ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Weston Ochse is a former intelligence officer and special operations soldier who has engaged enemy combatants, terrorists, narco smugglers, and human traffickers. His personal war stories include performing humanitarian operations over Bangladesh, being deployed to Afghanistan, and a near miss being cannibalized in Papua New Guinea. His fiction and non-fiction has been praised by USA Today, The Atlantic, The New York Post, The Financial Times of London, and Publishers Weekly. The American Library Association labeled him one of the Major Horror Authors of the 21st Century. His work has also won the Bram Stoker Award, been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and won multiple New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. A writer of more than 26 books in multiple genres, his military supernatural series SEAL Team 666 has been optioned to be a movie starring Dwayne Johnson. His military sci fi series, which starts with Grunt Life, has been praised for its PTSD-positive depiction of soldiers at peace and at war. Weston likes to be called a chaotic good paladin and challenges anyone to disagree. After all, no one can really stand a goody two-shoes lawful good character. They can be so annoying. It's so much more fun to be chaotic, even when you're striving to save the world. You can argue with him about this and other things online at Living Dangerously or on Facebook at Badasswriter. All content of this blog is copywrited by Weston Ochse.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Dinner 2014 - or what to do with two turkeys, 33 Onions and a pound of Chorizo

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My mom and dad live in Tucson and we always flip flop who does Christmas Dinner and who does Thanksgiving Dinner. They had Thanksgiving this year, so Christmas is on me and Yvonne. Sometimes we make a huge turkey. Sometimes we make ham. Sometimes we have a turkey and a ham. My mom's a fan of having a turkey and a goose, but for some reason I'm never fond of the goose. One year we had a standing rib roast. It was awesome, but we discovered that we didn't then have any turkey meat for Christmas sandwiches for which my wife is famous for and one of the reasons I was tricked into marrying her.

This year we're going to have two small turkeys. How'd I come to that decision? Well, after Christmas and Thanksgiving I usually go out and buy hams and turkeys the stores put at ultra-cheap prices, trying to get rid of them before they go bad. We have a full size upright freezer that is packed with food. We decided this summer that we need to start eating some of the food from it instead of our normal store and forget policy. So I noticed that I'd bought a small 12 pound turkey last year after Christmas. Well, 12 pounds is about enough to feed my nephew and too small for six people and the planned leftovers we're looking forward to.

Then it came to me. Let's have two small turkeys!

So we're having two small turkeys. One is going to be traditional, probably with rosemary and lemon flavors. The other is going to be southwestern so I think I'm going to baste it in chipotle butter.

The cool thing about the way I cook turkeys is that it only takes about 90 minutes. You see, I crank the oven up to 500 and they cook very quickly. They still stay moist and their skin is nice and crispy. I think it was in the food network magazine or one of those that detailed exactly how to do it. I've been using it now for 5 years and it has worked perfectly every time. If anyone needs me to, I could probably make a copy of the pages from the magazine that provide this magical advice.

I also cook the dressing(s) at least a day ahead. Not only does it make things easier the morning of, but it gives me time to warm them up while the meat is resting and I am carving. One of my staple dressings is a Southwest Cornbread and Chorizo Dressing with Butternut Squash and Fennel. Not only is it good with turkey, but it makes an amazing breakfast hash. I've been known to make it throughout the year, just so I can have some of the hash. Incidentally, I got the dressing out of a November 2005 Sunset Magazine where it won the Best Dressing Contest. A lady named Victoria Johnson really needs the credit for this. It was her recipe.

The other dressing is going to be more traditional. It's a sausage and rye dressing, made from scratch, of course. I'll make these the day before which will allow for  time for cooking other things and won't make the morning such a rush. We traditionally have dinner at 2 PM and open presents at about 11 AM, so we need the time.

The only other thing I'll make a day ahead is the little amuse bouche I like to make. It's a very small portion of cold coconut and corn soup that awakens the tastebuds and gets them ready to disco through dinner. I like to have this waiting in the middle of everyone's plates to start the meal.

So, enough blathering. One important point before the list, though. You see, I'm very thankful for being able to put out a spread like this. There were many times growing up where we were so poor we only ate pancakes for every meal for weeks at a time. There were many holidays in the military where I had to get a turkey and fixings from the Chaplain, which is something that still goes on in the military. So I appreciate now being able to afford such fare... much of it thanks to my fans.

Christmas Dinner 2014

  • Deviled Eggs
  • Corn & Coconut Soup
  • White Cheddar Cheese Marinated in Honey
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • 2 Young Turkeys (one traditional and one southwestern)
  • Southwest Cornbread and Chorizo Dressing with Butternut Squash and Fennel
  • Sausage and Rye Dressing
  • Lumpy Mashed Potatoes
  • Gravy
  • Brussel Sprout Slaw
  • Roasted Onions with Lemon
  • Kings Hawaiian Dinner Rolls
  • Orange Cake
  • Vanilla Ice Cream with Pistachios and Thyme
Yvonne makes a great Christmas Sandwich with turkey, cranberry sauce, dressing, and cream cheese on white Italian bread. I'm almost looking forward to that more than the big meal.

And of course there will be drinkage. 

Probably lots and lots of wine.

I hope everyone has a terrific Christmas. 

I'll snap food porn for you all later.

Now it's off to a Christmas Party.

Laters.

Introducing GRUNT TRAITOR

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Grunt Traitor is the sequel to my ground-breaking first book from Solaris-- Grunt Life, a PTSD-positive military sci fi novel where PTSD sufferers are specifically recruited to join a special task force because there's something in their brain chemistry that makes it easier for them to fight the aliens who are about to invade planet Earth. Grunt Life has been hugely successful, selling out the first print run within days of release.

Here's what some are saying about Grunt Life.

From Pop Cults - 'Ochse goes beyond the normal chaos of combat and asks of the tough questions that we, as a greater society, are just starting to ask. In this novel, he addresses one of the biggest killers of our veterans these days: suicide.  While the taking of one’s life has been addressed before, Ochse embraces it and integrates it into his story without making it the focus of the book or glorifying it. The book starts out with a suicide attempt, but it isn’t for the reasons that you would expect. Ochse was willing to get past the Hollywood and mainstream media explanations of military suicide and try to address some of the real reasons why veterans would be willing to end their lives. This is a subject that needs to be addressed openly and honestly, and Ochse was brave enough to risk turning some readers off to do it. I think that many of the readers who do get turned off by his frank observations on this subject might feel that way because it hits way too close to home. I don’t want this to sound like a challenge, but for some folks out there, this might be the book that makes them stop and think.' 

From Elitest Book Reviews - 'Weston Ochse is an awesome author. I put his stuff next to Correia and Maberry without hesitation. While I was curious about Ochse’s work before, now I’m excited to read it. All of it. It’s pretty easy to see that Ochse is one of the better authors for action SF out there, and GRUNT LIFE was an absolute blast to read."'

Now to introduce Grunt Traitor

Their spies were among us for years. They mapped our electrical infrastructure, learned our weaknesses, then they flipped the switch, throwing us back into the Dark Ages. Only OMBRA and its battalions around the world seem capable of defending Earth from the next wave of attack—terraforming.

This is a time for heroes. For killers. For Grunts.

But at what price can we gain our freedom from these yet to be identified aliens?

Benjamin Carter Mason will be asked this question over and over as he dives deep into the nasty heart of an alien transformed Los Angeles. And in the end, he might just be the last person on Earth defending what it means to be human… our humanity.

Grunt Traitor will be available in July 2015. It can be preordered from your favorite store at Simon and Schuster. Go there now and help me get the first print run sold out before it's even released.

And if you have the time, read my blog post about the REAL and IMPORTANT issue of PTSD. More people have it than you know and it's not merely limited to the military.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Southern California Signing Tour for SEAL Team 666, Grunt Life, and many more

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For the third year in a row I have the privilege of signing books in Southern California. In what has become an annual tradition, I'll be signing books next week at stores and libraries from Ventura to San Diego and points in between. Along the way I'll eat some great food, meet some fans, new and old friends, and booksellers, and be witness to the spectacular Pacific Ocean. This year I'll have my wife with me which will make it even more special. Gosh knows we've taken some personal hits recently and this time away from things will serve to rejuvinate us for the new year.

I'm posting my schedule below. Please come out and join me. You'll find that I'll be more than eager to talk about writing, books, and publishing. I'm linking
these to my Facebook Events Pages, in case you need more information.

 
Sunday Dec 7
4 - 7 PM
Barnes and Nobles, 4820 Telephone Rd, Ventura, California 93003 


Mon Dec 8 

4 - 6 PM
Gatsby Books, 5535 E Spring St, Long Beach, California 90808


Tue Dec 9
7 - 9 PM
Dark Delicacies, 3512 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, California 91505
Link to Event

Wed Dec 10
4 - 5 PM
San Gabriel Library, 500 S Del Mar Ave, San Gabriel, California 91776



Sat Dec 13
Mysterious Galaxy at their NEW LOCATION 
5943 Balboa Ave, Suite 100, San Diego, CA 92117


 I hope to see everyone. Come see me in person. I don't get out much and this might be your only chance.