GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ PNR author Catherine Peace talks food, romance and sanity! | I Smell Sheep

Friday, January 2, 2015

PNR author Catherine Peace talks food, romance and sanity!

Catherine: Thanks for having me here at I Smell Sheep!

Ember: *whispers* I’m not entirely sure why I’m here….
Catherine: Well, today, I wanted to talk about measures that help a writer maintain their sanity.

Ember: Right. I knew that.
Catherine: 99% of those involve food.

Ember: Oh.
Catherine: And seeing as how you’re a chef, and all, I was hoping you could share something delicious and sanity-maintaining. *Turns to audience* So, there’s this very well-known fact that writers are a little on the…not-as-sane-as-other-people side. For instance, we have people in living in our heads. Like Ember here. She lives in my head.

Ember: *glances up from mixing bowl* I live in Wyoming. Also, do you want chocolate with this?
Catherine: OMG YES PLEASE. *clears throat* Anyway, one of my author friends suggested I write a post about how we writers keep what bit of sanity we have. The way I do it? Through food. Occasionally Xbox, but mostly food.

And when I was writing Ember’s book, I ate a lot more than I normally do. Because it’s a foodie romance, and Ember here is a chef. The hero, Austin, is a food enthusiast (he has a show similar to Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on Food Network, and is far less abrasive than Guy).

Ember: He’s pretty awesome
Catherine: That he is. How’s that treat coming along?

Ember: Pretty well. I think you’ll like it.
Catherine: Awesome. You’re pretty spiffy, Ember.

Ember: And you’re…. *goes back to cooking*
Catherine: Remember I’m planning something uber cute for you and Austin when the series is finished.

A-NY-WAAAY. There are lots of things authors do to keep their sanity. They go on dates (bah), exercise, have actual lives (LOLZ), look at cat memes, share cat memes, really anything with cat memes is a go. And dog memes. And a good lot of us play video games, too. Personally, I love anything that has a great story and lots of explosions.

Ember: Hey, this is ready. Want to try it?
Catherine: YES.

Ember: While my dear author is busy scarfing down what I just made, I figure I should share the recipe with you guys. It’s fried bread I serve at my café Kai, which specializes in Maori cuisine.
What you need:
· 5 Cups of standard white flour
· 5 tsp baking powder
· ½ tsp sugar
· ½ tsp salt
· 1½ cups lukewarm water
· Cooking oil
· Electric frying pan or a deep pot

What you do:
· Put all the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix together. Make a well in the middle and gradually add the water. Stir together with a knife.

· When the mixture starts looking like dough tip it onto a floured bench.

· Knead the dough just a little until the dough develops a smooth texture. Roll the dough out to a thickness of about 6cm. Cut into slices, much like scones, pricking each one with a fork.

· Heat a pot of oil or fat. Olive oil or grape seed oil is fine, and a lot less fattening.

· For best results deep fry the bread in very hot oil. Add the cut dough shapes, turning as they brown. N.B. If the oil is not really hot then the floaters will not raise well.

For crazy author lady over there, I drizzled chocolate sauce and topped the whole thing with a powdered sugar/cocoa mix.

Catherine: Ember, you can’t tell the other characters this, but I think you might be my favorite.

Ember: Oh, no. I’m lording this over Amy. It’s what little sisters do, right?
Catherine: As a little sister myself? Absolutely.

Ember's Secret (A Solstice Quartet Novella) (Give Me a Taste Book 2)
by Catherine Peace
Releases: Feb 3, 2015
Ember only wants two things out of life: to be reunited with her sisters, and to see people come back to her café. Catering to people she never sees again, she experiences a loneliness that can’t be filled. As one of the last Whakamanu—a descendant of the Maori bird-god Tane—she has to hold on to the secrets of her tribe. Family first.

Gourmet TV personality Austin Garten, host of the popular show Back Road Eats, needs more in his life than Breadbasket America grilling. He’s tired of the safe routes, the easy and dependable foods that the Network loves to display. When his RV breaks down in Wyoming, and he learns about Kai, a Maori restaurant outside of Casper, his interest is piqued. Once he meets the proprietor, he realizes he’s wants more than just her food. He wants her.

Ember isn’t too sure. The Solstice, the Maori New Year, is fast approaching, and with the heat in her kitchen ratcheting up, she knows she can’t keep her secret for much longer. But will Austin be able to accept her? Or will her secret drive them apart?

The bell dinged and broke Ember from her morose thoughts. Plastering on her best please-buy-my-food-and-come-back smile, she smoothed the front of her apron. Three people sat clustered at a table near the door, all hunched over the menus and talking quietly. She always hated interrupting, but she had a job to do. “Hi, I’m Ember. Can I help you?”

The trio looked up, and she had to catch her breath. These weren’t her usual customers; by now, she’d learned exactly the kind of people who came into her restaurant, and she wondered what had happened to bring these three in.

Besides, men as attractive as the one staring a hole through her did not show up here. Ever.

“Actually,” he said, “I’m really intrigued by the menu. What would you recommend?”

Despite herself, she grinned. Until now, she’d been cooking Maori food in the hope that her sisters would come home. Now someone wanted her opinion? “How hungry are you?”


An unexpected heat zipped through her chest. Of course, he had to be gorgeous, with sun-kissed, wavy blond hair; cheekbones that could cut glass; and the bluest eyes she’d ever seen on another person. Approachable, but still… Gorgeous. “I’d go with the stew, then.”

“Sounds perfect.”

She took the rest of their orders and disappeared into the kitchen for a few minutes before grabbing their drinks. He’s a cute customer. That’s all. Though she’d met attractive men in the café before, usually they were with their girlfriends or wives or college drinking buddies, but they had come in. And a few men in Casper had caught her fancy. Her lifestyle hadn’t prevented her making a physical connection, just.... She didn’t believe in soul mates or any of that romantic nonsense. Still, something stirred in her that never had before, like her soul finally had a purpose.

Breathing deeply, she returned to the front and poured two sodas and an iced tea. When she dropped them off at the table, he smiled at her in a way that was far more than polite, almost seductive. “I like your restaurant. Whatever you’ve got cooking back there smells amazing. What is it?”

“Lamb,” she replied. “It’s kawakawa-encrusted.”

He quirked up his eyebrow. “I’ve never had kawakawa.”

“It’s very peppery. Gives the lamb a beautiful flavor. I could bring some out for you.” Never before had she offered that, but then again, no one had ever asked.

With a grin, he said, “I would love that.”

“I’ll be right back.” Giddy, she returned to the kitchen. Someone wanted to learn about her food! She wanted to skip or dance back to the kitchen. When she opened the oven, the full scent of the lamb enveloped her, and she breathed it in, calming herself down. Who was this man? Did he love food as much as she did? She didn’t want to seem rude, but she wanted to find out everything she could about him. Starting with his name.

About the Author:
Blog: Going from Nobody to Somebody
Blog: The Pen Punks
Reviewer for Indie Books R Us
Founder of Scream for the Cure
Catherine Peace has been telling stories for as long as she could remember. She often blames two things for her forays into speculative fiction—Syfy (when it was SciFi) channel Sundays with her dad and The Island of Dr. Moreau by HG Wells. She graduated in 2008 from Northern Kentucky University with a degree in English and is still chasing the dream of being super rich and famous, mostly so she can sit around in her PJs all day and write stories. When not being a slave to the people in her head, she’s a slave to two adorable dogs.


  1. Thanks I love that character interview on my wish list!

  2. Yay! Thanks, Debbie! And thanks to I Smell Sheep for having me :)

  3. Sounds yummy! What? Of course I mean the recipe....well, maybe the guy a little, too!

  4. Hehehe. Austin is pretty yummy. And the bread is too X)

  5. Ember's so cute, when's she's cooking and trying not to blush about her guy. Can't wait for the release and I'll need to try this recipe of course.

  6. Thanks, Landra <3 <3 <3 You know how much I love Austin. And I know how much you love him. Hopefully everyone else will love him too! ^_^

  7. This book sounds like a delicious treat! *making room on my TBR pile*

    1. Uh oh! I'll have to check on that. It may not be on B&N until it actually releases.

    2. Okay. It'll be up on B&N on release day. Apparently B&N can't do preorders for small publishers.