Friday, July 29, 2016

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Karen Kondazian, Author of The Whip

It’s the 1850s in Sacramento, California and the Gold Rush is booming. Streets are packed with men of all color and constitution, wheeling and dealing...having left their families and traveling sometimes treacherous journeys to seek their fortune. After a fruitless day digging for gold, the men might get their kicks through a variety of amusements: mainly brothels, live theater and gambling saloons. They also imbibe in whisky, beer, tobacco... and for the wealthy and adventurous, opium that the Chinese introduced.  But then there was something else that few would try, something called Indian Whisky!

Wait, what? Indian Whisky? That doesn’t sound exactly PC. Well let’s put this into historical context: It was still the ‘Wild West’ and territorial hostilities were at a high but there were also friendly negotiations made between the 'white man' and the Indians.  Although some of the trades between them were not exactly fair to the Indians, there was indeed a huge run on a particular cheap, homemade 'Indian' whisky sold to the Indians, in exchange for goods such as fresh cut tobacco.

What secret ingredients were in Indian Whisky that so titillated the Indian palate and why is it featured in The Whip? (a historical novel inspired by the true story of Charlotte ‘Charley’ Parkhurst (1812-1879), a famous Wells Fargo stagecoach driver who disguised herself as a man). Not to give away spoilers but there is a point in the novel when Charley looses the sight in one eye, having been kicked by her horse.  She is laying in bed, while her friend and fellow stagecoach driver, Ben, is trying to cheer her up by offering her a slug of Indian Whisky and explaining what’s in it: (this is an authentic recipe from the old west, believe it or not!)

"So you take one barrel of river water, and two gallons of alcohol. Then you add two ounces of strychnine...  'cuz strychnine is a f'ing great stimulant. Add three plugs of tobacco to make ‘em sick; an Indian wouldn’t figure it was whiskey unless it made him sick. Then add five bars of soap to give it a bead, and half-pound of red pepper. Put in some sagebrush, boil it ‘til it’s brown, strain it into a barrel and hell, you got yourself some delicious Indian Whiskey."

So if you’re down in the dumps, you might want to try whipping up some Indian Whisky and see if that does the trick~or not.

Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Karen!

You can find Karen here:

The Whip by Karen Kondazian is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Audible and Itunes in all formats: Paperback, Hardback, Kindle, Nook, E-book, Audio Book CD and Audible Audio Book.

* 2014 Readers Favorite Gold Medal Prize - Fiction-Western category
* 2013 Best Western, International Book Awards
* 2012 Award-Winner in Fiction: Historical category - USA Best Book Awards

2014 Readers Favorite Gold Medal Prize in the Fiction-Western
2013 International Book Award/ Best Western Fiction
2013 National Indie Excellence Award /Best Western
2013 Best eBook Global Award/Best Historical Fiction/Western
2012 USA News Book Award/ Best Historical Fiction

Goodreads: Best Book to be made into a Film / Top 12 Best Western Books

Friday, July 22, 2016

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Catherine Greenall, Author of A Quirk of Destiny

The heroes in the Quirk of Destiny trilogy are mostly vegans, so when we first meet them they are eating lots of vegetables, fruit, nuts, pulses, spices, herbs, pasta and rice.

In the first book, A Quirk of Destiny, a worldwide apocalyptic disaster is precipitated by genetically-modified (GM) animal feed swamping the food supply. This causes devastating sickness and death as well as environmental destruction.

Those who have been avoiding GM food and animal products survive, but inherit a horribly-damaged world. There emerges another group of gene mutants, who have horrific ailments but also start to develop unusual powers, which causes new problems for the survivors. They mainly eat unhealthy, processed food.

As civilisation, together with its control systems and food and energy supplies, is smashed apart, the survivors struggle to find food which remains edible and isn’t contaminated. They survive on a lot of toast and coffee, past-their-best vegetables, fruit and crackers and start to become malnourished.

A band of survivors settle in a remote part of Scotland and make contact with other survivors around the world, setting up their own political system, based on respect for life and the environment. They start to produce their own food, using traditional, chemical-free, non-animal agriculture. They dine well on local fresh vegetables, fruit, rice, nuts and home-baked bread - not to mention a good supply of wine and Scottish whisky!

However, a third group of people exists in the shadows and is watching everything with interest, controlling events around the world. Eventually their evil nature is realised, as the full truth behind the apocalypse emerges.

In the second book in the trilogy, the survivors in Scotland are doing well from the fruits of their own labours, growing a plentiful supply of grains, vegetables, nuts and fruit, as well as distilling whisky. However, the gene mutants, known as Genies, continue to cause problems as they gain more powers. And why are the survivors starting to feel unwell?

There is an ancient, secret group of people with an incredible amount of power over the world. Nobody knows who they are, or what they want. They dine on the finest food, wines and spirits, as well as animals which they have hunted and killed. They have links into the world’s power systems and engineer a challenge to the post-apocalypse political system.

Because of ongoing destruction and continued cultivation of GM crops the world becomes even more polluted, causing further severe problems for the survivors.

