We’re so pleased to welcome author Cass Lennox to The Novel Approach today on the tour for her new novel, Blank Spaces. Cass is talking food, so enjoy and then be sure to check out her giveaway details below.
I love food. Is that a “No shit, Sherlock” statement? Yeah, kind of. Not everyone eats just for the joy of eating, and not everyone even likes food. In our Western society of abundance, that is; I imagine if you’re subsisting on whatever your village grows, you probably love whatever you get to eat simply because it means you get to eat.
Something I love almost as much as food is how often food surfaces in books. There are two basic reasons for that: functionality, as meals bring characters together for a practical purpose and encourages discussion; and symbolism, where the food and act of eating is usually not about food and eating. (And yeah, okay, sometimes it’s just a realistic depiction of how a character spends their day, but usually there’s a reason for depicting food.)
There is food in Blank Spaces, but it’s far from the star of the show. However, food is a Thing with Jonah. He’s totally happy to eat, it just has to be the right food. Given he comments on food a bit, I thought I’d include some recipes that he does eat, just to show that he’s not a total freak (I’m not sure I’ll convince anyone *sigh*).
1/2 cup blueberries
1 cup almond or soy milk
1 tbsp flax oil
1 scoop protein powder
grated ginger to taste
Toss into a blender, blend until smooth, drink.
1 cup rolled oats
2 cups almond or soy milk
1 scoop protein power
Mix ingredients together in a bowl. Cover and leave overnight. Top with yoghurt, fruit, and a tbsp of flax oil. Eat.
Lemon dal (or dhal, depending where you live)
1 cup lentils, rinsed and soaked for 30-60 minutes and drained
3 cups water
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp turmeric
Any vegetables you have lying around (mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini, fennel, spinach all work)
1 tbsp oil (sunflower or vegetable is pretty good)
1 small onion
1 clove garlic
Spices to taste: coriander/cilantro, chilli, cumin, mustard seed, fenugreek, curry leaves are all standard
Add the lentils and water to a pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to medium and simmer for 40-50 minutes. If you want extra vegetables in there, chop and add them ten minutes before the end of cooking the lentils. Stir in the lemon juice and turmeric when the lentils have broken apart and the dal is almost porridge-like.
Chop the onion and garlic, and add to a pan with the oil. When soft, add the spices and cover with a lid to prevent any seeds from jumping out. Cook for a few minutes until the spices are toasted, then add the spice mixture to the dal. Let it sit for 3-4 minutes, then stir it together. Serve with rice or bread.
Meatballs and “spaghetti”
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onions
basil, cilantro or parsley to taste
2 tsp chilli powder
salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Roll the beef into small balls, then fry in a pan or grill until browned on all sides.
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
1 tin chopped tomatoes
basil to taste
salt and pepper
Fry the onion and garlic with the meatballs until soft, then add the tomatoes. Simmer for 10-20 minutes until the tomatoes are melting. Add the basil and seasoning.
2 zucchini, julienned or spiralized
Place in a colander and coat with the salt. Sit for 20-30 minutes to let excess water drain from the zucchini. Pat dry with paper towels. Fry for 1-2 minutes, then add to the meatballs and sauce.
25-50g dark chocolate (70% cocoa or above)
1 banana with 1-2 tbsp peanut butter
Carrot/cucumber/celery sticks with hummus
Handfuls of almonds
Bites of whatever normal food Vaughn’s eating and insisting Jonah try
About the Book
Absence is as crucial as presence.
The decision to stop dating has made Vaughn Hargrave’s life infinitely simpler: he has friends, an excellent wardrobe, and a job in the industry he loves. That’s all he really needs, especially since sex isn’t his forte anyway and no one else seems interested in a purely romantic connection. But when a piece is stolen from his art gallery and insurance investigator Jonah Sondern shows up, Vaughn finds himself struggling with that decision.
Jonah wants his men like his coffee: hot, intense, and daily. But Vaughn seems to be the one gay guy in Toronto who doesn’t do hookups, which is all Jonah can offer. No way can Jonah give Vaughn what he really wants, not when Jonah barely understands what love is.
When another painting goes missing, tension ramps up both on and off the clock. Vaughn and Jonah find themselves grappling not just with stolen art, but with their own differences. Because a guy who wants nothing but romance and a guy who wants nothing but sex will never work—right? Not unless they find a way to fill in the spaces between them.
Now available from: Riptide Publishing
About the Author
Cass Lennox is a permanent expat who has lived in more countries than she cares to admit to and suffers from a chronic case of wanderlust as a result. She started writing stories at the tender age of eleven, but would be the first to say that the early years are best left forgotten and unread. A great believer in happy endings, she arrived at queer romance via fantasy, science fiction, literary fiction, and manga, and she can’t believe it took her that long. Her specialties are diverse characters, gooey happy ever afters, and brownies. She’s currently sequestered in a valley in southeast England.
To celebrate the release of Blank Spaces, one lucky winner will receive a $15 gift certificate to All Romance Ebooks! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 19, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!