Scottish Gaelic: Dreamer, Visionary

Tag: Writing

Guest Post: Food and Kitchen Witches


When my friend Val Griswold-Ford asked me if she could talk about food and her new book on my blog, I didn’t hesitate!

So here goes 🙂


Thank you, Katharina, for letting me come over and talk about two of my favorite things: food and cooking! My main character for Winter’s Secrets is a kitchen witch, simply because I really wish I could be. She’s absolutely a Mary Sue in that respect, as she can cook ANYTHING. I first ran into the concept in a book that I cannot remember the title to now, but was a fantasy book based on the song “The Whistling Gypsy Rover.” The main character in that was also a kitchen witch who had to go and rescue her half-faery sister from the gypsy rover who stole her away. I was fascinated – her name was Meg, and what she could do with her gifts was amazing. How useful! Never to be without hot water, or be able to take a few bits of food and make a feast. Able to fix anything. Never to need a timer to know when something was done. Why weren’t more people writing about things like this???

Molly currently uses her gifts to run a tea room, but think of the applications for all sorts of fantasy books. Armies travel on their stomachs – which makes them vulnerable to poisonings, or having the enemy pursue a “scorched earth” policy, and means they have to travel at the rate of the provisions wagons. But if you had a kitchen witch or two with you? You could travel much lighter, and be less vulnerable. Think of the possibilities!

I love food (it’s really no secret), and so through Molly and her tea room, I get to play with ideas for all sorts of things. The idea of a tea shop is one of my favorites as well. When I was in college, there was a tea shop, tucked into the back of an antiques store, where I would go and write when I could. There was three to four tables, and everything was mismatched. For $20, you could get several pots of tea (really good tea), tea sandwiches, and whatever the owner felt like baking that day. And she liked writers, so she thought it was cool that we would sit there with our notebooks (because none of us had laptops at that point – this was back in the 90s, when we were all broke and computers were large) and scribble away. It was the perfect atmosphere, and one I wanted to recapture.

When I first thought of the Advent Story idea, I knew I wanted my main character to own a tea shop. The idea of putting it in a bookstore combined my other love (I swear, heaven is a library) and gave me the framework for what I could do. Molly doesn’t have a lot of room, and that allows her to experiment a bit. The original blog story (which starts at, if you want to go back and read it in its first form) actually had some recipes sprinkled in, but they were from various blogs I found on the internet. I’ve been threatening for a while to do a Carter’s Cove cookbook, but I’d have to actually sit down and test recipes, which I don’t really have time to do. But we’ll see.

You can order Winter’s Secrets, Book 1 of the Carter’s Cove Advent Stories from Amazon, and follow me on Twitter (@vg_ford). Schrodinger also has his own Facebook page (Schrodinger Barrett) and Twitter handle (@MollysSchrodngr).

Christmas Markets in Vienna, 2015 Edition

XmasCover E 2015When I started blogging about Christmas markets in winter 2012, I never thought it would become a book, let alone I would be publishing a second edition three years later.

After it was first published, I still wanted to go to new markets or revisit old ones, and I took my camera and Mick with me, to be safe. The plan was to update it for 2014, but we moved house and the project landed in the queue.

I was sure though, once the new opening dates and times were published I would manage a 2015 edition – and here it is! 🙂

Updated infos, seven new markets, and many more photos! / /

Smashwords (and many more…)

Danube Waves

2014-02-20 15.17.55Only a few days ago, I finished the first draft of Danube Waves, the sequel to the Coffee Legacy and the second book in the Wiener Blut universe. The draft came in just over 76K which makes it quite a bit bigger than the first novel. I’m not sure if it will grow or slim down in the editing process but it will most likely stay longer. At the moment I’m into the first round of edits before the manuscript goes to the editor. I have a few timeline references to fix and to make sure that the story stays consistent throughout and I didn’t start off with an idea that gets forgotten later on.

When I’m done with my edits I will start with the casting for the podcast version of it. I cannot resist doing a podcast again and I am very lucky that I already have the OK of those people who are recurring from the first book. But there are also many new characters which need new voices and I’m excited to cast them.

At the same time the relaunch of the paperback version of the Coffee Legacy is underway and it’s long overdue. I hope to get it out before the eBook version of Danube Waves gets released.

Once the casting call is out, I will put a blogpost here and over on the Wiener Blut website, so keep your eyes open! 🙂 Also, there will be cake!

The Third NaNo Win

2013-Winner-Facebook-CoverIt’s December 1st, and on November 23 I finished my third NaNoWriMo after 2010 and 2012. It is also the third time I’ve managed to write 50,000 words. I might have finished the word goal but I’m not finished with the book yet. I think it might need another 10-20K words. For this NaNo, I was writing the sequel to my 2010 project, the Coffee Legacy (Wiener Blut 1). It is called Danube Waves and revolves around… cake! 🙂 Yes I am serious. That’s how the idea started. One cake per chapter instead of coffee. Not to worry, there is still a lot of coffee in the books and even more was consumed writing it. I hope I can finish the first draft of the novel by the end of the year but I also promised Mick to edit Some other Scotland, which he has finished during this NaNo. He’ll go on to writing his 2010 NaNo book which has yet to be finished. Once he has done that, he will go on to edit Danube Waves. I hope I’m quicker writing than he edits, but I have a suspicion I might be.

So what else is next? Working on more Every Photo Tells… stories and on the 2nd edition of our guidebook Christmas Markets in Vienna, to add more markets and more photos. Once the edits of Danube Waves are done it’ll go out to the beta readers and I will start working on the audio book version. I was hesitant about it at first, mainly because I didn’t want to re-cast the people who appear again, but since I managed to convince the most important recurring voices, I’m happy to do a full cast version of it as well.

I think that’s enough to do and it should keep me busy for a while. Needless to say there is already the next idea or two floating in my head…

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