So I’ve been sick… then at a Book Festival

It’s been a crazy week. And I need to actually update this more often because I’m home and things seem to be churning by really quickly.

Let’s talk about authory things because there is SO much in the works.

I’ve got mass market copies from the printer of ALL the Kai books, Sinners’ Gin, Devil Take Me and dudes, they look so good. I had the pleasure of seeing them for the first time this weekend at the LA Times Book Festival and you know, while I love my Kindle, there’s something special about that vanilla sweet tea scent of traditional paperback pulp.

I’ve just come home from Los Angeles and if you are even in driving distance of the LA Times Book Festival during that yearly event, you HAVE to go. I don’t even care if you don’t come to see us at the Dreamspinner Booth but okay, I’d miss you BUT just the event alone is awesome. I however did not get a sushi burrito and I am bummed. We did drink ALL of the iced tea though.

I got to see some great people and meet new readers so if you came by, THANK YOU!

I am setting Murder 3 aside for a couple of months to work on a sooper seekrit project. I am very excited about it. AND I have to arrange a cover reveal for Hellion in a bit. Ramen Assassin is just around the corner and I really hope that you all have grabbed a copy from the Dreamspinner site when it was on sale. Or any of the other book selling sites. 😀 It’s gonna be so much fun.

I have to do another Castlingo soon and if there’s anything you guys want me to talk about for 77 seconds, let me know. I’ll take down requests and then start working down the list!

And Now I’m Back… From Outer Space…

Well, from the UK at least.

I brought home a lung / cold / thingie so I’ve been down for the count for the past week and well, it’s not been great. Lots of things happening on my end but nothing that’s at the bubbling point to share.

Um… the dog got a severe grooming and he’s sleeping it and a hearty dinner off in his dog bed.

In other news, I and a few other DSP authors will be at the LA Times Book Festival next weekend! There will be mass market copies available of a whole bunch of books so… very excited! I’m glad to be able to offer a lower price point to readers on books. And well, the new covers for Kai… man, they look good in that matte small paperback size. I adore Chris McGrath’s artwork and am so thankful he stepped in to do them.

I will be officially signing books on SUNDAY April 14th at 1 to 2 PM but I’ll be around so come by the booth and check things out! As always, bring anything you want signed and come chat us up!

In Great Britain…

The Cotswolds to be specific.

I am sitting on a lake… well I think it’s a pond really but I’m assured it’s a lake… with a swan and some geese to keep me company as well as the Five.

I’ve got some work done on Murder 3 today and looking forward to having some dinner out. It’s an overcast day but honestly, it’s an nice sit and stare out the window kind of house. I might even take a nap. We’re forbidden to feed the ducks and other water fowl but perhaps there will be some frozen peas accidentally dropped off the balcony because come on…. they’re water puppies!

Rook and Dante are proving to be pains in the asses but I shall wrangle them in. Wish me luck!

Wait, What Did You Put In The Poke?

“Food is everything we are. It’s an extension of nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma. It’s inseparable from those from the get-go.” – Anthony Bourdain

Now you’re probably wondering why I’m quoting Tony here. There’s a reason. Stick with me.

I’m kind of a traditionalist where ethnic foods are concerned. Not that I don’t enjoy a good twist on a food but at the base of it, I encourage people to see out the authentic dish as much as possible. Sometimes you don’t have that choice where you live. I get that. I do. Because dude, you’re not going to find authentic lau-lau in Wisconsin but you might find a pretty decent pho bo kho. But how would you know? Right? Because you’re seeking out new foods and new experiences and you only know what you’re served.

It’s a quandary. And let me explain why I get tight-headed on authentic foods.

“Authentic poke”

Because poke bowls are possibly the shittiest representation of Hawaiian foods and culture and they make me mad. Unreasonably so. It’s insane. I know it’s a problem and solely my problem. (Damn it, poke is serious business in my family.)

But see, I get the accessible nature of it. I understand that. It’s difficult to deal with the horns of what-the-fuck-do-I-think because people are eating fish and liking it. But man, that’s not poke. It’s not a buffet of fish, starches and sauces served to you like you’re picking out ice cream at Coldstone’s. It’s got some passing nod to poke, I’ll give it that but the nod is brief and kind of like the one you’d get from someone going by you in the hall in high school who you might have recognized because you had a math class with them four years ago and you let them cheat off your paper.

Yet… does it fall under the “Let people enjoy their things”? Because it should. And yeah, it does.

But it’s not poke.

Someone I adore and who will recognize themselves in this post recently had loco moco which is an original dish created in Hawai’i during the times of cane field workers and bento boxes taken up the mountain to be eaten mid day. The version they had they loved… and it came with shaved fried taro and coconut rice.

I kind of threw up in my brain and railed at the outrage of what was done to a beloved local favourite… all the while knowing she loved it.

