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:

Friday, June 17, 2016

FOODFIC: Redeemed - P.C. & Kristin Cast

Be forewarned: this post is one giant spoiler. Not of this book, actually, just the 11 that preceded it. ;)

Obviously there have been many changes since this series began, some more predictable than others. Zoey Redbird is no longer just a fledgling; she’s actually a High Priestess now. Or she would be if she wasn’t in jail for killing two men. (Yes, sweet and kind Zoey! But hey, there have been 10 full books since we were introduced; she even says curse words sometimes now!) And since she’s in human jail, she’ll most likely die there when her body rejects the change.

During this incarceration, she’ll surely have visitors, but Heath won’t be one of them as he’s no longer Zoey’s boyfriend. And he’s dead. Well, not all the way dead – he’s sort of been reincarnated, but more in a HoN way than the traditional sense.

On the friendship front, Stevie Rae is still Zoey’s bestie, as is Aphrodite!?! Clearly they’ve both evolved over the course of the series as well – one is now also a High Priestess and the other is no longer even a vampire! You’ve got a 50/50 shot at correctly guessing who’s gone which way. ;)

Besides those original friendships and loveships that readers have been following for 7 years, there have also been cast changes (staff and family, allies and enemies), scene changes (schools and islands and other-worldly realms, oh my!) and conjuring of all sorts of magick – new and old, light and dark.

But one thing has remained constant. (Okay, two things – you know Grandma Redbird wasn’t going anywhere.*) Even in prison, Zoey’s still craving brown pop. It was her beverage of choice when we first met her, and it’s still the first thing she wishes for when served super-runny eggs and beef-jerky-hard bacon in her cell. The only question is: will she be drinking it with her last death-row meal, or using it toast her success at the conclusion of her story?

That’s the one thing I’m not going to spoil, folks. ;)

*She’s of course Zoey’s first jailhouse visitor, toting a picnic basket stocked with her signature lavender chocolate-chip cookies

Thursday, June 9, 2016

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Ginae Lee Scott, Author of Looking Through the Water

In my novel, Looking Through the Water, when I glanced back into the story, my main character experienced many types of situations with food. I honestly had not seen this before preparing for this blog post. This alone has been fun reflecting on my purpose of the significance of the meals Cassie has had.

During the summer months off from school, Cassie was left home alone while her parents went off to work. Her mother had left chores for her to do, and while being such a young age of seven, Cassie did what she was told to do, all the while taking care of herself also. Cassie was great at peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and not a burden to others in the neighborhood who would have loved to help her.

My favorite meals are the cookies and ice cream treats at the neighbors, - who through their kindness, I believe, - Cassie received those special times around food that all children should have. And not that the food was sweets, but the togetherness of the meal with others.

Mrs. Vashon, an elderly neighbor, shared her food with Cassie amongst her beautiful garden, that backdrop brought forth the title of this book. Cassie finds part of the beauty in this world looking through the water.

Food in Cassie's home was a opposite side of the spectrum. Her mother had to wrestle with herself to bring forth a peaceful meal, so for the most part meals prepared by her could have the opposite affect in Cassie's life. With the emotional bursts of her mother and the chores to big for a young girl, I believe meals at home were very difficult for Cassie.

The beauty of this novel is that Cassie found the beauty in this world, she was wise beyond hers years and she shared what she learned and saw with others.

It's always wonderful to hear back from readers, I love the interaction talk about this novel. There is a readers book club guide in the back of the book. As the author, I want to tell you this story landed like a movie in my mind so much so, that I had to write it. I experienced a character coming alive while writing too, which is an amazing experience for an author.

After the book was done and edits were going on, I saw so many things from my own life on the pages that it was a healing balm for me. Cassie is a lovely, beautiful child, and I wish I had been more brave like her.

Be blessed today,

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

You can find Ginae here:

Thursday, June 2, 2016

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Stacy Juba, Author of Fooling Around With Cinderella

Since my characters work at the Storybook Valley fairy tale theme park, they get to have lots of yummy park food like fried dough, caramel apples, popcorn, and best of all the baked gingerbread men and cinnamon doughnuts from the Little Red Hen Bakery. Jaine gets lots of perks from being the park’s marketing coordinator and temporary Cinderella.

Her sexy boss Dylan is a whiz at making homemade lemonade from his years of working at the park as a teenager. He likes to offer Jaine freshly squeezed lemonade when he needs a favor. But he does have a romantic side also, and arranged a private picnic in the woods for their first date. Jaine couldn’t believe the assortment of crispy breads wrapped in parchment paper, savory biscuits and homemade preserves, cold meats and cheeses, a container of Greek style pasta salad, plump green grapes, fruit skewers, and brownies.

For more about the Storybook Valley menu, check out Fooling Around With Cinderella!

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

You can find Stacy here:

And find Cinderella here:

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What happens when the glass slippers pinch Cinderella's toes? When Jaine Andersen proposes a new marketing role to the local amusement park, general manager Dylan Callahan charms her into filling Cinderella’s glass slippers for the summer. Her reign transforms Jaine’s ordinary life into chaos that would bewilder a fairy godmother. Secretly dating her bad boy boss, running wedding errands for her ungrateful sisters, and defending herself from the park’s resident villain means Jaine needs lots more than a comfy pair of shoes to restore order in her kingdom. First in the Storybook Valley series, a blend of sweet romance, chick lit, and fairy tale fun. 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Charles W. Jones, Author of Circus Tarot

“Get your Cotton Candy! A token a fluff!” the man in the red-and-white-striped suit yells, though he doesn’t need to raise his voice as he walks the fairway; the Ladies and Gentlemen flock to him wherever he is. His completion is the midget peddling popcorn, and his brother, Six of Poles, who sells roasted peanuts. Of course, he sells more Cotton Candy than the combination of both his rivals.

Cotton Candy, after all, is the food of the gods. In World Circus you can live your entire life eating nothing else. Though your tastes may change for a moment, craving the saltiness of fresh popped corn, or the earthy meat of the peanut, you will always return to the main staple.

During periods of being “flipped”, the stomach won’t grant the sweet floss access to touch its lining, allowing only raw flesh from a fellow member of World Circus inside. Then with the blink of an eye, the condition rights itself, and the patron craves nothing else but Cotton Candy.

The children who come to the Circus, swarm around him, jumping and reaching for the delectable treat. Gripping the white, paper cone, their faces disappear behind the bright pink or blue fluff, before they giddily scatter inside World Tent to watch the show.

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

Find the author and his books here:

Thursday, May 19, 2016

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Audrey Kalman, Author of Dance of Souls

Taste Will Tell
by Audrey Kalman

I’ve always loved both writing and cooking. In fact, I once wrote and published a cookbook. That was back in the days when “self-publishing” meant photocopying and comb binding the pages.

The combination of books and food—or literature and gustatory experiences, if you want to be fancy about it—is a natural one, and food seems to work its way into my writing often. A scene from my novel Dance of Souls brings two characters together for a home-cooked meal:

Roxanna had cooked him pollo mole—her mother’s recipe, with nothing from a jar or can. She had toasted and ground the nuts herself and softened the fruit (although she had used the blender and not the metate her mother would have used), hoping to demonstrate to Mr. Candine that in some dishes, albeit not in the case of coffee, ample emotion could compensate for a less-than-scientific approach. He had even helped her in the kitchen as they drank Corona straight from the bottle—another concession by Mr. Candine to his steadily slipping standards. Indeed, the dish had been a great success and they had both eaten more than was strictly good for them.

You could hardly find two more mismatched lovers; their attitudes toward food reveal their differences. Roxanna, the daughter of Guatemalan immigrants, is searching for her place in suburban California and has latched onto a fundamentalist church as a way to stay connected to her past. Cooking is part of her heritage and childhood, something she does as naturally as breathing.

Mr. Candine is a displaced mid-westerner, a religious fanatic with delusions of grandeur and some very peculiar ideas about the world. He also teaches middle-school science. His fussy precision—really just a way for him to maintain the illusion of control—makes itself evident when he cooks and eats. (The mention of coffee is a reference to the scientific exactitude he brings to the task of brewing his morning joe.)  It’s a great testament to Roxanna’s feminine wiles that she has gotten him to loosen up enough to drink beer while helping her cook, and straight from the bottle, no less!

How a character relates to food, cooking, and eating reveals a great deal about who they are and their motivations. I wonder what it reveals about authors…

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

You can find Audrey here:

Audrey has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pen and has been editing professionally for more than twenty-five years. Her novel What Remains Unsaid is scheduled for publication in 2016 by Sand Hill Review Press. Her previous novel, Dance of Souls, appeared in 2011. Many online and print journals have published her short fiction and poetry. She lives in northern California with her husband, two sons, and two cats, and is at work on another novel.