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Sunday, June 10, 2018

REVIEW of DATE NIGHT DINNERS

Sloane Taylor has created another cookbook for the real cooks out there. It's not for the chefs or the followers of the more esoteric recipes that use expensive and difficult to source ingredients.

DATE NIGHT DINNERS is a cookbook that any sweetie or cuddlepuss can follow to produce a tasty, simple meal for two. The concept is for full dinners including meat and vegetables i.e. not just a one-off recipe, and Sloane also makes suggestions for appropriate wines and uses for the leftovers i.e. this book is practical.

It is simple and uncomplicated and is very much a man's book in that most of the recipes are meaty and satisfying. The best part is that Sloane gives buying hints and explanations about ingredients throughout and at the end of the book there are conversion tables for both measurements and temperatures for those of us using a metric system.

I recommend this book for those seeking a solution to the never-ending question: what can I cook that is easy to make but looks super-effective? There is something here for everyone. Enjoy!

Friday, February 2, 2018

SWEET VALENTINE BOOK

We got together for Valentine's Day and devised a bunch of sweet treats for your sweeties:


Sweet things from all over the world:

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Meeting Jayne Ann Krentz

JAYNE ANN KRENTZ alias JAYNE CASTLE alias
AMANDA QUICK

I was fortunate recently to have an upfront and personal encounter with this lovely lady. She was on a Holland America cruise that took in the east coast of Australia as well as New Zealand, and I’m sure many an avid reader or writer of the romantic suspense genre will also mention the fact that they, too, attended a book signing with their favourite author.

I’ve many times mentioned that Jayne, in all her guises, is far and away my favourite author. She has a unique ability to stay true to her core story as the setting changes from the past, (Crystal Gardens) to the present, (Copper Beach) to the future (Dark Light). Her heroes are staunch but misunderstood until they link up with heroines who understand them because they, too, have qualities that which are not generally appreciated. And another unique talent that Jayne has is to link family traits down through the generations e.g. the Coppersmiths.

I've attached one of Jayne's book covers, something else Jayne chooses well. I'm not a fan of hot clinches on the covers of books, and I feel that Jayne's covers are classy and depict the romantic suspense genre accurately and with a little mystique. 

However, the most important comment (in my view) that Jayne made during her talk was that she always tries to remain true to her core story and core characterisations. And in a flash it hit me why I was having so much trouble finishing a story I’ve been writing aimed at the Lobster Cove section for the Wild Rose Press. Because I’m heavily into suspense and mystery I’ve allowed myself to get side-tracked into that side of the book and can’t wind it up satisfactorily. I’ve meandered away from my core story.

Thank you, Jayne, although you’ll never know that you helped me in this respect.






Sunday, November 12, 2017

FREE COOKBOOK!!!

Yup, that's right. A bunch of authors got together to set up a cookbook for their readers. Some international recipes here - we come from all over. Best of all - it's free!




Let us know what you think!

Interview with Regency writer Regan - Events during that era

Here's a link to where I discussed events during the Regency era and the heroine of DANGEROUS HOMECOMING tells it like it is:



Thursday, September 21, 2017

WRITING LYRICS AND DEVELOPING CREATIVITY

WRITING LYRICS
♪♯

Recently I embarked on a new journey with a like-minded partner. David writes the music; I write the lyrics. Now David is different from most composers. He likes to have a bunch of words in front of him before commencing to write music. So, my lyrics come first.
And let me tell you, as a poet from way back, writing lyrics is very different from writing poetry. You need to have an appreciation of music so that some sort of song sings through your head as you write the words. Will the words sound out of place when set to music? Is the rhythm of the words conducive to the synapse transmission to music rather than just sound? 
♯♫
We write all sorts of songs, some with a view to providing them to our local singing group. As we singers are all over 50 (and that’s a polite euphemism), we are tolerant of not-quite-right rhythms and phrases. But David and I also  produce songs best tackled by a soloist and accompanist such as Dark & Light, our present offering. David has roamed all over the keyboard with this one so I’ve suggested a little less minor angst and more…well, light.

And sometimes my words puzzle David and he suggests not that I change them, but that I switch them around for clarity. I’m still learning, you see, that poetry and novel writing is not at all the same as soaring lyrics that can’t wait to be sung.

And then there’s words like Constantinople that need a stress on the first two syllables and demisemiquavers for the …ti-no-ple. But I leave the hard yards to David. After all, he chose to fit his music around my words and boy, is he paying for that little brainstorm. One day he’ll compose a stupendous song that I have to fit the lyrics to in the more normal fashion. Challenges, challenges… Creativity is never-ending.
♪♯

 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

DANGEROUS HOMECOMING

Sloane has done me proud on her blogpost. She has posted an interview with the heroine of DANGEROUS HOMECOMING and also posted an excerpt from the book. Lookee here:

 https://sloanetaylor.blogspot.com/2017/07/sass-and-brass-but-always-lady.html



Sunday, June 18, 2017

Eight Months

Yep. Against all the laws of blogging, it's been eight months since I posted something on my own site. I've been busy blogging on other people's sites, thanks to their generosity. The best thing an author or marketer can do is to find a group of like minded people and work with them in this regard. Authors Moving Forward is my group of choice.

You know why I haven't posted anything? Got nothing to say. Which, when you think of it, is not a fault. There are thousands of people out there blogging about whether they prefer whole milk or skim milk, or whether dogs are better for people in high rises than cats and...You get the drift. And when I'm notified of these blogs I DELETE THEM. Yep. The same way many of you will do when you see this.

And that, friends, is why my blog is silent.


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

A Time of Change - the Regency era

 
 
 
The internet is over-burdened with writers marketing their wares. And I’m adding to the general plethora out there. But hear me out.
 
I’ve been writing Regencies for eighteen years now and getting them published. Now my three main publishers have closed their doors, I have joined the endless queue of self-published authors. So many of us out here jostling for position like mid-field marathoners. The chances are you’ll never hear my plea. But I’m chucking this out there in the anorexic hope that you just might read this. Perhaps you have nothing better to do.
 
I hope you’re one of the many readers who like historicals, and in particular, the Regency era. It was such a short period in Britain’s history, but has given rise to many things such as the development of canals (as trade with its trading partners hotted up with the imprisonment of Napoleon, freeing up trade routes and resulting in large numbers of goods that needed to be transported all over England), the Royal Astronomical Society was founded, the early prototype of the bicycle, the development of the railway system, the Act of Union with Ireland in 1801 etc. All this is from the British point of view. Elsewhere, in the USA, Whitney came up with the principle of manufacturing interchangeable parts as pertaining to firearms. The statue of the Venus de Milo was discovered in Greece (1820) and so it goes on.
 
So in spite of many Regencies persuading you that it was all about Almacks and dukes, the Regency era was actually a time on the cusp of great changes, not just in Britain but all over the world. Minds were opening up, no longer relying on the dogma of ages past.
In 1814 The Times adopted steam printing. By this method it could now print 1,100 sheets every hour, not 200 as before—a fivefold increase in production capability and demand.  This development brought about the rise of the wildly popular fashionable novels.
The Regency is also noted for its achievements in the fine arts and architecture (Nash springs to mind, and remember that striped wallpaper known as ‘Regency’?) This era encompassed a time of great social, political, and economic change that shaped and altered the societal structure of Britain as a whole. Remember that in London alone, the population increased from just under a million in 1801 to one and a quarter million by 1820.
One of the reasons that the arts flourished during this era was because of the patronage of ‘Prinny’, the fat and at times ridiculous Prince of Wales. We might laugh at him, but it’s thanks to him that the development of British architecture flourished, even if his schemes often left the common people paying for his over-the-top designs.
 
The Regency era opened up the market for many authors including Sir Walter Scott, Maria Edgeworth, Mary Shelley (who incorporated the general mistrust of science during the earlier part of the Regency era), John Keats and William Blake. Then there were the playwrights and artists…the list goes on and on to confirm how minds began open to new possibilities during that time.
Oh yes, there was a lot more to the Regency period than those autocratic dukes and the patronesses at Almacks!
My latest Regency historical is a re-release called Mr. Monfort’s Marriage wherein a chivalrous businessman who is not overly fond of the aristocracy finds himself married to an earl’s daughter. She teaches him about noblesse oblige, courage and joie de vivre, and he teaches her…all sorts of things!
 
Mr. Monfort’s Marriage:
My Amazon bookpage is here:

Friday, June 24, 2016

NZ ROMANCE WRITERS' CONFERENCE

Not just for romance writers - no. So don't ignore this post, you who read and write fantasy and mystery etc. It has always been one of the most useful conferences on the planet when it comes to both writers and readers. For readers it's like being in a magic world of books, books, books, both e-books and paper ones.
 
And the speakers! NZ grabs knowledgeable people from all over the world for their conferences. For a small country it knows what's important.
 
 
Just letting you know about it!