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Seafood Chowder- A Southern Favorite

A Beautiful Glittering Lie: A Novel of the Civil War by J.D.R. Hawkins Susan Weintrob  indieBRAG Food Blogger Everydayhappyfoods   So many of the original Southern cities were close to the coast, where fish or other seafood was plentiful.  They were often added to chowder for a fabulous, rich flavor.  As the war between the North and South progressed, the Confederate troops suffered greatly as supplies were cut off.  The basic foods were hard to come by. This chowder can be made from corn and potatoes without seafood or fish and is equally delicious.  For troops near farms, potatoes and corn, onions and celery would have been available, as would have milk or cream. Bacon was a stock item for both armies and would have been available except when supplies were extremely scarce. Stock was made from scraps of vegetables, saved from other meal preparation. Wine was a treat, but we can think of making this recipe or receipt, as recipes were called through the 19th century, in 1861 when ingredients still would have been stocked—certainly for the officers. Recipes for stock and chowder have been found among recipes of the era. For our modern cooks, the base of the…

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IndieBRAG Cover Crush: To Catch A Falling Star by Anna Belfrage

Synopsis To Catch a Falling Star’ is the eighth book in Anna Belfrage’s series featuring time traveller Alexandra Lind and her seventeenth century husband, Matthew Graham.  Some gifts are double-edged swords… For Matthew Graham, being given the gift of his former Scottish manor is a dream come true. For his wife, Alex, this gift will force her to undertake a perilous sea journey, leaving most of their extensive family in the Colony of Maryland. Alex is torn apart by this, but staying behind while her husband travels to Scotland is no option. Scotland in 1688 is a divided country, torn between the papist Stuart king and the foreign but Protestant William of Orange. In the Lowlands, popular opinion is with Dutch William, and Matthew’s reluctance to openly support him does not endear him to his former friends and neighbours. While Matthew struggles to come to terms with the fact that Scotland of 1688 bears little resemblance to his lovingly conserved memories, Alex is forced to confront unresolved issues from her past, including her overly curious brother-in-law, Luke Graham. And then there’s the further complication of the dashing, flamboyant Viscount Dundee, a man who knocks Alex completely off her feet. All…

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Cover Crush: Dog Water Free by Michael Jay

As a mom of 4 boys I am always drawn to images that remind me of them, of times when they were little and how they loved spending time in the great outdoors.  This cover grabbed me and made me feel the bond between a boy and his special friend, a friend that is loyal, one that can sense your moods and knows when it's just time to sit quietly and be still.  With the gorgeous view of the mountains it gives the feel of endless possibilities and somehow your problems just don't seem that overwhelming. Coming of age book are always a favorite of mine, and to be honest I have never seen one revolving around a male character and this excites me. Based on a true story, with lots of headlines involved here it has the makings of an interesting story. Definitely on my reading list and one I hope to share with the male population in my family. By Margaret Cook Just One More Chapter Synopsis Meet Joe Black visits The Wonder Years in the true story of DOG WATER FREE. It chronicles a journey by a boy named Mikee, whose coming-of-age search for emotional truth lands…

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Cover Crush: A Kiss from France by Susan Hughes

B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree When I first saw this book on indieBRAG’s homepage, it caught my eye immediately! I’d like to first mention the title. Love it! Catchy and intriguing. The cover itself is true to the period in which the story takes place. I love the tone and design. I have been really intrigued with the period lately and I love ready about stories of women who lived during this time and seeing war told through their eyes. Great cover, title and premise! Bumping this book up on my reading list! Be sure to read the book blurb below! Stephanie M. Hopkins Indiebrag Team Member Synopsis As men toiled on the front line, back home munitionettes made the armaments and fought battles all their own. London 1917. Lizzie Fenwick is young, ambitious and in love. At least, she thinks she’s in love with the soldier who answered the note she concealed in a box of ammunition shells. She spends her days filling shells with TNT, and her nights dreaming of the mysterious Harry Slater. Eunice Wilson knows the exact moment her marriage to Jack began to fracture. He refused to enlist, and their patriotic neighbors never let her live it…

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Cover Crush: Chasing the Star Garden by Melanie Karsak

Cover Crush with Colleen Turner  Synopsis An opium-addicted beauty. An infamous poet living in self-imposed exile. An ancient treasure about to fall into the wrong hands. Melanie Karsak’s Chasing the Star Garden takes readers on a thrilling adventure from the gritty opium dens of gaslamp London to the gem-colored waters of the ancient world. Lily Stargazer, a loveable but reckless airship racer with a famous lover and shattered past, reluctantly plunges into a centuries-old mystery in a steampunk romantic adventure best described as Dan Brown meets Mary Shelley. It all begins on one of the worst days of Lily’s life. She just lost the London leg of the 1823 Airship Grand Prix. To top it off, a harlequin fleeing from constables shoved a kaleidoscope down her pants, told her to fly to Venice, then threw himself from her airship tower. What’s a girl to do? For Lily, the answer is easy: drink absinthe and smoke opium. Lily’s lover, Lord Byron, encourages her to make the trip to Venice. Lily soon finds herself at the heart of an ancient mystery which has her running from her past and chasing true love and the stars along the way. Thoughts on the cover…

