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.
On 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.
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.
Ellynne Davis and Joyce Judd will be signing their new book “The Chesapeake Cats and the Easter Surprise” at Keepin’ It Local on Saturday, March 28, from 11:00am to 2:00pm. Keepin’ It Local features fresh produce and baked goods, finely made crafts, jewelry, some antiques and paintings which are all products of Southern Maryland.
Ellynne who has had starring roles in several Three Notch Theater productions will be reading her rhyming verses to all the children who attend on Saturday. The story is about an unusual Easter Bunny who arrives in disguise as she hides the eggs for her little friends. In addition to the story the book contains a bookmark to color, a bunny rabbit paper doll and some kid friendly recipes.
There is nothing like beginning your Easter celebration here in St. Mary’s County, we are all about “Keepin’ It Local.” Address: 25760 Colton Point Road, Leonardtown, Maryland 20650
Phone: 1 (301) 475-7888
Our first book signing was at Fenwick Used Books and Music on March 13th. We had a great time and signed many books.
Join Fenwick Street Used Books and Music as they host Ellynne Brice Davis and Joyce Judd and get your copy of their new book, The Chesapeake Cats and the Easter Surprise, signed between 5:00 – 7:00 PM on Friday, March 13th.