Tuesday, September 27, 2011

An Austrian Summer – a perfect piece of paradise

I just love Austria!  The castles, the cakes, the coffee houses and the balls where you can waltz the night away like some kind of heroine in a Regency romance!  However, there is more to Austria than just these things; there are also the Alps.  The book ‘An Austrian Summer: A Young Person’s Guide to Innsbruck and the Stubai Valley’ covers an area of Austria that is still surprisingly untouched.  In fact I hesitated about writing this post as the more people that know about this part of Europe, the more people will visit and the quicker this perfect part of the world will be become ruined.  However, this book is so lovely that I felt compelled to write something.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Who Else is There? What happens when the good guys go bad?

There are many things I have worried about over the years.  Some are fairly trivial, like how do you caramelise a good crème brȗlée without a blow torch?  Others are more serious, like how would we survive a nuclear war?  One of my more serious worries is what would you do if you were framed for a murder and either you couldn’t prove your innocence, or for some reason the police were corrupt and therefore convicting you unfairly?  ‘Who Else is There’ is a murder mystery which partly deals with the latter problem: corrupt police.  Who can you turn to if you can’t trust the police? 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

An interview with author, Paula Martin

Last August I did a blog post about the wonderful romance novel, His Leading Lady, set in the West End of London and today I am thrilled to be interviewing the author of this book, Paula Martin.

First of all Paula, can I ask how you become an author?

In the strict sense of the word, I became an author when my first novel was published (over 40 years ago!) by Mills and Boon.  However, I’ve always been a writer since I started writing stories when I was about eight or nine.  I didn’t make any conscious effort to become a writer, it’s as much a part of me as breathing.  By my mid-teens, I’d started to write romances (very tame ones, by today’s standards!), and wrote my first full-length novel in my 20’s.  At the time, I was reading a lot of romances and decided my novel was as good (and in some cases, better!) than the ones I read, so I sent it off.  I fully expected a rejection, but they accepted it.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Big Sister Babysister - Helping girls with difficult issues

My last blog post, Born Different, was about a book that focused on a boy struggling with the challenges of being a teenager.  However, what can we do to help today's children and teenagers better cope with the many difficulties that they face?  The book, Big Sister Babysitter, tries to do just that.  Targeted at 9 to 12 year old Christian girls, it aims to show them not only how to cope with having a new baby in the family, but also the joys of having a younger sibling.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Born Different – A different type of fairytale

BORN DIFFERENT by Faye Aitken-Smith is an inspirational fairytale about a boy with wings who can either conform or decide to fly: he decides to fly and the book is his story.

This is the book description:
I’ll like you if you like me. I won’t like you if you don’t like me. I’ll hate you if you hate me. I’ll love you if you love me, but then maybe again I won’t, as love rarely follows any kind of rules.

Monday, September 5, 2011

'The Help' and Chicken Salad

I recently read ‘The Help’, the bestselling novel about women living Mississippi in the 1960’s and if you haven’t read it, do so NOW!  It’s the best thing I’ve read in months, or maybe even years.  Several key scenes in the story are set in the kitchen (this is about women the 1960’s after all) with ‘the help’ making all sorts of delicious food, such as fried chicken, pie etc (there’s a hilarious episode about a chocolate pie, but I wouldn’t say what it is in case you haven’t read the book as it would spoil the story). 

However, one thing that is not mentioned is chicken salad which surprised me as I always thought that chicken salad was a staple of Southern cooking, especially for ‘light’ lunches.  Maybe someone could enlighten me on this?  Did I miss the section with chicken salad in it?