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Welcome, hungry readers! I'm the author of the "Solid" series, but my blog is about food in books. No, not cookbooks - food in FICTION, mostly YA. We all talk about what the characters are doing and whom they're doing it with, But What Are They Eating?
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1. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Joshua Done, Author of The Exile Empire

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7236682-the-exile-empire



A few days ago I received a pleasant surprise in the form of a Goodreads message from Shelley. She wanted to know if I would be willing to talk about the food in my story and the significance and story behind it. Immediately I thought of one meal that stands out in The Exile Empire. It took an invasion, thousands of lives, and the formation of an entirely new economy for the new recipe to exist.

One of the primary components in The Exile Empire is obviously the fact that humans have been dispersed from their old area of space. The problem with such diaspora in the vastness of interstellar space filled with hostile enemies is the relative lack of resources, and chief among them food! This had become more than an inconvenience by the time the major events of the story began to unfold and the human exiles were getting quite desperate.

But that was when they found a new system with edible plants and animals a-plenty. There was only one catch. The planet was in a system crawling with hostile enemies that had just conquered the natives on a nearby planet and the humans would have to fight their way to the new food source.

After the initial scouts are attacked the remaining human fleet springs into action, moving to protect both their people and the precious food on the planet below. After the carnage that ensues there is still a major problem in that most of the edibles are either in raw, indigestible form, or spread around the planet in roaming herds that weren’t big enough to feed everyone.

That is when Karen, an economic and business savant from the old civilization, was brought in. Over the course of several chapters she takes the rag-tag remnants of a mixed civilian and military fleet and is able to create a fully functioning economy and foodstuffs supply chain in only a few days. Now, of course such a supply line would be highly limited in what it could produce. The two main foods that resulted from this endeavor are a grain called a sand nut and meat from a creature called an Abe.

The sand nuts had to be refined because in their raw form they contain a powerful laxative (something a few of the initial colonists lacking caution found out in humorous fashion). The Abes were similar to earth cattle and because of this similarity people started calling them Alien Bison when they first encountered them. This lead to the abbreviation ‘A’ ‘B’ which Wen said aloud sounds like “ABE” and after a few rounds of repetition the name stuck. The end result of all these shenanigans was a pita-bread-like wrap around an Abe meat filling.

These resulting Sh’in Wraps (named for the planet) quickly became a staple in the new civilization and they appear in subsequent stories throughout the series. It is amazing how much history and work can go into the simplest of foods, and science fiction, since it involves people and supply chains, should be no exception. I think that the Sh’in Wraps are an excellent example of simple food created by a complex setting.


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


You can find Joshua here:


 




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2. FOODFIC: Dust Girl - Sarah Zettel



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12795973-dust-girl

Callie LeRoux knows dust. And that’s about it, really, since everything she thought she knew just blew away like, well, dust. In a dust storm. That’s literal, by the way.

You see, this “dust girl” of Dust-Bowl era Kansas lives with her mother in the Imperial Hotel which her grandparents started back when there were people passing through and money to be made. The “black blizzards” and the Depression have driven away both, as well as all but a handful of townsfolk. Really, the doctor should’ve taken the town sign with him as he pulled out hours before the story-changing storm blew in.

So, in the pre-storm hours of that fateful day in April, Callie knew  3 things:

1. She had to wear a scarf over her mouth every time she went  outside to keep her dust pneumonia from worsening.

2. The last name people knew her by – McGinty – came from a traveling salesman Mama let the town believe was her father. Her real papa’s promise to return is what kept Mama in Slow Run long after it ceased being a safe or in any way pleasant place to be.

3. NO ONE was supposed to touch the grand piano under the sheet in the Moonlight Room.
But then Mama changed the rules. She ordered Callie to play, and, like the parabled flap of world-altering butterfly wings, Callie’s touch on the piano triggers a catastrophic ripple that brings on the storm of all storms. Its winds carry away her mother and its wake deposits a family of human locusts at door. Okay, not actually humans nor locusts, but fairies, who reveal that Callie is also one of them. Thus begins Callie’s epic (and first ever) journey out of Slow Run to search for both her parents and her true self.

Little by little, or in her case too much by none and over again, Callie learns about her magic, the best lesson of all (and from my favorite character in the book) being this: “It’s like pepper in the soup – you want just enough to do the job, and no more.”

I think that’s the kind of food for thought both humans and fae can digest. ;)

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3. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Michael Draper, Author of Three Strikes and You're Dead

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22912911-three-strikes-and-you-re-dead



Restaurants and food have an important part in Three Strikes and You're Dead. I believe that a good book should appeal to the various senses – to see, as in well prepared food; to smell, where the aroma of food gets the stomach juiced flowing; and to taste, which is the icing on the food palate.

Early in the story, a trio of friends are meeting at a local coffee shop. Roseanne is the motivator of the group and the force behind them. She feels that her persuasive ability is strongest in a setting outside the four walls of her office. The restaurant has gourmet foods displayed on the counter with various coffee cakes, pastries and toppings for English muffins. There are six choices of coffee from French Vanilla to English Roast on display, enhanced by the aroma of freshly ground coffee.

Roseanne has big news to deliver, so she shares with her brother a light exchange to set the tone: Graham tells Roseanne that she's had so much coffee that her eyes are blinking in Morse code; Roseanne counters, "Your hands are so shaky that when you go to a Mexican restaurant people use your handshake to blend their Margaritas.”

Within this relaxed atmosphere, Roseanne tells the others that she has decided to change careers and become a private investigator. She also wants Graham and Randy to join her in this endeavor because they are a great team; they worked together in the past to solve her husband’s murder. She points out each person’s strongest asset;  where Roseanne has the creativity to pick worthwhile endeavors, Graham possesses the knowledge of investigatory methods from his military experience, and Randy is analytical, reliable, and also able to handle Graham, who has a tendency to fly off the handle.

Yes, Roseanne understands the way to a man's heart is through the stomach, and we see this more than once. After the trio has been working at the agency for a time, Roseanne serves Graham and Randy dinner at her home, starting with a shrimp and scallop casino, followed by veal Marsala with homemade bread from the local Italian bakery, and ending with chocolate mousse.

Once everyone was content and receptive, Roseanne announced that she had applied to the Baseball Commissioner to be part of the investigation group hunting for a murder. The food and wine her brother brought made sure the two men were not upset that she moved without consulting them.

Restaurants also bring a visual element to important scenes. After the three investigators spent time in Florida, they went to a restaurant that their hotel recommended:

At the Blue Door Terrace, their seats overlooked the terrace with its royal palms and fig trees. The white bottom painted on the fig trees added an extra color to the setting, as did the potted trees placed throughout. Randy spotted ficus, mango and hibiscus trees displaying their burgundy red blooms in pictorial fashion. As the group waited for their food, small brown birds fluttered around the tables looking for crumbs.

This is just the point in the story where things are starting to gel; the murderer has left a trail that the investigators can see and they’ve called an FBI friend who he leads them to the climactic confrontation.

