Friday, November 27, 2020

FOODFIC: Gobble, Gobble!

What are you gobbling up this Thanksgiving break?

As most of you know, I will read anything. I have been known to wander around the library and pick up any books that start with the letter X, or perhaps everything with a silver cover...whatever calls my name on that particular day. ;)

For this Thanksgiving break, I Googled "turkey" and these were the top 4 fiction matches, thus my reading menu for these 4 days at home:

The year is 1546.

Europe lives in fear of the powerful Islamic empire to the East. Under its charismatic Sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent, it is an empire on the rise. It has defeated Christian fleets. It has conquered Christian cities.

Then the Sultan sends out an invitation to every king in Europe: send forth your champion to compete in a tournament unlike any other.

We follow the English delegation, selected by King Henry VIII himself, to the glittering city of Constantinople, where the most amazing tournament ever staged will take place.

But when the stakes are this high, not everyone plays fair, and for our team of plucky English heroes, winning may not be the primary goal. As a series of barbaric murders take place, a more immediate goal might simply be staying alive…

In an old mansion in Cennethisar (formerly a fishing village, now a posh resort near Istanbul) the old widow Fatma awaits the annual summer visit of her grandchildren: Faruk, a dissipated failed historian; his sensitive leftist sister, Nilgun; and the younger grandson, Metin, a high school student drawn to the fast life of the nouveaux riches, who dreams of going to America. The widow has lived in the village for decades, ever since her husband, an idealistic young doctor, first arrived to serve the poor fishermen. Now mostly bedridden, she is attended by her faithful servant Recep, a dwarf--and the doctor's illegitimate son. Mistress and servant share memories, and grievances, of those early years. But it is Recep's cousin Hassan, a high school dropout, and fervent right-wing nationalist, who will draw the visiting family into the growing political cataclysm, in this spell-binding novel depicting Turkey's tumultuous century-long struggle for modernity.

When Orhan’s brilliant and eccentric grandfather Kemal—a man who built a dynasty out of making kilim rugs—is found dead, submerged in a vat of dye, Orhan inherits the decades-old business. But Kemal’s will raises more questions than it answers. He has left the family estate to a stranger thousands of miles away, an aging woman in an Armenian retirement home in Los Angeles. Her existence and secrecy about her past only deepen the mystery of why Orhan’s grandfather willed his home in Turkey to an unknown woman rather than to his own son or grandson.

Left with only Kemal’s ancient sketchbook and intent on righting this injustice, Orhan boards a plane to Los Angeles. There he will not only unearth the story that eighty-seven-year-old Seda so closely guards but discover that Seda’s past now threatens to unravel his future. Her story, if told, has the power to undo the legacy upon which his family has been built. 

Moving back and forth in time, between the last years of the Ottoman Empire and the 1990s, Orhan’s Inheritance is a story of passionate love, unspeakable horrors, incredible resilience, and the hidden stories that can haunt a family for generations.

In her second novel written in English, Elif Shafak confronts her country’s violent past in a vivid and colorful tale set in both Turkey and the United States. At its center is the “bastard” of the title, Asya, a nineteen-year-old woman who loves Johnny Cash and the French Existentialists, and the four sisters of the Kazanci family who all live together in an extended household in Istanbul: Zehila, the zestful, headstrong youngest sister who runs a tattoo parlor and is Asya’s mother; Banu, who has newly discovered herself as a clairvoyant; Cevriye, a widowed high school teacher; and Feride, a hypochondriac obsessed with impending disaster. Their one estranged brother lives in Arizona with his wife and her Armenian daughter, Armanoush. When Armanoush secretly flies to Istanbul in search of her identity, she finds the Kazanci sisters and becomes fast friends with Asya. A secret is uncovered that links the two families and ties them to the 1915 Armenian deportations and massacres. Full of vigorous, unforgettable female characters, The Bastard of Istanbul is a bold, powerful tale that will confirm Shafak as a rising star of international fiction.

If you choose to join me in gobbling up one (or more!) of these reads, please leave your review in the comments. :)

Friday, November 20, 2020

FOODFACT: Please Welcome Kerrie Droban, Author of Prodigal Father, Pagan Son

Prodigal Father, Pagan Son: Growing up in the Dangerous World of the Pagans Motorcycle Club, by Kerrie Droban, is a two-time winner of the USA News National Book Award for Best Memoir/Autobiography and Best True Crime. Set in the working class neighborhood of Upper Darby, Philadelphia, one block south of Linden Avenue, Anthony’s life was ruled by the Pagans Motorcycle Club, a group once closely associated with La Cosa Nostra and described in the media as “the fiercest of the outlaw biker gangs.”   

As the son of the Pagan’s most notorious power broker, Anthony was born into the shocking and hypnotic underworld of organized crime and, after his father betrayed the Pagans to join its rival, the Hells Angels, Anthony was recruited by his father’s nemesis to murder him.  While navigating the violent inner workings of the Club and his own survival, Anthony took time to cool off with some simple Philadelphia staples like “Water ice” (pronounced “wooder ice”), the city’s version of Italian Ice, and “Little Debbie’s” “Nutty Buddy Bars.” Other guilty pleasures included Entenmanns pastries and multi-layered ‘Moon Pies” with the fluffy marshmallow centers. Juicy cheesesteak sandwiches smothered with Cheese Whiz on a crusty roll were also regulars in Anthony’s diet in addition to meat packed hoagies, fried bologna sandwiches, peanut butter and jelly and soft, salty pretzels dipped in mustard from the local street vendor. But more commonly, as he met with club members, he shared camaraderie over large “tomato pies” made with thick, focaccia-like dough, fresh tomato sauce and grated Parmesan or oregano. 

Philadelphia’s traditional food classics were the perfect palate cleanser to the graphic violence depicted in Prodigal Father, Pagan Son effectively transporting the reader into Anthony’s brutal reality. More of Philadelphia’s underworld and Kerrie Droban’s reporting can be seen in the series, Homicide City, on Investigation ID, episodes 8 & 10, November 10 and 24 at 9:00PM EST.  For the full, 4-D experience, might want to order a hoagie and stock up on Cheese Whiz. 

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

You can find Kerrie here:

Thursday, November 12, 2020

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Keith Dixon, Author of The Two Fathers

Sam Dyke – international gourmet!

You know what private investigators are like – they’re forever sitting in cars, watching a suspect, eating a burger or a KFC and peeing into a bottle …

Okay, that was probably too much information.

In fact, I’m not sure it’s like that at all these days. Or ever. In fact, the first time I became aware of food in the context of private eye novels was in the Spenser books of Robert B. Parker. Spenser would return from a day’s work being funny with clients and bad guys, reach into the fridge and pull out the exact ingredients needed to make a fascinating and little-known Italian dish. Or an incredible salad with a vinaigrette that he made himself while talking to his dog, Pearl. He was a sophisticated man who was named after an English poet and in fact often quoted poetry himself. I don’t recall him ever peeing in a bottle.

This series began in the 1970s, and when I caught up with Parker’s early novels ten years later, it wasn’t long before I started seeing other writers doing a similar thing with their own protagonists – Robert Crais’ Elvis Cole, for example, would whip up something quickly in his kitchen … and often we wouldn’t know until the end whether he was going to eat it himself or give it to his cat.

These PIs were obviously sophisticated above their station in life, but when I started writing my own series, set around a working class investigator whose clients usually came from the posh end of town, I wanted to include food occasionally (a PI has to eat, after all) together with a singular musical taste, which had been another genre-defining trope that was growing at the time. (Turns out Sam is into Who knew?)

