Articles for the Month of April 2021

September to Remember: Searching for Culinary Pleasures at the Italian Table (Book Three) – Lombardy, Tuscany, Compania, Apulia, and Lazio (Roma) (Savoring the Olde Ways Series 3)

For me, there can be no better book to read than a gourmet travelogue. As a great fan of Carole Bumpus’ “Savoring the Olde Ways series” which have, until this book, been based in France, I was very happy to join Carole and her husband Win (Winston) as they, at his suggestion, started their new culinary tour of Italy in September 1998.

The intrepid American pair had not prepared themselves with Italian lessons, but with guidebooks in hand, had thrown off the shackles of work, and arrived at the Milano Malpensa Terminal full of excitement.

Undaunted by Carole’s lost luggage they carried on to their hotel, and after an ‘interesting’ clothes shopping trip which will make us ladies of, should I say ‘non-model size’ simultaneously giggle and cringe in sympathy with the author, they started their adventure by visiting the Duomo. This incredible building was “Like a giant birthday cake with delicate filigreed spires reaching up toward the heavens and dancing along the flying buttresses, it was a sight to behold.” I was hooked!

From there they headed to Tuscany and stayed in the hillside village of Poderi di Montemerano with their new friend Lisa, who they had met in San Francisco. “After all, who can resist the chance not just to visit Tuscany, but to ‘experience her?’” she had told them.

Arriving on a fiesta (or festival) day, they were treated as part of the family and experience real life in southern Tuscany, where in villages and towns the local produce of the area is celebrated every year, on the same day. They found themselves eating the day and night away, sampling traditional delicacies made, that very day by the villagers. Carole soon discovered that here the world seems to spin at a different speed, the people live in a world connected to nature and the seasons, the gods are everywhere, and your very life depends on these forces working in harmony. This ethos has worked for generations, and will do so for generations to come. They explored this beautiful region, including the Etruscan Tombs of Sovana, which have a beautifully carved temple, and burial chambers in the necropolis or “city of the dead.” Then enjoyed wonderful meals, including Aquacotta, a simple peasant dish the author enjoys cooking today, the name literally means “boiled water” and it is a thick vegetable stew with a lovely poached egg placed on top. The recipe, like many others, can be found at the back of this wonderful book, so you can try them too.

Carole and Win’s adventure continued, with them catching the train to Pisa, then on to Florence, marvelling at the beautiful scenery, with the crystalline Tyrrhenian Sea on one side and the incredible medieval castles, quaint hillside villages. Vineyards and sunflower fields on the other.

Florence was a busy city with amazing shops, and architecture. On their return to Poderi their time included visiting the thermal baths (terme) in Saturnia with its greenish-black moss, now there’s a place with a tale to tell…

Then it was time to visit the Amalfi Coast, staying in Amalfi where they visited the spectacular Piazza Duomo. The author’s description of this place, Pompeii and the Isle of Love, Capri, had me looking it up as a holiday destination. All I can say is WOW I want to go!

However all vacations must come to an end and after a jaunt across country to Apulia, they were off to their final destination, Rome. The Colosseum, Arch of Constantine, the Forum, the Vatican and Sistine Chapel, the author vividly describes them all. Through her penmanship you can almost see the gold radiating from the Basilica, from both Renaissance and Baroque art. And here, as in other places, she also sends us on a sensory tour with her descriptions of the marvellous meals they enjoyed, of course all handmade, regional, and accompanied by superb wine. A true celebration of Italy.

I believe that Carole Bumpus is such a successful author because of the love and passion she puts into her books, through her writing the landscapes, architecture, and gastronomy of Italy are brought wonderfully to life. Highly recommended!

About the Author:

A retired family therapist, Carole Bumpus began writing a culinary travel series when she stumbled upon the amazing stories of women, recipes and war in France. Her historical novel, A Cup of Redemption, was based on the poignant story of a French woman she had met and interviewed. It was published October 2014. Her unique companion cookbook, Recipes for Redemption: A Companion Cookbook to A Cup of Redemption was released August 2015 with the recipes from all the foods savored in the novel.

