Book Bites: For Appearances, with Sonia Lyris

Book Bites is Cooking the Books‘ more easygoing cousin. Authors talk about their book and share a recipe, all in one tasty bite. 

I met Sonia at the Rainforest Writers’ Retreat, just a few days before her debut novel, The Seer, arrived on the shelves. Today, she’s joining us to talk about appearances in The Seer.

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The Seer Saga

“No,” says my first reader. “This man is the Lord Commander of the empire, so he’s not going to be eating cheese and meat and a hunk of bread for a working lunch. How would that look? Appearances, after all.”
I get his point. By the time my novel The Seer goes to print, the Lord Commander’s lunch includes pâté arranged in swirls on small toasts, slices of mutton arranged as spokes of a wheel, and sausage and onion and bits of vegetables on silver skewers neatly piled in stacks.

And an array of dipping sauces, which threaten the priceless maps spread across the huge desk.

But when it comes to me, the author, and my working lunches, I admit I’m both simple and lazy. My question, staring into the fridge, is: how do I spiff up that cold hunk of left-over chicken, a boiled egg, chopped veggies, or slices of cheese?

Dipping sauces, of course!
But no fuss, please. I use ingredients that happen to be around.

Here’s my favorite:

Found-Simple Dipping Sauce, with Pepper:
Mix well:

* 1/4 cup mayonnaise
* 1 teaspoon soy sauce
* 1 teaspoon olive oil
* 1 tablespoon fresh finely chopped onion
* 1 heaping tablespoon powdered Parmesan cheese
* 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

Let sit in the fridge as long as you can stand to wait. Overnight, if possible. It gets better. Serve with a swirl of paprika, to make it fancy.
Appearances, after all!

SoniaLyrisSonia Lyris is the author of The Seer (, a high fantasy novel from Baen Books ( Her published fiction includes fantasy, science fiction, horror, mainstream, and more, and may be found at ( Follow her on Facebook ( or Twitter ( Her web site is at (

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