Winter Blogfest: A Favorite Thing about the Holidays by Mary Patterson Thornburg

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews Winter Blogfest. Post a comment to win a digital copy of one of the author’s Uncial Press books OR a digital copy of any Uncial Press book.

A Favorite Thing about the Holidays

One of my favorite things about the Midwinter holidays is, alas, food. I love to look at it, read about it, eat it (of course) – and even write about it. Near the end of my fantasy novel The Kura is a passage describing the refreshments at a party thrown by the heroine and her father. My editor and I had a little wrangle about it – she advised me to cut to just three or four dishes, her argument being that readers’ eyes tend to glaze over when confronted with long lists, so they skip over them anyway.

I planted my feet and refused to cut. It was the overstatement I was going for. Holiday meals should always be overstated, it’s my firm belief, whether in fiction or real life. Riches piled upon riches, so you’re practically swimming in food and drink (with plenty of leftovers for the guests to take home with them).

I won the argument, and here’s that menu:

The meal set out on the kitchen table was buffet style: baked ham, baked beans, chicken wings in Charlie’s barbeque sauce, dressing, macaroni and cheese, mixed greens, hot bread, pickled apples, potato salad, and a salad with noodles, lentils, currants, and diced celery in a spicy dressing, which Alyssha had put together in as close an approximation as she could come to a dish Shan had taught her to make. There was tea and a kettle of hot, spiced cider on the stove, winter ale, pies, and a plum pudding with hard sauce.

Okay, that’s too much to eat for just fifteen people, isn’t it? And it’s certainly not kosher! But that’s the part of the book I like to read over and over, around this time of year. Sigh. This year I’m going to try that noodle-lentil salad myself, maybe with cranberries instead of currants.

kura_epubThere’s something wrong with the Verdun Street Bridge in Granville.

People don’t like the way it feels. They take the long way around it if they can – and Alyssha Dodson knows why.

A dark doorway under that bridge leads to another world. Alyssha spent a summer there when she was a child. She’s promised her father she won’t go back. But now she has no choice, does she? A hit-and-run victim from that world has brought her a message of trouble there – a message she doesn’t understand, but one she has to deliver.

Of course, she has other reasons for going back. There’s a place for her in Bandor, better than any place in her own world. It’s where she belongs. And there’s Kardl – the boy she met there when she was twelve. She’s daydreamed about him for all these years, and now he’ll be there, waiting for her the way she’s waited for him…

Won’t he?

About the Author:Mary Patterson Thornburg was born in California, grew up in Washington State, moved to Montana when she was 18, and spent many years in Indiana, where she studied and then taught at Ball State University.

Her dream was always to write fantasy stories and novels, but she didn’t get started until she and her husband moved back to Montana in 1998. When she’d finished her first story and it was published, she took off running and never looked back. She’s had stories in Cicada, Zahir, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Strange, Weird, and Wonderful, among other places. Her first fantasy/romance/adventure novel, A Glimmer of Guile, was published by Uncial Press in 2014. Her second book for Uncial, The Kura, came out in April, 2015.

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Buy the book at Amazon.


  1. kim amundsen says:

    Sound like a good read!

  2. Wait all year for the food at Christmas, there are only recipes that are made at this time of the year, so they are looked forward to with great anticipation.

  3. tasty menu
    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  4. Thanks to all three of you for your comments! We had a great Christmas dinner… not quite everything from my fictional menu, but some of it anyway. I ended up getting the ingredients for that weird salad, then chickened out on making it — but one of these days I’ll try! I promise!

    Kim Amundsen, congratulations! I’ll email you about getting the book to you, and I hope you’ll love it!

  5. P.S…. Speaking of once-a-year holiday food… I made Hoppin’ John for New Year’s Day, and it was DELICIOUS. My husband said, “What is this?” I told him it was Hoppin’ John, and that it brought good luck all year if you had it on New Years’ Day. “I see,” he said. “And the good luck is that you only have to eat it once a year.”


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