E.A. Smiroldo’s no longer silent about The Silent Count

E.A. Smiroldo’s no longer silent about The Silent Count

E.A Smiroldo is a nuclear engineer turned author with her debut novel, The Silent Count. She weaves her real life expertise with real-world inspired drama for her climate science fiction thriller. E.A. is also a award-nominated signer-songwriter, engineer, and musician. A woman of many talents, she tells us more about her writing experience.

Q. If you could give your book to one celebrity, who would it be and why?

Reese Witherspoon!  She has a book club and I think my book would appeal to her fellow readers.  Daisy Jones and the Six was one of her selections.  While not a cli-fi book, this book uses song lyrics as part of the storytelling and focuses on different characters and their viewpoints.  My book has a lot in common with Daisy Jones, particularly a beating, rock and roll heart.

Q. Who is your biggest writing inspiration?

I’m a huge Jane Austen fan. We’re still talking about her characters 200+ years later. They’re all wonderfully flawed and fully human.    

Q. Give us the scoop about your book.

It’s a climate change thriller based on real science. Yes, you really can change weather patterns by eliminating certain mountain ranges using nuclear weapons.  But I’m not recommending it!

Q. Can you tell us three fun facts about you?

I’m an award-winning pop-punk singer-songwriter, and my novel is laced with lyrics from songs I wrote and performed.  The soundtrack will be available on YouTube!

I’m a guitar playin’ fool and grew up practicing 7 hours a day.  I play all the guitars on the soundtrack to the novel. “Break the Skin,” one of the songs in The Silent Count, features the guitar solo I’m most proud of. 

My family is from Sicily and my mom taught me everything she knew about cooking.  I go nuts making traditional dishes for my loved ones, especially during the holidays. I secretly dream of owning a food truck that sells Sicilian street food!  I want to call it “Rhymes with Arancini.”

Q. If your book was turned into a film/TV show, who would you tap to play the lead(s)? Why?

I think Millie Bobby Brown would make a great Dara Bouldin (my main character).  Dara is young, introverted, and damaged by heartbreak and loss, but finds her strength as the story progresses. As Eleven on Stranger Things, Millie Bobby Brown has shown that level of emotional depth.    

Q. What’s one secret about you that you’ll share with the world?

My favorite car is a white Corvette Stingray (any year is fine, they’re all great), and when I see one, I make a wish. The wishes almost always come true!  

Q. What is the core message you want to deliver to the world through your writing/books/stories?

We sent a man to the moon, we developed the atomic bomb, we created a vaccine for covid-19…why can’t we do something just as remarkable about climate change that would realistically solve the problem? 

Rapid Fire Questions and Answers

Q. Movie or TV Series?

A. Movie

Q. Long walk or long car ride?

A. Car ride

Q. Comedy or Drama?

A. Comedy

Q. The city or the country?

A. City

Q. Baking or Cooking?

A. Cooking

Q. Margarita or Cosmo?

A. I don’t drink…do virgin margaritas exist?

Q. Holding a Puppy or Holding a Baby?

A. Puppy

Q. invisibility cloak or sparking skin?

A. Invisibility cloak

Q. Coffee or tea?

A. Tea

Q. Dinosaurs or princesses?

A. Princesses

Q. Laptop or phone?

A. Phone

Find your copy of The Silent Count now on Amazon.

Beatrice Adenodi is Blowing Our Minds with Mindless Behaviors

Beatrice Adenodi is Blowing Our Minds with Mindless Behaviors

Beatrice Adenodi is telling the world to evolve their behavior, anazlyze their problems, and learn their patterns. She believes most of life’s problems can be boiled down to a handful of issues. Let her explain more:

Q. If you could give your book to one celebrity, who would it be and why?
– I don’t have a Celebrity that I admire and want to be like. I don’t know what mask they are wearing even to want to put that admiration in a mainstream figure. 
 
Q. Who is your biggest writing inspiration?
I was going through a transitional period in her life that made me reflect on my career, relationships, and faith. Through my professional and personal experience, I realized a growing trend of not valuing the human experience. People fascinate me. Their unawareness and my shortcomings lead me to believe that many societal issues stem from a lack of self-empowerment, community support, and many environmental conditions we must endure through our growing years. Societal systems do not effectively promote empowerment and community involvement in the workplace, education, and communities. 
 
