The Ghost in the Gardens by HL Carpenter

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Today on the blog  I want to give a shout out  for  the new release of a  wonderful Middle Grade Paranormal .  It’s  written by  mother/daughter,  author team  HL Carpenter and published  by Mirror World Publishing.   

Here is a taster  from the dynamic  duo.

Until the first spooky visit, ten year old Chrysantha Howe doesn’t think about ghosts. She thinks about plants.

All.

The.

Time.

She has her future planned out, and that future includes plants. Chrys is going to be a plant scientist like her uncle and her favorite teacher, and she’s determined to find the very rare Coralroot orchid.

The ghost is not in the plan.

But when her teacher disappears and the police suspect her uncle was involved, Chrys has to figure out what the ghost is trying to tell her—before it’s too late.

 

 

Florida-based mother/daughter author duo HL Carpenter write sweet, clean fiction that is suitable for everyone in your family. The Carpenters write from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, they enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Visit their website to enjoy gift reads and excerpts and to find out what’s happening in Carpenter Country.

Stay connected on Pinterest, Linkedin, Google+, and their Amazon Author Page.

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Sloanes Scallops – An introduction to her ‘Date Night Dinners.’

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On books and cooks today I am delighted  to welcome  from the USA the fabulous Sloane Taylor.  As well as a multi published romance writer, she is also a  popular on line cook . Here she gives us a delicious taste of her  new recipe book due out soon  – DATE NIGHT DINNERS, Meals to Make Together for a Romantic Evening  

Ill hand you over to Sloane to talk you through her delicious scallops.

Here is a quick and easy meal that is sure to impress your special someone, family and friends. Serve with sliced tomatoes, orzo, and a bottle of dry white wine. Be sure to drizzle plenty of sauce over the pasta.

Allen0417 Pixabay

SAUTÉED SEA SCALLOPS
1 lb. sea scallops
1 ½ tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. butter
2 tsp. garlic, chopped
Freshly ground pepper to taste
¼ cup dry white wine
1 tsp. chives, snipped for garnish

Have everything measured and ready to go before you start cooking. This recipe only takes a few minutes so you must be prepared.

Preheat oven to 210° F.

Rinse and pat dry the scallops.

Add olive oil and butter to a frying pan set on medium-high heat. Add the scallops when the foam subsides. Sear 2 – 4 minutes per side. Make sure they are golden edging into brown before you turn them.

Add garlic when you turn the scallops.

When they have reached the proper color, remove the scallops to a bowl and set in the oven to keep warm while you make the sauce.

Spoon out the garlic from the frying pan. Skim off some of the fat that has floated to the top. Carefully add the wine, all the while scraping in any browned pieces on the sides and bottom of the pan. Cook until the mixture reduces by about ⅓.

Lay the scallops on a bed of orzo either on a platter or individual plates. Lace the sauce over the dish, top with chives and serve.

May you enjoy all the days of your life filled with laughter and seated around a well laden table!

Sloane

Sloane Taylor is an Award-Winning author with a second passion in her life. She is an avid cook and posts new recipes on her blog every Wednesday. The recipes are user friendly, meaning easy.

Taylor currently has seven romance novellas released by Toque & Dagger Publishing. Her first solo venture into non-fiction is a cookbook with eighty of her favorite recipes DATE NIGHT DINNERS, Meals to Make Together for a Romantic Evening releasing June 5, 2018.

Excerpts from her books can be found on her website, blog, and all popular vendors. Connect with Taylor on Facebook and Twitter.

Cheers! Celebrating the launch of Captain Rockford’s Reckoning.

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Cheers ! And welcome to my blog where today I am toasting the release of my latest Regency novel with a well known historical beverage. CELEBRATION 2

Versions of  syllabub have been around for centuries and I have been experimenting with the basic ingredients to share a glass (or two ) at the launch of Captain Rockford’s Reckoning.

During the seventeenth and eighteenth century syllabub was  served as an alcoholic drink, topped with a  creamy, foamy layer.  I have heard it said that the foamy effect was originally achieved from squirting the milk on to the beverage, fresh from the cows udder. But we won’t dwell on that thought.

Heading into the nineteenth century, syllabub evolved into a light, creamy lemon concoction which was often served at Regency tables alongside trifles and blancmanges. This was a favourite dish of Esmie Elstone whilst enduring her tedious season in London Society.  More about her later.

