The Le Mans Disaster 1955

Le Mans, 1955. The prestigious and exciting Twenty Four Hours of Le Mans race, or Les 24 Heures du Mans, is the oldest sportscar race in the world, having been run since 1923. It is also one of the most dangerous. Twenty two drivers have died there in total but this figure doesn’t include serious injury or other personnel such as marshals, track employees and spectators. The worst of these events was the 1955 Le Mans race when a...

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All Time Hero: Jack Johnson

We learn and grow, we make heroes of our own. For me, being a child of the 60s there were astronauts and civil rights leaders, soccer stars and Olympic champs. Gran loved her music, so Nat King Cole, Paul Robeson and Ray Charles were high on my list. Dad’s a big sports fan, and Cassius Clay impressed as much by his trash talking as his skills in the ring. The undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World. If someone wanted to...

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Louis de Rougemont

Who was Louis de Rougemont? Louis de Rougemont achieved fame in 1898 when London’s Wide World magazine published a serialised account of his adventures.Readers were electrified. For the magazine told that Rougemont had spent thirty years living with cannibals in Australia –  as their king and leader. It all began in the 1860s when Rougemont was shipwrecked when he was pearl hunting in the Pacific. He and his trusty canine...

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Anthony Bourdain: Five Essential Kitchen Tools

Anthony Bourdain: Five Essential Kitchen Tools Anthony Bourdain is probably one of the best known American chefs today. Having French grandparents, he claims that his love of food and cooking comes from the vacations he spent in France as a child. In his book Kitchen Confidential, he tells a great deal about the life of a restaurateur and the workings of  commercial kitchens. His stories are illuminating and sometimes extremely funny....

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Art Matters: Vincent and Paul

Andy Royston takes a look at Vincent van Gogh’s Chairs of 1888, and a fraught relationship with his houseguest, Paul Gauguin. ‘At the bottom of our hearts good old Gauguin and I understand each other, and if we’re a bit mad, so be it, aren’t we also a little sufficiently deeply artistic to contradict anxieties in that regard by what we say with the brush?‘  Vincent Van Gogh –  letter to Theo van Gogh. Arles,...

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Reginald Warneford: Reckless Rex

Reginald Warneford: War hero. Known as Reckless Rex because of his devil-may-care attitude, Reginald was a First World War fighter pilot. He was the first pilot for bring down one of the fearsome Zeppelins that the Germans unleashed upon Britain in 1915. And just ten days later, an air crash took Reginald’s life. He had been born in India where his father was a railway engineer. It’s said that he received no formal...

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Spotlight: The Boy Who Dreamt of Fire Trucks

The Boy Who Dreamt of Fire Trucks By Alvita Mack Spotlighting a children’s book is a favorite of ours here at Jaquo.  Encouraging kids to read is so important.  A child can learn most anything in a book.  Add to that the love of fire trucks and firemen, and you are sure to have a popular book for young one. Author Alvita Mack is currently on a virtual tour to introduce the book to you.  Hosted by iRead Book Tours, you will find...

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Eva, Zsa Zsa and Magda Gabor

Three sisters, twenty marriages, nineteen husbands and one child. The Gabor sisters were all born during the First World War. They were born in Hungary, all three ended up in the States and between them they married twenty times. There were fifteen divorces, a couple of annulments yet only one child resulted from these many unions.   Zsa Zsa Zsa Zsa Gabor was probably the most famous of the three sisters — and she was the...

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Just Kids – Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe

I first heard Patti Smith as a teenager. The song – if you can call it a song, was Piss Factory, an extraordinary conversational poem set to haunting improvised free-jazz piano by Richard Sohl. It turned out to be from Patti Smith’s first recording session, and tells a story partly related to her time working in a low paid job back in New Jersey, at a factory that made baby buggies. It was a soul destroying environment,...

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Mrs Miniver

Mrs Miniver: The woman who won the war. Well, not literally but Winston Churchill said that her contribution to the war was worth more than six ‘divisions of war effort’ and that she had done more for the war effort than a ‘flotilla of battleships’. So who was she? Even more surprising than Churchill’s praise was the fact that she was a fictional character. But it’s said that she affected the...

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Songs About Cities : Paris

Ten Songs For Paris In setting out to compile a favorite list of Paris songs I admit to being totally anglo-centric. There are hundreds of exceptional songs and performances en francais and a few great blogs cover this very well (a great example is this by Paris Attitude)  so I won’t even attempt. Paris seemed to have inspired the jazz generation very much – there are enough Frank Sinatra songs about the city to fill an...

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After Queen Elizabeth II: What will happen?

After Queen Elizabeth II: What will happen? The last time a monarch died was in 1952.  That is more than a lifetime ago for many of us and the world is a very different place now. Although many believe in the line from the National Anthem ‘long to reign over us’, we have to admit that, having been born in 1926, she may be coming to the end of her time as monarch. No, I don’t believe she will abdicate and it may be...

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A Song for Sunrise – Mary Margaret O’Hara

Mary Margaret O’Hara turned up in London back in 1988 to play a show at one of those old London jewel box theaters. She’d released a remarkable album earlier in the year called Miss America, which had been a fascination of mine from the off. I couldn’t wait to see if she could live up to her extraordinary record. On Mary’s music there’s nothing particularly unusual going on. Accomplished country tinged...

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Spotlight: Out of Time, By Thomas William Lowrie

On Tour with Thomas William Lowrie Just read the brief excerpt below and you’ll know why we’ve been looking forward to this book spotlight. Embroiled in World War II is a man who wasn’t born until 1963. If the history doesn’t intrigue you, the apparent time travel will. Jaquo is pleased to feature Out of Time as part of a virtual book tour currently hosted by iRead Book Tours. Mr. Lowrie will be stopping by a...

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Five Faves : The Florida Keys

Key West lies 150 miles from Miami, but the drive along the route is an unforgettable experience; one of the world’s classic road trips. Making the drive off the mainland and along the long and winding ‘ocean highway’ all the way to mile marker zero is a real Florida pleasure. It’s a classic because, like all great trips it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey and what happens along...

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Who Was Buster Edwards?

Who was Buster Edwards? If you’re English and ‘of a certain age’ you’ll recognise the name. If you don’t then it might intrigue you know that he was  petty criminal who became something of a folk hero in Britain in the 1960s. For Buster was one of the men who took part in what was known as The Great Train Robbery in 1963. Although the robbers got away with a huge amount of money the general attitude of...

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Diana Dors

Who was Diana Dors? Diana Dors was an English actress and sexy movie star who was popular in the nineteen fifties and sixties. She was often compared to Marilyn Monroe. She was gorgeous, and rather a naughty girl but she typified the ‘tart with heart of gold’. She became a much loved British institution. When she was younger, and she became a well-known movie and television star when still in her teens – most...

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Book Spotlight: Poppy, by Kat Flannery

Kat Flannery’s New Release:   Poppy Today we are pleased to spotlight the second book in the Montgomery Sisters series.  A little western, a little historical, added to romantic suspense is sure to please readers. Author Kat Flannery is currently on a virtual book tour hosted by iRead Book Tours.  It’s always a treat to learn more about a book and its author. Check out the details below. We’re sure you will enjoy it....

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Joan Crawford

Joan Crawford: Loves and private life. Legendary Hollywood actress Joan Crawford was the subject of  vitriolic exposé book written by her adopted daughter. Whether these revelations are true is a matter of conjecture but Christina claimed that her mother had adopted her and other children to enhance her fame, rather than because of maternal feelings. The book reveals stories of abuse and tells of Joan’s affairs – with both...

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Simple Salmon

A simple salmon recipe So many times, fish is smothered in elaborate, rich sauces. If the fish isn’t quite perfect, then a sauce can really help but sometimes fish cooked simply can be far better. That’s especially the case if you’re cooking some lovely, fresh salmon. Below is a very simple to prepare salmon recipe from Scotland that I first found published in the nineteen seventies. Scotland of course, is famous for...

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Clutter Control: The Home Lost Property Station

Keep your home tidy – easily and quickly. When your surroundings give you joy and pleasure, life is so much better. This is especially the case in your own domain – your home. And looking round and seeing a neat and tidy environment isn’t just good for your soul – it’s been proved that clutter can damage your well-being. But it’s easier said than done, isn’t it? In fact, it can be so easy and...

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Alberto Ascari

Ascari’s lucky racing helmet. Alberto Ascari was born in Italy in 1918. By the time he started motor racing as a young man, it was one of the most dangerous occupations in Europe. He knew this because his own father – also a racing driver – had been killed when Alberto was only seven years old. By the mid nineteen fifties, Alberto had twice won the Formula One World Championship and was looking forward to continuing...

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Fingersmith: A Victorian saga

Fingersmith: Fascinating Victorian tale This film is astounding. It is everything you’d expect from an adaptation of a novel set in Victorian times but much, much more. The plot has twists and turns which are totally unexpected. It tells of a girl, Sue, who hails from the seamier side of London. Imagine a Fagin-like den of thieves and this will give you some idea of her background. She is persuaded – by the promise of a...

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Ring in the Spring – Woodland Bluebells

It’s been a long time since I lived within walking distance of an English wood. At this time of year the best ones become a magical perfumed carpet of blue flowers and can’t help but remind me of a childhood long gone. On visits to England I always to try to take a walk through the woodlands, to breathe in that heady scent concoction: Gorse, wild garlic, Scots pine, wet woodland, hawthorn blossom, honeysuckle, stinkhorn,...

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Obsolete Words: Quiz

Test your knowledge: Obsolete words Isn’t it amazing how quickly our language changes? Today, we regularly use words that simply wouldn’t have been understood fifty years ago. Even some words we might think of as relatively ‘modern’ are outdated. Do today’s children understand words and phrases like ‘cassette player ‘, ‘floppy disk’, ‘Netscape’, ‘typewriter’...

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The Best Royal Wedding Dress – Ever!

