Brenda Perlin 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.
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 excerpt and recipe. Their contributions should be in place soon after this, so check out their blogs over the next few days.
1. When writing, are you a snacker? If so, sweet or salty?
I write amidst chaos: four boys, three cats, a dog, and anything else that sneaks into our house (frogs, lizards, snakes, leaches, worms, crickets – goodness knows what they’ll bring home next!). So when I write, it happens so quickly, I don’t have time to eat! I write between the bathtub flooding and the garage door getting stuck. I barely have time to snack while I’m mopping! That said, coffee is the one important “food” and I do love dark chocolate (70%).
2. Are you an outliner or someone who writes by the seat of their pants? And are they real pants or jammies?
I write autobiographically, so I know what I am going to write already…to a point. Then I just see the story as rungs on a ladder or stones across a creek. I know which stones or rungs are important plot points and my job is simply to build the excitement until I get to the next one. Then I just hurry, hurry, hurry to the next one so I don’t get caught in the middle of a thought and fall. I suppose I should say I write in my boxers, but that's only what's underneath my pants.
3. When cooking, do you follow a recipe or do you wing it?
My cooking has been reduced to grilling as of late because my wife can kick my butt up, down, and sideways in the kitchen. However, I still help brainstorm recipes and we basically take a basic theme and add to it, as you will see. I do stick to one key ingredient while grilling, by the way, and that’s beer. I even put it in the food sometimes.
4. What is next for you after this book?
I ended up self-publishing 2/3 of my series last year before getting an offer from a publisher. So I pulled the book, followed their revision suggestions, and then they kind of left me hanging. So I pitched my book to Master Koda and…we’ll see. If they don’t want it, I’ll self-publish again this fall with my souped-up version of the first book. Then I plan to record a CD with the music I wrote while going through all I talk about in the book. I plan to steal the band from a guy I know who has recently made quite a splash in the music scene, so it should be a lot of fun and sound really, really good. That CD will act as a soundtrack for the recorded version of the book. That’s what’s next.
5. Last question…on a level of one being slightly naughty and ten being whoo hoo steamy, how would you rate your book?
I’ve been criticized for being too naughty in my book. Let’s face it, none of us is perfect and I happen to tell about the imperfect things I’ve done. Some of them are controversial. I guess that’s the nature of being imperfect…people will criticize you. So I’ve taken it on the chin a little in the naughty department. As far as steamy, most of the steamy stuff is left to the imagination in the first installment. Things heat up in the next book.
Now, who should I invite to carry on this blog hop? I’ll choose a couple of poets who have books coming out soon to get a little variety into the mix: Cynthia Atkins and Sunny Moony Rose. Let’s see if they’re game!
It was quite simple to sit in the passenger seat and admire her as she drove the streets and freeways she knew so well in the San Diego traffic. Her cute little up-turned nose, beautiful, full lips, and gorgeous eyes that I knew sparkled under her sunglasses – this was the pretty face I knew, but was now quite real and flawed as well. I loved it even more than I had looking at it in pictures. She was perfect for me just the way she was. It was the face I had dreamed of. Every girl I looked at, even Kim, wasn’t quite right until I looked at Jan. She was just plain right. I don’t know how I knew, but I did. It was a very calming, comforting feeling looking at her face in the evening sunlight.
We stopped for dinner at a bar and ate – what else – Mexican food. This wasn’t the taco meal of Minnesota Lutheran Churches or those from the $1 taco bar my buddy Roland and I played Jazz next to at a Downtown Minneapolis health club. Those tacos were Minnesota tacos. You know the kind of tacos I’m talking about: pre-fab taco shells from the grocery store, unseasoned, ground hamburger, shredded strands of iceberg lettuce, chopped tomatoes, cold, shredded Velveeta cheese, and Old El Paso Salsa on top. I had no idea how Mexicans could eat that shit until I ate real Mexican food. Then I realized that I had simply missed out my entire life because I had been eating Norwegian tacos. That completely explained the blandness!
The tacos we had were savory. I inhaled them. They were incredible. The tortillas themselves were savory. Inside, the crunchy veggies, beans, meat, and seasonings – it was unbelievable food. With a few margaritas and with Jan and her friends laughing and joking around, I was having a great time. There was nothing uncomfortable about any of it. It was all perfect, especially Jan. She was my girl, right there next to me, and I just soaked up her smile and her laugh.
I told her how I had been missing out my whole life because I had been eating shitty tacos, and she said she actually preferred her own tacos to the ones we were eating. I couldn’t believe anyone could make better tacos than that at home. How was such a thing accomplished? I couldn’t fathom how someone could possibly make the breathtaking concoction I had just consumed in her own house – and make it better! I was blown away. She had to be bullshitting me. There was no way.
It was a beautiful night. We moved outside and had a few Dos Equis while the sun went down. Then Jan and I excused ourselves so I could get situated in my hotel room for the night. So far I was not a killer and she was not an imposter who now had turned out to be a complete bitch-blob. She was just a regular, quirky, funny, happy, gorgeous chick. Not so bad. What was the down side, I wondered?
I suppose you may have guessed that I was about to find out.
And the Recipe:
I love all things breakfast, and I mention a breakfast scramble in my story, but that was before I met Jan. Since then, Jan and I have made variations on the theme, and here is a favorite of ours.
Serves a family of six
12 fresh corn tortillas
one dozen cage free eggs
10 oz. chorizo
one large tomato
one cup diced red onion
one cup diced red peppers
two minced cloves of garlic
8 oz. chopped mushroom caps
2 Sliced Avocados
8 oz. pepper jack cheese
1. Prep Vegetables, Cheese, and Eggs: finely chop chorizo, tomato, onion, red pepper, garlic, mushroom caps, cilantro and slice avocado. Grate cheese. Whisk eggs in bowl.
2. Sauté and Scramble:
In a non-stick frying pan, add two spoonfuls olive oil and sauté the chorizo, onions, garlic, and peppers. Add mushrooms just before eggs. Add the dozen whisked eggs and scramble in with sauté. Add tomatoes at end to warm them.
Sprinkle cheese on top. Garnish with avocado and cilantro. Serve with warm corn tortillas and hot sauce. Salt and pepper to taste.
And for the one kid who doesn’t eat anything, serve one tall glass of chocolate milk.
John Emil Augustine “Book 1” coming this fall. Keep up to date with all the latest for cover reveal, release date, blog tour, giveaways and more!