Tag Archives: Charles P. Rogers

Bedtime Stories: Fiction About Fan Fiction

carryonPost by Mark T. Locker.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell.

I’ve never read a book like this before. If it hadn’t come from someone whose recommendations I hold in high regard, I doubt I ever would have approached it. The novel is kind of a piece of make-believe come to life. In Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl book, Gemma T. Leslie writes a series of Harry Potter-esque fan fiction stories about a young man named Simon Snow who attends Watford, an English school of magic. Fangirl introduces us to the stories of Simon Snow and his nemesis/roommate Baz and their years together at Watford. Carry On brings all those stories into conclusion as a standalone novel in which Baz and Simon finish their seventh and final year at Watford.

Upon beginning the book, I felt there was something I was missing because I’d never read Fangirl but Rainbow Rowell does a good job of filling in all the pieces you need to make this novel work on its own. Simon is a child without parents, raised in the nonmagical world (sound familiar? Remember, this is meant to be fan fiction) and is discovered by the head of Watford, where he is taken in. Simon is incredibly powerful but has almost no control over his power. Half the time his wand doesn’t even work. Other times, his spell will affect not only the person in front of him but everyone within a wide range.

Simon’s roommate is Tyrannus Basilton “Baz” Pitch. Simon’s pretty sure Baz is a vampire but can’t quite prove it. Either way, Baz has spent years trying to kill Simon and Simon can’t wait to be done with all that. I can’t say much more about the story without spoiling it but if you or a teen you know wants a book full of magic, monsters, and the occasional makeout session, Carry On is a wonderfully clever and enjoyable story.

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Bedroom Design: 10 Summer Decorating Ideas to Try in Your Bedroom

Post by Tracy Kaler.

In my opinion, warm weather is the ideal time to redecorate. Most of us are in a better frame of mind when our bones are warm, so our creative juices are more likely to flow at full speed.

Whether you’re looking to spruce up your accessories, brighten your bedroom with a paint color, or take on a complete overhaul (perhaps you’re really ambitious!), this season is a fabulous time to rethink your décor. Here are ten summer decorating ideas to try in your bedroom.

1. Hang black and white prints for a timeless yet modern aesthetic.

2016 GBAHB Ideal Home

2. Add new light fixtures for ambience and task lighting.

Union Square

3. If you’re funky and adventurous when it comes to decorating, play with faux fur. Pillows are a terrific place to start.

Randolph Home

4. Paint a decorative pattern or stencil a motif on your walls.

Hampton

5. Go bold in your artwork and make it a focal point in the room.

Soho Loft - NYC

6. Tired of neutrals? Add color in more than one place. Perhaps you should start with a splash on the bed, and then move on to the accessories.

Northside Colonial

7. Want to redecorate, but on a budget? Get thrifty and try flea markets, where you’ll discover fantastic finds at affordable prices.

Lake House Minnesota

8. Splurge on a new area rug. Choose a soft yet durable style.

Mar Vista

9. Update your window treatments. Curtains can give new life to your bedroom.

Cliff Road

10. Invest in a new headboard. Why? Because you deserve it.

Napa Chic-Transitional Master Bedroom

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Breakfast in Bed – Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict 8

Post by Alison Hein.

Preparing Eggs Benedict is not difficult; rather, it’s a little complicated. Too many things are happening at once. Should I worry about my muffins toasting or my eggs poaching? My bacon browning or my Hollandaise emulsifying? Well, the sad truth is, all these things must be tended if you want to have your muffins crisped, your eggs gooey, your bacon browned and your sauce hot, all at the same time.

This is the occasion to ensure your “mis en place” is well-executed. Assemble your ingredients, gather your pots and pans, perhaps enlist an assistant. Then toast, boil, brown and drizzle your way to a worry-free breakfast in bed.

Eggs Benedict 3

Ingredients

2 English muffins
4 eggs
4 slices Canadian bacon
Hollandaise sauce (recipe below)
Fresh parsley, for garnish

Preparation

Split muffins in half and place in toaster. Toast when other preparation is completed.

Eggs Benedict 4

Eggs should be as fresh as possible for perfect poaching. To poach eggs, fill a heavy saucepan with enough water to cover eggs (3 to 4 inches) and heat until very hot and simmering, but not boiling. Break eggs into individual small dishes. Or you can use an egg poacher. Carefully pour the first egg into the simmering water. Immediately use a wooden spoon to wrap the cooking white around the egg yolk to prevent the white from feathering. Repeat the process with the remaining eggs, and cook for about four minutes, until the white is firm but the yolk is still soft. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and drain. Trim edges if necessary.

While eggs are poaching, heat a small pan over medium heat. Add Canadian bacon and cook until warmed through and slightly browned.

To assemble, place two muffin halves on each of two plates. Place a slice of Canadian bacon on each muffin half. Then top each with a poached egg and drizzle with Hollandaise sauce. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.

Eggs Benedict 5

Makes 2 servings.

Hollandaise Sauce

4 egg yolks
1 ½ teaspoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
½ cup (1 stick) butter, bubbling hot
Pinch of cayenne pepper

Preparation

Melt the butter in a small saucepan until it is bubbling hot.  While butter is heating, combine egg yolks and lemon juice in a food processor with a couple of quick pulses. With food processor on, slowly stream in the hot butter until Hollandaise emulsifies. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper and pulse the Hollandaise one more time to combine.

Eggs Benedict 10

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Bedtime Stories: Chaos Walking

Knife_of_Never_letting_Go_coverPost by Mark T. Locker.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness.

The first installment in the Chaos Walking trilogy, The Knife of Never Letting Go is a unique, heartbreaking, brutal and captivating story for teens.

Todd Hewitt is on the run from Prentisstown, the only place he’s ever known. Alone with his talking dog Manchee, he’s been sent out into the swamps with nothing but a book from his mother and a big knife. He’s only a few weeks from becoming a man, the last child to grow into a man in Prentisstown.

This is not a normal place. Everyone who moved here became infected with the Noise. You can hear everyone’s thoughts and everyone can hear yours. You can hear the crocs saying, “Food. Food” as they approach. It’s a sickness that destroyed the women and left the men isolated at the edge of a huge swamp. Or so Todd has always been told. So when the two men who raised him tell him he has to leave, and leave now to save his own life, he has no idea what is going on. And when he learns that the holy man, Aaron, is hunting him, he knows he needs to learn the truth behind Prentisstown. Maybe the only one who can help him is the book from his mother and a mysterious girl he encounters in the swamps. He’s never met a girl before but immediately he notices she has no Noise. Who is she and where did she come from?

Full of twists and turns, lovely and brutal, violent but sweet, The Knife of Never Letting Go is not for the faint of heart but it tells a great story. If you want to read this one in bed, I recommend a few funny comics afterward to ease your dreams.

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Bedroom Design: Great-Looking Garage Bedrooms

Post by Tracy Kaler.

Garages aren’t just for parking cars and storing tools and miscellaneous belongings. With some smart planning and TLC, these attachments can become usable living spaces. Let’s take a look at some great-looking garage bedrooms, courtesy of Houzz.

Who would have thought that a garage could be this chic? Beautifully designed by Jill Neubauer Architects, this Truro Beach kids’ room is colorful and well planned, providing and indoor/outdoor sleep space for six.

Truro Beach House Bunk Room

A Seattle garage keeps things minimal and modern, but gets the job done. Ideal for guests, this bedroom could use some additional soft goods such as an area rug and upholstered chair, but at least the paneled walls and ceiling warm up the otherwise industrial space. Murphy beds leave plenty of floor space, allowing the room to be used for entertaining or other functions.

Cabana with murphy beds down.

This Los Angeles garage was transformed into a shabby chic guest cottage for a college student. Not too shabby of a dorm room, if you ask me. The cost of the renovation was $20,000.

My Houzz: From Belgium With Love

A Shelter Island farmhouse garage gets a makeover with a bed, white curtains and bedding, and a mosquito net, lending a touch a romance to the room.

Farmhouse, Shelter Island

Believe it or not, this bedroom and living space used to be a garage. The conversion successfully created a studio apartment with all the modern conveniences. Could you live here?

Garage Conversion

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