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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Guest Post: Food Truck Revelations with R.L. Naquin

The lovely R.L. Naquin has stopped in today to talk a bit about her new book, To Catch A Stolen Soul! The novel has quite a chunk of the story revolving around food trucks so I had to know what inspired her and how she became so knowledgeable about the subject. Enjoy!

I have a dirty little secret. No, not the one about the riding crop, the stuffed frog, and the pool noodle. That’s a conversation for another time.

This is about the Food Network. And Tasty videos from Buzzfeed. And, God help me, last month I realized that I also have the Cooking Channel available, too, in case I’ve already seen the episode of Cupcake Wars running on the other channel. I’m not even a particularly good cook.

I’m a cooking voyeur.

When I started plotting the first book of my new Djinn Haven series, I had just watched the movie Chef with Jon Favreau. I wanted my nutty djinn, Kam, to own and run a food truck, at least for the duration of the opening novel, To Catch a Stolen Soul. While I’m just an okay cook, Kam’s pretty dreadful. She doesn’t have the attention span required to keep from setting off the smoke alarm.

I can’t tell you what she ended up specializing in—that’s a spoiler. And really, for Kam, what she sells is far less important than the costume she comes up with to sell it in. That’s all well and good for Kam, but I had to write about the truck and how to run it. Nobody’s going to buy my books based on what I’m wearing. That would be weird.

You might think the solution was to find a local food truck owner and ask for a tour, but that would have been far too efficient. Forget that. Efficiency is for chumps.

That left me with only one course of action—a Netflix marathon of five seasons of The Great Food Truck Race. Seriously. Five seasons. That’s a huge chunk of time to invest in procrastination research. I was constantly craving burgers, gourmet grilled cheese, crepes, and burritos. I was host Tyler Florence’s bitch, and I wasn’t moving until I saw all five seasons.

I am not a small woman. This was not a good time for me. I am not proud.

Was it worth it? Possibly. Every time something went wrong in a contestant’s truck, I learned how to fix it. I learned about the valve on the outside of the truck that controls the gas intake underneath the grill inside the truck. I learned about spare generators and running out of propane. I learned where to fill the truck’s water tank so the cooks can wash vegetables and dishes.

I barely used or needed any of this deep well of knowledge. At least not on the surface. But that’s usually how I research. I dive in and learn everything I can, then build the story on top of that knowledge. If I do it right, the reader won’t question my knowledge, but they won’t get tossed out of the story because I tried to show off what I know.

It’s a fine line.

In the end, Kam doesn’t really care what she sells. She can sell anything in the ridiculous costume she’s come up with.

I, however, will be here with my stuffed frog waiting for winter to be over and carnival season to start. I have a sudden urge to try deep fried mac and cheese served in a little paper boat.

Thanks so much, R.L. Naquin! I have to say deep fried mac and cheese does sound intriguing ;)

Make sure to check out her new release below, I loved the book and think fans of Urban Fantasy would enjoy it. You can find my review from earlier this week HERE.

Title: To Catch a Stolen Soul
Author: R.L. Naquin
Series: Djinn Haven #1
Release Date: January 9th, 2017
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Buy: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Fans of the Monster Haven series by R.L. Naquin will love this beguiling spin-off, featuring a trapped djinn caught in a hot mess of lost souls, fast food and otherwordly murder.

Kam is a soul chaser for the Hidden Government, a much harder job now that the Hidden look like everyone else. Broke, out of magic and sick of playing waitress in a pirate-themed dive bar, Kam jumps at a chance for an out-of-town mission.

A reaper—and his loaded soul stone—have gone missing. The stone contains souls that might get permanently stuck if Kam doesn't find it, like, yesterday. She tracks the reaper down to a food truck outside Kansas City, only to find a dead reaper and no soul stone in sight. Which means that someone who should be dead killed the reaper and is running around with a powerful magic item. Not good.

And apparently the killer is targeting food-truck owners that also happen to be Hidden. So the only thing to do is open her own truck and go undercover—goodbye Kam the Djinn, hello Mobile Food Entrepreneur—and hope that she and her new runaway friend won't be the next targets...

About the Author:
R.L. Naquin is the author of the Monster Haven urban fantasy series from Carina Press and the Mt. Olympus Employment Agency series from Bottle Cap Publishing.

Rachel writes stories that drop average people into magical situations filled with heart and quirky humor.

She believes in pixie dust, the power of love, good cheese, lucky socks and putting things off until the last minute. Her home is Disneyland, despite her current location in Kansas. Rachel has one husband, two grown kids and a crazy-catlady starter kit.

Connect: Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, Twitter, Website


  1. Okay, now I'm kinda hungry LOL but I loved this guest post and if possible I want to read this book even more now!

    1. :D You'll get hungry while reading, I know I did! haha

  2. Replies
    1. hahaha that's exactly how I was while reading. I can't imagine what's going to happen if I ever binge watch that food truck show!

  3. There are a couple places around here where food trucks congregate on a schedule. It's an interesting place to go for dinner. And deep fried mac & cheese--Trader Joe's sells a version of that...

    1. Ohhh thanks for the heads up ;) Yeah they built a food truck park back in the city I used to live in. I thought it was neat!

  4. oh goodness, I didn't know these shows existed. That looks like fun o.o something different. Also, love food shows myself so it's awesome to use something like that in book.

    1. Oh yay, you should watch some and let me know how it goes ;) I have a feeling I'll watch a few then be like I NEED TO SEE WHO WINS

  5. I'm not a fan of the reality cooking shows but I get totally lost watching the cooking docs on Netflix and I have seen Chef as well.

    Also, we live in a small town with very limited dining choices, other than the chains, but in the middle of nowhere - we have the BEST food truck. I try to go whenever I can.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

    1. Chef was pretty good. And yay for a yummy food truck!! I loved checking out the ones here :)

  6. I so have to get to her books! I still need to get to the first series. :)