New Release - Inheritance of the Blood by Imogene Nix

Hello and welcome Imogene Nix

Thanks for coming over to talk about your brand new sparkling book, Inheritance of the Blood, which releases on Sunday 1st of October. 

Why did you choose to write this book/story, what inspired you?

This book was written around the time of my husband’s accident. I guess it’s kind of a mixture of where I was at that time, the darker focus I’m now seeing in my work.

The inspiration is what could happen if fate tore apart two lovers apart. Then through strength of will they manage to find their way back together, albeit with a supernatural foe determined to keep them separated.

That was a tough time and totally unexpected but I am glad to hear that all is well now with your husband. 

 

Inheritance of the Blood

Blurb

In the darkness evil waits…

As a young bride Kira was whisked away from everything and everyone she knew, including her new husband and became Christina, an operative of the Displaced Persons Unit.

As the danger grows she sees an opportunity to save her husband Vasya and sister Serina. But nothing is the same. Serina is grown up—married and pregnant.

Vasya too is older and darkly forbidding. Trusting Christina doesn’t come easily until a catastrophic event takes place. Now, knowing the truth everything he thought he knew is changed. But at a very high cost.

The four must work together to defeat the Demon, Zuor and the stakes are higher than they imagined and all could be lost.

Now for the important stuff, if you pre-order Inheritance of the Blood today you get it at a super special price of 0.99 cents. 

Buy links 

Amazon

iTunes 

Paperback PreOrder  

If you want to know more about Imogene Nix you can find here at 

http://www.imogenenix.net

Or

Fly with me on Twitter 

Cruise with me on Facebook

Stick with me on my newsletter 

 

 
 

New Release - Wild about Harry by Susanne Bellamy

Hello and welcome Susanne Bellamy! 

Today is indeed and exciting day because we are all “Wild about Harry,” your new release!

Tell us about what spurred the idea for your story.   

I worked in Cloncurry years ago and spent weekends getting to know the area. We visited places such as Mary Kathleen (sadly the mine had closed by that time) the field of crosses, Quamby, a dam where I attempted to learn to waterski, and much more. I learned to play netball (badly), took part in a fashion show, learned to drive a monster pick up truck, and was a member of CATS, the Cloncurry Amateur Theatrical Society. We put on several theatre restaurant/reviews and a play. On one memorable occasion, we took our show ‘on the road’ down to Kynuna … in the back of a cattle truck! It had been power-cleaned, and sported a canvas ‘roof’, with an armchair, beanbag, eskies, and lots of enthusiastic ‘players’. We stayed at the Blue Heeler pub, quintessential Outback accommodation.

The thing about living so far west was that there were so many opportunities to do different, fun things. We made our own fun, and enjoyed life. Harry, the protagonist of my next book, has forgotten how to enjoy life, but Bri turns his life upside down. In doing so, she also learns a lot about herself, and discovers what a wonderful place outback towns are, and comes to know the warmth and welcoming nature of people in the west.

Wild About Harry is book 5 in my series, Hearts of the Outback. Set in and around Mt Isa, the books are linked by location, and characters from each book pop up in other books, although each story is complete in itself. I love meeting familiar characters again, especially when I’ve previously enjoyed their company, and this group of characters have ties that bind, family and friends. I hope you enjoy them too.

 

Wild About Harry

Blurb:

Trying to be both father and mother to his young daughter, Harry Douglas has no interest in a new relationship. If he had known that helping Briony Middleton on a lonely Outback road would put his closely guarded secret at risk, he wouldn’t have played the white knight.

Bri has no time for relationships; her focus is on avenging her grandfather’s ill-treatment at the hands of a big mining company by gathering photographic evidence of wrongdoing and stopping a proposed super mine.

But as fate and Harry’s daughter keep throwing them together, what will Bri do when she discovers Harry’s secrets?

 

BUY LINK:  AMAZON

If you want to find out more about Susanne and her awesome books you can find her here 

http://www.susannebellamy.com

 

7 Minutes with an Author - Rachael Johns - Part 2

HELLO AND WELCOME RACHAEL JOHNS! 

Thank you for coming over to chat about your writing life in this two part special of 7 Minutes with an Author. 

