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Southern Witchcraft & Beer Butt Chicken – Interview, Review & Recipes with @jenharlowbooks

What’s a Witch To do? by Jennifer Harlow

Review, Interview, Recipes and a giveway

Whats A Witch To Do-002The name of today’s book and something I tend to say all the time out loud  I shrug my shoulders and add a few more rosehips, at least lately since my damn friends are so messed up health; mental and physical, they all need a bit more calming and healing energy. On my list today:

  • Whip up spelled candles for
    • Li – warmth and healing 
    • ease of pain and calming energy
    • perseverance to not harm those who would harm me
  • Laundry
  • Comb the cat
  • buy bacon

Yep to do lists are fantastic to have, and I swear umm I won’t hurt anyone, I have a spell for that! But what does to-do lists have to-do with today’s book?  Thank you Jennifer Harlow and Bewitching Blog Tours for being able to read such a fantastic and fun story!


What’s a Witch to Do?

A suspenseful brew with a dash of passion

High Priestess might sound like an ’80s hair band, but its Mona McGregor’s life. She runs the Midnight Magic shop in Goodnight, Virginia, and leads a large coven. She’s also raising two nieces and hasn’t been with a man for fifteen years…until a handsome doctor takes an interest in her. But Mona’s life really heats up when Adam Blue, a sexy werewolf, arrives at her door. Adam informs her that someone wants her dead and he is there to protect her. Hell’s bells! When a demon begins stalking her, Mona has to suspect her coven members, and even her family.

With two handsome men and a determined demon after her, Mona teams up with Adam to find out who really wants her dead . . . and who really wants her.



So, you see there once was a witch who lived in the south, she was a high priestess with a bit of back and had not dated since god knows when, but she really didn’t have time. With her sister AWOL and her raising her sister’s kids plus running the coven and her witchy shop, when was she going to have time to find a man, let alone find one who could deal with all her extra baggage, on her and around her. To top it off? This week she has a wedding to plan. Nothing could go wrong, she has her TO DO list locked and loaded, right?

Mona McGregor’s To Do Listwhatsawitchtodo

• Make 20 13 potions/spells/charms
• Put girls to bed
• Help with Debbie’s wedding
• Lose 30 pounds before bachelorette auction
• Deal with the bleeding werewolf  on doorstep
• Find out who wants me dead
• Prepare for supernatural summit
• Have a nervous breakdown
• Slay a damn demon
• Fall in love

I say she is like me, nothing like a few things that are a little unobtainable to make sure the majority get done and you feel really good about it despite not finishing it all today!  Speaking of finishing things in one day, I finished the book in three hours. It is a fun and delightful paranormal cozy mystery. Oh heck it was full of sparkle and spunk. Mona is a wonderful character and Adam, our werewolf is someone you cannot help but fall a bit in love with. The best part about these two? They were not perfect. No one is in the book, and for me, it really made this book and author one to watch and read.

For all my witchy-poo friends? Oh she is SPOT on with the magic. We know what goes on but we, like soldiers who pay attention to the uniforms and patches in movies, pay attention to the spells, ingredients and language associated to a book that is not being overly campy with it’s witchcraft. Miss Harlow, Blessed Be, sistah! You knocked this one out of the field. It may have killed Old Man Withers’ cow, but that is OK! Scooby and the gang can take care of it..

Oh dear, ummm sorry I got carried away! Much like Mona does when hunting this demon and whomever invited it to dinner where she would be the main course aka dead .. as in ala someone put a supernatural hit on her and why? Because they wanted her job! Heck, the funniest thing is her trying to figure it out. This was the only reason I gave it a four stars instead of five. I felt it was the weakest part of their story, and do not read that wrong, nothing in this story was weak. I get why she wanted to curb stomp the witch into next year, but meh, I am not sure I buy some of Mona’s reactions. But perhaps lack-o-nookie plays a bit in this? Who can say! Mona’s behavior towards this specific situation did not quite match up with how wonderful and thoughtful she is over all.

So.. speaking of overall? You like Cozy mysteries?  You like a mystery with a bit of Witchy-Poo goodness? Want a little vamp with that va-va-voom? Well go grab this one because it is a keeper! Also, enter the giveaway and after that read the funniest freaking interview I have had in a long time.. he he he chronic masturbation.. man .. oh you gotta go read the interview to get it, no worries it is PG-13 rated for the most part! All in all, four out of five cupcakes… why cupcakes? Frankly because I think she should hog tie Adam to the bed and lick the icing off! I know I would!

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3479 Dowis RetTeenage Boys, Barbies, Beer Butt Chicken and Southern Witches – an interview

  CG -Tweet the book: You are challenged to tweet a synopsis of the book to include your tweet handle, GO!


@jenharlowbooks busy #witch w/help of #werewolf investigates who wants her dead whats a witch to do

CG – Introduce yourself to the captive audience that you now have before you. (As in tell us something NOT in your bio, give us a dirty little secret not having or having to do with your writing)

JH – Hello, I’m Jennifer Harlow, author of the F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad and Midnight Magic series. They’ve got all manner of supernatural creatures from vampires to psychics to werewolves. In my free time, I am basically a teenage boy minus the chronic masturbation. I like reading comic books, playing video games, and reading about zombies and superheroes. It’s a recent occurrence, but if this trend continues I worry when I’m forty I’ll be playing with Barbies and throwing temper tantrums when there aren’t shoes in my size.

CG – Is there a genre, other than the one you currently write in, that you wish you could break into?

JH –I’d love to write a humorous biography in the vein of Laurie Notaro and Jen Lancaster. With my insane family, doing without thinking personality trait, and wise ass I think it’d be entertaining to others. Check out my blog Tales From the Darkside to judge for yourself. (CG HOLYSHITBALLS, you guys go read it, I have tears rolling down my face from laughing so hard and Geoff is looking for our spare straight jacket… what? We like to roll play!!?)

CG – When it comes to the genre you do write in, what are a few of the books or writers that have influenced you and your own writing (yes I can actually ask a serious question?)

JH –Without question, Janet Evanovitch, Laurell K. Hamilton, and Jennifer Crusie. From Evanovitch I learned how to incorporate humor, mystery, and sexual tension while keeping a quick pace in the story. Hamilton showed the perfect was to combine two genres effectively, thriller and paranormal, and that a heroine doesn’t have to always be a sweet, perfect woman. She can have a hard edge and still be likable. From Jennifer Crusie, I learned the art of a romance novel without a clear formula. Her characters aren’t perfect, they meet in strange ways, and struggle with real compatibility issues. I just hope I did my heroes justice.

CG – If you could cast one of your works, who would you choose to play your main characters?

JH –I have a weird way of coming up with my stories, I basically create a movie in my head, and every movie needs actors. So my characters are based, at least physically, on actors so this was an easy one. For the F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad series I cast Sarah Drew, now on Grey’s Anatomy, as the telekinetic former schoolteacher Bea Alexander. I’ve been a fan for years. She’s just so sweet and cute, but could man up when needed. For Oliver I used the handsomest man I’d ever seen, Henry Cavill. He is physical perfection. I saw him in The Tudors first but he’s the new Superman. Finally, for werewolf Will I used Nathan Fillion. He’s strong, capable, and does not suffer fools well. So that’s my dream cast. (CG -We love Nathan here to0)

CG – What is the first thing you would do if you woke up one morning to find one of your books on the NY Times Bestsellers List?

JH –I always seem to be sick when huge things like that happen. When I got word about my first book deal I had a massive cold so I couldn’t get excited. Then when I became an Amazon Best Selling author I had the freaking flu and slept through most of the weekend. So I’d probably have Ebola and would be bleeding profusely so I couldn’t enjoy that milestone either. If I wasn’t sick, I’d probably go buy a Burberry coat I’ve wanted since I was a teenager.  Then puke all over it.

CG – Do you have any vices that you turn to while you are writing (as in what candy / snack food / drink / 80’s hair band you break out in song too when you just cannot figure out the next line to write and that bitch of a muse is off on her own hunt)?

JH –I always have to have music on. I don’t do silence well. I also drink far too many Coca Colas and when I need a break get my exercise on in the form of Wii’s Just Dance. It helps clear my head and works off the cokes.

CG – What do you do when you’re not writing?

The teenage boy things I listed above. Reading, video games, hanging with my friends. Lord, am I dull. I guess I save all my interesting things for the page.

CG – If your book was a meal what would it be? Meat and potatoes? Vegetarian? A light nouveau cuisine? (I do a recipe with many of my authors this maybe an opportunity for you to share a recipe you think could go along with this? Or just describe the actual meal, this would be the whole thing not just one dish – see below for bonus round)

JH –Meat and potatoes. The characters are normal people living in a normal town besides the fact they’re witches and werewolves with the occasional vampire and demon coming to visit and kill them. In the book, Adam the werewolf cooks dinner for Mona and her nieces. It’s called, “Beer Butt Chicken.” Here’s how you make it:

Beer Butt Chicken



  • Whole chicken
  • can of beer
  • salt, pepper, rosemary


  1. Pre heat to 375 degrees
  2. Open the can of beer and pour 3oz into a bowl
  3. Mix rosemary, salt, and pepper into the beer and coat the chicken with it
  4. Sprinkle rosemary, salt, pepper on top of opened can
  5. Stick the can into the chicken’s cavity so the legs are down
  6. Cover in tinfoil to keep it moist
  7. Cook at 20 min/pound

It sounds odd but is really delicious, I swear. CG – Hey Jennifer, I believe you. Texas Butt Chicken is a staple in my house. Last year for my son’s birthday I posted his favorite recipe, a little different than yours, but you can find mine here! I used my image so people know just how cool it is!

OK now for the REAL fun and this will make it an official Cabin Goddess “Interview/Review and a recipe”

CGCreate a theme drink for your book! (with or without booze) 

JH –What drink would best represent my main character, Mona McGregor and the sleepy Southern town Goodnight she calls home? What would she drink after a long day of crossing items off her endless “To Do” list? Like mixing a good magic potion, mixing a drink is all about balance and finding the correct ingredients that complement one another. Much like finding the right man, huh?

What I came up with is a variation on a Long Island Ice Tea that I’ll call, A Little Southern Witchcraft. One of the things to me that immediately brings to mind the good Ole’ South, besides painted porches and Spanish moss, is sweet tea. So I came up with a Long Island Ice Tea that could be transported to those painted porches. Here it is:


A Little Southern Witchcraft 

½ oz Triple Sec
½ oz light rum
½ oz gin
½ oz Apeach Absolt Vodka
½ oz peach schnapps
1 oz Sweet and Sour Mix
A dash of cola
1 tablespoon Karo syrup
Rim a Tom Collins glass with sugar, stir, and serve over ice
Serves one.

FAST and FURIOUS – Don’t pause just answer what comes first to mind

  • Herbs or Tylenol? Tylenol
  • Coke or Pepsi? Coke
  • Cats or Dogs? Cats
  • Book of Shadows or iPad?   Book of Shadows
  • House of Mirrors or House of Horrors?   House of Horrors
  • Galactica or Enterprise?   Galactica
  • Robe or Skyclad (waggling eyebrows)?     Skyclad
  • Doesil or Widdershins   Widdernshins
  • Buffy or Angel?  Buffy

CG – Anything you would like to add… appearances, upcoming releases, where I can find someone to adjust the algorithms for my time machine?

This year is mental. In August I have the third F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad book, Death Takes a Holiday. I also have a Kindle Short coming out sometime this year that features teleporter hipster Nancy Lake, and I’m planning on e-publishing my superhero thriller Justice. No dates on those last ones. I’m also going to be at the Gaithersburg Book Festival and possibly on a panel at the World Horror Convention, and the year’s just started. I’m exhausted just thinking of it all.

Jennifer Harlow

jenJennifer Harlow spent her restless childhood fighting with her three brothers and scaring the heck out of herself with horror movies and books. She grew up to earn a degree at the University of Virginia which she put to use as a radio DJ, crisis hotline volunteer, bookseller, lab assistant, wedding coordinator, and government investigator. Currently she calls Northern Virginia home but that restless itch is ever present. In her free time, she continues to scare the beejepers out of herself watching scary movies and opening her credit card bills.


One Comment

  1. fabulous interview, man I want to find time to read this book now. so many books…so little time.

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