Monday, October 30, 2017

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Eldritch Black, Author of The Book of Kindly Deaths

Unearthly Delights

Greetings, my name is Horasmythe Spindlecleft, also known as the gourmet of gourmets. If you've ever dined in my modest little Inn "The Fat Cobblefoot", situated on the side of the Foggypeake mountains, you'll be well aware of my extensive knowledge of food and of the finer things in life.
By now you've no doubt heard of my infamous twice-fried bat wings and hair of Hackthin tart, creations of exquisite beauty, though I say so myself. Not to mention my highly regarded Doormouse eye on toadstall and very-berry-sherry sauce.
So it's with great pride that I can announce I've been appointed chief scribbler of food reviews for the Grimwytch Gazette. Below are the first of many pearls of wisdom concerning places where weary travelers may sip and gorge upon unearthly delights. Outside of The Fat Cobblefoot, of course. And of places that should be be avoided like Fungal-throat plague.

The Malady Inn
A Fairly good stock of Old Catwhist, shame about the clientele.

The Malady Inn is a worn old building on the side of the Eastern Blackwood Road. Inside is a cosy, dingy room and its fairly affable landlord, Mr. Barrow. His bar is well stocked for the most part, although not to the scale of The Fat Cobblefoot.
I chose a dish of sainted duck, goat-foot soup and a pint of Old Bramble's Tipsy. It was an adequate meal until a table of Babbleslithers sat beside me and ruined the meagre ambience. Upon finishing their food, one of the more portly among them threw up his entire course through his left eye.
An unpleasant, vulgar end to a mediocre, but serviceable evening.

Never Again!

I'd once visited this once-quaint little town in my youth. Gone were the cozy little houses and groves of apple trees, and in their place, ash, charcoal, rot and ruin.
There was nowhere to eat on account of the whole town being burnt to the ground and on top of that I had to deal with a Hoardspike. She managed to consume two of my servants right in front of me and it was only upon offering her my vast collection of dried trotters that she let me go.
A once enchanted town, now a foul, dismal place.

The Midnight City Uncle Horace Eiderstaark's Fabulous Pie Stand, Greshtaat District
As dull and flaky as dandruff.

I'd heard many tales of Uncle Horace's pies. It was with great caution that I entered the hodgepodge Greshtaat District. That caution was well placed. A revolting, stinking pile of bricks and dribbles.

Upon finding the Pie Stand, manned by the bald, sweating wreck of Uncle Horace himself, I purchased a pie. It only took two mouthfuls before I was forced to spit it out, such was its monstrous blandness. Unfortunately, one of the maggots used to garnish the pie struck Horace in the face as I expelled my food, bringing forth the rancor of the Eiderstaarks. We fled and escaped, asides from one servant who I last saw being dragged into a ramshackle building.

The Midnight City Vashhaal Wharf
Fine food, peasanty atmosphere.

Yes, the Kishspick stew is indeed delicious, were it not ruined by the lowlife teeming in from the boats. I thrashed two with my cane for their sheer ugliness, before a vulgar crowd formed and chased me, hacking to death my remaining servants. I only just escaped by the skin of my back teeth and bid a hasty retreat.

The Twisted Entrails Inn*
Two putrid turnips for the food, a rotten onion peel for the atmosphere.

This public house has somehow stood in the heart of the Midnight City for centuries. Upon entering, I was almost certain the place would fall down around my ears.
The ambience could be described as raw and *bloody*. A dense crowd of locals, most as thick as treacle, stood swaying at the bar as broken broken refrains from a derelict piano filled the sour air. I made the mistake of ordering the soup of the day, something that appeared to be a broth of grease containing chunks of indeterminate liver. And thumb. My soup was as cold as a serpent's tooth on a winter's evening. I sent it back at once and called the owner over and–**

* Please note the Grimwitch Gazette found this last review spattered with blood and sitting below a table in The Twisted Entrails Inn.
** Of Mr. Spindlecleft, there was no sign.

