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

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 →
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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?”


“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 (], 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…