What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in
    from   

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Posts

(tagged with 'Guest')

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Guest, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 98
1. 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:







0 Comments on FOODFIC: Please Welcome C.M. Keller, Author of Screwing Up Time as of 4/28/2016 3:10:00 PM
Add a Comment
2. 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.



0 Comments on FOODFIC: Please Welcome Wendy Jones, Author of Killer's Cut as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
3. 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

0 Comments on 5-Year Blogiversary! as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
4. 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

0 Comments on 5-Year Blogiversary! as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
5. 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:





0 Comments on FOODFIC:Please Welcome Nancy Lynn Jarvis, Author of A Neighborly Killing as of 4/6/2016 11:16:00 PM
Add a Comment
6. 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.

0 Comments on FOODFIC: Please Welcome Tonya Kappes, Author of Spies and Spells as of 4/15/2016 12:32:00 PM
Add a Comment
7. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Leyla Kader Dahm, Author of Annabeth Neverending



Annabeth Prescott is a reincarnated teenager with an insatiable hunger for knowledge...and junk food.

One thing that's carried over from Annabeth's past life to the present is her sweet tooth. Perhaps because in ancient Egypt the threat of arranged marriage, forced incest, and black magic made things so very sour, she turned to cloyingly sweet foods for comfort. Princess Ana, Annabeth's former incarnation, downed fig pudding and wine cakes soddened with honey like there was no tomorrow. She probably worried there wouldn't be one.

In modern times, Annabeth drowns her numerous sorrows in Moxie, a regionally-brewed soda. Many consider it to be an acquired taste, but Annabeth--who's always been unusually mature for her age--has appreciated its carbonated goodness since the tender age of five. She also enjoys Little Debbie snack cakes (especially during moments of duress), soft serve ice cream from Dairy Queen (it's strangely refreshing), and deep dish pizza that's been layered with crisp-edged pepperoni (no veggie toppings please, that might make it nutritious).

Of course, she also loves seafood. After all, she's a Mainer. But don't get too excited about some health kick looming. I'm afraid that Annabeth only touches seafood that's been thoroughly drenched in batter and submerged in hot oil. Annabeth has a special penchant for fried clams, though she prefers hers to be belly-free. Luckily, Gabriel Danvers, one of the two objects of her affection, understands that bellies are a deal breaker, and doesn't push her to eat the rubbery sacks.Though secretly, he loves them.

Hopefully, Annabeth will find a soulmate willing to accept all her eating habits. If not, I have a good idea of what'll ease the pain...a Blizzard from DQ.


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


You can find Leyla here:









Wisconsin native Leyla Kader Dahm popped popcorn and dreamt of a career in show business while working in a movie theater during high school. The small-town Midwestern girl opted for the practical route and studied communications at Carroll College and Cornell University. But her life changed course dramatically when a temp agency placed her in a production and development gig at Miramax/Dimension Films.

Dahm went on to work as a script consultant for numerous production companies. She appeared in the acclaimed spoken word show Sit ‘N Spin and had her comedy feature spec, Due North, optioned by Michael Levy Enterprises. She sold her pitch, Survival Instinct, to Nickelodeon Original Movies.

Dahm lives with her husband and children in Los Angeles, where she focuses on writing quality material for families and young adults.

0 Comments on FOODFIC: Please Welcome Leyla Kader Dahm, Author of Annabeth Neverending as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
8. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Elizabeth Isaacs, Author of The Light of Asteria



Cultures normally develop because of beliefs. Some stem from religion (like the Native Americans belief that the Earth is the one true life source given to all by the Maker) while others focus on a societal structures (such as America’s central conviction of freedom).

And so when I first started creating the world of Kailmeyra, a world without evil, I thought a great deal on how a society like that could even exist. If we assume that evil stems from hatred, it only made sense that the Alfar would need a counterbalance, which would obviously be love. I chose to expand that to include all positive emotions and intent.

For years, scientists have been studying the power of positive thoughts. That’s nothing new. But few stop to think of the power of intent.

An intent is defined as “… the state of a person's mind that directs his or her actions toward a specific object.”

For example, two men volunteer to work on a Habitat for Humanity house. One signs up because he needs community service hours, the other grew up in abject poverty
and never knew what it was like to sleep in his own bed.



Both men show up at the same time and do the same tasks. But which one is going to go above and beyond? Which one is going to make sure the nails are driven in straight, the paint hasn’t dripped on the new carpet, and the baseboards are installed properly?


I’ve found that those who do a job because they view it as an obligation tend to do the minimum amount required, whereas those that have a deep-seeded passion for helping, usually give it everything they have.

And that, my friends, is the power of intent.

But what does this have to do with the Kailmeyra series and eating?

Everything.

In Kailmeyra, intent gives off energy. Alfar eat to fuel their bodies, the dwelling in which their spirit lives. Because of this, they reverently plant their foods in the richest soils, they tend to them daily and watch them grow. And they only take what they need, allowing other animals to benefit as well.


Bottom line, their intent is to use food to sustain the life they’ve been given.