So, in Three Strikes and You're Dead,food and drink help relax the characters almost every time they need to make decisions as to what course of action they will take. Works in the story just as well as in real life.
:)
 


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


You can find Mike here:








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4. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Cindy Cromer, Author of Desperate Deceptions

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23597915-desperate-deceptions
I had quite a bit of fun preparing for this post, especially since cooking isn't my forte. My favorite recipes are nuke it, deliver it, or drive through. I don't enjoy cooking but do feed my characters very well. In my first mystery/suspense novel Desperate Measures, the main characters dined on lobster in the Caribbean Island of St. Kitts. Oops! There was a meal none of the characters should have ingested and I promise I didn't cook it! One delectable seafood dish had become poisoned by the unknown villain on a rampage of destruction and revenge. 
In my second novel, Desperate Deceptions, the characters meals are less extravagant but reflect my roots from New Jersey and some of those hometown favorite foods you just can't get down here in Florida. In one scene the main character craves White Castle hamburgers when she arrives in New Your City. Can't get those in the Sunshine State nor authentic Russian dressing.
From Desperate Deceptions:
As glad as he was to see Caitlin, Barry willed the impromptu meal to come to a quick end. He silently cursed Jack and Lukas before but now everything stood in the path of his wrath. He put on a façade and took another bite of his Reuben sandwich then grimaced. Another check on his bitch list today, this damn dingy diner couldn’t even get a Reuben sandwich right. The crunch in the dressing meant it was Thousand Island, not Russian. Any self-respecting restaurant/deli, especially in New York and even this dive, should know the proper ingredients to a simple world famous sandwich.
 His patience wearing thin, Barry abruptly stood, kissed Caitlin on the cheek and promised to call tomorrow. After he threw some bills on the table he shook Chris’s hand and made eye contact. He didn’t need to say anything further, the message was clear: Take care of her and no screw-ups this time. Satisfied with the involuntary flinch Chris exhibited, Barry left.
On his way to his office thoughts, theories, and questions collided in Barry’s mind. Once he settled himself at his desk he prepared for the phone call he intended to place. His mind played various scenarios but one scene was certain; a confrontation.
Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Cindy!
You can find Cindy here:






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5. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Amy Grech, Author of Blanket of White

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6803306-blanket-of-white



Food and drink play a pivotal role in several of the 14 dark tales contained within my collection, Blanket of White:

In the title story, husband and wife drink coffee in their kitchen, wrapping their hands around the mugs for comfort, as they discuss their wheelchair-bound daughter Suzy; there are snow angels in her future…

“Raven’s Revenge”: Steaming mugs of hot chocolate warm up Jackie Crawford and her boyfriend, Jeff Dutton, on a bone-chilling winter’s night.

“Perishables”:  After a nuclear attack, Placido Sanchez sits hunkered down in his basement surrounded by empty, dented cans of baked beans. He eats his wife Julia’s remains, flawlessly persevered in a walk-in freezer. His wife's thighs contained the sweetest meat he ever tasted.

The potent rum cocktail Zombie is Jack Masoch’s undoing in “Cold Comfort” after he meets Sadie O'Grady in a seedy New York City bar.

David Sheffield feasts on Chinese food that sustains him and brings him good fortune on “Initiation Day”, when he meets up with Jim Hanson by the train tracks behind their high school to carry out a dangerous dare.

In “Crosshairs”, Billy Hogan’s father swigs single-malt whiskey at the kitchen table as his son drinks root beer while the elder Hogan schools the younger one about the striking seminaries between handling a woman and a gun.

“Apple of My Eye”: Gia orders Chardonnay to dull her senses after going a few rounds with Daddy’s carving knife. A Martini is the drink of choice for a devious Eye Doctor who sets his sights on the wrong girl…



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


 
 
 


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6. FOODFIC: Firelight - Sophie Jordan

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6448470-firelight


Jacinda’s got a lot going on. New town, new school, new friends: one of the plain old girl variety, one of the not-so-plain (and not-so-strictly-friend-zoned) boy variety. Everything in her life is different now…except her mom’s five-cheese macaroni with unique blend of herbs.

Of course, this particular dish is made especially delicious because Mom is a Verda draki – the kind that know everything there is to know about herbs, specifically how to optimize them into food and medicines. In other words, the exact type of dragon descendant you want your mom to be.

Maybe I should back up.

Jacinda’s unique family tree boasts glorious traditional dragons of yore, as well as the evolved creatures of more recent generations like herself who have the ability to shift to human form. But even though Jacinda can attend a normal high school and live a regular teen existence, she wants to live in the fog-cloaked mountains, manifesting into her dragon form at will and feeling the wind caress her gossamer wings.

So the above-mentioned comfort food is Mom’s attempt to make a home where it is not – not just because the new home is a moldy pool house in the back yard of a snoopy old lady (a pool house to a pool that she won’t even let them use), but because the dry desert town is the complete opposite of the lush, protected land she had to leave behind.

It’s all part of Mom’s plan to kill Jacinda. Yes, really. Okay, not to make her dead dead, but to destroy the draki part of her so that the family can in every way move on from the past. The past that includes both the old home and the rest of the draki tribe…and also that tribe’s plan to breed Jacinda because of her generations-unique fire-breathing ability.

Mom knows they can’t go back (and at some level Jacinda does, too) to their old lives (and selves), so busting out the special macaroni is her only move. All she can do is nourish Jacinda’s body, while continuing to starve Jacinda’s soul. Supposedly for her own good. But it sure doesn’t feel that way to Jacinda every time she chokes on the dry desert air that burns her draki lungs…

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7. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Lauren Clark, Author of Pie Girls

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22823484-pie-girls


As I was getting close to finishing my novel, Pie Girls, I planned an entire weekend taste-testing the very best recipes to include in my novel.  The Pie Girls storyline centers on Searcy Roberts, a Southern belle who has her life upended when her husband leaves her for another man. She returns home to Fairhope, Ala., where she takes over running the family pie business for her ailing mother.

During my Pie-tastic taste-testing weekend, I prepared 9 pies in three days for my two boys, my friends, and neighbors using my grandmother’s recipes. I selected something simple and sweet, something decadent and chocolate, and something light and tart to round out the selections—chess pie, chocolate pecan pie, and lemon sponge pie. All three recipes are included in the novel, along with my grandmother’s amazing-no fail pie crust recipe.

If you’ve never had chess pie, I highly recommend it. It’s a Southern delicacy that is simple to make, has a hint of caramel, and contains butter, sugar, eggs, cornmeal, and milk. Searcy, my heroine in Pie Girls, makes chess pie, along with many others, and discovers that she has a true talent for baking up desserts that delight. She transforms, eventually, over the course of many mishaps and unexpected challenges, from spoiled shopaholic to savvy business owner.

As anyone who bakes can attest, there is a certain amount of satisfaction that comes from creating a lush, delicious dessert with one’s two hands. Similarly, the act of baking pies is therapeutic for Searcy, a task that helps her overcome her shattered dreams and move on with her life.

My grandmother’s blueberry pie is one recipe that I didn’t include in the book, but is one that I make often, and would like to share with you today. It’s easy, only takes a few ingredients, and is perfect for a weekend gathering or family supper. I hope that you enjoy it! 


Delicious & Easy Blueberry Pie 

1 qt fresh blueberries
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp tapioca
1 tbsp butter
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 (baked) Best Ever pie crust from Pie Girls or one Deep Dish 9” pie shell

Mix half of the blueberries, flour, tapioca, butter, salt, lemon juice, and both sugars in a saucepan. Cook over medium to low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens, approximately 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat. 

Add remaining half of blueberries. Stir well. Pour into baked pie shell. Chill until set. Top with whipped cream if desired.


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



 
You can find Lauren here:







And her books here:

Amazon               BN               Kobo               Smashwords               iBooks

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8. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Nick Cato, Author of Don of the Dead

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6625610-don-of-the-dead


SQUIDLICIOUS

Calamari is popular in many Asian and Italian dishes. In Italian/American culture, calamari is considered a rite of passage; when you finally enjoy it, you’re no longer a child, but on your way to having adult tastes. While many people have no problem eating squid when it is cut into rings and deep fried and drowned in marinara or hot sauce, those who are too timid to sample the mini tentacle clusters are missing the true flavor and auraof calamari.

