Thursday, January 28, 2016

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Mona Ingram, Author of Forever Changed

When Shelley asked me to contribute a short piece to her But What Are They Eating? blog, my first reaction was that there were no memorable food scenes in Forever Changed. It’s a story about a woman who’s just been given a breast cancer diagnosis. Why would she care about food?

And then I started to think about how food plays such an important role in every facet of our lives, large or small, happy or sad. What was I thinking?

This series takes place in Victoria, British Columbia, a city I know well. I decided to have at least one character that appears in every book. Jodi’s kinda fun… she’s like a spoke, and as each character is featured, they interact with her… sometimes in passing, but in this first book in the series, she’s Ariana’s BFF.

Jodi often grabs lunch at a small restaurant just down from her fitness studio and overlooking Victoria’s famous Inner Harbor. The restaurant owner knows her preference for noodles, and if you read the series, you’ll come back several times with various characters to have lunch with Jodi (and Trang’s noodles). A lot of secrets come out over those noodles, let me tell you!

Then there are Ariana’s visits to her grandmother. A strikingly beautiful woman, Jacqueline Beaumont knows that a nice cup of tea won’t solve the problems of the world, but it doesn’t hurt!

And of course the most Canadian of all is a cup of coffee at Tim Horton’s. Just say ‘Timmy’s’ and every Canadian knows what you mean. One of the most touching scenes in the book takes place at a Timmy’s, where Ariana finds herself after she runs out of Blaine’s tattoo studio. Perhaps not the most romantic setting for our lovers-to-be, I’ll admit. But fast food coffee shops are basically the same all over North America, and I don’t know about you, but I can imagine myself falling in love with a handsome tattoo artist at any one of them.


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

You can find Mona here:

Mona tells us she’d had more feedback from readers of Forever series than anything else she’s ever written. Each book focuses on a woman at a crossroads in her life. Novella length, they contain no explicit sexual content, preferring to focus on the woman’s story. There are currently five books in the series, and at the present time Mona’s working on Book Six, which is being told from the point of view of a man. Now that should be interesting… stay tuned!

Mona lives in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, where she reads voraciously and writes daily, except when visiting her family on Vancouver Island.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Elizabeth Isaacs, Author of The Light of Asteria

Cultures normally develop because of beliefs. Some stem from religion (like the Native Americans belief that the Earth is the one true life source given to all by the Maker) while others focus on a societal structures (such as America’s central conviction of freedom).

And so when I first started creating the world of Kailmeyra, a world without evil, I thought a great deal on how a society like that could even exist. If we assume that evil stems from hatred, it only made sense that the Alfar would need a counterbalance, which would obviously be love. I chose to expand that to include all positive emotions and intent.

For years, scientists have been studying the power of positive thoughts. That’s nothing new. But few stop to think of the power of intent.

An intent is defined as “… the state of a person's mind that directs his or her actions toward a specific object.”

For example, two men volunteer to work on a Habitat for Humanity house. One signs up because he needs community service hours, the other grew up in abject poverty
and never knew what it was like to sleep in his own bed.

Both men show up at the same time and do the same tasks. But which one is going to go above and beyond? Which one is going to make sure the nails are driven in straight, the paint hasn’t dripped on the new carpet, and the baseboards are installed properly?

I’ve found that those who do a job because they view it as an obligation tend to do the minimum amount required, whereas those that have a deep-seeded passion for helping, usually give it everything they have.

And that, my friends, is the power of intent.

But what does this have to do with the Kailmeyra series and eating?


In Kailmeyra, intent gives off energy. Alfar eat to fuel their bodies, the dwelling in which their spirit lives. Because of this, they reverently plant their foods in the richest soils, they tend to them daily and watch them grow. And they only take what they need, allowing other animals to benefit as well.

Bottom line, their intent is to use food to sustain the life they’ve been given.

So what is America’s intent when it comes to food?

Scary question, isn’t it?

It seems to me America’s intent isn't necessarily to put the best fuel in as it is to keep our stomach's from growling. And it must be convenient. And it must be fast. Oh, and it must taste yummy!

Let's face it. Most of us know little about where our food is grown, how it’s processed or even what’s in it. Our intent is to stave off hunger as we run about our daily lives. Breakfast normally consists of something from a box with milk splashed on it while lunch is served on a tray in a cafeteria. When my kiddos were young I cannot tell you how many times we ran through a drive through to pick up something to eat for dinner as we scurried from one activity to the next. Honestly, not once did I stop and question what was in that burger or where it came from. Nor did I think a thing about handing my child a soda or a sweet tea. (It should be noted that my kiddos are now in college. I’m happy to see there is more awareness about nutrition today, and so I hope I’d be a little more diligent about it now. ;))

I never thought about the intent of eating until I wrote the first book in the Kailmeyra series. While I would love to report that I’ve lost tons of weight and am now svelte and gorgeous, unfortunately, that is not the case. I can tell you that because of the series, we now eat only organic eggs, milk, fruits and veggies, we’ve stopped eating so much red meat and I haven’t had a soda in five years.

Hey, that’s something, right?

Thanks so much, Shelley, for having me on the blog!

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

If you’d like to know more about the Kailmeyra series, the first book, The Light of Asteria, is available (most FREE) on the following platforms:

Amazon          itunes          Kobo          Google Play

Barnes & Noble          CreateSpace          Blio

And you can find Elizabeth here:

Elizabeth is an author, teacher, and publishing professional who began her career as a national presenter for Resource Profiles, where she developed teacher seminars designed to foster creative brain stimulation. Moving into formal education, she helped at-risk students improve their writing skills as well as created and implemented a creative writing/blogging program that centered on teaching the 21st-century learner. Works stemming from this initiative were published online and seen in over 40 countries.

