Friday, July 31, 2015

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Michelle Zaffino, Author of The Love Quad

Cookies & Cocktails in The Love Quad, a teen novel by Michelle Zaffino
Released March 2015 by In the Stacks Publishing

In my teen novel The Love Quad, Emma's in college, so she's into cookies and cocktails. Which means - Sugar!

Emma actually bakes Nigella Lawson's salted peanut chocolate chip cookies in the book, partially because she needs to use baking as a distraction, and also because she wants to bring them to a guy named Spencer who she has a crush on. Here's the recipe:

Nigella Lawson’s Favorite Cookies

6 ounces unsalted butter
1 packed cup light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 ¼ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup salted peanuts
Melt butter, cool. Beat in brown and granulated sugar, then mix in vanilla, eggs, flour, baking powder and soda. Fold in chocolate chips and peanuts. Refrigerate cookie dough for 20 minutes. Heat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with a Silpat or other genius nonstick liner.
Shape the cookie dough into disks about 2.5 inches in diameter and ½ inch thick. Place cookies on baking sheet about 1½ inches apart. Bake until golden brown around edges and cracked and chewy in the middle, about 15 minutes. Cool for three minutes on sheets then remove to wire racks. Makes 20 cookies. Enjoy!

Things with Spencer and Emma don't work out romantically, because Spencer turns out to be gay, but they end up best friends anyway. They start hanging out at the radio station where they both work, and at clubs where Emma deejays. One of their favorite bevs to imbibe is a Zipper cocktail.

Here’s how to make a Zipper: 

Combine 1 shot of vodka and 
1 shot of Chambord raspberry liqueur 
over ice, then fill with 7up. 
If desired, add a lemon garnish.

Cheers!—Michelle Zaffino

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

You can find Michelle here:

Buy The Love Quad and the prequel How Good It Can Be:

Apple iBookstore                Google Play                Barnes & Noble

Amazon Kindle               Smashwords

Thursday, July 23, 2015

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Kim Golden, Author of Snowbound

I am a foodie. Its just that simple.

A good risotto makes my heart sing. A perfectly pan-seared fillet of sea bass? Pure heaven. Belgian chocolates? Verdicchio di Matelica wine? Caciocavallo cheese? Red wine flavoured gelato? You betcha.

Its not just gourmet delights that tempt my tummy. A good bowl of cheese grits or fluffy pancakes with maple syrup? Yup, Im in. A chocolate chip cookie? Yes, yes, yes! I love good food. And my hips are proof of it.

So its not so surprising that when I write, my characters also love good food. In my holiday romance, Snowbound, Mia and Jake both have childhood memories triggered by food.

For Mia, so many of her memories of her deceased grandparents revolve around food. Back at her grandparents house for the first time since her grandmother died, a neighbours visit reminds Mia of the holiday baking her grandmother used to do. The pumpkin pies and applesauce cakes that scented the house with cinnamon and vanillathe pound cakes and butter cookies the sticky buns and fresh donuts for the Christmas caroling practiceall of these remind Mia of Grandma Ruth and make her long for her grandmothers comfort and love.

For Jake, the South African photographer whom Mia initially sees as an interloper, his memories of South Africa are also bittersweet. Whenever he thinks of Cape Town and his life there, he is reminded more of what he lost. But what still reminds him of his childhood and his parents, is the stew his mother used to make for him, potljiekosa layered stew often made with lamb, pork or cured beef. One evening, he makes it for Mia, not expecting the unwanted guests whod turned up earlier.

Even during the snowstorm that throws them together, food and strong cups of coffee bring them together. Throughout the novel, food elicits memories for Jake and Mia and eventually helps them make new memories together.

Ill be giving away an autographed paperback of Snowbound and a $15 Amazon gift card. To enter to win, like my author page on Facebook and then tell me: which food brings back cherished memories for you? Leave your food memory in the comments here. The person whose food memory really speaks to me will be the winner! :)

The giveaway runs from 25 July until 3 August!

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

You can find Kim here:


Monday, July 20, 2015

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Back Luke Murphy, Author of Kiss & Tell

Use Food to “Show, Don’t Tell”

I remember when I first started writing—the moment I decided to get serious about writing, to write with a purpose. When I first decided that I wanted to write with the intention of seeking publication, I bought a couple of books on the craft of writing to help improve my style.

One book I bought was Stein on Writing. The book is written by Sol Stein, who is an author, professional editor, playwright and an expert in communicating craft. One of Stein’s major points in writing fiction is to “show, don’t tell” when trying to get a thought across to the reader. So, with my new novel, KISS & TELL, I wanted to show the kind of character Detective Charlene Taylor is, through her actions and the food she eats.

A little about Detective Taylor:

Charlene Taylor is a single, twenty-seven year old women who isn’t a stereotypical lady or cop. She lives a carefree, singles’ lifestyle, makes her own rules, and will stop at nothing to succeed in a male-dominated career. To put it lightly, she’s the screw-up daughter who defied her cop-dad until one day surprised everyone by following in his footsteps.

She has a broken relationship with her family, drinks heavily and loves sex, but she is also very self-conscious about the food she eats. She is very strict when it comes to her routine of exercising and staying fit, so I needed to find a way to show her single, healthy, on-the-go lifestyle through the food she eats.

In order to do this, I needed to find a food that conveys healthy eating habits, but is also quick and easy to access for a detective who has no punch-clock or quitting hours.

I believe that I showed this on two separate occasions. In the first scene, Charlene has arrived home late at night from a crime scene. She’s hungry and wants something immediately before she opens up a file and starts working on the case again. In the second scene, Charlene has just had sex with her on-again/off-again boyfriend, Andy.

Her favorite post-sex food is SUSHI. She has her favorite “sushi place” set as number ONE on her speed dial, ready for quick and easy access. Sushi is a very healthy food, and one that she can eat while reading over her case files.

Sushi is a Japanese food consisting of cooked rice combined with other ingredients like seafood, vegetables and sometimes tropical fruits. Ingredients and forms of sushi presentation vary widely, but the ingredient which all sushi have in common is rice.

The main ingredients of traditional Japanese sushi, raw fish and rice, are low in fat, high in protein, carbohydrates (the rice only), vitamins, and minerals. Other vegetables wrapped within the sushi also offer various vitamins and minerals. Many of the seafood ingredients also contain omega-3 fatty acids, which have a variety of health benefits.

No, I’m not a sushi eater, but my wife is, and I do recognize its nutritional value and how it works perfectly for my main character’s diet.

Charlene Taylor is a sushi lover

 Thanks for stopping back by to share more food for thought, Luke!

Luke Murphy is the International bestselling author of Dead Man’s Hand (Imajin Books, 2012).

Murphy played six years of professional hockey before retiring in 2006. His sports column, “Overtime” (Pontiac Equity), was nominated for the 2007 Best Sports Page in Quebec, and won the award in 2009. He has also worked as a radio journalist (CHIPFM 101.7).

Murphy lives in Shawville, QC with his wife, three daughters and pug. He is a teacher who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing, and a Bachelor of Education (Magna Cum Laude).

Kiss & Tell is Murphy’s second novel. He is represented by The Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency. For more information on Luke’s books, visit:             Twitter @AuthorLMurphy             Facebook Page

*          *          *          *         *

Back text for KISS & TELL:

With the death of her father…

Officer Charlene Taylor has received her dream promotion—working Homicide with the LAPD. Her first case is the high-profile murder of Ken Anderson, a playboy UCLA professor with a haunted past. A mafia kingpin, billionaire tycoon, cheated wife and jaded lover are only a few on a long list of suspects, all with motive and opportunity.

…all hope of reconciliation is lost.

Not only does she feel the pressure from media and her boss to solve her first case, but Charlene must also deal with her father’s murderer, the “Celebrity Slayer,” a serial killer who enjoys baiting her with his knowledge of her life and routines.

Can a rookie detective work two high-profile cases and still keep her sanity?

*          *          *          *         * 

Reviews for Kiss & Tell

“Luke Murphy scores big with this deep psychological thriller. Just when you think you've got things pegged, Murphy serves up another twist. Fast paced and fun, you won't want to put this book down.” 
-Tim Green, New York Times bestselling author of Unstoppable

“An intricately detailed and clever mystery featuring a tough minded but vulnerable protagonist with more than a few demons of her own. The twists and turns kept me guessing to the very end.”
-Christy Reece, New York Times bestselling author of Nothing To Lose

“Luke Murphy’s novel, Kiss & Tell, has lots of twists and turns, and police procedures where the good guy, in this case, Charlene Taylor, is not always good. The characters come to life with suspense, drama, explosive action, and an ending you never see coming.”
 -John Foxjohn, USA Today bestselling author of Killer Nurse

Thursday, July 16, 2015

FOODFIC: Please Welcome M.K. Gilroy, Author of Cold As Ice

Detective Kristen Conner is always hungry so she covers the full spectrum of dining experiences in the Windy City! In fact, food is such a big part of what’s on her mind, I set up a Novel Restaurants Pinterest Board in 2012 to highlight Chicagoland eateries Kristen visited in Cuts Like a Knife and Every Breath you Take. With Cold As Ice releasing August 1, 2015, the board will soon have seven new restaurants, including Alinea, considered by many food critics to be the #1 restaurant in North America.

