Win a $200 Amazon.com Gift Voucher

Builder 15th July Victoria Bb giveaway ODS coverAll you have to do is follow me at Bookbub and Amazon by going to this link

http://magicbookdeals.com/giveaway/book-fair-giveaway/

Scroll to the bottom of the page to the $200 giveaway and to follow me, click ‘Follow all historical and romance authors on Amazon’ and ‘Follow all historical and romance authors on Bookbub’ – Or follow everyone – the more you follow, the more chances you have of winning! Thank you for taking part and good luck.

7 book comp

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A Date With . . . Ceri Bladen

Another great interview. Meet Ceri Bladen.

Frank Parker's author site

My date this time describes herself as “a Welsh girl who now lives in Turkey with her family.” When she is not writing or drawing, she loves to cook with fresh produce from the market, and look after her “thirty-odd street cats and one street dog”.

51o7dbtbawl-_uy250_I was curious about her choice of Turkey, given it’s poor human rights reputation, as a suitable place to bring up a family. Her experience gives the lie to that reputation:

“I enjoyed many years teaching primary-aged children in beautiful Swansea. Although I never dreamed of giving up my chosen career, my life shifted focus when I had a set of twins and another child just seventeen months later. My husband and I had waited seven years to have children so when we were blessed with them, they became our main priority. I decided to take time away from my profession to enjoy…

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WOW! INFINITY by Nico Laeser

Wow! Just wow! What more can I say about this amazing book? I shall try. Infinity begins as a tale about a seven-year-old boy who dies in a road accident but is resuscitated. This begins a life where he sees shadow people and light beings and seems to live half beyond life in a state of mental ‘illness’. An abusive father and a sedated mother drive him from home and he’s taken in by boys a bit older than himself, who introduce him to drugs, but help him stay alive. Throughout the story, I was willing ‘kid’, that’s the only name this kind, generous, loving, mixed-up and misunderstood boy has, to get clean, to benefit from his therapy, make something of his artistic talent, and have the life he deserved. Christine was the vehicle through which he grew as a person and an artist. I don’t pretend to understand quantum physics, or the duality of light, but the searching for meaning ‘kid’ does is fascinating and thought-provoking, as is the symbolism.

The writing is superb, the language evocative and heartbreaking, the situations and experiences resonate deeply, and the characters are real and alive. I’ve loved all Nico Laeser’s novels, but I think this one has just become my favourite. Thank you, Mr Laeser for another stunning read.

Infinity link

Infinity

 

 

Art Exhibition – City Hall, St David’s, Pembrokeshire

2nd August – 17th August 2018 

The biggest art exhibition in Britain’s smallest city. More than twenty artist’s showing work of amazing variety. Hundreds of paintings for sale and all originals – framed and unframed. Prices to suit every pocket.

Here are some of the paintings I’ll have for sale.

 

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Come along and join us. 10am – 6pm daily. Close 4pm on last day.

Memories and remembrance

1914-18 seat tweet.jpgMy husband and I were walking our dog along the Western Cleddau in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, last week and came across this seat. In fact, there were two seats: one commemorating the 1914-1918 war and one commemorating the 1939-1945 war. We took time to sit on each of these seats and spent a while watching the swans and coots swimming around and a big old cormorant drying his wings on top of a marker post. The river is tidal here, so there were muddy flats at the water’s edge, but it being a hot day and the river not running fast, we let our little rescue dog have a paddle to cool off, before walking on to explore the church at Uzmaston.

Ever having an eye to promoting my books, and having written a novel set in each war, we took snaps of the benches. My generation, who have known and loved members of our families who fought in both wars, will never forget them, the sacrifices they made, or the impact they made on our lives. But the generation coming up now didn’t know them, they mean nothing to them, and it’s for them I wrote The Dandelion Clock, a story inspired by my grandparents’ experiences in England and Egypt during the Great War. I hope in this way to keep alive some memory of them, to bring the time in which they lived to a new generation, and to record their lives, their fears, their hopes, and their dreams.

