Author: brenda

Book Review: The State We’re In – by Anne Beattie

Our readers know my love affair with all things New England. I was fortunate to spend time hiking the lakes and mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire.  Growing up I spent summers by the sea on coastal Rhode Island, Cape Cod and her islands, and along the craggy coast of Maine, where I dug for clams. Now I love to dig into a novel or short stories, especially a juicy beach read. Ann Beattie’s writing defines what a good short story can do.  Her many awards, and the glowing New York Times and Paris reviews, agree that she is a master of this writing form. Beattie lives in two of my favorite places, Key West and Maine One of my favorite short stories is Adirondack Chairs, which I read sitting on my front porch Adirondack chair with a glass of lemonade and my cat on my lap in rural California. The story transported me back to vintage coastal inns, and drinking gin and tonics on the front lawn at sunset with family and friends. Beattie’s vivid descriptions remind me, how lucky I am to know the rocky coast. Maine Is a state of mind. You can get this book on Amazon.   Brenda C. Hill International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association Society of Professional Journalists California Writers Club Books By Hills Success With Writing  Where and What in the...

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Book review: Summer Secrets by Jane Greer

I love Nantucket. Although I lived for a summer on the vineyard and many summers on the sugar white sands of old Cape Cod, Nantucket has been one of my most magical island escapes since I was 5 years old and my dad took my picture on Easy Street. Author Jane Greer, and I have much in common besides a love affair with Nantucket. We have both lived in Westport, Ct., where I grew up, and in London, England, where she grew up. We both enjoy barefoot beach summers, lobsters, flowers, and Elin Hilderbrand’s books about New England island life. No wonder Jane Greer Is a New York Times best selling author. Summer Secrets is a delicious beach novel that I couldn’t stop reading. I won’t reveal the story line except to say it is about love, marriage, sisters, friendship, forgiveness, addiction, teenagers, and simple summers by the sea. All this drama is woven seamlessly in one compelling novel with humor and tears. You can get this on Amazon.   Brenda C. Hill International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association Society of Professional Journalists California Writers Club Books By Hills Success With Writing  Where and What in the World Event Blogger with Amigos de La Cruz for the Vallarta Tribune, covering entertainment, art, culture, and news for Riviera Nayarit, Puerto Vallarta. Finalist in the Writing and Publishing category of the 2009...

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Book Review: “Here’s to Us”

Here’s to Us. A new novel by Elin HilderbrandAlthough I once spent a long summer on Martha’s Vineyard, I love Nantucket. The salty air, gray weathered “cottages,” beach roses, sugar white sand and fried clams never grow old despite the summer crowds.Similar to the story of celebrity Chef Deacon Thorpe, I also spent a perfect day on Nantucket with my father when I was a young teen. Author Elin Hilderbrand, doesn’t only write about the island. She has lived there for over twenty years, raised her children, and has captured it’s magic. I have read most of her seventeen novels. This one, just published, is perhaps my favorite, because it is about a chef. Maralyn’s and my first published non fiction book as co-authors was all about chefs from around the world, their recipes, and their stories (Our Love Affairs with Food & Travel). Elin’s latest novel is a highly praised page-turner about romance, jealousy, and New England, written with humor. I recommend you turn off the phone, find a hammock and settle in to island life with this ideal summer beach book. Elin includes a few hand crafted recipes that I plan to devour. My mouth is watering for clams casino dip and shellfish stew, served with a favorite crisp white wine. Cheers. Here’s to Us.  You can find this on Amazon.    Brenda C. Hill International Food...

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Why the right book reviews are So Important for Authors

When Maralyn and I review books for Success, we are fair and positive. We leave space for readers to add their own reactions and opinions. When seeking reviewers for our books, it was important to select experts in their fields of food, travel and marketing, with successful results. We are sharing the beginning of an article featured on The Write Life by Nicola Jane as she covers so many important points.   Why the Right Book Reviews are So Important for Authors by Nicola Jane When your book is released, it’s tempting to try to get as many reviews as you can....

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Book Review: Mystery Writers and Recipes

Since I love mysteries and food, this is an  ideal book about two favorite subjects. Several usual suspects reveal their special recipes. Our team appreciates flavorful food with few ingredients, so many of the recipes inspired me to try them or to invent a new twist. You can read about my spin on Chuck Greaves cocktail called the Coconut Twist on whereandwhatintheworld. Since Maralyn and I published two cookbooks, we know it isn’t easy to produce. This combo of mystery writers and recipes is a fun read. After reading David Morrell’s review of author Thomas De Quincey, I prepared Morrell’s pasta-less pasta made with zucchini ribbons & tomato sauce. Meatballs optional. So simple and tasty. Since our team has read every one of Sue Grafton’s books to date, I added her famous sandwich. I think her next to last book in the series is “Y is for Y” to be released in 2017. Kinsey Millhone may be fictional, yet her peanut butter pickle sandwich is very real. I met Sue Grafton on the same day I met Julia Child, so I know that mysteries and food blend beautifully. Yes, anyone can make a peanut butter and pickle sandwich. The fun is learning the exact way Kinsey does it. It is amazingly tasty when uncensored without any substitutions for the real thing. Justin Scott aka Paul Garrison’s vodka gimlet recipe is...

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