Black Heart, Red Ruby


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Hello everyone! I know it’s been a long time, but I had to interrupt our silence to tell you all that one of my wonderful CPs has a book birthday today!

I first met Teresa a few years ago during Pitch Wars, and got to read this book. It is dark and wonderful, with a bad-girl heroine, romance, curses, family secrets, and lots and lots of suspense. So, if you’re looking for something you won’t be able to put down, something a little different and a lot creepy, I highly recommend checking out BLACK HEART, RED RUBY.

You can find it here:

Google Play

And despite the sharp edges of her heroines, Teresa herself is a lovely person. ;) Follow her on twitter or check out her website for more book updates.

Trickster Tuesday



Hi everyone! As Heidi told you all last week, in honor of the infamous holiday, April Fool’s Day, we’re doing a month on tricksters.

As you all probably know, I loooove tricksters, particularly the ones that straddle the line of good and evil. I feel those characters are often driving forces behind the plots of some of my favorite stories, or in the very least they spice things up a bit.

A drawing I did of one of my favorite tricksters of all time

A drawing I did of one of my favorite tricksters of all time

I guess the important question is: what makes someone a trickster?

According to Merriam-Webster, a trickster is “a cunning or deceptive character appearing in various forms of folklore of many cultures.” Or “someone who tricks or deceives people especially in order to get something.”

I think it’s the last part of the second definition that really defines a trickster. If they don’t have motivation for any of their pranks, than they are merely pranksters; I feel that all tricksters are pranksters to some extent, but not all pranksters are necessarily tricksters.

So, who are some of your favorite tricksters and pranksters in fiction or mythology?

April is for Tricksters


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Happy April Fool’s Day, everyone! I hope you all get in a good prank on someone else. ;) And in honor of this holiday (it is a holiday, right?) we here at Mystic Cooking have decided to devote April to the tricksters.

That’s right! This month we’ll be discussing tricksters, pranksters, rogues, thieves…you know, all the most fun, somewhat shady characters. So stay tuned!

"I solemnly swear that I am up to no good."

“I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.”


Love in a Time of Monsters


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Looking for an exciting read? Want gothic horror, a kick butt heroine, romance, monsters, sword fights, and magic? Then definitely check out Love in a Time of Monsters! Teresa Yea is one of my critique partners. She is a fantastic writer, and I’m super excited to announce that her book comes out today!

We invited her to our blog in honor of her book’s birthday to answer a few questions.

HEIDI: Teresa, thanks so much for joining us! First, can you tell us a little about yourself?

TERESA: I’m a UCLA graduate, science geek by degree, bookworm at heart. I can quote all of Pulp Fiction and annoy you to no end. My favorite musical of all time is Phantom of the Opera and I can usually be found in my car singing along to Music of the Night with dramatic hand gestures. Of the things I love most in the world (besides reading, writing, and TV show-binges) is a long nap.

HEIDI: Phantom of the Opera is definitely my favorite, too!

KATI: Heidi’s also good at annoying people to no end; I can see why you get along. ;)


KATI: Ahem. Moving on. Teresa, what inspired you to write Love in a Time of Monsters?

TERESA: I’ve always admired the storytelling and perfect execution of Hitchcockian suspense in Jaws, i.e. scaring the audience without ever showing the monster. Then one day I was admiring the characters’ tweed hunting outfits in Downton Abbey and everything clicked.

KATI: Downton Abbey and Jaws sounds like such an intriguing combination. I have to read this book!

HEIDI: You really do. It would be right up your alley. There’s a great “shade of grey” character who isn’t exactly good…but isn’t exactly bad, either. I know those are your favorite kind of characters. And speaking of flawed characters, Teresa, you write such strong, complex heroines, tough yet struggling with this internal darkness. What draws you to these kinds of characters?

TERESA: Because I, too, have a demon inside of me! Existential angst is not something that could be put into words but could only be expressed in dramatic hand gestures.

KATI: Definitely true. What’s your favorite book and/or author?

TERESA: The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. I’ve read it 12 times and it never gets old. Then there’s the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, which I highly recommend because it has the sexiest man alive who isn’t actually real.
And Lisa Kleypas and her spectacular Wallflower series.

KATI: I haven’t read the other books, but I loved The Witch of Blackbird Pond!

HEIDI: I’ll have to re-read it, but I remember Nat being pretty much the perfect man. ;)

KATI: This leads us to our final question, the one we always have to ask anyone we interview.

HEIDI: Oh no, not the island question!

KATI: Yes. It’s super important. Teresa, if you were stranded on a deserted island, which fictional character would you want to keep you company and why?

TERESA: Jaime Fraser from Outlander because he knows how to live in nature. I also expect sexy times in tropic climes and believe he is the best fictional character to help me with that.

HEIDI: Great answer! Thanks, Teresa, for stopping by and answering our questions!

And if you have any other questions for Teresa, you can find her at her website at, or follow her on twitter. And if you want to check out her book, Love in a Time of Monsters is available here:

Google Play
Barnes and Noble

#DearMe, Advice for my Younger Self


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Youtube recently launched a #DearMe campaign in honor of International Women’s Day. It’s a great idea – people post a video where they tell their teenage selves advice. I know I have a lot of advice for young Heidi. In lieu of a video, I thought I’d post it here.

First of all, young me, remember that paperwork never goes away. So just sticking it in a drawer and not filling it out will not help you. It will still be sitting there, looming, waiting to be filled in, and eventually your decision to ignore it will catch up to you. This happens repeatedly. Stop it.

Also revisions really are necessary. I know you think you wrote it the way it was meant to be written the first time, but seriously, who are you fooling? That first draft is just the very beginning; the revisions are where the story actually takes shape. You’re not “ruining your vision” when you go back and change things.

And yes, someday you will have a dog. And yes, I’m going to tell you what everyone’s always told you – dogs are a lot of work. But so worth it. In fact, everything that matters in life is a lot of work, so it’s good to get used to it.

Finally, stop worrying so much. Things always seem to work out. And remember, I think you’re awesome. ;)

Me and my sisters back in '98

Me and my sisters back in ’98. 

How about you? What advice would you give your younger self?


More Than Comics


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MTCebook.v2Get ready to add to your TBR piles because we have another book to recommend this week! The second book in Elizabeth Brigg’s sexy NA “Chasing the Dream” series is out, and it looks great! Here’s the blurb for More Than Comics:

They’re friends online – but can they be more in real life?

Writer Tara McFadden has been friends with artist and drummer Hector Fernandez for years, long before his band became famous on reality TV – yet they’ve never met in person. They finally have a chance to connect offline when they’re both sent to Comic-Con to promote the graphic novel they collaborated on.

Hector’s secretly been in love with Tara for as long as he can remember, and once they meet, she sees him in a new light. All the years of longing lead to an incredible night of passion after one of his concerts, but neither is sure if their online relationship can translate into a real life romance – or if this will ruin their friendship forever.

Over four crazy days at Comic-Con, Hector and Tara must decide if they want a future together. But when their story seems to be over, it’s up to Hector’s entire band to make sure he and Tara get their happy ending.

Author bio:

Elizabeth Briggs is a full-time geek who writes books for teens and adults. She plays the guitar, mentors at-risk teens, and volunteers with a dog rescue group. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a pack of small, fluffy dogs.

She was also our Pitch Wars mentor back in the day, and she’s a phenomenal writer. If you haven’t checked out her first book, More Than Music, we talked about it here, and it’s also on sale this week only.


If you want to connect with Liz online, you can find her here:

Facebook fan group:

Happy reading, everyone! :)


Cover Reveal: Torn by Kate Sparkes


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We have a special treat today – a cover reveal for the second book in the Bound Trilogy by Kate Sparkes!

Okay, first of all, if you haven’t read Bound yet, definitely check it out. It’s on sale for $0.99 from now until March 2nd. If you love YA fantasy, well-developed worlds, awesome female protagonists, and romance, this is one you shouldn’t miss! Here’s a link to check it out for yourself.

bound sale 1

Read Bound already? Check out the sequel, Torn, and this amazing cover:


And here’s the blurb:

Aren Tiernal knows that safety is an illusion, that his cruel and powerful brother Severn will never forgive his betrayal. Still, returning to Tyrea to challenge Severn for the throne would be suicide. It’s not until Severn himself comes to collect what’s owed to him that Aren decides to risk everything in an attempt to bring down the most powerful Sorcerer Tyrea has ever known. It’s a mission that seems doomed to fail, but it’s Aren’s only chance to save himself, his country, and the woman who thawed his heart.

Rowan Greenwood has troubles of her own. Though she has potential to become a great Sorceress, years of being closed off from her magic have left her unable to control her incredible power. When a pair of ominous letters arrive from her home country, Rowan has to choose between her new life and a chance at saving a family member’s life—and just maybe changing an entire country’s beliefs about the evils of magic.

Torn apart by separate quests, Rowan and Aren will have to discover untapped strengths and confront their darkest fears in order to overthrow a ruler determined to destroy them both.

It’s available for pre-sale now, and will be released on March 31st with a limited time launch price of $2.99.

Kate is a terrific writer, but don’t take our word for it – check her out at her own blog, or you can follow her on twitter @kate_sparkes, on Instagram at kate.sparkes, or on Facebook.

Cover art was done by Ravven at

Fiction Friday: Ensnared


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So…a long time ago in a galaxy far far away, I wrote a Fiction Friday post on Splintered and Unhinged by A. G. Howard, and my one complaint: I have to wait until 2015 for the last book?!? Well, as you all know, 2015 is here, and with it Ensnared, the final book. I have now read and re-read the entire trilogy, and I loooooved it. Morpheus 100 percent sold it for me, but that’s not to say that I didn’t like Alyssa, the MC, too.

Here’s the scoop. After an awesomely chaotic ending to the second book, the third book picks right up from there. In this book, you finally learn about Alyssa’s dad’s secret past – which unfortunately, I wasn’t blown away by. In fact, I found Alyssa’s dad to be almost as irritating as Jeb.

Moving on past that though, we get to see AnyElsewhere, a twisted world full of Wonderland rejects. AnyElsewhere is a pretty fantastic setting, and thankfully we don’t have to wait long for the wonderful appearance of Morpheus.

In this conclusion, all loose ends are tied up, and everything ends in a neat little package…almost too neat. However, even if I do like a little more chaos in my endings, I was satisfied enough with this one, and it did leave me smiling, and skimming back through the book for my favorite scenes.

How about all of you, what have you been reading these last few months? Do you have any good book recommendations?

What’s in a name?


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So last week we got a new puppy. Here’s a picture of him:


All was well and good. Until the battle of the names began.

You see, I wanted to name him “Oz,” short for “Ozymandias,” from the poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley. One, because I think it’s a good, cute name for a little dog, and two, because that’s an awesome poem.

My husband wanted to name him Gomukha.

ME: Gomukha? Why Gomukha? How did you even come up with that?

SEAN: It’s Sanskrit.

ME: Oh, this is one of those yoga things, isn’t it?

SEAN: …maybe.

ME: Fine. What’s it mean?

SEAN: <pause> Uh, it means “cow-face.”

cow face_blog

ME: Okay. I guess that’s appropriate.

And so the puppy became “Gomukha,” or “Gomu” for short. Poor little guy. ;)

I’ve always had a hard time picking a name. When I write, I usually just choose the first name that pops into my head, and then promise myself I’ll go back and replace it later. Sometimes I do, and sometimes the instant name sticks. But I know if I spend too much time deliberating on the names at the start, I’ll waste hours on sites like Behind the Name, and I’ll never get past that first page.

How about you? How do you choose your names?

"nom nom nom..."

“nom nom nom…”

We Have an Agent!


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ANNOUNCEMENT: Kati and I are excited to say that we’re now repped by Jennifer Azantian of the Azantian Literary Agency!

It’s taken us a couple of writer’s conferences, some really great critique partners, hours brainstorming, and lots of revisions, but here we are, ready for the next step.

KATI: Speaking of next steps, some of you may wonder how we celebrated after finally signing with an agent.

HEIDI: How did we celebrate? Why, the best way possible – by hitting the town! And by “hitting the town,” I mean we stayed in and ate cake…

KATI: But it was really good cake.

The best cake in the world!

The best cake in the world! Extra thanks go to Kati’s bf Nick for surprising us with it. :)

HEIDI: Almost too good, honestly. It was one of the only times I’ve had a piece of cake and been like, hmm, I think that’s enough cake for me. Unfortunately, Kati was determined that we were going to eat all of it.

KATI: Heh heh. Cake or death?

HEIDI: Death.

KATI: Okay, death…by cake!

HEIDI: Noooooo….

So, thank you to everyone who has supported and encouraged us along the way. We couldn’t have done it without you! Here’s hoping there’s big things ahead for MYSTIC COOKING, but in the meantime, we’ll be where we always are, writing away.


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