1. How do you balance your writing day?

Often not well! But writing is my full time job, so for me this means dedicating school hours (most of the time) to my profession. I drop the kids off at school, then come home and head into my cabin (office). I check emails, social media etc, then usually read through the writing from the day before, tweak/edit that a bit and then get stuck into new words. Writing is only one part of being an author, so I have to juggle deadlines for other things such as edits, blog posts, promo articles, etc. Often I’m writing one book, editing another and thinking about the one I’ll be writing next. Oh and promo-ing the latest release. I’m not very organised, so I wouldn’t say I have a specific method to juggling these things, I just get it done! (A bit like an organised madness that works eh?) 

2. What time do you get to bed when writing a new story? 

Whether or not I’m writing a new story, I go to bed between 10-11pm every night. I rarely write at nights these days, so it’s not really a factor. Saying that I’m actually ALWAYS writing a new book! Breaks are few and far between in my life at the moment. 

3. If you knew then what you know now, about writing, what advice would you have given yourself? 

Don’t be impatient to get published. Take time to learn your craft and listen to feedback but don’t take it all on board as gospel. Protect your writing voice and keep at it. You’ll get there eventually. I think today we are so lucky to have the option of self-publishing but I think a trap many new writers fall into is self-publishing their first books because they are being rejected by traditional publishers. Sometimes this is because a book doesn’t fit a publisher’s imprint, but often it’s because they are simply not at publishable standard yet. But with it being so easy to self-publish, the option is very tempting. I’m so glad it wasn’t around when I started out as I’d hate for some of my earlier practise books to be “out there”. Saying that, I’m not against self-publishing – it’s definitely a viable option these days, but people need to be sure they are doing it for the right reasons!  (All good advice. I know I have made every mistake possible with my first self-published book.) 

4. What types of stories do you like to read?

Of course I love reading books about relationships – whether that be romance or the complicated relationships between friends or family – but I also really love a good crime novel. I find I can enjoy these books much more than I can books in my own genre, as when I read WF and romance, it’s hard to switch off my internal critic. As I’m reading, I’m always analysing whether I think things are working and how/why the author has done certain things. 

5. What are you reading now?

I’m almost finished Monica McInerney’s A TRIP OF A LIFETIME. I love her book LOLA’S SECRET and this one is linked, so it’s fab to read about Lola again! 

 

6. What T.V. shows do you like to watch or binge on?

I need to make more time to watch TV as I have so many recommendations from friends. I love Offspring, Nashville and Packed to the Rafters. Currently though I’m watching The Handmaid’s Tale with my hubby! It’s so disturbing! (I haven’t watched Handmaid’s Tale yet, but everyone is saying the same thing about it.) 

7. If you could be one superhero who would you be?

Hmm… you know, I’m not really a superhero fan so I have no idea!!! Sorry :) (OMG! We have to convert you!) 

If you want to know more about Rachael you can find her here at: 

WWW.RACHAELJOHNS.COM

 

TALK OF THE TOWN

Lawson Cooper-Jones has two priorities in life – his son, Ned, and the survival of the dairy farm that has been in his family for generations. Despite the best efforts of the town matchmakers and the determined pursuit of local girl Adeline Walsh, Lawson’s heart belongs still, and only, to his late wife.



But when a flat tyre strands Lawson and Ned in nearby Rose Hill, he’s surprised to find a woman living alone in the old general store of the deserted town. Ned immediately forms a bond with the beautiful stranger called Meg, and Lawson is surprised to find himself captivated by her too.

Although shy at first, Meg starts to open up to him about the haunting secrets of her new home and, with Lawson unable to get her out of his head, they agree to investigate the history of the old building together. Soon they find their friendship has bloomed into something more.

But when meddling Adeline makes it her mission to uncover the truth about the newcomer and her real identity is revealed, Lawson and Meg’s budding romance comes crashing down. Can they both learn to forgive in order to claim a future for their damaged hearts?

A moving story of secrets, love and new beginnings from bestselling author Rachael Johns. 

Buy links: 

Booktopia     Amazon      iTunes     Kobo 

7 Minutes with an Author

Hello and welcome Rachael Johns! 

Thank you for coming over to chat about your writing life in this two part special of 7 Minutes with an Author. 

