Thursday, October 14, 2021

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Paul Levinson, Author of The Silk Code


Dr. Phil D’Amato – NYPD forensic detective, protagonist in my Phil D’Amato series, of which The Silk Code is the first novel – orders a refill of his large glass of orange juice, when Tesa Stewart, a professor of anthropology at New York University and an expert on Neanderthals, joins him for a crucial breakfast meeting at a bistro in Greenwich Village.

It’s too early for most people to drink anything with alcohol anyway, but Phil would have ordered the orange juice or some other non-alcoholic beverage even if this meeting were in the evening. His brain was his most effective weapon in his fight against crime and unclear perils, and he liked keeping it as clear and sharp as possible.

He would have ordered organic orange juice, if the bistro had it, but at least this was fresh squeezed, a delicious influx of instant energy. Tesa barely poked at the breakfast she had ordered, teasing at the edge of her poached egg with her fork. The case she was discussing with Phil was too disconcerting for her to eat.

But Phil drank his orange juice and smacked his lips. He found frightening things and the attempt understand them “among the most exhilarating feelings in this world”. And the liquid energy orange juice fueled his exhilaration and his confidence.

My daughter Molly, 12 years old when she first read The Silk Code, which I had accidentally left on the kitchen table overnight, said, “Daddy, Phil is just like you!”

Certainly true about the love of orange juice.


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



You can find Paul here:

PaulLevinson.net

Twitter @PaulLev

Facebook Fan Page

Books on Amazon

Friday, October 8, 2021

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Cynthia Kuhn, Author of The Study of Secrets


While the English-professor-turned-amateur-sleuth in the Lila Maclean Academic Mysteries isn’t much of a cook, she does have her share of happy food encounters. But I’m going to confess something here: I don’t always know at first why certain foods are in there. Some details that emerge when I’m drafting the novels are unexpected but reveal their place or purpose eventually.

For example, in the fifth book in the series, The Study of Secrets, Lila is on sabbatical in Larkston, away from her Stonedale University campus, and when she meets other characters from the new town at a local diner, they insist that she order the house specialty, a slice of pie. It’s so incredibly good that the next time she is at the diner, she’s the one who makes her two visiting friends order the pie, and they have a conversation about what makes the item so magical. 

Someone once asked me if I was hungry for pie when I wrote it. (I wasn’t.) But while I was writing the first draft, the pie showed up and once it was there, it felt right in both scenes. Lila’s initial pie appreciation establishes a sense of bonding with a new group of people, then later when she is the one who pushes the pie, it tells us something about her developing connection to the new community.

Elsewhere in the novel, there is a town tradition involving chocolate-dipped candy canes, something people feel so passionate about that they get into a shouting match during a holiday party planning meeting. I don’t know where that came from. I have never had a chocolate-dipped candy cane. But they popped up during the drafting and ultimately added a small but helpful sense of tension to the chapter, which I deepened in other ways during the revision phase.

These are very sugary examples, but please don’t worry—sometimes the characters have salads too!


Thanks for stopping by to share you food for thought, Cynthia!



You can find Cynthia here:

CynthiaKuhn.net

Twitter @CynthiaKuhn

Facebook Fan Page

Books on Amazon



Cynthia Kuhn writes the Starlit Bookshop Mysteries and the Agatha-Award-winning Lila Maclean Academic Mysteries. She lives in Colorado with her family and serves on the national board of Sisters in Crime. 


Friday, October 1, 2021

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Dale Manolakas, Author of Hollywood on Trial


On a cruise across the Atlantic, an elegant chandeliered dining room hosts not only gourmet meals day and night—but also a serial murderer. In Death Sets Sail a group of writers on their awards cruise vie in a three-dimensional chess game of whodunit as writers die one by one.

In Death Sets Sail the amateur sleuths collide with death in raucous, fun, and gastronomically delightful crime solving antics. Through international waters and despite storms, jealousies, and corporate cover ups, body bags are filled and stuffed into the ship’s refrigerator. With the South Hampton landing looming, the murderer gets desperate.

In all my books, I take pride in describing the geographically unique and character-specific lifestyles, restaurants, wines, and foods. From Bakersfield Basque restaurants in The Gun Trial: A Legal Thriller to Los Angeles haute cuisine where elite attorneys expense account rare wines and gourmet meals in The Russian: A Legal Thriller and Lethal Lawyers: A Legal Thriller. 

In Hollywood on Trial: A Legal Thriller, there is a dynamic industry party at a Malibu estate on the ocean cliffs. It has gourmet food stations and bars where the party goers enjoy miniaturized portions from appetizers to deserts. In the swirl of holiday foods festivities, security fights with a stalker who accosts a starlet on the cliffs edge. 


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



You can find Dale here:


DaleManolakas.com

Facebook Fan Page

Books on Amazon




Please enjoy all my books in audio, ebook, paperback, and large print on several platforms. (Now on Kindle Unlimited , Audible, & Findaway Voices)

Kallias Publishing presents a limited time FREE Audiobook:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeZBb17-6HE&t=31s

Portal to FREE Books at your Local Library or on the Author's Official Website:

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Author's YouTube Channel with Book Trailers:

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Friday, September 24, 2021

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Jane Ward, Author of In the Aftermath



My maternal grandmother immigrated to the United States from Edinburgh and worked for years as a baker in the Boston University dining halls. When summer arrived, she would leave her husband and three daughters behind and pick up seasonal baking work in vacation resorts on Cape Cod. 

During my childhood, when her career baking days were behind her, Nana often visited our family, and at the drop of a hat would whip up a batch of what she called “girdle scones,” a quick bread that has nothing to do with foundation garments and everything to do with being cooked on a hot pan—a girdle, in Scots English—on top of the stove.

Years later, confident in the baking skills I learned from watching her, I followed in her footsteps and took a job as weekend baker at a neighborhood bakery. My day would begin at 2 a.m. with baking muffins and scones, and end between 10 and 11 after I pulled my beloved loaves of challah and white sandwich bread out of the ovens. It was a physical job that put my sleep schedule at odds with weekend family time. But I loved that job; I loved watching happy people head home with the delicious pastry I had made. 

In the Aftermath opens in April 2008, just as the Great Recession is about to do its worst to many homeowners and small business owners. These are the people whose stories I would tell. As I brainstormed small business settings for David and Jules, the husband and wife at the center of the novel, I began picturing them moving around a bakery similar to the one I had worked at years before. Yes, it was an environment I could write about with authority, but my decision was about more than choosing something familiar. I write to explore the nature of human connections, and the origin story of bread is also one of community.

Before the first brave souls looked at wild, grassy wheat and came up with the idea of grinding it into flour, turning that flour into dough with water and airborne yeasts, shaping this concoction into a cake, and then sticking it into fire, people roamed—rootless—and foraged to live. 

Once bread caught on as a reliably available food source, people were able to stop moving to find nourishment. They became farmers, bakers, consumers; they settled close to each other. Communities grew and people thrived. Around bread. Because of bread. 

In Jules and David’s fictional bakery community all those eons later, customers would have eaten good, crusty bread and everything else that owes its existence to society’s first humble loaf: scones and muffins, danish and croissants, cookies and brownies and cakes. In their best times, these bakers touched lives—sending sustaining food into people’s homes and bringing them joy. It is this same longing for connection - through work, through relationships – that guides the characters in In the Aftermath as they move through difficult times into a brighter future.


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



You can find Jane here:





Thursday, September 16, 2021

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Real Laplaine, Author of Deception People



Betrayed by Apple Pie

Deception People was inspired in the wake of 9/11, where literally hundreds of engineers and investigative professionals from around the world, people who had no bias or other agenda, objectively examined the attack, and concluded that the two planes did not, and could not possibly, under any circumstances, have brought down the Twin Towers with such precision. What they did discover was ample evidence showing that demolition style explosives had been secretly placed in the support columns of both buildings, and then carefully detonated to make it appear otherwise, bringing both structures down in their footprint, without touching another building; and moreover, that a 3rd building, 47 stories high, across the street, not even struck by a plane, also crumbled with perfect-demolition style, shortly thereafter, an incident which was explained away by the government, and yet, which few questioned or even challenged.

Deception People, while a thriller in of itself, presents a disturbing scenario, where another group of senior officials and their backers decide to repeat an act of terrorism, but this time, one that completely disrupts the nation through its digital platform – all of which seems relatively harmless until one realizes that airplanes will be crashing into one another or onto runways, financial systems will cease to operate, that tens of thousands will die in hospitals where equipment has failed, where transport services will cease thereby causing all manner of road and train collisions, and more.

One man discovers their plot and tries to expose it. Troy Evans, an unassuming graphic designer living in Minneapolis, has a special ability, one he has honed over the years. Surviving a near fatal accident as a young boy, Troy experienced his first out-of-body experience, and went on, over the years, to experience many, many, more. Now, as an adult, and still practicing his outings in secret, he happens across a hotel hundreds of miles away, and overhears a bizarre conversation where men are planning a massive terrorist attack on the nation.

Troy immediately reports the matter to Homeland Security, but soon finds himself under attack by the very people plotting the terrorism, people in high positions of government and the military-industrial establishment employed by the U.S. government, all of whom will benefit from the debacle.

Locked away as delusional and dangerous, Troy convinces his psychiatrist he is telling the truth, and together they run, trying to find someone who will listen, while evading a lethal team who are tracking them down, to silence them before they can speak up. At one point, they stop at the “Shack”, a diner in South Dakota, a seemingly safe haven where American apple pie could have been born, but unfortunately their presence there is soon discovered, and the net is tightened around them.

The question is, who will listen to what sounds like mere conspiracy theory coming from two fugitives on the run, and if anyone does, will it be in time to stop the attack?

While many choose to believe that 9/11 was entirely the work of Islamic radicals, Deception People presents another picture – those with an agenda, sociopaths who couldn’t care less if 3000 people, or 100,000 are killed, providing it aggrandizes their power and their bank accounts.


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



You can find Real here:


RealLaplaine.com

Twitter @Real0Laplaine

Facebook Fan Page

Books on Amazon

Thursday, September 2, 2021

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Lynn Lamb, Author of The Survivor Diaries


After living through a pandemic, there’s a good possibility you have considered what you would do if food supplies dried up or became otherwise unavailable. Having written the Survivor Diaries Series, five novels exploring how one group of neighbors survive a global nuclear war, these days I’ve been acutely aware of my emergency supplies, especially food and water.

Not surprisingly, that was the first thought for Laura Patton, the reluctant leader of a group dubbed the Villagers. With the possibility of being trapped in their home for three weeks after the initial bombs dropped, waiting for the nuclear clouds to dissipate, Laura had the forethought to collect drinking water in plastic eighteen gallon containers she had previously used as packing boxes. These water stores checked the first box of Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

With the most important life maintaining ration in place, food and nutritional requirements were next on the list. Preparing for at least two weeks of quarantine, with no access to Instacart or Grub Hub delivery, the survivors were tasked with creating a food bank following the catastrophic first days of the apocalypse.

It was time for me as an author to firmly lace up Laura’s shoes and dig into researching dietary needs, ways of preserving food stores, and preparing meals sans electricity and gas. It was most important to me that these techniques were real-life tested, so I went about doing so, video recording my “Survivor Challenge.” I spent one day learning how to box a fire starter kit, make candles, and even fashion a beer can stove for heating coffee and water for rehydrated foods. You can check out the results, sometimes frustrating and other times hysterical, here: http://www.lynnlamb.com/survivor-challenge.

After escaping death in the rolling turbulence and hot ashes of bombs and the collapse of unstable buildings, the characters were left to tend to their wounds, and then wait for the worst of the radioactive winds to die. As they did so, they worried about their food supplies once their rations became depleted.

The Villagers found ways to communicate through ham radios and walkie-talkies while interned, discussing what comes next. When finally liberated from their confinement, one of the first tasks was to come together to share food and water. The family’s matriarch, Annie, headed a cooking committee to determine what foods would be easiest to prepare in bulk. Dried goods such as rice and pasta were first on the list. Other characters were tasked with forging through the wreckage of the town to find the location of a big box store and rummage through what remained.

Thus were the first weeks of life after global nuclear war. As weeks, months, and eventually years passed, the needs and skills of the Villagers grew and morphed. Growing sustainable food sources, at first for themselves and later for trade and the health of the population as a whole, became a priority.


Learn more about the life and death challenges of the Villagers in the Survivor Diaries Series as this group of determined neighbors face monumental obstacles on the path to what really matters in life.

So, what would you be eating at the end of the world?


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



You can find Lynn here:

LynnLamb.com

Twitter @LynnLambAuthor

Facebook Fan Page

Books on Amazon



Have you ever wondered how you would survive a global nuclear apocalypse? Lynn Lamb imagined it into existence on the written page. And thus began her award-winning and best-selling literary career.

