Friday, December 27, 2013

Characters and Cocktails Guest blog and Giveaway with Melanie Karsak

Characters and Cocktails
Drinking with Lily, Sal, and Byron from Chasing the Star Garden
by Melanie Karsak

Thanks so much to Roxanne for hosting my tour stop for Chasing the Star Garden today. I am excited to share a little glimpse into the personality of the characters in my new steampunk series through their drink choices. What a person drinks says a lot about them, don’t you think? Let’s see what we can learn about the characters in my novel thought their alcohol preferences! What’s your poison?

Lily Stargazer: Absinthe

First up, let’s have Lily Stargazer. Lily is the hero of my novel. She has a few hang-ups. In fact, one might say we find her at the bottom of the well at the beginning of this novel. Lily is an opium addict and she drinks a bit too much. Like many people who struggle with such issues, Lily is running from some difficult and painful memories. Throughout the work, you will see that Lil’s favorite drink is absinthe.

Absinthe is a herb-based liquor that is said to evoke hallucinations in the drinker—this is called chasing the green fairy. Absinthe is drunk mixed with cold water and sugar.

What to try absinthe? 

Here is how to properly drink absinthe:

George Gordon, Lord Byron: Port Wine

For Lord Byron, I chose port wine. Port can be a sweet dessert wine, but it also has a heady red wine flavor (though you can get white port wine). The flavor of port wine is rich and deep, so the sweetness surprises takes you by surprise. What is fun about Byron, however, is how he drinks his wine. The historical George Gordon, Lord Byron was infamous for holding costume parties where he dressed as a monk and drank wine from a goblet made from a skull. There is a reason they said Byron was mad, bad, and dangerous to know!

Salvatore Colonna: Grappa

Grappa is a grape-based brandy that originates from Italy. Grappa is usually drunk straight in small quantities at a time using a shot glass or small fluted glasses designed just for drinking grappa. Grappa is a traditional Italian alcoholic drink. It is strong, but a sophisticated palette with often catch the subtle flavors. I chose grappa for Sal because it is a drink that hails from his country of origin, and also because the flavors are strong, sophisticated, and straightforward. Grappa also smells nice when rubbed on the skin, if it is well made. There is a traditional strength in Sal, and this drink fits him perfectly!

I hope you enjoyed reading about my characters through their drink preferences. Lily and Byron like to have fun; I think they would both love this post a lot. 

Want to have fun with them? Pick up a copy of Chasing the Star Garden!

Chasing the Star Garden
The Airship Racing Chronicles
Book I
Melanie Karsak

Genre: Alternative History/Gaslamp-Steampunk

Publisher: Clockpunk Press

Date of Publication: December 4th, 2013

ISBN: 978-0615878775
ISBN-10: 0615878776

Number of pages: 325
Word Count:  70,000

Cover Artist: Damonza

Book Description:

An opium-addicted beauty.

An infamous poet living in self-imposed exile.

An ancient treasure about to fall into the wrong hands.

Melanie Karsak’s “Chasing the Star Garden” takes the reader on an exciting adventure from the gritty opium dens of gaslamp London to the gem-colored waters of the ancient world, introducing us Lily Stargazer, a loveable but reckless airship racer with a famous lover and a shattered past.

Lily Stargazer is having a bad day. She just lost the London leg of the 1823 Airship Grand Prix. To top it off, a harlequin fleeing from constables shoved a kaleidoscope down her pants, told her to fly to Venice, then threw himself from her airship tower.

What’s a girl to do? For Lily, the answer is easy: drink absinthe and smoke opium. 

Lily’s lover, Lord Byron, encourages her to make the trip to Venice. Lily soon finds herself at the heart of an ancient mystery which has her running from her past and chasing true love and the stars along the way.

About the Author:

Melanie Karsak grew up in rural northwestern Pennsylvania where there was an abysmal lack of entertainment, so she turned to reading and hiking. Apparently, rambling around the woods with a head full of fantasy worlds and characters will inspire you to become an author. Be warned. Melanie wrote her first novel, a gripping piece about a 1920s stage actress, when she was 12. A steampunk connoisseur, white elephant collector, and caffeine junkie, the author now resides in Florida with her husband and two children. Melanie is an Instructor of English at Eastern Florida State College.


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Debby said...

I cannot imagine drinking from a skull glass. I have tried most of the drinks listed.

Roxanne Rhoads said...

I've never tried absinthe, it's something I have always wanted to try. Being a fan of the gothic books for so long I've always read about it but nevr tried it. Of course it was illegal forever.

Melanie Karsak said...

Thank you for the tour stop, Roxanne. I can't imagine using that skull cup either!