Posts made in August, 2016

Breath of Earth signing at Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, AZ tonight at 7PM

Posted by on Aug 22, 2016 in Blog, breath of earth, public speaking | Comments Off on Breath of Earth signing at Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, AZ tonight at 7PM

BoE-cat_sm

Breath of Earth is officially out tomorrow, but if you’re in Scottsdale tonight at Poisoned Pen Book Store, you can get your copy a day early and get it signed, too! They’ll have my Clockwork Dagger books as well–or you can bring copies you already own. I’ll be happy to sign them.

Rumor has it there might be cookies available.

You can find out more details about the event here. If you live far away, you can even order signed copies and they’ll ship’em right out!

#SFWAPro

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Sunday Quote releases a new book in 2 days

Posted by on Aug 21, 2016 in Blog, Quote | Comments Off on Sunday Quote releases a new book in 2 days

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway.”
~Eleanor Roosevelt

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Breath of Earth: Creating a new map of 1906 San Francisco

Posted by on Aug 18, 2016 in Blog, breath of earth | 2 comments

This post is part of a series on the research and worldbuilding for my new book Breath of Earth. The first part, on actual film footage of San Francisco before and after the quake, can be viewed here


 

Countdown to Breath of Earth‘s release: FIVE DAYS.


Breath of EarthWhen modifying a map, it’s sure nice to have a template as a base. Many historical maps are available online, but it can be quite a challenge to find ones that are high res. I was lucky when it came to my research on the city of San Francisco. It was such a large, famous city–and there is so much interest around it before and after the earthquake–that I was able to find a fantastic high res map at a genealogy website.

Breath of Earth is alt history, but I still want it as accurate as possible. That meant I also wanted cable car lines to drive down the correct streets. I found maps to depict that as well.

I took my base map and printed it across six sheets of paper. I mounted those together on a poster board and had it laminated at Fed Ex Kinkos. The lamination gave me a surface on which I could use dry erase markers.

This is when my brain almost broke.

See, my base map is at a very weird angle. It actually views San Francisco from the southeast–and the streets aren’t at the correct angles, either. ARGH. I had to try to combine these two maps while not giving myself a migraine. I also referenced Google Maps quite often to help me orient myself.

Once that was done, I had to figure out where to place other landmarks in the book like the Cordilleran Auxiliary, Cy and Fenris’s workshop, and the houses of important characters like Ingrid and Mr. Sakaguchi, Warden Calhoun, and Warden Thornton. Again, Google Maps–especially Street View–were essential here, and as I edited as well. If Ingrid was described as walking uphill, I wanted to make sure she was actually walking uphill! I also added an important element of my book world: airship mooring masts. I blocked off important neighborhoods like Chinatown, Nob Hill, Russian Hill, and the Barbary Coast.

This map has adorned my office for over three years now.

Working Map for Breath of Earth

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Bready or Not: Maple Apple Pie

Posted by on Aug 17, 2016 in apples, Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, maple, pie | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Maple Apple Pie

This pie is my own original creation. I hacked together three existing recipes and amped up the maple to make something totally new. When I told my husband about how I melded everything, he said, “Oh, so it’s a Voltron pie.” That’s now our nickname for this Maple Apple Pie.

Bready or Not: Maple Apple Pie

Maple sugar is the key ingredient in every step, but it’s just enough to embody the flavor without it going overkill. I highly recommend buying a big ol’ container of maple sugar–trust me, if you want to follow along with my recipes, you’ll go through it eventually. This is the brand I use:

The most amazing thing about this? The filling sauce. I borrowed and modified it from a pear galette recipe (which I’ll feature this fall) from the cookbook Maple. It’s really more like a paste in texture, grainy and strong with a lovely combo of maple and lemon. You’ll want to lick the bowl.

Bready or Not: Maple Apple Pie

This pie smells glorious. It’s like autumn, Thanksgiving, Christmas. And the taste… well. My husband adores my Caramel Apple Pie and considers it his all-time favorite.

Bready or Not: Maple Apple Pie

Or it was, until he had Voltron Pie.

Bready or Not: Maple Apple Pie

That’s right. This maple-filled pie is the new champion in the Cato household.

Bready or Not: Maple Apple Pie

 

Bready or Not: Maple Apple Pie

Bready or Not: Maple Apple Pie

A Bready or Not original. This Maple Apple Pie is infused with maple sugar through every layer. If you love apple pie and love maple, this pie is your destiny.

  • Crust:
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon maple sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tablespoons (1/2 cube) unsalted butter, cold
  • 2 Tablespoons avocado oil or canola oil
  • 3 to 5 Tablespoons ice water
  • Filling:
  • 4 to 5 Granny Smith apples
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or one vanilla pod, scraped
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup maple sugar
  • Crumb topping:
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cold

Combine crust ingredients. Work in butter until it is just pea-sized, and use only as much water as needed to make the dough cohesive. Wrap well in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours or a few days.

Roll out dough to equal thickness and place in pie dish. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze while preparing the filling, or freeze for several days.

Preheat oven at 375-degrees. Peel and core apples and slice to 1/8s or smaller. Toss them in a light dusting of flour to prevent sticking. Place apples in pie crust on a cookie sheet.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vanilla extract, lemon juice, flour, and maple sugar; it'll form a thick maple paste. Set aside.

In another small bowl, combine the topping ingredients. Use a fork and knife to reduce the butter to pea-sized chunks.

Return to the maple sauce. Give it a good stir, and drizzle thick syrup all over apples. Cover evenly with crumb topping.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the apples are tender when stabbed with a fork.

OM NOM NOM!

 

Bready or Not: Maple Apple Pie

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WorldCon Schedule 2016 – plus free breakfast at Central Library on Saturday!

Posted by on Aug 16, 2016 in Blog, public speaking | Comments Off on WorldCon Schedule 2016 – plus free breakfast at Central Library on Saturday!

I’ll be at WorldCon in Kansas City, Missouri from August 17th to 21st. I have a whole bunch of panels lined up, so if you are there, come find me! As long as I’m not in a crazy rush or in the bathroom, I’m okay with pausing to sign books most anytime, too.

Also, big news: I’m doing a release event for Breath of Earth on Saturday the 20th and my publisher is hosting a free continental breakfast! It’ll be at 10:30 AM at the Central Library, just a few blocks north of the convention center and hotels. I’ll talk books with Becky Chambers, author of the wonderfully cozy The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet (seriously, this is one of my favorite scifi reads in recent years). This will be the first time that Breath of Earth will be up for sale!

Cenral Library

 

Thursday Aug 18, 2016

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
  • SFWA Autographing: Beth Cato
  • Kansas City Convention Center – SFWA Table
  • Don’t believe the ‘official schedule’ saying this is just 50 minutes. I’ll be at this table for 2 hours. Drop by and chat!

 

Friday Aug 19, 2016

10:00 AM

3:00 PM – 3:30 PM

5:00 PM
6:00 PM

 

Saturday Aug 20, 2016

10:30 AM

2:00 PM
4:00 PM

#SFWAPro

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