So what is America’s intent when it comes to food?

Scary question, isn’t it?

It seems to me America’s intent isn't necessarily to put the best fuel in as it is to keep our stomach's from growling. And it must be convenient. And it must be fast. Oh, and it must taste yummy!

Let's face it. Most of us know little about where our food is grown, how it’s processed or even what’s in it. Our intent is to stave off hunger as we run about our daily lives. Breakfast normally consists of something from a box with milk splashed on it while lunch is served on a tray in a cafeteria. When my kiddos were young I cannot tell you how many times we ran through a drive through to pick up something to eat for dinner as we scurried from one activity to the next. Honestly, not once did I stop and question what was in that burger or where it came from. Nor did I think a thing about handing my child a soda or a sweet tea. (It should be noted that my kiddos are now in college. I’m happy to see there is more awareness about nutrition today, and so I hope I’d be a little more diligent about it now. ;))

I never thought about the intent of eating until I wrote the first book in the Kailmeyra series. While I would love to report that I’ve lost tons of weight and am now svelte and gorgeous, unfortunately, that is not the case. I can tell you that because of the series, we now eat only organic eggs, milk, fruits and veggies, we’ve stopped eating so much red meat and I haven’t had a soda in five years.

Hey, that’s something, right?

Thanks so much, Shelley, for having me on the blog!


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


If you’d like to know more about the Kailmeyra series, the first book, The Light of Asteria, is available (most FREE) on the following platforms:

Amazon          itunes          Kobo          Google Play

Barnes & Noble          CreateSpace          Blio



And you can find Elizabeth here:







Elizabeth is an author, teacher, and publishing professional who began her career as a national presenter for Resource Profiles, where she developed teacher seminars designed to foster creative brain stimulation. Moving into formal education, she helped at-risk students improve their writing skills as well as created and implemented a creative writing/blogging program that centered on teaching the 21st-century learner. Works stemming from this initiative were published online and seen in over 40 countries.

Elizabeth receives invitations to speak nationwide at schools and book clubs about Young Adult (YA) content and writing. She co-founded the popular book site, Indie-Visible.com, which reaches thousands of people throughout the world. The writer support and reader interest group promotes and interacts with followers on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and various other blog sites. Elizabeth has a Master's degree from Austin Peay State University, where she was trained in classical opera. She graduated Magna Cum Laude and was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.


The Light of Asteria received Honorable Mention at the New York Book Festival.

0 Comments on FOODFIC: Please Welcome Elizabeth Isaacs, Author of The Light of Asteria as of 1/21/2016 2:23:00 PM
Add a Comment
9. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Lynn Hubbard, Author of Return to Love



Food is an essential part of books. Living breathing characters have to eat! And I want you to indulge with them.

In Return to Love, 1-year-old Joanie and her friends visit a carnival. Your senses are on overload with the bright colored lights, the sound of screams and music and chatter, and, of course, the scents.

The aroma of carnival fodder. The sweet, sweet smell of cotton candy; you can almost imagine the feathery pink ribbons of stickiness wrapped around a paper tube. And the taste! Pure sugar with a hint of raspberry. There is no wrong way to eat cotton candy - you can dig in with your face or pull delicate tendrils off with your fingers and pop them into your mouth. Either way, you end up covered in the sticky remnants and licking your fingers clean. Especially since napkins and bathrooms are quite scarce back in 1959.

Hot dogs are a staple - the crispier the better. And covered in chili and onions, yummy. Not the best date food, but who cares?

Did I mention the popcorn? I have no idea what makes fresh popped popcorn smell so good! Even if you aren’t hungry you can sense your taste buds awakening, your mouth watering, and you have to have a taste of the buttery goodness.

But alas, the fun cannot last forever. Joanie has to return to school and face the cafeteria. She prefers to bring her lunch, a little bit of home. The best part of lunch is seeing her friends, gathering under a tree on the lawn, and enjoying a respite from the grueling chore of high school.

One of Joanie’s favorite foods is spaghetti. Her mother is a nurse who works long hours to support Joanie and her brother, and the time spent together in the kitchen is very precious to them. It's a time to talk, to renew their relationship, to help and inspire each other.

Memories stay with us. Isn’t it funny how certain smells or tastes can transfer us back in time to when we experienced them before? Food is an important part of life. It brings people together. It can revive an old memory or be an entirely new experience and I will try anything once!



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





You can find Lynn here:





Google +




Lynn Hubbard is a Historical Romance Author, Publisher, and Patriot. Author of eight books, she has a deep love of history and instills that in her work. Lynn’s passion is our Vets. She volunteers many hours standing for our fallen veterans with the Patriot Guard Riders. She also works on multiple projects with the American Legion.

With Veteran suicides at a high, Lynn has created a book to help spread awareness. PTSD No Apologies was released on veteran’s day. The book contains personal stories written by vets. This is not chicken soup. It is a thought provoking piece demonstrating how everyone handles PTSD differently. Proceeds go towards buying books for the Veteran’s in the VA Hospitals Nationwide.

