Friday, February 15, 2019

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Vincent Zandri, Author of The Sins of the Sons



Hell Knoweth No Fury like a Hungry Gumshoe
Vincent Zandri

Jack “Keeper” Marconi, PI, is a tough man. He’s a gumshoe’s gumshoe who says what he means and means what he says, and he’s willing to back it all up with his fists if necessary. He is also a man who loves to eat and drink what he wants, when he wants. After all, his daily running/weight lifting regimen with his sidekick Blood, a 6’4” African American chunk of ebony granite, burns enough calories to keep him in tip top shape, even if he will never see 50 again.

When a potential client walks into Keeper’s downtown Albany, second floor Sherman Street office, he or she might find the muscular private eye feasting on an Italian submarine constructed of fresh ham, salami, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion slices, plus black olives, green peppers, all stuffed tightly inside a full loaf of freshly baked Italian bread. While washing this feast down with a cold Pilsner beer is always an option, Keeper is known to enjoy it with a glass of blood red Chianti, or even a double shot of Jameson Irish Whiskey, neat.

But allow me to back up a bit, to earlier in the detective’s day. As soon as the morning workout is finished, it is often customary for Keeper and Blood to hit up the local Dunkin' Donuts for two large coffees (no sugar, just milk for Keeper; black, no sugar for Blood), and a bag of half a dozen assorted donuts. Now, before you automatically do the “Cops and donuts” thing, remember, Keeper is a private dick and so is Blood. In fact, Keeper wasn’t even a real cop in a previous life. He was a prison warden and Blood was his inmate. Their relationship is a solid one. Brotherly almost. They can think one another’s thoughts. So when Blood opens the bag and spots a Blueberry Cake donut, he automatically hands it to Keeper. In keeping with the brother-from-another-mother mantra, if Keeper opens the bag and spots a chocolate frosted, he immediately hands it off to Blood. Such is the selfless nature of their crime stopping and hunger feeding relationship.

At the end of a long day of snooping and detecting, the likes of which you will find in the newly released Keeper Marconi novel, Sins of the Sons, Keeper and Blood will likely hit up a local watering hole called, Lanies Bar (which you will find in North Albany, off Albany Shaker Road…look it up. Terrific wings and steaks). Blood doesn’t have to ask for his dirty vodka martini from one of the bartenders. He or she will drop what they are doing to start on a shaker of them as soon as they see the big man approaching the glass entrance. Keeper, on the other hand, will drink a frosty domestic beer and maybe a Jameson back. Lately, he’s been enjoying the new IPA Jameson for its bite, which seems to remove much of the chill from his bones in mid-winter. Keeper will also order one of the amazing homemade soups Lanies prepares such as the Tuscan chicken with its red sauce, white beans, chunks of white chicken meat, and kale. Or a New England clam chowder so thick you can stand a spoon inside it. And he’s been tempted in the past to trade in his .45 sidearm for a bowl of the chicken and rice.

Come dinner time, when Blood and Keeper have parted, the former warden will retire to the first floor of his Sherman Street building, pour another couple of fingers of Irish whiskey, open another cold beer, and put a pot of cold tap water on the gas stove to boil. While the water heats, he’ll spin a Blue Note jazz record on the old turn table, curse himself for having sold his vintage Roger’s drum kit for some badly needed cash, and set his sights on preparing one of his famous pasta dishes. While he’s fully capable of stirring up a mean bolognese of fresh ground beef, salt and peppered to taste, and prepared in a sizzling skillet along with a full clove of garlic, chopped onion, and imported olive oil (if it ain’t nuclear green it’s not fresh enough for Keeper), he might choose instead to prepare a linguini with white clam sauce and fresh Maine quahogs. Sometimes, he’s satisfied with a spaghetti pomodoro, but only if he has fresh tomatoes, basil, and grated Romano cheese lying around. For starters he’ll prepare a fresh garden salad of iceberg, onions, black olives, and tomatoes, drowned in a simple dressing of olive oil and red wine vinegar just like his mother and grandmother used to prepare. Desert will be one last whiskey or perhaps a glass of Chianti.

