from the store makes a good substitute. (Did you ever notice how little chicken is in canned soup these days? I bought a pre-cooked chicken, deboned it and added a bit of protein to my yummy soup). It feels good on the throat, and I’m firmly convinced it’s nectar of the gods when you’re sick.

2)      Nasal Rinse or Neti Pot. This one’s pretty gross. A friend of mine with five—nope, it’s not a typo—five kids swears by nasal rinses. She, of course, does the salt and baking soda thing from scratch. Me, I buy little packets. Is it fun squirting a bunch of water up your nose? Nope. Is it gross to watch all the … ummm…. slimy stuff … come out the other side. Heck no. Is it good to breathe? Oh yeah! And some of those evil little viruses have got to be caught in all those … gooey globs, right?

3)      Green Chile Stew. For those of you who don’t have access to this amazing concoction, I’m SO very, very sorry for you. Tons of vitamin C, and that green chile WILL clean your sinuses. It’s a must for any cold.

4)      Hot chocolate, marshmallows, a warm fire, an electric blanky (not a blanket, mindred cup of hot chocolate topped with foam and cinnamonyou, a blanky! – Remember, I’m whiney when I’m sick), and Lifetime, Hallmark and the Food Network. What can I say? I did nothing for two days except sit in my overstuffed chair next to a fire, under an electric blanket, sipping hot chocolate and watching more than one Lifetime and Hallmark movie. The tissues come in handy not only for my stuffy nose, but for my watery eyes. Well, it’s Hallmark and Lifetime, the ultimate chick flick channels. The Food Network—I’ll never be a chef, but who can’t love watching an edible vampire being created out of cake, fondant and pulled sugar.

5)      Vick’s Vapor Rub. I love this stuff. Instructions: put on chest and breathe in. Heaven (assuming I can breathe in – see suggestion number 2). However, I heard from two sources that if you slather Vick’s Vapor Rub on the bottom of your feet and then put socks on it really helps a head cold. So, the scientist in me isn’t too sure about the logistics of that suggestion, but I gotta wonder. It sounds just a bit too crazy NOT to be true.


There you have it. My top 5 list of must-haves when I’m down with a head cold. So, what about you, dear readers? Have you got any suggestions as to home remedies or comfort food or a ritual that you go through when you have a head cold. I’d love to know!

 Cover art for Christmas Conspiracy by Robin Perini, an Intrigue by Harlequin

Comment and earn a chance to win an autographed copy of my October release, Christmas Conspiracy (another Carder Texas Connections novel and a follow-on to Cowboy in the Crossfire (July, 2012)).


I love to hear from readers. You can catch me, read excerpts, read reviews, sign up for my quarterly newsletter or mailing list, check out my book trailers and even request trading cards or a Kindlegraph on my website at I’m also on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and Pinterest.


COMING SOONCover art for Brilliance Audio version of In Her Sights by Robin Perini


2012 – IN HER SIGHTS (A Montgomery Justice Novel) will be out in Audio on December 11, 2012.


2013 – BEHIND THE LIES (A Montgomery Justice Novel) hits April 16, 2013.

UNDERCOVER TEXAS (Harlequin Intrigue) hits June, 2013.


Two more ‘Carder Texas Connections’ stories are coming out in 2013 and 2014, followed by two Montgomery Justice Novels (BOUND BY SECRETS, EDGE OF DECEIT) in 2014 and 2015.

Carder Texas Connections web logo 





Four years ago, girl-next-door Kat Nelson had gone from being a tempting assignment to the fling P.I. Logan Carmichael never forgot. Now he’s been hired to find her by a king claiming Kat is heir to the throne.


Locating her wasn’t difficult. Learning he was the father of her toddler twins, however, made him ache. But his job was to protect her from a madman who wanted her dead, and keep her away from the king who needed her alive. And yet one look at his children made the steely CIA vet yearn to be more than just a bodyguard. Defusing bombs and taking out terrorists wasn’t as scary as being a father—and didn’t get his heart racing as much as the thought of spending every night by Kat’s side.…



Logan Carmichael catapulted into the fiery barn, sparks and large embers singeing his leather bomber jacket and burning through his jeans. He could barely see through the black smoke billowing from his right, but its heat scorched his lungs. Desperation clawed his insides as he raced toward the woman who had broken his heart three years ago. Now that he’d finally found her, he wouldn’t lose her again. Not this way.

