Yesterday was World Vegan Day. Not that I knew about it until I read about it on someone else’s blog who has vegan aspirations, eats no dairy but does eat fish.
A vegan pescatarian perhaps? Years ago, we went on a holiday from hell (top tip: avoid Ramblers’ Association cross-country skiiing holidays) and were the only vegetarians on the trip. Yes, we could be catered for. But this was France, where the odd bit of ham in the peas isn’t considered an issue. The chef would pick them out for us.
One pescy (pesky?) couple described themselves as ‘food reformists’ rather than pescatarian. Not sure whether the reformation referred to them or their food. They ate the peas with ham as I recall.
Meanwhile, I had a sudden distaste for beans while in Spain. This was not good. Six days out of seven in Spain, we live on infinite varieties of bean slop, the seventh day is veg paella.
Sunday: I cooked chick peas. As I was struggling to force it down, Partner took the bowl away from me saying, ‘You’ll be sick’.
Monday: I cooked pinto beans. I forced them down. Later … I was sick.
I clearly have Unaccounted for Sudden Onset Bean Allergy.
No more beans that week.
But on a cheerier note, there is more choice of food in Gib. Yesterday, without knowing it was WVD, I cooked pasta with a tomato, olive, onion, chilli and red pepper sauce. Supper was vegan slices (sage and onion, Vegideli) sandwiches with lots of salad. So I did enter into the spirit.
Unlike the hunting, shooting and fishing lobby. In my carnivorous days, I enjoyed grouse. Each to our own. But I’m not sure the rich should be funded for shooting grouse?
And speaking of money, influence power and shooting …
Corporate Citizen by Gabriel Valjan
This is the fifth book in the Roma series about forensic account Bianca Nerini/Alabaster Black and her pals.
I’d totally forgotten there was another one due, so was surprised and pleased when the Italy Book Tours co-ordinator sent me a copy, before I’d had chance to sign up, because Laura knew I’d enjoyed the other books in the series. Always nice to avoid paperwork, virtual or otherwise.
The books in the Roma series flit between Italy (Rome, Milan, Naples) and Boston in America. In Corporate Citizen, Bianca et al are back in Boston helping old friends. Except for her boyfriend Dante, as the two appear to be in temporary separation mode, so he’s stuck back in Italy.
Valjan manages to maintain most of the core characters, introduces new ones, and swaps them around as the series progresses, as he does the locations. It’s a neat trick to avoid boredom. In this book, Bianca becomes closely involved with a man who is a suspect, and has a dubious/mysterious past.
Add to that addictive mind-altering aggressive drugs, the usual quota of murders, and attempted murders, plus the links with Bianca’s former
dodgy covert government organisation, Rendition, all makes for an interesting, if complex mix.
Not forgetting Russian and Ukrainian groups fighting for power and the distribution of a new designer drug. Oh and prostitution. There really isn’t much missing in this book.
It has some vivid action scenes, some empathic moments, and lots of detailed food scenes. As ever Bianca is the star of the book, with some sound supporting characters. The new one, Nick Adams, runs her a close second in this book.
Although it’s an action book, it’s also a thinking book as everyone tries to work out what’s going on, and who is on whose side, and there are references to previous books, but it’s basically standalone in terms of plot/story. Luckily Valjan has a character list at the beginning to aid any confusion.
Gabriel Valjan lives in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the author of the Roma Series, available from Winter Goose Publishing. I wonder if they do box sets. Would seem like a good idea for a series.
On a lighter note, I finally received my copy of The Tiger Fierce by Timmy.
This had only taken a mere two months to arrive from Canada. Many thanks to Timmy and Chris for posting it to me.
Timmy guest posts on the first Tuesday of every month at kardzbykris, which is a photoblog that uses clever thoughtful words as well. I’ve always enjoyed her blog, so it was no surprise to find that The Tiger Fierce is full of gorgeous photos and is a top quality production. It’s a short, but a delightful read and visual treat. Recommended for cat/animal photography people in particular.
More details on kardzbykris
Two other authors to mention. Both of whom have similarities in style. Great characters and lots of action. Plus, quieter moments too. And this is where the genre thing gets up my nose. Sci-fi, spec-fic, dystopian? All these apply. YA, NA, Early Adult, Baby Adult, and a woman in her fifties (me) enjoys them? Totally silly arbitrary descriptions.
But still, two good series for whatever type/age of adult requiring a good read.
M T McGuire’s K’Barthan Series will be available as a box set on 18 Nov.
Pre-order price is $7.99 and £6.99. I read it pretty much straight through and it works well.
Lyz Russo’s latest, Nix Romipen, in the Solar Wind Series was released yesterday, and for the next couple of days, there is a discount on the previous four books, the first one is free anyway.
I planned to add some photos of my Gib evening walks but Halphone is a total disaster. Won’t speak to Halpad and refuses to connect to wifi to send photos to Halpad. Bloody Apple!
So here are a few old pix.