Recipes of My 15 Grandmothers is a unique cookbook that contains centuries-old recipes of the author’s grandmothers from the times of Crypto-Jews. In the book, there are recipes for chicken, meat, fish and side dishes, sauces, desserts and also beverages. But it is not just a simple collection of recipes! Each recipe begins with a backstory about how the recipe was discovered, passed along generations and improved in ways that work well with “new world” ingredients. And the best thing is that all of them follow old Jewish customs and meet kosher guidelines.
Recipes of My 15 Grandmothers by Genie Milgrom is a superb collection of recipes. I was amazed how much effort, love and time the author has put into creating this cookbook. I can feel how much she respects her family’s Jewish heritage. I found the story of Genie Milgrom’s family interesting, knowing the origin of these recipes gives each recipe in this book a personal touch. I have never read a cookbook which also tells stories and shows the Jewish traditions. I was able to cook a dish and share a story of the recipes history with my family; a great conversation starter.
The structure of the book and the recipes is logical and I liked that each recipe is built up the same way. However, I would have preferred if the recipes were not in alphabetical order but rather in the order of difficulty (starting with the easy recipes).
The instructions to prepare the meals are clear and easy to follow. I found it great that the recipes are tested and modified to fit in the modern gastronomy. Recipes suitable for Passover are also clearly marked.
Recipes of My 15 Grandmothers: Unique Recipes and Stories from the Times of the Crypto-Jews during the Spanish Inquisition is a wonderful book written with love that you can taste.
Pages: 193 | ISBN: 9652299693
During World War II a young Serafima Krivenkova’s life changes forever after her lover, Vitya leaves the village to go to the front. Soon after Vitya leaves, Serafima’s home is taken over by Germans, and she and her mother are forced to follow the orders of the German officers who live there. Despite the hardships, Serafima tries to stay positive and often thinks about her future life together with Vitya after his return from the war. But something terrible happens that will make Serafima the target of hurtful gossips in the village and destroys her dreams.
The Cruel Romance by Marina Osipova is a sensational historical fiction novel about war, love, distress, cruelty, faith, and tragedy. The story takes place mostly in Russia, 80 miles from Moscow in the 1940’s and 1950’s and describes the life of Serafima, who continuously has to adapt to the difficulties and cruel circumstances caused by the war. Although the story is fictional, I got a deep insight into the cruelty of World War II and how it affected the lives of Russian citizens. Osipova has in depth knowledge of the topic and the Russian-German conflict during that time in history. The author uses different narratives to show the events, which helps to reveal new information about what has happened.
The story was consistently interesting but also depressing at the same time. At first, I thought that this would be a typical love story that, despite the difficulties, finishes with a happy ending. But it’s an unconventional story with many unexpected turns. In the beginning, the story builds slowly, but later events come fast and the years go by quickly. I would have preferred the time jumps not to have been so large, but this is mostly due to the fact that I wanted to stay with the interesting characters longer.
The characters are well-chosen and I liked that they have unique personalities. Osipova focuses on the description of what happened with the characters and what feelings they have rather than giving a detailed portrayal of them.
Overall, the novel is a great read. I would suggest this book to everyone who likes historical love stories.
Pages: 342 | ASIN: B0794VPFRW
A unit of the Seventh Cavalry is on a mission over Afghanistan when their plane is hit.
Sergeant James Alexander, Private Kady Sharakova, Private Charley Kawalski, PFC Autumn Eaglemoon, PFC Sparks Campbell, and nine other soldiers bail out of the burning plane.
When they hit the ground, they are not in Afghanistan. Not only are they four thousand miles from their original destination but it appears they have descended two thousand years into the past where primitive forces fight each other with swords and arrows.
The platoon is thrown into a battle where they must choose sides quickly or die. They are swept along in a tide of events so powerful that their courage, ingenuity and weapons are tested to the limits of their durability and strength.
The four women in the unit are trained soldiers, skilled in the art of combat, but they are not prepared for the brutal reality of war. They are more than capable of fighting alongside the men, and, at times, defending the others in close quarters fighting. But when the battle is won, they must come to grips with their destruction of life.
The Seventh is forced to join Hannibal’s army and fight his battles, at least until they can find their way home. However, as their journey takes them over the Alps and down the length of Italy, friendship and even romance begins to form between these hardened soldiers from past and present. Powerful bonds that reshape each soldier’s hopes and dreams for the future.
Phoebe Douse follows a young girl that gets invited to a mysterious school in Scotland where a world of fantastical possibilities starts to open. What was the inspiration behind this thrilling novel?
I was inspired by my personal life experiences, cultural heritage, and sparks of imagination. Also, I’ve always been an avid reader of all books—mysteries, adventures, history, contemporary, the classics, and the list goes on. With Phoebe Douse: S3A2, I wanted to blend elements of classical literature with those of a genre fiction.
Phoebe Douse is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some themes you wanted to capture in her character?
Thank you! I wanted to capture the themes of trust, self-discovery, and belief. Phoebe represents the journey of finding who we are, with the inevitable challenges and triumphs that we experience along the way. Further, Phoebe embodies the motif of the moon. The moon has always been special to me, and I believe it brings into the story the idea of our inner potential and the force, within and around us, that can help to empower us.
I felt like this book had a rich backstory. How much of that did you plan and how much of that developed organically?
The backstory started organically, and between intervals of my imagination, I intentionally infused the narrative with planned elements.
When and where will this book be available?
Phoebe Douse: S3A2 will be releasing September 30th, and is currently available for preorder on my website, http://www.lucillesamuels.com. After its release date, it will be available on Amazon and my website. Further, I’m establishing a contract with a major distributor so that it can be available through most retail channels and libraries.
Grandmother Naan’s superstitious stories seem too peculiar and childish to Phoebe Douse. It’s foolishness, as she likes to say. But when surprising and unfortunate circumstances in Texas lead her to accept a timely invitation to attend a remote boarding school, thousands of miles away in Scotland, Phoebe finds that everything is not what she made herself believe.
Unwittingly, Phoebe is thrown onto the stage of power and danger as events unfold that reveal the extent of her abilities and Naan’s connection to the school. There, Phoebe is introduced to the clandestine world of S3A2 and is forced to decide between her new friends and the promises of power and S3A2 status from the welcoming but strangely mysterious Headmaster Duff.
Will Phoebe be able to develop her abilities in time to protect her friends? Or, will she decide to use her abilities to fuel her own ambitions?
I, Claudia follows the life of Claudia Procula wife of Pontius Pilate. What was the inspiration that made you want to write this book?
This book was not my idea. In fact, I planned to write the fifth in the Lindsey McCall series. Until a March day last year when this title and overall story appeared in my head. Pilate is a man with whom I began to feel a powerful affinity once I started praying the prayers of the Catholic Church. Not only could I sympathize with his awful dilemma, I felt that I could “stand under” it, having faced my own.
When Pilate was confronted with an impossible choice, he was wholly clear on the right action to take— and what was at stake if he didn’t— yet he was entirely incapable of bringing it to fruition. In his case, this was because of an oath. In my own, it was because of a promise.
You are able to weave fact with fiction in this book so well that it all seemed possible. How did you fill in the historical gaps with your story?
In bringing Pilate— and especially his bride— to life, I was moved to allow my imagination to embroider upon the little that is known about them. From the moment I began to conceive of this book, Claudia was Greek— a Delphine. Like anyone who has had the privilege of visiting Delphi, I found the place haunting and holy. There is mysticism in each pebble and echoes of the Oracles in the ruins of the temples. On a journey there alone, I could literally hear the whispered prayers of the ages as I made my way down through the crumbling ruins of the shrine. It is a sacred place. Claudia Procula could have been from no other place on earth. Giving Claudia a bit of a philosophical bent provided me with an excuse to revisit friends from a time when I believed in nothing.
