Saturday, December 31, 2011

Toastworthy Teens: Emily-Anne Rigal

Since 2009, the HALO (Helping And Leading Others) awards have been honoring teens who work to make the world a better place. For the big night, celebrities like Taylor Swift, David Beckham, Lady Gaga, Ashton Kutcher, and host Nick Cannon come together  to give some amazing teens the recognition they deserve. 

Well, I might not have a primetime TV slot or a vault full of prize money, but I’m not going to let that stop me from raising my blog glass to some toast-worthy teens, starting right now!

Emily-Ann Rigal, 2011 HALO Honoree

Because of her weight, Emily-Anne was bullied to the point where she felt her only option was to switch schools. Vowing she would do everything she could to keep others from going through the same thing, in 2010 Emily took to the web and created, a teen-run website to combat bullying through social media videos created for teens by teens which now has over 500,000 members!

Emily-Anne also travels the country giving presentations and helping others design anti-bullying campaigns, as well as continuing to spread her message of self-worth with inspirational notes, quotes, and photos to her audience several times a day. Emily-Anne and WeStopHate truly give teens a voice; for more information, check out the site:

Do you know a toast-worthy teen you’d like to see featured here at BWATE? 
Comment below with your email address so we can get a post together!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Janet Fox, Author of the Faithful Series

Food Fit For...Everyone

The ice cream cone. Such a universal, charming, easy sweet. It was born (according to some lore) at the Exposition in St. Louis, 1904, when an ice cream vendor ran out of cups and turned to a neighboring vendor for a rolled waffle, and...voila! The creation of an American original.

My first novel, Faithful, is set in the summer of 1904, so naturally I had to incorporate the cone in a scene of romantic discovery:

      Yet I wanted to reach across the table – right then, reach my arm over both our ice creams – and lift that lock of hair off his forehead and see him smile for me. Only for me. I would have followed his sea eyes into the bear’s teeth.
He glanced up. “Good?” His index finger pointed at my ice cream, now dripping down my fingers while I mooned.

Now, really. Who has not experienced romance over ice cream?

Historical fiction demands historical foods. In Faithful I also incorporated a dinner of planked whitefish (which I found on an ordinary menu from the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel of the early 1900s). This was not a special menu item, but one served to any of the tourists who dined at the Hotel in those times. I hoped to make a statement: that my heroine Maggie Bennet, brought to a lower rank by circumstance, could eat like everyman, and that was just fine.

In my second novel, Forgiven, set in 1906, I used food to make the opposite distinction. Kula Baker has been raised in a lower class situation and pines for something more. But what she finds is unsustaining (and awkward, given her unaccustomed corset):

     The orchestra played waltzes, and waiters slid through with trays of delicacies – a seafood (shrimp, according to Miss Everts’s whisper), a pastry filled with small black nubbins (caviar, Miss Everts called it), and, of all the awful things, snails. Due to my constrained condition and the peculiarity of these dishes, I declined to eat.

Which leads her to an overabundance of punch, which leads her to an awkward moment and a life-altering discovery. Who hasn’t been at a party and seen items served that, honestly, were gag-worthy? And who has not run romantic risks when confronted with an alcoholic beverage on an empty stomach?

Food defines status; food defines circumstance. But we all have to eat. I feel it is part of my job as author to incorporate foods that define the times about which I write, but that in addition my readers can use to relate to their own experience.

     Janet Fox is the author of books for children and
     young adults.
Faithful (Speak/Penguin, 2010), set
     in Yellowstone National Park in 1904, was a YALSA
     Best Fiction for YA nominee and an Amelia Bloomer
     List pick, 2011.
Forgiven (2011, Speak), set in 1906
     San Francisco during the great earthquake, is a
     Junior Library Guild selection, 2011. Janet has
     numerous MG and YA projects underway including
     another YA novel, set in 1925, due out 2013. She is
     a former high school English teacher and received 
     her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults
     in 2010 (Vermont College of Fine Arts). Janet lives
     in Bozeman, Montana.

 You can find Janet at: 

Thank you for stopping by to share some food for thought, Janet!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Day the Sun Stopped Shining Blog Tour 2011

What if the sun just went out? I reckon that’d hit me pretty hard – hard enough to knock me into the wine fridge, where I’d hit some bottles even harder. Hey, no sun means it’s 5 o’clock everywhere, right?

