Friday, September 22, 2017

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Jenn Brink, Author of Silver Bells



Demoralized from her latest titanic failure, Jessica is back under her parent’s roof in Silver Bells the stand-alone third novel in the Jessica Hart series.  Our heroine isn’t the kind of girl who doesn’t eat.  She uses food as her security blanket in this comedic New Adult mystery series.
 
With the bedroom that she never completely moved out of and family gossip driving her straight into the arms of the mashed potatoes, Jessica needs an out (either that or a larger pants size).  Why, oh why, does it have to be the holidays?!  Can’t a girl enjoy a massive breakup and life crisis during bikini season?

Worried about the amount of pumpkin pie going straight to her hips, Jessica takes off with side-kick Barbie on a mission (okay it’s not their mission but… details) to save Christmas.  There isn’t enough comfort food to keep Jessica’s emotions in check as she teams up with the yummy hunk of muscles who won’t quit haunting her daydreams.
 
The list of missing persons keeps growing as Jessica searches for clues and dinner, while struggling to suppress her desires.  When the bullets start flying, there’s no time to stop and eat (I mean understand her feelings).  Jessica is hoping for a miracle, but did someone order pizza?
 

Keep the hot chocolate flowing and don’t skimp on the booze, not if you fear the sobered up wrath of Barbie, as these cousins search from the North Pole to the Caribbean for Jolly Ole Saint Nick and a new life-plan.


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



You can visit Jenn here:




Friday, September 8, 2017

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Dina Santorelli, Author of Baby Grand



Mob storylines usually involve a smorgasbord of Italian food—pasta, sauce, bread, lots of bread, and all kinds of pastries. In my mind’s eye, when I think of books and movies about organized crime, I picture bulky, menacing-looking guys stirring big pots of sauce and probably the most memorable line from The Godfather: “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.”

In Baby Grand, the first book in my thriller trilogy, a bunch of mob guys are living temporarily in the home of a man named Don Bailino, who has just orchestrated the kidnapping of the baby daughter of New York Governor Phillip Grand. Bailino has also abducted a down-and-out writer named Jamie Carter whom he then forces to care for the child while he and the others work to delay the execution of mobster Gino Cataldi, who is on death row.

Rather than have the usual smells of tomato sauce, basil, and oregano permeate Bailino’s home or have the mobsters hang out in front of a pork store, a la The Sopranos, or make frequent visits to a local Italian bakery, I keep the food spare—and, overall, quite healthy. Cheerios (for the baby, perhaps). Apples. Grapes.

The reason? Don Bailino isn’t your everyday mobster.

In one scene, he bakes brownies—carefully using a knife to coat the top of a brownie with frosting, an image that makes him seem more like Martha Stewart than a mob guy. I did this to depict the complexity of Bailino, a guy who uses knives to kill but also to bake. A guy who can be as sweet as he is ruthless. A man who is meticulous about his work, be it in the kitchen or in a back alley.

Bailino eventually presents those brownies to Jamie Carter who is upstairs in his bedroom. What will Jamie do? And where is the baby?

I could tell you what happens next, but I’d have to kill you.


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



You can find Dina here:





Thursday, August 17, 2017

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Jack Scott, Author of Perking the Pansies



Turkish cuisine is justifiably famed as one of the world’s greatest. The Sultan’s table overflowed with extravagant bounty from the vast Ottoman domains that once stretched across three continents. The empire may be history, but food – preparing it, eating it, sharing it – is still of enormous cultural importance to all Turks regardless of status and income. So it’s small wonder the simple act of eating plays a starring role in both of my memoirs, Perking the Pansies and its sequel, Turkey Street. Here’s a soupçon…


Mini dishes of Turkish tasters flew out from Beril’s kitchen as she launched her mission to spice up our bland English palates, something she approached with the unrestrained fervour of a TV evangelist. Like her parents before her, Beril had never ventured into Europe beyond the city limits of old Istanbul but had heard terrible tales about British cuisine, a culinary travesty, all fish ‘n’ chips, pork scratchings, over-boiled carrots, scurvy and mad cow disease.

‘Eat!’ she would scream, sliding another exotic sample onto our table. ‘Is good. Eat!’

We would comply like scolded children, tucking into her braised artichoke hearts, garlic-roasted aubergines, sautéed spinach or white bean goo, salivating even before the first mouthful.

‘Süper!’ we would shout over to Beril as she puffed on a Black Russian Sobranie, looking on and waiting for every last scrap to be devoured. ‘Le-zz-et-li! De-li-cious!’



When our new next-door neighbours moved in, Liam and I were on edge. What if they were a couple of old stick-in-the-muds rolling out the prayer mats? After all, we were an unabashed gay couple living in a Muslim land, something as rare as ginger imams. We were mightily relieved to be greeted by Beril and Vadim, an unconventional couple from Ankara. He was a retired percussionist, she a fiery brunette half his height and half his age. And they were living in sin which made them just as damned as us. Their English was dreadful and our mastery of the language of the sultans was close to tragic. Despite the language barrier, over time Beril and I developed a sweet affinity. With Liam often back in London on family duty and, likewise, Vadim in Ankara, Beril kept my pecker up with freshly-baked treats from her kitchen. We ate, we smoked, we drank and we laughed. And when Beril felt totally at ease, she shared the secret about her older brother.

Our all too brief time in Turkey was a kaleidoscope for the senses – so many extraordinary sights, unexpected events and vivid characters like Beril. I just had to put pen to paper, first in a blog, then in the memoirs. Turkey made a writer of me. Who’d have thought? Certainly not me.


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



You can find Jack here:





Thursday, August 10, 2017

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Deborah Shilan & Linda Reid, Authors of Dead Air



Dead Air, Vibrant Cuisine!

