Hey there! I'm M.J. O'Shea, and I just wanted to share an excerpt from my current book, A Little Bite of Magic, that comes out April 30th from LooseId!!
In a family full of powerful witches, Frankie Vallerand is the black sheep. He doesn’t care about honing his magic. All he wants is to open up a restaurant and spend his days serving up delicious food. But when he sees a customer crying and wishes for her to be happy, he inadvertently transforms his old wooden soup spoon into a wand, and realizes that maybe a little bit of kitchen magic is just what his customers need.
Addison Allbright is The Phantom Foodie, an anonymous food critic notorious for his scathing reviews. For most people, being paid to eat would be a dream job. Not for Addison. He doesn’t care for overpriced designer food. He’s a tea and toast kind of guy. Until both the food and the owner of L’Osteria Di Pomodoro sweep him off his feet and throw his neat, orderly life completely off-kilter.
Frankie isn’t sure how to tell Addison he’s a witch, or that he charmed Addison’s food the night they first met, without sounding totally crazy. But little does he know that Addison has secrets too. Not only did he snark Frankie’s restaurant in his last review column, he’s also engaged to be married…to a woman.
Frankie Vallerand has just purchased an old dilapidated restaurant. It might look like a rat infested hole, but he thinks it's perfect…. With a little touch of magic.
* * * *
The old place needed some work. That much was certain.
Frankie cringed at the sagging turn-of-the-century plaster walls. They’d faded over time into a color something like that of an old, worn-out sock. Not what he’d call appetizing. The floors hadn't fared much better—speckled linoleum, worn away in the corners and riddled with small, suspicious bite marks. He didn’t want to think too hard about the bite marks. Probably rats. Frankie hated rats.
A pitted aluminum door at the threshold between the dining area and his future kitchen swung back and forth on one rusted hinge. It swayed precariously in a brisk afternoon breeze that suddenly swept through the building. Frankie gave the heavy old door a gentle push, afraid it might come off its remaining hinge completely. It would be his luck to have the behemoth fall off and land on his foot. Frankie didn’t have the time for injuries, didn’t have time for anything that could get in his way.
There was magic to be done.
At least the kitchen was large—perhaps a bit too large for one cook, but Frankie couldn't complain. It had cavernous ceilings—which must have been hidden in the main room by those awful mildewy acoustic tiles. Those tiles would be the first on his list of things to go. A huge pot rack hung, rusted and barely grasping the hook screwed into the ceiling nearly twenty feet above. The floor was flagstone, and the sinks deep and cast iron. The ancient beast of a stove top might have looked archaic, but it was exactly what Frankie wanted, lit from below by a wood fire for that old-world, homemade taste. He loved the brick walls and the big old wood-fired brick oven.
The butcher-block island just needed a little (or perhaps a lot of) elbow grease, and it too would be perfect...someday.
But it was no wonder why he’d gotten the old restaurant so cheap.
“Isn’t it great, Dom?” Frankie turned to look at his best friend from culinary school. He didn’t need to hear Dom’s answer; his skepticism could be felt thick in the air.2 M.J. O'Shea
“You’re nuts, Frank. This place is a rat trap.”
Dom had come along for moral support. Some kind of support. Frankie elbowed him in the side. “No, it’s L’Osteria di Pomodoro.” Frankie had come up with the name years ago when he’d been surfing the Net, looking for cooking-school applications and dreaming the far-off fantasy of owning his own restaurant.
Dom snorted. “More like L’Osteria di Shithole.”
Frankie pushed him. “Screw you. I didn’t stomp all over your dream of becoming a corporate food minion.”
“But dude, you’ve got powers. You wouldn’t have to be a minion. You could be a corporate food god.”
Frankie shot Dom a quick glare. “Hey! Ix-nay on the owers-pay, right? You know I wasn’t supposed to tell you about that.” Damn, he wished he hadn’t told. No one was supposed to know, family rules and all that. It wasn’t like he used his powers anyway, at least the few he'd managed to inherit.
“But can’t you do all that woo-woo shit?” Dom made a wiggling motion with his fingers. “You want me as head chef. Hire me today,” he intoned.
Truth was, it was harder to charm humans than most would think. They were pretty stubborn creatures. Besides, he didn’t want to go that route. Much to his family’s chagrin, Frankie had left Louisiana and his big overbearing family for the West Coast at nineteen. He didn’t plan on returning to the South, or his family, anytime soon. Making gorgeous food was the only magic Frankie was interested in.
“I told you, I'm not doing that stuff anymore. I also told you I’m not supposed to talk about it. You never listen to me.”
Dom snorted. He picked up a mangy old wooden spoon and dropped it back onto the butcher block. A puff of dust exploded into the air and practically danced, glimmering in the afternoon sun that streamed in from the high casement windows. “It’s not my fault you’ve got loose lips after a shot or two of Patrón.”
Frankie sighed at the memory of the very convincing demonstration he’d given Dom of his powers. He’d acted like a flaming moron that night and had paid the price dearly with his family the next day. It really wasn’t his fault, he’d tried to reason with himself as his mother had given him the tongue-lashing of the century. Witches didn’t have a high alcohol tolerance. And as much as he tried to deny it, that’s what Frankie was and always would be.
If you liked it, here's where to read more:)
About the Author:
I’m Mj O’Shea, author of erotic romance–well all sorts of romance actually, that’s just what’s been published so far!
I grew up, and still live, in sunny Washington state and while I love to visit other places, I can’t imagine calling anywhere else home.
I spent my childhood writing stories. Sometime in my early teens, the stories turned to romance. Most of those were about me, my friends, and our favorite tv stars. Hopefully, I’ve come a long way since then…
Right now, I have four books published through Republica Press, but I’m constantly working on new projects.
When I’m not writing, I love to play the piano and cook and paint pictures…and of course read. It’s nearly impossible to work on my own writing when I’ve gotten myself hooked into a great new book:) I like sparkly girly girl things, own at least twenty different colored headbands, and I have a little white dog with a ginger eye spot who sits with me when I write. Sometimes she comes up with ideas for me too…when she’s not napping.
And here are my links!
Babes in Boyland http://mjandpiper.blogspot.com