PTSD does not mean you are weak, it means you have survived.

www.patriotguard.org

0 Comments on FOODFIC: Please Welcome Lynn Hubbard, Author of Return to Love as of 2/4/2016 12:34:00 PM
Add a Comment
10. 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:




0 Comments on FOODFIC: Please Welcome S.A. Hunter, Author of Elanraigh as of 2/11/2016 4:56:00 PM
Add a Comment
11. 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:




0 Comments on FOODFIC: Please Welcome Gary Dolman, Author of The Eighth Circle of Hell as of 2/18/2016 12:32:00 PM
Add a Comment
12. 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!



0 Comments on FOODFIC: Please Welcome Richard Rhys Jones, Author of The Sisterhood of the Serpent as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
13. 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:








0 Comments on FOODFIC: Please Welcome Vickie Johnstone, Author of The Sea Inside as of 3/10/2016 10:14:00 PM
Add a Comment
14. 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:






0 Comments on FOODFIC: Please Welcome Sanela Jurich, Author of Remember Me as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
15. FOODFIC: Please Welcome R.S. Guthrie, Author of Honor Land

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24900989-honor-land


Though almost any food can arguably be freeze-dried, unfortunately the danger, fear, adrenaline, loss, honor, kinetic aggression, blood, and unavoidable death that accompanied each soldier in war could not. Still, the men in Delta Team Spiderman carried all of the above, freeze-dried or not.

Food in the middle of a hot war zone—and Delta Force troops, along with the Navy SEALs (Sea, Air, and Land Teams), were always in the most searing—could be found, if fortunate enough, in the form of standard issue MREs (Meals Ready to Eat—another arguable use of terminology).

The standard-issue, sealed number ten cans were filled with meat, vegetables, grain, breakfast, or dessert . Some examples of warfare delicacies were freeze-dried spaghetti, beef stew, stroganoff, and the infamous scrambled eggs that had the consistency of oatmeal (which was also available). There were also corn, rice, and a few more of the regular entrees, sides, and other necessities.

However, most MREs contained two-thousand calories, and Special Forces personnel required significantly more caloric intake to climb miles to acquire strategic positions in near-vertical, shale terrain, utilizing any object—a small conifer or rock or scraggly bush—to hide themselves on any given mission. Because of the risk of giving away such key, calculated locations, perilously bereft of cover, Special Forces teammates often survived mostly off super-calorie tubes of a Gatorade-like drink, a high-energy, high-calorie, pasty recovery concoction that could also be eaten silently from a tube, and (surprisingly enough) freeze-dried ice cream sandwiches, which unlike most MREs, could be eaten straight from the package (and were considered by all soldiers a delicacy). Fortunately they were also high in sugar and calories, so Special Forces teams always kept plenty on hand for mission deployment (and down-time eats).

In the Sheriff James Pruett novels (Blood Land, Money Land, and Honor Land), the hero is normally the protagonist, but Pruett takes a backseat in Honor Land as far as “heroes” are concerned. His godson and decorated Delta soldier, Kyle Yoder, has returned to the States to find he can only cope by living on the streets. Then, as if his post-war psychological problems aren’t ruthless enough on the Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, he’s eventually accused of a quadruple-homicide that occurs just shortly into the usual revelry of Cheyenne Frontier Days.

Before he’s arrested, however, Kyle is allowed to live behind a kind Vietnam veteran’s restaurant, and the owner brings him what in his situation would be considered a wide variety of excellent food—much better than the MREs they carried in the sand-blown wasteland of the Middle East and the rocky terrain of Afghanistan.

Even living on the street in Cheyenne, Wyoming, Kyle is served a hot plate of whatever he likes from Papa’s Place. Retired Sergeant Mick “Papa” Rourke never brings his “guest” leftovers, either, but freshly-cooked biscuits and gravy, properly-prepared scrambled eggs with peppers and bacon, lunch-time sandwiches or a warm cheeseburger, and then for dinner a rotating assortment of main dishes of cube steak with gravy, mashed potatoes, city-famous fried chicken, and a whole menu full of delicious food (none freeze-dried).

Yet though Kyle never says so, only thanking his friend and fellow veteran, he does miss the freeze-dried ice cream sandwiches.

Whether the county lock-up serves any kind of ice cream sandwich is unlikely, and the food will be considerably worse than that to which he’s grown accustomed. Whether it is better than the MREs, and whether or not Kyle will be found guilty of the capital crimes, waits for the patriotic hero in the future. For the latter, only his godfather, Sheriff James Pruett, can mobilize the effort to find the real killers.

Unless the real killer is already in custody.



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



You can find Rob here:





0 Comments on FOODFIC: Please Welcome R.S. Guthrie, Author of Honor Land as of 9/24/2015 9:32:00 PM
Add a Comment
16. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Kelly Hashway, Author of The Monster Within



In The Monster Within, Samantha Thompson isn’t your typical seventeen-year-old. She died of cancer and was brought back to life by her loving boyfriend, Ethan. Now they’ve run away together to keep people from finding out what they’ve done. Assuming new identities and living on their own means fending completely for themselves. They live off crackers and bottled water for a while because they don’t have much money. That is until they both get jobs at a local diner. There, Ethan learns to cook while Sam waits tables. But even though they are able to eat good food, they both still have their quirky tastes. Sam dunks French fries in her vanilla milkshakes, and Ethan dunks his soft pretzels in his chocolate milk.
They aren’t the only characters who have odd tastes. Nora comes to the diner every day but never orders anything other than coffee. She drinks cup after cup after cup. And since she and Sam get off to a rocky start, the bitter coffee fits Nora’s personality perfectly.
The other side to this story is that Sam didn’t exactly come back to life as the girl she was before. There was a side effect. She has a monster inside her and she has to feed it in order to survive. And all the monster wants is to drain the life from other human beings, so Sam literally feeds on the life force of others—or she’ll die.
I never realized how much of a role food played in this book, but it’s pretty much everywhere. Throw in some witches and their aversion to salt, and food can pack a real punch in this story.


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


You can find Kelly here:




0 Comments on FOODFIC: Please Welcome Kelly Hashway, Author of The Monster Within as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
17. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Guido Henkel, Author of HUNTED



Food plays such an elemental part of our lives that I am often surprised how little of it is shown in fiction, and even in movies or TV shows. I mean, after all, didn’t we just have breakfast, and then lunch, and now we’re eating again? There are days when it feels that our entire being revolves around nothing but food. And the worst part is that after a few hours it is depleted, and the cycle starts all over again. For cooks it must be a devastating feeling to have labored over a good meal for hours, only to have it gobbled down in a few minutes without any further pay-off, knowing that it was a rather vain attempt to stop the hunger, because before long, we’ll be have to have at it again. In the real world, food is king, not money!

A while back my editor returned one of my manuscripts to me with the general comment “I love that Jason Dark and Siu Lin always have these conversations over food.” It was only then that I realized, yes, my characters do sit down to eat and talk about things. As a writer, for me, it’s always a nice set piece that gives me a backdrop that I can make as rich and detailed as I want to, or relegate it to the background if I desire.

While I have sit-downs in my stories where the characters eat sumptuous dinners—it seems to make Jason Dark’s deductive juices flow—I also use food as coloration. Like a throw-away line. He may just walk past a stall in a market place and grab an apple and share it with his companion Siu Lin, or he purchases fish and chips from a street vendor while being on the run to solve his current supernatural mystery. Naturally, rice dishes are also ever-present, as my character Siu Lin prefers her diet more Asian.

Drink is equally important, I believe. Not necessarily booze, but the general consumption of liquids. My Jason Dark mysteries play in Victorian England, so the generally accepted notion is that everyone drinks tea, but in a twist of fate—or was it just my imagination?—I decided to make Jason Dark a coffee drinker—a preference handed down to him by his father, like many other things. At the same time, as one would expect, Siu Lin is a tea drinker, though not of the British Earl Grey variation necessarily, she prefers the Lapsang and Jasmine teas of her homeland of China.

While I find that I never pick food scenes consciously, they seem to be part of my writing fabric. This is, perhaps, most noticeable in the series’ first book, Demon’s Night. When readers meet Jason Dark for the very first time, his introduction takes place at a breakfast table where he eats with his live-in sister in-law, as she points out a particular newspaper article to him, which ultimately leads to him investigating the case in question. As I said, I did not write this scene with the conscious desire of wanting to write a “food scene.” To me it simply felt natural. A beautiful morning, sunlight falls in through the window, fresh rolls on the table and a cup of steaming coffee, the aroma filling the air. It is homey, and the perfect counterpoint to what just happened on the previous page—yes, as you may have guessed, the previous chapter involved a few people getting killed by some strange creature.

Feel free to check out any book in my Jason Dark series, or give the latest release, Hunted, a try, and see how many food moments you can spot in the book.


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


You can find Guido here:



0 Comments on FOODFIC: Please Welcome Guido Henkel, Author of HUNTED as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
18. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Dianne Harman, Author of the Cedar Bay Cozy Mysteries



A Foodie’s Evolution From Reading About Food To Writing About It!
By Dianne Harman


Food, cooking, entertaining? Oh yeah! How does the song go? Something like, “These are a few of my favorite things!”

I started writing cozy mysteries a year ago as a way to integrate my love of food and dogs. I had previously written three books in the suspense genre, but I really couldn’t integrate the dogs and food much in them, although readers have told me that when they read Coyote in Provence, they gained ten pounds just from the food descriptions!

When I would mention that I was interested in writing cozy mysteries, people told me to stay in the suspense genre, and that it would really dilute my brand if I changed genres. My husband and I were at the Enchantment Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona a year ago. I’d had a wonderful breakfast in bed and made a few notes on my iPad. At that moment I decided to write what I really wanted to – books about food and dogs. I started Kelly’s Koffee Shop the morning after we returned and a year later I’ve published a book a month, all cozy mysteries and all having lots of food, recipes, and dogs. The three cozy mystery series, Cedar Bay, Liz Lucas, and the latest, High Desert, have really caught on. Evidently my readers have enjoyed the because each of the books has been a best seller in cozy mystery culinary books and animal books, plus Amazon has named me as on of their most popular authors for seven months.