What’s the #1 College Team in New England?  The delivery crew from Luigi’s Pizza, of course.  Luigi’s is Ellsford University’s championship greasy spoon, where fraternity men and sorority sisters rub shoulders with bespectacled graduate students, exhausted medical students, and varsity athletes.  The hangout is a treasure trove for campus radio talk show host cum investigative reporter Sammy Greene, whose alert ears pick up on local gossip for her show as Ellsford students chow down on tsunamis of mozzarella, pepperoni, bacon and sausage.  Daring rebels order pineapple on their pies, but, to the relief of all, there is nary a vegetable in sight.  Despite tasty toppings, something is rotten in the State of Vermont.  In Dead Air, Ellsford University students and faculty are disappearing or dying, and it’s Sammy to the rescue with a variety of suspects stirring the pot at the Ivy League school.
 
Soon after Professor Barton Conrad buzzes his alarm, his goose is cooked; and it’s Sammy and her on-and-off boyfriend, medical student Reed Wyndham sniffing out suspects.  Sammy and Reed are feeling the heat from corrupt coaches, aggressive sports stars, animal rights protesters, and crusty campus cop, Gus Pappajohn, whose sinecure has turned into a forum for activism and ecoterrorism directed at the college’s new multimillion-dollar Nitshi Research Institute which funds the pharmaceutical research of Reed’s mentor, Dr. Marcus Palmer.  Even Gus’ love for tasty pastitsio can’t stop the churning in his stomach as the body count mounts.

Sammy’s nose for news takes her to her childhood haunts in New York City, where she was raised after her mother’s suicide by her Bubbe Rose.  She’s ripe for rescue by Sergeant Gus, who provides tasty respite at a church Greek Festival near his sister’s home in Boston as they drive home to Vermont.  At the Fair, Sammy gets to sample the home-cooking flavors of eggplant soufflé Moussaka, flaky filo-wrapped Spanakopitas, sizzling beef and chicken Souvlaki, and cheesy Tiropites.  Just like (Greek) Mom’s.  Energized by her Mediterranean dietary excursion, Sammy is back on the trail—providing readers a delicious recipe of mystery, murder, thrills, and chills, as she uncovers the charred underside of her higher education home.

Enjoy great Mediterranean dishes as you share Sammy’s culinary and sleuthing adventures in Dead Air! 


Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Deborah and Linda!




You can find the authors here:








Friday, August 4, 2017

FOODFIC: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs



Riggs isn’t kidding – the children* certainly are peculiar.

Emma can make fire with her hands.

Millard is invisible.

Hugh has bees living in his stomach.

There’s also Olive, the levitating girl, and Claire, who is a backmouth. (I’ll let you read the book to discover what that is on your own.)

And it’s not just the children who have “gifts;” their headmistress Miss Peregrine can in fact morph into a bird at will!

So it stands to reason that the food this strange cast partakes in must also be “special,” right?

Not so much.

Newcomer Jacob joins them for a dinner consisting of: a roasted goose, its flesh a perfect golden brown; a whole salmon and a whole cod, each outfitted with lemons and fresh dill and pats of melting butter; a bowl of steamed mussels; platters of roasted vegetables; loaves of bread still cooling from the oven; and all manner of jellies and sauces [he] didn’t recognize.

Okay, maybe that’s not a typical American dinner, but Jacob has come a very long way - to a remote island off the coast of Wales - to find these peculiars from his grandfather’s stories, so you have to take regional culture into account. More interesting still - it’s not only great distance he has covered, but also time. Again, you’re on your own to discover in which era this meal would most likely be served…and if Jacob will make it back.



*Or syndrigast, to use the venerable language of [the] ancestors. 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Juli D. Revezzo, Author of House of Dark Envy



In  my latest novel, House of Dark Envy, my heroine Sarahjane is a young painter so when she has a chance to study with a painting master, she jumps at the chance.

She is surprised to learn, however, that though she stays in the master’s house, she’s also left with the run of it, while he goes off gallivanting around town. For a young lady in the 19th century, this was  a strange things she deals with, mostly young ladies were followed around by mothers and chaperones and not allowed such freedom. Running of the house of course means dinners so she pretty much does what she wants in terms of meals, as far as the markets allowed. This was, of course, before you could run off to the store to buy any ole thing, regardless of whether it was in season or not.

Aside from her meals, she drinks a lot of tea. For most people, tea is the first thing they think of, when they think of Victorian Britain, and Sarahjane’s daily repast was no different. Though she never frequents a tea room, at least during her educational stay in York, she does consume the popular drink with a few little dainty sandwiches or cakes, if she’s hungry enough!

It’s an interesting tradition and one that many partake of today, even in the United States. My grandmother used to have her tea every day like clockwork, and I can say I myself have gone to a high tea.

Okay, okay, I wasn’t all decked out in Victorian finery but it happened! I have the pictures to prove it. :) In looking into what-all else she might have, the Britons ate differently than we Americans. There’s sausage and ham—and tomatoes, of all things, to comprise their breakfasts. Which sounds a lot more like lunch to me. More often than not, I can see her just having a biscuit and a bit of tea. Something she can eat with one hand, while painting with the other. :)



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




You can find Juli here:








Synopsis of House of Dark Envy:

Surely, lightning can’t strike twice...

1888: When Sarahjane attends Lady Morville’s costume party, she never expects to learn her old beau Felix Gryffith is under the illustrious woman’s patronage and stands on the cusp of making a world-changing discovery. Felix, whose lies disgraced her in the eyes of the London elite by labeling her a flirt.

Felix’s love for Sarahjane has never wavered, despite the scandal that forced them apart. He’s desperate to tell her the truth, if he can convince her to listen.

Fate lurked in the shadows that night, years ago. Has it returned to grant Sarahjane and Felix their wishes, or terrorize them?



