Thursday, August 25, 2016

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Aubree Lane, Author of Tahoe Blues



The Culinary Delights of Tahoe Blues

From the upscale Jakes on the Lake to Rookies Bar & Grill, the food around Lake Tahoe can’t be beat. Our heroine, Cara Lee Greene, is ready to sample it all. Recently divorced from the city’s most successful casino owner, Cara’s new found freedom is severely hampered when the State of Nevada straps the most unappealing piece of jewelry around her ankle. Under house arrest for a crime she didn’t commit, Cara is forced to rely on her lawyer and private detective, David Crandall, to set her free.

With little else to do but eat, it isn’t long before Cara’s cupboards are bare and takeout becomes her mainstay. Isolated from her friends, Chinese food, French bread and her favorite wines from California are more than mere nourishment, they become Cara’s lifeline to a world she is no longer allowed to take part in.

Mrs. Grimes, a neighbor and the baker of the most delectable muffins and cookies Granite Gages Estates has ever seen, is convinced the apartment complex’s new managerial assistant is behind the infamous, Cara caper. Leaving the flour and eggs behind, Mrs. G. ventures out of the kitchen to conduct an investigation of her own.

The case unravels the moment Mrs. Grimes and David Crandall cross paths.

How will it all turn out? You must pick up a copy of Tahoe Blues to find out!



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



You can find Aubree here:







And Tahoe Blues here:                    Amazon US                    Amazon UK

                                                           Amazon Canada             Amazon Australia




Thursday, August 18, 2016

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Daniele Lanzarotta, Author of Shattered Souls



I will never understand those vampires who feed off animals or bags of donated blood. Let’s face it… if you are a vampire like those Cullens, who drink from animals, you are bound to get hair in your mouth while eating. Who can enjoy a meal like that? And those bags of donated blood are no different than frozen meals… or so I hear.

By the way, I’m Nicholas Taylor, a vampire who enjoys being what he is, because let’s face it, eternity is a whole lot of time to spend resenting who you are or what/who you eat.

I enjoy drinking the sweet and warm blood straight from the source. I do have my preferences too. I don’t feed on just anyone. For one thing, I don’t feed on guys. I also prefer drinking from the neck. There is just something about hearing your ‘meal’ enjoy being fed on, and that one spot maximizes every sound… every reaction. And although I usually drink from humans, there is one vampire who I enjoy drinking from just as much - my ‘Little Minion.’



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


You can find Daniele here:









And here's a tempting excerpt of Shattered Souls:


I got closer to her and whispered for her to close her eyes and relax.  She did, and I moved her head slightly to the side.  I used my fingernail to make a small scratch on her neck.  It was just enough to start bleeding.  The fact that we were in such enclosed space and with someone starting to breath heavy in the front seat, made the scent of her blood overwhelming.  Within seconds, my lips were on her neck, and her sweet blood was running through my body.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Nancy Klann-Moren, Author of The Clock of Life



The mere mention of southern cuisine conjures up mind-images of moss covered cypress alongside lazy dirt roads.  A tale set in the South, without the smells, tastes, and devotion put into its dishes would feel like half a tale. It's as essential as the characters and scenery.

In my novel, The Clock Of Life, there are a few southern "flavor" firsts for the protagonist, Jason Lee, not the least being, moonshine.

   I brought it up to my lips. “This stuff smells like my mama’s nail polish remover.”
   “Just drink,” Samson said.
   Not one second after I took my first swig a fire hit the back of my throat, then roared through my chest and settled like smoldering embers in my belly. “Tastes bad as it smells,” I said between chokes. 
   “This stuff’s made for the kick, not the taste. Try not to taste it.” 
   I wiped my eyes with my sleeve. “White lightnin ain’t for sissies.” 
   “No, it ain’t, but this here’s better’n white lightnin. It’s my pa’s own brew. Calls it Mr. J’s Black Thunder. Get it, black for white, thunder for ligntnin?”
   “Course I get it.” 
   I breathed in the humid air to cool my throat and looked at the river again, doing its own thing, paying no attention to us. My mind raced ahead, looking forward to more nights like that one. The feeling of freedom is a powerful thing.

