Monday, 22 July 2013

Fiend: A Novel by Peter Stenson

A Novel
by Peter Stenson
Hardcover, 304 pages

There’s more than one kind of monster.

Can you ever have too many zombie books? No. Do they have to have a twist to really capture your attention? Yep, absolutely.

And what a twist we have here. Chase Daniels finds himself coming down from a weekend drug bender and has the worst hallucination ever. Outside the window an innocent child and a dog are playing. Or, rather wrestling. In fact the child is eating the dog. Blood runs from her face as she looks at him. He really needs to get off the drugs.

But this is no dream - Something happened to the world that weekend. And it will never be the same. Run with Chase through this drug-fueled adventure of horror, heart-ache, redemption and humanity.

Think Trainspotting meets The Walking Dead. 

Not for the faint of heart, but truly exciting for us bold readers.

Photo credit: Robbie Lane

Peter Stenson

PETER STENSON received his MFA from Colorado State University in 2012. His stories and essays have been published in The Sun, The Bellevue Literary Review, The Greensboro Review, Confrontation, Post Road, Fugue, Harpur Palate, The Pinch, Blue Mesa Review, and elsewhere. He is also a recovering addict and has been sober for 10 years. He lives with his wife and daughter in Denver.  

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

The Bread Baking Babes bake Rheinbrot!

Rheinbrot? Bread with wine. Riesling, to be exact. A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou. 

And if we can start mixing some of that up.... even better!

Many thanks to Astrid for challenging us to make Rheinbrot this month. Wine and bread have to be two of my most favourite things! 

I had fun playing with the recipe and flattened the dough out after the last rise and sprinkled on a chopped Granny Smith apple, a small handful of dark raisins, a pinch of cinnamon and some honey. Then I rolled it up and placed it in a well buttered and floured pyrex loaf pan to rise.

After a good rise, I slathered on an egg wash and added a melange of rolled oats, almond slivers and flax seeds. Yum!

When it was about ready, I preheated the oven to about 375°F for 15-20 minutes and baked for 20 minutes. I turned the loaf and baked another 15 before checking for an internal temperature of 185°F. I let it cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then on a rack until no longer warm.

Delicious toast bread for breakfast!


50 gram semisweet Riesling
50 gram boiled water, at room temperature
100 gram flour
50 gram of wheat sourdough at 100% hydration

250 gram flour
135 gram water
6 gram salt

1) Mix wine with water and add the sourdough, whisk thoroughly.
2) Add flour  and mix again.
3) The dough ferments at 2 stages:
3a) 4 hours at a temperature 30-32°C, it should grow at least twice its size, will be lumpy looking at this stage and have larger and smaller bubbles. If you stick your nose into the container, the scent will be somewhat unpleasant, it may even seem that the dough has deteriorated. Don't panic, this only means the dough is doing the right things ;o)
3b) Pour the sponge in a bowl and whisk thoroughly to remove all the gas out of it and fill it with oxygen. Cover with foil and let sit for 10-12 hours (overnight) at room temperature. Dough will rise again in half and very often shows smaller bubbles.
4) Now the sponge is ready for kneading: pour in the water and stir until smooth. Add the flour, mix well and give the autolysis a chance to do it's magic for 40-50 minutes.
5) add the salt and quickly knead the dough, if it is too sticky add a little four, but be careful not to add too much.
6) Let ferment for 2-2.5 hours. Fold twice after 1 hour and 1 1/2 hour. The dough smells fresh now, no smell of the wine.
7) Form a loaf and let proof in a basket for 1 1/2 hours (doubles in size) covered with a towel in a draft free place.
8) Preheat oven to 240°C.
9) Transfer dough to your baking sheet. Make an incision or two and let it slide on your baking stone.
10) Bake for 10 minutes with steam and without steam like 20 minutes at 200°C.
11) Let cool down for alt least half an hour before slicing the bread.

You should have a bread with a nice soft crust and an airy crumb. Enjoy with some nice glass of white wine to accompany the bread ;o)

The Bread Baking Babes

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Kiss Me First by Lottie Moggach

Kiss Me First
by Lottie Moggach

Trade Paperback, 320 pages

Wow. The novel meets the new world of online lives.