Works cited:
Articles about English breakfasts:
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/jul/21/how-to-make-full-english-breakfast

Friday, July 21, 2017

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Cory Putman Oakes, Author of WITCHTOWN



There are few things I take more seriously than books and food. Put those two things together and I really go nuts. When I was writing my young adult novel, WITCHTOWN, a lot of my writing research revolved around food.

WITCHTOWN is a story about a sixteen year old girl named Macie and her mother who travel between witch-only towns (called havens) robbing people. They must ingratiate themselves with the folks at each new haven they arrive at, and one of their methods of doing this is trying to assert their spiritual superiority by maintaining a raw vegan diet.

I decided to try raw veganism for myself so I could write about it more realistically. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was thirteen so I figured it would be no big deal – I figured wrong! The idea behind raw veganism is that you eat no animal-derived products at all, and no food that has been heated above 104 degrees. Unlike vegetarianism, which is really just about substituting different protein sources into your diet, raw veganism requires a completely different approach to shopping, preparing, and eating food. I committed to the diet for one full week. You can follow the whole story over on my blog (Starting here on DAY 0: http://www.corypoakes.com/news-and-events/in-the-name-of-writing-research-my-raw-vegan-adventure/) but the highlights included: rampant cheese cravings, raw “lasagna,” a new appreciation for raw vegan desserts, raw vegan date night with my (carnivorous) husband, and victory pizza at midnight on Day #7.

To make things more interesting for my raw vegan main character, I had her develop a friendship with Gayle, the Witchtown baker. To make Gayle (and her bakery) as real as possible, I spoke at length with a wonderful pagan food blogger (http://recipesforapagansoul.weebly.com) who helped me to come up with all sorts of delightful (NOT raw vegan) baked goods to torture Macie with – including Gayle’s signature scones. (The recipe is on my website: http://www.corypoakes.com/books/witchtown/recipe-gayles-lemony-thyme-scones/) They are lemony, herby, and totally perfect for the Summer Solstice (or whatever special occasion you happen to be celebrating). I make them all the time!

I also really got into pagan holiday recipes. I’m most proud of my Summer Solstice cakes and pies (they’ve become an annual tradition in my house). But I also love the mini pumpkin pies I made for Autumn Equinox one year, and the wassail and Yule Log cake I did for Winter Solstice.

In short, the research for WITCHTOWN was as fun as it was delicious and it’s left me with family traditions and recipes that we’ll continue to enjoy for years to come – as well as a book I’m really proud of. I hope you enjoy reading about the food in WITCHTOWN just as much as I enjoyed writing about it!


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



You can find Cory here:





Thursday, July 13, 2017

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Holly Robinson, Author of Folly Cove



Nothing Brings People Together Like an Eiffel Tower Cake...and Other Fictional Follies
By Holly Robinson


A confession: I am not a cook. My husband is the cook. In fact, he won me over on our first date because he took what looked like a wilted spinach leaf, a solitary egg, and a piece of yarn—okay, maybe not yarn—and made me a delectable omelet.

Me? The first time I cooked for him, it was lasagna made with no-boil noodles and a jar of no-name red sauce. But he married me anyway, God bless him.

However, the best thing about being a fiction writer (other than working in your sweats most of the time) is that you can be an expert at ANYTHING. In the six novels I have published so far, I have been a painter, a potter, a DJ, a real estate agent, a construction worker, a secretary, a PR executive, a competitive equestrienne, a sheep farmer, a therapist, a backpacker in the Himalayas, and—wait for it—a fabulous cook!

Of course, doing all of these jobs requires a combination of real life experience (I took pottery lessons and horseback riding lessons) and research. Cooking is the toughest thing I've ever written about in a novel by far, since I'm the sort of person who is likely to text her husband emergency questions like this: “Should I have taken the plastic wrap off the chicken pie before I put it in?”

For my newest novel, Folly Cove, I was pushing every envelope by having the characters not only be great cooks (these three sisters grew up in an inn, after all), but ace bakers, too. This meant researching the sorts of foods typically served in historic New England inns (prime rib or lobster, anyone?) and how they were made.

And, as a bonus, I had these three sisters organize a birthday party for their mother, Sarah, despite the fact that Sarah has not always been the most loving mother and has some pretty dark secrets, starting with the fact that she is not who she says she is...

The cake had to be as extreme and elegant as Sarah has always seemed. And the birthday party had to have a theme. Finally it came to me: one way of outing Sarah's true identity (and age) would be to have a party based on her favorite movie, An American in Paris, which came out the year she was born—or did it?

And, since the movie is set in Paris, of course the cake had to be shaped like the Eiffel Tower, and big enough to serve lots of guests. Amazingly enough—or maybe not, given how much you can find online these days—I discovered more than one recipe online. Here's one of them:

Did I actually try making the cake myself? Sure. And you can guess how that went.


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



You can find Holly here:




Friday, July 7, 2017

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Stephen Penner, Author of A Lack of Motive



Hello, everyone. Thanks for stopping by, and thanks to Shelley Workinger for inviting me to her blog.

My latest novel, A Lack of Motive, is book #8 In my David Brunelle Legal Thriller Series. These books are set in Seattle, but for this most recent installment, I moved the action to Bellevue, an affluent suburb across Lake Washington from Seattle.

I've lived In Seattle for over 20 years now, and have watched as the city has changed from a smaller, sea-based community to a corporate, high-tech hub. But there are still remnants of the old Seattle hidden, almost out of sight, between the shiny new glass-and-steel skyscrapers. So when my hero, Dave Brunelle, meets an old flame, I knew where they were going to dinner. In part, because I'd just eaten there myself.

Dave's old flame, Victoria Cross is rich, much richer than my public servant protagonist. When they decide to catch up over a potentially romantic dinner, he lets her pick the restaurant. He expects a pretentious, overpriced eatery atop one of those office towers. Instead, she directs him to "The Crab Bucket", one of those hidden pearls of old Seattle, tucked between luxury condos that now block its once pleasant view of the lake. And that's when Dave falls for her again, realizing she may be rich, but she's authentic--and not afraid to eat crab in front of him.