Even now, syllabub is still a popular desert, and there are many versions of the original concept, concocted by today’s celebrity chefs.

Here is my, simple, version of the old fashioned alcoholic beverage  Traditionally a sweet white wine or sack  would have been used – but use whatever wine you prefer. I haven’t tried it with cider, but have been told it works just as well. For a non-alcoholic version you could use fruit juice.

First pour your chosen wine into glasses, add a teaspoonful of caster sugar to each one and stir until dissolved. (You might not need this step if you have a very sweet wine.)

Now for the frothy topping  (enough for 4/6 glasses of wine)

Combine a further  100 ml of wine with the juice and  grated zest of a lemon.  Add about 50g of caster sugar.  Pour in half a pint (300 ml) of double cream and using an electric whisk, combine all all the ingredients until you have a  light creamy mixture. Taste and add more sugar if desired.  Be careful not to over whisk. The mixture should be thick and light enough to  form a layer over the wine, without sinking. CELEBRATION 5

Carefully spoon the topping  on to the wine. The two layers should remain separate. But if  the worse happens and they don’t – it still tastes great. Decorate  with a small piece of lemon peel and a  good sprinkling of cinnamon (or grated nutmeg).

And if you prefer the later version of syllabub as a creamy desert, and not a drink,  just follow the same steps  for the topping,  but use a little extra cream and whisk a little longer for a firmer  consistency.  Spoon the mixture into small bowls or  layer with fruit.  Really, you can adapt to what you like.

Then sit down and enjoy with a good historical tale.

Talking of which, here is a taste of Captain Rockford’s  Reckoning.

Rockfrod clear cover

Esmie Elstone is thrown into panic when she hears of Captain Rockford’s return. But she is determined that the days of him interfering with her life are over. Destroying her chances of a happy future on his last visit, had resulted in her being foisted on her Aunt for a third pointless season in London.
To alleviate the boredom of society life, Esmie helps run a discreet betting enterprise under the guise of a sewing club. But there are some things you just shouldn’t w
ager on, and Esmie’s integrity is soon put to a dangerous test.


Richard Rockford had known Esmie almost all her life. As neighbours, Admiral Elstone had depended on Richard to keep an eye on his daughter when he was away at sea. The responsibility he had always taken on willingly. But her cruel and thoughtless actions, from the day he had left four years ago, had shaken him. Now he was back and wanting answers.

But when Esmie tumbles into a treacherous conspiracy, can he really turn his back on her?

Captain Rockford’s  Reckoning is available for Kindle, KU and paperback  at 

 Amazon UK       Amazon US  

Please visit my web site  at susanlodge.com or find me on  facebook and Twitter  

 

 

 

Captain Rockford’s Reckoning – A brand new Regency.

Delighted to announce  Captain Rockford’s Reckoning,  my latest publication with Crooked Cat Books is now available for pre-order from Amazon.

Here is a little taster  –

Rockfrod clear coverEsmie Elstone is thrown into panic when she hears of Captain Rockford’s return. But she is determined that the days of him interfering with her life are over. Destroying her chances of a happy future on his last visit, had resulted in her being foisted on her Aunt for a third pointless season in London.
To alleviate the boredom of society life, Esmie helps run a discreet betting enterprise under the guise of a sewing club. But there are some things you just shouldn’t w
ager on, and Esmie’s integrity is soon put to a dangerous test.


Richard Rockford had known Esmie almost all her life. As neighbours, Admiral Elstone had depended on Richard to keep an eye on his daughter when he was away at sea. The responsibility he had always taken on willingly. But her cruel and thoughtless actions, from the day he had left four years ago, had shaken him. Now he was back and wanting answers.

But when Esmie tumbles into a treacherous conspiracy, can he really turn his back on her?

Captain Rockford’s  Reckoning is available for pre-order at  Amazon UK   Amazon US 

Please visit my web site  at susanlodge.com or find me on  facebook and Twitter  

 

Valentine food from authors who cook

Great news on cooks and books today.  A free cookbook to celebrate Valentine’s day from some international authors who love to cook (including me).

But let me hand you over to the lovely Sharon Ledwith, my Canadian friend and author, to explain a little more.

Love is in the Kitchen with a Free Cookbook Offer: Sweets and Treats for Someone Special… 

Remember the old adage, ‘The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’? There may be some truth to that, though I would update the phrase to say, ‘The way to a person’s heart is through his or hers’ stomach’. After all, food is an intimate experience. Good food creates memories, forges friendships, makes the heart grow fonder, and makes for good dinner table conversations. And food is one of the ways you can show someone that you care for them.

If the thought of cooking a romantic meal or baking a sweet treat for your true love makes you tingly all over, then have I got a gift for you! Cue a romantically-inspired cookbook written by the following fourteen proficient authors, of various ages and genres: Vonnie Hughes, Alicia JosephEmma LaneLizzie T. Leaf, Sharon Ledwith, Marci BoudreauxCarol BrowneHL CarpenterSara Daniel C.D.Herssh  Susan LodgeAnne MontgomeryChris Pavesic, and Sloane Taylor. These wonderful writers have created an array of tantalizing recipes that will make your loved ones beg for more, and even offer to wash those dirty dishes.

Sweets and Treats for Someone Special is your go-to recipe book for entertaining on Valentine’s Day, hosting bridal showers and engagement parties, or celebrating that special event with your true love. Compiled by Sloane Taylor—a gourmet cook in her own right—and designed by mother-daughter duo HL Carpenter, the included recipes offer a wide variety of mouth-watering treats, indulgences, and meals to satisfy your loved ones’ cravings and insatiable hunger.

Oh, and did I mention that it is FREE?

So why not have your just desserts? Literally. You’ve got nothing to lose and sultry memories to gain when you download Sweets and Treats for Someone Special. There’s a recipe for even the fussiest lover in your life. Give yourself a gift during the season of love with a sensual cookbook from fourteen writers who would love nothing more than to share their favorite recipes, and fulfill your deepest desires. Bon Appetit!

Download your FREE cookbook at SMASHWORDS

Hetty Avebury’s Eight Essential Travel Tips (whilst sailing on a man-of-war)

I  have a very special visitor today to kick start the blog. hetty blog july

Hetty Avebury, Regency heroine from Only a Hero Will Do has just arrived.

Welcome Hetty , perhaps you could  tell the guests something about yourself  whist I go and see to the tea.

Of course, Susan. Off you go, I will look after the visitors. Oh! Where are my guests precisely?

Trust me, they are out there listening, just talk  – you’re good at that. But don’t give away too much of the plot before I come back. 

Good! She has gone. I really do fear for my author.  I think she has become quite addled brained. Blog !  She told me I would have an audience.  Ah, well, I hope she at least brings back some scones, as I have a weakness for scones. In fact I have a few weaknesses. Gambling is one – luckily I am very good at it. My scheming family do not realize that I am able to gain funds this way. Therefore you might say it is also a strength.

Another weakness is books. I do love books! I can never get enough of the exciting informative kind (if you understand my meaning). The attendant at the library back home always examined my choices, so they were limited to the mundane. However, whilst I was at sea, Dr Withington lent me some books which were very informative.

But I must return our attentions to this umm… blog, where I will share some useful tips about sea travel. I gained this knowledge after I inadvertently found myself sailing from Portsmouth to Gibraltar on board a Man of War.

So here we go .

1. Make sure you know which is the leeward side (the sheltered side) of the ship. It is important to know which way the wind is blowing when you are prone to seasickness. It was a shame about Doctor Withington’s coat-but luckily it was only his second best.

2. Do not stray from the quarterdeck. The stern end is the civilized end of the ship. Although it is a lot more colourful down the pointed end.

3. Prepare for your sleep to be interrupted. The ringing of the ship’s bell and the beating of drums occur at regular and unsociable times.

4. Do not complain of boredom, believe me that is a good sign. If you see a French ship approaching things will get very unpleasant, and you will soon wish to be bored again.

5. If you have a chance to pack for the journey (which I did not) include warm clothing. Also a supply of lemon juice is useful to bathe freckles,which multiply like a plague of insects across your skin once exposed to the sea air.

6. Prepare to be stoic. You will witness the misery and sacrifice of war. Even If you are lucky enough to avoid battle, deaths on board from injury and disease occur frequently.

7 Do remember to knock the weevils from the ships biscuits, and do not try to cut biscuits into delicate pieces; they resist all attempts.

