November 2016

Wish You Were Here is out now….

I’d scheduled to get my first monthly newsletter out in October…but what actually happened to October? Did it forget to show up or did I blink and miss it…or something… A prompt from a bloggy link-up the other day (thanks Denyse) had me thinking about what has and hasn’t been achieved in 2016. Although it’s probably too late to lose 20kgs by 31/12/16, it’s been a busy, chaotic yet seriously rewarding year – with another two months of adventure still to come. If you’re interested, the post is here – and my wrap-up of October is here.
Speaking of rewards and adventures, Wish You Were Here was launched last week. This book started life in nanowrimo last November, with, as my books tend to do, a single opening line that didn’t make it into the final version. In fact, none of the original premise made it into the finished version.
Despite a great early start, life and chaos got in the way, and this book has hit the digital stands almost four months later than I’d originally forecast. It was worth the effort and I couldn’t have wrangled it into shape without the help of my editor, Nicola O’Shea. Despite the lack of fanfare, I’m very proud of this book and (don’t tell my husband) more than a little in love with Richie, my leading man. I hope you enjoy it too.
Click here for links to buy.

What I’m working on now…
This years’ nanowrimo project is I Want You Back. Regular bloggy readers will know that I’ve already made a start on this. It was going to be an ensemble piece starring Callie, Tiff and Alice. We’ve met each of the girls in previous books (Callie and Alice were in Baby, It’s You and Tiff made an appearance in Big Girls Don’t Cry), but it appears that they each have their own story to tell and don’t particularly want to share the limelight with anyone else. So, I’m back to square one. The plan is now to write all three stories and release them back – to – back during 2017. It’s a tad ambitious (down the slope, one ski, no poles), but seriously, how hard can it be?
Speaking of nanowrimo, it’s not too late to sign up – although seeing as how it’s 1 November, there will be a teeny amount of catch-up involved. To help you decide and prepare, I’ve posted a couple of pieces to the website. The one to help you decide is here, and the one to help you prepare is here.
Anyways, I Want You Back is Callie’s story, and the title song is by Bananarama. I’m such an 80’s pop tragic…

For Indie Authors…
Being able to change projects is one of the advantages of being an indie author. Being able to change covers is another. On the same day that I launched Wish You Were Here, I re-released Baby, It’s You on Amazon with a brand spanking new cover. I’ve always loved the story, now the cover looks great beside my other two. Huge thanks goes to Jacinda May as always.
When you’re an Indie Author, you’re also a small business owner- with all that entails. I’ve reached into my project management past to come up with some hints to help you plan your book projects and manage them.

Cooking with Max…
Each month I’ll feature a recipe from Max’s newsletter Rambling Rose. Max is, of course, the protagonist in Wish You Were Here – and she’s a better cook than I am, and a much better stylist.
My editor loved the sound of this ginger, oaty, fudgey slice that Max makes for Jess’s cafe. It’s a bit of an old school Kiwi favourite that I hope you’ll enjoy too. Just don’t tell your dentist. Max has adapted this one from The Cook & The Baker, but it’s actual origins are in many many kitchens. Over to you Max…
Oaty Fudgey Gingery Slice
I’m not sure whether it’s the fudgey sweetness of the icing or the spicy ginger in the base, but this slice is seriously more-ish. It cuts best if you leave it to completely set in the tin (if you’re able to keep grabby hands away from it, that is), and will keep for 3-4 days in an airtight container. Another tip? Keep your slices quite small- that way you can justify having a second piece with your cuppa.
Ok, to the usual preliminaries: you’ll need to grease and line a slice tray. If you really need measurements for this, the one I use is around 11cm by 30ish cm. And heat the oven to 180C (350F).
First you’ll need to tackle the base. Sift into a bowl 1 cup (150g) of plain flour, 1 ½ teaspoons of ground ginger and 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder into a bowl. Don’t be too precious when measuring your ginger – it’s the spice in the base that cuts through the sweetness in the topping. Stir in 75g desiccated coconut, 165g rolled oats – the traditional sort, not the instant ones – and about 150g brown sugar. By now your kitchen assistant will have melted together 150g butter and 70g golden syrup. Pour this into your dry ingredients, mix it all about, and press it into the lined tray. I like to smooth it out and pack it down using the back of a dessert spoon. Pop it into the oven for 25-30 minutes – or until golden brown.
When you’re ready to make the icing, sift into a bowl about 290g icing sugar and 1 tablespoon ground ginger. Ok, this is teeth rattling sweet, so if you don’t like so much sweet, feel free to cut the sugar down a tad or up the ginger. Your call. Melt some more butter (another 120g) and another 1/3 cup golden syrup (you were warned) and stir it into your gingery sugary mix until it’s smooth. Spread it over the base and resist the urge to cut into it just yet.
You’re welcome.