Then I realized I knew where the anger and outrage came from. Not just because someone hipsterized a loco moco but because of the tendrils of culture and memories attached to that single dish.

Cafe 100’s loco moco

There’s a people behind that plate. It’s a very simple creation. Stupidly simple and there ARE variations of it but the bottom base, high temple, held-in-sacred-words version of it is… two scoops of Calrose rice, a hamburger patty, brown gravy and fried egg.

Someone I know and really like didn’t get to taste an authentic version of a food I’d grown up with and I feel like she’s been cheated of knowing those people, those times and most of all, where I’d come from.

It sounds stupid. Trivial even. Yet at the core of our food experiences, we have our identities and in order to truly understand where someone’s from, you have to taste the beginning of their cultural foods. I truly believe that. There are going to be tastes we don’t care for. God knows, there’s cuisines I don’t care for because of the spice palette they use but that’s my own tastes and tongue. Nothing against their cultural foods. Even in my own experiences, I don’t like Japanese curries with a lot of turmeric but I love that kind of curry so “authentic” is definitely a variable based on who is cooking.

Back to the loco moco. Now this is from Café 100’s website. They don’t claim to have invented it but they’re really the ones who brought it into its own.

History of the Loco Moco
It’s unclear who assembled the first Loco Moco. History suggests that the cheap, easy-to-eat-on-the-go Loco Moco might have been concocted by a hungry customer at either Lincoln Grill or May’s Fountain, both long gone. People then started to request Loco Moco at Cafe 100 and by 1949 it was on our menu. Cafe 100 does not claim to have invented Loco Moco, but we have surely helped to popularize it.

What does the name mean?
Again, this is lost to history but it is possible that it was named after the inventive customer who’s nickname was said to have been “Crazy”. (Back then in Hilo town, almost every young man had a nickname.) Another notion is that “Loco” was slang for “Groovy” or “Cool” back in the ’40s. Others suggest that “Loco” is merely pidgin English for “Local”. In any case, “Moco” was probably tacked on to the name simply because it rhymed with “Loco”.

My great-grandmother, grandmother and some great aunts and uncles

Why is this important? I don’t know. Seriously. I have no freaking idea. Perhaps it’s because it connects me with my grandfathers and other family members because we ate down at Café 100 a lot. It was like getting the teriyaki plate at Dairy Queen or the curry stew down at Jimmy’s. It was a part of my childhood and still a part of my adulthood. Café 100 is still there, serving up loco moco and other local favourites in what is a typical open air Hawai’i-style diner we call Drive-Ins.

When we go out looking for our authentic foods, it’s usually because we’re far from home. We seek out the familiar and when we encounter a version of something that isn’t close to how something should be, it feels like someone’s stolen our sense of home, our sense of self. We all have that. This fried chicken isn’t as good as my auntie makes it or this adobo isn’t like I can get at home. And what the fuck have they put into this nori maki? Why is there pimento cheese in my sushi?

So, yes…enjoy your things. Please. But I also ask you to seek out the original and taste what it is to be at someone’s home, where it was created and all of the history and people who stand behind it. Taste and explore and most of all, bring the world into your life.

And no, there should never been cream cheese on a loco moco. That’s just a bridge too far. *grins*

Me and my mom.
Yes, no one wiped my face.
I was a grubby child.

Friday Night and The Skies are Clear

It’s been raining pretty hard core these past few weeks and we’re going to get some more but for right now, the rain’s stopped.

I’m heading to Europe for the Salon du Livre and a St. Pancras Reader Meet next week and then after that, spending some time with the Five kicking around in the Cotswolds.

I’ll be writing Murder 3 in the next couple of months so I’ll be knee deep in in Rook and Dante’s life for a bit. Hellion’s in edits and Ramen Assassin’s done, looking for formatting and rolling into its release date.

Jacked Cat Jive has done well and I have a lot of gratitude to each and every one of you for helping me make it successful and I promise, we’ll see book 4 a hell of a lot sooner. Because oh man, do I have a plot I want to write.

I have to be better about plugging books. People keep telling me I need to communicate about books being out.

I’ve got word Kai’s audiobook is in production with the marvelous Greg Tremblay once again providing a voice for my snarky special kitteh and if you missed the news, Kale Williams will be joining the audiobook stable in his first outing with Ramen Assassin in June.

My dog’s recovering from an eye and cut infection because Badger the cat’s a bit of an asshole or it could be he just got an infection and Badger’s innocent of all wrong-doing. No one believes that but Badger’s got a good PR team working that campaign.

And… Ramen Assassin is up on Amazon!

Ramen Assassin: Book One

When life gives Kuro Jenkins lemons, he wants to make ponzu to serve at his Los Angeles ramen shop.

Instead he’s dodging bullets and wondering how the hell he ended up back in the black ops lifestyle he’d left behind. After rescuing former child star Trey Bishop from a pair of murderous thugs, he reluctantly picks his guns up again. It seems trouble isn’t done with Trey, and Kuro can’t quite let go… of either danger or Trey.

Trey never denied his life’s downward spiral was his own fault. After stints in rehab, he’s finally shaken off his Hollywood bad-boy lifestyle, but not his reputation. The destruction of his career and relationships was epic, and no one trusts anything he says, including the LAPD. When two men dragging a dead body spot him on a late-night run, then try to murder him, Trey is thankful for the tall, dark, and deadly ramen shop owner not just for rescuing him, but also for believing him.

Now caught in a web of murders and lies, Trey knows someone wants him dead, and the only one on his side is a man with dark secrets. Trey hopes Kuro will stick around to see what the future holds for them once the dust settles, but from the looks of things, neither of them may survive to find out.

Whoooo hooo! Jacked Cat Jive is Now LIVE!

WHOOOOO HOOOOO!
 
Jacked Cat Jive is now LIVE!

You can purchase Jacked Cat Jive at:
DSP Publications: https://www.dsppublications.com/books/jacked-cat-jive-by-rhys-ford-489-b
Amazon: mybook.to/JackedCatJive
And other places books are sold.

Jacked Cat Jive
Stalker Kai Gracen knew his human upbringing would eventually clash with his elfin heritage, but not so soon. Between Ryder, a pain-in-his-neck Sidhe Lord coaxing him to join San Diego’s Southern Rise Court, and picking up bounties for SoCalGov, he has more than enough to deal with. With his loyalties divided between the humans who raised him and the Sidhe Lord he’s befriended and sworn to protect, Kai finds himself standing at a crossroads.

When a friend begs Kai to rescue a small group of elfin refugees fleeing the Dusk Court, he’s pulled into a dangerous mission with Ryder through San Diego’s understreets and the wilderness beyond. Things go from bad to downright treacherous when Kerrick, Ryder’s cousin, insists on joining them, staking a claim on Southern Rise and Kai.

Burdened by his painful past, Kai must stand with Ryder against Kerrick while facing down the very Court he fears and loathes. Dying while on a run is expected for a Stalker, but Kai wonders if embracing his elfin blood also means losing his heart, soul, and humanity along the way.

And if it’s even worth it.

Jacked Cat Jive Blog Tour Final Stop: Joyfully Jay! Catch up with Ryder and Kai in the short story, Ryder’s Folly!

The Jacked Cat Jive Tour Stop for today is: Joyfully Jay

This is  a connected story you can read by following the blogs each day BUT this time, it’s told from Ryder’s point of view. I wanted to bring a bit of Ryder’s take on the post-Merge world as well as how he sees Kai. Well, how he deals with Kai. I hope that you join Kai and his next adventure and also enjoy this serialized story of Ryder and the trouble he gets into when he doesn’t listen to what Kai says.

Also, I invite you to enter the giveaway on each of the blogs during the tour and get a chance to win a $25 USD gift certificate from an e-tailer of your choice.

Follow the tour at the blogs below!

F 28     Blogger Girls
M 1      It’s About The Book
M 2      Ndulgent Blogger
M 3      Diverse Reader
M 4      Love Bytes
M 5      Joyfully Jay

You can purchase Jacked Cat Jive at:
DSP Publications: https://www.dsppublications.com/books/jacked-cat-jive-by-rhys-ford-489-b
Amazon: mybook.to/JackedCatJive (https://www.amazon.com/Jacked-Cat-Jive-Gracen-Book-ebook/dp/B07L8LZSLK/)
And other places books are sold.

Jacked Cat Jive by Rhys Ford (Releases March 5, 2019)
Stalker Kai Gracen knew his human upbringing would eventually clash with his elfin heritage, but not so soon. Between Ryder, a pain-in-his-neck Sidhe Lord coaxing him to join San Diego’s Southern Rise Court, and picking up bounties for SoCalGov, he has more than enough to deal with. With his loyalties divided between the humans who raised him and the Sidhe Lord he’s befriended and sworn to protect, Kai finds himself standing at a crossroads.

When a friend begs Kai to rescue a small group of elfin refugees fleeing the Dusk Court, he’s pulled into a dangerous mission with Ryder through San Diego’s understreets and the wilderness beyond. Things go from bad to downright treacherous when Kerrick, Ryder’s cousin, insists on joining them, staking a claim on Southern Rise and Kai.

Burdened by his painful past, Kai must stand with Ryder against Kerrick while facing down the very Court he fears and loathes. Dying while on a run is expected for a Stalker, but Kai wonders if embracing his elfin blood also means losing his heart, soul, and humanity along the way.

And if it’s even worth it.

