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Ten Awkward Questions with Sarah Belle [Plus Giveaway!]

In this segment, authors will be subjected to a list of awkward questions that may reveal more about themselves than they really wish to share, and they will receive a score on the ‘Braveometer’. If they choose to answer only five questions, they are a ‘Brave Author’, if they answer 6 to 9 questions they are a ‘Mega-Brave Author’, and if they answer all 10 questions they are an ‘Ultra-Brave Author’! 

Sarah BellePlease welcome my fellow Escape Artist author, who also writes romantic comedy with a dash of magic, Sarah Belle!

 

1. If only one of your books could have been / could be published, which one would you choose? (C’mon, I don’t want to hear ‘Oh, I love them all, there’s no way I could choose.’ Time to be ruthless, these are the Ten Awkward Questions after all!)

HINDSIGHT  is my first, so I’ll go with that!

 

2. Okay, now which one of your children/family members would you… nah, just kidding! Which of the following words most accurately describes your best personality trait (you must pick only one!):

Punctual. Good listener. Neat.  Graceful. Generous. Cheerful.

Hmmmm…judging my bruises and scars, it’s not graceful! I’d like to say generous – I like to help out.

 

3. Which of the following words most accurately describes your worst most challenging personality trait (even if you’re perfect, you must pick one):

Always late. Blabbermouth. Slob. Complete klutz. Scrooge. Grumpy pants.

Oooh, these are hard, but refer to Q2 and I’ll have to go with a complete klutz. I can trip over thin air (or thick air).

 

4. Have you ever had a romantic crush on one of your characters? Who and why?

Not yet. In the next book there are some pretty gorgeous, sexy men, so I’ll save my crush for them!

 

5. When writing an important scene, do you act it out to allow you to better describe what’s happening?

It plays in my head like a movie, complete with varying camera shots and angles.  My writing process is very cinematic.

 

6. Do you talk to yourself when writing or coming up with plot ideas?

Yes, and there are many arguments! I also write them down on a whiteboard, complete with arrows all over the place, pointing to alternate outcomes. My brain works better when it’s less cluttered.

 

7. Who would be ideal to play YOU in a movie of your life?

Oh my god! These are really hard, Juliet! Ooooh…ummmm…I’d go with Asher Keddie. She does confused and foot in mouth really well.

 

8. If you could be any book character for one day, who would you be and why?

I’d be Lisbeth Salander from the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (and others), because she’s incredibly intelligent, resourceful, kick ass and usually brings down the bad guy by herself as well as outsmarting every other character in the book. Oh, and she gets to shag Daniel Craig too.

 

9. You’re about to be left on a deserted island for a year, and while your basic food and water needs will be met, you can only bring one extra thing from the following. Which would you choose?

a) A pen and notepad that never runs out

b) An unlimited supply of books

c) An unlimited supply of chocolate, coffee, or alcohol (your choice)

d) A gorgeous man/woman depending on your preference

Wow, that’s really hard!  I could go without c) and d), ( I can hear my husband crying in the background!),  but a year without reading or writing? I think I would choose an unlimited supply of books because I can always write in my head, but I can’t go without reading other people’s words.

 

10. If you had the attention of the whole world for two minutes what would you say?

I’d tell the corporate fat cats and many governments not to be so greedy. It is greed and a desire to make money that has resulted in devastation of formerly pristine environments, the extinction of many beautiful animal species, the ruination of native cultures and the starvation of millions of people. Greedy people either exploit the natural resources and people of certain countries, because they are of monetary value (gold, oil, diamonds), or turn their backs on them because they lack monetary value (East Africa, Senegal). It’s just not right.

 

Thanks for taking part, Sarah, you have been awarded Ultra-Brave Author status on the Braveometer!

Ultra-BraveAuthor

Visit Sarah online at her website, blog, facebook, and twitter.

>>WIN an ebook copy of her debut novel, HINDSIGHT, by commenting below and answering the following question: If you could go back in time and change one thing, what would it be? (Open Worldwide, winner announced Wed 17th July)

Or, don’t want to wait? Buy it now here! 

9780857990587_Hindsight

HINDSIGHT blurb: 

Humour, wit, and just a touch of humility: the swinging 60s as you’ve never seen them before.

The universe has sent Juliette a sign. She wishes it had been an email instead…

Juliette’s career is on fire, her marriage and family are in melt-down, and a red-hot goddess wants her husband. But those are the least of her worries when she wakes up on her lounge room floor in the year 1961.

