Wednesday 5 November 2014


Recipe Guest Post from Meradeth Houston !!

Hi!! Thanks so much for having me today! I thought I’d pass along a recipe for one of the foods that is featured in An Absence of Light. The main character, Leah, loves to eat, and she ends up moving in with an older woman who can seriously cook. Nana, who is originally from Mexico, has some amazingly tasty treats that she whips up throughout the novel. (I think this aspect had a lot to do with the fact that I was desperately missing good Mexican food while writing—I’m originally from California and miss my favorite haunts to grab a tasty meal!)

Anyhow, Nana’s culinary skills know no bounds, but there’s something she will always have made fresh for dinner: tortillas. Warm, soft, and she is the kind of woman who wouldn’t buy store brand (even though I will—or those cook and serve ones they sell at Costco, which I love!). Anyhow, as I said, I was definitely in need of some good food while writing and I ended up experimenting with several different tortilla recipes to see if I could find something I liked. This wasn’t so easy because I don’t do lard J. Anyhow, this recipe, from, is actually pretty tasty:


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup hot water

·         In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, salt and baking powder.
·         Add oil, and mix until the mixture looks like fine crumbs.
·         Pour in the hot water and mix until a dough-ball forms.
·         Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes.
·         Divide the dough into balls. On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll each ball into a thin, flat circle.
·         Heat a skillet or griddle to medium-high heat. Cook each tortilla for 2 minutes on each side or until brown blisters form.
·         Serve immediately or let cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

So, I’m curious: do you like Mexican food? What’s your favorite dish? I’m pretty partial to tamales personally!



An Absence of Light
Meradeth Houston
Evernight Teen/80,000 words

Leah’s always seen the shadow creatures. She thought she was immune to their evil—until now.
 She’s walked into a massacre, stolen a BMW, and is running from the law for a crime she didn’t commit. Nineteen-year-old Leah’s life just went from mildly abnormal to totally crazy at lightning speed. But no one will believe that the shadow creatures are framing her for the murder, because she’s the only one that can see them. At least that’s what she thought.
When Leah stumbles across a group who share her ability, she discovers they have something she doesn’t: a way to fight back. When the group offers to teach her how to kill the shadow creatures, Leah jumps at the chance. But something is brewing with the creatures. They’re tracking down the hunters like there’s no tomorrow. Leah suspects that maybe there won’t be, and it’s up to her to make sure tomorrow comes. Because she’ll do anything to stop the shadows, including risking her life—and the life of the one she loves—to keep the world from being lost to darkness forever.

Buy Links:     Evernight Teen    Amazon

A creeping tingle of coldness wound around my ankles. Something lived in there––the same things that took away my family and had stalked me for most of my life.

I didn’t have a name for them. In my head, I called them the Shadows: inky, black creatures that avoided the light, like I avoided the dark. They did things. Things that made monsters like Hitler look warm and fuzzy—or at least, less homicidal.

How they did it confounded me, but they had the ability to influence the darkness in people, to make them do terrible things. The Shadows got something from it, as if they fed from humanity’s malevolence. I’d tried to learn more about them since I realized no one else could see them, but they didn’t exist in any book, Web page, or library.
The only thing I could conclude was that they were otherworldly evil, pure and simple.

It didn’t help that lately the Shadows had been more focused on me. I’d seen more in the last few months than I had in my whole life, and they had been acting stranger than normal. They were up to something.

Plotting how to kill me, and everyone I love. I’d been so stupid not to figure that out.
As if hearing my thoughts, the Shadow sensed my presence. It crept forward to the mouth of the alleyway, a darker blotch of oily blackness that moved of its own volition. A fine tendril rose from its black mass, reminding me of a periscope on a submarine, searching.

“Crap.” I glanced around for the best way to escape. No way I could outrun the thing.
The Shadow moved into the open. Skirting the light, coming ever closer. Picking up speed. I had to get away. Now.

My heart began beating double-time and my feet froze to the ground.

A part of me wanted to step on it, like a giant slug, but it wouldn’t do anything. They couldn’t be killed that way.

I would give anything to know if I could get rid of them, to wipe them from the face of the earth. But they didn’t die. Didn’t disappear. Didn’t leave me alone.

There was nowhere to hide. They’d kill me. Just like they did my family.

Glancing at the car in front of me, my panicked laugh caught me by surprise.
Another entry for my rap sheet.

Careful to keep in the light, I hurried around to the driver’s side. Scooping up the keys, I threw myself behind the wheel. My fingers trembled as I shoved the key into the ignition.

The Shadow lurked near my door. I spared it one glance before the engine caught with a merciful roar and I slammed my foot on the gas.

The tires squealed and a trail of smoke hid the Shadow. The snaking chill, as I always felt from them, gave way and I knew I had left it behind.

There would be more, though. There were always more.

Author Bio:
I’ve never been a big fan of talking about myself, but if you really want to know, here are some random tidbits about me:
~I’m a California girl. This generally means I talk too fast and use “like” a lot.
~I have my doctorate in molecular anthropology. Translation: I sequence dead people’s DNA and spend a whole lot of time in a lab, which I love.
~I’ve been writing since I was 11 years old. It’s my hobby, my passion, and I’m so happy to get to share my work!
~My other passion is teaching. There’s nothing more fun than getting a classroom of college kids fired up about anthropology!
~If I could have a super-power, it would totally be flying. Which is a little strange, because I’m terrified of heights.

WEBSITE, FacebookTwitterInstagramTumblr, and of course her blog!

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  1. Thanks so much for hosting me and An Absence of Light today!!

  2. Mmm, Mexican food...yum! I've only made my own tortillas once. I should really try again! (Wouldn't a tortilla press be great? A friend of mine has one and loves it!) Thanks for the recipe. :)