Tag Archives: Non-Fiction

BLOG TOUR: Madame Picasso by Anne Girard (aka Diane Haegar)

9780778316350.inddTitle: Madame Picasso
Author: Anne Girard (aka Diane Haegar)
ISBN: 978-0778316350
Publisher: Mira Books
First Published: 26th August 2014 (paperback / audio) / 1st September 2014 (Kindle)

Rating: Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven

Synopsis (from Amazon):

The mesmerizing and untold story of Eva Gouel, the unforgettable woman who stole the heart of the greatest artist of our time.

When Eva Gouel moves to Paris from the countryside, she is full of ambition and dreams of stardom. Though young and inexperienced, she manages to find work as a costumer at the famous Moulin Rouge, and it is here that she first catches the attention of Pablo Picasso, a rising star in the art world. A brilliant but eccentric artist, Picasso sets his sights on Eva, and Eva can’t help but be drawn into his web. But what starts as a torrid affair soon evolves into what will become the first great love of Picasso’s life.

With sparkling insight and passion, Madame Picasso introduces us to a dazzling heroine, taking us from the salon of Gertrude Stein to the glamorous Moulin Rouge and inside the studio and heart of one of the most enigmatic and iconic artists of the 20th century.

Review:
Girard paints her canvas as bright as any Picasso work of art, infusing the story of Eva Gouel with the sights, sounds and smells of Paris and the scandalous folk involved in the cubist art movement in the early 20th century. It’s a fascinating and touching glimpse of the life of a muse that directly affected one of the greatest and most famous artists of his age; one whose legacy will live on forever, remembered as one of the forefathers of cubism.

Eva’s story is a poignant one which is, ultimately, tinged with sadness, but she lived her life to the full, and inspired many of Picasso’s artworks, and Girard presents her as a very real and very credible source of inspiration; a complicated woman from a traditional background who broke tradition at every turn with her unconventional (for the times) relationship with a man who was a known womaniser. Yet it seems Picasso really did adore her, and it is easy to see why.

Through Girard’s masterful strokes emerges a life less ordinary; the life of the extraordinary; a woman who deserves to be remembered and celebrated every bit as much as her larger-than-life artist lover. Read it, and find yourself plunged headfirst into a swirling palette of vibrant, colourful characters, and passions that burn so bright they cannot possibly last.

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BOOK BLAST: What Counts Most Is How You Finish: Thoughts on Living Life to the Fullest by Shelia Payton

What Counts Most is How You FinishBook Details:
Book Title: What Counts Most Is How You Finish: Thoughts on Living Life to the Fullest by Shelia Payton
Category: New Adult non-fiction, 273 pages
Publisher: Xlibris
Published: January 2012
Available in: Print and e-book formats (mobi – for Kindle- or ePub)
Will send books to: US and Canada
Tour dates:  August 18 to 29, 2014
Content Rating: G

Book Synopsis:
What Counts Most is How You Finish is a book of short essays that shares ideas for addressing life’s challenges. The book (which uses experiences from the author’s life and the lives of others) is written with two ideas in mind:
• Each person has to find his or her own way in life
• We can learn worthwhile things from each otherTo make it easier to find an essay that can help the reader address life situations in real time, What Counts Most is How You Finish is divided into seven topic areas: Being You, Taking Care of You, Dealing with People, Overcoming Challenges, Staying Focused, Achieving Success and Making a Difference.

While the primary audience for What Counts Most is How You Finish is people between the ages of 16-25, the book has received positive feedback from many older than that who say it’s a good reminder for them.

Finalist of The Next Generation Indie Book Awards, What Counts Most is How You Finish is filled with insightful lessons.

Shelia PaytonMeet the author:
Shelia Payton is an entrepreneur, former newspaper reporter, corporate manager and educator who spent all of her early life and much of her career in a time when people of color and women in this country were pushing for greater inclusion at all levels of society, and seeking greater opportunities to live life to the fullest. Like others in her generation, Shelia had to face and overcome barriers to entering and succeeding in non-traditional jobs, and create a place in civic and leadership settings. Also like others in her generation, Shelia’s motivation has not just been about what she can accomplish for herself, but also how she can open up opportunities for future generations. Shelia’s current focus is on creating books, plays and music that build human connections by breaking down barriers and stereotypes.

Visit Shelia’s Website​

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BOOK BLAST: Everyday Celebrations with Maria Loggia

Everyday Celebrations with Maria LoggiaBook Details

Book Title: Everyday Celebrations with Maria Loggia
Category: Non-fiction
Genre: Cooking, Food & Wine, 176 pages
Publisher: Cardinal Publishing
Published: Oct 1, 2012
Tour dates:  July 14-18,  2014
Content Rating: G

About the book

Maria Loggia’s kitchen door is always open. Her home and garden are a gathering place for friends and family, who come to share her easygoing enthusiasm and generosity – and her inspired Italian cuisine. In this, her second book, Loggia celebrates the seasons with 16 sumptuous menus – from a spontaneous al fresco garden party to a slow-simmered midwinter feast and a traditional Sunday family lunch.

Meet the author

Maria finds inspiration in her Italian heritage and draws on family recipes that go back generations. She founded Tavola Mia, her at-home cooking school in 1999. Through her study of Italy’s regional cuisines, which has included numerous sojourns back to her native country, she has acquired great expertise in the art of Italian cooking. Her passion, humor and dedication to excellence have made her an inspiring teacher. Using fresh local ingredients, Tavola Mia celebrates the seasons in authentic, irrepressible Italian style.

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Try One of the Recipes!

Petto di Pollo Farcito con Uva e Noci

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Grapes and Walnuts

 

 

Ingredients

For filling:

  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup (125 ml) red seedless grapes, quartered
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) finely chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) bread crumbs
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 7 oz (200 g) soft goat cheese, cut in 6 slices

For chicken:

  • 6 tbsp (90 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 bone-in chicken breasts, skin on
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 orange, cut into wedges
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, each cut in half
  • 5 bay leaves

To serve:

  • Freshly squeezed juice of 1 orange

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

To prepare filling: Heat butter and oil in a large skillet and sauté shallots until soft, 1 to 2 minutes, and remove from heat. Stir in walnuts, grapes, chives and bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool slightly. Leave goat cheese aside for now.

To prepare chicken: Oil a 14-inch (35 cm) round earthenware tiella or roasting pan with 2 tbsp (30 ml) of the olive oil and set aside. On a baking sheet, season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Make a lengthwise slit in each chicken breast, being careful not to cut all the way through. (This will form the pocket for the stuffing.) Rub remaining 4 tbsp (60 ml) olive oil into the chicken (including in the pockets). Divide stuffing equally among chicken breasts, stuffing it into the slit in each breast, and top with a slice of goat cheese. Pull the chicken skin over the filling and secure with toothpicks. Smear butter over the skin and season again to taste with salt and pepper.

Gently transfer chicken to prepared tiella. Scatter orange wedges, rosemary and bay leaves around chicken. Roast 35 to 40 minutes, or until juices run clear when the thickest part of the breast is pierced. Then broil 2 to 3 minutes, or until skin is crisp and golden. Drizzle with orange juice and serve warm with pan juices.

Serves 6

Tips from Maria:

Consigli di cucina (kitchen tips)

The chicken breasts can be assembled the day before, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated. When ready to serve, bring chicken to room temperature and cook as instructed. Doing it this way allows the flavours time to meld together beautifully.

Che cos’è? (what is it?)

I’m convinced food tastes better when cooked in a shallow, glazed earthenware dish known in Italian as a tiella. I find earthenware dishes distribute heat slowly and evenly as the food cooks. Aromas and flavours are intensified and casseroles never stick or dry out.

To season a tiella: Before using your tiella the first time, immerse the dish in cold water to soak overnight. The next day, empty the tiella and wipe it dry. Rub the inside with olive oil and place in a preheated 300°F (150°C) oven for 1½ hours. Remove seasoned tiella from oven and place on a wooden board or thick tablecloth to cool. (If placed on a surface like granite or a cold stovetop, it will crack.) To clean a tiella, soak it in warm, soapy water, then scrub with a soft sponge.

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Interview video:

Maria Loggia from Pierre Blais on Vimeo.

Maria Loggia from Pierre Blais on Vimeo.

Where to buy the book:

Amazon.ca

Cardinal Publishing

Amazon.com

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BOOK BLAST: The Best Homemade Kids’ Lunches on the Planet by Laura Fuentes

momables

unnamedI wish I had the words that would best describe what it feels to hold your very own printed book in your hands.

I now understand the expression “writing a book is like birthing a child.” Minus the  delivery and having an actual baby (this coming from a mom of 3).

I’ve had my author copy on my desk for a few weeks now, and I’m falling more and more in love with it every time I look at it.

Today, because you are one of my community members, you can download a free sample!

I’d love for you to read my introduction, my philosophy on shopping, and get a few free recipes.

I poured my heart out into this book. I’ve made my husband taste things that he would rather not have to give his “honest opinion” (luckily those never made it into the book).  I’ve worked a ridiculous amount of hours trying to get every single recipe typed up in a way that even a novice home cook or a young person could follow.

I was a stress case for 12 weeks, relied on every family member and friend for child care, and drank way too much coffee while staying up way past my bedtime to meet a deadline (or two).

This cookbook is a manual for parents who want to make homemade food simple. A guide filled with prep-ahead tips to help you make lunches the night before so you can keep it together in the morning when you are busy trying to get the kids out the door –ahem! my life.

I wanted to write something that was worth gifting to a friend. A book filled with breakfast, lunch, and family sized dinners that would never go out of style. Recipes you could use for the entire family, regardless of the age of your child.

Unlike other recipe books, the meals are pictured exactly as you would need to pack them inside a lunch box, a thermos, or a snack box. Because really, nobody wants to eat a soggy lunch.

This book is a resource for anyone who wants to take control of their kitchens, get organized with real meal ideas that don’t require a lot of kitchen skills or time. It’s not a gourmet book, it’s a real family, short on time, I’m out of ideas kind of book.

The Best Homemade Kids’ Lunches on the Planet is designed to teach you how to make real food convenient and appealing to your kids. The book is divided into chapters like:

  • Pack Like a Pro: Nourishing Foods on the Go. Everything you need to know to get started with packing the best lunches and making meals for your family. From budget-friendly shopping, how to stock your pantry, and tips on making prep-ahead meals.
  • Get Out the Door: Breakfasts to Go. A whole section on portable breakfast items, my family’s favorites, and the tips a parent needs to getting out the door in the morning with well fed kids on time.
  • Fill the Box: Sandwiches and More. Long gone are the days of one peanut butter and jelly sandwich after another. It’s time to bring variety back into your family’s lunches! The sandwiches, wraps, and pinwheels in this section incorporate leftovers and easy to find ingredients into new favorites.
  • Add Some Fun: Interactive Lunches for Picky Eaters. This section is for every parent who has had to fight or say no to one of those colored pre-packaged lunches at the grocery store. The lunches in this section teaches how how to make your homemade version delicious, nutritious, and a lot more fun!
  • Fill the Thermos: Portable Hot Lunches. Inspired by my good friend who lets her kids eat school lunch because a “hot lunch” is better than a sandwich. I beg to differ. These hot lunches will rock your thermos world.
  • Extra Credit: Staples, Drinks, Treats, and More. The recipes here are the tipping point of going fully homemade. This chapter will be your most visited, guaranteed.
  • Putting it All Together: Meal Planning and More. A 2 week sample plan with recipes from the book, a guide on how to use the recipes in the book to create classroom sized snacks, and making meals on-the-go.

 
book

Of course, I had a little help with my most difficult to nail recipes. The Classroom Cupcake Recipe was tested by 67 families from this community!

A huge thank YOU to those of you who tested it and gave your feedback. With your help, the recipe made it into the book! Easy, fluffy, golden cupcakes every time.

Today, you have the opportunity to purchase this book at a pre-sale price on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Pre-ordered books are being shipped out as early as this coming week! Even if you live overseas, your e-book preorder helps!

In addition, I will be signing and shipping personalized cards to the first 250 lucky people. All you have to do is email your purchase receipt to info@momables.com now through 7/1/14 (I have under 100 left!).

If you’ve already bought your copy, dig in your email inbox and forward your receipt! I’d love to send you a personalized note.

And now, you get an exclusive inside look at the cookbook by clicking here.

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Filed under Book Blasts, Non-Fiction, Recipes