Q. Give us the scoop about your book.
– The reader would be able to identify with some of the characters in the book. They will also learn different ways to become aware of their situation and view their challenges from another perspective. Also, the reader would know that they are not alone with their problems and know how to identify sustainable solutions.
 
Q. Can you tell us three fun facts about you?
– I started my college career studying opera 
– I used to march in the band during Mardi gras in high school
– I got to meet a lot of the Medal of Honor recipients 
 
Q. What’s one secret about you that you’ll share with the world?
– Secrets are for kids. After a certain age, they are not relevant. 
 
Q. What is the core message you want to deliver to the world through your writing/books/stories?
The book catalyzes our awareness of daily behaviors that keep us stuck in a reactive cycle. Through storytelling, I gave examples of specific behaviors about how far the rabbit hole goes and the conditioning we have been subjected to by our families, social constructs, unlearned behaviors through experiences, AND circular patterns that we readily overlook that eventually balloon through time. I bring the reader through a journey of self-awareness. 


Q. Tell us something about you that no one else knows
– I am a wounded healer. 
 
Q. What book has made you cry? Why?
– Great Expectations made me cry. It’s a literal and metaphorical representation of real-life relationships in society today. It illustrates the deep suffering and pain that happens after a broken heart. The trauma and emotional torture were overwhelming. 
 
Q. What has been your favorite comment/review about your book?
– Adenodi’s debut as an author with “Mindless Behaviors: Breaking through Unseen Barriers” weaves allegory with the understanding of our underlying metaphorical context of the world. It is well crafted, evoking hubris to humor, but ultimately lending a mirror into sub/unconscious behaviors and bias that we all universally share. Your takeaway will be personal to you, but the perspectives in leadership, CDI—culture, inclusion, diversity, and self-awareness are more important than ever across our enterprises, work teams, families, and communities.
 
Q. What is something you learned while writing this book?
I learned that we are in constant battle with our light and shadow side of the self and that every day we have a choice to live in peace or chaos. 
 
Rapid Fire Questions and Answers
Q. Phone call or text?
A. Phone call 
Q. Reading or writing?
A. Writing 
Q. Wine or beer?
A. Wine 
Q. Karaoke or bowling?
A. Karoke 
Q. The ability to fly or invisibility?
A. The ability to fly. 
Q. Selfie or group photo?
A. Group Photo 
Q. Bacon or Tofu?
A. Bacon

Suzie Newel Tells us More about The Path 365

Suzie Newel Tells us More about The Path 365

We can’t get enough of Suzie Newels newest book, The Path 365 Daily Direction for Ladies and Mothers; Witches and Others. We asked her to tell us more about this inspirational meets how-to book. Here’s what she had to say:

Q. If you could give your book to one celebrity, who would it be and why?
 The Americana Singer/Songwriter Brandi Carlile. Her journey is such an inspiration.

Q. Can you tell us three fun facts about you?
 My first degree was in political science. I love sci-fi and fantasy everything and always have. My daughter, Madeline Jaina, is a singer/songwriter. 

Q. What’s one secret about you that you’ll share with the world?
 I dream about retiring in Guatemala. 

Q. What is the core message you want to deliver to the world through your writing/books/stories?
 You can create your own path one damn day at a time! 

Q If you had 3 wishes, what would you wish for?
 World peace with compassion (It’s a trick, because the compassion bit includes all the other stuff like hunger:) A complete overhaul of western medicine, particularly in the United States. Access to power without responsibility:)

Q Who/What is your biggest inspiration in your writing?
 A toss up between Alice Walker and Barbara Kingslover. It’s funny because they didn’t write self help, but they wrote from the depths of their soul. 

Q If you could give your book to one person in the entire world to read, who would it be and why?
 Easy, the Dali Lama. I would like his honest opinion. That guy says a lot of really wise things. 

Q How did you come up with your title?
 That was my team.  My original name was “A crone’s wisdom”. They very gently and firmly said, NO. So we tossed around ideas. Then the tagline came to me and everyone liked it. 

Q What has been your favorite comment/review so far about your book?
 I feel like I am having a chat with the author, like she is just talking to me. Authenticity. 


Q What is something you learned while writing this book?
 I am nobody without my team.

Rapid Fire Questions and Answers

Q. Morning person or night owl?

A. NIGHT OWL

Q. Reading or writing?

A. Both

Q. Kittens or puppies?

A. Puppies.. although I recently have a grand kitty to whom I am very partial. 

Q. Road trip or Cruise ship?

A. Road trip. 

Q. The ability to fly or invisibility?

A. Invisibility. 

Q. Selfie or group photo?

A. GROUP

Q. Love story or scary story?

A. Scary Story

Q. Bacon or Tofu?

A. Sugar

JD Mass, author of Race For What? Tells His Truth

JD Mass, author of Race For What? Tells His Truth

JD Mass, author of Race for What? has a lot to say about his experience growing up as a white kid in a black community and shares what he believes are the 7 steps to healing racism.

Q. Can you tell us about your book?

Race For What? is part journey of a road less traveled and part guide meant to dare white folks to analyze where we came from, where we are going, and the value of healing the harm that has been done.

In this memoir, I tell the story of growing up in a black community and witnessing racism firsthand, as well as my successes and missteps in building powerful alliances with the community in which I was raised. I have been on a lifelong journey to learn why racism was created and what we can look forward to without it. 

Race for What? provides stories with a unique perspective from a white man’s experience and illustrates seven steps to healing. In the seven steps, I encourage white people to work through the emotional and psychological obstacles and see the value of repairing and healing the harm racism has caused.

Q What is your writing inspiration?

JD Mass

It was a combination of three things.  First and foremost, I spent my entire life being lived by and loving black folks.  Second, in 2017 I achieved my doctorate in Organizational Psychology which gave me the tools to communicate my vision effectively.  Third having been heavily involved in white antiracism groups in Los Angeles and later in St. Louis I learned that I have a valuable and unique perspective to share.  All of this combined inspired me to write Race for What?

Q What is the core message you want to deliver to the world through your writing?

I am witnessing a desire for change to the dominating way of our culture.  I believe that if we continue to work at it, humanity is achievable.  I am encouraging white folks to stay the course, work through the pain, fear and discomfort of letting for of our desire for control and privilege.  Together we can finally correct the harm of racism.

Q What is something you learned while writing this book?

I learned that writing a book is no easy task.  I learned that I needed the help and support of others and I had to use the struggles that so many others are in for justice to motivate me to continue to complete my mission. 

Q If you could give your book to one person in the entire world to read, who would it be and why?

Ice Cube.  His music and movies have contributed to my development that led to my ideas shared in my book. I am a huge fan of his work, his art, and his commitment to the healing of his people. I believe that my book supports the Contract with Black America in which he worked with some of the greatest minds that have also influenced and taught me.  My book is meant to offer a white man’s perspective to support him and other black folks and organizations dedicated to the healing of marginalized and oppressed communities.

Q. Can you tell us three fun facts about you?

1) My three favorite athletes of all time are Allen Iverson, Albert Pujols, and Russell Westbrook for how they played their sport and how they carry themselves outside of their profession. 

2) My vegan breakfast sandwich that I used to make was listed as the best tasting vegan food item by the top blogger in LA in 2010

3) One of my favorite moments in my life was creating remakes of popular songs with my son to reflect whatever was going on in our lives.

Bonus: Nelly and I from our high school time, before he became famous, used to buy cheap tickets to Cardinals baseball games and eventually work our way down to field level so we could be heard by the players.

Rapid Fire Answer and Questions:

Super power of Invisibility or mind reading?  Invisibility

Halloween or Valentines Day?  Valentine’s Day

Beach or the mountains?  Beach

Rain or Sun?  Sun

Book Series or Netflix Binge?  Netflix Binge

Harrison Taylor’s Thrilling Thriller

Harrison Taylor’s Thrilling Thriller

We spoke with author Harrison Taylor about his newest book, Those Who Hunt Wolves. His inspiration comes from movies and cinema, and after reading his thriller, we can see why.

