It’s the Most Wonderful Time

“Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing, but of reflecting.” Winston Churchill.

It seems appropriate to use a Churchill quote for a blog post that reflects on 2017, given that we spent a portion (8%) of the year in England and Wales. Our trip to England and Wales is one of many highlights in a year of highlights.

Playing dress-ups in the Bath Fashion Museum in October.

From a writing point of view, the highlight has to be getting my debut novel To Charm A Bluestocking published by Escape Publishing (an arm of Harlequin Australia), and the second book in the series, In Pursuit of a Bluestocking also being released in 2017. I’ve spent the last two years learning all about the publishing business, and using the brilliant resources at Romance Writers Australia to improve my writing craft. Having been a non-fiction writer for over a decade, it has been an extended process to take those skills and reinvent them for fiction. The process is ongoing, and I hope that this year is the beginning of a new career for myself with many more books to come.

So what is next for 2018? The third and fourth books in the Bluestocking series should be coming out with Escape. I’ve also been working on a new series for the Harlequin Dare line that they recently announced. This new series is a contemporary series set in Sydney, and revolves around an advertising agency. The inspiration for my hero is:

Watch this space!

Summer (and Christmas) in Australia is all about BBQs, beer, cricket, and complaining about the hot weather. Today it’s 35C (95F), while it is supposed to be hotter tomorrow. Because of this, our meals tend steer away from traditional roast meals, and closer to summer salads, cold seafood (prawns, oysters), and BBQ.

Here is a salad I’ve enjoyed making recently.
Mango and feta salad
Mango (one)
Feta (half a standard block)
Mixed salad leaves
Mixed pulses or sprouts
Chili flavoured olives (optional)
Cracked pepper

Place washed mixed salad leaves in a bowl.
Slice the mango down either side of the stone, then slice cuts into the flesh to create small cubes. Turn the skin inside out and slid the mango flesh off the skin. Add to bowl and crack some pepper over the mango. Mix through the leaves. Add sprouts, crumbled feta, and the olives. Mix together. Serve.

You could also add avocado, and cherry tomatoes.

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