Guest Post with Karen Stivali

Moment of Silence BannerMoment of Silence (Moments In Time Book 4)
This is book 4 of the series but can be read as a standalone!
Karen Author Photo
WHAT I MISS ABOUT NYC (and why I set so many books there)
Although I was born in Manhattan and spent the first few decades of my life either living in New York City or visiting it frequently, for the past decade I’ve lived in New Hampshire. While I love living in a quiet mountain top town surrounded by woods, there are things I definitely miss about living in the city. Not a city. THE city. Because that’s how New Yorkers tend to think about “their” city and even though it hasn’t been a part of my daily life in years, I’ll always be a New Yorker at heart.
What do I miss most about being there? The food, the food, the food. Did I mention the food? O. M. G. I’ll admit, I’m a little food obsessed. I had an Italian grandmother and a Jewish grandmother—“eat” is the word I most remember them both saying. I kind of hate the term “foodie” but that doesn’t change the fact that I totally am one. Not a snobby one in a frou-frou way. I’m a very adventurous eater, and I can enjoy a gourmet meal, but I’m just as happy with a truly fabulous bagel as I am with an artfully decorated five-star entrée or a dessert that looks too pretty to eat. Maybe more so.
As for New York food? There are so many things that I miss, things that just don’t have an equal elsewhere—believe me, I’ve looked. What tops that list?
Bagels Lots of places make “bagels” that can pass as decent bread, but I’ve never had a bagel outside the NYC metropolitan area that fits my definition of what a bagel should be. (Okay, so maybe that makes me a snob, but not in a price per pound kinda way.)
Bialys (I haven’t even seen a bialy outside NY let alone found one that’s right.) For those who don’t know what one is, it’s a flatter, chewier, crispier-when-toasted version of a bagel that’s covered in bits of browned onion. *sigh*
Pizza (the thinner and crispier the better, with cheese that pulls away in strings and smacks you on the chin but tastes so good you just don’t care). Again, there are other places throughout the world that make a tasty pizza…but if I’m craving my classic definition of pizza, I want one from New York.
Kosher deli food (pastrami, corned beef, tongue, brisket, stuffed derma, knishes…pickles, oh my God, the pickles…). This is something that totally takes me back to my childhood. My dad grew up in a big Jewish family in Brooklyn so getting good deli food was reliving old memories for him while creating new ones for me. There are a few Kosher delis in New Jersey and other states that get it right….but you know where the owners are from? New York.
Cannoli I don’t get into NYC very often anymore (I live six hours away, which can easily be ten hours with traffic), but when I’m there I make every effort to have my first stop be Veniero’s bakery so I can dive head first into a cannoli (with a momentary pause to consider if I want chocolate covered or plain first) and I never leave without a box of assorted Italian butter cookies because, for whatever unknown reason, those relatively simple cookies just can’t be found elsewhere. Again, not for lack of trying!
Black and white cookies (and no, the white part isn’t fondant and shouldn’t taste like lemon). If you’ve never had one of these, they’re almost more like a really flat cake with a thin layer of glaze than like what you’d normally think of as a cookie. And they’re delicious. People debate if you should eat one side first then the other or alternate bites or try to get a bit of both sides in each bite. I mix it up…and I’m willing to eat more than one if I think maybe I got it wrong the first time.
Babka (Seinfeld was right, chocolate is the way to go—cinnamon is good too, but it is lesser babka). Imagine a coffee cake and a chocolate croissant having a beautiful, tasty love child. That’s what babka is. Chewy, yeasty, sweet dough layered with multiple thin layers of chocolate. Yum.
Italian ices It’s such a simple thing, yet it’s insanely hard to find other places. I remember getting them as a little kid and I continued the tradition of walking around the city eating them the entire time I lived there through college and after. Chocolate or lemon, depending on my mood.
Egg creams This is another New York thing my dad introduced me to as a kid. It’s basically really chocolaty chocolate milk with a spritz of seltzer (club soda, soda water—whatever you call it where you live) that makes it froth up a little. It’s kind of like an ice cream soda…or like a super improved upon homemade YooHoo. It’s just good, and I’ve never seen one for sale at any restaurant, newsstand or shop outside NYC.
Part of the reason I choose New York City as the setting for so many of my books is that I miss it. When I’m following my characters on their journey I get to relive some of my own experiences of the city through them. In MOMENT OF SILENCE food plays an important part in the story—as something the two main characters, Jason and Quinn, bond over as they’re falling in love, and as a way for Jason to reconnect with his family after a long silence. A lot of the things on the above list are mentioned throughout the book and, while it often intensified my cravings while I was writing, I was really happy to share these sense memories of my own past with these two men.
Moments of Silence Cover
Moment of Silence Synopsis:
Growing up, Jason Stern led a charmed life complete with devoted sisters, a father who was one of Brooklyn’s most respected rabbis, and a mother who made the world’s best babka. He headed to NYU ready for anything—except falling for the wrong guy, coming out, and getting disowned by his once-loving family. In spite of that, Jason managed to graduate with honors. He’s got friends who treat him like family, and he’s proudly running the largest LGBTQ teen shelter in Manhattan. Life is good, but he’s still falling for the wrong men.
When charming, sexy Quinn Fitzpatrick begins work at the shelter, Jason falls hard and fast. Quinn is tall, blond, funny—damn near perfect. Only if Quinn’s gay, even he doesn’t seem to know it. If he does, he’s not telling anyone. And he’s about one ceremony away from becoming a Catholic priest.
Long hours of work turn to long nights of talking and laughter, and Jason dares to hope this time he’s falling for the right guy. But Quinn’s got a past to deal with and major decisions to make about his future. When Quinn leaves for a silent retreat, Jason knows the silence may change everything.
Karen Stivali Bio:
Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies, and fictional British men. She’s also the multiple award-winning author of contemporary and erotic romances. She writes novels about love…like real life, only hotter.
Buy Links:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s