1. What is the theme of the book you are working on?

I’ve just finished editing my November book, called THE GREATEST GIFT. I’m very excited about this book – the main theme I guess is family and how it comes in all different shapes and sizes. The book deals with egg donation and what it means to be a parent or want to be a parent. There’s also a fun hot air balloon theme, which I had a hoot researching! (I have a feeling that this one is going to pull at our heart strings, Rachael.) 

2. What was/is one of the hardest things about writing one of your books/current manuscript? 

To be honest, at some time during the writing of EVERY book I write, I want to throw it into the fire. I keep hoping writing will get easier, but the more books I write and the more I learn, I think the tougher I get on myself. I question every thing I write these days and so the hardest challenge I find is overcoming the self-doubt, trusting my gut and not letting negative thoughts stop me from finishing. (What you say rings true for so many authors at every stage of their journey.) 

3. Because everyone always wants to know. Are you a panster or plotter?

I’m a plantser – it’s a term I recently heard that basically means I sit on the fence. I am in the middle. I like to know a few key things about my characters and plot before I start – like the premise and the black moment and what the conflicts are – but I don’t really make many notes about these things, or outline the book before I start. If you’re holding a gun to my head and I have to choose one or the other, I’d have to group myself in with the pantsers!! (Ha ha ha ha, I think I might come pretty close to what you say here.) 

4. How important are reviews to you? Do you get upset when they aren’t favourable? (Like stalk the reviewer and wish they get infested with a thousand fleas.)  

Well, this depends on my mood at the time of reading reviews. But yes, I do read reviews and I know not all authors do. I try to remain objective when reading them and I really appreciate the readers and reviewers who take the time out to explicitly explain what worked and what didn’t. I’ve learnt a lot about my writing from reading my reviews, however I’ve also learnt to take everything with a grain of salt. In the end, reviews are only one person’s opinion. Some can be quite harsh, but unless I’m in an overly emotional mood, these are more likely to make me laugh than cry!

The only reviews that really make me cranky are those that are actually nothing about the story – like one star reviews given because someone couldn’t get the ebook to download properly OR the book had too much God stuff and it was an inspirational! Come on people! Be fair! (Very true.)

5. How do you market your books? (Stand at the top of a building and shout buy my book?) 

Whenever I have a new release, I send out a newsletter to my reader list, I run a #shelfie contest on my FB page and I try to do in-store signings and library events. In the beginning I did a fair bit of blogging, but these days, I prefer to spend my time actually writing the next book. I’m lucky that I’m also with a big publisher who promotes my books heavily through their own social media outlets and through magazines and other avenues as well. I’m not huge on self-promo – could have never been a salesman – so I try to link any blatant promo to a contest so that the reader has an opportunity to win something! That makes me feel better :)   

6. Social Media – Love it or hate it?  Where do you hang out the most?  Any tips to share? 

I love hanging out on Facebook where I have an active page and a reader group (Readers of Rachael Johns). It doesn’t feel like a chore to me – I share bits and pieces from my everyday life, my reading tastes, fun links I find, and also book related stuff like cover reveals and new releases. The best thing about this though is meeting Facebook readers at events; whenever I do an event there’s usually at least one or two people who I have “met” via Facebook and meeting them in person is such a buzz. I’m also on Twitter, Instagram and Goodreads but don’t spent as much time on these mediums. My one tip with social media is have fun with it – choose the platform that you enjoy the most and don’t stress too much about it. I know social media is important these days, but in the end the most important thing is still writing a good book and then another and another. You just have to look at some of the bestselling authors out there who aren’t active at all on Twitter or  Facebook to see this is true!

7. What is your favourite motivational phrase or positive saying?  

Don’t regret the things you do, regret the things you don’t do! (Great saying!)

If you want to know more about Rachael you can find her here at: 

www.rachaeljohns.com

 

TALK OF THE TOWN

Lawson Cooper-Jones has two priorities in life – his son, Ned, and the survival of the dairy farm that has been in his family for generations. Despite the best efforts of the town matchmakers and the determined pursuit of local girl Adeline Walsh, Lawson’s heart belongs still, and only, to his late wife.



But when a flat tyre strands Lawson and Ned in nearby Rose Hill, he’s surprised to find a woman living alone in the old general store of the deserted town. Ned immediately forms a bond with the beautiful stranger called Meg, and Lawson is surprised to find himself captivated by her too.

Although shy at first, Meg starts to open up to him about the haunting secrets of her new home and, with Lawson unable to get her out of his head, they agree to investigate the history of the old building together. Soon they find their friendship has bloomed into something more.

But when meddling Adeline makes it her mission to uncover the truth about the newcomer and her real identity is revealed, Lawson and Meg’s budding romance comes crashing down. Can they both learn to forgive in order to claim a future for their damaged hearts?

A moving story of secrets, love and new beginnings from bestselling author Rachael Johns. 

Buy links: 

Booktopia     Amazon      iTunes     Kobo 

 

7 Minutes with an Author

WELCOME Lee Piper!

So glad you could pop in and share a little about yourself and your writing.

1. What is the theme of the book you are working on?

Rock My Body, Book #2 in the Mondez series, is due for release through Evernight Publishing on June 3. I’m really passionate about eradicating the stigma surrounding mental illness, so decided to write a novel from the viewpoint of a heroine who has been medically diagnosed with Anxiety. It’s a great way to not only highlight the (many) challenges of this illness but to also celebrate the strength of someone who lives with it through a combination of humour, music and love. (What a wonderful thing to do. Anxiety can be crippling to a person.)  

2. What was/is one of the hardest things about writing one of your books/current manuscript? (Did you or do you want to throw it into the fire like frodo?)

The hardest thing about writing Rock My Body was the fact I was pregnant with severe morning sickness (19 weeks, people. 19 looooong weeks) while also trying to work full time and raise a three year old. It was so unbelievably hard. Strangely, I was really happy with the manuscript itself, it was just the extenuating circumstances surrounding its creation which really knocked me around!  (Oh Lee, that is quite a load to be juggling and morning sickness…yuk.)

3. Because everyone always wants to know. Are you a panster or plotter?

I’m a combination of the two. At the start of every book, I plot out a basic storyline, the characters, their motivations, and their relationships with one another. Then, (pregnancy aside) I go for a jog along the beach while listening to heavy rock music. This is when I think up each chapter of my WIP. Most often, I will let the ideas sit with me for a while—overnight works best—and then get up at 5am the next day to put pen to paper until 7am which is when I get ready for work. In the evening, I then go over what was written that morning; I type it up and spend the next day or so tidying it up until I am happy with it.

4. How important are reviews to you? Do you get upset when they aren’t favourable? (Like stalk the reviewer and wish they get infested with a thousand fleas.)  

I do read the reviews on my books and, like many authors, sometimes wish I hadn’t. I figure if they’ve taken the time to write about my work, regardless of it it’s positive or negative feedback, the least I can do is read it. I’m curious by nature, so it’s really hard for me not to! If nothing else, the negative reviews teach me resilience and the positive ones make me feel awesome. However, I have decided that unless the reviewer is brave enough to become an author themselves, I’m not going to pay too much heed to their opinions either way. Reading is so subjective and trying to please everyone is beyond impossible. (We all need thick skin.)

5. How do you market your books? (Stand at the top of a building and shout buy my book?) 

I’m very active on social media. Facebook is my go to marketing tool and to be honest, I find most new reads by my favourite authors on Facebook too. I love reviewing and blogging on Goodreads, updating my website/blog, creating YouTube book trailers, taking part in Facebook parties, running giveaways, writing a monthly newsletter, contacting fellow authors for blogging/interview opportunities etc etc. It’s non-stop but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

6. Social Media – Love it or hate it?  Where do you hang out the most?  Any tips to share? 

Love, love, love. I’m trying to find the happy medium between marketing my books and building rapport with my friends/followers. I hate the thought of continuously flogging my latest novel to the point of turning people off, however know it is a very powerful tool if done correctly. So, I carefully take note of what the big names are doing and, if I agree with their methods, follow their lead as much as possible.

7. What is your favourite motivational phrase or positive saying?  

‘If you want to be a writer, you must do two things about all others: read a lot and write a lot.’ – Stephen King.  

This sounds like the perfect life to me. (It sure does.)