It’s not easy cooking for one’s self, the lonely private eye often finds himself thinking. But then, eating and drinking as well as possible is as much a part of his life as hunting down the bad guys. And God knows, hell knoweth no fury like a hungry gumshoe.


Thanks for stopping by and sharing your food for thought, Vincent!



You can find Vincent here:







Vincent Zandri is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling ITW Thriller Award and PWA Shamus Award winning author of more than forty novels and novellas. His Keeper Marconi series has sold more than 300,000 copies by three different publishers. Sins of the Sons, the newest novel in the series, is released on February 8, 2018.

Friday, February 1, 2019

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Bobby Nash, Author of 85 North



The road trip snacks of 85 North!
Bobby Nash

We all have them.

If you work as a writer long enough, you will find yourself with a drawer (or in modern terms, a computer file folder) full of unused stories that, for one reason or another, never found a home to call their own. Sometimes it’s because of publisher or editor rejection; other times it happens because projects stall or publishers go out of business. It happens. Things do simply fall by the wayside.

Whatever the reason, things happen, and some stories fall through the cracks.

It’s a crazy business we’re in, isn’t it?

85 North is a collection of stories I wrote over the years that fell through the cracks, as it were. Every story in the book was contracted by a publisher at one time or another, but never made it to the published page for one reason or another. There are a couple of exceptions. When Falstaff Books asked about publishing this collection of stories, I added a couple of previously published pieces to round out the set.

The title story, 85 North, deals with a road trip that takes a decidedly strange turn when a routine gas stop turns out to be anything but routine. It’s also loosely based on a true story. Once the story goes into full horror mode, I embellish a lot, but the inspiration for the story has its roots in the real world.

The one thread that holds all of the wildly different stories in this collection together is that they all revolve around a trip. Sometimes that trip is straightforward, having to get from here to there, but some of the trips are to the past, the future, toward danger, away from danger, and toward bad decisions.

And what do you need on any good road trip?

Road snacks!

Pete, Robert, Bethany, and Jill were inseparable during their high school years. Now, with college separating them, the gang takes one last road trip together, delivering Jill to her new home for the next four years. It’s also Pete’s last chance to tell her how he feels about her. Or is he already too late?

Food plays an important role in the story.

We open in the boys’ cluttered apartment, empty pizza boxes and take out containers everywhere. Ah, the life of a college student, back when we could survive on pizza, beer, and two hours of sleep a night.

The Sidewinder is a bar and grill they end up in on their last night in town before the big road trip. The sidewinder is that college town hole in the wall with greasy burgers, cheap beer, and heavy battered, deep fried onion rings with ranch dipping sauce. My mouth waters already at the thought of it. As good as the food is, what really draws crowds to the Sidewinder is the music. Local and regional acts flock to Athens, Georgia. You can sometimes catch national acts for the price of a bar band. It’s a music mecca.

Once on the road, we get the antithesis of the Sidewinder. It doesn’t have a name, but there is a diner attached to a gas station. This part of the story is true. We took the exit, which we realized wasn’t often traveled dur to the grass growing through the pavement. We crossed the bridge to the gas station and diner, the only thing on the exit.

While one friend pumped the gas, the other two of us headed toward the bathroom.

This is where things get weird.

To get to the restroom, we had to go through the diner. No worries. As soon as we crossed the threshold into the packed diner, all sounds ceased. It became eerily quiet. The diners all stopped eating and watched as we crossed the diner. No clinking silverware against plates, no nothing. It was like something out of a horror movie. If Rod Serling had been sitting at one of the booths, having a smoke and sipping on a steaming hot cup of coffee, I would not have been surprised.

After our bathroom stop, we retraced our steps as they watched us walk out. Once we were back in the gas station part, the sound of people eating resumed.

As I said, eerie.

Suffice to say, we beat a hasty retreat.

That wasn’t the end to the weirdness, but I’ll save that part for when you read the book. I can only assume that the diner was serving traditional American breakfast fare like eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, orange juice and coffee, but I was too focused on getting the hell out of there to pay that close attention. Ha! Ha!

