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Check out my science fiction series - The Fall of the Altairan Empire

Monday, February 27, 2012

Author Interview - Jennifer Provost

Please welcome Jennifer Provost to the Far Edge of Normal. Jennifer Allis Provost is a native New Englander who lives in a sprawling colonial along with her beautiful and precocious twins, a dog, a parrot, two cats, and a wonderful husband who never forgets to buy ice cream. As a child, she read anything and everything she could get her hands on, including a set of encyclopedias, but fantasy was always her favorite. She spends her days drinking vast amounts of coffee, arguing with her computer, and avoiding any and all domestic behavior.

 How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. – please share your public links.

Here goes!
Twitter: @parthalan

Tell us about your writing - What genre do you prefer to write? What books, stories, other publications that you've written are your personal favorites? Anything new coming up?

I write mainly fantasy, but I’ve been known to throw the occasional bit of horror out there. A blogger once described my first novel, Rise of the Deva’shi (ebook version), as “too lovey-dovey” for his taste. It’s true that there’s a fair bit of romance in my work, since I believe that a character’s relationships are vital to the plot. I mean, they’re going off to fight the monster for a reason, right? To keep their home safe, defend their lady’s honor, or some other noble cause. Or, maybe they drank too much and lost a bet. Still, those relationships (even the drunken ones) are well worth exploring.

My labor of love is my fantasy series, The Chronicles of Parthalan. Heir to the Sun, the first in the series, was released in August 2011, and the second installment, The Virgin Queen, will be out in early 2012. It’s a five book series…for now.

I also have a story featured in an anthology that released January 2012 called UnCONventional. Along with my story, All In, UnCONvential tells 22 tales of what goes on behind the curtain at conventions. Learn more about it here:

 I heard about that anthology. It looked like a blast. What about you as a person? What do you do to relax? Favorite movies or tv shows? Hobbies?

Hmmm, you ask this as if I’ve got time to relax. Most of my free time is spent with my 2-year-old children, the Wonder Twins. In those rare moments when they’re sleeping at the same time, I’m usually writing. Or doing laundry.

However, when I need to switch gears and need to do something creative, but a different sort of creative, I end up making jewelry. I love to work with natural stones and unique copper findings. I also haven’t yet given up on my childhood dream of drawing comics, and I draw and paint quite a bit. I did the watercolor on the cover of Rise of the Deva’shi.
I understand about not having any time. I've got eight kids, but it gets better as they get older. I still conquer Mt. Laundry-Everest every week. And everyone needs some kind of creative outlet. Jewelry is a fun one. I like the book cover, too. What talent.

What gets your creative juices going? Do you write to music, and do you want to share your playlist?

Random things inspire me. For instance, an interesting tree on the side of a parking lot inspired an entire novel, and a music box was the muse for my fantasy series, The Chronicles of Parthalan. As for writing to music, I don’t specifically write or not write to anything; usually, whatever’s already playing will suffice. The exception to this rule is when my husband is watching talk shows. They are way too distracting!

"All writers must have cats, especially if they write fantasy or speculative fiction." Do you have a stand on this one? Any cute pictures of your kitty or other pet?

Me? Pets? Well, yes, I have had a few. Currently we have two cats, a maroon bellied conure, and an eighty-five pound pit bull who thinks he’s the size of a bunny.

What organizations do you recommend for those wanting to become writers? Any advice you'd like to share about writing?

Here’s the best piece of writing advice I’ve ever gotten: leave your house, go out there and meet people. Hang out in a bookstore, or library, or cafĂ©; meet readers and writers; network, network, network. Go to conventions, workshops, community events. Keep your eyes and ears open, and learn. All of these people will have something unique and valuable to teach you, be it about publishing, or which bookstores in the area book the most events, or maybe someone will finally explain that pesky “i before e” rule. 

And yes, join writing-related organizations!  I belong to Broad Universe (I’m the Ad & Promo Coordinator) and New England Horror Writers, though I don’t participate with the latter as much as I’d like. BU does keep me busy!

Wonderful advice. We writers sometimes spend too much time locked in our rooms writing. What writers inspired you to become an author?

Oh, so many. Robin McKinley, Wendy Pini, J.R.R. Tolkien (does everyone list him?), Jacqueline Carey, Neil Gaiman, Madeline L’Engle, Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte… The list goes on, and on.

