Stopping by today for Writer Wednesday is a favorite author of mine, and the writer of the TWISTED WISHES series, the TAKEOVER series, and more: Anna Zabo!
Also, by pure happenstance, of the roster of authors participating, I somehow managed to schedule Anna during their release week for their latest book, COUNTERPOINT! And so, they have provided us with a lovely post about the sensuality of food–one of the topics found within COUNTERPOINT and several of Anna’s other books.
So, have a read, and then, if you haven’t already, run off to your nearest online retailer and buy this book!
For Love of Lemon and Each Other: The Sensuality of Food in Counterpoint
Counterpoint has a lot of scenes where Dominic and Adrian are eating. From their first meeting to their growing relationship, meals take on a sensual aspect when they’re together. They both enjoy eating and drinking, and it becomes a part of their courtship and their D/s relationship, too.
This isn’t by accident, though it’s an aspect of my writing that I don’t dwell on that much. I very much enjoy food and eating. I like new tastes and old favorites and the experience of meals, including cooking them. For me, cooking and eating with someone is both care and service. It’s an act of love and devotion, and one that can be dominant or submissive—or familial. Sharing meals a way of connecting with family and friends and partners.
There’s something breathtakingly decedent about the tastes and aroma of good food and drink. I’m not necessarily talking about expensive food—there’s as much pleasure to be found in a late night run out to the local hot dog joint for a huge order of gravy-covered fries as there is a perfectly cooked steak at an expensive restaurant with cloth napkins and just the right kinds of utensils.
The sensuality and pleasure of food is what you make of it. Dominic’s love of lemon is why he can be moved to tears (or orgasm) by the perfect lemon dessert. It’s why feeding Dominic, for Adrian, is nearly as effective as getting a blowjob from him. There’s a licentiousness about eating the things you love or watching someone enjoy them. Being a part of that experience.
Both Adrian and Dominic have personalities that like to stop and really experience events, whether it’s sex or reading or eating. They both cling to the little (or bigger) pleasures, partly to remain above the elements of their lives that might drag them down.
And they’re not the first of my characters to do this. In Just Business, Eli cooks for Justin, partly to calm himself, party so he can feel in control of a situation he cannot change. But he can provide something pleasurable for Justin, something to calm and comfort him, too. Later, Justin makes tea for Eli—again for comfort. And for Justin, so he can serve. And that ritual becomes a part of their lives in years to come, too.
In Daily Grind, Brian has dinner with his parents and siblings nearly every week. It’s a way of connecting with his family, of sharing their lives and staying in touch. When he doesn’t go, it’s a sign that there’s something significantly wrong in his life.
In Syncopation, the symbol of Ray’s healing and the band’s determination is the whole of Twisted Wishes marching off to dinner. They go to break bread together—in public. It’s symbolic and healing and communal. It’s also a bond between them.
Food is spiritual. It’s woven into the fabric of humanity. Offerings of meals were and are left for deities. Settings are left for the departed or someone who might return. Special meals are prepared on special days with recipes passed down from generations. Deaths and births are marked with offers of food, as are weddings. We have our traditions. Our fasts and our feasts.
Counterpoint is certainly a book of feasts and the license that goes along with such indulgences. Both Dominic and Adrian have been starved for the companionship they find in one another—it’s no wonder everything, from reading to music to eating, becomes a pleasure when they share it with each other.
Anna Zabo (they/them) writes contemporary and paranormal romance for all colors of the rainbow. They live and work in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which isn’t nearly as boring as most people think.
Anna is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns and prefers Mx. Zabo as an honorific.
Anna grew up in the wilds of suburban Philadelphia before returning to their ancestral homelands in Western Pennsylvania. As a child they were heartily disappointed to discover that they couldn’t grow up to be what they wanted (a boy, a cat, a dragon), so they settled on being themself whenever possible, which may be a combination of a boy, a cat, and a dragon. Or perhaps a girl, a knight, and a writer. Depends on whom you ask. They do have a penchant for colorful ties and may be hording a small collection of cufflinks. They can be easily plied with coffee.
Anna has an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, where they fell in with a roving band of romance writers and never looked back. They also have a BA in Creative Writing from Carnegie Mellon University.