In my debut novel, DON OF THE DEAD (2009 Coscom Entertainment), there are several dinner scenes, which is befitting of a gangster tale. Pasta is served at every meal, and calamari is too, sometimes to an absurd degree. One of the older mobsters is even nick-named Carl “The Calamari.” He eats calamari with every meal. He has been known to toss some rings onto his corn flakes, or stuff some fried tentacles into his roast beef hero. Rumor has it a dish of the prized seafood was placed between Carl and his wife on their wedding night. In the novel, side characters are seen eating calamari, and its presence in the background—I believe—helped to give much of the proceedings a genuine Eye-Talian feel.

As a kid, I was almost afraid to look at someone eating squid. It grossed me out. But when I entered my early teens, my grandfather told me one Sunday afternoon at the dinner table to “knock it off” and try a piece. I’ve been hooked ever since. And so are the characters in DON OF THE DEAD. Calamari is their treat. It’s the little side dish and neighbor to the main meal that keeps them focused, that helps them to feel everything is right with the world.

And in the New York underground, that’s an important state of mind to be in.


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



You can find Nick and his books here:








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9. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Greg Carrico, Author of Apocalypstick

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13418049-apocalypstick



Thanks for inviting me to guest post at BWATE. Like most of us, this is super-busy time of year for me. I’m launching a new business this month, preparing for next month’s release of the 2nd book in my super-hero/horror series, Sand, and I’m writing an entirely new six-book series with my awesome new writing partner Jennifer L Oliver. But even with all of this AND the holidays, I simply had to do this post. Food Fiction? Two of my favorite things in one place? Brilliant!

If you are reading this and have never read any of my stories, which is a pretty safe assumption, I write dark science fiction and horror. My first title was a book called Apocalypstick, which contains two short stories about men who wreak havoc upon the world because of the unrealistic ways that they view women.

The first story is a post-apocalyptic tale about a man with extraordinary powers who tries to rescue a handful of humans from a monster-infested Manhattan. As you can probably guess, food is sort of a big deal in any post-apocalyptic setting, and that is equally true with this one. I’m going to leave it there for this story, because I wrote a novel based on "Killing Tiffany Hudson", and what the characters eat -or don’t eat- hints at the Big Secret behind the main character and her twin brother.

The second story in Apocalypstick, "Finding Home", is part paranormal horror and part psychological thriller, and food plays an important thematic role. The story is told in first person from the perspective of a very troubled man who wants nothing more than a happy, normal life in a place he can call home. Chaos and bloodshed ensue.

But along the way he eats! Each mention of food in "Finding Home" is symbolic of the character’s progress in his journey. This made sense to me because nothing says Home like food. At first, he is drinking cheap cola from a can and stale ham sandwiches from a cooler in a minivan he stole from his previous “home.” Later, after he identifies his next dream-home, he enjoys slightly better fare in a hotel. A BLT and fries from room service. Feeling optimistic with his goal in sight, he goes to a movie and has popcorn. Things are looking up!

Like many of us, he has little time for breakfast and grabs a couple of baked goodies from the hotel buffet. But the moment in the story when he truly feels like this new home and family are for him is when he observes a woman cooking dinner for herself and her husband.

It is a simple meal. Baked chicken. Some veggies. Rice. The non-descript food takes a back seat to the fact that this couple’s meal represents the kind life that our main character so desperately craves, but knows he will never deserve. He wants the intimacy of sharing a meal cooked for him by someone who loves him. Eating on trays in front of the television; tossing little bits to the cute dog at his feet: these things belong to someone else. These experiences can never be his.

Ever the optimist, he decides that he has to try and make it work. And if a few more people have to die in the process, well, that’s just how life goes. 

If you decide to see for yourself how this story plays out, you can get Apocalypstick for free from Amazon and most distributors, but be warned. "Finding Home" is creepy. It’s not graphic or gratuitous, but it will probably make your skin crawl. "Killing Tiffany Hudson" is more of an adventure story, and I expand the setting and lives of the characters in my novel Children of the Plague. My super-hero horror series, Sand, is set in the same world as a prequel, and so far includes Book 1: Shadow of the World, and Book 2: Phantom Drift, which will be released after Christmas.



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




 
You can find Greg and his books here:




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10. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Rob Carter, Author of The Language of Stones

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38079.The_Language_Of_Stones

Food is probably in everyone's top ten list when it comes to good things to think about, especially when you're hungry. So what better way to get further into your favorite novel than to consider what the characters might be eating? Willand, the young hero in my mythic history – The Language of Stones, was a lad from a village background with simple tastes. For him and the other people of the Vale, the staple diet was a late medieval pottage, or thick stew, that followed the seasons. In spring and summer there was the fresh bounty of all that a green and pleasant land could provide.

In the fall, mushrooms, autumn fruits, nuts and berries, would be laid up in storage along with the harvest of new grain. In the dark depths of winter came the celebration of the solstice when cured meats were eaten, along with trout from the stream and coneys from the warrens along with the odd hare or two. Meat was not in great abundance in the Vale, being eaten perhaps only two days in seven, but there was a pleasing variety -- ducks and geese, ham and beef, and of course mutton. Eggs and all sorts of dairy produce were available also. There is a scene in The Giants' Dance (volume two) where Will and Gwydion hide in the cheese store of a great house, though they have more on their minds than food. Drink, too, was nicely various, with each village inn brewing its own beer and ale, each household making its own country wines from whatever fermentable base was available, such as quinces and medlars and the berries collected from elder trees. There were beehives in the gardens of the Vale that gave honey from which mead was made. Occasionally an enterprising peddler would bring in a flask of something more exotic by the way of fire waters from the mountains of the North.

But the Language of Stones universe, being magical, has more than peas and pottage. As with the sumptuary laws, which banned common folk from wearing certain kinds of rich cloth, there were certain foods reserved for the gentry, the aristocracy and those of royal blood. For instance, no commoner could kill a royal swan, on pain of death, and the same applied to game in the royal deer chases. Steaks cut from the haunches of gryphons, fire-drakes and the like were rare delicacies that sometimes appeared at high table on feast days, but special magical butchery was required to preserve the eater from ill. The lore of plants was a complicated business and a wide knowledge of magical herbs was maintained by specialist wizards. Plants, or "worts", were the province of Gort, the "Wortmaster," and if his spells didn't always work properly he could use his stock of dried leaves to add flavor to his dishes.

Apart from the obvious difficulties with locating such animals as gryphons, this seems like an appealing way to eat and I keep thinking I should write a companion cookbook. One day...


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



You can find Rob and his books here:





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11. FOODFIC: Please Welcome J.L. Campbell, Author of Saving Sam


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18682174-saving-sam

Flaming or Fresh – Food to Please Picky Eaters

Part of the charm of reading is being immersed in the culture of another country, and with that in mind, my stories reflect Jamaica in various ways. There is the culture, the landmarks, the people, and of course, the food. Jamaicans tend to use the smallest excuse to have gathering where food is served. The island is filled with inhabitants from all the continents and so our cuisine is rich and varied.

Children are encouraged to eat specific kinds of food to encourage growth and we see this in Saving Sam, especially during the time he’s in a place of safety. Babies, toddlers and pre-teens often come to despise porridge because it is something they are fed from the moment they can have solid food.

Corn meal porridge is a staple that every Jamaican either loves or hates. It is also called ‘pop’ reputedly because corn meal cleanses the digestive system. This porridge is made through boiling corn meal in water for about twenty minutes, adding coconut milk and spices (cinnamon leaves, nutmeg, vanilla) and sweetening with condensed milk. Many Jamaicans also like corn meal pudding, a sweet treat.


Fruits are also not in short supply in Jamaica and the Otaheite or Malay Rose apple is a favourite of many children. Originally from Malaysia, this apple has been introduced throughout the Caribbean. The thin, edible skin varies from a reddish to rich purple colour.  The flesh is soft and juicy, and these apples can also be used to make a refreshing drink or wine. They are a wonderful source of vitamin C and contain antioxidants.
 
Whether it is prepared over a flame or fresh off a tree, there is always something to satisfy the reader’s palate in my Caribbean tales.


Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, J.L.!



You can find J.L. and her books here:

 
 
 
 

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12. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Wendy Callahan, Author of The Daemon Device

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20361566-the-daemon-device



It’s All About the Pastry



The blurb to The Daemon Device asks the question, “Just how much lemon cake does it take to keep Demetra happy?” The Enigma Enginepurports to “answer the perennial question: is there ever a wrong time to eat cake?” If you have ever wondered why there is so much pastry in the Aetheric Artifacts series, I am here to explain.


It all begins in The Chronos Clock, in which we meet Demetra Ashdown. Demetra is many things, including a drinker of tea and consumer of cakes. These traits seem quite dominant in her personality throughout the entire series. Why is that?


I think I must lay blame on Jane Austen for this. Or, specifically, adaptations of Jane Austen books as movies. It doesn’t matter which movie it is – if someone is distraught, tea is the answer. This is particularly noticeable in Ang Lee’s lovely production of “Sense & Sensibility”. The idea of tea as a restorative beverage and soother of nerves has stayed with me since then.


So in a fit of pastry-driven madness, I created Demetra, who believes any problem can be solved with logic, tea, and cake. Lemon cake is her particular favorite, and she mentions it in every book of the Aetheric Artifacts. She is not alone in her food obsession, though. Her closest friend and scientific sidekick, Simon, expresses a fondness for apple crumble during one memorable moment in The Chronos Clock when news of a clandestine meeting on Drury Lane results in an ongoing pastry punchline.


Who can blame her, though? Going on adventures and solving mysteries is hard work, and one needs energy to do it! Alas, Demetra’s fiancé, Francis, doesn’t stand for this. He prefers to go in, guns blazing, and not pause for tea or cake. Naturally, this makes for some comedic moments between the lovers. Demetra likes her sugar and she’s not afraid to say so.

If you were gallivanting from London to the countryside and back again, flying in an airship from one continent to another, or steaming down the Thames, wouldn’t you get hungry?



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




You can find Wendy here:





 

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13. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Lynn Cahoon, Author of Return of the Fae

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18063459-return-of-the-fae



In RETURN OF THE FAE, Book 2 of The Council series, Parris and Ty take off on a road trip to Cincinnati, Ohio to the stay at The Riverglen, the only magical specialty hotel in the downtown area.  Even though the hotel is warded against a guest using their magic to keep warring factions from using the facility as a hot zone, the staff members are skilled in the hospitality craft. Including those in charge of preparing the food guests ordered from the room service menu.


Parris brought road food along on the trip, munching on peanuts and Skittles during the drive up from St. Louis, but Ty disappeared before they could order real food. So she went crazy with the appetizers list for lunch and ordered one of each, hoping he arrived before the food either cooled or she ate her way through the trays of yummy-ness. The chicken fingers were to die for, but Parris loved the onion rings, their crispy outside reminding her of food from the best drive-in back home, The Hungry Onion.


Later, the couple ordered dinner and Parris had one of my favorite entrées of all time. Shrimp and grits.


With my recipe, I add crumbled spicy sausage, onions, and a touch of garlic to the mix before adding in a cup or so of whatever wine is open in the fridge. Then I let the shrimp steam on top while the grits are cooking. I just use the recipe on the box to cook my grits, with maybe just a tad more salt. Then as they’re finishing, I add a cup of various types of shredded cheese and a quarter cup of sour cream mixing until smooth.


Line a deep soup bowl with the grit mixture, then ladle the shrimp and sausage mixture into the middle with a lot of the pan drippings.


Heaven.

I’m sure the version the hotel gave Parris was just as yummy. And as fattening. Of course, as a witch in training, the one thing she’s realized is she never-ever has to worry about calories again. Now that’s one magic trick I’d love to learn. 



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




USA Today and New York Times best-selling author Lynn Cahoon is an Idaho native. If you’d visit the town where she grew up, you’d understand why her mysteries and romance novels focus around the depth and experience of small town life. Currently, she’s living in a small historic town on the banks of the Mississippi river where her imagination tends to wander. She lives with her husband and four fur babies.



You can find Lynn here:







Return of the Fae – Book 2 of The Council series

A witch in training, a hunter on the prowl, and a world in jeopardy. Learning the rules of being a witch takes years, but Parris McCall needs to master them in only weeks. Ty Wallace is going mad with his desire for Parris, but she’s a distraction in his quest to find Coven X before they take The Council and everyone he knows down. The couple searches for Ty’s missing mentor. Their only clue comes from a banished witch. Upon returning, a new life hangs in the balance.

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14. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Janice Bashman, Author of Predator

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22891926-predator

When Bree Sunderland went with her scientist father to Ireland, she thought it would be a vacation to study bog bodies. She never expected to fall in love with a mysterious young Irishman and certainly not to become the kind of monster her father said only existed in nightmares. Everything changes when Dr. Sunderland discoers that lycanthropy is not a superatural curse but rather a gentic mutation. When they return home, Bree's dad contiues his research, but the military wants to turn that resarch into a bio weapons program and rogues soldiers want to steal the research to turn themselves into unstoppable killing machines.

It should be a bright spot when Bree's boyfriend Liam surprises her with a visit to the United States, but there are darker surprises in store for both of them. As evil forces hunt those she loves, Bree must become an even more dangerous hunter to save them all.

While food doesn't play a huge role in my novel (I try to avoid scenes that involve food unless a key story element is revealed in that scene), there are several scenes in PREDATOR where food sneaks in just to help engage the senses: a smell of something sweetcaramel or maybe vanilla, cinnamon and chocolate ixed with the thick aroma of coffee.

The one truly significiant use of food involves Bree's visit to Liam's house before she flees Ireland with her dad to return home to the safety of the United States. Liam's mom offers Bree cold minerals and crumble (or biscuits, if Bree would prefer). She goes for the crumble, and Liam tells him mom to give Bree blueberry because it is Bree's favorite. This scene provides an opportunity for Bree to truly realize just how much she's lost in life, as well as gain information from Liam and his mom about the Benandati, a race of werewolves who fought against evil. If I tell you any more about the Benandati it will give away too much of the plot, so I have to back off there, sorry!

Perhaps most telling of all is that food only appears early on in the novel. As tension and suspense and action increase, food is the last thing on anyone's mind...


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



You can find Janice here:






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15. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Bobbi Carducci, Author of Storee Wryter Gets A Dog

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11398978-storee-wryter-gets-a-dog



When eight year-old Storee Wryter wants to convince her parents that it’s a good idea to adopt a puppy she has her work cut out for her. She already has an opinionated cat named Critique and a full schedule of after schools activities. Will she have time to properly care for a boisterous puppy?

