So today I am very happy to welcome Aida Brassington back to the blog. And today she will share with us the role food plays in her stories.
Also at the botom of the post Aida will tell you how you can win a digital copy of her latest novel 'Chasing Fools'.
I seem to always be writing about food. Don’t believe me? The last time Kim was good enough to host me, I talked about therole of food in my debut novel, BETWEENSEASONS. So maybe it’s no surprise that my new novel, CHASING FOOLS, is so food-focused: it tells the story of Varda Dorfman, a woman who makes her living as an illegal foods smuggler.
You’re raising your eyebrows, right? An illegal foods smuggler sounds pretty odd, especially when you take into account the fact that she brings in these treats specifically for underground dinner clubs, which—if you’ve never heard of them—are small culinary gatherings aimed at foodies and generally organized by chefs (or other foodies) who want to serve odd or illegal ingredients and cutting edge food preparations without the fuss of, you know, health inspectors and all that. Sounds kind of kooky, but if you love gourmet food, it’s a cool thing.
But the food in CHASING FOOLS doesn’t exist just for the sake of being food. Like in BETWEEN SEASONS, there are scenes that speak to food as comfort, which is something we can all relate to. Varda’s dream is to leave smuggling and become an artisan cheese-maker. She’s got it all planned out, right down to having her long-time boyfriend, Gino Campi, at her side. Gino is her security blanket in person form, but cheese-making is a comfort activity: she used to make cheese with her father as a kid. Now both her parents (Varda was adopted as a baby) are dead, and she associates them with the process of making cheese.
Milk blubbed in the stainless steel stockpot atop the stove, Varda stirring occasionally in between sips of wine. Queso fresco had been the first type of cheese she ever made, Dad’s hands steadying her as she tripped on the step stool next to the stove. The orderliness and precision of it had always appealed to him, and she’d loved spending time with her father.
Other dads called their kids cute nicknames like “sugar pie” or “sweetiekins.” Not her father, though. No, he’d always called her “stinky pants” after she burned the milk to a gross crust and ruined his favorite pot.
No matter—he continued to teach her the finer points of cheesemaking, and she grew to love the tangy odor of boiling milk and the feel of soft or firm curd under her fingers.
Weird? Absolutely. But think about the things in your life that remind you of other people you love. My own oddball memory equates my late grandmother to liverwurst . . . I don’t particularly like liverwurst, but sometimes I eat it because my grandmother’s face is strongest in my brain when I do. And there are plenty of novels that use that connection to their advantage (not the link between my grandmother and liverwurst, of course!)—Like Water for Chocolate, Mistress of Spices, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle-Stop Café, and Chocolat,
Throughout the novel, which is a genre mashup of dark comedy, family drama, romance, and suspense, food plays a significant role for nearly all the characters. So let’s talk: tell me about your favorite or least favorite food memory/association. One lucky commenter will win a digital copy of CHASING FOOLS.
Aida Brassington lives in northeast Pennsylvania. She loves to eat and cook, and was inspired to write CHASING FOOLS by her experiences smuggling illegal cheese into the country from France (small amounts, of course—she has never held a job as an illegal foods smuggler). Her best-selling debut novel, BETWEEN SEASONS, has consistently garnered 4 and 5 star reviews and been called “intriguing,” “compelling,” and “surprising.” You can find her online at her website, Twitter, and Goodreads.
~ Giveaway is now closed ~
Ok so to win a digital copy of 'Chasing Fools'
* Answer Aida's Question (no answer no entry)
* Please leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.
* The giveaway ends September 15th 2012
* Please check my giveaway policy HERE
Relationships are complicated even under the best of circumstances. For Varda Dorfman and Tommy Campi, these are the worst of times. Varda, an illegal foods smuggler, has pissed off Anthony Carluccio, the kingpin of the local underground dinner club, and put her plans for the future in serious jeopardy. Her boyfriend Gino won't quit bugging her to get married, even though his mother hates her. Tommy, Gino's brother and the ladies man of the family, can't even introduce the love of his life to anyone: he's secretly gay and dating the son of Carluccio's biggest competition. And now Tommy's getting pressure to go public.
When Carluccio's hit man turns up dead in Varda's closet after snacking on poisonous mushrooms, all hell breaks loose. Varda's running for her life, and since his mother is dating Carluccio, Gino's convinced the only way to save her life is to finally drag her to the altar. And when people start discovering Tommy's hush-hush relationship, things really start to get interesting.
CHASING FOOLS is available in paperback and Kindle format on Amazon.