Q. Can you tell us about your book?

A: Those Who Hunt Wolves is a techno action thriller that is about two covert agents, Shepard and Graham. Both are gunned down and left for dead by a secret organization known as 7721. The two former agents survive and exact revenge by stealing a dangerous and secret weapon from 7721 known as the Blackout.

Q When did you decide to write this story and why?

A: This Story has been on my mind for years. I started it about four years ago, however the idea first came when I wrote a script about 16 years ago about a heist gone wrong.

Q What is your favorite passage from your book?

A: I tried to give them the impression that I was scared, but let’s face it: That’s like asking a crocodile not to fucking smile, right?

Q What makes your book unputdownable?

A: The action is constant. The story and plot engage and always move forward. As I writer I believe every word has a place and that is to support moving the story forward in an exciting way. I feel this book succeeds in that sense.

Q. If your book was turned into a film/TV show, who would you tap to play the lead(s)? Why?

A: Mccray: Don Cheadle

     Ashcroft: Bryan Cranston

    Shepard: Alan Ritchson

   Jonah: Jeremy Alan white

So, I picked these actors because aside from being amazing at their craft, I heard their voices in my head while writing this book. Crazy, I know. LOL.

Harrison Taylor

Q If you had 3 wishes, what would you wish for?

   World peace

   An end to this pandemic

   A cure for ALS

Q. Can you tell us three fun facts about you?

A I like to skateboard

   I’m a big gamer

   I’m addicted to funkos

Rapid Fire Answer and Questions:

Morning person or night owl? Night owl

Cats or dogs? Dogs

Horror Movie or RomCom? ROM COMS (big time)

Beer or Wine? Trick question BOTH

Bacon or Tofu? Bacon

Find your copy of Those Who Hunt Wolves on Amazon now.

Heather Mathes Dishes About How She Was Paid To Be Perfect

Heather Mathes Dishes About How She Was Paid To Be Perfect

Models are seen by many as peak physical perfection. But what is a “perfect?” body? Are models perfect, and what everyday women should strive to emulate? Heather Mathes, a formal model turned author gives readers her insights in maintaining a perfect weight for YOUR body. We had to know more about her new book “Paid to be Perfect”.  

Can you give us the scoop about your book?

This book is about the reader finding “their perfect” around nutrition, fitness and wellness. I share everything that has worked for me based on my decades-long modeling career in an effort for the reader to find what works for them.

It’s not necessarily about losing weight and it’s not at all about being skinny.  It’s about maintaining consistency of your natural size while thoroughly enjoying what’s on your plate.  And It’s about finding that place in your body that feels just right, where you have the most energy and have an overall feeling of well-being rather than struggling to reach an arbitrary number on a scale. It’s about having an appreciation for where you are as well as a road map to help you to get wherever you’d like to be.

And my book is an all-encompassing approach to wellness because in addition to nutrition it’s also about moving your body in a healthy way that feels good as well as creating mindful habits that help the reader to navigate through their days while experimenting and exploring their own path to their individual, unique perfect.

What inspired you to write this story?

“How have you maintained your measurements within a 1/4″ for decades?” is the question I’ve gotten the most over the years from people who find out I’ve maintained my body size within a quarter of an inch plus or minus over the years. I answer that with absolutely everything I eat, and everything I do, and have done for years without going hungry and getting pleasure from what I consume. 

I believe we’re designed to get pleasure from what we eat rather than feel stressed or guilty because food consumption is a natural, normal function of the body.  And too many people that I’ve known personally, as well as that I see all across social media platforms, don’t seem to understand that or know how to go about feeling good about their food choices without guilt or stress. I’m therefore inspired by the ability to share with anyone who wants to learn more about healthy living. In addition this book is my pay-it-forward for the amazing modeling career I’ve had throughout the years.

What is your favorite excerpt from your book?

“To achieve consistency your measurements and weight will not be absolutely exact from day to day. There is a range on the scale of a little bit bigger and a little bit smaller that we all vacillate between as absolute exact weights and measurements are not humanly possible. The point is to eliminate the extremes as well as to find pleasure in the one thing you will do every day you’re on this beautiful earth: eat.

“Consistency is only one part of the story. True contentment and happiness will never be found in a number on a scale. Though having the knowledge to naturally create this consistency is freedom–freedom to NOT obsess about your weight so that you have time to focus on all the best that life has in store for you. If that’s your goal, you’re in the right place.”