But once I’ve drained the cellar, then what? Venture out to stores where the shelves’ve been cleared by those who hit the bottles hardest? Eventually all the barrels in the world will be emptied, and, with no sun, we won’t be able to grow more grapes to replenish the supply! Nor will there be sugar cane, or agave for tequila. Not even hops for beer, which I actually can’t stand, but desperate times and all; I know I can’t think of a darker day than Sun-Out, and I bet many adults will feel the same way.

And this is where the children come in – they’ll save the world, of course. 

You see, I heard about this blog hop right before I picked my 7-year-old up from school, so I asked him what he would do if the sun stopped shining. His immediate reaction was that we’d have to launch an orbiting fire ball – a replacement sun. As we talked through the difficulty of containing said fireball, plus getting it into orbit and keeping it lit remotely, he realized we might be thinking too big. So his next idea was more manageable and quicker to implement – using many flames right here on Earth, with mirrors to direct their light and heat. Then he said, “While everybody’s making that work, the astronauts can work on re-lighting the sun.” Because he wasn’t satisfied with just a “fix” – he wanted a complete solution. And you read that he’s seven, right?

So maybe we grown-ups don’t have to worry so much about the sun going out, after all. We just have to keep stocking our bars…and preschools. ;)

Many thanks to Matthew Wood for making room for me on his tour bus! 

 Check out his Sci-Fi series HERE:

And visit the other stops on this blog tour: 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Trisha Wolfe, Author of Destiny's Fire

Food in books. What an original topic! I don’t think I’ve ever read a post where the author talked about what their characters ate and what they like to eat. But hey, food is important. Hmm. I have to admit, Dez doesn’t eat too much during DESTINY’S FIRE. She spends a lot of time sparring with Jace, trying to figure out Reese, and keeping away from the Narcos. 

But when she does slow down, she likes burgers. And chocolate milkshakes. This is probably her favorite food, and she really likes to dip her fries in her shake. Strange? Probably. But the salty mix with sweetness does it for her. Kind of like the difference between Jace and Reese, and what she loves about them . . . yet just wants them to stop fighting long enough so she can have them both in her life at the same time.

Here’s a quick teaser during one of her burger eating scenes:

I opened my menu as the waitress approached our table. She held a small tablet. “What are we having today?”
I quickly scanned the menu. “I'll take a burger and shake.”
Reese ordered the same, and she punched our order into her tablet. She turned to go, but I called out, “Um, wait.” She sidled back up to our table. “Are you the only one working the floor today? Normally there're a few girls…” My face flamed as I trailed off. I wasn't trying to embarrass her. I was only curious.
“Yeah, I am.” She rolled her eyes. “No one else showed up for work today except a few of the kitchen staff.” She blew her blond bangs off her forehead. “Not happy about that, but it's dead anyway.” She shrugged and bounced off.
“Weird,” I muttered. I checked out Reese's reaction, and I knew he felt the strangeness, too. There was something not right. I didn't know how I knew, but I could sense it.

To find out what's not right and what happens next, watch for Destiny's Fire in 2012! 

                In the meantime, you can find Trisha at: 



Thank you for stopping by and sharing some food for thought, Trisha!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mid-Winter's Eve GIVEAWAY HOP

This hop, organized by Oasis for YA, The Daily Harrell, and I Am A Reader, Not A Writer, features almost 300 (!) participating blogs offering book-related giveaways! We're all linked up together so you can hop easily from one giveaway to another; see the full list here: Mid-Winter's Eve Giveaway Hop.

Winner here at BWATE? gets a Signed Copy of either:
 "Solid" (Solid Series Book #1) or "Settling" (Solid #2)

To enter to win, just follow this blog and leave a comment/question,
along with a way to contact you.

Optional Extra Entries:
+1 Follow on Twitter
+1 Like Solid Series on Facebook 
+1 Add series to your to-read list on Goodreads

Giveaway runs from Dec. 21st to Dec. 27th; last day to enter is Tues., Dec. 27th.