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

You can find Eldritch here:

Friday, October 27, 2017

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Jeffrey Beesler, Author of Speed Demons

Hey, Shelley! Thanks for hosting me today on your blog! Hello, everybody. I’m Jeff, here to discuss the foods featured in Speed Demons. So, without further ado, let’s get right to it.

Speed Demons takes place in a small town called Helensview. My characters can be found eating at two different locations in that town. One place is called the Eat’N’Grease, a small diner that doesn’t get much business these days as something mysterious has happened to most of the town. As you might guess, the Eat’N’Grease Diner features foods like eggs, sausage, hash browns, fries, hamburgers, and just about anything that drips grease all over you. One scene finds Chase Weaverson, the main character, eating cherry cobbler as he tries to figure out what’s going on.

The other location is the mini-mart of Helensview’s newest gas station. In one scene, it isn’t Chase or Gus Peddle who are eating food, but rather the rampaging Speed Demons. Aisles of chips and soda are utterly ravaged, the Demons shredding and puncturing the packaging with their talons. While Chase is worried for his life, Gus Peddle flips out over the fact that the Demons aren’t paying for their food. This leads Chase to suspect Peddle of knowing more than what Peddle claims.

Is there something behind Chase’s suspicions? Or are the Demons simply fond of junk food? One thing I know is that I won’t leave my potato chips and candy bars lying around if I ever visit Helensview!

Hey, thanks for reading. If you want to know more about yours truly well, I’m an author of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror stories. When I’m not busy hoarding gas station junk food from the Speed Demons, I’m usually listening to Weird Al Yankovic and playing computer games.

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

You can find Jeff and his books here:               

Thursday, October 19, 2017

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Back Luke Murphy, Author of Wild Card

I’m Canadian, born and raised. For a ten year stretch, from the mid-nineties to 2005, I lived in the United States. These are the two countries I know, so it made sense to set my novels in these countries.

My first novel, Dead Man's Hand, was set in Las Vegas. My second novel, Kiss & Tell, set in Los Angeles. Canada and the United States, both in North America, are very similar when dealing with things like foods, language, culture, activities, etc.

But for my new novel, Wild Card, I challenged myself. Part of Wild Card is set in South America, more specifically, Brazil and Colombia. So the internet was my friend, and played a key role in my research, especially when learning special dishes because let’s face it, my characters have to eat.

I learned that breakfast is usually lighter for Brazilians, to save room for bigger lunches. Coffee and tropical fruits are big in both countries. Rice is very popular in Colombia and served with most dishes.

Special dishes from Brazil & Colombia (there are many more, I know, but I chose one for each meal):


(Brazil) Skillet toasted French bread rolls (pão na chapa) is a favorite quick breakfast that you can buy at your local bakery and enjoy with pingado (warm milk with sweetened coffee).

(Colombia) Migas de Arepa: Migas means “crumbs”. Scrambled eggs with pieces of arepa and tomato-onion sauce is a popular breakfast served in Colombia. Can be served with chorizo, avocado and beans.


(Brazil) Pastel, a deep fried thin pastry filled with either savory fillings, the most common of which are minced meat, chicken, shrimp, mozzarella, palm heart and catupiry cream cheese. There are also sweet fillings such as guava and cheese, chocolate, doce de leite, banana and cinnamon.  It is believed the Japanese introduced pastel into Brazilian cuisine by adapting deep fried Chinese wontons.

(Colombia) Tamales: There are many variations of tamales in Colombia, but they all have something in common—Colombian Tamales are all wrapped in banana leaves. Served with rice.

(Brazil) Feijoada is arguably the national dish. It is a recipe of thick black bean stew served with rice and a variety of pork meats. It was invented by the slaves who were brought from Africa, during colonisation to work in the large estates and plantations in Brazil. The slaves would smuggle the leftover food from their masters’ houses and make a stew.

