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
A Lone Wolf by writer, J.C. Fields, follows its characters through a tense world of assassins, handlers, informants, and spies. The characters constantly have to look over their shoulders and think several steps ahead of those who would rather have them dead. We meet the characters when they are thrown into a situation that would have left them dead, had they not narrowly escaped a sniper’s bullets. They were set up. They were supposed to die in Barcelona. They escaped, albeit narrowly, and must find out who wants them dead and why.
The constant stress and danger the characters find themselves in builds drama and suspense across the chapters. I even found myself tensing up at some points. Their lives are scary, but exciting. Also interesting are the “ins” they seem to have across the world. They have people to help them change identities, acquire the most legitimate of illegitimate documentation, passports, licenses, etc. They have contacts in all sorts of networks and government agencies. There seems to be a lot of true scenarios mixed in with their fictional lives. It makes the reader wonder how many double agents there really are out there.
A part that really stuck with me and seemed ingenious was when Michael and Nadia faked their deaths in Mexico. It really makes you wonder how much of what we know about what goes on in the world is real, and how much is a façade. I’m certain popular news outlets only receive a fraction of any given story, especially stories involving people so deeply involved in circles that meshes government officials with hitmen.
I really empathized with how Nadia began to feel about living in Missouri. I could identify. It was the first place, likely in a very long time, that felt like home to her. To feel safe and autonomous couldn’t have been feelings that were familiar, but they were good. Everyone wants that. Even people in their line of work have a basic human need for safety, security, freedom, and belonging. Missouri quickly became a happy place that Nadia dreaded leaving. Her longing to stay seemed so familiar. Anyone can certainly identify with wanting to be in a place or leave a hard situation.
The book was well-written with little to no noticeable errors. Quick and intense, it was still a fairly easy read. The characters are well-developed, as usual, and the fast-paced and exciting plot flow smoothly. Fields’s writing style is on par with tv shows such as Scandal or Amazon’s Jack Ryan. Being a Scandal fan, I associated some of the characters with people I’d seen on the show. Beyond the normal Whitehouse business, there is a network of characters who are hired fixers, hitmen, and spies who work behind the scenes in conjunction with those who are the faces on television telling people what to believe. These characters reminded me a lot of them.
The characters and plot were intricately interesting. It was an exciting read with some edge-of-your-seat type scenarios.
Pages: 372 | ASIN: B07T9SDHY8
Makers of a Destiny by David Crane is an enthralling mash-up of dystopian fantasy and a pulse pounding thriller.
The book is set in a post-apocalyptic New America, where Tanya Grey is one of the Panthers. The Panthers are a superior race, with a host of special forces that they intend to use for the growth and development of the other races in New America. However, a national emergency leaves Tanya Grey in the wake of a situation that requires all of her skills and power to fight the antagonists. They are the Neo Spartans, equipped with technological prowess and ruthlessness, they will stop at nothing to take down New America. Apart from this, an increasingly unstable political situation threatens the nation and Tanya Grey’s personal life.
Although this is a sequel to the novel Die to Live Again, reading that book is not required to read and enjoy this book. There are plenty of detailed explanations for all the characters, elements, and creatures. The descriptions of the Panthers’ lives and motivations were particularly fascinating. I wouldn’t be surprised if in our own post-nuclear holocaust (I don’t suppose it’s too far) we find ourselves in the company of these creatures. Apart from the Panthers, there were elaborate depictions of new species and animals, like the Hunter leeches. Although these were equally fascinating, I felt that they were a bit lengthy and did not contribute much to the plot.
Apart from these elements, equal amount of focus was devoted to Tanya’s personal lives and the characters that surround her. Her attachments and vulnerabilities made me especially empathetic to her decisions.
While reading, I was struck by the number of antagonistic elements in the book that were comparable to the realities of today. From racism to an endless lust for power that threatens the foundation of humanity, it was not a far stretch for my imagination to conjure up this world. The possibility of technology being used for evil, suppression of minorities, colonialism, and other parallels can easily be drawn between our world and this one. History always repeats itself and it is quite likely that we will find ourselves in a future which echoes our past. This novel provides a perfect and terrifying depiction of such a world.
