Meet The Author Moment With Patricia Sands / @patricia_sands / @CarolineJames12 / #LLm

Hello! Welcome to another Meet The Author Moment! Today we have the wonderful Patricia Sands with us. Read on for the full interview…

The Interview

150626-432-Edit-sm-CarmenBlike-R3[AC]: What inspired you to write your first book? 

[PS]: I was inspired by the lifelong friendship I’ve shared with the women of my real-life Bridge Club and a crisis that occurred with someone I knew. The latter affected me profoundly and I felt it was an important and current issue to create a dramatic ending to the book.

[AC]: Do you have a specific writing style? 

[PS]: I’m told by friends that I write just like I talk. I know that I write in order to tell a story in very clear terms. I would not call my novels literary fiction.

[AC]: How did you come up with the title?

[PS]: The title for The Bridge Club was a no-brainer. The Promise of Provence title emerged as I got further into the story. I had no idea what the title would be at first. As Katherine’s journey unfolded and her life changed, I began to have some ideas for a title. I narrowed it down to three and then finally knew which one was right.

The Bridge Club by Patricia Sands[AC]: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? 

[PS]: I write to an older demographic and all of my novels have the underlying theme of positive attitudes toward life and change. The Bridge Club highlights the importance of women’s friendships and how much we bring to each other’s life.

[AC]: How much of the book is realistic?

The Bridge Club is based on actual facts and I would say is 80% true to life. I received signed releases from my friends and they were very forthcoming in reminding me of details from the past. They’ve also been my biggest cheerleaders for all of the novels I’ve published. True friendship!

Patricia’s real-life bridge club sounds wonderful! Keep reading to learn more about her other books and for today’s giveaway!

Author: Patricia Sands
The Bridge Club

The Bridge Club

Author:
Genre: Contemporary
Everything is put into perspective and the strength of their friendship is truly tested when one of these women faces a life-altering decision. Her choice profoundly affects all members of the group, pushing the limits of their beliefs and values. The unique alliance they share is confronted with a crisis none of them might have imagined. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Buy from Kobo
Buy from GoodReads
The Promise of Provence (Love In Provence #1)

The Promise of Provence (Love In Provence #1)

Author:
Series: Love In Provence, Book 1
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Surprise, shock, and a shift in her comfortable life tumble into Katherine Price’s world when least expected. The future she has imagined suddenly vanishes, leaving little to focus upon beyond her career and the caregiving her elderly widowed mother might require. Fate has other plans. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Buy from GoodReads
Buy from Kobo
Promises To Keep (Love In Provence #2)

Promises To Keep (Love In Provence #2)

Author:
Series: Love In Provence, Book 2
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Falling in love with the south of France was no surprise to Katherine. Choosing to walk away from her past and start over was completely unexpected. A new country, a new lover, and the promise of a bright future beginning in mid-life … who knew? More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Buy from Kobo
Buy from GoodReads
I Promise You This (Love In Provence #3)

I Promise You This (Love In Provence #3)

Author:
Series: Love In Provence, Book 3
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
With sunlit backdrops and plot twists as breathtaking as the beaches of Antibes, author Patricia Sands brings her trilogy about second chances to a provocative and satisfying close that proves that a new life just might be possible—if you’re willing to let your heart lead you home. More info →
Buy from Amazon
What To Read Next…

Looking for another new author?

Click HERE to read more about Caroline James!

Meet The Author Moment: Caroline James / @CarolineJames12 / @anneli33

Good morning! Today we’re going to spice things up at the café with a new feature: Meet The Author Moment. Today, we’re introducing LLm’s own Caroline James. Welcome Caroline!


CJ SYTYACC with book and caption[AC]: What do you absolutely need to write?

[CJ]: I have a passion for food and the hospitality industry. When my fingers touch the keyboard and my head clicks into gear on this subject, the words start to flow and I’m off! I met so many fascinating characters in my years as an hotelier and latterly as a consultant and the hotel environment is a hot-bed of characters and gossip. The best piece of advice I ever had was to write what you know, so I work on that basis and adapt incidents and experiences that I’ve come across or been part of. I often think the stories seem far-fetched, but in truth I’ve generally toned them considerably!