If this has given you a small taste of the world we might be heading for if we don’t act quickly, head to Catherine’s pages now, where you can find out more!

Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Catherine!

You can find Catherine here:

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Jackie Jones, Author of The Wardens Series

In every city someone or something is feeding, or being fed on. It is seldom you get to choose which you’ll be.

Everything from the very basic, to black-market-only cuisine, can be found gracing the palates of The Wardens Series Season Two characters.

Having to hunt down rogue supernaturals all over the world and put them in their place, leaves little time for a balanced diet. Erin, the feisty warden with Barbadian roots and dark magic at her fingertips, continues to fuel up with soda whenever she can. That sugar rush usually does the trick when things get rough, but this season, Erin’s going to need a lot more than artificial sugar to dig her out of the hole of betrayal and deceit she’s put herself in. As the fifth vodun priestess there’s a target on her back, and her sharp tongue and stubbornness aren’t winning her any friends.
Her partner Zach tries to mix it up, lean meats and health bars more his style. He should be cool—great food, sweet customised Glock, and a hot bod, but he’s not. The laidback Brit has had enough of Erin’s thoughtlessness, and this time, I’m not sure they’ll be able to work out their problems.

Deeper in the supernatural world, braised steak sits barely touched on a dark oak table in Alberta, Canada. There’s dissension in the lycan ranks that has nothing to do with overcooked beef, and I’d steer clear of the Head Clan’s homestead when assassination orders go out.

I might chill with members of S.I.N (Succubi and Incubi Nation). They don’t care much about food, as human essence is all they really need. Am I scared? Course not . . . we go way back.

As behind the veil kappa, jinn, vampires, and more fill up on unsuspecting humans, one of Zach and Erin’s assignments takes them to Japan, where they chase down information about a supernatural criminal enterprise known as the Deserters. Their undercover operation gives them the opportunity to chow down on some quality Asian food—sashimi, fried tofu, yakitori, and soba. I’m relieved I wasn’t invited to this feast, as violence and turmoil always follows these two. Don’t fret though, you may be braver than I am.

Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Jackie!

The Wardens Series Season Two (Episodes 6 – 10), is an episodic speculative thriller, featuring cutthroat deals, original and revamped creatures, “it’s complicated” relationships, and badass wardens. It is the sequel to The Wardens Series Season One (Episodes 1 – 5).

You can find Jackie here:

Thursday, July 7, 2016

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Tim W. Jackson, Author of Blacktip Island

Blacktip Island, the smallest of the Tiperon Islands, lies east of Flor de Caña and south of La Imaginatión in the Caribbean Sea. Settled by a succession of indigenous Tiperon people, European ne’er-do-wells, escaped slaves, and deserters from a half-dozen armies, its cuisine is an international mix cooked with a Caribbean twist.

Tuna kebabs, turtle stew, and snapper baked in rum-mashed bananas are standard fare, but conch is the island’s staple. The palm-sized mollusk is chopped and served raw in salads, as ceviche, and cooked in chowders, fritters and burgers. Meals are laced with the island’s ghost chili peppers and served with cassava, mangoes, callaloo, fried plantains or black beans.

“It’s simple food, but the flavors are complicated, curried lobster,” said Mallory LaTrode. “That’s Blacktip. ‘Normal’ never took root here. Nothing, and no one, is what you expect.”

It’s to this backwater island of 100 residents that inadvertent embezzler Blake Calloway stumbles, a step ahead of the Feds and desperate to start fresh as an anonymous divemaster in paradise. But he quickly discovers “tropics” doesn’t mean “paradise,” and rookie boat hands stick out like a reef at low tide.

His fellow residents are as quirky as their cuisine: a landlord who swears he’s Fletcher Christian reincarnated, a boss who likes fish better than people, a sloshed resort manager with a sex-crazed wife, a possibly ax-murdering neighbor, and a girlfriend who just might turn Blake in for the reward money. Blake steers a ragged course between them, trying to straighten out the mess he’s made before the cops can track him down and haul him away.

Where does he find comfort? In the island’s food, of course. And with fellow expat Mallory, who feeds him crunchy whelk fritters and mango, red beans with rice cooked in coconut water, and mackerel rundown: fish stewed in coconut milk and curry. And it’s during these meals, bit by bit, Blake realizes Mal may not be who she says she is, and has more secrets than a CIA mole at a liars’ convention.

Blacktip Island, due out September 1, is a humorous romp across a tropical island for anyone who’s ever dreamed of trading the rat race for Margaritaville.

Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Tim!

You can find Tim here:

Tim W. Jackson lives on a small Caribbean island where he works as a scuba instructor by day and writes fiction at night. He wishes that was half as interesting as it sounds. Or even a quarter...

Tim is the author of Mangrove Underground and The Blacktip Times humor blog. His Tales From Blacktip Island short stories have been published in numerous literary journals. He’s currently concocting his second Blacktip Island novel, The Secret of Rosalita Flats, and has never embezzled anything. That he’ll admit to. And the fish ain’t talking.