As you know, I spent last weekend with some amazing writers. One of them, a woman on whom I have developed this strange fangirl crush, is named Marian Allen and is the author of the Sage series. She tagged me to be a part of the Tasty Summer Reads Blog Hop. To participate I am to post the answers to some "tasty" questions, an excerpt from my book, and a recipe. So, without further ado. . .
Here is the blog hop general blurb:
Welcome to the Tasty Summer Reads Blog Hop! Each participant invites a number of others to answer five questions about a recent or forthcoming release, and a recipe that fits with it. Links to the participants I have invited may be found in a while, just above the extract and recipe. Their contributions should be in place soon after this, so check out their blogs over the next few days.
Now for the Random Tasty Questions:
1) When writing are you a snacker? If so sweet or salty?
Yes I am a snacker. I'm pretty much a snacker all of the time as I haven't had time to actually sit down for an entire meal in nearly seven years. I am a salty snacker unless it is after 7pm in which case it is nearly always some kind of fruit or sugar laden, tasty, and nutritionally bereft cereal. There is always something caffeinated nearby as well.
2) Are you an outliner or someone who writes by the seat of their pants? And are they real pants or jammies?
Oh gracious, outline. When you have an outline it doesn't matter if the excitement, if your "muse" is present or not, you just have to follow the dots. I am not a fan of "blue leg syndrome" so I am most likely in some sort of skirt.
3) When cooking, do you follow a recipe or do you wing it?
I will follow the recipe the first time, alter it a bit the second, and do it entirely by feel from that point on. I LOVE to cook, and so can make anything from cookies to curries. I once made and served a seven course meal to fourteen people entirely by myself. I don't care to ever do that again.
4) What is next for you after this book?
Yikes. I have fourteen book related events scheduled between now and November. In between those I will be finishing my collection of short stories called "Brink" that take place on a planet on the edge of an event horizon. I will also be working on a dystopian zombie novel and the sequel to "Hunter the Horrible."
5) Last question…on a level of one being slightly naughty and ten being whoo hoo steamy, how would you rate your book?
Negative 23. I write children's novels and I'm very into letting kids remain kids. So there's precious little violence and NO sex. Even my vampires are the unsexy kind.
Now for my recipe: Laura's Garlic Roast (Great for keeping vampires away!) Ingredients: One beef roast 2-3lbs 12 cloves garlic 2 Tablespoons fresh parley, chopped 1 teaspoon black peppercorns 4 cups beef broth 4 Tablespoons olive oil Splash of red wine Salt to taste Directions: Place garlic, parsley, and peppercorns in a small skillet and cover with water. Boil until the garlic and peppercorns are soft and most of the water has evaporated. Pound into a mush. Place roast into a large dish and pat dry. Spread mush over the roast, cover and let rest for at least two hours. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sprinkle salt over roast and drizzle with oil. Sear in oven for 30 minutes. Add broth and wine and cover. Reduce heat to 300 degrees and continue to roast until appropriate doneness is achieved. Carve against the grain and enjoy!
Here is an excerpt containing one of my favorite members of the adorkable Hunter crew, Peyton. Peyton intended
to stop while he was behind; he really did. He had given it his best shot, and
all that he’d gotten was in trouble. The sight of Miss Hunter enraged had been
fearsome enough that he didn’t care to make her angry again anytime soon.
Besides, it was miserable being right up against the radiator, which had been
stuck on high since the beginning of the school year and constantly belched out
really hot air that smelled like burning hair. He probably could have stayed
quiet, and therefore kept from making the situation worse, if only he could
have held still. Sadly, something on Peyton always had to be moving. That
afternoon, it was his feet. He swung his dingy, tattered sneakers back and
forth, kicking the dusty radiator every now and then. He liked the sound it
made, a deep, satisfying thunk that sent dust motes flying up into the air.
Before long, every now and then became every swing. Thunk thunk – pause – thunk
thunk – pause. Soon after that, Peyton began accompanying himself by knocking
his knuckles on the desk. Thunk thunk – knockknock – thunk thunk – knockknock.
Suddenly, Peyton had an idea. KnockKnock. Knock knock. Knock knock jokes! They
were what he was best at, next to juggling. He had books and books full of them
on his bookshelf at home. In fact, they were pretty much the only books on his
bookshelf at home. Surely, that would make Miss Hunter smile, maybe even make
her laugh. Peyton searched his memory for the perfect knock knock joke, and
when he’d found it, leaned back from his desk triumphantly. Miss Hunter sat at
her desk, grading papers with a thick red marker. “Oh Miss Hunter,” Peyton called
out. “Knock, knock.” Miss Hunter didn’t answer. She also didn’t smile. After a
moment, Peyton tried a second time. It was possible that she simply hadn’t
heard him. “Knock Kno-ock,” he said in a sing song voice. She didn’t even look
up. Well, the third time was the charm, that’s what they always said. So,
Peyton tried once again. This time he “Knock knocked” with a couple of raps on
his desk for emphasis. When several more seconds ticked by and Miss Hunter
continued to say nothing, Peyton decided to go on as if she had replied
appropriately. “Interrupting cow,” Peyton yelled, already starting to laugh.
This was going to be great. He went straight for the punch line. “Moooooooo,”
He bellowed. Nobody laughed. In fact, some kids were glancing nervously back
and forth from teacher to student. Clearly, they didn’t get it. Peyton decided
to help them. He leapt to his feet and then fell to his hands and knees. “Get
it?” he said, laughing wildly, “Interrupting cow – mooooo!” He pawed at the
ground with his hands, mooing over and over. “See, ‘cause you say who’s there
and he interrupts. Mooo! Mooooo! MOOOOOOO!” At this point, Peyton lost all
control. He ran around on all fours, bellowing and kicking out his back legs.
He reared back and charged DeAnna’s desk so hard that it fell to one side. He
snatched one of Clara’s unicorn drawings off the side of her desk and began
chewing noisily. Suddenly, a sharp pain burst forth from the side of his head.
Miss Hunter had his ear clamped between her bony, wrinkled forefinger and thumb
and was lifting him to his feet. She bent over and put her face inches from
his. It would have been a perfect time to examine her teeth, if Peyton had been
clearheaded enough to think of it. Instead, he felt his eyes lock with hers:
bloodshot whites, with irises so dark they were nearly black.“To the Principal’s office,” She hissed through clenched teeth. “And if you make so much as a peep on your way there you will wish you were in a graveyard without a stake.’