SEARCH: 5 Books with Immersive Cultural Settings

5 Books with Immersive Cultural Settings

by Emerian Rich

5 books that immerse the reader into interesting cultural settings.books.jpg

  1. 1. The Feast of All Saints by Anne Rice

I read this book in college over spring break, and I have to say, it changed my life. Marcel is a gent de couleur libre (a free person of color) born from a slave mother and her French master in 1840’s New Orleans. The gens did not fit in either the black slave community or the French white community, and were often sent abroad to study, but when Marcel finds his father will not send him, he has to find his own way in a community that no longer wants him. In this coming-of-age story, Marcel must come to grips with his heritage. Brought up to treat his half- sister as a slave and after being slammed into reality by an abusive and heart-breaking scene where his French father beats him and throws him off his property, Marcel struggles with the harsh reality of racism in its cruelest form. Where will he fit now that he is grown? Will he stay put—part of the problem—and continue his split life, or will he fight the system and become a complete outcast?

  1. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

I have to admit, I’m not usually one for cyborg sort of stuff, but I absolutely fell in love with Cinder. In a modern retelling of Cinderella, Cinder is a cyborg, living with the most irritating adopted mother ever…. continue reading in the Fall 2018 issue of SEARCH.



SEARCH: Love, Travel, and Tamales

Love, Travel, and Tamales


travel.jpgAh love, amor! There’s nothing more beautiful than a couple in love and nothing more delicious than watching them proclaim that love to one another as they tie the knot. That is to say, nothing more delicious unless you’re talking tamales, specifically Eliza- beth’s tamales, enchiladas, and posole.

Elizabeth’s brother Diego is marrying his beautiful bride in Mexico. Countless guests are invited, and the celebration food is going to be epic! I love the traditional food of Mexico and have always been curious how some of my favorite dishes are made. Elizabeth and her mom invited me to join them in an entire day devoted to cooking the family recipes.


While I’ve watched cooking shows and read cook books, nothing prepared me for the work intensive process of truly, mouthwatering tamales. Elizabeth and her mother boil potatoes and rice. While they cook, we all help to separate the dried corn husks. Once we have a mountain piled up on a plate, they go into water to soak.

When the rice and potatoes are cooked and cooled, they’re mashed and added to a mixture of maize, water, and chicken concentrate. Over and over, the two women knead the mixture, testing the texture, adding water, tasting. They let it rest. They knead more and add corn oil. Meanwhile… continue reading in the Fall 2018 issue of SEARCH.

SEARCH: Moroccan Harvest Fusion

Moroccan Harvest Fusion
by Brian and Patricia Dake


A tagine (or tajine) is both the name of a Moroccan cooking dish and the food prepared in the dish. Tagine—the food—is a classic Moroccan slow-cooked stew containing meat, dried spices, vegetables, and preserved fruit like olives, lemons, or dried apricots.

The physical cooking dish is earthenware with a cone-shaped lid. The lid traps the steam from cooking the food and returns the condensed liquid to the dish below, making very little liquid required in the recipe to produce a tender stew. This Moroccan slow cooker functions on similar principles as other slow cooking devices such as a Dutch oven or Crockpot™.

Using a tagine on a stovetop requires the use of a metal heat diffuser between the bottom of the tagine and the stovetop burner. The diffuser distributes the heat and prevents the earthenware/terra cotta tagine from being damaged by the gas flame or electrical element. Even with a heat diffuser in place, it’s never recommended to exceed the medium heat setting on the stovetop.

We’ve been cooking with … continue reading the Fall 2018 issue.


SEARCH: Kalamu Chaché

Kalamu Chaché
by Kim Richards

poetessBorn and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Poetess Kalamu Chaché has lived and worked in East Palo Alto, California since the 1960’s.

Since her residency, Chaché served the East Bayshore community of East Palo Alto and the Belle Haven area of Menlo Park in numerous professional, executive, administrative, advocacy, and artistic areas of employment and volunteer services. The Poet Laureate of East Palo Alto since 1983, she authored three volumes of poetry: Survival Tactics (1975), A Change of Interest (1983), and Survival Interest: A Collection Of Revisited Poems (2013). Her poems appear in several book anthologies, newspapers, calendars, event programs, social media, and a wall exhibit at the East Palo Alto Library.

Her Kalamu Productions is dedicated to creative arts works to bring The Arts closer to peoples’ hearts.

Thank you for visiting with us. What brought you to California?
It was a family decision. My Dad came to work for Flying Tigers Airlines in the San Francisco Bay Area. I suffered with Asthma for many years. The doctors advised that a better climate than Brooklyn might be better for me. My Dad brought me and my … continue reading in the Fall 2018 issue.