[AC]: What inspired you to create the lead characters?

[CJ]: I’ve worked with chefs for many years and had a good insight into the machinations of what makes a so called ‘celebrity chef,’ seen constantly on our TV screens. I also appreciate how hard they work and wanted to weave a story around the industry from a different point of view – backstage and how it might work. The lead male character is loosely based on a chef who had a reckless lifestyle off-stage but was a completely loveable rogue.

[AC]: Was there an alternate ending?

[CJ]: I remember listening to crime writer Ian Rankin talk about his writing and he said that he never knew the ending of his novels until he wrote the last page. I felt like this with So, You Think You’re A Celebrity…Chef? It wasn’t until right at the end that I knew for sure what would happen and was then able to write it. So I guess the ending could have had many alternatives.

[AC]: Where were you when the idea for this book came to you?

[CJ]: Stonked off my face at a food festival in Ireland, enjoying Irish hospitality at it’s best! The festival was Kinsale’s Annual Gourmet Food Festival – a truly incredible event and for those that can stay the course, it is three days of total food and drink debauchery. Paradise for me! Wonderful people and fantastic entertainment; sadly the host of the festival, the enigmatic Derek Davies, died earlier this year but the show goes on and will ride successfully into its 40th year in 2016. It was blindingly obvious to me to base a book around this event because it is so colourful and interesting. Some of the plot came from an experience I’d had with a crazy chef in France but again, no one would believe me if I’d kept to the truth!J

[AC]: You’re in a café, like this one, and you go up to the counter. What would you order?

[CJ]: A large Americano, with hot skimmed milk on the side, then I’ll loiter around the glass dome that covers a tray of chocolate brownies and tell myself not to go there, but deciding that life is too short not to, I’ll order two to have with my coffee.

[AC]: What’s up next for you? Anything you can share that’s in the works?

[CJ]: I’m continuing the Coffee, Tea series. My debut book Coffee, Tea, the Gypsy & Me has a strong fan base and I am constantly asked what happens to the main characters, Jo and Hattie. So, Coffee, Tea, the Caribbean & Me is about to be born and we find Jo and Hattie have moved on in years and following life changes for both, go on holiday to Barbados. The book is a romantic comedy – a story about the friendship between two women who have both suffered loss. The story shows that there is hope in middle years, romance can happen and life really does begin again. I loved writing this book and enjoyed the research, especially the pina coladas which were compulsory throughout! Two more books will follow next year: Coffee, Tea, the Boomers & Me and Coffee, Tea, Christmas & Me. Can’t wait – 2016 is going to be busy!

Author: Caroline James
Let’s Hear It For the Boys

Let’s Hear It For the Boys

Let’s Hear It For The Boys is a tribute to the men of Movember. The HitLitPro authors have created nine short stories to celebrate the men in our lives, the effect they have on our hearts, our minds (and our bodies), and the difference they can make to the world around them. All profits from the sale of this anthology are being donated. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Buy from GoodReads
Coffee, Tea, the Gypsy & Me

Coffee, Tea, the Gypsy & Me

Author:
Genre: Romance
Jo’s romance with the gypsy began with his first kiss, she never forgot it… When Jo Edmond’s husband runs off with their nanny and disappears into a Spanish sunset, Jo resolves to make a new life with her baby son. She impulsively purchases Kirkton House a run down guest house and with the help of a colourful cast of characters, establishes a thriving country house hotel. Jo opens the hotel during Fair Week, a famous 300 year old gypsy tradition, hated by the locals and loved by every tinker and traveller in the country. Romance is the last thing on her mind, until the enigmatic John Doherty walks into her life... More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from GoodReads
So You Think You’re a Celebrity…Chef?

So You Think You’re a Celebrity…Chef?

Author:
Genre: Romance
"AbFab Meets MasterChef in a soap!" ... Mix together… A tough-cookie media agent who's clawed her way to the top, and a con-man who wants to open a cookery school. Add in a washed-up celebrity chef whose career needs re-building…Flavour with…An aging rock star fresh from rehab, and a Sloane Ranger food writer who gets her own TV show…Bring to the boil…At a Gourmet Food Festival, in Ireland, where anything goes! More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Buy from GoodReads

Giveaway

Today’s Giveaway Is Sponsored By….