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Apryl Baker, Author of The Promise

Good Lord, who doesn't enjoy a gooey yummy delicious treat?  That is what I think about when I think about books.  I love food and tend to use a lot of those references when describing what I'm reading or writing.  I grew up in a kitchen reading while my Gran showed me how to cook.  I learned to associate food with good and bad memories.  We celebrated in the kitchen and we came together to cope with pain and loss in the kitchen.  I learned to throw my feelings and passions into creating food, each dish showcasing what I was feeling.  I owe all that to my Gran who took something as simple as basic as food and showed me a form of art that got my creative skills working.  I don't think I would be the writer I am today without learning from her how to express things in food.  So hats off to my Grandmother who is 101 years old and still living well. 

My debut novel, The Promise, is centered in the world of witchcraft.  Not Wicca, but real witchcraft.  Wicca is more of a religion and witchcraft, at least for the intents and purposes of the book, doesn't need prayers and deities.  Instead, it uses the Elements around them to manipulate magic.  The more I developed the concept, the more I realized that it was like being back in my Gran's kitchen.  Witchcraft needs ingredients to create spells and potions, just like any good recipe does.  So I sat down and planned out my spells just as I did any menu I create for an event or special dinner.  It all came together nicely for me once I realized I could pull from all those kitchen memories. 

My main character, Cassie, is like a good wine.  She has layers upon layers of flavor to her.  With each chapter, another piece of her complex personality unfolds, just like the flavor of a good wine that rolls and wraps around your tongue.  She's sweet, innocent, yet saucy and more than a little sassy.  Her story is one of discovery about who she is, her past, her present, and what her future could hold.  You could think it of it as a seven course meal.  Each element of the meal tells a story that leads into the next course.  The Promise is as at heart a mystery and in almost every chapter you get hints of the truth, and the more questions you get answered, it leads you to even more questions, right up until the very end of the book.  Each chapter leads into the next course and the final course, while delicious, still leaves you with just a hint of longing for a second helping of the luscious dessert. 

Now what would a YA book be without a love interest?  In walks Mr. Melt In Your Mouth Gorgeous, Ethan Warren.  From the second she meets him, she's fascinated with his rich dark chocolaty hair and searing gray eyes.  His voice is rich like dark chocolate and his eyes can make her melt like butter on the hottest summer day with just a glance.  The more times she spends with him, the more she craves her own personal M&M.  Ethan is like one of those dishes you see, it looks fabulous, tastes like Heaven, but you know if you start to ask questions about the ingredients that make up the dish, you'll fear you will become ill because you know it's not something you'd normally eat.  So it is with Ethan.  He looks like a yummy delicious sweet but you know if you start digging, you'll uncover something you'd never in your life eat.  But the question is after you've tasted the Ambrosia that is the dish, would you care what was in it?  That is the question that faces Cassie and one that she is forced to answer. 

My favorite character in the book is Neighbor Boy Jeff.  He has lived next door to Cassie since she was born.  He started out as a background character, but wrote himself into the book.  He became Cassie's anchor, her life raft in a sea of lies.  He was her strength and the more she leaned on him, the stronger her feelings became for him.  He grew on her so to speak much like blue cheese grows on you, lol.  I have a fondness for cheese fries and blue cheese sauce.  I hated the taste of blue cheese to start with, but the more I tasted it, the better I liked it.  Jeff was like that.  The more he popped up in the story, the more I liked him.  He wove himself into the novel and Cassie's heart, he grew on her. 

There are a huge number of people who want her with Jeff and just as many who want her with Ethan.  Personally, I still haven't made up my mind as to whom she will end up with in the long run.  I want to let it grow and see where the stories take me.  Who knows what sort of nonsense will ensue over the next few books and how much her feelings can and will change for either or both of them.  Time will tell.  

Either way, I'll keep writing the tales of the Coven with a warm cup of cocoa and piece of chocolate cheese cake to get me through the worst of my writer's block.  I hope anyone who reads The Promise comes away happy, sated, and wanting more. 

Thank you for having me and listening to my ramblings.  Happy Holidays to everyone!

Thank you for stopping by to share some food for thought, Apryl!

Monday, December 12, 2011

FOODFIC: Please Welcome David Farland, Author of Nightingale

Read his thoughts, view his exciting trailer,
and enter his contest!

Abandoned at birth, shuffled from foster home to foster home, Bron has never known how it feels to belong, be cared about, or cared for. His bleak childhood is perhaps best instanced by his latest foster mother's hoarding of all delicious and nutritious delicacies, relegating Bron and his 8 foster siblings to pathetic pancakes - food that's about as bland and unnourishing as it gets.

When, at 16, he's kicked out of Melvina's house - allegedly for stealing peaches to eat - and sent to live with the Hernandezes, he's afraid he'll have to eat burritos at every meal - the Mexican equivalent of the pancake regime he's been stuck with. But instead he finds every food a delight, from barbecue chicken to omelets filled with fresh tomatoes, sharp gorgonzola, smoky ham, and pine nuts. And Olivia Hernandez nourishes his spirit as well by recognizing something special in Bron - that he is something her people call a "Nightingale," a creature not quite human.

As part of his new foray into self-discovery, he meets the Weigher of Lost Souls - an ancient woman with marvelous powers - on an elegant houseboat where he's served a gourmet vegetable lasagna made with sun-dried tomatoes, eggplant, and some of the world's rarest mushrooms. The food whispers to Bron that he is about to enter a world that is richer and more exotic than anything he has ever dreamed of...and one that he may never return from.

Because despite all the delicious wonder this new world has to offer, Bron still needs answers to the mystery of his birth: What am I? Where did I come from? He must now risk his life to defeat the epic forces that have combined to claim him, to tear him from the only home, family, and girlfriend he has ever known.

Sound good? Looks even better! The book trailer is made up of art, animation, and music that is actually taken from the enhanced novel, setting the tone for the story. 

Experiment with the web edition and read some chapters at: 
When you’ve taken a good look, just email David your opinion of the trailer, putting “Drawing 34” in the subject line. That’s it! He wants real reader input and is dying to hear what you have to say. :)

The winner will be chosen December 19th and will receive the web edition of the Nightingale enhanced novel. (iPad or Kindle not necessary; entire book, including music and animations, can be experienced from any computer. Good luck!

 David Farland is the international bestselling author of nearly fifty books, including such award-winning novels as the science fiction masterpiece On My Way to Paradise (Philip K. Dick Memorial Special Award Winner, Best Novel in English Language) and the historical novel In the Company of Angels (Whitney Award Winner: Best Novel of the Year). He is best known though for his fantasy work, which includes the New York Times bestselling series The Runelords, and his lovable and wacky middle-grade fantasy series Ravenspell.

In addition to writing novels, Dave has also worked in videogames on such international bestselling games as Starcraft: Brood Wars, and Xena: The Talisman of Fate.

 And, through his work as coordinating judge of the Writers of the Future, as a creative writing instructor at Brigham Young University, and by teaching writing seminars, Dave has worked extensively helping new writers. Many of his students have gone on to become some of the most successful writers of our time, including such #1 international bestsellers as Brandon Sanderson, Brandon Mull, and Stephenie Meyer.

You can find David at:   

And see what reviewers are saying about Nightingale

Amazon                 Goodreads                  iTunes

Thank you for stopping by to share some food for thought, David!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Richard Due, Author of The Moon Coin

2012 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards: Gold Medal Winner

The Moon Realm is a dangerous place, as Lily and Jasper Winter know full well from listening to their Uncle Ebb's many bedtime tales. Flying dragons. Stomping giants. Troublesome Faeries. Horse-sized, catlike Rinn: eyes the size of dinner plates, razor-sharp claws, mouth full of pointy teeth. (You really don't want to be standing next to one when its tummy is rumbling. Trust me.) And it's not just Lily and Jasper who have to be careful. Take the wyflings, who look like child-sized otters with clothes. Quite snack-able by Rinn standards. In this scene, Nimlinn, a very important Rinn, is nearing her breaking point as she commands Snerliff and Twizbang, both wyflings, to complete a task they deem full of future peril.

          Snerliff eyed the pair of clipping shears—in his own hand!—as though it were a poisonous snake. “You want us to do what?” he shrieked.
          Nimlinn's eyes narrowed. “Groom me for saddle,” she said, her voice simmering.
          “But—” yelped Twizbang, “Greydor will eat us!”
          “No!” bellowed Nimlinn. And then, speaking more quietly, “He may want to eat you, but I would never allow that.”

Sometimes, in the Moon Realm, the one doing the eating is much more gratified than those surrounding him. Take this scene, in which Marred, a human and a dragon slayer, shares his love for a peculiar . . . delicacy?

          He held up his prize triumphantly.
          “The igniter organ!” he announced, looking very pleased. “You wanna talk spicy?” He rubbed his stomach for emphasis.
          “I think I'm going to be sick,” said Boots, placing a hand over his stomach and turning away from the sight. He wasn't the only one.
          “They're best pickled,” Marred explained to Lily, rummaging through a pack by the fire and pulling out an earthenware jar. The jar fizzed loudly when he opened it, and its odor caused all in the immediate vicinity to scatter. Quib, though, with a dreamy look in his eyes, smacked his lips hungrily.
          Marred popped the organ into the liquid and recapped the jar.

Being a vegetarian can be pretty tough going in the Moon Realm, as Lily finds out at her first meal. In this scene, Quib, a man on a mission to see his crew well fed, tries to wrap his mind around the idea of being a vegetarian.

          Lily chose this moment to step out of the darkness and into the firelight. “Just beans for me,” she said brightly. Her stomach was empty, but not that empty.
          An odd stare flitted across Quib's elfin features.
          “No dragon chili?” he asked, clearly not understanding.
          But it was impossible to keep Quib's spirits down for long. “Don't you worry, lassie,” he said, a big grin filling his face. “We'll have this critter stripped to the bone in no time. As the youngest, you can have the first bowl of dragon's blood pudding. And that's a promise!”
          Lily blanched.
          “Of course,” Quib went on, “the meat closest to the bone is the best.”
          Lily shook her head, confusing Quib.
          “Plenty . . . to . . . go around?” he said.
          “Just beans, if you don't mind.”
          “Well, suit yourself,” he said, and he turned to those around him and began barking orders.

And Quib isn't a man to give up easily, especially when there's such good grub to be had.

          The afternoon passed quickly. Lunch was a small bowl of mildewed beans. Lily had a terrible time explaining to Quib what it meant to be a vegetarian. He kept saying things like, “Well, I could spare you a bit o' brains. They're not meat, right?” and “At least let me ladle on a good heapin' bit o' the grease, eh? No meat in that!” Twice, Lily had to grab his ladle and push it away from her bowl. “But how will you grow?” he asked.

As their adventure in the Moon Realm continues, Lily and Jasper will have to avoid things a lot worse than Quib's ladle o' grease if they want to remain vegetarians. Do you think the Rinn eat beans? Not likely! (Come to think of it, maybe that's for the best!) 

Thanks for stopping by and sharing some food for thought, Richard!

Richard Due (pronounced “Dewey”) first imagined the Moon Realm
while telling bedtime tales to his children. He makes his home in
Southern Maryland, where he and his wife owned and operated Second Looks Books, an independent used bookstore, for the past twenty years. The Moon Coin is the first novel in the Moon Realm series.
You can find Richard at:                    Goodreads                                
Twitter@RichardDue                   Facebook

Carolyn Arcabascio hails from Massachusetts, where she lives and works as an illustrator while pursuing her lifelong exploration of words, images, and the magical places where they meet.
You can visit Carolyn at:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Book Lover's Holiday GIVEAWAY HOP

This hop, organized by Kid Lit Frenzy and I Am A Reader, Not A Writer, features almost 300 (!) participating blogs offering book-related giveaways! We're all linked up together so you can hop easily from one giveaway to another; see the full list here: Book Lover's Holiday Giveaway Hop.

Winner here at BWATE? gets a Signed Copy of either:
 "Solid" (Solid Series Book #1) or "Settling" (Solid #2)

To enter to win, just follow this blog and leave a comment/question,
along with a way to contact you.

Optional Extra Entries:
+1 Follow on Twitter
+1 Like Solid Series on Facebook 
+1 Add series to your to-read list on Goodreads

Giveaway runs from Dec. 2nd to Dec. 6th; last day to enter is Tues., Dec. 6th.