Jacked Cat Jive Blog Tour Stop #5: Love Bytes! Catch up with Ryder and Kai in the short story, Ryder’s Folly!

The Jacked Cat Jive Tour Stop for today is: Love Bytes

This is  a connected story you can read by following the blogs each day BUT this time, it’s told from Ryder’s point of view. I wanted to bring a bit of Ryder’s take on the post-Merge world as well as how he sees Kai. Well, how he deals with Kai. I hope that you join Kai and his next adventure and also enjoy this serialized story of Ryder and the trouble he gets into when he doesn’t listen to what Kai says.

Also, I invite you to enter the giveaway on each of the blogs during the tour and get a chance to win a $25 USD gift certificate from an e-tailer of your choice.

Follow the tour at the blogs below!

F 28     Blogger Girls
M 1      It’s About The Book
M 2      Ndulgent Blogger
M 3      Diverse Reader
M 4      Love Bytes
M 5      Joyfully Jay

You can purchase Jacked Cat Jive at:
DSP Publications: https://www.dsppublications.com/books/jacked-cat-jive-by-rhys-ford-489-b
Amazon: mybook.to/JackedCatJive (https://www.amazon.com/Jacked-Cat-Jive-Gracen-Book-ebook/dp/B07L8LZSLK/)
And other places books are sold.

Jacked Cat Jive by Rhys Ford (Releases March 5, 2019)
Stalker Kai Gracen knew his human upbringing would eventually clash with his elfin heritage, but not so soon. Between Ryder, a pain-in-his-neck Sidhe Lord coaxing him to join San Diego’s Southern Rise Court, and picking up bounties for SoCalGov, he has more than enough to deal with. With his loyalties divided between the humans who raised him and the Sidhe Lord he’s befriended and sworn to protect, Kai finds himself standing at a crossroads.

When a friend begs Kai to rescue a small group of elfin refugees fleeing the Dusk Court, he’s pulled into a dangerous mission with Ryder through San Diego’s understreets and the wilderness beyond. Things go from bad to downright treacherous when Kerrick, Ryder’s cousin, insists on joining them, staking a claim on Southern Rise and Kai.

Burdened by his painful past, Kai must stand with Ryder against Kerrick while facing down the very Court he fears and loathes. Dying while on a run is expected for a Stalker, but Kai wonders if embracing his elfin blood also means losing his heart, soul, and humanity along the way.

And if it’s even worth it.

Jacked Cat Jive Blog Tour Stop #4: Diverse Reader! Catch up with Ryder and Kai in the short story, Ryder’s Folly!

The Jacked Cat Jive Tour Stop for today is: Diverse Reader

This is  a connected story you can read by following the blogs each day BUT this time, it’s told from Ryder’s point of view. I wanted to bring a bit of Ryder’s take on the post-Merge world as well as how he sees Kai. Well, how he deals with Kai. I hope that you join Kai and his next adventure and also enjoy this serialized story of Ryder and the trouble he gets into when he doesn’t listen to what Kai says.

Also, I invite you to enter the giveaway on each of the blogs during the tour and get a chance to win a $25 USD gift certificate from an e-tailer of your choice.

Follow the tour at the blogs below!

F 28     Blogger Girls
M 1      It’s About The Book
M 2      Ndulgent Blogger
M 3      Diverse Reader
M 4      Love Bytes
M 5      Joyfully Jay

You can purchase Jacked Cat Jive at:
DSP Publications: https://www.dsppublications.com/books/jacked-cat-jive-by-rhys-ford-489-b
Amazon: mybook.to/JackedCatJive (https://www.amazon.com/Jacked-Cat-Jive-Gracen-Book-ebook/dp/B07L8LZSLK/)
And other places books are sold.

Jacked Cat Jive by Rhys Ford (Releases March 5, 2019)
Stalker Kai Gracen knew his human upbringing would eventually clash with his elfin heritage, but not so soon. Between Ryder, a pain-in-his-neck Sidhe Lord coaxing him to join San Diego’s Southern Rise Court, and picking up bounties for SoCalGov, he has more than enough to deal with. With his loyalties divided between the humans who raised him and the Sidhe Lord he’s befriended and sworn to protect, Kai finds himself standing at a crossroads.

When a friend begs Kai to rescue a small group of elfin refugees fleeing the Dusk Court, he’s pulled into a dangerous mission with Ryder through San Diego’s understreets and the wilderness beyond. Things go from bad to downright treacherous when Kerrick, Ryder’s cousin, insists on joining them, staking a claim on Southern Rise and Kai.

Burdened by his painful past, Kai must stand with Ryder against Kerrick while facing down the very Court he fears and loathes. Dying while on a run is expected for a Stalker, but Kai wonders if embracing his elfin blood also means losing his heart, soul, and humanity along the way.

And if it’s even worth it.