The story is very well told and the world seems so vivid. What research did you undertake for this novel to keep things accurate?
The research necessary for this story, actually for every one of my books is considerable. Because I need to study and read enough to convey authenticity of character, place and time. Somewhere around a dozen books, scores of articles and many, many online virtual ‘tours’ of the ancient Roman, Israeli and Greek architecture, travel, geography, dress and cuisine.
Do you plan on writing other books in this blended fiction and historical fact format?
Yes, My Name is Saul; A Novel of the Ancient World is my next novel scheduled for release at the end of the year.
Claudia Procula–wife of one of the most controversial figures in ancient history–comes alive to twenty-first-century readers in a groundbreaking new novel by the award-winning author of the Lindsey McCall medical mystery series.
For decades, the daughter of the last Oracle at Delphi has suppressed the secrets of her birth, extensive education, and marriage to the notorious Fifth Prelate of Judea–Pontius PIlate. Now, at age seventy-nine, she feels compelled to leave behind her story for the world and set the record straight about the beginnings of modern history.
He has had his arms raised for how many hours now? Shouldn’t there be a Joshua to help this Moses? I suppressed a smile at my wittiness, knowing better than to voice the thought aloud. My ladies would be shocked by my allusion to the great Jewish prophet. Well aware of my reputation as an empty-headed nitwit among those who served my husband, such low expectations had served me well. Best to maintain the fiction.
In a surprising change of genre and style, Wilder brings her extensive research and wide-ranging imagination to bear on the seminal story of our time: the passion of the Christ. The result is a compelling and harrowing love story replete with historical figures such as Seneca, Socrates, and Pilate himself. It is sure to captivate both believers and skeptics alike, and remain in readers’ minds long after the last page is turned.
The Literary Titan Book Awards are awarded to books that have astounded and amazed us with unique writing styles, vivid worlds, complex characters, and original ideas. These books deserve extraordinary praise and we are proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and imagination of these talented authors.
Gold Award Winners
Phoebe Douse: S3A2 by L. Samuels
The Farthest-Reaching Ball: A Memoir of Motherhood by Sandra Bowman
Silver Award Winners
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Many are remembered and revered for their contribution to the civil rights movement–some are more easily named than others. Clyde Kennard is one man among the countless individuals whose quiet contributions are often overlooked in history books, lectures, and museum descriptions of the most famous civil rights events of the 1950s. Clyde Kennard, a man with a right to an education in the United States, found himself in the throes of a battle to gain a college education in Mississippi while at the same time battling the oppressiveness of segregation, racism, and the fears of rural white America.
The Life and Times of Clyde Kennard, by Derek R. King, is the moving account of Clyde Kennard’s life and significant but virtually silent contribution to desegregate the South. King invites readers to absorb the details of Kennard’s life from his early days through his years serving in the United States Army. By establishing Kennard’s willingness to defend his country, King makes it clear to readers that Kennard is a man we should not slight in discussions of desegregation.
I am sure I am not the only reader surprised to hear of the part Kennard played in desegregating a southern college. King explains, in no uncertain terms, the exceptional number of obstacles placed in Clyde Kennard’s path as he attempted to apply and enroll in Mississippi Southern College near his own home in Mississippi. Authors like King are almost single handedly responsible for providing readers with otherwise hidden facts about heroes like Clyde Kennard and those who championed his cause.
In addition to telling Clyde Kennard’s own personal story of struggle, King includes details about the deaths of Reverend George Lee, Lamar Smith, and Emmett Till. While Emmett Till’s tragic story is one I had heard, I was completely unaware of the viciousness of his death and had no idea that his killers were so brazen as to later proudly admit their actions. These are the stories we all need to be told so history does not repeat itself. I, for one, am grateful to authors like King who continue to tell these stories.
