Tag Archives: PJ Schnyder

Guest: PJ Schnyder Explores London

Hi friends! Today we have the gorgeous and wonderful PJ Schnyder visiting with us! She’s actually been here before, did you know that? 😉 Although I’m totally jealous of her trip she took with her boyfriend, so maybe I don’t like her that much… >.>

Hehehe ok I won’t be a brat, I’ll leave it to PJ to entertain you all now. 😀

Exploring London

“This is Kensington Gardens,” I told my boyfriend. “Now imagine all the people walking around are zombies.”

Yup. We recently went to London and visited Kensington Gardens/Hyde Park multiple times to research locations for my London Undead series. We also rode the Tube in order to visit a few sites outside the parks.

Bite Me, book 1 in the London Undead series, featured the Peter Pan statue as well as some of my favorite foods. I had to write most of those scenes from memory, past visits to London. For Sing for the Dead, the draft had already been completed but I had time in this recent trip to London to confirm some of the details for each site. Plus, I was able to pick new sites for the third book in the series, Survive to Dawn.

Authors can’t always get to a particular location to soak in the feel of the place. Today’s technology makes research a lot easier. Google Maps and other tools allow an author to literally stand on a particular street, through the view of their monitor. Still, if at all possible, I try to physically get to a location if I’m setting a story in a place that exists.

There are nooks and crannies, hidden alleys and corridors, a person wouldn’t find when viewing online. In Sing for the Dead (Book 2), the main character hides in a series of lift passageways abandoned during reconstruction of a station for the London Underground. These passageways are real and were found to contain original vintage posters. You can see them here.

The passageways aren’t accessible to the public, but the District and Circle Line platforms are. I explored Notting Hill Gate station and the Underground in general to confirm the feel of the place I’d wanted to capture for Sing for the Dead.

There’s a certain something about London and even in a post-apocalyptic world I’d be drawn back, preferably alive as opposed to walking dead.

Few people walk the streets of London since the zombie outbreak, but that’s not an issue for Seth. As a werewolf, he can handle himself and save humans reckless enough to take a nighttime stroll. While on patrol he comes across a group of people under attack. The one woman brave enough to take a stand against the zombies catches his eye–and not just because of her way with a gun. Learning the beautiful woman is homeless and fends for herself despite her disability only intensifies his urge to protect and care for her.

Maisie can’t help but admit that she’s attracted to her werewolf rescuer. She’s drawn to Seth’s strength and ferocity, and finds herself opening up to him in ways she never imagined, even though she’s determined to not to rely on Seth or anyone else. She doesn’t want another person to get hurt–or die–for her sake. She has enough scars, physical and emotional, from the last time…

But when Seth realizes something is drawing the zombies to Maisie, there may be nothing he can do to save her….

Giveaway: Leave a comment for a chance to win a free e-copy of “Bite Me”, Book 1 of the London Undead.

Open to International entries.

Play find the PJ around the Internetz: Website, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube.

Isn’t PJ nice? Friends abroad welcome! Of course be sure to leave a comment. PJ didn’t leave one so it’s up to me. :X What do you think of post-apocalyptic worlds? Or zombies?! Or how about travel research? Makes me want to become an author – I think a world tour would be needed for my WIP. 😉 Of course… funding for that would be difficult. 🙁 Thanks for indulging me, lovelies! Just answer any of those questions, or honestly, feel free to come up with your own thing to comment on! Or as PJ questions! The sky is the limit!

Author Spotlight: PJ Schnyder

Hi friends! Another author who is going to AAD visiting with us today! Lucky girl. She’s also so adorable. See?

First, I’d like to thank Limecello for having me on her blog and to thank the readers stopping in to say Hi by offering the chance to win a free ecopy of Red’s Wolf. Just leave a comment at the end of this guest post! 😀

I’ve never been to New Orleans so when I heard Authors After Dark 2012 would be there, I did a little happy dance and made sure to register as soon as possible. I already wanted to attend Authors After Dark because I made such a connection with readers, existing and new, at last year’s convention.

But, when the convention activities are at a lull and people are out on author field trips or exploring the city, they might spot me sampling the city’s cuisine. Because if there’s one thing I love to explore about any place, it’s the food!

