Diana Pharaoh Francis Guest Post & Giveaway: Horngate Witches, food and ugly juice


From Chelsea/VBC: Today we’re turning the blog over to the fantastic Diana Pharaoh Francis. Her latest Horngate Witches novel Blood Winter releases on Dec. 18. Like me, she’s excited about all the food that comes with the holiday season. Turning it over to Di…

Blood Winter by Diana Pharaoh Francis // giveaway at VBCHi everyone!

Thank you for having me here. I’m really excited! I was pondering what to write about for awhile and I realized that the answer was . . . Food! Holiday time is coming, and of course, all that great food that comes with it. It seems we start eating in November and don’t stop until after New Year’s. If then. I mean, once you get started on the yummy, why stop?

In the world of my Horngate witches, food is a primary focus and it’s wonderful and delicious. For awhile. My magical warriors—the Shadowblades and the Sunspears—have to eat at least 20,000 calories a day. (I’ll admit to a little bit of wishful thinking when I wrote that). They have to eat even more when they are fighting or doing strenuous things, or the magic spells that created them will eat them alive. This works out pretty well when food is everywhere—Costco anyone? Taco Bell? Thanksgiving every day!

They eat anything with tons of calories. The covenstead cook has a job to keep the food going all day and all night. She’s up to the task. She’s a gourmet cook and a witch and between the two, she gets the job done and with gusto.

But then, the magical apocalypse strikes and things have to change. Goodbye to food deliveries, grocery stores, fast food, and the easy, quick, and portable calories of peanut butter, power bars, and candy. The covenstead has to produce its own food. Spices are scarce and so many other things that people take for granted.

What this means is that the covenstead cook—her name is Magpie—has to come up with something packed with calories that the Shadowblades and Sunspears can use on the fly and can add to the calories they are able to consume at meals. They don’t have time to eat constantly to get the energy they need.

The answer: Ugly Juice.

This is a drink that Magpie invents that is full of calories. I’ll admit, when I wrote about it, I had no idea what would be in it, except I knew honey was in it. And it would likely be flavored with berries (the covenstead has greenhouses that are magically enhanced). Other than that, I have no idea.

So that’s why I bring it to you—what would you put into a drink to make it high calorie and (somewhat) tasty? Keep in mind that while you would have magic to help out, the magical apocalypse has struck and getting anything from the store is not possible. The covenstead has herds of animals and greenhouses for growing just about anything (since they can create tropical conditions even in the dead of winter in Montana). They can trade for some items, but they have to produce A LOT of Ugly juice, as there are at least 20-26 of the magical warriors on hand at any given time.

Now I ask you—what would your recipe be? I can’t wait to hear some of them. And there just might be something cool in it for the person who comes up with the best one!

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22 Responses to “Diana Pharaoh Francis Guest Post & Giveaway: Horngate Witches, food and ugly juice”

  1. I’ve been reading horror books. I like the stories I’ve been reading. Thank you for sharing this article.

  2. Rebe says:

    Well, it would definitely include honey as well. In the real world I’d include peanut butter and maybe chocolate protein powder. Perhaps a spoonful of mocha flavored instant coffee? That sounds kinda yummy.

  3. Denisetwin says:

    Honey, strawberries, pineapple, banana, whole milk, lemon juice, and whatever nut was available. Blended. This would be high calorie, for higher protein for slower burn would need to be more like whole milk base, nuts, wheat germ, spinach, avocado, honey to sweeten.

  4. raonaid luckwell says:

    Banannas, peanut butter, honey. That might be a weird looking drink.

  5. Serena: I hope my books appeal. They are dark, so they might.

    Rebe: protein powder would be good. If only Horngate had any. Sadly they don’t.

    Denise: That’s a good recipe. Even though the fruits aren’t growable in MT, with magical greenhouses, it’s entirely doable. Good recipe.

    Raonaid: They’d have to grow the peanuts. But it’s a good plan. Though a rather interesting texture.

  6. Karen says:

    oats, nuts, bananas, berries, peanut butter, honey. hmmm definently sounds ugly but hey could be pretty good ;p

  7. Bethany C. says:

    I would make something with avocados and nuts- calorie dense while still being nutritious and not just junky calories for calories sake.

  8. Keira says:

    I’d say add eggs to start–lotssa protein there. And then nuts, berries, anything that’s readily available, really.

  9. I don’t do juices.. ask me for a roast recipe or a soup and I’m right there. I do love the cover though. It reminds me of my girls when they;re fighting. LOL

  10. Donna Barton says:

    I would use blueberries, strawberries, mangoes, cocoa, and probably some flavored coffee such as caramel.

  11. Jordan says:

    I’d add in Haagen Dazs. Many, many calories in each yummy bite!

  12. JenM says:

    I love this series. It always seems like such a long wait between books. My recipe would definitely include the honey and berries, along with apple juice and banana, avocado for extra calories, maybe some almond milk to add protein, and yogurt if they had some source of dairy (either cows or goats?). Then some lemon juice too, and crushed oats and nuts.

  13. Liz Semkiu says:

    Need to add a lot of protein to increase the caloric intake- nuts or milk or soy, along with the honey, berries and anything else, maybe carrots for flavor. Personally, I’m not much of a smoothie fan, but if you need 20,000 per day, lots of ice cream and milk shakes would help! I love your series! Looking forward to the next book.

  14. Denise Z says:

    That is a really hard one, because I would love it if chocolate already sugared and processed grew on trees LOL Since resources are limited, perhaps carrots, greens, beets, lemon, apple, and honey – or whatever fruit and veg they can grow or find locally in the natural setting. A little honey and citrus even makes the protein worms bearable, should this be required; just don’t tell anyone you put those little guys in LOL

  15. pc says:

    Definitely honey and maybe banana, coconut and coconut milk, cocoa powder, apple, pineapple, mango, papaya, blueberries, dates, pears, vanilla yogurt, finely ground nuts (macadamia, almond and flaxseed), carrots, ginger, and a little bit of beets.

  16. Since they are in need of calories definitely nuts and avocado. Plus imagine how Ugly the avocado would make it!! =)

  17. Julie says:

    Hmmm…all of these sound good. I’m not sure what mine would be but it would have to have chocolate in it 🙂

  18. Sandy Lion says:

    Ice cream, chocolate, and whipped cream……yumm. sdylion(at)gmail(dot)com

  19. ForeverReading1 says:

    Since some foods and ingredients are limited, here are some basic staples that add up to a calorie intake of 2,074 plus well over 50g of protein. Hopefully this concoction will yield a non-gag taste.

    4 eggs
    2 cups milk
    1 cup condensed milk
    2 cups mixed berries (any kind)
    2 Tbl of honey
    1/2 cup of almonds

  20. bn100 says:

    chocolate, ground up granola bars, peanut butter, bananas, honey, oats, walnuts

  21. These are some of the best answers ever! But I really like ForeverReading1 because there’s a recipe AND a calorie count. So now, if you email me your address, I will send you something cool. dpf AT dianapfrancis DOT com

  22. Donna K says:

    So many things to add to a drink to make it so yummy. I think dark chocolate, white chocolate, french vanilla, and strawberries blended together. On top whipped cream with crushed chocolate and candy canes. I mean it is the season.

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