Monday, 29 July 2019

Favourite food and how I use it

This prompt from Long and Short Reviews was a tough one. I never cook and don't use recipes. However, I suddenly remembered one thing I do cook which involves one of my favourite foods - cottage pie, topped with mashed potato. My mother had a recipe for cottage pie which I still follow and it always turns out perfectly.

I won't bother with serving sizes as those always varied according to the dish we were using. :)


  • Take one pack of beef mince and fry until brown. Put in the pie dish.
  • Chop three red onions and four carrots. Add to the dish.
  • Open a tin of beans and add those to the dish. We used to use flageolet beans but my husband prefers baked beans, which add a slight tomato flavour to the gravy.
  • Make a cup of Bisto gravy flavoured with Bovril and add to the dish.
  • Boil the potatoes and mash to your preferred consistency using milk and butter.
  • Top the meat with the potatoes. Add butter to the top and ruffle the top with a fork so it will crisp in the oven.
  • Heat the oven to 200C and cook for 25-30 minutes.
And now I want cottage pie.

So what are your favourite foods?

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Favourite quotes from books


I’ll be honest, this prompt from Long and Short Reviews had me a bit stumped, as I don’t tend to remember quotes from books. However, there was one quote which I did find particularly inspirational, since it inspired my novel Photograph. In an essay in Isaac Asimov’s Gold, he describes how he felt when Robert Heinlein got a story published in the Saturday Evening Post.

“We all dreamed of publishing in the SEP (I, also) but that was like dreaming of taking out Marilyn Monroe on a date. You knew it was just a dream and you had no intention of even trying to make it come true. And now Bob had done it. He hadn’t just tried, he had done it.”

The feeling of someone else stealing your impossible dream was a major factor in Photograph. 



My heroine Tara has had a crush on celebrity theme park owner Liam Wilder all her life, but considered it a harmless indulgence since he was always going to be outside of her world. So when her twin sister Azure meets him after winning a radio competition, falls in love at first sight and marries him, to Tara this is an unforgivable betrayal.

So what are your favourite quotes?

Monday, 15 July 2019

Fictional worlds I'd love to visit

This prompt from Long and Short Reviews was a tricky one, because a lot of what I read is either historical or dystopian, neither of which are places I want to go. I spent a long time trying to come up with a story set in a beach resort and couldn't. I did, however, manage to come up with a few possibilities.

Uglies. An unusual choice possibly as this is a dystopia, but it was one I honestly had no problems with. At the age of sixteen you get to have extreme plastic surgery to make you beautiful and then go and live in New Pretty Town for the next twenty-odd years partying constantly - what's not to like?

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I dreamed of going to live with Gene Wilder in the factory as a child. Nothing but chocolate waterfalls and sweets as far as the eye can see.

Jurassic World. Okay, so it all went wrong in the end. However, assuming they could keep control of it - which they obviously did until they introduced the Indominus Rex - I would love to visit a place where I could see dinosaurs. It would be a dream come true.

So where would you like to visit?

Monday, 8 July 2019

Favourite authors in the historical genre


You might think that because I write erotic romance, I would choose erotic romance authors for this prompt. However, in my spare time I love historicals, although I do have a fairly broad umbrella for the genre.

Philippa Gregory – I am well aware that Gregory has been frequently attacked for her grasp of history, particularly of Anne Boleyn. However, I can’t deny that her books are page-turners. I especially enjoyed her portrayal of the sociopathic Jane Parker.

Anne O’Brien – O’Brien deals primarily with strong women in history and has covered a lot of women I previously knew nothing about, like Alice Perrers, so I will read anything of hers.

Agatha Christie – This one might be more of a stretch, but I do find when reading Christie that I’m aware of how dramatically society has changed since she wrote her books. Casual references to the Chelsea coffee shop set and so forth leave me wide-eyed in wonder.

And because I love Christie I had to include Sophie Hannah, who has written two Poirot continuation novels and done an amazing job at capturing the style.

So who are your favourite authors?