I don’t know about you but royal wedding dresses are usually a disappointment for me. They are either remarkably plain (apologies to the Duchess of Cambridge but hers was boring) or they compete in fluffiness with the wedding cake (the eighties was a bad time for this – Princess Diana’s and The Duchess of York’s are good examples). But there was a royal wedding in 2011 when the dress was simply perfect. In...

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The Flight of Nungesser, Coli and the White Bird

Nungesser, Coli and the White Bird: Mysterious disappearance. In 1924 a New York hotelier named Raymond Orteig renewed an aviation challenge he had issued a few years earlier. He offered the sum of $25,000 to any ‘person or persons’ who could fly nonstop between France and the United States. His previous offer had been largely ignored because it was generally thought that such a flight was impossible. But two men took up...

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The Last of the Blonde Bombshells

The Last of the Blonde Bombshells: Movie If like me you’re tired of some of the films we see today and are looking to watch a movie that’s truly hilarious, a great story and a little bit of a weepie then I highly recommend The Last of the Blonde Bombshells. As a bonus,or rather two, it has wonderful music and an impressive cast including the fabulous Dame Judi Dench. The film flips between modern day (well, 2000) and the...

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Who was Pancho Barnes?

Who was Pancho Barnes? She was no beauty, that’s for sure, but she was one of the fastest-living, hardiest partying girls of the last century. She was married four times, was a Hollywood stunt pilot and spent her way through several fortunes.   The girl who was destined to escape from Mexican rebels by dressing as a man, and who could out-party, out-drink and out-everything most men she met, was born with the demure name of...

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Lipton’s tea: Victorian advertising

Lipton’s tea: Victorian advertising. One of the first exponents of what we now call guerilla marketing must have been Thomas Lipton, back in Victorian times.  This grocery store owner was the master of publicity stunts. Sir Thomas was a Scot and on 9th July, 1878, traffic was at a halt in his hometown of Glasgow, as people watched the progress of three chubby and content pigs, dressed in bright clothes, and bearing the slogan...

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King Edward VII. The truth about his death

King Edward VII. The truth about his death. One of history’s myths regards the death of King Edward VII,  the actions of his wife Queen Alexandra and of his mistress Alice Keppel. The king was in his late seventies when he was taken ill – at first with a series of chills. He had always enjoyed what we might call the pleasures of the flesh – fine dining, splendid wines and of course, a series of beautiful and charming...

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Build a Library of Thought

What we can all learn from Neil deGrasse Tyson. What is it that we can all learn from a man who is an astrophysicist and cosmologist? That is, apart from astrophysics and cosmology. Neil explains why we should all build a ‘library of thought’. He starts by explaining that when he was a child, he’d visit the local library. Everything he needed to know was in there. Every time he had a query, his question would be...

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Ian Fleming, James Bond and … Bob Marley

Did Ian Fleming model James Bond on himself? Ian Fleming’s most famous creation was, of course, James Bond. And to some extent, the author was the character. He had been involved in espionage during the Second World War but there are certainly other similarities. The fictional James Bond enjoyed a drink (shaken not stirred, of course) and definitely his love of women was a great feature of the 007 persona. Fleming liked a drink...

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Princess Gabriella, Countess of Carladès

Who is Princess Gabriella? You see, the thing is this. I have decided who Prince George ought to marry. OK, I know that he was born in 2013 so marriage is hardly on his list of priorities right now.  So yes, I’m a bit premature. Marriage might not be on the cards for another twenty five or thirty years by which time I might no longer be around (I’ll be amazed if I am) so I’m going to get my selection in now. I know...

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ValuJet Flight 592

The crash of ValuJet Flight 592. This was the worst aviation accident in Florida and happened on May 11th, 1996. The plane crashed into the Florida Everglades. There were no survivors. The aircraft took off from Dallas-Fort Worth at 8.20 in the morning. It was bound for Miami and there was a scheduled stop in Atlanta. Everything went as usual. At 2.30 in the afternoon, the plane was cleared for takeoff from Miami Airport for its...

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The Bonnie and Clyde Death Car

What happened to Bonnie and Clyde’s car? In March 1934 a roofing contractor from Kansas was looking for a new car. Jesse Warren chose a Ford V-8 and he paid $785 for it. Jesse had only been the proud owner of the car for a few weeks when it was stolen – by the notorious outlaws, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. Bonnie and Clyde only enjoyed the car for a few weeks because on May  23rd they were ambushed by the police in...

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Is Eating Chicken Dangerous?

Chicken health scare. Let’s look at the latest statistics from the UK. A year-long study has discovered that 73% – very nearly three quarters – of supermarket chickens contain the campylobacter bacteria. This causes over quarter of a million cases of food poisoning in Britain every year, about one hundred of which are fatal. When you consider that the population is 64 million, and that over 3 million people are...

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Oh! You Pretty Things by Shanna Mahin: Review.

Oh! You Pretty Things by Shanna Mahin: Review. This was the latest review copy to land on the editorial desk at JAQUO HQ and I’m so glad it did. It’s very funny, it moves along at a hare-brained pace and you’ll love the quirky characters as they stumble through the strange world of Hollywood in present day. But this is not all glamour and ‘swimming pools, movie stars’ – this is the reality of a...

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Song For Sunrise – The Sopranos

“Woke up this morning, got yourself a gun…” The opening titles to the most highly rated TV show of the 21st century starts with a rumbling bass-driven trip hop track, and what sounds like a southern fried pick-up trucker drawling the lyrics. A small-time mobster, who we’d later get to know as Tony Soprano, speeds out of the Lincoln tunnel and heads down the New Jersey turnpike into the setting sunshine. The...

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An Interview With Author Gabriella Contestabile

From The Author of “Sass, Smarts, and Stilettos” Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine is pleased to be a part of the virtual book tour for Sass, Smarts, and Stilettos, written by Gabriellla Contestabile.  Currently on tour with Italy Book Tours, you’ll find the author at a variety of sites discussing her newest book.  You’ll find our review of the book here on Jaquo as well. Take a look.  You won’t want to miss this...

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The Man who Sank the Lusitania

The man who sank the Lusitania – Walther von Schwieger On Friday, April 30th, 1915, a German U-boat left a naval base in the North Sea. The submarine traveled around Scotland, then down to Ireland. She was commanded by thirty year old Kapitänleutnant Walther von Schwieger. The following day, the passenger liner Lusitania, with over fifteen hundred people aboard, left New York bound for England. The two vessels were to meet and...

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Barbara Taylor Bradford: A Woman of Substance

Barbara Taylor Bradford: A Woman of Substance. I recently read and reviewed Ms Taylor Bradford’s latest book The Cavendon Women (which I recommend heartily) and this made me eager to reread the first books of hers that I ever read. Coincidentally, it was also the author’s first book. I can assure you that it stands the test of time admirably and reading it again now I find that it is just as absorbing as it was when I...

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Mexican Cabbage Salad

Mexican Cabbage Salad Mexican Cabbage Salad is another recipe I’ve tried to replicate from a favorite local restaurant in San Diego. Cinco de Mayo or anytime, it’s a family favorite. It brings back memories of leisurely dinners complete with margaritas, chips and salsa, and friends. We often enjoyed sharing one of these salads with our dinner order. Usually we make coleslaw with mayo, but this is so crisp and refreshing with oil and...

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The Superga Air Disaster

In May 1949, a man who couldn’t get his passport renewed, another who was ill with influenza and an injured footballer were the luckiest men in Italy. For they could not be on the trip when their colleagues in the Torino football team  all perished in a tragic air crash when they were on  their way back from playing a friendly match in Lisbon. When the accident happened, on May 4th, there were thirty one people in the plane....

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Sass, Smarts, and Stilettos: Review

Sass, Smarts, and Stilettos: How Italian Women Make the Ordinary, Extraordinary. The author of this book, Gabriella Contestabile, was brought up in North America (first Canada and then the United States) but had been born in Italy. She left the country of her birth when she was just four years old and unsurprisingly, when she grew up she became more interested in the Italy she barely remembered rather than her now home country. She...

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Scandinavian Potato Cakes Recipe

Scandinavian Potato Cakes Recipe These are a real treat for breakfast. Although the batter needs to be refrigerated for thirty minutes it could be made ahead and then each potato cake (which are actually more like pancakes) take two minutes each to cook. The potatoes add valuable nutrients to the dish and the entire recipe is low-cost. Although the original recipe calls for applesauce to serve (which is delicious and adds more...

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The Great Jacksonville Fire

Jacksonville fire: 1901. Friday, May 3rd, 1901 was a beautiful day in Jacksonville, Florida. The sky was blue and there was no wind – it was perfect Floridian weather. At the Cleveland Fibre Factory, workers were sitting outside enjoying their lunch and there was a delicious smell of food cooking on a wood burning stove from a nearby shanty. Unfortunately, it wasn’t just the smell that was floating through the air –...

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Galaxy Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Galaxy Grilled Cheese Sandwiches Recipe. A fun specialty sandwich from my Star Wars Cookbook is a Galaxy Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Now this isn’t your average plain jane grilled cheese sandwich. I has pickles on it. I like pickles but wasn’t sure of them grilled with cheese but to my surprise it was super tasty after I made and tried them. It’s just basically making your grilled cheese sandwiches as you normally do...

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Citrus Chicken Recipe

Citrus chicken recipe This is a recipe that I’ve had for ages and although we no longer eat meat,I often use this recipe to make the yummy sauce when we are having guests for a barbecued meal. The recipe is very tasty when made exactly as you see it below. When I’m making it as is, I just make a couple of changes — but it’s up to you. I serve the grapefruit and kiwi in separate bowls rather than using the fruit...

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Working with text: Tables

Working with text: Tables Format a menu using tables I have several clients who are restaurateurs and they know the importance of well-presented menus. Therefore, I often find myself working on them. When working with almost all text jobs, creating tables and cells is an important way of layout out the information. They keep the text in a regular, tidy form with nothing to distract the eater from the menu offerings. Oh, and I always...