Clyde Kennard was harassed and underwent one accusation after another as he fought to further his own education. I am horrified at the level of leading questions Clyde Kennard was asked by prosecutors when he was accused of robbery. Nowhere during his proceedings was he treated fairly. King has included the testimony within his story which makes the truth of Kennard’s battle that much more gripping.
It is and will forever be through books like Derek R. King’s that citizens of the United States see and feel the truth of where our country has been and the place we should all fear returning. Clyde Kennard’s story is one that should be told far and wide and given its rightful place alongside all other well-renowned heroes of the civil rights movement. Derek R. King has made a significant contribution to literature indeed.
Pages: 384 | ASIN: B07JPL1SBD
The Dung Beetles of Liberia is a thrilling novel following the life of an American in 1961 Liberia. What was the inspiration that made you want to put this story in a novel?
Over the years, a friend of mine in the FAA had been telling me fantastic stories about the seven years he spent as an air transport pilot in pre-civil war Liberia in the 1960’s. The stories were incredible. I decided that somebody had to document what he had experienced, and being a writer, I was the one to do it. After over 40 hours of interviews, listening to one amazing tale after another, it became apparent that in order to write a cohesive and thematic account of his adventures, I could not write the non-fiction memoir as I had intended, but had to rearrange his story into a novel based on his experiences. And so the historical novel based on fact was born.
You did a fantastic job of capturing the setting and culture of Liberia. What type of research did you undertake for this novel?
Once I got a story line going, I used the internet extensively, as there are a multitude of photos showing Monrovia in its heyday during the period my novel takes place. I also did research into the history of Liberia, dating back to the 1820’s when President Monroe”s American Colonization Policy shipped hundreds of freed slaves “back to Africa.” These “Americo-Liberians,” as they were called, had set up a societal structure not unlike the Ante Bellum South from which they had come. My hero spent most of his time dealing with the indigenous people and the expat community and was thus able to see the amazing disparity between the classes.
This is a consistently engaging book that is high in social commentary. What do you hope readers take away from this book?
Researching this society’s progression it became evident that it was a microcosm of a much larger truth. The Power-Elite Theory, claims that when a single elite group decides all issues for the nation as a whole, both political and social,this leaves almost nothing for the common person. It paints a dark picture. And in Liberia’s case, ironically, it even dipped its toe into the murky waters of forced labor and slavery. It is what caused its descent into the chaos of revolution.
Also, the metaphor of the dung beetle is referenced several times throughout the book creating a visual commentary of the society that is based on greed and corruption–again, leaving nothing for the little man.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I am currently working on the sequel to THE DUNG BEETLES OF LIBERIA, which covers a three-week period of the takeover of the government by Sgt Doe in 1980. The beginning of the bloodbath.
Based on the remarkable true account of a young American who landed in Liberia in 1961.
Ken Verrier is not happy, nor at peace. He is experiencing the turbulence of Ishmael and the guilt of his brother’s death. His sudden decision to drop out of college and deal with his demons shocks his family, his friends, and especially his girlfriend, soon to have been his fiancee. His destination: Liberia – The richest country in Africa both in monetary wealth and in natural resources.
Nothing could have prepared Ken for the experiences he was about to live through. He quickly realizes that he has arrived in a place where he understands very little of what is considered normal, where the dignity of life has little meaning, and where he can trust no one.
Flying into the interior bush as a transport pilot, Ken learns quickly. He witnesses first-hand the disparate lives of the Liberian “Country People” and the “Congo People” also known as Americo-Liberians. These descendants of President Monroe’s American Colonization Policy that sent freed slaves back to Africa in the 1800’s have set up a stricthierarchical society not unlike the antebellum South.
Author Dan Meier describes Ken’s many escapades, spanning from horrifying to whimsical, with engaging and fast-moving narrative that ultimately describe a society upon which the wealthy are feeding and in which the poor are being buried.
It’s a novel that will stay will you long after the last word has been read.
