Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Toastworthy Teens - Hayley Okines

Hayley Okines, Autobiographer

Hayley Okines’ shoulders may look frail – as frail as those of a 105-year-old person, to be precise – but they are in fact strong enough to carry the weight on an entire cause.

Because at not just 14 years old but amazingly 14 years old, Hayley is defying the odds of Hutchinson Gifford Progeria Syndrome – a disease which ages children at 8 times the normal rate. “Progeria” (derived from the Greek word for prematurely old) normally claims the lives of young people by age 13.
Hayley has become the face of Progeria awareness both because of her strength and perseverance and also due to the success of her autobiography, Old Before My Time, in which she expresses both her struggles and her triumphs. I bet you can guess from her smile which ones she focuses on. :)

Meet the beautiful young author here:

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Wendy Owens, Author of The Guardians Series

One of the things I love so much about food in stories is how it can really give you insight into a character’s journey.  What they are eating can tell you when they are low on their luck, or living the life many only dream of.  Is the person stealing food at a local street market just to survive, or are they attending lush balls with buffets as far as the eye can see - covered in delectable and scrumptious nosh?  This tells us a lot about their current station in life.

What do you picture in your mind when I use words like lavish, bounteous, luxurious, extravagant?  Were there any folks out there thinking of an orphanage?  Of course not, we have these ideas in our head of how places are, and an orphanage is none of these things.  Therefore, it’s not surprising to find out, Gabe, the main character in The Guardians series lives at a home for wayward boys where they force a breakfast of burnt toast and powdered eggs on their charges.

When Gabe is brought to a new and strange place by an interesting character, named Uri, he has no idea what to expect.  At that point, Gabe imagines few things can be worse than his current lot in life.  Gabe begins to question this logic when he and his escorts are attacked by winged demonic beasts.

When at last, he is at his destination, he is brought to their leader, a younger looking man, named Michael.  Gabe is given cryptic answers, and while he doesn’t feel directly threatened he also doesn’t feel secure.  One thing helps put him at ease however... food!

In Sacred Bloodlines, when Michael takes him to the kitchen after their talk and this is what he finds:

There were stacks of flapjacks with butter pooling on the top and drips running down the side.  Another plate was overflowing with twisted cinnamon buns that were smothered with homemade icing so thick the top of the buns were barely visible.  Crisp bacon, brown sausage (links and patties) and ham slices were artistically spiraled on another platter.  Scrambled eggs, any fruit you can imagine, biscuits, and gravy so creamy and smooth that Gabe mistook it for buttermilk.

Food signaled a significant change for Gabe and his outlook moving forward.  What we eat plays a special part in our daily lives, so think about that the next time you are preparing a meal - is it delicious or boring?  I think I am off to have a pumpkin spice latte and a warm blueberry muffin while I work on finishing up book 3 of The Guardians!  Happy Reading!

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

You can find Wendy here: 


To celebrate the release of the 3rd book of the SOLID series,
I've put together a giveaway game! 

EVERY ENTRANT who COMPLETES the task will win
ebooks of BOTH “Solid” (Solid #1) AND “Settling” (Solid #2). 

including “Sound” (Solid #3) just as it hits the shelves on Nov. 1st!

The rules are simple:

1. Visit each blog on the list.
2. Leave a quick comment to show you were there.
3. Copy each image fragment and paste it into a Word .doc.
There are 18 stops to visit, comment on, and collect pieces from;
once you’ve hit all 18 stops and assembled* all of the pieces to complete the image,
email your entry to:
4. Return to this post: But What Are They Eating?
and leave a comment letting me know you’ve sent in your completed entry.

ALL 4 STEPS are important because I will choose the Grand Prize Winner
from the blog comments (using Random.org) and then check the email account to verify the entry.

*Don’t worry; the pieces are in order, so if you follow the list, it’ll be easy. :)

The Game runs from Oct. 25th through Oct. 31st;
last day to enter is Oct. 31st and winner will be chosen Nov. 1st.

Good luck and get gathering!
Here are the stops:


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Toastworthy Teens - Timothy Doner

Timothy Doner, Polyglot

Some kids dread the required school language course; others who’ve grown up in multi-lingual homes see it as an easy A.

Timothy Doner is neither of those. It was actually studying for his bar mitzvah that got him started speaking Hebrew, which then perked his interest in Arabic, followed by Russian, Italian, Persian, Swahili, Indonesian, Hindi, Ojibwe, Pashto, Turkish, Hausa, Kurdish, Yiddish, Dutch, Croatian, and German. 

Yes, you’re reading that right; the 16-year-old New Yorker has to date taught himself 20 languages, mainly through grammar books and iPhone apps, his goal being “not to speak like a native, but to learn the basics of as many languages as possible.”

Because of his special ability to pick up languages, Timothy has been able to both connect with a subculture of polyglots around the world via the internet, as well as engage in conversation with the foreign-speaking folks he encounters in daily life, like a NYC cab driver from West Africa with whom Timothy was able to chat with in Hausa.

Being able to talk to anyone, anywhere is a gift that truly does make the world Timothy’s oyster. ;)

See his skills in action here:

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Friday, October 19, 2012

FOODFIC: How to Be a Zombie: A Hands-On Guide for Anyone with Brains - Serena Valentino

I jumped right in with the zombie archetype quiz at the beginning of this book and discovered that I will be a zombster, meaning that I will travel in packs and consume whatever [I] want

Consume whatever I want?! Clearly, this Ms. Valentino knows her stuff.

Oh, wait! In the next section I learn about pirate zombies (another archetype, but not one of the possible outcomes on the quiz) which, of course, has to be my zombie form; they possess the highest intelligence of all the types (duh – have you seen any of the POTC movies?), are adventurous, seek treasure [over] brains, and are zombified with a curse rather than contamination.

But you can’t live on treasure alone, you say. Don’t worry; Valentino has a ready answer for that, too: the humanitarian zombie. This is pretty much what it sounds like – essentially, the zombie counterpart to the Cullens, only instead of hunting wild animals, some have ranches where they raise cattle, goats, and pigs. AND an entrepreneurial few [package and sell their product] to other like-minded zombies for profit. Yes, sir; green and green. Remind me why people think turning into a zombie is a poor career choice again?

Finally, to keep one’s palate from getting bored, the guide reminds us of several scrumptious preparations for brain around the world: fried brains Roman-style with lemon and bread crumbs, Indonesian cooked brains in coconut cream, and Cuban brain fritters, just to name a few. 

Okay, I think I’ve got a solid plan: when the zompacolypse happens, I need to be changed by curse into a humanitarian pirate zombster, after which I will commandeer a farm that I will run from my satellite phone as I sail ‘round the world hunting treasure and haute cuisine. Yo,ho, ho – it’s a zompirate life for me!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Toastworthy Teens - Graceann Rumer

Graceann Rumer, Emergency Bus Driver

Graceann Rumer says she’s not a hero, just a girl at the front of the bus with some driving experience.

Just to clarify – the high school senior had only been practicing driving to school for 2 weeks when the driver of the bus she took home had a heart attack, sending the full school vehicle into oncoming traffic.

Graceann, who couldn’t get around the collapsed driver to reach the brake pedal, first slowed and redirected the bus with a u-turn, then put it into park. Unfortunately, the 51-year-old driver did not survive the trauma, but, thanks to Graceann, all of the student riders were spared.

Graceann may not call that heroic, but I sure do. :)

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!