Anneli Purchase! You can read about Anneli and check out her books HERE.

There were no winners this month. What a shame! Join us next month for another chance to win.

Coffee, Tea, Gypsies and Recipes For Disaster / @SherylBrowne / @CarolineJames12

It’s another Saturday closer to Spring! So why not welcome the season with some great news reads? Today, we’re featuring Coffee, Tea, The Gypsy and Me by Caroline James and Recipes For Disaster by Sheryl Browne. Read on for today’s feature! Plus don’t forget the recipe at the end.

 

Coffee, Tea, the Gypsy & Me

Coffee, Tea, the Gypsy & Me

Author:
Genre: Romance
Jo’s romance with the gypsy began with his first kiss, she never forgot it… When Jo Edmond’s husband runs off with their nanny and disappears into a Spanish sunset, Jo resolves to make a new life with her baby son. She impulsively purchases Kirkton House a run down guest house and with the help of a colourful cast of characters, establishes a thriving country house hotel. Jo opens the hotel during Fair Week, a famous 300 year old gypsy tradition, hated by the locals and loved by every tinker and traveller in the country. Romance is the last thing on her mind, until the enigmatic John Doherty walks into her life... More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from GoodReads

 

Excerpt From Coffee, Tea, The Gypsy, And Me

Jo hurried to reception and collided with Hattie who came out of the kitchen with a plate of canapés.“Look out! Shite I nearly lost them!” Hattie cursed.

“You’ve got pastry on your mouth,” Jo snapped. She was reeling from the degrees of warmth and hostility she’d just encountered.

“She’s a sour cow eh?” Hattie nodded at the beautiful silver fox fur coat piled on the office chair.

“Don’t you think you should hang that up?” Jo began but stared with horror at the coat. Two of the canapés were face down on the silk lining. Oily pesto oozed over the fabric creating a dark stain. “Hell! Jinny will kill us if she sees that. For God’s sake, Hattie, do something!”

“Well I’m not licking it off. It’s nothing that can’t be fixed with warm soapy water.” Hattie disappeared to the kitchen as Jo stared with dismay at the expensive coat.

“How’s it going, babe?” A man’s voice whispered.

Jo spun round and in an effort to hide the damage, plonked herself on the coat. Pete Parks placed his hands on the counter and leaned over. Jo felt trapped. She also felt a warm oily mess penetrate the back of her dress.

“Oh, hello there…” Jo said nervously. “Did you want something?” God he’s got incredibly blue eyes!

“You know what I want babe.”

Jo felt like a rabbit trapped in the headlights. Cornered with no where to go. The door to reception flew open and caught Pete on the forehead. He reeled back from the blow. Oblivious, Hattie hurried through with a dishcloth in her hand.

“What in God’s name are you sitting there for? You’ll look like you’ve shit yourself!” Hattie tugged the coat from under Jo.

“Oh hello, Pete, can we help you?” Hattie saw Pete steady himself. Dazed, he held his hand to his brow.

“Have you tumbled?” Hattie asked “Not used to the champagne eh?”

“Hattie!” Jo hissed, “Mr Parks was looking for the lavatory.”

Hattie rolled her eyes heavenward. She threw the dishcloth at Jo then guided Pete away.

“Well the lav is on the left, you’ll not find it in here.”

 

Nothing Found

 

Excerpt From Recipes For Disaster

Duly prompted by the chilli pepper, my mind drifted blissfully off in the direction of Adam again, and the lovely meal he’d so effortlessly prepared at his home, turning down all offers of help, sensibly. So masterful in the bedroom. Sigh. Um, kitchen. God, honestly, what was the matter with me. A gloopy smile on my face, I reached for the vegetable knife, ticking off each job as I tackled it.Sigh. “Ahem.”

Tum-ti-tum. Sprinkle, sprinkle. “I’m getting good at this, Rambo. What do you reckon?”

Squeak, squeak.”

“Thank you, sweetie.”

“I know who I’d like to cover in oil, hey, Rambo?” I chatted to my dog, in the absence of a certain other available body, as I sloshed the soup into Becky’s tureen, the bowls not being practical for transportation.