8. If there is a tall, dark, sombre physician around, whose job it is to keep you out of trouble, and looks at you with eyes … Oh, no – Susan is coming back with the tea.

There is much more to tell dear guests, and if you feel like indulging in a romantic adventure and discovering what happened during and after my unscheduled voyage, please take a look at Only a Hero Will Do. ( I haven’t even begun to tell you about Doctor Withington and you need to know about him.)

Here is a little taster.

Hetty Avebury’s desperate gamble to avoid an odious match lands her all at sea. Can a stuffy ship’s physician really be the hero she needs to escape her treacherous family?.

Marriage to a cruel dandy, is not how Hetty Avebury envisons spending the rest of her life. Determined to avoid the match she raises funds the only way she knows how – gambling .Her plans go astray and she finds herself on board a man-of-war under the care of its high handed physician. But Hetty soon realizes that Doctor Withington is not quite the stuffed shirt she had first imagined.

If it wasn’t bad enough declaring one of the pressed men as a woman, Robert has been tasked with the tiresome job of returning her safely back to her dysfunctional family. It was ten years ago when his father gambled away his inheritance, home, and any chance of marrying the woman he loved. So when Robert discovers Hetty gambling he takes drastic action to cure her of the habit.

Now available at 99p/99c   for limited time.   Amazon UK   Amazon. com   Kobo  Nook  and Smashwords

Or visit susanlodge.com

What it’s Like to Write a Real Person’s Story ?

 Swapping fact for fiction is the theme today. My very welcome guest, author Carol Browne, explains how she took on the challenge. 

What it’s Like to Write a Real Person’s Story – by Carol Browne

When I volunteered to write the life story of local woman, Krystyna Porsz, I was a very reluctant biographer. I did it because no-one else could be found to do it, so I thought, “If I don’t do it, no-one will.” It seemed far too big a responsibility to me but I told Krystyna’s son I’d give it a go, even though I was convinced I wasn’t up to the job. I write fiction. I make stuff up. I assumed non-fiction would be completely different.  But it turned out not to be so different after all. Although I had the facts of Krystyna’s life, they amounted to a few sheets of A4 paper, hardly enough material for a book. So I had to build a structure to hang those facts on, very much like creating a plot for a work of fiction. My friend Agnieszka had visited Krystyna on two occasions and I used her as a narrative device, so we see the story unfold through her eyes. This gave me much more opportunity to pad out the text while still being true to the available facts.

Writers of fiction know that characters are apt to take on a life of their own. They seem real to their creators and as authors we want to portray them in their best light. When you are writing a real person’s story, this becomes vitally important. The sense of responsibility the author feels is magnified. For me, writing about Krystyna, it was off the scale; here was a very old lady whose ability to communicate was seriously hampered by dementia. There wouldn’t be any chance of being able to discuss the book with her. There wouldn’t be any feedback. While I was writing the book, I kept thinking, “If this were my life story, would I be happy with how it’s being handled?” That was my benchmark all the time and I’m confident I kept to it.

Writing a real person’s story seems to provide you with a ready-made plot but you can’t simply make the book a record of the events in someone’s life. That would be dull. You still have a responsibility towards the reader to make it as compelling as possible so they want to keep reading, but you mustn’t sensationalise the facts to do that; this is someone’s life you are dealing with and you have to keep that in mind.
Third-party involvement can cause problems too, and in this case it held up the book for several months. This just doesn’t happen with make-believe characters and so I wasn’t expecting it and it was very frustrating. However, it hasn’t deterred me from tackling anything similar in the future because I now know I must address issues such as these before I commit myself.

Writing a real person’s story is a challenge. It’s hard work. But I recommend it, especially if that person’s life is drastically different from your own. It’s an enlightening experience. It will broaden your mind and test your ability as a writer. It will give you the opportunity to write something that really deserves to be written. I only met Krystyna once but I made a point of  shaking her hand before I left. I needed to physically touch someone who had survived the Holocaust, who had lived a history I had only read about or seen on black and white newsreels. Krystyna Porsz is a truly brave person. A survivor. I’m grateful not only to have met her, but to have had the honour of telling her story.
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Being Krystyna will be published by  Dillie  books  on 11th November

Now available for  pre-order  at  Amazon UK  /Amazon.com

In 2012 when young Polish immigrant Agnieszka visits fellow countrywoman Krystyna in a Peterborough care home for the first time, she thinks it a simple act of kindness. However, the meeting proves to be the beginning of a life-changing experience.