And there's the colorful patchwork-quilt of simple yet soulful offerings that pack the kitchen during the wake.

   Food for the grieving covered every surface of the kitchen. Cast-iron pots of chitlins and hog maws boiled on the stove. The counter, usually tidy and scrubbed clean by Mrs. Johnson, was packed with mounds of fried chicken and catfish piled on platters. Dozens of wooden spoons were wedged in crusted casseroles of macaroni and cheese, sweet potatoes smothered in marshmallows, and large bowls of every kind of gumbo you could imagine. 
   Two women came in carrying bowls covered with foil. The older one had a long, stretched-out face and arms skinny as chicken bones. She set her bowl next to a pot of red beans, peeled back the foil, and pulled out one of her red Kool-Aid pickles. The other one did the same with her pickled watermelon rind.

But, the sweet, succulent star, woven through the story is Amalgamation Cake
 
   “I think I’ll take ’em an Amalgamation cake,” Mama said. “A little employment insurance. Somethin to sweeten ’em up. It can’t hurt.” 
   “Funny name for a cake. What’s it mean?”
   “Amalgamation means combinin things that don’t usually go together, for the better.”
   So began her Friday evening ritual of baking two cakes. The first thing she did was remove the handed-down recipe card from its place in her mother’s cookbook and set it on the counter. She had no need to read it but kept it there anyway. 



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


You can find Nancy here:





Thursday, August 4, 2016

FOODFIC: Please Welcome William Knight, Author of Generation


Food for worms

Eating starts and ends all the events in Generation, from the tarmac table of the opening scene to the al fresco irony of the final twist. But to describe these bracketing meals as cosy dinners for two would be to misunderstand the relationship between the food and the eater.

Hendrix Harrison is a seventies-born journalist who views the subjects of his articles as fraudsters and fakes while cynically taking the money for writing about their mystical experiences and presenting them as scientific truth for the avid readership of Strange Phenomenon magazine.

A morning’s work for Hendrix is chasing the Wolf of Ashburton across Dartmoor then stopping for a hamburger, lettuce drowning in mayonnaise and chips, on the way back to London.

His principles demand he only eats fast food during emergencies; when only a sugared bun and cow’s lips burger will do. He hates that business-designed fast food was so good, and he is perfectly aware that he is as lost with his eating as he is with his work.

For the heroic characters in Generation, food is mostly a rushed affair. Despite the flickering relationship that you might think would be ignited by a romantic dinner date — but was first kindled over a decaying corpse – both Harrison and his reluctant side-kick Sarah Wallace consider eating as a distraction; Harrison because he is too lazy to stop for real food and Wallace because she is too busy.

She telegraphs her attitude to food during the DNA analysis of insect larva found burrowing into the cadavers she studies.

“I’ve brought you something to eat to stop you leaving the chair,” she says, placing a bag of salt ’n’ vinegar crisps and some cheese dips on the bench. It was the best she could do from the hospital vending machines, she adds.

Even as she and her colleague munch on potato chips they discuss the fate of the victims. Insects will oviposit at the natural openings to the body. This gives quick access to food for the larvae and an easy entrance to the body cavity, Wallace explains.

References to food peppers the thinking of many of the characters both major and minor. The main villain drives a car that is at the top of the automobile food chain, and a police detective is in constant contact with his stomach.

“Get me a sandwich will you? I like those bacon and egg, breakfast specials with a sachet of ketchup,” the officer says.

His colleague teases him about his bad eating habits, but trying to lose weight was a battle he was unwilling to enter. He had other things on his mind, like why his wife kept leaving the house so early on a Saturday morning, and why the kids seemed to dislike him so much.

But while the living characters of the book have a mostly normal relationships to food, be that as slightly obsessive or as inconvenient needs, it is the victims of the cruel genetic testing, designed to regenerate their bodies after injury, for whom the connection with food is an abomination.

They both eat and are eaten.

