Happy birthday to the trees! Happy Tu B’Shvat, the birthday or festival of the trees! I’ve always felt an odd affinity for trees. In eighth grade we each did an […]
Scone or Irish Soda Bread?
After a trip to Ireland, I created this scone-like Irish soda bread recipe. Luscious, a bit lemony, a bit tangy. Bring out the butter!
Ukraine in my history
My paternal grandmother (the little girl in the photo) emigrated from Uzhhorod in 1913. That is one of the cities in #Ukraine that Jill Biden visited last week. The parallels […]
Kiffles are the new Magic
I was enjoying Jean Metzer‘s The Matzah Ball, a really fun #Hanukkah romance in the classic Romance-novels style (meet-cute, boy and girl hate each other as sparks fly, the last […]
Jewish Book Tour on Instagram
Welcome to my first post on my books as part of the #Jewishbookstagramtour. The Duel for Consuelo—book two in the Tendrils of the Inquisition series—weaves poetry, the Enlightenment, and the […]
An old law leads to forced marriage–can this bride be saved?
Barcelona, 1584 Dear Madam Mariana, I dare not ask this question of anyone I know but–I must seek counsel. In Jewish law, when a man dies, his brother is obligated […]
Josefina and Father Alonso, sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g!
[A blast from the past! Josefina de Castillo, happily married to Manuel Castillo, rediscovers her passion for a redheaded priest. And worse yet, he’s now a Bishop!] Mexico, 1690 Estimada […]
How to not marry Igor, or, He got the estate, now he wants me!
[In which Madam Mariana travels back to Moscow, 1543, to help the lovely Russian noblewoman, Darya Petrovna, avoid her cousin Igor’s grasping ways: He got her daddy’s estate, and now […]
Look who’s back! The original Mariana!
Ciudad de Mexico, 1587 Estimada Madam Mariana, I am caught between two suitors–again! My brother in law, Jorge de Almeida, remember him? the “other Jorge,” my sister Leonor’s husband? Anyway, […]
Madam Mariana fields a question from…a dog!
In which Madam Mariana fields a question from…a dog! Yes, even dogs have questions about love, about life… Dear Madam Mariana, I am a Scottish Terrier named Bilbo, and […]
Breaking up with a killer? Here’s how!
Dear Mrs. Know-it-all, aka Madam Mariana: I am the taller, more beautiful sister of the notorious Zara Persil-Pendleton, who is getting all of the attention as usual. As if money-management […]
From Italia, con amore
Mia cara Madam Mariana: I am corresponding with someone I may have feelings for. Our letters have to cross the Mediterranean Sea as I live in Ancona, Italy, and my friend is […]
Our San Francisco lusty-widow-turned-journalist is back
[Madam Mariana has received a shocking missive from 1933, and her cloche hat definitely slipped when she read this letter from Lucy!] Dear Madam Mariana: Now it’s really too late. […]
Bridget has a verrry British question!
[Bridget Jones’s account has been hacked by the mysterious D. Steele, and in honor of #AprilFoolsDay, Madam Mariana received this question early this morning. What does this D. Steele take […]
Madam Mariana: question from a lusty widow in San Francisco
San Francisco, 1933 Dear Madam Mariana: I’m writing to ask your advice, as I find myself in a most untenable situation. I recently arrived in San Francisco, after much effort, […]
Madam Mariana gets her first question!
Well, it looks like Madam Mariana has her first question, from another Mariana back in 1586 (maybe they’re related across the centuries? #reincarnation) And she thinks she’s consulted Mme Mariana […]
New Game! Dear Madam Mariana, advice for the lovelorn
I’ve added a new game to the blog! So much fun to be had, when characters from historical fiction write to the all-knowing, all-seeing, ever-so-wise-ass Madam Mariana. Madam Mariana will […]
Early morning in Havana Nothing about Cuba is as expected. As the Cubans say in describing their own country, “it’s complicated.” Even a cup of breakfast coffee can be complicated. […]
One-fruit compote, or the last Christmas Eve standing
I came from a family where the less said about religion the better. My Polish Jewish mother had suffered unspeakable cruelties at the hands of the Nazis, and survived by […]
Yes, please speak!
I’m still reeling from shock regarding #charlottesville, as so many of us are. But it sure didn’t take long for the “circular firing squad” to load up and start firing […]