Friday, October 16, 2015

Taste of Magic!!

Hello, writer friends! Happy Friday and welcome to the inaugural Taste of Magic blog hop post. Love books? Love food? This is YOUR blog hop. On the third Fridays of each month, we share something literary and something culinary. It can be your own writing, a book recommendation, a dessert recipe, a drink recipe, whatever. Honestly, whatever makes you happy :) Click here if you want to join the fun!

So, here's mine! Literary first. I'm going to share a wee excerpt from Black Magic and Mojitos, my urban fantasy novelette. And below that are some fun banner pics I did for advertising. I bought stock images from Adobe and then added the text and such. It was a lot of fun. And a bit spicy, hmm? :)

There was a rush and crush of darkness and something that sounded like wings beating. Not the feathery kind, but the heavy, leathery wings of a bat. My head spun as if I’d been thrown into a hurricane. Heat, ice and the smell of earth pressed in around me. Then everything stopped, and light returned.

I was standing in some sort of cave… no, a temple. Both, actually. Stalactites dripped from the ceiling, and carved stone pillars rose up from the floor. A set of rough stairs led up to an expansive dais. Flickering lanterns hung from the walls at intervals. As my eyes adjusted, I could see that Riley and Quinn stood beside me. Donovan, too. He looked as shocked as I felt. So, he wasn’t in on this.

Mr. Cabrelle stood before us, or rather the true form of the creature called Mr. Cabrelle. He still resembled something roughly humanoid. Huge chocolatey velvet wings hovered behind him, and patches of purplish scales dotted his skin. His eyes were the same though, only now I could see the monster on the outside. Was he some sort of demon spawn? I hadn’t sensed anything like that when we first met. But he clearly had magic at his command, deep and ancient magic. The feel of it still shivered over my skin as if I’d walked through dirty cobwebs.

He caught me watching him. “Ms. Star, Mr. McGregor, allow me to introduce my employer, Raoul Cabrera.” With his hand he swept my attention up the stairs, to the back of the dais, where a tall man sat on a chair. A throne really, of yellowed bones and sharp teeth. I almost snorted. Cliché much?

Unfortunately, clichés aside, we were in super deep shit. 

Raoul Cabrera was basically the supernatural overlord of Brazil, and a good portion of the rest of South America. Rumor had it he was half demon and half faery, just about the nastiest combination of supes I could imagine. Both cruel, spiteful races, with crazy mad magical skills and an arsenal of other unpleasant talents. One major badass motherfucker, this guy. No wonder he’d used a front to hire me. Never in a million years would I have come otherwise.


And now for my culinary share! I should preface by letting you know a bit about my cooking style. I get it from my grandma, who doesn't much follow recipes. She kinda looks at them, and then does her own thing. To me, that's the fun of cooking. Don't have a certain ingredient, or just don't like it? Substitute. Know you like a little more of this and that? Play around. Also, I'm all for simple but healthy and delicious recipes. It doesn't take much time at all to make something from scratch that's totally amazing. So, without further ado:

Black Bean Tacos with Goat Cheese, Avocado, and Honey (Oh, yes!)

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

There's something really sexy to me about certain foods, and black bean dishes are one of them. Probably because to me, black beans are a basic, earthy dish, and they make me think of Latin America, and dancing, and frosty margaritas or mojitos. And it's sexy because it's so damn simple to make them. This is a two-for-one, because I'm going to give you my black bean recipe, which you can easily just add to rice and make as a separate meal.

  • Cooked black beans 
    • One or two large cans of black beans (the tall ones, not regular cans) - one can feeds 1-2, two feeds 3-5 people
    • Olive oil
    • Quarter to half an onion depending on taste
    • Cumin (about a quarter teaspoon, I just sprinkle generously over the top)
    • Garlic (tablespoon or so - I buy pre-minced in a jar)
    • Salt (light sprinkle)
    • Pepper (light sprinkle)
    • Tiny splash of apple cider vinegar
  • Small corn tortillas (I usually prefer flour, but the corn really adds flavor here)
  • One ripe avocado (cut in longish slices)
  • Goat cheese (soft, like a chevre log, not feta), just crumble with your fingers
  • Honey to drizzle

  1. Prepare black beans as follows:
    • Pour a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat
    • Add garlic and onion, saute a couple minutes or until translucent
    • Toss in your beans
    • Add the other seasonings as desired - the apple cider vinegar is a secret I learned longed ago, I'd add maybe a teaspoon for the smaller serving and a tablespoon for bigger
    • Turn to medium/low and go write or read something for about twenty minutes to let this marry together and get really yummy
  2. Heat up your corn tortillas (microwave or stick with a tiny bit of oil in a skillet if you want to be fancy)
  3. Arrange all toppings as desired and per taste. I add LOTS of goat cheese and avocado and just a little drizzle of honey. 
  4. Enjoy your yummy, sexy black bean tacos!!
You can even cheat with this and just heat your beans with salt, pepper and cumin and skip the rest. The rest just makes it extra delish. And if you want to skip the tacos and just do beans and rice, go for it! 

I hope you enjoyed Taste of Magic! Pop over and visit B.E. Sanderson and Jennie Bailey, who are also participating this month and have luscious tidbits, too!


  1. I loved Black Magic & Mojitos! And those are awesome banner pics. I hope you sell tons. I'm a freewheeling cook, too. I play with recipes, add my own flare, and do whatever I think will taste good. (Sometimes with tragic results, but hey, at least I tried. LOL)

    I'm the only carnivore in the blog hop. I'm so glad I did dessert.

    1. Thanks! LOL, and don't worry about being a carnivore - I never said Veggie Taste of Magic :)

  2. I love those banners! They're so cool. Were the images expensive? You matched them with the perfect quotes from your book.

    These tacos sound fantastic. Erik has suddenly developed a taste for goat cheese so I think I can add these to the menu next week! I love the idea of drizzling them with honey. Plus, they sound easy - and I love easy!

    Thanks for hosting this!

    1. Thanks! It was $50 for 10 images, which I thought was good compared to other websites, plus they were better quality.

      And yes - goat cheese rules and easy rules, too!

  3. Great excerpt and love those pins! I'm eagerly awaiting the next book. My husband would love those tacos. He's a goat cheese fan. (And for some reason, I just type ghost cheese! *LOL*) Have a great weekend!

    1. Thanks! Ghost cheese - OMG, the best! Well, considering you write ghost stories (which are great!!), it fits :)

  4. Loved the excerpt Alexia. Not so much the beans though, uck. Never got a taste for them.

  5. Your book sounds awesome! Loved the dirty cobweb line. I also love Mexican food and basically anything in a tortilla. Great excerpt and recipe! :)

  6. The tacos sounds so divine.. love me some tacos right about now:) hehe Your excerpts are fantastic, but then again, Black Magic & Mojitos is an amazing story.

  7. Yummy. Loved the excerpt! And I LOVE Mexican food. I don't like avocados, though, which is weird if you like Mexican food as much as I do!

  8. Woot, woot! And I totally need to read (and review) your novella. (I think I even have it loaded on my kindle...maybe not.) So, um, first I should get my time stopper fixed because that would make everything easier.

  9. YUM, that sounds very delish! And you have such great voice and character in that novel. :)


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