Thursday, February 20, 2020

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Lisa Black, Author of That Darkness




Forensic specialist Maggie Gardiner and homicide detective Jack Renner don’t eat much, because unlike me, they have nice, fit, svelte figures. Unlike me, they are able to resist ice cream, chocolate in any form, and Fritos. Unlike me, they are too busy with work…some might say obsessed…to pay much attention to what they eat or would like to eat. Very unlike me.

But food plays a significant role in their first outing, That Darkness. It begins as Maggie examines an unidentified female in her early teens, discovered in a local cemetery. More shocking than the girl’s injuries—for Maggie at least—is the fact that no one has reported her missing. She and the detectives assigned to the case (including her cop ex-husband) are determined to follow every lead, run down every scrap of evidence. But what Maggie finds will challenge everything she believes about justice, morality, and the true nature of evil.

Jack Renner is a killer. He doesn’t murder because he savors it, or because he believes himself omnipotent, or for any reason other than to make the world a safer place.

When the girl’s captor/killer also turns up dead, Maggie runs down every fiber and stain and clue, including gastric contents. When I worked at the coroner’s office I hated gastric contents. Give me buckets of blood, air filled with lead and primer residue, dye stain and acetic acid and swabs of unmentionable body fluids all day long, but nothing struck the ick factor like gastic contents. And our examination couldn’t even be considered particularly scientific: we simply rinsed off the liquid and took a magnifying glass to the rest. Does that look like tomato to you? I think it’s a sliver of tomato.

This becomes important, because of the kind of killer Jack is. He doesn’t hate the uber-criminals he dispatches. He knows they’re just a product of their environment, so he sits them down and listens to their stories and treats them to their favorites--which includes ordering in from their favorite restaurants. And suddenly, through the examination of their gastric contents, he finds Maggie on his trail.

Food matters, in all sorts of ways!


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




You can find Lisa here:


















Friday, February 7, 2020

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Jeri Cafesin, Author of Disconnected



Ever had a blind date?

While women are worried the guy is a psycho-killer, most guys are worried the woman will be fat.

I’ve always had a…complicated relationship with food. I grew up in the 70s and 80s, when heroin addict thin was trending chic. My mother’s favorite actress was Audrey Hepburn, because she was, “So beautiful and thin!” The perfect woman when I was a kid had a 36” chest, a 24” waist, and a 34” hips. A 24” waist is a size 2, in women’s clothing. How many women do you know who wear a size 2? Not me!

As a writer, food plays a huge role in every story I weave. Often, as in my novel memoir, Disconnected, it’s a main character. Rachel sought what most women did—to be successful, married and in love, have healthy kids. It was hard enough attracting a man when she wasn’t heroin thin like most Hollywood women. But in the 1990s, finding a man wanting an equal partner instead of an arm piece, a woman beside him instead of behind him, seemed the impossible dream.

Then along came Lee…

And Lee was an overweight, weed-addicted gambler, who devoured food like he did most of life. Modeling Rachel’s father, Lee ate every meal as if it were his first, and last. He took her to great new restaurants, and late night cafes where they got intimate over fritters and pies. Flattered by his interest, and enamored with his charm and wit, she indulged with him. But Rachel was always fighting her weight, mindful of every calorie she ate. And it didn’t take long for her to figure out they’d be a train wreck together. But by the time she did, she was in love with him.

In every novel or short story I write, food is described intimately for the reader to partake in the eating experience. Readers smell each dish placed in front of the characters; feel the heat, or cold on their lips and tongue; then savor munching chewy, crunchy, or smooth blends of flavors and seasonings.

Consuming food is probably our most communal activity. Meals are often shared, as are treats like ice cream, and popcorn. And holidays are all about eating together. I write character driven stories. And sharing a meal is a great stage for revealing intimate details about the people at the table.


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



You can find Jeri here: