This was the Lit Fest Magazine for several years. The content below is from the site's 2011-2012 archived pages about literature.
My kids really enjoyed seeing what childrens' books the site would recommend. For Valentine's day we bought A Huge Crush for our young elementary school aged kids. I think it was their favorite for the next 3 months. The synopsis for A Giant Crush by Gennifer Choldenko is As Valentine's Day gets closer, Jackson (the rabbit on the front cover) has a hard time keeping his crush on Cami a secret. His chocolate hearts end up next to her lunch and he can't hide his red face when the huge Valentine he made for her lands on her desk. Cooper thinks Jackson should just talk to her, but Jackson's afraid she doesn't like him. Carter Corey always makes fun of how big he is - what if Cami thinks he's a giant, too? Luckily, Cami is not afraid to tell Carter that if she had a boyfriend, he'd be totally giant.
These impressive award winners show off their huge hearts in this warm, fuzzy book that's perfect for boys and girls on Valentine's Day.
I was reminded of that book the other day when I was unpacking boxes. The previous month we had returned to out after a weekend trip to find the apartment's bathroom and two bedrooms with almost five inches of water on their floors. Frustrated, I thought it would be nice not to have upstairs neighbors who let their bathtub overflow while they were away for the day. I did a search online for New York City carpet cleaning pros and lucked out finding SMy Home Carpet & Upholstery Care NYC. This local company specializes in the cleanup of residential properties after water, fire, or smoke damage. Thank goodness it hadn't been a fire with the result of not only water damage but also that awful smell of smoke. Since My Home Carpet & Upholstery Care NYC provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, they were at our place within hours. So much wet soggy items had to be removed because the water had had so much time to seep into the ceiling, walls and floor. I don't believe my upstairs neighbor suffered the same type of water damage as we did. Fast forward, the rooms have been cleaned up and dried out, mold fumigated and all that other stuff that is required. Here I was unpacking some of the children's books and there was A Giant Crush. It made me smile and also reminisce about Lit Fest Magazine.
Lit Fest Magazine is a consortium of folks with an insatiable passion for literature, food and music. This tight collective works together, bringing to the forefront, their vast findings from their daily hunt.
Book reviews from various genres, food recipes for all skill levels and various tastes and a music blog with little to no parameters.
Finding a good book, the right dish to make for dinner or the perfect sounds for your mood can be like finding a needle in a haystack these days with the overload of information available. Our job is to be on the front lines for you and reporting back regularly, keeping you read, well fed and sonically satisfied.
A commitment to the discovery and promotion of exciting new authors and honoring the established names we all know and love is our code. Food we test drive and enjoy before we put our stamp of approval is the only way we fly. Our house chef regularly joins forces with our celeb chef contact and drops the dime on the happening spots to eat and the fool proof recipes to create in your own kitchen. Our music blog is no single point of view affair, our DJ is slogging through the dusty bins so you don’t have to get your hands dirty. A mix of new, lost classics and everything in between has the potential to appear on our music page.
Lit Fest Magazine has our noses in books, hands in the kitchen and ears to the ground.
ARTISTS PAYING IT FORWARD: GARY ALLEGRETTO AND HARMONIKIDS
GARY ALLEGRETTO and HARMONIKIDS
By Therese A. Barron
Gary Allegretto was five-years old when his grandfather handed him his harmonica. A stroke had left him unable to play it himself and he knew it was time to pass it down to someone who could truly enjoy it. As a young boy Gary was still sorting out how he would address the world. He was quiet and reserved and his grandfather's harmonica gave him a much needed voice. He privately practiced until he felt his music was good enough to see the light of day and then he started his journey into the music world.
Throughout the world there are many children living with challenges most adults would find nearly impossible to overcome. No matter what their circumstance, these children have one thing in common – music can find a way into their hearts and put a smile on their faces.
In 1985 Gary Allegretto was invited to join a friend who was director of the Children's Playroom to perform for children at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He was invited to play his harmonica for the kids in a jam session on donated instruments. He quickly realized the children could not share harmonicas due to their compromised immune systems and made the decision to contact The Hohner Harmonica Company and establish a reduced price so he could buy harmonicas for the children. Remarkably, this year Hohner Harmonicas began to endorse Allegretto’s amazing organization Harmonikids, supplying harmonicas free of charge for children with special needs.
When Allegretto goes to a new area of the world he makes it a point to learn songs familiar to the area and become comfortable with playing them on the harmonica. He has used influences from regional music of far off countries to rap music to engage inner city youth. He works hard to engage the kids and teach them to put effort towards their accomplishments. He also teaches an important life lesson –“Make a mistake? Correct it and keep moving forward - it is not such a big deal. It is how you recover that matters.”
Throughout the years Allegretto has seen music build immense self-esteem. It gives children of all ages something positive they CAN do. He has gone to work with many children's groups around the world and witnessed dramatic change in their personalities and emotions, simply by learning to play the harmonica. He has seen children with profound disabilities struggle to succeed with their instrument and then glow with pride when they see all they can accomplish. On occasion Allegretto has even received letters from kids or their parents, thanking him for the gift of music in their life.
Gary Allegretto has received a Keeping the Blues Alive award from the Blues Foundation, an Artist For A Better World award, and Grammy considerations for a contemporary blues album and his contemporary folk album. To learn more about Gary and Harmonikids or how to make a tax-deductable donation, go to www.garyallegretto.com/home.cfm and www.harmonikids.org
THESE GIRLS By Sarah Pekkanen
Sarah Pekkanen has quickly become a favorite author in women’s fiction. Realistic and relatable relationships are her specialty and in her most recent novel she tackles the ever-special bond between girlfriends. Work acquaintances, Cate and Renee, decide to rent a New York apartment together, but their friendship has stalled at simply roommates. The addition, however, of Abby, the mysterious and troubled sister of office playboy and Renee’s longtime crush, changes their life forever. As they...
Artists Paying It Forward: THE PROM
THE PROMBy Therese A. Barron One of the rights of passage for high school students is going to the Prom. Generally it’s a night of fantasy, drama and fun with dressing up, dancing and socializing with friends. It is not on everyone's "To Do List," but for many teens it’s an important event. For many it’s one of those rare occasions where they get to step outside of daily life and share in something out of the ordinary. Many teens, however, have been priced out of the market...
Smooth Talking Stranger By Lisa Kleypas
RED, WHITE, AND BLOOD By Christopher Farnsworth
In Red, White and Blood, the third in his breathtaking Nathaniel Cade series, Christopher Farnsworth takes any paranormal expectations you might have and completely destroys them. In his fascinating and unrelenting novels, Farnsworth follows the life of a mysterious vampire, who just so happens to be the right hand man to the President of the United States. Unlike any cliché vampire novel on bookstands today, Farnsworth’s novels are smart, fast-paced and developed around some of the best characters in any work of fiction today.
Farnsworth’s brilliance has always been his ability to take real historical events and explain their paranormal twist. His characters are charming and so layered with personality that when the last page has passed, they stay in your mind for days on end. This series has proven to be in it for the long run.
Few books get me this excited, and I don’t even like vampires.
THE BIGGEST KISS BY JOANNA WALSH & JUDI ABBOT
The Biggest KissBy Joanna Walsh & Jodi Abbot Every creature loves a kiss."'Normous elephants do. Little tiny ants do." The Biggest Kiss by Joanna Walsh and Jodi Abbot puts into words and gorgeous illustrations, just how many kisses fill the world. From a "snow's kiss" to a "bye-bye kiss" all the way to a "fish kiss", children will love the imaginative thoughts and questions proposed in a sweet book for all ages. By the time the last page has been turned, the little ones in your life will be...
CHICKS RUN WILD BY SUDIPTA BARDHAN-QUALLEN
CHICKS RUN WILDWritten by Sudipta Bardhan-QuallenIllustrated by Ward Jenkins A large Momma Chicken puts her chicks to bed, quietly closes the door and....THE CHICKS RUN WILD!!! This incredibly fun, laugh-out-loud children's book is one for every kiddos bedroom. Kids will shout the words with dramatic passion as the sweet little chicks jump out of bed and reek havoc as their mother leaves them for bedtime. The hysterical illustrations, bright colors and vibrant rhymes grab the attention of little...
MY FAVORITE QUICK MEAL BY AUDI SWIFT OF MUDPIE MODERATION
MY FAVORITE QUICK MEALBy Audi Swift of Mudpie Moderation Most would not argue that cooking dinner for your family mid-week is a tough assignment. Especially in the midst of an extra busy one. I have mentioned before, that I have learned over time to be more strategic about my approach to cooking in order to feed my family healthful meals. I have learned to meal plan, to do my shopping for the week early on, and to be ok taking short-cuts in preparation steps when necessary. The...
REICH: CHAPTER EIGHT
REICH: A Novella CHAPTER EIGHT Hitler, blankly, stared up at an oil painting of himself. His own features glared down at him, making him feel almost unimportant. Perfect! It was the effect he had been looking for. No one mattered, but him. The office, Hitler noticed, was elegant, and nothing but the best was in its confines. He hated it! If not for the political duties, he wouldn’t even be there. He had come to see the Gestapo’s Puppet Leader of Norway. ...