Without any of her modern conveniences — nanny, housekeeper, surgically attached mobile phone, designer wardrobe, and intravenous lattes — Juliette is just over fifty years out of her comfort zone. But as she takes on the role of a 1961 housewife, with gritted liberated teeth, she discovers an unexpected truth: slower doesn’t mean boring, at home doesn’t mean dull, and priorities don’t mean sacrifices.

As she finds unexpected friendships, a resuscitated love life, tragedy and triumph, Juliette begins to wonder if she really wants to return home after all.

Past, Present, & Future with Lisa Heidke

In celebration of the release of my debut novel, Fast Forward, I’m doing a series of interviews with authors about their past, present & future. Today, please welcome…Lisa Heidke!

 

0_Heidke%20Lisa%20smallPAST:

1. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A veterinarian – before I realised I would have to deal with blood and operate on sick animals!

2. What did you do before you became a writer?

I was an Acquisitions Editor for a publisher, then moved to ACP where I wrote for several magazines including Bride To Be and Practical Parenting.

3. What is one of your most treasured memories from the past?

The toga parties at university were quite memorable…But as a kid, probably growing up with a menagerie of animals. We had dogs, cats, goats, rabbits, guinea pigs, fish and birds. I loved them all. (Maybe not the fish. They were difficult to get to know.)

stellaPRESENT:

4. What’s your latest release about and/or what are you currently working on?

I am currently writing a manuscript with the working title of Lily’s Little Flower Shoppe about a corporate woman whose career and love life have fallen flat so she embarks on a tree change. It’s not turning out like she (or I) expected.

5. What’s a typical day like for you? (If there is such a thing!)

I drag the kids out of bed, kicking and screaming, then shoo them off to school. I then faff around answering emails, checking out Facebook status updates and spying on who’s tweeting what in Twitter world. Then, and only then do I finally settle down to write. At the moment, my anxiety peaks around 5pm when my oldest son wanders through the door and suggests we ‘go for a drive’. He has his Leaner’s permit. Life on the road is a little scary. #Youhavebeenwarned

Claudia 26. Name three things you are grateful for in your life right now:

* Healthy children, loving family and friends.

* Maximum airbags in my car…should anything untoward happen when driving with son.

* At the moment, we are doing a huge pool/outdoor renovation and I am grateful I will only be living with mud, filth and excruciating noise for another six months.

 

FUTURE:

what kate did next7. If you could fast forward in time to any age or year for just one day, what would you choose & why?

January 2014…so I could see if the new pool the kids promised they would swim in – and clean – becomes a reality.

8. If you could have any new technology or invention in the future that would make your life a whole lot easier (or more fun), what would it be?

A sure fire cure for hangovers that doesn’t involve eating my body weight in sugary calories.

9. What are your hopes & dreams for the future?

Personally: Well–adjusted and healthy kids. That’s not ever going to change.

Professionally: To write the best stories I can and continue to get published. I won’t fall apart if I never get published again, but I am passionate about writing and reading. I won’t stop. #determined

 

Thanks for visiting the blog, Lisa!

You can visit Lisa at her website, blog, facebook, and twitter. And check out her funny, relatable women’s fiction/chick lit books at Amazon – they’re great! 🙂

When wishes come true…

In January 2011 I moved into a new house, in a new town, to start a new life. Somehow, I started a new book too! This book was The January Wish, set in my new town but with a fictional name. And exactly two years later (January 17th, 2013) I got an email with an offer of publication! Yes, I am excited to finally announce that I’ve signed my second publishing contract with Escape Publishing, the digital imprint of Harlequin Australia.

So now, two wishes have come true… my wish to have this story published, and my character Sylvia’s wish to… well, read the blurb to give you an idea 😉

1204463_sxc_loveWhen control-freak doctor, Sylvia Greene, makes an impromptu wish at the Tarrin’s Bay Wishing Festival, she doesn’t expect it to come true, but a week later her ordered life is thrown into chaos when the daughter she secretly gave up for adoption at sixteen turns up in town. While dealing with deeply entrenched guilt, small town gossip, and a burgeoning attraction for her emotionally unavailable colleague, she discovers her daughter harbors a secret that could threaten to tear them apart once again.

The genre of this story sits on the border between contemporary romance and women’s fiction, although it will probably be put into the contemporary romance slot because although the story has themes of motherhood, career, and friendships, tying the whole story together is an emotional romance that I hope will have readers aching for the hero and heroine to be together.

