Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Thanks lots for having me on your blog today, Maeve! It’s one of my favorite places!
During the winter of 2008-9, I moved my mother from NW Ohio to Tampa. It didn’t take much to convince me to stay through the winter to help her get settled before I moved my own household the following summer. My first Florida winter inspired me to write my fantasy erotic romance book, Tears on a Tranquil Lake, which just released February 1st.
I was delighted to feel the tropical vibe seeping into the local atmosphere, and it inspired my writing. From my first visit to the Caribbean, I was hooked. I love the culture, the sway of steel drum bands, the colorful cottages, the turquoise waters, soft sand, sun, rum beverages, spine-chilling voodoo …and mouth-watering seafood dishes.
My heroine in Tears on a Tranquil Lake, a mermaid named Ciel, learns to appreciate a variety of different seaweeds and kelps, but also loves dining on shrimp. The pirate captain who attempts to woo her away from her merman, wines and dines her with candlelight dinners of gourmet-prepared fresh fish like amberjack. The pirate ship’s head galley cook, Dogbone, is certainly talented!
Recently, my husband and I enjoyed our first vacation in three years—a week in the Florida Keys. The move had kept us way too busy for vacations, so this was a real treat. We discovered a great fresh fish dive in Key Largo called The Fish House, which was recommended by a Florida travel magazine. The décor was 1970s tacky, but the fish was to die for. When we came home, we were thrilled to find our favorite recipe from that restaurant online, Fish Matecumbe. Then, my husband and I recreated the magic of our vacation in our own kitchen, which I’m happy to share today with you all. May it bring you a taste of the Keys, its warmth and happiness.
1/2 Spanish onion, chopped
1 (8-ounce) jar capers
5 shallots, peeled and chopped
5 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup chopped basil leaves
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
2 lemons, juiced
1 cup olive oil
8 individual Mahi Mahi fillets
Salt and pepper
Serving suggestion: rice
To a medium bowl, add all ingredients except fish and stir to thoroughly combine. Refrigerate until ready to use; it is best to let flavors blend for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.
Preheat the broiler and position the oven rack so that it is at least 4 inches from the broiler, but no more than 6 inches.
Place fish fillets on a baking sheet and then season fish with salt and pepper. Place under the broiler and cook until done on 1 side. Watch carefully, as it may only take a couple minutes, depending on the thickness of your fish fillets and the proximity to the broiler. Remove from broiler and turn each fish over. Top each fillet with about 1/2 cup sauce. Return to the broiler and cook until fish is done on the other side and fully cooked through in the middle. If you are unsure about doneness, cut into the center of 1 fillet; it should be opaque. (You can cover up the cut with the sauce.) Serve with rice, if desired.
Recipe from The Fish House
I’d love to have more good fish recipes and so would Ciel! Please tell me about your favorites.
What a surprise for a young woman, to find herself suddenly transformed into a mermaid.
Ciel’s first thought – track down the merman who changed her and make him reverse his magic.
Unable to find him, survival in her new world becomes paramount. She eagerly accepts help from a dashing pirate captain who takes a fancy to her, lavishing her with finery. When her merman does show up, he competes for her affection. One look into his eyes makes her life more complex -- he is her soul mate.
Which man will she choose – pirate captain or merman? Which life – human or mermaid? Caribbean adventures and dangers chase Ciel as she searches for decisions and the key to her happiness.
Warning: This book contains Haitian vodou, sultry wenches, foul-mouthed scalliwag pirates, overindulgence of fine Caribbean rum, and amorous encounters on deserted beaches.
On deck, a conga drummer joined the musicians from two nights ago, entertaining us with some lively salsa tunes. The deck hands sang and shouted, rhythmically pulling at the rigging on the halyards, raising and lowering sails that propelled the ship out of the Bay.
With so many distractions onboard I failed to pay attention to sights the ship passed. Only when a large rock formation came astern on the portside did I see Meris seated on its peak, level with the schooner’s deck. He looked regal with his muscular flipper draped across the rocks and his emerald green tail fin fanned out wide, glistening in the sunlight.
I held out an arm and he lifted his open palm up to me. I bent far over the gunwale, wanting desperately to bridge the short distance. Forgetting everything except my desire to be with him I leaned farther, somehow believing I could swim through the air to reach him.
“No, Ciel! Stop!” Meris shouted.
Immediately, arms grasped me tight at my waist and pulled me back behind the railing, and then I perceived the dangers below. I would have fallen perilously near the hull, or crashed upon rocks in the narrow passageway. I glanced behind to see Black Sam holding me.
“No, lass, ye can’t dive here.”
Undaunted, I turned my attention back to Meris, whose position passed away from me as the schooner progressed. I squirmed free from Sam, and moved aft as quickly as I could, using the gunwale for support. Our bond throbbed within my heart.
For more about Marsha follow these links: