Ballerinas: aren’t they allergic to food? Sasha Sinclair, heroine of Desert Flower and Kingdom of the Shades, doesn’t think so. She’ll munch on a Danish at the drop of a pointe shoe. After all, how fat can she get when she dances ten hours a day? Her partner complains, but she knows he’s only goofing on her. Her father paired them when they were kids, so he’s closer than a brother. Besides, she eats healthy most of the time. She hasn’t much choice, having married a pilot from a culture that specializes in vegan cuisine. It was love at first sight, Tarkei-style—an ancient tradition commonly dismissed as a legend until Sasha and Danion, without even lifting a finger, proved the doubters wrong. Neither of them has time to cook, but in the twenty-fourth century they don’t have to: machines spit out restaurant-level meals on command.
Danion pays little attention to what goes in his mouth, but he does have standards. The virulent orange soup his protegé loves because it reminds him of the one Mama used to make has Danion sending silent prayers of thanks skyward that Mama is no longer around. Then there’s his old friend Thuja, who likes her dinner fresh—as in running at top speed in the other direction. Meals with Thuja pose a challenge. How many urgent prior engagements can one guy dream up, even with help from his equally disgusted wife?
Ballerinas spend a lot of time on tour, and food means home as well as sustenance. The vegan cuisine Sasha likes reminds her of trips to India and Mexico. And when she takes charge of her husband’s adopted daughter, torn from her native planet and dumped all unaware in San Francisco, the quest for the right chili pepper offers a way for them to bond. At least the girl isn’t asking for virulent orange soup….
Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Carolyn!
In addition to Desert Flower and its sequel, Kingdom of the Shades, C. P. Lesley is the author of The Not Exactly Scarlet Pimpernel and Legends of the Five Directions, a series set in Russia during the childhood of Ivan the Terrible that begins with The Golden Lynx.