Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Interview with Adam Glendon Sidwell

Adam Glendon Sidwell
author of Evertaster
Welcome to Adam Glendon Sidwell, author of the tasty new middle grade novel, Evertaster.

Christy: Evertaster has so much food and gastronomy reference, I just wonder, do you have a background in the culinary arts?

Adam: I actually don’t. That’s the funny thing is that I just might be a Nevertaster. I usually eat whatever I can, and even eat bugs in times of necessity (like while camping). But I was fascinated by the gourmet world, and really wanted to know what makes connoisseurs tick, so I did a lot of research, and out came Evertaster. Oh, and my wife went to cooking school for a brief time, so she helped with some details during the revision process.

Christy: What pushed you to make the decision to self-publish?

Adam: Ultimately the decision came when I had very good run with two of the top NY publishing houses, and they were in love with my manuscript. In the end though, 1 was concerned that it was a little too quirky to sell. The other was a done deal, until the editor suddenly left the company, and the whole deal fell through. When my agent Alyssa Henkin of Trident Media Group offered to put Evertaster out through Trident’s new ebook department, I jumped at the chance. It was an easy decision, because as a writer you have to get your work in front of your audience or you eventually shrivel up and die. So now Evertaster is out on Kindle, Nook, and in paperback, and it’s doing really well. It even hit the Amazon overall top 100 bestseller list!

Christy: In your opinion, what is the ultimate food?

Adam: Well, see chapter 23 for the answer to that -- no spoilers! But the story aside, I really love ice cream. It just amazes me every time I eat it. It can have chocolate, it can have fruit. You can top it with marshmallow. There are endless flavor combinations! If only I could eat it for dinner! Oh wait, I’m an adult. I can!

Christy: What do you hope that readers will take away with them after reading Evertaster?

Adam: I hope that readers will think about the power of food. It surrounds us, it penetrates us, it binds us together. It’s a connection point in families. Mostly, I hope readers won’t try to eat the pages until after they’ve read the whole book.

Christy: What advice to you have for those who wish to self-publish?

Adam: I’d say do it now! There’s no reason to wait! Either your book will be terrible and no one will read it, or it will be good and you’ll find an audience. If you can, publish it on strawberry flavored paper, since I think that will help people get interested. Thanks Adam! We will be looking forward to more culinary adventures in the future. Purchase Evertaster on Amazon here.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Legendary Chocolate Chip Cookies

Legendary Chocolate Chip Cookies for
Evertaster by Adam Glendon Sidwell

Legendary Chocolate Chip Cookies

No, chocolate chip cookies are not "The One Recipe" in Evertaster, by Adam Glendon Sidwell (you don't want me to give away the mystery do you?).  Guster realizes that his family is the perfect ingredient that he's been looking for all along, and the chocolate chip cookies his mom bakes represent everything Guster learns in his journey for the perfect taste. At my house, this recipe is not just the one, it's the only one. If I make any other cookie, I am met with, "Why didn't you make chocolate chip cookies?" In fact, my husband claims that this recipe is why he fell in love with me. Thanks to my friend, and roommate Cathy for sharing it with me.

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup shortening
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour
1 cup chocolate chips (or more)

Preheat the oven to 325'. Cream together the sugars, butter and shortening.  Add the eggs, vanilla, baking soda, and salt. Mix until blended. Add the flour, one cup at a time. Gently mix in the chocolate chips. Scoop the cookies onto a baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes, or until the edges are slightly browned. Makes 4 dozen cookies (assuming no one eats the cookie dough).

Evertaster by Adam Glendon Sidwell

What if there were a taste so delicious that if you found it, you’d never want to eat anything else again? 

When eleven year-old Guster Johnsonville rejects his mother's casserole for the umpteenth time, she takes him to the city of New Orleans to find him something to eat. There, in a dark, abandoned corner of the city, they meet a dying pastry maker who tells them of a legendary recipe called the Gastronomy of Peace -- a recipe created hundreds of years ago, shrouded in secrecy, and sought after by connoisseurs everywhere.

So begins a perilous adventure that will take Guster, his clever sister Mariah, and the rest of the Johnsonvilles on an adventure to ancient ruins, faraway jungles and forgotten caves, where they discover that their search is more than just a quest to satisfy Guster’s cravings -- it is a quest that could change humanity forever

 ~Published June 14th 2012 by Future House Publishing

Food to Eat While Reading: Legendary Chocolate Chip Cookies
Legendary Chocolate Chip Cookies for
Evertaster by Adam Glendon Sidwell

I stumbled across Evertaster on Goodreads.  Sidwell has quite the publishing story and you can read about it here.

When I read the story blurb, I knew I would love Evertaster.  It's the perfect book for foodies and bookies. Indeed, there were moments in the book when I was drooling all over my iPad.

I was pleased with the opening scenes-great characters, good setup, yummy food.  All set.  Imagine my happiness when I found that the plot line is clever, and the ending not only satisfying, but insightful as well.

The settings were diverse and so fully explored that I could imagine myself peering into ancient caves and soaring on icy seas.

I absolutely love how Guster's family accompany him on his trip.  This isn't always easily pulled off in books, because parents often get in the way, or solve the child's problem.  Sidwell handled this with finesse.

Sidwell doesn't talk down to middle graders, and as a result, kids of all ages are going to love Guster's delicious adventure.


*BTW, I didn't want to spoil the mystery of what the "one recipe" is, but I'm totally going to make it!  It sounds to die for!  But you will have to read the book to figure it out.

Purchase Evertaster here.

Monday, July 16, 2012

My Ridiculous Romantic Obsession by Becca Wilhite

Sarah Howard's first year at the university is everything and nothing she expected especially when a very cute boy named Ben in her Art History class starts to show interest in her.

Sarah feels like she's an average, normal, everyday girl. So, when Ben (to whom she secretly refers as Adonis because she thinks he could be a Greek god) begins to take interest in her, Sarah is in denial. For one thing, last year she was deeply crushed and humiliated by Jesse James a guy who she thought liked her. 

She's determined not to get burned again. But in her heart of hearts, what she really wants is a Jane Austen kind of romance. Ridiculous, right? That kind of romance doesn t exist anymore . . . or does it? Sarah is smart and fun to be around and even pretty, despite her Medusa-like red curls. She even plays the guitar. (So does Ben!) Yes, Sarah is everything Ben has wanted. He's crazy for her, but Sarah is just not getting it. She's playing hard to get, and if she s not careful, she s going to lose a real hot gentleman -- her 21st-century Mr. Darcy.

 ~Published March 1st 2010 by Shadow Mountain

Food to Eat While Reading: Practically Perfect Chicken Parmesan
Practically Perfect Chicken Parmesan
My Ridiculous Romantic Obsession by Becca Wilhite
I met Becca Wilhite at the LDStorymaker Conference this spring.  She was the mentor at my bootcamp table and not only is she super nice, but she knows what she's talking about when it comes to giving writerly advice. Read my interview with Becca here.

My great bootcamp group with Becca Wilhite 

My Ridiculous Romantic Obsession is full of fun situations, swoony romance and a character with tons of voice. Sarah is always arguing with herself in her head and it endears her. I wondered at times if she may be a touch crazy, but she seems about as normals as most teen girls. 

I love the message that comes through the book: don't look past something wonderful that is sitting in your lap just because you think something better will come along or that it's too good to be true.  I think that teens who read Twilight sometimes get in their head that they will find the perfect man.  True happiness comes from the struggle of putting aside your own fears and expectations for the good of a loved one. 

I have to say that I started to get annoyed with Sarah because of all the run-around she give Ben.  And rightly so, the poor guy didn't know what to think most of the time. Every time Sarah clammed up, I wanted to shout out the obvious miscommunication. 

This is a great pick to add to your summer reading list. 

My Ridiculous Romantic Obsession is a romantic roller-coaster ride that will leave you laughing and breathless.

Practically Perfect Chicken Parmesan

Practically Perfect Chicken Parmesan
My Ridiculous Romantic Obsession by Becca Wilhite

Practically Perfect Chicken Parmesan

When Sarah makes Ben dinner in My Ridiculously Romantic Obsession by Becca Wilhite, she treats him to homemade chicken parmesan. It's practically perfect, just like Sarah's relationship with Ben. If he can overlook any flaws in Sarah's cooking, perhaps Sarah can do the same for Ben. This chicken is melt in your mouth good.  Serve it over rice or noodles, add a veggie and let the compliments begin. 

2 eggs
2 Tablespoons milk
2 cups flour
salt and pepper
3-4 chicken breasts
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon
1/2 teaspoon salt

Beat the eggs with the milk in a small bowl. Place the flour and salt and pepper (to taste) on a plate.  Slice the chicken breasts lengthwise. Dip the chicken in the egg mixture, and then the crumbs, coating both sides. In a saucepan melt the butter over medium heat.  Cook the chicken on both sides.  Remove the chicken to a plate and keep warm. Reduce the heat to low.  Squeeze the lemon juice into the pan drippings in the skillet.  Stir in the water, bouillon and salt until well mixed, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken tot he skillet.  Cover and let simmer on low for 15 minutes. Serves 6-8.