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




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)


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.

A Date With . . . Lesley Hayes

A good natter between two great authors.

Frank Parker's author site

My ‘date’ this week is with a woman who lives a stone’s throw from the ‘Dreaming Spires’ of Oxford.

covers_round_robin_pic“I moved to Oxford about thirty years ago, having flirted with the idea of living here for at least five years before that. I was born in London and lived there until my early twenties. I’d never want to go back there for more than a visit now.

I’ve found Oxford is an ideal place for writers, eccentrics, and artists. It’s a place that celebrates diversity, and where you can be anonymous if you wish, and yet experience the feel of a village if you want to find your tribe. I love the way history is embedded in its streets and secret alleyways.

My own personal history is embedded there too, now. The only thing I would change seems like wishing for the tide not to turn – I’m not keen…

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Scrambling up from the tombstones of Kindness…

Another thought-provoking post from Max Power.

Maxpower's Blog

There was a fella in my class when I was about nine years old, who I recall had a talent for breaking wind. He could quite literally crack one off on command. I have never seen anything like it then or since. Let’s call him ‘Mick’ to preserve his dignity. Mick must have had a special storage sack that none of the rest of us has and his supply of gas was quite impressive. He could even; I kid you not, control the sound they made to some extent at least.  What has become of him I often wonder? Most likely a politician I should think.

Looking back at the chidderlings that scuttled about me as a nipper, I recall some gifted young boys and like Mick, I wonder what became of them. That’s not to say I’ve never seen any of them since, but for the most part, we…

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One extraordinary lady. Visit Lucinda’s site for more fascinating author interviews.

lucinda E Clarke

I saw that this week’s guest has degrees coming out of her ears, but her marketing experience caught my attention and from the information she sent me, she is one switched-on author. So organized, on the ball and knows what she is doing! Over to Melanie to tell you about herself.

0_Melanie 028

Hello, my name is Melanie P. Smith and I am an American, Multi-Genre author of Paranormal, Criminal Suspense, Police Procedural and Romance novels.  I work hard to make my stories exciting, action-packed and gripping.  So, if you like a story you can’t put down, one that will keep you guessing and take you on a journey of discovery… I have something for you.

I was born and raised in the state of Utah and spent my younger years working hard and playing hard.  As a farm kid, we always had a huge garden and plenty of animals to care for. …

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