To complicate matters, Storee’s friend and neighbor Kyria who brought the puppy over, not only wants Storee to adopt the puppy, but asks they train her as a therapy dog as well.

 Uh-oh added work and added expense.  The Wryter family needs to know a lot more about what they could be getting into before making a decision.  So, they invite Kyria’s father over for a meeting.

Like many meeting involving family decisions this one take place around the kitchen table.  Understandably, Storee is nervous and her parents are skeptical when Mr. Henry arrives.  He hopes to convince the family that taking on a new pet and one with a job at that, can be done without too much disruption. 

Mrs. Wryter wants her guest to feel welcome without conveying too much weight to the visit. A bowl of chips and some coffee do the trick. It’s the type of finger food one offers a neighbor who happens to drop by.  It’s easy to prepare, easy to eat, and easy to scoop away to signal the end of a visit.

Once the decision is made and Storee begins to train Addie, she uses puppy snacks to show approval when a lesson goes well.  Dogs and people understand that treats are a sign everyone is happy and when Critique watches and begins to follow commands too the pets begin to bond in unexpected ways.

In the end, when Addie is trained and Storee takes her into a school for the first time to work with children having trouble learning to read, Storee and her family celebrate what Addie has learned and how well Storee has met her new responsibilities.  When Kyria drops by she is invited to stay and enjoy a piece of warm apple pie and a merging of family and friends dedicated to helping others.


In this simple story for young readers the food could seem like a very minor element. But, it turns out to be just as important in creating bonds within this family as it does in ours.


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



You can find Bobbi here:




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16. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Lorraine Carey, Author of The Last Vestal Virgin


When you are raised in an America Italian Family home life is full of traditions. Two of the most traditions are family gatherings and food. Trust me, I was raised in one. Seems life was centered around food and family. And maybe more food. Christina Ciccone, the main character grew up on her mama’s spaghetti and meatballs. She loved Sunday dinners which consisted of spaghetti, hot garlic bread and salad.And of course there was always Neapolitan Ice Cream for dessert.


I mention Pizzelle cookies in the story. These fancy waffle cookies were served up for Christina’s elegant high school graduation party. Her mother and her Aunt Linda made them in the waffle iron the morning of the party. These are her favorite cookie.



Helen Ciccone, Christina’s mother learned the craft of making great spaghetti sauce from her mother. It was a recipe in the family for generations. The secret was to put pork into the sauce for great flavor and add a little bit of sugar to sweeten the sauce and take out some of the sour taste from the tomatoes.



Now, Darien Russo, the young man obsessed with Christina is hooked on fast food. When you are a paramedic and on the run all the time it’s just about the only option. His favorite fast food is a footlong Subway turkey sandwich and chips. He once ate four bags of chips while sitting outside of Christina’s house hoping he’d see her.



Jade, Christina’s BFF loves to come over at night and hang out with Christina in her room searching for paranormal topics on the internet. She loves to munch on  Caramel Corn while chatting.



Mysterious Mrs Silva, retired school teacher and chaperone on the trip to  Rome with Christina’s history club is a very refined lady. She loves her  Chardonnay with a fresh Caesar salad. She’s been known to throw a hissy fit it lettuce is wilted.



Mr Frescelli, Christina’s history teacher and bachelor is not much of a cook.  His evening meal consists mainly of a frozen dinner and a beer. One of his favorites is the Hungry Man Meatloaf Platter. He watches the History Channel while trying to grade papers.


For the Vestal Virgins, their specialty is making the famous ‘mola salsa’ cakes. These were a special wafer like cakes made of pelt flour,water and salt, then burnt in the turibulum which was a type of incense burner. The cakes were brought to special events and crumbled up and sprinkled over areas as offerings for the gods.


Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Lorraine.

You can find Lorraine here:

LorraineCarey.com          Twitter @LosingGround1          Facebook          Goodreads

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17. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Andi O'Connor, Author of Redemption

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20898192-redemption



When I agreed to write a post for But What Are They EatingI must admit I was a tad overwhelmed. I am working on three different series simultaneously, and all three could easily have a post. So, how did I make my final decision? Well, there wasn’t any deep, thought-provoking way I went about it. To be honest, I did eeny-meeny-miney-mo.

*hangs my head in shame*

I suppose I really shouldn’t. I mean, we all have those moments, right ...... right?

Regardless of how I made my decision, I chose my short story Redemption from the series The Legacy of Ilvania. Because it’s a short story, I didn’t delve into what the main character Jae is eating. Nevertheless, what he eats, more specifically what he doesn’t eat, plays a crucial role in his life and greatly influenced what he is today.

At the age of sixteen, Jae’s parents sold him to the Mé’Draak.

A fighting force able to wield powerful magic, the Mé’Draak are Ilvania’s most revered defenders. Having a son chosen to join their forces is considered a high honor. But in the College where the recruits are trained, it quickly becomes apparent that the Mé’Draak are nothing to be commended. For the young boys aren’t students. They’re slaves.

Put in tiny, cramped cells and given thin rags to wear, they spend their days huddled against the damp stone walls, dreading the moment a key turns in the lock and they are taken to their session. Unlike a normal school, the boys don’t learn to call upon their magic through instruction. They learn through pain.

Twice daily, each student is taken to their session. Their trainer attacks them with lightning, the most common spell of the Mé’Draak. The boys quickly learn to raise their magical shields in defense, or they die. For those who survive the first onslaught, the attacks increase in strength until the pupil falls unconscious from the strain or they are driven to the point where anger and resentment take control. Defending is no longer an option. They turn their energy around and attack. They’re broken. They’re a Mé’Draak.

So far, I haven’t talked at all about food, but you can probably imagine what I’m about to say isn’t going to be pleasant. As I mentioned earlier, the food given to the boys at the College plays an integral role in their Breaking. In order for the method of training to work, they need to be completely demoralized. They aren’t given any kindness or compassion. They aren’t given time to socialize. But above all, they aren’t given food.

Jae grew up on a farm. He was used to hearty, simple cooking. But he was also one of eleven children and a poor family. Meals need to consist of a few cheap ingredients and feed a lot of mouths. Soups and stews were what his mother cooked most often. Potatoes, squash, and root vegetables such as carrots and parsnips transformed into hearty stews that somehow always managed to taste different. Sliced cabbage, potatoes, and carrots made a light soup which was one of Jae’s favorites. Squash pies were his favorite food in the fall, and for the hotter summer months, he enjoyed lightly fried squash and zucchini tossed with rice. Once a month, Jae’s father would trade some vegetables grown on the farm for meat from the local butcher. Jae looked forward to that time of the month with baited breath.

Jae was never hungry, but he also never truly knew what it was like to be full. Nevertheless, when he arrived at the College, he quickly learned what it was like to starve.

The Master doesn’t want the boys to be healthy. He doesn’t want them to be strong. The quicker they become weak, both mentally and physically, the quicker they will be Broken. He wants them to have no willpower left to resist.

Part of how that’s achieved is by feeing the boys next to nothing. Jae thought he was hallucinating when he was served his first meal—if you could call it that. A tiny wooden tray smaller than an average plate was plopped in front of him. On it was a half a slide of bread and a small cup of light yellow broth. No vegetables. No rice. No meat. Broth.

Jae devoured the food in seconds and spend the rest of the day reassuring himself the next meals of the day would be more substantial. To his dismay, he received only one more meal that day. And it was exactly the same.

Still, the Master realized there needed to be some concession on his part, otherwise the boys would die of starvation before he’d even have a chance to break them. Once a week, he let the boys receive three meals. The first two were the same as every other day; bread and broth. The third consisted of a slice of roasted meat, boiled potatoes, and a roll.

When Jae arrived at the College, he was fit and muscular. Five months after eating the Master’s prescribed diet, he was emaciated beyond recognition. If not for that one special meal a week, he would have forgotten the taste of food.

Food is an essential part of our lives. Many of us take it for granted and fail to recognize how much we depend on it mentally and physically. Redemption reminds us how easily that can change. How easily something affects us when it’s wrenched away. Does Jae learn how to survive the torture of the Mé’Draak? Can he continue to hold on to who he is before it’s too late?


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



You can find Andi here:





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18. FOODFIC: Noggin - John Corey Whaley

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18049084-noggin



Noggin starts with Travis Coates waking up. Not from something as simple as a nap, nor as extensive as a coma; Travis has been cryogenically frozen for 5 years. More specifically, his head has been on ice all that time, waiting for a donor body (and medical advances) to facilitate his revival.

Now youknow that I need to know how that old-mouth-to-new-digestive-tract connection works.  Well, we don’t get to see Travis ingest anything until his father brings him home. That first night back, Dad makes him eggs – which go down just fine – and no follow-up statements or inquiries are made to suggest any meal since the wake-up have gone otherwise. There’s no mention of any food or drink in the hospital at all, and though I know it’s possible for Travis to have subsisted there on IV fluid, they surely wouldn’t have discharged him without testing that new fused esophagus!

So I have to pause in my reading to flesh out the stages in my own mind: transitioning from an IV to water and juice, maybe moving on to Jell-O, then applesauce, brothy soups for lunch, mushy oatmeal for breakfast, etc. I imagine Travis graduating from one level to a denser, chewier one each day until presumably summiting at some clinical version of beef and potatoes. And all quite unremarkably, or we’d have been told otherwise, right?

Okay, now I can return to the story already in progress. And I find that, unfortunately, Travis’s social assimilation back into the world doesn’t go as smoothly as the digestive part did. Reconnecting with his parents is easy, sure, but his old best friends don’t even come to visit him in the hospital. Of course, they’re now 21 while he’s still only 16, so their lifestyles have certainly diverged. Travis hasn’t changed at all (except that he’s no longer battling the terminal cancer that forced him to opt for the radical surgery); he feels like he’s merely been asleep for a few days.

In stark contrast, his (ex?) girlfriend has moved on so far that she’s now engaged to another guy. Okay, I can see her reluctance to rush to Travis’s bedside, but what excuse could the male best friend have for staying away? Luckily (for us, not him, obviously) Travis is as confused as we are, so this progression is graciously served up bite by bite, making this Noggin’s bizarre premise quite easy for readers to swallow. ;)

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19. FOODFIC: Dorothy Must Die - Danielle Paige

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18053060-dorothy-must-die



Her name may still be Dorothy Gayle, but she is nothing like the girl you remember from that first journey to Oz.

She’s still wearing her trademark blue-and-white checks, but she’s traded in the farm-girl cotton for silk and chiffon in a style somewhere between haute couture and French hooker. Mm-hmm.

Oh, and she’s wicked now, too. Not in title, of course, as the official wicked witch collective is still around, but as defined by her nasty behavior. And speaking of titles, she’s given herself a bold one: Princess Dorothy of Oz, second only to Ozma, who for all intents and purposes is only (thanks again to Dorothy and her usurping of all magic in the realm) a shell of a person. Really this means Dorothy is now running the show, along with her trusty companions who have also all changed equally for the worse.

The Tin Woodsman now commands the army – human soldiers who’ve been mechanically and creepily modified much like himself – and doles out punishments like flesh-melting bubbles. The Lion rules the forest and also has a paw in penalizing those who’ve “wronged” Dorothy; when a guard merely looks at the princess, the “criminal” is charged with a wandering eye, which the Lion quickly flicks out with one crooked claw and swallows whole. And the Scarecrow’s the worst of all with his Moreau-like experiments on the citizens of Oz, as well as his draining of others’ brain fluid to inject into his own newly acquired organ.

See? Oz is almost unrecognizable.

But this is where the heroine – Amy from Kansas – comes in. Coincidentally (or not) a tornado also delivers her to Oz, where she can perhaps undo the damage wreaked by her fellow Midwestern predecessor. Before she can even acclimate to her new surroundings, she’s tasked to REMOVE the Tin Woodsman’s heart, STEAL the Scarecrow’s brain, TAKE the Lion’s courage, and finally KILL Dorothy herself. A tall order for a girl who was just yesterday struggling to survive high school!

To accomplish this mission, Amy is magically transformed by the wicked witches into Astrid the maid so that she may infiltrate the palace. Like the other servants, she is treated like a slave – working to the point of exhaustion and “lucky” to get a 15-minute break to snack on stale muffin bottoms, which are actually a rare treat for workers.

So, even though Amy initially had trouble reconciling the horror stories she was hearing with the storybook heroine she knew, and she had NO intention of ever murdering anyone, it’s not long before she recognizes that Dorothy has become a magic- (and muffin top-) hoarding fascist. And when some of Amy’s new Ozian friends fall victim to the ruby-shod tyrant, Amy’s unwanted assignment turns into a vendetta of her own.

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20. FOODFIC: Welcome Serina Hartwell, Author of Hidden

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22382615-hidden---serina-hartwell


I first dreamt up the Hidden Saga many years ago, while at the bottom of my garden. It was a hot sunny day in the middle of August and I had a thirst that I just couldn’t quench. As I reminisce, I recall heading down with a glass of fresh orange and sitting for the longest time, just thinking, watching the water condensate around my glass and run down onto the table. Water – That was the only thing that I was sure of when I first made the decision that I really had something worth pursuing in Hidden. I had no idea where my story would take me, but it led me along a path that I’m still walking along and the elements became a focal point in Bronte and Bayer’s world.

When any writer decides to write, they have to start somewhere and that can be both scary and exhilarating all at the same time. With the first stroke of the keys, a new writer might have an idea of what they are going to put in their story, but it is very rare that a writer will wake up with a full book in their head, ready to go for their first attempt. When I started the only thing I knew was that I wanted to write a about a family with small children, who were inseparable and would grow up together, so I created Bronte and then Riley, who are best friends in Hidden.

Deciding to create a saga meant that I had to find ways to grow friendships, resolve woes and conflicts, while indicating that my characters had solid family backgrounds. One device I chose was to use food as the means of conveying this to my readers. Without considering its true attributes, food is often used as a means of building bridges, impressing those around us, or that special person in your life. It brings families and friends together, it builds friendships and representatives one’s status. Food is used in all manner of ways in daily life that we take for granted and I wanted to capitalize on that aspect in Hidden.

There aren’t many scenes in Hidden where I use food, but all the scenes I use it in are important, often spelling key moments or significant points in the storyline. I use freshly baked soft muffins and hot chocolate with marshmallows, when Riley goes to visit Bronte in hospital after her accident. I used the food to convey to my audience, not only that they are young, but that there needed to be an application of comfort applied to the visit. This is the sort of thing that we all like, but as teenagers, we tend to see them as too childish to order, and shy away from them. However a caring grandmother would make them to aid a granddaughter’s recovery and help sooth pain. Comfort food screams volumes to my audience that my characters are in need of some TLC. I also have Riley order a hot chocolate when he visits the café with his mother and receives bad news about Bronte. The comfort of the hot chocolate with its decadent luxury is there to soften the blow.

I use this device again later on, when Bronte leaves the hospital and is visited by her friends. Mrs Salvador bakes a cake with Bronte before her friends come round, this is to show how close she is to her grandmother. A shared activity of this nature immediately conjures up a whole host of imagery. My audience can draw upon this to gain an appreciation of the bond between Mrs Salvador and her granddaughter, therefore picking up the caring aspects conveyed by the scene, without me having to go into any detail.

When Bronte returns home from hospital, I throw a family get together with a huge welcome home meal. The size of the meal is there to represent the depth of feeling that her family has for her. Their measure of guilt thrown in there, is to compensate for the fact that they almost lost her in her accident and is characterised by the food put on the table to spoil her. I drew from my own childhood with this. I recall going to visit my grandmother, who lived in the next town. We didn’t drive, so immediately a visit to her house became an event with a degree of formality. I used to love the bus ride there and the fact that she always made a huge Sunday roast dinner with all the trimmings. That was back in the days when I used to eat meat and her roast beef and Yorkshire puddings were to die for, even if I did push the meat around my plate.

My grandmother always made Yorkshire puddings a little different to everyone else I know. They are usually huge crown shaped batters that almost climb out of the tin, but she made them so that they were flat, filling the tin that they were poured into. They still clambered out of the tin, but the walls made it the container needed for the meal. They were the size of dinner plates.

A Yorkshire pudding isn’t sweet despite what its name implies, unless it is made that way. It was meant to be a savoury batter that families used to make the food on the table at meal time go further. They were traditionally made for lower class families, whose incomes didn’t stretch very far, but once tasted, it doesn’t matter what your background, you’ll always want them on your table.

My grandmother used to take pride in telling me about how my dad and my uncles would have one each and how it had become a family tradition. Putting them on the plates, she would fill them with the rest of the dinner then pour gravy over everything. The trick was to eat them without the gravy pouring off your plate, not an easy task when you’re young. I could never get through a whole one back then and brought this memory with me to draw upon when writing Hidden – Book 1 of the Hidden Saga.

Ps. did you know that Trapped - Book 2, is coming soon?


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


You can find Serina here:


                                                    SerinaHartwell.com
 





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21. FOODFIC: Frozen - Melissa de la Cruz & Michael Johnston

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15850937-frozen



The dystopia created by Cruz and Johnston is pretty much what the title implies – a bleak world of cold and ice, insufferable to all but the heat-eliteof the RSA (Remaining States of America). You could even say the second social tier is comprised of hooved quadrupeds – the few remaining cattle who are nurtured in expensive temperature-controlled stables. The cows probably [live] better lives than most people, in fact.

Since clearly very few people are eating beef, the only meat available to the common folk consists of whale, walrus, or reindeer. Those who can’t stomach that are left with processed junk like pizza squeezers and Thanksgiving in a can. Like I said, bleak. And perhaps blechas well. ;) Either or both ways, the availability of food provides a great platform for revealing the inner-workings of the characters.

You see, we first meet Ryan Wesson as he is turning down a steak dinner. Or, more precisely, turning down a job offer he can’t stomach. He actually lets the food be sent back to the kitchen, knowing he’s in turn sending himself and his crew back to the food lines. But even in desperate times, he has an ethical fiber that he can’t shed, despite knowing he’d be warmer (and fuller) without it. Yes, he’s in the mercenary business, but his ex-military moral compass forces him to use his skills for protection and rescue. No, a contract to murder for hire is too much.

Now, in drastic contrast to Wes is the proposer of the next job he DOES accept – a girl who needs help getting out of the country ASAP... and who Wes instantly pegs as a liar and a thief.
Still, he agrees to take her to the “Blue” – a perhaps mythical realm where the sun still shines and the water still flows clear and blue, as does the sky – partially because he needs the money and the work doesn’t harm anyone, but equally because he finds Nat so intriguing.

And when Nat finds out mid-venture that Wes first needs her help to get his ship back – as in, he has a ship, he just doesn’t have it right now – she in turn finds herself falling for this Jack Sparrowish-rogue.

Will they make it to the Blue – if it even exists? And what will they eat when the get there? Good thing it looks like there’ll be another installment to this saga, as my hunger for answers was only partly satisfied. ;)

0 Comments on FOODFIC: Frozen - Melissa de la Cruz & Michael Johnston as of 7/25/2014 1:10:00 PM
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22. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Lori Otto, Author of Lost & Found

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20888295-the-complete-emi-lost-found-series?from_search=true

So, today on But What Are They Eating? we are going to change things up a bit:
But What Aren’t They Eating?
In my Emi Lost & Found series, there is one thing that the heroine Emi absolutely will not eat: chocolate.
You’re probably thinking, “Is she really a woman?  Is she even human?” The answer is yes to both questions.
In the three main novels, it’s mentioned on a few occasions that she doesn’t like or want chocolate.  It’s offered a couple times, but the reader never really knows the reason behind her distaste.
On a side note, here’s a little tidbit about my series.  The three novels that make up the bulk of this contemporary (yet atypical) romance series – Lost and Found, Time Stands Still, and Never Look Back – were released in the spring of 2011.  After readers finished them, one of the most common questions I got from people was about the chocolate.
A little over a year later, I got this crazy idea to write a prequel and release it in chapters on my website.  In Not Today, But Someday, everyone finally discovered Emi’s reason for avoiding the delectable treat.
First of all, it’s not an allergy.  When Emi was younger, on what she thought was her first date, she indulged in Raisinettes after the boy who took her to the movies dropped her off at the theater with his step-sister and continued on–by himself–to an arcade.
Later in the book, sixteen-year-old Emi has run away from her mother’s apartment, and has begged her new friend, Nate, to let her stay at his house for the night.  Confronted by his mom, Emi opens up about her own:
“She’s leaving my dad,” Emi says.  “I honestly don’t know how to deal with this.”  She takes a bite of the apple and chews it slowly, tracing the marble pattern of the countertop.
“I’m sure it’s not easy, Emily.”  Mom leans on her elbows on the island, attentive to Emi.  “Sometimes it helps to talk about it.”
I don’t want to make her uncomfortable.  “Mom–”
“He cheated on her.  I caught him,” Emi continues.  I look at her, biting my lip, allowing her to speak.  “He took his mistress to this restaurant.  I was there with some friends, and this woman’s laughter rose above the noise of the entire place,” she says evenly.  I can tell that emotions lie just beneath the surface, but I admire her strength as she continues.  “I watched her for a few minutes, thinking it was sweet how her date was feeding her fruit dipped in chocolate.  They had a fondue pot between them.  He held a cherry up by its stem, covered with chocolate, and fed it to her.  The chocolate dripped down her chin, and he stopped her from wiping it off with her napkin.  I was entranced.  It seemed so intimate.  I was imagining that being me someday.  I even nudged my friends and got their attention, showing them what I was watching.  And then her date leaned in and licked the chocolate from her face, eventually meeting her lips with his.  He kissed her for a long time, and one of my friends said, ‘That looks like your dad.’”
Mom has a distinct frown on her face, and she puts her hand on Emi’s arm.  Chocolate.
It’s all in her head, essentially.  No amount of craving for something she once liked will make her set aside the association of chocolate with her father’s infidelity.
Well, there are two cravings in my series that do, but… well, you should read the books to find out what they are!  
The prequel, Not Today, But Someday, is no longer on my website, but it is offered for free for your Kindle, Nook or iPad.  It is also part of the four-book Complete Emi Lost & Found series!  And if you read these and like them, there is a spin-off series available, as well.

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

You can contact Lori here:


And find her books here:
Amazon.com                                         iTunes                                         Barnes & Noble


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23. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Back Lorne Oliver, Author of The Cistern

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21642318-the-cistern



I asked the wonderful Shelley if I could do this write up and she graciously said yes.  Ten minutes later I wondered, Dude, what are they eating?  In The Cistern the main characters own and work at a restaurant, so it should be pretty simple.



I have worked in the restaurant industry for nearly 10 years and have always been amazed at the variety of the characters you find working there, as well as the crazy things that can go on, so I of course wanted to write something that took place mostly in and around a restaurant.  I had started a few ideas, mostly dealing with life and love, but none of it was really working.  I put the idea in a back file in my brain and went on.



A couple of years ago my wife got a part-time gig cleaning dealing with foreclosed houses.  The job was supposed to be simple:  take pictures of the building, inspect it, take note of any damage, clean it out and collect the cash.  House #1 had been abandoned for a year.  Going inside we were amazed at how much stuff was left behind.  Shoes, kitchen toys, a dining room set, kids skateboard, family photos, little kids drawings, one kids report card, candles…it was as if the family had to get out of Dodge in a hurry.  Right away the story ideas started churning.  What happened to the family?  Where did they go?  As we searched the main floor the ideas were bubbling and preparing to erupt.  Then we went into the basement.



If you read chapter #4 in The Cistern, Chrys and Spencer go to what they refer to as “The Creepy House” and pretty much do the same walk-through that my wife and I did.  And in the basement they find the same peculiar thing we did.


 
          “Ah, Chrys.”
     The hairs on her arms felt electrified at just the way her brother said her name.  He was already moving forward.

     Spencer felt drawn to walk around these inside walls.  There had to be a door or something.  There had to be a reason for them to be there.  He said, “This is a concrete room.  The walls don’t go up.”

     “What?”

     “They don’t go all the way to the ceiling.”

     “What?  Why?”




Here in Saskatchewan there are many old houses with cisterns in them.  They are basically reservoirs for collecting rain water that can be used for many household things that don’t need filtration and all that.  The tank at the back of your toilet is a cistern.  This one happened to be about 10’ on each side and 6’ high with a trap door on top.  The ideas burst through the damn.



I decided to put some old character ideas I had (it was actually a couple originally) but make them a brother and sister.  I brought back the restaurant idea and The Alcrest Mysteries were born.



Food is an important part to developing the characters.  Yes, I’m counting The Alcrest Gastropub as a character as well as the main ones Spencer (chef and owner) and Chrys (server and constant eater). It starts from Chrys adding hot chocolate powder to her coffee to what Spencer puts on the menu.  There are even a couple of bonus recipes in the paperback.  What they personally eat has not been completely delved into yet.  Restaurant workers are notorious for eating crap.  Spencer’s favorite late night snack, for instance, is Chocolate Frosted Pop tarts (toasted) and a bowl of chocolate ice cream.  Chrys, on the other hand, is also a dance instructor and jammer for a local roller derby team, so she tends to try and eat healthy.  Not to mention she rarely pays for her own food, so eating in their restaurant or others is a constant treat.



Chrys and Spencer are just regular people living regular lives amongst outrageous circumstances.  And, if you ask Spencer, amazing food courtesy of The Alcrest Gastropub.


Thanks for returning to share more food for thought, Lorne!


You can find Lorne here:







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24. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Stephanie Siciarz, Author of Away with the Fishes

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22402696-away-with-the-fishes



Kingfish in coconut cream, pigeon in pineapple, stewed plums. The delicacies that populate the picnics and pantries of Oh are as sweet and spicy as the island itself. Just ask Trevor Rouge, proprietor of Trevor’s Bakery, whose cold drinks and warm buns loosen the locals’ lips; or Captain Dagmore Bowles, who plies his one true love with cool cabbage salad to win her heart. Talk to the anonymous man (if you can find him) who placed an ad in the island paper for a girl with cooking skills worthy of marriage. All of them will tell you that guava tarts and macaroni pie wield the same kind of magic as Oh’s gossipy winds and fool-making moon.

In Away with the Fishes, the second— but standalone —installment in my Island of Oh series, it’s precisely the preoccupation with fish and fowl that drive the drama. Rena Baker, known for the culinary attentions that she lavishes on Madison Fuller, her boyfriend, goes missing. All the signs (when bent and twisted) seem to suggest that Madison has done her in. How else to explain the classified ad for a bride who can bake? Surely Madison seeks Rena’s replacement, and the Island Police are swift to deliver him his just desserts.

Then again, mightn’t Madison be telling the truth when he says he knows nothing of Rena’s whereabouts or of the ad? Mightn’t the ad, instead, be designed to ensnare Madison’s own sister, May Fuller, whose fish chowder and Christmas cakes are reputed island-wide?

Questions like these are just the sort of salt and pepper that add flavor to the workaday world of Customs & Excise Officer Raoul Orlean, who has yet to find an island riddle he can resist unraveling (though resolving them is sometimes a different matter). Raoul has no need for bakers’ buns or classified ads; his wife Ms. Lila’s fare is fine indeed. But mysteries, he cannot stomach. Lucky for him, thismystery doesn’t want for clues, and the clues want Raoul to investigate one cook to find another: old Mrs. Jaymes, cook and housekeeper to the long-dead Dagmore Bowles, might just hold the key to the Rena riddle. Now normally Raoul wouldn’t battle wits with a ghost, which is what old Captain Dagmore must by now be, but in the interest of island justice—and his own plain-as-noses-on-faces philosophical school—Raoul eats up the Captain’s tale. Exactly what answers lie therein, Raoul will have to sniff out.  And with a pinch of island luck, he might just do so before poor Madison’s goose is cooked. 


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



You can find Stephanie here:




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25. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Matthew Harrill, Author of Hellbounce

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22393422-hellbounce


My protagonist, Dr Eva Ross has had a scare; her husband has finally revealed himself to be a man of highly questionable moral judgement.

Checking in at a hotel, she gets directed to Moynagh’s, a bar on Exchange Street in Worcester, Massachusetts.


The barman indicated several taps. “Ales, from the motherland. Guinness, if that’s your thing. Several Irish whiskies. Most of this lot only drink Jameson’s. Not a lot of calls for anything else in this place. The only new drink we have introduced in the last ten years is the ‘Passion Plunge’”.

Eva could not help the grin that spread across her face at hearing the name. “Sounds perfect. What’s in it?”

“Sour mix, orange juice, ice, dash of soda and of course a double shot of Irish whiskey. I made it in honour of the charity event we always send a team to.”



Several elements here are important to me. First off, I love real places, and Moynagh’s is such. Second, I love a good cocktail, and so I had fun creating this. Third, Eva has just experienced emotions that are going to severely deplete any chance of passion, and is laughing at the irony. Lastly, I love to learn things. Did you know ‘whisky’ is from Scotland and ‘whiskey’ is from Ireland?

Food (or drink) for thought…


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



Matthew W. Harrill lives in the idyllic South-West of England, nestled snugly
in a village in the foothills of the Cotswolds. Born in 1976, he attended school in Bristol
and received a degree in Geology from Southampton University. By day he plies
his trade implementing shareplans for Xerox. By night he spends his time with his wife
and four children.



You can find Matt here:

MatthewHarrill.com                    Twitter @Matt_Harrill

Facebook Page                   Goodreads                    Amazon





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