(Colombia) Puchero Santafereño is a dish named after Santa Fé de Bogotá, the capital of Colombia. Puchero is a dish that originated in Spain, as is the case with many other Colombian dishes. Puchero Santafereño is a hearty and filling stew that usually includes beef, chicken, pork, plantain, yuca, potatoes, corn, chorizo, and cabbage.

It’s always fun to learn about new cultures, and the foods that are served in those countries.

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

You can find Luke here:

Luke Murphy is the International bestselling author of Dead Man’s Hand (Imajin Books, 2012) and Kiss & Tell (Imajin Books, 2015).

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).
Wild Card, a sequel to Dead Man’s Hand, is Murphy’s third novel.

More about Wild Card:

This time, it’s not a job.

After proving his innocence as a murder suspect, taking down an assassin, and being an instrumental part in solving a high profile murder, Calvin Watters believes he can finally move on—until Ace Sanders’ prison escape catapults him into action.

This time, it’s personal!

Something has always bothered Detective Dale Dayton about the arrest of Ace Sanders. Call it police intuition, but his inner ‘cop alarm’ keeps twitching. When Dale reopens the case, he’s introduced to new evidence that leads him into a political nightmare.

Who will play the Wild Card to survive?

While Calvin tracks Sanders across continents and into unknown, unfriendly surroundings, Dale remains in Vegas to uncover the truth behind police corruption, prison escapes, and hired assassins. But Calvin and Dale must be vigilant, because there’s a deadly, new player in town.


“All the danger, treachery, and action a thriller reader could wish for.  Luke Murphy has the touch.”
—Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Order

“Hold on for a wild ride that doesn’t end until the last page.”
—Jordan Dane, bestselling author of the Sweet Justice series

“Murder, sex, hackers…an elaborate criminal chess game: Luke Murphy delivers.”
—Bryan Gruley, author of the Starvation Lake trilogy

Friday, October 13, 2017

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Rachel Rawlings, Author of The Morrigna

Welcome to Salem, MA. Home of Maurin Kincaide, psychometric and all-around representative of the paranormal community; whether she wants to be or not. Restaurants in town offer the usual pub fare, unless you’ve accidentally wandered into Toil and Trouble. If so, whether or not the Blood Sausage is fresh is the least of your worries; because this local haunt isn’t on the tour.

You’ve heard of Starbuck’s secret menu? The ol’ double T has one of those too. Wine lists range from Merlot to O; positive or negative that is and the steak is served rare. There’s the occasional elixir and farm to table is more like herb garden to table. So far, the norms have remained blissfully unaware.

Maurin’s been known to solve more than one problem after a few lemon drop shooters artfully crafted by Toil and Troubles bartender, Mike. But her favorite brew isn’t from a cauldron or the local micro-brewery.

A witch may be the purveyor, but even the squarest of norms can feel magic in these beans. Daily Grind, home of Salem’s best Dirty Chai latte, has earned the Maurin seal of approval. Much like me, she has a love affair with coffee. In any form, hot, cold or beans covered in chocolate served from a candy dispenser, Maurin hasn’t met a coffee she hasn’t liked. And that includes the sludge they try to pass as coffee at Salem’s Preternatural Task Force.

While her tastes have progressed from coffee lighter than her porcelain complexion to a cup so strong and dark a spoon could stand up straight in the mug, Maurin’s go to comfort drink is usually a Dirty Chai. Part espresso, part Chai tea, this nectar of the Gods is combined with steamed milk to create the perfect Autumn drink.

Not convinced? Try this simple recipe at home. Or, order one off Starbuck’s secret menu.

Brew chai tea bag in boiling water. Remove tea bag.
Pour coffee over tea.
Put milk in a mason jar or plastic container with lid. Shake until frothy.
Remove lid and microwave for 30 seconds.
Top with a dash of cinnamon. Sweeten with sugar if desired.