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Marthe Cohn & Jacques Delaunay

Love and tragedy in occupied France. In 1941 Marthe Hoffnung was living with her family in occupied France. Life was hard for them. It wasn’t just the hardships of the German occupation that made life so difficult – the Hoffnung family was Jewish. In April that year, Marthe had her twenty first birthday and her parents, who tried to make life as normal as possible for Marthe and her siblings, allowed her to have a small...

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Lamb & Chicken Gabonais Recipe from Marion Preminger

Lamb & Chicken Gabonais Recipe from Marion Mill Preminger Before we get to this African recipe,I’ll just explain first that Marion Mill was the one-time wife of movie director and producer, Otto Preminger. She then fell in love with a suspected Nazi spy, unsuccessfully, and then spent many years working with Albert Schweitzer in his hospital in Africa. By 1964, she was living in New York with her husband Albert Mayer, a...

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The Mysterious Death of Wallis Simpson

What happened to Wallis Simpson after the Duke of Windsor died? Wallis was of course, the Duchess of Windsor. Her husband the duke had formerly been King Edward VIII and famously he abdicated in 1936 so that he could marry her. Their affair and subsequent marriage had tongues wagging on both sides of the Atlantic and was the constitutional crisis of the twentieth century. They had a curious, scandalous and rather sad married life but...

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Queen Elizabeth II: The world’s oldest serving monarch

Queen Elizabeth II: The world’s oldest serving monarch. Princess Elizabeth became queen on 6th February, 1952. Little did she know that she would become the oldest monarch in the world. On 23rd January, 2015, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia died at the age of ninety making the queen the oldest sovereign. She was born in 1926. Queen Victoria reigned for 63 years, 216 days, a record the queen topped in September 2015. Victoria lived...

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Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Living to Tell the Tale

The early life of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Should you read this amazing book before you read his novels? That wasn’t an issue for me because I have been reading Marquez for decades so to me, this book is a wonderful way about learning more. More, not just about the author’s life but how his books and stories are crafted. I knew that basic facts of his life – born in the nineteen twenties in Colobia, a journalist in...

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Eric Jackson: The Chieftain Rally 1973

Eric Jackson: Chieftain Rally 1973 Rally driver Eric Jackson was strictly a Ford man. The only recorded competition car he drove that wasn’t a Ford was a Vauxhall in the 1959 Monte Carlo Rally. So it’s not surprising that when Jacko had ‘the big one’ – the rally accident that nearly finished him off – he was driving a Ford Escort. Here’s a photograph of how he managed to rearrange the car:...

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Fort Lauderdale: For the Business Traveller

Travelling to Fort Lauderdale on business? Every year studies show that business travel is increasing rapidly. And many of these travellers are looking for accommodation that offers something more than faceless chain hotels. We have just the place for you. Instead of an out-of-the-way hotel, stay at your own waterfront apartment with every facility  – that’s close to the beach and the very best shopping and dining...

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Florida Birds : An Osprey’s Catch

The beach here in Florida that I walk daily tends to be pretty quiet, birdwise. The coastline here is smooth and clear, with unfettered lines and shallow shores. It’s a big city beach, where the A1A coastal highway runs right alongside the ocean. The backshore dunes are shallow here, and there are few patches of wilderness to speak of.  These quiet beaches support an unseen wildlife including worms, bivalves and crustaceans,...

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What Does ‘Dord’ Mean?

What does ‘dord’ mean? Well, it was in the dictionary but nevertheless, ‘dord’ means nothing. I don’t mean by this that it means ‘nil’ or that it means ‘zero’ – it simply isn’t a word. No such word exists. So why was it in Webster’s Dictionary for five years? And what’s more, how did a non-existent word get in there in the first place? It must be  pretty...

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Spicy onion fritters

Spicy onion fritters – or use the vegetables of your choice. These vegetable fritters are so delicious.Part of the reason for that is the beautifully light batter. It’s truly fabulous and contains a special secret ingredient. I like to make onion fritters using this special batter – it’s really so light and tasty – but I’ve experimented with other vegetables too. Use whatever you have available...

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A song for Sunrise – The Cherokee Morning Song

Over looking our Fort Lauderdale beach, his eyes trained on the morning sun, is a single tree totem, the Whispering Giant. He was carved out of a single cyress log by Hungarian-born scuptor Peter Wolf Toth. His aim is always to create a composite of all the physical characteristics of the local tribe or tribes, as well as their stories and histories. There are 74 documented giants around North America, one in each state of the union....

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Top British Chefs

Top British Chefs How did Britain get its ‘reputation’ as being a place with less than perfect cuisine? It’s a myth that’s easy to explain and you only have to look at the chefs you featured below to see that great food is alive and well in the United Kingdom. Britain has a very long history of fabulous food going back hundreds of years. Our first cookbook appeared in medieval days and the recipes are still...

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The White Van: By Patrick Hoffman

The White Van: Review. Emily wakes up – sort of – to find herself alone in a hotel room. As she comes round, she remembers that she’d been in a bar and met a man – a Russian. No, it was nothing like that – she hadn’t exactly been picked up and there’d been no activity of the type normally associated with situations where two people of the opposite sex who met in abar ended up in a hotel room...

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The D-Day Crossword Mystery

WW2: Were coded messages sent to the enemy via crossword puzzles? In the spring of 1944, Allied forces were preparing for the largest ever seaborne invasion in history. This top secret mission, which we now know as D-Day, was vital to the war.  It took months of planning and secrecy was vital. As with all military operations, code words were used for the locations, various equipment and the operation itself. As preparations continued...

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Enjoy Yourself, it’s Later Than You Think

Enjoy Yourself, it’s Later Than You Think: Good advice It might just be a song lyric, but it does have a ring of truth,doesn’t it? Admittedly, ‘it’s later than you think‘ might be a touch maudlin but the point is, it’s true. You see, I’m seventeen. Well, you know I’m not but in my head I am.  My dad is in his nineties. I wonder how old he is in his head? Much younger, I’ll bet. I...

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Unsuccessful? Read This

Heroic Failures There comes a time when I get tired about reading about the great and the good. Sure, it’s nice to read about famous inventors, scientists, literary giants, artists and all the people who have added to our knowledge and enhanced our lives. Maybe there’s a bit of a green tinge to these thoughts – I know that I’m never going to join their ranks. Occasionally there’s something rather...

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Who were Charters and Caldicott

I don’t know about you, but when I’m watching a classic movie I’m always taken by the characters on the edge of the action. The more than curious bystander who gets caught up in the action almost accidentally. Take Alfred Hitchcock’s classic take on Agatha Christie’s novel The Lady Vanishes. Two inept and veddy British cricket fans  are amongst passengers on a train out of the European country of...

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Formatting print pages: Quick and easy

Formatting print pages: Quick and easy Transform boring print – fast If you’re a designer, you’ll be familiar with the client who sends you a Word document and a photograph and expects you to transform it – in no time. Can you please make this look better? No colour please, we can’t afford colour printing. Speaking of which,  the printer has a huge workload – can it be ready within half an hour...

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The Myths of Safe Pesticides, by Andre Leu

Book Spotlight: The Myths of Safe Pesticides The Tour We are so pleased to join the virtual book tour for The Myths of Safe Pesticides AND Poisoning Our Children.  Both are touring with iRead Book Tours, from mid-March through mid-April.  Important information for parents especially, but really for everyone.  Do take a look at some of the stops along the tour for articles, reviews and more. This is a book you’ll want to share...

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Eddie Cochran

Eddie Cochran In 1959, Eddie Cochran found out about the tragic deaths of his young fellow musicians, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper. They had been killed on tour when their plane crashed in bad weather. Eddie’s friends and family said that this led him towards thoughts of his own doom and that he too was destined to die young. Fourteen months later, when Eddie was on tour in England, he too was killed in an accident....

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Poisoning Our Children, by Andre Leu

Spotlight:  Andre Leu and “Poisoning Our Children” Jaquo is pleased to be a part of the book tour for Author Andre Leu’s “Poisoning Ou Children: The Parents Guide to Myths of Safe Pesticides.  Such an important topic, this is a book you won’t want to miss. Hosted by iRead Book Tours, the author will be stopping in at various sites for reviews, articles and more.  Do drop in at some of the tour sites for...

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Oakwell Hall, Yorkshire

Oakwell Hall, Yorkshire If you’re familiar with Charlotte Bronte’s Shirley, then you know Oakwell Hall. For Oakwell, a place she knew well, became the house ‘Fairfield’ in the novel. In the 1840s,Oakwell in Yorkshire was a school for girls. It was due to her friendship with one of the students there, Ellen Nussey, that Charlotte Bronte came to know the hall. But the building is much older than that. If you...

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Je t’aime: Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg

Je t’aime: Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg. Je t’aime – banned. You’d have thought that by the nineteen sixties people were pretty much unshockable. Mind you, I suspect that the song Je t’aime shocked very few real people, if anyone, but the stuffy BBC decided to ban it from their airwaves. I thought it was rather lovely. The title was repeated, whisperingly, to the sound of luscious organ music, by Jane...

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The Day Michael Caine Discovered a Family Secret

The day Michael Caine discovered a family secret. When actor Michael Caine and his younger brother, Stanley, were growing up in London, on every single Monday their mother used to go to visit their Aunt Lil. The two boys never thought anything about it – it was simply part of the family routine. But many years later, in 1991, the actor found out the truth.She had been going somewhere very different indeed. Michael Caine was in...

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King George I of Greece and the British Royal Family

King George I of Greece and the British Royal Family. What does King George I of Greece have to do with the British royal family of today?  Did you know that most of the royal family are descended from him? This is because he was the grandfather of today’s Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip. He became ruler when he was just seventeen and remained on the Greek throne until he was assassinated. It seems strange to us today, but...

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Princess Mary

 Who was Princess Mary? It’s likely that you’ve never heard of England’s Princess Mary but it’s highly possible that even after all these years you are familiar with the story of her brother. For Princess Mary was the sister of Edward VIII, the English king who famously abdicated so that he could marry his American mistress, Wallis Simpson. When you look at the photograph of her on the right, you can see the...

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Didier Peroni and Gilles Villeneuve

Team orders in Formula One. At time of writing (July 2016) there’s a lot of mayhem going on about imposing team orders at the Mercedes Formula One HQ.  Now team orders are a subject of a very long article, or even a book, but today I want to talk about motorsport history — and the team orders at the Grand Prix of Imola in 1982. In that year, Didier Pironi of France and Canadian Gilles Villeneuve were team-mates driving for...

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The Dreamland Fire of 1911

Coney Island: The Dreamland Fire, 1911. Have you ever thought, like me, that places such as fairgrounds, circuses and amusement parks have a vaguely creepy side to them? At these places, much of what we see is illusion. Nothing is as it appears to be. This was especially the case in the early nineteenth century and in Victorian days. Dreamland, a huge amusement park on Coney Island, was the perfect example.In many ways, it was...

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The Stranger in The Woods, by Michael Finkel

Alone in The Woods… The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of The Last True Hermit.   What a well written, captivating story. This book written by Michael Finkel was a fascination to me. I got the audio version, knowing I’d enjoy reading of a man living alone, surviving harsh conditions. Stories of survival always draw me in. It was far more than that though. It was as much about capturing a thief. So intriguing that...

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Lennon & McCartney: The final conversation

Lennon & McCartney: The final conversation. In the final years of John Lennon’s life, the media had two major preoccupations when it came to the one-time Beatles. The first was that all four of the previous members of the group were constantly being asked if a Beatles reunion was on the cards. The answer was always in the negative. The second was the supposed animosity between John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Journalists and...

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Britain’s Got Opera!

Britain and opera. In 1990. I still lived in the UK and a friend from America was visiting. I remember him being amazed because the most popular song at the time – it was in the charts, played on the radio and was a favourite on pub jukeboxes – was Nessun Dorma performed by Luciano Pavarotti. ‘Only in England’ he would say ‘could the most popular song be an aria from a Puccini opera’. But was this a...

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Eva Braun: Mrs Hitler

Eva Braun: The woman who married Adolf Hitler. Who was the woman who married the fuhrer? Of course, it was probably one of the shortest marriages ever, ending with the couple’s death on April 30th 1945, but at that time, she had known Hitler for sixteen years. She was born to what was then known as a lower-middle class couple in 1912,one of three sisters. She was educated at the local catholic school and then at a convent. She...

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Apollo One Spacecraft Fire

Apollo 1: Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee. In summer 1966, NASA chose the crew for the first manned Apollo space mission – a mission that was to end in disaster. Gus was the oldest of the team at forty years old. He had been the second American to fly in space. Ed was thirty six and he had the distinction of being the first US astronaut to walk in space. The youngest crew member was Roger Chaffee who at thirty one was...

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Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Prince Philip

Ten facts you might not know about Prince Philip. Prince Philip married Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) in 1947. Few marriages have lasted as long. The prince has been hugely misunderstood in the press during all his public life but he is quite a character and there are many misconceptions about him. Here’s a selection of interesting facts that you might now know. Amaze your friends with your knowledge of royal...

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Medieval Ravioli from England

Medieval ravioli recipe from England Ravioli is an Italian dish, right? And probably a fairly recent invention. Form of Curye was written in England in the fourteenth century (yes, in 13-something) and includes recipes for lasagna and ravioli. Forme of Cury was the name given by Samuel Pegge to a roll of cookery written by the Master Cooks of King Richard II of England. This name has since come into usage for almost all versions of...

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Who Was Gertrude Ederle?

Gertrude, or Trudy as she was more usually known, was a sportswoman who should have been famous and remembered today but despite her achievements she faded into obscurity. In the 1920s she was seen as a pioneer in showing the world that women were not ‘the weaker sex’.  Strangely, women were still considered to be so. Gertrude was the first woman to swim the English Channel She was the first woman to do so and she...

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Mini Printers, by Debra Schoenberger

On Tour With “Walk With Me” Debra Schoenberger has shared an article with us here at Jaquo, as part of the virtual book tour she is currently on for her new book, Walk With Me. The beautiful book of photographs will be a welcome addition to your home.  The variety, the colors, the black and whites, all will strike you differently each time you look at the photographs included.  ​Enjoy her article here below… I take a...

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Intimate Letters of England’s Queens

The Intimate Letters of England’s Queens For lovers of history, or simply those who want to know more about fascinating lives – discovering Intimate Letters of England’s Queens is like finding a treasure trove. After all, there’s no better way about finding out about who these people really were than reading letters written at testing times in their lives. For example, we know the facts about Anne Boleyn. We...

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Walk With Me, by Debra Schoenberger

On Tour With Debra Schoenberger It’s a pleasure to once again present a photographic collection from author Debra Schoenberger. We were first introduced to her on her virtual book tour for India (Our review here). Walk With Me is even more, in that it includes photos from wherever the author might travel, along with photos from her regular walks in her hometown of Victoria BC. The photos are wonderful. Some appeal for the setting,...

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Mint Lime Grilled Mahi-Mahi

Mint Lime Grilled Mahi-Mahi This recipe will work well with any firm white fish but the author recommends mahi-mahi. I suspect that many of us could do with more fish in our diets and this is a wonderful way to serve it. It’s perfect for summer grilling or for those of us who are lucky enough to live somewhere where we can cook outdoors all year round. Save Print Mint Lime Grilled Mahi-Mahi Rating  5 from 1 reviews...

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The Kidnapping of Princess Anne

The 1974 kidnapping attempt on Princess Anne. Princess Anne is the only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II and in March 1974, four people were shot by a man who was trying to kidnap the princess for ransom. Anne, or the Princess Royal as she is known today, is not one of the younger, more popular members of the royal family such as Harry, William and Catherine, but she’s widely acknowledged to be the most hard-working member with a...

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Who Was Percy Shaw?

Who was Percy Shaw? If you’re from Yorkshire, like me, the chances are that you know perfectly well who Percy Shaw was – and what he invented. If  you don’t know who he was,there’s still the strong likelihood that you see and use his most famous invention every day. There must be millions of them throughout the world. Although you see them every day, you might be so familiar with them that you don’t even...

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The Internet for All

Computers for seniors I really don’t understand why so many older people these days don’t use computers or tablets. Well, I do to some extent. I understand that a) they can not always afford the devices and b) that for some elderly people it might seem as though it’s a technology they will never be able to understand. Are those two problems really too huge to be overcome? Aren’t there so many advantages that...

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Who Was Kenneth Williams?

Who was Kenneth Williams? Kenneth Williams was a much-loved British actor and comedian. But somehow, he was so much more than that. It wouldn’t be too much of an exaggeration to say that he was an institution. He was certainly an original, that’s for sure. Starting his career in the theatre, he first found fame on the radio in the nineteen fifties. And one absolutely hilarious character he portrayed in the early sixties...

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Who Was Pablo Fanque?

Who was Pablo Fanque? There’s a question. But the chances are that you might well have heard the name before. There he is on the right. I imagine he looks unfamiliar to you but I think that you might have heard his name, especially if you’re a fan of the Beatles. So what on earth can a bloke who was born in England in 1796 possibly have to do with the Beatles? And how is it that you’ve probably heard his name? Read...

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The Great Sheffield Flood of 1864

The Great Sheffield Flood of 1864. At about 5.30 in the afternoon of 11th March, quarryman William Horsefield  noticed a crack in the embankment of the Dale Dyke Dam, part of a recently built reservoir near Sheffield in Yorkshire. It was only a small crack, he reckoned that he’d be able to slip the blade of a penknife into it and that’s all but nevertheless, he alerted some of the men who worked at the dam. Just over an...

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Who Was Colonel Tom Parker?

To start with, he wasn’t a colonel. And actually he really wasn’t called Tom Parker. He wasn’t a musician but his name has gone down in musical history. He was also an illegal immigrant, an army deserter and quite possibly a murderer. Some people who knew him say that you couldn’t wish to meet a nicer guy and that his generosity was legendary. Others say he was tough, ruthless and only interested in making...

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The Museum of Extraordinary Things

 The Museum of Extraordinary Things: Review This book, written by Alice Hoffman, is an exceptional fiction, bracketed at the beginning and the end with real events. It’s hard to know which are the more horrifying sections – the fact or the fiction. Set in the early years of the twentieth century. the book tells of a strange character indeed – a man who makes his living at Coney Island running a sideshow of...

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The Adventures of Poon Lim

The amazing survival story of Poon Lim. On 5th April, 1943, the crew of a small Brazilian fishing vessel spotted a life raft off the coast of Brazil. When they approached it, they found that it had a single occupant – a young Chinese man called Poon Lim. He had left his homeland several years before to work on a British merchant ship as a steward. But of course, this was now the Second World War and on 23rd November, 1942 his...

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How to be Parisian

How to be Parisian – wherever you are Have you ever admired that effortless style that women from Paris seem to have? Everything they do seems to be so stylish and effortless. Whether sitting at a sidewalk café sipping a glass of wine or shopping for the best French bread,  they exude a special something and what’s more, they do it with a twinkle in their eye. Sophisticated they may be, but they are also fun. They are...

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British Prince Charles Edward: Nazi

The British prince who was a Nazi official. The grandson of Queen Victoria who was a top Nazi. Born in 1884, Prince Edward Charles was a member of the British royal family. His father, Prince Leopold, had been Victoria’s youngest son. Nevertheless, during the Second World War he was a top-ranking member of the Nazi Party. Because of this, you’re unlikely to find details of him in most history books, especially those...