Why should those looking for a healthier lifestyle choose your book?

Because they can learn how to eat whatever they want, whatever they want while maintaining their consistent size throughout decades of a well-lived life. And because by learning to do so they will gain pleasure and happiness around their food choices rather than feelings of guilt or stress. And because even though they are reading about someone that was paid to keep her body measurements on spec within a quarter of an inch under contract, keeping your body from vacillating between extreme highs and lows can be achieved and maintained by anyone who is at their natural size. And because this book is for everyone looking for a healthy lifestyle, at any size, and at any age.

What is something you learned while writing this book?

Writing this in my late 40’s and early 50’s was amazing because I learned so much! The main lesson was that writing a book is just the beginning. To learn all about editing, publishing, promoting, etc at this age felt like I went back to college and reinforced the idea I’ve always had that life is a lifelong learning process. And even in our 50’s, some of us are just getting started!

Heather Mathes

If you had 3 wishes, what would you wish for?

  1. Greece is my happy place so I’d be there on a beach.
  2. I have an insatiable thirst for knowledge about the world so I would travel to places I’ve never been on “vacation” breaks from my day-to-day of laying on a beach in Greece.
  3. The ability to be present in the moment always rather than the rushed/stressed/over-scheduled/over-analytical mindset I try to release daily. (As if I’d have any difficulty with this wish if the first two wishes were granted.)
  4. The first three are wishes for myself but if I were granted a wish for the world it would be that we could all learn to appreciate and honor our differences. John Lennon said it best – “Imagine all the people living life in peace.”

If you could give your book to anyone to read, who would you give it to?

My mom. She left the earth several years ago so she can’t read it but she would have loved it.

I would also give it to anyone who struggles with their relationship to their food choices, or their size, or to anyone who is struggling to see the perfection in themselves. Though none of us are perfect in the strictest sense of the word, the dichotomy exists that innately we are already perfect because we exist. Our bodies heal wounds perfectly without us thinking about it. We breathe and our hearts beat without effort. And we are naturally designed to be a size that is perfect for our bodies. My job with this book is to help the reader find that place that is perfect for them in an effort for the reader to see the perfection in themselves as easily as they do in others.

Rapid Fire Answer and Questions:

Hiking or Biking?

Both?! I’ll say biking if I have to pick.

Tea or Coffee?

Again both! (Decaf for both.)

Crazy night out or cozy night in?

Mostly cozy night in, although I love an occasional night out! So both 🙂

Netflix Binge or Staying up late to finish a good book?

I’m bad at this game. Both, but I would say a really good book usually keeps me up even later than Nexflix!

Online shopping or trip to the mall?

In keeping with the theme, both! I shop online more but I love browsing through stores. Bottom line – I like all of the above depending on my mood 😉

Want to pick up a copy of Paid to Be Perfect by Heather Mathes? You can find it here on Amazon.

Spreading the Magic of Historical Romance: Author Clyve Rose

Spreading the Magic of Historical Romance: Author Clyve Rose

There is a reason why historical romance can never lose its charm. Be it movies, Netflix series, or in this case, novels, it lives on. Author Clyve Rose explores the magic of romance from the good ol’ days that entices her and millions of readers into believing in happily-ever-afters.

What inspires you to write? 

People inspire me to write – every day, every feeling. I am deeply interested in the varied ways different people move through the world, causing life, love, tears, and joy. People leave large imprints on each other, and within themselves. This is powerful and often heroic.

Let’s talk love, why write love stories, specifically historical romances?

I write love stories for many reasons. It began when my own marriage failed I suppose, and I sought to create happy endings where I could. At the time, these were necessarily on paper. In terms of historical fiction, I have always been a history buff. I also find the history of how human beings relate to one another (or don’t), endlessly fascinating. I believe the reason people still fall in love with Mr. Darcy and Lizzie Bennet is because, after all this time, communication between lovers is still something we flawed creatures stumble our way awkwardly and sometimes disastrously.

What do you think of Bridgerton on Netflix? 

I truly think it’s wonderful. I love period pieces taken to screen. Anything with lace and corsets always makes me smile. The adaptation is clever and very well done. The clothes alone would be enough for me, but the entire production is gorgeous to watch.