In addition to the cookbook, she is completing her original series of culinary travel books, Savoring the Olde Ways. The first of this series, Searching for Family and Traditions at the French Table, Book One, is to be published August 27, 2019. The second of the series will follow in one year completing the original French tour. The third book, Searching for Family and Traditions at the Italian Table is scheduled for April 2021.

She has also had three short stories published in the California Writers Club – Fault Zone anthologies: Words from the Edge; Stepping up to the Edge and Over the Edge. She has received numerous writing awards including: Honorable Mention in fiction and also Runner-Up in cookbooks in the London Book Festival – 2015; Honorable Mention in fiction for A Cup of Redemption – Paris Book Festival – 2016; Bronze Medal – IPPY Award – Cover Design of A Cup of Redemption – 2016; Finalist – International Book Awards – A Cup of Redemption – Historical Fiction – 2016; Finalist – International Cookbook Awards – Recipe for Redemption – 2016 – www.carolebumpus.com

About the Book:

Join Carole Bumpus and her husband in Book Three of the Savoring the Olde Ways series as they take you on their first culinary trek through Italy, including regions of Lombardy, Tuscany, Compania, Apulia, and Lazio. Embrace unforgettable characters such as lovely guides Lisa and Margarita, who introduce you to the “true Italian experience.” Sup on traditional foods (cucina povera) including local tortelli, pappardelle al cinghiale (wild boar), bistecca all Fiorentina, pasta alla vongole (clams), or saltimbocca alla Romana. Sip regional wines, along with memorable digestivos like limoncello and grappa. Find yourself dancing at harvest festivals, climbing through Etruscan tombs, traipsing among Roman ruins, or bathing in ancient Roman termés (hot springs). Climb to the heights in elegant Capri on the gorgeous Amalfi Coast, or to the top of the “holiest of holies” at St. Peter’s Basilica. Soak up ancient and cultural history in Milan, Firenze (Florence), Amalfi, Pompeii, Lecce, and Rome. Bask in the sun and opalescent waters along the rugged coasts of the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic Seas. And, best of all, capture a rare glimpse into the secrets of the Mediterranean psyche while sharing a good meal with new friends. It is truly the trip of a lifetime.

Available from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08DXM6RKF/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i1

THE LEOPARD LICKS ITS SPOTS by K. A. Mulenga

A lovely children’s book with an important message.

Leroy lives with his Mummy, Daddy, Grandma, and Grandpa. Grandpa Leopard, is Chief and the Judge of their group who live in the African Savannah. His grandpa’s roles hold big responsibilities,  they are very important jobs which means he has to be very wise.

Leroy and Lapa are as usual playing together, when they see a misdeed occurring. Being good leopards they immediately report it to Grandpa Chief, who calls everyone and uses his fair judgement to deliver the correct punishment. Afterwards they hear him quote, as he usually does, the Zulu proverb “The leopard licks both its black and white spots.”

Some time later, the young leopard friends find themselves under the judgement of Leroy’s beloved Grandpa, and when it is their turn to accept the punishment Leroy thinks it is unfair. So Grandpa reminds them of his saying. When you read this story you will discover the very important meaning behind Grandpa Leopard’s wise words.

K. A. Mulenga brings to his children’s books not only important life lessons, but also allows his readers to learn about the proverbs of Zambia. These sayings are very true and have the same importance throughout the world. A lovely story which will be enjoyed by all young children.