Their very existence is defined by loss of family confused with a wrenching hunger that cannot be satisfied. In the opening we see a dark figure driven to emerge from the comfort and safety of dark, lonely woodland to feast on roadkill.

“Meat from a carcass squashed against a tarmac tablecloth.” It had no taste, and felt as if he was biting into his own skull.


His attempt at fulfillment is short lived and doomed to failure. As he eats, he is himself struck by a car and he drags himself by his finger nails to a hollow beneath a hedge.

He watches the generations of flies as they feed, breed and die on and within his body. He knows they will eventually consume him and he times his approaching death in the life-cycle of flies; every generation a clock tick to peace.


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



You can find William here:




Friday, July 29, 2016

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Karen Kondazian, Author of The Whip



It’s the 1850s in Sacramento, California and the Gold Rush is booming. Streets are packed with men of all color and constitution, wheeling and dealing...having left their families and traveling sometimes treacherous journeys to seek their fortune. After a fruitless day digging for gold, the men might get their kicks through a variety of amusements: mainly brothels, live theater and gambling saloons. They also imbibe in whisky, beer, tobacco... and for the wealthy and adventurous, opium that the Chinese introduced.  But then there was something else that few would try, something called Indian Whisky!

Wait, what? Indian Whisky? That doesn’t sound exactly PC. Well let’s put this into historical context: It was still the ‘Wild West’ and territorial hostilities were at a high but there were also friendly negotiations made between the 'white man' and the Indians.  Although some of the trades between them were not exactly fair to the Indians, there was indeed a huge run on a particular cheap, homemade 'Indian' whisky sold to the Indians, in exchange for goods such as fresh cut tobacco.

What secret ingredients were in Indian Whisky that so titillated the Indian palate and why is it featured in The Whip? (a historical novel inspired by the true story of Charlotte ‘Charley’ Parkhurst (1812-1879), a famous Wells Fargo stagecoach driver who disguised herself as a man). Not to give away spoilers but there is a point in the novel when Charley looses the sight in one eye, having been kicked by her horse.  She is laying in bed, while her friend and fellow stagecoach driver, Ben, is trying to cheer her up by offering her a slug of Indian Whisky and explaining what’s in it: (this is an authentic recipe from the old west, believe it or not!)


"So you take one barrel of river water, and two gallons of alcohol. Then you add two ounces of strychnine...  'cuz strychnine is a f'ing great stimulant. Add three plugs of tobacco to make ‘em sick; an Indian wouldn’t figure it was whiskey unless it made him sick. Then add five bars of soap to give it a bead, and half-pound of red pepper. Put in some sagebrush, boil it ‘til it’s brown, strain it into a barrel and hell, you got yourself some delicious Indian Whiskey."


So if you’re down in the dumps, you might want to try whipping up some Indian Whisky and see if that does the trick~or not.


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



You can find Karen here:








The Whip by Karen Kondazian is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Audible and Itunes in all formats: Paperback, Hardback, Kindle, Nook, E-book, Audio Book CD and Audible Audio Book.

Awards:
* 2014 Readers Favorite Gold Medal Prize - Fiction-Western category
* 2013 Best Western, International Book Awards
* 2012 Award-Winner in Fiction: Historical category - USA Best Book Awards

Winner:
2014 Readers Favorite Gold Medal Prize in the Fiction-Western
2013 International Book Award/ Best Western Fiction
2013 National Indie Excellence Award /Best Western
2013 Best eBook Global Award/Best Historical Fiction/Western
2012 USA News Book Award/ Best Historical Fiction

Goodreads: Best Book to be made into a Film / Top 12 Best Western Books

Friday, July 22, 2016

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Catherine Greenall, Author of A Quirk of Destiny



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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



You can find Catherine here:








Wednesday, July 13, 2016

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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



You can find Jackie here:




Thursday, July 7, 2016

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


You can find Tim here:







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

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

Thursday, June 30, 2016

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Lee DuCote, Author of MICAH



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

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

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

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

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


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



You can visit Lee here:





Thursday, June 23, 2016

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Auden Johnson, Author of The Sciell



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

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

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

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


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


You can find Auden here: