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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 Catherine Greenall, Author of A Quirk of Destiny



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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



You can find Catherine here:








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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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



You can find Jackie here:




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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


You can find Tim here:







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

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

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4. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Lee DuCote, Author of MICAH



So, the question is what are they eating? As a small town located in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas time goes a little slower, well maybe a lot slower, and just like in the 1950/60's hamburger joints are still the dive. Even though the story takes place in the present day Hay's Burgers in Seven Springs has been open since the 50's and still serves up the best all beef cheeseburger in town.

Imagine this, you walk in to Hay's Burgers with the sound of the bell on the door and the smell of fresh cut fries and chocolate malts. The first thing you first thing you see is a jukebox tucked in a corner with a selection of songs that hasn't changed in 20 years and the red vinyl booths with green table tops scattered through the restaurant. A waitress chewing gum greets you and tells you to sit anywhere amongst the chaos of teens and other customers.

That is what the characters of Micah face every time they visit Hay's and with mouth watering burgers there is never a disappointment. Micah, Stephanie, Jake, Carrie, Pat, Vic, and Tyler all run in the same cliche and with this group there are no vegetarians. Double cheese burgers, fresh cut fries with extra salt, and large soft drinks for everyone. Even the adults in the story stop by Hay's and grab a burger just like they did in their younger years.

Outside of Hays and when you get in the story you will find that Gran, Micah's grandmother, is an excellent cook and has a reputation with the younger generation. They never pass up a meal or slice of homemade pie when hanging out at Micah's. But Grans reputation of cooking spans far past the borders of Seven Springs, the guardians of Akritas don't miss the opportunity to sit at her table either.

So, just like most small towns in the south you can imagine that living in Seven Springs is like stepping back to yesterday. However don't let the slow pace and layer back attitude of this quaint little lake town fool you, there is something there that is far beyond the reach of human hands.


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



You can visit Lee here:





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5. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Auden Johnson, Author of The Sciell



In the Merging Worlds series, you get to know different kinds of non-human characters. You meet the Del’Praeli in Book 1: The Sciell. They’re a race of beings that use the power in Darkness and can become shadows. Because they’re so connected to the Darkness, their bodies are a bit different. They don’t need to eat and sleep every day. They can’t handle “human” food. Shade Harrellite, one of the main protagonist, got sick after eating bacon.

So, what do they eat? Raw meat. Their bodies can take cooked meat but they don’t eat it often. They prefer the taste of raw meat. As for drinking, they only do water. They live on a river. Water is easy to gather. The Del’Praeli make an alcoholic beverage called Subfusc. It’s the only thing strong enough to get them drunk. Shade’s the only Del’Praeli, in many years, who consumed something other than meat, water and the occasional glass of Subfusc.

Food provided a good bonding moment for the protagonists, Shade and Vayle. They’ve been separated for five years because Shade went away to live in a human city. The Del’Praeli are isolated from the rest of the world in a village called Raesul. Although Vayle could visit Shade in the human city, those that ruled Raesul wouldn’t allow him to see her as he pleased. Shortly after Shade returned, she and Vayle found themselves sleeping outside in the forest. Shade, in her excitement, offered to cook meat over the fire. Vayle had no interest in cooked meat but he agreed because it had been awhile since he saw Shade so upbeat. They were both happy because they were together, just enjoying each other’s company.

I’ve been trying to figure out the inspiration behind that scene. I wrote it maybe 5 years ago. At that point, I hadn’t done any cooking or bonding around the campfire. Most writers have a scene or two (or five) that just comes out of them from wherever ideas are born. Maybe my characters are alive in another world and they’re whispering their stories to me. ;)


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


You can find Auden here:






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6. FOODFIC: Redeemed - P.C. & Kristin Cast



Be forewarned: this post is one giant spoiler. Not of this book, actually, just the 11 that preceded it. ;)

Obviously there have been many changes since this series began, some more predictable than others. Zoey Redbird is no longer just a fledgling; she’s actually a High Priestess now. Or she would be if she wasn’t in jail for killing two men. (Yes, sweet and kind Zoey! But hey, there have been 10 full books since we were introduced; she even says curse words sometimes now!) And since she’s in human jail, she’ll most likely die there when her body rejects the change.

During this incarceration, she’ll surely have visitors, but Heath won’t be one of them as he’s no longer Zoey’s boyfriend. And he’s dead. Well, not all the way dead – he’s sort of been reincarnated, but more in a HoN way than the traditional sense.

On the friendship front, Stevie Rae is still Zoey’s bestie, as is Aphrodite!?! Clearly they’ve both evolved over the course of the series as well – one is now also a High Priestess and the other is no longer even a vampire! You’ve got a 50/50 shot at correctly guessing who’s gone which way. ;)

Besides those original friendships and loveships that readers have been following for 7 years, there have also been cast changes (staff and family, allies and enemies), scene changes (schools and islands and other-worldly realms, oh my!) and conjuring of all sorts of magick – new and old, light and dark.

But one thing has remained constant. (Okay, two things – you know Grandma Redbird wasn’t going anywhere.*) Even in prison, Zoey’s still craving brown pop. It was her beverage of choice when we first met her, and it’s still the first thing she wishes for when served super-runny eggs and beef-jerky-hard bacon in her cell. The only question is: will she be drinking it with her last death-row meal, or using it toast her success at the conclusion of her story?

That’s the one thing I’m not going to spoil, folks. ;)



*She’s of course Zoey’s first jailhouse visitor, toting a picnic basket stocked with her signature lavender chocolate-chip cookies

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7. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Ginae Lee Scott, Author of Looking Through the Water



In my novel, Looking Through the Water, when I glanced back into the story, my main character experienced many types of situations with food. I honestly had not seen this before preparing for this blog post. This alone has been fun reflecting on my purpose of the significance of the meals Cassie has had.

During the summer months off from school, Cassie was left home alone while her parents went off to work. Her mother had left chores for her to do, and while being such a young age of seven, Cassie did what she was told to do, all the while taking care of herself also. Cassie was great at peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and not a burden to others in the neighborhood who would have loved to help her.

My favorite meals are the cookies and ice cream treats at the neighbors, - who through their kindness, I believe, - Cassie received those special times around food that all children should have. And not that the food was sweets, but the togetherness of the meal with others.

Mrs. Vashon, an elderly neighbor, shared her food with Cassie amongst her beautiful garden, that backdrop brought forth the title of this book. Cassie finds part of the beauty in this world looking through the water.

Food in Cassie's home was a opposite side of the spectrum. Her mother had to wrestle with herself to bring forth a peaceful meal, so for the most part meals prepared by her could have the opposite affect in Cassie's life. With the emotional bursts of her mother and the chores to big for a young girl, I believe meals at home were very difficult for Cassie.

The beauty of this novel is that Cassie found the beauty in this world, she was wise beyond hers years and she shared what she learned and saw with others.

It's always wonderful to hear back from readers, I love the interaction talk about this novel. There is a readers book club guide in the back of the book. As the author, I want to tell you this story landed like a movie in my mind so much so, that I had to write it. I experienced a character coming alive while writing too, which is an amazing experience for an author.

After the book was done and edits were going on, I saw so many things from my own life on the pages that it was a healing balm for me. Cassie is a lovely, beautiful child, and I wish I had been more brave like her.

Be blessed today,
Ginae


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




You can find Ginae here:






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8. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Stacy Juba, Author of Fooling Around With Cinderella



Since my characters work at the Storybook Valley fairy tale theme park, they get to have lots of yummy park food like fried dough, caramel apples, popcorn, and best of all the baked gingerbread men and cinnamon doughnuts from the Little Red Hen Bakery. Jaine gets lots of perks from being the park’s marketing coordinator and temporary Cinderella.

Her sexy boss Dylan is a whiz at making homemade lemonade from his years of working at the park as a teenager. He likes to offer Jaine freshly squeezed lemonade when he needs a favor. But he does have a romantic side also, and arranged a private picnic in the woods for their first date. Jaine couldn’t believe the assortment of crispy breads wrapped in parchment paper, savory biscuits and homemade preserves, cold meats and cheeses, a container of Greek style pasta salad, plump green grapes, fruit skewers, and brownies.

For more about the Storybook Valley menu, check out Fooling Around With Cinderella!


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




You can find Stacy here:








And find Cinderella here:

Amazon                    Barnes & Noble                    Google Play

   Kobo                         iBookstore                         Smashwords

What happens when the glass slippers pinch Cinderella's toes? When Jaine Andersen proposes a new marketing role to the local amusement park, general manager Dylan Callahan charms her into filling Cinderella’s glass slippers for the summer. Her reign transforms Jaine’s ordinary life into chaos that would bewilder a fairy godmother. Secretly dating her bad boy boss, running wedding errands for her ungrateful sisters, and defending herself from the park’s resident villain means Jaine needs lots more than a comfy pair of shoes to restore order in her kingdom. First in the Storybook Valley series, a blend of sweet romance, chick lit, and fairy tale fun. 


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9. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Charles W. Jones, Author of Circus Tarot


“Get your Cotton Candy! A token a fluff!” the man in the red-and-white-striped suit yells, though he doesn’t need to raise his voice as he walks the fairway; the Ladies and Gentlemen flock to him wherever he is. His completion is the midget peddling popcorn, and his brother, Six of Poles, who sells roasted peanuts. Of course, he sells more Cotton Candy than the combination of both his rivals.

Cotton Candy, after all, is the food of the gods. In World Circus you can live your entire life eating nothing else. Though your tastes may change for a moment, craving the saltiness of fresh popped corn, or the earthy meat of the peanut, you will always return to the main staple.

During periods of being “flipped”, the stomach won’t grant the sweet floss access to touch its lining, allowing only raw flesh from a fellow member of World Circus inside. Then with the blink of an eye, the condition rights itself, and the patron craves nothing else but Cotton Candy.

The children who come to the Circus, swarm around him, jumping and reaching for the delectable treat. Gripping the white, paper cone, their faces disappear behind the bright pink or blue fluff, before they giddily scatter inside World Tent to watch the show.


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



Find the author and his books here:





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10. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Audrey Kalman, Author of Dance of Souls



Taste Will Tell
by Audrey Kalman

I’ve always loved both writing and cooking. In fact, I once wrote and published a cookbook. That was back in the days when “self-publishing” meant photocopying and comb binding the pages.

The combination of books and food—or literature and gustatory experiences, if you want to be fancy about it—is a natural one, and food seems to work its way into my writing often. A scene from my novel Dance of Souls brings two characters together for a home-cooked meal:

Roxanna had cooked him pollo mole—her mother’s recipe, with nothing from a jar or can. She had toasted and ground the nuts herself and softened the fruit (although she had used the blender and not the metate her mother would have used), hoping to demonstrate to Mr. Candine that in some dishes, albeit not in the case of coffee, ample emotion could compensate for a less-than-scientific approach. He had even helped her in the kitchen as they drank Corona straight from the bottle—another concession by Mr. Candine to his steadily slipping standards. Indeed, the dish had been a great success and they had both eaten more than was strictly good for them.

You could hardly find two more mismatched lovers; their attitudes toward food reveal their differences. Roxanna, the daughter of Guatemalan immigrants, is searching for her place in suburban California and has latched onto a fundamentalist church as a way to stay connected to her past. Cooking is part of her heritage and childhood, something she does as naturally as breathing.

Mr. Candine is a displaced mid-westerner, a religious fanatic with delusions of grandeur and some very peculiar ideas about the world. He also teaches middle-school science. His fussy precision—really just a way for him to maintain the illusion of control—makes itself evident when he cooks and eats. (The mention of coffee is a reference to the scientific exactitude he brings to the task of brewing his morning joe.)  It’s a great testament to Roxanna’s feminine wiles that she has gotten him to loosen up enough to drink beer while helping her cook, and straight from the bottle, no less!

How a character relates to food, cooking, and eating reveals a great deal about who they are and their motivations. I wonder what it reveals about authors…


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




You can find Audrey here:







Audrey has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pen and has been editing professionally for more than twenty-five years. Her novel What Remains Unsaid is scheduled for publication in 2016 by Sand Hill Review Press. Her previous novel, Dance of Souls, appeared in 2011. Many online and print journals have published her short fiction and poetry. She lives in northern California with her husband, two sons, and two cats, and is at work on another novel. 

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11. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Sharon Ricklin Jones, Author of the Ravenswynd Series



In Greek mythology, Ambrosia is considered the food and drink of the gods. It is often depicted as bestowing longevity or immortality upon whoever consumes it. The Ravens (a secret society of vampires) use donor blood and call their ruby-red liquid Ambrosia. This nectar is life sustaining on its own, but contrary to popular belief, vampires also eat solids. Because of their heightened senses, the Ravens are acutely aware of how things taste, and take much pleasure in consuming a wide variety of foods. Fortunately, these ravenous vampires do not gain weight.

In book 1 (Ravenswynd Legends) Elizabeth believes she’s just met the man of her dreams. Before she can get to really know him, she receives an invitation to a clandestine party – where legend has it – is hosted by vampires. The invitation promises a good time, good food and drink, and the choice to become “one of them”. She, her twin sister Melinda, and best friend Fiona, decide to attend, and as you can imagine - their lives will never be the same. Vampires also have an appetite for changing things…

Champagne flows freely. Platters of sizzling hot fillet mignon, (grilled to perfection, juicy and rare) are served, along with baked potatoes, baskets of hot, buttery bread, salads, and chocolate fudge cake. Everyone’s having fun…at first.

But the evening grows ominous, and chances are, they may never get home; Melinda is getting drunk, Fiona's gone missing, and a nightmarish clown is stalking Elizabeth. But even more terrifying - this sinister vampire thirsts for much more than what's flowing through her veins…

Book 2, Ravenswynd Dreams, opens with a romantic and mouthwatering honeymoon.

Upon entering the suite, Elizabeth notices the sweet scent of fresh fruit: grapes, strawberries, cherries and mangoes, apples and bananas. Also, a gift-basket containing a bottle of champagne with a variety of crackers, sharp cheese, smoky sausages, and dark chocolates. (For needed nourishment…later on.)

Several scrumptious meals will be consumed. On a night out on the town they enjoy jellied ham hock, a glazed leek and mushroom tart, and for the main course - rack of lamb with a crispy herb crust, Boulangère potatoes, and butternut squash. They drink a fine bottle of Chablis, and for dessert - hot fudge sundaes smothered in rich chocolate and warm toffee. The honeymooners will also feast on a delectable lunch that includes savory lobster for two, a bottle of red wine, and five-layer chocolate cream pie for dessert. I don’t know about you, but my mouth is watering now.

I bet you didn’t know that vampires love chocolate. After moving to the UK and meeting the rest of the vampire society at Ravenswynd, Elizabeth is pleased to learn this fact. She often finds the cook whipping up batches of chocolate mousse or Tiramisu cheesecake for dessert. She also discovers a little known secret: immortality isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Her dreams become real-life nightmares, and she finds herself up to her neck in a mind-bending abduction…

In book 3, Ravenswynd Visions, an enchanting trip to the Hebrides brings magnificent sights, and more luscious foods. Not only is the lodge’s fridge stocked with a basket of plump strawberries, Hebridean handmade chocolates and a bottle of fine Italian wine, Elizabeth is surprised to find that their violet-eyed prophetess, Sibelle can cook. She serves fresh fruits, bacon and eggs, grilled tomato, toast and marmalade, with cups of steaming hot English tea. On the side - tall glasses of Ambrosia - a most delicious donor, of course.

She also serves them a disturbing prophecy in the form of a rhyming riddle. This fills Elizabeth with a dreadful sense of foreboding; she knows that Sibelle is never wrong. And sometimes evil returns when you least expect it…

In book 4, Ravenswynd Destinies, a tasty breakfast includes fresh fruit-stuffed cantaloupe: each half filled with oranges, apples, peaches, blueberries, and strawberries, topped with honey- yogurt dressing, and on the side - scoops of fluffy scrambled eggs and ham.

At an elegant restaurant, Lizzy orders pan-fried Gressingham duck breast with star anise and blood-orange sauce – (It’s a real thing!) This comes with potatoes Dauphinoise and chef’s vegetables. Her husband orders the Prime Scottish sirloin steak (so melt-in-your-mouth divine, that Lizzy wishes she’d ordered it as well.)

Alas, there is more to our story than food. A forbidden trip to the U.S. enrages a clandestine ring of Vampire Hunters, putting everyone in danger. There’s another mystifying prophesy. Heart-twisting and astonishing revelations will change everything…

* * * * *

Thanks for stopping by to share your food for though, Sharon!


NOTE: Book 1 of the Ravenswynd Series is FREE everywhere.



Find Sharon and the books here:




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12. FOODFIC: Iqbal - Francesco D'Adamo



13-year-old Fatima works in a carpet factory, bonded to master Hussain Khan to pay off her family’s debt. Khan keeps the total amount owed on a slate beside each child worker's loom, lightening the debts by one rupee for each full day of satisfactory work. When all the debt lines have been erased, the children will be free to go home. Fatima, who’s been indentured to Khan for 3 years (and to 2 other masters before him), doesn’t know which chalk marks represent her running tally and which spell out her name because she never learned to read.

Her entire young life consists of carpet-weaving: a work day that runs from sunrise to sunset, opening with chapatti and dal half an hour before dawn, served by the master’s wife in one large bowl to be shared amongst the 14 child laborers. They do break for a lunch of chapatti and vegetables, but, as Fatima relates, break lasted an hour…hunger a good deal longer.

And in the early days, she dreamed of home, including the sweet laddu my mother made with chickpea flour, the desserts and almonds that we ate on feast days. But those memories have faded over the years, and the hopes the children now share with one another are not for sweeter food, but for sweeter dreams. Or even any dreams at all. Fatima’s grandmother once told her that to have no dreams is the worst fate of all, and so the children compete every morning by making up fantastical sleep adventures from the night before.

Those false dreams were truly all they had to live on until Iqbal arrived. Iqbal, who was two years older than Fatima with eyes sweet and deep and [that] weren’t afraid.

It is Iqbal who crushes those pretend dreams as well as the children’s hopes that their debts will indeed someday be erased. But he replaces those fantasies with a real hope – that one day they will run away from the factory. A dream that Iqbal swears he will bring to fruition. And that may actually sustain them far better than that forgotten sweet laddu.

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13. FOODFIC: Please Welcome C.M. Keller, Author of Screwing Up Time



When Shelley asked me to write about the food in my Screwing Up Time series, I was excited.

Probably because I’m a foodie and so food plays an integral role in my time travel novels. Henry, the main character in my time travel novels, is always dealing with food. If it’s not because of his mom, a dyed-in-the-wool, organic health food nut, who serves tofu-turkey for Thanksgiving or his sister Kate and her midnight trips for fries and Whoppers, it’s the food he encounters while he travels in other times and places.

After all, how can you visit the Middle Ages and not experience eel pie or a cockentrice (a combination of a pig and a chicken sewn together and cooked)? Because let’s face it, cockentrice is cool. And eel pie is just weird.

But food is more than setting and characterization. It’s also part of what drives the story. Even in our real lives, food is part of the plot. At holiday times, we come together to share a meal. Engagements happen over candle-lit dinners. Even many religious ceremonies like Communion and Passover involve food. So too, food helps drive the plots of in the Screwing Up Time series. In Screwing Up Babylon, a monkey with the aim of a Yankees’ pitcher in a pendant-winning year nails people with limes in Babylon. And when the beast is tamed with candied orange peel, Henry discovers the key to rescuing a woman from the harem. Or in one of my favorite scenes from Screwing Up Alexandria, Henry steals a mug of Sumerian beer so he can mix up a time travel elixir and save the woman he loves from being sacrificed.


Oddly enough, the food in my novels often drives the plot of my own life. Because if I’m going to write about ancient beers, candied orange peel, and eel pies, I have to know how they taste. The beer was great. Candied orange peel is delicious. And eel pie…okay, I didn’t really make eel pie. But I ate smoked eel, which is probably close enough, and it was surprisingly good.


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



You can find Connie here:







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14. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Wendy Jones, Author of Killer's Cut



Scotch Pehs and Tattie Scones


Scots and food are inextricably linked. Long cold winters mean that hot, high calorie food is enjoyed with relish. Scotch broth thick with barley and brimming with vegetables, and stews made with the best Scotch beef are staple fare. Fodd that warms 'the cockles of your heart', or 'sticks to your ribs' as my grandmother would often say.




Italian immigrants brought fish and chips to Scotland and so began a love affair with all things deep-fried. Fish, dipped in batter and then fried to golden perfection, is served with fat succulent chips. Scotch pehs are also a much loved delicacy. Peh is the local Dundee word for pie. This is short cut pastry filled with spicy minced beef and dripping with grease. The pastry crumbles in your mouth and mixes with the mince causing a flavour akin to ambrosia.



The Detective Inspector Shona McKenzie Mysteries are set in Dundee. Shona and her team work long hours and the food they eat to fuel them is integrated throughout the books. In fact they eat a lot. Bacon rolls feature regularly with huge Scottish morning rolls filled with several thick rashers of bacon. Tattie Scones are another Scottish breakfast delicacy particularly enjoyed by Sergeant Peter Johnston. These are flat, made from potato and, you've got it, fried.

Dundee has had a long relationship with India due to the jute that came in to the ports. Therefore Indian curry is widely available. Shona's favourite food is anything from an Indian takeaway therefore she often orders it in for the team to enjoy.

Some of the best cakes in Scotland are made in Rough and Frasers bakery in Dundee, as are the pehs. Therefore, Shona often nips in to buy cakes for the team. They say an Army marches on its stomach; well, so do the police. They do in my books anyway.


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


You can find Wendy here:









Wendy H. Jones lives in Scotland, and her police procedural series featuring Detective Inspector Shona McKenzie, is set in the beautiful city of Dundee, Scotland. Wendy has led a varied and adventurous life. Her love for adventure led to her joining the Royal Navy to undertake nurse training. After six years in the Navy she joined the Army where she served as an Officer for a further 17 years. This took her all over the world including Europe, the Middle East and the Far East. Much of her spare time is now spent travelling around the UK, and lands much further afield. As well as nursing Wendy also worked for many years in Academia. This led to publication in academic textbooks and journals. Killer's Cut is the fourth book in the Shona McKenzie Mystery series.



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15. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Tonya Kappes, Author of Spies and Spells


There is just something about going to a diner in a small town. . .

I grew up in a small rural Kentucky town. It’s one of those thing when someone asks me where I’m from, I’m going to say the county name instead of the city. That’s just the way a small town rolls. 

That is just ONE of the things that I loved about growing up in a small town in the south.

In most small towns there is that one diner, the one greasy spoon that no matter what time of day you go, there is a line and the counter stools are filled with the same local, little old men in their John Deere hats with a cup of coffee in their hand.

When you go to open the door, you have to give the bottom corner a little tap with the toe of your shoe because it gets a little stuck every once in a while and the above the door dings as soon as you fully open it, our hearts swell with joy. Then our stomach rumbles as the smell of homemade biscuits, sausage gravy, and bacon grease swirl and curl around our nose with strong coffee chasing shortly after. Our eyes scan the top of the full diner just so we can find a couple available seats. After we find that seat, our usual waitress, the only waitress, comes over and fills the foggy plastic glass with the chip in the rim with water and a pot of coffee dangling from her hand. You don’t need a menu. You know what they serve at your diner as if it were tattooed on your brain.

And just thinking about that fried egg has your mouth watering. . .

Awe. . .wasn’t that a great step back into a wonderful memory? What about your memories? Do at least half of them revolve around food?

Food is such a wonderful way to gather people. It is magical really. Food creates community, builds relationships, and fills our souls. Doesn’t this sound exactly how a novel should feed your mind?

I think so too! In every single novel, mostly all in series, I’ve written (twenty-six published), I make the diner and settings of my small, southern towns just as much a character as my heroine and hero. It’s a comfort to the reader to open a novel in a series and know what it feels like to flip the first page and step back into the diner they have grown to love because of all the warm and fuzzy they get from visiting.

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



                                                                         You can visit Tonya here:








Tonya has written over 20 novels and 4 novellas, all of which have graced numerous bestseller lists including USA Today. Best known for stories charged with emotion and humor, and filled with flawed characters, her novels have garnered reader praise and glowing critical reviews. She lives with her husband, two very spoiled schnauzers and one ex-stray cats in northern Kentucky and grew up in the small southern Kentucky town of Nicholasville. Now that her boys are teenagers, Tonya writes fulltime but can be found at all of her guys high school games with a pencil and paper in hand.

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16. FOODFIC:Please Welcome Nancy Lynn Jarvis, Author of A Neighborly Killing



Realtor and occasional amateur sleuth Regan McHenry keeps chocolate chip cookie dough in her freezer ready to take and bake at open houses to create a homey feel. It’s an old Realtor trick, well, that and putting a drop of vanilla on an electric burner to accomplish the same aromatic lure.

So it’s natural that she would bring chocolate-laced melty comforting cookies to the wrongly accused in their jail cells or to use food to gather clues. When she doesn’t have quid-pro-quoi information to exchange with her policeman-friend Dave, she’s been known to loosen his lips with scones. (And he’s been known to cause a dinner disaster with a well-timed call and tidbit of information that makes her forget to stir her risotto.)

But in the latest Regan McHenry Real Estate Mystery, A Neighborly Killing, due out this month, Regan uses a full dinner as a culinary carrot to catch her crook, a recent émigré from Columbia:

Hector Gonzalez was due for dinner at 6:00 on Thursday. Regan was still going to play bad cop to Tom’s good cop, appropriate especially since she knew Hector was woman averse. She was going to come across as the perfect hostess, though, and had researched traditional Colombian meals. Potato-filled empanadas, tidy little fold-over pastries that took forever to prepare, were on her list for hors d'oeuvres . The rest of the meal was a traditional Colombian banadeja paisa, a platter laden with red beans cooked with pork, white rice, ground meat, eggs, chicharrón, plantain, chorizo sausages, corn pancakes called arepa, avocado, and lemon. The great commonality all the food except the rice, avocado, and lemon had was that it was fried. Authenticity set off the smoke alarm in the kitchen twice as Regan perspired over her creations.

Her plan would have worked, too, if during the after dinner conversation she and her husband hadn’t overplayed their hand by suggesting to Hector, a self-styled “Highly Sensitive Person,” that there were spirits of the dead nearby and scaring him so badly he fled before incriminating himself. Oh well. At least their failure wasn’t because of her cuisine.


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



You can find Nancy here:





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17. 5-Year Blogiversary!




NO FOOLIN' ;) I'm thrilled to celebrate another year of delicious reads!

This year I dug into: 

Become Your Own Matchmaker – Patti Stanger
Lailah – Nikki Kelly
I Am Number Four – Pittacus Lore
The Royal Diaries - Elizabeth I – Kathryn Lasky
Queen Sugar – Natalie Baszile
Dakota – Gwen Florio
ZOO – James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge
Going Over – Beth Kephart

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

Leyla Kader Dahm – Annabeth Neverending
Carmen DeSousa – Creatus
John Dolan – A Poison Tree
Gary Dolman – The Eighth Circle of Hell
Lorna Dounaeva – May Queen Killers
Dorothy Dreyer – My Sister's Reaper
E.J. Fechenda – The Beautiful People
Karl Fields – Steths: Cognition
Christoph Fischer – In Search of a Revolution
Ashley Fontainne – Growl
Fayette Fox – The Deception Artist
Rhiannon Frater – Fighting to Survive
Chris Galford – As Feathers Fall
Mark David Gerson – The MoonQuest
Katherine Gilraine – Revival IV (The Index Series)
Mark Gilroy – Cold as Ice
Kim Golden – Snowbound
Peter Golden – Wherever There is Light
Alisse Goldenberg – Bath Salts
Amelia Gormley – Strain
Staci Greason – The Last Great American Housewife
R.S. Guthrie – Honor Land
Jessica Haight & Stephanie Robinson – The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow
Dianne Harman – Murder at the Cooking School
Milda Harris – Adventures in Funeral Crashing
Kelly Hashway – The Monster Within
Tamar Hela – The Wrong Fairy Tale
Guido Henkel – Hunted
Laura Hile – Mercy's Embrace
Kim Hornsby – The Dream Jumper's Secret
Axel Howerton – Hot Sinatra
Lynn Hubbard – Return to Love
Sandra Hunter – Elanraigh
Mona Ingram – Forever Changed
Elizabeth Isaacs – The Light of Asteria
Vickie Johnstone – The Sea Inside
Richard Rhys Jones – Sisterhood of the Serpent
Sanela Jurich – Remember Me
Luke Murphy – Kiss & Tell
Michelle Zaffino – The Love Quad




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. :)

Karin Slaughter – Pretty Girls

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18. 5-Year Blogiversary!




NO FOOLIN' ;) I'm thrilled to celebrate another year of delicious reads!

This year I dug into: 

Become Your Own Matchmaker – Patti Stanger
Lailah – Nikki Kelly
I Am Number Four – Pittacus Lore
The Royal Diaries - Elizabeth I – Kathryn Lasky
Queen Sugar – Natalie Baszile
Dakota – Gwen Florio
ZOO – James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge
Going Over – Beth Kephart

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

Leyla Kader Dahm – Annabeth Neverending
Carmen DeSousa – Creatus
John Dolan – A Poison Tree
Gary Dolman – The Eighth Circle of Hell
Lorna Dounaeva – May Queen Killers
Dorothy Dreyer – My Sister's Reaper
E.J. Fechenda – The Beautiful People
Karl Fields – Steths: Cognition
Christoph Fischer – In Search of a Revolution
Ashley Fontainne – Growl
Fayette Fox – The Deception Artist
Rhiannon Frater – Fighting to Survive
Chris Galford – As Feathers Fall
Mark David Gerson – The MoonQuest
Katherine Gilraine – Revival IV (The Index Series)
Mark Gilroy – Cold as Ice
Kim Golden – Snowbound
Peter Golden – Wherever There is Light
Alisse Goldenberg – Bath Salts
Amelia Gormley – Strain
Staci Greason – The Last Great American Housewife
R.S. Guthrie – Honor Land
Jessica Haight & Stephanie Robinson – The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow
Dianne Harman – Murder at the Cooking School
Milda Harris – Adventures in Funeral Crashing
Kelly Hashway – The Monster Within
Tamar Hela – The Wrong Fairy Tale
Guido Henkel – Hunted
Laura Hile – Mercy's Embrace
Kim Hornsby – The Dream Jumper's Secret
Axel Howerton – Hot Sinatra
Lynn Hubbard – Return to Love
Sandra Hunter – Elanraigh
Mona Ingram – Forever Changed
Elizabeth Isaacs – The Light of Asteria
Vickie Johnstone – The Sea Inside
Richard Rhys Jones – Sisterhood of the Serpent
Sanela Jurich – Remember Me
Luke Murphy – Kiss & Tell
Michelle Zaffino – The Love Quad




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. :)

Karin Slaughter – Pretty Girls

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19. FOODFIC: Please Welcome S.A. Hunter, Author of Elanraigh



Elanraigh: The Vow is a YA/Adult High Fantasy set in medieval times, on an alternate Earth.  It’s fitting that my Heroine, Thera of Allenholme, should meet Chamakin, son of a Ttamarini Chief, at a celebratory feast in honor of their new alliance struck in a time of an impending war.

Feasts were important celebrations in medieval life, whether to welcome a new alliance, the arrival of a dignitary or to celebrate commemoration days and agricultural festivals.

Being of noble families, Thera and Chamakin are seated at the High Table. Their meat course tonight is tender roast chicken served in a stew of wine, sugar, and expensive spices such as saffron and ginger. These spices, including the sugar loaf, Thera’s mother keeps under strict lock and key. The chicken is served on an “upper crust” trencher of pandemain, the best of white bread, made from highly sifted flour. A dessert course of wafers, candied fruits and mulled wine is placed before them.

As Thera sips at her mulled wine, and casts shy glances at the handsome stranger next to her,  at the lower tables, soldiers and merchants are enjoying their dark beer.

The feast grew raucous and loud, dinning in her ears. Even the Harbor Master who had been so pompous in his welcoming speech was now blowing froth off his beer into the laughing face of a burly stave smith.

Thera and Chamakin, seated side by side, are very conscious of each other…

I can’t eat. This surprises her, for usually her appetite’s hearty. She eyes the trencher before her and her mouth waters—but her stomach clenches. Tentatively she takes a bite of crusty warm bread, chews and swallows with an audible sound. She glances sideways at Chamakin. He ate slowly, chewing with determination. His face was flushed with bright color along the high cheekbones.

From this night on, life will never be the same for Thera, Chamakin and their peoples—it is a good thing we learn that Thera can communicate with the ancient and sentient forest, Elanraigh—for that powerful entity has no intention of letting Allenholme fall to enemy invaders.


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




You can find Sandy here:




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20. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Gary Dolman, Author of The Eighth Circle of Hell



A Little More than Gruel
Food in the Victorian Workhouse.

Please, sir, I want some more.

Those words, the words of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, are amongst the most infamous in literature. They were spoken to the master of a fictional workhouse, where the poor young boy Oliver, and his fellows, were being slowly starved on a diet consisting of 'three small bowlfuls of oatmeal gruel per day, with an onion twice a week and a roll on Sunday.'

As a writer of dark, Victorian fiction, workhouses feature prominently in my work. It would be surprising if they did not, since, even as the most prosperous nation on earth at the time, somewhere between a quarter and a third of the population of Britain passed through the workhouse system at some point in their lives. So what was the reality of the workhouse in terms of diet? Was it really as bad as Dickens portrayed?

The short answer, in very general terms anyway, is, no, although gruel – a mixture of oatmeal (or oatmeal and flour) and water – did feature. After the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834, workhouses were subject to the general control of the specially appointed Poor Law Commissioners. These quickly issued a set of six sample dietary tables to the individual Boards of Guardians, who then used these as the basis for the particular diet in their own workhouses. Any variations were subject to the agreement of the Commissioners.

An example of an adult daily diet from the mid-nineteenth century is as follows: 


As this diet table illustrates, the main constituent of the workhouse diet was not gruel, but bread. Workhouse broth was usually the water used for boiling the meat, usually with a few vegetables added. Tea, mainly black, was often provided for the aged and infirm at breakfast, together with a small amount of butter. Supper was similar to breakfast.

A basic principle underpinning the Poor Laws was that of ‘less eligibility’. I make detailed reference to it in my novel, The Eighth Circle of Hell. In other words, to discourage what might be perceived as ‘idleness’, conditions inside the workhouses had to be worse than those of the meanest labourers in the ‘outside World’. Unfortunately, this was sometimes used as a pretext for providing food made from cheap, poor quality ingredients, or for short rations.

Workhouse inmates eating their meals in typically regimented rows.


By the 1890s, the fixed-ration dietary system was coming under particular scrutiny. By this time, most of the workhouse inmates tended to be the elderly or sick, and often found the coarse food difficult to eat. Bread in particular was being thrown away in vast quantities, since the regulations required that each inmate had to be given their prescribed serving, regardless of whether they wanted it or not. By the end of that decade, new regulations allowed workhouses to compile their own weekly menus from a range of about fifty dishes or ‘rations’. An official workhouse cookery book was compiled by the National Training School of Cookery with recipes such as batter pudding, bread pudding, seed cake, dumplings, fruit pudding, pasties, potato pie, rice pudding, shepherd's pie, haricot soup, lentil soup, pea soup, and of course...gruel.


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



You can find Gary here:




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21. FOODFIC: ZOO - James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge



When will we know if the TV version of Zoo is coming back for a 2nd summer?

I so hope it is because they haven’t yet brought my favorite scene from the book to the screen!

You know the one I’m talking about – when people are attacked by wild, savage, ferocious…dolphins.

That’s right, dolphins. No, I’m not kidding, folks. It’s the fact that they are dolphins that makes the attack more frightening than the others. The lion attacks we can of course see coming a mile away, believable even to the extent of the cunningly plotted execution. But Patterson takes us completely by surprise by villainizing dolphins – the golden retrievers of the sea! – by giving them an uncharacteristic hunger for human flesh.

And no, that “hunger” is not the FoodFic tie-in. That distinction goes to the never-before-heard-by-me synonym for puking which was thrown out in a subsequent scene: feeding the seagulls. This caught my attention because my kids and I had just – the same day I read the passage – listed all the colloquialisms we’d ever heard for throwing up. We covered everything from cookies to tossed to porcelain gods hugged to chucks upped, but not one of us came up with seagull feeding. *smh* Just when I thought Patterson had no more tricks up his sleeve. Although that might’ve been Ledwidge’s contribution. ;)

But bodily functions aside, will it be those above-mentioned dolphin attacks that finally force the powers-that-be to take the animal threat seriously? They do acknowledge Jackson Oz and the motley crew of scientists that come together on the show much more quickly than they did in the text, but in both cases will it still be too late? Okay, I know how it ends book-wise, but we'll see if the show takes a different path...

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22. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Richard Rhys Jones, Author of The Sisterhood of the Serpent


"A food blog", she said. "Write about food."
So here I am, writing about food… Well, actually what the characters in my book, The Sisterhood of the Serpent would eat.

To be fair, it's pretty safe to say that this is new land for me. New land on a scale of the Mayflower Pilgrims crashing into Plymouth Rock, or Neil Armstrong and his "One small step" shenanigans!

Well, whatever, here goes…

Now, it could be said that, The Sisterhood of the Serpent takes place chiefly in a hotel room, and that would not be a lie. However, there are also scenes set on a ranch run by a seriously deviant cult, in a Satanist commune in Colorado, also in a prison, (on Death Row to be precise) and just outside the gates of Hell. So, as you can see, these wide-ranging locations could produce quite a broad variety of eats for us to pontificate on. However, for the sake of keeping your interest I'll just pick a couple, otherwise we'll be here all day.

So I'll start with the cult's ranch, as I don't actually see them dining in any elaborate fashion. The cult members have all promised themselves to Leviathan, the serpent demon. Their lives mean nothing, and they live only to serve their cult, the Sisterhood of the Serpent. The devotees endure brutish scarification and body alterations to resemble the snake devil they follow, with their ultimate goal being to join the ranks of the Nagani, the asp-like beings that wait at the gates of hell. So it's pretty obvious their diet isn't going to be rich in either consistency or taste. 

I see them surviving in their first year on a daily ration of turnip gruel, hard unleavened bread, and water. As time goes by and their station rises, perhaps their fare would improve. However, their mortal existence functions only to prepare themselves for the afterlife, so the quality of food wouldn't play such a major roll. Basically, they're living on British school dinners, and they like it that way!

Contrasting mightily with the poor tucker at the Sisterhood's ranch, the hotel room run by the FBI to house the two main protagonists is a different thing entirely. I put them in Bailey's, an imaginary hotel casino complex on the Las Vegas strip, so their every wish would be catered for.

Jim Gregory is a young lawyer from a well to do family. Used to the high life, but not snooty, Jim would be at home eating dainty Vol-au-vents at a polite soiree, or beer and steak with his friends. I see him being a good cook, who knows his wine and is willing to pay for a good Chardonnay for his oysters, rather than a super market brand.

Jim's pregnant wife Rebecca is a different animal altogether. An investigative reporter, she wears the pants in the family and has experienced the gritty ills of the wide, nasty world. She looks after herself, but is willing to rough it if needs be, and has done on many occasions whilst in the throes of her work.

In the book she has reported on bear baiting in India, drug running in Guatemala, Stasi informers being uncovered in Germany, and institutionalized racism in the South African police force. So it's fair to say she's pretty knowledgeable about many cultures and their cuisine.

I see Rebecca being keen on Indian or Latin-American food, curries and spiced meats, peppers and chilis; edibles with a kick that take her back to the adventurous days before she caught pregnant, as she busted scoops and scandals, and made her name on the front line of reporting.

Jim and Rebecca are experiencing a nightly barrage of terror and pain, their very souls are threatened by creatures from the depths of our worst nightmares, but at least they're dining well, right?

Now we come to the Nagani, the dwellers at the gates of Hell who await the coming of Leviathan. They want to claim Rebecca and her unborn baby, and are using horrific dreams that infringe on reality to put their message across.

Officially the Nagani don't eat, being that they're dead and have passed on to a different plane. However, I could probably imagine the chief priestess responsible for harassing our heroes having a nosy in their fridge before actually starting to haunt them. I doubt she wants to eat anything, maybe she does, who knows? But seeing as food plays such a massive roll in our lives, be it turnip gruel or beer and steak, I suppose the interest in it would be slow to wane? I mean, feeding only on the agony she inflicts on the living must be tedious fodder in comparison to a bowl of spicy meatballs, well that's what I reckon.

So perhaps she crosses over from the dream world a little earlier than usual, and casts an eye over the contents of her victim's pantry, before going on to beleaguer and terrify her victims?

The priestess herself is a hag who was probably "recruited" around the time of the First World War, or maybe ever earlier? She'd be mortified by today's manufactured foods, chemical cheese and hormonally-charged meats; though I dare to venture she'd approve of the wide range of fruit and vegetables available nowadays. I see her being a country woman who grew up on raw dairy products, self-butchered meat and fresh, native greens; well, until she was recruited by the Nagani to feed on the suffering of mortals, that is.

So there you have it, a slice of the culinary action (not) contained in my book, The Sisterhood of the Serpent.

I might actually rename it as Jim and Rebecca's Pabulum for Purgatory
Nah, just joshing, I found the word earlier and I've been aching to use it.

Thanks very much to Shelley for having me on here, and to you for your precious time and attention. If you want to read my work, look me up on Amazon, though my work is waaaay heavier than this BlogSpot… and don't take the one star reviews too seriously ;)


Take it easy,
Reg (Richard Rhys Jones. Author of horror and various food orientated blog posts)


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



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23. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Vickie Johnstone, Author of The Sea Inside


When Shelley asked me to contribute a post about the food my characters eat in The Sea Inside, my first thought was it’s a good job she didn’t ask about I Dream of Zombies – not from the perspective of the zombies anyway.

The Sea Inside is set in three different places – our own reality, that of Entyre lost beneath the waves and another fantasy world – between which the heroine, sixteen-year-old Jayne discovers a bridge, thanks to a strange gift from an older character, Sophia. Waking in a forest, confused as to whether it is real or a product of her imaginings, Jayne wanders into danger, from which she is rescued by a stranger from the sea, called Skyen.

“I was not dreaming. There was no way my imagination could conjure all of this up and for it to seem so real… There was neither sun nor moon nor stars, only a faint mist. The stars of my home were replaced by glittering lights that flickered in the blue of everything.”

Of course, being a Brit, I made one of the most important conversations in the book – between Jayne and Sophia – happen over a good old cuppa. As in real life, things may be solvable over a warming mug of tea.

In our world, Jayne lives with her grandfather, and I imagine he did most of the cooking. It would be traditional English fare, such as: bangers (sausages) and mash; egg, bacon and chips; meat pies; baked beans on toast; eggy soldiers; and beef roast dinner with roast potatoes, vegetables and Yorkshire pudding, splattered with gravy on Sundays. I’m sure there would be a treacle pudding in there somewhere - and gallons of tea.

In Entyre, the scene where Jayne meets Skyen’s family for the first time takes place over dinner, prepared by Manna. I was thinking of Manna from Heaven. Manna was ground in a heavenly mill for the use of the righteous, but some of it was allocated to the wicked and left for them to grind themselves (Wikipedia).

In a sky-coloured room where lights sparkle in the walls and all the furnishings are indigo, the food is served on a table resembling glass but is made of sheer ice. Manna entered the room through a doorway filled with blue mist, which shimmered to nothing at her approach and then materialised again. The guests ate and drank from bowls and cups made from sparkling blue glass, using wooden utensils. On offer were fruits and pastries, the purest lemon juice mixed with an ingredient Jayne didn’t recognise, and there was total silence as everyone tucked in. One of Jayne’s favourite dishes was a combination of carrots, almonds and apples – or at least these were the ingredients from her own world that she matched it to. The dish was inspired by a salad I love, which I discovered on holiday in Poland.

Thinking of the food scenes, I thought that maybe I didn’t write enough of them! Perhaps because when I’m writing, eating seems trivial when really it’s as necessary as oxygen. It’s going to make me think about food a whole lot more.

Thanks to Shelley for inviting me on her blog. Bon appetit!


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


Vickie Johnstone lives in London and works as a 
magazine sub-editor. She has written 16 books. 
One of her favourite foods is Milky Bar chocolate.


You can find Vickie here:






And find all of her books here:








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24. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Sanela Jurich, Author of Remember Me



At the innocent age of fifteen, Selma was just beginning to experience the power of her first love.
Unfortunately, living in Bosnia in 1992, Selma and her parents soon found themselves targets of the Bosnian War. Being in a war, they didn’t have a lot of choices when it came to food. They ate whatever they could find.

Since Selma and her parents lived in a city, they didn’t have a vegetable garden or live stock. They ran out of money, so they couldn’t just go out and buy food.

At first, they would walk to Selma’s grandparents’ farm and borrow food. The walk would usually take them about two hours there and two hours back, but as the war situation got worse, going there became too dangerous.

After Selma’s father got arrested by the Serb army and taken away to a concentration camp, Selma and her mother were at the end of their rope. They had absolutely nothing to eat and no way of getting food. That’s when one of Selma’s neighbors pitched in and started sharing with them what little food she had left.

She didn’t have much herself, so they had to come up with their own recipes in order to create something out of nothing.

One of Selma’s favorite things to eat at the time were these little doughnut-like cookies they didn’t even have a name for.

In a large bowl, they would mix a little bit of flour with a couple of diced apples, a pinch of sugar, and some water. They would, then, take spoon-fulls of it and deep fry until golden brown. Sprinkled with some powder sugar—if they were lucky enough to have it— it almost tasted delicious.

Those were the happy memories of shared meals in a war. However, those days didn’t last too long, for Selma was unfortunate enough to be taken away from home and thrown into a concentration/rape camp where she had to learn the hard way about how little a person needs in order to survive.

Follow Selma’s journey through love, despair, hope, and peace in author Sanela Jurich’s Remember Me. Experience the brutality of the Bosnian Genocide, but see how God’s hand restores Selma’s life tenfold. Understand the courage it takes to face your attackers and relive the pain in the name of justice. Discover whether love can blossom from beneath the rubble of war.


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


You can find Sanela here:






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25. FOODFIC: Going Over - Beth Kephart

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17352909-going-over



Love proves itself.

Ada didn’t think up this saying, but she believes it as fiercely as if she did. And the love she wants to do the proving is that of Stefan, the boy she’s loved for the 3 years since she turned 12.

Unfortunately Ada’s story doesn’t take place in 21st century in America, and the hill she wants Stefan to surmount to be with her isn’t some sort of metaphorical social obstacle. Ada and Stefan live in 1983 Germany on opposite sides of the Berlin Wall. He’s East, she’s West, and they’re  separated not only by the imposing cement, but by its accompanying fences, mines, dogs, and twenty-two-centimeter-high asparagus grass as well.

Yes, I had to stop there and look that  up. You’ll be interested – I know I was – to learn that asparagus grass is edible, and it is grass. No, I wasn’t initially sure of either; I thought it might be a name for some sort of weapon or obstacle, like barbed wire. Funny enough, in some of  the images I found it does look a bit like barbed wire, and its shoots are organized – or rather so disorganized – that in Turkish they call asparagus grass “Kuxkonmaz” which translates to “bird can’t land,” so its usage/placement around the wall is perhaps more apropos than the Germans were even aware.

Anyway, yes, Wikipedia may have proven the existence of asparagus grass, but not Stefan’s love.*

On their scheduled permitted visits, Ada sneaks in articles describing the best escape gadgets – double-jointed ladders, invisible string, escapable coffins – but all Stefan wants to do is kiss her and take her hand and go for walks. He wants to savor every precious moment they have together by being together, while Ada wants him to devise a way to make that time endless. He’s today, while she’s always five steps into tomorrow. When you look at it that way – his short-sightedness versus her long – hers seems more like love, his like infatuation. Then again, his feelings might be the more grounded and realistic of the two when considering the concrete obstacles in their path.

Either way, you’ll be pulling for these to beat the odds, cross that wall, and trample that asparagus grass.


*Because love proves itself, remember? I know I digressed a bit, but surely you can’t have forgotten that already!

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