Pages: 342 | ASIN: B074YH9GJD
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The Line Between follows an apocalyptic cult escapee who finds the end of the world is actually happening. What was the inspiration for the setup to this intriguing story?
In 2017, soon after Firstborn released, I met with my publisher in New York to talk about what was next. I had a short list of favorite story concepts—the idea of a cult escapee starting over and a pandemic rising from the permafrost (inspired by real headlines, scarily enough) among six or seven others. My publisher said, “I like both of those. I think you should put them together!”
It worked out strangely well! I wish I could take credit for the combination, but it was my publisher’s idea.
Wynter is an impressive character that I enjoyed watching develop throughout the novel. What were some ideas that drove her character development?
Thank you so much. Wynter’s a really intriguing character to me because she has so many challenges—she’s oppressed and imprisoned within this cult and when she finally gets out, she’s a complete fish out of water. She doesn’t know how to drive or work electronics, or much about how the outside world works at all. She struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder (as I do) and has issues with PTSD. She’s not your usual hero with a “special set of skills.” But she never gives up. She’s also kind of funny, which I love about her.
The disease that comes out of the permafrost causes madness in its victims. How did you develop the idea for the disease in your novel?
My sister is a physician and also teaches medical school, so I spent some time picking her brain for just the right combination of different yet plausible, and very scary. The idea of a fast-track prion disease (best known for its Mad Cow variant) is exceptionally frightening. In humans, prion disease cause very slow deterioration and dementia usually over decades. There is no cure, it’s always fatal, and as of right now there’s no way to even test for it except for posthumously. A rapid version of that seemed like a very formidable foe.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
Good question! I’m up for contract now, so we’re shopping a few ideas around. I really love these new concepts, so am very much looking forward to bringing them into the world.
When Wynter Roth finally escapes from New Earth, a self-contained doomsday cult on the American prairie, she emerges into a world poised on the brink of madness as a mysterious outbreak of rapid early onset dementia spreads across the nation.
As Wynter struggles to start over in a world she’s been taught to regard as evil, she finds herself face-to-face with the apocalypse she’s feared all her life—until the night her sister shows up at her doorstep with a set of medical samples. That night, Wynter learns there’s something far more sinister at play: that the prophet they once idolized has been toying with the fate of mankind, and that these samples are key to understanding the disease.
Now, as the power grid fails and the nation descends into chaos, Wynter must find a way to get the samples to a lab in Colorado. Uncertain who to trust, she takes up with former military man Chase Miller, who has his own reasons for wanting to get close to the samples in her possession, and to Wynter, herself.
Paradox is a collection of poetry that strips down and analyzes many aspects of modern society. What was the inspiration for the pieces in this collection?
We as humans, as a society, are brainwashed. For better or worse, we only learn from the information/algorithms given to us at a young age. And this is unstoppable, no matter what society comes after this one. But there comes a time when these conditions and rules become a burden because the rules become an obligation. Instead of being a person and enjoying the thrill that comes with wearing a mask, it is taken too seriously. It stops being a game when you can’t stop it; it becomes an addiction. And it becomes hell when you want to stop but are forced to keep playing by the rules. Paradox is a reminder that you can’t take yourself seriously because there isn’t anyone there. “you” are just another idea you take too literal. And I know what it’s like to grow up being the black sheep of the family/society; so, I know what it’s like to feel alone even when you’re surrounded by everyone. My way of thinking has always been considered taboo and has crossed the line of “we aren’t supposed to be talking about this or that” many times. I’ve noticed more and more people are beginning to question life because isn’t it a bit odd to appear on this weird rock we call earth, with no memory or instruction? I think the fact that life is so vague gives room for our beautiful theories and beliefs to breathe.
I enjoyed the paradoxes presented in this book because it prompted me to think critically about things I haven’t before. What do you hope readers take away from your book?