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Cremorne Gardens, London

Cremorne Gardens, London Cremorne Gardens provided a popular place for entertainment in the Victorian era. Close to the Battersea Bridge, it offered all sorts of amusements for the population. It sounds so very genteel, doesn’t it? It gives the impression of well-bred ladies strolling in their finery and holding their parasols to shield their fair complexions from the sun. The name evokes an image of elegant gentlemen, courtesly...

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The Triangle Fire

Death in Manhattan: The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire Disaster. Thirty five horse-drawn fire fighting vehicles were dashing through the streets of Manhattan.  It was March in 1911 and the streets were quiet on that Saturday afternoon. But nevertheless, the firefighters were unable to save lives that day. They were headed towards the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory where fire had broken out in the ten-storey building. The business, which made...

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Urbio: Designer Wall Storage

Storage plus indoor gardening – perfect for small space living. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to own a Uten.Silo – that wonderful wall storage system designed back in the 1960s. But now I’ve discovered Urbio, I’ve found that it’s far more flexible, so very stylish and it comes at a very reasonable price. What’s more, the Urbio can be bought as modular pieces allowing you to stretch...

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The Corfu Trilogy by Gerald Durrell: Review

The Corfu Trilogy by Gerald Durrell: Review In later life, Gerald Durrell was a respected naturalist and conservationist but in 1935 he was a ten year old boy when he and his somewhat eccentric family went to live in the Greek Island of Corfu. He was the youngest child of the family and, even though life in  the Durrell household was bizarre enough, introduced various creature and animals into the home with disastrous – and...

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Mystic Sweet Communion: The Stranahans of Fort Lauderdale

Mystic Sweet Communion: The Stranahans of Fort Lauderdale. Almost hidden away, flanked by enormous high-rise buildings, is the Stranahan House on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale. The house itself – now a museum –  is fascinating but what’s even more interesting is the story of its original owners, Frank and Ivy Stranahan. Ivy Cromartie was still a teenager in when she first went to a tiny South Florida...

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Art Matters: L.S. Lowry on Match Day

Andy Royston’s back on the terraces with one of England’s most beloved painters, L.S. Lowry. One cold and rainy evening in West London I found myself wandering towards a set of bright floodlights shining above the houses. Brentford FC were playing Gillingham in some cup game and Griffin Park was offering tickets on the turnstiles. So in I went, picked up a cup of Bovril from the Ealing Road end and, as the drizzle faded...

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1964: The Year of Royal Babies

Four royal babies: 1964. Today there is a media frenzy when a royal baby is born. This wasn’t always the case in the previous century because the media hadn’t become quite as intrusive and the general population was more inclined to allow the royal family more privacy than they do today. Yet imagine what today’s media would have made of the news in 1964 when four royal babies were born, including one to Queen...

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Book Spotlight: Snap! By Gary Small and Gigi Vorgan

On Tour With Gary Small, M.D. and Gigi Vorgan You won’t want to miss Dr. Gary Small’s new book, Snap! Change Your Personality in 30 Days.  Co-written with Gigi Vorgan, the book is bound to change lives and minds. Scientists have discovered that it IS possible to change some of our long held personality traits, and in far less time than you would expect. It’s a book we should all have since it provides a clear path to...

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The Oscars: Harold Russell

Who was Harold Russell? Harold Russell was the only actor to win two Oscars for the same role. He also caused controversy by selling one of the statuettes. And despite winning two Oscars, he wasn’t a professional actor. But his story is much more interesting than that. If you look closely at the photograph above you’ll see why. Harold Russell had no hands He had been born in Canada and when he was a boy, his family moved...

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A Circle of Sisters: The MacDonalds

 A Circle of Sisters: The MacDonalds Remarkably, four daughters of a nineteenth century Methodist minister became powerful and feted by Victorian society – against all odds. The girls were born into a relatively impoverished family; their father being a minister who moved around the country and their mother the daughter of a wholesale grocer. The had few advantages. They weren’t particularly educated. In that society in...

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Last Meals: Death Row

Last Meals: Death Row How differently do men and women eat? Maybe a food psychologist could tell us,or even a restaurateur, but evidently the difference are plain even on death row. It’s customary for people who are about to be executed to have whatever they wish for their final meal and,it seems, jails are pretty good when it comes to satisfying their choices. But what surprises me is: Even on death row, women eat salads...

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Twofer Murder, by Lauren Carr

On Tour with Lauren Carr and “Twofer Murder” Another wonderful mystery from bestselling author Lauren Carr. It’s a fun and adventurous treat as always. Well written. Fast paced. Humorous, of course. Complex and twisting reaches a new high with this one. Many of our favorite series characters are on hand for Twofer Murder, including those from the Mac Faraday Series, the Lovers-in-Crime series, and the Thorny Rose series....

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Rufus Estes – the first African-American Cookbook

Rufus Estes – author of the first African-American Cookbook   In 1911, Rufus Estes published cookbook. There is nothing particularly unusual in that except Estes is believed to be the first African-American chef to publish his recipes. Rufus was born in 1857 in Tennessee and given the last name of his master; the man who ‘owned’ Rufus’ mother, a slave. When civil war broke out he said that most of the male...

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Boy soldiers in the Congo

Boy soldiers: The Congo, 1967 Children have been used for military services for almost as long as mankind has existed. In 1967, two men were driving through the Congo where they had the most frightening encounter with a couple of boy soldiers who held them at gunpoint. Read on. The two men were rally drivers, Eric Jackson and Ken Chambers, and they were racing – of all things – an ocean liner from Cape Town to Southampton....

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Can Olive Oil Cure Toothache?

Does olive oil cure toothache? For me it does. I’m not a dentist and it may well depend on the reason why your teeth are aching but I have not had a toothache yet that can’t be sorted out simply using a product I always have in my kitchen. Last week, I was unable to sleep because of this horrible tooth. I suspect strongly that it needs to be pulled out but at my time of life, I need to keep as many of my teeth as I can....

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The Royal Scandal of Prince Eddy

Who was Prince Eddy? As we know, due to Queen Elizabeth’s uncle abdicating from the throne to marry Mrs Wallis Simpson, the lineage to the British throne was altered. But that was also the case in the reign of Queen Victoria – in 1892. Victoria reigned for many years and, like the current situation today, the Prince of Wales had to wait a long time to become the sovereign. Similarly to Prince Charles today, he had grown up...

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Planning Your Kitchen

 Planning your kitchen If you’re remodeling or reorganising your kitchen, it’s very tempting to design it yourself. After all, you know your kitchen and the habits of your household better than anyone else. You want your kitchen to be gorgeous, you know that the more attractive the room is, the more time you and your family will spend there creating delicious meals … and memories. For many years I was a kitchen...

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Author Lauren Carr on Tour With “Twofer Murder”

A New Interview with Bestselling Author, Lauren Carr Spotlight On: Twofer Murder Anyone who visits Mystery Suspense Reviews often will know we are great fans of Lauren Carr and her various series. What began with one series has grown into the Mac Faraday series, The Partners in Crime series, and the Thorny Rose Mystery series. Each with interconnecting characters, you can’t help but grow attached. So we were delighted to join...

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Henry Maybury: You’re Beautiful

Henry Maybury: You’re Beautiful I just heard about Henry today and already he’s my new hero. He’s a young musician / songwriter who wants to ‘make a difference’. He does and he will. Do you have scars? Maybe wrinkles? (Yep) And are you beautiful? According to Henry Mayberry you are and he wants others to see you in the same way. See the wonderful video below. If it doesn’t bring a lump to your...

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Who Was Butterfly McQueen?

Who was Butterfly McQueen? I love old movies yet I have to admit  that there’s one – a very famous one indeed – that I haven’t seen. I don’t know why. But I do know about one of the actors in the film. That’s Butterfly McQueen. She is one of the most memorable of the cast (even to people like me who have only seen clips but never the full film) and yet, she hated the part. She took the role because...

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Queen Senna of England

Queen Senna of England: A New Zealand Maori. It does take a bit of a stretch of the imagination but in theory at least, it is possible (although improbable) that England could have a queen named Senna. What’s more, the small girl who bears that name is a New Zealand Maori. How is this? Well firstly, quite a lot of the existing members of the royal family would have to be wiped out before Senna could take the throne. She is...

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Art Matters: The Fighting Temeraire

Andy Royston talks us through his favourite painting by JMW Turner – ‘Ye mariners of England, That guard our native seas!  Whose flag has braved a thousand years, The battle and the breeze!‘  Thomas Campbell  “Ye Mariners of England” In this famous painting by J.M.W. Turner, the great old warship Temeraire no longer flies the union flag. Just a white flag flutters from the mast of the tug, showing that a ship is now...

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A Review of “Fishbowl,” by Bradley Somer

A Captivating Novel from Bradley Somer Fishbowl is a very unusual story that weaves together the ordinary lives of many during a short moment of time.  Bradley Somer’s skill at bringing us along is phenomenal.  Quirky characters? Without a doubt.  Strange circumstances?  Definitely.  Making us want answers?  Yes! The Story First there is Ian.  A goldfish.  A thoughtful yet adventurous fish who may not have a long memory, but who does...

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The First Rule, by Robert Crais, A Book Review

The First Rule, by Robert Crais, A Book Review. It’s always a treat to get back to Elvis Cole and Joe Pike, the featured characters in many of Robert Crais’ novels. You grow so fond of both of them during the series, you get anxious to see what they will get into next. Usually in the series, Elvis is the lead, outgoing and witty, working at their detective agency. In this book, Joe Pike takes the lead. He is not so outgoing, or so...

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British Royal Family: What is Their Surname?

What surname do the British royal family use? This has been a huge controversy on a few occasions in the past. It was brought to a head again in 1952 when the new Queen Elizabeth II was advised by her private secretary and the prime minister (Winston Churchill) to retain the name the family had been using since the First World War, , that of Windsor. This was a problem for Prince Philip. His family name was Mountbatten and he was...

