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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: Become Your Own Matchmaker - Patti Stanger

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6019920-become-your-own-matchmaker



I know, I know. This might seem like an unlikely pick for this blog. It’s not YA, it’s not fiction, HOWEVER I love Patti Stanger and The Millionaire Matchmaker, so I was going to read her book regardless. Might as well hope to stumble across a good food (fact?) tie-in, right?


As expected, Patti has great advice on everything from timing to hair. And while she doesn’t share any rules for eating on dates or a way to psycho-analyze a guy based on what he eats, Patti does suggest taking “resevations” for men who ask you out during the Dating Detox phases she prescribes. Such Patti-isms as The best restaurants are booked weeks in advance, why not you? are her bread and butter, if you will. ;)


But it was the little insights into Patti’s own life make me like her even more:


First, I found her exercise plan to be eerily similar to mine; Patti watches tearjerkers from her elliptical machine, not unlike my own treadmilling during Survivor.


I also discovered that we share a love for food; like Patti, when the food shows up, I show up. ;)

So even if I don’t need her advice to find Mr. Right (I already have him), these commonalities lead me to believe I should take her advice on food. Lucky for me, she names one right in this book! Turns out Patti’s go-to indulgence is Teuscher Champagne Truffles...which means I'm heading out right now to find out if they’re my perfect match, too. ;)

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2. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Dorothy Dreyer, Author of My Sister's Reaper

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13597733-my-sister-s-reaper



In My Sister’s Reaper, Zadie’s first mistake is telling the boy she likes she can bring her dead sister back to life. Her second mistake is actually doing it.

When Zadie accidentally messes with the Reaper’s Rite that should have claimed her sister Mara, things go horribly wrong. Mara isn’t the same anymore. Zadie isn’t even sure she’s completely human. To top it off, a Reaper is determined to collect Mara’s soul. Now Zadie must figure out how to defeat her sister’s Reaper or let Mara die…this time for good.

Fighting Reapers can sure make a teenage girl hungry. So what do Zadie and Mara Stonebrook chow down on when they’ve taken a break from battling evil?

For Zadie, nothing says satisfaction like a big, juicy burger from Xavier’s. What makes the meal is the order of sweet potato curly fries served with a sour cream dip. It has always been a favorite of hers. In fact, it’s exactly what she ordered when she was on her first date with Gavin.

Mara doesn’t usually indulge in fast food. In fact, she’s pretty good about sticking to a sensible diet. But when stress gets to her, she can’t say no to an extra-large pizza with the works. This is hers and Zadie’s go-to food when they just. can’t. anymore.

And Zadie and Mara can both agree that nothing in the world quite beats their mother’s home-made brownies. Soft, chocolaty, with a generous amount of love thrown in? That always hits the spot.

In any case, Zadie and Mara expend a lot of energy fighting Reapers, so you just know that at the end of the day, a good meal is definitely in order.


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




You can find Dorothy and her Reaper's Rite books here:




 






My Sister’s Reaper (Reaper’s Rite 1)








My Tethered Soul (Reaper’s Rite 2)



















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3. 4-Year Blogiversary!



So happy on this Friday the 13th to celebrate another year of delicious reads!

This year I dug into: 

The Here and Now – Ann Brashares
Dust Girl – Sarah Zettel


These fabulous authors also stopped by to share their food for thought: 

Ksenia Anske – Siren Suicides
Heather Grace Stewart – Strangely Incredibly Good



With so many great guests this year, I didn’t get to blog about every book I read. And, to be fair, not every read lends itself to a good FoodFic discussion, either because the food in the story doesn't jump out at me, or my schedule’s already full for the year, or a book’s subject matter is too dark or serious for me to lightly chat about here.

Anyway, below are most (I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few) of the books I read over the past year that weren’t reviewed here at BWATE?

And, as always, please feel free to suggest some great reads for me in the coming year. :)


Gabrielle Zevin – All These Things I’ve Done,Because It Is My Blood, In the Age of Love and Chocolate 

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4. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Katrina Cope, Author of The Sanctum Series

https://www.goodreads.com/series/132184-the-sanctum-series



When you have a group of street kids rescued from the streets, how do you fill their starving stomachs — with a bowl of slop and a slice of bread? Maybe if you were a soup kitchen on a very limited budget, but Avando, a rich grandfather figure, rescued these kids and bad food is not an option.

These kids are not in for a free ride. In between spying, building high-tech equipment and operating surrogate robots, they are expected to learn basic survival and chores. He has them taught to grow their own food at his eco-friendly boarding school camouflaged in the mountains. This produce is then cooked up by the students under the watchful eyes of Ms. Helen, the cook for this mysterious place. They are taught to make many different dishes, from basic hamburgers to home-styled meals that border on restaurant quality. Regularly they have a choice from dishes like lasagne and salad, bacon and cheese quiche, chicken a la king and wok-tossed vegetables, just to mention a few.

These delicious meals are surrounded by snacks at morning and afternoon tea consisting of a variety of home cooked muffins, biscuits/cookies and fluffy cakes of all different flavours and types and definitely do not forget the tea and coffee.

The borders at The Sanctum boarding school do a lot better than their spy counterparts at the government-run genius school, Ernest State College. Spare a thought for Liam’s injured friends. How about chowing on a nice set of cutlery? Yes, that’s right, cutlery. I’m serious. Liam was going to serve his sick friends a nice platter of shiny silver cutlery. I know this is hard to believe, but the genius was so distracted he didn’t realize that he hadn’t served up any food. It was a good thing his sister Gemma was on the ball and took over to make sure his friends were well cared for. He is not completely useless, though. At least when they were well, he managed to select for them a variety of muffins, cookies and apple juice.

Which school would I recommend you visit for a meal? Well, it would definitely be The Sanctum. However, don’t turn your back on your food if Robert is around. It’s never safe, even if he has already eaten or if it has been dropped on the floor. In fact, in book three of The Sanctum Series, Taylor’s Plight, not even the grubs and trees were safe when he was in the bush hiding for a few hours away from real meals!


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



You can find Katrina here:




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5. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Diane Dunning, Author of Greta Smart Figures It Out

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20458647-greta-smart-figures-it-out


There’s a whole lot of eating and drinking in my contemporary-romance novel, Greta Smart Figures It Out.

The story opens inside a Manhattan restaurant, where the main character, Greta, finds herself being served this morsel while on a nightmare blind date:

“You’re not beautiful,” he said. “Your profile said ‘beautiful.’ You kind of overreached on that one.” He smirked and sipped his dirty martini.

Most women would lose their appetites at this point, flip the table and stuff the guy into the nearest buffet drawer before storming out. Instead, Greta stays, even after he ditches her. She reclaims her dignity with a glass of wine and a calamari appetizer at a table outside. A pleasant dish has restorative powers.

Throughout the book, food connects Greta to her past and grounds her in the present. It provides the setting for Greta to grow and pivot as she discovers new truths about herself, friends, family and a potential lover. Yet it also works against her, as it does when she meets a former colleague for “bad girls lunch.”

Greta Smart Figures It Out isn’t intentionally a book about food, it just turned out that way. Set during The Great Recession, there are no extravagant multi-course meals with exotic ingredients…just a 27-year-old single career woman hungry to transition her life into more satisfying fare. And, with the help of the right food and drink here and there, she finds the sustenance to do it.


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



You can find Diane here:






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6. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Grier Cooper, Author of WISH

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23353227



Say the words “ballet dancer” and most people think one of two things: either “What do I have to do to look like that?” or “Aren't all ballet dancers anorexic?” The truth is the body is a dancer's most important tool–their livelihood depends on it–so every dancer works to keep that instrument finely-tuned and healthy. When I wrote WISH, I wanted to share the world of ballet and the sort of decisions dancers face, particularly when it comes to taking care of themselves and staying at the top of their game. For instance, my main character, Indigo, has to say no to bagels (even though all of her friends are devouring them in front of her) because she has an audition coming up. While it's true that there is an expectation for dancers to stay thin they have to eat because ballet is physically demanding–so  demanding that headliner Steve McLendon of the Pittsburgh Steelers says, “ballet is harder than anything else I do.”

