Meet the Gravediggers in Liliana Hart’s ‘The Darkest Corner’ [REVIEW]

The rest

Sometimes the dead do rise. (Photo by cmiper, Flickr)

They’re highly trained. They’re lethally dangerous. And they’re dead. Meet the Gravediggers. Sometimes the dead do come back. Find out how in Liliana Hart’s riveting new series, beginning with The Darkest Corner.  Read more of this post

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Celebrate family and friends this May

May 2011

Dear friends,

Life definitely has a way of changing overnight, and none of us could foresee that President Obama would announce tonight that Osama bin Laden had finally been found and killed, 66 years after Hitler’s death was announced. The news has been received with celebrations by many, as crowds gathered to party outside the White House gates, at Ground Zero, and even at Times Square. And while this event in history may bring Americans some closure, particularly those who lost loved ones during the horrific day we watched the World Trade Center towers collapse, we watch thoughtfully as events continue to unfold over the next few weeks. The president reminds all of us that the War on Terror is not over, American troops will not return home immediately as many would hope, and that now more than ever, we must all be cautious because retaliation by Al-Qaeda is possible. Times like these make us increasingly aware of what is important, and in our case that is our friends and family. Tell your loved ones how much you love them, and better yet, show them by treating them to a family get-together. In fact, this is a great month to do it!

As some of you already know, we have a special place in our hearts for everything Mexican, particularly the cuisine! Since I spent my early years in California and Texas, many of my friends have always been of Hispanic descent. Even when I lived in New York City, I discovered that the tradition continued because many of my friends were from San Antonio, Dallas and other cities with a strong cultural heritage and ties to the Latino community. So in honor of that tradition, we’re going to feature several Mexican dishes during the month of May (when Cinco de Mayo is celebrated, meaning “the fifth of May,” which is actually a commemoration of the Mexican militia over the French army at the Battle of Puebla in 1812 and not Mexico’s Independence Day as many mistakenly believe). So look for those recipe ideas as the month progresses.

Bison in Wichita Moutains Wildlife Refuge

The Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge located 90 miles southwest of Oklahoma City is the oldest managed wildlife preserve in the United States.

Memorial Day is commemorated at the end of the month and many of you will have time off from work and we’re sure you’re looking forward to getting away for a mini-vacation. This year we’re going to try out the camping gear we purchased several years ago, but never seemed to get around to using. Both of us went camping as children, but somehow the experiences we had were never that pleasant. Parents either forgot to pack food or thought we’d catch fish and eat it (which we never did). In Heather’s case, six kids and her mother were crammed into a tiny tent in the heat of July. The only positive experience I did have camping was when I lived in Dallas and friends and I camped among the bison at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge near Lawton, Oklahoma. The views were breathtaking and the animals were awesome as the moved fearlessly among humans. We did get rained out, however, and one of my friend’s tents floated away, so hopefully that won’t happen this time. In either case, please send us your camping stories and any tips you have that make camping safe and fun. We need all the help we can get! Then, next month, we’ll share our adventure with you.

Heather and I both turn another year older this month (but don’t even think about asking us our ages!), but we figure that any year we are healthy and above ground is a good one. We also have several friends celebrating wedding anniversaries this month, so we’d love to congratulate my cousin and her husband, Tabitha and Scott E., my former Spanish professor and her husband, Allison and Ivan M., and our friends Tom and Carla R. on yet another year of marital bliss.

We hope you’ve been enjoying April’s book club pick, The Cabinet of Curiosities, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. We’ve received numerous notes from readers, which is always fantastic. One reader said “the Pendergast books were among her favorite series and this one is the best.” Another thanked us for introducing the Pendergast series to him, because now he “is definitely hooked!” We feel the same way. So be sure to check out Preston and Child’s latest novel in the series, Cold Vengeance, which will be published on August 2nd. For more information, visit the authors’ Website at www.prestonchild.com. We will also reveal our latest book club pick this week, so stay tuned!

Finally, remember to check our Food page for recipes you may have missed, like our favorite peanut butter cookies, a classic meatless Italian dinner menu, some treats from our first ever breakfast week including our bacon and egg quesadillas, and our succulent oven-braised short ribs.

Whatever you’re doing this May, we hope you’re safe and healthy, that the time off from work allows you the chance to get in some much needed recreation, and that you find something wonderful to celebrate, even if it is just the simple pleasure of gathering together with friends and family.

With love,
Jathan & Heather