indieBRAG Blog

Ahh! Summer Reading & a Lovely Tomato Salad

Eagan Whitcombe gets up before dawn each day. He eats a thin watery gruel, often his only meal for the day, and goes out onto the streets to gain clients who need their chimneys cleaned. He negotiates his own prices and works alone, often in unsafe conditions. He eats if he can. He gives most of what he has earned to his master. He sleeps on the floor of a basement, in which he is locked in all night. Eagan is a chimney sweep. He is 6 years old. You won't be able to put down A.M.Watson's historical nove, Infants of the Brush. My mom is not a vegetable eater and I am always hiding veggies in puréed soups and stews. Yet my mom ate an entire tomato of my Summer Tomato Salad! This is a seriously delicious and easy salad, even more delicious with tomatoes from your garden, farmer’s market or local produce in your supermarket. Sliced tomatoes marinating in a simple Balsamic Vinaigrette with a little salt on top create this summer wonder. Use a variety of tomatoes for a pretty look. I used some from my garden and some from Costco. Wow!   Summer Tomato Salad ​ Serves…

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Time Travel

Time Travel by Deborah Lynn In A Rip in the Veil by Anna Belfrage, Alexandr Lind finds herself several centuries back in time landing at the feet of a handsome Matthew Graham who has no earthly idea what to do with her. Sounds absolutely enchanting, doesn’t it? Who hasn’t dreamed of going back in time to a romantic tryst for a while? Hmmmmmm, lovely. It’s an extremely popular genre in the present day with countless books and movies dedicated to feeding our desires for time travel. In our time, it was first popularized by H. G. Wells' 1895 novel The Time Machine, but the idea has been floating around the human psyche for thousands of years. The Vishnu Purna talks about King Raivata Kakudmi traveling to heaven and meeting Brahma, the Creator, only to find when he returns that hundreds of years have passed. Then there is the Japanese story of Urashima-no-ko, a fisherman who goes to an undersea castle for a few days. When he returns 300 years have passed and all he knows is gone. Let's have one last example. The 1st-century BC Jewish scholar Honi ha-M'agel fell asleep for seventy years and when he woke up no one knew him…

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A Memorial Day Special!

We thank all the men and women who have served our country in the military, for keeping us free, protecting our Constitution and flag. Have a safe and meaningful Memorial Day. In one of my favorite scenes from The Surgeon, a Civil War novel, Dr. Abbey Kaplan confronts a disapproving male doctor. Not only won't Dr. Connolly work with her, he doesn’t allow her into the male wards, even though male doctors are allowed into female wards.  When Dr. Kaplan complains about this unequal treatment, he responds, “How dare you talk to be like that! You have no business being here in the first place. The very idea of a female doctor is abhorrent.” He then slaps her across the face. Abbey, 6’ tall and well trained by her father and brothers in self-defense, slams her right fist into the doctor’s face, then a left uppercut to his belly and a right to his jaw. She throws him out of the surgical tent.  Dr. Connolly never reports the incident as he couldn’t admit to slapping a woman nor that he was beaten up by one. He requests a transfer to another unit and Abbey is on the road to respect from…

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Delicious Savory Onion Pie is paired with this month’s Foodie Lit historical novel, Infants in the Brush.

Eagan Whitcombe gets up before dawn each day. He eats a thin watery gruel, often his only meal for the day, and goes out onto the streets to gain clients who need their chimneys cleaned. He negotiates his own prices and works alone, often in unsafe conditions. He eats if he can. He gives most of what he has earned to his master. He sleeps on the floor of a basement, in which he is locked in all night. Eagan is a chimney sweep. He is 6 years old. You won't be able to put down A. M.Watson's historical novel, Infants of the Brush. This delicious Savory Onion Pie is paired with this month’s Foodie Lit historical novel. This delicious Savory Onion Pie was typical fare for those in the 18th century lower class, who couldn’t afford much meat. Onions were substituted for meat, with potatoes for bulk and apples for a bit of sweetness. I modified this recipe from a wonderful website, savoringthepast.net, which collects recipes from 18th century cookbooks. The combination of onions, potatoes and apples is aromatic and hearty—a meal in itself. I have made onion and leek tarts and find this recipe modern in ways those…

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“I TRIPLE-dog-dare ya!”