Not everyone lists Tolkein. I'm almost embarrassed to admit I never finished The Lord of the Rings although I loved the movies.

Thanks so much for stopping by. It was fun getting to know you, Jennifer.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thursday Recipe - Baked Fudge

Warning! This recipe is so incredibly rich and decadant, you'll get fat just smelling it. It only makes one 9 - 10 inch cake layer, but it will serve 12-16 people. It's better than cheesecake, mostly because it's chocolate and doesn't have cheese in it.

And for those of you that are looking for gluten-free, this recipe is. You can also do dairy-free if you use a good quality margarine. But it isn't fat-free, not even close. And don't, for the love of Pete, try to make it sugar-free. If you're going to destroy your diet, do it with panache and style.

Baked Fudge, aka Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 c. butter or margarine
6 large eggs, separated
1/2 c. sugar, divided
2 t. vanilla extract (or 1 t. almond)

Melt chocolate chips and butter together over low heat, stirring until smooth. Set aside.

Heat oven  to 350°. Spray one 9" or 10" springform pan. (You can use regular cake pans but it will be harder to get the cake out in one piece.)

Beat egg yolks and 1/4 c. sugar until very thick and lemon colored, at least 3 minutes. Fold in melted chocolate mixture and vanilla.

In another bowl, beat egg whites and remaining 1/4 c. sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into chocolate mixture until thoroughly combined. Spoon into cake pan. Bake for 25-35 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
Cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan. Put it on a large plate, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least six hours.

It's supposed to fall and get really dense. If you really want to, you can top it with whipped cream and a cherry. Or even drizzle caramel over the top.

Darn it! I just drooled all over myself just thinking about this cake. Now I have to make one.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Author Interview - Phoebe Wray

 Please welcome Phoebe Wray to the Far Edge of Normal. Phoebe Wray is a long-time nonfiction writer now writing in the specfic field. Her novel, JEMMA7729, is in print and will be released soon on ebook. The sequel, J2, will be released (print and ebook) by Dark Quest Books before March, 2012. A thriller novel, IN ADAM’S FALL, is forth-coming from WolfSinger Productions. She has stories in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Mag, Farthing,, chizine, The Garden, and in the anthologies “No Man’s Land” (2011), “All About Eve” (2010) and “Backless, Strapless and Slit to the Throat” (2009). She's the past president of Broad Universe, lives in a small town outside of Boston, and teaches in the Theatre Division of The Boston Conservatory.

How can we find you?

Phoebe Wray on Facebook and on LiveJournal. I'm an indifferent blogger, but I'm trying to mend my ways.

Tell us about your writing - What genre do you prefer to write? What books, stories, other publications that you've written are your personal favorites? Anything new coming up?

I like writing speculative things--and lately that's been mostly sci-fi. I do some fantasy, but nothing that wanders into fae or sets foot in a dungeon. I completed a thriller "In Adam's Fall" last year that will be published by WolfSinger Publications next year. I enjoyed writing it: exploring a small town upset and threatened by a racially prejudiced killer. Most of my "stuff" is dystopian and futuristic. I like to imagine what's coming next.

What about you as a person? What do you do to relax? Favorite movies or tv shows? Hobbies?

I'm a teacher at The Boston Conservatory, teaching History of Theatre to undergrads and Cultural History in the grad school. I LOVE history of all kinds, and it's a pleasure to work with talented young people. They're smart, highly motivated, and beautiful, too, so I like to go to work.

Relax? What's that? Actually, I'm an avid bird-watcher, which always brings me joy and a sense of wonder and peace, even if it's just squabbling blue jays. I read, of course, all the time. In season, I garden, passionately but not always successfully.

My television habit spins mostly around news programs, although I rarely miss "Criminal Minds" or re-runs of "Battlestar Galactica."

What gets your creative juices going? Do you write to a music?

I get gob-smacked by an idea and then it twists and turns in my head until I get the first sentence--then I'm off and running. I don't listen to music while I write. I like silence, because (I think) I'm listening to what the characters are saying and thinking. They talk and think; I write it down.

