Thursday, April 25, 2013

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Michael Gallagher, Author of Tsunami Connection

Months spent taking tango courses in Buenos Aires provided most of the scenes relating to tango in the story. Passion for tango spills uncontrollably into life. From gun-metal colored mussel shells to raw beef turning on a spit, Argentinean cuisine reflects a diverse culture. The meal lays bare hopes and then a denouement lends a human aspect to the nature of lust and love.

In this scene I used the meal to set up a fall, to be a little unpredictable.

Tsunami Connection tells the story of a ballsy woman spy, Kefira. Guided by her eclectic intuitions, she builds on a chance meeting. The allure of her homemade body oil and her contagious warmth conspire to cement a bond between Kefira and a tango maestro.

A table thoughtfully set with a crisp white cloth will whet your appetite for Italian cuisine and the potential for a budding relationship. Reviewers say... The book is peopled with characters who are very immersed in their "super-hero" mode but are also motivated by everyday emotions. This food scene opens a door between two previously unconnected people.

The waiter approached the table with a half bottle of white wine and two risottos decorated with leafy lettuce and accompanied by a basket of crusty white rolls sitting beside a bowl of olive oil.
"I hope you are hungry," said Fripo.

"Ravenous," said Kefira, as she tipped her wine glass in his direction and ran her tongue over her upper lip to recover any leftovers.

The pasta came next. It was decorated with chopped garlic and smothered with caramelized onions. Crushed walnuts and a hint of b├ęchamel coated the wide noodles topped with fresh parsley, served on a bed of lettuce. Ever attentive the waiter appeared to top up their wine glasses. The second glass of wine started as they sampled the pasta. Kefira knew enough not to eat the whole plate of noodles. Fripo paused in the telling of a joke about a Jewish restaurant owner in New York as the waiter brought a full bottle of Argentinean red wine from Bodega y Vinedo Maurico Lorca, called Inspirado 2008.

"This wine is an excellent choice selected for you by the owner. You will see that it goes down like liquid velvet. Enjoy your meal he said with a flourishing twist of the wrist, preventing spillage as he finished pouring Kefira's glass. As a visitor to the country, the waiter asked her to do the honours with the wine. Kefira smiled widely and let the bouquet pass over her nose. Then she sipped a small amount of wine and then sloshed it around in her mouth and swallowed the wine with a very appreciative nod to the waiter, never taking her eyes from Fripo. Her date blushed at all this attention and the waiter, disappointed that he was unable to distract this strikingly attractive woman from her much older partner, busied himself with serving the thin sliced beef seared slightly and coated with pepper. When the waiter left, Fripo continued his joke.

Months spent taking tango courses in Buenos Aires provided most of the scenes relating to tango in the story. Passion for tango spills uncontrollably into life. 

From gun-metal colored mussel shells to raw beef turning on a spit, Argentinean cuisine reflects a diverse culture. The meal lays bare hopes and then a denouement lends a human aspect to the nature of lust and love. 

Special brands of booze, wine to go with every occasion and aromatic coffee to heighten tense situations all add zest to character development. Novels without food are like characters without clothes.

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

You can find more about Michael
and Tsunami Connection here:

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Authors in Bloom Giveaway Hop!

Welcome, hoppers!

Now just because I only planted my first garden last summer, don’t think my post stop isn’t clearly the one you should read the most thoroughly and take to heart!

I have one stellar piece of gardening advice and here it is:
Leave. It. Alone.

Brilliant, right? Okay, maybe I should give a little background so you can appreciate the wisdom of those words.

I’ve had plants in my life. Lots, actually. And I’ve killed them all. Even my “indestructible” brain cactus grew some sort of fungus and died. (It may or may not be relevant that the rotting began after my cat ate a chunk out of the plant, but at least the cat went on to live a long and happy life.)

ANYWAY – last summer I finally identified the root (pun intended) of my planticide career: trying too hard. Every plant in my past passed because I over-watered, over-sunned, or over-thought it to death.

So when I began the garden, assuming nothing would make it, I planted a gazillion seeds and didn’t even dare hope for the best. But when I checked the pots days later, the seeds had magically ALL sprouted. And of course the first thing I wanted to do was, well, something. Water them, touch them, anything. But for once I decided to just leave them alone, and when I checked them again after the 2nd week, this is what I found:

Unbelievable, right? I actually ended up with so many healthy plants that I couldn’t fit them all in my garden plot!

But don’t cue the happily-ever-after music just yet. (Although you shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that I reverted back to my murderous ways, either!)

This is the point where a self-proclaimed gardener extraordinaire threw in her two cents about which vines needed to be cut and which plants had to be moved. Sadly, after following her expert advice, 7 of my 8 beautiful young pumpkins died, along with all but one of my watermelons and my entire cauliflower and pea sections. 

If only I’d left them alone, I could’ve raked in cash hand-over-fist at a roadside stand instead of ending up back at the market purchasing the fruits of someone else’s labor. Or non-labor, really, which is what I now know is the key!

But wait - there's more than just free advice here today;
there are prizes, too:

My giveaway here at BWATE? is a set of 2 ebooks (the first 2 of my SOLID series): 

AND Dianne Venetta is giving also giving away an EREADER and a $25 gift card to start filling it up! (Winning one prize doesn't exclude from winning the other; you can win both.)

To enter BOTH giveaways:
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

Winners will be chosen from the comments ACROSS ALL OF THE PARTICIPATING BLOGS, so here are the notable points:

1. Leave a comment here that includes your contact email address.

2. Leave a separate comment for each additional entry (i.e. follow the blog and leave a comment that you did so, then leave another comment once you follow on Twitter, a third once you've followed on FB, and a final one for the GR add, allowing up to 4 entries here).

3. Visit as many of the other blogs as you can, leaving comments with contact information there as well.

4. The hop runs from April 10th through the 19th; last day to enter is April 19th. 

Good luck to you all - Happy Reading and Happy Spring!

 Participating blogs:

1. Dianne Venetta (INTL)  
2. Rose Anderson  
3. Margay Leah Justice  
4. Catherine Chant  
5. PJ Sharon  
6. Darcy Flynn (US)  
7. Katharina Gerlach  
8. Amy Saunders  
9. DarcyholicDiversions/Barbara Tiller Cole  
10. Sheila Seabrook  
11. Mina Khan  
12. Caron Rider  
13. Lakisha Spletzer  
14. Christie Palmer  
15. Karl Fields  
16. Beverly Nault  
17. Shelley Workinger  
18. Samantha March  
19. Cat Lavoie  
20. Courtney Vail - Gotta Have YA  
21. Lisa Lim  
22. Candy Ann Little  
23. Lynette Sofras  
24. Boys on the Brink  
25. Dee S White (INTL)  
26. Patti Callahan Henry  
27. Elizabeth Allen  
28. Maria Geraci  
29. Linda Andrews  
30. Mary L. Laudien  
31. Edie Ramer  
32. Kate Copsey  
33. Kate Austin  
34. Best-Selling author Jennifer Conner  
35. Anna Patterson  
36. Bestselling Author Danica Winters  
37. Sharon Kleve's Romantic Ramblings  
38. Jennie Bentley  
39. Leanne Tyler  
40. Stacy Juba's One Stop Reading  
41. Gemma Juliana  
42. Kara Ashley Dey  
43. Dey for Love  
44. Sara Walter Ellwood  
45. Jennifer Lowery  
46. Summer Kinard  
47. Tracy Solheim  
48. Alexa Grace  
49. Teena Stewart  
50. Cynthia Vespia - Author of Thrills and Chills  
51. J.D. Faver  
52. Laina Turner - Being Fabulous is a Skill  
53. Lise Saffran  
54. Ninette Swann  
55. Jencey Gortney  
56. Kaira Rouda  
57. A Cozy Readers Corner