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Daisy admits to liking Xmas treats!

Mistletoe & Mystery Book Cover Mistletoe & Mystery
Paradise Cookery School #3
Author Name: Daisy James
Genre: Women’s Fiction, food, travel
Canelo
Release Date: 8th November 2018

Welcome to the Cotswolds Festive Feast cookery course...

Fresh off the successful opening of the Paradise Cookery School in St Lucia, Millie Harper is headed to the Cotswolds for Christmas!

Co-presenting Claudia Croft’s famous Festive Feast cookery course at Stonelea Manor is a dream come true for Millie…as is reuniting with gorgeous estate manager Zach Barker.

But arriving in a winter wonderland Millie learns the manor is under a mysterious threat. It’ll take a holiday miracle, but Millie is determined to save the school and get Zach under the mistletoe to finally finish what they started in the Caribbean!

Cosy up with this fun, festive visit to the Cotswolds premier cookery school! Perfect for fans of Jenny Oliver and Sarah Morgan

If you loved Mistletoe & Mystery, why not read the first two stories in The Paradise Cookery School series? Sunshine & Secrets and Confetti & Confusions are both available now!

Mistletoe & Mystery – Daisy James

  1. Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it?

I loved writing Mistletoe & Mystery, which is the third book in the Paradise Cookery School series. The story combines two things that really fire my imagination – and my taste buds! First of all, the story takes place in a fabulous country manor in the Cotswolds where the cookery school is based and is filled with a kaleidoscope of delicious recipes. Baking is one of my favourite things to do – I find it so relaxing and there’s usually something fabulous to eat at the end of it! Secondly, the story is set at Christmas and that gave me the chance to write about all the wonderful things we do to celebrate – not to mention all the foodie treats we associate with that time of year.

  1. How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

I always do a lot of research before I start writing a new novel. I really enjoy this part, and to be honest, I think I probably spend too much time on it. The first two books in the Paradise Cookery School series are set on the beautiful island of St Lucia, so I had an amazing few months taking virtual tours of the fabulous beaches, the lush rainforests, and the picturesque towns and markets all over the island. I listened to Caribbean music, learnt about the food and spices that are grown there, and tried out lots of amazing recipes. Cocoa beans are grown in St Lucia, so there had to be plenty of chocolate-filled desserts too.

Yes, I have a notebook where I jot down details that interest me, and I also have a collage of photographs and interesting articles that might come in useful for inspiration. I also always change my screensaver to a picture of the location I’m writing about.

  1. What resources do you use? In general, and for the last book that you wrote?

So far I’ve always set my books in places that I’ve visited, but then I make sure that I back my personal experience up with detailed research, either by borrowing books on the topic from the library or spending time on the internet. The book I’m writing at the moment is set in Tuscany, so I’ve been spending lots of time reading up on that area, especially the local cuisine – and of course sampling it!

  1. How helpful do you find authority figures, such as the police, when you say you want to write about them?

I write romantic comedy, so thankfully the police don’t make a regular appearance! But I agree with you, if I’m going to write about a particular profession it makes sense to approach someone who has in depth knowledge of the industry, such as the daily routine, the procedures they have to follow, what qualifications they need, or any quirks that readers would find interesting. The main character in my next book is an interior designer. I love interior design, and I actually have a qualification in it, but I also have friends who can help if I’ve got any questions. I hope it will add a level of authenticity.

  1. What is the funniest thing that happened to you on a book tour?

I really enjoy doing blog tours. I’m always interested to hear what readers think of my books, but, of course, there’s always that little kernel of anxiety about how the story will resonate with people. In my experience, the book blogging community is a very friendly and generous community and I’ve had some fabulous comments and reviews over the years for which I’m very grateful. I can’t think of anything funny that has happened, or even that has gone wrong, but that’s probably because everyone has been so professional!

  1. What is your favourite genre?

My favourite genre to read is travel autobiographies. I love those stories of people who have undertaken amazing journeys around the world and come home to write about them. I’ve recently read books about two girls who drove a Tuk-Tuk from Thailand to London, a woman who cycled around the world, a guy who hitchhiked to Australia and back, and a folk band who drove a red double-decker bus around the world. I really enjoy Simon Reeve’s books, Levison Wood’s books, Patrick Leigh Fermor & Nick Hunt. One of my favourites is Driving Over Lemons by Chris Stewart – what a fabulous title – so evocative of the part of Spain where he lives.

  1. What have you done with the things you wrote when in school?

I’ve always loved writing and started to scribble stories when I was about eight years old. I even illustrated them myself and glued them together like a real book. I really wish I still had them now. I do have my very first full-length novel – handwritten in five exercise books – which is still in a shoe box on top of my wardrobe. I doubt it will ever see the light of day, but I won’t throw it out. It took me three years to write and I learned loads – mainly what not to write!

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Author Bio:

Daisy James is a Yorkshire girl transplanted to the north east of England. She loves writing stories with strong heroines and swift-flowing plotlines. When not scribbling away in her summerhouse, she spends her time sifting flour and sprinkling sugar and edible glitter. She loves gossiping with friends over a glass of something pink and fizzy or indulging in a spot of afternoon tea – china plates and teacups are a must.

 

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Cooking for fun

The Worst Case Scenario Cookery Club Book Cover The Worst Case Scenario Cookery Club
Chrissie Manby
cooking, baking, women'sfiction
Hodder Paperbacks
September 21, 2017
384

In the quaint seaside town of Newbay, a beginner's cookery course is starting. And three very different students have signed up . . . Liz's husband has left her for a twenty-something clean-eating blogger, and she's determined to show the world - and her daughter - she's just as capable in the kitchen. John, newly widowed after fifty years of marriage, can't live on sympathy lasagnes forever. To thirty-year-old workaholic Bella, the course is a welcome escape from her high-pressure job. Their only common ground: between them, they can barely boil an egg! Enter talented chef Alex, who is determined to introduce his pupils to the comforts of cuisine. As Liz, John and Bella encounter various disasters in the kitchen, the unlikely trio soon form a fast friendship. Their culinary skills might be catastrophic - but could the cookery club have given them a recipe for happiness? The wonderful new novel from Chrissie Manby is perfect for fans of Jill Mansell, Trisha Ashley and Cathy Bramley.

As i wrote this review I followed one of the recipes in the book- how to make a really good tomato sauce. For Aubergine Parmigiana in the novel. As I caramelised the red onions I thought of how this was a new method of caramelising that I had learnt.

I also learnt a wicked Beef Wellington recipe.

So the cookery club of the title was not only brilliant for the 3 novices who attended in the story but for the reader also.

I really liked this novel with its gentle humour and characters that were totally believable. And as for the Waggy Weight Loss Club and the pet owners being called by their pets’ names – well. I suppose I could be called Mrs Crackle (if they had Cat Club) so long as they pronounced the ‘r’ clearly.

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I’m a Jewish Mama, I believe food is love

Hungry for Love Book Cover Hungry for Love
Lucy Beresford
contemporary fiction, romance, humour
Quartet Books; UK ed. edition
(26 May 2016)

Jax is about to cancel her wedding to Jonty. On the day. By text. A scrumptious celebration of survival for anyone who's longed for love or felt unworthy of it, Hungry for Love will show you the importance of self-respect and that love can be found where you least expect it. Jax is the daughter of Majella, famous British television chef and author of Food of Love, a best-selling cookery book due for re-issue. But if there s one thing Jax loathes more than her ex-fiancé, it's cooking. So when her boss orders her to use the week she'd booked off for her honeymoon to attend a cookery course in Majorca, Jax fears her life cannot get any worse. When tragedy strikes closer to home, Jax is forced to re-assess her relationship with food. As learning to cook inflames her desires, she must decide whether her plan post-Jonty to starve herself of men is such a great idea. Maybe there is a recipe for love out there, after all?

This is a foodie’s dream novel. It is full of descriptions of the tastes of food, the sight of food, and even the philosophy of food. That food is love and cooking is giving love to the recipients.  A philosophy that Jewish and Italian mothers amongst others will surely agree with.

You drool over the cakes described – and if you eat meat (which I don’t) then you would drool over the dishes, all this from an author who clearly in love with food herself.

Well written and very well described. Fun to read and dream.

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Cake and Canals: a divine mix

The Cake Shop in the Garden

by Carole Matthews

A  Netgalley Review

A feel-good story here of the spinster looking after her mother – a very demanding and nasty tempered old woman – although it turns out not so old… who took her bed as they used to do in Victorian times when upset. The latest research says that middle age lasts until 74 at least for women – 15 years before you are due to die according to the insurance actuaries.  So at 70 she was still very much in her middle age.

In fact the main character was an enabler here and psychologists would be very unhappy with her behaviour. Whilst it is difficult to change habits as one grows older – don’t I know it – this kind of behaviour needs to be changed. Pandering to her mother enabled her mother to continue to bully her and to continue to undermine her own health.

So the story is set alongside one of our lovely British canals, a cake shop in the garden of a house that backs onto the canal. Tea and cake, as regular readers of my posts will know, is quite a feature of our days out and something we British all look forward to, especially good home-made cake, and thus this cake shop is ideally situated.

Walking the canal-sides is also a regular feature of our time out and most canals have excellent paths alongside them used regularly by both walkers and cyclists.

Also, many have houseboats permanently moored as well as those who wander the canal by-ways. Canals of course were designed for horse drawn boats and often near bridges as the tow-path narrowed horses might slip off into the canal. Thus, if you look carefully, you will find some steps under the water for horses to climb back out. Additionally, you might wonder just how did horses get under some of the very low bridges? The answer is simple, they didn’t. What happened was that were taken off their harnesses and walked around and over the bridge, and the boat was taken under the bridge by men ‘walking’ the surface underneath. An interesting experience no doubt.

And of course there are a number of wildlife that make their living along British canals. Swans and other water birds including herons and cormorants.

Father Thames kindly permits some people to live on boats....

Father Thames kindly permits some people to live on boats….

canal bridgeP1020873 P1020875 P1020876 P1020877

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