Hi guys, we have Matthew Lang popping in today to show off the cover to his upcoming release Better With Bacon, not only do we have the great cover but we also have a brilliant guest post, a great excerpt and a fantastic giveaway, so check out the post, enjoy and leave a comment to enter the giveaway! <3 ~Pixie~
Better With Bacon
When Patrick’s long-term girlfriend Li Ling dumps him just as he’s working up the nerve to propose, he ends up drunk on David’s couch—and later in David’s bed. Although initially reluctant to pursue anything beyond a one-time drunken tryst, David throws caution to the wind during an intimate dinner, where the two men also discuss Patrick’s dream of entering the food industry. Just as the friends-turned-lovers are settling into their new romance, Li Ling calls Patrick—she’s pregnant.
Convinced the announcement spells the end of their love affair and a return to their platonic friendship, David flees to Sydney to escape his heartbreak. But upon his return to Melbourne, David discovers the situation hasn’t gone the way he’d expected. There might still be a chance for David and Patrick’s dreams to come true if they can forgive each other’s mistakes and move forward.
I’ve always loved food. I haven’t loved finding ways to keep it from piling onto my midriff, but the food itself – amazing. I live in Melbourne, Australia, and I know it gets talked up as a foodie paradise, but it really does feel that way. About twenty minutes down the street there’s an old car dealership that’s been turned into a food truck park. Every weekend, I can walk down and see who’s there. The really amazing toasted cheese sandwich place is a fixture, but the rest is uncertain. There might be a Nonya Malay truck, an Indian Curry truck, or a Nutella Donut truck, but it’s always a mix, and well, I’ve always been fascinated by how people decide to jump into a small business like that – often with just them and a few friends to make the entire thing work.
I suppose you could say Better with Bacon grew out of my obsession with food. I’ve had editors tell me that my writing made them hungry, so…maybe this is my Ode to Food Porn? I also thought it would be nice to deal with bisexuality in a mature fashion and have a bisexual character who actually got to embrace his sexuality. There’s a lot of biphobia in society, even among the gay community. While I don’t identify as bi myself, I do have a lot of bisexual friends, including one of my exes, who I still get along well with, and this is for them too. I hope you and they love it as much as I do.
I wish I could say something insightful about the cover, but you’d have to ask L.C. Chase really. I said ‘Hey, let’s do something movie posterish, maybe something funky like the Latter Days poster?’ and then I added ‘Or something awesome that I haven’t thought up because I’m not a visual artist’ and she came up with what you see. I just really like the fact that there’s a frying pan in the picture, and the font has been shaded in a fashion reminiscent of bacon streaks.
Speaking of bacon, I’m going to go experiment with the okonomiyaki recipe I found the other day using thinly slice Korean pork belly. It’s kinda like Korean bacon, although the thinly sliced pork neck is arguably better, but my grocer didn’t have that in stock. Next time!
First course was a ceviche of barramundi with chilli, coriander, and lime topped with flying fish roe served in a brandy tumbler on a salad of picked cucumber. It was fresh, summery, and made David’s mouth water. “This is pretty good, Patto,” he said. “Remind me why you stopped working in kitchens again?”
“Unsociable hours and abusive chefs, mostly,” Patrick said with a shrug. “And you know, spending too much time at work and not enough time with my… uh… partner.”
“Oh yeah,” David said. “Story of my life.”
“You don’t work weekends,” Patrick pointed out.
“Okay, well… you’re not supposed to.”
The steamer basket was next, but David peeked, leaning over the kitchen island while Patrick pulled eight large white steamed buns from it. Patrick sliced them open with deft strokes from a serrated knife and filled four of them with barbequed pork in a sticky red sauce, spring onion, rocket, and a sliver more chilli. The other four were filled with sliced duck breast and crispy duck skin that was almost crackling, fresh cucumber, hoisin sauce, and a touch of spring onion again.
“Cha Sui Bao and Peking duck?” David asked around the not unpleasant beer buzz he had going.
“As sliders,” Patrick said with a grin. “I was going to do steamed dumplings that would have been faster to serve, but it’s almost too hot for yum cha.”
“It’s never too hot for yum cha,” David disagreed.
“It might be if you have to sleep in the same apartment that the yum cha was cooked in and it’s a warm night,” Patrick said with a grin.
“You weren’t actually going to kick me out after, were you?” David asked as they migrated back to the dining table.
“Well… no, but I’m not going to make you stay if you don’t want to.”
David grinned. “Okay, we’ll talk about it later. Or just fall asleep and not talk. Whatever works.”
Patrick smiled, and it was such an open, happy smile that David’s breath caught as he felt it filling him up inside and making him feel slightly gooey. Or it might have just been the alcohol. Still he couldn’t quite shake feeling elated at how well the evening seemed to be going.
“Zhang. Earth to Zhang, come in Zhang…” Patrick was saying.
“Stop overanalysing and start eating.”
Shaking his head, David did just that, and as the flavours exploded on his tongue, he felt his throat tighten almost in pain as saliva flooded into his mouth. “This is fucking good,” he said after he’d finally managed to unclench his jaw enough to swallow.
“No, that’s later, after dessert,” Patrick said blandly.
“Shut up, Pat. You know what I mean,” David said. “You should be selling this stuff. Seriously. I mean, you could easily open up your own place on the back of these.”
“Right, because I want to become an angry, sweary chef with a giant business loan and chain-smoking co-workers.”
“You could always do a food truck,” David suggested. “I only know one dim sum food truck in Melbourne at the moment.”
Patrick looked thoughtful as he chewed on a piece of spring onion that had worked its way free of the slider. “That could work. I’d never get the loan for it, but it’s something to work towards.”
“Why wouldn’t you get the loan?” David asked, trying to work out whether licking his fingers was acceptable and then deciding that yes, it definitely was.
“I don’t have a steady job for one,” Patrick said.
“But that’s the point. This would be your job,” David said, carefully licking a splatter of hoisin sauce from his index finger.
David stopped and looked up. Patrick was staring almost hungrily at him, eyes intent and mouth slightly open. “Patto, focus.”
Patrick shook himself, almost messing up his hair. “Sorry, I was— but… damn that was hot.”
“You just need a business plan,” David said gently. “They’re usually helpful in talking to banks.”
“Yeah… they didn’t really cover that one in the kitchen,” Patrick said, looking away.
“That’s okay,” David grinned. “I wrote them for five years before transferring into my current job.”
Patrick looked up. “I can’t ask you to do that, Dave.”
David shrugged and bit into the next slider, sticky bbq sauce squirting out the side of the bun and dripping over his knuckles. “You didn’t. I offered. And it’s not as if you wouldn’t do the same for me if you could.”
This time, Patrick grabbed David’s hand and licked his fingers clean.
“Hey, I wanted that,” David protested weakly.
“I’ll make you more,” Patrick promised solemnly.
“Do we have to have dessert?” David asked. The words were out of his mouth before he could decide if he really meant them.
“No,” Patrick said nonchalantly, getting up and heading to the kitchen. “But if you don’t want your egg tarts, they’ll probably burn, and—”
“You made egg tarts?”
“Flaky pastry and everything.”
Aussie author. Interested in writing, writing, musical theatre, sleep and video games. Founder/Director of @Queermance Matthew Lang writes behind a desk, in the park, on the tram, and sometimes backstage at amateur theater productions. He has been known to sing and dance in public and analyze the plots of movies and TV shows, and is a confessed Masterchef addict. He has dabbled in film, machinema, event management, and even insurance, but his first love has always been the written word. He is suspected of frequenting libraries and hanging around in bookstores, and his therapists believe he may be plotting some form of literature.