...but does it work out? Well, you'll have to read the book to find out.

My books often feature restaurants and cafes. Like a lot of authors, I enjoy exploring the relationships between people. Most commonly, I do this through dialogue, and nothing goes with dialogue quite like a cup of coffee or a good meal. And when one character invites another to a favorite restaurant, it not only shows what that person likes to eat, but it can often reveal what the person is hoping for the relationship. Dave has been taken to cheap diners, fancy restaurants, and now "The Crab Bucket". Each of these places was inspired by a restaurant I've been to myself, and more often than not, my visit was for reasons similar to those of my hero. That's probably why I like writing those scenes so much.


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


You can find Stephen here:





Friday, June 30, 2017

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Jeff Chapman, Author of The Black Blade



Howdy. Jimmy here. I'm the narrator and protagonist of The Black Blade. As a rule, I don't cotton to using highfalutin words like protagonist, but the author says I have to so I'll do as he requests. I reckon it's like my grandma used to say, if you want your green beans to taste like beans, you got to use the proper sized canning jars. My grandma was mighty particular about her canning jars. And her canned green beans always tasted like green beans and not, well, something else. Well, enough literary criticism talk. What in tarnation is literary criticism anyway?

Orville and I are a pair of hucksters. I like to think of us as showmen, giving folks some entertainment to leaven their dull days with good humor. Orville's the master huckster and I'm his apprentice. In The Black Blade, we get ourselves into a heap of terrifying trouble in the weird west. Orville thought we could make a quick and tidy profit helping this strange old man with a knocker haunting his house. I didn't trust the old man's looks, but a team of horses couldn't hold Orville back when there's gold glittering ahead. The old man proved himself as rotten as I speculated. The first talk of food was whether we were going to become food. The old man locked us in a cell with this monster that was a cross between a pig and a wendigo. Nasty piece of work was that creature, and he seemed awful hungry. The old man finally told us what game he was up to. To save Orville from the pig-man, I had to go questing for some enchanted blade. I'd like to share the whole story with you. It's mighty entertaining, but the author says I can't.

The author says I'm supposed to talk about some of the vittles we partake. When Orville and I are out on the trail, we make do with beans and some bacon, if we've got some. Orville complains I'm not too good at beans but I don't see him offering to cook. We wash our meals down with coffee or some good ole cool spring water, if we can find some. Saloon food, like meat pies, are cheap as can be, but I've heard from a reliable source that the barman adds extra salt to everything. The drinks ain't so cheap. And for some cotton-pickin' reason, every time I darken a saloon, I'm served sarsaparilla. I don't mind sarsaparilla, but there's nothing like a hearty beer to wash the trail dust from your parched tongue. We might be adding a new member to our partnership, a second apprentice. The girl's name is Isobel, a little firecracker if there ever was one. She helped me find the black blade and get out of more than a few dangerous scrapes when I figured my goose was cooked, including a shapeshifting coyote that I figured was about to turn me into a meal. According to Isobel, her mama taught her to cook everything from squirrel legs to calves liver. I reckon we might have some more variety to our vittles in the future. Thanks for listening. And if you find yerself at a fair, stop by our tent and let Orville the Oracular tell your fortune.


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



You can find Jeff here:




Thursday, June 15, 2017

FOODFIC: Please Welcome April Michelle Davis, Author of A Princess in Disguise



Princess Margaret has never been forced to be hungry in her life—she has never even been limited to a small selection of food—that is, until she selfishly decides to run away from the palace the night before her father is set to announce whom she would be marrying.

After Princess Margaret leaves the palace, food begins to play an important part in building relationships. Around meals, the atmosphere is a time to connect, learn, and reflect.

Princess Margaret’s first meal outside the palace is with Huntley, a commoner, in a local tavern run by Ackley, a good cook of local foods. Princess Margaret has only had meals served in the palace dining room or that had been brought to her room, so the atmosphere of a tavern, the smells of unfamiliar foods, and even the process of selecting what foods to order from a menu are all new to her. Princess Margaret wants to experience the food that her people eat so when Huntley orders shepherd’s pie, she is surprised and delighted by the smell and taste of the dish.

The food adventures do not end with trying new foods. During the first days at sea, Wes, one of Huntley’s crew members, teaches Princess Margaret how to cook a pot of stew. He shows her how to prepare the meal, how and when to add spices to the stew, and how to taste it as it simmers and cooks—an intimate time between two new friends.

While cooking and having a conversation with Wes, Princess Margaret realizes her people are poor and many must steal food to survive in her father’s kingdom. Cooking time also becomes education time for Princess Margaret, which is ironic because she has been taught by the best tutors, and now by these poor, common fishing men who have had little to no formal education.

In another scene, Huntley offers the chicken-killing job to Princess Margaret since she has expressed that she is strong and can perform labor same as a man. The conversation held as this task is performed teaches Princess Margaret that her people often barter for foods.

Food becomes not simply a form of sustenance for Princess Margaret, but also a time for learning more about the people she will someday lead, and this connection helps her discover her true self.



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


You can find April here:






Thursday, June 8, 2017

FOODFIC: Please Welcome D.H. Nevins, Author of WORMWOOD



Hey everyone. This is Kali Michaels, the main character from Wormwood, a pretty intense post-apocalyptic story. Thanks for letting me pop into this blog so I can talk a bit about food and what we’ve been eating around here. Trust me, I have a very strong appreciation for this subject. Wormwood‘s author, D.H. Nevins, really turned things upside down on us—you know, avenging half-angels destroyed the surface of the Earth—so for anyone who cares to survive, the acquisition of food is pretty darn important.