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Christine Granville

The strange story of Krystyna Skarbek. On June 15th, 1952, a woman’s body was found in the Shelbourne Hotel in London.  She had been murdered, stabbed in the heart. The authorities believed her to be a thirty-seven year old married woman who worked as a stewardess on ocean liners. This was only partially true. Christine Granville was forty four year old Krystyna Skarbek, the daughter of a Polish nobleman. Yes she had been...

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Diana Mitford

Diana Mitford and Oswald Mosley. The true story of Diana Mitford is wonderfully scandalous and took place during an eventful period in history. The ingredients in her story include the British aristocracy, millionaires, the upper echelons of society, affairs, Hitler, royalty and more – mostly set in wartime Britain. But it is also the story of two people in love who were vilified by the general public – to some extent,...

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Trooping the Colour 1981

Shots fired at Queen Elizabeth II. In June 1981, Queen Elizabeth was taking part in the Trooping the Colour ceremony in London. In those days, she rode on horseback during the event. And it was during the ceremony, attended by cheering people, that six shots were fired at her from the crowd. It was a testament to her skills as a horsewoman and her unflappable character because she did not panic even in the face of what was...

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Is Prince Philip Greek?

Is Prince Philip really Greek? Prince Philip is often known as ‘Phil the Greek’. Often, when people use this nickname, they also make sniggering comment about kebab shops. But is it really the case? It’s true that he was born on Greek soil – on the island of Corfu to be precise – but it’s also true that he doesn’t have a drop of Greek blood. The fact remains though that he is a prince of...

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Gonna Be Alright – A Tribute to Abram Wilson

An appreciation of Abram Wilson, written by Andy Royston. All photos by Benjamin Amure courtesy of the Abram Wilson Foundation. Gonna Be Alright – A Tribute to Abram Wilson. ” It’s about finding the inspiration and the energy to overcome any obstacles that might stand in your way as far as playing this music is concerned. You have to be a warrior to get through. It’s somebody who won’t stop pushing, who won’t give up on...

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So You Think You Want To Narrate Audiobooks? by Mike Alger

On Tour With Author, Lauren Carr, and Real Murder Not just Real Murder actually. When Lauren Carr decided to have her bestselling series recorded into audio versions, she was, as always, very effective. She did all of them. To celebrate and announce their completion, Lauren is on tour. Not with a single book, but with a batch of them. So, here we are on the fantastic Audiobook-a-palooza Tour, hosted by iRead Book Tours. As a bonus in...

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If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?

If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? By Alan Alda: Book Review Yes, that Alan Alda. Hawkeye. M*A*S*H. When this book landed on the review desk at JAQUO HQ my immediate thought was ‘Alan Alda – must be well worth reading’. Then I saw the tag line under the title – My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communication. Hmm. Well… But then I remembered the great title –...

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Pear and blue cheese pizza recipe

 Pear and blue cheese pizza – delicious recipe We love pizza. I don’t think I’ll ever be bored with it. I’m pretty convinced that I could eat pizza every day if I had to. But, well,there are other considerations such as calories and cholesterol and all those boring things. Boring yes, but we do have to pay attention. This doesn’t mean that I will ever (hopefully) have to give up a delicious Pizza...

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Wallis Simpson’s Wedding Dress

Wallis Simpson’s wedding dress. Not a fashion success. In the nineteen thirties, when King Edward VIII gave up the throne of England for Mrs Wallis Simpson, many people just couldn’t understand what this highly eligible bachelor saw in her. Many  still don’t understand the attraction. In those days, and ever since, she has been described as a ‘fashion icon’. There is little photographic evidence to...

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Man mailed himself from England to Australia

Man mailed himself from England to Australia. In 1964, Australian athlete, Reg Spiers, was stuck in the UK. He desperately wanted to get home to Australia but couldn’t afford the fare. So his solution was to have himself mailed home as freight. The system allowed freight to be sent cash-on-delivery, so no up-front payment was required. Reg reckoned that he’d find a way to pay for his flight (in a box in the cargo hold)...

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Real Murder, by Lauren Carr, A Review

On Tour with Lauren Carr and the Audiobook-a-palooza Blog Tour Real Murder, by bestselling author Lauren Carr, is the second in The Lovers In Crime mystery series. Dead on Ice, the first in the series, brought together Joshua Thornton, Prosecutor, from his earlier series, and Cameron Gates, Homicide Detective. When they first met, their chemistry sparked. Now married, the two will once again work together to find a murderer. The Story...

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The Titanic: Wallace Hartley tribute violin

Arthur Lancaster’s tribute violin: Created in memory of Wallace Hartley Wallace Hartley was the bandleader of the small orchestra on board RMS Titanic. All the band members were lost in the sinking. Wallace was just thirty three at the time and had just become engaged. (The average age of the musicians at the time of the sinking was just twenty six). Wallace had been born in Colne, Lancashire, and  had played the violin in the...

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The Sad Story of Prince Friedrich

The sad story of Prince Friedrich of Hesse. Who was the prince? He was a grandchild of Queen Victoria – the son of her daughter Alice. Princess Alice married Grand Duke Louis, a member of the German royal family. Friedrich was their fifth child. When just a toddler, he was diagnosed as having haemophilia which, as we know, was hereditary  and passed down from Queen Victoria herself. Although Friedrich’s parents were...

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Whispered Lies, by Kathleen Brooks, A Review

An Excellent Audiobook! Whispered Lies was a “must listen” when I noticed on Audible that Therese Plummer is the narrator. She has been a favorite for years now. Ms. Plummer is one of the best. Her voices for women and men both are clear and so well done. Variations in voices as well make it easy for the listener to be clear who is speaking. Please listen to the sample here, see if you won’t be as drawn in as I was. The Story...

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Frank Stranahan

Fort Lauderdale history: Frank Stranahan. It’s generally accepted that Frank Stranahan from Ohio was the first permanent resident in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. When he arrived, Fort Lauderdale didn’t actually exist. It was a settlement of just handful of people on the New River. Seminole Indians lived in the Everglades nearby but in general, the are was inhospitable with a stifling climate, dangerous wildlife and lots and...

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When Fats Waller Met Al Capone

 When Fats Waller Met Al Capone. Fats should have seen it coming. But playing at the Sherman House Hotel, in the swinging heart of Chicago’s loop, he must have felt safe from the mob. As the song goes, the joint was jumpin’. Fats was only 21 years old in ’26 but he was already a big draw. He’d been making records for four years and was about to enter his first peak period. His solo stride piano and pipe organ...

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The Mystery of the Saddleworth Moor Body

The mystery of the body found on Saddleworth Moor. One morning a cyclist found the dead body of an elderly man in a remote spot on a moor with a grisly history. At first, the cyclist thought the man was sleeping or resting, but no. When the police arrived it was discovered that the man had no identification, no cellphone — and it seemed that he had taken his own life. But who was he? The body was discovered on December 12th,...

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Secura’s Anti Theft Convertipack, A Review

Three Bags In One The Secura RFID blocking anti-theft convertipack is much more than a backpack. This well made bag can be worn as a shoulder tote, a cross-body bag, or a backpack. From Lewis N. Clark, with their wonderful products, this one has turned out to be even handier than expected. Three bags in one. You can’t go wrong with that. Useful for all varieties of events from shopping to hiking to travel, it helps you stay organized...

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We Are Legion (We Are Bob), by Dennis E Taylor

So Imaginative! We are Legion is definitely a phenomenon.  Definitely one you shouldn’t miss. How author, Dennis Taylor,  put together an entire universe in such detail, is fascinating. The complexities it considers are mind boggling. Yet he covers the details so well. It’s a book I will listen to again, very soon.  I know I missed some details while pondering the scope of their activities.  There is so much in the story...

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Surrounded by Enemies: Bryce Zabel

‘JFK was not killed at Dallas’. This is the premise of the fascinating novel, Surrounded by Enemies. Author Bryce Zabel has woven a plausible and thoroughly-imagined fictional series of events that might have taken place had Kennedy suirvived. Maybe you have your own theory about how America would have developed over the years if Kennedy had lived? It’s a subject that many people – the general public and expert...

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The Loudness of Jack Bruce

“Cream’s last year was extremely painful for me. When we started in 1966, Eric and Jack had one Marshall each. Then it became a stack, then a double stack and finally a triple stack. By 1968, I was just the poor bastard stuck in the middle of these incredible noise-making things. It was ridiculous. I used to get back to the hotel and my ears were roaring.” Ginger Baker, Drummer: Cream Jack Bruce had been playing upright...

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Kathleen Kennedy

Four months before he was assassinated in Dallas in 1963, American president John Kennedy visited Ireland. Most people thought that he then flew directly to London from the US but in fact, he detoured to the tiny village of Edensor in England. There he laid a wreath on the grave of his younger sister, Kathleen. How had she died and why was she buried in a country churchyard in Derbyshire? Who was Kathleen Kennedy? Kathleen Cavendish...

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Bob Marley

Bob Marley Being from England, it always surprises me to discover that people have English ancestry. Did you know that Bob Marley’s father was English? Bob’s mother was only eighteen when she married Norval Marley – he was about sixty and the supervisor of a plantation in Jamaica. Bob was the result, although the couple split up when he was just a baby and Norval died ten years later. Bob rarely spoke about him in...

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The Cavendon Women: Barbara Taylor Bradford

The Cavendon Women: Barbara Taylor Bradford This is exactly the sort of book to choose when you need a little light, but dramatic reading. It’s set in the nineteen twenties and features the lives of the members of an aristocratic family in England. You’ll certainly see how the other half lived. But the characters in the book are strangely appealing and you’ll be drawn in by the trials and complexities of their lives...