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Cover Crush: Of Sea and Seed by Annie Daylon

I have said this before and I will say again. I am not a cover designer but I do have an artist’s eye and can agree that cover design plays an important role in the overall presentation of the book and gladly admit I judge a book by its cover. Overall presentation is important to pull a reader in. When I read a story I want to be completely immersed. A grand cover helps that along. Imagery and all-if you will. Today’s cover crush is a story that recently was awarded the B.R.A.G. Medallion. What an evocative cover! Not only that, the title alone can draw a reader in to find out more of the story.  Let’s take a look at the book description:  OF SEA AND SEED launches The Kerrigan Chronicles, the story of three generations staggered by love, betrayal, war, and the effects of a tsunami that ravages the Burin Peninsula of Newfoundland in 1929. Family matriarch, storyteller, and ghost—Kathleen Kerrigan—confesses that heaven does not open its gates to women of her ilk. In her afterlife she is adrift, doomed, like some ancient mariner, to atone for mortal sin by telling repeatedly the story of her downfall. With the lyrical…

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Cover Crush: Blue Mercy by Orna Ross

Will you identify with mother or with daughter? When Mercy Mulcahy was 40 years old, she was accused of killing her elderly and tyrannical father. Now, at the end of her life, she has written a book about what really happened on that fateful night of Christmas Eve, 1989. The tragic and beautiful Mercy has devoted her life to protecting Star, especially from the father whose behavior so blighted her own life. Yet Star vehemently resists reading her manuscript. Why? What is Mercy hiding? Was her father’s death, as many believe, an assisted suicide? Or something even more sinister? In this book, nothing is what it seems on the surface and everywhere there are emotional twists and surprises. (“Breathtaking, and I mean literally — actual gasps will happen” said one reader review). Set in Ireland and California, Blue Mercy is a compelling novel that combines lyrical description with a page-turning style to create an enthralling tale of love, loss and the ever-present possibility of redemption. Thoughts on the cover Right away my eye was drawn to this cover. Before even reading the description my mind automatically though “oh, there is going to be darkness and mystery within these pages!” and,…

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Blogging Advice from Stephanie

Have a catchy name for your blog -mine is Layered Pages Blog 3 times a week or more. Variety is key. Have guests appear on your blog often. Hold book giveaways. Be sure to provide images with your posts. Be sure to add tags and categories to each posts. Those help draw more attention to your blog through search engines. Have a bio about yourself people can read and picture of yourself helps too. Share your posts often on different platforms. Such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google + and so on. Enjoy the experience!

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Cover Crush: Black Beans & Venom by Vinnie Hansen

Geri and I have been talking about featuring B.R.A.G. Medallion Honorees book covers that really stand out and a fellow book blogger of mine started a post series called, Cover Crush and I decided this would be great to carry over to indieBRAG. A few of the indieBRAG Interview Team Members will be joining in this fun series, so be on the lookout for those as well! I have said this before and I will say again. I am not a cover designer but I do have an artist’s eye and can agree that cover design plays an important role in the overall presentation of the book and gladly admit I judge a book by its cover. Overall presentation is important to pull a reader in. When I read a story I want to be completely immersed. A grand cover helps that along. Imagery and all-if you will. Synopsis No one wants P.I. Carol Sabala to take the case. Her boss is apprehensive about an illegal investigation in Cuba. Carol’s boyfriend worries about her physical safety. But the client is rolling in dough, the office has unpaid bills, and Carol chafes under the mundane tasks assigned to her. In Old Havana, Carol sets…

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Book Bloggers Support to Authors

Previously published on Layeredpages Book Blogging isn’t always easy and takes a lot of time and effort. I am a firm believer it takes both the author and the blogger to work together for support of each other’s medium on social media. Bloggers and Authors lead such busy lives and it’s not always easy to be in contact with each other. We are always pulled in so many different directions. In many ways, I like to think that bloggers and authors have like minds in creativity and structure. We are in constant need of nurturing that creativity. But before I get carried away on that thought, let’s get back to bloggers supporting authors. Check list for supporting authors: This is the most important so I’m adding this first. DO NOT troll an author. Do NOT. I’ve seen bloggers use their platform to bash and harasses authors-for whatever reason-and I have zero respect for that. If you have a disagreement, do not further engage. And that means, do not smear the authors name on a public platform. Now, I don’t need to go into the reasons why you should not harass authors. You should be smart enough to figure out why.…

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