Why food? I can’t remember a time I wasn’t interested in it. Cooking and trying out new recipes has always been one of my favorite things to do. I’ve been fortunate to have attended cooking classes and schools at a number of places here in the United States as well as in France, Portugal, Thailand, and Italy. In fact, one of the books, Murder at the Cooking School, is a loose rendition of the week we spent at a cooking school in Tuscany. The recipes in that book all come from that experience, but fortunately we didn’t encounter a murder!

My husband was a California Senator, and we entertained so much (read that as me cooking) that one of his advisors suggested we do fundraising dinners. I cooked five courses, and he charged $1,500 a person. They became so popular we had to do them back-to-back nights because we couldn’t accommodate all the people who wanted to attend. Trust me, that’s every politician’s dream!

One of my fondest memories of those times was when one of the guests who is a well-known California lobbyist asked my husband if he would give him the name of the caterer who had cooked the meal because he’d like to hire the person for his next event!

The recipes in my books are all from my personal collection and have been prepared by me for years. Many are from family members, because I’m not the only one in the family who likes to cook. Mother-in-law recipes, sister-in-law recipes, and my mother’s recipes are all in the books.

I’ve read that cooking for people is a form of showing love. I think that’s a charming thought and hope all of you are giving plenty of love!!!

Thanks for taking the time to read this and bon appetit!


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



You can find Dianne and her books here:






0 Comments on FOODFIC: Please Welcome Dianne Harman, Author of the Cedar Bay Cozy Mysteries as of 10/15/2015 10:32:00 PM
Add a Comment
19. Please Welcome Tamar Hela, Author of The Wrong Fairy Tale



What Do Aliens Eat?

If you were a dinner guest of magic-wielding aliens, what would they serve you? And, being that these aliens live in an enchanted forest, what type of food is available to begin with? Those were some of the questions I asked myself while writing my second book, The Wrong Fairy Tale. After a few brainstorming sessions, I came up with what I thought was the perfect answer—but we’ll get to that in just a bit.

Food can play a very important part in the setting of a novel. I think about Little Women, when the girls finally have quite the feast for Christmastime, but instead choose to give their bounty to a family in need. Or, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe comes to mind, where Edmund gorges himself on Turkish Delight when the queen uses it as a bribe. And who could forget Anne of Green Gables, who is so eager to try Raspberry Cordial and everything ends in disaster?

In my novel, The Wrong Fairy Tale, important information is given during mealtime. Our heroine, Alex, not only has to digest key details recently revealed, but foreign food as well. She and her friends have been miraculously transported to a magical forest filled with aliens (the Alfara) who look like elves. And in order to be a good guest and not offend her hosts, she must try the dish set before her: Prakova. Prakova, which I made up, of course, is an Alfaran delicacy. On the outside, it looks like a white, feathery crab, and on the inside, the meat is pink and tender. When Alex braves eating something alien, she is delighted to find that it actually tastes great—potential crisis avoided, thank goodness.

In our own lives, food plays an integral part of every day living. We often gather around the dinner table for holidays, celebrate a marriage at a reception with food and drink, or spend quality time with loved ones around a hot meal. Food brings us together. So, it’s only appropriate that food becomes part of a fictional story. I think that when used properly, the food a writer places in her story can actually make things more interesting. After all, as a reader, if I can smell and taste what the character is smelling and tasting, I can better relate to that character. I can put myself in their shoes and feel like I’m there. It’s a writer’s job to transport the reader, so why not use food as part of the process?

How about you? Do you like reading about food in a story? Does it help to give you a better visual, or is it simply unnecessary? 


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


You can find Tamar here:





0 Comments on Please Welcome Tamar Hela, Author of The Wrong Fairy Tale as of 10/22/2015 11:31:00 PM
Add a Comment
20. Please Welcome Peter Golden, Author of Wherever There is Light



Here’s the truth, and I rarely share it with anyone. I’m one of those people who gains weight if he looks in a bakery window. I’ve been known to stare longingly at a carrot cake or pecan pie, then go home and try on a new suit, only to discover that, amazingly, the pants are now too tight in the waist.

How does this happen? I don’t know, but it’s been going on since childhood, and the result is that I’m on an eternal diet.

Except when I write—

For some reason, writing about food doesn’t seem to add extra weight, and because part of my new novel, Wherever There Is Light, takes place in Paris right after World War II, I let my imagination run wild. Here are a few excerpts:

          If, as les existentialists claimed, existence was meaningless, then it made sense to begin each day with dessert, a plan that Julian put into action by devouring a pain au chocolat at one of the busy cafés in the square outside the Sorbonne.

I especially enjoyed writing this sentence because my usual more fare is more like fruit and granola without sugar—or flavor, if you ask me. Ah, but one of those flaky, rich chocolate filled croissants...

Of course, after eating a breakfast more suitable for a parakeet, I’m a bit peckish by noon, so it’s downstairs I go for a—you guessed it—a banana.

Then I head up to my office and sit at the computer, where I indulge myself:

          In the rainy light the houses below the top of Montmartre were gray and brown with orange chimney pots, and after Julian commented that it looked exactly like the print of the van Gogh painting that Kendall had hung in her Greenwich Village apartment, it began to rain harder, and they ducked into a café for coffee and macarons.

Are you hungry yet? I am, and so it is time for my main characters, Kendall and Julian, to eat dinner.

          The dining area at Dans le Vent was redolent with cassoulet—a garlicky aroma rising from the bowls of sausage, confit of duck and pork shoulder, sweet onions, tomatoes, and plump tarbais beans that were slow-cooked under a crust of bread crumbs and tasted like the coziest starlit autumn night you could remember.

I enjoyed writing this passage. Not that I felt full, mind you, but I didn’t gain an ounce, and I’ve always loved to dream.


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


You can find Peter here:




0 Comments on Please Welcome Peter Golden, Author of Wherever There is Light as of 10/29/2015 7:25:00 PM
Add a Comment
21. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Kim Hornsby, Author of The Dream Jumper's Secret



Maui Takeout and Home Cooking

I love to mention what my characters are eating in my novels. As an avid reader, I appreciate the mention of food in the storyline, especially if it gets me salivating. That’s the sign of a talented writer.

The Dream Jumper’s Secret, the second book in my Dream Jumper Series, begins on Maui in late May but the story soon goes to Carnation, Washington, a small town forty minutes east of Seattle, where May and June are customarily cool. There, meals are eaten at home, around a table, and menus are based on meat and potatoes. Both Jamey’s father and Tina’s parents have Anglo Saxon backgrounds and are over seventy-years-old, raised during a time when dinner included – meat, vegetable, starch—with little regard for cholesterol.

With the weather and the chef’s background factored in, here’s what Tina and Jamey eat in The Dream Jumper’s Secret:

On Maui we have Tina and Jamey (a brand new couple) eating teriyaki chicken, mango smoothies, cold beer, and mostly takeout. Tina has never had an interest in the kitchen as a business major and scuba shop owner, so she grabs food on the go. As a bachelor and a former soldier, Jamey is used to this too.

In Carnation, breakfasts consist of Canadian bacon, (I had to get that in there, because I was born and raised Canadian), fried eggs, and always coffee. Lots of coffee for Jamey. He’s a former Special Forces soldier! Lunches in Carnation tend to be cold cut sandwiches and homemade potato salad. Dinners are creamy clam chowder, stews, vegetable soup, or beef barley soup, all made from scratch. Jamey and his father sit at the old wooden table and slurp soup, using chunky homemade bread to clean their bowls afterwards.

At Tina’s family’s house, on Mercer Island, Washington, her mother and father eat meals in the formal dining room. The Greene’s have a housekeeper, Millie, who does the cooking. They dine on Chicken Cordon Bleu, Pot Roast with basted potatoes and carrots, and Roast Chicken. But, one night Tina goes to the local Chinese Restaurant and brings home Cashew Chicken, Fried Rice and Broccoli Beef, which is eaten informally.

When the story heads to Afghanistan, Tina finally shoves a hamburger and greasy fries with ketchup into her mouth. Then, she washes it all down with a chocolate milkshake from the Kandahar Airbase chow tent.

At the end of all my books, I include at least one recipe, and in The Dream Jumper’s Secret, I published Pops’ Seafood Chowder and Millie’s Pot Roast. It always makes me happy when a reader emails me to say they tried the recipe and loved it! Or, if I’m asked to speak at a Book Club and the hostess has made the recipe. I’ve had teriyaki chicken and mango salsa many times.

If you’re interested in The Dream Jumper Series, you can find my books at www.bit.ly/kimamzn on Amazon, or comment below for the chance to win your choice of the 3 ebook Dream Jumper Series or my Christmas Box Set of 8 Books, Criminal Christmas, with Ann Charles and Alexa Grace.


Comment question: What’s the last thing you ate?


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



You can find Kim here:






0 Comments on FOODFIC: Please Welcome Kim Hornsby, Author of The Dream Jumper's Secret as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
22. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Milda Harris, Author of Adventures in Funeral Crashing



Imagine this: peanut butter, bananas, ice cream, and milk blended together to utter perfection. That's right. I'm talking about a peanut butter banana milkshake. Yum. No, actually that's not a good enough word to describe that miraculous blending of flavor. It doesn't quite do it justice. At least, that's how the heroine from my Funeral Crashing Mystery Series, Kait Lenox, feels. 

That awesome concoction is her favorite treat. She calls it heaven on earth. She likes her peanut butter banana milkshake from one place particularly, a coffee shop called Wired. Even a murder mystery can't deter her from them. She is that obsessed.

I'll admit it. I get cravings for a peanut butter banana milkshake every once in a while too and I had my own brief fixation with them. That's why it made its initial appearance. I was participating in the 3 Day Novel Contest when I started Adventures in Funeral Crashing and I was writing what I knew - that peanut butter banana milkshakes rock!

From that initial idea, the milkshake took on a life of its own in the story. Kait can't stop talking about them. It's her go-to comfort food and beverage of choice when it shows up on a menu. She even uses it to compare how great something is and the only thing that can beat the phenomenal bliss of a peanut butter banana milkshake from Wired is a kiss from her crush, Ethan Ripley. It must be true love then, right?    

Kait's love of the peanut butter banana milkshake has evolved, though. In Adventures in Funeral Crashing Kait gushes about them endlessly and drinks them whenever the opportunity presents itself, but in a later book, Adventures in Murder Chasing, you learn that there's more to the story than her love of a simple milkshake. She used to share her passion for them with her now ex-best friend, Ariel. It was their thing to go to Wired, drink them, and gossip...until their friendship ended. Their complicated friendship/ex-friendship spans the series and their dual love of peanut butter banana milkshakes is just a piece of their story.

So, now we have the milkshake's backstory. This brings up an interesting question. What will be the next chapter in the journey of Kait and her peanut butter banana milkshake love affair? What does the future hold? Will she be able to find one when she heads off to Paris in the next Funeral Crashing book or will a mystery get in the way? More importantly, who will be sharing that milkshake with her?


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


You can find Milda here:





0 Comments on FOODFIC: Please Welcome Milda Harris, Author of Adventures in Funeral Crashing as of 11/19/2015 10:16:00 PM
Add a Comment
23. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Axel Howerton, Author of Hot Sinatra



Coffee is God. Coffee is the Life-bringer.

Coffee is the be-all-goddamn-end-all.

The Alpha and the Omega. That’s what Cole calls it.

At least, that’s how I feel. Me and ol’ Mossimo Cole. We love our beans, man.

Do you know Moss? Tall, good looking dude, lots of tattoos, lots of scars, usually wearing this beat-up old fedora he got off of his grandfather. Lives next door to me. Right down the street there. Chicks dig Moss Cole. He’s one of those tall, dark, and soulful types. What Cole loves? Jazz and a fine ristretto pull.

I know. What the hell is a ristretto? Basically, a ristretto is the first half of an espresso. When you squeeze that water through the tightly-packed grounds of coffee bean dust, forcing it at temperature and pressure to work it’s way down through the earthy mantle of a fine grind, and flood out in a big muddy, a veritable Mississippi of shape and colour. The darkest, smokiest, velvet-smooth, dark chocolate magnificence. Coffee contains over a thousand aromatic compounds, and the best and boldest of them are at their peak when you use that first pull.

You dump that into a demitasse and suck it back, brother that’s a straight ristretto. Drop some water in like an Americano, and we’re talking a Long Black. Moss likes those two ristretto shots split with a lovely cloud of foamed milk. Silk and satin, that’s what he calls it. Baby, that’s Flat White right there. 

You better believed you’ve never had a coffee so rich, so flavourful, so damned exquisite.
I used to be a three or four latte-a-day man, licking the caramel scorch-ring off the bottom of a truck-stop pot of joe, if I was having an especially bad morning. Moss showed me the light. He showed me the way. That lady friend of his, the redhead with the stems like polished marble? Rosie.  That was her name. Hot stuff, sweet fancy Moses. Cup of coffee like bountiful naked angels pouring pure sunshine and rainbows straight down your gullet. Haven’t seen her around lately though. Ol’ Moss has been a little down and out. Looks like he’s been run up one side and down the other with one of those riding mowers. Maybe I’d best check in on him.  Been hearing a lot of Chet Baker and not much Satchmo coming out of his place next door.

First things first, I’m feeling a mite slow ‘n’low myself, better shuffle on down to the corner, down to the hipster coffee bar. They got a new girl there, Australian. Mossy says they invented the flat white. She says that too. Says her name’s Pie-Pah, but the tag says Piper. Doesn’t matter what they call her when she can pull a cup of joe like that, I tell ya.

I’ve got a nice crisp ten-spot with her name on it. Pie-Pah.  Of course, ten bucks won’t buy me two large (one now and one for later) plus one for Moss, and leave her with a tip. So I guess Mossy’s on his own. Unless he wants to spot me a cup later. Yeah, he’ll be good for it. He usually is. Right?
Nah. Better not chance it. I’m gonna need that fix later. Alpha and Omega. One now, one for later.

I ain’t gonna argue with the Coffee Gods.



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


Axel Howerton is the genre-hopping, punch-drunk author of the horror novella Living Dead at Zigfreidt & Roy, and the darkly funny detective novel Hot Sinatra, which was a finalist for the 2014 Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel. His newest novel Furr,available now from Tyche Books is a "modern gothic werewolf story that's part crime novel and part urban fantasy". Axel is the editor of the anthologies Death by Drive-In, Tall Tales of the Weird West and AB Negative. His work has appeared in places like Big Pulp, Fires on the Plain, Steampunk Originals, Night Shade, Dark Eclipse, Sleuth Magazine, and "The Big Lebowski" compendium Lebowski 101, as well as the anthologies A Career Guide to Your Job in Hell and Let It Snow.

