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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Guest Blog: Jennifer Estep

Let's welcome one of my favorite Urban Fantasy authors, Jennifer Estep, to my blog today! She is going to be talking about one of my favorite subjects...FOOD! There also be a giveaway for her newest release in the Elemental Assassin series, Spider's Revenge. My review can be found HERE.


Greetings and salutations! First of all, I want to say thanks to Kelsey for having me on the blog today. Thanks so much, Kelsey!

So today, Kelsey asked me to write about food, since it’s part of my Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series. The books focus on Gin Blanco, an assas­sin code­named the Spi­der who can con­trol the ele­ments of Ice and Stone. When she’s not busy killing peo­ple and right­ing wrongs, Gin runs a bar­be­cue restau­rant called the Pork Pit in the fic­tional South­ern metrop­o­lis of Ash­land.

When your heroine runs a restaurant, it’s sort of inevitable that you’ll talk about food in your books. A lot of scenes in the series take place at the restaurant, so Gin is always dishing up some sort of food there, either to her friends, customers, or even her enemies. But cooking happens to be one of Gin’s hobbies, in addition to being her day job, so she also cooks outside of the restaurant, often whipping up dishes for her friends and family while she’s plotting how to take down the latest bad guy that’s crossed her path.

So why do I write about food so much? Because I enjoy it – simple as that. I love to eat, and I have a major weakness when it comes to things like dark chocolate, cheese fries, mac and cheese, potato chips, fried chicken … Okay, so I just have a weakness for food in general, most of which is probably not very good for me. LOL.

My mom loves to cook, and it’s something that I’ve gotten more and more interested in over the years because of her. Not too long ago, I got my grandmother to show me how to make cornbread. Now, I even have my own small cornbread skillet.

Whenever I write a scene that involves food, I always try to make the food sound as yummy, delicious, and appetizing as possible. Most of the dishes exist only in my imagination (like Fletcher Lane’s secret barbecue sauce), while others are just things that I think would be scrumptious to eat. I just try to have fun with the descriptions and make them really vibrant and colorful.

The food talk seems to be popular with readers. I’ve gotten a lot of nice comments about how the scenes make some folks hungry, which I think is really cool. You always want folks to enjoy your work, and I think the food talk adds another level of flavor (excuse the bad pun) to the books.

What about you guys? Do you like food talk in books? Why or why not?

USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Estep writes the Elemental Assassin series for Pocket Books. Books in the series are Spider’s Bite, Web of Lies, Venom, and Tangled Threads. Spider’s Revenge, the fifth book in the series, will be released on Sept. 27.

Jennifer also writes the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series for Kensington. Touch of Frost, the first book in the series, was released in August. First Frost, a prequel e-story to the series, is available as a 99-cent download. Kiss of Frost, the second book, will be released Nov. 29.

For more information, excerpts, and more, visit Jennifer’s website at

Jennifer is graciously giving away a copy of SPIDER'S REVENGE to one lucky commenter. Giveaway is open to US Residents only. To enter the giveaway just answer the question Do you like food talk in books? Why or why not? and fill out the Rafflecopter form below. You do not have to be a blog follower to enter, but it would be nice! Giveaway is open until October 4, 2011 @ midnight CST. If I do not hear from the winner within 48 hours of contacting them I will have to pick a new one winner.



Sarah said...

Why, yes. I LOVE Food talk. I am a huge foodie and it is always fun to read about characters who are as well. Plus, I love how Jennifer shares some of Gin's recipes on her website. I have yet to try that Mountain Dew cake, but I am planning on it :)

Jennifer Estep said...

Sarah -- Thanks! Glad you are enjoying the food talk in the book.

Justducky422 said...

Food talk-hmmmmmmmmm....
It depends on if it actually fits into the story line. With Gin, it's about who she is as a person & I really enjoy that aspect of the series.
~*~ I LOVE this series!!!!~*~ <3

Ceridwen83 said...

When it fits the story and character like in these books then yes! Unfortunately I end up hungry when I'm reading =p You succeed in making the food sound as yummy and delicious as possible.

Jennifer Estep said...

Justducky -- Thanks! I appreciate the nice words about the books. Glad you are enjoying them

Ceridwen -- Thanks! I appreciate the nice words about the books. I do my best to make the food sound really good.

Jennifer said...

If food talk blends well with the plot then heck yes I'm all for it. I'm game for just about anything.

Steph from said...

I have been wanting to get tho this series. Fangs, Wands and Fairy Dust
Twitter: @fangswandsfairy

Steph from said...

I have been reading a collection of stories by Elizabeth Berg The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted. I cannot eat anything without feeling guilty if it is something other than a vegetable. SO when I saw this at the Random House tea at BEA I snagged it!

Fangs, Wands and Fairy Dust
Twitter: @fangswandsfairy

erin said...

I don't mind food talk in books as long as they don't get tooo detailed. It's nice to have the description of what it is so I can picture it in my head and wish I could cook. But on the flip side, I don't/can't cook so going into detail of how to make it and ingredients etc. is kinda numbing to me. But all the foodie stuff in the Gin books always makes me hungry!!! Lol!

Thanks for the great post and giveaway!!!

GFC ~ erin

Jennifer Estep said...

Jennifer -- Me too.

Steph -- That sounds like a cool book.

Erin -- Thanks! Glad you liked the post.

ML said...

I do enjoy food in books. Sometimes it's rough though because I'll be reading and then I'll get hungry and need to snack! So then I have to put down what I'm reading to go get something :).

mljfoland AT hotmail DOT com

Mariee said...

I love to bake and cook so I definitively enjoy food talk in books. But I always get really hungry reading about food!

marieimy (at) gmail (dot) com

Stacy (Urban Fantasy Investigations) said...

I dont like or dislike it, I have gotten some cravings from it though.


Amy said...

I like food talk in books, but only when I'm not super hungry. Food talk sometimes inspires me to try new recipes (especially if the author includes some recipes at the end of the book!).


Van Pham said...

I like food talk in books, it makes the character seem more real. I love it when a heroine has the munchies, and doesn't care what she eats or count calories haha.


donnas said...

If it fits with the story it doesnt bother me at all.

Jennifer Estep said...

ML -- Reading about food can make me hungry too.

Mariee -- Me too.

Stacy -- Me too.

Amy -- I like food talk in books too.

Van -- Calories don't count in books. LOL.

Gavin said...

I am sort of ambivalent about food in books. On one side it is humanizing to "see" the characters eat, but on the other, I dislike cooking... However if the question were changed to food talk in the Elemental Assassins Series, that's a whole new ballgame.

The thing is, cooking is one of the few things that make Gin a great character. Every hero/ine these days is kickass, loyal, and wants to get laid; so few add more superfluous traits that make the characters people.

Simply put Gin likes to cook so she talks about food. It is necessary because it is unimportant to the plot. Am I making sense?

Jennifer Estep said...

Gavin -- Thanks! Glad you are enjoying the books.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE food talk! A lot of the food Gin makes sounds so yummy. I'm always snacking when I read one of your books :-)

whitewolfreads said...

I love food talk in books! The only problem with it is that it usually makes me hungry or makes me want to start cooking!

Thanks for the giveaway!

whitewolfreads AT gmail DOT com

Crystal said...

I love food talk in books - usually it gives me ideas of things to try and if anything it adds a realism to a book.


Jennifer Estep said...

Paranormal Haven -- Thanks! Glad you are enjoying the books.

Whitewolf -- It can make me hungry too.

Crystal -- Me too.

Meredith said...

I like food talk as long as the food is not gory, slimy, or just yuck. I sometimes read while I'm eating or snack while I'm reading. Somehow my other half is only interested in the Bizarre Foods show while we're eating.

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Angela said...

I like food talk in books! It usually makes me want to try something new. Of course I don't want it to interfere with the plot or character development. ;)

Tatiana L. said...

I love cooking and often experiment and create some new items for our menu =) Thus, I really like food talk in the books.