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Riccio, Dolores (Dolores Stewart Riccio, Dolores Stewart)

Riccio, Dolores (Dolores Stewart Riccio, Dolores Stewart)

PERSONAL:

Married Ottone Riccio (a poet and teacher); children: one daughter, one foster son.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Duxbury, MA. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer. Formerly worked as a greeting-card editorial director.

WRITINGS:

(With husband, Ottone Riccio) The Weighing Game & How to Win It; Without Getting Sick or Going Broke, Rodale Press (Emmaus, PA), 1974.

Superfoods: 300 Recipes for Foods That Heal Body and Mind, Warner Books (New York, NY), 1992.

Superfoods for Women: 300 Recipes That Fulfill Your Special Nutritional Needs, Warner Books (New York, NY), 1996.

366 Delicious Ways to Cook Pasta with Vegetables, Plume (New York, NY), 1997.

Superfoods for Life: 250 Anti-aging Recipes for Foods That Keep You Feeling Fit and Fabulous, HP Books (New York, NY), 1998.

Antioxidant Power: 366 Delicious Recipes for Great Health and Long Life, Plume (New York, NY), 1999.

WITH JOAN BINGHAM

Make It Yourself: A Consumer's Guide to Cutting Household Costs, illustrated by Ruth Hartshorn, Chilton (Radnor, PA), 1978.

The Energy Crunch Cookbook, illustrated by Ruth Hartshorn, Chilton (Radnor, PA), 1979.

The Complete All-in-the-Oven Cookbook, Stein & Day (New York, NY), 1981.

The Smart Shopper's Guide to Food Buying and Preparation, Scribner (New York, NY), 1982.

The Versatile Vegetable Cookbook, illustrated by Ruth Hartshorn, Van Nostrand Reinhold (New York, NY), 1983.

Rodale's Sensational Desserts, Rodale Press (Emmaus, PA), 1985.

Haunted Houses U.S.A., Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1989.

More Haunted Houses, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1991.

"CIRCLE OF FIVE" SERIES; AS DOLORES STEWART RICCIO

Circle of Five, Kensington Books (New York, NY), 2003.

Charmed Circle, Kensington Books (New York, NY), 2003.

The Divine Circle of Ladies Making Mischief, Kensington Books (New York, NY), 2005.

Ladies Courting Trouble, Kensington Books (New York, NY), 2006.

Also author of poems, as Dolores Stewart, published in literary journals.

SIDELIGHTS:

Dolores Riccio has written books in several genres. In her earlier career, she worked as a greeting-card editorial director while publishing poems in literary journals under the name Dolores Stewart. On her personal Web site, Riccio reflected: "Poetry was my first love." At the same time, Riccio was also writing cookbooks and home economics books with Joan Bingham. She continued to do so throughout the 1980s. Riccio even wrote two books on haunted houses with Bingham. The first of these, Haunted Houses U.S.A., includes locations that offer tours to the public, have interesting histories, and have had several paranormal occurrences. Tidbits on each location come from paranormal investigators and tour leaders, as well as tourists who have experienced paranormal activity. On her home page, Riccio noted that the project was "fun to research and inspired me to keep exploring phenomena we call ‘paranormal’—which may … turn out to be perfectly normal, after all."

In the early 1990s, Riccio began writing cookbooks independently, many of which focus on healthy eating. Her Superfoods: 300 Recipes for Foods That Heal Body and Mind was so successful that it gave rise to an entire line of books on superfoods. It even "gave me the nerve to ‘quit my daytime job’ … and enjoy the precarious profession of full-time freelance writer," Riccio stated on her Web site. Superfoods contains almost a year's worth of recipes that feature ingredients high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, whole grains, and antiaging or disease-fighting components. The book is arranged in topical chapters based on food groups. Although the book does provide some history of the food it features, an Environmental Nutrition critic felt the volume "is most successful with its healthy recipes." A Publishers Weekly contributor found that Riccio "takes full advantage of Americans' health obsessions, offering tips for preventing many ailments." The critic also enjoyed the author's "imaginative salads and desserts." Michael Schrader, critiquing the book in the Nation's Restaurant News, similarly noted that the book is "on target in a nutrition-conscious decade."

