The Tasty Summer Reads Blog Hop

I’m delighted to say I’ve been tagged again – this time by the lovely, very talented, Lindsay J Pryor, author of the Blackthorn series.

Except the idea of this little blog hop is to discuss the author’s current release and/or their current work in progress. As I don’t have a current release, I’ll be basing my answers on my work in progress, The Gateway, which may or may not leave you intrigued if you’ve read the first three chapters! I also have to include a recipe to tie in with it, too, so I’d best get my chef’s hat on!

My current WIP is: The Gateway – a romance/chick-lit novel set in two different time zones.

The questions

When writing, are you a snacker? If so, sweet or salty?

I don’t usually start off snacking, unless I need a little lift, in which case I will head for the top shelf in our cupboard which hides the treats – I need a chair to get to it! I always keep a little stash of sweets in the cupboard – you know, gummy mix, dolly mixtures, milkshake bottles, jazzies – my very own pick-n-mix for when I need a little sugar rush to recharge my brain. In fact, where’s the chocolate…?

Are you an outliner or someone who flies by the seat of their pants? Are they real pants or jammies?

During the first draft of The Gateway, I totally flew by the seat of my pants. I participated in (and won) NaNoWriMo 2012 (The aim? Write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days during November), and just sat down and started writing it. I had the gem of an idea from a conversation I’d had with a friend a couple of months before – and that was the bare backbone. Halfway through the first draft, I thought ‘Oh my god, how on earth did I get here?’ and had to do some serious planning. But I think any story needs a certain amount of each approach – a lot of the scenes had to be removed simply because my characters have taken on a life of their own, and new scenes are having to be injected. They simply weren’t being coerced into doing what I wanted them to do. In addition to that, they might even be paving the way for further stories…

When cooking or baking, do you follow the recipe exactly or wing it? 

Wing it! For two reasons – firstly, we all need to use a little artistic licence and to indulge our creative side. It doesn’t always mean it will turn out well, but it’s fun trying! Secondly, I hate reading instructions. Patience never was my strong point.

What is next for you after this book? 

As mentioned above, I have a feeling there may be a further story beyond The Gateway evolving, based on the back story of two of the characters, but we’ll see how this one pans out first. Alternatively, I’ve been searching high and low for a manuscript I wrote in 2006 which is covered in notes and red editing pen – I’d love to see how my writing has changed over the past seven years and whether it’s worth pursuing. I actually found it yesterday so I’ve put it away in a safe place… for now. We’ll see. 😉

Last question… on a level of one being slightly naughty to ten being whoo whoo steamy, where does your book land? 

Well back in November, it started off quite tame, but after a steamy scene I wrote a couple of weeks ago I think I might have to raise the rating!

The summer recipe, inspired by a dinner scene in The Gateway:


A bottle of crisp, cool Sauvignon blanc (or two)

Duck Terrine served with seeded brown bread and a salad garnish

Crab-meat stuffed mushrooms

Baked Ham with roasted minted new potatoes and seasonal vegetables

Two-tier lemon pudding



Ensure the attendance of a delectable dinner date.

Light a candle.

Carefully pour wine into glass. Drink.

Serve each course at leisure, to be savoured at length throughout the evening.

Make lots of eye contact.

Ensure measures are taken to prevent unwelcome intruders.




As I need to nominate up to five other authors to participate, I would like to select the following:

Jane Hunt

Tracey Rogers

Lacey Dearie

Shanah Wooldrage

Incy Black


Until next time, enjoy your meal 🙂




Summer Sun (hooray!) Award

I’ve been very lucky this fortnight to have been nominated twice for the Summer Sun Award – by the hilarious Incy Black and the lovely Alison Lodge – whereby the recipient has brightened someone’s life in some way, be it by a blog post or other means. Thank you ladies for the nomination. summer sun award

In order to gracefully receive this award, I must answer a series of eight summer-related questions, so just for a little bit of fun and to provide some personal insight into little ol’ me, here goes!

Favourite song with summer in the title or the lyrics (give the line): Easily has to be Summertime – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. It just conjures up memories of lazy summer days lounging on the grass in the sunshine without a care in the world, back in my college days when the only thing I had to worry about was whether I had enough pennies to go to the local nightclub that week and the current state of my love life (which is perhaps THE most important thing in your life as a teenager).

Favourite book about summer: Come Together by Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Rees. It’s not about summer, but part of the book is set in Greece (or one of the islands, I can’t remember which one as it was a long time ago when I read it) and that book always comes to mind whenever I think of Greece and summer sun. It’s chick-lit, and as I recall, it was pretty good. I think I sold it at a car boot sale a few years ago in preparation to go and live in Bermuda, so I don’t have it any more. Check it out if you haven’t already.

Favourite hot summer film: Am going to be a total cliche here and say Grease – Oh, those summer nights – I just love all that teen angst and a happy ending. Plus, it’s a classic. There’s no denying it.

Favourite summer memory: Lying on South Beach at Studland Bay, Dorset, with my husband on our honeymoon – where the beach is sheltered by a cliff and the sun gently warms your skin with an absent breeze. My husband never lies in the sun – he hates it and gets bored – so for him to lie there with me, relaxing, during one of the most romantic times in our life together was pure bliss. We later strolled up to the nearby pub and sat in the garden, overlooking the vast expanse of sea, enjoying a traditional Ploughmans lunch with some Dorset cider… *Sigh*

Favourite summer holiday destination: As I’ve only been abroad a handful of times, and have spent many childhood summers and my honeymoon there, it has to be Dorset, particularly the Isle of Purbeck, home to Corfe Castle, Swanage Railway, and some really tasty ice-cream. Oh and did I mention the cider?

What books will be in your suitcase this summer? If I win the lottery, I’ll take my kindle on holiday with me and load it up with steamy novels. Aimee Duffy’s Sinfully Summer is next on my To Read list.

What’s your likely destination this summer? The garden and possibly a camping trip for a long weekend.

What hottie would you most like to be sharing the hot days and long nights with this summer? If I can’t choose my husband, can I have Ian Somerhalder? No? What about Hugh Jackman, then? 😛

So there you have it. Before I tag away and nominate some other souls to bare all, these are the rules:

  1. Display the Summer Sun Award logo and link back to the blog of the person who nominated you.
  2. Answer the questions listed above.
  3. Nominate a further eight lucky recipients (one for each sun-ray).

So I hereby nominate the following people (many of whom have already been nominated, so if you haven’t accepted the award yet, here’s another reminder! (Of course participation is completely optional!)

Jane Hunt

Aimee Duffy

Tracey Rogers

Lacey Dearie

Shanah Wooldrage

Lindsay J Pryor

Michelle Smart

Heather Rooth

Thanks ladies!! 🙂