SEARCH: Seattle, WA

Seattle, WA
By Heather Roulo


As the largest city in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle first began as a logging town. During the Klondike Gold Rush, it became the gateway to Alaska, prospering on trade and shipbuilding. During World War II, Boeing’s increased importance gave Seattle the nickname Jet City.

Since then, Seattle’s visibility has increased through movies, the appeal of grunge music, and the rise of the tech industry with companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Starbucks. The city has thrived.

A stay at any hotel in the downtown core is an easy walk to the famous Pike Place Market, one of the oldest continuous public farmers’ markets in the country. Pick up fresh flowers and salmon for dinner or continue to the waterfront to see otters play at the Seattle Aquarium.

From a seat on the iconic Seattle Great Wheel … continue reading in the Fall 2018 issue.

SEARCH: Asian Jazz

Asian Jazz
by Elliot Thorpe

musicAsian Jazz, by its very nature, is a musical style that encompasses a varying number of influences. Of course, it originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans late in the 19th century but went on to incorporate Latin and Afro-Cuban themes over the decades with one of the more unique styles came to fruition sometime later, that of Asian-American.

Asian Americans have been performing jazz almost since the style’s birth, yet it took all those years for the brand to begin developing. The addition of Asian instruments gives it a wonderfully distinct sound that cannot be confused with anything else. However, the story of Asian Jazz doesn’t begin there.

In the mid-1930s, the American jazz trumpet player Buck Clayton moved to Shanghai. There, he led the band Harlem Gentlemen, playing for the wife and sister of Chian Kai-shek, the Republic of China’s leader, until 1948…. continue reading in the Fall 2018 issue of SEARCH.

SEARCH: Rosicrucian Museum

Rosicrucian Museum

by Emerian Rich

egyptian museumEgyptian mythology is something I’ve been interested in for a long time. Ever since I tried to write my name in hieroglyphics for history class the pull of the exotic and unknown has infected me. The fashion, the makeup, the clothes—one needs only watch The Mummy or read about Cleopatra to be interested in their society.

The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose, California is a fabulous place to explore Egyptian beliefs, customs, and daily life. Built in 1928, the location was the site of The Rosicrucian Order and holds the largest collection of Egyptian antiquities in the Western United States. The artifacts have grown and outbuildings continue to multiply.

The massive lot the museum sits on not only holds the museum, expansive gardens, and planetarium, but the Rose-Croix University and the Rosicrucian Research Library. Peace Garden is a reproduction of an 18th Dynasty Estate Garden where you can experience many plants that grew in ancient Egypt and sit for a quiet moment of meditation. Rosicrucian Park holds statues, monuments, and even a giant obelisk to admire. The gardens are relaxing and seem to transport you into a different, calmer time.

In 2018, the museum became a net-zero energy building, meaning the total amount of energy used by the building on an annual basis … continue reading in the Fall 2018 issue of SEARCH.


SEARCH: Author Spotlight Michele Roger

Michele Roger

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHTWhat’s an article you’ve written for SEARCH that you enjoyed? 
I’m really blessed to live in the Motor City. There is so much revitalization going on right now in the city of Detroit. While I’ve loved traveling and writing about my adventures in the Cayman’s, New Zealand, and Canada, I have to say the article that has meant the most to me is the Empowerment Group article. A Detroit based Wayne State University student studying art accepted a challenge made by her textiles professor. In a very short time, she went from full time student to homeless advocate and eventually founder of a non-profit organization. One part of her solution gave locally made, warm winter coats to the homeless while the other part of her vision employed working poor parents trying to get themselves and their children out of homeless shelters. Some of the first people they employed have finished college and have gone off to start their own businesses. I’ve never been more inspired than I was after completing that interview.

What was your favorite thing to do as a child?
While I loved reading and playing piano, my absolute favorite time as a kid was the annual fishing trip to northern Canada with my grandparents. No phone, no computers, limited electricity on generator, we went to a camp called Lac de Mille Lac (Lake of a Thousand Lakes). There, we fished all day and photographed wild moose, eagles, and bears.

Do you have a hot tip for us?
My new favorite….continue reading in the Summer 2018 issue.


SEARCH: Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay
By Michele Roger

HALF MOON BAYMany travelers book accommodations listed as San Francisco while, in actuality, the hotels are located up to thirty or forty-five minutes outside of the city. Host to over one hundred unique conferences, San Francisco chains host 16.9 million tourists each year.

We all love conferences thanks to networking, motivational lectures, and the general buzz we all get from gathering in one place with like-minded people. They give me the sense that I may be crazy, but I’m not alone.

itting with friends, I had not seen in over a year and drinking coffee was great. Let’s face it, I don’t want to spend my entire weekend eating hotel dining room food. That’s the beauty of Half Moon Bay. With a fifteen minute drive from my hotel, my friends and I were able to escape the scheduled events for a short time, enjoy lunch, … continue reading in the Summer issue for 2018.