About the Author:

My name is Kalenga Augustine Mulenga aka K.A. Mulenga. My passion is writing. I started writing when I was 10 years old and my passion was reignited by my 11 year old son. Writing runs in my blood as my late father was a journalist and the first black editor of the Zambia Daily Mail and my late brother was a poet. To date, I have published 9 children’s eBooks on Amazon. I love writing children’s books with a positive message and also to make them laugh and entertained. I am a prolific writer and currently have 8 edited and completed manuscripts.
I am busy with a memoir and after that I would like to write some fiction and non-fiction in the near future.
One of my books, Donk and the Stubborn Donkeys was #1 Bestseller Juvenile Fiction > Animals > Farm Animals

Sign up to my newsletter www.kamulenga.com OR https://www.facebook.com/KAMulengaWriter/app/100265896690345

About the Book:

Leroy and Lapa are leopards and best friends. They live in the Savannah. Grandpa Leopard is the Chief and Judge of the leopards. His favourite saying is ” A LEOPARD LICKS BOTH ITS WHITE AND BLACK SPOTS”. Do you want to know what that means? Find out by reading THE LEOPARD LICKS ITS SPOTS.

Available from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08NK4L76H/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i6

Retirement:Your New Adventure!: It’s your choice to decide if your windshield will be bigger than your rearview mirror

Learn to embrace the exciting opportunities retirement offers.

Bob Boylan, spent his career training middle and senior management to, “Deliver Training that Takes,” and has authored two books on the subject. Now retired himself, he has written this incredibly motivational book, which inspires readers to take responsibility for the rest of their lives, and offers positive suggestions and guidance on how to do so.  He is a self-confessed seed planter, and boy does he do it well! After sowing the seeds in his reader’s minds, he explains what he means using examples, and invites you to use the suggestion as a discussion starter, in your head, or with friends and family.

Retirement happens at various ages now, no-longer is it necessarily sixty-five. However, it is, to some, an intimidating prospect. All of a sudden a routine, or a series of them disappear, and instead there’s this open space where order used to be, opportunities to do new things, and no time constraints, for some this can be scary.

This entertaining little book is a self-help guide for those who may be struggling with the loss of this structure. The author is here to help you explore and embrace all the fun, new, and exciting opportunities which await you.

Of course, there may be factors which will automatically affect the options available to you, your mind, body, or spirit may cause some restrictions. However, the author invites you to explore if these obstacles really exist, or are they a self-defence barrier erected against change? After all, some people love change, challenges and new things, but there are also others who don’t, and can’t see the ‘wood for the trees,’ as the saying goes.

You may want to get fitter, explore the world, or your own country more, stay up late, or take on a new hobby. Whatever you want to do the author is here to encourage you to look forward in life, after all as he rightly says, “There is a reason the windshield is bigger than the rearview mirror.” He encourages us to think outside the box, and even remove it, reach for our goals, and live those dreams.

Aimed at retirement, I have to say this book will inspire everyone who reads it to be the best they can be. Bob Boylan advises his readers to grab the proverbial bull by the horns, embrace the future, look forward, not back! As the famous quote says, “Life is not about the breaths you take. It’s about the moments that take your breath away.” Highly recommended!

About the Author:

Bob Boylan is a nationally known trainer that focuses on one thing …
“Delivering Training That Takes.” He travels throughout the country building up and reinforcing the abilities of middle to senior management as a presentation skills trainer. He has authored, What’s Your Point, Get Everyone In Your Boat Rowing In The Same Direction, Rebalance Your Tires and Brilliant Presentations in 24 Hours or Less.

Bob’s company, Successful Presentations, has trained business professionals for over 24 years to be more clear, crisp, and compelling. His clients become more interesting and passionate presenters. Their closure improves, their meetings get shorter, and their recommendations are approved more often. In short, his training helps his clients win more.

God’s Gifts Photography is another passion that is evident throughout this book. Linda and Bob travel locally and abroad to capture The Majesty and Art of God.

He is ready to talk to your group about ” the value of seeing your life through the lens of gratitude.” When you habitually see your life that way, you have a joyful, exciting and very fulfilling life! Bob delivers a strong, memorable, energized message to his audiences. He can be contacted at bob@life-beats.com.

About the Book:

As a reader, you are coming up on what you dreamed about, planned for and looked forward to for many years: retiring from your professional job and starting a new adventure.

The purpose of this book is to help you plan the adventure of your lifetime!

You can proceed to design and create what you’ve dreamed of for years, because it’s in your control.

This book will not deal with the financial side of retirement planning. This book is totally focused on ideas to help you create your new adventure of retirement.

You will be creating your own calendar. How’s that for a fresh start! How you choose to fill your calendar is up to you.

The author will help you focus on being useful and significant. Creative and productive. He will have you focusing on utilizing your abilities to help others, all the while giving you a tremendous feeling of satisfaction and usefulness.

The author stresses the point that you are in control of how you wish to think about planning your new adventure!

Available from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Retirement-Adventure-choice-windshield-rearview-ebook/dp/B08XJV1MZH/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=retirement+by+bob+boylan&qid=1619424102&sr=8-1

Imbwa, The Story of the Dog and His Harsh Master by K. A. Mulenga

An enchanting children’s story conveying an important message.

As a dog loving family, I was immediately drawn to this story after reading ‘Donk and the Stubborn Donkeys’ by the same author. The incredible way this award-winning author conveys important life-lessons through short, beautifully illustrated stories, really keeps the attention of my two young granddaughters, and we all know that this is the way children learn.

This story contains a message which is very important to children. It is about two dogs, Imbwa the Rottweiler, and Galu the Great Dane. The two dogs are different breeds, but this doesn’t matter because the message in this story isn’t about them, it is general, transcending species. It is one of behaviour, of the way you should treat others, and how acting with kindness versus cruelty affects lives.

Imbwa, and Galu live next door to each other, and when they go to the park they meet. Galu is a happy dog, however Imbwa is always angry. Because they are friends they talk together and through their conversation, the child, or adult reader of the story to the child, discovers why the dogs are so different in temperament. They learn that the way the owners teach their dog right from wrong is the key, and that this in turn affects how the dogs understand things, and learn.

Through wonderful illustrations and based on the Bemba Proverb from Zambia, this beautiful heart-warming tale, sends a strong message for children, and adults alike. Highly recommended.

About the Author:

My name is Kalenga Augustine Mulenga aka K.A. Mulenga. My passion is writing. I started writing when I was 10 years old and my passion was reignited by my 11 year old son. Writing runs in my blood as my late father was a journalist and the first black editor of the Zambia Daily Mail and my late brother was a poet. To date, I have published 9 children’s eBooks on Amazon. I love writing children’s books with a positive message and also to make them laugh and entertained. I am a prolific writer and currently have 8 edited and completed manuscripts.
I am busy with a memoir and after that I would like to write some fiction and non-fiction in the near future.

Author’s Website: https://www.kamulenga.com/

About the Book:

Imbwa the Rottweiler and his next-door neighbour Galu the Great Dane are best friends. They love going to the park with their human masters because it means they get to see each other and have fun playing together.
One day, the two friends meet in the park as usual and begin a conversation about their respective masters. While Galu’s master is always kind and gentle towards him, Imbwa’s master’s approach is rough and tough. Galu tells Imbwa how he is always happy, because of the way his master treats him. Imbwa, on the other hand, shares with Galu how living with his overly strict and unloving master is making him thoroughly miserable. As he chats with his best friend, he also realises that his master’s methods, which are intended to teach him learn life lessons and prevent him from repeating his mistakes, are actually teaching him nothing and only making him make even more mistakes.
Together, the two canine friends hatch a plan to help Galu. What are they planning and will their plan work out? Will Galu find the peace and happiness that he craves? Read on to find out!
The story of Imbwa and Galu will appeal to children because of its relatable themes. Firstly, it teaches young readers that sharing one’s problems with trustworthy friends can help one to feel better, reinforcing the concepts of “communication is key” and “a problem shared is a problem halved”.
This delightful tale also contains valuable life lessons about how mistreating others can cost you dearly and lead to isolation and loneliness, and how kindness towards others can go a long way to ensuring your happiness and that of those around you.

Available from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08Z7S1GDP/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1

4 Ideas With Actionable Wisdom by Bob Boylan

A book everyone should read!

