Books/blogtour/writing/authors
1 Comment

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!

Amazon (UK)

Kobo (UK)

Google Books (UK)

Apple Books (UK)

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.

 

Share This:

book review/Books/fiction/Romance
0 Comments

Size-ist?

The Husband Diet Book Cover The Husband Diet
(Amazing Erica) #1
Nancy Barone
Fiction humour
Bookouture; 1 edition
May 31, 2013
312

Erica Cantelli's life feels more suffocating than a size 4 dress. On the surface she's maintaining the image of successful career woman, perfect wife and a doting mother with two wonderful children. In reality she's running out of hours in the day; 6 dress sizes bigger than she wants to be; and the only man who shows her any affection is her gay best friend. In fact fantasizing about how to kill her increasingly disinterested husband is just about all that keeps Erica sane. That and a whole different type of fantasizing about the incredibly handsome new school principal, Julian Foxham. When her husband jokes about trading her in for two size tens, Erica knows something has to change. But is another diet really the answer? Or is getting rid of him the fastest path to happiness? Now if she could only stop thinking about the gorgeous Mr Foxham... For any woman who has ever felt under-appreciated, or thought about giving up on their dreams, Erica is a hilarious breath of fresh air.

I initially liked the 3 books in this series as chick lit in the genre.

The Husband Diet

My Big Fat Italian Break-Up

Romance, Rivals and Ravioli

But then I realised that our heroine wasn’t fat at all! She was a larger size than her mother and sisters true, but I looked up the weight to height ratios on the health sites and found that 78 kilos at 5 foot 10 inches is just within the normal range. And is probably a UK size 14. US size 10/12. True at 88 kilos she was overweight – not obese but… and she was only that weight at times.

This spoils the books in my opinion.

If you are going to have all that angst about weight and curves and whether your boyfriend/lover/husband would prefer someone slimmer then you really need to be overweight… and honestly she would only struggle up a hill if she wasn’t fit, and not because she was too heavy!

So my initial assessment of a 4 went down to a 3 or even a 2 (?) as this book hints of fat shaming when a normal sized woman anguishes over her weight. And also is a very bad example for our young women.

Share This:

book review/Books/Fantasy/fiction/Romance
0 Comments

How good is cake? Flavoured?

Magically Delicious Book Cover Magically Delicious
Magic and Mayhem Book Four
by Robyn Peterman
fantasy, paranormal, myths, romance, humour
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
(15 Nov. 2016)

What does a hungry, pregnant witch do when her whole freaking town goes on a no carb diet? I’ll tell you what. She goes on the sly and conjures up some anchovy-chocolate chunk cookies dipped in hot sauce—that’s what. Of course my cheating gets complicated when all of the magic in the world goes on the fritz. To solve that particular wrinkle, I’ll have to finally find the source of the lurking evil. Easier said than done. Maybe if I wasn’t pregnant and starving, I could deal with the nasty old witch who resides in a gingerbread house. Add in carb eating fairies who speak French and three rotund familiars who enjoy defacing property with profane graffiti, and what you get is almost more trouble than I can handle in my baby baking condition. I’m still not convinced I won’t be giving birth to puppies since the smokin’ hot father of my babies is a werewolf, and NO ONE has given me ANY concrete proof to the contrary. Getting knocked up by the werewolf of my dreams was all kinds of awesome in practice, but the reality of becoming a mother scares me more than Baba Yaga’s horrendous 1980’s wardrobe. Monstrous decisions with enormous ramifications are best handled with meticulous planning—or in my case—after eating a giant mustard slathered jelly doughnut. Neither of those options is possible at the moment, but since there is no way I’m bringing my children into a magicless world, winging it will just have to work. Wait… Was that a contraction I just felt?  Goddess help us all…

 

This is rather short as her novels go but none the less Robyn manages to pack some great new words into this book. She is the master of adding words together – like German – that end up appearing to make some sense, but that usually include some swear words incorporated.

Now we have a pregnant witch in this book and she really does have some strange ideas of cravings – eg jalapeno and anchovy chocolate chip cookies with turkey gravy for dipping; sushi flavoured ice cream; however, giving up carbs for anyone is a no no – reduce and restrict yes, but it is better to give up sugar – including fructose. Especially when you are pregnant. So the diet ideas were not quite rights. Still it is interesting idea to ensure  that everyone eats healthily for a while – you never know, they might continue afterwards.

The book has its usual moments of humour and wry laughs but is not the funniest Robyn Peterman I have read – I didn’t cry with laughter after all. But the humour is spot on and the characterisation always good.

Share This:

book review/Books/fiction/Romance/crime fiction
0 Comments

Cafe Life

Tapas, Carrot Cake and a Corpse Book Cover Tapas, Carrot Cake and a Corpse
The Charlotte Denver Cozy Mystery Series
Sheri Bryan
cozy mystery, romance, food
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform;
23 Sept. 2015
Kindle, Paperback

Charlotte Denver runs her marina front café in the bustling fishing town of St. Eves, nestled in the south-west of England. While Charlotte loves the tranquility of St. Eves, where crime is almost unheard of, and nothing really exciting ever happens, her good friend, Chief Inspector Nathan Costello, is longing for a good, juicy crime to get his teeth into. When the arrival of newcomers to St. Eves triggers a chain of events that ends in tragedy, Nathan enjoys the thrill of investigating his first murder case while Charlotte turns amateur sleuth to help solve the case and restore peace and harmony to the town as quickly as possible. Twists and turns abound in Tapas, Carrot Cake and a Corpse, the first book in the Charlotte Denver Cozy Mystery series.

A nicely written cozy mystery with a twist at the end that I didn’t guess even though I knew who the murderer was by mid-way through.

It’s often the reasons that are kept hidden of course, just to give the story that bit extra. Which it certainly did here.

The story is set in a (thinly) disguised St Ives UK – where the sun does certainly not shine as often as it appeared to do so in this story. [July is the hottest month in St Ives with an average temperature of15°C (59°F) and the coldest is January at 6°C (43°F) with the most daily sunshine hours at 7 in August. The wettest month is December with an average of 132mm of rain.] But yes, Cornwall is very popular indeed with surfers and St Ives with artists, though it is now a very expensive town to live in comparatively (average price of £336,925 and in  Cornwall generally terraced properties had an average sold price of £191,790 and semi-detached properties averaged at £208,693. Cornwall, with an overall average price of £242,252, was similar in terms of sold prices to nearby Devon (£237,641), but was cheaper than Somerset (£260,778) and Dorset (£294,877).

I wondered why the cafe should shut on a Saturday when the area has a lot of tourists. Surely a Monday closing would be more sensible – if you must close at all – why not hire staff? Or have a limited menu after 3pm  so the owner could go off. Seemed a very poor business decision to me.

 

Share This:

Food and eating/shopping/travel/overseas/Vegetarian/vegetarian
0 Comments

Tummy fulfilled: New York style

We have recently been travelling about in the US: Eating in New York.

As is my wont, when I have been away I try and blog about my experiences. I confess, freely, that I haven’t finished where I went last year, but I am trying to get to this year a bit quicker! So here is something about eating in New York. I have specifically chosen this subject as we found some very interesting and different places to eat.

Ricetoriches

Yes, we can have porridge cafes, they can have rice pudding outlets! they have a website so you can check them out for yourself but we did think they were a trifle expensive for a small bowl of rice pudding. That said, they had some amazing flavours and do seasonal flavours too. Their standard range is 18 flavours with 5 per season and 12 different toppings. Sweet? Very!

Pinkberry

Frozen yoghurt with a difference – the pink berries! They have a yummy taste… they have come to the UK now and can be found in Stratford – Westfield – and Selfridges.

 BubbaGump

We ate in their Times Square outlet and were served excellently despite the loud noises from their celebrating a customer’s birthday!

Everything had calories attached so beware the desserts! We had a variety of shrimps of course, but very large shrimps too – and mahi mahi with a cajun shrimp starter and garlic  bread. spicy and nicy.Bubba Gump interior

PS they are now in London!

Eataly

Amazing – a supermarket with a difference – you can buy your Italian food here or you can eat it fresh from the counter. The longest queues being for the ice-cream of course! there are 2 places where you sit and are served – Fish and Vegetarian; otherwise you can perch at stools and eat what you have bought. We tried the Verdura eating area and ate our veggies. Just beware the risotto is made with wheat berries and is very heavy as a result. Aperitivo-Picnic_homepage-hero_V1

Also now in London I believe.

Hangawi

This is a Korean place in the traditional style – so beware if you have disabilities. You sit on the floor with your feet in a pit. The table is fixed at waist high and thus can’t be removed for you to climb out of easily. I managed to thump down but getting out and getting back on my feet defeated me. In the end, I managed to get my feet up on the floor and then did a very ungainly bum shuffle over to where there were some steps so I could climb back up onto my feet. Good job I was wearing leggings under my skirt! You take your shoes off so make sure your feet don’t smell and you have matching socks on.

They have a very sensible ban on mobile phones. Turn them off completely. The food is all vegan and excellent. Stone rice pots as are especially good as the rice ends up sticky and crisp as it continues to cook in the residual heat. When they ask, do you like it spicy? beware. They add a spice paste to your dish at the table and mix it in for you. hgw_ani_01

Booking essential.

Share This:

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com