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The Princesses and V.E Day

Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, 1945. On May 7th, 1945, the BBC interrupted a broadcast of piano music to declare that the following day would henceforth be known as ‘Victory in Europe Day’. Hitler had killed himself several days before and the German forces had surrendered. On the following day the crowds outside Buckingham Palace were greater than they had been for the coronation of the king, George VII.  The crowds...

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The Sinking of the Lusitania

Why is the Titanic better known than the Lusitania? It seems that the fate of the Titanic captured the imagination of the public much more than that of the Lusitania. Yet it seems that the story of the Lusitania is more dramatic,if not more so. They both ended up at the bottom of the ocean, of course, but whereas the Titanic met its end because of an iceberg, the Lusitania was torpedoed by a German submarine during the First World...

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Ivy Benson

Who was Ivy Benson? Have you heard of Ivy Benson? I doubt you have but her story is fascinating. Unusually, she was the leader of a swing band in England during the Second World War – and it was an all-girls band. They were incredibly popular. Women came into their own during World War Two. They drove trucks and buses, flew planes, worked as machinists and engineers, worked decoding messages and in general, took over the jobs of...

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Plot vs. Character, by Author D. M. Annechino

Spotlight On:  “More Than A Soldier” We are so pleased to feature an article written by D. M. Annechino, author of his newly released novel, More Than A Soldier. Currently on a virtual book tour hosted by Italy Book Tours, you will find this fine author around the web at a number of sites, with articles, interviews and more. He writes on a variety of topics, which adds to the enjoyment when you pick up one of this books....

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The Loch Ness Monster

 Couple saw Nessie ambling across the road. The Loch Ness Monster was a thing of myth and legend dating originally from 565 AD. But the modern news about the ‘existence’ of the Loch Ness Monster was originally broken in the  Scottish press in May 1933. A few months later,a Mr and Mrs Spicer reported that they too had seen the monster who was casually ambling across a country road adjacent to the loch. He (or she) was...

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The Hitchcock Blondes

Who were the Hitchcock blondes? They were a trademark of Alfred Hitchcock’s many movies. I should say one of the trademarks because another was his habit of appearing in tiny cameo roles Horror and suspense were Hitchcock’s true specialities and this was enhanced – deliberately – by his use of what he referred to as ‘icy blondes’. See the quote below. In the middle of the suspense, their was...

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Presenting “Middle South”

It’s a pleasure to present this entertaining debut novel written by Maya Nessouli Abboushi.  Middle South is now on a virtual book tour hosted by iRead Book Tours. From April 17th through May 5th, you will find the author at a variety of sites across the internet.  Please check out the list before and stop in on a few.  There are interviews and guest articles, such as the one we are sharing with you today. The book is sure to be...

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Passenger 19, by Ward Larsen

A Deadly Air Crash Passenger 19 is an exciting, fast paced, tension filled story that suspense fans will love. Ward Larsen has great series here. Grab a copy now! Featuring ‘Jammer’ Davis,  the series is built around an NTSB crash investigator. In this entry, Jammer rushes to Bogota, Columbia after his boss tells him of the disappearance of a small passenger jet. That wouldn’t be unusual. He’s been investigating for decades. But this...

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The Rhythm Club Fire of 1940

The Natchez Dance Hall Fire of 1940. At 11.30 pm,on the night of 23rd April, 1940, hundreds of people were enjoying listening to music and dancing at a venue called the Rhythm Club in Natchez, Mississippi. Before midnight, at least two hundred of them were dead. Fire had blazed its way through the packed single-storey building. Just a few weeks before the fire the owner,  Edward Frazier, had boarded up with windows to that people...

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Who Was Toby Halicki?

Toby Halicki: Movie tragedy Toby was a film producer who had a cult following because of his car-crash movies. He produced and appeared in the films he made, and also took part as a stunt driver. But in 1989, a stunt that he’d fought for went terribly wrong. He was filming a sequel, Gone in 60 Seconds II, a follow-up to a movie he had made in 1974. A highlight of the movie was a truck colliding with a water tower- see the video...

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Aunt Evelyn: An Article by Barbara Casey

Barbara Casey is back with  Assata Shakur: A 20th Century Escaped Slave Barbara Casey is a favorite guest of ours here on Jaquo.  Her style of writing, the variety of her subjects, the stories themselves are always intriguing and so enjoyable. Now on tour with her latest, Assata Shakur: A 20th Century Escaped Slave, we hope you will check out her schedule of events and drop in on some.  Hosted by iRead Book Tours, you will find...

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The Lives and Loves of Violette Morris

The curious life of Violette Morris   See this chap here? Well actually, this is Violette Morris; not a chap after all but a Frenchwoman who was born in 1893. She rose to fame as a sportswoman, excelling in those sports that require strength and power such as shot put and javelin. She was also keen on boxing, soccer  and, as you can see in the photograph here, motor racing. Violette wasn’t just a tomboy, she was a confirmed...

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Mama Says Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees, by Iris Mack

An Important Book For Parents And Children I’m excited to share today’s book. Dr. Iris Mack takes on credit card debt, teaching children how it works. It will give them the skills to understand and control their spending and expenses. The importance of these lessons can impact their entire lives. Not only is the book important, children are loving it. How perfect is that? If you can gain their interest, they are happy to learn. Dr....

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The Great Train Robbery

How the Great Train Robbers gave themselves away. On August 8th, 1963, a gang of masked men robbed a high-speed mail train. They got away with £2.6 million. That would be the equivalent of almost fifty million pounds today. The robbery had been well-planned. The self-appointed leader, Bruce Reynolds, had planned the robbery meticulously. The train was attacked when it was in open countryside, far away from any towns or villages. The...

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Percy Sledge

Percy Sledge: When a Man Loves a Woman Did you know that Percy Sledge’s song, When a Man Loves a Woman, was based on his own experience? When he wrote the song, he had just been dumped by his girlfriend. He understood at the time that she had left him for another man. Someone had told him that was the reason why she had disappeared from his life and gone to New York. In an interview, he later said that the original title of the...

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Marthe Cohn

Behind Enemy Lines: Marthe Cohn The number of people who took part in the Second World War is slowly dwindling. But it’s important that we should never forget them- and the heroism that so many of them showed during that terrible conflict. You can read about many of them in this book by Marthe Cohn. Marthe  Hoffnung (her maiden name) was born in 1920 and was still a teenager when war broke out.  Yet she worked as  spy,...

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Josephine Baker

The Joséphine Baker Story. Until I recently read a biography about Josephine Baker, I had only the haziest idea about who she was. Little did I know what a truly fascinating life she had. It’s amazing that someone who had such  a poor start in life could achieve so much. The book tells so many fascinating stories about her life – and it wasn’t always an easy one. She inherited her terrific looks from her mother,...

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Truths Not Spoken, by Pamela T. Starr

Truth: Something we want, often expect, in our lives and relationships.  Lies bring distrust and doubt.  What about the in-between?  The partial truths.  The truth left unsaid. In Pamela T Starr’s first novel will have you questioning your own unspoken truths.  Do we all have them? Truths Not Spoken will please any reader who enjoys a light romance with a bit of suspense added. The fast paced story keeps you reading, a little anxious...

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The Outsider, by Anthony Franze

A Review of Anthony Franze’s Latest Novel From the very start of Anthony Franze’s latest thriller, The Outsider had me hooked. Get a copy and set aside some time. You won’t want to put this one down. It’s a twisting, complicated plot that will shock and delight at the same time. It’s exciting, fast paced, and well written. This author writes a compelling legal thrillers that give a back room view of the undercurrents and...

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‘Freaks’ in Victorian times

‘Freaks’ in Victorian times. Of all the many and varied ‘facts’ we know about the Victorian era, one is that they loved freak shows. They would queue to see conjoined twins, bearded ladies, midgets, fat ladies and other ‘freaks’ who deviated from the norm. That’s one of the things we tend to dislike about the Victorian era in today’s politically-correct world. But were those people who...

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Archibald McIndoe

Archibald McIndoe was a pioneer.  During the Second World War, little was known about plastic surgery and yet for the first time, medical staff were seeing men with horrendous burn injuries due to the highly flammable aircraft fuel. Not only were doctors unsure how to rebuild these badly ‘disfigured’ men, they also had no idea that the person himself needed treatment for more than just physical wounds. Archibald McIndoe...

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What’s The Price of Love? by Pamela T. Starr

Pamela T. Starr, Author of Truths Not Spoken Truths Not Spoken is such an entertaining story, one that fans of romantic suspense will enjoy. The first in the Shifting Sands Series, we can look forward to more too.  You can read our review here on Jaquo. Now Ms. Starr is on tour with iRead Book Tours.   We are pleased to join the tour with our review, published a few days ago, and a delightful article from Ms. Starr below.  After...

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Omar Sharif

Actor Omar Sharif: Alzheimer’s sufferer. In May 2015 Tarek Sharif, the son of actor Omar, announced that his eighty-three year old father was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. He reported that the first signs were memory loss. He was still aware that he was a well-known actor and remembered most of the films he made but confuses them. He couldn’t easily recall his co-stars of where the films were made. The positive...

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Silsden Riot!

RIOT! The small town of Silsden, a few miles from Ilkley, in West Yorkshire is a quiet, law-abiding place; little disturbs the peace there today. But on Saturday April 8th 1911, over 400 local people protested outside – and many attacked – their local police station, smashing every window in the building and in the police house next door. Policemen hid inside the building and the police sergeant’s wife and children locked...

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The Lewis N. Clark Tote

A Versatile Tote For Travel or Every Day With every product I try from Lewis N Clark, I am more and more impressed. High quality materials, well designed for its use, at very affordable prices. This tote is fantastic. It is available in teal or black. It is a perfect size for work, travel, or play, with sections provided for everything from laptop and cords to bottles of water. The bag keeps everything organized—so very handy....

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Sirio Maccioni and Le Cirque

The biography of a restaurateur extraordinaire.  Sirio Maccioni was born into a poor Italian family of farmers in the nineteen thirties. And yet this extraordinary man became the most important restaurateur in America, if not the world. The philosophy behind his success was simple. He believed in hard work — it’s as simple as that. He believed in the traditional Italian values that had been passed to him from his family...

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Every Secret Thing, by Susanna Kearsley, A Review

London, England: Kate Murray is standing there, just feet away from the man when he is killed. If something like that happened to you, wouldn’t you want to know about the man? It happened to Kate. She can’t help but want to know more. After all, he had approached her, as though he knew her, about a story, a long ago murder. The fact that he mentioned her grandmother increases her curiosity. His name, Andrew Deacon, a kind, elderly...

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Down With Kurt Cobain

Down With Kurt Cobain By Andy Royston Montage of Heck, a documentary film about the rock star Kurt Cobain, begins and ends with film of an adorable little boy, aged around eighteen months old. The film’s executive producer, Kurt’s daughter Frances Bean, was around the same age when her father was found dead at his Seattle home. He’d taken his own life. As a viewer one is left to contemplate the nature of...

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The DeAutremont Twins

Who were the DeAutremont brothers? Twins Ray and Roy were just twenty three when they attempted one of the most daring robberies in America. Their brother Hugh, who accompanied them, was a mere nineteen. The crime they committed in 1923 would have been laughable in its ineptitude had they not happened to kill four men during the debacle. But what of their earlier criminal career? This too proves without doubt that the DeAutremont...

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Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline, A Book Review

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline, A Book Review. A Virtual Classroom? Would send your children to virtual school?  Can you picture it?  It sounds intriguing when you first think of it.  No more bullying, less distractions, right?  Yet in a virtual world would it be too isolating?  Could there be a balance?  Would class size matter then?  Would teachers like it better? That is one of the considerations you will find as you read Ready...

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All About Spinach in “The Spinach Collection” Cookbook

Leafy Green Power Plant Want your family to eat more vegetables?  Leafy greens especially are considered the top food you can eat for nutrition.  Excellent for heart health and brain health both, it is important to include it in your diet as often as possible. I started including spinach in more meals when I was reading up on Alzheimer’s Prevention. If you have experienced Alzheimer’s or dementia with a family member or friend, you...

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The Lewis N. Clark Waterproof Magnetic Pouch

Lewis N. Clark Waterseals Magnetic Self-Sealing Waterproof Pouch A “Must Have” to Protect Your Phone From The Elements Summer is coming! Prepare now! If you enjoy the outdoors, you will appreciate this handy and effective waterproof case. Camping, biking, hiking? Those are each occasions where your phone might get wet. Going to the beach or for a swim? Between the sand and the water, this should be an essential. The case...

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Gunmetal Gray, by Mark Greaney

Have You Met The Gray Man? Court Gentry, The Gray Man, has returned in another exciting, fast moving thriller from Mark Greaney. Book Six in the series is every bit as exciting as the first. What a delight it is to delve into another series book written by a favorite author. You know the feeling if you like to follow a character. Each book you start, you know you will enjoy the characters, the author’s writing, and the excitement...

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John Harrison: The Yorkshireman and the Moon

The Yorkshireman who made space exploration possible Neil Armstrong, shortly after he had returned from his historical journey to the moon, dined at 10 Downing Street – the residence of the British prime minister. In his speech, he paid tribute to the Yorkshireman who had made space exploration possible; John Harrison. As you can see from his portrait above, John Harrison was born in the seventeenth century.  This was in the...

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Karl Wallenda

 The Flying Wallenda Family Karl Wallenda was born in Germany in 1905 to a circus family. He was the patriarch of the famous – and often tragic – performing Wallenda family. His descendants are still performing to this day. He started performing when he was just six years old. This is a family tradition that has been continued. When he was still a teenager, he formed his own act which included his brother and a young girl...

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How to Hull Strawberries

The best way to prepare strawberries. It’s so very easy to hull strawberries to prepare them for your favourite recipes. Use this method and you’ll have even more recipes at your fingertips. By removing that hard central core cleanly, you’ll be able to make strawberries stuffed with ice cream or chocolate or any other inventive ideas that will surely occur to you. See the image above – aren’t those...

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Mangrove Lightning, by Randy Wayne White

Book 24 in the Doc Ford Series Randy Wayne White’s latest novel has arrived! Mangrove Lightning makes the twenty-fourth book in his bestselling “Doc Ford” series. Can you imagine how well he knows his characters by this time? Every quirk, every strength—and weakness—must come as naturally as it would if you were writing about family. The same must be true about the Florida setting. He lives where he writes, knowing all the little...

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Dr Buck Ruxton

Dr Buck Ruxton. Murderer. When we were kids, we used to sing a daft little song about Dr Buck Ruxton. We had no idea what it was about really. It was only later that I discovered that Ruxton was actually a murderer whose case had caused a sensation in England in the nineteen thirties. Ruxton was born in India and given the somewhat elaborate name of Buktyar Rustomji Ratanji Hakim. He studied medicine in India and then went to...

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Fresh Lobster and Salmon Ravioli

Fresh Lobster and Salmon Ravioli recipe. This recipe is extremely delicious and very special. They make these ravioli in Genoa, on the Ligurian coast in Northern Italy, where my parents were born. If you’re looking for something really impressive for a special occasion, then this is the perfect dish. The very special main ingredients, lobster and salmon, speak for themselves, and anyone who loves seafood will love these. If you...

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Who Was Ruth Snyder?

Who was Ruth Snyder? When you realise that the image above shows the final moments of Ruth Snyder’s life, then it becomes evident that she was a murderer. She was executed on January 12th, 1928 at Sing Sing. She was the first woman to be executed using the electric chair. Her lover, Henry Judd Gray, suffered the same fate. Together, they had murdered Ruth’s husband. The story had begun ten years before the executions....

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Chicken Dijon with Snap Peas

A Delicious, Fast Chicken Dijon Dinner Tender, moist chicken breast with fresh sugar snap peas and mushrooms in a tasty light sauce. Sound interesting? It tastes wonderful! My husband was the creative cook in our household. He made a dish very similar to this. We would seriously sigh through every bite, it was so delicious. This recipe is similar only I’ve added vegetables and a slightly different flavor with dijon. I was so...

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Who Was Edgar Rice Burroughs?

Who was Edgar Rice Burroughs? Edgar Rice Burroughs was one of the most successful American authors of the twentieth century. Although he wrote about several subjects, he will always be mainly remembered for his Tarzan series. Burroughs was born into a wealthy Chicago family. However, he was considered the black sheep of the family.  He took to heart the advice ‘go west, young man’ and spent time working in ranches and...

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Goodbye Chuck Berry

To mark the passing of rock-n-roll legend Chuck Berry, Andy Royston takes another listen to the man’s first big hit. It was a spring day in Chicago’s South Side, just off 47th St, then the home of the blues. Some guy up from St. Louis walked in the door on a mission to see Leonard Chess, owner of Chess Records to see if he could make a deal. His name? Chuck Berry. The night before Berry had been watching Muddy Waters at...

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Reinhard Hardegan, George Betts and the Sinking of the SS Muskogee

The sinking of the SS Muskogee. On March 22nd 1942, the commander in charge of a German U-boat, twenty eight year old Reinhard Hardegan, spotted an American oil tanker. It was its job to prevent America sending oil to Britain for the war effort. Slowly, he turned his submarine towards the ship. The ship was the SS Muskogee, a merchant ship that had been pressed into service to transport oil to war-stricken England. There were thirty...

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Who Was Oleg Cassini?

Who was Oleg Cassini? Oleg Cassini and Grace Kelly If anyone today is familiar with the name of Oleg Cassini, that’s probably because he was the couturier of Jackie Kennedy; he designed those strange clothes she was so fond of that look so odd to us today. But what’s much more interesting – and slightly scandalous – is the affair he had with actress Grace Kelly before she became Princess Grace of Monaco. In...

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Pregnant Women on Television in the 1960s

Why Lucy was ‘enceinte’ in the nineteen fifties. One of the most popular TV shows in the nineteen fifties – if not the most popular – was I Love Lucy starring married couple, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. At the time, they were the most powerful people in the world of television. In 1952 the couple discovered that they were expecting a baby. This was great news for them. They already had a small daughter, born...

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The Lewis N. Clark Mini Cross-Body Bag

Lewis N. Clark Does It Again When my mini cross-body purse arrived today, I couldn’t wait to unpack it. I’d been looking for a smaller sized purse that would hold all I need, yet would be easy and light to carry. As you can see in the video below, the Lewis N. Clark mini cross-body bag is nylon, ideal for travel because it is lightweight. Perhaps as important these days, it offers RFID protection for your credit cards. Of course that...

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Honoring our Military and Police Dogs

Today is National K9 Veteran’s day.  As much as we love our pets, it’s a day we should all honor.  The tasks our military and police dogs take on are some of the worst, and some of the most effective.  Today, I’d like to honor them with some excellent books that feature these K9’s. While they’ve been used, probably throughout time, for various tasks from carting things, patrolling boundaries, etc., today they are honed into such...

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Odette Sansom: WW2 Spy

Odette Sansom Hallowes: Odette was tortured by the Gestapo in the Second World War and sent to a concentration camp where she was sentenced to death. She never gave in and managed to survive – and save others – purely by her wits. In 1942, she had made sure that her three daughters were safe and well-cared for and left England to risk her life helping others. Odette was French by birth.She had married an Englishman and...

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Don De Lion – Don Drummond and the Skatalites

Andy Royston takes another listen to one of Jamaica’s pioneer musicians and the scandal that shook the music. Extrovert, eccentric and self-taught Don Drummond’s trombone style has an earthiness and songlike quality that makes it immediately identifiable. His melodies are so simple, so perfectly constructed and memorable. Don Drummond was able to channel emotions from gentility to absolute rage through his music with as...

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