Thursday, April 30, 2015

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Carmen DeSousa, Author of CREATUS

Without giving away anything about the Creatus Series, as that is part of the pleasure of reading a new book, I’d like to share with you what Creatus aren’t instead of what they are. And why I felt the need to share their story. And, of course, for the first time anywhere else other than the actual books…What they eat!

I enjoy reading almost all genres, but one of my favorites is a little-known genre called ‘magical realism’. I love when an author can take normal characters who live and work among us, but then give me insight on what makes their character special and why they have a story to tell in the first place.

Whether it’s about psychic abilities, soul changing, or even paranormal activity, the key for me is that it’s believable - or at least plausible in some sense.

Since the beginning of the written word, storytellers have shared myths about supernatural beings. However, over the centuries, these supernatural beings have morphed into tales of vampires, werewolves, and superheroes that are so outlandish I find it hard to pay attention, let alone believe.

Don’t get me wrong; I still enjoy a well-written story about vampires and mythical creatures, but I crave a reason to believe. I want some reasonable basis for the story.

The idea of a person shifting into an animal form that's ten times the size of its human form, or a person having the ability to fly without the required body mechanics, makes little sense to me. But, I can’t discount that since biblical days, stories have amassed about sentient beings with superhuman strength.

CREATUS, from the Latin word meaning 'created' are the reason we believe in fairy tales—and monsters. Superheroes didn't come about by being bitten by a vampire, a werewolf, or a spider. Instead, perhaps the same superior being who created us created them, which brings us to the real questions: What do they eat? Why do the myths insist that supernatural beings drink blood or…ewwww…eat humans?

In the words of my lead male protagonist:

Humans don’t even smell like food. Believe me, if my kind really craved humans, the human race would have been extinct a long time ago.

Think about that! If there was such a thing as an immortal being that was nearly impossible to kill, and it craved human blood…how would we survive? Maybe for a little while, if it was an intelligent being that realized it needed to keep humans alive—to harvest. But if they were bloodthirsty… Well, I think that Daybreakers did an excellent job of showing what would really happen. Gross!!! ;)

Kristina’s mouth turned up a fraction, obviously proud with herself, but she held a full grin at bay. “I always thought you were a vampire or something.”

He cleared his throat, resisting the urge to laugh. “Vampires don’t exist. The dead don’t walk. And if you don’t have a heart pumping blood through your body, you can’t do any of the things that supposed vampires do.” He raised his brow, inquiring if she caught the gist of his comment. He’d always wondered how books and movies portrayed vampires as sensual and erotic when they purportedly didn’t have the necessary body functions required to make such acts possible. You didn’t have to be a doctor to understand that if you don’t have a heart pumping blood through your body, vital sexual organs aren’t going to function properly.

But what if the myths were just of another species, a species that was incapable of tolerating the toxins that come about when grains and meats are cooked at high temperatures? Did you know that? It’s true, the reason that many humans are on a raw food diet. At least we think those people are humans… What if they’re Creatus?

You can download all four books—698 pages!!!—for only
$5.99 on Amazon.

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

You can find Carmen here:

Thursday, April 23, 2015

FOODFIC: Please Welcome E.J. Fechenda, Author of The Beautiful People

Philly Food

When I set about creating Natalie Ross, my main character in The New Mafia Trilogy, I didn’t want her to be one of those girls who didn’t eat. She has a healthy relationship with food and part of the allure for Dominic Grabano, her love interest, is that he comes from a big Italian family that owns and operates several bars and restaurants in Philadelphia. In The Beautiful People (Book One of The New Mafia Trilogy) the date where Dominic first introduces Natalie as his girlfriend, takes place at his aunt and uncle’s restaurant. Like the old adage ‘the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’, Dominic plays out a sort of seduction with Natalie using food.

Franco fried up some calamari and brought a heaping plate over. Dominic dipped a piece in the marinara and popped it into my mouth. I had to close my eyes and savor the moment. The golden batter was light and flaky and the marinara had a bit of spice to it. I’d never had calamari like that before. Having an Italian god feed it to me wasn’t too bad either.

There are other dates where Dominic takes Natalie to a late night joint in Chinatown and to a five star restaurant his Uncle Al owns. All of these are places Natalie had yet to explore in Philadelphia and this is a way for Dominic to share his world with her. For example, the restaurant in Chinatown was a favorite spot where Dom’s parents took his family for dinner and he shares his childhood experiences with Natalie.

Not only is food used as a tool for character/relationship development, but it’s also used to showcase the regional culinary delights Philadelphia is known for.  Philadelphians are fanatical about their cheesesteaks, soft pretzels and hoagies (not subs or grinders).  I couldn’t write a series set in the City of Brotherly Love without mentioning the food. In fact, when I head down to Philadelphia for the Yo! Philly Author Event on May 16th, my first stop will be to grab a cheesesteak for lunch or maybe a hoagie? Decisions, decisions…

Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, E.J.!

