Thursday, January 28, 2021

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Christian W. Freed, Author of Dreams of Winter

Day 73.

Feels like we’ve been on this planet forever. Campaigns stretch on. Friends fall with each battle, but we endure. What other choice do we have? Command says this planet has to stand or we risk losing half the galaxy. We’ve been at the sharp end of the stick since the civil war began. No one rightly knows how or why. All we’ve been told is the Inquisitor General staged a coup, had the Cardinal Seniorus killed, and General Strannan is in exile.

None of that matters to us grunts. The men and women we’re busy fighting were our friends just a few short months ago. Seven hundred occupied planets and we’re busy tearing each other apart. I guess the universe just isn’t big enough for dueling egos. At least they feed us. Granted, it’s army food and not very appetizing, but there’s no better feeling than going to sleep on a full belly. 

Each Guardsman is given three days' worth of rations. Mostly dehydrated meats and fruits or highly processed foods designed to last to the end of time. Be careful with some of it, you might just crack a tooth. But if it gets you off the front lines who can argue?

Rumor has it one of the Three is fueling the rage here. None of us wants to meet him. The old gods destroyed themselves long ago. The thought of facing one on this campaign is enough to make you empty your stomach. Huh, won’t the cooks be angry about that! Speaking of which, I can smell fresh food being cooked across the bivouac site. Looks like hot chow tonight. I figure it’s the least they can do for us. We have 27,000 Guard on planet and are facing a force twice our size. Unless help comes soon it won’t really matter what’s for dinner. 

Dreams of Winter was born on a random idea one winter afternoon while I was stationed at West Point in 2009. A few weeks later the first few chapters sprung to life in my room at the Four Seasons in Philadelphia. Now five volumes long, the Forgotten Gods Tales is my most ambitious project. It follows a handful of reluctant heroes as they uncover a plot to overthrow a ruling body that has been in place for three thousand years. Filled with magic, space pirates (because, of course), an Inquisition, and a handful of the old gods, Dreams of Winter is mostly about ordinary men and women just trying to survive. Partly derived from my own military experience and time downrange in Iraq, Korea, and Afghanistan, this series is a reflection of the people who fight and their reasons for doing so. 

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

You can find Christian here:

Twitter @ChristianWFreed

Facebook Fan Page

Books on Amazon

Friday, January 22, 2021

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Daniel Cotton, Author of Life Among the Dead

Food is one of the three keys to survival, but what happens when you yourself are put on the menu? In my zombie apocalypse series, Life Among the Dead, we meet an array of characters and see different ways to survive, from scavenging to homesteading. Whether they are heroes or villains they all share one trait, they need to eat. Food is not just sustenance to keep us going, it can also give us comfort, it can bring us together, it makes us feel human.

One of my favorite characters is Uncle Bruce. He uses a story about food to explain his theory of how the dead are rising. On a whim, before the apocalypse, he decided to use his vast resources to make himself a burger entirely from scratch, no preservatives. Everything he needed grew on his farm; lettuce, tomato, onions, and cucumbers that he pickled himself. He had cows for beef and even a pig for bacon. Bruce went so far as to make the cheese and buns himself. He was ready, the grill was fired up, but then he realized before starting that he had failed. Condiments. He could make mayonnaise, but didn’t know how to make ketchup or mustard. Preservatives are everywhere he concluded. Now, at the end of the world he contemplates if the stuff that keeps food food could be causing the new horror they face.

Through this four book saga of intertwining tales I sprinkled my own culinary tricks, how to grill perfect ribs, and how to make a virgin tiramisu simply by putting in maple syrup and leaving out the rum. The latter is revealed by another of my favorite characters, the underdog leader of the town of Rubicon, Simon Brass. Simon was a grocer in the world before and still employs his old trade in his new way of life. He makes displays in his store to move the hard to ‘sell’ items. He rations things in limited supply to prolong the inventory. Cake mixes and frostings are two things his fellow survivors snatch up quickly to commemorate dead loved ones, birthday cakes with no candles. 

Not all the meals in the series are appetizing, unless you’re a zombie. Sink your teeth into this survival horror epic.

