Reader & Writers Get-Together
June 6-7, 2008
yes. There are few things more satisfying than catching
up with old friends and making new ones, and we
were privileged to do both in Cincinnati this past
weekend at Lori
Foster's Readers & Writers Get-Together.
This was the fourth year of the event and the first
time we were able to attend. And, oh boy, are we
ever glad we went! With 275+ attendees, a ginormous
batch of Tony's Famous Baklava, sweaty Greek Dancing
with pals Kathy Andrico and Aleka Nakis, face-to-face
meetings with PW Beyond Her Blog Barbara Vey and
Joyce Ann, catching up with longtime buds Lori Foster,
Elizabeth Bevarly, Becky Barker, Tony Blake, Barbara
Smith, JC Wilder, Patty Harrison, Pat Rouse, Wendi,
and Paige and Eric Cuccaro, as well as Joni, Bad
Barb and Tee...
::pant:: I'm out of breath just remembering all
the friendly faces and warm laughs!
All attending conference authors...well, except
for us. As usual, we were late. lol
those we didn't get pictures of (okay, I'm still using
the storage disc that came with the camera, which
means I have zero capacity), I think we got you on
video. Prob there? Well, our new laptop runs with
Vista and Vista isn't compatible with our four-year-old
Sony Digital 8. Grrrr... If I didn't hate Gates before
now...well, let's leave it at that or I might boot
up next time to find the laptop's been completely
Make sure you check out out Barbara
Vey's Beyond Her Book Blog for our first
ever podcast (yikes! No, I haven't watched the sucker
yet, and I'm not going to. I was sweating up a storm
after Greek dancing, and Tony had just wolfed down
a piece of baklava and swears his mouth was sealed
with honey - lol!) , and for her great entries on
all three days of the event, and Michelle
Buonfiglio's B(u)y Her Book Blog for
her take on the get together which includes some great
numbers on amounts raised for charity.
can't recommend this conference enough. Mark your
calendars now for June 5-7, 2009. Here's to seeing
y'all again next year!
We love our fellow writer
members of the Maumee
Valley Romance Writers of America;
and getting a chance to bring in our favorite
Famous Baklava in our case), just kick back,
open the doors to the public, and enjoy the company
of fellow readers and aspiring writers looking
to perhaps take that next step, is a recipe for
a great time!
Ah, yes. Isn't it nice
when you can just kick back and enjoy the company
of friends? No agenda to maintain, no minutes to
record, only the companionship of those of like
mind. Of course, our outgoing president Barb Horvath
made one last sweeping gesture by giving us all
thoughtful gifts (Tony and I both have our handmade
fairy chains clipped to our keyrings). What a wonderful
way to celebrate the Season.
Tony playing catch up while Barb Nagel considers
MVRWA charter member and all around talented
author and dear friend Denise Lynn.
Jennie showing the book that Barb Horvath
made up for members of the board.
wishing everyone a warm and cheery Holiday Season,
and a fantasically successful 2008!
on the River 2007 Ellis Center - Monroe, Michigan
We adore this event. It not only gives us a chance
to catch up with old friends, but to make new ones.
An added benefit is that it's close to home! Our
warm thanks to event organizer Bernie Smith, her
skilled posse and the Monroe Friends of the Library
for another day chock full of great memories!
Fellow mystery and romance authors Susan
Goodwill (her first book Brigadoom is
to die for!) and Gail
Martin, who just returned from a trip
to Greece and has recorded her photographic
memories on her blog. Click on her name to
check 'em out!
Marvelous Heidi McCraw arranged previous events
but has returned to nursing. We're glad she
came out for a visit!
Bernie was so busy keeping everything running
smoothly, we didn't get a chance to get a
new pic of her. So this one is from last year
for the great time, guys! We hope to see you again next
by the Banks Duke Energy Center
Saturday, November 3, 2007
This inaugural event was sponsored
by Cincinnati and Hamilton County's Public Library,
UC's library, cet, Borders and The Mercantile Library
and by all accounts was a raging success. We sincerely
hope they decide to go annual.
We'd like to thank everyone involved for including
us and making our day a memorable one: Forge's publicist
Alexis Saarela, librarian Susanne Wells, our "helper"
Lisa, our table neighbor and fellow panelist Jeffery
Marks, moderator extraordinaire Laura Pulfer, and
everyone who came out...
There's just something about librarians... Could
be our shared love of books, or the tremendous role
they've played and continue to play in helping shape
our career; whatever the reason, we leap at the
chance to spend a bit of time with them. And we're
grateful to everyone involved in inviting us to
this year's OLC, including Lori Hensley, director
of events, and Nieca Nowels of the Westerville Library,
our in person contact. What a delightful day!
Gary Branson, Director
of the London Public Library, is not only
one of our favorite librarians, but all time
I can't believe this is the only shot we have
of yummy Nieca Nowels of the Westerville Public
Library. Unbelievable! She's only like the
cutest thing ever.