"Pay the Stake, Roll the Dice, Do the Dare. Getting divorced at twenty-five sucks. Teaching over-confident rich kids when you’re all but homeless sucks. In fact, every single aspect of Daisy Fitzgerald’s life is one big fail. Enter hot young chef, Xander. He’s a Knight-in-Shining-Cricket-Pads who knocks Daisy off her wedge heels and into his privileged world of It-girls, players and Michelin stars. High on cocktails & escapism, Daisy agrees to play Forfeit, the ultimate game of dares." #FORFEIT by Caroline Batten Daisy Fitzgerald in #FORFIET played a game of dare that led to a romantic kiss, but also “blackmail, betrayal, [and] revenge… “. I am not a daredevil. I never have been and never will be. But then, that’s me. Someone says I dare you and I am out of there fast. But apparently, there are a lot of people out there (especially young people) who are attracted to dares and challenges, especially when it involves social media. According to the article “Danger Ahead: Social Media Dare Games” on Netsanity.net (on which this blog is based) social media appears to ratchet everything up a notch. So, if you can do something wild and crazy, that’s fine; but if you…

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Handfasting- a commitment by joining hands

In the opening List of Main Characters in the book 1066: What Fates Impose, by G. K. Holloway, Edyth Swanneck is listed as “handfast wife of Harold,” the main character of the book. When I first read about Edyth and Harold in a novel long, long ago, I read that they were “handfasted” in marriage. When Harold took the throne of England (in the book I read) he needed a politically expedient wife and the Christian priests said that handfasting was no big deal and that Harold could just ignore it and get on with marrying his “real” wife in a Christian ceremony, which is what he did. At that time, I wasn’t too keen on “handfasting” nor Harold, for that matter! Since then, I’ve learned a lot more about the term and its origin. Apparently, the practice is over 7000 years old and was used in the English, Norse, Scottish and Celtic cultures. The word itself comes from Old Norse, “handfesta” which means to strike a bargain by joining hands. Hence, “May I have your hand in marriage?” “He asked her father for her hand in marriage.” Actually, it started out as a commitment between a man and a…

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Attention Mainstream & Self-Published Authors!

Some Lessons to Learn About Self-Publishing                   1. You are NOT competing with self-published books. You are competing with ALL books published. 2. Readers do not care who publishes your book. Most of the disdain for self-publishing comes from mainstream published authors and publishers. 3. Self-publishing, if done properly, is a respectable way to publish a quality book but when comparing the cost/benefit of either method, it is simply a matter of ‘pay me now or pay me later’. a. Mainstream publishing –The publisher covers the cost of editing your book, formatting it, and creating an appealing cover,              but these costs are passed along to you by virtue of the relatively small royalty you will receive on the back end. b. Self-publishing – While you receive a much higher percentage of your book’s selling price at the front end, you must                         engage the services of professionals to do the work that a traditional publisher would have done. Think of this as                             …

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Have you ever wondered how snowflakes are made?

Fawn faces a hungry arctic wolf, battles a fierce North Pole blizzard, and is the prisoner of a conniving sea captain intent on capturing arctic animals to sell to a New York City zoo!                           'Til the Last Snowflake Falls                      Have you ever wondered how snowflakes are made?                      I certainly have! Watch this!   How Do Snowflakes Form?

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The Earl Of Wessex – Sons of the Wolf

First creation (c. 1019) Wessex was one of the four earldoms of Anglo-Danish England. In this period, the earldom of Wessex covered the lands of the old kingdom of Wessex, covering the counties of the south of England, and extending west to the Welsh border. During the reign of King Cnut, the earldom was conferred on Godwin at some time after 1020.[3] Thereafter, Godwin rose to become, in King Edward's time, the most powerful man in the kingdom. Upon Godwin's death in 1053, the earldom passed to his son, who later became King Harold II and died at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. In 1999, Queen Elizabeth II's youngest son, Prince Edward, married Sophie Rhys-Jones. Younger sons of the monarch have customarily been given dukedoms at the time of their marriage, and experts had suggested the former royal dukedoms of Cambridge and Sussex as the most likely to be granted to Prince Edward. Instead, the Palace announced that Prince Edward would eventually be given the title Duke of Edinburgh, which was at the time held by his father. This was unlikely to happen by direct inheritance, as Prince Edward is the youngest of Prince Philip's three sons. Rather, the title is expected to be newly created for Prince Edward after it "eventually reverts to the crown" after "both the death of…

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HOW TO WRITE A BOOK REVIEW IN 4 EASY STEPS

We thought our readers and      We thought that our readers and reviewers might be interested in these thoughts on writing reviews!     Thanks Carrie for sharing-                                                                                       indieBRAG Reposted with permission by author Carrie Beckort from Across the Board   Ah, book reviews. As a reader, I have a love-hate relationship with book reviews. For most of the books I read, I only look at a handful of reviews prior to reading. And those I do read are usually the 1 and 2 star reviews. If there is consistency in the negative reviews—poorly written/edited, clichéd plot, incomplete ending—then I think twice before reading. If the negative reviews are random or about things not important to me—such as the author using too many swear words—then I will likely jump in and read the book. I then go back and read several reviews, both positive and negative, after I finish the book to see how the views of other readers…

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