Truth be told, when it comes to palatable food, I’m luckier than most of the survivors I’ve come across. The first person I saw since this mess began was a rather desperate man named Eric (and I say he was the first person, because the first being I ran into was Tiamat, one of them, so he doesn’t count). I found Eric within a small copse of trees, anxious to cook what little food he could find over a small bank of coals. He was using battered piece of corrugated metal as a frying pan of sorts, and on it was a mouse and two slugs. I know, it sounds horrid. But when you’re starving—and he was—those disgusting morsels of food are worth fighting over.

But like I mentioned before, I was fortunate. I had no need to challenge Eric for the sake of a meal, having acquired significant supplies from Tiamat. Ah, Tiamat. My Nephilim tormentor. Of course, he had known what was coming, he was one of the ones who caused it, so he had stockpiled quite a quantity of non-perishable food and other supplies before The Cleansing. And because he claims I have some kind of purpose, he won’t kill me. Yet. So yeah, long story short, I have a bunch of his supplies, loaded on one of two horses I have with me. Food to keep me alive. For now. Right, so essentially, Eric’s meagre meal was safe from me.

The next survivors I saw were two young boys, fighting over a frog. I mention this because, yeah, the frog was meant to be food too. Can people even eat frogs? I don’t know. But everyone’s desperate. My trail mix and dehydrated chili are sounding pretty delicious now, right? And the coffee Tiamat made for me over our camp fire? Well, that was downright extravagant.

I know it can’t last. Some day, the food will run out or the Nephilim will finally succeed in killing me. But in the meantime, I’ll thankfully enjoy the subtle metallic flavor of canned oranges. Then I’ll savour the subtle range of tastes when I eat rehydrated vegetables. And when I sleep, you can be sure I’ll be dreaming of chocolate ice cream.


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




You can find her here:





Friday, June 2, 2017

FOODFIC: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson



Page 261. That’s the pivotal point where the two main characters meet.

Mikael Blomkvist: crusading journalist recently at the wrong end of a libel case, and Lisbeth Salander: 24-year-old pierced and tattooed genius hacker possessed of the hard-earned wisdom of someone twice her age – and a terrifying capacity for ruthlessness to go with it.

Mikael has been hired to research the 40-year-old disappearance of a wealthy octogenarian’s 16-year-old niece, Harriet Vanger. When he realizes that he needs help with the convoluted archive work, Herr Vanger actually recommends the researcher he hired to look into Mikael. Now that’s a set-up for a good meet if I ever read one!

Mikael arrives on Lisbeth’s doorstep unannounced, rousing her from a hung-over lie-in. She’s disheveled and bewildered; he’s curiously amused.

And all I can think about is the bagels.

Filled bagels, brought by Mikael: one with roast beef, one with turkey and Dijon mustard, and one vegetarian with avocado.

Well, now I have to stop reading and hit up Google, because I have no idea if “filled” means the bagel is cooked with a filling, like a stuffed bread, or if it’s simply a bagel sliced open and “filled” with meats and/or veggies like a sandwich. Of course, I find all sorts of pictures and recipes for both types and no definitive answer as to which kind is in Mikael’s bag. I even watched the movie to solve this important (to me, at least) secondary mystery, but Daniel Craig never unwraps the white deli paper! I finally decide to just assume these bagels must be the sandwich type, because hot, baked-in avocado sounds disgusting. And I need to get back to the darn book. ;)


Anyway, they meet at last! There are bagels, coffee, compliments and confessions…and the first taste of how these 2 characters play off of one another is so delicious, readers should be prepared to devour the rest of the story in one sitting. ;)

Thursday, May 25, 2017

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Tony Riches, Author of the Tudor Trilogy




In the first book of the Tudor Trilogy, set in England in 1422, we find Owen Tudor, the Welsh servant who married a queen and founded the Tudor dynasty, in Windsor castle watching a royal banquet.

A fanfare of trumpets is followed by a procession of liveried servants carrying silver platters piled high with choice meats, which they take to each guest in turn, waiting while they help themselves from each platter, picking out tasty morsels with their fingers, the sign of good manners.

As well as cuts of beef, veal, pork, mutton and venison from Windsor Great Park, the guests are served with rare salmon, fresh river trout, eels and crayfish. The centrepiece of the banquet is a whole roasted peacock, served dressed in its own iridescent blue feathers, plucked and replaced after the bird had been cooked, its beak and feet gilded in gold leaf.

Even the wine goblets used by the guests follow rules of protocol, with the queen and top table drinking from gold plate, the next most important using polished silver and the lesser nobles provided with pewter. Servants are ready with flagons of wine as soon as any goblets are empty, so before long the buzz of polite conversation has taken on a raucous undertone.

A bishop calls them to order and the queen makes a short speech, thanking everyone for attending. Then there is another fanfare of trumpets and four page boys enter, carrying a model castle over a foot high, made entirely from sugar and complete with a miniature Royal Standard flying from the top. It is placed before the queen and the guests applaud as the young king smashes many days of hard work to pieces.

Owen watches as the banqueting guests become even more rowdy. Several of the younger lords, already looking the worse for drink, argue loudly about the merits of hunting stags or boars. He has learned it is best for servants to remain invisible, particularly if they are Welshmen.



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



You can find Tony here:









Tony Riches is a full time author of best-selling fiction and non-fiction books. He lives in Pembrokeshire, West Wales with his wife and enjoys sea and river kayaking in his spare time.

The Tudor Trilogy is based on actual events, from the earliest days of the Tudors to Henry Tudor becoming King of England after his surprising victory at the Battle of Bosworth.

Friday, May 19, 2017

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Deborah Lawrenson, Author of The Lantern



Food is a vital part of Eve and Dom’s sensuous life in the South of France. The naïve translator and the worldly older man connect on an instinctive level that seems - at first - set apart from the bleak realities of the lives they are both trying to escape. They fall in love and move into a crumbling Provencal hamlet, set apart on a hillside, where they lose themselves in the heat and light, in music and the imagination – and the fruits of the landscape.