Hunh. Do you think Tony likes being behind
the podium? Too cute!
Here's Chrystal Carr Jeter of the Cleveland
Where's next year's party?
Live Weymouth Country Club
Okay, Kym Lucas, manager of the Buckeye Library
branch of the Medina County Library told us that
this event is well attended...but we had no idea
that it was this well attended.
Good thing Tony backed down on bringing baklava.
He would have been making it for a week in order
to give everyone a piece!
Thank you, thank you, a thousand times thank you
to Kym and the Medina library gang for having us,
and to everyone who came out. We had a blast!
Saturday, September 22, 2007
We've easily made hundreds
of appearances, addressed dozens upon dozens of
groups, but helping owner Mike Cole celebrate the
opening of the Stately
Raven Bookstore ranks up there as one
of our most unique experiences to date. Within an
hour's drive? Plan an outing that includes a stop
at the Stately
Raven. You won't regret it! The impeccably
renovated onetime, gothic style Lutheran Church,
decorated throughout with Toledo artist Beth
Covert's many murals, is an exquisite
gem. Click here
for more information on the store. Click here
for more info on Beth.
I can't wait to see what they have planned for Halloween!
A real woodburning fireplace will be a fantastic
This is one event we spend all
year looking forward to. It's more than the live
music and the food, it's a time to catch up with
those we haven't seen since the last festival --
or perhaps longer -- and reconnect with the reason
why Greek-American is tagged onto Tony's name. To
be in the company of others who are neither strictly
Greek, or solely American, but a combination of
both, making them marvelously unique.
While we've always loved to be regular, gate-paying
attendees, we're even happier to contribute to the
Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral by
offering our books for sale with a percentage of
the proceeds going to the parish. And we hope to
expand our participation next year.
Our heartfelt thanks to Joyce Anagnos-Hambou, the
Greek Culture Chair, her mom Avi, and everyone else
involved with the fest. While we didn't get photos
of everyone, we hope you enjoy the ones featured
Stop it, already! Yeesh, how quickly they
grow up, huh? Here Natasa Christides and her
older sister Christiana show the wonderful
young women they're turning into.
George Theodorou, Andreas Petros, Tony, Demetra
Theodorou and Maria Petros smile for the camera
in the middle of catching up.
Pete Theodorou and his lovely Liz share a
toast with us.
Joyce Anagnos was in charge of the Greek Culture
booth again this year.
Frixos Stylianides takes a break from the
kitchen and from running his Coney Island
restaurant to chat for a minute.
Christiana fresh from pariticpating in the
demostration dance in full costume.
your calendars for next year! September 5-7th, 2008.
The view from Smila in 2004.
The forests on the mountains across the way have burned
to view Maria Menounos' personal report on the fire
8/27/2007 - Greece Forest Fires:
We've been on the phone constantly with family (Tony's
brother, sister-in-law, niece and her family including
two young children were down vacationing in their
Smila country house -- niece and fam evacuated early
Sunday morning, brother and sil still there) in the
exact area near Olympia where the fires have been
raging since Friday. At one point we were all terrified
the family (and other extended family members in neighboring
towns) were blocked in, the electric and water were
off, and there was a time when we couldn't get through
to them on the phone either.
it looks like the fire has finally passed them, but
it's still raging in the area.
insurance is virtually unheard of in Greece, so abandoning
houses to fire means losing everything. I don't think
the image of so many trying to battle back monstrous
walls of flames with garden hoses will ever leave
Thanks so very much to all
those who've written and called. Please keep Greece
in your thoughts and prayers.
Family Reunion 2007
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Ah, yes. The Greeks
and the Germans go way back, don't they? And today
they came together again in my darlin' Greek Tony
and my German family the Schlachters. Tony's baklava
went great with the sauerkraut and bratwurst.
I can't tell you how great it was to see faces
I'd grown up with, as well as many new ones added
to the family since last we met. Hope you enjoy
the photo album. I did more catching up than picture
taking, but I have more on video.
to view a clip.
(I'm new at streaming, so bear with me as I experiment.
For some reason, the 1-minute piece plays over
Cousins Christy and Ronnie. Christy and I
used to pretend we were twins when we were
younger. Of course, I don't think we have
a prayer of getting away with it now. She's
as gorgeous as ever.
Ron bid on and won Joey's special creation,
although there wasn't much left of it after
all our picking.
Special thanks to Aunt Elsie, Christy and Holly for the
fantastic job they did arranging this year's reunion at
Carr Park in Temperance. Tom's handling the festivies
for next year in Norwalk. Looking forward to it!
Summer Greek Recipe
Sofie's Souvlaki with Tzatziki
you're familiar with our girl Sofie,
then you know that one of her favorite foods is
souvlaki, the Greek equivalent to the American
hamburger. She gets hers from a stand on the corner
of Broadway and 30th in Astoria, but you can easily
make your own! Here's how...
