TL Schaefer writes romantic mysteries, sometimes with a paranormal twist, and romantic suspense. She’s worked for the Department of the Air Force for more than twenty-five years. Learn more about her and her books at her website.
Food is such an important part of our lives. So when I read a book where the on-the-run hero/heroine don’t stop to get at least some kind of sustenance, I do a bit of an eye roll. I mean, sheesh, even if you’re grabbing crackers on the run, they’re gonna taste either fantastic or pasty or give you a quick burst of energy, right?
It’s those details that immerse a reader into the story, make it come alive. At least to me. Especially when they help move the story along or showcase a character quirks.
In my Mariposa series, romantic mysteries with a paranormal twist, food definitely is a character in itself, especially in The Paladin.
From The Sugar Pine’s patty melt (which really exists, BTW) to the General Tsao’s chicken on the Smith’s food truck to the awesome Mexican at Maracas. And we can’t forget the delicious breakfast at Mindy’s Maple Street Bed and Breakfast.
My characters need all that food to solve a mystery as old as time, and to find their happily-ever-after.
To celebrate The Paladin’s release, I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes, one I make ever few weeks. It’s originally from Bon Appétit about a million years ago, but I’ve made a few tweaks over the years.
Southwest Lime Chicken
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
6 T. soy sauce (I use coconut aminos)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 T. molasses
2 T. chopped fresh oregano
1 T. chopped fresh rosemary
1 T. minced garlic
1-1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
8 skinless boneless chicken thighs
8 slices pepper jack cheese
Whisk together first 9 ingredients. Marinate chicken in mixture for approximately 6 hours.
Broil or grill using medium low heat until cooked through.
Chop and return chicken to the pan. Cover with cheese and quickly broil until the cheese has melted.
Serve on tortillas with your favorite condiments (I love to add guacamole and shredded lettuce) or on a hoagie roll or sourdough bread.
Mariposa Series, Book 3
Redemption. Love. Betrayal. An ancient evils stirs. Unleashing… The Paladin.
James Goltree put Mariposa in his rearview mirror five years ago, escaping a past and a family he’s desperately ashamed of. But now the Air Force Office of Special Investigations agent must return after the death of his grandfather. The grandfather he helped send to prison.
Emergency room LPN Madison Campbell’s quiet life is turned upside down when her son inherits enough money from James’ grandfather to settle all their financial woes. But there are strings.
James and Madison throw sparks neither has ever felt before. But now isn’t the right time for a man unwilling to commit and woman still crippled by betrayal to fall in love.
Not when a killer has once again come to town, one with an unfathomable, unbelievable agenda.
James and Madison must embrace and overcome their pasts to defeat evil and find a love that transcends time.