In this sequel to the historical novel The Sceptre, Austrian immigrant Katya Becker, learning in 1938 of Germany’s threat to invade her old homeland, returns to Europe and comes face to face with Hitler. She helps relay German invasion plans to Eleanor Roosevelt and unearths spies in Hawaii. While discovering her own tangled heritage, she also learns of her new lover’s secret role.
The final book about the Austrian designer and part-time spy, Katya
Becker, brings her back to Europe in the spring of 1938 despite the
danger of scheduled contacts with Benito Mussolini and his guest in
Italy, Adolf Hitler. Through her clever tactics on a tension-laden train ride, Katya aids in the escape of a famous scientist from Fascist
Italy. In Ireland she meets two fascinating men, and back home she is threatened by German Nazis before being rescued by the man she wants for a life partner.
As in The Sceptre and The Labyrinth, this book contains two exciting flashbacks to ancient Europe foreshadowing the events in 1938 Italy and revealing the meaning of the treskel symbol uniting past and present in representing feminine strength.
My next book is now available from McFarland. You can order an autographed copy directly from me.
Drawing Card has already created a buzz of interest among those interested in baseball history. It’s the story of a woman who signed a minor-league baseball contract, which was then cancelled by the Commissioner of Baseball, and what she did about it.
In baseball history, two different female baseball players signed minor-league contracts, which were cancelled as soon as their gender became known, so they never had a chance to show what they could do. Evidently, they withdrew quietly and politely, as women generally did in those days.
But in Drawing Card, when Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis cancels Cleveland pitcher Annie Cardello’s signed minor-league contract, she vows to retaliate.
Annie’s volatile personality, coupled with her family background in ancient Sicily (shown in historical flashbacks), leads her to plan his murder.
Before she can complete her scheme, her attempt to help a brother in trouble leads to her participation in a different murder, one in which the Mafia has an interest.
Most of Drawing Card takes place in Cleveland, Ohio, where I grew up. If you know the city, you’ll recognize the landmarks.
A few baseball specialists are reading the unedited manuscript of Drawing Card. One has reacted to his reading this way: “Wonderful, wonderful! Couldn’t put it down until my eyes were closing each night.” He calls the book “extraordinary” and “compelling.”
I think you’ll find Drawing Card to be fascinating. I know that when you read it, you’ll learn something about baseball history and of course about women’s history.
Read a preview of the book from the Ft. Myers (Fla.) News-Press.
I wrote a blog post about Drawing Card on 9 Ways, the website of Gloria Feldt.
Drawing Card was reviewed by Scott D. Peterson, writing in the journal Arete, which covers baseball literature.
Drawing Card is also available as an eBook through McFarland.
More praise for Drawing Card:
The book is “incident-packed,” and “the novel’s incidents are nicely unrestrained, often sinister in a way that borders on black comedy.”
The heroine, Annie Cardello, is “believable as the ‘drawing card’ of the title, pitching local baseball in Cleveland, exemplifying her Sicilian roots.”
“This is a woman whose answer to a mildly disappointing marriage is a quickie divorce, Italian style. One is prepared for her to wreak havoc on Organized Baseball.”
“As a contribution to the re-imagination of the twentieth century from once-elided perspectives, the novel has something to offer readers who like their fiction brisk, lucid, and vividly imaginary.”
— Tim Morris, Review of Drawing Card in NINE: A Journal of Baseball History & Culture, Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 176-177.
Thinker Media has created an electronic edition of the popular vegetarian cookbook, Meatless Meat, originally published in 2001.
This book has helped many people realize how good vegetarian food can be. That includes people who have been directed by their doctors to stop eating meat because of heart problems. It includes those who would like to cut back a little on meat by eating one meat-free meal a week. And it
includes those who are vegetarian-curious and looking for something to eat that tastes surprisingly like the meat they grew up with.
All 100 recipes in Meatless Meat are made with soy protein, the healthful product that is even higher in protein than meat and contains none of its harmful fat. This product is so versatile that it can stand in for the meat in dishes like pizza, lasagna, cabbage rolls, goulash, chili, teriyaki, barbecue, and dozens of other entrees. Many people who taste the meatless versions of these entrees believe they are really eating meat!
This electronic version of Meatless Meat contains a new preface updating some material in the book, a new glossary, and a new list of food sources explaining where to buy vegetable protein. It opens to a wider audience — those who use hand-held computers — the book that has aided many to see vegetarian food in a new light and realize how enjoyable it can be as well as how healthful it is.
(Note: Best Thinking Media ended operations on Jan. 5, 2018.)
Here are some true stories about the recipes in this book.
A woman who lives in Nova Scotia phoned me to say that her family loves the American Meatballs recipe so much that she was asked by her son to prepare “those vegetarian meatballs” for his wedding banquet. So she made 200 meatballs and delivered them by car to the wedding, where they were served in their own gravy out of elegant chafing dishes, to the delight of all!
A Naples man named Richard who tried the Stuffed
Cabbage Rolls says he dotes on this recipe and makes it often because it reminds him of his mother’s ethnic Polish cooking. Now he adds mushrooms and sauerkraut to the recipe, because his mom did that.
A newsman in Parksville, British Columbia, emailed me to say that my meatball recipes are favorites with his family.
A visiting relative who is a meat-eater came for dinner and “poker with the boys.” He enjoyed the pizza very much and
didn’t realize it was vegetarian. Months later, on a return visit for more poker and dinner, he watched me approaching the table bearing the same entree and exclaimed, “Is that your famous pizza? Yum!” So I named that recipe “Poker Pizza.”
A guest who was served a meatless lunch in my home thought she was eating veal and asked for a second serving. I was surprised into calling that recipe “Veggieveal Parmigiana.”
Some fans admire the book even before trying the recipes. A Quebec reader said, “I really like the cover; just looking at the food makes me hungry. And I like the way you write the recipes to include suggestions on what to serve with each one.” A New York friend remarked, “Just reading the book is entertaining — I do enjoy your style of writing!”
Neighbors at our frequent Naples block parties love
my meaty-tasting quiche. Even though they know I’m a vegetarian, they are half-convinced that I put meat in this entree. I cut it in thin slices and place the slices on a tray. When I put the tray on the table, I have to back away fast so that people can crowd around and pick up their slices. I often bake this quiche to serve as samples at seminars. The samplers want to know how I can make it taste so much
like ham! It’s a secret; for the answer, I direct them to the recipe.
My vegetarian version of pepperoni, which I often use as a cocktail snack, always surprises people who know I’m a
vegetarian. They say, “Wow, good! Is this real pepperoni?” My answer: “It’s Pepperfoni.”
The manager of an Albertson’s store in Naples told
me that he sent his mother in Washington, D.C., my recipe for Stuffed Cabbage and asked her to prepare it for him when she visited him here. She obliged, and he reported to me that he very much enjoyed eating it, saying, “Let’s face it; we can’t tell the difference when it doesn’t really have meat in it!”
One day a Naples friend dropped in to deliver something just after we had enjoyed vegetarian calzones for lunch. The
ones we hadn’t eaten were still hot, so I gave her one to take home. She called later to say how delicious it was and could hardly believe it when I told her it was meat-free.
At our residential community’s Italian Night dinner, meatballs were on the menu. To help out those of us who are
vegetarians, I prepared a double recipe of my Polpette (vegetarian Italian meatballs) so that there would be enough for the other vegetarians and me, plus plenty of leftovers for us to take home. I left the big bowl of Polpette in the clubhouse kitchen, with directions about whom to serve. I learned later that in the middle of serving, the food committee ran out of meatballs. When I returned to the kitchen to collect my leftovers, only two Polpette remained in the bowl. The committee had served the rest of them to several meat-eaters. Do you think any of them realized it?
A Boston friend of mine named Howard wrote me
recently, “Ever since you introduced me to TVP I have enjoyed making hamburger-like patties with all kinds of seasoning in them. I love them. I especially like to use red-hot sauce as a spice.” I hope that Meatless Meat will keep inspiring people like Howard to experiment in preparing their own tasty favorites.
A Naples woman who was too sick to come to an autographing session sent her husband to purchase the book. A few days later I wrote him asking about his wife, and he replied, “Helen wants you to know that she simply loves the cookbook!”
A Cleveland physician who is involved with three different vegetarian groups there believes that Meatless Meat
“addresses an important need.” That was the point of writing it: to aid people who want to change their approach to healthful and delicious eating.
The web site Vegetarians in Paradise describes me as follows: “Vegetarian for 30 years, this well-traveled author whips up a host of familiar international dishes with a vegetarian twist. Focused on hearty, meatless entrees that satisfy even the life-long meat aficionados, this TVP specialist also recreates a plethora of American comfort foods along with a wide range of global specialties in a unique
recipe format.” The site operators, Zel and Reuben Allen, call me “Dorothy, The TVP Queen.”
After I spoke to the Nutrition Faculty of the Medical College at Western Reserve University in Cleveland, the department head told me she plans on using Meatless Meat with her students in classes during the school year 2003.
A Scotsman who lives and works in France emailed me
to announce that his wife has prepared several of my recipes and that they both enjoyed them. He himself likes reading the book because of its “chatty” style of presenting the recipes: “I feel as though I am sitting across the table from the author.” A contact of his who writes for British publications plans to review the book favorably, he says.
Don Montgomery of Dallas, Texas, emailed me, “Well,
everything you said was true: the CantBeatloaf is fabulous! I was surprised by how meat-like it looked, even while being spooned into the baking pan and of course coming out of the oven. Even before trying other recipes, we’re going to the store to get more feta and making two more loaves.”
An almost-vegetarian named Selena wrote me, “I was telling my family just this morning how creative your Meatless Meat
book is. I was just experimenting with vegetarianism the first time, but this time I’m sure it will be a permanent life change.”
An artist who stopped me in the supermarket said she had attended one of my vegetarian seminars, where she bought Meatless Meat. She reported that she finds the recipes “wonderful.”
Meatless Meat is available from the author and from online bookstores, as well as from local bookstores. You can
also get it direct from the distributor, Xlibris, at www.xlibris.com.
What is it?
Textured vegetable protein is a dried soy product. You can keep it on your shelf forever. Those of us who use it a lot store it in great big canisters so it’s always available. It comes in various sizes, from granulated (to use in ground beef dishes) and chunks (to use in stews and casseroles).
How is it produced?
TVP is made from soybeans with the liquid and fat removed. It’s tasteless and will take on the flavors of whatever you marinate it in.
How is it used?
To use it, you prepare a hot marinade of the appropriate veggie juice or fruit juice and spices and herbs, then add the TVP, cover, and wait 15 minutes. Then you proceed with your recipe. The TVP stands in for the meat component of your recipe and, if properly prepared, tastes amazingly like meat.
Who uses it?
Besides home-based cooks, commercial producers of meat substitutes — the products you can buy at Albertson’s and Publix and your health food store — use TVP to prepare meat substitute products, but they cost ten times the entrees you can prepare at home to suit your own tastes.
What can I do with it?
Use it to make meatloaf, burgers, stews, fajitas, meatballs, casseroles, lasagna, quiche, meatpie — the list is endless. I have a hundred recipes, and you’ll probably create lots more of your own.
How does it taste?
When properly marinated and seasoned, the entree tastes so much like the original flesh-based recipe that most people don’t realize they’re not eating meat.
Why should I do this?
Most nutritionists and physicians tell us that adding soy to our diets, as a stand-in for meat, improves our health considerably, lowering our risk for cancer, stroke, heart disease, and other serious conditions.
Instructions for using TVP
1. Heat the liquid appropriate to your recipe.
2. Add to the liquid those seasonings appropriate for your recipe.
3. When the liquid is hot, add the TVP, and turn off the heat. Cover the pot.
4. Let the TVP rehydrate itself. Wait 15 minutes for the granulated TVP, 20 minutes for the chunk-style TVP. (Meanwhile, gather and prepare the other ingredients needed in your recipe.)
5. Complete the recipe. Serve and enjoy a meaty-tasting entree!
A visit from two baseball friends made October 24 a special day here at the Carlisle Naples. Promptly at noon, into the lobby walked two people prominent in today’s women’s baseball circles.
I felt honored when Dr. Mark Eberle of Kansas invited me to write the Foreword to his new book, Kansas Baseball History, 1857-1941, which he has prepared for the Nebraska University Press. A Foreword is, of course, “a word to the fore,” in this case a 4,000-word Foreword, the number requested by his publisher. Writing at that length gave me a chance to explain how closely Dr. Eberle’s understanding of early town baseball fits with my view of it. Continue reading “Oct. 19, 2016”
It took three showings last week to present Mark Honer’s “Town Teams: Bigger Than Baseball” to interested residents of The Carlisle Naples. A few friends of residents and even some strangers came in to see the documentary, too. All came out of the theater with smiles and praise for the film, which seems to have hit a lot of nostalgia buttons. Continue reading “July 25, 2016”