We had considered grabbing a bit at the diner when we got off the interstate, but that option was quickly discarded. Thankfully, we had packed the usual junk food snacks and drinks so we were good until we reached our destination and could get a proper meal.

After that trip, I’ll vowed never to go on a road trip without a full stocked cooler again.

Bobby Nash
On The Road Again


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



You can find Bobby here:







An award-winning author, Bobby Nash writes novels, comic books, short stories, novellas, graphic novels, and the occasional screenplay for a variety of publishers. Bobby is a member of the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers and International Thriller Writers. On occasion, Bobby appears in movies and TV shows, usually standing behind your favorite actor. For more information on Bobby Nash please visit him at www.bobbynash.com, www.ben-books.com, and across social media.

About 85 North:

ROAD TRIP! There are many roads along life’s highway, paths taken or not. You come to a crossroad. Do you turn left? Do you turn right? And can you live with the consequences of that decision?

85 North is a collection of tales from Award-Winning Author Bobby Nash that heads off the beaten path into roads not yet discovered. From superheroes to robots, 85 North is full of tales of action and adventure for the modern world and beyond.

Buckle up. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

Published by Falstaff Books (http://falstaffbooks.com)

85 North is available in paperback and ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and more. You can read 85 North FREE with your Kindle Unlimited subscription.


Friday, January 25, 2019

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Mark Noce, Author of Between Two Fires



Dark Age Dinners in Between Two Fires

Thanks for having me here, Shelley! Today I’m blogging about the medieval meals that would’ve been enjoyed by the characters in my novel Between Two Fires. Set in Wales around the year 600 AD, there definitely were some culinary facts that I had to research and make sure to keep straight throughout my book.

One of the most apparent aspects was that this was before the Age of Discovery, which meant no New World foods. That means Medieval Wales had no sugar, no tomatoes, no corn (maize), or anything else that originated in the Americas. Due to the limited international trade of the era, tea from the Far East and coffee from Arabia were also unknowns at this time in Western Europe.

So what did they eat then? Plenty of meat and dairy for starters. In a country where the grass grows green and thick, it makes a lot of sense to raise sheep and cattle. That means milk and mutton for sure. But much of the landscape was still very rural and wild by our modern standards. Which meant vast forests with lots of game, such as wild boar and deer. In addition, the wet climate means that things like leeks and onions often grow wild, providing key ingredients for soups. Although not everyone might have been aware that such greens were essential for keeping away scurvy, it certainly added to the overall health of the local people.

Liquor was also very important. Many people distrusted water, not understanding how waterborne diseases were spread. So fermentation was a way to combat this. Cider actually would’ve been the most common, as apple orchards had been planted since Roman times and possibly earlier. The Picts in the far north supposedly even fermented heather into a type of ale. There would’ve been some wine imported from the continent, but this would’ve been for the church and aristocracy only. In addition, beer would’ve been brewed, probably darker varieties. 

However, bread was surprisingly rare. People certainly raised grains, but not in the numbers we are accustomed to today. Plenty of rye and oats were grown, as they faour poorer or rain-soaked soils. Wheat and barely would’ve been reserved for the best, most fertile patches of ground. Although mush, stirabout, and oatmeal may have been common, actual milled bread would’ve been more of a noble’s meal, rather than a peasant’s. In fact, well into the late medieval era, even when bread became common throughout Britain, Wales in particular saw limited bread production. So much so that some Welsh considered it a “Saxon” food at times.

Cheeses and other dairy products would’ve been common. Fruits would’ve been harder to come by, mainly due to the climate and spoilage. Apples were usually pressed into cider for this very reason. They don’t keep long. Whereas a barrel of hard cider will be good for a long, long while.   

To learn more about my novel (and the foods in it), I’ve provided a brief blurb about Between Two Fires.

Saxon barbarians threaten to destroy medieval Wales. Lady Branwen becomes Wales’ last hope to unite their divided kingdoms when her father betroths her to a powerful Welsh warlord, the Hammer King.