Is there a particular meal that stands out for Kristen Conner? More than one! After breaking up with a “sorta” boyfriend she, of course, runs into him when she’s out a week later with a “sorta” date—talk about awkward. In this case it was the Chicago Diner, which sounds (and looks) like a burger joint, but is a hardcore vegan restaurant in Lincoln Park. She insisted on going Dutch treat until she realized it is a cash-only establishment.

But don’t get the wrong idea. Our intrepid detective is definitely a meat-eater, with some almost romantic meals at Mortons and Lawry’s—two legendary downtown Chicago steakhouses—where she can put away as much “cow” as the boys.

Chicago is slowly but surely becoming known as a foodie town, which means that even local specialties, like deep dish pizza, are getting fresh new looks. Is that a good thing? Not to Kristen. She’s old school and the only pizza debate on her mind is Ginos v. Giordanos. (She votes Ginos East.)

So whether you are looking for white tablecloth dining or a hotdog with the works at Devil Dog, be assured, Kristen Conner has been there—and there won’t be leftovers.

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

 Mark “M.K.” Gilroy is a veteran publisher who has worked with major authors and acquired and created an array of bestselling books and series. When not writing Detective Kristen Conner novels, he creates book projects for publishers, retailers, ministries, and businesses as a freelance publisher.

Gilroy's debut novel, Cuts Like a Knife, quickly garnered critical acclaim from national media, bloggers, and readers—and hit #1 at Barnes & Nobel ( Gilroy is a member of the prestigious Mystery Writers of America. He holds the BA in Biblical Literature and Speech Communications, and two graduate degrees, the M.Div. and MBA.

Gilroy is the father of six children. He resides with his wife Amy in Brentwood, Tennessee.

You can find Mark here:                    Twitter @MarkGilroy                    Facebook Page

*The Kristen Conner Mystery series has moved to Sydney Lane Press and all three books, including Every Breath You Take and Cold As Ice will launch August 1, 2015. Under Pressure hits the market in February 2016.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Rhiannon Frater, Author of Fighting to Survive

Breakfast tacos. The food of the gods. Delicious, hot warm flour tortillas filled with a variety of combinations of ingredients such as scrambled eggs, chorizo (spicy Mexican sausage), fried potatoes, refried beans, bacon, and cheese topped with real salsa. A staple of Texas cuisine, the breakfast taco is one of the foods that appear in my As The World Dies trilogy alongside peach cobbler, fried chicken, fajitas, and enchiladas. Since the trilogy is about two women surviving together in a zombie-infested apocalyptic Texas, I wanted imbue the story with the flavor of the state, both literally and figuratively.

Food is vital for life, but it can also be an essential instrument in storytelling.

One of my favorite scenes in Fighting to Survive (As The World Dies, Book 2), is an interaction that takes place as Jenni and Katie, our female leads, are on guard duty on the wall encompassing their safe haven. As they survey the grisly zombies below, Jenni happily chows down on her breakfast taco:

Katie wasn’t sure how Jenni could eat with that awful smell wafting up from below, but from her work as a prosecutor, she knew that abused women developed extraordinary coping skills. She’d seen how adept Jenni was at disassociating herself from bad things going on around her. Sometimes Katie wished she could do that, too, just step away from the horrible reality she now lived in.

Jenni eating in the gory presence of zombies serves two purposes: her breakfast tacos are a cultural reminder of the story stetting in Texas, and her disregard of the dead as she eats is a reminder that she’s acclimated to the dead world.

Besides, breakfast tacos are so good, how could you resist eating them?!

For a delicious breakfast taco recipe, click here.

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

Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of over a dozen books, including the As the World Dies zombie trilogy (Tor), as well as independent works such as The Last Bastion of the Living (declared the #1 Zombie Release of 2012 by Explorations Fantasy Blog and the #1 Zombie Novel of the Decade by B&N Book Blog), and other horror novels.

Her latest releases are In Darkness We Must Abide (self-published), The Mesmerized (Permuted Pres), and Dead Spots (Tor).

She was born and raised a Texan and presently lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and furry children (a.k.a pets). She loves scary movies, sci-fi and horror shows, playing video games, cooking, dyeing her hair weird colors, and shopping for Betsey Johnson purses and shoes.

You can find her online at:                             Google +

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Email: rhiannonfrater at gmail dot com