What’s your favorite story you’ve written and why?

My favorite story is the sequel to Always a Princess, which is due out in 2022. I truly think it’s my best work to date. Growing the characters up over so long a timeframe gave me a lot of room to work.

If there is a movie adaptation of Always a Princess, who do you think would be perfect for the lead roles?

Hmm…Bradley James would look smashing in a red coat as Wil. I’d like a Roma actress to play Syeira. Someone like Salma Hayek – there are hundreds of talented Romani actresses in England and I’d love to see one in the role.

Is there a book you read over and over?  Or what is your go-to book to recommend to friends?

Austen’s Persuasion is my comfort read. I love the language Austen uses in her last, and arguably best, work.

Any ritual like a specific scented candle, preferred writing place, or drink that you kept through writing?

Green tea and focus music. I use instrumental soundscapes to assist my focus. I also need a blank wall in front of me – no windows. I am neurodivergent and I need to hold focus to write.

Are you ready for our rapid-fire questions? Let’s go.

Clyve Rose

Morning person or a night owl

Oh, night owl

Inspirations in the shower or on your walks

When I run, actually.

Classical or Jazz music

Classical for writing. Jazz for wine and chillouts.

Movie night at home or dining out with friends

This is hugely variable – depends on my moods and where I’m at in my writing process.

Your favorite writer of all time

Excellent question – this also varies because the authors I clung to when I was younger do not have the same effect on me now. I do still love sinking into Ondaatje’s In The Skin of a Lion and Austen’s Persuasion. I also love detective novels so Agatha Christie for plotting and Kerry Greenwood’s Miss Fisher for characterization. I like to read fantasy as well and enjoyed the translation of Andrek Sapkowski’s The Witcher novels.
Honestly though, the book I re-read the most is Homer’s Iliad. The language is lovely.

What’s your latest binge-watch obsession? 

The Irregulars on Netflix and I’m about to dive into Season 2 of The Witcher. I’ll also be on the lookout for Season 2 of Sweet Magnolias. Season 1 ended on a cliffhanger and I am on tenterhooks to know what comes next – laos, I am a total sucker for romantic dramas.

One word that best describes you?

Determined

Explore the Story of A Tomato Grows in Brooklyn

Explore the Story of A Tomato Grows in Brooklyn

What if we told you that an award-winning chef can help you make his finger-licking Italian recipes in your kitchen? “A Tomato Grows in Brooklyn” by David Ruggerio is all you need to recreate the magic and make each meal extra special. Here’s a candid chat with the renowned chef and author where he spills the beans about his latest cookbook and more.

What was the purpose of writing A Tomato Grows in Brooklyn

It was for a few reasons; first and foremost, I wanted to return to my roots and share with my grandchildren and future generations a taste of what it was to grow up in Brooklyn in a very different era. My generation was still recognizable to my parents and my grandparents–we have now entered a period that is extremely different than my childhood. My time was colorful and raw, a period when the family got together often to share great food, long-tenured traditions, and pass on our culture. Lastly, at a time when the Italian culture is under assault in this country, I wanted to stand tall and express my pride for being Italian.

Who is your inspiration?

The women of my family. I was orphaned when I was five, witnessing my pregnant mother’s death. I went to live with my grandmother and my great-grandmother. These were women who hailed from Sant’Angelo Dei Lombardi, a storied village outside of Naples. They epitomized being Italian in Brooklyn. Like Brooklyn itself, they were extraordinarily resilient while sharing their heritage, customs, and of course the food. At our kitchen table, fresh pasta was made, homegrown vegetables were preserved, and stories were told. From that table, I understood what it was to be Italian.

Will beginners find recipes they can cook from A Tomato Grows in Brooklyn?

These recipes are straightforward, home-grown dishes that any person who wants to experience the Italian American cuisine can enjoy and get a taste of what it was like in the neighborhoods of Brooklyn.

What’s your favorite recipe from the book? What makes it unique?

“Pasta’ Ncasciata,” which is a “Baked Pasta with Eggplant with Caciocavallo.”