Darrell Henshaw is the keeper of many secrets–most of which are not entirely his own. When he decides to make a change and accept a job in a new school, he fully expects to leave all of his ghosts behind–literally. Entering this new school and beginning the season as the coach of Wilshire, Maryland’s high school football team, should be an exciting time for Darrell, but his past and present are now blurring together. He finds himself in the throes of researching the decades old story of a suicide that took place at the school. In addition, Darrell finds himself dredging up memories that might better be left alone.
Randy Overbeck’s Blood on the Chesapeake follows main character, Darrell Henshaw, on an epic journey of historic proportions as he tackles racial injustice and attempts to correctly label a suicide as a murder. With pertinent mentions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement, Overbeck has crafted a murder mystery for the ages that encourages readers to investigate their own feelings regarding social injustices.
Overbeck could not have taken a more perfect route than the diary he opted to have Darrell find and peruse. Kelly’s diary is not only the most telling sign that Hank was murdered, it is also an amazing glimpse into life in the 60s and a sure sign that desegregation was, in many areas of the US, as violently protested as it ever was decades prior. The readings of the diary by Darrell and Erin, his love interest, make the book. I could almost smell the mildewed pages, and I felt the characters’ frustration as they battled through the diary’s pages to piece together the mystery that is Kelly and Hank’s fates.
Overbeck’s pace is spot on and makes for a thoroughly engaging and quick read. With no excessive filler material, the author moves seamlessly from one tragic event and clue to the next. Overbeck makes readers yearn for closure.
One of the most amazing aspects of Overbeck’s work is the way in which he conveys the characters’ feelings toward racism. Blood on the Chesapeake is not a book to be enjoyed; it is a book to appreciate for the reminders it provides readers. With mentions of lynchings and the KKK leading up to the setting of this book, and Overbeck gives readers a clear look at the way racism and bigotry continued to leak far beyond the bounds of the deep South even after desegregation began to make its way across the US.
Though the book is clearly focused on events from the 60s via Kelly’s diary, the plot is timely considering the state of today’s world. Readers will find themselves quickly caught up in Darrell’s descriptions of his ghostly encounters and eagerly awaiting each and every clue.
Pages: 296 | ASIN: B07N3BZBPR
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Burn Marks is a collection of fictional short stories that give readers a unique perspective on historical events. Why was this an important collection for you to write?
- Fort Worth Star: The public only saw and heard about what Lee Harvey did. Nobody ever got to feel how Mrs. Oswald absorbed it.
- Ethel: The public heard and read what the government said she did. No one got to hear Ethel’s side of it.
- The Jumper: Sure, we know the skyjacker jumped from the plane with the money. What about that which his daughter went through.
- The Conductor: Of course, there were sympathetic whites in the south who opposed slavery. Her was one who had his own solution.
- It went without saying, Leopold & Loeb were the worst of the worst. What about a young women, hanging out with them, who was just as bad?
The stories are all engaging and well developed. Did you write them over time or did you write them specifically for this collection?
Each story is the result of an individual thought process. It was not until the last story was completed when I realized the similarities; the letters. That was when I decided to make a book from them. The first story that I did was about Ethel Rosenberg. For the longest time, I had been fascinated by how Ethel Rosenberg maintained her silence. She was eventually offered a deal by the prosecution: tell on your husband, Julius, spend minimal prison time, then be reunited with your children. She remained stedfast, silent. From that truism I was compelled to speak for her. When “Ethel” was completed, I knew that I had to venture out and speak for others who historians recorded differently.
My favorite story from the collection is Deja’ Blue. What is your favorite story from the collection?
Ethel is my favorite. For me, there is something nice, almost romantically innocent, about writing to Santa Claus in the face of the hardships that she suffered through. In a somewhat odd way, I found myself relating to that type of pen pal relationship—comforted in a canal of calm while in the center of a whirlwind chaotic storm.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I am working on a sequel to Burn Marks. Jack, Siobhan and Deja resurface. What is easy about the sequel is that readers need not have read Burn Marks to grasp the full flavor of my second book.