Lee loves connecting with readers and fellow authors, here are her links:  

Website: http://www.leepiperauthor.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leepiperauthor/

Blog: http://www.leepiperauthor.com/blog

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Lee-Piper/e/B01NAS0IBO/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16304661.Lee_Piper

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNhPr2s7QOf5B-1NiaHq5Dw

My latest Newsletter: http://mailchi.mp/20ded2dd0312/lee-pipers-april-newsletter

 

 

Procrastination – Enemy of the Writer

 

One of the biggest distractions for any writer, is the triple headed beast, social media. It is evil incarnate, sucking authors into a dark abyss, a stench filled place that takes every ounce of determination to fight and climb back to the surface and towards the proverbial ‘light’.

Well, maybe it is not that bad, but let us face the truth and the facts, none of us are immune to social media. Why? Because the un-necessry stuff we learn about other people is interesting and gives us something to giggle about and write about. 

Facebook:

Gossip Central

The battery in my car died, look I have  a paper cut. 

Instagram:

Vanity Shots

Look coffee, look food, look alcohol.

Twitter:

Word Challenge

This word limit sucks. 

Pintrest:

Pin Boards Galore

Oh I can collect bolts.

There is so much more, but you really do get the gist of it, and why it can swallow a chunk of your precious writing time.

Steven Pressfield, in War of Art says,

A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable nor does the genius or the madman. It’s only you and I with our big brains and our tiny hearts who doubt and overthinking and hesitate.”

Pressfield believes that it is hesitation in the form of ‘resistance’ that causes the writer to stop from moving forward. This resistance is a villain made up of “fear, self-doubt, self-sabotage,” and can manifest itself like an ever changing chameleon in a multitude of wicked forms. The sole purpose of this chameleon, is to stop you form achieving your goal – writing. Thrown right in there with this ‘resistance’ is none other than, overthinking.

Did you know that around 20% of people avoid tasks which they believe are difficult, thus taking monumental steps to do anything but the one thing that needs completion. Why? Because they overthink, and by doing so they move deeper into procrastination. 

So how does one move out of the procrastination faze?

With two things that counter balance motivation. 

COMMITMENT and DISCIPLINE.

Yes we have all seen a bazillion blogs and books about motivation, but motivation is only part of the process. To fulfil the idea we need commitment and discipline.

  • MOTIVATION is something that gives us the impetus to act.
  • COMMITMENT is the promise of engaging oneself in the act.
  • DISCIPLINE is the rule that sets controlled behaviour in order to develop, improve and finish the act that was inspired by the motivation in conjunction with the promise made to oneself.

Discipline is embedded in commitment. Commitment is the time allotted to one’s work on a daily basis. Discipline is the act of completing what one has committed to.

In my crazy brain all of this makes sense. I do hope it has hit a cord with some of you. Honestly, we could all do with less social media (a.k.a procrastination) and do better with more time committing and being disciplined in writing our stories. 

 

 

 

Note: All images paid for and downloaded from Shutterstock. 

7 Minutes with an Author - Georgia Carter Mathers

WELCOME Georgia Carter mathers!

So glad you could pop in and share a little about yourself and your writing.  

1. What is the theme of the book you are working on? 

At the moment, I’m working on The Miana Prophecy. The themes will follow on from Trelloran Seduction, but some of the themes will be accepting our own weaknesses and deficiencies, even if this means accepting that we’re struggling against something we can’t control—things like mental illness. Of course, the other overarching theme will be deepening intimacy and trust between Kaitlau and Pietah. I’ll also be talking about poverty, wealth and war. Those are deep themes Georgia.  

2. What was/is one of the hardest things about writing one of your books/current manuscript?  (Did you or do you want to throw it into the fire like Frodo?) 

The hardest thing about writing is struggling against the chaos of life, long enough to put words down on paper. I often find myself in the position where I am off in a story world, experiencing what the characters are experiencing, but in reality, I’m sitting at green lights with the cars behind me beeping. A teacher said the following when I was surprised to learn that she reads fantasy, “Reality sucks.” What you’re saying here Georgia is so true, our stories are a wonderful way of escaping the harsh pressures or every day life. 

3. Because everyone wants to know, are you a panster or a plotter? 

Lol, I am both. I use a combination of inspiration (dreaming, mental images, videos, news events and current affairs) and consciously plotted material to create my stories.

