Posts Tagged ‘museum addicts’

Introducing Author Jenny Schwartz

December 3, 2010

Welcome Jenny:
It’s a pleasure having you here. W e look forward to your sharing your thoughts on writing.

“Write what you know” is an oft-repeated piece of writing wisdom. But I don’t believe it. Passion is far more important. If you’re passionate about what you’re writing, it strengthens your commitment to the long, lonely process and it shares the energy of your enthusiasm with your readers.
When I started writing “Angel Thief” I knew my heroine had to be an archivist. I’m passionate about the importance of knowledge. Lost knowledge makes me want to scream. I shudder to think of the ancient Library of Alexandria burning.
Studying sociology probably impacted my reverence for knowledge. I kept hearing the Foucauldian “truth” that knowledge IS power and power, knowledge. When we lose knowledge, we lose something of who we could have been.
So I created Sara, my angel archivist, who sees her role as “the Indiana Jones of data recovery”. At the moment when a document (and its knowledge) will be destroyed and lost forever to the species who created it, she dashes in and rescues it. I’d like to imagine that the lost works of the ancient world exist in a heavenly archive.
That’s the beauty of writing fiction. You can take your passion for an issue, explore it, share it, and finally, give it a happy ending. Because in my fiction (whether reading or writing), I insist on a happy ending.
Angel Thief, published by Carina Press

She’s breaking the rules. Again.

An archivist in the heavenly library, Sara must follow protocol when it comes to curating the knowledge of the universe. But “liberating” an ancient text from the collection of a human—an Australian drug lord—could save a boy’s life. Sara has no way of knowing that one of the man’s other treasures is a sexy-as-sin djinni, bound by a wish to guard the estate.

He’s only following orders.

Filip is compelled to turn over intruders, even celestial ones, to his master. When he catches Sara in the library, he isn’t above indulging in some sensual kisses with her, or using her to trick the mobster into wasting a wish. It’s what he must do to preserve his facade of freedom and protect his heart.

But the kidnapping of the drug lord’s daughter forces Sara and Filip to work together—bringing out the hero that lurks within the soul of the djinni, and the passion within the angel.

You can find Jenny:
at her website
or on Twitter @Jenny_Schwartz

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The House of Twining

August 30, 2010

I love London, the theatre, the streets, museums and castles and tea. Tea always tastes better in London and on day, my husband and I discovered Twining’s.
H.R. Twining & Co., Ltd, London, a trailblazer in specialty teas for almost three centuries began with the purchase of Tom’s Coffee House by Thomas Twining in 1706. Located in the rear of its present site at 216 Strand, it attracted gentlemen who engaged in serious discussions and scalawags who frittered away time in frivolous chatter while indulging in brandy, rum and arrack (an alcoholic drink distilled from rice or molasses) and drinking water from Bath and Bristol. Thomas soon offered a new drink that had begun to gain favor with the public – tea. Of course, a woman of social standing never placed her dainty foot inside a coffee house; a lady would wait in her carriage while a manservant fetched the refreshment.
Eleven years later, Thomas opened The Golden Lyon. Despite high taxes and dire warnings issued by the medical profession and the church against the brew, tea became fashionable and members of Court Circles and the Royal Household patronized the establishment.
In 1797, Tom’s grandson, Richard Twining, built a doorway on the Strand opposite the Royal Courts of Justice. Above the shop’s Royal Crest, centered between two colorful Chinese figures, he incorporated the symbol of the Golden Lyon, attracting the eye of the beholder to The House of Twining. Today, the fragrance of choice teas and coffees still wafts past the entrance offering an irresistible invitation to the passer-by. Teas range from Prince of Wales, Orange Pekoe, Earl Grey, Darjeeling, China Black or Lady Grey to the finest Assam plus a selection of over 13 different types of coffee.
Accompanying the teas are an assortment of fine crackers and jams, neckties, aprons, tea towels, mirrors, bone china mugs, cups and saucers, coffee makers, limited edition teapots and teapots shaped like bears, vegetables and birdhouses.
A portrait of the founder, attributed to William Hogarth, welcomes memorabilia addicts to the Museum at the rear of the shop. Displayed are a copy of the Royal Warrant issued to Richard Twining II by Queen Victoria in 1837, a Buddha, carved from the roots of a tea bush, invoices dating back to 1715 and pictures of Thomas and his son Daniel on a 1737 tea wrapper. Maps and advertisements for tea, coffee, chocolate, sage and snuff adorn the walls along with prints of tea trading. One that appeared in the London Chronicle, in 1770, states business would continue as usual despite a warehouse fire.
The back room is also home to Victorian tea tins, the first Twining illustrated advertisement for packet tea (introduced during the 19th century,) and 19th century tea scales. Models and photos of delivery vans (with and without horses,) and an Edwardian double teapot are exhibited along with a T.I.P. – To Insure Promptness – box. The box was nailed to the wall in coffee houses and parched patrons who desired good service would place money in the box.
Damaged during the Second World War, 216 Strand was rebuilt in 1952 ensuring its reputation as the oldest company (Teamen to connoisseurs, by appointment to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II) to have traded continuously on the same site.
For more information about me, please visit my website To purchase my mystery Scene Stealer please visit,, and any site that sells eBooks.

A Maine Dinner

August 7, 2010

Spent a few hours at the Metropolitan Museum of Art yesterday feasting our eyes on some of the works by master painters and sculptors. Breathtaking. then to the Trustee’s Dining Room where hubby and I could fill our tummies with fantastic food. Most of the year, the dining room is only open to trustees and folks who can contribute large sume of money to keep the exhibitions in tip-top shape for the rest of us, but during the summer the room is open on Friday and Saturday evenings to the average subscriber. Lucky us.
From our table we could see two fortress-like towers. Towers that could set the imagination soaring. Streaks of white clouds traveled through the sky and trees swayed as if the wind were a choreographer newly hired by the city ballet.
A basket of rolls with butter that cannot be found in your average supermarket and an olive tapinade were set on the table along with our glasses of Pinot Grigio. A corn chowder with peeky crab followed. Peeky crab conjures up an image of a feminine crab with long eyelashes and a tendancy to flirt. Wish I had the recipe. Second course-mussels au gratin. Sweet and crunchy…how many recipes are there for mussels? Then the lobster-no bib needed. The lobster has been shelled, centered on the plate and surrounded with snow peas, Harticote Verte and warn radish. A bit different from the Maine I remember. Dessert? Peach crisp with vanilla ice cream. A wonderful dinner to savor on a special occasiond or when you need a pick-me-up. Here’s to next summer and another delighful dinner.