Krystyna’s stories about the past are not memories of the good old days but recollections of war-ravaged Europe: The Warsaw Ghetto, Pawiak Prison, Ravensbrück Concentration Camp, and a death march to freedom.

The losses and ordeals Krystyna suffered and what she had to do to survive are horrors Agnieszka must confront when she volunteers to be Krystyna’s biographer.

Will Agnieszka be able to keep her promise to tell the story, and, in this harrowing memoir of survival, what is the message for us today?

 Carol Browne regards Crewe, Cheshire, as her home town and graduated from Nottingham University in 1976 with an honors degree in English Language and Literature. Carol writes speculative fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. She is also a ghost blog writer, proofreader, copy editor, and copywriter. Along with a passion for gardening, Carol is an avid animal lover.

Carol lives in the Cambridgeshire countryside with her dog, Harry, and cockatiel, Sparky.Pagan and vegan, Carol believes it is time for a paradigm shift in our attitude to Mother Nature and hopes the days of speciesism are numbered.

Stay connected with Carol on her website and blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Halloween – The perfect time for Kindred Spirits.

Absolutely delighted to celebrate Halloween season with best selling author Jennifer C Wilson, who makes us think twice about the notorious Richard III. 

Over to you Jennifer.

Hi Susan, and thanks for hosting me today, as part of Kindred Spirits: Tower of London’s first birthday weekend. It’s amazing, and slightly mad, to think it’s been a whole year since it was released, but to celebrate, it’s currently just 99p/c in e-book form, until the end of Halloween.KS-ToL-kindered spirits blog

The fact that for that whole year (and, of course, some time before the release!) my leading man has been Richard III, makes it even more special. It’s funny to think that ten years ago, I didn’t know a thing about him, and was only vaguely aware of Shakespeare’s version of events. I remember the moment of realisation when it dawned on me that the Princes in the Tower (who I had just about heard of) were Henry VIII’s uncles, as I read one of Philippa Gregory’s books. Having finished most of her Tudor series, I began to go ‘back over’, reading a range of biographies and non-fiction books, finding out more of what went on before the monster took the throne. I wasn’t that interested in his father, Henry VII, but Richard III… Well, what girl can resist a misunderstood bad boy??
Don’t get me wrong, he was no saint, and I’d never try to paint him as such, but several people have pointed out that quite a few famous nephews have disappeared throughout history, whose uncles just ‘happen’ to have taken their place as next in line to power. The delightful King John’s path to the throne was helpfully cleared by Arthur of Brittany ‘vanishing’, and once again, his body was never found. At least Richard III proved to be a decent king, even with only two years to rule; a fact quite often overlooked, with most people looking at the events which book-ended his time in power – the Princes vanishing, and the Battle of Bosworth.
But he did a lot of good for the country, including establishing the Court of Requests, where the poor could seek justice, he banned restrictions on the sale and printing of books, and (in a move close to my heart) cut down on fraudulently selling short measures of alcohol.
You can see why there are definitely two ‘camps’ when it comes to Richard III. Yes, he did some terrible things (the execution of a formerly-close friend William Hastings was particularly deplorable), but to be fair, which medieval monarch can claim they didn’t? The dynasty which took his place after Bosworth was surely even more bloodthirsty, wiping out rivals or enemies without a second thought. Now, with his body having been found, he’s back in the public mind, and it’s nice to see him getting a slightly fairer treatment.
I shall now get down off my soap-box, but hopefully, if you’re willing to give his ghost a chance to tell his side of the story, you’ll enjoy listening to what I would like to imagine he and the others who occupy the Tower of London get up to when we’re not watching (and sometimes, when we are). I know I enjoyed writing it! Happy birthday, Kindred Spirits: Tower of London.
Kindred Spirits: Tower of London
A King, three Queens, a handful of nobles and a host of former courtiers…
In the Tower of London, the dead outnumber the living, with the likes of Tudor Queens Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard rubbing shoulders with one man who has made his way back from his place of death at Bosworth Field to discover the truth about the disappearance of his famous nephews.
Amidst the chaos of daily life, with political and personal tensions running high, Richard III takes control, as each ghostly resident looks for their own peace in the former palace – where privacy was always a limited luxury.
With so many characters haunting the Tower of London, will they all find the calm they crave?

About Jennifer

Jjcw-in-leicester-cathedral3024858ennifer is a marine biologist by training, who developed an equal passion for history whilst stalking Mary, Queen of Scots of childhood holidays (she since moved on to Richard III). She completed her BSc and MSc at the University of Hull, and has worked as a marine environmental consultant since graduating.
Enrolling on an adult education workshop on her return to the north-east reignited Jennifer’s pastime of creative writing, and she has been filling notebooks ever since. In 2014, Jennifer won the Story Tyne short story competition, and also continues to work on developing her poetic voice, reading at a number of events, and with several pieces available online. Her debut novel Kindred Spirits: Tower of London was published by Crooked Cat Publishing in October 2015.

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennifercwilsonwriter/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/inkjunkie1984
Blog: https://jennifercwilsonwriter.wordpress.com/
Kindred Spirits: Tower of London, Amazon link: http://authl.it/B016TRKU2A

The Alternative CV – Quick fire questions for authors.

My talented guest on the Alternative CV today is UK author Kathy Sharp.

Hello, Susan, and many thanks for the opportunity to appear on the Alternative CV.

Great to see you  Kathy. Now, make yourself comfortable, help yourself to a chocolate digestive and tell me….12695509_774244632679352_851141837_o

 One quality you have which other people who know you might question.
I’m incurably lazy. Other people admire my industry in completing three novels, but I still think I’m bone idle.

 A fictional character you fantasise over/ fell in love with. (One of your own preferably.)
I can’t honestly say I fantasise over any fictional character, including any of my own. But I do have a soft spot for Captain Jack Sparrow. 

 One item you would consign to Room 101.
Garlic. Can’t bear the smell of the stuff.

One line that sums up your WIP this week.                                                         Coming along nicely, now that I know how it ends!
One sentence that sums up your thoughts about social media.
Not necessarily evil, but still a necessary evil. 

   Kindle, tablet or paperback. Which one do you go to bed with and why?
Sometimes Kindle, sometimes paperback. I have been known to dozily tap the paperback  to make the page turn. It doesn’t work, you know.

 One thing lurking on your writing desk that shouldn’t be there?
A copy of the Royal Horticultural Society Plant Finder. It means I’m enjoying myself  sorting out my plant photos when I ought to be writing.
  Where do you see yourself as a writer in five years’ time.                                         I would love to think I’ll have another four or five books published by then. Each one  teaches me so much, and I still have plenty more stories to tell.

 I can’t agree with you on the garlic Kathy, but delighted to hear there will be more of your stories on the way.  Now give us a  taste of your latest books.

  The Larus Trilogy is published by Crooked Cat Publishing.12714073_774244446012704_1236337396_n

Isle of Larus is an adventure tale in a fantastical setting, featuring a fleet of impossible ships, strange prophecies and a pub landlady with an alarming secret. Warm, humorous and unforgettable, the Isle of Larus and its people will steal your heart. One of the most original books you’ll ever read. Available in paperback and e-book formats http://tinyurl.com/olfyskv

 

 

There are further adventures and frights for the people of Larus in the second book in the 12674378_774244496012699_1767352556_nseries, Sea of Clouds. A singer of odd ballads, unusually polite pirates, a message in a bottle and a bald parrot all feature. And can you solve the riddle of the knotted cord? Bet you can’t! Available in e-book formats http://amzn.to/1wYCPH0

The third book in the trilogy, All the Wild Weather, will be published by Crooked Cat later this year.

Kathy Sharp lives in Weymouth, Dorset, and takes her writing inspiration from the beautiful Jurassic Coast. She publishes a new story every Monday morning on her blog https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2728164.Kathy_Sharp/blog

The Alternative CV – Quick fire questions for authors

This week I am delighted to welcome UK author Angela Wren to  The Alternative CV.

 Great to meet you Angela and thank you for agreeing to answer a few questions for us.

Let’s start with –

AEWBlackWhite Angela Wren

One quality you have which other people who know you might question.

To a lot of people I appear very well organised and focussed with everything in its place and a place for everything. Those people may be surprised to learn that my desk in my ‘Writing Shed’ is a disaster. I know exactly what is on there, of course, it’s just that I can’t be bothered to file it or bin it. Well, you never know when that bit of paper with that random scrap of a note on it might be useful. Oh and the post-it notes. The pad on my desk is covered in post-it notes for exactly the same reason.

A fictional character you fantasise over/ fell in love with. (One of your own preferably.)

I’m far too much of a realist to do any fantasising, so I don’t have anyone who fits the bill at all. However, I am writing the follow up to Messandrierre at the moment and my hero, Jacques Forêt, is currently my constant imaginary companion. And he’s quite a guy too, tall, dark-haired, French, honest, steely and determined, kind and generous. He’s also been described by one reviewer as ‘quietly sexy’. Actually, I think I’ve just found my first fantasy! Would be good if it were that simple to create such gorgeous guys for real!

One item you would consign to Room 101.

Spiders – all sizes, shapes, designs and colours. I don’t care what they do or if they’re pretty or not – mostly not, in my view – I absolutely cannot stand them and I blame my brothers for this irrationality.

One line that sums up your WIP this week.

One line? Can do that in one word. RATS! (Random Adjectives Temporarily Suspended)

One sentence that sums up your thoughts about social media.

Ditto, but scratch the bit in brackets!

Kindle, tablet or paperback. Which one do you go to bed with and why?

None of those. I do own a tablet and I do have a Kindle app on there but reading for pleasure from a screen really isn’t something I want to do by choice. It just spells business change and project management work to me. Paperbacks – yes I can handle those and frequently do, but I consider them to be frivolous and temporary reading companions. It’s First Editions that I really get excited about. A beautifully bound book with dust jacket and some amazingly good words inside. Add to that the thrill of the chase to find said book, the DJHangoverSq Angela Wrenrealisation upon discovery and viewing from afar that the book really is the one of your dreams. Then the frisson of anticipation as you espy the spine of your sort after book   across a crowded bookshop. You rush across to introduce yourself and then feel the nervousness as you worry about whether the content will engage your mind and whether the dust jacket is a little too worn or the pages a little too foxed. Then the heart-melting realisation that the book really is for you and you make the purchase. Next, it’s the final journey home and a resting place on the bookshelf, where said tome will live in perfect harmony with you and provide everlasting entertainment. It’s a marriage made in heaven as far as I’m concerned. A book of such calibre is welcome on my bedside table any night of the week!

One thing lurking on your writing desk that shouldn’t be there?

Apart from the post-it notes you mean? The Wolseley car decal from the 1920’s. I’ve been researching my family history and one of my ancestors was a Chauffeur Mechanic and he drove a Wolseley A4. I tried to trace the car but couldn’t find it. So my brother bought me the decal from some car boot sale and gave it to me as a consolation prize.

Where do you see yourself as a writer in five years’ time?
Hopefully with the whole series of my Jacques Forêt novels on the shelves in bookshops. My anthology of alternative Fairy Tales selling well with probably a follow up in the pipeline. Maybe working on my series of romantic crime novellas featuring Nicolas Cheverny. Negotiating the film rights for Messandrierre? Proud owner of a red Morgan V8 maybe? Who knows!

Tell us a little more about yourself  Angela.

Having followed a career in Project and Business Change Management, I now work as an Actor and Director at a local theatre. I’ve been writing, in a serious way, for about 5 years. My work in project management has always involved drafting, so writing, in its various forms, has been a significant feature throughout my adult life.

I particularly enjoy the challenge of plotting and planning different genres of work. My short stories vary between contemporary romance, memoir, mystery and historical. I also write comic flash-fiction and have drafted two one-act plays that have been recorded for local radio. The majority of my stories are set in France where I like to spend as much time as possible each year.

And finally give us a taster of   Messandrierre  which, I notice, has received  great reviews. 

CoverArt A Wren

Sacrificing his job in investigation following an incident in Paris, Jacques Forêt has only a matter of weeks to solve a series of mysterious disappearances as a Gendarme in the rural French village of Messandrierre.

But, as the number of missing persons rises, his difficult and hectoring boss puts obstacles in his way. Steely and determined, Jacques won’t give up and, when a new Investigating Magistrate is appointed, he becomes the go-to local policeman for all the work on the case.

Will he find the perpetrators before his lover, Beth, becomes a victim?

Messandrierre – the first in a new crime series featuring investigator, Jacques Forêt.

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Website : http://www.angelawren.co.uk
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