But this fledgling alliance is fraught with enemies from within and without as Branwen herself becomes the target of assassinations and courtly intrigue. A young woman in a world of fierce warriors, she seeks to assert her own authority and preserve Wales against the barbarians. But when she falls for a young hedge knight named Artagan her world threatens to tear itself apart. Caught between her duty to her people and her love of a man she cannot have, Branwen must choose whether to preserve her royal marriage or to follow her heart. Somehow she must save her people and remain true to herself, before Saxon invaders and a mysterious traitor try to destroy her.


I’ve also written a sequel to Between Two Fires, entitled Dark Winds Rising. Both novels were published via St. Martin’s Press. To learn more about my work, check out the links below. Thanks again for having me here, Shelley!


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



You can find Mark here:




Thursday, January 17, 2019

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Ottilie Weber, Author of Family Ties




The scent of sweet and cinnamon drift from a country club kitchen. Abby is working at a country club as a waitress with her friend Cory. Dealing with people is not Abby’s strong suit as she is usually equipped with her sarcasm and ready to ‘just tell people how it is’ attitude. However, when Lucy, a chef at the restaurant, makes her specialty cinnamon rolls, Abby can almost tolerate her job.

After years of her family’s history instead of fairy tales like every other child Abby thinks she is far too old to think about those stories. One night she is trying to leave work, her friend Cory drags his feet so she decides to leave without him. On the way home though she is kidnapped and brought to another country. Cory is left feeling with the guilt of not simply walking his friend to their neighborhood. Abby is now being held against her will in a mansion.

The rose-colored glasses don’t last long with her capturer. She soon learns that he is after an unfinished deal with her family and his all those years ago. As she is plotting her escape, she learns that her dad had the story wrong about her great-great grandmother Emma.

Cozy up with a warm cinnamon roll to read about a person who isn’t as sweet as one. Family Ties is a young adult novel that is told by three different point of views, Abby’s, Cory’s, and Emma’s. After all, a story doesn’t have one side.



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


You can find Ottilie here:




Thursday, January 10, 2019

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Gabriel Valjan, Author of The Company Files



In The Naming Game, I introduce readers to a bygone era of Hollywood history and intrigue, which includes the seductive glamour of fine dining and drinking in Los Angeles of yesteryear. I mention Musso & Frank, where Chandler, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, and West sat, drank, and scribbled. While I don’t have readers sample from the French-forward menu that Musso & Frank still uses, I did mention the Windsor, the restaurant Ben Dimsdale owned for four decades before he reinvented it as an Asian fusion eatery.

At the nearby Cocoanut Grove club at the Ambassador, two of my characters meet for drinks. She has an Old Fashioned, while he enjoys a lesser-known libation called The Stinger, which is brandy with crème de menthe, a concoction that she thinks is the “upper-crust choice of either flyboys or college men.” Seduction and strategy afoot, the two leave the nightspot for dinner at the Mountain Palace (now Yamashiro) in the Hollywood Hills. The meal they enjoy is one I researched and was on their menu in 1951. I also describe how the restaurant had been built as a replica of a shogun’s villa.

No story about Fifties LA would be complete without a tip of the fedora to its underworld and the clubs that gangsters like Mickey Cohen frequented and infiltrated. The Trocodero was show-and-tell for the stars. They went there to see and be seen. Writers hung out at jazz clubs or more low-key places with their own kind, like Schwab’s on Sunset. I have a meeting between writers at Slapsy Maxie’s, which became Billy Gray’s Band Box, one of the earliest places for stand-up comedy on Wilshire in LA.

If two ladies in The Naming Game spent “forty-two dollars for filet de boeuf forestiere or, in English for the masses, larded tenderloin sauced in olive oil and served with a garnish of bacon and diced potatoes”, the boys got into the soup on the Strip at a property Charlie Chaplin used to own, and the restaurant was famous for its hobo steak and a signature dessert called the snowball, which was vanilla ice cream encrusted with shredded coconut.