Since all foods are not created equal, most dancers pay close attention to the types of foods they eat. Good nutrition builds a strong body, and dancers need to get plenty of protein to build and repair muscles. However, dance and a full belly don't go well together, which further complicates things.  Since a dancer's day begins in the morning and often ends late in the evening, they have to eat small amounts on the fly, which means high protein snacks are a dancer's best friend. Favorite choices include: bananas (high potassium), beef jerky, nuts and yogurt. When there is time for a full meal, a salad is often involved, paired with hearty grilled fish, chicken or meat.

But dancers are human, too, and just like the rest of us they enjoy an occasional treat. Indigo savors a couple of warm-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookies during a particularly grueling rehearsal. Other treats she samples throughout the book include frozen yogurt with rainbow sprinkles, and let's not forget birthday cake (twice!), because life without birthday cake is dismal indeed.

Feeling inspired? Try starting your day with Indigo's breakfast of champions: 1 slice toasted gluten-free bread, topped with 2 tablespoons almond butter, sliced banana, and a drizzle of honey and toasted coconut. Although her brother, Brad calls it disgusting, it's her favorite alternative to scrambled eggs and her father's burnt toast. Try it for yourself before you form an opinion.

Indigo's advice to you...the one thing Indigo will never have? A double-chocolate-caramel-mocha-frap-with-extra-whip. Or any kind of frap. With 64+ grams of sugar in each one, they're at the top of the list of dancer don'ts.


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


You can find Grier here:





 About the author: Since she was forced into ballet lessons at age five, Grier Cooper has performed on three out of seven continents. Her first crush was in fifth grade but Tchaikovsky was her first real love. She left home at fourteen to study at the School of American Ballet but after living in New York City, San Francisco and Miami she's decided she prefers to live outside of cities. Today she lives in a somewhat secret seaside hamlet with her husband, daughter and Coco Chanel (a black standard poodle). She is a dance activist and recovered sugar addict.

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7. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Stephen Douglass, Author of Kerri's War

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22842304-kerri-s-war


Many thanks to Shelley Workinger for inviting me to contribute a post in connection with my novel, Kerri’s War, to her wonderful blog: But What are They Eating? I was honored and thrilled that she had given me an opportunity to expose Volume Three of The King Trilogy to readers in a very unique fashion. I accepted the invitation without hesitation.

Even though my post would chronicle an event close to the end of the third volume of an epic trilogy, the invitation still struck me as a fascinating idea. “Everybody eats,” I said to myself. “Surely it must follow that readers would be interested in what the main characters of their chosen novels are eating,” I further concluded that Shelley was way ahead of the curve when she initiated her blog. Clearly, she was thinking outside the box. Her timing was perfect. I had just finished reading an historical fiction novel, set in the sixteenth century, in which the Spanish conquistadors, determined to relieve the Central American natives of their gold, were perpetually preoccupied with finding sufficient food to remain alive. There were no grocery stores or restaurants, conveniences we take for granted today.

The King Trilogy is a thrilling epic, spanning four decades and featuring the trials and tribulations of the King family and their connection to an inconvenient fortune. It is stolen and it is cursed. It ruins the life of everyone who touches it. The Bridge to Caracas, Volume One of The King Trilogy, is the story of how the inconvenient fortune was accumulated. Using the Peace Bridge as a fulcrum, an audacious criminal stole $325,000,000 via the mechanism of gasoline tax evasion. The Tainted Trust, Volume Two of The King Trilogy, is the story of what happened to the stolen fortune and its devastating affect on everyone who knew of its existence.

In Kerri’s War, the subject of this post, and Volume Three of The King Trilogy, Kerri King, a thirty-three year old woman, goes to war against Enerco, a corrupt Houston based conglomerate. At the outset of her conflict, she meets and falls in love with Steve Monteith, a perfect ten in her mind. Unfortunately, he is engaged to marry Christine Stewart, a Toronto socialite. Kerri’s dream is shattered when Steve marries Christine, but it is rekindled when he ends the marriage, in dramatic fashion, at the lavish Naples, Florida wedding reception. Once again Kerri’s dream is shattered when Steve is involved in an horrific automobile accident, resulting in a near life ending coma. The two become inseparable as Kerri nurses Steve back to health. Late in the story, Steve invites Kerri to join him in a wine tour of the Niagara Region. He plans to ask her to marry him.

It is at this point in the novel that I wanted the two lovers to be in a very romantic setting, one befitting a marriage proposal. Having endured so much adversity, the two deserved nothing but the best. I chose Niagara on the Lake, in Ontario, Canada, one of my favorite places on the planet. The happy couple have enjoyed the tour, blissfully unaware that they are being followed by a professional killer, contracted by Enerco to kill Kerri.

Following the tour and prior to dinner, Steve led Kerri to the cosy and beautiful Churchill Lounge at The Prince of Whales Hotel.. It was there that he asked her to marry him.

A stunningly beautiful five star hotel at the corner of King and Queen Streets, The Prince of Whales was one of the finest in the entire Niagara Region. Its rust and white brick exterior walls and cedar shake mansard roof line with dormer windows made it look like it had been transplanted from downtown Paris. Its false porch and pillars were festooned with hanging baskets containing thousands of local flowers of every color of the rainbow. It was a destination for tourists wishing to stay and enjoy the visual and gastronomic delights of the area.

Instead of the intimate privacy Steve had anticipated for his proposal, the two quickly became the focal point for everyone in the Churchill Lounge. The happy couple was besieged by well wishers and curiosity buffs, all anxious to congratulate them and interrogate Kerri. The session continued to grow in intensity until Steve raised his hands and formed a T. “Timeout,” he shouted as loud as he could. “Thank you all for your kindness. I wish we could stay longer, but we have to be at the Shaw Theatre at seven, so we have less than an hour for dinner. We really must leave now.” He reached for Kerri’s hand and led her to Escabèche, the hotel’s famous dining room.

HERE IS WHERE I NEARLY MESSED UP. I won’t bore you with the original manuscript text, but I will admit that it failed to describe what Kerri and Steve ate for dinner. When my wife, one of my strongest critics, read this part of the manuscript, she frowned and said, “How can you have your novel’s principal characters, newly engaged, eating in one of the most famous restaurants in the world, and not tell your readers what they ate? You’d have to assume that many of them would want to know.” She was right. How could I have made that omission? My only excuse is that I eat to live. By contrast, many people live to eat.

Armed with my wife’s rebuke, I climbed into my automobile, drove to The Prince of Whales Hotel, reviewed its amazing menu, made my selection, then re-wrote the dinner scene.

Here it is, as it appears in the novel:

They were warmly greeted at the dining room’s entrance by the maître d’hôtel. “Congratulations, Mister Monteith and Miss King. Dinner is on us. Our sommelier will see to it that you have a bottle of our finest champagne to assist your digestion. Please follow me,” he said, then led them to their table. They were treated to a dinner consisting of roast carrot and leek soup, Escabèche Caesar salad, and Northern Canadian elk, with creamed potatoes, sautéed mushrooms, and heirloom spinach. Even if there was enough time for desert, (apple trifle with Mascarpone cream, vanilla and orange juice), both would have declined. They were full and had thirty minutes to curtain time at the Shaw Festival Theater, one kilometer from the hotel. It was time to see Pygmalion.



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



You can find Steve here:








Author Bio:
I was born, raised and educated in Canada. I spent the first half of my career working for the two largest oil companies in the world: Exxon and royal Dutch Shell. I spent the second half working for one of the smallest oil companies in the world; my own. We have three sons and one daughter, all of whom are grown and “off the payroll”. Now retired, I spend summers with my wife, Ann, and our two cats, Abby and Samantha, at our Canadian home near Niagara Falls. We winter at our Florida home in Port St. Lucie. When I’m not writing, I’m reading, traveling, or playing horrifying golf. I plan to write until the day I die, probably longer.

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8. 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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9. 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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10. 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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11. 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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12. 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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13. 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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14. 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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15. 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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16. 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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17. 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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18. 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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19. 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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20. 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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21. 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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22. 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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23. 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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24. 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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25. 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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