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Add Magic to Taste Author Spotlight: Florence Vale

Florence is a Norwegian picture book author and fanfic enthusiast. Her current obsessions include Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, The Magnus Archives, and just about any actual play podcast she can get her hands on. In addition to Add Magic to Taste and her Archive of Our Own account, you can find her writing in the original zines Mansion of Fears and Carpe Noctem.

Link: Archive of Our Own

Story Title: Bånd

tags: asexual character, biromantic character, creature character, curses (accidental) magical mishap, mlm, norway, reaper, witch character

Teaser:

Thomas wasn’t sure how he recognised him, but he did—the moment the guy came in, there was this shift in the air, a shiver that made him think: oh. It’s you.

The guy was wearing a cherry red all-weather jacket today, its edges lined with silver high-visibility stripes. Everything above his neck was soaked and his hair was dark with water; it ran down his forehead and temples in lazy little rivulets.

“How can I help you?” Thomas asked.

The stranger marched up to the counter, leaving mud in his wake.

“You cursed me,” he said. His eyelashes were clumped together with rainwater, spiky and long like the legs of a spider, and his eyes were dark and very, very wide.

Scared, Thomas’s mind supplied.

“Sorry?” he managed. He hadn’t—

But he remembered tapping his fingers against the grain of the wood. With a sinking feeling, he remembered thinking, idly, that he hoped the guy would be easier to pin down next time.

He hadn’t meant to curse him.

But he had.


Uh oh, a curse isn’t a great way to start a relationship! Where will Thomas and this stranger go from here? Find out by…

Backing our Kickstarter and getting your own copy of Add Magic to Taste!

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Add Magic to Taste Author Spotlight: Alex Ransom

Alex Ransom is a longtime fan writer and translator recently expanding into original fiction. Her favorite trope, as both reader and writer, is “Earn Your Happy Ending,” in which characters fight through perhaps inordinate amounts of difficulty to come out happier and more content on the other side. She is especially interested in the intersection between social circumstances, personal history, and the formation and maintenance of identity. Her favorite genres are space opera, fantasy, queer romance, and poetry.

As a child, Alex thought everything was better if it was more complicated and that the best answer to a yes or no question was usually  “both.” Consequently, today she is bi/pansexual, trans/nonbinary, has worked a variety of jobs, and has three degrees in completely unrelated fields. When she isn’t writing or doomscrolling on the internet, she likes to travel, hike, and build marginally functional furniture. She lives outside Boston, Massachusetts, with her spouse and adult daughter.

Story Title: Flowers Bloom Even Then

tags: aromantic character, bipoc character, bisexual character, deadnaming, gender dysphoria, gender non-conforming character (femme), internalized misogyny, mentions of biphobia, mentions of transphobia, mlen, nonbinary character (transmasculine)

Teaser:

The princessy garden party look had cleaned up well, too. The butterfly illusions had been replaced by ones featuring fireflies, the lights lowered to almost nothing, and the tables supplied with tapered candles in ornate holders too delicate and perfect to be anything but magically enhanced. There was still that same air of near unreality, but where before the fantasy had been a comforting childhood idyll, now it was recognizable even to Max, who had never had a single romantic feeling in his entire life, as the stuff of falling in love and living happily ever after.

For a moment, it made him almost angry. This was exactly why he didn’t date. Where was the future for a guy like Max in a world like this? Was he supposed to pretend forever?


What good things lurk in Max’s future (we promise, they’re good things)? Back the Add Magic to Taste Kickstarter, read the book, and find out!

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Add Magic to Taste Author Spotlight: Jessica Black

Jessie, pen name Jessica Black, fandom name alocalband, decided she wanted to be a writer at the age of seven and hasn’t looked back since. With a degree in screenwriting, she spent the majority of her career working on assorted projects in Hollywood, New York, and Puerto Rico. Lately, however, she’s settled down to a quieter life with her cat, her library, and a constantly filling notebook of new ideas. Hobbies include reading, hiking, gaming, knitting, and going to hockey games.

Links: Archive of Our Own | Tumblr | Twitter

Story Title: A Family Thing

tags: character is cursed, curses, fate, mlm, pov third person limited, soulmates, united states of america

Teaser:

“Caramel or chocolate,” he repeats.

