Archive for Literature
I’ll be running this giveaway for one week, from December 2nd to December 9th, 2014. The giveaway is for one signed copy of Stories from the Other World. To enter to win, leave a comment here, or on Facebook. Bonne chance!
(Update: The giveaway is over, and the winner is…Ann Sutton! Thank you to all who entered and for all your support.)
Visit me at Willowgait Farm’s Artisan Festival on Sunday, Oct. 26th, 2014, from 10am t0 4pm on beautiful Knotts Island, North Carolina. I’ll be signing copies of my new book, Stories from the Other World and holding drawings for free yoga classes and book copies.
I’ll also be selling paintings by Ethel Barritt, baby spider plants and aloe veras, and homemade hot pepper vinegar. The Knotts Island Ruritans will be there selling barbecue, too. Come on down and enjoy the day!
November 18. The Anniversary of Marcel Proust’s death day in 1922. In Honor of Remembrance of Things Past, here are two madeleine recipes:
2 large eggs
½ cup sugar
5 T. butter, melted & cooled slightly
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 t. baking powder
Grated zest of ½ lemon
¼ t. vanilla extract
In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk or blend the eggs and sugar until frothy. Add the cooled melted butter, blending well. On low speed or with the whisk, add the flour, baking powder, lemon zest and vanilla until blended. Cover the bowl with a towel and set aside to rest for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375*. Butter and flour the madeleine molds. Whisk the batter for a moment to remix, then spoon the batter lightly into the molds, filling them three-quarters full. Bake until the cakes are risen and golden, 10 or 11 minutes. If the madeleines start to brown before the crown has risen, open the oven door slightly and continue to bake until they have risen.
As soon as the madeleines are done, carefully remove them from the tins onto a wire rack. Serve immediately. The madeleines can also be cooled on a rack and stored for several days in an airtight container.
Makes about 15 madeleines (25 minis).
From Paris Boulangerie Patisserie: Recipes from Thirteen Outstanding French Bakeries, page 74
½ cup sugar
¼ t. vanilla
6 T. butter, melted & slightly cooled
3/8 cup of flour (the mark just above 1/3)
¼ cup cocoa
- Melt the butter & allow to cool slightly.
- Whisk eggs & sugar until thick & lemon-colored. Add the vanilla & salt.
- Fold in the flour & cocoa, then the melted butter.
- Allow the batter to rest for 1 hour.
- Heat the oven to 425*.
- Butter the madeleine pans then spoon in the batter to 3/4ths full.
- Bake the madeleines about 7-9 minutes; immediately turn out of molds onto cooling racks.
“And suddenly the memory returns. The taste was that of the little crumb of madeleine which on Sunday mornings, when I went to say good day to her in her bedroom, my aunt Léonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of real or of lime-flower tea…And as soon as I had recognized the taste of the piece of madeleine soaked in the decoction of lime-blossom which my aunt used to give me, immediately the old grey house upon the street, where her room was, rose up like a stage set…and with the house the town….the streets along which I used to run errands, the country roads we took when it was fine…the whole of Combray and its surroundings, taking shape and solidity, sprang into being, town and gardens alike, from my cup of tea.”
(Adapted from Swann’s Way, In Search of Lost Time, by Marcel Proust)
Click on over to my Madeleine Moments blog and read about the 100th anniversary of Marcel Proust’s first novel, the 6th year anniversary of my blog, and leave a comment to possibly win prizes, including a signed copy of my novel, Parisian by Heart, which features Marcel Proust himself.
To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment here, or on the Madeleine Moments blog, or like my Parisian by Heart Facebook page. Contest ends Feb. 18th, 2013.
(Now that the contest is over, find the winners here.)
…is the title of my second novel, which I have just finished on May 28, 2012. This book required lots more research than my first one, Parisian by Heart, even though, like that novel, it is a work of fiction. But also like that first book, it is based on historical events. In Father We Go, I have written about the early attempts at colonization, from the first failed English attempts at Roanoke to the eventually successful one at Jamestown, to attempts by French Huguenots and the Spanish. The time period spans from the 1500’s and 1600’s to the Depression years to the present, in a bit of time-skipping. The voices of the narrative include colonists, lost and otherwise, a few of the multitudes already living on this coast before the colonists arrived, Native Americans, the man who named Knotts Island, Eleanor Dare’s daughter Agnes, and stones that sing.
Here’s a snippet:
His wife woke again when she heard the trunk open. She got out of the car and walked around to the back. Louis was there, pulling a wire brush out of a toolkit they had back there in the trunk. At his feet on the ground was a dirty brown-ish rock. He gave her a quick look, his eyes shifting away from hers quickly as he bent and picked up the rock and carried it and the brush over to the bank of the river. She stood with her hands on her hips, waiting for him to speak and give her some sort of explanation, but when none came she let her breath out in a whoosh, yanked her purse off the car seat and headed into the woods. Regardless of whatever tomfoolery Louis was up to now, she had to pee. When she came back out of the woods, he was back at the trunk of the car. He’d wrapped the stone in that burlap bag he kept for gathering what he called “specimens” and was placing it carefully in the trunk, making room for it among their one suitcase that they shared, the toolbox, and the other junk he’d picked up on this trip. Well, if he wasn’t going to speak, she was.
“What is that, and what do you think you’re doing with it?”
That glancing look again.
“Can’t look me in the eye, huh?”
Now he turned to look her in the face, his eyes on hers for so long that she almost spoke again before he did. But then he spoke.
“It’s a rock. It’s got some kind of writing on it. I’m taking it because it might have some kind of value, maybe we can find someone who can read the writing. It might be Indian.”
“Louis Hammond, you listen to me. That there rock is a tombstone, and what you’re doing is illegal. You put that rock right back where you found it and let’s get moving.”
“It’s not a gravestone, it’s too small and why would there be a graveyard out here? There’s nothing else out here and there’s no other gravestones.” He slammed the lid of the trunk closed and moved toward the driver’s door and got in. She stared after him for a moment, then went to her side of the car and yanked the door open.
“I’m warning you, Louis, if you take that rock you’re going to be in trouble. If you show it to anyone, they’re going to call the police and you’ll go to jail. And I’ll tell you another thing, I’m not going to get in trouble with you. Do you hear me, Louis?”
She straightened up from settling her purse on the car floor at her feet and looked at Louis. He was just sitting there, staring out the windshield of the car at the river.
“Louis, I said, do you hear me?”
He turned his eyes toward and gave her that long stare again. What is the matter with him? She shivered a little, despite the heat inside the closed car.
“I’m taking the rock and I’m going to find someone who can read it. If you don’t want to do this with me, you can go home, we’ll call your folks next town we get to and get them to cable some money for you to take the train home.”
Now it was her turn to stare at him, her mouth open.
“You would do that? You would send me home and go on without me, over some stupid rock? Why, Louis?”
He looked back at the river and leaned forward to turn the key in the car’s ignition. The car started up but Louis didn’t put it in drive and begin to move. He just sat there, staring at the river.
“Because the rock told me to.”
Now the hard part begins; editing, proofing, formatting…it took us nearly two years to do these things for Parisian by Heart, I hope it won’t take that long for Father We Go.
This post also marks the Fifth Anniversary of this blog. My thanks to my readers who have stuck with me all this time!
From March 30th to April 1st, 2012, the Goodreads group, Writers and Readers, is hosting an author Q&A for me – you get to ask questions, I get to answer them. Click here to sign up to participate (you must be a member of Goodreads and the Writers and Readers group to join in; see below for what to do if you are not a member and don’t want to join).
Also on Goodreads, I’m having a giveaway for two signed copies of my book- click here to sign up for your chance to win. But Mari (you say), what if I’m not a member of Goodreads? No fear, folks. Leave your question here on this blog, or scoot over to my Madeleine Moments blog to read about my book and leave a question or comment there, OR (so many choices, yeah?) drift over to my Parisian by Heart Facebook page and like it, leave a question or comment.
Want to know more about me of my book before committing yourself? You can also set sail for Amazon to read my author page there or an excerpt of the book- click here for the book’s page or here for my author page.
Here’s a bonus freebie: my next book is close to being finished (the writing part, anyway, then comes the editing and proofing and etc). I’m going to give you some clues and if you can correctly guess what the book is about, I’ll send you a free signed copy of Parisian by Heart now, or if you want to wait for it, a copy of the next book. Got it? Right then, here are the clues:
1. I live on an island off the coast of North Carolina. This island, and another island farther south from here, are featured in the book.
2. The book is titled “Father We Go”.
3. The Pilgrims from England that landed up in New England were not the first folks on these shores.
That’s all you get. Tell me what my next book is about and win! Or if you have no idea, do one of the things I mentioned above and I’ll throw your name in the hat.