Guest Post and Giveaway: Fish Stick Fridays by Rhys Ford



When I first thought about writing Fish Stick Fridays, it was a lot darker than it turned out. I know. I’ll let you have a moment to be shocked and amazed. But then I wrote it and its innards changed, softening a bit. A lot of that change had to do with building a relationship between Deacon and his niece, Zig and then adding Lang into the mix.

I went round and round on the title. Nothing was working. They were decent titles. Hell, Mary Calmes even stole one of them for her own book but nothing was fitting the story. Then I said… why the hell aren’t I calling it what it is? Fish Stick Fridays.

That might seem a random, odd title and kind of off. But see, it’s not so much about the actual fish sticks or Fridays. It’s about what Fish Stick Fridays represents. For Zig and Deacon, it’s about being together, in a home. An actual home. Where Fridays means no vegetables but cups of hot cocoa and maybe eating in front of the television. It means a place to come to and find a family—their family.

Of course, this doesn’t mean Deacon knows how to cook gourmet meals but he can cook. So for this blog tour, it’s all about cooking out of the pantry—cheap, relatively easy and cobbling together meals from fresh, canned, and jarred food. So much of Deacon’s cooking on the fly really is about how to maximize time and using what’s in the pantry. We don’t have a lot of time in our lives. That’s a fact. But we can make do. Making do is so very much a kitchen life hack.

So for this tour, I am sharing some comfort food recipes even Deacon can make and it took him a bit to get the fish sticks and blue box macaroni & cheese right. Follow all of the blog tour stops and get a new comfort food recipe every day. Recipes include:

• Fried Chicken

• Beef Stew

• Portuguese Watercress Soup

• Nutty Mushroom Pasta

• Fried Rice

• Lasagna

• Kalua Pig

• Mac Salad / Loco Moco

• Pad Thai

• Shoyu Chicken


What’s the Giveaway? Because there is ALWAYS a giveaway… Leave a comment and hopefully win the right to tell me where to send a set of childrens’ books to a library or charity of your choice. Book sets will be randomly chosen from a list and cost between $20 and $50 USD and donated in your name.

Also, if you want a gluten free way to thicken soups and stews… and soupy potato salad, use instant mashed potato flakes. You’ll see me say that time and time again through the blog tour. It also adds a layer of flavour. I sometimes grab the garlic and herb instant potato packets and just keep them for when I need to thicken a stew.

And now, for what’s next in Deacon’s recipe book.

1 Fried ChickenI was taught how to make fried chicken by a very sweet woman in an extremely bright Sunday dress and matching hat while we were going through the South on a road trip. I can’t even tell you what state I was in but long story short, we ended up at a black Baptist church’s Sunday Supper and Services. It was my first true introduction to black Gospel and it was a fantastic time. Ended up helping this woman serve up food to the huge amount of people who showed up for five dollars a plate and all the God you could handle.

Southern Fried Chicken

2 lbs of chicken parts (breasts, thighs, wings or boneless)

Egg wash

4 eggs (beaten with a bit of milk or water until frothy)

Tabasco or any hot sauce (optional)

Dredge Mixture

3 C Flour

3 T Salt

3 T Pepper

3 T Granulated garlic

2 T Old Bay

2 T Red Pepper (optional)

Pat chicken dry then season with a light dusting of salt and pepper

Dip and coat in egg wash

Dredge in flour mixture then set aside.

Fill chicken fryer or deep flat bottomed skillet about halfway with oil, lard or Crisco and put on medium heat. You want the oil to be deep enough to cover a lot of the chicken when you put it in. Let this get rather hot but not smoking.

Now… comes the important part. After five minutes, dredge your chicken pieces again and set them aside. This is very important. It’s the second dredge that makes the world of difference.

Carefully slide the chicken into the hot oil. Do the larger pieces first, breasts, then thighs and drumsticks then wings. If doing boneless chicken, same rule. Larger takes longer.