The January Wish is the first book in my proposed ‘Tarrin’s Bay’ series, with each book being a stand-alone story but set in the same town with some familiar characters appearing in each book. Each book is also named after one of the calendar months, and I’ll be working on the second book, February or Forever, later this year which I’m really excited about as I’ve been plotting it for months! I’m also creating a ‘Tarrin’s Bay’ website to help bring the town to life for readers. Tarrin’s Bay is called ‘The Town of New Beginnings’ – it’s where people go for a holiday to find they never want to leave. There are beautiful beaches set against a backdrop of lush green rural land, a close-knit community, friendly people, quaint shops – including an old fashioned bookshop, and an historic wishing fountain in the town’s popular meeting spot – Miracle Park.

What makes this book unique is that it has three points of view – the hero, the heroine, and an eighteen year old girl, with each of their lives and stories being linked to each other’s. There’ll be laughter, there’ll be tears, and there’ll be secrets revealed.

Last year, The January Wish was one of the six finalists in the Choc Lit Search for an Australian Star contest, and I was completely gobsmacked when I found out! Although I didn’t win, it gave me confidence that readers might enjoy this story, and I can’t wait to share it with you on 1st December 2013. It was going to be released in January to tie in with the title, but by releasing in December instead it allows time to build up some excitement around the upcoming new year, which is what starts off the story – at the Tarrin’s Bay annual Wishing Festival in January.

Here’s a little snippet:

The coin in Sylvia’s pocket cooled her warm fingers as she fiddled with it impatiently. At least this was all for charity. That would be her excuse if anyone asked why she – Dr. Sylvia Greene – sceptic and all round party-pooper, was making a wish. She had a great life; an interesting career, a best friend, good health, a nice house, and even a new boyfriend. What else could she possibly wish for? What was she doing here?

To see some pictures I’ve collected that give you a feel for the story, have a look at my Pinterest page for The January Wish here.

To keep updated on this book and the Tarrin’s Bay series, you can subscribe to my blog by filling in your email address at the top right corner of this page (if you’re on a smartphone, click ‘view full site’ at the bottom, then go to the subscribe form). I look forward to bringing you interesting articles and posts about this upcoming book and series in the lead up to it’s release!

Have you ever made a wish that came true? 😉

 

SISTERS AT HEART – my short story

Every now and again I get the urge to write a short story. Especially if there’s a competition (Aries competitive nature). Earlier this year Country Style magazine held a short story competition with the theme ‘Cooking from the heart.’ The $5000 prize was a big motivator to enter, but even though I didn’t win I enjoyed writing my story and am proud of the result.

When I heard what the theme was, it was the perfect theme to match to a story idea I’d had for a while, so with enthusiasm I sat down and wrote the story all in one go till the early hours of the morning.

2000 words doesn’t seem like a lot, but with short stories you have to plan the plot and create characters just like in a novel, in fact, sometimes short stories are more challenging because of the restriction in length. You have to focus on a moment in time with only a couple or a few characters and have a satisfying emotional ending to the story. Sometimes the ending is not an ending but the start of something new, but the event that takes place in the story is the driver for that new beginning.

My ‘cooking from the heart’-themed short story, SISTERS AT HEART, is now published on Smashwords. It’s set in the fictional town of Tarrin’s Bay where I am setting a series of novels, the first being THE JANUARY WISH which is completed and the second being FEBRUARY OR FOREVER which is a work in progress. SISTERS AT HEART is women’s fiction with a twist; there’s a little surprise at the end that some people may guess and others may not.

Here’s the blurb…

Grieving the loss of her sister and breakdown of her marriage, Carrie moves to the small seaside town of Tarrin’s Bay for a fresh start with her young son. When she volunteers for the school cake stall, a remarkable coincidence has her realising the incredible power of the human heart.

You can read the first page here, and if you like the sound of it and want to see what the twist is, the full story is only 99 cents 😉

I’d love to hear what you think about it! I might write more ‘Tarrin’s Bay’ short stories.

Do you have any short stories published? If so, let me know in the comments 🙂

THE LUCKY SEVEN!

My friend Efthalia has bestowed a tag on me in her fun post, “The Lucky Seven.”

The challenge: Post seven lines from an unpublished work of fiction.

My current WIP Fast Forward is a humorous women’s fiction story, centred around aspiring supermodel Kelli Crawford who wakes on her twenty-fifth birthday to find she’s a fifty year old housewife married to the high school nerd. In this scene she is meeting her husband for the first time, having just discovered her unfortunate reflection in the mirror.

The Golden Rules:

  • Go to page 7 or 77 in your current manuscript
  • Go to line 7
  • Post on your blog or Facebook page the next 7 lines, or sentences, as they are – no cheating
  • Tag 7 other authors to do the same

Extract: FAST FORWARD, Page 7, line 7:

“Okay, okay. I just wanted to make sure you were alright. And wish my wife a happy birthday of course.” He leaned in for a kiss but I pushed him off, horror overtaking me.

Wife? I’m not his wife, and he’s certainly not my husband! Grant is supposed to be my husband. Well, after tonight’s inevitable proposal that is. Oh God, tonight! My birthday party. I can’t go looking like this!

A high-pitched jingling sound interrupted my thoughts and the man made a strange movement; pinching his watch with his thumb and forefinger and appearing to pull some invisible strand to his ear.

 

© Juliet Madison 2012.

 

And the seven lucky nominees are –

Alli Sinclair

Diane Curran

Susan Child

Jenn J Mcleod

Imelda Evans

Kez Ptolemy

Nicola Marsh

I look forward to reading your seven lines if you choose to participate!

Don’t forget to post it in my comments then on your own blog with your seven lucky choices. 🙂

Rachael Johns Answers Juliet’s Ten Awkward Author Questions!

In this segment, authors will be subjected to a list of awkward questions that may reveal more about themselves than they really wish to share, and they will receive a score on the ‘Braveometer’. If they choose to answer only five questions, they are a ‘Brave Author’, if they answer 6 to 9 questions they are a ‘Mega-Brave Author’, and if they answer all 10 questions they are an ‘Ultra-Brave Author’!

Today I’d like to welcome Rachael Johns, who has a new book out called JILTED! She is also giving away a copy of this book to one lucky commentor (Australia/NZ only).

1. If only one of your books could have been / could be published, which one would you choose? (C’mon, I don’t want to hear ‘Oh, I love them all, there’s no way I could choose.’ Time to be ruthless, these are the Ten Awkward Questions after all!)

JILTED without a doubt. I love ONE PERFECT NIGHT but JILTED is a bigger book and was my fairy dust book in many ways. I can honestly say it almost wrote itself. Wish another one would do that.

2. Okay, now which one of your children/family members would you… nah, just kidding! Which of the following words most accurately describes your best personality trait (you must pick only one!):

Punctual. Good listener. Neat.  Graceful. Generous. Cheerful.

Cheerful! Definitely. I’ve even been told I smile TOO much 🙂

3. Which of the following words most accurately describes your worst most challenging personality trait (even if you’re perfect, you must pick one):

Always late. Blabbermouth. Slob. Complete klutz. Scrooge. Grumpy pants.

Oh dear… I think I’m gonna have to go with SLOB! Not because I want to be this way but between kids, writing and the shop, my house and housework severely suffer.

4. Have you ever had a romantic crush on one of your characters? Who and why?

I LOVE a tortured hero and I think all my heroes have a little bit of torture in them. So, I have to be really naff and say I love them all. I’m jealous of the heroines and hopefully that comes across on the page!

5. When writing an important scene, do you act it out to allow you to better describe what’s happening?

Nope – which is bizarre, cos I’m an English teacher with a minor in DRAMA. I am very guilty of talking to myself though and have been known to talk through scenes or at least the dialogue.

6. Do you talk to yourself when writing or coming up with plot ideas?

Whoops – I think I just answered that above. YES!!!

7. Who would be ideal to play YOU in a movie of your life?

Renee Zellweger but possibly only her character from Bridget Jones 🙂

8. If you could be any book character for one day, who would you be and why?

I’d be Hermione from Harry Potter because a) I’d really impress my sons and b) I could do magic spells!

9. You’re about to be left on a deserted island for a year, and while your basic food and water needs will be met, you can only bring one extra thing from the following. Which would you choose?

a) A pen and notepad that never runs out

b) An unlimited supply of books

c) An unlimited supply of chocolate, coffee, or alcohol (your choice)

d) A gorgeous man/woman depending on your preference

An unlimited supply of Diet Coke (runs for cover from Juliet)!