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

You can find Daniel here:

Twitter @DanielCCotton

Facebook Fan Page

Books on Amazon

Friday, January 15, 2021

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Jayne Denker, Author of Down on Love

Thom started to pace, which wasn’t a very effective aggressive move—not in Georgiana’s tiny, shadowed apartment. For really good, forceful pacing, you needed more than four feet of free space. She didn’t have that—not by a long shot.

“Why can’t you think of someone other than yourself for once!” he exclaimed.

George bit the inside of her bottom lip to keep from guffawing in his face. Thom Tyler lecturing her about selfishness, when he’d written the book on it? Really? Instead of sniping at him, she took out her aggressions on a freshly peeled apple. Which looked a lot like his head, actually. Smiling now, she centered the circular apple slicer and gave a mighty shove downward. The sharpened metal blades thoomped neatly through the Twenty Ounce, and she thought she should feel a little guilty for imagining doing the same thing to Thom’s head, like in an old cartoon, from back when animated violence wasn’t frowned upon. She gave up on the guilt and relished the gory vision for a few seconds, then made her amends by picturing his sectioned head coming back together neatly and bloodlessly.

Georgiana Down, the main character in Down on Love, the first book in my small-town romcom series Welcome to Marsden, has a lot of stress in her life. She was downsized out of her job as a graphic artist, broke up with her emotionally abusive boyfriend, and now lives in a drab apartment with a weird roommate. Meanwhile, her sister is haranguing her to return to their tiny hometown in the Catskill Mountains in central New York State—a place she hasn’t visited, let alone lived in, in fifteen years. She has two activities in her life that relieves her stress: her successful anti-romance advice blog (Down on Love) and baking pies.

When I started writing Down on Love, there was nothing in my notes about George baking pies. (And I take a lot of notes before I start writing.) I don’t know how it came about that George’s “thing” is baking, and only pies, but I definitely drew on my personal experience. I learned how to make pies back when we rode dinosaurs to school, in what was then known as home ec class. Did you ever have one of those teachers, one you just knew would teach you something (or many things) you would carry with you the rest of your life? Sister Dismas was one of those teachers. She was a Sister of Mercy who also was the best geometry teacher since Euclid, had been a missionary in Africa and always had great stories about hanging out with cannibal tribes, and had the best from-scratch apple pie recipe. I mastered it at 16 and have been using the same recipe ever since. When I realized Georgiana needed a stress-relieving hobby, having her bake pies—using that same recipe—was the perfect fit.

After all, pies are comfort food, something George craves. I recently held a pie-themed giveaway, and one of the prizes was a plaque that said “All I’m saying is you rarely see someone crying and eating pie at the same time.” Now, that’s some top-level philosophizing right there. And true! Pies are associated with home, comfort, family gatherings, home-cooked meals, and definitely that funky diner in town—you know the one, with laminated menus and vinyl booths and the dessert carousel at the end of the counter filled with pies and pudding, rotating endlessly, tempting you to indulge even though you just polished off a cheeseburger the size of a small planet.

I don’t think it’s giving away much to say that George’s pies play a role in some key scenes in Down on Love, as well as in Picture This and Lucky for You, the second and third books in the Welcome to Marsden series. Do they end up in that dessert carousel in the diner?

You bet your Granny Smith they do.

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

You can find Jayne here:

Twitter @JDenkerAuthor

Facebook Fan Page

Books on Amazon

Friday, December 18, 2020

FOODFIC: Please Welcome M.W. Craven, Author of The Puppet Show

It had never been my intention to give food such prominence in the Poe and Tilly books, and even when it happened, it kind of happened organically. Poe eats what he wants, when he wants, mainly sausages and black pudding and Tilly has been a vegan since she was thirteen. Having them eat a meal together, or discuss (let’s not pretend; they argue) Poe’s diet allows me to a) showcase the very different personalities of my two leads without hammering the reader over the head with it, b) inject human moments into what can occasionally be quite dark books and c) add some humour.

Before they could leave, Poe had to navigate his way through their ongoing discussion about his diet. This one was about wholemeal bread, specifically Poe’s refusal to eat it.

‘Life’s too short to not eat white bread, Tilly,’ he said as he reached for the last piece of toast. He slathered it with salted butter and took a bite.

‘You keep saying that, Poe,’ she said. ‘But all you’re doing is stacking up problems for tomorrow.’

He held it up. ‘It’s one bit of toast.’

‘That is one bit of toast, Poe. But so were the other seven bits you’ve eaten.’ 

Of course in Black Summer, the second Poe novel, food became one of the central themes as the novel involves a murder that may or may not have taken place in a Michelin-starred restaurant. The juxtaposition between Poe’s usual diet and that of the food prepared in the restaurant was great fun to write. One scene popular with readers sees Poe and Tilly eat a seventeen-course taster menu and I think this little snippet sums it up quite well:

A succession of small but delicate dishes followed, each one more complex than the previous. A sea urchin that Poe felt sorry for was served in its own shell. It had the texture of set custard with the briny taste of fresh oyster. Every time he took a bite, Bradshaw said, ‘Yuk’.

But it’s not just with Tilly that Poe discusses food. This bit is taken from The Botanist, out June 2022, and sees Poe holed up with someone he can barely tolerate:

‘It’s not all bad news though,’ Poe said. ‘I’m treating everyone to a nose-to-tail goat later. There’s a Moroccan place nearby that dry rubs a whole one with five types of chillies before it’s basted in its own fat for twenty-four hours. Comes with the works: preserved lemons, toasted almonds, the lot. If you stop moaning you can have one of the eyeballs.’

‘You’re disgusting,’ Salt said.

Of course it’s not just Poe who gets all the amusing lines when it comes to food, as this fragment from The Puppet Show demonstrates. Here Poe and Tilly are meeting with the Bishop of Carlisle:

Ordinarily Poe would have declined but he wanted to keep it informal. ‘I’ll have a coffee please, if that’s OK? Tilly?’

‘Do you have any fruit tea, Nicholas?’

‘I believe Mrs Oldwater enjoys a cup of liquorice tea every now and then. Will that do?’

Bradshaw shook her head, ‘No thank you, Nicholas, liquorice gives me diarrhoea.’

Anyway, I’m off to eat a bacon sandwich . . .

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

You can find Mike here:

Twitter @MWCravenUK

Facebook Fan Page

Books on Amazon

Friday, December 11, 2020

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Brenda Drake, Author of Analiese Rising

Certain scents, places, and foods can remind us of our loved ones who have passed away. In Analiese Rising, Analiese and her brother go to the same coffee house they’d visited with their father for years. Their father had recently died and, whenever they’re in the area, they stop in and have a coffee together in honor of him. She remembers their first time there and how it started with her and her brother getting hot chocolates and how they graduated to coffee now that they’re in their teens. 

The coffee house holds many warm memories for Analiese. The gradual change from hot chocolate to coffee reveals her growth from a child to a young adult. There was once joy in going to the coffee house with her father and brother. And now, it’s only a ritual. One they haven’t broken since he died, but one that brings a sadness and yet a warmth to her. 

Analiese’s real parents died when she was a baby, and the only father she ever knew was her uncle. Their relationship was perfect to her, he was perfect. But one day, on the way to the coffee house, an accident happens in front of it that sets off a crumbling of her belief in who her father was and her true identity. The coffee shop disappears as that safety place for her. It becomes the jumping off place of all her fears. 

We remember many special things from when we were children. Sometimes the further we grow away from them, the more special they become. And sometimes, the distance of our past can cause us to forget. Growing up and losing our special moments that only our childhood can give us, seems inevitable. It’s a rite of passage we all must take even if we don’t want to.  

At this time of year, during the holiday season, I’m more reminiscent of old family traditions. I used to be sad that they were no longer the same. No longer as magical as I remember them. It wasn’t until I started my own family and my own traditions, adding many from my youth, that I realized I can give my children the memories I was so lucky to have and pass it on. 

What old traditions do you miss? What new ones have you started with your family?

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

You can find Brenda here:

Twitter @BrendaDrake

Facebook Fan Page

Books on Amazon

Friday, December 4, 2020

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Rosanne Dingli, Author of How to Disappear

When ice cream is more than just ice cream

A number of objects, themes and settings can be used in fiction to ground the action; to make it real. Characters seem to spring to life when they dance and run, embrace or cry; but little adds subtle weight to a story better than food and drink. The way the hero of the piece holds a fork; the way his rival points his knife, and crams chips into his mouth, dripping with sauce or mayonnaise.