That summer the house and its surroundings became ours, a time reduced in my memory to separate images and impressions: mirabelles, the tart orange plums like incandescent bulbs strung in forest green leaves, a zinc-topped table under a vine canopy; the budding grapes; the basket on the table, a large bowl; tomatoes ribbed and plump as harem cushions.
                                                               
Simplicity seems extraordinarily close to hedonism when you find deep red “harem cushion” tomatoes the size of two fists in the markets of Provence. The tomato salads that Eve and Dom make with them is one of the most delicious and simple dishes known to man: sliced with onion and a handful of ripped basil, then dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. It takes minutes to assemble and then all you need is a baguette, newly baked with a light crust from your favourite boulangerie in the Rue des Marchands in the town of Apt, to mop up all the juices.

Eve picks the mirabelles and wild plums that grow on the trees at the hamlet, and makes tarts and English crumbles. In September the first walnuts fall, and she stores them to attempt Tarte aux Noix, or to add to chicory and blue cheese salads. The figs from the tree in the courtyard intrigue her.




    It was one of those days so intensely alive and aromatic you could hear as well as smell the fig tree in the courtyard. Wasps hummed in the leaves as the fruit ripened and split; globes of warm dark purple were dropping, ripping open as they landed with sodden gasps. 
    The pulse that pumped out the sweet, heady scent was quickening as I bent down to pick the fallen figs, then pulled them apart to find insects were already drunk on their scarlet hearts.                                
                         
Eve prepares a bed of good fresh lettuce dressed with a tangy vinaigrette of Dijon mustard, honey, red wine vinegar and olive oil. Then she tops slices of bread with local goat cheese and fresh thyme from the garden and bakes in a hot oven with some slivers of jambon cru -Parma ham - and halved figs (perfect ones picked from the branches), each spread with a little clear honey. Everything cooks together for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese looks done. Delicious!




As their idyllic summer turns to winter, the lavender fields and vineyards now rows of stubble, the couple make traditional cold weather casserole dishes like Boeuf Bourguignon, beef slow-cooked in red wine, and the Moroccan-inspired Lamb Couscous, simmered for hours with almonds and apricots, aromatic cinnamon and nutmeg and hot chili and coriander. They don’t know it, but they need to keep up their strength for the shocking discoveries that are about to destroy their dream world…


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



You can find Deborah here:





Thursday, May 11, 2017

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Jodie Pierce, Author of Vampire of Brazil



So, I am both a traditionally and self-published Author. I write vampire romance and have dabbled in vampire erotica. Think I got a thing for vampires? I knew in high school that I wanted to write. I wrote for the school newspaper and yearbook. I constantly had one of those black and white composition books with me with a story I was working on. I was writing juvenile romance and was unhappy with it but didn’t know what to write about.

In waltzes my college freshman friend. He handed me a book, The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice (someone I’d never heard of but once or twice). After reading the book, I knew I had to go with the vampires I had come to love over the years. In 7th grade, at a sleepover, the girls’ mom came in with the movie Lost Boys and this started my fascination and research involving vampires.

I also loved the research aspect! If my book is set in a place I’ve never been, I thoroughly research the area, sights, people, clothes, food, etc. in order to give my readers a better idea of life wherever I’m writing about. Plus, if a person from that location reads the book, they aren’t going to find discrepancies.

I was a background investigator for a while so I think that’s where my love of research came from. My hubby and I met online and don’t think for a minute that I didn’t run a background check on him the day after we met because I really liked him. Luckily, nothing came back on him but he did have four kids and I always swore I’d never date anyone with kids but I’d already fallen in love with him so…too late…lol!

In high school, I lived in Brasil (it’s how they spell it in Brasil) for six months as an exchange student and at sixteen, I was very young and impressionable. At home, in high school, I was a no body but in Brasil, I was what I considered to be famous. Everyone wanted a picture with me, to talk to me (in Portuguese because at the time, very few Brazilians spoke English…hence the reason I translated the book into Portuguese as well). In setting my books in Brasil, I can give the reader a better description of the area, people, food, activities, etc. which I find, when reading, very helpful. A few of my books are set in Brasil, along with my latest, Vampire of Brazil.

Every morning, the bread cart would come around and everyone would run there and buy their fresh bread for the day. My favorite was the bread with requiljao which is like a cream cheese but better and a little runnier than regular cream cheese. Sweets like Brigadeiro (mini chocolate truffles with chocolate sprinkles-my favorite) and Bolo de Coco (coconut cake) were my favorite. Every day, on my way home, I would stop at the newspaper stand and pick up a Diamonde Negro candy bar and it had become my favorite. The national pop was Guarana but every once and a while we would stop at a café and have cafezinhas which was really, really strong coffee. It came in mini tea cups so I had no room for cream or sugar. Typical dishes with the family I stayed with were Feijoada (rice and black beans-eaten several times a day), Arroz e faijao (a different spin on rice and beans) and my favorite was Maionaise (potato salad with veggies and spices).

Whenever we went walking down the beach, we always stopped at the hot dog truck and the coconut vendor. The coconut vendor would cut off the top of the coconut with a machete and stick a straw in the coconut and we would drink the fresh, all natural coconut water (this was LONG before it was so popular in the states).

Now, I’m married to a man who went to culinary school so I don’t have to do much cooking (good thing…lol). Our deal is whomever cooks, the other cleans. This leaves me time for writing. I get to, in each time I include Brasil in my stories, get to re-live my wonderful time there which I still hope to return to one day.

I absolutely, place people I know characteristics into my characters in my stories. I also do the horrible and kill off the people I gave those vary characteristics to because they start to remind me of that person and the horrible past. I usually look up the meanings of names and give those traits to my characters. It’s kinda my little inside joke with myself!