Lynn Lamb is the author of the post-apocalyptic Survivor Diaries Series, Opus of the Dead Series, The Oxymoron of Still Life, a short story anthology, and Mechaniclism, an apocalyptic, horror novella. Lamb was inspired by the characters in her hometown of Monterey, California. She holds a BA in Cinematic Arts and Technology and has worked as a scriptwriter and corporate filmmaker.

The Survivor Diaries explosive series and the Opus of the Dead’s chilling novels have made a big bang and a scream on the literary scene. Grab her incredible titles, and don’t miss out on this chart-topping author!



*Excerpts from Monte Vista Village, all rights reserved

Friday, August 20, 2021

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Anne Hagan, Author of Tennessee Bound



The Morelville Mysteries is a series built on the coveted morel mushroom that grows wild after wet spring rains and drains in the area of Ohio I now call home. Oh, you can try to cultivate them, but tromping about the woods to find them, then posting pictures of your haul on social media for your friends to envy before you lightly batter them and fry them is what makes them even better eating than the ones from the patch that always springs up behind Aunt Edna’s garage under the elm trees.

Morelville is a farming community near the heart of Ohio’s Amish country. Mushrooms of any kind, Amish fried chicken, and Amish wedding plates rule tables in little mom and pop restaurants across a three-county area. And pie. There’s always pie; sliced, whole or fry pies taken to go to eat from your hand.

Sheriff Melissa ‘Mel’ Crane grew up on a family farm where her mother still gardens and cans food to feed an army from fall through spring. They raised chickens for daily fresh eggs and livestock for meat. Neighbors share their bounty with each other, both ‘English’ and Amish, and there’s always room for another plate at the dinner table.

When Dana came into Mel’s life, Mel’s palate expanded. Dana’s Pittsburgh Italian upbringing and a long hitch spent in Chicago sampling all of its gastronomic delights made her a passionate if indiscriminate foodie. She’ll try anything once. Maybe two or three times. Mel’s more cautious, but she does an instant liking to Dana’s signature dish, chicken Cacciatore, a combination of meat and stewed vegetables she never thought she’d like.

In the later books of the series, our two heroines leave the confines of Ohio from time to time to relax in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Food is always on Dana’s mind, and she doesn’t hesitate to sample the fare at the pancake houses that attract teaming hordes of tourists in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, local beers, southern style barbecue and so much more. Mel’s usually game, at least she is for anything involving beef or chops. She doesn’t get to sample much cuisine in Tennessee Bound but that’s to be expected when you know what happens in the story. She’s going to have to make up for some lost table time after that trip south.


Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought Anne!



You can find Anne here:

AnneHaganAuthor.com

Twitter @AuthorAnneHagan

Facebook Fan Page

Books on Amazon

Friday, August 6, 2021

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Sherry Harris, Author of A Time to Swill


Chloe Jackson moved from big city life in Chicago to the small town of Emerald Cove in the Florida Panhandle. She left behind deep-dish pizza and hot dogs, moving to a land of seafood and Southern food. Because she made a promise to a friend, she’s also gone from children’s librarian to part owner of a bar, cocktail waitress, and barback.

The bar Chloe works in, the Sea Glass Saloon, sits on a beach so white it looks like Mr. Clean comes by every night to tidy up. The water is a dazzling blueish-green shade – it’s no wonder the area is called the Emerald Coast. While the Sea Glass doesn’t serve food the delicious smells of barbeque and seafood waft over from the Briny Pirate, the restaurant next door. Customers order food from there all the time. Chloe’s favorite dish is called a Redneck bowl. It’s full of smoked pulled pork, black-eyed peas, cabbage, corn, rice, greens, and just the right amount of hot sauce.

Chloe lives in a two-bedroom, cement-block house that sits on top of a sand dune. The open concept living room, dining room, and kitchen all have spectacular views because of windows that run all along the backside of the house and lead to a screened porch. When Chloe is home, she loves to cook with fresh, local seafood that she picks up from her favorite market – Russo’s.

She buys shrimp for shrimp scampi, yellow fin tuna to grill, and has experimented with dishes from local grouper, amberjack, and wahoo – depending on what is in season. The only thing Chloe refuses to try is raw oysters – she thinks they look like something a whale would sneeze out.

Chloe has a knack for finding trouble. In A Time to Swill, the second book in the Chloe Jackson Sea Glass Saloon mystery series, she’s swept out to sea in an abandon sailboat which she boarded because she thought she heard a baby cry. What will Chloe be hungry for if she makes it back to shore? Please read A Time to Swill to find out!


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


You can find Sherry here:

SherryHarrisAuthor.com

WickedAuthors.com

Twitter @SHarrisAuthor

Facebook Fan Page

Instagram

Books on Amazon


Sherry Harris is the Agatha Award nominated author of the Sarah Winston Garage Sale mystery series and the Chloe Jackson Sea Glass Saloon mysteries.

Sherry is a past president of Sisters in Crime, a member of the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime, the New England Chapter of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America.

Sherry loves books, beaches, bars, and Westies — not necessarily in that order. She is also a patent holding inventor.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Lynne Kelly, Author of Song For a Whale


My character Iris, a Deaf twelve-year-old tech whiz, is about to embark on a grand journey to track down the world’s loneliest whale. But first, she’ll need to fuel up. On her way to the assisted living center to pick up her sidekick grandma, Iris stops at the gas station. Since she lives in Houston, there are plenty of good Mexican restaurants around, but Carlos’s Gas ‘Em Up has the best breakfast tacos. This isn’t the kind of place that has all the food pre-wrapped in plastic. One side is like the ordinary convenience store you’ll find at most gas stations, but there’s also a family-run café that serves excellent Mexican food. If you’re unfamiliar with breakfast tacos, think of a regular taco on a flour tortilla, but fill it with breakfast food: scrambled eggs, cheese, maybe some bacon or sausage, and salsa. This morning, Iris orders her taco with eggs, potatoes, and cheese. She also orders a coffee. She’s never had coffee before, but it seems like an appropriately grown-up drink for a trip like this. After one bitter sip, she throws it away and goes back to the check-out counter for her usual chocolate milk. 

For the next few days, Iris and Grandma will be far from Houston and the gas station tacos. The whale she’s searching for isn’t swimming anywhere around here—they’ll have to hop onto an Alaskan cruise to get close to him. 

