C is for Centa Berries – #AtoZChallenge

Welcome to the A to Z Challenge. This year I’m blogging about the Behind the Scenes for the Echoes Trilogy – a story a started writing about six years ago.

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

I’m sitting here this morning drinking hot tea with honey, and slightly wishing I were in Kios where creamed tea and spiced cider are the the normal drinks.

Throughout the Echoes books I’ve had fun slipping in foods that sound delicious to me – as a cook I have physical limitations as to what I can prepare, but as a writer the possibilities are endless.


During a brainstorming session last month, I suddenly remembered an idea I had come up with several years ago while working on the Echoes series. Enter the Centa Berry. Centa berries are native to Kios and have never successfully grown anywhere else. They are big – about the size of a small plum, and are an azure blue.

Although the centa berry makes a tasty treat when dried (a mixture of the flavors of red raspberries and spun sugar), it’s most important element is the dye that comes from the juice. The juice is extremely permanent, and doesn’t come out of clothes or skin unless washed immediately with a special kind of soap – made from lye and the roots of the centa berry bush.


Before I tell what they use the juice though, a little bit of background to those of you who aren’t familiar with the story: In Kios, echoes (aka twins) are considered cursed. Therefore, whenever echoes are born, the whole family is banished to the Island of Outcasts. And, when the family is banished, they also get their fingers marked with a permanent blue dye that is injected into the skin. This is to mark them so that if they ever do escape from the Island of Outcasts, the fact that they come from a family with echoes will be evident to everyone.

And, as you’ve probably guessed, the dye they use comes from the centa berries. (There are few other things mixed in, but the centa berries are the main ingredient.) So there you have it – blue fingered people living on the Island of Outcasts. Sounds like fun, right?

Have you ever “created” your own food masterpiece? Real or imagined?


10 thoughts on “C is for Centa Berries – #AtoZChallenge

    • Lydia Howe says:

      Well, this story that I’m working on is fiction. But, I did get the idea from an African country that used to believe that. (Although, they just left the twin babies to die – they didn’t banish the families.) I’ve also heard of people groups in South America thinking something similar about twins.


  1. Emma says:

    Hey, creamed tea is the absolute norm at my house:) Even mint tea gets a dose of cream!
    I love the Centa Berry “creation”. And a fruit that’s blue? Perfect! I’d love to try it😊

    Liked by 1 person

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