Sometimes you come across a book and think, “Everyone needs to read this!” Well for me this little gem is one of those. The author is a photographer, and owns God’s Gift Photography. He lives in Woodland Park, Colorado, with his wife Linda. When asked, “What do you do, Bob?” Bob responds by saying, “I am a seed planter of ideas to creatively encourage and inspire others.” And he certainly does that!

There are lots of self-help books which delve deeply into how you improve yourself in various ways, however, the author in this one, had a unique approach. Firstly he plants the seed of each of his ideas, then he sprinkles it with fertilizer, this being examples of how others have helped him see the advantage of the particular suggestion. Next the idea is nurtured, with ideas on how to go forward in a positive way, and then encourages the reader to enjoy the fruits of their labour.

He covers, as the title suggests, four ideas which he incites his readers to adopt. He believes these will enable them to live better, more fulfilled, and peaceful lives. The first is one he was taught by his father, and it is one which resonates with me, as my father told me much the same. His father told him to give 110% to everything, because that way you would have given your best and know you couldn’t have done more. As his father quite rightly said, “Because that’s all you can do, and you will sleep really well!”

In this busy world his second recommendation is, in my opinion essential. This is to always incorporate quiet waters in the busy white waters of your life. Or in other words find a peaceful, reflective time in your day. Here he first suggests journaling, something he considers very important, and quickly the reader will understand why.

The third is the importance of gratitude for what you have, and here he has given some lovely quotes, my favourite being “Gratitude and attitude are not challenges; they are choices. —ROBERT BRAATHE.”

And the last is a very pertinent one for the world today, and that is to think outside the box. As he points out, corporations always worked in offices before the coronavirus, now, all of a sudden people are working from home. Throughout the centuries necessity has forced change, but we can instigate change ourselves, changes which although they may be scary at first, enrich our lives, give us new priorities, and enable us to dream.

In this troubled and uncertain world, take charge. Do not lead a “woulda, coulda, shoulda life,” embrace this incredibly motivational authors ideas, and be the best you, for your physical and mental wellbeing. Highly recommended!

There are lots of self-help books which delve deeply into how you improve yourself in various ways, however, the author in this one, had a unique approach. Firstly he plants the seed of each of his ideas, then he sprinkles it with fertilizer, this being examples of how others have helped him see the advantage of the particular suggestion. Next the idea is nurtured, with ideas on how to go forward in a positive way, and then encourages the reader to enjoy the fruits of their labour.

He covers, as the title suggests, four ideas which he incites his readers to adopt. He believes these will enable them to live better, more fulfilled, and peaceful lives. The first is one he was taught by his father, and it is one which resonates with me, as my father told me much the same. His father told him to give 110% to everything, because that way you would have given your best and know you couldn’t have done more. As his father quite rightly said, “Because that’s all you can do, and you will sleep really well!”

The author, in this cleverly written self-help book sows the seeds of ideas in his readers minds. Then he carefully nurtures them, encouraging personal growth and development.

An inspirational book which should be embraced by all.

About the Author:

Bob Boylan is a professional landscape photographer, author, nationally known presentation skills trainer, and self described “seed planter of ideas to creatively encourage and inspire others.” He has written books distilling his principles of presentation making, leadership, and life philosophy.

Author’s Website: https://www.bobboylan.com/

About the Book:

“4 Ideas With Actionable Wisdom” plants seeds of inspiration in the minds of readers who are looking to balance their lives, be more grateful, and increase creativity. If you’re interested in this book, congratulations! You’re fertile soil, ready to nourish these idea seedlings, reap the harvest, and improve your life.

These straightforward, implementable ideas are sure help you improve your life with intention. Are you ready to make effective life changes? Then this is the book for you!