Well I created Paradox in a way that is very ambiguous because I wouldn’t want every person to take the same thing from this book. I’ve had hundreds of people email or dm me with a different interpretation of Paradox. For some it was about mental health, motivating, psychotherapy or just a story. But if anything, self-awareness. I am not asking anyone to have a mystical experience or a complete breakdown after reading this book, but self-awareness is important to me. I ask my readers to be anything they would like to be but be aware of your choices. Part of me wants to do what Jim Carrey and Alan watts did for me which was showing me that I wasn’t the only one who questioned the things people normally take for granted. Jim Carrey especially. He’s considered someone who is known for making people laugh yet if you ever hear him talk, you can sense that’s not the only part to him.
What is a theme you find yourself always coming back to while writing?
What first introduced me into writing was my ability to place an emotion inside someone else’s body. That to me is magic. I am obsessed with leaving my audience with something to think over. After reading any of my works, you will either finish thinking about something you have never thought of or seeing your life in a new light. it’s like seeing a new color for the first time. and sometimes that color can be hard to describe but it’s amazing while it’s new.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I just finished my 7th book and am working on a few more but my next book, “Workings of a masochist Vol. I” will be available this fall. Workings of a masochist will be a bit darker and a completely different approach mainly because I will never duplicate my work. I feel that Paradox has been wonderful in positivity, but I want my second book to really hit hard on what people ignore. We all read books about the victims of relationships of any kind but never the villains. The people who are hurting instead of the ones who cause the hurting. Because often the ones who hurt are doing the hurting. As of now, I believe “Workings of a masochist Vol. I” will probably be my best book.
what do you mean when you say I? normally we would respond by saying a center of awareness or a feeling of empowerment/selfishness. but after answering that question, another question comes which is “who is the one aware of yourself?” fire cannot burn itself in the same way you cannot look into your own eyes without using a mirror. by being aware of this illusionary feeling of a self, there is a separation. and if you think about that long enough to realize that there is no self, who is it that knows there is no ego? we often hide behind the masks we create; the mask embedded into our skin. we try to find our real selves in our mask which only leads from one maze to another. lost between sanity and madness. what would it be like to remove the mask you don’t remember putting on? what would it be like to know that you didn’t have to hold onto yourself so tight? these are questions we avoid because we aren’t sure just how deep the rabbit hole can go. but there’s always a way out of an illusion. you might not be the you that you think you are.
WARNING: THIS BOOK CONTAINS CONTRADICTIONS
Blood on the Chesapeake is a suspenseful murder mystery that involves the civil rights movement in some unique ways. What was the inspiration for the setup to this intriguing novel?
Like many Americans, I have been concerned by the country’s still pervasive tendrils of racism, even decades after the civil rights struggles of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s. I’ve personally witnessed this discrimination in the classroom, in the school and in the community, and the harm such bigotry has wrought on young people. I decided, with this work, to illuminate this issue. The selection of the setting of the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay gave me the opportunity to capture this social tension in an unusual manner. As I have journeyed there, I was overwhelmed by the quiet, scenic beauty of the region, but also intrigued by the dichotomy of the cultures there. This region bears the hallmarks of a proud New England tradition, but also with roots still very much in the South. (The area was home to famous slave plantations and was split in loyalties during the Civil War.) In this most peaceful and beautiful of settings on the Chesapeake Bay, what if some horrific racial injustice occurred in this small town—and they tried to cover it up?
Darrell Henshaw is an interesting and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character development?
Like most teachers and coaches, Darrell is driven by his deep concern for kids, concern for their learning and concern for their lives. He commits most of his life—certainly professional and sometimes, even personal—to give his kids a chance at a better life. When he stumbles upon an horrific crime against a student, even one perpetrated decades earlier, he’s moved to do something, do anything to find justice for the youth. But Darrell carries his own demons. In his teens, he had an encounter with a ghost, an encounter that left one a friend dead and his brother crippled. He still carries the scars of this encounter, a severe case of OCD. In order to help this young man he didn’t even know, Darrell has to confront his apprehension of the spirit world and deal with his condition. In the end, he finds his desire to secure justice for his student is greater than the sum of all his fears.
This novel seamlessly blends paranormal, urban fantasy and history. Was this intentional or did this happen organically while writing?
I did a great deal of research to complete this novel—research about the area, about sailing on the Chesapeake, about small town lynchings, about commonly accepted beliefs regarding the spirit world. My goal was to make the story as credible as possible within the limits of the genre. So, even though the narrative occurs in 1998, only twenty plus years earlier, I worked to make every detail authentic to the time and place. Even though it’s paranormal, the ghost sequences are closer to documented spectral occurrences that I had researched. Although the inspiration for parts of the story happened organically, the blending of these threads was carefully planned to render a tale that was fast-paced, engaging and satisfying.
This book is a part of your Haunted Shores Mysteries. What will the next novel in this series be about and when will it be available?
I’m currently completing the second installment in the Haunted Shore Mysteries series—tentatively titled Crimson at Cape May. Like Blood, Crimson is another ghost story/cold case murder mystery with even more romantic elements, this time set in the beautiful, historic resort town of Cape May, New Jersey. By the way, Cape May happens to be the most haunted seaport on the eastern coast and that doesn’t bode well for Darrell’s aversion to the ghost world or his OCD. In this second installment, not only is Darrell haunted by more ghosts, but he’s forced to confront another horror of modern life, human trafficking. Crimson at Cape May is scheduled to be released by the Wild Rose Press in September, 2020.
Wilshire, Maryland, a quaint shore town on the Chesapeake, promises Darrell Henshaw a new start in life and a second chance at love. That is, until he learns the town hides an ugly secret. A thirty-year-old murder in the high school. And a frightening ghost stalking his new office. Burned by an earlier encounter with the spirit world, Darrell doesn’t want to get involved, but when the desperate ghost hounds him, he concedes. Assisted by his new love, he follows a trail that leads to the civil rights movement, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and even the Klu Klux Klan. Then, when two locals who try to help are murdered, Darrell is forced to decide if he’s willing to risk his life—and the life of the woman he loves—to expose the killers of a young man he never knew.
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
Having been homeschooled until now, Maeleigh is nervous about starting at her new high school. She knew things would be different, but there was no way to prepare her for Gearden. Nor was she prepared to hear his voice in her head. Born deaf, she hasn’t heard anyone’s voice clearly before so why now? And how?!
That’s not the only weird thing going on in town. There’s a whole other society living amongst the norm. And she’s not just thrust into it, he tells her she’s a part of it, too. If that wasn’t enough, she now has to deal with someone out to harm the people she’s come to call family. Only, there are still too many secrets for her to navigate all that’s happening and know who to trust.
The Shine Hotel is a modern, prestigious, famous, dazzling, gleaming, glass hotel where people from all over the world visit some very famous people, and kings and queens stay and lots of children for the famous party nights in the glitzy piazza room, but early each morning, the hotel has to be sparkling clean yet again for all the guests. This is when Harvey and his super cool cleaning friends from Ajax and Ezma; to Jack and Trojan, or the legendary Sir Barron Broom and his young apprentice, Flash Broom, all come alive each morning to embark on a full fun adventure while getting the hotel to shine once again. It takes these special friendships to make it all come true.
Imprisoned for a crime he cannot remember committing, Max awakens on a strange world where time is fragmented and everything is a different colour. To make matters worse, he discovers that he has been exposed to a potent virus with only three days to find a cure before it renders him dead.
Max escapes, but comes into contact with the strict warden of the prison. He is coerced into taking part in a worldwide dangerous game through which he hears of a possible cure: a mystical magical door. The only problem is that he is not the only prisoner on this strange world, nor the only threat…
Fabric is an enticing fantasy novel which follows a prisoner as he takes his chances to escape from the worst possible setting and a world that is most peculiar. Tackling several different scenarios, Max is brought closer to the truth of his situation and brings to light the opinions of others that are in the same situation.