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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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Sailing the High Seas on a Queen

On our recent trip to New York and Boston, we travelled  back across the Atlantic on the Grand Circle route – with the Queen Mary II.P1030499

Amazing how you can lose 3500 thousand or so people on a ship such that, except for lunch in the buffet or sitting in the theatre listening to a lecture, it appears (relatively) quiet. With nearly always a place to sit..but limited outlets for your phone or computer. There was a lot of entertainment including lectures, a knitting club, cinema and daily fitness classes plus a mile walk after breakfast round the deck. Think a Warners for adults heritage hotel (see the Art Deco interiors) but bigger with very few children and fewer electric scooters. Though I do confess, I ended up borrowing one of their wheelchairs as the distances were very long when you traversed from end to end in  search of the library at one end and the pool at another and so on…

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OUr cabin was initially a challange for the three of us bearing in mind that our daughter slept on a put-u-up sofa –  but enough space – just – needed to be kept tidy, though surprisingly, there were more wardrobes and crucially, more hangers than we had been offered at either hotel which was why we had kept all the hangers that had come back with our washing.

We had a full balcony – not obscured in any way but we never managed to sit on it, despite the three chairs – as the weather was never good enough. We were later told that we should have opted for a window room as this was the same size as the ones with balcony included.. things you learn.

Look how long a corridor was – from end to end of the Queen.

Whilst on board we opted for the Asian Tasting menu on one night which was pretty good and they did manage – just – to rustle up some tofu fror me though clearly this was a challenge for them.

Would we do it again?

Well, it was our first real long distance boat trip – as going up and down the Nile didn’t really count and we were only 60 people that time – and the answer is ‘no’. Not across the Atlantic as it got boring by the end of the trip – only one act in the theatre interested us, and we walked out of the one film that we hadn’t seen as it was so bad. I only once managed to grab a desk in the library – only about 8 of them – so failed to  write anything – the internet was extortionate and so we were out of circulation completely – which is both good and bad; and there are just so many books you can read, which is saying something from me as the weather was such we couldn’t outside much at all and so were stuck in the coffee bar – shame you cry – almost all the time.

Also, the shops stocked stuff we didn’t want to buy! So the only thing we came away with was a fridge magnet and a key ring. They totally failed to sell to us!

However, some – older – women mostly – loved it and not only travelled it both ways without getting off(!!) but also did it every year. Total luxury of course. Silver service for eating, with waiters changing three times a day and always immaculate and sparkling white; lots of staff and dedicated room stewards; and generally speaking everyone was friendly and helpful.

I think we will cruise again, but stick to the rivers – smaller boats and more to see out of the portholes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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