My latest vampire book was Vampire of Brazil (which is printed in English and Portuguese - I translated it). My very last book was a memoir about being Bipolar called Inside My Head. For my Brasil book, I even went about finding pictures to represent important aspects of the story. I used a real Brazilian and Rio de Janeiro cemetery in the background for the cover making it more authentic.

I loved the food of Brasil. My personal favorite was pizza because they made it with white sauce (another thing they were ahead of from the states), chicken, corn, etc. and it was amazing!!!! The brigadeiro was my favorite dessert where things could get a little deceiving. I thought I was going to eat a piece of cake with the frosting in the middle. When I got it in my mouth, it had been bread with tuna salad in the middle. Imagine my surprise?!

Well, it’s time for my sign off. Thanks for having me and indulging me in the long post!!

Keep Reading!
Jodie Pierce


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


You can find Jodie here:




Thursday, May 4, 2017

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Patricia Obermeier Neuman and Rosalind Burgess, Authors of Lethal Property



Food is important to Kit. Not really the eating of it, but more the preparation, the cooking, and the reviews from her adoring diners. Her BFF, Val, is a regular recipient of Kit’s fantastic cuisine, but left to her own devices, she is just as happy with a bowl of Cheerios while watching TV in bed.

     “Got time for a breakfast taco, Val?” Kit asked.
     “With chorizo sausage?”
     “Naturally.”

In Lethal Property a serial killer is on the loose in Downers Grove. It begins with Val, a Realtor, showing a house to a mysterious man who seems to have more than the purchase of real estate on his mind. Even more alarming is the fact that the string of murders that ensue seem to implicate Val and threaten her safety.

Not content with waiting for the police to solve the case, Val and Kit pursue their own list of suspects, which brings them to a local Greek restaurant. At first glance, this establishment does not even come close to Kit’s impossibly high epicurean standards, but she’s willing to give it a try.

     Since the restaurant smelled fishy and the plastic menus were covered in some sort of greasy substance that displayed a million fingerprints, I was amazed when Kit agreed to let Giorgos pick something for us to actually eat. I guess his good looks outweighed the poorly maintained restaurant.
     “It’s called papoutsakia,” he said.
     “Eggplant stuffed with ground beef, cheese, and . . . and . . . let me guess . . .” Kit snapped her fingers.
     “Béchamel sauce,” Giorgos supplied the last ingredient.

The murders continue at a gruesome pace, and Kit insists that Val move in with her and her husband, Larry. To further secure Val’s safety, Kit also invites her neighbor’s dog, Roscoe, a one hundred pound Rottweiler, to stay with them. Unfortunately, Val’s fear of Roscoe is almost on par with her fear of the killer.

     “These look heavenly.” I took a seat at the counter and eyed the plate of waffles before me.
     “Sorry, Val. Those are for Roscoe. But I can easily make another batch if you—”
     “Roscoe? Are you kidding me? And where is the hound of the Baskervilles, anyway?”
     “He likes to walk before breakfast, so Larry’s taking him around the block. And he doesn’t like syrup on his waffles.”
     “Larry or Roscoe?”
     “Roscoe, of course, and really, I can make some more if you—”
     “Kit, you realize he’s a dog, right?”
     “Exactly. It wouldn’t be natural to put syrup on waffles—”
     “Oh, for crying out loud. Just let me get some coffee—unless, of course, Roscoe doesn’t approve of coffee before walking.”

Like everything she does, Kit is an elegant cook. But she’s also highly practical.

     She took a sip of her own wine and then put on some rather chic black oven mitts. Next, she removed a large cast-iron dish from the oven and placed it on the counter.
     “Wow,” I said. One of the best arguments for staying at Kit’s was the fabulous food I was about to enjoy. “That’s some dish.”
     “I know. Le Creuset,” she announced. “On sale this week at Sur La Table. You should stock up, Val.”
     “Yeah, right, because my Cheerios would taste so much better. What I meant, dummy, was what’s inside it.”
     “Veal cannelloni.”
     “One of my favorites. When do we eat? I’m starving.”
     “Unfortunately, it’s not for you, Valley Girl. We’re taking it over to Wendell Fullerton’s.”
     “Huh?” I felt disappointed.

It doesn’t seem right to Kit’s BFF that Wendell Fullerton should be high on the suspect list and get the veal cannelloni. But many fabulous dishes, and more than a few margaritas later, the case is solved and Val can return home. To her Cheerios.


Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Patty and Roz!


You can find the authors here:





Friday, April 28, 2017

FOODFIC: The Ice Maiden - Edna Buchanan



I like crime reporter Britt Montero. Yes, I like her for all the usual reasons – she’s smart, tough, relatable and all that.

But I also like that she can feel sympathy for a perp, even when she didn’t expect to; she learns the story of his childhood trauma and can see shades of gray.

And I like that she prefers cocktails to beer. Really, how can a Coors Light compete with rum, coconut cream, pineapple, and orange juice?

I very much like that she finds flirting long-distance much easier than in person. (And rightly so – when phone-romance-guy shows up at her door, her greeting is far from sexy.)

And I most like that she leaves her conditioner on for 10 minutes versus the recommended 2. I do that sometimes, too, trying to believe that gives the product a little extra oomph, even though she and I both know it doesn’t. See, I find that it’s good to funnel all of your irrational thinking into meaningless outlets like that, so that you stay sharp when it actually counts. ;)

There’s just one thing about Britt I don’t like – she doesn’t order the commander-in-chief dinner at La Esquina de Tejas, her favorite Miami restaurant. To be fair, she’s there to meet with two Cold Case squad detectives and discuss the heinous unsolved rape/murder of two local teenagers – not the kind of conversation that allows one to savor a meal. Instead, Britt just drinks Cuban espresso, which I both love and feel is an appropriately sober choice.