So Sam Dyke is a working-class man with the appropriate tastes for a British Private Eye: we see him making chili con carne, buying take-out curries from Indian restaurants and occasionally throwing together a quick spaghetti Bolognese. Writing that down, I realise they’re all foreign dishes, but in the UK we moved away from eating Sunday roasts every day (though I probably would if I could) and in the 70s broadened our tastes. Over the course of the ten full-length novels so far, Sam has experimented occasionally—when he’s dined out with a client or colleague—but the meals that are comfort foods for him are those he knew when he was growing up in the 1990s, although like many of us, if he’s out on a job he’ll buy a burger (another foreign food …) or perhaps a sandwich, which he’ll wash down with a Sprite or 7-Up. In the latest book, The Two Fathers, he eats far too much bread and take-away than is good for his health, but I can’t seem to talk any sense into him.

From the very first book in the series, Altered Life, I’ve had to constantly bear in mind that the characters I’ve dreamed up are actual physical beings with attendant needs. In fact, finding time for them to eat and sleep and bathe is a nuisance when you just want to get on with the story. You try to slide past these needs when possible, but without making your characters seem superhuman. Personally, I can’t seem to last more than two hours without eating something, so I don’t know how Sam does it … maybe that’s why he’s slimmer than I am.

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

You can find Keith here:

Twitter @KeithyD6

Facebook Fan Page

Books on Amazon

Friday, October 23, 2020

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Rebekkah Ford, Author of Legends of Deceit

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry.

Festival food is the best in my honest opinion. 

I love fried bread with melted butter, covered in cinnamon sugar. 

It launches me into a state of instant joy and giddiness. 

Then we have the delightful artery-clogging, mouthwatering, pastries filled with cream cheese and a gelatinous goo of berries that will send your dopamine’s soaring to new realms of ecstasy. 

The aroma of barbecue meat loaded with sodium and corn syrup is wafting in the air, tickling your senses. 

While moving through the high-spirited crowd, the smell of sticky, sweet caramel corn and cotton candy promises moments of pure pleasure and possibly hours of gastrointestinal discomfort. 

But you don’t care because it’s only for one day.  

Besides, you have a 50% chance you’ll be fine. 

No worries.

You give in to hedonism. 

You indulge and brace yourself for possible extra toilet time that night and popping artificial-flavored Tums into your mouth to cure the raw burning indigestion that has you white-knuckling the counter as you grit your teeth through the pain. 

But you push those thoughts aside. 

Be gone negative thoughts. 

You don’t need to be manifesting that into your life. 

It’s all good.

Alaris in Legends of Deceit is a reluctant heroine thrust into a magical world of nobility, deceit, werewolves, fairies, and insidious trolls. 

She is also friends with a dragon.

Alaris discovers she is a princess in a realm close to earth but doesn’t want any part of it. 

She wants to go back to her normal life in college back on earth, but she can’t. 

Her dad is the king of Atheon and throws her a huge party so the people in the kingdom can get to know her. 

Narik, who is one of the warriors protecting her, escorts her to this festival-type event. 

She spots a tall, blue-skinned woman in the crowd. 

Her movements are fluid and graceful like a ballerina.

          “What is she?” Alaris asks Narik

          “She’s a nereid. Her name is Oona.”

          “What’s a nereid?”

          “A sea nymph. They’re friendly and helpful people.”

There are elves, dwarves, goblins, and fairies in the mix. 

Celtic music plays in the background as Alaris navigates the crowd and checks out the food vendors. 

The sign on one advertises steak hoagies, hot sausage, hamburgers, French fries, and . . . 

          “Fish on a stick. Raw and still breathing for your enjoyment.” Alaris wrinkles her nose at Narik.

          “It’s to cater to our aquatic friends,” Narik says. “And then we have the bloody liver sandwich for the weres.” 

          “Yum. Yum.” She makes a face, and he laughs. “I think I’ll get a cheeseburger and fries.”

          “I’m going to order the hot sausage on a hard roll with fried onions and mustard.”

          “That sounds good, too, but I’ll stick to my all-American meal.” 

They get their food, go to a beer tent (you got to have a beer tent that not only serves fine ale but other alcoholic beverages as well) to get their drinks, and then sits at a table to enjoy their festival food.