Available from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Ideas-Actionable-Wisdom-Bob-Boylan/dp/1098361563/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&qid=1618219462&refinements=p_27%3ABob+Boylan&s=books&sr=1-2&text=Bob+Boylan

Chains Across the River – A Novel of the American Revolution by Bevis Longstreth

This powerful and historically accurate book by retired international lawyer Bevis Longstreth tells the story of the incredible Machin Chains. Bevis Longstreth has previously authored three books of historical fiction, Spindle and Bow, Return of the Shade, and Boats Against the Current. Father to three children, and grandfather to nine, he lives in New York with his wife Clara, and dog McKenzie.

The protagonist, British born Captain Thomas Machin, was a brilliant engineer, enlisted in the British Foot, and posted to Boston, Massachusetts. However, disgruntled and disillusioned, the redcoat deserted, and like many others joined the patriots of the Continental Army.

Hearing of Thomas Machin, and impressed, in 1776 General George Washington summoned him and instructed him to design and install obstructions to stop the British Armada gathering in New York Harbour. This was an important commission because the Hudson River was an essential transportation route for the British. The waterway enabled the New England colonies to receive essential supplies, and therefore its obstruction would disunite them from their other colonies.

Thomas Machin, rose to the challenge, and the Machin Chains were conceived. However, their construction and installation proved to be a mammoth task. It is through the transportation and installation of these, and other events, that the readers learn a lot about the hardships and life of the Continental Army soldiers. Notwithstanding the adversity and obstacles involved, ‘The Great Chain’ at West Point, was never breached, and remained in place until the end of the American Revolution.

Thomas Machin had two important women in his life, Elizabeth Van Horne (Lisa,) and Caroline Filippante. It is through his relationships with these women that the readers discover more about the women of this era. Certainly these two add spice to the story, and definitely dissolve the image of demure young ladies. They were strong, scheming, fearless females, and their antics and those of their families provide interesting insights as to how the upper classes ‘survived’ the revolution.

‘Chains Across the River,’ is the exciting tale of how a British deserters engineering accomplishments were an important contribution towards the American War of Independence. It will appeal to lovers of historical fiction. Highly recommended.

About the Author:

BEVIS LONGSTRETH is the author of three historical novels: Spindle and Bow, Return of the Shade, and Boats Against the Current. He is a retired partner of the international law firm, Debevoise & Plimpton, where he practiced for his entire legal career, except for Government service in Washington as a Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission from 1981-84. He authored Modern Portfolio Management and the Prudent Man Rule (Oxford University Press 1987), a book arguing for interpretative change in the legal standard of care exercisable by fiduciaries responsible for other people’s money to reflect current developments in finance economics. He lives in Manhattan, New York with his wife, Clara, and their dog, McKenzie. They have three children and nine grandchildren. See bevislongstreth.com for further information about the author and his writings. 

About the Book:

In the Revolution, a British deserter could become a traitor to the Crown by joining the Continental Army and there become a hero. Chains Across the River tells the enthralling tale of one such soldier, Captain Thomas Machin, a brilliant engineer of flawed character born, educated and trained in England. He enlisted in the British Foot and was posted to Boston, where he saw action at Breed’s Hill before deserting to join the Continentals.

Observing Machin’s engineering skill and practical bent, Washington ordered Machin to the Hudson River, there to imagine, design and install obstructions to block the British Armada gathering in New York Harbor. Both sides believed control of the river a strategic necessity.

The immensity of Washington’s charge was matched by Machin’s audacity in imagining obstructions capable of stopping an 850-ton warship under full sail and following tide. He installed a chain at Fort Montgomery and, when the British overran that Fort and cut the chain, he installed another at West Point.

Filling out the story of Thomas Machin are the unforgettable women in his life, Elizabeth Van Horne and Caroline Filippante.

Why historians devote little attention to Machin is explained by what didn’t happen on the Hudson. The British cut the first chain without testing it and never sailed against the second. Washington and Machin understood the chain could deter without being tested. In these pages the known facts about Machin have been woven into an Homeric-like tale of daring, adventure, intrigue and triumph.

Available from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Chains-Across-River-American-Revolution-ebook/dp/B08PSMBNKB/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1617780662&sr=8-1