Elizabeth receives invitations to speak nationwide at schools and book clubs about Young Adult (YA) content and writing. She co-founded the popular book site,, which reaches thousands of people throughout the world. The writer support and reader interest group promotes and interacts with followers on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and various other blog sites. Elizabeth has a Master's degree from Austin Peay State University, where she was trained in classical opera. She graduated Magna Cum Laude and was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.

The Light of Asteria received Honorable Mention at the New York Book Festival.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Leyla Kader Dahm, Author of Annabeth Neverending

Annabeth Prescott is a reincarnated teenager with an insatiable hunger for knowledge...and junk food.

One thing that's carried over from Annabeth's past life to the present is her sweet tooth. Perhaps because in ancient Egypt the threat of arranged marriage, forced incest, and black magic made things so very sour, she turned to cloyingly sweet foods for comfort. Princess Ana, Annabeth's former incarnation, downed fig pudding and wine cakes soddened with honey like there was no tomorrow. She probably worried there wouldn't be one.

In modern times, Annabeth drowns her numerous sorrows in Moxie, a regionally-brewed soda. Many consider it to be an acquired taste, but Annabeth--who's always been unusually mature for her age--has appreciated its carbonated goodness since the tender age of five. She also enjoys Little Debbie snack cakes (especially during moments of duress), soft serve ice cream from Dairy Queen (it's strangely refreshing), and deep dish pizza that's been layered with crisp-edged pepperoni (no veggie toppings please, that might make it nutritious).

Of course, she also loves seafood. After all, she's a Mainer. But don't get too excited about some health kick looming. I'm afraid that Annabeth only touches seafood that's been thoroughly drenched in batter and submerged in hot oil. Annabeth has a special penchant for fried clams, though she prefers hers to be belly-free. Luckily, Gabriel Danvers, one of the two objects of her affection, understands that bellies are a deal breaker, and doesn't push her to eat the rubbery sacks.Though secretly, he loves them.

Hopefully, Annabeth will find a soulmate willing to accept all her eating habits. If not, I have a good idea of what'll ease the pain...a Blizzard from DQ.

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

You can find Leyla here:

Wisconsin native Leyla Kader Dahm popped popcorn and dreamt of a career in show business while working in a movie theater during high school. The small-town Midwestern girl opted for the practical route and studied communications at Carroll College and Cornell University. But her life changed course dramatically when a temp agency placed her in a production and development gig at Miramax/Dimension Films.

Dahm went on to work as a script consultant for numerous production companies. She appeared in the acclaimed spoken word show Sit ‘N Spin and had her comedy feature spec, Due North, optioned by Michael Levy Enterprises. She sold her pitch, Survival Instinct, to Nickelodeon Original Movies.

Dahm lives with her husband and children in Los Angeles, where she focuses on writing quality material for families and young adults.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year Hungry Readers!

Ah, yes. A new year means new resolutions (or goals, amibitions, false promises - whatever you choose to call them).

I have all the standard personal betterment aims: more time with family, exercise, sleep, get the idea. Heck, it's your idea, too!

I also make all the usual writer pledges: I will finish one (at least!) of my pending manuscripts, launch it to the literary masses and sell a gazillion copies, etc., etc., etc.

But, as readers, I'm sure you're really only interested in my TBR list for 2016. In the spirit of full disclosure-ship, I admit that I do not believe I will summit this mountain of text. However, if I can manage to carve out even a third of the great book behemoth, I am planting a flag in my front yard. Or perhaps my back yard, right by the spot where a new hammock should go to help me devour more delicious reads in 2017. ;)

Here's the list I've put together in the past 10 minutes:

Jeremy Bates - White Lies
Robin Benway - Emmy & Oliver
Carin Berger - The Little Yellow Leaf
Kate Jarvik Birch - Perfected
Cynthia Blair - The Banana Split Affair
Kiera Cass - The Heir
Sandra Cisneros - The House on Mango Street
Lisa Colozza Cocca - Providence
James Dashner - The Journal of Curious Letters
Richard P. Denney - A Girl's Guide to Falling in Love with a Zombie
Rachel DeWoskin - Blind
Anita Diamant - The Red Tent
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
Kathleen Duey - Sacred Scars
Alexandra Duncan - Salvage
Kate Forsyth - Bitter Greens
E.R. Frank - Dime
Neil Gaiman - The Graveyard Book
Ben Goldacre - Bad Science
S.A. Harazin - Painless
Charlaine Harris - Dead Until Dark
E.K. Johnston - A Thousand Nights
Mindy Kaling - Why Not Me?
Clinton Kelly - Oh No She Didn't
Jessi Kirby - Things We Know By Heart
Darragh McKeon - All That Is Solid Melts Into Air
Richelle Mead - Soundless
Susan Meissner - Secrets of a Charmed Life
Faye Meredith - Becoming Edward
Stephenie Meyer - Life and Death
Christiana Miller - Somebody Tell Aunt Millie She's Dead
Emma Mills - First & Then
Beth Moore - The Law of Love
Paula Morris - Ruined
Mike Resnick - Witch Fantastic
Celia Rivenbark - You Can't Drink All Day If You Don't Start in the Morning
Donald Rumsfeld - Known and Unknown
Sarah Elizabeth Schantz - Fig
Robin Schneider - Extraordinary Means
Ben Sherwood - The Survivors Club
Jackie Lea Sommers - Truest
Joann Sowles - Laney
James M. Tabor - Frozen Solid
Sabaa Tahir - An Ember in the Ashes
Suzanne Weyn - The Bar Code Tattoo
Nicola Yoon - Everything, Everything