When Terry and Walker aren’t sweating scripts to meet Jack Warner’s deadlines, they enjoy fast food from Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank. Cagney and Bogart make a cameo. Readers learn why Jack Warner fired Rin Tin Tin, and how much he loathed Harry Cohn at Columbia Studios. Cohn had set up a Mexican food stand on his lot to lure writers away from the WB Studio. Note: the infamous scene with the horse’s head in The Godfather was allegedly based on retaliation against Harry Cohn’s for refusing to cast Frank Sinatra in From Here To Eternity. John Marley who played Jack Woltz had not been informed that a real animal and blood would be used, so his screams were real.

Although the majority of the story takes place in LA, part of the action happens on the East Coast, like Jack Marshall, Walker’s boss, calling the shots. Readers will have a power-lunch with Jack at Ebbits, a landmark DC grill, where there was “plenty of cigar smoke, and plenty of sorrows tipped back along with the famous oysters.” The establishment has hosted Presidents, lesser politicians, and the theater crowd for a century, and is rumored to have been a watering hole for CIA and FBI agents back in the day. Ebbits is still open to customers.

Whether it’s Hollywood or DC, life and death, success or failure hinge on saying a name. The right name. I hope you enjoy the story, the locales, and history in The Naming Game.

Cheers and Bon Appétit.


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


You can find Gabriel here:






Thursday, January 3, 2019

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Derek Thompson, Author of STANDPOINT



Thomas Bladen, a spy worth his salt
Derek Thompson looks at his main character’s relationship with food.

Not all spies are suave and sophisticated. Thomas is smart, sardonic, and rough around the edges. He works for Britain’s Surveillance Support Unit – loaned out to any government department that will have them, including law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Other departments call them floaters – it’s not a term of endearment.

Although Thomas works for the SSU in London, this son of a Yorkshire miner has never lost touch with his working-class roots. He’s a man who eats to live rather than living to eat.

A meal out with Miranda, the epicentre of his complicated love life, runs to tuna steaks and red wine. But it’s Miranda who knows how to make his mouth water.

“We never got to dessert,” she said, slinking past him, with an overnight bag over one shoulder and a carton of vanilla ice cream in her hand. 

In the office he functions on vending machine coffee and chocolate bars. Out on the streets with Karl, he favours a ‘greasy spoon’ café for a sausage and egg sandwich on white, no ketchup. Sometimes it’s a fry-up; surveillance work demands patience, vigilance, and calories!

Further conversation was parked as they made their way through a meal fit for a king — a king who enjoyed mushrooms, eggs, tomatoes, sausages, bacon, toast and beans. 

Karl managed to cram sausage, bacon and beans into his mouth, and still talk. 

Thomas found that a conscience wreaked havoc on his appetite so he played safe with a large mug of tea and a meagre two eggs on toast. He jabbed at the eggs so that they bled yellow and swept the plate with toast, sluicing the yellow into ketchup.

Keeping unsociable hours, Thomas relies on takeaways, usually Chinese food or an Indian curry – the hotter the better. Or else he throws together whatever’s in the kitchen.

A cheese omelette with bacon bits in it and bread that was only good for toasting. 

He left her to it, put the kettle on and dug something resurrectable out of the freezer — two portions.

He’s not a serious drinker because it impairs his judgement. And for Thomas, nothing matters more than being in control.

They agreed to share a bottle of wine — her treat. He quickly got into the rhythm of their non-date. By dessert he’d noticed her legs again. 

When Thomas and Karl need a neutral space to talk things through, they head over to a pub for shandy and crisps (potato chips in the US). Man, they lurve crisps!

The only time when Thomas seems to eat a two-course meal is with Miranda’s family, where it’s a traditional British Sunday roast dinner or pizza and salad, followed by dessert. You could say he’s a traditionalist. Even when he goes back up to Yorkshire to see his family for his annual guilt trip, the good is usually wholesome and uncomplicated: fish & chips — a feast for the prodigal son. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fish_and_chips


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



You can find Derek here:







STANDPOINT by Derek Thompson
Book 1 in the SPY CHASER series
Assignment: Customs & Excise

THE WRONG MAN IN THE RIGHT PLACE CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE.