When he's not on-duty as a hometown anti-hero, Axel spends most of his time roaming the untamed prairies of Alberta with his two brilliant young sons and a wife that is way out of his league.




            Hot Sinatra is a darkly funny detective novel featuring more coffee, music, romance and action than you can shake a dark chocolate Pirouline at. Available now in paperback, audiobook and ebook. $0.99 ebook sale December 5 – 9! 



You can find Axel here:








0 Comments on FOODFIC: Please Welcome Axel Howerton, Author of Hot Sinatra as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
24. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Jessica Haight & Stephanie Robinson, Authors of The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow



Well, HELLO Readers! I'm Mr. Morrow, and I'm here to reveal a few of my fun secrets. Now, my family is embarking on a great adventure, moving from Manhattan to an old Victorian in Connecticut known as The Begonia House. Our intention is to have the most enchanting bed-and-breakfast imaginable.

We think we've found the perfect location. My wife, Pru, is amazing with her interior design skills, but my wizardry in the kitchen will prove most useful. My daughter Fairday's interest has been peaked by the move, as we've heard that the house has a bit of mystery surrounding it. At first Fairday was apprehensive, but, now that we're here, she's been traipsing all over the house and grounds with her friends in the Detective Mystery Squad, and the only way I can get her back is to tantalize her taste buds.

Blueberry pancakes does the trick every time. It's her favorite dish, and she assures me it will be a smash hit when we open up the The Begonia House Bed-and-Breakfast. The key to extraordinary blueberry pancakes is to make them with love and be sure to speak with a French accent - this is very important.

Here's an example:

Dad: "What would you like for breakfast, mademoiselle?"
Daughter: "I'll have blueberry pancakes."
Dad: "Oui, oui!" (You must incorporate body language; I like to dance and put a little spin on the spatula when I flip the pancakes.)

Another detail essential to pancake delectability is to wear a funny apron. Mine asks potential diners if I've "GOT FOOD?" and yes, I do, so you can see how this comes in handy.

The last thing to remember is to make your pancakes with love, not just for the food, but for those you're cooking for. Food is an art, and, as one of my daughter's favorite authors, Neil Gaiman, says, "Whatever you do, make good art."

Bon apetit!


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




You can find the authors here:





0 Comments on FOODFIC: Please Welcome Jessica Haight & Stephanie Robinson, Authors of The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow as of 12/4/2015 12:33:00 AM
Add a Comment
25. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Laura Hile, Author of Mercy's Embrace



Lady Disdain, beware!

For beneath the surface of even the most polished Regency gentleman can lurk...Guy Table Manners.

The lady may think them unintentional, but the gentleman begs to differ!

Never mind that Admiral McGillvary wore a borrowed coat, stained and threadbare into the bargain. The lovely Miss Elliot, seated by chance at his table, did not recognize him--she thought him a clerk! Nor did she bother to hide her scorn at his scruffy appearance.

The temptation to tease her was overwhelming. McGillvary gave her one of his most charming smiles...and tapped the hard tea biscuit sharply against the tabletop.

She looked up.

"Old habit," he remarked. "Reminds me of a nibby. A sea biscuit. Navy issue."

"Oh," she said. "The Navy."

McGillvary nearly laughed outright. Obviously, flirting with a clerk was taboo! When she looked his way, he poured the last of his tea into the saucer to cool. This was clearly outrageous; his mother would have boxed his ears! He lifted the saucer and took a long, gleeful draught.

Replacing it, he remarked, "A nice brew, but I prefer coffee. As you can see," he indicated his waistcoat, "we had a little mishap with the coffeepot."

"Do you mean today?" she said.

He stiffened. Did she think he would wear a stained waistcoat all week?

And so begins the sparring banter between the Admiral and the arrogant Miss Elliot, romantic leads in Mercy's Embrace, a spin-off of Jane Austen's Persuasion.

And it seems I cannot help myself. All my life I have been surrounded by men: a father, one brother, a husband, and three sons. Even though I write Regency, real-life male behaviors creep in. Too much fun!

Even though tapping the "nibby" was how sailors knocked the weevils out...

Not something I am wanting to eat.


Comment question: 

What outrageous Male Table Manners - the kind designed to get a rise out of guests - have you observed?


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



You can find Laura here:









Readers are loving Laura Hile's joyous Regency novels. Her signature style - intertwined plots, cliffhangers, and laugh-out-loud humor - keep them coming back for more.

The comedy Laura comes by as a teacher. There's never a dull moment with teen students!

This winter she will be releasing
Darcy By Any Other Name, a comic 'body-swap' romance based on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

Laura lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and sons. Her fiction is for everyone, even teens.


0 Comments on FOODFIC: Please Welcome Laura Hile, Author of Mercy's Embrace as of 12/10/2015 10:27:00 PM
Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts