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    • Office Buildings Lighting Up Cities
    • Expert Advice On How To Turn Out A Terrific Turkey
    • “Book of the Month:” — Black Country by Al DeFilippo
    • Children And Dogs: An Irresistible Combination
    • From the Garage to the Googleplex
    • Movie Review: “Going In Style”
    • Lil’ Kim, Hottest Female Rapper
    • Gays Make History In American Football
    • FREE Seminars and Events: Health, Wealth, Entertainment, Support

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As an experienced book reviewer, I must confess that it is quite challenging to do a comprehensive review about our “Book of the Month, ”Black Country, from the Asbury Triptych Series.”

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One reason is that I found throughout the 717 pages, an enormous amount of detail describing the hero, Francis Asbury. His life was unbelievable and he certainly has his ups and downs at a time when life was hard, dismal and dangerous. This historical novel will keep you up nights until you finish it, because it is filled with new information about what life was like in the 1700s, in England and then in the newly formed United States.

Even if you are not a fan of history, I guarantee you will find this book fascinating, eyeopening and well worth the time. The author, Al DeFilippo, refers to the main character, Asbury as the “George Washington of American Christianity.” DeFilippo says, “Although the main character of this story never commanded forces, as did Washington, nor did he become an official leader of a nation, what this unconventional preacher from England did was to become more widely known than the first president and other Christian leaders of the period and did lead a troop of men who conquered the spiritual attention of the American populace.”

Throughout the book, what comes across so well is learning about the culture and people of his time. As a young preacher, he interacted with villagers, farmers and families. Those descriptions made for a very interesting diorama of scenes where people were looking for a new life in America.

The story starts in England in 1745, with Francis Asbury as a blacksmith’s apprentice, forging nails. (Asbury had no formal education.) As it is said, cream always rises to the top, and as it did with Asbury. He decided to become a preacher for a religious movement that eventually worked on the rampant illiteracy and distribution and gin addictions facing the British of the 1700s. Of major importance to Asbury was when he met John and Charles Wesley. The Wesley followers known by the Methodists, began to question religious dogma of that time.

I found that Francis Asbury was a brave and charismatic man and quite intelligent. After spending his youth in England, and with only a few years of preaching, experience and money, he departed for the American colonies in 1771, with his acceptance of the Wesley religious beliefs and dictum. In 1784, Francis Asbury had become the leader of the American version of the Wesley indoctrination and, under his guidance, was the official beginning of the Methodist Church in America.

Monuments have become a lively discussion in the U.S. today, so it is a good time to note that in Washington, DC there is an impressive granite statue of Asbury sitting securely on top of the horse. And there are many more signs that he played a major role in religion in America.

The book is so well developed that it is difficult to decipher what is fact and what is fiction, a skill that an historical novelist attempts to do. This book is worth your time, as you will learn so much about American religious history told in an elegant and fascinating way, with wonderful details that make it all believable.

About the author:

Al DeFilippo lives in South Florida with his wife, Kim, their two daughters and a Wheaton Terrier. He is actively working on this series and has a job working for a not-for-profit organization. He enjoys watching British television, plays the drums and African percussion. (To purchase Black Country, The Asbury Triptych Series, go to www.francisasburytriptych.com)

Expert Advice On How To Turn Out
A Terrific Turkey

By Cookbook Author and Chef Nathalie Dupree

To help you save time and trouble and turn out a beautiful bird (or two), Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking author and television host Nathalie Dupree offers these clever turkey time tricks.

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I rarely cook a turkey larger than 14 pounds, and find it easier to roast two smaller ones than one larger one. A large turkey takes longer to cook, and is more difficult to handle and store. Two small turkeys allows one of them to be roasted and carved ahead of time, and the other to be the showpiece on the table, she explains.

Rather than stuff the turkey, she adds, I flavor it with an onion, carrot and a few herbs. Herbs enhance the flavor of the turkey, when tucked inside the cavity. If a rack is not available, the onions and carrots can form a resting place for the turkey. I add stock to keep the bottom from burning and to ensure a scrumptious gravy. This creates a bit of steam, so take care when opening and closing the oven.

(Read her book to see how she uses apple cider vinegar to brine the turkey.) — NAPS

FROM THE NOVEMBER COVER: Expert Advice On How To Turn Out A Terrific Turkey

Gays Make History In American Football

Compiled from Wikipedia


Few American football players have come out as gay.

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Six former NFL players have come out publicly after they retired. There has never been anyone who has been publicly out while playing in the NFL. However, as early as the 1960’s, Green Bay Packers head coach, Vince Lombardi, insisted on unconditional respect for closeted gay players and front office staff. Demanding nothing but acceptance from players and coaches toward all people, Lombardi would fire a coach or release a player should they insult the sexual orientation of anyone.

When Lombardi moved to the Washington Redskins (the name, itself, embroiled in controversy) for the 1969 season, he brought with him a gay assistant coach, David Slatterly and gay PR director Joe Blair, who was described as Lombardi’s “righthand man.” According to son Vince Lombardi, Jr., “He saw everyone as equals, and I think his having a gay brother (Hal) was a big factor in his approach…I think my father would’ve felt, ‘I hope I’ve created an atmosphere in the locker room where this would not be an issue at all. And if you do have an issue, the problem will be yours because my locker room will tolerate nothing but acceptance.’”

The 1969 Redskins had two closeted gay players on the team, running back David Kopay and tight end Jerry Smith. Upon his arrival in Washington, Lombardi was aware of Smith’s sexual orientation. “Lombardi protected and loved Jerry,” said former teammate Dave Kopay. Lombardi brought Smith into his office and told him that his sexual orientation would never be an issue as long as he was coaching the Redskins and that Smith would be judged solely on his on-the-field performance and contribution to the team’s success. Under Lombardi’s leadership Smith flourished, becoming an integral part of Lombardi’s offense and was voted a First Team All-Pro for the first time in his career, which was also Lombardi’s only season as Redskin head coach.

At the Washington Redskins training camp, Ray McDonald was another closeted gay player, who was trying to make the Redskin roster. True to his word, Lombardi told running back coach, George Dickson, “I want you to get on McDonald and work on him and work on him—and if I hear one of you people refer to his sexuality, you’ll be out of here before your ass hits the ground.”

FROM THE NOVEMBER COVER: Gays Make History In American Football

I had advertised in a multitude of media, but the best response so far has been working with Anita Finley on her radio show and Boomer Times magazine for the increase of patients.

Andy Mencia, MD

Founder, AGI Medical & Dental Centers

Thank you – both of you – for your outstanding promotion of my book and for keeping me informed every inch of the way. I am enjoying all of the attention.

Heather Latimer

Author, How To Overcome Once-Easy Tasks That Are Now Pains In The You-Know-What!

Hi Dan, Thank you and Anita for giving me an outlet to let people know about my books. It has been a terrific experience and one that I’ll cherish for a long time.

Best regards,

Jorge Reyes

Jorge G. Reyes S.