Lovers of fantasy agree that Chronicles of Warland author Elizabeth Vaughan can write a good book. But can she cook a steak? Welllll.... I don't want to be judgmental or anything...so here is Beth's own story about TERRORIZED STEAK. And don't forget to grab your copy of WarDance, the newest addition to the Chronicles of Warland series, now!
Oh sure, I can write a novel.
But I am a terrible cook.
Well, that is a bit of an overstatement. I am an indifferent cook. I don’t really pay attention, and I have a tendency to wonder off while something is cooking, usually because I got a good idea for a scene and need to write it down. The smoke alarm usually lets me know when the food is done.
Well, over done.
As an example, I will tell you a story. Because, honestly, I am a writer. That is what I do.
My friend Jane and I shared a duplex, and we had gotten into the habit of eating together regularly. She loved to cook, and to experiment and try new recipes. I loved to eat what she cooked. It was a win-win for all concerned, since she really hated it when my smoke alarms would go off.
A friend recommended a recipe for a steak marinade called ‘Terrorized Steak’ and gave Jane the newspaper clipping with the recipe. [Please note that this occurred during the 1990's] She mixed the marinade, I bought some steaks. She marinaded the steaks overnight, then cooked them and we loved it. It quickly became one of our favorites.
But one weekend our plans were disrupted. She wasn’t able to prepare the marinade. "All the ingredients are there," she said. "You do it and I will cook them tomorrow."
"This will not end well," I said. "It never ends well."
"Just follow the recipe exactly," she said. "You can’t go wrong."
So I did. Exactly. TO THE LETTER.
The steaks marinaded. She cooked them. With grilled asparagus and small potatoes. They were the picture of perfection on the plate.
We dug in happily.
And spit out the very first bite.
"WHAT DID YOU DO?" she shrieked.
"I didn’t do ANYTHING," I said. “I followed the recipe.”
"You can’t have followed the recipe,” she said. “It tastes like there is a cup of salt in there.”
“There is a cup of salt in there,” I said. “That is what the recipe called for.”
“A CUP OF SALT,” she shrieked. “No one adds a cup of salt to a marinade.”
“The recipe said–” I insisted.
“No it didn’t,” she insisted.
“Yes, it did,” I insisted.
This continued until I stomped into the kitchen and handed her the newspaper clipping. Her jaw dropped and then she started laughing.
Because the recipe did indeed call for a cup of salt. Right there on a page. And because she was a cook, her brain just automatically told her that was wrong, and she would add salt to taste. Why would she fix it? No one would ever think to add a cup of salt, now would they?
I am including a scanned copy of the recipe. You can see where Jane made the necessary correction for the future. You should really try it - it is really good and spicy.
That night? We called out for pizza. Well, I made the call - I am awesome at calling for take-out!
Spring returns to the Plains, and with it, the Time of the Challenges, when warrior fights warrior in a contest for rank and status. For Simus of the Hawk, now is the time to raise his challenge banner, to fight for the chance to finally become Warlord.
But his deadliest challenge does not come from other warriors, or even the sundered Council of Elders. For on the first night of the Challenges, a mysterious and deadly pillar of white light scorches the night sky—instantly changing everything for the People of the Plains.
Now a warrior-priestess, Snowfall, stands before Simus, who dares to speak of peace, of reconciliation. Her knives are sharp, her tattoos alluring, and her cool grey eyes can look through Simus and see…everything.
Now Simus and Snowfall must solve the mystery of the pillar of white light, and protect their people from all the destruction and chaos it brings. Snowfall fights for her place beside Simus, despite resistance from friend and foe.
The warrior-priests have abused their power for many years. Can Simus face the challenge of trusting Snowfall with his honor? And perhaps . . . with his heart?
About Elizabeth Vaughan:
Elizabeth A. Vaughan is the USA Today bestselling author of the Warlands Chronicles series, now available from Berkley Publishing. She loves fantasy and romance novels, and has played Dungeons and Dragons since 1981, both table-top and the online game. Her most recent book, WarDance, comes out on April 11. You can learn more about her books at www.writeandrepeat.com.
Melanie R. Meadors is an author of fantasy where heroes don't always carry swords and knights in shining armor often lose to nerds who study their weaknesses. She is a blogger at The Once and Future Podcast, a professional author publicist, and a dabbling fiber artist. She studied both physics and astronomy at Northern Arizona University. You can find her at her website, melaniermeadors.com, on Facebook, and Twitter, @melaniermeadors.