4. How important are reviews to you?  Do you get upset when they aren’t favourable? (Like stalk the reviewer and wish they get infested with a thousand fleas.)

Reviews are important to me. I haven’t had a bad one yet, but that’s only because people are polite, I think. Everyone has their own way of viewing something. Obviously, I get upset when people treat my work as though it were crap. That has happened to me, just not in a review. As an intensely sensitive writer, the thought of a bad review makes me feel ill. As a publisher, a bad review is a chance to see where I went wrong. I can do better next time. Not everyone is going to like what we write so we do have to come to terms with the good and the bad. 

5. How do you market your books?  (Stand at the top of a building and shout buy my book?) Any events you want the reader to know about e.g. Coming appearances or singing? (If you haven’t got any that is fine.) 

I market my books in a variety of ways. The key is to create word-of-mouth buzz about it. Of course, that is easier said than done. You can see my website for updated events, but I will be available for book sales and signings at the Arts and Design Kirribilli Markets on 8 January, 12 February, 12 March. I am attending the ARRA conference in Melbourne (24-27 February), and I’ll be signing books there as well. If you haven’t got your ticket yet, get in now. You don’t want to miss out. I bought an extra ticket for my husband—he wanted to come to the Awards Dinner—that was a surprise. I will be signing books at the Writers Unleashed Festival on 19 August 2017. More dates will be added to the calendar as I go, but 2017 is filling up fast.

The Facebook party for Trelloran Seduction is also happening on December 16, 12-1 pm! Be there; I’ll be giving away prizes. 

6. Social Media – Love it or hate it? Where do you hang out the most? Any tips to share?

Hmmm. Social media. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I like it because interacting with other writers and readers gives me support, but often, I don’t use it as effectively as I should. Facebook is the easiest for me, so quite often I go there if I need a break from something. My social media tip is that the algorithm owns you now—if nothing is happening, blame the algorithm. It works for me. Hahahaha. True. 

7. What is your favourite motivational phrase or positive saying? 

I am different, so what! It’s okay that I’m different.

If you want to know more about Georgia you can find her here at: 

 http://www.darklovestories.com

 

Trelloran Seduction

It begins on the 300th day of 2195 on Volen …

There is no such thing as an individual. All the humans think of themselves as units with predetermined roles, and they do not grow old with their lovers. The females are sacrificed when they turn thirty, leaving their male counterparts behind.

Princess Kaitlau is a nymph who can take any form. She is also a refugee. She came to Volen through the charmed window after escaping her prison on Trellora.

King Ganim, the vampire who is thought to have created Kaitlau, must be punished. She had thought he loved her as a father, but that could not be. Although he was never present in the chamber, the king had ordered the priests to repeatedly rape her. Merely punishing her father is not enough. She wants him dead. It will be done.

Kaitlau has been observing a particular rebel killing priests on Volen. He is just the one to help her. But feelings for the rebel start to emerge when he agrees to carry out her assassination plans, and gradually as they work together, love begins to matter more than revenge.

Buy link: https://darklovestories.com/books/trelloran-seduction/

 

 

 

The Golden Giveaway

Hello lovely people, 

Christmas is the season of love, family and sharing. It’s also a time of giving so the perfect way to celebrate is by giving one of you lucky folks out there, a chance to win wonderful Gold themed desk accessories and stationary. Use this gift to freshen up or re-vamp your workspace. The giveaway opens up at midnight on the 11th of December, 2016 and runs till midnight Christmas Eve.  

What is in the pack;

  • Gold leaf pin board
  • Gold striped coffee mug/cup
  • Gold trinket dish
  • Gold Candle holder
  • Gold Stapler
  • Gold in-tray basket
  • Gold sequence pencil case
  • Gold striped pencils
  • Gold Pencil/Cup
  • Gold Photo Frame
  • Gold magnetic pegs
  • Gold pack with post-it notes and paperclips, pins and bulldog clips
  • Black and gold mousepad
  • Gold Notebook 
  • Glitter tape
  • Gold gel pen
  • Copy of Don’t Let Anything Dull Your Sparkle by Doreen Virtue 
  • Copy of PHANTASMA
  • Highlighter pack
  • Sticky note tabs  

There might also be an extra two or three items thrown in. Now all you have to do is follow the link bellow and 

  • Follow me on Twitter
  • Retweet on Twitter
  • Visit my Facebook page
  • Follow me on Facebook
  • Sign up for my Newsletter 

Goodluck and hope this makes a special Christmas wish come true.  

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE – http://gvwy.io/udj8mgm

Christmas smiles,

Efthalia

Travelling around Greece - Monemvasia Winery

A while ago, whilst watching Rick Stein travel around Europe for his ‘Venice to Istanbul’ series,
he visited a winery in Monemvasia and for some reason, other than the fact, that my husband and I both love Greece, we remembered it and decided it would be an absolute inclusion of our Peloponessian sight-seeing. 

Monemvasia Wines are known for their decadent sweet white wines, that are fermented from sun-dried grapes. This process gives the wines their distinct notes. Everything and I kid you not, everything I tasted was of stellar quality. Even the wineries ‘most lower grade of wine’, as Nikos said, had an authentic and original appeal to me and my palette. I am by no means a wine connoisseur but, I certainly enjoy a good drop and can appreciate wine in all its grades. What you will find in the Monemvasia Winery’s selection, is that there something for everyone. 

History of the monemvasia region

The history of the Monemvasia region goes back to the Neolithic period, about 8,000 years ago. The region was active in the Bronze Age and right through to the construction of it’s impregnable fortress, the castle of Monemvasia, in the Byzantine era. Malvasia wine, as it is know in the Monemvasia region, has a long history. From the 12th century onwards it influenced the Western and Eastern marketplace.

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

To understand its popularity one only needs to look at the wine’s name – Monemvasia. The Italians call it Malvasia, the French call it Malvoise and a brilliantly executed line comes to us from Shakespeare’s “King Richard III,” where he calls it Malmsey. 

I had the pleasure of meeting Elli and Nikos and whilst there they met and chatted with my husband and children. They are knowledgeable people and know their industry like many wine professionals around the globe. They were also very accomodating and excellent hosts. I totally recommend that if you are travelling around Monemvasia, you pop in and grab a couple of bottles to enjoy. 

We drove away with some amazing bottles of wine that will be shared with relatives. After all, that is what good wine is for. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kourambiethes - Almond Cookies

I’m sharing a recipe that I included in my August Newsletter.  

Kourambiethes, are a an almond shortbread that is coated in icing sugar. They are traditionally baked at Easter and Christmas time. The Christmas recipe calls for a single clove to be placed in the centre. These cookies are so popular that you will find them all year round at any Greek patisserie. The origins of the Kourambie (cookie) comes from 7th century Persia, when sugar was a common used staple in cookery. The origin of the word is from the Iranian word “Qurabiya.” Naturally, the cookies have changed over time and many countries have a variation of this transcendent buttery cookie. Today I am sharing my Greek recipe with you all.  

 
Ingredients
250 grams unsalted butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup blanched almonds or Slivered Almonds
1/2 cup castor sugar
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup ouzo (you can omit ouzo and add 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence and 4 tablespoons of fresh orange juice.)
3 cups self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup icing sugar, for sifting. 
 
Method
1. Preheat oven to 140 degrees celsius. Line two baking trays with baking paper. 
2. Place Almond Slivers on a baking tray. Toast for 5-10 minutes, stir them once or twice. Then take them out of the oven to cool. As soon as they are cooled, place them on a chopping board and chop roughly with a mezzaluna or knife.  
3. Place the sugar and butter in bowl and mix with an electric mixer till pale and creamy. 
4. Beat egg yolks and add to butter and sugar. 
5. Add vanilla or ouzo. 
6. Sift flour and baking powder.
7. Remove bowl from mixer and add the flour and baking powder till mixture is soft. Then add the chopped almonds and mix till you have a nice dough. 
8. Take a heaped teaspoon of the mixture and kneed it into the palm of your hand, making a round shape. Then place on tray.  Continue till all dough is used.  Don’t forget to leave a little space between each cookie. 
9. Bake for 15-25 minutes till cookies are light golden brown.  
10. Remove and leave to cool on wire rack. 
11. When cooled arrange on a plate and sift icing sugar over them. 
 
 12. Enjoy with a nice cup of coffee or tea! 
 
Trust me you’ll want to eat more than one. 
 
Smiles,
Efthalia
 
 
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