Thursday, February 2, 2017

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Lee Bice-Matheson, Author of the Paige Maddison Series

Food is essential, it’s delectable, it’s a chance to be social and discuss over a favourite meal what’s important in our characters’ lives. Food provides fuel … energy for our mind, body, and soul. At least that’s what our teen heroine, Paige Maddison, believes.

In our new release, Shine Your Light, Paige reveals in detail the meals or the snacks she’s eating. Paige is a lightworker: a soldier, fighting for good on behalf of humankind. She is passionate, rambunctious, and spontaneous … but she knows the importance of keeping up her energy to fight evil that seems to present itself at the most inopportune moments.

In one of the first scenes, Paige finds herself and her friends trapped in a run-down cottage. They are snowbound with no idea of how they’ll be rescued. Her friend, Allan Brewer, his step- daughter Trixie, and BFF Carole try to calm Paige down and comfort her … with ‘what’s to eat.’ In a childlike voice, Trixie declares: We have ‘granola bars, mixed nuts, juice boxes, and lots of bottled water.’ Paige settles down and smiles.

Sometimes, we make or bake a favorite recipe or type of food to apologize. In a very emotional scene (Paige had been hospitalized for a week), the family caregiver, Hannah, greets Paige with the announcement she’s made her faves – blueberry muffins and wafts the smell to her. This scene is integral as Paige had put herself in jeopardy to travel to the cottage and Hannah let her go that day when the weather was unpredictable. She uses the moment to ‘make-up’ to Paige and admits as the ‘adult’ she should never have let her leave.

In a hilarious scene, Paige’s Dad relays the story of her mom eating seafood in Italy. It wasn’t what her mom thought it would be. It provides a cultural culinary lesson that her parents bonded over. Paige’s dad explains life in Italy: “Well … the look on her face …” Dad laughed, glancing at Mom as he relived the memory. “The fish still had its head, tail, and everything in between, and the platter came with octopus and calamari with no breading, no deep-frying like we’re used to here. Your mom could barely look at it, let alone eat it.” This scene is based on our family trip to Monterosso al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy. It’s great to draw upon our own life experiences.

A writer sometimes includes comic relief in a series where many emotional issues are touched upon from family estrangement, betrayal, unconditional love, strength of friendships, inner strength, anger, unwavering loyalty, and many more themes. The O’Brien family – Paige, her mom, Lori, and her grandparents, Ted and Helen, decide to make pickles. It is a touching, comical, bonding moment. “Paige, did you know that Cleopatra, the last reigning pharaoh of Egypt, loved pickles? Apparently, it goes back centuries, this need to make the best sour pickles. You are a fearless fermenter, dear.”

In one of the final scenes with an upcoming epic battle on All Hallows’ Eve, Paige sneaks into the kitchen to gather nourishment: Before dawn broke, I crept up to the secret chamber room one last time. I brought snacks that I knew would give me lots of energy on this hell-raising day. Nuts with coconut pieces, beef jerky, dried dates, and carrots would have to sustain me.

We cannot survive without rich soil to grow crops so we can eat, as we cannot survive without good air, or pure water. The Paige Maddison Series draws attention to environmental pollution throughout the novels. Let’s hope our decisions today affecting the growth of crops, research on global warming, and the study of water and air pollution bring us a hopeful future.

Thank you again, Shelley, for hosting us. :) It is an important topic and ingenious blog.
Have a Healthy and Happy 2017.

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

You can find Lee and the books here:

Paige Maddison Series: Written by Mom-Son coauthors J.R. Matheson and Lee Bice-Matheson 
Wake Me Up Inside, Book One, won a literacy award from the Readers’ Advisory Panel, Orillia Public Library, and is included in The Battle of the Books, Simcoe County, a literacy program.
Destiny’s Gate, Book Two, is also included in the literacy program, The Battle of the Books.
Shine Your Light, Book Three, is our new release and a best-selling novel. We are forever grateful., paperback edition for Teens and Young Adult Ghost Stories. It was also #2 Hot New Release and one behind Stephenie Meyer’s new release of the Twilight Saga.

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