The B.R.A.G.Medallion

Memories of the Deli-

Laurie Boris' Boychik Reading this book took me back to the tastes and smells of my Dad’s deli—the sour pickles, the corned beef sandwiches, the lox and the deli salads. Set for much of the novel in Brooklyn in two neighborhoods, Brooklyn Heights and Williamsburg, both neighborhoods with which I am very familiar. Like main characters, cousins Eli and Artie Abramowitz, my dad was born in Williamsburg and was only 2 years younger than Eli. His dream was to own a deli, which he did many years later. In Brooklyn Heights, a wealthy neighborhood then and now, another main character grows up, Evelyn Rosenstein, daughter of Murder Incorporated mobster. What happens when these characters meet is an absorbing story, filled with romance, crime, and dreams, where Hollywood and life intertwine. Evelyn grows up in a wealthy but troubled family. Even at 17, she is chauffeured by a bodyguard everywhere and resents the lack of freedom she sees others have. She loves the Jewish traditions and thinks, “She liked lighting the menorah with her mother on Hanukkah. She liked the Seder dinner. They felt like invisible threads connecting her to Bubbe and Zayde, and all the family going back for generations.”…

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A Trip into Medieval England

1066   What Fates Imposed by G. K. Holloway reminded me of a wonderful holiday I took with some great friends to the very place that gave Holloway his mesmerizing topic. I am a an open and unashamed Anglophile. I admit it. I love the Queen. I love tea with milk (NOT cream). I love the Cotswolds. I’ve vacationed there so many times I can’t count. I’ve watched every single Endeavor and Morse series at least 3 times AND their spinoffs. I also adopt an English accent the minute the captain announces we are landing at Gatwick. Ta! I also adore English History. I once bored to death (my husband can vouch for this) a quiet, unobtrusive English couple, minding their own business, staying at our B&B, eating breakfast the same time as us with a complete and accurate recitation of all the kings and queens of THEIR country…in the correct chronological order. Mind the Gap! So it makes sense that I would have, at some point, visited the (holy!) site where the Battle of 1066 took place and the future of Britain was decided. That particular year we were staying in Rye, a gorgeously quaint town in the southeast of Kent…

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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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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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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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Sharing a wonderful romance book with friends – and a yummy Peach Cobbler!

  Olive Witkins was sure she had her days planned out. At 35, she was a spinster, worked at a Philadelphia library and took care of her parents’ house. She kept her hair in a tight bun, wore black clothes and kept herself all buttoned up. Then life intervened. With the death of her brother and his wife in 1891, Olive travels to the wilds of Spencer, Ohio to save their two children, fantasizing about the culture and family legacy she would bestow on Mary and John, how she would teach them and they would love her. Her dream shattered when she saw the hovel where her drunken brother had kept his family, not fit for human habitation. What her brother and his wife put their children through “rubbed raw all that she knew to be true…” With great difficulty, Olive rises to the occasion, mothers her niece and nephew with the help of her brother’s neighbor Jacob Butler. She begins to mother his 3 children as well. Despite her lack of experience and being used to Philadelphia life, “Olive felt more alive, more focused than she ever had before in her life…. I am done letting life go by.”…

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