Eighteen-year-old Annamaria Lyons has never left her small hometown of Harrison, Wyoming. She has lived with her aunt, Trinity, since her parents died when she was two years old. Trinity has been a wonderful guardian with one exception—she won’t allow Annamaria out of the house after sunset. That is, until the night of senior prom. Annamaria’s long-lost sister arrives, bringing with her a world full of hidden family secrets and the supernatural.
Forced to flee her childhood home without a proper goodbye to her human life and first love, Annamaria immerses herself in the magical world. New friends and a new suitor challenge her original dreams for the future, and when she finds herself caught in the middle of a centuries-old conflict, Annamaria must decide to rise above it or give in to the darkness.
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1143894193?ean=9781509251940
Website: www.chelseymortega.com (also included in bio. All other social links and contact info are on my website)
Excerpt and Recipe
Multiplying Chicken With or Without Magic: A Quick and Easy Recipe
Sandy and Daniel followed her into the kitchen. Annamaria set the island for three and noted there were a few minutes left before dinner was ready. Even though Annamaria could magically cook dinner faster, she discovered Trinity had been telling the truth—magically cooked food didn’t taste as good as cooking at a human pace. She used her magic to make prep work go faster.
“Do you want anything special to drink?” she asked the two of them.
“I think tonight is an occasion for some wine.” Sandy smiled, her eyes twinkling. “The bottles are stored downstairs. I’ll go get them.” She left Daniel and Annamaria in the kitchen while she ran downstairs.
“Remind me where you go to school?” Annamaria asked.
“The University of Pennsylvania? Cool.”
Sandy returned with a bottle, and the timer dinged. Annamaria took her solo dinner out of the oven, waved her hand over it, and the number of chicken breasts, potatoes, and peas on the sheet pan tripled.
When I was writing this scene from my debut novel, Bondwitch, I used a real dinner that I make for my family several times a year. This dish came from Kraft Recipes that I made a few changes to. It requires only 5 ingredients, fast and easy prep, and only 30 minutes in the oven.
Italian Dressing Chicken and Vegetables
Chicken breasts: 1 per serving
Idaho potatoes (or your favorite potato): ½-1 per serving
Sugar snap peas: 8-12 oz per 4 servings
Shredded parmesan cheese
- Heat oven to 350°F
- Cover a cooking sheet with tin foil and spray with cooking spray
- Wash and cut potatoes into strips (do NOT peel)
- Toss potatoes in Italian Dressing (you choose how much is enough)
- Spread potatoes on first half of pan
- Lay chicken breasts on the remaining half of the pan, leaving a small strip for peas.
- Spread Italian dressing over both sides of chicken breast (you choose how much is enough)
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Wash and prepare the sugar snap peas: toss in Italian Dressing (I personally snip the ends of each pea pod)
- When the chicken and potatoes are done, add sugar snap peas to the pan and bake for 3 more minutes
- Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the chicken, potatoes, and peas; allow heat to melt the cheese for a couple minutes before serving
This meal is perfect for nights where you need quick prep with few ingredients. It is one of my family’s favorite meals, and so satisfying.
Chelsey M. Ortega is a teacher by day and award-winning author by night. History is her first love, and any story involving magic and romance, her second love. She especially loves witches and is still awaiting her acceptance letter to a well-known school. Chelsey received her Bachelor’s in History Teaching from Brigham Young University. In addition to writing, Chelsey teaches high school U.S. History and ELD. She lives in Utah with her husband, three children, and two cats. Follow Chelsey at www.chelseymortega.com.