Friday, April 29, 2022

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Effrosyni Moschoudi, Author of The Amulet

I was born and raised in Athens, but my parents hail from two different Greek islands. My father, from Limnos in the Northeast Aegean, and my mother, from Corfu in the Ionian Sea. As a child, I often spent my summers on these islands, Corfu mostly, and have a plethora of fond memories from big family get-togethers when my mother and my Corfiot grandmother delighted everyone with their cooking. Other times, we’d enjoy Greek food at seaside tavernas and, instead of dessert, we’d all treat ourselves to some Syrtaki dancing for afters!

When it came to writing novels, naturally, I wound up setting them all at the seaside, in tiny villages such as the ones I’ve known all my life firsthand. And I filled my stories with references to delicious Greek meals that are typically enjoyed in quaint tavernas on the shore.

The Amulet is no exception, and, actually, I may have overdone it in that one! The heroine, Katie, leaves a stressful office job in Athens to start a new life at a much slower pace on the island of Sifnos, in the postcard-perfect Cyclades, working as a receptionist in a small family hotel on the beach. 

The hotel cook, a middle-aged lady called Eva, often makes Katie feel ravenous at reception, seeing that heavenly smells of cooked food tend to waft to her desk from the kitchen, where Eva is forever busy creating one culinary triumph after another. Eva and Katie enjoy their meals together in the kitchen while, more often than not, discussing Aggelos, the quirky young man who’s stolen Katie’s heart, and who, unbeknownst to her, is not a man per se… but a guardian angel.

But that’s another story… So, anyway, the owner of the hotel, Mr Spyros, often comes in to chat with the two women while taking the opportunity to sample Eva’s cooking, like cheese-filled biftekis, spinach pies in phyllo pastry, and freshly baked muffins. The latter he has to gobble up pretty quickly, seeing that his wife, the rather bossy Mrs Matina, watches him hawk-eyed, as he is supposed to be on a diet. Again.

But, the most appreciative of Eva’s cooking turns out to be a mysterious little girl called Chloe… Her first encounter with Eva and Katie is rather awkward – seeing that she’d sneaked into the kitchen when no one was in, and they caught her eating from Eva’s newly baked moussaka. In her defense, she was very hungry… Plus, it was her favorite meal in the whole wide world… 

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your food for thought, Effrosyni!

You can find Effrosyni here:

Twitter @FrostieMoss

Facebook Fan Page

Books on Amazon


Effrosyni Moschoudi was born and raised in Athens, Greece. As a child, she loved to sit alone in her garden scribbling rhymes about flowers, butterflies and ants. Today, she writes books for the romantic at heart. She lives in a quaint seaside town near Athens with a British husband, two naughty cats, and a staggering amount of books and DVDs. Her little town is heavenly enough, yet her mind forever drifts to her beloved island of Corfu.

The Ebb, her new adult romance that was inspired from her summers in Corfu in the 1980s, is an ABNA Q-Finalist. Her debut novel, The Necklace of Goddess Athena, won a silver medal in the 2017 book awards of Readers’ Favorite. Her ghost romance novella, The Boy on the Bridge, was a Top 10 winner in the “50 Best Indie Books” awards of in 2021.

What others say about Effrosyni’s books:

“Effrosyni layers her words on the page like music.”
~Jackie Weger, author of The House on Persimmon Road

“Very few writers have such a gift for realism.”
~Kelly Smith Reviews

Go here to grab FREE books by this author:

Friday, April 22, 2022

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Janni Nell, Author of Broomsticks, Buns & Murder

I love using food to help readers get to know my characters better. When I decided to set the opening scene of Broomsticks, Buns & Murder in a restaurant, I knew the food choices of the three dinner companions would be important. Each food choice had to match the character’s personality. With this in mind, I studied a lot of menus before I made my final choices. Since I write mysteries, I thought it would be fun to make this post a mini-mystery. So, here goes. The three meals I finally settled on were seafood pasta, Alaskan halibut with salad and Wagyu beef.

Based on the following character descriptions, can you guess which character ordered which meal? (Answers below.*)

The businessman

He’s the self-indulgent owner of a chain of bakeries with an ego bigger than his waistline. He enjoys nothing better than buying other people’s successful bakeries to add to his chain. It doesn’t bother him if he has to pressure the owners to sell.

The mayor’s wife

Actually, she’s the mayor’s second—some might call her a trophy—wife. Devoted to her husband, she takes the duties of a mayor’s wife very seriously especially when it comes to her appearance. She loves designer clothes and is never seen without perfect makeup and hair. Her hobby is adding to her collection of diamond jewelry.

The witch

She runs a shop in town that sells potions and spells. At twenty-nine years old, she has discovered a talent for solving mysteries. Although she hasn’t gotten around to marriage, she does have a cute boyfriend. She enjoys food and has never met a carb she didn’t love. 

It was fun researching menus for this scene and I spent a lot of time thinking about the kind of meal I’d order. It would definitely be some kind of seafood—probably lobster—followed by a dessert featuring chocolate. If you were treated to a meal in an upmarket restaurant, what would you choose?

Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Janni!

You can find Janni here:

Facebook Page

Books on Amazon

Janni Nell is the author of the Little Shop of Spells cozy mystery series. Before she became a writer, she worked as a personal assistant, receptionist and salesclerk. Now she is happy to spend every day creating stories. When she isn’t writing, you can find her at dance class, Pilates or in the garden. She is hard at work on her next book.

*If you guessed the businessman had Wagyu beef, the mayor’s wife had Alaskan halibut with salad and the witch had seafood pasta, you’re absolutely correct.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Michael Murphy, Author of The Yankee Club

I met my first ex-wife in The Yankee Club, but I don’t hold it against the place. For my dough, it’s the best speakeasy in Queens. To my surprise it’s not too crowded for a Friday night in the spring of 1933.

I know the knock. A panel in the door slides open, and I’m greeted by a familiar face the size of a hubcap. Fights are kept to a minimum by this broad-shouldered brute who gives me the once over and let’s me inside.

It’s a smoke-filled joint, but the three-piece band’s the greatest and singer’s not half bad. The food’s good. The drinks are too, none of that watered down stuff you sometimes get in a cheap dive. The club’s a good mix of regulars like me, and high-society types. Last time I dropped in, Babe Ruth was buying drinks for Cole Porter and his Broadway friends.  

The owner, Gino is sitting at the bar in a fancy tux. He’s smoking a cigar and giving the eye to a brunette in a backless red satin dress. I spot an empty table near the dance floor and pass bombshell actress Laura Wilson, dressed to the nines, on the arm of gumshoe turned writer Jake Donovan.

I take a seat and buy a pack of smokes from Stella, a blonde cigarette girl I used to date. I tip her a fin, and she gives me a wink, so I know there’s no hard feelings.

The waiter, with an Adams apple the size of a baseball, is making his way to my table with my usual, without me asking, another reason I love this place. He sets the plate of finger food and a highball on the table flashing a smile. “Welcome to The Yankee Club.”

Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Michael!

You can find Michael here:

Penguin Random House

Twitter @mmurfy68

Facebook Fan Page

Books on Amazon

Friday, April 8, 2022

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Margaret Mizushima, Author of the Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries

My Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries feature K-9 Deputy Mattie Cobb, her four-legged partner Robo, and Cole Walker, Robo’s veterinarian and Mattie’s love interest. Together they investigate and solve crimes in their Colorado mountain community. But in the midst of all the murder and mayhem in that small town, Mattie does take time to eat, and the one person she loves to sit down and share a meal with is Mama T, her childhood foster mom.

As a Latina who has raised many children, Mama T infuses lots of love in the food she cooks. After a hard day, Mattie might stop by to check on her mama, and she’ll take home a bowl of green chili with pork laced with love, as well as a package of warm homemade tortillas fresh from the skillet. (See my husband’s version of green chili below.)

On a Sunday morning, Mattie will share some quiet time with Mama T before her current set of foster kids wake up. They feast on one of Mattie’s favorite meals, huevos rancheros with green chili sauce. 

In Burning Ridge, the fourth book in the series, an older foster daughter returns to Timber Creek to visit Mama T. Mattie joins them in her foster mother’s kitchen so the three of them can make tamales together, a ritual that speaks of love from their childhood. This scene takes place shortly before a killer from her past stalks Mattie and kidnaps her, taking her to a cave in the mountains where he tries to force her into giving him information she doesn’t even know.

Mattie is involved in plenty of action scenes in which she and Robo work together. They might be searching the high country for a missing person or tracking down a fugitive. They search for evidence at crime scenes and sweep vehicles for drugs. They might follow trails for miles to take down killers. It’s a good thing that Mattie fuels her body with good food, so she has the energy to keep up with her dog.

There are currently seven mysteries in the Timber Creek K-9 series, starting with Killing Trail, which introduces Mattie and Robo, Mama T, Cole Walker, and all the people who work at the Timber Creek County Sheriff’s Department. I invite you to enter the lives of some good folks who work hard to protect their community, to get to know what’s important to them, and to also answer the question—but what are they eating?

My husband’s recipe: Mama T’s Green Chili with Pork

4 lbs. pork roast, shoulder or butt

1 large can peeled chili peppers

1 small can adobo

1 diced bell pepper

1 large chopped onion

2 large cans diced tomatoes

1 small can tomato paste

2 cloves minced garlic

1 t. ground cumin

1 t. salt

¼ t. black pepper

½ t. red pepper flakes

1 T. chili powder

(Seasonings may be adjusted for desired spiciness)

Slow cook for four hours. Shred pork. Serve with tortillas and enjoy.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your food for thought, Margaret!

You can find Margaret here:

Twitter @margmizu

Facebook Fan Page

Books on Amazon

Margaret Mizushima writes the award winning and internationally published Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries. She serves as immediate past president of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America and was elected Writer of the Year by Rocky Mountain Fiction Writes. She lives in Colorado on a small ranch with her veterinarian husband where they raised two daughters and and a multitude of animals.