Showing posts with label Juliet Blackwell. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Juliet Blackwell. Show all posts

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Welcome guest author Juliet Blackwell + book #giveaway!

Juliet Blackwell pens the New York Times Bestselling Witchcraft Mysteries and the Haunted Home Renovation series. As Hailey Lind she wrote the Agatha-Award nominated Art Lover’s Mystery series.  Her upcoming The Paris Key (September 1, 2015) is Juliet’s first standalone novel.  She is past president of Northern California Sisters in Crime and former board member of Mystery Writers of America.  Juliet lives in a hundred-year-old house with extensive botanical gardens in Northern California, but spends as much time as possible in Europe and Latin America.  She believes in the magic of language, travel, and cultural exchange to open hearts, minds, and souls.

By the way, Juliet is offering a book giveaway today. See details below!!

Take it away, Julie!!


I was taught to cook by a busy working mother and a father who had been a short-order chef.  Both were children of the depression who never threw anything away.  So using up leftovers was a big theme in our house.  Like so many aspects of childhood that I railed against at the time, I now find myself adhering to them. 

I’m a leftover queen!

And while busy writing the next installment of the Witchcraft Mystery series, I prefer any dish that’s satisfying while quick and easy to prepare.

Chilaquiles is an ingenious dish to use up stale tortillas. It’s a delicious, easy-to-make stove-top Mexican casserole most typically eaten for breakfast.

In its simplest form, Chilaquiles consist of fried tortillas and eggs in a cooked salsa (red or green). Sometimes chicken or other meats, beans, tofu, or extra veggies are added – this is where the leftovers come in. Be creative!

Serve as is, or top the dish with cheese, Mexican crema (a pourable sour cream), raw onions, avocados, cilantro, or hot sauce. Again, use your imagination and any leftovers you can find.


1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 small corn tortillas, cut into triangles or strips
1/2 cup salsa (fresh or canned is fine)
Shredded chicken, pork, or cubed tofu
1/4 cup leftover pinto or black beans and/or veggies
2 eggs
1/4 avocado
2 tablespoons crumbled queso fresco (or substitute your favorite cheese)
Hot sauce, optional
Roughly chopped cilantro


Pour the oil into a cast iron or stainless steel skillet and warm over medium-high heat until shimmery. Add tortilla pieces and fry, stirring and flipping constantly, until browned and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes.

Pour the salsa over the tortillas, and cook, stirring, until the tortillas soak up most of the salsa and soften, about 1 minute. Add beans, cooked meat or veggies or tofu as you like, and stir to heat.

Push the chilaquiles to one side of the pan and lower the heat to medium. Crack the egg toward the middle of the pan. Partially cover the pan and cook until the egg whites are set and the yolk is as done as you like it. Alternatively, whisk the egg in a bowl before adding it to the pan and make scrambled eggs instead. Once cooked, mix up with the chilaquiles to coat the tortillas.

Garnish with the avocado slices, queso fresco, hot sauce, and cilantro. Eat immediately.

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Visit Juliet at

Spellcasting in Silk, #7 of the Witchcraft Mystery series, features Lily Ivory, natural-born witch and vintage clothes dealer with a shop in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. With her potbellied-pig familiar, Oscar, at her side, Lily finds herself embroiled in magical mystery in the City by the Bay.

Lily would like nothing better than to relax, enjoy her friends, and take care of business at her store, which is booming thanks to San Francisco's upcoming Summer of Love Festival. But as the unofficial witchy consultant to the SFPD, she is pulled into yet another case.

A woman has jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge, and her apparent suicide may be connected to a suspicious botanica in the Mission District. When the police investigate the shop, they ask Lily to look into its mysterious owner, whose granddaughter also appears to be missing. As Lily searches for the truth, she finds herself confronted with a confounding mystery and some very powerful magic…


I am offering a giveaway today, your choice of the first or last in the series, Secondhand Spirits or A Vision in Velvet. Leave a comment (hint: click the word "comments" below), include your email or a cryptic version of it that I can figure out, and tell me if you believe in magic!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Welcome our guest, author Juliet Blackwell w/book #giveaway

Juliet Blackwell is the New York Times bestselling author of the Witchcraft Mystery series, featuring a powerful witch with a vintage clothes store in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury.  She also writes the Haunted Home Renovation Mystery series, about a failed anthropologist who reluctantly takes over her father’s high-end construction company…and finds ghosts behind the walls.  As Hailey Lind, Blackwell wrote the Agatha-nominated Art Lover’s Mystery series, in which an ex-art forger attempts to go straight as a faux finisher. She is currently working on a novel about a woman who takes over her uncle’s locksmith shop in Paris, entitled The Paris Key. A former anthropologist and social worker, Juliet has worked in Mexico, Spain, Cuba, Italy, the Philippines, and France.

Juliet’s latest book is Keeper of the Castle, fifth in her Haunted Home Renovation series featuring Mel Turner, head of Turner Construction, and reluctant ghost whisperer.  Read an excerpt HERE.

Special book giveaway...see below!

Take it away, Juliet! 

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Thank you so much for having me on Mystery Lovers Kitchen. I love to cook -- with a glass of wine in hand, especially :-)-- and find it a relaxing way to wrap up the day with friends and family.

I was going to write up one of my (ex) mother-in-law's Mexican recipes, or one of my mother's Cajun family secrets...but those are best learned by trailing someone around a kitchen as they say "A little pinch of this, a little pinch of that."  Such recipes don't translate well to the page, I find.

Besides, lately my schedule is chock-full of book deadlines -- currently I'm writing the Witchcraft mystery series and the Haunted Home Renovation mystery series, as well as a standalone called The Paris Key -- so I don't have the time and energy to harass my relatives for their recipes, much less the energy to create intricate dishes. Instead, I like to wander my local farmer's market, see what's fresh and in season, and go from there.

This week I made this easy-peesy soup, from from fresh organic, easy-to-find ingredients. It's soooo good. And it makes the whole house smell like the holidays.


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Carrot-Squash Soup

1 leek
1 bunch sweet carrots
1 butternut squash
1 small sweet potato
Chicken or vegetable stock
Spices, salt to taste
Cream or half-and-half (optional)

Chop up leek into small pieces and sauté in a little butter or olive oil.  While it is cooking, chop the carrots, squash, and potato into small chunks and add them to the sauté.  Stir frequently -- be careful not to let it burn! 

Once all the veggies have been sautéed, cover with stock and let simmer 20-25 minutes until tender. Add dashes of nutmeg, ginger, cumin, cloves (or mixed pumpkin spices), and white pepper and salt to taste.

I mush up about half, then puree the other half before mixing them back together.  But if you want a creamier soup puree the whole thing.

Upon serving, add a little spiral of cream or half and half, and top with chopped parsley -- or just eat as is! 

 It’s soooo good–and good for you, too! (Also, it makes the house smell yummy J)


Today, I am giving away a copy of KEEPER OF THE CASTLE to one commenter. Remember to leave your email so I can contact you if you win. And tell me, do you have any haunted home renovation stories to share?

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