Avon Van Hassel

Building Worlds and Filling Them With Magic

Ahh, a nice cup of tea. What could be more soothing than gentle perfumed steam rising from a tasteful china cup to warm you on a rainy day or accompany a good book? It’s almost hard to imagine the turmoil that went into making it. You can’t make a cup of tea without something reaching …

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If you’ve read Golden, you’ll know that Lady Johanne loves her garden. In her story, her husband’s physical absence during the war and emotional absence at home drove her to find a distraction, ending up with a passion for gardening. After the war and her husband’s death, she moved herself and her daughter to her …

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History The tradition seems to date back to the 17th century, during the Age of Exploration, when the sea was teeming with ships and sailors, crisscrossing the globe in search of gold, exotic goods, land, and less respectable trade, such as slaves. What happened The ceremonies themselves had a wide variety of events, ranging from …

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Treasure Island is a classic for a reason. It has so much: high seas adventure, salty sailor talk, sailing ship vocabulary, a desert island, buried treasure, even a talking parrot. SO MANY pirate story tropes come from this book, the creativity boggles the mind. You all know Long John Silver already, the sea cook with the peg leg who is charismatic, charming, and treacherous. There’s also the good doctor, the hot-headed country squire, and the innocent widowed-innkeeper’s-son-turned-cabin-boy-in-search-of-adventure, Jim Hawkins.

Ahh, the holidays. These days, at least in my household, it’s all Christmas carols, holiday movies, baking stollen and cookies, and frantically wrapping presents so they’ll look nice under the tree. That’s not too unusual. But I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the origins of Christmas and winter traditions, and how it’s all changed …

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There’s a recipe that’s been bugging me for years, a dish teased by Washington Irving a century and a half ago. I’ve been asking my mother for years to make it, and this year we figured it out together. And I present it to you now as an option for that Thanksgiving turkey.

You know about Magic Beans and Golden, and I’ve introduce you to Gaslamp. So you might be thinking that’s all I’ve got cooking, but you’d be so wrong. Here are my other current and ongoing projects.

In the Georgian Criminal Justice System, the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important groups: the thief-takers, who catch criminals in the act (and sometimes work with them for a reward), and the Magistrates, who are usually heavily corrupt and often take bribes from the accused and the accusers. These are their stories.

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