When I was writing Song For a Whale, I was lucky enough to be able to research the setting in person, though I live in the Houston area like Iris does. I work as a sign language interpreter for my “day job,” and shortly after I started writing the novel, I saw an assignment for a week-long Alaskan cruise, interpreting for three Deaf passengers. I got to do that again a year later, when I was revising the manuscript. In addition to being a lovely place to work for a week at a time, seeing the ship and the scenery really helped with the setting details I added to the story. Of course, that included food! After Iris’s first cruise ship dinner of salmon and mashed potatoes, she orders a crème brûlée for dessert. She has no idea what it is, but it looks like it’ll be worth finding out. She and Grandma are too full to finish their dinners, but magically find more room when the desserts arrive. Iris still isn’t sure what’s in crème brûlée, other than sugar and some sort of cream, but she decides it’s her new favorite food. 

The next day at the breakfast buffet, she’s overwhelmed with the selection, which is like “…every breakfast buffet from every restaurant I’d ever been in, all shoved into one place.” It’s not every day you can have a waffle, a pancake, and French toast all in one meal. With the help of her new friend Bennie, Iris quickly learns where to find the shortest buffet lines and the best places to sit and enjoy a plate of salmon eggs benedict and banana waffles. 

Grandma is ready for full-time cruise ship life, but Iris is more like me—ready to be back home after an enjoyable week at sea. I imagine she still loves her gas station breakfast tacos, but maybe makes her own version too, with some grilled salmon added. 


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



You can find Lynne here:

LynneKellyBooks.com

Twitter @LynneKelly

Facebook Fan Page

Instagram

Books on Amazon


Thursday, June 10, 2021

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Mary Kincaid, Creator of Hawk McCoy



My character Hawk McCoy is a seeking personality who has many adventures. Confronted with the eating habits of my grandchildren who will not try anything new I was prompted to write this story. I want to encourage children to try things and make up their own minds.

In Hawk McCoy: The Mutant Onion, Hawk explores the tastes of various superfoods, vegetables, that his mentor Nyssa Pentas  developed with his father, a plant genetist. He joins Nyssa as a Junior Botanist. The first requirement of being a junior botanist with his father’s lab are expressing his opinions about recipes after the daily taste test. His father and Nyssa work on increasing the nutrient value of four types of vegetables: artichokes, peanuts, sweet potatoes, and onions. While he tastes, Lima Bean Curry, Artichoke sauces, and peanut fritters, he develops a three-part scale to rate vegetables on the blog.

His ranking system designed to encourage everyone to try the vegetable recipes went like this: “One Hawk: take the one bite your mom insists on. Two Hawks: two spoonful’s because it is not that bad. Three Hawks: eat up: it will make you grow.”

Before his summer is over, he talks about vegetables on the radio, dances in an artichoke suit to attract tasters to Nyssa’s display, and learns to grow vegetables.

When Hawk, lured by the local ice cream vendor, Earl, with his two for one special, gives into his craving for hot fudge sundaes, he alarmed Nyssa. Nyssa coaxes Earl into being the only vendor for her special ice cream sauce. After tasting it Earl agrees to distribute the sauce and help Nyssa with an ice cream social that will encourage the community to name the sauce.

The sauce looks like it is created from some type of berry but is actually made from the Pen5, the mutant onion. This onion is bright pink with yellow striped leaves.  The bright pink onion makes amazing ice cream topping. The additional benefits are that it will eliminate many of the ailments that require over the counter drugs. It is a real threat to aspirin sales.

Hawk becomes a vegetable eating convert over the course of the story. He ends the summer no longer believing that mac and cheese is a vegetable. 


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



You can find Mary here:


Twitter @marykincaid2001

Facebook Fan Page

Books on Amazon


Thursday, June 3, 2021

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Timothy S. Johnston, Author of Fatal Depth



The characters in my newest thriller, Fatal Depth, live in an underwater city.  They commute to work in scuba gear or in submersibles.  They work in submarines or serve in the submarine fleet, piloting massive warsubs through the world’s oceans.  They live, love, fight, and do everything else underwater.  All.  The.  Time.  

It’s their life, it’s their existence, and it’s their very reason for waking up each morning.

But what are they eating???

It’s an interesting question, and in fact, it’s at the core of the entire series of novels (which includes The War Beneath and The Savage Deeps). 

I knew I wanted to write a series of books that were cold war espionage/spy thrillers that take place underwater.  Think The Hunt for Red October on steroids.  But every writer needs a rationale behind the world they create.  I wanted it to be grounded in reality, in history, and in science.  It needed to be logical.  After many years at University in the 80s and 90s, and teaching environmental studies for decades, the justification for my undersea reality quickly became obvious:  global warming and rising ocean levels might soon destroy continental breadbasket regions and ravage shorelines.  Economies would disintegrate.  Nations would fall to rebellion.

People would starve.

But the underwater world could be our salvation!  Consider this:  The oceans occupy 70% of the planet’s surface.  Scientists believe we’ve only discovered 10% of the species which live there.  The ocean floors are, generally speaking, way beyond our reach.  However, the continental shelves at the rims of nations, extending a few kilometers into water before their rapid plunge into deep ocean abysses, are rich in organic material.  They are shallow enough to receive sunlight.  Fish love the shelves, especially if the currents are just right.  A collision of warm and cold currents is preferable. 

Kelp flourishes in these areas too. Some cultures already make heavy use of kelp and seaweed.  Imaging cultivating this crop in an organized and industrialized manner!  Kelp grows one meter a day in the right conditions.  It could solve our food problems, especially as famine and collapsing arable land hits us on the surface.  Throw in fish farms — schools of fish contained by bubble fences — and shellfish fields, and suddenly there’s a very real (and logical) reason for people to colonize the shallow ocean floors.

This is the basis for my current writing:  Surface nations are essentially a collection of collapsing economies which thirst for new resources.  There is an explosion of exploration and colonization on the ocean floors.  In Fatal Depth, the confluence of events have led to a Second Cold War, and a rapid flood of human beings into the oceans, to settle underwater cities and exploit the ocean deeps.  And, more often than not, war is the result.  This future possibility is a near certainty, if history is any indication of things to come.

I hope you might consider joining me in these adventures, and to explore just what people are eating in the underwater world!

