Today my guest is L.J. LaBarthe. She shares some of her Christmas memories and a delicious sounding recipe for gingerbread. I know I’ll be giving it a try!
Don’t forget to check out the giveaways.
What’s the worst present (Christmas or otherwise) you’ve ever received?
Many years ago, I was given a nutcracker which I still refer to as the nutcracker from Hell. It was in the shape of a soldier, like a traditional wood nutcracker doll type thing. His expression was one of “I am going to steal your soul and eat it with my nutcracking mouth mwahahaha,” and I hated it with a fiery passion. Also, I wasn’t entirely convinced that it wasn’t going to eat my soul, lol! Needless to say, when I moved house a little after Christmas that year, I didn’t take the nutcracker from Hell with me.
What’s the best gift (Christmas or otherwise) you’ve ever received?
One of my first contracts from Dreamspinner Press was around Christmas, and that was a wonderful way to start the holiday season, I was walking on air for quite a while after that!
If you could be granted one special gift for the world for the holiday season, what would it be?
Stability. With the political situation being uncertain in most of the world, I think that stability would give a lot of people peace and know where to go next in their lives. The whole not knowing causes a lot of stress and depression, and stability provides a great foundation to find one’s feet with a little more certainty.
Tell us a little about the favourite book you released this year?
That would be “Song of Song.” It’s my first foray into science fiction. I love reading scifi and watching it on TV and in movies, but I’ve never felt confident enough to try and write it myself for one very good reason—science is not my forte. But then something my beta reader, Cate Ashwood, said to me struck a chord. She suggested that it wasn’t really necessary to ground it in real world science, after all, it’s fiction. So go forth and invent. And once that idea took root in my brain, I wrote the book very quickly, as it almost wrote itself.
It’s the story of Dex, a genetically engineered human who is essentially a slave to mega corporations and his escape from that life with the help of his best friend, who is an A.I. cat named Manx. They end up on board the first fully sentient, organic spaceship built by Song, and Dex and Song move from a prickly relationship to one that is more loving and romantic, against a backdrop of interstellar conflict, megalomania and political upheaval.
I’ll definitely be adding that one to my holiday reading list! Share a favourite holiday photo.
This is a photo of myself and my father. It was taken in 1992, on Christmas day. Dad used to cook a full, French dinner for Christmas, as he was a trained Cordon Bleu chef. He passed away in 2014, and I miss him, but this photo is one of my favourite memories of good times… and amazing food.
That’s a lovely photo ❤
Share a favourite holiday recipe.
This is a recipe that was given to me by my friend Claire. It’s for traditional gingerbread, as made in the 16th century. I’m making this as a palate cleanser for Christmas dinner this year, as it’s so delicious.
3 tblsps ginger
2 tblsps cinnamon
3 tsps black pepper (or long pepper if you have any)
1 tsp ground cloves
Makes about 50 small pieces
Put the honey in a large saucepan and heat it gently, until it has become quite liquid. If any white stuff or foam floats to the surface, skim it off. Add the spices and stir evenly through. Add the breadcrumbs and mix until they are thoroughly combined. Depending on the nature of your honey you might need a bit more or less, but you want to add enough that the mixture has become quite difficult to stir, but such that there is still enough honey to thoroughly saturate all the crumbs.
Line a baking tray with baking paper, and pour the mixture onto the paper, pressing to compact it, and spread it out so it is about an inch thick. Leave to cool, and when it has set, cut into small squares (a knife dipped in hot water may help with this). To store, put in a sealed container (or wrap in baking paper, then plastic wrap) and keep in a cool, dark place.
What does 2017 hold for you on the writing front? What can your readers expect to see from you?
Hopefully, I’ll finish the duology m/m vampire romance books, which also hopefully will be picked up for publication. I also hope to finish a dystopian m/m romance that I started a little while ago but due to health issues haven’t gotten back to. And right now, I’ve got my NanoWriMo novel, which I hope to finish too. Hopefully all of these will be picked up for publication.
There are many people who aren’t as fortunate as me and this time of year is always a time where I reflect on how lucky I am. It’s a time for giving back and I do so by supporting my favourite charity (Twenty10 who provide support for LGBT youth) financially and with their Christmas Hamper drive. Is there a favourite charity or not-for-profit organization you’d like to call out and raise the awareness of?
There are many charities I support, but I’ll try to limit it to a few. First, there’s Better World Books, who have an enormous amount of second hand books for sale, all proceeds go towards funding literacy programs around the world.
Next is Freedom Hill Sanctuary, an Adelaide sanctuary for farm and working and sport animals, they’re here: and Edgar’s Mission in NSW who do the same sort of work. Finally, two elephant charities, Save the Elephants and the David Sheldrick Trust.
Check out one of L.J.’s books…
It is the year 2275, and though some consider Earth a paradise, for most people on the planet or her outer-world colonies, it’s anything but.
Dex is a Boxie—a genetically engineered human created for the sole purpose of caring for wealthy bio-humans. His best and only friend is an AI cat named Manx, a secret Dex keeps from all around him. While he knows little about his sexuality, he’s attracted to Song.
Song designs ships that traverse deep space and has created the first fully sentient vessel called Fa’a. When he hears of a plot to capture Fa’a for nefarious purposes, Song flees Earth with a small band of misfits. Meanwhile, Dex’s fear of losing Manx drives him to take the cat and escape on a transport.
Song and Dex are brought together by chance. Just as their relationship blossoms from cautious and shy to romantic and erotic, new dangers threaten to destroy not only their love but also Fa’a, their friends, Manx, and all they care about.
L.J. is giving away an ebook copy of Song of Song.
To enter just comment on this post and a winner will be randomly chosen after 15th December.
Click here to enter the Rafflecopter. The winners will be drawn at the end of the blog tour.
1st prize: $20 Amazon GC, 2nd Prize: $15 Amazon GC (courtesy of Meg Bawden), $10 ARe GC (courtesy of Beany Sparks), and 4th Prize is a bundle of 4 ebooks (1 back list title from Renae Kaye, Penny Brandon’s “His Heart’s Desire”, LJ Harris’ “The Haunting of Angus MacGregor”, and a backlist title from N.J. Nielsen)
About the author
L.J. LaBarthe is a French-Australian woman, who was born during the Witching Hour, just after midnight. From this auspicious beginning, she went on to write a prize-winning short story about Humpty Dumpty wearing an Aussie hat complete with corks dangling from it when she was six years old. From there, she wrote for her high school yearbook, her university newspaper, and, from her early teens to her twenties, produced a fanzine about the local punk rock music scene. She enjoys music, languages, TV, film, travel, cooking, eating out, abandoned places, urbex, history, and researching. L.J. loves to read complicated plots and hopes to do complex plot lines justice in her own writing. She writes paranormal, historical, urban fantasy, and contemporary Australian stories, usually m/m romance and featuring m/m erotica. L.J. lives in the city of Adelaide, and is owned by her cat.
Manic Readers: http://www.manicreaders.com/LJLaBarthe/
Want to let people know about the Down Under Holiday Spirit author posts and giveaways? Here’s a ready made tweet: