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Be Careful What You Eat

Today on My Pet Blog, we’re turning things over to awesome author Tyrean Martinson who’s here to talk about her new book, Nexus, as well as the role of food and beverage in fiction.

Take it away, Tyrean!

The Role of Food and Beverage can change with every situation in a fictional setting, just as it can in life. Characters may gain comfort from food. Characters may proclaim or take note of other character’s politics, class, and culture through food and beverage. In some novels, food and beverage take center stage as a plot point. This happens in two situations: when food is poisonous, or when food is necessary for survival.

In the case of food poisoning, either purposeful poisoning or accidental poisoning, food or beverage becomes a key ingredient to understanding the mystery or dilemma in a novel. The main character may poison someone else, be poisoned, or solve the mystery of a poisoning. The main character may suffer from a major food allergy which causes them to react as if they’ve been poisoned. One of my writing instructors years ago said that “Characters should only eat in a novel if the food is poisoned, otherwise it’s a waste of time.” While I believe food and beverage can be used to create a deeper understanding character or world-building, she did have a point. Food and beverage can be in a book for a purpose. If you’re reading or writing a mystery, it is possible the food has a nefarious purpose.

In many survival stories, food and beverage or food and water are key factors in the plot because the characters need them. In The Hunger Games, Katniss becomes a hunter to help her family survive and this ability helps her survive the games. In a pure survivalist novel like Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, the main character must hunt and find food so he doesn’t starve. Drinkable water is an issue in the old science fiction film Waterworld, in which the entire Earth is covered by ocean water. In the recent Netflix series, Away, the astronauts on the way to Mars struggle to have enough water to drink and to water their plants in a hydroponics lab. 

Food and water (beverages) are key elements for life and health and can be key elements in a plot. 

What books have you read with food and beverage as plot points?

For the other posts in this series of Food and Beverages in Fiction, please go to Chrys Fey’s Blog, or H.R. Sinclair’s Blog.

Amaya is supposed to bring peace to the galaxy. Which is tough when she’s being held for crimes against the Neutral Zone. Her imprisonment is on her own ship with her own crew. But close quarters create tension.

Honestly, her role as Rayatana is a mess.

She may never get to use her powers for anything good. Not if her teacher continues to keep secrets, and not if her powers keep harming others. Putting her mother in a coma should put her in prison, but she has a mission. She wants to bring peace to her people. She needs to become the Rayatana. Nexus: The Rayatana Book 2 is available all online, retail, and all ebook platforms.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tyrean Martinson is a word hunter. She forages for words both sweet and tart in the South Sound of Washington State. An eclectic writer, she writes speculative fiction, contemporary and historical fiction, short scripts, devotions, writing books, song lyrics, and poetry. She has been a fencer (long ago), a kickboxer (for a short minute), and an action-movie fan. Tyrean is a life-long book lover, a Christ follower, and walker. Once upon a time, she was a Girl Scout who sang too loudly, and now she’s a podcaster and praise team member. Since childhood, her imagination has been swept away by fairy tales, science fiction, tales of overcoming the odds, and redemption arcs.

Find her online at:

Tyrean’s Writing Spot Blog | Tyrean’s Tales | Instagram

Twitter | Words Takes Flight

One Last Book Birthday

Today, we’re celebrating Second Nature‘s book birthday.

Sure, if you want to get all technical about it, its actual birthday was last week, but I was too busy forgetting about it to post then, so I’m doing it today instead.

Second Nature is the second book in my fantasy series, The Coileáin Chronicles. It took a long, long time (because of course it did) to figure out how this particular tale was supposed to come together, but thanks to my village of super supportive people, it did finally make it out into the world.

I am eternally grateful to everyone who helped me make this project into a reality, and everyone who has taken the time and made the effort to read this monster novel. You know who you are (I hope), and I love you all.

Possibly Interesting Fun Facts About This Book

—One of my high school BFFs named it back when we were actually in high school because, apparently, he had a much better idea of what this book/series was supposed to be long before I did. (Why is it the author is always the last to know?)

—I went through four red pens and three blue highlighters during the seemingly never-ending editing process.

—This book contains my favorite (thus far) reference to the greatest song ever written…ABBA’s Dancing Queen (If you didn’t know, I write at least one reference to this song into every book I write). You can find it in Chapter Five.

—An early draft of this book contained one of my all-time favorite typos. See if you can spot it…

(Note: she was supposed to make someTHING to eat. Not someone.)

To celebrate this momentous occasion, I am offering up a little bit of swag, for anyone interested. Pictured below are the bookmarks/postcards for my three published (Quick question: How do I have three published novels?) novels.

It’s the kind of thing I would hand out at book events, if I had any on my schedule (which I do not, for multiple reasons). And now they can be yours for the low, low price of…absolutely nothing.

If you’re interested in having a set of these hard-to-find items for your very own, send me an email (mjfifield at gmail) or a DM on the social media site of your choice (you know, provided I have an account on that site, of course) and I will mail them out to you. (US and Canada, only, please. I can’t afford any other international shipping.)

Thanks for stopping by today! I promise this will be the very last book birthday post for 2021…

Stay safe & well, all!

Will You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse?

Hey, everyone!

Today, we’re celebrating the release of Patricia Josephine’s latest book, The Cure, with a good old-fashioned quiz to determine that age-old question…

WOULD YOU SURVIVE THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE?

(NOTE: Despite my impressive (if I do say so myself) collection of swords and daggers, I would not survive the zombie apocalypse.)

You wake up and find the zombie apocalypse has started. What do you do?

A: Take stock of anything you can use as a weapon, secure your home, and take stock of what food you have and how long it will last.

B: Get a closer to look at a so-called zombie. This can’t be real.

C: Barricade yourself in your home and freak out.

Which of the following weapons would you use to kill zombies?

A: Gun.

B: Knife.

C: Baseball bat.

You’re making your way downtown in hopes of finding supplies. Along the way, you see a group of 4 zombies. They appear to be eating some unlucky sap. How do you get around them?

A: Backtrack and take a different route.

B: Run in with guns blazing and take them out.

C: Throw something that makes noise and causes the zombies to follow it.

Someone you love is now a zombie. How do you react?

A: Shoot them and put them out of their misery. It’s what you’d want if the roles were reversed.

B: Sob.

C: Capture them and put them somewhere secure in hopes of someone finding a cure.

You’ve found a group of survivors, but they don’t trust you’re not infected. How do you gain their trust?

A: Put your hands up and back away to show you are no threat. Leave. It’s not worth trying to reason with them.

B: Strip and show to show that you are not infected, setting all your weapons aside.

C: Insist that you are not infected, motioning to visible skin and lack of blood on your clothing.

Results

If you answered mostly A then you’ll survive. You take survival seriously and don’t take unnecessary risks. You’ll either do it alone or find people you trust. You may even end up the leader of the group.

If you answered mostly B then you are screwed. You don’t take stock of your surroundings, don’t exercises caution, and think you are invincible. And now you’re a zombie.

If you answered mostly C then you have a chance. Sure, the concept of the zombie apocalypse freaked you out, but you’ve calmed down and you’re hoping with enough gumption you’ll make it. If not, you at least plan on taking out as many as you can first.

Every human in the world becomes a zombie when they die. But Erin refuses to accept the world as it is now. She’s heard about a cure locked away in a lab in Upper Michigan, and she plans on retrieving it. To do so, she needs a zombie. Not just any zombie, though.

Zee is Erin’s link to the lab. His connection to the living world is her bargaining chip. But only if she can teach him to control his mindless impulses.

Can a zombie be trained? Or will Erin be Zee’s next meal and become a zombie herself? The fate of humanity rests in her hands.

NOW AVAILABLE

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Patricia never set out to become a writer, and in fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. She was more of an art and band geek. Some stories are meant to be told, though, and now she can’t stop writing.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow.

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AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Book Birthdays & Thank You Notes

One year ago, my Terrible Romance Novel (AKA, Love & Other Lies) made it out into the world.

Of course, me being me, this achievement was not announced for nearly another month when a fellow author outed me on Twitter. My response was literally, “HOW DID SHE FIND OUT?!?!?!?”

(I have issues. I know.)

But its official birthday is today.

I am so very grateful to everyone who helped this little experiment of mine get to this milestone. From the critique partner who very helpfully said of an early draft, “I don’t want these two characters to spend any more time together” (oops…) to my brother whose suggestions helped put this project on a much better path to my beloved goddaughter whose enthusiasm for this story ensured I would one day get it done, and to everyone in between. Me writing a book truly takes a village, and I love you all.

And I also want to give the loudest of shout-outs to the people who have taken the time to read this story. I don’t look at reviews (like, never ever), but I have heard through the grapevine that there are some, so whether you loved the story or hated it or fell somewhere in between, thank you for taking the time and making the effort. It is so very appreciated.

Because of my aforementioned issues, I don’t always (translation: pretty much never) do things in this industry the way people think I should. It’s a honest-to-goodness struggle for me to do things like not physically run away and hide should someone say to me, “hey, I read your book” or even “hey, I know you wrote a book.”

So if you ever do that, or anything like that, and I am weird and awkward in response, just know it’s not you. It’s me. It’s all me.

And, also, in case you missed it, last week was Effigy’s book birthday. It didn’t make it onto the blog because I was busy lamenting a certain struggle with a certain Camp NaNoWriMo project, so I thought I would mention it here and now.

This was my debut novel that came out seven years ago. I’m pretty sure I said after the fact that I would never publish another novel, but that just goes to show what I know.

Who knows what the next seven years may bring. Or even the next year. Certainly not me. (But I do hope it involves an ending for my current WIP…)

Anyway, thank you, everyone, for coming along on this all-too weird and awkward journey with me. I hope, at the very least, it has been entertaining.

Stay safe & well, all.

Short Fiction Challenge

Hello, everyone!

Today, author Patricia Josephine is here to talk about the challenges of writing short fiction. It’s all part of the celebration for her latest release, a collection of—you’ve guessed it—short fiction.

The Challenge of Writing Short Fiction

You may think writing a 200-word story isn’t that challenging, but it couldn’t be farther from the truth. Some writers may actually say it’s harder than writing a full-length novel, and I know a few who don’t write shorter fiction because they can’t wrap their brains around it. Their muse only works in long form.

Writing short fiction is different from a novel. With novels, you have an unlimited number of words you can use to paint a picture for the reader. Short fiction you have restrictions on word count. You may only have 1000 words. You can even have as little as 50. When you have that limit, you are forced to choose more carefully. Your strokes have to be broader instead of going into minute details as you can with a novel.

The way I approach short fiction is similar to my novels. I just start writing. I figure out the story as I go and when I get to the end, I edit. I edit until the story is at the word limit I’ve imposed. That’s done by cutting descriptive words. The sentence doesn’t need the color of someone’s shirt for example. Thoughts the character has might get axed as well. If it doesn’t serve the basic story I want to tell, it can go.

Sometimes that doesn’t always work. Sometimes the story I’m trying to tell needs to be longer. When that happens, I stop worrying about word count and let it end as a novella or novel. I have a zombie apocalypse story I hope to release in the future that I initially intended to be 100 words. It ended at over 10,000!

Writing short fiction is a great exercise. It makes you think about word choices and their importance to the story. I encourage anyone who enjoys writing to give it a shot.

Magic.
Myths.
Fantasy.

We are bewitched by what we can’t see.

Conjure delight with a fantastical collection of tales. Each story is told in exactly 200 words and designed to delight your imagination no matter how busy your day is.

Will you believe?

NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

Patricia Josephine is a writer of Urban Fantasy and Sci-Fi Romance books. She actually never set out to become a writer, and in fact, she was more interested in art and band in high school and college. Her dreams were of becoming an artist like Picasso. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head for fun. That was the start of her writing journey, and she hasn’t regretted a moment. When she’s not writing, she’s watching Doctor Who or reading about serial killers. She’s an avid knitter. One can never have too much yarn. She writes Young Adult Paranormal, Science Fiction, and Fantasy under the name Patricia Lynne.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow.

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