We have read of a princess daintily spooning crème brûlée into pursed lips while thinking of her figure. We have watched children greedily tuck into filled rolls after a swim, dangling feet off a jetty and smiling through lettuce, cheese and tomato. We have nodded as we recognize the lunchtime hunger of high school students standing in a canteen line and eyeing dreary mashed potato, grey peas and watery stew. We have read of a portly parish priest waiting at a stained tablecloth for his meagre lamb chop and claret, while jealously thinking of the mayor and a large poached salmon, two doors down the high street.

In my novel How to Disappear, which is written in lyrical repetitive language used to express the tone and mood of the female protagonist’s situation, I try to express longing, or boredom, or happiness, or grief through food. It also jogs readers’ memories about food and the roles it played in their young lives. The emotional episodes of my youth and childhood were all accompanied by food. There was the miserly thin meat of school dinners, the generosity of grandparents and their trifle and roast pork. There was the clumsy attempt at baking a first cake, poorly iced but so delicious, and the boiled eggs and toast fingers of the sick bed. And how could I forget the struggle of learning to eat spaghetti?

The challenge in my novel is to make it as subtle as I can, to portray the waking emotions of a woman too long stifled and suppressed by the people she thought loved her. Here is an excerpt taken from the first section of this two-part novel:

She watched him eat two hamburgers, grasping them like they were alive, like they would escape if he loosened those spatulate fingers. Flattened fingernails. Tinged a kind of mauve underneath broad ridged nails. Rolled up sleeves on his blue, blue shirt revealing sinewy muscles and hairs bleached and bristly. Working jaw, chewing, square, what her friend Thelma might label strong and scary. He could be an axe murderer, she’d said.

‘I told … I said I was taking the coach. Except to Thelma. I told Thelma I’d met you again.’

Raised his eyes. Oh. Dark, dark brown in here out of the sun. ‘Again?’

‘Since school and all that.’

Laughed. ‘All that you hardly remember.’


Wiped his mouth in long drags, side to side, with a paper napkin folded into a strip, a horizontal thing, left to right, right to left. Taking a deep breath, smiling hugely. ‘That hit the spot.’ Drinking tea like it was necessary. ‘Do you want more tea?’

She nodded.

‘And something from … A cake, or something?’

Oh. Wanting, needing, wanting to enjoy this properly. ‘Ice cream. Let’s have ice cream.’

‘Now, Selby-Brixham-Bec-Winmarley, now go ahead and enjoy this properly then.’

How did he know? Walked over to the counter. Watched the girl pile three differently-coloured scoops into a fluted ice-cream dish. ‘Do you want nuts or sprinkles with that?’

Morgue calling from the table. ‘Both! Both!’

It was a holiday. She didn’t know, three days ago, that she wanted a holiday. Had not even wished for one. And here she was, dipping, dipping a spoon, taking turns with two spoons. Laughing. Scooping up green, cream, pink ice cream tasting of real cream, country cream. Avoiding the nuts in the dish. Sharing ice cream. With two spoons. Never done before.

‘You don’t like nuts.’ Not a question, but a mental note taken. He would remember, like he remembered her graduation ball gown.

‘Are we on holiday?’ Shaking, lowering her head and smiling. ‘I must be crazy.’

‘You are. You left town with this guy you hardly remember from school. Just like that.’ Broad smile. 

That hot tea, those hamburgers, the ice cream, those nuts; they frame the action and are more than mere props. There is meaning, emotional meaning, in their invention. Although a writer rarely stops to think too much about the food placed in a story, it is intuitively chosen for its suggestions, its hints. It is emotional, communicative, suggestive of the feelings floating around the characters as they play out the complications. We call the complications plot, we call the food and utensils, the plates and cutlery props, but a good writer knows they are more than that. They are carriers of mood, emotion and meaning, and they travel from writer to reader like the scent of herbs and garlic, or of caramel, lemons, and vanilla. Food is introduced and served a number of times through the narrative, and it always carries the weight of meaningfulness.

Enjoy the next course by finding this novel on Amazon and eating and drinking with the protagonist on her adventure.

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

You can find Rosanne here:

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!

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