Mochas and Musketeers

Flamboyant heroes, adventure, riveting duels, and of course romance.

Alexandre Dumas and his swashbuckling Musketeers have fascinated for ages!

To honor Dumas on his birthday July 24th 1855, I wanted to share his many works featuring the most beloved comrades The Musketeers.

Here are the D’Artagnan Romances:

The Three MusketeersAn adventurous tale of the young man d’Artagnan. Leaving home to travel to Paris, d’Artagnan wishes to join the Musketeers of the Guard. He is not one of the musketeers of the title but befriends Athos, Porthos and Aramis (inseparable friends who live by the motto “all for one, one for all.”) This motto which is first put forth by d’Artagnan, has become a most well known and loved signet. This a historical fiction full of memorable adventure and characters.

Rated: 4.5 on amazon.com 
Book Bean: Un café
A coffee, plain and simple, but not as we would have in the U.S. Order “Un Café”  and you will get a small cup of plain strong espresso.

Twenty Years Later
Two decades have passed since the musketeers triumphed over Cardinal Richelieu and Milady. Time has weakened their resolve, and dispersed their loyalties. However, treason and stratagem still cry out for justice: civil war endangers the throne of France, while in England Cromwell threatens to send Charles I to the scaffold. Dumas brings his immortal quartet out of retirement to cross swords with time, the malevolence of men, and the forces of history. But their greatest test is a titanic struggle with the son of Milady, who wears the face of Evil.

Rated: 4.5 on amazon.com 

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Book Bean: Chocolat l’ancienne
Rich and decadent melted dark chocolate poured into cups, and served alongside it’s own separate dish of fresh whipped cream. So thick and creamy, I’ll have mine with Un café  please!

Ten Years Later: The Vicomte de Brabelonne
In the English translations the 268 chapters of this large volume are usually subdivided into three, but sometimes four or even five individual books. In three-volume English editions, the three volumes are titled “The Vicomte de Bragelonne”, “Louise de la Valliere”, and “The Man in the Iron Mask.” Each of these volumes is roughly the length of the original
The Three Musketeers.

Here they are in Three Volumes:

The Vicomte de Bragelonne
It is May 1660 and the fate of nations is at stake. Mazarin plots, Louis XIV is in love, and Raoul de Bragelonne, son of Athos, is intent on serving France and winning the heart of Louise de la Valliere. D’Artagnan, meanwhile, is perplexed by a mysterious stranger, and soon he learns that his old comrades already have great projects in hand. Athos seeks the restoration of Charles II, while Aramis, with Porthos in tow, has a secret plan involving a masked prisoner and the fortification of the island of Belle-Ile.

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Rated: 4.3 on amazon.com

Book Bean:
 Cafè latte au Chocolat
Espresso with steamed milk and drizzled with
chocolate on top.


The Musketeers are now in their late 50’s.
They are still vital characters but they are no longer young men looking for any excuse to duel with the Cardinal’s Guard. From this point on, there is a lot less sword play and campaigning (Sorry Swashbuckler fans.)

The focus of the story now shifts to the intrigues of Louis XIV court.

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Lousise de la Valliere
Devoted in large part to romantic events at the court of France’s King Louis XIV. It is filled with behind-the-scenes intrigue, the novel brings the aging Musketeers and d’Artagnan out of retirement to face an impending crisis within the royal court of France.

Chocolat-chaud

Rated: 4.3 on amazon.com

Book Bean: Chocolat chaud
Otherwise known as good old Hot Cocoa 🙂
The Man in The Iron Mask
Some thirty-five years on, the bonds of comradeship are under strain as they end up on different sides in a power struggle that may undermine the young Louis XIV and change the face of the French monarchy. In the fast-paced narrative style that was his trademark, Dumas pitches us straight into the action. What is the secret shared by Aramis and Madame de Chevreuse? Why does the Queen Mother fear its revelation? Who is the mysterious prisoner in the Bastille?

cafe_au_lait

Rated: 4.3 on amazon.com

Book Bean: Cafè au Lait
A coffee with hot milk added (In comparison to the Itallian caff
è latte.) In the U.S.  a café au lait is a drink of strong drip coffee or French pressed coffee, to which steamed milk is added.

Fun Fact: Two further sequels to the D’Artagnan books — the novels The Son of Porthos (1883) and D’Artagnan Kingmaker (1900) — were written and published after Dumas’s death. D’Artagnan does not appear in the first novel, which, although written by Paul Mahalin, was published under the pen name “Alexandre Dumas” and is still sold as such. The second novel was supposedly based on one of Dumas’ plays (wikipedia)

Have you read any or all of these novels? 
Please share your thoughts.

12th Day of Christmas: The Grinch

literary-advent-6-edited-1DAY 12 of 12
“Every Who down in Who-ville liked Christmas a lot . . .
but the Grinch, who lived just north of Who-ville, did NOT!”

How The Crinch Stole Christmas
by Dr. Seuss

This heartwarming story about the effects of the Christmas spirit will grow even the coldest and smallest of hearts. Like mistletoe, candy canes, and caroling, the Grinch is a mainstay of the holidays.

Rated 4.7 on amazon.comed6ab3f427c0e107b9dcb69aa9a8aeab-edited

The ultimate Dr. Seuss Christmas classic – no holiday season is complete without the Grinch, Max, Cindy-Lou, and all the residents of Who-ville!

12 Drinks of Christmas:

Book Bean: Merry Berry Matcha Freeze
0111-editedAs cold as the Grinch and just as green too!
In a blender add 2 scoops vanilla bean
ice-cream, Matcha powder to taste, one scoop
(or more to taste) of canned cranberry (not jellied, frozen ahead of time if possible.) Blend till desired texture. Garnish with real cranberries and enjoy!


d095ad4bea6df8d433049a8bc12cb70d“Then the Grinch thought of something
he hadn’t before!
What if Christmas, he thought,
doesn’t come from a store.
What if Christmas…perhaps…
means a little bit more!”

Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas

 

Eleventh Day of Christmas: Twas The Night Before Christmas

The 12 Book-Days of Christmas – Mini Beans to Fill you with Cheer!literary-advent-6-edited-1Day 11 of 12:

“The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;”

Twas The night Before Christmas


by Clement c. Moore

A wonderful classic poem that has been made into a beautiful book. The poem alone is great, but adding such detailed and amazing illustrations makes it so special. The art work is stunning. Curl up with this treasure and grab a cuppa; Read. Sip. and Be Merry!

Rated: on amazon.com

“He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;”

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Book Bean:
Candy Cane Cocoa
Tradition homemade Cocoa with whip or marshmallows, pick your pleasure, add in a delicious candy cane. Enjoy you Christmas Eve!

Need a Recipe? Try this: www.allrecipes.com/creamy-hot-cocoa
I like to add a little cinnamon and/or nutmeg to mine, but feel free to add your own pizzazz 🙂

p.s. Don’t forget to leave some for Santa 😉

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
~Clement Clarke Moore, The Night Before Christmas

Tenth Day of Christmas: Gift of The Magi

The 12 Book-Days of Christmas – Mini Beans to Fill you with Cheer!literary-advent-6-edited-1Day 10 of 12:

“Many a happy hour she had spent planning for something nice for him. Something fine and rare and sterling—something” 

The Gift of The Magi
by O. Henry

The Gift of the Magi is one of O. Henry’s most famous stories. The story contains many of the elements for which O. Henry is widely known, including poor, working-class characters, a humorous tone, realistic detail, and a surprise ending. A major reason given for its enduring appeal is its affirmation of unselfish love. Such love, the story and its title suggest, is like the gifts given by the wise men, called the Magi, who brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the newborn Jesus.

Rated: 4.6 on amazon.com

Or enjoy this free copy! https://americanenglish.state.gov/the_gift_of_the_magi

12 Drinks of Christmas:

applepiechaiBook Bean: Crisp Apple Chai
In saucepan heat up half water half apple juice or cider and simmer with green apple slices.  Add in Chai powder mixture or concentrate. Add mixture to blender and blend till smooth. Serve with garnish of apple and topped with whip and/or caramel, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

“But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. Of all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.” 
~O. Henry, The Gift of the Magi

Ninth Day of Christmas: Chicken Soup for the Soul

The 12 Book-Days of Christmas – Mini Beans to Fill you with Cheer!literary-advent-6-edited-1Day 9 of 12:

“The dynamics that are required to make any relationship work:
Just keep putting your love out there.” 

Everyone loves Christmas and the holiday season.  We love reuniting scattered family members, watching the wonder in the eyes of a child, and seeing the joy on the face of a gift giver.  The rituals of the holiday season give a rhythm to the years and create a foundation for our family lives.  We love the chance to gather with our communities at church, at school, and even at the mall, to share the special spirit of the season, brightening those long winter days.

Christmas is a magical time of year — a time of family, friends, and traditions. Readers will revel in the 101 holiday stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas Magic that spread the special joy, wonder, and blessings of the season with its tales of finding the perfect Christmas trees, being with family, seeing the awe in a child’s eyes, and enjoying the magic of the season

Rated 4.6@amazon.com

12 Drinks of Christmas:

Gotta keep it simple on this one of course

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Book Bean: Cuppa Chicken Noodle Soup

Here is a recipe for some amazing homemade Chicken soup, make a pot and savor a mug full while enjoying these amazing heartwarming stories.
https://the-ultimate-chicken-noodle-soup

“Don’t worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.”

Eighth Day of Christmas: Hiddensee

The 12 Book-Days of Christmas – Mini Beans to Fill you with Cheer!
literary-advent-6-edited-1Day 8 of 12:

“Luck and grace: an unmatching pair of boots with which to address
a long dusty road.”

For number 8 In the spirit of the new movie, I thought I would stray a little and try a new book, a twist on a classic:

Hiddensee 
by Gregory Maguire
From the author of the beloved #1 New York Times bestseller Wicked, the magical story of a toymaker, a nutcracker, and a legend remade…

Gregory Maguire returns with an inventive novel inspired by a timeless holiday legend, intertwining the story of the famous Nutcracker with the life of the mysterious toy maker named Drosselmeier who carves him.

Rated: 3.8 on amazon.com

“Those who sit in the house of grief will someday sit in the garden.” 
~Gregory Maguire, Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker

12 Drinks of Christmas:

Book Bean: HazelNogin Latte

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A yummy frothy latte with spiced eggnog and hazelnut delights! Make a latte as usual but use half eggnog mixed in with milk of choice. stir in hazelnut sauce to taste. Sprinkle with nutmeg! You can make this a hot cocoa or mocha by using hazelnut chocolate tempered instead of or in addition to espresso. Get Crackin!

And here is something a little more simple and classic:

The Nutcracker
by Susan Jeffers 
New York Times bestselling artist and Caldecott Honor winner Susan Jeffers has created a Nutcracker as only she can—with lavish illustrations, magnificent detail, and enchanting holiday scenes on every page. This is The Nutcracker as you’ve never seen it before!

Rated 4.6 on amazon.com

Behold the frightful Mouse King, the elegant Sugar Plum fairies, and the entire Land of Sweets in this dazzling, gorgeously illustrated holiday classic.