10. If you had the attention of the whole world for two minutes what would you say?

Live life like there’s no tomorrow and also like you’ve still got forever. Take the time to listen and always smile 🙂

Thanks for participating, Rachael. You have been awarded ‘Ultra Brave Author’ status on the Braveometer!

You can visit Rachael online at her website, blog, facebook, and twitter.

>>To WIN a copy of JILTED, leave a comment below (Australia/NZ only)!

*Winner will be drawn Tues 12th June and has one week to respond to the email notification or another winner will be chosen. Good luck!

Mouthwatering Moment by… Cindy Roesel

Today’s Mouthwatering Moment excerpt is by Cindy Roesel, an Emmy award-winning anchor, reporter, producer, and author of VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED.

“I’ll have the Pasta Telefono with extra mozzarella, along with a glass of the house white, please,” Charley smiled at the cute waiter. His nametag read Alfonso. Not tall, but handsome, with a sexy Italian accent. She thought she recognized the scent of Armani’s Gio for men as he walked by, but couldn’t be sure. All the waiters working at Carpaccio were gorgeous, appeared to have just walked off the pages of GQ, and spoke with yummy accents.

“Sauvignon Blanc or the Chardonnay?” he asked, leaning toward her. His skin was beautiful, not a wrinkle or blemish anywhere, just like most employees and patrons at Carpaccio.

“Is the Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand?” she asked.

He picked up and filled her water glass. “Yes, it is Cloudy Bay.”

“That’d be lovely.”

Charley and Rori were seated in a sea of beautiful, well-chiseled, surgically-enhanced South Americans and Europeans with a few loud, English-speaking New Yorkers scattered about. The restaurant was half indoors but sitting outside was preferable if you wanted to see and be seen. Watching people was the whole point of dining at Carpaccio. While the food was consistently good, the nearby luxury stores attracted an extremely wealthy international clientele. Everyone seemed to be dressed in designer fashions fresh off the runways of Paris, Milan, and New York, and there was a bountiful display of the latest in plastic surgery.

Charley had learned early on that the Shoppes in Bal Harbour were never to be referred to as a mall. She’d been getting her hair cut when she said she was going shopping at the mall in Bal Harbour. Her stylist had ever-so discreetly said, “They’re called the Shops, unless of course, you want to be seen as a tourist.” Being mistaken for a tourist was a fate worse than being seated inside and unseen.

~*~

Cindy’s favorite meal: Stone crabs. A seasonal May 15-Oct 15 South Florida delicasy

Cindy’s favorite drink: Diet peach snapple

Cindy’s favorite treat: M&Ms, plain …. for a SUPER YUMMY, Dairy Queen chocolate ice cream cake OMG!

 

Thanks for sharing your excerpt, Cindy!

To find out more about Cindy, visit her website here.

And remember, all comments will go into the draw for prizes at the end of the month, just make sure you also subscribe to the blog posts 😉

Mouthwatering Moment by… Juanita Kees

Today’s Mouthwatering Moment excerpt is from Juanita Kees’ soon to be released book, FLY AWAY PETA.

FLY AWAY PETA:

The time has come to face her worst fear and the clock is ticking…

Peta Johnson will go to extreme lengths to protect her daughter Bella. When Bella is kidnapped, the search for her takes Peta back to the small country town of Williams, a place she’d vowed never to return to. The town where her dreams were shattered and her nightmare began. Back to the place she’d been destined to meet two very powerful, yet very different men. One would break her heart, the other would destroy her soul. Both would change her life forever.

Back story: Bella is missing, and Peta and Jaime have spent an uncomfortable night together, under guard, in a hotel room as they wait for demands from the kidnapper….

In the outer room of the suite, Jaime stretched his cramped muscles. A knock at the front door made him start and almost spill his coffee.

“It’s me!” He heard Mark call out and crossed over to open it.

“Special delivery! Your shaving gear,” Mark said, patting the stubble on Jaime’s jaw, “And boy do you need it!  Some clean clothes and breakfast.” Triumphantly, Mark held up first the gym bag and then the brown paper bag.

Jaime shook his head. “Why the hell are you so chirpy so early in the morning?” he asked, rubbing his head. It had developed a dull thud. Probably from too much excitement the night before. He wasn’t used to being shot at, or being confronted by a past he’d been working hard to bury. Either way he was going to bleed, he thought grimly.

Mark laughed as he popped muffins into the microwave. “Go and shower. You’ll feel better.”

Jaime picked up his kit and headed in the direction of the shower. Whistling, he soaped himself and washed his hair. He allowed the warm water to rinse his body, enjoying the invigorating spray as it battered away the numbness of sleep.  Turning the water off, he reached around the curtain for a towel and realized there wasn’t one.

“Damn!” he said and then yelled, “Oi Mark, bring me a towel, mate!”

He heard the door open a few seconds later and swept the curtain aside. Peta stood there, the towel slipping from her hands as she stared at Jaime, her mouth rounded in an ‘Oh!’

Quickly she looked away. “Why are you still here?” she asked abruptly. Picking up the towel with nerveless fingers she muttered, “Mark and Jones went out to get some more milk. Here’s your towel.” She thrust the towel at him. God, she remembered that body well. From the glimpse she’d gotten, he was more muscular than before, bigger even than she remembered.

Quickly, he wrapped it round his waist. “Thanks.”

~*~

Juanita’s favourite meal: A nice, juicy Prime Rib, medium rare, topped with prawns and garlic and served with creamy mashed potato and herbs

Juanita’s favourite Drink: Nespresso Coffee – preferably served by George Clooney

Juanita’s favourite Treat: Bailey’s (hold the ice), sprinkled with chocolate mint flakes

Thanks for sharing your excerpt, Juanita!

To find out more about Juanita and her book, check out her website here. You can also find her on twitter and facebook.

Remember, comment below to be in the draw for prizes at the end of the month, just make sure you also subscribe to the blog posts 😉

Sunday Lunch with Jenn J McLeod…

 Please give a warm welcome to author Jenn J McLeod as she joins me for Sunday Lunch…

1. Can you tell us about a happy memory from your life that revolved around food?

At 22, travelling around Australia in a Ford F100, my girlfriend and I were ‘rescued’ by four Sth Aust. farmers (on their annual pilgrimage). We dropped our exhaust on the (then corrugated dirt) Stuart highway, miles from anywhere. We met up with them again at Coober Pedy pub and they suggested we camp out of town. We did! (Had not heard of Wolf Creek then obviously.) What an experience. In the middle of nowhere – 100 clicks from Coober Pedy – they cooked us kangaroo tail soup, kangaroo steak, damper and baked vegies – all from a campfire (see picture below!). My love of a life in the country was born.

2. Do you have any food-related rituals or routines in your household, such as a specific meal for certain days of the week?

Very regimented at breakkie time  – need it to wake up. After that, who knows! As long as I get my two soy lattes every day I’m a happy girl.

3. What is your favourite

Drink: alcohol – full stop. Only don’t stop. Pls don’t stop. Barman! Another one pls…and one for my friends. (I shout cyber drinks these days since deciding too much of the real thing is bad for my health and my waistline. Although I will be lashing out come Conference. Try and stop me!)

Indulgence: brie cheese & crackers with homemade persimmon paste, pretzels and red wine under a setting summer sun.

Meal: Home made pasta or pizza with home grown spices and herbs.

4. What’s the most revolting thing you’ve ever eaten?

Oysters or smoked cod in white sauce. Brrrrrrrrr!!!!!

5. If you have children, have you discovered any ingenious ways to hide vegetables in meals?

I hide the dogs’ tick prevention pills in yoghurt (a dollop in each bowl of biccies). Does that count?

6. Is eating out at cafes and restaurants a regular part of your life? Do you have any favourite places you’d like to mention?

Eating out was my all-time fav thing to do…until I bought a café. If you want to stop eating out (save money and lose weight) buy a food business and see what some chefs do in the kitchen, learn what the 10 second rule is, or discover how cheap and easy that $30 masterpiece is to make! I promise you will never eat out again.

7. Do you eat while you write? Are there any particular foods or drinks you always have on hand while writing?

Who can eat and write at the same time? I need every finger to hunt and peck my way around the keyboard. Besides, I can’t afford slippery food fingers if I want to keep the letters from fading away.

8. If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would you choose?

Kylie Minogue or Tina Arena. Two different and very successful women who found success their own way. I admire their tenacity and the ability to reinvent themselves to broaden their audience and grow with the changing music scene. I’m not sure writers can ever do this. Both these ladies have endured set backs (in different ways) and stayed focused and positive.

9. Which one of the following types of cooks are you?

  • Cooking? What’s that?
  • I cook only when I absolutely have to
  • I’m an average cook, and stick to my regular meals
  • I like to experiment with new recipes regularly, or create my own
  • Next season of MasterChef – lookout!

None of the above. I now use my new status of soon-to-be-published-author, milking it wherever possible (usually at dinner and dishes time), except when I can’t because my B&B – purpose built for pups and people  – visit us on facebook here. (shameless plug) — offers evening meals. Typically:
Char-grilled Atlantic salmon fillet on Moroccan cous cous, with homemade mango chutney, cucumber yoghurt and salad with preserved lemon dressing

Our Mediterranean Table – Spaghetti Bolognaise with hand-made fettuccini, Mediterranean salad, olives, shaved parmesan & crusty sourdough bruschetta

Hungry yet?

10. Do you have a favourite recipe you’d like to share?

The Calingarry Crossing CWA ladies (from my first novel) have THE best / easiest no peeling required pumpkin soup. They posted it on my blog a while back! Here it is.

Thank you, Juliet, for my very first invitation to blog as a ridgy-didge author, having signed up with Simon & Schuster for my two contemporary Australian novels earlier this year.

House For All Seasons (due May next year)
The Simmering Season (due May 2014)

In the meantime, come on over…

Come home to the country…
www.jennjmcleod.com

Jenn J McLeod

Small town stories. Discover them. Love them.

Thanks for visiting, Jenn, and I can’t wait for your books. Consider them pre-ordered!

Leave a comment for Jenn below, and you will go in the draw for prizes at the end of the month (Just make sure you also subscribe to the blog posts ;))

Novels with a Food-Theme: Part 2

Nothing beats a good book, or a great meal, or an irresistable treat…  so it’s even better when these are combined! Here is a selection of some novels with a food-theme. This is part two, so if you missed part one, you can see it here.

Sugar and Spice – Jules Stanbridge

A rich, indulgent treat of a novel – love, life… and chocolate cake

When Maddy loses her high-paying city job, her instant reaction is blind panic.

But after the ‘drowning her sorrows’ hangover has cleared, she realises that this is an opportunity to change her life and do what she loves best: baking cakes. And so she sets up her own cake company, embracing the highs and lows of getting a new business off the ground, while looking for love along the way.

Chocolat – Joanne Harris

In tiny Lansquenet, where nothing much has changed in a hundred years, beautiful newcomer Vianne Rocher and her exquisite chocolate shop arrive and instantly begin to play havoc with Lenten vows. Each box of luscious bonbons comes with a free gift: Vianne’s uncanny perception of its buyer’s private discontents and a clever, caring cure for them. Is she a witch? Soon the parish no longer cares, as it abandons itself to temptation, happiness, and a dramatic face-off between Easter solemnity and the pagan gaiety of a chocolate festival. Chocolat’s every page offers a description of chocolate to melt in the mouths of chocoholics, francophiles, armchair gourmets, cookbook readers, and lovers of passion everywhere. It’s a must for anyone who craves an escapist read, and is a bewitching gift for any holiday.

Chocolat was also made into a movie with Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche.

The Saturday Supper Club – Amy Bratley

Wanted: four amateur cooks to compete in a supper club contest Rules: four strangers, four weeks, four houses, four dinner parties

You might win: a cash prize You might lose: your heart.

Eve had her world torn apart three years ago, when the love of her life Ethan disappeared, and she never found out why. But now, her life is rosy. With a lovely new boyfriend, Joe, and a café opening on the cards, things finally seem to be falling into place. … until she agrees to take part in a supper club competition for a local newspaper. Eve is cooking the first dinner and who should turn up on her doorstep expecting a three-course meal, but her long lost love Ethan?

Eat. Pray. Love. – Elizabeth Gilbert

This beautifully written, heartfelt memoir touched a nerve among both readers and reviewers.

Elizabeth Gilbert tells how she made the difficult choice to leave behind all the trappings of modern American success (marriage, house in the country, career) and find, instead, what she truly wanted from life. Setting out for a year to study three different aspects of her nature amid three different cultures, Gilbert explored the art of pleasure in Italy and the art of devotion in India, and then a balance between the two on the Indonesian island of Bali.

By turns rapturous and rueful, this wise and funny author (whom Booklist calls “Anne Lamott’s hip, yoga- practicing, footloose younger sister”) is poised to garner yet more adoring fans.

This was also made into a movie with Julia Roberts.

Have you read any of the books I’ve featured today? What do you like about books with a food-theme?