Beignets, gumbo and etouffee are on my list to try in New Orleans. I’ve given it my best go at the recipes I’ve found and been fairly happy with them, but there’s nothing like tasting them the way they’re supposed to be made.

Readers of the Terra’s Guardians series might be familiar with my love for food. Mackenzie of Heart’s Sentinel makes real hot chocolate from scratch and tends to cook when she’s nervous. Carri of Red’s Wolf truly enjoys a properly cooked steak, but her real favorite is chocolate cake.

Here’s a snippet from Red’s Wolf in case you’d like to see what I mean:


He wouldn’t look at her, but nudged the plate toward her. “The cubs almost ate all of the chocolate cake. You said earlier it was your favorite, so…”

“Thank you.” She accepted the slice, partly wrapped in a napkin, and immediately took a bite of the moist, chocolaty heaven. Sweet perfection exploded across her palette. Carri half-closed her eyes in bliss, enjoying the velvety richness of the cake and smooth, intense icing. “Oh, whoever baked this should win an award.” Jason shook his head, catching her attention. Blushing, she mumbled around a mouthful of cake. “What?”

“It amazes me how much you can enjoy a bite of food.” His voice had its usual gruff tone, but his eyes warmed with a twinkle she hadn’t noticed before.

“Good food deserves to be appreciated properly.” She stood straighter. “This is a work of art. Chocolate is a wonderful thing.”

He frowned, his expression doubtful. “It’s a slice of cake.”

“It’s chocolate cake, very moist, and with really good icing.” She corrected him, holding out the slice.
“Here, try some.”

“Maybe a taste.” He gave in, but he didn’t take a bite from the slice she held. Instead, he separated the space between them, taking his taste from her lips.


Obviously, my slipping out to taste the wonders of New Orleans will be important research. After all, there will be more books to come in both my Terra’s Guardians and Triton Experiment series. Gotta have some wonderful things for my characters to enjoy. 😉

To tide us all over until we can get to AAD New Orleans, I figured I’d share my recipe for crab and shrimp etouffee.


Shrimp and Crab Étouffée , adapted from THE PÊCHE

1.5 pounds raw shrimp, peeled
approx 1 cup crab meat
2 tsp & 2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1 tsp. cayenne pepper (or a little more)
2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 c. canola oil
1/2 c. flour
1/4 c. finely chopped onion
1/4 c. finely chopped celery
1/4 c. finely chopped red bell pepper
3 c. chicken broth (low sodium)
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed
1 c. finely chopped scallions
Cooked white rice, for serving

Prepare shrimp:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Add two teaspons of salt (Kosher? Yes, it’s different from table salt or sea salt) to the water and then add in the shrimp. Boil for approximately 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Rinse with cool water, drain and set aside along with drained crab meat.

Make the Étouffée:

Combine the remaining two teaspoons of salt, cayenne, black pepper, basil, and thyme in a little bowl. Set aside.

Put a large, heavy-bottomed pot over high heat.

Add the oil. Just as it starts smoking, add in the flour evenly across the oil and whisk vigorously for a minute or so.

Turn heat down to medium low and brown the roux for approximately 30 minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon until it’s looking like dark chocolate.

Add the onion and cook until soft, approx 5 minutes.

Remove the pot from heat and add in the bell pepper and celery along with one tablespoon of the spice mixture. Stir until combined.

In a different saucepan, heat chicken broth to boiling. Once it’s boiling, get the roux mixture back on medium heat and slowly whisk in the broth until combined, about two minutes. Move the pan off the heat.

In another saucepan over medium-high heat, melt 5 Tbs butter. Add in the shrimp, crab meat and scallions. Stir. Cook for a minute and then add in the remaining spice mixture. Stir and then add it all into the roux, stirring until mostly combined. Add in the remaining Tbsp butter and stir until shiny and glossy.

Serve the étouffée in a shallow bowl and top with rice. Maybe garnish with more chopped scallions. Enjoy.


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Oh my gosh – after all that I’m so hungry! What about you! Like mentions of food in books? Have a favorite example? What’s a “signature” food you’ve never had but want to try, and where? (E.g. gelato in Italy, a Philly cheesesteak in Philly, deep dish pizza from Chicago.) Or do you have a recipe to share? You know I love recipes! One lucky commenter is going to win a copy of Red’s Wolf from Ms. Schnyder! (Contest rules here.)