This week it’s my pleasure to welcome fellow Destiny Romance author Elise K. Ackers. Elise was a launch author with Destiny and her latest novella, Ask Me To Stay is the first in a series I’m looking forward to reading. From first hand experience, I know that Elise loves nothing more than a get-together over food and wine so here’s Elise!
Thank you, Louise for having me on Cooking the Books.
Food and drink are such a central part of our lives. They’re the social lubricant for any occasion. How many thousands of squashed chips do we tread on when leaving a stadium after a sporting match? How many popcorn pieces litter the floor of a cinema? And we all have that fun friend with empty beer or wine bottles filling their recycling bin, or that friend who loves to bake and always has enough to share. Food and drink so often makes socialising better.
So it stands to reason that food and drink should make even the toughest of social situations a little easier to bear. It’s done the world over: we attempt to feed those who are grieving.
When there is nothing adequate to say, and there’s nothing we can do to change something terrible – we do what we can. We cook, we bake, we fuss.
And everyone responds to stress differently. Some turn away from food, others overindulge. Some exercise. Some drink.
In my latest release, Ask Me To Stay, widower Dean Foster is inundated with food dishes from well-meaning neighbours. At a loss for how to comfort him following the senseless death of his young wife, the Hinterdown locals express their sympathies through comfort food.
And it helps. It’s one less thing for the father of two to worry about; one less thing to crowd his burdened mind. His fridge and freezer are full, his children have things to eat, and strangely enough, the expiry dates of the food mark the passing of time.
His brother Ethan – grossly misunderstood and underestimated due to mistakes in his past – comforts himself with the alternative. At the beginning of Ask Me To Stay Ethan drinks alcohol to to numb his regret. He’s hurting, he’s grieving, and until he finds peace and forgiveness in those he loves, he endures the whispers and condescension of those who would prefer he found comfort in a long run or a lasagne.
I enjoyed writing about Dean and Ethan’s different responses to stress. Food and drink are often mentioned as the brothers struggle to move on from ghosts, and although Ethan didn’t turn to food himself, he certainly uses it to soothe the hurting hearts of the people he loves.
And now, for those who need a bit of comfort, or something hearty on a cold night, I want to share the recipe for my favourite classic comfort food: chicken soup. But with a bit of a kick.
- Toss the following into a medium pot: shredded cooked chicken, chicken stock, tin corn niblets, tin cream corn, and a small amount of soy sauce.
- When the pot has come to boil, reduce the heat to simmer and add a whisked egg. Stir.
Carrots, celery, a packet of chicken noodle soup, etc are all optional if you have a taste for them. This freezes well and it tastes great.
Ask Me To Stay is the first in a three part novella series with Destiny Romance. Its sequel, Ask Me For More, will be released in July 2013.
Ask Me To Stay: A Homeland Book blurb:
When family tragedy brings bad boy Ethan Foster home, he doesn’t expect a warm welcome. In the small town of Hinterdown reputation is everything – and Ethan’s was ruined long ago. Nobody wants him around, particularly not Sam O’Hara, the girl he left behind.
There’s still a powerful spark between them, but Sam is afraid to risk her heart again. And Ethan is hiding a secret that will have repercussions for his whole family. Will the townspeople ever forgive him? More importantly, will those he loves the most find it in their hearts to take him back?
This tender tale of love and redemption is the first in a brilliant new series by Elise K. Ackers, author of Small Town Storm and the bestselling The Man Plan.
Elise K. Ackers is from Melbourne, Australia. She writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense and is published with Destiny Romance and Escape Publishing. Elise is an animal foster carer, a magnet for unusual accidents and an enthusiastic couch commentator.