Thursday, January 31, 2013

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Guest Samantha Stroh Bailey, Author of Finding Lucas

Finding Lucas centers around Jamie Ross, a 32 year old associate television producer for Chicago’s sleaziest daytime talk show. She’s just about ready to end her toxic five year relationship with her bad boy turned metrosexual boyfriend and head off on a hilarious and life changing hunt to track down the love who got away. And Jamie wouldn’t be the fiery and sassy woman she is without her beloved and holistically nutritious family.

Jamie is a coffee loving carnivore and the total opposite of her health conscious mother, Leah, a crystal healer and colonic herbalist who shuns coffee, meat, sugar and anything chemical. Jamie, on the other hand, craves anything that Leah thinks might be bad for her body.

I created these two diametrically opposed eaters because of my own struggle to eat healthier and make sense of the organic world. I have always believed that everything is okay in moderation, be it meat, cheese, coffee and sugar. However, it’s interesting that my husband and many friends are vegetarians, my sister-in-law and brother-in-law grow their own food and have chickens to lay eggs and most of my loved ones are very aware of what they eat. In Jamie, I created a food rebel.

Growing up in a warm, loving and toxin free environment, Jamie always felt like she didn’t quite belong. And without her daily dose of caffeine, Jamie would never make it through the day. Navigating a difficult childhood with parents unlike any others in her suburban neighborhood, Jamie ate spelt bread and soy milk for snacks (in the 90s!) and distanced herself from her family as much as she could.

Food plays a major role in one of the most talked about scenes in Finding Lucas when Jamie, her stepmother, sister and Leah are all having lunch with Jamie’s boss, Andrew. 

"Do you want some tea, Andrew?" Katie asks as she pulls five mugs down from the shelf.

"Do you have any coffee?" he asks.

Four heads swivel to look at him in shock.

"That word is blasphemy in this house. No caffeine, no sugar, no meat. But there is a vast assortment of tea," I tell him.

"Um, sure, tea would be great then. I feel so damn good. I haven't felt this loose in," and he rubs his chin, "huh, years. I haven't felt this relaxed in years."

"That's funny. David does that," Leah says to Andrew with interest.

"Dad does what?" I ask.

"Rubs his chin with one hand when he's thinking about something."

"Oh, that's just one of my little habits. I also grind my jaw like Jamie."

"Do you have a navel ring like Rachel's?" I ask.

"No. But I do have a tattoo on my hip. Katie saw it," he says and winks at Katie who flushes with pleasure.

Where did Mr. Charm come from? Jeez, he is just full to the brim with surprising character traits.

"Could I have some tea too, please?" I ask.

I don't want to sit at the kitchen table and chitchat about Andrew's tattoo because before he knows it, they'll have convinced him to take off his pants to show them. 

"Of course, love. Katie, mix in a little of that mulch we bought. Jamie's color needs some perking up," Leah says and peers at my pores.

"Just plain tea, please."

I move my face back so she'll stop inspecting me. It's embarrassing.

How people eat relates to how they see the world and their place in it. Jamie just wants to find hers. And though she goes through a major transformation and comes to appreciate her family more than she ever has, you’ll still never find her without a cup of coffee plastered to her lips.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your food for thought, Samantha!

                    You can find Samantha here:
Samantha Stroh Bailey                    Goodreads 
Twitter @PerfectPen                         Facebook

And Finding Lucas here:

Amazon                 Kobo


  1. Thanks so much for having me, Shelley! This was a fun one to write!

  2. Great post! I'm like you - I believe in everything in moderation but unlike you, I think being a vegetarian might be a deal breaker for me as far as a prospective husband!

  3. @Samantha - You're very welcome; I'm always happy to have you stop by!

    @Meredith - I agree; I'm not sure I could take on both cooking separate meals and feeling constant guilt over what I'm eating.

  4. As a carb loving foodie married to a gluten free celiac, I can truly relate! Looks like a fun read right up my alley.

  5. Oh, what we do for love! Luckily, no one ever says anything about my love of meat because it is such a part of who I am. But, yes, dinnertime, especially with two kids, is a bit of a circus!

  6. sounds like an interesting and fun novel.

  7. Samantha Stroh Bailey has been very busy since this 2013 visit to BWATE!

    First, she has a brand-new website, where you can find all of her book and author information in one place:

    And speaking of books, "Everything But" is scheduled to release in 2014 AND she's already hard at work on her next one!

    She also took the time to send this personal update:
    2013 was an incredible year for me and so many wonderful things happened.
    > I was lucky enough to be chosen as a writer-in-residence for Kobo Writing Life at BEA 2013. I had the opportunity to sign copies of *Finding Lucas*and chat with readers, bloggers, authors and so many people in publishing. I was also featured in a video for Wattpad, helping to launch their chick lit category, with one of my writing idols--Marian Keyes. And with two of my author BFFs, Meredith Schorr and Francine LaSala, I co-founded BookBuzz, an interactive author/reader party that launched in NYC in May. The party was such a hit that with author Lydia Laceby and blogger Kaley Stewart, we brought it to Toronto in November. We plan on hosting another BookBuzz in NYC in May, 2014. Not only an author, I am also a professional editor, and Francine LaSala and I now offer team edits (two editors for the price of one) on manuscripts, and we have had such fantastic stories to work on. We look forward to so many more. If you're looking for an editor (or two), please check out my website .

    Great stuff, right? Thanks for the note, Samantha, and good luck with another big year. :)

  8. Thanks so much, Shelley, for giving me the chance to update your readers!

  9. Nice post, Thanks for your very useful Information, I will bookmark for next reference

  10. Bookfare shared a post.
    February 7 ·
    Since the original post, "Finding Lucas" has updated its cover!

    Discover its new face at:…/…/B007VIIU6A