Thomas Bladen has been living a double-life for two years. He’s a Civil Service photographer in London, but the Surveillance Support Unit has a much wider remit. It’s staffed by ex-forces personnel, careerists, and Thomas. He has an eye for details that other people miss and a talent for finding trouble – a combination that was never going to bring him an easy life.

When Thomas witnesses a shooting on a routine surveillance operation and uncovers a web of deceit and treachery that people will kill for, can a good man hold the line without crossing it?

When Thomas uncovers a sinister secret that threatens both the UK and the European Union, his life and the lives of those closest to him will never be the same again.

Monday, December 31, 2018

FOODFIC: Book Menu for 2019



Aaand maybe some old ones, too. ;)

No, I didn't fulfill my 2018 Reading Resolution, but that won't stop me from creating a new menu for the new year!

Here's the jist of what I ordered, finished, and left on the table:

STATUS: Started, Didn't Finish
STATUS: Never Started

STATUS: Started, Didn't Finish

STATUS:Started, Didn't Finish

STATUS: Never Started

STATUS: Finished!

STATUS: Finished!

STATUS: Never Started


So I'm going to keep those undigested reads on my list for 2019, as well as add these tasty new morsels:

People Kill People – Ellen Hopkins

Rich People Problems – Kevin Kwan

Her Fearful Symmetry – Audrey Niffenegger

The Friendship Test – Elizabeth Noble



Please let me know what's on your 2019 book menu,
and good luck to us all in our reading endeavors!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Rose Montague, Author of JADE



About 6 years ago I was working at BAM and developed some back problems. It caused me to wake up in the middle of the night and I would make some coffee and sit at the computer for several hours, waiting for the pain to die down so I could go back to bed. It was so quiet! I finally decided to put that quiet time to good use by writing my first book. I had written a few stories when I was a teenager then life got in the way and I just didn't come back to it. I have always loved books and working at both a library and a book store just fed that passion. The first book I wrote was Jade. It was rough and ragged and pretty silly but overall it was a great story with a lot of action and plenty of humor. Jade was a mix of supernatural creatures and because of that there were only a few things her stomach could handle. If you did a word search of Jade you would find coffee mentioned twenty times, espresso eleven, chocolate thirteen times, and wine thirty-nine (Too funny). I have always loved reading books featuring strong female characters and the three main characters in Jade would all eventually have their own book.




As I was writing Jane, I introduced a young teen witch named Jewel and my beta reader Hans Markus told me he would love to see more of her. I decided to do a teen series spin-off at that time and actually wrote and published two books in the Norma Jean's School of Witchery series before I went back and wrote book three in my first series (Jill). I love reading young adult books that feature kick-butt female leads. The only thing that bugs me sometimes is the indecision and lack of confidence they sometimes display. You won't find that with Jewel.



I hope you take a look! There is also a Facebook event running now through December 24:


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



You can find Rose here:

FantasyFunReads.blogspot.com
Twitter @RoseMontague
Facebook Fan Page
Books on Amazon



Rose has worked both in a library as well as several bookstores. Rose lives in Elon, NC and is currently working on a Sci-Fi/Urban Fantasy book called Wiznewski James.

My Goal: To have fun writing fun books to read.
My Writing Style: Not much pretty prose or flowery fluffiness, pretty much non-stop action and fun.
My Dream: To be able to write full time.

Reading Order: The chronological order is Jade, Jane, & Jill, followed by the Norma Jean's School of Witchery series, Jewel and Ghost School. Jill bridges the gap between the Three J'Amigos and Norma Jean's School of Witchery. The way I have written these books, however, you can start with Jewel & Ghost School and then read the Three J'amigos series to get the back story on Jewel's adoptive parents, Jade & Jane as well as her Godmother, Jill.

