Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday Supper - November for Eight People

From Mrs Beeton’s Household Management

First Course

 Mulligatawny Soup

Fried slices of Codfish and Oyster Sauce

Eels en Matelote



Boiled Pork Cutlets and Tomato Sauce

Tendrons de Veau a la Jardiniere


Second Course

Boiled Leg of Mutton and Vegetables

Roast Goose

Cold Game Pie


Third Course



Apple Souffle

Ice Charlotte


Champagne Jelly

Coffee Cream

Minces Pies


Dessert and Ices

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Author Talk - Ari Harper

Today I have the pleasure of chatting with fellow Hunter Romance Writer  Ann B Harrison/Ari Harper.
Hi Ann/Ari and welcome to my blog.

Thanks for having me Sandie, I love visiting.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? ?

I swear I was born with a book in my hands and have never put it down. A lifelong love of reader has finally culminated in achieving my dream of writing...and publication.

I lives in the beautiful Hunter Valley with my own handsome hero of many years. I've always loved the ups and downs of life in small communities and I shares this with readers in my rural romances.

Strong sexy heroines with a good dash of sass thrown in feature in my stories, whether they are rural or young adult. Of course these women need an equally strong hero. Bring on the outback hero and watch the passion ignite.

When not writing I enjoys reading, gardening, walking my very large dog Hugo and fighting with my computer.

1.       You have a new release out, what is it about?

Changling is Book Two in the Curse of Kin series. In Book One, Witchling we watched Nera come into her powers and take of the family curse. In Changling we get to see where her best friend Sully fits into the picture. When they realise what he is and his fate, the race is on to save him.

2.      How did you come up with the idea for your novel?

Book one in this series is the first story I wrote. I never had plans on becoming a writer until the day I actually sat down and put pen to paper so to speak. It all began with a sentence running around in my head about a dream and wouldn't let go. After months of trying to push it away I finally gave in and started writing.

3.      Do you plot your novels or fly by the seat of your pants type of girl?

Definitely a fly by the seat of my pants type of person. But, now I've decided to attack a single title romance I have to do some plotting to make my word count. I'm finding that a bit of a challenge to tell you the truth.

4.      How long does it normally take you to write your first draft?

 Novellas 45k, around four weeks. Single title takes me about eight weeks.

5.      Who are your favourite authors?

I have way too many which is bad for my bank account. In romance I can't go past Nora Roberts/J D Robb, Paranormal, Deborah Harkness, YA I love Abbi Glines. And that is just this week. Next week I may discover someone different.

6.      You have had an offer from Hollywood to turn your novel into a movie, who would you have play the lead roles? Why?

IF and it's a big if, that ever happened I think I would like unknowns. I've seen what happens when an actor gets stereotyped, they can't get away from their character. I want mine to me themselves, not someone from Harry Potter.

7.      Who would like to direct it?

Angelina Jolie. She is so talented. Forget she has one of the worlds sexiest men as her partner, I only look at the talent.

  1. Can you give us a small extract from your novel?

"I am just so sick of having you in my face," I shot back. "I can't sleep, eat, or do anything without you there. From the moment I was born, you were with me. Maybe I just want some time to myself. Is that so hard to understand?"

Bones stared at me through my outburst and stormed from the room, his mouth set in an angry line and his fists clenched by his side. I watched him go, feeling the gaze on the back of my head accusing me of once again biting the hand that saved me. I sat quietly for awhile, collecting my thoughts. I knew I would have to be the one to apologize again. It was my mouth that got me into trouble. Again. Bones had done nothing wrong. He never did. It was just my sense of independence that was offended, not thinking I needed the shadow I had been given at birth.

I swung my feet over the edge of the couch, preparing to stand. The black spots appeared in front of my eyes and I swayed. I put my hand out to stop my father coming to help. "Stay here," I said getting to my feet.

I stood until I felt a little more stable and slowly made my way to the door. I grasped the wall and paused for a minute, then I made my way up the stairs to the workroom where I thought Bones would be.

At the open door, I paused and leaned on the frame for support. Bones was leaning on the workbench, his back to me. His shoulders and back were tense. I saw the minute that he sensed I was there. The subtle change in his stance was enough to alert me. Slowly he turned to me, opening his dark pain-filled eyes.

I trembled with what I saw, knowing I was the one responsible for the pain he was feeling. How many times in my life had I wished that I could take back what I said once it was out of my mouth?