“Kat!” He grabbed her bare arm. “What are you doing? The barn won’t last much longer.”

She spun around, her eyes frantic at first, then widening in shocked recognition. “We’ve got to save the horses,” she yelled over the roar of the fire and the shrill sounds of the frantic animals.

“I’m getting you out of here.”

“We can still rescue them.” She tugged against his hold. “Take your shirt off and cover their eyes. If they can’t see the fire, you can lead them out safely. Please, Logan.”

The inferno exploded through the roof on the far side. More sparks rained down. It wouldn’t take long to engulf the entire building.

Barely visible through the thickening haze, two horses whinnied in fear. Logan cursed. They were running out of time. “I’ll do whatever you say if it gets you out of here.”

Kat twisted away and dove into the first stall. She stripped down to her tank top, then tied her plaid flannel shirt around the filly’s head. Offering words of encouragement between hacking coughs, Kat backed out of the stall, hauling the terrified mare with her.

Logan took the reins and shoved Kat toward the barn door. Heat seared his hands and face the closer he got to the fire. He fought with the huge animal every step. “Call for help. I’ll get them both out.”

For the first time since he’d met Kat three years ago, she didn’t argue. He stripped off his jacket and shirt, then went back for the second horse, while she ran to the open door. When he glanced up, he could barely make out the blue winter skies through the smoke-filled opening. The fire was moving fast.

Just before she reached the barn door, it slammed shut.

She skidded to a halt, then tugged at the door. It didn’t budge. “It’s locked!” Kat shouted over the roar of flames.

“We’re trapped!”

She pounded on the wood, screaming for help, then dissolved into fits of coughing as the toxic smoke swirled thicker.

Logan knew no one would come. This fire was no accident. That was clear the moment the door closed. Someone wanted them to burn.

[Cover Art Copyright © 2012 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited. Cover art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited. All rights reserved. ® and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.]



National bestselling and award-winning author Robin Perini is devoted to giving her readers fast-paced, high-stakes adventure with a love story sure to melt their hearts. Her mission’s motto: “When danger and romance collide, no heart is safe.” After seven prestigious Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® finals, Robin has since sold ten novels. She won the Golden Heart® in 2011, and that title became her first Harlequin Intrigue, Finding Her Son (March 2012). Residing in the southwestern United States, by day, she works for an advanced technology corporation, and in her spare time, you might find her giving one of her many nationally acclaimed writing workshops or training in competitive small-bore rifle silhouette shooting.


She is the author of In Her Sights (Montlake, 2011), Finding Her Son, Cowboy in the Crossfire and Christmas Conspiracy (Harlequin Intrigue 2012). In 2013, she continues her Montgomery Justice novels for Montlake with Behind the Lies, and later that year Undercover Texas and another book for Harlequin Intrigue set in the fictional town of Carder, Texas.


Marilyn Baron - November 14, 2012 - 12:33 am

Robin, we are so happy to have you as our guest today. I got my flu shot so I’m hoping I won’t get the flu but my brother-in-law has the flu and he got his shot. My husband read in the paper today that the flu shot isn’t really effective. Now they tell me. Homemade chicken soup is the best. I love your idea of hot chocolate and sitting in front of a fire with a blanket (wearing a robe). Some people say taking Airborne works and I’ve tried it but I’m not sure if it does. When we were young we used to sit with a towel over our head using a vaporizer. I don’t even know if they make them anymore. I think hot tea with honey and lemon is also helpful.

Laura Russell - November 14, 2012 - 2:35 am

Hi Robin,
Marilyn wonders about vaporizers. I still have an antique vaporizer from someone in the family and use it with winter colds. Very soothing!

Meanwhile, truly smokin’ excerpt. Thanks for that great introduction to your writing.

Mary Preston - November 14, 2012 - 4:28 am

They do linger at times those nasties.

You can’t beat a hot cup of tea. The comfort factor alone is off the scales.

Hot water & lemon juice & honey is very soothing too.

Maxine Davis - November 14, 2012 - 6:15 am

Hi Robin, Welcome, and we are so glad you stopped by. The soup recipe on the broth carton is easy and great. For my Rudolph Nose, I love the Kleenex Cool Touch tissues. Fantastic excerpt. I will have to read Christmas Conspiracy.