“…caramel?”

“Got it. Name?”

The guy stares at him like Connor’s speaking a different language. But then he shakes it off, takes a half-step back, and gives Connor a considering once-over. Connor’s ears grow hot, but he feels like he won their contest. And then feels like he’s won another when the man finally meets his eyes and says, “Ish.”

“Ish?” The name rings in Connor’s ears strangely. Like it was supposed to take up more room than it does, and like Connor’s the one who inadvertently decided not to pay enough attention to it.

Or, no. Not inadvertently. Connor usually decides not to pay attention to outlying emotions and reactions, but this feels like something he’s supposed to notice.

“It’s a nickname.” Ish’s tone goes a touch defensive and a touch bored, like he’s had to explain this a lot.

“It’s not even a whole word,” Connor mutters, feeling strangely defensive as well.

“I’m not sure, but I don’t think customer service is supposed to include so many insults.”

“Those are on the house.”


These two are off to a snarky start! But the only way to find out where they go from here is to…

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Add Magic to Taste Author Spotlight: Jo Mathieson

Jo Mathieson is a prolific writer of queer romance stories. Jo lives with her spouse (also a writer) on a small farm in in Eastern Ontario, Canada, where they grow vegetables and raise heritage-breed chickens.

Story Title: In Like Flynn

tags: dragon, first kiss, genderfluid character, getting together, magic user, mlen, meet cute, mutual pining, nonbinary character, past tense, pov third person limited

Teaser:

Crispin opened the book and held his breath, waiting to see if…

Sure enough, a small cloud of pinkish-gold smoke billowed out and coalesced into the unmistakable shape of a dragon.

Crispin sighed.

“What the heck is that?” Nyle said, starting backwards.

“Name’s Flynn, and who might you be?” asked the dragon, peering at Nyle as it stepped out of the book and onto the table.

“Flynn seems to… live in the book, and absolutely refuses to explain anything about how or why.”

“I think she just likes to annoy people,” said Lucy as she came over with Crispin’s coffee. “And cause mischief, and eat sweets.”

“Not ‘she’ nowadays. ‘It’ will do fine,” the dragon said imperiously, drawing itself up to its full eight-inch height and putting its hands on its hips, which, considering how short its arms were, looked quite comical. Crispin had learned better than to laugh. “Dragons only have gender when they choose to, and currently I do not.”

“Yeah! Non-binary solidarity,” said Nyle with a grin, and held out their hand for a high-five. “I’m Nyle. It’s nice to meet you.” Flynn blew an amused puff of smoke in lieu of smacking hands; it curled around Nyle’s fingers before dissipating slowly.


What’s going on with these Crispin, Flynn, and Nyle, and what lies in their future?

Back our Kickstarter, and find out!

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Add Magic to Taste Author Spotlight: Em Rowntree

Em Rowntree’s first foray into the world of writing was with a story called The Magic Land that featured a unicorn and a flying carpet the size of a country, and they’ve been chasing that high ever since. They’ve been sharing their writing online for almost seven years, and have had poems and short stories published in anthologies. They live in the UK.

Link: Twitter

Story Title: Tomb Many Cooks

tags: first kiss, greek mythology, god character, humor, mlen, mutual pining, mythology retelling, non-binary character

Teaser:

On the eighth day working with Seph, Hades cooked with someone else in the kitchen for the first time.

“More chocolate chips,” Seph said.

“I’ve put all of them—”

“I know you’ve got another bag. I saw it last week in the cupboard in the corner.”

“I don’t know how extra chocolate chips are going to stop people from realising their inextricable bond to mortality…”

“Are you kidding? I forgot my own name the other day when I ate that doughnut where you put orange zest in the filling.” Seph, sitting on a counter in the kitchen, pointed a finger gun at Hades and twisted their accent into something out of a Western. “Add the chips, kid.”

Hades used one hand to lower their weapon, and went to fetch the chocolate chips.


Seph seems to have some interesting ideas for Hades’s bakery. Will they bake up something more delicious (and less nihilistic) together? Get the full story – and 19 other wonderful queer tales – by backing our Kickstarter.

Learn more now!

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Add Magic to Taste Author Spotlight: Theresa Alef

A pediatric occupational therapist in the Southwest USA, writing has been Theresa’s first love since she was old enough to string words together. She has a deep love for all fandoms, but Marvel will always hold the top spot in her heart. When not at work or writing, she likes to go hiking in the desert, play Dungeons and Dragons, and read books.

Story Title: Anywhere, Everywhere, Forever

tags: character has self-esteem issues, emotional hurt/comfort (minor), everything that can go wrong…, fae and fairy folk, flirting, fostering, half-orc, homosexual character, interspecies romance, marriage proposal, miscommunication, mlm, past abusive relationship, present tense, pov third person limited, speciesism, vampire

Teaser:

Keegan is five minutes away from the coffee shop when realization hits him like a freight train.

“No,” he says to the empty car, reaching one hand over to the passenger seat for his jacket. “Wait—no. Hang on.” He pats through the pockets, picks it up and shakes it, then tosses it down. The stop light is still red, so he shoves his foot harder on the brake and leans over more, straining to look under the seat. He finds quite a few things—pens, old candy bar wrappers, a bill he forgot about from last month, even a key he thought he’d lost, although now he can’t remember what it goes to.

But no ring box. No ring.


Uh oh, is this the start of proposal disaster? Back the Kickstarter, get the book, read the 20 stories, and…

Find out!

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Add Magic to Taste Author Spotlight: A.L. Heard

Ashley, pen name A.L. Heard, fandom name jhoom, is a 34 year old teacher, writer, and mother of two little boys. She’s been writing fanworks since she discovered fanfiction.net back in her middle school days; the platform has changed and the writing’s improved, but Ashley ultimately still spends her free time writing about characters she adores in worlds she’d like to explore. Her first novel, Hockey Bois, was published in 2021. In between writing projects, she works as a language teacher in the Pittsburgh area, plays hockey, and plays trains with her sons.

Links: Archive of Our Own | Discord: jhoom#6351 | Tumblr | Twitter

Story Title: The Tasty Crumpet

tags: age difference, bipoc character, creature character, fae and fairyfolk, mlm, oblivious character, vampire

Teaser

Near the end of the street was a shop with an old-fashioned wooden sign straight out of a Renaissance Festival. It read “The Tasty Crumpet” in an elegant navy script that glittered with gold flecks, a baker’s cap and wooden spoon bracketing the words. The light cast through the windows was soft and inviting—a sharp contrast to the dreary weather—promising warmth and tasty treats.

All of that was tempting enough, but the HELP WANTED sign taped to the front window sealed the deal. The sign was old and battered, like it’d seen its fair share of use, but the words AVAILABLE IMMEDIATELY INQUIRE WITHIN at the bottom caught his eye. How could he say no to that?

The door chimed as he stepped inside, a bell that tinkled more than rang, and the sound made him smile despite the water dripping off his nose. He shook out his hair and stepped toward the counter.


Will this poor sopping wet fellow find a job? Only one way to find out! This, and 19 other fantastic fluffy queer stories, can be yours by backing the Add Magic to Taste Kickstarter!

Check it out now!

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Add Magic to Taste Author Spotlight: T.S. Knight

T.S. Knight is a US-based writer and an avid reader. Add Magic to Taste will be her first published short story. When not writing or beta reading, she spends time diving into history, wandering through museums, and cooking food for the people she loves. A kayaker, knitter, and cat  mom, she loves to create and read queer stories most of all.

Story Title: A Leap Worth Taking

tags: age difference, bisexual character, found family, getting together, past character death, reincarnation, wlw, united states

Teaser:

“It could be possible,” Aline said finally. “We don’t know what happens after death.”

Shiloh pressed into the space left open by her words. “If someone you loved had passed away, could you believe that someone new could be a reincarnation of that person?”

Aline did not break eye contact. “I don’t know.” She knew. She had to know, had to feel this taut rope between them as fiercely as Shiloh felt it.

“You’ve lost someone. Do you ever wish he would come back?”

Aline’s intake of breath was too sharp, too sudden, too angry. Shiloh regretted hurting her instantly.

“Yes,” Aline said, and Shiloh could breathe again. “I wish it even still, some days more than others.”

Shiloh leaned across the table and touched one of Aline’s knuckles, still white on the back of the chair, with the tip of her finger. Aline blinked, then looked down at their hands before Shiloh withdrew, afraid.

She asked, in a voice almost too quiet to hear, “If he were standing right in front of you, would you be happy to see him?”

“I would be happy.”

“Even if he looked different?”

“Even then.”


Want to read these two work towards their happy ending? And read 19 other wonderful, creative queer stories? Then…

Check out the Add Magic to Taste Kickstarter!

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Add Magic to Taste Author Spotlight: Beth Lumen

Beth Lumen (she/her/hers) has been writing both fan fiction and original fiction forever, and she is thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to this anthology as her first published work. She’s written in various book and TV fandoms since the mid-2000s, most recently for queer contemporary novels. In addition to reading and writing happy gay love stories, Beth loves volleyball, traveling, hiking, and making a mess in the kitchen. She lives in St. Paul, MN with her lovely partner and the two best dogs.

Story Title: Breaking Bread

tags: agender character, angst (mild), fraught family dynamics, iceland, merpeople, off-screen death of a parent, politics, pov third person limited, speciesism

Teaser:

The swim to the bakery always felt long when she was running late. Adla broke to the surface of the water, scanning the shoreline. The serving counter, built from dark ocean stone, jutted out of the sand, oddly tall, with rows and rows of drawers and serving displays to keep the baked goods protected depending on the varying tides. Tables for patrons dotted the shoreline. On calm days, water lapped at their feet, nicely warmed by the volcanic gasses burbling up through the sands. But, on days like today, water crashed over the tables, leaving only the bravest humans to laugh and shriek as they attempted to eat their bread and scones. The rest complained, having driven hours to experience the marbendlar bakery, yet too scared to enjoy the bread how it was meant to be enjoyed—damp with salt water. It was fine dry, Adla supposed, but if the point of visiting was to experience life like a marbendlar, she didn’t understand why they clung so strongly to their own cultural norms.

A high, clear laugh skimmed over the surface of the water, drawing Adla’s eyes. There Saeunn stood on the black sand shore in the shadow of the nearby volcano, her skin glacier-pale, with a long shock of dark hair and legs that went on and on. Adla was accustomed to seeing legs, now, but she always needed an extra moment when it came to Saeunn’s to ponder how someone could possibly move with such graceful ease despite such disproportionate anatomy.


Will Adla get the chance to learn more about those fascinating legs? Back our Kickstarter, get the book, and you can read all about it!

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Add Magic to Taste Author Spotlight: Lex T. Lindsay

Lex T. Lindsay likes cats, tats, and cool hats. When she isn’t shaking words loose or yelling about Captain America, she can often be found lurking in the woods. Read more sapphic romance in UPON A TWICE TIME (Air and Nothingness Press) and CLOCKWORK, CURSES AND COAL (World Weaver  Press). Occasional Tweets @LexTLindsay.

Links: Linktree | Twitter

Story Title: Rain and Moonlight

tags: bipoc character, bisexual character, chance meeting, fat character, magic user, missed connections, mutual pining, reunion, witch, wlw

Teaser:

“Well, well, well. Daisy Guthrie.”

On the back of the broom, a witch pushed back the cloak of her hood to reveal a tangle of hair colored every hue of the rainbow.

Helix Andromeda patted the handle of her broom in invitation. Daisy swallowed hard.

Helix looked… Well, she looked even better than she had when they went to college together, back when Daisy had harbored a massive crush on the girl who sat two seats down from her in Magical Ethics. The hair was different, but not unexpected. Helix had always liked to play with magical body modification. Daisy had seen her hair sea green and caution yellow and—one summer session during Pride month—pink, purple, and blue all together. The Helix grinning at her from the back of a broom, both of her dark brown cheeks dimpled, had charmed her eyes today as well. In the natural near-black of her irises swam a cosmos of stars and comets that glittered and winked.

“You getting on?” Helix asked.


How will Helix react to this reunion? What other secrets lie in Daisy and Helix’s past?

Get the whole story and find out!