Fried…A word of Reverence

A Work of Art

This latest newsletter from www.rickdestefanis.com comes to you with a subject that is of almost religious significance in the South. And before I go further, fair warning and a disclaimer: You may want to avert your eyes if you aren’t from the South, and shield your device’s screen from children and easily offended individiuals such as snowflakes. Yes, you’re about to read words of near obscene description. This article may include such offensive language as bacon, dipped in egg, or rolled in corn meal.

Yes, we here in the South tend to put a number of things in that quasi–near religious catagory, including college football, NASCAR, deer hunting, and well maybe a few others, but one of them for sure is fried food. If you’re a vegan, or from California or one of those other third-world states, you may wish to go now, but we have many converts, perhaps even your next door neighbors, who have seen the light and realized it’s the one on the electonic thermometer telling them the grease has reached that perfect 350 degree temperature.

Fried is a word spoken with reverence in hallowed kitchens from Wilmington to Waco and everywhere in between. Fried is a word that emotes culinary dreams of near orgasmic delight. We can begin with the simple and the obvious: fried chicken, French fries, fried eggs, but like Forrest Gump’s army buddy, Bubba, when he described the ways to fix shrimp, a near endless litany of other fried foods can be named: fried okra, fried green tomatoes, fried catfish, fried oysters, fried venison chops, fried pork chops, fried bacon, fried sausage, country fried steak, fried corn, fried egg-plant, fried….I think you get the idea. 

The problem with frying is that it is as much art as it is science. Which is to say, don’t go buy your fried chicken just anywhere and expect it to be good. If it’s from any of the major fast food chains it’ll be greasy and tasteless. The best way to get top-notch fried food is to find you a good fry-cook and marry her. Anyway, I’ll leave you with a quote from one of the best fry-cooks I’ve ever known, my old pappy-in-law: “A good fry-cook can make a huntin’ boot taste good, but fast food restaurants have ruined the art.”  

The latest from the writing world is that Valley of the Purple Hearts broke a thousand reviews on Amazon, and I finished the first draft of Ghost II–Specter of Betrayal. I am working steadily in hopes of getting it out by late Spring. There are a couple of knee replacements coming that may slow me up a bit, but soon as my pit crew at Campbell’s Clinic in Memphis get my new tires installed, I’ll be back in the race. I hope all my readers had a good Christmas, and I wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year. 

Award-Winning Novel Valley of The Purple Hearts

A Newsletter Update From Rick DeStefanis

If you received this email letter, it’s because you signed up on my website. Or it could be just because I love you and added you myself. Anyway, as always, you can simply unsubscribe below if you no longer wish to receive my newsletter.

I’ve been MIA (missing in action) for quite some time and apologies are probably warranted. Consider them offered. My goal is to do better in the future while continuing to avoid flooding your inbox with unnecessary emails. Right now, I want to update you on the last year or two and my most recent books for those who may have missed their publication.

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The Ghost, Rumors from the Highlands of Vietnam

In 2022 I wrote and published the seventh book in my Vietnam War Series. Titled The Ghost, Rumors from the Highlands of Vietnam, it is more of an adventure/war story than my past works. With a current Amazon rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars it has been well received. You can read more about it on Amazon at  https://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Rumors-Central-Highlands-Vietnam-ebook/dp/B0BBDF4YZS.

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The Road to Yellowstone

In 2023 I changed the Rawlins Trilogy to the Rawlins Saga and published a fourth book in the series titled, Rawlins, The Road to Yellowstone. And, as an aside and in answer to a reviewer who mentioned similarities of Book #1 of the Rawlins Saga (No Longer Young) to the Yellowstone 1883 television series: My works were written and published well before the TV series. The similarities, however, are uncanny. I’d go on strike too if my television series was so well copi…excuse me, I mean written. You can read more about Book #4 The Road to Yellowstone at: https://www.amazon.com/Rawlins-Road-Yellowstone-Saga-Book-ebook/dp/B0C5W9HVX1.

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Coming Next Spring 2024

Specter of Betrayal

Book #2 of The Ghost

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I’m working on a sequel to The Ghost, Rumors from the Central Highlands. This is Book Two and titled for now as Specter of Betrayal. The sub-title is yet to be determined and may be announced only when the book comes out in the spring of 2024. However, the cover image will not change, and here it is.

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If you’ve read any of my books, liked them, and haven’t written a review on Amazon or Goodreads, I would be especially appreciative if you did. It doesn’t have to be War and Peace, but a few lines on why you liked it would help both me and other readers. Each book review on each book that you read builds readers’ confidence in how they spend their hard-earned money.

I’ll try to act with more diligence and send another update next month. Thanks for reading my stories, and please remember our military veterans. They’ve earned a special recognition that we should award them all. And to my fellow paratroopers, “AIRBORNE, ALL THE WAY!

Cover Design/Update Book #2, Rawlins, Into Montana

Presenting the Cover for Rawlins, Into Montana

One of the mantras of novel marketing gurus is that all your book covers should be similar in style to those of others in your genre, but they should also be quickly recognizable by your readers as uniquely yours. Well, sorry ’bout that, folks!! I never have liked running with the crowd, and with a name like ‘DeStefanis’, I believe ‘author recognition’ isn’t necessarily an issue….just sayin’. So, about Rawlins, Into Montana:

My friend, and cover designer, Todd Hebertson (BookCoverArt.webs.com) and I go for two things: covers that standout and covers that are unique. His new cover design for Rawlins, Into Montana fits both of these requirements.Rawlins into Montana book cover The woman standing in the door of the cabin with a model 1866 Winchester, along with the Absaroka Mountains and the big Montana Sky in the background presents a magnificent image, and the approaching warriors should pique any reader’s curiosity. I am always astounded by Todd’s work and would truly like to hear your comments as well.

The manuscript for Rawlins, Into Montana is now in the hands of Beta-Readers. Once I receive their feedback, I will edit it one more time before sending a final copy to the editor for the finishing touches. The book should be published in Kindle, paperback and hardcover editions sometime in June. I will let you know when that happens.

For now, the story summary can be read on this site at https://rickdestefanis.com/rawlins-into-montana/. AND, if you have already read Book #1, Rawlins, No Longer Young and haven’t posted your review on Amazon, I truly wish you would. It’s easy. Go to https://amzn.to/2UWhbqK. The book currently has only fourteen reviews. Amazon’s marketing algorithms will not even recognize a book until it has at least twenty-five reviews and they really don’t do much till the number of reviews reaches one-hundred.