I adore this recipe. This was brought to Brooklyn by Sicilians. It is traditionally made with annelli pasta, or ‘little rings,’ dressed in a meaty tomato ragu made with spare ribs (It can be made with beef, pork, or even sausage). My grandmother added tiny meatballs to the ragu with the spareribs-though I thought it a bit much for the recipe. It is emblematic of what made Italian American cuisine in Brooklyn so special—that Sicilians lived next door to Neapolitans, who lived next door to Calabrian’s, who lived next door to Abruzzese. Over years, they shared recipes and they progressively melted together to create our own cuisine.

Do you grow your own vegetables in your backyard in Brooklyn? What’s your tip for the readers?

I grow nearly all the vegetables that we eat during the year. My garden is alive and producing twelve months out of the year, with not only the holy trinity-tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants- but also figs, apples, pears, blueberries, lettuce, escarole, cardoons, cabbage, broccoli, carrots, onions, potatoes, and of course, garlic! My tip was best expressed by my great-grandmother, Antoinette Quagliarello Pesce. She taught me that we don’t grow vegetables, we grow soil. By enriching the soil with many long-held traditions and tricks developed by the Southern Italians, that marvelous land made extraordinarily tasty produce that fed us throughout the seasons.

You’ve won so much recognition for your work. What do you enjoy writing the most, horror or cookbooks?

I love them both and do them both nearly every day. I work till late into the night, and during those dark, late hours, my imagination wanders into dark, scary places that make writing horror quite easy. During the glorious days, wandering in my garden or hand making cavatelli pasta on a wooden board, or making pizza in my backyard brick oven with my grandchildren, my heart burns Italian, writing about food is easy and consoling. 

What has been the highlight of your cooking career? What about your writing career?

My professional career was spent in glorious French kitchens. There are two highlights in my career. The first was as a teen finding myself at the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountain, where I found an elf-like chef, Michel Guerard who taught me how to spell magic. He was the greatest chef of the twentieth century who changed me as a person. The second, was when the famed fashion designer put me in charge of his restaurant; Maxim’s, and I garnered three stars. 

Time for our rapid-fire round. Here are your questions:

David Ruggerio

Pasta or pizza

Pasta! I can eat it every day

Cooking or writing

I was created to cook!

Jazz or classical music

Come on, I was raised in Brooklyn during the 70s! Disco!

Patio or Candlelight dinner

Outdoors on my patio, with my family

What’s your favorite cheese?

Pecorino Romano, I can put it on everything!

One dish you love

Linguini with Clams

One restaurant you frequent

I adore Di Fara’s in Brooklyn when Dominick, an old friend and the owner, is cooking. The best pizza in America

A Fun Encounter With a Stay at Home Dad and Author of Project Adventure

A Fun Encounter With a Stay at Home Dad and Author of Project Adventure

Taking parenting and writing to the next level is the “Project Adventure” series’ author, David Konrad. David is the author of adventure books for middle-graders and anyone who’s a kid at heart. His books are loved and adored by children worldwide. But how does he manage to juggle these hats and make time to enjoy an active outdoorsy lifestyle with his sons? Let’s find out.

Why did you decide you wanted to write children’s adventure books?

Because these type of books is what made me fall in love with reading and books in the first place. Besides, I started writing when my twin boys were 5 years old, so I hoped they would appreciate the stories and the adventure.

It looks like you draw inspiration from the expeditions you go on with your kids. What has been your favorite adventure together?

Being a stay home dad with twin boys is an adventure on its own. The three of us used to fly a lot together, ever since they were 3 years old, so that always made for some interesting adventures… Also, we always love to take a boat out on the Adriatic Sea to find cool and remote places. 

What are the strengths of each member of the Project Adventure kid-detective agency?

Ethan is a go-getter. He’s very curious, and that, paired with never endless energy, often gets him into trouble.

Matt is a thinker. He’s quiet and doesn’t talk much, but he’s always alert and acts as balance for Ethan,

Lisa is the glue that makes the trio tick. She’s a brilliant organizer, very pragmatic and able. 

Although it sounds like choosing your favorite child, we’d like to know which of the four books from the “Project Adventure” series is your favorite and why?

I would have to say the “Heart of the Island”. It was not just the first book of the series, but also my first book ever! As much as I like my other books, this one will always have a special place in my heart. 

