It’s Wafer Thin…

This post will mainly focus on the “Eater” half of “Reader/Eater,” but I wanted to quickly address what it is that I’m reading right now as well.


After You by JoJo Moyes. –harder than I thought to get into. I’m so stuck in the previous installment, I’m in a weird headspace about it.

Charles Dickens: A Biography by Claire Tomalin–it’s amazing. She’s a wonderful biographer.


Trueheart by Mel Sterling–for the second time in as many weeks. I simply adore it, and want to have all of my ideas fully-formed for my review.

The Past by Tessa Hadley The story is quite engaging and sharply written. The prose is sparse but lovely.


rereading Bound by Lorelei James–I NEVER thought I’d pick this book up again, but found myself missing the characters. (maybe not the prostate massage.)

The Dirt on the Ninth Grave by Darynda Jones–to be honest, haven’t started. The last installment was so AHHHH, that I haven’t pulled the trigger.


Nobody’s Baby But Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips–it’s from 1997, and the “cassette” portions haven’t been edited out. It’s hilarious. (the cassette parts)

NOW! the rest of the story.

I’ve discussed my mental health quite a bit on the blog, and my physical health also, but I’ve rarely discussed my digestive health. This is mostly because I simply don’t want to discuss it. Scatalogical discussions don’t really thrill me. Though, my issues aren’t as, say, graphic as some.

I have a twisted intestine.If it sounds super-painful, that’s because it is. Because of this, I have pretty severe issues with air becoming trapped in pockets of my intestine and in my stomach, causing OMGSOMUCHBLOATING and pain.

This is exactly how I sometimes look after eating.

Anyways, for the past year+, I’ve been taking a STRONG proton pump inhibitor to relieve this issue. It works like a mother effing charm. However, it’s also contraindicated for another medicine I need more, and PPIs have recently been linked to chronic kidney disease. With my anemia, and my ADHD/MDD/GAD, I do NOT need another diagnosis, unless that diagnosis is “too awesome for words.” You know? So, I’ve had to ditch the PPI. That might not sound like a big deal, but when the pain of the bloating is so bad, and so constant, that you break out in chills and nearly throw up every twenty minutes, it’s a BIG FUCKING DEAL.

Chronic bloating is a fuckwit with a microphone. Not unlike this next guy…

see what I mean? He gives everyone a stomachache.

Coming off the PPI meant a LOT of research into anti-bloating diets. I found myself in the unlikely place of reading a Dr Weill article. You see, I’d previously put that doc in the same category as Dr Oz and Trump. Mouthpieces for their agenda. However, I just KEPT seeing research with his name on it. Like, real research. Researchy research.

So I read, and read, and read some more. I found peer-reviewed articles, anecdotal testimonies, and researched old wives’ tales. There is actually quite a lot of research on small intestinal microbacterial overgrowth and the like! FASCINATING! SCIENCE!

So I had one thing left to do.

well, science the air out of it, but it’s all relative.

I am NOT a nutritional scientist, so do your own damn research and due diligence as well, but I can tell you what’s been helping me, and where I’ve fallen short.

*probiotics. There’s so much research on this. I like the one they sell at Costco because I can buy it with my bulk soy milk and bananas.

*licorice and peppermint tea. If nothing else, it tastes great. Yogi sells a great one. Plus, you get those little yogi tea bits of trite wisdom!

*no straws. ever. seriously. They are like a bad bottle to a baby. My family draws the line at burping me. I think my husband would be amenable to spanking, but…Honestly, though. If you want a williwaw in your gut, by all means…

*live food. No, I don’t mean go bite a cow. I mean food that’s alive. Sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, fermented veggies, yogurt, kombucha, ACV. Live food.

*drink a fuckton of mineralized water. I am referring to water with mint or ginger and other soothing things added. I use mint, ginger, lemon and lime. Keep a pitcher handy.

*eliminate regular dairy and meat. I KNOW I’M A SPECIAL SORT OF BITCH FOR EVEN SAYING THIS, but, it takes a truly long time to digest, and that’s bad news bears. Fatty fish is easier on the tumbly.

*drink celery and cucumber juice. WEIRD, right? But the literature is there, and it’s downright lovely when you make a blend.

*squats. lots of squats. deep ones.

Where I’m sucking, but I hear is really helpful.

*eat slowly

*no booze

*no sugar

*processed grains

presoak your beans

even more squats.

I could write sonnets about how much I love Richard Simmons.

Now, because I love you, I’m sharing the PERFECT JUICE RECIPE. I’ve been into juicing since Christmas. My daughter asked Santa for a juicer, and I don’t know how I lived without one.

My Beat the Bloat Juice

Beat the Bloat Juice

Beat the Bloat Juice


  • 1/4 small pineapple, chopped
  • 1 pink lady apple
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1/2 inch ginger


  2. stir.
  3. drink WITHOUT a straw

Get Series(ous). #15

Before I get into it, can we just chat a moment about last night’s Golden Globes?

Creative People should not be allowed alcohol before they’re supposed to do something which requires forethought to what they say.

As a creative person, I will tell you, once I’ve had a few drinks, “fuck” becomes the chief word in my vocabulary. I mean, it’s high up there to begin with, but it REALLY comes out when I’ve had some cognac.

Moving on!


Holy hell.

Ok. This series, you guys.


This book is a YA, yes. However, it’s ridiculously intelligent. The history, the science, the well-researched intrigue. If you’re a fan of Erik Larson, Paula Uruburu, Hillary Mantel, Diana Gabaldon, Philippa Gregory, Alison Weir, or Elizabeth Hunter, this series is for you.

It has all the politicking and intrigue of court society, but with a youthful, modern edge that will delight readers across age and genre lines. It’s a little like being held captive by an amazing storyteller, only to reason later that the bonds were untied the whole time, and you simply wanted to be there. It’s absolutely that compelling.

So, what's the series- (2)

The Immortal Descendants series by April White.

The Blurb:

Seventeen-year-old tagger Saira Elian can handle anything… a mother who mysteriously disappears, a stranger who stalks her around London, and even the noble English Grandmother who kicked Saira and her mother out of the family. But when an old graffiti tag in a tube station transports Saira to the 19th Century and she comes face-to-face with Jack the Ripper, she realizes she needs help after all.

Saira meets Archer, a charming student who helps her blend in as much as a tall, modern American teen can in Victorian England. He reveals the existence of the Immortals: Time, Nature, Fate, War and Death, and explains to Saira that it is possible to move between
centuries – if you are a Descendant of Time.

Saira finds unexpected friendships at a boarding school for Immortal Descendants and a complicated love with a young man from the past. But time is running out for her mother, and Saira must embrace her new identity as she hides from Archer a devastating secret about his future that may cost him his life.

It is so much more than this blurb. gah.




And a little this:

It’s not as cheery as most borderline romance adventure books. It’s not really dark, either. It exists somewhere in the ether above the sentiments of lamentation and determination.

Why do I love this series-

April White’s Immortal Descendants Series reads like an eloquent waltz across the topography of space, time, humanity, and the wilds of emotion. It completely encompasses that idea of “show, don’t tell” that makes novels something more than mere words strung across papyrus. Saira is the modern heroine readers crave. She’s forward-thinking without alienating anyone who isn’t in need of alienation. She’s blunt, sharp, responsive, and completely age-appropriate. She’s seventeen, and the reader knows that. She’s bright and intelligent, yes, but she’s also seventeen. That hindbrain, the one that tells adults “hey, BAD IDEA!!” Isn’t fully formed, and it shows, which is completely appropriate. There’s a reason so many of history’s heroes are so young. Too young to be terrified.

This series is an absolute joy to read, and burning through them in a weekend is a perfectly respectable way to spend a winter weekend.

Immortal Descendants

And now,

Recipe, Please!

I tweeted April White to ask what she prefers, and she mentioned salad. I love a good salad, but I ADORE a good dressing. In honor of the herbivore shifters in the series, (hold me closer, gazelle dancer!!) BUDDHA BOWL with AMAZING Miso-Mustard Dressing.

Buddha Bowl with Miso-Mustard Dressing

buddha bowl with miso mustard dressing

buddha bowl with miso mustard dressing buddha bowl with miso mustard dressing


Buddha Bowl with Miso Mustard Dressing

by Cat Bowen

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Keywords: appetizer salad condiment vegan


  • Ideas for toppings:
  • grilled tofu and vegetables
  • black beans
  • roasted beets
  • black rice
  • tortilla chips
  • romaine lettuce
  • chopped bell pepper


  • 2 tbsp white miso paste
  • 2 tsp liquid aminos
  • 2 tbsp live apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp chinese mustard
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • juice of one lime


blend together ingredients of dressing and pour over salad.

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2016 Reading Challenge

There are dozens upon dozens of reading challenges on the interwebs right now. They range from the random, “read a book with a blue cover” to the academic, “For Whom The Bell Tolls” to the focused, “read one book that you’ve never heard of.”

Mine is different. Because, of course it is. My 2016 Reading Challenge is…

So, I give you the…

-I don't judge your life-

beverage optional, but encouraged.

Let’s break this down, shall we, scamps? We shall.

Or we could just watch Tom Hiddleston break it down.


Think Madam Bovary or Maurice. Sure, it looked good, but you had so much other shit to do. 


Too embarrassed to pick up that book because of its cover?! HOGWASH. Do it. It’ll feel good, I promise.


We’ve all done this. “Sure I’ll read X, you know, when I start caring about it.”  Read  X, you may love X.


These are pricey, I know. I’m not telling you don’t seek out the deals, I’m just saying don’t say no. Just once.


She’s one of the most prolific authors who is always a lightning rod for an entire genre, and also serves as whipping boy for dumb-ass critics who’ve never read a decent romance novel in their lives, but because no one is having a great realization about the abuse they suffered at the hands of their grandmother’s maid, they think it’s shit.

rip your own bodice, bitches.


Hell, I’ll even throw in “PBS” and “FX” to the list of available channels. The books are typically at a low price point as well. They’re popular for a reason, so scarper off with one.


They’re juicy. You know you want to.


Feel weird to buy a self-help book? It’d be weirder to buy a self-love book, and essentially, I’ve told you to buy two of those already, so move up to your whole self, shall you? You shall. For I have decreed it.

This is a FUN challenge, so have fun with it. Live a little. Buy the fuzziest pyjamas you can find, and settle in under your heated throw and get down to business. *I mean reading.

For the food?


Feel free to eat it as a meal, because, I DON’T JUDGE YOUR LIFE.

Chipotle Mango Guacamole

chipotle-mango guacamole

Chipotle-Mango Guacamole

by Cat Bowen

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Keywords: appetizer condiment side snack

Ingredients (one bowl)

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 mango
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 cup chopped cooked black beans
  • generous pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • palm full chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 chopped red onion
  • 1 roma tomato, chopped


basically? mash the avocado and stir with other ingredients.

salt to taste

serve with chips.

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The Internet is for Porn.

Let’s start this out with something we all know.

Does the Chinese internet have porn? I hope so.

ANYWAYS, why am I talking about porn?

Because of a book, of course.

That’s the coolest damned dog, right?

You can probably surmise by the title that this book is a little bit…different, from the contemporary romance and PNR which I usually feature here in my little areola of blogland. (The nipple of blogland belongs to my PSM.) This book is, in a word, hysterical.

Because who doesn’t love a love story that begins at a porn convention? I KNOW I DO. Even though the idea of a porn convention makes me want to take an emergency chemical shower followed by some manner of ritual ablutions that cleanse my soul of the remnants of the experience.

But, hey! It’s cool if you’re into that! I’d just rather not. But, it made for a fantastic premise.

The blurb:

Most people would describe Katherine Berger as a responsible girl with a big heart, a loyal friend who takes care of those close to her, and the possessor of a wicked sense of humor. There was something about her that most people didn’t know. “My name is Kat Berger, and I love porn.”

When twenty-five-year-old Kat is dragged to a porn convention by her best friend, she’s both embarrassed and nervous. The last thing she ever expected was to meet someone who makes her laugh like no other. This is a story about acceptance and friendship, and a love born out of the most unexpected of places.

So what would you do if you met a really hot guy hanging out on a bench at a porn convention? What if he called you out for adjusting your underpants? Personally, calling me out would have me running somewhere dark and quiet to cry into a gin and tonic, but others may laugh!

Kat has much more of an indomitable spirit than yours truly, so she befriends the man with the huge…heart. And she kinda falls for him. He kinda falls for her. But, HE BANGS OTHER LADIES FOR A LIVING.

while she’s:

He’s basically:

Only, without clothing. And with boatloads more women.


“who here has slept with Robbie Lingus?”

The story is light and fun, without any real pressure exerted upon the H/H. The biggest, erm, hurdle, is Robbie’s occupation, and how couldn’t it be? He knows more about vagina than Georgia O’Keeffe. (but think of the possibilities. The experience.) It’s honestly utterly believable, in spite of its over the top presentation and subject matter. The characters are ones the reader truly begins to care about, and the pages keep turning in a blur of lubricant and cheek swabs.

Strangely Enough, Lingus by Mariana Zapata? 4 stars. or phallic devices. you pick.

I know what you’re thinking, what recipe could POSSIBLY go along with a pornmance love story with shockingly little sex?

No idea. So I made roasted potato, leek, fennel, and garlic. Sweet Roasted Fennel and Potatoes. Fennel is a great anti-inflammatory, so I suppose it would be good after a long, hard, day at the office?

Sweet Roasted Fennel and Potatoes



Sweet Roasted Fennel and Potatoes

by Cat Bowen

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Keywords: side entree salad snack vegan vegetarian nut-free soy-free


  • 4 bulbs fresh fennel, sliced 2 cm thick
  • 4 scrubbed idaho potatoes, halved lengthwise, and sliced 2 cm thick
  • 2 leeks, washed and cut 2 cm thick
  • 5 cloves garlic, halved
  • tsp salt
  • tsp black pepper
  • 30 ml EVOO


preheat oven 400F/200C

toss together all sliced veg, garlic, oil, salt and pepper in a bowl.

place in a single layer on two baking sheets

bake for 10 minutes, toss, bake ten more. If golden brown, take out, if not, bake 5 more minutes.


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2015’s Best Speculative Fiction

To read this blog is to know I ADORE SPECULATIVE FICTION. The mythology, the metaphor, the mayhem. I love it in ALL forms. Books, movies, theatre, tv. If there’s a werewolf or warlock I’m all over it. Give me your dead guys rising, your evil queens, your sexy alpha males with hearts of fucking gold, … Read more…