Summer is the Deviled Egg Season


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eggsSummer is finally here. The kids had their last day of school, the freezer is full of popsicles and we live between layers of sunscreen and bug spray.

Summer is also the season of picnics and potlucks. For these, I almost always make deviled eggs. Several reasons: my kids love them, they are relatively easy to make, I usually have the ingredients on-hand, and on a table of options, when my kids grab them, at least they will have some protein on their plate next to their pile of cookies and fruit salad.

But perhaps I need to vary from my old standby. My friends know me so well that a group invite recently read, RSVP with your dish (Holly has the deviled eggs covered). For Christmas another friend gave me a special deviled egg tray that has a frozen layer to keep the eggs chilled. Perfect. But, still, maybe it is time to try something new.

If you’re stuck in a food rut, here are several cookbooks that will tempt your taste buds to experiment.

cookbook-390x600This is Book 4 in The Family Caregiver’s Series. The books in this series are designed to support you, the family caregiver, which in turn will help you be supportive to your loved one.

You’re in the caregiving trenches and barely make it through the day, let alone have the energy to prepare fancy meals. But meals don’t have to be fancy or hard to make in order to be delicious, nutritious, and healthy. Harriet Hodgson, a dedicated home cook, former food writer, and family caregiver, wanted to fix delicious meals for her disabled husband. A creative cook, Harriet adapted favorite family recipes and created new ones for this book, reducing salt, fat, and sugar.Personal stories add to the recipes and each one ends with “Caregiver Tips.” You’ll get tips on how to stock your pantry, speed shop for groceries, understand the effects of sodium, and practice food safety.

The book is set in larger print that makes it easy to read. Treat your loved one—and yourself—to these easy-fix, delicious, and satisfying recipes. Make every meal a celebration of life!

PrintYes, that’s my family on the cover—all ten of us! We had to get creative to include two of our sons who were out of the state and country. I thought it was rather a genius idea, from my eldest daughter, to blow up their photos so they wouldn’t be left out of my home cooking cookbook. That’s how our family rolls: creative, spontaneous, and make-it-happen. In fact, that’s how my recipes in this cookbook came about!

As I was preparing meals at home, I might find that I was missing an ingredient to a recipe, wanted to improve one I’d tried, or was inspired by something I found on sale at the market. I think it was the artistic side of me that I’d not expressed since art school that found another outlet through my cooking. As our family continued to grow through adoption, it was up to me to stretch the dollars and fill the stomachs. That meant fresh food made at home. No drive-thrus for this family! So come along with me and cruise through these recipes, memories, and more. I think you’ll discover what my family and friends have enjoyed for years: delicious food, happy palates, and the wish that you had enough for leftovers!

wellnessJust thinking about dieting or eating right can feel overwhelming and heavy for most of us, but Dr. Amber French and chef Kari Morris show us that it doesn’t have to be. Wellness 100 presents a realistic and optimistic option with simple guidelines and healthy, easy, and delicious recipes that are respectful of busy lifestyles. Plus, the program naturally works to combat diseases of aging such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Can you imagine wanting to eat healthy and enjoying a diet program? With Wellness 100, you can because it is an attainable lifestyle, not a fad diet.

Based on hundreds of studies, research articles, and books by respected authors, the program will teach you how to eat a variety of readily available fresh and colorful foods with the proper amount of carbohydrates and protein for lifelong weight management and better health. Wellness 100 gets us back to basics, teaching us to make better choices when it comes to our eating habits instead of being lost in a world of confusing food labels and savvy marketing of convenience (processed) foods and fad diets. Shopping, cooking, and eating according to Wellness 100 guidelines is achievable and rewarding.

All books by BQB and WriteLife Publishing are available on Amazon, B&N or can be ordered from your favorite local bookstore.


The Power of the Short Story – Motivation for Writers


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I’ve been writing a few short stories lately. The biggest reason, if I’m totally honest, is that I’m stuck on several big projects. But it is these short stories that are renewing my energy for writing. Given a limit of 500, 1000 or 5000 words, every single one is crucial. Connecting a character, a setting and a plot within those constraints is challenging and fun!

Try it.

hurricaneAnd when you need to take a writing break to read something inspiring, Hurricane Blues And Other Stories, is collection of short stories by Marcia Calhoun Forecki that are sure to please readers.

In the title story, “Hurricane Blues,” meet a Louisiana blues piano player who protects her home-alone son by averting hurricanes with a whiskey shot glass and a mother’s love.

In “The Reader,” a dreamy bookworm stumbles into manhood.

In “Soul Most In Need,” the friendship of two southern widows is the one truth at a tent revival.

“Nahualli” presents a sharp-tongued Mexican recluse and her shape-shifting lover. Meet a good-hearted deacon doing reconnaissance on a philandering preacher from a classic car in “T-Bird Recon.”

A cruel medieval father, a frontier lawyer’s silent child scrivener, and an aspiring teacher caught in the 1918 influenza epidemic also populate this eclectic collection of previously published and new short fiction.

All books by BQB and WriteLife Publishing are available from Amazon, B&N, or can be ordered from your favorite local bookstore.

A Tale of Immigration and Entrepreneurial Terror


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trunkIn the corner of my mother’s living room, under several plants, there sits a trunk. It is the one her grandfather packed all his belongings in when he boarded a ship and moved to the United States. He eventually settled in Northern Wisconsin and started a small business. The rest of his story, I don’t know much about, but the trunk is a symbol of his journey and desire to start anew.

Tales of immigration fascinate me. What does it take for someone to leave their homeland and completely start over? War? Famine? Love? Hope? I don’t know that I would be able to do it, which makes the journey of others so much more inspiring.

I would like to share Ready, Fire, Aim! An Immigrant’s Tales of Entrepreneurial Terror by Charles Ota Heller with you. It will be released on June 1, 2017, but it is available for pre-order now:

ready-200x300Under the best conditions, being an entrepreneur can be filled with anxiety and trepidation. Throw in some challenging circumstances, and trepidation turns to downright terror. Charles Ota Heller is a Holocaust survivor who arrived in the US as a penniless thirteen-year-old who spoke two words of English. Exhibiting strength, persistence, and determination, he earned an athletic scholarship to college and obtained three degrees in engineering. He became an academic at the cutting edge of new computer technology and was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug.

Over the next twenty years as CEO of technology companies and an additional twenty as an investor in, and mentor of, startup companies, Charlie experienced the joys, successes, failures, and terrors of entrepreneurship. When the FBI attempted to shut down his company on a trumped-up charge, memories of World War II and the Gestapo filled him with the terror of uncertainty. He was betrayed by a member of his management team and was deposed from leadership of the company he founded. Then he discovered that his partner in a venture capital fund was dishonest and Charlie had to fight to maintain his own reputation.

Ready, Fire, Aim is the story of his riveting journey, told as a powerful, candid, engrossing adventure that will not only entertain but will leave present and budding entrepreneurs with valuable takeaways.

All books by BQB and WriteLife Publishing are available on Amazon, B&N, or can be ordered from your favorite local bookstore.