What’s one of the most heartwarming messages you’ve received from your little fans? 

A mother once emailed me to tell me her daughter is completely hooked on my books, and can’t wait for the next one. That was after she’d read books 1 and 2, so safe to say she continued being a fan of mine… J

Growing up, what were some of your favorite books? 

I always loved this book about King Arthur and the knights of the round table, but I’d forgotten who the author was. But I still remember it clearly. And I loved Karl May’s Wild West stories, Winnetou and such.

What is your number 1 parenting tip for adventurous kids?

Pack light, but don’t go anywhere without water, snacks, and band-aids.

Let’s do a quick round of rapid-fire questions. Ready? 

David Konrad

Hikes or Swimming 

Hikes

Games or Movie night

Games

Laundry or Dishes?

Both. I’m a stay home dad, after all.

Coffee or Tea

Coffee during the day, tea in the evening. But coffee, if I have to pick one.

Your favorite board game? 

Risk

The theme of your next project? 

Art

One topic that you can talk about endlessly.

Basketball

An Exclusive Interview With the Author of Our African Unconscious

An Exclusive Interview With the Author of Our African Unconscious

Our African Unconscious by Dr. Edward Bruce Bynum uncovers all aspects of our human evolution. It sheds light on how the arts, sciences, philosophy, and religious roots originated in Africa. Author Edward Bruce Bynum, Ph.D., ABPP is an award-winning psychologist and former director of the behavioral medicine program at the University of Massachusetts Health Services. If you want to learn more about Dr. Edward and his fascinating work in the field, here’s your chance.

Hi Dr. Edward, how do we all share a common origin? How do we all come from Africa?

I sought to create a modern medically and scientifically sound understanding of our unity as a species that was also a complete vision absolutely undergirded by the great spiritual traditions of both East, West, and Africa. Thus a good deal of anthropology, m medical genetics, ancient history, and the living history of religions. 

Why did you decide to write Our African Unconscious: The Black Origins of Mysticism and Psychology?

It was a natural evolution from an earlier book called DARK LIGHT CONSCIOUSNESS: Melanin, Serpent Power and the Luminous Matrix of Reality. It dealt, as a clinical psychologist, with the effect of this deep hidden bodily and spiritual energy better known in classical literature and practices of meditation and yoga.

What’s the best way to truly appreciate our shared consciousness and identity as a species?

A meditative discipline you are drawn to plus a deep love for another person beyond what you can explain to yourself.

What are your thoughts on the varied different ethnicities that exist? How can we thrive in today’s world?

This is a complex question. However, as a species at war with itself, we have come to the point in our development as a species on this volatile planet of vast changes and rapid changes that we either learn to love each other despite our difference or we die !! It is that simple and uncomfortably true.

Would you say one of the predictions made by George Washington is yet to come?

Yes, 2 of them have already occurred. He predicted the American civil war and a great civil confrontation yet to come involving Africa and the notion that ‘all men are brethren”. Is that not where we are today in the USA?

Could you share one fascinating piece of information that you came across during your research for the book?

Yes. That America’s first war over slavery was not our civil war but about ‘white slavery,’ the war with the Barbary Coast pirates of north Africa that far arose soon after the founding of the republic. They were raiding ships at sea and stealing white women to sell to the harems of the sultans.

How do quantum mechanics, string theory, and relative physics weave into the book?

They are all part of the emerging new paradigm in science that takes us past Einstein.

Could you answer some of these rapid-fire questions for your readers?

Dr. Edward Bruce Bynum

The most peaceful place for you…

On the deck at home on a warm summer afternoon or in my meditation setting in the early morning at home.

A book that made a significant impact on you

Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramansa Yogananda and also The Phenomenon of Man by Teilhard De Chardin

Dusk or dawn

Both actually, but perhaps dusk most

Jazz or country music

Jazz but I also like  classic country music by the greats like John Denver

Podcasts or documentaries

Documentaries

What’s your next project?

I am also a published poet with an equal number of texts in psychology/psychiatry as in poetry: I am finishing up a long poem that is 7,777 words in length titled “If I Trusted Poetry Completely”

Tell us one thing about yourself that we likely don’t know

I was an altar boy as a child.