Afterward, the music picks up to an upbeat Celtic tempo with flutes and fiddle. 

With their bellies blissfully full, the atmosphere flowing with laughter and happiness that only festival foods and drink can create, Alaris and Narik joins in on the fun and performs an Irish step dance.

To me, that would be the perfect day and night. 

I’m a health-conscious vegetarian (I sometimes eat fish, though); however, when it comes to festival foods, I will indulge myself and take the risk of experiencing unfavorable side effects. 

Why would I do that to myself?

Why not?

We all deserve a treat day once in a while, don’t you agree?

Just thinking about fried bread has me dreaming about it.

What is your favorite festival food?

My characters in my other books also love their treats and good eats. 

I think because I do. 

When you read one of my books, be prepared to be part of their experience when eating something sinfully yummy or drinking a delightful cocktail that was illegal during Prohibition.

You’ll enjoy yourself without the repercussions but will also want to manifest it into your world. Guaranteed. 


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

You can find Rebekkah here:

Twitter @RebekkahFord

Facebook Fan Page

Books on Amazon

Friday, October 16, 2020

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Paul Flewitt, Author of Poor Jeffrey

Horror, at its heart, is the exploration of the darkness within mankind. It is an introspection on the evils that men do. It holds up a dark light on the human condition, and tells certain truths that are often hard to stomach. What it also does is break down taboos; those conversations that you only ever have between trusted friends in darkened rooms, with the curtains closed and doors locked, hoping and praying the following morning that nobody heard your midnight confessions and darkest fantasies. Horror tells you to look at this thing, this hideous article that man has done. Examine this thing and know it, search its entrails for subtle meanings. Grow to love this disgusting thing, because this thing could be you.

It’s important to understand all of the above before I get into the meat (pardon the pun) of this post. You have to understand that horror writers are observers. We are not bogeymen who wish to tear your heart out, nor do we attend midnight rituals where virgins are sacrificed on the altar of creativity and imagination … at least, none of the writers I know do that. It’s important for you to know that, despite writing with such delight when it comes to the following, I never have actually tasted human flesh.

“Why cannibalism? Why would you even think to write about that?”

Two questions often asked of me when Poor Jeffrey was released, most often by the more squeamish of readers. The answer is, because I don’t think that it has ever been done in the way I did it. Writers often make cannibals animals, driven by a bloodlust to consume human meat. Other times, the cannibal is arrogant and views other human beings as mere herd animals, ripe for slaughter and put on the earth as another food source to be hunted and consumed. Then there are the tribes of South America, who hunted and ate humans because they literally were just another food source in the jungle. They called the white man “long pig,” due to the similarity between the taste of human meat and porcine. There is, I found after some research, another motive for cannibals. This is the motive that I wanted to explore and found interesting.

Some cannibals imbibe human meat out of love. That sounds pretty perverse, doesn’t it? “I killed you and ate you because I love you.” Doesn’t quite ring true, does it? Let’s dig down into the logic of it though, before we make our judgements. The act of sexual intercourse is perhaps the closest we ever get to oneness with our partner, isn’t it? For a brief time, we become one organism conjoined at the loins and hearts. Our bodies move in rhythm to achieve climax, before laying in sweat and exhaustion, remaining there to prolong that feeling of oneness that we all crave. What if that oneness can be maintained forever? What if, in the act of consuming that person we love, we achieve true oneness? We keep them safe in our bellies where no one can rend and divide us, extracting their essence into ourselves forever. We truly become one entity. What if the act of consumption is really the ultimate act of love?

What if … That is the question that haunts every writer of dark fiction when they set the pen to the page. What scares us is that we sometimes find the answer to that question.

Eat well.

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

You can find Paul here:

Friday, October 9, 2020

9 (and 1/2) Year Blogiversary!


Another year (and a half), another full menu of tasty reads! 