- Timothy S. Johnston, from somewhere on the continental shelf


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



You can find Timothy here:

TimothySJohnston.com

Twitter @TSJ_Author

Instagram @TSJ_Author

Facebook Fan Page

Books on Amazon



Fatal Depth Book Trailer: www.timothysjohnston.com/fataldepthtrailer

Friday, May 28, 2021

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Bowen Greenwood, Author of Death of Secrets

 


What we like to eat reveals something about us. If a character orders nothing but salad every time he eats, the natural conclusion is to wonder whether he’s concerned about weight, or cholesterol, or some such. If a dainty, petite woman calls for a sixteen-ounce sirloin and tells the waitress, “I want to hear it mooing,” a picture of her rural upbringing comes readily to mind.

That makes food and drink useful tools for writing. In my first novel, Death of Secrets, Kathy Kelver, the female protagonist, witnesses a murder and then gets accused of making a false report by the police. In response, she and her college roommate open a bottle of wine together at the end of the day. It brings them into focus; it makes them relatable. It helps the reader understand better who they are.

Later in the novel, on the run from deadly adversaries and trying to understand why, Kathy, her roommate, and the male protagonist, Mike Vincent, hole up in a hotel room. The following morning, Vincent brings the two young women breakfast: biscuit sandwiches from a local fast-food joint. Vincent is a Member of Congress but grabbing McMuffins at McDonalds brings him down to Earth. Under stress, he craves grease and salt just like any of the rest of us.

My most recent story is Distant Thunder: An Exile War Novella.* It’s science fiction and space opera, and food and drink help create the world and the setting. At a cocktail party, the main characters nibble on something like a snail from the oceans of Tau Ceti, and drink beer from the finest grains grown there. The food means nothing to the plot, but just by mentioning it, the reader knows this is an interstellar world, space travel is common, and different worlds take pride in their local cuisine.

Food and drink tell us who we are, what we want, where we live, and where we’re going. They’re part of what makes real life worth living, and they’re just as much a part of making up worlds. Any time a book makes good use of that recipe, I know I always come away hungry for more.


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



You can find Bowen here:

BowenGreenwood.com

Twitter @BowenGreenwood

Facebook Fan Page

Books on Amazon



*Bowen Greenwood’s latest release, Distant Thunder, an Exile War Novella, is free to email subscribers at www.ExileWar.com


Friday, May 21, 2021

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Susan Keene, Author of The Wedding Cake Murder



Arizona Summers is the fifth generation to own Moonstone Lake’s most popular eating spot. At one time or another, everyone in the area has eaten there. She has nightly specials geared to the area seniors and folks who can’t afford to eat healthy without help.. She sends her leftovers to the homeless camp nightly.

Food is a universal symbol of fellowship. It’s our common ground.

Arizona knows everyone in her town because of the café. People who don’t know her well feel at home with her because they have seen her so often over the years.

She puts people to ease with a piece of apple pie with cinnamon ice cream or a steak smothered with garlic butter and fried onions.  

Folks begin to think of her as a friend. It’s a great way to dig up clues.

No one pays attention to her as she moves around the place hearing bits and pieces of conversation. If you sit down to have a serious conversation with someone the interaction can be formal. Add a cheeseburger, an order of fries and a coke to the encounter and tension melts. Your companion will focus part of their attention on the food and things get said they would have otherwise not revealed. 

The recipes in The Wedding Cake Murder are kept simple for a reason. They give the readers ideas for special occasions but keeps them simple with ingredients usually available in their kitchen.


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



You can find Susan here:

MusingsbySusanKeene.blogspot.com

Twitter @SusanSKeene

Facebook Fan Page

Books on Amazon



Friday, May 7, 2021

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Connie Jasperson, Contributor to Swords, Sorcery, and Self-Rescuing Damsels



First of all, thank you, Shelley, for giving me this opportunity to talk about food and how it fits into the fantasy universe. After all, even fantasy characters must eat to live. But what are the foods available to them? I usually try to keep it simple so that food becomes a component of world-building.

In 2018, Lee French asked me to write a story for an anthology called Swords, Sorcery, & Self-Rescuing Damsels. In my heart, I knew it had to be set in the Tower of Bones world of Neveyah, and I wanted my heroine to be as complex and inventive as women are in reality. I had wanted to do a story featuring the minotaur soldiers of the Bull God, and this provided an opportunity to show them as human. 

My protagonist is a slave, a woman whose tongue was cut out in her childhood. She uses a hand language to speak to the other slaves. In the Bull God’s world of Serende, all boys are taken to the priests at age fifteen and remade into minotaurs. Many don’t survive the remaking. Many minotaurs are left mute in the process, so all people of Serende are bi-lingual and use the hand language to communicate.

My protagonist meets a priest of the Goddess Aeos who has been taken prisoner. Against her better judgment, she agrees to carry his sword out of the lands claimed by the Bull God. She must carry it to the Goddess’s city of Braden to tell the Temple what had happened to him. 

She walks out of her master’s domain and into the vast thorn forest with nothing but a sewing kit and carrying a weapon she has no idea how to use. When she leaves the Shadow Castle, she leaves her slave name behind.

She must forage for food, and in the thorn forest, there are some resources for those who know what to look for. The few yar blossoms and noe roots at the edge of the shallow creeks will keep me alive, but hunger is my companion. With my mutilation, I must chew carefully, chew and chew until they’re soft enough to swallow without choking.

She rescues a wounded minotaur soldier, Kerk. He gives her the name of Thorn Girl, and she embraces it.

Over the next few days, Thorn Girl tends Kerk’s wounds. Despite his terrible injuries, he guides her to the safer paths. She can forage but doesn’t know how to hunt, and Kerk is too ill. In the first days, he is able to fish, serving her raw fish, which she eats but isn’t sure she enjoys. They don’t dare have a campfire, so raw fish, yar blossoms, and noe roots are the sum of their diet but they don’t starve. 

“Thorn Girl” is not a romance or a tale of sword-swinging prowess, but it does explore true strength and endurance. It is a tale of faith in the face of tragedy, bravery in the face of the unknown, and loyalty to the end. 

I was so honored to have this little story appear with the amazing works included in Swords, Sorcery, & Self-Rescuing Damsels. Each and every tale in that volume celebrates the resourcefulness and resilience of women in all walks of life. 

Again, thank you, Shelley, for this chance to discuss fantasy food and how acquiring food and what the characters eat helps to show the world in which a story is set.


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



You can find Connie here:

ConnieJJasperson.com

Twitter @cjjasp

Facebook Page

Books on Amazon

Friday, April 30, 2021

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Back Carole Bumpus, Author of A September to Remember



Drawing from an excerpt from my newest book, A September to Remember: Searching for Culinary Pleasures at the Italian Table, I’ve decided to share one of the unique culinary experiences we had the pleasure to enjoy:

A FORAY THROUGH A QUAY IN GALLIPOLI

Like the sea-loving lemmings that we are, we headed toward the sea—the Ionian Sea. We crossed a sixteenth-century bridge that connected us to a small island that was the oldest part of the city and its ancient seaport. Almost completely surrounded by fortress walls dating back to the thirteenth century, Gallipoli, meaning “beautiful city,” is charming and exotic. Legend has it that this strategic location, which includes Porto Cesareo, became an early part of Magna Graecia (Greater Greece) and remained so until 265 BC, when the Greek king Pyrrhus, presumably after one too many disastrous victories, was defeated by the Romans. Yes, the city was frequently under siege—hordes of Vandals, then Goths—but once the Byzantines (predominantly Greek-speaking Romans from Constantinople during the Middle Ages) entered, the town was rebuilt and remains much in the style and architecture we saw at that time.

We parked the car near the bridge, and as we were walking on the quay toward the old town, we saw below us a small contingent of colorful fishing boats with fishermen hawking their bounty. As we walked closer, a swarthy-looking fisherman approached us, smelling much like—well, fish—holding what looked like a couple of small black balls of spines. We had no idea what he was saying, but he beckoned us toward his boat, where he cracked open a live sea urchin—yes, that’s what he was holding. He pulled a miniature pink plastic spoon from his pocket and proceeded to feed us directly from the innards of this little crustacean. Like a mother bird feeding her young, he hovered over us, lovingly spooning an incredibly creamy, fresh, yet salty delicacy of orange-colored strips into our waiting mouths. We stepped back and swallowed; we had never tasted anything quite like it, and we didn’t know how to thank him. Were we to purchase a bunch of them? And put them where? How would they stay fresh? Would they keep in the back seat of a hot car? We offered payment for what we had eaten, but he just slapped Win on the back, grinned a toothless smile, and walked on to the next group of tourists coming down the steps.

We were oddly charmed. We felt somehow welcomed by this simple gesture—like receiving communion, along with a blessing—and as we continued down the quay, we moved with a different bounce in our step. So, now that we had been accepted, or made the grade, so to speak, we could begin our tour of the old town with renewed vigor and expectation.


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



You can find Carole here:

CaroleBumpus.com

Twitter @CaroleBumpus

Facebook Fan Page

Books on Amazon


Photo by Chris Loomis


Friday, April 23, 2021

FOODFIC: Please Welcome John Ironmonger, Author of The Many Lives of Heloise Starchild



I was in a car in Paris, with my wife and some friends, when we stopped at traffic lights to let pedestrians cross. It was one of those deliciously rare moments when everyone spots the same hilarious thing at the same moment, and you laugh so hard it hurts to breathe. In this case it was a baguette. A man crossing in front of us was carrying an enormously long, slightly bendy, baguette in a carrier bag on the side that was hidden from us. All we could see was the top half of this baguette emerging from just below his waist, pointing skywards, wobbling as he walked.

OK. You probably had to be there. But here’s the thing. The French are easy to stereotype aren’t they? They eat baguettes. And snails. In The Many Lives of Heloise Starchild, around a third of the novel is set in France during the revolution. The heroine of this story, Marianne, is a pauper and she does indeed eat baguettes and snails; when she can get them. Heloise, a wealthy aristocrat (Marianne’s mother) eats better. One passage reveals, ‘maids bearing silver trays with oysters and raspberries and soft cheeses and cold meats. The house would smell of warm baked bread.’ She drinks a lot of wine.

Mmmmm ….

The novel follows several generations of woman who share the same memories, so undoubtedly there is a lot of food eaten. We stay for another third of the novel with Katya – born in Czechoslovakia in 1952. She is a farm girl. The novel tells us that she eats kolaches made with apricots, and with cheese from her goats. Kolaches are Czech pastries. They’re yeasty, and delicious. You can find a good recipe here: Kolache Recipe - Make Traditional Czech Kolaches at Home (toriavey.com) Apart from kolaches, Katya eats a plenty of dairy products. She lives on a dairy farm. They make parenica cheese on her farm, which is a smoked soft cheese produced in long spirals. And bread, of course. She drinks a lot of coffee. And wine.

Finally we join Halley – born in 2020. What was she eating? Not healthily, I don’t think. Too many burgers. Not enough greens. She drinks a lot of wine too. It must run in the family.


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



You can find John here:

NotableBrain.blogspot.com

Twitter @jwironmonger

Books on Amazon

Books on Amazon UK

Thursday, April 15, 2021

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Nicki Chen, Author of When in Vanuatu



No matter where you travel, you’re bound to return with memories of what you ate. Some of those memories will stay with you for years and years. You’ll tell friends about the pizza in Naples or the Spotted Dick in Canterbury or the generous bowl of lime wedges that came with your rum-and-Cokes in Puerto Vallarta. 

I used to smile at the obsession my late husband and his colleagues seemed to have with food. While we were living in Asia, we attended many wine dinners—festive meals served around large round tables with a Lazy Susan in the middle. While we ate, the conversation would touch on politics and shop talk. But the main topic was always food. As each of the eight or ten courses was set on the table, it would be quickly praised. Then, my husband’s colleagues, who all did a lot of business travel, would start discussing the best place to eat crab in Bangkok or grilled freshwater eel in Seoul or night street food in Kuala Lumpur.

My new novel, When in Vanuatu, is about living in a foreign land and marriage and infertility. It begins in Manila, moves to Vanuatu, and ends up in Seattle. It is not about food. And yet, food is everywhere in it.

In the opening pages, Diana and her husband take a brisk morning walk along Manila Bay. Before turning back, they stop at McDonald’s, where, over eggs and pancakes, Jays breaks the news about his upcoming trip to Korea. “I’ll be leaving Thursday morning,” he says, sliding a pat of butter between his pancakes and slapping another on top. Diana stabs her egg and watches the sticky golden yolk bleed into the white and then down the sides of her pancakes and onto the plastic plate. Didn’t he remember that Thursday was supposed to be the start of her fertile period?

McDonald’s? you say. The food starts at McDonald’s?

But wait.

A few days later, Diana is pulling up at Dulcinea, a Spanish bakery where she is meeting friends for midafternoon churros y chocolate. As she opens the heavy glass door, leaving behind the stink of diesel, sweat and roadside garbage, she steps into a room smelling of toasted sugar, melted butter and coffee. The ladies, talk and laugh, they share their concerns and make plans for Christmas. All the while, they’re sprinkling sugar on their freshly deep-fried churros, dipping them in little cups of thick Spanish chocolate, and licking their lips.

With the novel set in the Philippines, it’s inevitable that Filipino dishes would make an appearance: pancit, pork adobo, ginataang, and Jollybee’s Amazing Aloha Burger for a start. Like most of the world’s cities, though, Manila and Port Vila offer an international selection of restaurants.

When Diana and Jay lose electricity in their apartment, they eat tempura and steak teppanyaki at the Westin Plaza. At Jay’s Executive Dining Room, they opt for the daily special: tom yum soup, crystal noodles with prawns, Thai basil with chicken, and mango ice cream. When they take a visiting colleague and his girlfriend out to a Spanish restaurant, Jay and Diana order sangria and paella Valenciana. At the girlfriend’s insistence, she and her date share black paella, a tasty dish made black by the squid’s ink.

In Vanuatu, fish and fresh fruit are readily available. Diana and Jay dine out on seafood and pastries, French and Chinese food. Though McDonald’s hasn’t made it to Vanuatu yet, Cheerios has. Looking out over a blue lagoon on her first morning in Vanuatu, Diana eats Cheerios on the hotel’s patio. It’s a touch of normality for her amidst the exotic landscape and her still unknown future.

I can’t imagine inventing characters who don’t cook and eat and talk about their food.


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


You can find Nicki here:




Friday, April 9, 2021

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Susanne Gervay, Author of Heroes of the Secret Underground



Food is a delicious way to draw readers into the nurture, love and hospitality of relationships, culture and tradition in Heroes of the Secret Underground.

Even without context, the paragraph extracted from the Heroes of the Secret Underground reveals how the abundance of food equates to love and protection. This is the early part of the book:


There’s too much food like always. Cabbage and dumplings. Cabbage in sweet and sour vinegar. Cabbage and mince-meat pancakes. Hungarians love their cabbage. Poppy-seed rolls, sour cherries in sweet juice, melt-in-your-mouth angel wing biscuits, strudel with the flakiest pastry, and Louie’s favourite, kuglof, which looks like a rocky mountain with drippy chocolate, twirled between twists of dry-sweet vanilla cake.


Revelations of food entice readers to join the family table in the summer of the International Year of Peace, Sydney, 2000.

The main characters, Louie and her brothers live in the Majestic Hotel run by their Hungarian grandparents where food and hospitality are in abundance. However there are dark secrets hidden from them by their grandparents. Louie and her brothers climb higher and higher to the top of the Majestic Hotel in search of answers. It is there, that they time slip into the winter of the Nazi occupation in Budapest, 1944, where they meet their grandparents as children. Together in a thrilling race for survival, they uncover the secrets of the past to bring justice to the present and future.

In the winter of 1944, Budapest, starvation haunts the city. Thousands of people hide from capture by the Nazis and the fascist Arrow Cross in The Glass House. Food takes on a powerful new meaning here:  


Louie’s quiet as they enter the inner courtyard.  Girls are chattering, ladling out cabbage soup without any meat. Endless queues wait for them. Girls are washing dishes and boys are preparing more food. Hundreds of people pile into the brick and glass courtyard. There are hundreds more waiting inside for their turn at the thin cabbage soup. Bert’s stomach rumbles. He remembers the salami. He’s hungry and reaches into his pocket, then he sees a boy and girl waiting for cabbage soup. Their eyes are hollow and faces so thin. Bert looks at the salami for  a long time. Then he gives it to them.

‘I love you, Bert,’ Louie whispers. ‘You lighten the burdens of others.’

He pulls a face. ‘Right, Louie. It’s just salami.’


Food tranforms into courage as Bert is faced with the choice. Keep the salami for his family or give to another. When he sees the desperate children lining up for thin cabbage soup in The Glass House, he gives the precious salami to a starving girl and boy. Food has made Bert a hero to me.

By the end of the novel, the secrets of the past are unlocked. Louie and her brothers return to The Majestic. Order is reimposed, but there is change as the young people have fought evil to become heroes of justice. The community is invited to join the family with a feast of food:  


Rugs and umbrellas are dotted over the grass. Grandma, with the help of the chef and housekeeper, has prepared a table overflowing with cabbage rolls, bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon, dill pickles, chocolate walnut pancakes, poppy seed cake, strudel,  and kuglof, that looks like a rocky mountain with drippy chocolate, twirled between twists of dry-sweet vanilla cake. Everything’s ready.


Enjoy the Hungarian food and how food integrates with the great journey of life.


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



You can find Susanne here:

SGervay.com

Twitter @SGervay

Facebook Fan Page

Books on Amazon



Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award nominee, you'll find Susanne in Istanbul speaking to 1000s of kids about NO bullying; advocating for the United Nations Vision2020 in a campaign for sight, recording The Boy in the Big Blue Glasses for Vision Australia; in remote indigenous schools bringing literacy to kids from pre-schoolers to young adults. Susanne Gervay’s loved books include her anti-bullying I Am Jack books; YA books Butterflies (disability), Shadows of Olive Trees (feminism); picture books Elephants Have Wings (Harmony Day), The Boy in the Big Blue Glasses (Vision2020) and Heroes of the Secret Underground empowering kids to become warriors of change.


Thursday, April 1, 2021

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Andrew Geyer, Author of Siren Songs from the Heart of Austin


The twenty-two first person narratives in Siren Songs from the Heart of Austin connect through common settings, recurring characters, continuing themes, shared imagery, and intertwined plots.  Aqua Vitae Café, in turn-of-the-millennium Austin, Texas, is the central connection for this short-story cycle; but the settings range from Austin to New Mexico to Guatemala and Honduras.  

One of the main elements that links the characters who inhabit the cycle is food.  All of the characters either work at, or patronize, the Aqua Vitae Café, for which the real-life model was Magnolia Café on South Congress (all the way down to the purple pterodactyl suspended from the main dining room ceiling).  I waited tables at Magnolia Café in the late 1990s, and I absolutely fell in love with their menu.  My personal favorites were the gingerbread blueberry pancakes and the fish tacos.  They also serve a delicious special coffee blend that you can only get on the premises.  Lots of customers come in and buy the beans in bulk to brew at home.  Harry the Hippy is one of those fictional folks in the book.  Interestingly, Harry (who lives down in the funky heart of South Austin not far from the Aqua Vitae Café) is also quite the cook himself.  Two of his best dishes are bean and potato tacos with homegrown garlic and onions and fiery red chilipitins stir-fried in, and tacos de sesos (a specialty of Colima province in Mexico).  In many ways, the element of food interconnects with the struggle of all the characters to find and share love.

