Slippery When Immortal.

I woke with a giddy anticipation of today’s post.

It’s release day for this beauty…
Elizabeth Hunter is on my “perma-read” list. Meaning that anything she writes, I’ll read. If she were to suddenly decide to take up writing limericks for condom wrappers sold exclusively at Whole Fooods, I’d quickly find a use for prophylactics. (In spite of my married, barren state!)

trojanrhyme

–Elizabeth Hunter did not write that.  I’m sorry, World.

When I first received an ARC of The Scarlet DeepI was wound tighter than a pair of skinny jeans after a trip to the County Fair. (mmm, deep-fried butter…) I couldn’t wait to tear into it. *metaphorically speaking,* I was on my ipad. Also, I realize that that’s not quite the proper use of the word “metaphorically,” but I am owning it.

I promptly decided a few things: one, I was not cooking on that day. Not once. Spending time smearing the paste of the crushed bodies of  heat-tanned legumes on bacteria-enhanced wheat products was about all I was willing to do. There was much delivery sushi that day. And two, I needed more coffee. Like, lots more.

You get me, Lorelei.

What’s the book about?

On the waves of the North Atlantic, a poison spreads, sapping the life from humans and striking madness into immortals.

Patrick Murphy, the immortal leader of Dublin, has been trying to stem the tide of Elixir washing into his territory, but nothing seems to stop the vampire drug. While others in the immortal world work to cure the creeping insanity that Elixir threatens, Murphy has been invited to London to join a summit of leaders hoping to discover who is shipping the drug. If Murphy and his allies can cut off the supply, they might be able to halt the spread long enough for a treatment to be found for the humans and vampires infected.

Anne O’Dea, Murphy’s former lover, retreated from public life over one hundred years ago to help immortals in need… and to heal her own broken heart. Though powerful connections keep her insulated from the violence of vampire politics, even Anne is starting to feel the effects of Elixir on her isolated world. The human blood supply has been tainted, and with Anne’s unique needs, even those closest to her might be in danger. Not just from infection, but Anne’s escalating bloodlust.

When Anne and Murphy are both called to London, they’re forced to confront a connection as immortal as they are. As they search for a traitor among allies, they must also come to terms with their past. Behind the safe facade of politics, old hungers still burn, even as an ancient power threatens the fate of the Elemental World.

Was it everything I hoped?

And more. There comes a time in most vampire novels when the world building and storytelling are put aside for inane minutiae which typically serves to bulk-up word count and make a book seem more highfalutin than it actually manages. I like to call it the “smells like/tastes like game.” Because, it always seems to be inordinately related to how things smell and taste in vampy books.

Such as:

He smells like a combination of a warmed Werther’s Original straight from my Grampappy’s pocket, and my impending orgasm.

Again, no author wrote this exact description, but damn if there aren’t hundreds upon hundreds of them lurking in books. THIS wouldn’t exist if that wasn’t the case. Yes, EH does pen a bit about smell and taste, because they’re essential sensory notions to everyone, especially vampires. However, the narrative doesn’t ever feel fit to be bogged down by grocery aisles worth of taste sensations.

I’m not certain why this is the first thing that popped out in my brain as important, but it did.

On from that, the characters in this installment are ones we’ve met in previous Elemental World books. Murphy, the vamp many of us took as just a sexy, splenetic mob boss with deep pockets and even deeper bitterness; and Anne, the mild-mannered but firm vampire psychologist who helped Brigid move beyond the crippling emotional problems weighing her down. In The Scarlet Deep we are finally taken behind the curtain on their past, and the motivations behind the coldness we witnessed from them in the other books.

The reader is given intimate knowledge of just how intelligent and manipulative Murphy can be when he invites the leader of Belfast, Anne’s sister, to a gathering of important immortals–somewhat in politesse, somewhat mala fide–knowing she’d send Anne in her stead. He is singularly determined to recapture her heart, and will use all avenues at his disposal. The machinations occurring around this development lead me to believe that Elizabeth Hunter could have a bright future in espionage or preschool instruction. (I’m certain the level of societal manipulation is equivalent.)

The story is one that never lets up. The entirety of the two hundred and something pages are so full of story and webbed interminglings of past and future plot lines that the idea of even placing it down for a moment seems interminably long an absence from such a book. However, it never becomes overwhelming. The reader is never confused as to which storyline is which, and it is never unclear whom is the main focus of this installment. The book IS Murphy and Anne, but without their friends and supporting characters, the picture of them would be much less cemented.

And Murphy and Anne. OH, Patrick Murphy and Anne. The way they love. The simple honesty of affection and the heartbreaking threads of distrust which sews this story along its arc, creates a soul-binding romance in which the reader becomes so involved, they could be swept away utterly. Everyone knows what it’s like to have their trust feel misplaced, and the knowledge of that makes the outcome all the more rewarding for it. It answers the question: “Can one ever truly regain trust when it’s broken?”

In the end, they have to fight for it. Fighting not each other, but themselves, and also they have to fight for each other. All in all, I believe that Elizabeth Hunter’s books will become as immortal as the characters within them.

scarletdeep

Five “fist to the feels” stars.

Someone hold me….

twist my arm.

And yes, I did get this book as a free ARC. BUTTTTT, it should be known I also BOUGHT IT. I really want to picture authors who send out ARCs, and the reviewer really loves the book, to sit back like this…

So, what recipe could go with such a wonderful book? WELLLLLL, NOT the truffles I originally planned, because, humidity. SO, in the book, Anne requests chocolate and wine. I can DO chocolate and wine. It’s also 93467498567 degrees, so I want to do chocolate and wine on ice cream. Therefore, I give you,

Cabernet Hot Fudge Sauce

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Cabernet Hot Fudge sauce because, wine and vampires and The Scarlet Deep by @E__Hunter #books #vegan… Click To Tweet

IMG_3076 IMG_3078

Cabernet Hot Fudge Sauce

by Cat Bowen

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes cooling time

Keywords: dessert vegan

Ingredients (1 1/3 cups)

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup cabernet or other dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp earth balance buttery spread or actual butter

Instructions

stir all ingredients in a saucepan on medium until smooth,

cook five more minutes,

let cool 10 minutes,

pour into pourable jar

let cool a few more minutes

pour all over some ice cream, your wife, a cracker…

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quote me on it.

Happy Galentine’s Day!!

Statistically, Fridays are GREAT days for reveals and VERY SHORT POSTS unless those posts are reveals. So I’m going to do something fun and fresh. A post, fuck-full of graphics, that I love, a PALEO dessert that will rock your Val/Galentine, and a NEW BOOK REC!!

And now….fun with quotes: Cat’s favorites edition. (Though, honestly, if I put it on my blog, we have to assume it’s going to be my favorite. I have lots of favorites. In general, I hate the term “slut,” because it indicates that a love of sex equates a less-than worth, but in this instance, I’m a total Quote Slut.)

Joe Hill NOS4A2

Jane Austen

ee cummings

haruki murakami

 

margaret atwood

Now for the book rec! My and my PSM, Amy’s awesome book club We Ran, We Read, We Rummed, *JOIN* read an OMG SUCH A GOOD BOOK!! (review to come!)

 

And now? The recipe.

Ok, so I agreed to do a one week Paleo challenge, and despite one horrible idea I had that I could combine the butter and the coconut oil the night before and blend it into my coffee the next day, it went really well. I ate 94873948673948639467 nuts. I had 934876394673469 eggs. I ate 394876934867 sweet potatoes, and I found so many more uses for schmaltz and bacon fat. While I don’t think the diet is for me, (I am more of a Nordic-style/Mediterranean-style eater) it wasn’t awful. I don’t think I could live without my cold-pressed canola (rapeseed, for you europeans) oil, farro, or oats. While I try to eat mostly whole-grains, and even make cookies from them, giving them up entirely will simply not happen.

One thing that will keep happening? Bulletproof coffee. One cup of coffee with one tbsp of schmancy unsalted butter and one tbsp virgin coconut oil, blended to high heaven. It’s actually delicious. *Unless you combine a new coconut oil you’ve never tried with butter the night before, then it tastes of sadness and pain.*

Another thing I won’t give up? 72% chocolate. OMG. IT’S SO GOOD. When you add raw cacao nibs and almonds? huminahhuminah.

My kids are dairy-free, so I am forever in search of new treats that are SAFE for them. Yes, my son can handle baked butter if I feed him enough probiotics to clean Elvis’s gut, but it’s easier to avoid. I’ve seen tons of chocolate-dipped clementine oranges, but most used typical dark chocolate and then topped with salt. I decided to do a little more. I topped them with chopped salted almonds and raw cacao nibs. I also sprinkled some with cinnamon, and others with chipotle powder.

Paleo Chocolates

paleo chocolates paleo chocolatesThese are simple. Just peel and separate the seedless clementines (lets say 4 of them) and strawberries, (depends on size and amount of yummy chocolate you have) lay on a paper towel, top with a paper towel, and refrigerate. When they’re extra-cold, and extra-dry, melt 6 oz 72% chopped dark chocolate in a microwave safe bowl on high for 30 seconds, stir, and keep doing this in 15 second increments until it’s smooth. Dip each piece in the chocolate and lay on a sheet of parchment or wax paper and then top with chopped nibs and almonds, if you’re adventurous, dust with cinnamon or chipotle powder. When they’re solid, EAT THEM. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

 

Fool Me Once…You Get Rewarded.

Do you know what you get when you put away your toys without being told? hello, lover. Do you know what that sexy piece of heaven is? A slice of martin’s whole wheat potato bread toasted and smeared with all natural peanut butter, grilled bananas and shaved Ghiradelli’s 70% dark chocolate. Healthy as Heaven, Sinful … Read more…

Easter Basket Bonanza

Uh, it’s Good Friday. Already. Holy Cow. In prep for Easter, I need to: Make the dough for the paska (Slovak Easter Bread) Make the dough for the halusky (Slovak dumplings–soo cheesy, so delish) Thaw and marinate the leg of lamb Chop the veg for the salad Grab the ingredients for the 5-cup salad (just … Read more…