The bright side of this crazy CoVid year is that quarantining gave us lots of time to read. :)

These deliciously creative authors stopped by to share their food for thought:

Stuart Aken - Blood Red Dust

Adam S. Barnett - The Judas Goat

Gordon Bickerstaff - Deadly Secrets

Lisa Black - That Darkness

Elizabeth Blake - Pride, Prejudice & Poison

Sandra Bolton - Key Witness

Laurie Boris - The Kitchen Brigade

Linda Bradley - Maggie's Way

Teyla Branton - The Change

Angela Britnell - The Wedding Reject Table

L.M. Bryski - Blood Chill

Carole Bumpus - Searching for Family and Traditions at the French Table, Books 1 and 2

Lucy Burdette - The Key Lime Crime

Jeri Cafesin - Disconnected

Yvette Calleiro - The One Discovered

Elaine Calloway - Windstorm

Julian Coleman - Cesar

Sue Coletta - Marred

Cheryl Colwell - The Proof

Brian Converse - Stone Soldiers

Doug Cooper - Bump Time

Carra Copelin - Katie and the Irish Texan

Marianne de Pierres - Burn Bright

Emily Deibler - Rabbit Heart

Lisa Doan - The Pennypackers Go On Vacation

Rebecca Enzor - Speak the Ocean

Janna Wong Healy - Let's Get Lost

Bo Kearns - Ashes in a Coconut

Eichin Chang Lim - The LoveLock

Emily Mah - Chasing Sunrise

Jessica Winters Mireles - Lost in Oaxaca

Luke Murphy - Rock-A-Bye Baby and Red Zone

Karen Pokras - Ava's Wishes

Rick Polad - Change of Address

Jan Ruth - Silver Rain

Elizabeth Schechter - The Rape of Persephone

Barbara Scoblic - Lost Without the River

T.L. Searle - Aquila

James Shipman - It Is Well

Angela Silverthorne - Cries of Mercy

Gina Tang - The Beijing Family

Jessica Tornese - Linked Through Time

Sweta Vikram - Louisiana Catch

Beem Weeks - Strange Hwy

June Winton - The Golden Horn

Louise Wise - Eden

Since I was fortunate enough  to have SO many delightful guests this year, I couldn’t squeeze in a single FoodFic musing of my own! However, below are some (I’m sure I’ve forgotten several) of the books I read over the past year that weren’t reviewed here at BWATE?

Eye of the God - Ariel Allison

The Darkest Minds, Never Fade, In the Afterlight, The Darkest Legacy - Alexandra Bracken

Eve, Once, Rise - Anna Carey

The Elite, The One, The Heir, The Crown - Kiera Cass

Dragon Teeth - Michael Crichton

The Passage - Justin Cronin

Into the Water - Paula Hawkins

Switch - Chip & Dan Heath

Memory of Water - Emmi Itaranta

The Water Cure - Sophie Mackintosh

Blossom Street Brides - Debbie Macomber

Where the Crawdads Sing - Delia Owens

Filthy Rich - James Patterson

Queen for a Day - Maxine Rosaler

This Savage Song - Victoria Schwab

The Cast - Danielle Steel

Bedchamber Games - Tracy Ann Warren

The Girls at 17 Swann Street - Yara Zgheib

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

Friday, October 2, 2020

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Lisa Doan, Author of The Pennypackers Go On Vacation

When food expectations go up in flames…

We’ve all been there. The buffet that was supposed to be piled high with shrimp and all you find is a heap of mayonnaise sprinkled with slivers of celery and tiny shrimp that came out of a can. The barbecue that was going to deliver all manner of meats, but somehow the steak and chops have eloped into the forest and you’re left with the last burned hot dog and a bag of chips.  The dinner party where you suspect, based on the roast that has been roasted by way of meteor, that the hosts had a major fight in the kitchen shortly before you arrived. Even the picture of a Big Mac at the order window and the resulting dripping mess are a bait and switch.

Sometimes, it’s your own fault. I once ordered crab dip at an Irish pub. Should I have been surprised that it was a crockery swimming with freezer-burned crab floating in a sauce that I believe was Campbell’s Cream of Potato soup? No, so that’s on me. Often, though, it’s not your fault. You had reasonable expectations. Or at least optimistic expectations and who can blame you for that?

Charlie Pennypacker’s hopes are raised high when he goes on a Disney cruise with his family. He assumes, as a matter of course, there will be mountains of jumbo shrimp and endless orange soda. He is particularly interested in the shrimp as it is a delicacy that has never crossed the Pennypacker’s threshold. Mr. Pennypacker holds the opinion that “One shrimp is affordable, but you need six and that’s how they get you on the price.” Unfortunately, Mr. Pennypacker has been pinching pennies on more than shrimp and the cruise he booked is an illegal knockoff. Disney buffet is out, Wisney Cruises fine dining is in, and Charlie’s expectations are about to go up in flames.

The chef is not a real chef and, like most young men thrown into a kitchen, he has a limited repertoire. Fried eggs, hard boiled eggs, egg salad, egg casserole or maybe just eggs in a pan and let’s see how they come out. In one ambitious moment, he manages to pull off hotdogs. It looked dicey at first, but he eventually figured out you have to take off the plastic wrapper first.

Still, shouldn’t Charlie forget about the food and just enjoy the experience? Shouldn’t we all? Shouldn’t we don a devil-may-care attitude and say, “I don’t care that the crab dip is an affront to crabs everywhere. I don’t care that this crab died for nothing. I don’t care that I have to gnaw through the freezer-burn. I’m socializing with my friends!”

Maybe we should, but I’m still thinking about that wretched crab dip and Charlie is still thinking about why he hates eggs so much.

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

You can find Lisa here:

Twitter @LisaADoan

Facebook Fan Page

Books on Amazon

Friday, September 18, 2020

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Emily Deibler, Author of Rabbit Heart

“What are you eating?” she asked Linda, her voice sounding strange and painfully new. Linda wore a purple blouse and cream skirt that reached her ankles; the blouse matched her lipstick, perfectly done and shining.

Linda paused and looked down at her food, as if she’d forgotten about it. “An omelet.” She stood and, before Rachel could protest, took the full plate at an empty seat and handed it to Rachel. The fat omelet made Rachel’s belly squirm in a way she wasn’t sure was hunger or nausea, or some gross knot of both.

“Can I eat in . . .” My room. “In the bedroom?”

Without missing a beat, Linda said, “Of course.” And led her there. Rachel should’ve added “alone,” so her meaning was clear.

Sitting on the bed’s edge, Rachel poked the fat omelet. Thankfully, it didn’t bite. “It smells . . .” Weird. “Okay, I guess.”

Linda smiled. “We try to excel at okay.”

In chapter ten of Rabbit Heart, Rachel wakes up in bed. After a traumatic event, she’s been unofficially adopted by two people who live in a cabin in the woods. The good news is that this is the first time in years she has a stable home and people who care about her well-being.

The bad news is that she’s in a Southern Gothic horror novel, and they’re serial killers with questionable tastes in food. Hannibal Lecters without the fava beans and chianti. Sadly, there aren’t as many peach cobblers on the pie rack like my grandmother would make.

That late morning, Linda, acting kind, offers Rachel an omelet to eat. Accepting food from a stranger is an act of trust. Rachel is immediately wary of Linda, and their talk over the meal outlines the main conflict: Rachel’s need for love versus her loyalty to her morals. She’s horrified at what Linda and Marcus have done, but their need to care for her, including making sure she eats, leads her to compromise her moral issues with killing others. While Rachel herself doesn’t hurt anyone on purpose, she ignores any suffering, so she may have a good home.

Often for families, a breakfast offers a moment of bonding and connection, which is what Rachel craves. “You are what you eat” might be taken to a more literal extreme in horror, but food offers us a moment to sit with others or insight into others’ traditions and cultures, which are shared with us.

In the end, Rachel receives inclusion, which impacts her on an emotional level. She accepts what she’s given to eat. The question is whether she continues to accept it as the years go by.

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

You can find Emily here:

Twitter @EmilyDeibler

Facebook Fan Page

Books on Amazon

Friday, September 11, 2020

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Carra Copelin, Author of The Texas Code Series

A Foodie Shares a few Faves

I’m a sixth generation Texan with my roots deeply embedded in the South. My great-great grandparents began arriving from Alabama and Tennessee around 1845 to Dallas and Bosque Counties, in Texas.

I don’t know if planning one’s life around food and meals is strictly a southern thing, but that’s the way it is in our family. In addition to the dinner tables being so laden with food that they needed sideboards, nearly each woman attending contributed her own special dish. For instance, at Christmas on my Mom’s side of the family, my cousin Bena Faith made the best cake donuts and a cake-like cookie made with sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips and coconut called Hello Dolly’s. My grandmother, Meme, fixed a pan of meatballs and spaghetti (that none of us can reproduce) and a Red Velvet Cake to die for. The rest of us filled in with salads, etc.

My grandmother, CarCarr, my Dad’s mother fixed the obligatory turkey and a Piggly Wiggly Picnic ham cooked in a brown paper sack. For this dinner, my mother would bring corn cut off the cob and baked with lots and lots of butter. We had peach cobbler, pound cake, and fudge candy, mashed potatoes, fried okra, and green beans.

I decided, with my Historical Romances, that the heroines have at least one dish or item they were expert at preparing. For instance, in my book, Katie and the Irish Texan, Katie’s biscuits would melt in your mouth. She also whipped up a fairly irresistible Irish stew. Her hero Dermot found he couldn’t survive without her cooking or her special charms.

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

You can find Carra here:

Twitter @CarraCopelin

Facebook Fan Page

Books on Amazon

Thursday, September 3, 2020

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Marianne de Pierres, Author of Burn Bright

The best thing about writing SFF is the fact that you get to make stuff up. I mean, whatever you want, really, as long as it fits the mood, tone and logic. It’s one of things I love most about writing genre. Your imagination is your only limit.

When I was writing Burn Bright [aka The Night Creatures trilogy]and the sequels, I wanted to create a sense that food was really a heightened sensation like everything else on Ixion, and I mixed up inventing foods with the very familiar: like goo-berry pie, black linguine and pink sauce, streaky bacon and red chilli beans, sweet oatmeal and wisp bread, rolled meats and honey-drenched pastries.

‘The [wisp] bread melted on her tongue like buttery air.’

I have no idea what wisp bread or goo-berry pie are, but I’d love to taste them!

In the real world of food, I’m a sucker for crisp streaky bacon, and a knock over for pastries and cakes. My Covid 19 guilty pleasure has been watching all the cake piping channels on Instagram. It’s kind of mesmerising – the things you can do with frosting!

Once, years ago, I made a passionfruit flummery dessert with toffee shards. I have such a strong memory of the dish that the toffee shards turn up in just about everything I have written since.

So, food in fiction was all going deliciously for me and then a few years ago, I developed a gluten intolerance. Now when I write stories, I’m much more mindful of what people can eat. I take care to vary my characters diets. It’s added a new dimension to how I think about food in my stories. I’m writing a dark fantasy fiction novel right now and have introduced “thin-fish” and “ropey” cheese. So far, there is MUCH less wheat bread.

I also really love to explore what the physical terrain of my books can actually produce for its inhabitants. You can’t grow everything, everywhere, and it’s engrossing making the decisions that affect it. What is the soil like? Is there much water? What’s the life cycle of the plant/animal species? How do you preserve food here? The world building that underpins the food consumption can be as fascinating, as having your characters eat it.

There are some great food-a-licious books out there, but a couple of my favourites are  Kerry Greenwood’s Corinna Chapman series – she’s a sleuth and a baker; Livia Day’s Café la Femme novels. Go check the  out 😊 Bon Appetit!

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

You can find Marianne here:

Twitter @mdepierres

Facebook Fan Page

Books on Amazon