A sheltered, intelligent yet socially stunted young women lives for her mother and her World of Warcraft, spending most of her time indoors. When her mother dies, she holes up in a new apartment and discovers a new online world - one of ethics, philosophy and new kinds of thinking.

As she gets deeper into the new Red Pill Forum (named after the choice made in The Matrix, to not be asleep to reality anymore), she is convinced to take over the online persona of a beautiful and vibrant somewhat older woman. One who wants to disappear.

Leila learns everything she can about enigmatic Tess in order to become her online. Soon she is responding and corresponding as Tess, her new persona becoming second nature.

But as she gets deeper into Tess's life, Leila forms her own attachments and finds herself embroiled in a new world of love, lies, depression and obsession.

A nothing-is-quite-like-it-seems novel that does a marvelous job of revealing human hopes and flaws along a fascinating new storyline. 


A London native from a family of acclaimed writers, LOTTIE MOGGACH attended Sussex University before she began a career in journalism at The Times. There, she worked as a feature writer, book reviewer, and columnist for several years. She currently publishes in a variety of newspapers and magazines including the Financial Times, Time Out, ELLE, GQ, and others.

Kiss Me First is her first novel.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

The Fire Witness by Lars Kepler

A Joona Linna Thriller
by Lars Kepler

Hardcover, 512 pages

Psychologically tense and as fast-paced as The Hypnotist, the third book in the Joona Linna series by Lars Kepler is already a worldwide sensation, appealing to fans of Stieg Larsson and Jo Nesbo.

I don't know how they do it, but these Lars Kepler books just keep getting more dark, more intense and more deeply disturbing. I love them! You don't just read them and walk away, you go through every psychological twist and turn and are left contemplating what you have just read for days. Maybe weeks.

In this third Joona Linna novel, Detective Inspector Linna is facing sanctions for his previous behaviours and may even be looking at losing his job. Not one to rest for too long, he finds himself acting as observer in a brutal and complicated murder in a home for troubled young women.

His unofficial status both hampers and helps his ability to weave his way into the investigation and tries to figure out just what the hell happened and stop it from happening again.

Dark. Distubing. Brilliant.

Lars Kepler is the pseudonym of Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril & Alexander Ahndoril, both critically-acclaimed writers under their own names. Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril's first novel Stjärneborg (Castle of Stars) has been translated in several languages while Alexander Ahndoril's novel The Director, about Ingmar Bergman, was shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. The Fire Witness is the third book in a series featuring Detective Inspector Joona Linna. The author lives in Sweden.

Also by Lars Kepler: The Hypnotist and The Nightmare

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

The French Market Cookbook by Clotilde Dusoulier

The French Market Cookbook
Vegetarian Recipes from My Parisian Kitchen
by Clotilde Dusoulier

Trade Paperback, 224 pages

Clotilde Dusoulier brought French cooking to the home level with her world famous Parisian cooking and lifestyle blog, Chocolate and Zucchini.

Not a vegetarian herself, Clotilde does believe in the less meat movement and this book showcases seasonal vegetables at their very best. The French Market Cookbook is completely vegetarian with little dairy and some gluten-free options. She divides the chapters by season, indicating which fruits and vegetables are at their peak at that time, and how to use them in inventive and delicious ways.

You'll find wonderful new creations and combinations, as well as some favourites shown in a whole new light. This is the book to kick-start your fresh market shopping and cooking, to get you attuned to the seasons and the bounty of each harvest. 

Plus, Clotilde's beautiful photos and notes about Paris are enough to enchant you. Each recipe title is also translated into French, so you can feel like you've travelled to Paris and back as you announce your dishes to friends and family. Better yet - get a chalk menu board and write them down there.

Bouillon de champignons et gnocchi parisiens, anyone?

Photo credit: Francis Hammond
CLOTILDE DUSOULIER is the creator of the award-winning food blog, and the author of the cookbook Chocolate & Zucchini and the guidebook Clotilde’s Edible Adventures in Paris. She lives in Paris, France.