Sandra Elzie - November 14, 2012 - 6:43 am

Hi Robin,
Loved the article….now I just hope I won’t need any of your suggestions this year. I hate being sick…just don’t have time for it, but if it stops here for a visit, I’ve got your suggestions to fall back on.

My “thing” is to drink hot tea…& yes, the soup is soothing to the stomach. I like hot lemonaid…although just the thought of it makes my husband cringe :)

The excerpt sounds great…can’t wait to read it.

Debbie Kaufman - November 14, 2012 - 7:18 am

Hi Robin, Welcome to Petit Fours! Loved IN HER SIGHTS! I may write historical, but I’m still a suspense girl in a lot of my reading :)

I use all your remedies except for the green chilis. However, at the first signs of a possible cold, I add in a cool mist humidifier and Zicam (zinc based). Works like a charm at heading off most of them. When it doesn’t–blanky, soup, etc. are my best friends.

Thanks for being with us today!

Robin Perini - November 14, 2012 - 8:09 am

Hi Marilyn, thanks SO much for having me. I’ve been anticipating this blog for SO long. I’m glad it’s finally here. Vaporizers are good. Mine was in my garage and I guess I just didn’t feel like getting it down. I should have. The hot tea with lemon…sounds divine. I wish I liked tea . I tried Airborne once, but I did use Zicam this time. My colds used to last a lot longer and move into my chest, so maybe that’s working. Thanks for commenting! It’s fun to hear what works for everyone.

Kathy Holzapfel - November 14, 2012 - 8:09 am

Love all the upcoming releases, Robin! And PLEASE post a link to a green chile stew or share your personal recipe. It sounds delish! (Also sending Golden-Heart-Sister *hugs*)

Robin Perini - November 14, 2012 - 8:12 am

Hi Laura–

LOL on the smokin’ excerpt! Poor Kat and Logan. I just can’t keep putting them into trouble. This was an interesting book to write. A bit darker than my normal Intrigue, but I included a set of twins, Hayden and Lanie. They cracked me up. They’re inspired by my niece and nephew…which should tell you my brother and sister-in-law are going to have a handful!

I DEFINITELY should have pulled down that vaporizer!

Thanks again for stopping by. I’m so glad you did!

Robin Perini - November 14, 2012 - 8:14 am

Hi Mary–

Oh, you make me want to learn how to drink tea! Maybe I’ll try it again, because the lemon and honey sounds divine!!!

Thanks for the encouragement. I may have to just do it!

Oh, everyone, I have a day job, so I’ll definitely check in all day, but it’ll be a bit sporadically. Luckily the cold is a thing of the past and I can now think at work!


Robin Perini - November 14, 2012 - 8:16 am

Hi Maxine–

Thanks for the wonderful welcome!

Excellent suggestion on the soup recipe! I’m definitely going to have to try that. Homemade…well, there’s just something about it, isn’t there!

I haven’t tried the Cool Touch Kleenex. I’ve been a Puffs girl, but I can always be taught! Thanks for the suggestion.

And so glad you liked the excerpt. I did enjoy writing that story!


Robin Perini - November 14, 2012 - 8:20 am

Hi Sandra–

Crossing my fingers you won’t need to use ONE of those remedies. I don’t have a lot of cushion in my schedule either, so it’s quite inconvenient for those bugs to think they can hang out in my head. LOL

HOT lemonade. Hmmm….now that I could do. I may go there instead of the tea. It’s worth a shot.

One thing I didn’t mention because I didn’t have the burning throat this time, is gargling with hot salt water. I do think that works well!

Thanks for the kind words about the excerpt. This book was fun because I had introduced Logan in Cowboy in the Crossfire. The minute he came on-stage, I knew he had an interesting past. I so had fun figuring out what it was.

Thanks for stopping by.


Robin Perini - November 14, 2012 - 8:24 am

Oh, Debbie. Thanks for having me and thanks so much for the kind words about In Her Sights. I love the Montgomery brothers. In fact, I just turned in the copy edits for Behind the Lies (The blurb is up on Amazon, even though the cover isn’t yet – ). It’s Zach’s story. I’m super excited about it. The scope is bigger and Zach is quite the character.

I really do like connected books. It’s fun to revisit other characters and tell their stories. I’ll be doing that with a lot of the characters in Christmas Conspiracy, too. Lots of fun!

I’ve never really used a humidifier, but I love Zicam. Good stuff. My pilot brother turned me on to it!

Linsey Lanier - November 14, 2012 - 8:27 am

Hi Robin. So thrilled to have you here today! So sorry you’ve been sick. I get whiney when I’m ill, too. It’s part of the healing process, imo.

I have tried the Vicks-on-the-feet-with-socks method and it seems to work for prevention as well as getting better. I recommend it. :)

Robin Perini - November 14, 2012 - 8:30 am

Hi Linsey–

Thanks for having me!!! I’m terrible! I just want TLC and to feel better! I like the idea that’s it’s all part of the healing process.

Now, you’re the fourth person to tell me the Vicks on the feet thing works. The scientist in me STILL doesn’t get it, but that many people–I’ll have to break down and try it next time!

Pam Asberry - November 14, 2012 - 9:24 am

Hi Robin! Thanks for blogging with us today! I will try your remedies the next time I get sick, but my tendency is just to crawl into bed with a two-liter bottle of Sprite next to me, sleep and keep myself hydrated. Fortunately I don’t get sick very often, LOL! Your books sound wonderful; thanks for sharing the excerpt. What a cliffhanger! I wish you a happy and HEALTHY holiday season!

Pamela Mason - November 14, 2012 - 9:56 am

I love all your remedies above, but tweaked:
Horseradish and Tomato Sammiches (yes, I’m whiney too!) ; HGTV, Say Yes to the Dress, Secret Prince, and everything RuPaul for my television marathon; my favorite flannel lined satin jammies and soft fuzzy-wuzzy socks; and hot tea with honey, lemon, and whiskey if I’m congested.
I have used hot lemonade as nature’s remedy for an altogether different malady – :roll: – but… if it alleviates and um, evacuates, I say go for it!
And Vicks on the feet? I must consult my manicurist, who knows all things feet!
Love the excerpts! I’ll be looking for Christmas Conspiracy when I go to the store to buy some more socks! :-)

Chris Campillo - November 14, 2012 - 10:05 am

My “home remedies” consist of over-the-counter drugs. Decongestans, antihistamines, and/or expectorants to treat the symptons. Of course, a tylenol generic for the pain. There’s nothing you can do to rid yourself of the virus. It’s a matter of waiting it out, but you can take advantage of the meds out there to minimize your discomfort. My doctor also told me to avoid dairy and carbonated drinks. And no, I don’t work for Walgreens.

Carol Burnside - November 14, 2012 - 11:45 am

Robin, if you’re not a tea drinker, try Celestial Seasonings’ Lemon Zinger or Bigelow’s “I Love Lemon” tea to soothe the throat. It also helps cut phlegm and I believe has some Vit. C.

Love the excerpt. I’m a sucker for a mystery with my romance. :)

Tamara LeBlanc - November 14, 2012 - 12:19 pm

I think Vic’s Vapo rub is a God send. If I ever get a sniffle, that’s my go to. If they ever stop making it I’m going to revolt!
Loved your list, and the excerpt! Sounds like a great read :)
Have a fantastic afternoon,

By the way, I LOVED your workshop at M&M!!! Thanks for giving it :)

Robin Perini - November 14, 2012 - 3:36 pm

Hi Pam–

Thanks for allowing me to do blog here. It’s a blast. I like the idea of hiding under the covers and hydrating. Excellent plan.

And thanks for the kind words about the books. Glad you enjoyed the excerpt.

I’m trying to get my rest, but I must admit I tend to burn the candle.

Thanks for stopping by!


Robin Perini - November 14, 2012 - 3:39 pm

Hey Pamela–

I’m not too sure about the horseradish, but I love your TV choices! :-)

Hot lemonade–evaculation–I may have to re-think that one!

Let me know what your manicurist says about Vick’s. Right now, it’s on my to-do list next time (hopefully that won’t be any time soon).

And I hope you like Christmas Conspiracy. I sure had fun writing it!

Thanks for stopping by.


Robin Perini - November 14, 2012 - 3:43 pm

Hey Chris–

So cool to see you therel I do the drug thing, too. I used to do a lot of different drugs, but I got the flu at a conference, and the ER doc told me to be careful of drugs working against each other. I usually go with pseudoephedrine and the Nyquil at night. Seems to work for the head stuffiness.

That being said, the Nasal Rinse…that is still the best thing I do.

Hugs and thanks SO much for stopping by!


Robin Perini - November 14, 2012 - 3:45 pm

Hi Carol!

Thanks for the suggestions. I think I’m going to try them. And so glad you lilked the excerpt. I too love mystery with my romance!!


Robin Perini - November 14, 2012 - 3:48 pm

Hi Tamara–

Vicks all the way! :-)

And thanks SO much for the kind words about the excerpt and the workshop. I had so much fun at the M&M conference. Such great people there! Glad you enjoyed the talk!

All my best,

Pamela Varnado - November 14, 2012 - 4:01 pm

Hi Robin,

I love Vics Vapor Rub. It’s been around forever. Even my mom rubbed it on me when I was sick. As for the nasal rinse, well, it’s the best thing since sliced bread. I use it every day whether I have a cold or not. It keeps my allergies at bay and helps me to breathe. This sounds disgusting, but it’s amazing what gets trapped in the nasal passage.

Nancy Goldberg Levine - November 14, 2012 - 5:12 pm

Great post! My top remedy was my late husband’s favorite — hot tea with honey and a cough drop.

Robin Perini - November 14, 2012 - 10:41 pm

Hi Pamela–

I SO know what you mean about the nasal rinse, but I’m a firm believer in it. I don’t have allergies all the time, but I can see how it would be a lifesaver!

It may be disgusting, but it really works.

Thanks for stopping by! Love meeting a fellow nasal rinser!!! LOL

Robin Perini - November 14, 2012 - 10:42 pm

Hi Nancy–

Oh, you gave me warm thoughts with your late husband’s favorite. It sounds so absolutely comforting. Thank you for sharing him with us.

I’m so glad you stopped by!

Thank you!


Robin Perini - November 15, 2012 - 7:22 am

Hey Golden Heart Sister, Kathy!

I missed you.

So, we have a fab place here to get Green Chile stew, but here’s a nice and easy recipe that looks similar.

I’ll post later with cream version that’s really yummy, too. And it has chicken not pork.

Thanks so much for the kind words. It’s been an amazing and blessed year for me. HUGS!


Anonymous - November 15, 2012 - 7:26 am

Congratulations to the winner of the Giveaway –


If you’ll send your snail mail address to robin (at) robinperini (dot) com, I’d love to send you an autographed copy of Christmas Conspiracy as well as a set of trading cards!

All my best. And thanks to all the gals at Petit Fours and Hot Tamales for the invite. I’ll be back in a few hours to post that green chile chicken stew recipe. Until then. Happy reading!!!


Robin Perini - November 15, 2012 - 7:53 am

The winner of the Giveaway is


If you’ll send me your snail mail address to robin (at) robinperini (dot) com, I’d love to send you an autographed copy of Christmas Conspiracy.

Thanks everyone for allowing me to visit at Petit Fours and Hot Tamales. It’s been a blast!

Robin (

Robin Perini - November 16, 2012 - 10:11 am

Kathy H — and whoever is interested!

Sorry this took me a day, but if a clear base isn’t what you want in your Green Chile Stew….this recipe rocks! It’s from my friend, Doug, and I must say YUMMMY!!!! AND EASY!!!

5/6 chicken breasts cut into small pieces
2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
2 cans cream of chicken soup.
1 can chicken broth
2 small cans (8 oz total) chopped green chile (Now, sometimes I add more, and sometimes I’ll do 1 can of mild and one can of hot – this is to taste).
6 large potatoes cut in small pieces
Water if needed for consistency.
Brown chicken pieces in skillet (not absolutely necessary, but it’s ready faster).
Add mixture to crock pot. Cook on low 10-14 hours (until potatoes are done).

YUMMMY! Great comfort meal. And if you use mild chiles not too spicy either. Hope you enjoy!

Kathy Holzapfel - November 16, 2012 - 1:02 pm

Thanks for the recipes, Robin! They both sound wonderful…but I’m going to try the creamy one in my crockpot this weekend. That’s one of the things I love about fall and winter: soups and stews.

Hugs & smiles,
Kathy Holzapfel

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