Building on the health-consciousness that was prevalent during the 1990s, Riccio next released Superfoods for Women: 300 Recipes That Fulfill Your Special Nutritional Needs in 1996 and Superfoods for Life: 250 Anti-aging Recipes for Foods That Keep You Feeling Fit and Fabulous in 1998. Riccio also wrote several other cookbooks with healthy themes.

Entering the next phase of her career, Riccio began writing novels. Her first novel, Circle of Five, was published in 2003. Much like Superfoods, the book was so successful that it gave rise to the "Circle of Five" series. The series includes The Divine Circle of Ladies Making Mischief, which was published in 2005, and Ladies Courting Trouble, which was published in 2006.

Circle of Five portrays five women who join a study group, only to have their group evolve into a coven. When one of the members has visions of a local serial killer, the group decides to spy on him. Unfortunately, given the women's poor detective skills, the killer quickly realizes that they have been watching him. According to Booklist contributor Shelley Mosley, the story's "humorous moments are deftly intertwined with truly creepy ones." Mosley went on to write that the coven's "first case" is "hopefully the first of many." As it turned out, Mosley's hopes were fulfilled, and the coven returns in Charmed Circle. In the second installment, the amateur coven helps a young, troubled girl who has magical abilities.

The third installment in the series is The Divine Circle of Ladies Making Mischief. The coven addresses domestic abuse and investigates the mysterious Mahomet Manor, which no one seems to leave alive. Mosley, again writing in Booklist, noted that whatever the coven members may "lack in skills both practical and magical, they more than make up for with their enthusiasm." In this installment, coven leader Cassandra "Cass" Shipton and her boyfriend, Greenpeace activist Joe Ulysses, plan to wed, adding a romantic element to the plot. The couple finally marries in Ladies Courting Trouble. Before the wedding can take place, someone attempts to murder the coven members with poisoned brownies, killing a few innocent bystanders instead. The coven suspects that the local minister may be next, so they teach his wife a few magic tricks to protect him. Mosley, again writing in Booklist, called the series of books "delightful," and went on to note that the "selection of Riccio's wonderful recurring characters add to the fun."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, February 15, 1999, Mark Knoblauch, review of Antioxidant Power: 366 Delicious Recipes for Great Health and Long Life, p. 1022; March 1, 2003, Shelley Mosley, review of Circle of Five, p. 1149; February 15, 2005, Shelley Mosley, review of The Divine Circle of Ladies Making Mischief, p. 1066; March 1, 2006, Shelley Mosley, review of Ladies Courting Trouble, p. 72.

Environmental Nutrition, June 1, 1993, review of Superfoods: 300 Recipes for Foods That Heal Body and Mind, p. 8.

Library Journal, May 15, 1981, review of The Complete All-in-the-Oven Cookbook, p. 1079; June 1, 1982, review of The Smart Shopper's Guide to Food Buying and Preparation, p. 1096; May 15, 1983, review of The Versatile Vegetable Cookbook, p. 1003; September 15, 1985, Ruth Diebold, review of Rodale's Sensational Desserts, p. 80.

Los Angeles (magazine), December 1, 1982, Laurie Burrows Grad, review of The Smart Shopper's Guide to Food Buying and Preparation, p. 400.

Nation's Restaurant News, March 29, 1993, Michael Schrader, review of Superfoods, p. 83.

Publishers Weekly, May 21, 1982, Sybil Steinberg, review of The Smart Shopper's Guide to Food Buying and Preparation, p. 71; February 1, 1993, review of Superfoods, p. 91; December 4, 1995, review of Superfoods for Women: 300 Recipes That Fulfill Your Special Nutritional Needs, p. 61; December 7, 1998, review of Antioxidant Power, p. 57.

Voice of Youth Advocates, December 1, 1989, review of Haunted Houses, U.S.A, p. 305.

ONLINE

Dolores Stewart Riccio Home Page,http://doloresstewartriccio.com (May 28, 2008).

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