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Add the creme fraiche and put the lid back on for 30 seconds to allow it to melt.

Add the parsley and shake the pan well to distribute, then season gently and serve immediately, discarding any mussels that remain closed. Other bitter leaves, such as chicory, or the traditional dandelion greens, would also work well. At a pinch, you could use a crunchy mixed salad. Leave out the lardons if you would prefer to keep it vegetarian— fry a finely chopped shallot at that stage instead, to flavour the vinaigrette. Drizzle with oil and arrange on a baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until crisp, then rub with the garlic and set aside. Fry the lardons in a dash of oil over a medium-high heat until bronzed and crisp.

Stir in the mustard and then the vinegar, scraping the pan, and set aside. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Crack the eggs into ramekins, then slide them into the water and reduce to a simmer. Cook for three minutes, then scoop out and drain on kitchen paper. Rub a salad bowl with garlic and tear in the salad leaves. Add the contents of the pan and toss together.

Divide between four bowls and top each with a poached egg. This dish is the star turn of Gascon cuisine, an apologetically rich gratin of beans and animal fat, studded with various meats and served hotter than the southern sun. Serves 8 1kg haricot beans , soaked in cold water overnight 1 onion , peeled and halved 1 large carrot , cut into chunks 1 head of garlic , unpeeled, plus 4 cloves 2 sprigs of thyme 2 sprigs of parsley 1 bay leaf 1kg slab of pork belly , bone in 4 confit duck legs and their fat reserve any jelly you find in the tin 6 Toulouse sausages ml white wine Salt , to season.

Drain the beans well and put them into a very large, ovenproof casserole dish. Pour in water until it comes about 3cm above the top of the beans, then add the onion, carrot, whole head of garlic, herbs and pork belly if you need to spoon out some water at this point, that is OK — you can top the dish up during cooking. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for about two hours until the beans are just tender, but not falling apart.

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Five Smooth Stones

Meanwhile, fry the duck and sausages separately in plenty of the duck fat until crisp and golden. Once the beans are ready, remove the onion and herbs and discard. Scoop out the pork belly and, once cool enough to handle, cut into chunks, discarding the bones. Squeeze the garlic cloves from their skins and mash to a paste with 4 tablespoons of duck fat and the fresh garlic cloves. Drain the beans, reserving the liquid and seasoning it well — this will be your sauce. Grease the bottom of the casserole with a little of the duck fat mix, then tip in the beans, the rest of the duck fat and all the meat, plus any jelly from the duck confit.

Mix well, then top with the wine and the bean cooking liquid to cover. Reviews "A courageous novel. David is a marvelously well-done character. Ann Fairbairn renders her scenes so skillfully and reveals her hero so fully that [his] qualities are transformed from desirable abstractions to a memorable identity. Technically Miss Fairbairn is flawless. David Champlin is a great tragic hero in a memorable story. It has real size, stature. Above all, it rings true.

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You have to come back. Such is the case with Five Smooth Stones. Author Biography. Ann Fairbairn was best known for Five Smooth Stones, but also published two other books: a biography of New Orleans jazz clarinetist George Lewis, whose tours she managed, and a novel, That Man Cartwright. She lived for many years in New Orleans and died in Monterey, California, in May we also suggest Published Sep Abandoned pregnant and penniless on the teeming streets of London, year-old Amber St.

Clare manages, by using her wits, beauty, and courage, to climb to the highest position a woman could achieve in Restoration England—that of favorite mistress of the Merry Monarch, Charles II. From whores and highwaymen to courtiers and noblemen, from events such as the Great Plague and the Fire of London to the intimate passions of ordinary—and extraordinary—men and women, Amber experiences it all. But throughout her trials and escapades, she remains, in her heart, true to the one man she really loves, the one man she can never have.

Frequently compared to Gone with the Wind, Forever Amber is the other great historical romance, outselling every other American novel of the s—despite being banned in Boston for its sheer sexiness. A book to read and reread, this edition brings back to print an unforgettable romance and a timeless masterpiece. Published Apr From the golden age of art movies and underground cinema to X-rated porn, splatter films, and midnight movies, this breathtaking thriller is a tour de force of cinematic fact and fantasy, full of metaphysical mysteries that will haunt the dreams of every moviegoer.


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Jonathan Gates could not have anticipated that his student studies would lead him to uncover the secret history of the movies—a tale of intrigue, deception, and death that stretches back to the 14th century. But he succumbs to what will be a lifelong obsession with the mysterious Max Castle, a nearly forgotten genius of the silent screen who later became the greatest director of horror films, only to vanish in the s, at the height of his talent.

Now, 20 years later, as Jonathan seeks the truth behind Castle's disappearance, the innocent entertainments of his youth—the sexy sirens, the screwball comedies, the high romance—take on a sinister appearance. His tortured quest takes him from Hollywood's Poverty Row into the shadowy lore of ancient religious heresies. He encounters a cast of exotic characters, including Orson Welles and John Huston, who teach him that there's more to film than meets the eye, and journeys through the dark side of nostalgia, where the Three Stooges and Shirley Temple join company with an alien god whose purposes are anything but entertainment.

Published Oct Spanning three generations, this historical novel tells the tale of Boudicca, the most famous warrior of ancient Britain, and Caradoc, the son of a Celtic king, who sets out to unite the people of the Raven and lead them against Rome. Caradoc's objective is not easily accomplished as the Roman army advances into Britain, raping Celtic women and burning villages to the ground.

Published Sep Throughout a single day in , John Shawnessy recalls the great moments of his life—from the love affairs of his youth in Indiana, to the battles of the Civil War, to the politics of the Gilded Age, to his homecoming as schoolteacher, husband, and father.

Shawnessy is the epitome of the place and period in which he lives, a rural land of springlike women, shady gamblers, wandering vagabonds, and soapbox orators. Yet here on the banks of the Shawmucky River, which weaves its primitive course through Raintree County, Indiana, he also feels and obeys ancient rhythms.

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A number-one bestseller when it was first published in , this powerful novel is a compelling vision of 19th-century America with timeless resonance today. Published Oct This classic bestselling novel about a man who encounters a woman whose power to destroy is as strong as her power to love evokes Hemingway in its naturalistic portrayal of elemental forces in both nature and humanity. When he found that she returned his adoration, he could marry her with joy, bothered just momentarily by a strange premonition.

It was only later, when the premonition became a horrifying reality, that he realized the glowing loveliness of the woman he had married was the true face of evil.

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His name was Connor Winslow, and Mary quickly discovered that he thought she was his cousin—a girl supposedly dead these past eight years. Alive, she would be heiress to an inheritance Connor was determined to have for himself. Published Dec Bringing to life the heady days of the American Revolution through the eyes of a heroine who played a brave and dramatic part in the conflict, this novel follows Celia Garth, a Charleston native, as she transforms from a fashionable dressmaker to a patriot spy.

When the king's army captures Charleston and sweeps through the Carolina countryside in a wave of blood, fire, and debauchery, the rebel cause seems all but lost.

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But when Francis Marion, a lieutenant colonel in the Continental Army known as "The Swamp Fox," recruits Celia as a spy, the tides of war begin to shift. This classic historical novel captures the fervor of 18th-century Charleston, the American Revolution, and a woman who risked her life for the patriot cause. Published May The history of California in the midth century comes alive in this captivating historical novel. Garnet Cameron, a fashionable young lady of New York, is leading a neat, proper life, full of elegant parties and polite young men, yet the prospect of actually marrying any of them appalls her.

Yearning for adventure, she instead marries Oliver Hale, a wild trader who is about to cross the mountains and deserts to an unheard-of land called California.

During Garnet and Oliver's honeymoon in New Orleans, she meets a dance-hall performer on the lam who calls herself Florinda Grove and is also traveling to California. Along the Jubilee Trail, Garnet and Florinda meet kinds of men never known to them before, and together they make their painstaking way over the harsh trail to Los Angeles, learning how to live without compromise and discover both true friendship and true love.

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Published May First published in , this bestselling historical novel is cherished and remembered as one of the finest retellings of the Civil War saga—America's own War and Peace. In the first hard pinch of the Civil War, five siblings of an established Confederate Virginia family learn that their father is the grandfather of Abraham Lincoln. The family's story, and the story of their descendants, is presented in this tale that includes both soldiers and civilians—complete with their boasting, ambition, and arrogance, but also their patience, valor, and shrewdness.

The grandnephew of General James Longstreet, the author brings to life one of the most extraordinary periods in history, and details war as it really is—a disease from which, win or lose, no nation ever completely recovers. But a palpable terror is crouching in the shadows.


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  6. Philippe's uncle, Leon de Valmy, is the epitome of charm, yet dynamic and arrogant—his paralysis little hindrance as he moves noiselessly in his wheelchair from room to room. Only his son Raoul, a handsome, sardonic man who drives himself and his car with equally reckless abandon, seems able to stand up to him. To Linda, Raoul is an enigma—though irresistibly attracted to him, she senses some dark twist in his nature. When an accident deep in the woods nearly kills Linda's innocent charge, she begins to wonder if someone has deadly plans for the young count.

    Published May This brilliant Arthurian epic cuts through the mists of pagan, early Christian, and medieval splendors that have gathered about the subject and tells the authentic story of the man who may well have been the real King Arthur—Artos the Bear, the mighty warrior-king who saved the last lights of Western civilization when the barbarian darkness descended in the fifth century. Presenting early Britain as it was after the departure of the Romans—no Round Table, no many-towered Camelot—the setting is a hard, savage land, half-civilized, half-pagan, where a few men struggled to forge a nation and hold back the Saxon scourge.

    Richly detailed, the story chronicles the formation of a great army, the hardships of winter quarters, the primitive wedding feasts, the pagan fertility rites, the agonies of surgery after battle, the thrilling stag hunts, and the glorious processions of the era.