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The Accidental Writer: Book Blurbs – Can’t live with them, can’t live without them!

The Accidental Writer: Book Blurbs – Can’t live with them, can’t live without them!

A book blurb or the back cover of your book is a difficult thing to write. Publishers used to retain professionals who just wrote book jackets. Now, most publishers look to authors to write their own blurbs. It’s tough to describe a book that you’ve probably lived with for a year or more in a […]

Bill Primavera

Home Guru: A Herald of Angels Behind Housing ‘Freedom’ for the Disabled

By Bill Primavera My friend Dave Goldberg, the plumbing and heating supplier in upper Westchester who retired from his own business, called me last week to tell me that he had joined the board of Freedom Gardens in Mohegan Lake and asked if I might visit. He didn’t have to tell me what it was […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: If Wine Doesn’t Benefit You It May Just Kill You

In previous columns I’ve been an advocate for the moderate consumption of wine. I’ve presented the benefits and rarely focused on the negative aspects. (Isn’t there always a counterargument these days concerning the benefits or detriments of any form of food or beverage?) Well, here it is: the negative argument for imbibing wine–or any other […]

Home Guru: Living 'Over the Store'

Home Guru: Living ‘Over the Store’

By Bill Primavera Would you believe that 52 percent of American companies operate as home businesses, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration? My wife and I have been in that category almost from the day we were married and perhaps, at least on my side of the family, it was ordained. I was fascinated […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Counterfeit Italian Wine is Thwarted

It happens at every social and economic level. Be it our ego, avarice or quest for a great deal, we can find ourselves attempting to acquire an object simply for the joy of ownership. Over centuries, many opportunistic individuals have taken advantage of our weakness, attempting to capitalize on it for their personal gain. Wine […]

Dr. Jaime Black

Parenting Pep Talk: Rethinking College Students’ Mental Health

Recent advances in education and treatment have made college more accessible to students with ADHD, autism, anxiety and depressive disorders, and other conditions that can make school challenging. This upward shift in enrollment is encouraging and should mean that many capable minds will have a chance at success in college. It also means that the […]

Home Guru: A Little Secret in One of Our Most Interesting Cities

Home Guru: A Little Secret in One of Our Most Interesting Cities

By Bill Primavera Of all the wonderful and diverse communities we have in the Hudson Valley, one of the most intriguing for both its promise of the future and grittiness of the past is Peekskill. Historically, Peekskill is known as an American industrial center for its iron plow and stove products and for Binney & […]

Grapevine: A Short History of America's Rise to the Top of the Wine World

Grapevine: A Short History of America’s Rise to the Top of the Wine World

In the long history of wine production and consumption, the United States has played a very minor role. Cultivated grapes have been grown, and wine produced, for millennia. Recently discovered remnants of a winery in Armenia are believed to be over 6,000 years old. In the continuum of time since the Greeks and Romans spread […]

Dr. Jaime Black

Parenting Pep Talk: Turn Off The TV? Not So Fast.

The fall is an exciting time for television fans. Just as the summer is ending a whole host of new TV programs will be popular and many children will be dying to see which ones are hits. Many parents, on the other hand, will be concerned about new and potentially graphic content. All parents have […]

The Home Guru: Secret Paths and Gardens as Places to Transport Oneself

The Home Guru: Secret Paths and Gardens as Places to Transport Oneself

By Bill Primavera When I was 10 years old, I had a summer experience of great wonderment. My father had taken a short-term work assignment in Lynchburg, Va. My mother, he and I took up temporary residence in an antebellum mansion that had come upon hard times after the Civil War and was split up […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Nature Wields Its Power In California Wine Country

Several columns back, I presented the case for the ongoing battle between Man and Nature to control our lives and our destiny. As Man evolves and advances, and attempts to dominate and negate the whims of Nature’s forces, we are constantly reminded of Nature’s continuing impact on Man’s environment and thus, the fragility of life […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: When Dinner and Breakfast Drinks Share Identity Crises

The food and beverages we consume have gone through revolutionary production processes and distribution channels in the last 50 years. Before the globalization of our economy and the dominance of the corporate industrial complex in the food chain, life seemed simpler. Before science perfected ways to optimize food production and increase the shelf life of […]

Home Guru: Lady Macbeth May Have Said 'Out Damned Spot' But Sometimes We Can’t

Home Guru: Lady Macbeth May Have Said ‘Out Damned Spot’ But Sometimes We Can’t

By Bill Primavera As a young child I was overly impressed by the movie “Gone With the Wind,” especially Scarlett O’Hara’s line, “I’ll think about it tomorrow.” Whenever there’s been an unpleasant task at hand, I’ve frequently pulled it from my bag of tricks to accommodate procrastination. Now as I tread gingerly through my Golden […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Mother Nature vs. Man

Here we are in the second decade of the new century. My how time flies. It seems just a short time ago that we were celebrating the dawn of the new millennium. Much has transpired in our lifetimes, in the realms of turbulent geopolitics, radical economic cycles, eye-opening technological advances and major scientific breakthroughs. Through […]

The Accidental Writer: The Question you Never Ask your Beta Readers

The Accidental Writer: The Question you Never Ask your Beta Readers

I had a long discussion the other day with another author about the benefits of Beta Readers. I have a great group of Betas I rely upon who have given me insights that have made my books better. He believes only writers, editors, publishers, and others in the industry give valuable feedback. I respectively disagreed […]