Okay, so it seems like Britt’ll stay in my good graces. Especially since she does take the time to tell us what comprises the special: pollo asado, moros, maduros, flan y café. Now at least when I make it there myself, my appetite will be adequately primed. ;)

Friday, April 21, 2017

FOODFIC: Please Welcome John W. Mefford, Author of IN Doubt



Have you ever participated in one of those silent auctions? You know the ones, where a charity offers up themed gift baskets, tickets to a sporting event or a concert, or, possibly, a chef-prepared meal by one of the top chefs in the country.

Well, that’s how Ivy Nash—the protagonist in my bestselling mystery-thriller series—happens to hit the food lottery in my latest novel, IN Doubt (due out on May 5). With her and her old / new flame, Saul, sitting at his kitchen table, they watch a famed chef personally cook them a meal that might normally cost north of five hundred dollars. They start with Texas gulf crab cakes, with tomatillo-poblano cream and jicama-tortilla slaw. And then they reach the main course: wood-grilled pork tenderloin, with jalapeno-charred corn, drizzled with Texas peach barbeque sauce.

Ivy, a former CPS Special Investigator in Texas, has never had much money. In fact, food is usually not much of a priority because all of her energy is focused on helping troubled kids. It’s her passion…her calling in life. But it’s because of that passion that lands her at this fundraising event—all the proceeds were donated to drug-addiction detox centers—hosted by a billionaire. She’d saved the man’s daughter a week earlier from being sold by his drug-addicted mom to some random schmuck in exchange for some crack. As is the case with all of Ivy’s adventures, IN Doubt plays out with no shortage of spine-tingling chills or those moments when you heart is in the back of your throat.

It’s kind of funny, really, looking at the plight of my protagonists. They’re all so very different, yet I can see how they and I share one common trait—our passion. Mind, of course, is writing stories that make you look over your shoulder and wonder about the person walking behind you. I don’t know about you and your passion, but I can lose myself in my writing. I’ll snap out of a four-thousand word trance, and realize I hadn’t had a thing to eat or drink in the last eight hours.

But when I type the last word on a manuscript and finish off that last change with my editor, that’s when you’ll find my wife and me celebrating. Like Ivy and Saul, we might indulge in a nice dessert: brown sugar Bundt cake with salted caramel and candied bacon. And then I dive right back into my passion…writing stories that evoke every emotion possible.


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



You can find John here:




Thursday, April 13, 2017

Please Welcome A.G. Moye, Author of Cronicles of the Marauder




In the near future; 100,000 light-years from Earth aboard the faster than light starship Marauder, Captain Neil Armstrong Andrews sat down for dinner to enjoy fresh vegetables from the hydroponics garden with vat grown artificial meat. After their narrow escape from the aliens that wanted to enslave them and near destruction of the Marauder, they were hiding doing repairs to the ship. I now present for your enjoyment, one scene in the story for you to get the flavor of dinner aboard the Marauder.

          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

"Captain, what would you like for dinner?" asked the female assistant cook.
"What are the crew having today?"
"The main choices are stir fry with rice made with artificial meat with fresh vegetables from hydroponics. Or spaghetti made with artificial meat meatballs, a salad and fresh garlic bread."
"I'll have a little of both."
"What would you like on your salad?"
"Thousand Island dressing."
"To drink with your meal?"
"Iced tea." she walked away to fetch Neil’s tea.
Glancing at the wall to his right, Neil still enjoyed the seascape painted there, giving the illusion you were dining on the beach.
Glancing to his left, Neil saw the long line formed by the crew to serve themselves, cafeteria style. They were quick about it. Being in space, everything was attached or secured in case of the loss of gravity.
Neil felt he was accustomed to the sudden appearance of a head resembling a praying mantis in front of him.
"Evening Captain." she said in her sing-song voice.
"Evening Poopa." She gave her smile-like feature and retracted her head. She could stretch her neck over twenty feet at will. When he first saw her, he thought her body was a giant walking stick from Earth with a praying mantis head. Neil soon learned she was very flexible with her twenty appendages; only ten or twelve were used for walking, the others were deft hands that could do multitasks at once.
"Hey Poopa, you should try this chocolate cake. It is to die for!" Noka shouted in his deep rumbling voice. 
Poopa never left her place in line, instead extended her neck so her head was just above the horse-like creature that yelled to her.
Neil smiled as Noka cut off a piece of cake with his fork and lifted it upwards to her. Her multi-prong tongue lashed out and cleaned it off his fork.
"It is tasty; I'll try some." Poopa sang.
Poopa picked up a tray, no plate, since she normally only ate the greens. Neil watched as she sniffed each food before using a utensil to place some on the tray. As always, they had two or three heads of cabbage, uncooked but sliced in four parts for her. It was her favorite food.
She took no more than a tablespoon of most things but took two whole heads of cabbage. Using the tongs, she picked out her other favorite greens from the salad tray before moving along. At the end, she took a couple of slices of cake before going over and getting a container of water.
All the tables for the crew were built picnic style with benches to sit on. Poopa was unable to sit in them so she went to the one end of the last table by the wall.
Neil noted that all the aliens tended to sit far away from the others as possible at the same table. Poopa was at one end of the back table by the wall. Noka had his pillow seat at the other end. A few humans sat with them, those that accepted the aliens as part of the crew. Most did not.
Neil smiled as his food was placed in front of him. He marveled at how the cooks could take the simplest foods and make them gourmet meals.
"Thank you," Neil said turning his attention away from the crew to his plate. 


Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, A.G.!



You can find A.G. here:







Born in the cotton fields of Arkansas, started writing in 1987 when I got my first computer. Wrote long hand before that; my hayloft is filled with old stories. Published in 2011 after being prodded by my wife when she read the first of the Lightning in the Tunnel books. Currently I am writing Iron Hearts and Doomsday Rock while Saddle Spur, my first western, is in editing.