Squeak, squeeaak.”

“Well, he might a bit,” I conceded, missing the tureen in favor of the working surface. Whoops. “But I’ll try to be gentle with him. Haw, haw.”

Ooh, yummy — I had a quick lick of the spoon — tastes scrummy. Not as scrummy as Adam, of course. Sigh. Attempting, yet again, to drag my lewd mind away from my delectable man, I sliced up my artisan bread — previously lovingly hand-crafted … by Becky — and peeled a clove of garlic with which to rub gently all over — the bread, not Adam. Stoppit. Then, feeling pleased with myself, I salted the bread lightly, as per instructions, plucked up the olive oil and—Ding dong went the doorbell. “Rrroowf, Rrrroowf. Grrrrr. Squeak. Splat!” went Rambo—dropped it.

“Sh… ugar! Rambo! Come here, Sweet… Eeek! ” Fit Flops, I decided, close to curtailing sexual gymnastics with Adam forever, were not desirable footwear for olive-oil-coated ceramic floors.

“Hell!” Reacquainting toes with toebar, I took a tentative step, did a little Buster-Keaton-type soft shoe shuffle, then, “Just a minute,” I trilled, clutched hold of the working surface and crawled back up the cupboard.

Phew. Well, at least I didn’t smack my chin on the way down and part company with my teeth. And at least the bottle wasn’t broken, so I didn’t have to throw myself bodily at the kitchen door, to prevent Rambo coming in and puncturing his little paws. So now what? Righting myself on my feet, I contemplated my next step. Drrriiing, went the doorbell.

“Coming!” I yelled, as Rambo went into muffled, “Squeak, grrrooowwwf,” overdrive, zoomed around in a circle and then skidded towards me.

“No! Rambo, stay!” Drat, too late, I realized, as Rambo ice-skated clackily across the kitchen floor, did a perfect figure-of-eight, then landed like Bambi, legs splayed and Piggy still feverishly gripped in his mouth.

“Baby! Oooh, shoot. Stay! Don’t move, sweetie. Mummy’s coming.”

Kicking off Fit Flops, I squelched carefully towards him, for fear of slipping again and flattening him. “Are you all right, sweetie, hmmm?”

Rrrowf?

“Aw, babe.” Careless of greasy knees, I dropped down beside him and plucked my puzzled JR up. “Has Rambo got an oily tum, then? Poor baby. Naughty floor.” Hands under armpits, I held him high and peered under his piggy to survey damage to belly, and…

Rat-a-tat-tat, came a tapping at the kitchen window. Honestly, some people. I mean, is there no privac… Oh… miGod! “Um, hi. Little accident,” I mouthed.

“Major flipping catastrophe,” I mumbled, tucking a wriggly Rambo under my arm and knee-walking across the floor. Cupboards for support, I levered myself up the sink-unit, and peered over the taps, to see Adam’s snooty mum peering back.

“He-lloo,” I trilled, and beamed her a bright, if slightly imbecilic, smile.

Her Maj blinked at me bemusedly.

 

Recipe of the Day

Today we have a special treat. Sheryl Brown is sharing a recipe from Recipes For Disaster. A great treat for the Author’s Café.

Chilled asparagus soup
By stu_spivack (chilled asparagus soup) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Green Soup
Ingredients for 6 portions:

  • 2 cups cucumbers
  • 2 green peppers
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 large white onion
  • ½ cup fresh, mixed herbs: basil, oregano, chives, parsley, or whatever your herb garden has
  • 1 l vegetable broth
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 50 ml Balsamico vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 small chilli pepper

Cooking Instructions
Divide the vegetables into two piles. Take the seeds out of the chilli pepper. One pile of vegetables gets finely cut. The other pile, along with the chilli and herbs, gets thrown into a blender or a big bowl to use a magic wand on. Slowly add the vegetable broth to the vegetables while finely blending. Also add the vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the soup into soup bowls and decorate with the finely chopped vegetables. You can eat fresh artisan bread with this, rubbed with garlic, slightly salted and covered in some olive oil. The perfect soup for hot summer days.

 

Music of the Day

Sheryl Browne was inspired by the music to Perfect Disaster…