Let it sit in the oil until golden brown on the bottom then turn it over. I’m not a big fan of covering the skillet with a lid but some people swear by it. It does “poach” the chicken a bit and you don’t get as good of a crust.

Here’s where the medium heat is important, the chicken will take a lot of time to cook. Don’t rush it with a higher flame or you’ll burn it. If in doubt, yes, stab it a knife and check the doneness. Once done, let the chicken rest on paper towels to blot excess oil then transfer to clean plate.

!FishStickFridays_RhysFord_smCoverFish Stick Fridays

Deacon Reid was born bad to the bone with no intention of changing. A lifetime of law-bending and living on the edge suited him just fine—until his baby sister died and he found himself raising her little girl.

Staring down a family history of bad decisions and reaped consequences, Deacon cashes in everything he owns, purchases an auto shop in Half Moon Bay, and takes his niece, Zig, far away from the drug dens and murderous streets they grew up on. Zig deserves a better life than what he had, and Deacon is determined to give it to her.

Lang Harris is stunned when Zig, a little girl in combat boots and a purple tutu blows into his bookstore, and then he’s left speechless when her uncle, Deacon Reid walks in, hot on her heels. Lang always played it safe but Deacon tempts him to step over the line… just a little bit.

More than a little bit. And Lang is willing to be tempted.

Unfortunately, Zig isn’t the only bit of chaos dropped into Half Moon Bay. Violence and death strikes leaving Deacon scrambling to fight off a killer before he loses not only Zig but Lang too.

Purchase Fish Stick Fridays at:

Dreamspinner Press


And other book selling sites like ARe and Barnes & Noble

Follow the Tour

Nov 25 • It’s About the Book

Nov 26 • Joyfully Jay

Nov 27 • Sinfully Sexy

Nov 29 • Gay Guy Reading

Nov 30 • Boys In Our Books

Dec 1 • The Blogger Girls

Dec 2 • Love Bytes

Dec 3 • Prism Book Alliance

Dec 4 • Boy Meets Boy

Dec 5 • The Novel Approach

Author Bio:

headshot_Rhys Ford

Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.

Rhys  admits to sharing the house with three cats of varying degrees of black fur, and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and a red Hamilton Beach coffee maker.

My Blog:



If you’ve actually read this, yay! I need coffee. We should have coffee.

My books can be purchased, folded and first chapters read at Dreamspinner Press.

23 thoughts on “Guest Post and Giveaway: Fish Stick Fridays by Rhys Ford”

  1. You always have the most creative blog tours! What a great idea for the prize. I will definitely be reading Fish Stick Fridays. I heard DSP will be having a big sale soon…I plan to grab it then. 🙂

    P.S. That is one awesome cover.

  2. Now I want to know which title Mary Calmes stole. 🙂 I love stories with kids, and this sounds s little more edgy than the usual. Thanks for the great blog tour as always!

  3. I love the idea of donating to a charity. Every time I get something I can’t use, I try to figure out a way to donate. That, and the contributions I make (when I can afford it) help me feel like I’m making some sort of difference, at least.

  4. What a wonderful idea for a giveaway! As a teacher childhood literacy is my thing. 🙂 I’m really looking forward to this book. I was able to pre-order from DSP when they had 25% off a while back. 🙂 I’ve never been able to perfect fried chicken, so I’ll definitely be giving this recipe a try! Thanks!

  5. An awesome giveaway. I was excited to find out there are vegetarian fish sticks. Why??? You might wonder. I haven’t been a vegetarian my whole life. Things like rotisserie chicken still smell good. I do eat fish, though, so feasibly, would still eat fish sticks. I adore fish sticks. So I think the title for this book is perfect. I really like the recipe idea. So, regarding the vegetarian fish sticks, I really suppose it’s up to whether or not they’re gluten-free. I’m not, but my boyfriend is. He’s into literacy as well. Yay for literacy!! 🙂

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