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Breton Bay Publishers at local Beer Festival

St. Mary’s County has an annual event called BeerFest.  It’s an amazing event, with live bands, arts and crafts, food, and a wide variety of beers to sample.  Breton Bay Publishing had a booth in the arts and crafts area, giving an opportunity to meet the authors and have purchased books autographed.

 

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On My Way to Italy

tomato-on-white-logoOn Sunday, May 3, I’ll be meeting my friend at the Philadelphia Airport for our direct flight to Venice, Italy. We’ll be there til June 7; lots of time to sample all kinds of delicious Italian foods. This time, we’re renting an apartment so we’ll be able to prepare some of our own meals as well. We have made several friends there over the years and we are hoping to invite them for dinner. One recipe that I’d love to share is the Tomato Stack Salad recipe – the recipe that actually started the ball rolling on our Top Tomato Cookbook! Here’s a short version of the recipe, which is the first recipe in the cookbook:

Tomato Stack Salad

(This recipe won the First Prize in the Washington Post’s 2009 Top Tomato Contest). Serves 4

Ingredients: 4 large red, ripe tomatoes;1/2 c. fresh basil leaves, loosely chopped; 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese; 1/4 c. walnuts or pecans, chopped; 2 c. Spring Mix lettuce. For the dressing: 1/3 c. sugar; 1/3 c. olive oil; 1/3 c. red wine vinegar/ 1/2 tsp. salt; 1/2 tsp. garlic pepper. Directions:Trim a thin slice from bottoms of each tomato so that they will sit flat. Turn each tomato sideways on cutting board and slice accordion-style into 4 or 5 sections (being careful not to slice completely through the tomato). Mix basil, mozzarella and pecans. Whisk sugar, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Drizzle a small amount of the dressing in between each tomato slice to moisten. Stuff in-between each slice the basil-mozzarella-nut mixture. Place a few lettuce leaves on each salad plate, sit each stuffed tomato upright on the lettuce and drizzle with remaining dressing, to taste.

 

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HSMC Annual Beerfest

Please join us at the annual Beerfest on June 20, beside the State House at St. Mary’s City. We will be there from noon until 6:00pm selling our popular “Ellynne’s Top Tomato Cookbook” and our two darling children’s holiday books “Halloween Fright on a Chesapeake Night” and “The Chesapeake Cats and the Easter Surprise.” Be sure and get your copy signed. Joining us under the canopy will be our talented web designer, video creator and artist, Shelley Wilson. She has an array of stunning art pieces that are perfect for every budget and every wall of your home. Stop by and chat with as you imbibe the wonderful flavored beers.

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Detailing Our Retailing

When Ellynne and I blithely began publishing books together we were totally immersed in the creativity of the process and gave little thought to how we might sell them. She already had books on Amazon and we thought that it would be easy to put on more. But there are some challenges to producing books with pictures when the picture needs to go with the text. And there are other challenges from the companies who want an author to use the company illustrators. I am the illustrator for our books and so we weren’t looking for a different artist. We may have jumped that hurdle so to speak, It looks like we may be offering our own ebooks on our own website in the future thanks to a talented tech savvy friend, Shelley, who also has created this website for us.

However, we have done well selling our books without using the web. We energetically attend every local event that we can sign up for such as beer fests, home shows, teacher association sponsored craft shows, historic re-enactments, First Fridays in Leonardtown, well you get the picture. We also have done books signings at local businesses such as Fenwick St. Used Books and Music, Keepin’ It Local, The White Rabbit Children’s Book Store, The Good Earth Natural Foods Co, Farthings Ordinary, Ye Olde Café, and Caught My Eye all in St. Mary’s County, Maryland. We have lived and worked in “the county” for many years. The books reflect our life here and we chose to use a printer that is also here.

It has been fun selling our books locally and we will continue to do so. Sometimes we bring our canopy and set up our table outside. Sometimes it is just a matter of setting up a table inside. Ellynne brings a colorful tablecloth and I have some wrought iron book stands and we are “good to go.” We enjoy meeting everyone that comes to see us, we love to chat and we are happy to autograph our books too.

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Baynet Book Review by Dick Myers

Chesapeake Cats return with an Easter surprise

Leonardtown, MD — Those three crazy cats are back. Local author Ellynne Brice Davis, illustrator Joyce Judd and editor Myra Rapsa have once again collaborated on a children’s book about three cats that live on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay.

Last year the three collaborated on “Halloween Fright on a Chesapeake Night” about three black cats who venture out of Halloween. This time the cats have been transformed into orange tabbies and the holiday is Easter for “The Chesapeake Cats and the Easter Surprise.”

In the new book the three cats decide to put on an Easter party and venture out to a town somewhat reminiscent of Leonardtown to pick up supplies, including EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil). In one of Judd’s many clever illustrations, the cats are seen “On their walk to the Wharf” where they pass “Breton Point Light, the bank, the museum and Let’s Fly a Kite.” Their destination is the store called “Miss Bunny’s Delight,” operated of course by Miss Bunny. She stocks food colors (red, purple, green and indigo) and jelly beans (cherry, grape and pistachio).

Home from their trip the cats prepare the meal and tidy the house. They awake Easter morning to a surprise outside – “someone in disguise” hiding Easter eggs.

The bounty is collected by everyone in the neighborhood and the Easter dinner, of which Miss Bunny is an invitee, is a big hit. The cats soon recognize Miss Bunny as that stranger in disguise.

At the end of the book there are several pages that can be colored and used as bookmarks plus a build your own Easter bunny design. And Davis adds several recipes from her previous book — “Ellynne’s Top Tomato Cookbook.”

The Chesapeake Cats and the Easter Surprise is the perfect addition to the Easter basket along with the colored eggs and candy.
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The trio, all retired St. Mary’s County school teachers, will be on hand for a book signing as part of Leonardtown’s First Friday March 6 from 5-7 p.m. at Fenwick Street Used Books and Music. Other signings are scheduled at the White Rabbit in Leonardtown Saturday March 21 from 10 a.m. to noon and Keepin It Local in Morganza Saturday March 28 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Contact Dick Myers at news@thebaynet.com