Friday, December 14, 2018

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Gayle Trent, Author of Killer Wedding Cake



Daphne Martin is a cake decorator with an enormous problem in Killer Wedding Cake - her oven is on the fritz. With her mind consumed with finding somewhere else to do the baking for her business, she isn’t very concerned with eating. When her sister Violet agrees to let Daphne commandeer her oven, Daphne orders pizza and breadsticks to feed herself and Violet’s family of four.

Still feeling guilty for taking over Violet’s kitchen, Daphne awakes early the next morning to make breakfast. Eyes lighting up at the sight of pancakes, Daphne’s nephew Lucas hugs her and invites her to move right on in. Besides pancakes, she prepares eggs, toast, and sausage—plenty of comfort food for the baker who’s not only dealing with a broken oven but also with the return of her abusive ex-husband…the week before her wedding! Oh, and did I mention that the night after he visited Daphne, her ex was found murdered?

When Daphne’s family arrives to help, and Daphne realizes the wedding planner she hired is a con man, her meddlesome mother only manages to ratchet up Daphne’s stress level. Desperate to escape her house, Daphne asks her fiancé to take her to the store to buy cocoa. At the grocery store, Daphne and Ben buy the not-really-needed cocoa along with steaks, potatoes, macaroni, rolls, tomatoes, and bagged salad.

As you can imagine, our girl is under a world of stress. She eats a lot of comfort food throughout Killer Wedding Cake. If the holidays have you on edge and you’d like to make and eat a little comfort food of your own, below is a yummy recipe for chocolate pistachio cake you might enjoy.


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



You can find Gayle here:








Chocolate Pistachio Cake

Ingredients:

1 pkg. white or yellow cake mix
1 pkg. pistachio pudding mix
½ cup orange juice
½ cup water
4 eggs
½ cup oil
¾ cup chocolate syrup

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Combine cake mix, pistachio pudding mix, orange juice, water, eggs, and oil in large mixing bowl. Blend to moisten and then beat for two minutes at medium speed with electric mixer.

Pour approximately ¾ batter into well-greased and floured Bundt or tube pan. Add chocolate syrup to remaining batter. Mix well. Pour over batter in pan.

Bake for about one hour.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Francesca Varela, Author of The Seas of Distant Stars



But What Are They Eating on Deeyae?

My science-fiction novel, The Seas of Distant Stars, tells the story of a human girl—Agapanthus—who’s abducted by aliens and grows up on Deeyae, a red-rocked, watery planet in another solar system.

It may not have the same name in real life, but Deeyae is a real planet. It bears the stoic title of Gliese-667Cc, and it’s known to scientists as an Earth-like exoplanet. That means it’s close to its home star, and could potentially harbor liquid water—and complex life—on its surface.

Gliese-667Cc revolves around a red dwarf star (named Imn in my book), which tinges everything on the planet with a pink-red glow. Red dwarf stars aren’t as warm or as bright as yellow giants like Earth’s sun, so I imagined that life wouldn’t be based around a sun-fed food chain.

Here on Earth, everything starts with plants, but, on Deeyae, the food chain revolves around hydrothermal vents, and the so-called “extremophile” bacteria who thrive in such environments. From there on, each step of the food chain is carnivorous. Aside from seaweed-like water plants, there’s no vegetation on Deeyae. And, because of that, all meat is eaten raw, even by the sophisticated and human-like Deeyans who Agapanthus is raised by. I mean, think about it—no plants, no trees, no wood, no fire.

Blobs of raw meat are the main fare on Deeyae. Much of it comes from the “asasd fish” raised in the fisheries, while some comes from the monstrous “red-breasted spers” and “w’rrs” that are hunted in the inner plains. Deeyae is home to many different species, and the Deeyans are undeniably at the top of the food chain. Agapanthus is lucky that she was brought from Earth as a toddler and doesn’t remember her home planet, because, by Earth standards, Deeyan food is disgusting!

Maybe someday we’ll know if Gliese-667Cc/Deeyae is anything like I’ve imagined. But, for now, it remains science-fiction, and the strange and exciting setting of The Seas of Distant Stars, available now wherever books are sold.


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



You can find Francesca here: