Author Blog Post:
I love food. I’ve never missed a meal, unless I was sick, and my mama never had to call me twice for dinner. When people—my youngest daughter in particular—say, “I forgot to eat,” I shake my head in wonder.
I have never “forgotten” to eat.
In the South, celebrations, holidays, and times of mourning revolve around eating, and I cannot separate the memories of my childhood from the memories of good food. I remember dancing in the kitchen at suppertime as a child, salivating at the delicious smells coming from the stove and oven, and pestering my poor mother to death to know when supper would be ready. I was an active kid, a tom boy, and I spent my days roaming the woods and riding my bike, and I was always hungry.
Mama, bless her, was a good cook. Fried chicken, tender pork chops, catfish rolled in corn meal and fried to a crisp. Succulent pot roast with new potatoes and carrots, Swiss steak with peppers and onions, and salmon croquettes were a few of the entrees she whipped up. And the sides . . . Oh, my! Creamed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, oven-fried corn, turnip greens, cabbage, fried okra, peas and butter beans, and hot cornbread, to name a few.
We lived in a small town that boasted a meat-and-three restaurant, three mom and pop burger joints, and that was it. We didn’t get a Pizza Hut until I was a senior in high school, and that was considered exotic. My daddy didn’t like his food to touch, so I didn’t learn to eat casseroles until I went to college. It was plain fare, simple and filling, and my salivary memories are strong. To this day, the smell of fried chicken gives me a visceral thrill.
I find myself reliving those happy times in my writing. The Matriarch Supreme in Hannah, the small town where my books take place, is Miss Vi, the owner, proprietor, and cook at The Sweet Shop Cafe. Miss Vi has strong opinions about food. “God made, homemade, and manmade, in that order,” Miss Vi says in Demon Hunting in Dixie. Her veggies are fresh and locally grown. She uses butter, not margarine, and her pies are piled high with sweet, fluffy meringue. She is the human representation of a childhood blessed with culinary bounty, a sort of female cornucopia of my happy memories at the table. She is also a surrogate mama to Evan, one of the characters in my series. There’s a fun little scene in the Sweet Shop between Duncan, the hero in Demon Hunting with a Sexy Ex, and Evan, one of my recurring characters. Evan has had a rough life, and he has sharp edges and a bitter tongue. Though worlds apart in temperament and character, Duncan and Evan become fast friends, and their friendship begins, aptly enough, over a meal. Food, after all, is a ritual that binds us together, nourishing body and soul.
Lord love the cooks, and bless ʼem, too.
Cassandra Ferguson McKenna, aka the Witch of Devil River, has only one thing to say to her demon-hunting ex: We are never ever getting back together. Sure, Duncan Dalvhani may be the hottest thing this side of the Mason-Dixon line. He’s got a body to die for—which is hard to ignore when he skinny dips in her river every day—and swears he loves her. But as a demon hunter, Duncan is the sworn enemy of a demonoid sorceress like Cassandra. Give him another chance to break her heart? Witch, please. But when Cassandra is attacked by a werewolf, Duncan not only comes to her rescue, he helps her take on a band of magic-drunk moonshiners, fire-breathing demons, shifty shapeshifters, and a pet Sasquatch named Sugar. Welcome to Alabama. But when a portal opens up for even more hellaciousness, Cassandra has to admit that Duncan is slowly opening her heart—to a whole new world of unearthly delights . . .
Lexi George is an appellate attorney by day, but by night she writes laugh-out-loud paranormal romance. She is a member of RWA, and loves to hear from readers.