The one exception to that is if I'm writing non-fiction; then I like Mozart in the background. My non-fiction writing is generally about the environment, or theatre. My two major interests. I worked for ten years an an internationally-accredited environmentalist, focused mostly on endangered species. I still care passionately about sharing the planet.

"All writers must have cats, especially if they write fantasy or speculative fiction." Do you have a stand on this one? Any cute pictures of your kitty or other pet?

As of this year, I'm down to one beautiful cat: the calico Jenny, who was born in my basement 8+ years ago, one of a little of four female ferals. At one time I had a poodle and two huge cats, all males. I took Jenny in, and found homes for her sisters. Now my gallant lads have all gone to the Rainbow Bridge, so its just Jenny and me. The "boys" all made it to 14 years, so we had a lovely lives together.

Yes, writers seem to like cats...for their beauty? their odd wants and needs? their (mostly) silent companionship? their silliness? the fascination of the cat mind? All of the above.

I can't be without the companionship of a non-human. I think they make me know I'm human. And, they're loving in ways nothing else living is.

What organizations do you recommend for those wanting to become writers? Any advice you'd like to share about writing?

I was one of the founders of Broad Universe which supports and encourages women who write genre fiction, and I'm very proud of its growth and the good work it does. It's a crock that women can't write sci-fi, for instance, no matter what some of the boys say.

What writers inspired you to become an author?

I've been writing since I could. I was an early avid reader, and it never occurred to me that I couldn't write, too. My parents were happily supportive of that. I had a 10+ year career as a journalist/commercial writer, but I was also writing plays (some produced in NYC, Boston, LA) and poetry (published a number of place). My early reading was mostly fiction (animal books, such as "Lassie Come Home" and history).

Any special appearances or events coming up that you want to mention?

The e-book version of my first novel, "Jemma7729", will be out before the end of March, along with its sequel "J2" -- both from Dark Quest Books. I'll be hitting the convention trail: Boskone, FogCon, WisCon, Readercon, etc etc. And doing whatever is possible to draw attention to this saga. It's a futurist, dystopian, action/adventure tale. The heroine of "J2" is the clone of the heroine of "Jemma7729." That's fun to write, and a bit challenging. J2 isn't her "mother" (as she calls Jemma) but there are--similarities, attitudes, a sort of "ghost in the machine" that requires writing discipline.

Thanks for stopping by. It's always fun to see how other writers think.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thursday Recipe - English Trifle

Most people in the US have never had English Trifle. It's an interesting dessert involving cake, jello, fruit, and whipped cream. If you want to go to the effort of making it all from scratch, be my guest. If you want to use a bakery pound cake or cream cake and instant pudding mix, go ahead. This is a make-ahead dessert great for summer treats or dinner parties when you want to wow people.

Basic Trifle (my version, I don't claim to be authentic, but I do claim to be tasty. That didn't come out right. I'm not offering myself as the main dish. My trifle isn't authentic, but it is tasty. How about that?)

1 pound cake (bread loaf size)
1 6 oz box raspberry gelatin
1 8 oz tub whipped topping
1 lb fresh strawberries, sliced
1 6 serving size box of instant vanilla pudding
2 c. milk

Mix the gelatin according to package directions. Set aside. Cut cake into squares. Arrange cake in bottom of large glass bowl. (This is a fancy dessert, you want to show off the layers. If you don't have a large glass bowl (4 qt size), use a 9x13 glass baking dish.) Carefully pour gelatin over the cake. Refrigerate until gelatin is mostly set, about an hour. Hint: if you freeze the cake, the gelatin will set faster and won't soak clear through the cake pieces.

Mix pudding with milk, whisk until smooth. Remove cake/gelatin from refrigerator. Layer on 1/2 the strawberries, top with 1/2 the pudding and 1/2 the whipped topping. Repeat the layering with the second half of everything. Return to refrigerator for at least one hour to let everything set up.

Serve and enjoy.

Now for the fun part. You want pound cake and pudding from scratch? Here you go:

Pound Cake (based on an old Betty Crocker recipe)

2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
3 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1/4 c. shortening
1/4 c. softened butter
2 eggs
1/2 c. milk
1 t. vanilla

Heat oven to 350°. Grease and flour 2 8x4 loaf pans or one bundt pan. Measure everything into a mixing bowl. Beat 30 seconds on low, scrape bowl. Beat 3 minutes on high speed. Pour batter into pan, it should be thick. Bake 65-70 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Invert pan onto a baking rack and remove pan. Let cake cool completely before slicing.

Pudding from scratch

1/3 c. sugar
2 T. cornstarch
1/8 t. salt
2 c. milk
2 t. vanilla

Mix sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a 2 qt saucepan. Stir in milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. To keep it from forming a skin while it cools, take a large piece of plastic wrap and press it on top of the pudding inside the pan. Remove and discard the plastic when the pudding is cool. Whisk the pudding until smooth. Put in a tightly covered container and refrigerate until ready to use or serve.

Variation: Use 2 c. of canned coconut milk instead of regular milk. Dairy free and just as tasty!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Check out the party over on Backwards Momentum all day tomorrow, Feb. 14! (The site is adult content, so I'm posting my story here along with my giveaway details.)

Be My Valentine

Valentine's Day is a special one for me - it's my wedding anniversary. We rarely celebrate on that day, though, because we're mostly cheapskates and hate crowds. Our latest romantic date involved taking the dog to obedience class without our kids. Not what most people would consider romantic, not in the least. And yet, it was.

Romance really bothers me because I can't quantify it or measure it. I'm a science nerd, I want to take things apart and figure out the nuts and bolts. Romance in life and writing doesn't lend itself to logic or scientific inquiry.

What makes something romantic? Is it flowers and music and chocolate and sexy waiters with bedroom eyes serving bubbly drinks with umbrellas? Or does it have more to do with the relationship between the two lovers?

I don't write Romance, I write science fiction adventure with romantic subplots. For me, the romance is not the physical relationship between the characters, but the emotional. Nexus Point contains exactly one very short, chaste kiss. The sequel (which is in negotiation with a publisher, long story) contains a lot more kissing but less romance. The main character, Dace, has no idea what relationships are all about. She's been abused and neglected most of her life. When Tayvis, the hunky lead man in Nexus Point, takes an interest in her, she has no clue how to handle it or even what it means. A major theme of the books is the question, what is love and what does it really mean? For someone who's never experienced it, the question is a tough one to tackle.

Most romance stories deal with the initial falling-in-love stage of a relationship. It's exciting, it's sexy, it doesn't involve the day-to-day drudgery of life together. How sexy is a ratty flannel nightgown when you're seven months pregnant and feeling like something the cat chewed up, barfed out, and left on the front porch for a week? According to my husband, very sexy. That moment is real, and it's one of my precious memories. I was brushing my teeth in my decrepit flannel nightgown, feeling like a beached whale with my pregnant belly (number six, if you want to know), my hair a mess, and feeling like the cat toy, when my husband looked at me with that light in his eyes and said, "Do you know how beautiful you are?"

That, my friends, is real romance.

Giveaway! Want to experience my kind of romance? I'm giving away one ebook copy of Nexus Point (international). And since life isn't romantic without chocolate somewhere, I'm giving away a bag of Dove chocolates (US only, please). Email me at with your idea of a romantic moment and you could win! I'll pick winners randomly on Feb 21.

~Jaleta Clegg writes science fiction adventure with plenty of romance and silly horror stories without romance, although it leaks out sometimes when she's not looking. You can find links to her books and stories at

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thursday Recipe - Boston Cream Pie

I love Terry Pratchett. I love his Discworld books. And I especially love his character, Nanny Ogg. I want to be her when I grow up, after I'm done being Han Solo and Ursula the Sea Witch. Maybe I can be all of them at once. A girl has to have ambitions, you know.

I had the great honor of meeting Sir Pterry in person a couple of years ago at the first North American Discworld Convention. He's as charming and sweet in person as I imagined him to be. And funny.

One of my prized possessions now has his signature - My copy of Nanny Ogg's cookbook. It really is a cookbook with all sorts of entertaining and suggestive dishes. And all sorts of Nanny Ogg wisdom. She's a witch, the Mother in the group. Granny Weatherwax is the crone, but don't tell her I said that or she might curse me. The Maiden changes depending on what's been happening in the stories. I loved Magrat Garlick in the role. If you want to know what I'm talking about now, read Wyrd Sisters. These witches are REAL witches.

My post is starting to resemble a Discworld novel - rambling and disconnected and who knows where it's going but yes it does have a point and I'll get there and you'll see how all of it fits together.

Nanny Ogg owns the most horribly fascinating cat ever conceived. Greebo is a cat among cats. He lives by one rule: everything exists either for eating, mating, or killing. Things that don't fit in those three categories are scenery. Nanny Ogg loves the beast. He grows on you. Nanny Ogg also has lots of sons who exist to provide her with daughters-in-law who exist to cook and clean and provide grandchildren for her to spoil.

Nanny Ogg is a very British woman. She knows the words to all of the suggestive ditties. She cooks suggestive dishes. And she has a heart as big as her stomach.

Since I try to keep this blog at a PG rating, I won't post my favorite recipes from her cookbook (Bananana Surprise and Strawberry Wobblers, anyone?). I'll post my husband's favorite dessert instead. Valentine's Day is coming up and what's that special day without a special dessert?

Boston Cream Pie (as close as I can get to my mother-in-law's version)

1 yellow cake, made according to the box directions
1 6 oz box instant vanilla pudding
3 c. milk
1 c. chocolate chips
1 t. butter

Bake cake according to directions. If you have a serving plate that holds a 9x13 cake, do it as a rectangle. If you're like me and don't own one, do it as two rounds. Each round will make one cake. Let it cool completely before assembling the pie. In fact, refrigerate the cake layers for at least an hour before you start.
Mix pudding with milk. Whisk until thick and smooth.
Carefully split the cake layers in half horizontally. Place one half on a plate. Spread half the pudding over the cake. Put the other half of the cake on top. Repeat with the other round.
Put chocolate chips and butter into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for about 30 seconds. Stir. If it isn't completely melted and smooth, microwave it for another ten seconds. Don't overcook! It will go nasty and grainy. You want it just melted and smooth and shiny. Pour it over the top of the cake and pudding layers.
Refrigerate the whole thing for at least three hours before serving.

Since I can't make this right no matter how hard I try (ask my husband, it's okay, though, I'd have to be his mom to make it right), I came up with lots of my own variations. This dessert can go from basic and simple to elegant and elaborate.

Try these:
Black Forest - use a dark chocolate cake mix, fill it with whipped cream cheese and cherry pie filling. Top with the chocolate glaze.
Strawberry Bliss - use a vanilla cake mix. Fill with sliced fresh strawberries and chocolate pudding. Top with whipped topping.
Pineapple Pistachio - Use a white cake. Use pistachio pudding, but use 1 18 oz can of crushed pineapple to mix up the pudding. You can add 1/2 c. of shredded coconut if you want. Reserve 1/2 c. of the filling to spread on top. Decorate with maraschino cherries and whipped topping.
Death by Chocolate - use a chocolate cake mix, chocolate pudding, and add 1/2 c. chopped chocolate candy bars or chocolate chips to the filling. Top with the chocolate glaze and more chocolate bits.
Snickers cake - Use a chocolate cake mix. For the filling, melt 2 c. caramels over low heat until until spreadable. Spread 1/2 c. whipped cream cheese over the bottom layer, then 2/3 of the caramel. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Spread the rest of the caramel over the top and sprinkle on more nuts.

Have fun and don't be afraid to be creative and try something new. If the cake gets soggy or crumbles, just serve it as a crumble - scoop a serving into a bowl and add whipped topping. Pretend that's the way you intended it to turn out.

Here's pictures of my version:
Ingredients, minus the eggs, oil, and milk. So simple.

Grease and flour the pans so your cake will look like this:

See? Pretty. And filled with chocolate pudding.

Frost with whipped topping and decorate with chocolate chips.


Then drop the cake while putting it in the fridge.
Not delicious. *sigh*

Monday, February 6, 2012

Author Interview Jessica E. Subject

Please welcome Jessica E. Subject to The Far Edge of Normal today! Jessica Subject started writing to encourage her daughter to read. Now she writes to keep herself grounded. Although she reads many genres, she enjoys writing Science Fiction Romance the most and believes everyone in the universe deserves a happily ever after. She lives Southwestern Ontario, Canada with her husband and two kids and loves to hear from anyone who has enjoyed her stories. Her debut novella, Celestial Seduction is available from Decadent Publishing.
What genre do you write?

I write science fiction romance, with more emphasis on the romance part. I also have a contemporary erotic romance story published.

Do you have cats or other pets? Why or why not?

Right now, we have a rabbit, and some fish that multiply like crazy. When the kids are older, we hope to get a puppy.

What events do you have coming up?

Right now, I am finishing up the blog tours for Unknown Futures, and Never Gonna Let You Go, both of which released in January.

In March, I’ll be promoting my first release, Celestial Seduction, which will be Decadent Publishing’s Read For a Cure story. All publisher proceeds from my story in March will be donated to the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life program.

Also in March, my first novel, The Zurian Child, will release from Silver Publishing.

How do you like your romance, sweet or spicy?

Oh, I read it all, from sweet inspirational romance and young adult to erotica. I love it all.

What is your current WIP?

I’m working on the sequel to The Zurian Child, and other smaller projects.

Do you write to music or not? If so, what type of music inspires you the most?

I don’t listen to music while I’m writing, but I do when I’m brainstorming ideas. While doing housework or driving, I’ll listen to my playlist for a particular story so when I sit down to write, I have the right vibe. Dance and pop music tend to make up most of my playlists, but I do listen to heavier and slower stuff as well.

What are your favorite movies, tv shows, or books to read? Is there one that you could watch/read over and over without ever tiring of it?

Movies – Star Trek (2009), Star Wars (all except Revenge of the Sith – too gory for me), Jurassic Park 3, The Core, Contact, Avatar

TV Shows – Castle

Books – Following many series by Nora Roberts w/a J.D. Robb, Gini Koch, Rebecca Royce, D.L. Jackson, Zee Monodee, and Lorna Suzuki

I could and have watched and read all of these over again and still never grow tired of them.

If you could travel anywhere on Earth, where would you want to go?

I could list  so many places, all for different reasons, but here are 5: Alaska, Mauritius, Scotland, Germany, and Vancouver.

If you could travel anywhere, fictional or real, where would you go?

I think it would be the ultimate experience to travel into space and look back at Earth.

If you could time travel, what is one event you would want to see in person, either future or past?

First contact.

What's your favorite color?




Reading spot?

Anywhere I can. I always carry a book when I’m waiting for the kids after school, and read while on my Health Walker.

How can we find you?

Here are my links:
Google +:

What do you currently have in print and where can we find them?

Beneath the Starry Sky, Celestial Seduction, and Unknown Futures are all part of Decadent Publishing’s 1Night Stand line. Never Gonna Let You Go is the first book in The Underground series. All of these stories can be found at Decadent Publishing, and other ebook retailers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, AllRomanceEbooks, Smashwords and more.

Never Gonna Let You Go Blurb
Caught in a tangle of lies, Calla Jacobs must sort through the truth to discover where she truly belongs. A biologist for Planet Core, she finds herself ensnared in a web of deceit. Sent to Airondelle, she must work with a team to prepare the newly discovered planet for colonists from Earth. But the mission does not go as she expected. Her former lover, Erik Edwards, shuns her, sending Calla into the arms of Melina Holloway, their commander, for the attention she craves and more. A confrontation among the trio leaves her with a broken heart, and fleeing from the two people she trusted most.

Attempting to break free from the lies that bind her, she discovers Planet Core has deceived everyone. And when she returns to Earth, Calla learns just how far Planet Core’s control reaches..

Available from Decadent Publishing and other ebook retailers.
Buy Links here:
Book Trailer:
As part of the Never Gonna Let You Go blog tour, Jessica is giving away a $20 gift certificate to either or Simply leave a comment with your email address for your chance to WIN! Be sure to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:

Thanks for stopping by, Jessica!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Thursday Recipe - Fairy Offerings and Guava Candy

Please welcome Frances Pauli to the Far Edge of Normal. She's got a three book dark fantasy fairy series out. A Moth in Darkness, The Fly in Paradise, and Spiders from Memory. And since she's on a blog tour, she's got prizes and other goodies listed here.

Today, we discuss fairy foods. Good stuff. One lucky commenter on this post will win a package of fairy offerings from me. Frances has her own giveaways, too, so be sure to check out her main blog hop post here:

You have an interesting mix of fairies including the sparkling little things we usually associate with Tinkerbell. What kinds of foods do they eat? Flower nectar? Fruit? Nibbles of beef from the grill of the elves?

You know, I don't see the little ones needing to eat really. They may nibble on some nectar when no one is looking, but in the books they really feed off of human emotion. The Dancers that they create provide them with a steady stream of memories and passion that seems to be their primary nutrition. Of course, you never really know with fairies. One in particular develops a serious doughnut addiction. Food, like anything for the little ones is just another game or pleasure.

My elves, on the other hand, are incredibly picky eaters. They dine on sweet fruit and succulent meats, and drink a steady supply of sticky-sweet Cuarry juice. In book three, in fact, a small group of refugees are stranded on the mundane side of the borders, and their constant whining about the food at the Embassy proves problematic.

The tiny little fairy with the doughnut obsession who ate a dozen doughnuts by itself gave me a giggle. What does a fat fairy look like? Makes you wonder a bit.

Fat fairies are my favorite. I used to do a bit of fairy graffiti in my younger, art-school years. I left scribbled fairies just about everywhere I went—don’t tell the dean. My favorites to draw were heavy, rounded fairies with tiny little wings. Not from the doughnuts though…fairies don’t get fat from sugar. I think they get fat just to try it out.

Tell me about the fairy offering - peach colored bits of pure heaven, if I remember it right. What's the inspiration for that?

Flower Kiss candy. I developed quite an addiction to it when I lived in the Seattle area. It's made in Japan, and I found a bag of it by chance during a shopping trip to Uwajimaya. The wrappers are so cute. Pastel blue, pink and yellow with various botanical images. So lovely, and inside, a hard, pale pink piece of bumpy goodness. They are really good. I mean, unbelievably good. The flavor is very delicate, and I love the name and look of the stuff almost as much as the taste. Can you tell I'm addicted? I believe that they are plum flavored. To me they just taste like the name says, like little flower kisses.

For those who want to learn more or get addicted to fairy offerings, here are a couple of links:
Or you can comment on this post for a chance to win some fairy offerings!

Ever tried guava candy, another Asian treat? Excellent stuff.

No, I haven't, but it sounds right up my alley. I learned all about guava juice in Hawaii. They start you off with it on the plane going in, almost like a prelude to paradise. "Here's some juice, now you'll understand that everything is better on the islands." It is, too.

I absolutely *love* guava nectar from Kern's. So sweet and thick and just plain delicious. If you have never had guava nectar, go find some! It's that good. The frozen guava-raspberry juice from Hawaii's Own is tasty, too, but not nearly as good as the canned nectar.

POG is worth getting too, if you’ve never tried it. Pineapple, orange, and guava all together. Mmmmm.

Since this is a recipe post, can you share a great fairy recipe with us?

I imagine sugared fruit would be a big hit among the Fey. I once read a recipe where you used orange and lemon rind and a sugary syrup to make a dainty sort of sweet snack. I've never had the patience to make them though. I can share the recipe for Sed's Substitute Cuarry Juice. He saves the day with it in Spiders from Memory, but it's ghastly sweet stuff. I'd never drink it, but to an elf with a sweet tooth, this is the closest you can get to a taste of home.

Sed's Substitute Cuarry Juice

2 c. Pomegranate Juice
2 c. Cranberry Juice
Splash of Pineapple juice (Not too much, the acidity hurts the elves' dainty mouths)
Grotesque amounts of Grenadine. (Here is where the syrupy tastes come into play. For human consumption it might be better to say "Grenadine to taste."

Mix everything together. Serve well chilled and over ice.

Sounds delicious in very small quantities. This recipe makes 4-6 servings, if I'm judging it right. 1 serving if you're an elf.

I'll have to find a recipe for candied fruit that isn't nasty and post that sometime. For now, thanks for stopping by, Frances. Good luck with the books. I can't wait to get my hands on book 3, Spiders from Memory!

For the rest of you, don't forget to leave a comment with your name and email address so I can do a random drawing for some delicious fairy offerings and guava candy! You also get entered in Frances' drawing for her books and other goodies.

Thanks so much for having a spot on the tour! I’ll be selecting one commenter here for a pdf copy of any book from my backlist, and for each tour stop you comment on you’ll get an entry into a drawing for the entire trilogy in print. So comment, and come along on the tour for more chances to win.