The Dandelion Clock will be published later in 2018 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One on 11th November 1918. Follow me for pre-release news!

 

More than food for thought – Yummy chicken and coleslaw.

Something for you to chew on – literally. Having finished editing my latest novel, I find I have time to eat. I thought you might enjoy one of my favourite meals, oaty-coaty chicken and homemade coleslaw. It’s fairly cheap, easy, relatively quick, and very scrummy. (I should edit out those adverbs, but I’m feeling rebellious)

Coleslaw:

Finely slice and chop some cabbage. I use Sweetheart cabbage or white cabbage. It needs to be crisp, not a soft leaf.

Peal and grate a large carrot.

Finely chop about half an onion – red onions are good but any will do.

Add a good handful or two of sultanas. You can adjust all quantities to taste.

Mix the cabbage, carrots, onion, and sultanas together in a large bowl and add a good dash of lemon juice – I’m using my grandmother’s quantities here – a good dash, a small pinch, a liberal sprinkle – make it up as you go: I had to!

Then add a liberal dollop – that’s one of my measurements – of mayonnaise, a half teaspoon of French Mustard, and a teaspoonful of chopped root ginger. I buy Lazy Ginger in a jar of white vinegar, ready shredded for ease and chop it smaller. Mix it all together and stand the coleslaw aside to marinate. Yum.

That’s the coleslaw taken care of.

Now the chicken.

I use boneless chicken breast fillets, which I split down the middle lengthways and open out flat. They cook through to the middle quicker this way, and you get a larger surface for the coating.

For the ‘oaty-coating’ you need:

Oat bran – I shop at Tesco, but any supermarket should sell it in smallish packets.

Coriander leaf – I used dried – a liberal sprinkle – probably about a teaspoonful.

Tikka powder – another liberal sprinkle – probably a well-heaped teaspoonful. It depends how spicy you like your food.

A small pinch of salt.

Mix these ingredients together on a plate and coat the flattened chicken fillets in it.

Cooking: Fry the coated fillets on a medium heat until golden brown and the chicken juices run clear. Make sure the chicken is cooked through. About twenty minutes is a rough guide depending on the thickness of the fillet. I use Groundnut oil for frying as it’s one of the few cooking oils that isn’t toxic when heated. The coating soaks up quite a bit of oil at first, so you may need to add a little as it cooks, or it will burn, not brown. Turn several times.

If you feel like a real treat, and you have some oaty-coating left over, mix the coating with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, crushed nuts, soy sauce, and a good blob of marmalade – that’s about a dessert spoonful. Lightly fry this sticky mess in with the chicken until browned, about five minutes, turning occasionally. It is absolutely scrummy.

There’s nothing in this meal that’s unhealthy and it has to be most of your five a day on a plate.

The only thing left is to enjoy! I hope you love it as much as I do.

AUTHOR MAGICALLY WEAVES THE HORRORS OF WAR AND THE JOY OF LOVE TO CREATE A HEART-TOUCHING STORY OF LIFE AND DEATH

Such a beautiful presentation of the horrors of the Nazi war criminals’ treatment of the poor souls who ended up in death camps. You can feel the emotions tugging at your heart with each turn of the page. I am a student of the Holocaust as well as an editor, and I believe this is the finest account I have read to date. It paints the true horror juxtaposed with the beautiful love stories of those doomed to live, and sometimes die in a concentration camp. I am most impressed with this author’s style of presenting the story to the reader. It is so hard to put the book down. My poor eyes were very tired, but my brain was saying ‘keep reading.’ For anyone who has an interest in the holocaust, this book is a must-read. I recommend it, not only for the truth it reveals but the artful way of weaving the story together. The end is a complete surprise and certainly makes one realize the ‘why’ of everything, after shedding some tears, of course.
Touching the Wire – the women of Auschwitz. A fictional tale inspired by a terrible truth.
children Auschwitz