– 32-ounce container plain yogurt
1 – large English, seedless cucumber, peeled
8 – cloves garlic, peeled and chopped (more or
less garlic to taste; we use a whole bulb)
½ to 1 cup – extra virgin olive oil to
1 – tablespoon salt (kosher salt preferable but
1 – teaspoon vinegar (cider vinegar preferable
but any type can be used)
dash of pepper
medium-sized bowl, grate the peeled cucumber and squeeze
excess liquid out by hand. Add remainder of ingredients
and stir well and vigorously. Refrigerate an hour or
so before using if possible. Stir again before serving.
– 4 pound cut of pork roast (or lamb or chicken
or steak equivalent)
1 – package of 10” bamboo skewers
½ cup of olive oil, juice of ½ lemon,
teaspoon Greek or regular oregano
salt and pepper
fat (or not<bg>), cut pork into one-inch squares
and then put on skewers (say 5-6 squares per skewer,
tightly positioned). Sprinkle on salt and pepper to
taste. Grill on med-high for approximately 20-25 minutes
until pork is thoroughly cooked, brushing with oil mix
and turning frequently.
– package regular-sized pita bread (10)
1 – medium-large red onion (white is okay)
1 – bunch of fresh parsley
2 – medium tomatoes
salt and pepper (optional)
red onion and slice thinly. Chop parsley greens. Add
parsley to onion slices in bowl and squeeze together
until well mixed and the onions are separated and soft.
the tomatoes and then cut into ¼ inch slices.
brush pita on both sides with olive oil and warm slightly
paper towels (or foil) to protect your hand and for
folding purposes, pick up a pita, put a skewer in the
middle and squeeze the pita closed so you can remove
the skewer. Next, add a bit of the onion and parsley
mixture, a few slices of tomato (I like to add a little
salt and pepper at this point) and then tzatziki. Fold
the pita over ingredients, wrapping the paper towel
to hold it closed. Enjoy! (Add a bowl of tzatziki sauce
to the table for those who would like to add more as
fries: regular french fries sprinkled with sea salt
and Greek oregano.
Tuesday, July 19, 2007
We can't say enough
about our visits to this wonderful bookstore.
From the friendly warmth of Sharon Kelly Roth
and Christina Tomazini, to the cozy environs,
we love everything about Books & Co. And we'd
be remiss if we didn't mention the great friends
-- both new and old -- who never fail to come
out! Without further ado...
Tony snaps a cover pic of me with Sharon to
the left and Christina. Yes, that's a batch
of Tony's Famous Baklava on the table.
Dinner nearby afterward with precious friend
and author publicist Patricia Rouse, her friend
Sheila, and Sharon (Christina left a little
earlier to take her daughter to the midnight
showing of the new Harry Potter movie).
you, thank you, a thousand times thank you, guys. For
your warmth, generosity and friendship.
Outlet Warren, Michigan
Thursday, Jun 28th, 2007
We've been making the trip an hour and half north
to visit with our friends at The Paperback
Outlet for years now, and thoroughly
enjoy ourselves every time. And seeing Bad Barb
and Tee and their families doubles our pleasure.
Like last year, Tee's daughter Tabitha brought
Tony a loaf of homemade banana bread (Yum! I should
really ask her permission to share the recipe.
It's scrumptious!), and we're ceaselessly shocked
by how much she, Nataia and Kadeem have grown
in the year since our last visit.
We didn't get to see co-owner Gay this trip as
she was recovering from a medical procedure (our
thoughts are with you, sweetie!), but all our
old friends, and plenty of new ones, came out.
We love you guys!
Annie McGee holds a plaque showing that
The Paperback Outlet is
a Romantic Times 2007 Bookseller
of the Year nominee. Well-deserved,
Annie and Gay! Congrats!
That's Barb Hicks to the left, Tabitha in
the middle, Diane next to her, and Tabitha's
mom Tee to the right.
This is the second year in a row we've enjoyed
I love candid shots! Here Nataia rests against
Aunt Barb's shoulder.
Here's Michelle again along with Cindy (hope
you have a grand 3rd Anniversary, Cindy!).
Janet and Liz stop for a quick pose...and
to remind Tony that he owes them baklava.<bg>
thanks to Cheryl and Joyce Anagnos Hambou for coming out,
It was great to see you guys!
Lovers Bookshop's Festival of Mystery 2007 Monday,
Bookshop owners Mary Alice Gorman and Richard Goldman
are the perfect couple to...well, they're simply the perfect
couple. This was their 13th annual festival and by all
accounts it was fabulously successful. This was our second
appearance there and we count ourselves lucky to have
We hope you enjoy our photographic memories...
Fest attendee Lynn wins the best shirt contest,
hands down! She made this herself. Check out the
detail straight down to the cuffs. A fellow reader
through and through.