E.J. Fechenda has lived in Philadelphia, Phoenix and now calls Portland, Maine home where she is a wife, stepmom, and pet parent all while working full time. Crazy is how she likes it.
E.J. has a degree in Journalism from Temple University and her short stories have been published in Suspense Magazine, the 2010 and 2011 Aspiring Writers Anthologies, and in the Indies Unlimited 2012 Flash Fiction Anthology. In addition to writing The New Mafia Trilogy, she is working on The Ghosts Stories Trilogy. E.J. is a member of the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance and co-founder of the fiction reading series, “Lit: Readings & Libations”, which is held quarterly in Portland.

E.J. can be found on the internet here:
Twitter @ebusjaneus (

Thursday, April 16, 2015

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Fayette Fox, Author of The Deception Artist

I love food, so it’s no surprise my debut novel reads like a well-stocked kitchen. The Deception Artist is told from the perspective of eight-year-old Ivy, who has a vivid imagination and lies so people will like her. Set in Northern California during the late 80’s, this sharp, funny story explores the dark heart of an ordinary family and finds out that make-believe isn’t just for kids.

Food plays an important role in my novel.

Budding friendships are nurtured in the school yard as grapes are traded for potato chips. During an astronaut game, green food coloring transforms Monterey jack into “moon cheese.” When Ivy’s brother is sick, she eats chocolate pudding in the hospital cafeteria, telling a stranger a ridiculous lie. At dinner, Ivy’s family eat retro classics like quiche, cheese pilaf casserole, and ham and zucchini skillet, while her parents argue. There’s a daring candy heist to cement a friendship, and an epic make-your-own-sundae party. Ivy and a friend hide under the kitchen table while Dad learns about souffl├ęs from a woman who might be getting a little…too friendly with him.

I got a big kick inventing strange flavor combinations for a character’s baby food business. In later parts of the book, pureed concoctions like Banana Garbanzo Bonanza, Citrus Spinach Surprise, and Chicken Cherry Chickadee, are crafted in the family’s kitchen.

Most of all, I loved writing from Ivy’s perspective, like in this scene between Ivy and Mom.

“Does every story have a moral?” I ask, putting the lettuce in the fridge.
“No, some stories are just stories.”
“But does every fairytale have one?”
“I don’t know, honey. Most do.”
 I try to figure out the moral of Snow White. Don’t be too beautiful? Don’t
               eat apples?

What’s a food related lesson you learned as a kid? I’d love to hear your story in the comments!

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

You can find Fayette here:


The Deception Artist has been shortlisted for the Edinburgh International Book Festival First Book Award and Amazon’s Rising Stars Award.

The novel is available in bookstores, on Amazon 
and through Roaring Forties Press.

Friday, April 10, 2015

FOODFIC: Lailah - Nikki Kelly

When this story begins, Lailah is not in fact “Lailah” at all. She’s Francesca (Cessie), a vampire slayer, frozen forever at age 17. Fortunately she has the bone structure (and fake I.D.) to pass for 21, allowing her to take jobs at the sort of shady establishments where she is most likely to cross paths with the monsters she hunts. Less fortunate is that, as often as not, these encounters lead to her death. Yes, encounters, plural. And deaths, also plural. Yet Cessie is unfailingly reborn at 17.

And it’s only that immortality, along with the inhuman ability to heal from the non-fatal wounds, which confirms for her she’s in the right line of work, for she has no family to guide her. There is not one consistent person in her life/lives, unless you count Gabriel, who repeatedly visits her dreams.

Of course, when real-life Gabriel actually catches up with Cessie in present-day Wales, everything changes. First, he calls her by her given name! But he tells her nothing else of her original life, instead activating her ability to conjure up memories of her past herself. And the magic potion with which he does this is…lemonade.

He pours it for Lailah – real, fresh lemonade, nothing quite like it. The crisp, bitter flavor [dancing on her] taste buds with a clean, dry finish.

Yes, the author does describe the taste, though she needn’t have. We read the word lemonade and it immediately triggers sensory reactions in all of us. At the very least, we see the bright yellow (or perhaps pink) liquid, smell the sharp citrus, feel our mouths water and maybe our lips pucker. And most of us can readily conjure up a memory of our own involving this signature drink, just like Lailah, for whom the aroma [fills her] senses and, against [her] wishes, memories [begin] to cascade in.

With one sip, she remembers her past clearly for the first time. She sees that she and Gabriel have not only intersected in dreams, but in past lives. Decades of history between them and here he stands, as untouched by age as she. Now, the secret of youth for Gabriel, the angel of Lailah’s dreams, is that he really is an angel. But for Lailah, the answer is not as clear…