He stepped toward me. I tried not to flinch as his face came barely inches from mine. "Didn't you say enough downstairs, Nera? Do you want another shot at me?" he asked in a very quiet voice. His gaze flickered over my face taking in the blush that I could feel creeping up to my hair line.

"N-n-no, no. I um, I came to apologize," I stammered.

He lifted his hand and ran his finger down my cheek. His gaze stayed on mine and I shivered under his touch. His free hand came up and cupped my other cheek as he touched his nose to mine.

My stomach plummeted to my toes and my mouth worked to talk, no sound coming out. Slowly, his lips brushed over mine, lightly touching and tasting. My eyes closed and my breath caught. My body was not doing what my brain ordered as my hands crept up and circled his back.

That was all the prodding he needed. His mouth crushed down on mine, the feeling knocking the breath out of me. As I responded, my mouth hungry for his, he pushed me away, breathing heavily and held me at arm's length. He was shaking his head, looking horrified at what we had done.

"Sorry, I'm so sorry," he mumbled before running from the room, leaving me standing against the wall.

I was gutted. I had let myself be pulled into his moment, only to be rejected. I did what any normal girl would do. I ran to my room, threw myself on the bed, and cried my heart out until there were no more tears left.

9.      Now the most important question. Where can we get a copy of your novel?

You can find Ann at any of the links below. Don’t forget to stop by and say “Hi”.

Thank you Ann/Ari for joining me today. All the best on your new release.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Author Talk - S.E Gilchrist

Today I have the pleasure of chatting with S. E. Gilchrist fellow cofounder and member of Hunter Romance Writers.

Hi  SE and welcome to my blog.

Hi Sandie, its lovely to be here and I like the look of your new site.

Well thanks you.

1.      Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m Australian, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend. A writer and lover of animals especially dogs, although at the moment, I’m feeding stray cats at my day job.

2.      You have a new release out, what is it about?
This story is a contemporary, rural romance set in outback Australia and features a heroine who cherishes her childhood dream of belonging and family. Abandoned by her mother when young, Melanie spent a long time in the system before running off to live on the rough streets of The Cross in Sydney. She has offered to help her best friend restore his marriage and heads off to the outback to ‘babysit’ his two daughters. But his brother-in law is not that impressed with her and makes it obvious he wants her off his cattle station and out of their lives.

3.      How did you come up with the idea for your novel?
I love the concept of the trope, ‘fish out of water’ and admit it’s one I seem to use a lot. I also wanted to write a series of contemporary stories about a group of young people who’d had it tough in life and who manage to find happiness. So my idea of friends from a children’s shelter was borne.

4.      Do you plot your novels or fly by the seat of your pants type of girl?
The first two or three chapters are usually pantsing, then once I have a better concept of my characters, I work out their backgrounds, history and fears and see how I can work these aspects into the story. I guess I end up being a plotter then for the remainder of the story.

5.      How long does it normally take you to write your first draft?
Oooh, what a hard question! That depends on the length of the novel, what other dramas and demands that occur in my ‘real’ life and whether I get side-tracked by social media. And the lure of spreadsheets. I love them. Any excuse and I make up a spreadsheet – I do this in my day job too.

6.      Who are your favourite authors?
Another not fair question –here are a few: John Birmingham, John Grisham, Lisa Gardner, J D Robb, Elizabeth Peters, Dorothy Cannell, Janet Evanovitch, Matthew Reilly, Agatha Christie, Georgette Heyer, Denise Rossetti, Anne Gracie, David A Rollins, Jo Beverley, Julia Quinn, Teresa Scott, Betty Neels, Linea Sinclair, Angela Knight, Karen Marie Moning, Dara Joy, Karen Hawkins, Tess Gerritson, James Patterson, Kerry Greenwood....

7.      You have had an offer from Hollywood to turn your novel into a movie, who would you have play the lead roles? Why?
No idea, maybe...Abbie Cornish and Chris Hemsworth.

8.      Who would like to direct it?
Hunter Romance Writers – wouldn’t that be fun? I can just see us, yelling out ‘action’ ‘camera’ and laughing an awful lot.

9.      Can you give us a small extract from your novel?
Extract from Dance in the Outback © S. E. Gilchrist

“How far are we from the nearest town?” Melanie asked.

Dirk drawled, “Missing the bright lights already? Longreach is the largest town and it's to the nor-east of us. It’s more than a fair day’s drive. I wouldn't go thinking you can take off for a coupla hours at the beauty salon and be back by lunch.”

Irritating man.

“I was making polite conversation.”

He laughed.

The deep sound did something funny to her insides. After clearing her throat, she asked, “Is this the Diamantina Country?”

She fielded the surprised glance he shot her by batting her long eyelashes and was rewarded with an upward quirk of the edges of his mouth. Dear me, is that a smile I can see? "I've always been interested in the Outback. It's so vast and untamed."

"It is all that and don't forget it can also be deadly. You must carry water on you at all times," warned Dirk. “The Diamantina Country is further south of us. We're on the edge of the Channel Country.”

“Oh. Then I guess flooding could be a problem during the wet season.”

“Sometimes, it depends on how much rain we get up north. Of course if a cyclone crosses the coast, anything could happen. Especially if she's a category four or five. There's a low pressure system churning about in the Arafura Sea at the moment.”

Charming. Another fly buzzed about her face and she swatted uselessly at the pesky insect. Heat, flies and possible floods. Sounds like a fun break. I wonder if I'll get to see an emu. She sank back into her seat feeling the heat press in on her from all sides. Longing to rest for a moment, she resisted the urge to close her eyes, unwilling to reveal her weariness in case it was construed as weakness.

As if he was in tune with her thoughts, he asked, "It might take some days before your body acclimatises to the heat. You'll need to take it easy for a while before you can start pulling your weight."

"Pardon?" Startled, Melanie turned to stare at his profile.

Dirk said in a smooth voice, "This is a working cattle station. Everyone has a job to do. We need everyone we can get to help with the mustering out in the western region. Probably only take about seven days. Ever ridden a horse? Or maybe a camel might suit you better."

Mouth open, Melanie shook her head. Was he serious? Visions of a female version of Lawrence of Arabia chasing a cow floated about in her head. She’d wear a pit helmet and a long floaty white scarf. She swivelled round and looked at James who nodded encouragingly.

James said, "You'll love it, Mel. Just think; no need to worry about bathing every day, sleeping under the stars with scorpions and meat ants and nothing but red dust for miles."

“You’ll need to keep a sharp lookout for camel spiders too. Ever seen one?” Dirk turned on the car’s fan and immediately hot air blasted from the vents.

Melanie shook her head again.

Dirk made a sweeping motion with his left hand. “There’re bigger than my hand and can run about 16 kph.”


10.  Now the most important question. Where can we get a copy of your novel?
     Amazon UK

    Thanks so much Sandie for hosting me.
You can find Suz at::
     Twitter @SEGilchrist1
      Hunter Romance Writers

Thank you S.E for joining me today. All the best on your new release.

Sunday Supper for 12 People - November

Sunday Supper
Each Sunday I will post a menu for six to twelve people from Mrs Beeton's Household Management.

November Dinner for 12 People

First Course

Hare Soup

Julienne Soup

Baked Cod

Soles a la Normandie


Riz de Veau Tomatoes

Lobster Patties

Mutton Cutlets and Soubise Sauce

Croutades of Marrow aux fines Herbs

Second Course

Roast Sirloin Beef

Braised Goose

Boiled Fowls and Celery Sauce

Bacon-cheek, garnished with Sprouts

Third Course

Wild Ducks


Apples a la Portugaise

Bavarian Cream

Apricot-jam Sandwiches

Charlotte a la Vanille

Plum pudding

Dessert and Ices


Saturday, November 2, 2013

A New Name

As you can see I have had a name change. Yes, I will be writing as Sandie James. James being my wonderful husband’s given name.

So what have I been up to of late? Nothing of great interest. My computer died a few months back and I lost some of my manuscripts, that’s what happens when you don’t back up your work at the end of each day. I’ve learnt my lesson now. Luckily I had a hard copy of regency romance, but then I had to transcribe it back onto the computer, save it to my external hard drive as well as a UBS and send myself an email each day with the new words written. I’m covering all the bases now.

I’m working on a new novel 'Captain Seabrook Takes a Bride' during November for NaNoWriMo. Then I’ll be back into doing the writes on Josephine, because I had one scene which really didn’t do anything to the story so I deleted it, yes 4,000 gone in a hit of the delete button.

Well enough chitchat from me today, I have 2,000 words to write.