Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **AUTHOR SPECIAL** with MARIA VERMISOGLOU!
Welcome to my Friday bonus feature called Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **Author Special**!! Today, in lieu of one of my own recipes, I’m going to introduce you to a new author who will share one of her favorite recipes. Not only will you and I occasionally learn how to make something new and delicious, but we’ll get a chance to check out some wonderful authors. Introducing author, MARIA VERMISOGLOU, and her favorite recipe for NTAKOS!
QUILL & DUST
A Paranormal Fairytale Collection
BY MARIA VERMISOGLOU
Banish the demon, stop the prophecy, and do not fall in love. Easy, right? Yeah, not so much.
Mina Donovan is a woman of many talents. Fire elemental, psychic, Legacy witch, magical asset for an FBI paranormal task force…she does it all. Her latest struggle? Not crushing on her sexy best friend. Logically, she knows they can’t be together. Too bad her heart has never bothered with logic.
The friend zone is the last place pyro expert Josh wants to be with Mina. Not that he has any choice in the matter. A witch hunter falling for a witch? Not smart. He’ll just have to learn to ignore his attraction to the gorgeous woman who already owns so much of his heart.
Excerpt from Slayer in Red – Maria Vermisoglou
The night had fallen in the city, and the busy streets had quieted down. Perched on a roof, hidden in the shadows, I waited. Sharpening my knife, I observed every figure daring to cross the light.
A hooded figure approached, the footfalls falling heavily on the pavement. Peeking from my corner, I spotted the claws and canines of the wolf demon. I leaped and landed in front of the creature, slitting its throat. It didn’t have time to howl. I moved away and waited until the body exploded.
The first time I had the bad luck of standing right in front of it when the blood splattered all over my clothes and face.
“Nice work, Red.”
I earned the nickname “Red” for my knack at dismembering them. I nodded grimly at Opal and held out my hands. “Well?”
“Aren’t you impatient tonight?” Opal started twirling her finger faster and faster, blue stars appearing until she opened her arms. The stars fell on the bloodstain on the street and like little bombs, they exploded. “That’s nice.” She smiled and touched my palms, cleaning them. “I wish you would consider another color. Red is so conspicuous.”
“Gotta honor my nickname, Opal.” I smirked and rubbed my hands. “Any word on the threat?” I took a left turn and climbed the exterior staircase of a building leading to the roof. “Brrr! Why is it so cold?” My teeth chattered at the sudden chill invasion.
“Here. I made this for you. Purple would have been nicer but…” Opal shrugged and snapped her fingers, causing a star rain to pour. A red cloak sat on her arms and I grabbed it with my frozen fingers.
“Thank you.” I blinked the tears from my eyes and struggled to tie the ribbon around my neck. “Aaah,” I sighed as warmth enveloped me like a cocoon. “It has pockets!” I grinned at Opal, who winked.
“It’s equipped with a warming spell and pockets for your hands and a hood!” She sat hovering, her violet eyes gleaming. “I’m glad you like it. Better take a seat.”
I scowled and looking around I resulted on the edge of the building. Steam came out of the cloak, warming my back and chest. The bright stars smiled at me, and I wished I could just lie down and fall asleep until dawn. If I was a normal human and not hunting wolf demons.
There were days I wished to go back to the time where my only concerns were boys, which dress should I buy for my birthday and when would I meet up with my bffs.
My nose itched at the sweet aroma of hazelnut coffee. I smiled as the scent of strawberry pancakes announced their appearance and I gazed at the blue checkered tablecloth where my mom served the rich breakfast, wearing her white apron with the cherries atop of her yellow sundress. The sun bathed the soft orange walls encircling the oak furniture of my childhood home.
When the walls split, I sighed and looked at the pathetic space between the buildings. Even the asphalt seemed deserted.
“I’m sorry, Blaze. I thought you wanted a little pick-me-up, but perhaps I chose the wrong memory.”
I smiled at Opal’s miserable face. “It’s fine,” I said in a tight voice. “I just miss them.” Shivers jerked my arms that had nothing to do with the cold. “What news from the front?”
“It’s strange, Red. The wolf demons keep multiplying and we don’t know where they’re coming from or what their plan is. It’s…eerie.”
“The wolf demons just want blood. Simple.” I snorted, swinging my legs.
The wolf demons had appeared in a total lunar eclipse. Since it was so rare, everyone left the safety of their homes to watch it. All eyes trained on the blood moon, they didn’t see the shadows taking the form of wolves. They were all dead by dawn.
Only I escaped their wrath. Having in my possession only a kitchen knife, I fought the creature invading our house and managed to wound it. Jumping from roof to roof, I made it to the forest and hidden on a tree’s branch, I waited. In the morning, the shadows were gone, but fear kept me pinned on the tree. I waited and when night fell, they returned. I decided to train to eliminate each one of these demonic fur creatures. Following their trail from towns to cities is how I met Opal.
“Do you think there is an ultimate goal to their motives?”
Opal pulled her tarot cards, and I leaned closer. I loved the intricate designs of animals that came alive when touched.
“I do. It’s just a feeling like a whisper, though. It’s uncertain.”
“You’re the witch.” I touched the moon card and the owl spirit hooted, dissolving in a cloud of blue stars. “What is this?” I pointed at the black crow card I had never seen before.
“Death. It’s coming sometimes but appearing on the main deck, and as the first card is alarming. I don’t like it.” She collected the cards and wrapped them in a silk pouch.
Huffing, I gazed at the sky and beamed at the orange rays peeking in the horizon. “Time to sleep. We’ll figure it out soon, Opal.”
I tapped her shoulder and leaped toward the sun. Every time, I tried to jump higher and higher, trying to reach the sun before it rose above us. Just like a game.
Thirsty for more? Pre-order the collection and dive into the magic of paranormal fairytales! https://books2read.com/QuillandDust
Maria Vermisoglou is an International Bestselling author of fantasy and paranormal with an obsession for witches. She loves throwing her heroes into impossible situations.
Maria draws inspiration from books, travel, and…the ceiling. (So blame the ceiling!)
Maria started writing when the stories she read became too boring and the voices in her mind too loud.
When she’s not writing, she loves a good writing on the fantasy dragon, but a book can also be exciting along with a cup of tea.
Nowadays, you can find her in Athens, exploring the mysteries of the ancient world.
P.S. We’re at 548 recipes and counting with this posting. Hope you find some recipes you like. If this is your first visit, please check out past blogs for more Killer Fixin’s. In the right-hand column menu, you can even look up past recipes by type. i.e. Desserts, Breads, Beef, Chicken, Soups, Author Specials, etc.
NTAKOS (or Owl)
Ntakos is a traditional Cretan dish and very refreshing for summer. I hope you enjoy it!
1 double barley ntako (soaked dried bread or barley rusk will do)
3 ripe red tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tbsp. oregano (or thyme)
First, grate the two tomatoes in the grater and chop the other tomato separately in small squares. Add the salt to the grated tomato and stir.
Put the barley nuts on a plate, sprinkle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and a little oregano.
Pour the grated tomato and all its juices over the ntakos. Garnish with the chopped tomato.
Sprinkle with oregano and pour over olive oil.
Let the ntako rest for a few minutes. Enjoy!
Special Giveaway: To celebrate the release, Maria is hosting a giveaway. Details here: https://maraki2311.wixsite.com/creativequill/giveaways (End of giveaway September 14.)
Thanks, Maria, for sharing your story with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!