Magical realism also adds its rainbow colors to the recipe in Siren Songs.  In the six main narrative threads, a young Latina hunts her mother’s killer while her grandfather tries to win the love of the murderer’s grandmother in a case of love at first sight delayed for decades.  A young mother named Annie deals with autism, and the difficulties of the food and beverage business, and finds love along the way.  Dr. Joseph Jasmine, a down-on-his-luck young professor, moonlights as a waiter and tries to hold his marriage together.  All of the stories in the collection follow the lives of people who achieve, amid their daily struggles, the miracles of ordinary love—yes, through the struggles, always the little offices of love—while the Prophet Mudcat sings his siren songs, trying to usher in the Age of Aquarius by returning humankind to the water…


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



You can find Andrew here:

AndrewGeyer.org

Books on Amazon


Friday, March 26, 2021

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Hazel Edwards, Author of Hijabi Girl

What is fusion food?

We made it up. The term, NOT the food from different cultures.

Ever tried Gozleme Vietnamese style? 

Behind Melek were trays of syrupy baklava layered watermelon seeds instead of walnuts. It was SO HARD for Melek NOT to lick the sugar off the saran wraps covering the dessert trays. She didn’t.  The ladies from Melek’s mosque had rolled out dough to turn gozleme into a Vietnamesey sort of dessert.  Gozleme was one of her favourites. 

In Hijabi Girl,  our 10 year old Melek character  is a feisty girl in a hijab who wants to start an Australian Rules girls’ football team. She sets up a fundraiser where they sell ‘fusion’ food from many of the cultures of the children in their mainstream school. With the money raised they can buy their uniforms and start their sports club. But it’s really about sharing. Tien is her new Vietnamese friend whose Dad is a chef whose business is struggling, but helps his daughter’s friends. So does Melek’s hijabi-fashionista mother who designs sports clothes. 

Tasting ‘fusion’ food is genuine book research for writers. And fun. But proof- reading the names of food in our Hijabi Girl in a different language can be a challenge. And now we even have puppets which are a Vietnamese Rice Paper Roll and a Turkish Kebab! Australian Larrikin Puppeteers are performing Hijabi Girl the musical and touring post-Pandemic.



So glad we made up ‘fusion food’ to share cultures. Fact is following fiction.

Now real schools are combining the food of different cultures on celebratory days. And students are dressing up as Hijabi Girl and her friends for Book Parades.  This is an extract combining Turkish and Vietnamese cuisine. 

For the fund-raiser, Tien’s Dad, helps with a fusion menu of Vietnamese and Turkish food. It’s a sell-out.  Pays for footy uniforms for all:

'I have the price lists,' Lily said. 'My Dad and I printed them out last night.' She tried to place the correct prices on the trays. 'Soo which one is the Gozleme with peanuts? The rice pudding with muuun ga beans?’  Lily tried to pronounce "mung beans".

‘It’s hard to price things you can’t say.’

'I'll show you, ' Melek helped Lily match names and prices on the desserts.’These are my favourites. This round one is a moon cake, filled with Turkish pistachios. The ones in the clear cups are sutlac, it’s like a milk rice pudding but Tien’s dad made it with bananas and tapioca pearls. And this one, che, is in the bowls. It looks like a soup, but it tastes just like Baklava!’ 


Co-writing across cultures means being introduced to tasty food, even if difficult to pronounce the names. Food matters in children’s books. As the Australian author of the picture book There’s a Hippopotamus on our Roof Eating Cake (Puffin PRH),  I’ve shared lots of cake in hippo shapes across  40 years of  launches, book weeks, the film and the stage musical.




But our co-written Hijabi Girl junior novel had many knockbacks before publication due to media coverage of political incidents related to terrorism. Many of my books explore ‘coping successfully with being different’, but having ‘hijab’ in the title was challenging. My Australian co-author Ozge Alkan is a Muslim librarian who wears a hijab, is of Turkish origin, and was educated in USA, so she has an American accent. Ozge has helped on cultural issues. So has Serena Geddes, our illustrator of Sri-lankan heritage.



Australia is a very multi cultural society and when our book was launched at Craigieburn Library, an outer suburb of Melbourne, we had 62 nationalities and languages present.  Of our other characters Tien is Vietnamese, Zac is soccer mad , Lily loves fashion and for the series. AliGator is publishing and the Larrikin Puppets are performing, we’ve added Abdul, an Afro-Australian boy. A culinary and cultural mix. Ozge has been our cultural adviser on clothing length, hijabi folding and food.



In children’s books, food plays on the senses and provides a theme for book launches. A book offers the opportunity to live in another’s world for the length of the book and beyond via ‘fusion’ food and fusion cultures.




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


Touring post-Pandemic, Hijabi Girl features 14 colourful hand puppets and creative rod puppets hand-crafted by seven different puppet builders from across Australia, Indonesia and the USA. The show includes bizarre and delightful pencil, football,shark  and FOOD puppets. Puppeteers - Brett Hansen and Elissa Jenkins –were trained in the USA by Jim Henson puppeteers from The Muppets and Sesame Street.

You can find more about the book, play, authors and more here:

Hijabi Girl Book Page of latest news, reviews, photos, clips and resources for Hijabi Girl. Also has Teacher Resources which educators appreciate. https://hazeledwards.com/files//Hijabi_Girl_/Teachers_Resources_Hijabi_Girl.pdf

Larrikin Puppeteers  

Ali Gator Productions     info@ali-gator.com

Illustrator Serena Geddes New Website   

Larrikin Puppeteers’ successful submission to Artour for 2021/2 Qld touring.  Details of Hijabi Girl content and process. Vital case study of persistence.


About the Author:

Hazel is interested in stories crossing mediums. Celebrant Sleuth: I do or die, an adult mystery with an asexual sleuth is her latest AUDIBLE fiction, plus  KINDLE sequel Wed Then Dead on The Ghan being adapted as a screenplay with co-writer/producer Geoffrey Wright.

Co-written Hijabi Girl series  soon to tour as ‘Larrikin Puppets’ musical  explores cultural diversity. There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake series, turned 40 in 2020. 
Her memoir Not Just a Piece of Cake-Being an Author explores longterm creativity. Hazel is the current patron of the Society of Women’s Writers (Victoria).