Home Guru: Buying a Home of the Past, Leaving it a Home of the Future

Home Guru: Buying a Home of the Past, Leaving it a Home of the Future

By Bill Primavera When I first met Kim and Matt Cozza and their teenage daughter Sydney, I knew I would enjoy helping them find a home because they said they would consider an historic one. As a realtor, I had developed a specialty in historic homes, having studied early American architecture at The College of […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Justice Prevails in Wine Counterfeit Criminal Trial

“for some, small solace” Over two years ago I reported on the arrest of a wealthy wine aficionado. His crimes were ones of passion, of greed and unbridled ego. And one other that eventually got him arrested: selling counterfeit wines. Rudy Kurniawan, a 37-year-old self-proclaimed multi-millionaire, was arrested in 2012 by the F.B.I. on charges that […]

Home Guru: Dirty Jobs Gal Reveals the Most Disgusting and the Most Horrific

Home Guru: Dirty Jobs Gal Reveals the Most Disgusting and the Most Horrific

By Bill Primavera When the bundle of energy that is Hillary Sheperd bursts into a room, or in this case, into the sidewalk café where our networking meeting was taking place, you can’t help but take notice. I overheard her apologize to friends for her tardiness with snippets about “traffic” and just having had to […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: The Life and Times of California Small Producers

The California agricultural industry is the juggernaut of the food industry. It supplies more farmed products to the world than any other nation. On a micro level, the California wine industry supplies over 90 percent of wine consumed domestically. And wine is big business in the United States. Over 80 percent of all wine is […]

Home Guru

Home Guru

By Bill Primavera When I announced in the office sales meeting at William Raveis that The Home Guru Team was just about to list a great “mother/daughter” house, my office manager, Doris Ellias, gently advised me that “now it’s suggested that we refer to them as ‘extended family’ houses.” Oh, no, I exclaimed mentally, now […]

Dr. Jaime Black

Parenting Pep Talk: Explaining Therapy to Children

Children come to expect doctor’s appointments. Every few months to a year children go to the doctor to get blood taken, for shots, and to have their teeth examined. These kinds of doctor’s visits keep you healthy and are necessary, parents explain to children. Many parents have a harder time, however, if their child needs […]

Home Guru: Hire an “Ombudsman” First!

Home Guru: Hire an “Ombudsman” First!

By Bill Primavera It was more than 40 years ago, but I still feel the sting of being swindled by an unscrupulous home improvement contractor. As a young couple, my wife and I had just managed to qualify for a mortgage and cobble together enough money for a down payment to buy our large historic […]

The Accidental Writer: The Magic of the First Chapter

The Accidental Writer: The Magic of the First Chapter

A good first chapter should feel like a first kiss.   It should leave the reader intrigued, a little breathless, and wanting more. If your first chapter does that, then you have a winner. Of course that’s easier said than done. Here are a few things you should do in a first chapter. Establish one of […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Fledgling Trend to Consider in Wine Innovations

In my travels through the wine world, whether caressing a handful of soil or the keyboard on my computer, I always keep a peripheral watch for new trends, wines or approaches to the marketing of wines. I recently came across a fledgling trend that may portend the future of winemaking offerings. As a wine journalist […]

Dr. Jaime Black

Parenting Pep Talk: Should My Child Disclose His Asperger’s To Peers?

Parents often fret about disclosing an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to teachers, parents, and their children’s peers. Particularly in ASDs like Asperger’s, some parents hope their children can slide by unnoticed because they are so high functioning. This strategy is typically intended to protect children from ridicule and ostracism. Parents fear that children will become […]

Home Guru: The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Refinishing Floors

Home Guru: The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Refinishing Floors

By Bill Primavera The historic house was one of the loveliest I had ever listed, but it was on the market for over a year and, while it had many showings, it hadn’t yet gotten a single offer. When it came time to relist it, the owners and I considered what else we might do […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: The Wartime Tribulations of French Champagne Citizenry

In recent columns I’ve been exploring the Champagne region of France. Together we’ve traipsed through the vineyards, the cellars and the streets of the people of this illustrious center of the past and future glory of Champagne. Intricately enmeshed in the oenological fame of the region is its tumultuous political history. I’ve described the history […]

Dr. Jaime Black

Parenting Pep Talk: Why Does Sensory Processing Matter?

Do you find yourself perpetually perplexed by some of your child’s seemingly inexplicable behaviors? Does your son take excessive risks, often jumping or crashing into anything he can? Maybe your child loves shockingly strong hugs but can’t tolerate the slightest brush on the arm. When it comes to food, does your daughter crave raw lemons […]

The Accidental Writer: Interview with Author Robb Grindstaff

The Accidental Writer: Interview with Author Robb Grindstaff

I was extremely fortunate to interview the immensely talented Robb Grindstaff. Robb has had a long career as a newspaper editor, publisher, and manager that has taken him around the world. He has two published books – Carry Me Away and Hannah’s Voice. If you could choose one author to drink beers with, who would he […]

Home Guru: Homeowners Want to Know How the Real Estate Market is Doing

Home Guru: Homeowners Want to Know How the Real Estate Market is Doing

By Bill Primavera For more than a dozen years, The Home Guru has been observing and writing about the housing market and home building design, repair and maintenance. I have focused on hundreds of widely varied subjects, sometimes into areas quite unexpected. Who would expect a home columnist to write a treatise on mattresses or […]