Facebook Author Page


Subscribe to My Mailing List

* indicates required



Monday, 26 November 2012

Writing The Next Big Thing...


Gwen Kirkwood, who you can meet at http://www.gwenkirkwood.blogspot.co.uk is the author of Another Home, Another Love and has kindly invited me to take part in a blog event entitled THE NEXT BIG THING - a series of questions and answers about what is happening in my writing life.

What is the title of your book? 
My current release is called Lady Rascal, because my starving heroine Madeleine makes the most of being mistaken for someone - and something!- she’s not.

How did you come by the idea? 
At the time I was studying The Age of Enlightenment with the Open University, and to be honest I was finding the work a bit dry. I wrote Lady Rascal as a welcome escape from philosophy, and into romance. 

What genre does your book fall under? 
It’s an historical romance, set in France and England just before the Regency period. 

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Madeleine’s new happiness is threatened by a terrible secret that torments her dashing rescuer, Philip.

Is your book self-published or traditional? Lady Rascal originally appeared in both hardback and paperback versions for the Harlequin Mills and Boon Masquerade line. I’m releasing it now as an ebook on all platforms, so it’s available everywhere - from Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, and Waterstones, etc.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? About five months on and off, as I was working full-time in journalism at the time.

Who or What inspired you to write this book? 
I wanted to invent opportunities for my poverty-stricken heroine Madeleine in a period when anything seemed possible, before the Reign of Terror took hold in her native country.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
You can watch a book trailer for Lady Rascal here: http://bit.ly/STCfUy which gives a glimpse of the images behind the story. Hero Phillip thinks he is whisking Madeleine off to the safety of the English countryside, but soon discovers first impressions can be deceptive.

I hope you enjoy Lady Rascal, and my thanks go to Gwen Kirkwood for giving me the chance to take part in “The Next Big Thing”. There's a signed book from my backlist on offer to a comment here picked at random.

Margaret Mayo has kindly agreed to pick up THE NEXT BIG THING baton at http://www.margaret-mayo.com/blog/ next Tuesday, 4th December. Thank you, Margaret!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

If You Like Chocolate and Christmas, You'll Love This...

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/71/Fruitcake.jpg
By Johnathunder, via Wikimedia Commons

This time last year, I was getting ready to make our usual rich fruit cake for Christmas when my daughter suggested we try something new. She loves chocolate courgette cake (which was a bit of a leap of faith for me at the time!), and wanted to try this odd-sounding recipe. I was apprehensive beforehand, but it really works and we all love it. 


There are a few things to note: it’s not gluten free, and you really need the dots to be white chocolate - I didn’t have any when I first tried this recipe out, and the ordinary milk-chocolate dots I used were virtually invisible in the finished cake!

CHOCOLATE MINCEMEAT CHRISTMAS CAKE

150g softened butter 
150g soft brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
185g  self-raising flour
40g cocoa powder
400g mincemeat (I used my own recipe of mixed dried fruits, plus grated apples and brandy)
80g each of sultanas and raisins
20g quartered glace cherries, washed & well dried.
50g blanched almonds, chopped
100g of white chocolate dots

METHOD: 

Pre heat oven to Gas Mark 3/Electric 160 deg. C, Fan 140 deg C.
Line a 20cm/8” tin with a couple of layers of greaseproof paper.
Place all ingredients in a large bowl and beat for 1- 2 minutes, until well mixed.
Spoon into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for between 90 minutes - 2 hours, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.  You’ll probably need to cover the cake with tinfoil toward the end of the cooking time, to stop it browning too quickly.
Leave the cake to cool in its tin for a while before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

This cake doesn't freeze and is unlikely to keep for as long as a traditional rich fruit cake, but this doesn’t matter as it vanishes in a very short time!