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

You can find Rachel here:

Thursday, October 5, 2017

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Patricia Sands, Author of Drawing Lessons

Heartbreak is never easy. Arianna Papadopoulos-Miller arrives, from Toronto, in the Alpilles area of the south of France on a quest to rediscover the artist she once was and move forward with her life.

She is welcomed on the terrace of the 200-year-old mas (farmhouse) where she will spend two weeks with 7 other artists. From that moment, gastronomy becomes a feature of her stay. But, hey … alors … it’s France!

Foie gras on toasted rounds of baguette and local olives accompany the chilled champagne, poured in slender hand-blown glass flutes. A toast is made to the beginning of an exciting two weeks of drawing and painting … and other unimagined experiences.

And so it begins.

“La grande charcuterie!” Maurice announced as three large slabs of olivewood were proudly presented by the kitchen staff. Each bore a colorful display of meats.

Maurice gave a guided tour of each artistically arranged platter. “We have thinly sliced prosciutto as well as jambon cru . . . local uncured ham that will melt in your mouth. Here we have our very special saucisson d’Arles, native to our area in particular. It’s a dry sausage that used to be made a century ago from—don’t gasp, please—donkey meat.”

In spite of themselves, there was a slight gasp.

“It is nowadays made of beef and pork fat with some garlic and black pepper. Magnifique! Only certain local charcutiers make it—c’est authentique! And finally, there are grilled lamb chops, seasoned to perfection. We are famous for lamb in Provence. You will see why!”
His hand moved on to the end of the platter, and his level of enthuthsiasm increased even more. “Pâté maison, la recette de mon arrière-grand- mère! Very smooth. It’s made with chicken livers, lemon, onion, and herbs de Provence. Plus”—with this, he raised his fingers to his lips, as if sharing a secret—“what makes hers special is . . . a touch of fromage de Neufchâtel.”

He nodded conspiratorially, the gleam in his eye never fading as he continued. “And also her even more famous pâté en croute. It’s a coarse and rich terrine of mixed ground meats with peppercorns and pistachios. After being cooked in aspic, it is wrapped in a rich, buttery crust, coated inside with lard. C’est vraiment extraordinaire!”

“And ever so fattening!” Bertram interjected.

Maurice responded with humor. “Don’t even think about calories or cholesterol when you eat in France. Simply enjoy! A little bit never hurt anyone! Even too much on certain days never hurt anyone. We only live once!”

“Can you tell my husband is a true ‘foodie’?” Juliette interjected with a grin.

Maurice bowed with an extravagant flourish as applause reverberated around the table. “Champagne goes very well with this meal, if you care to continue, or we have a fine Châteauneuf-du-Pape red—and, of course, always there is beer for those who prefer.”

After he slipped his arm around Juliette’s waist, they wished everyone in unison, “Bon appétit!”

During the meal, Maurice answered questions about the difference between a boucher, a butcher who sells raw meat, and a true charcutier, someone who prepares the foods they were eating.

“Of course,” he explained, “you will discover we can thank the Ancient Romans for many of our traditions.”

And that was just the beginning … from breakfasts of warm, buttery croissant, pain au chocolat, pain aux raisins, farm fresh eggs and fruit straight from the orchard through exquisite multi-course meals (or sometimes simple but delicious baguette sandwiches) ... and then there is a simple green salad followed by cheese. Lots of cheese choices! The grand finale consists of luscious desserts of crème brulée, profiteroles, crêpes, gateaux, tarte tatin, tarte au citron … Are you full yet? You may think I’m exaggerating, mais non! And somehow over there, it all works as hours are spent savouring and appreciating each morsel. Bon appétit!

Along with the food, Drawing Lessons is a story about friendship, art, discovery and hope … set amidst the beauty of Arles and the unique Camargue, in the Bouches-du-Rhône area of the south of France.

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

You can find Patricia here: