From the WBD website:
World Book Day is a celebration! It’s a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.
This is the 17th year there’s been a World Book Day, and on 6th March 2014 children of all ages will come together to appreciate reading. Very loudly and very happily. The main aim of World Book Day in the UK and Ireland is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own. That’s why we will be sending schools (including those nurseries and secondary schools that have specially registered to participate), packs of Book Tokens and age-ranged World Book Day Resource Packs (age-ranged into Nursery/Pre-School, Primary and Secondary) full of ideas and activities, display material and more information about how to get involved in World Book Day.
Happy Excuse to Read All Day Day!
… for my novella A Wolf At Her Door, from Coffeetime Romance!
The reviewer gave my book a Reviewer’s Recommend Award, which, says Coffeetime Romance, ”recognizes outstanding writing styles in all book types and genres.” How about that! *grin*
The reviewer, Delane Davis, said my novella was “a fairy tale of a love story. Jasmine Aherne brought to life the dreams of every single reader who wishes for a special someone to walk through life with. A true Cinderella story with a Fairy God Mother and a prince of a man. I loved my introduction to the writing of Jasmine Aherne and so will you.”
I love to cook. Which is great, because even more than I love to cook, I love to eat!
Food often works its way into my novels and novellas, simply because I adore it so much.
I present to you a recipe I tried last week for some melt in your mouth cake. Full article can be found on this webpage.
Flourless Chocolate Almond Cake
- ½ cup raw almonds (or almond meal)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons honey
- ⅓ cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 egg
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch cayenne
- 2 5-ounce ramekins
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- If using almonds, grind the almonds very finely until the texture is light and fluffy.
- In a glass measuring cup of bowl, add 3 tablespoons butter, 3 tablespoons honey, and ⅓ cup semisweet chocolate chips. Microwave for 10 seconds intervals, stirring after each, until fully combined.
- In a medium large bowl, beat one egg with a whisk. Then add ½ cup of the almond meal, 1 pinch of kosher salt, 1 pinch of cayenne pepper, and the chocolate mixture and stir to combine.
- Butter two 5-ounce ramekins. Pour in the batter, and bake for 35 minutes until a toothpick comes out nearly clean.
If you like reading about heroines who love to cook, try my debut novel, Stranded.
When Rachel Coles flew to New York to surprise the man she thought was her fiancé, coming face to face with his wife broke her heart. She needed a shoulder. So, she turned to a man she met by chance–handsome carpenter Will Norton. Together they turn her disaster into a short but magical holiday.
Will was attracted to the pretty brunette he met on the plane, and the fun sightseeing day they share only deepens his feelings for her. He’s just starting to regret never seeing her again when he learns Rachel’s had all her suitcase and purse stolen.
Now, as he offers her his guest room while she waits for a new passport, Will and Rachel find themselves struggling against a deep-rooted attraction that shows every sign of making itself permanent. The only trouble is, Rachel’s stay in New York will be anything but…
I often write sweet romance. I write a bit of the steamier stuff, too, but I’m here to talk about sweet today, because I love it. I don’t mean closed doors, climatic music and steam trains through tunnels (nudge nudge wink wink) but I mean sweet. Non erotic. Lightly sensual.
While I do love a good erotic read – and my God don’t we all – I don’t always reach for the erotic. Why, you ask? Why indeed.
Have you ever seen the film Brief Encounter? If you haven’t, I urge you to walk, no, run! – to your nearest DVD store and rent or buy a copy. It is a beautiful film, and the love story within is told without almost any contact or nudity of any kind. It’s all emotional, cleverly told, beautifully acted, with the leads so expressionate in voice and face that it makes me cry. I won’t spoil it for you, but check it out. You won’t be sorry.
Another reason I like, and write, sweet, is that I’m part of an amateur dramatic society here in Wales, where I live. We have, on occasional, told love stories, and because we’re on stage, of course no kissing and very little touching is allowed. It must all be done through slight touches. Brushes of hands. Long, lingering looks so hot it would steam up the theatre windows. I love that. I love that chivalrous, bygone romantic era where love was a disallowed thing, a thing to be secretly hoarded.
What I guess I’m saying is that I like not knowing what goes on after the curtain falls sometimes. As a little girl I loved happy ever after with the white horse and the prince and princess. Of course, I was too young for sex scenes then, but I still hang on to the nostalgia of that fairy-tale like time. It explains why I love to read Claire Delacroix and her “Bride Quest” series, full of charming heroes and breathless heroines, and long, horseback rides through the sunset.
I would also like to direct you to the film The Young Victoria. This is a wonderful film about Queen Victoria’s romance with Prince Albert. They were young, and their every move was scrutinized until they married. Kisses had to be stolen. They had to make do with not making love. And that – the waiting, the wanting, somehow made it more exciting to watch. Sweeter, because their courtship was gentle, like the slow lap of the tide on the sand.
Of course, this all being said, every so often – and quite often I might add! – I reach for an erotic read rather than a sweet, and boy do I enjoy it! I love a bodice ripper, and reading erotic helps me to improve my own sex scenes no end. But I can see why there’s still a market for sweet. Some readers like the mystery after the curtain falls. Others just like to pen their own sex scenes in their head! And maybe some are just dreaming of the perfect happy ever after, ending with no more than a kiss in the sunset and a horseback ride off the screen…
If you’d like to read one of my sweet/sensual romances, you could check out Stranded, a transatlantic romance with mouthwatering food references, or Uprooted, a family romance where a landscape gardener woos a single father.
“The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it.” ~James Bryce
“A good book should leave you… slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading it.” ~William Styron, interview, Writers at Work, 1958
“If there’s a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” ~Toni Morrison
“A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.” ~Chinese Proverb
“I’ve never known any trouble that an hour’s reading didn’t assuage.” ~Charles de Secondat, Baron de la Brède et de Montesquieu, Pensées Diverses
“To sit alone in the lamplight with a book spread out before you, and hold intimate converse with men of unseen generations – such is a pleasure beyond compare.” ~Kenko Yoshida
My first blog hop! I got tagged by the talented M S Kaye (visit her here), and this hop was originally started by Rochelle Weber!
1. What am I working on?
I’m working on a small town romance set in Sussex, where I’m from, about a couple who were once friends with the same old lady, who leaves them equal shares in a old English manor style property. Let the fight/passion begin! You can read an excerpt on this blog very soon.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
This is a hard question to answer! I’ll quote from a recent review I have received, and say “sweetness.” My work doesn’t tend to be dark or harrowing. There’s a nice, fluffiness to it, which I’m sure readers will either like or loathe. I believe that there’s enough darkness in the real world.
3. Why do I write what I do?
I’m in love with love! And I like to explore what love does to people – what makes them tick and how their relationships help them grow as people. Also, it keeps my busy mind occupied!
4. How does my writing process work?
I carry around a little notebook with me and jot down ideas that charge into my head and won’t be ignored. Then I Draft a rough plan, and start from there. Most often the plan gets deviated from because the characters make their own way around the story and don’t do what I tell them!
My turn to tag someone!
I tag the lovely Welsh freelance writer and blogger, Llinos Thomas. Her blog is all about creative crafts, delicious food and personal improvement/growth. Read her post here on 23rd Feb!
Because I’ve just started to watch the BBC’s Musketeers and I am in love with ALL OF THEM OH MY GOD.
My favourite is Athos, who has a deep darkness inside of him thanks to a shrouded past involving a lost love. But the hinted-at romance between D’Artagnan and Constance is also extremely sweet.
Take a closer look at these four lovelies. And enjoy Valentine’s Day, whether your plans are romantic or otherwise. And if you feel sad : don’t feel sad, remember – today is Day Before Cheap Chocolate Day!
..Or thoughts on editing my first novel, back in 2009. An oldie, but a goodie.
I’d like to talk about editing. Oh yes. When I was younger, much younger, I think I imagined that an author wrote a novel, touted it around a bit, and then it got accepted and everyone was happy. Magical fairies made copies of the book, painted a pretty cover, and it appeared it shops via teleportation.
Obviously, this isn’t the case. Once a novel is accepted, the author works closely with an editor to revise all the little niggly things that can make or break a book. Plot holes. Punctuation errors. Grammatical mistakes. Boring dialogue. Etc.
For example, when I started to work on my first published novel, Stranded (click here for more info or to buy), I had no idea how much passive voice I used. Passive voice = was, were, etc.
Loads. Truthfully, bucketloads. My wonderful editor Mary used a firm but encouraging hand with my work. She highlighted all the “was” and “were” in my raw manuscript and asked me to look at them closely. Some pages seemed so full of highlights that quite, frankly, I’m surprised she had the strength to continue! However, once the passive voice had been revised out, you would not believe how much better it read. I felt part of the action, and now so would the readers.
An editor is invaluable. An editor guides you through the revision process, improving your work. Sometimes this means shortening it. I deleted the whole first chapter from Stranded. I actually wanted to cry a little bit when it was suggested, but you know what? It helped. Massively. The story now begins where it should, where the action happens. So, when you find yourself worrying about cutting, don’t. Listen to your editor. She knows what sells and what won’t. She knows what’ll hook readers. Don’t fret. Go with the flow. If you really feel very strongly about something, it can be discussed and maybe put back in later.
It’s a scary process. You write and rewrite, over and over, fret, get stressed, shout at your partner and your pet cat (or in my case, pet python), and then when you finally submit the revisions to your editor, you worry about what she’ll think.
In short, I think editing is sort of like having a child. It’s never truly over. You’re always editing current work, post-contracted work, or friends’ work.
But it’s all worth it when it’s done. When your editor emails you and tells you how impressed she is. THEN you relax. Or do you? Of course not! Then the dreaded muse is on your back again, chucking characters and plots through your mind, gnawing away until you write.
But I wouldn’t change it for anything.
As the anticipated/dreaded (delete as you see fit) Valentine’s Day approaches, are you looking forward to snuggling up with your special someone, or celebrating your single status?
Whatever Friday sees you doing, I hope you’ll have time to curl up with my rather sexy wolf shifter, Ayden, and the beautiful museum curator he bewitches.
Here’s a little tidbit to whet your appetite for a wolf on Valentine’s Day.
Her dress pooled on the floor and fell to the grey carpet with little more than a soft sigh. Julia stood still, feeling Ayden’s dark golden gaze devour her. Everywhere he looked, his searing appraisal lit up all the flashpoints of desire in her body.
“I am honoured that you are going to be mine.”
She held out her arms. “No, I’m the one who’s honoured.”
As he took her mouth again, Julia poured everything into the kiss – her desire and need for him; her wonder at his acceptance of her world, her eagerness to show him everything she, and the human plane, had to offer. But most of all, her yearning for him to finally, properly, make love to her.
As she kissed, Ayden held her to him tightly, and Julia felt the unmistakable evidence of his erection growing, hot and hard, against her lower stomach. Remembering how he had sadly guided her hands away in her dream, she decided that this time, she’d take charge.
She broke off the kiss, and, without warning Ayden, dropped to her knees and unzipped his suit trousers. His huge erection sprang free, and, cradling his shaft in one hand, she took him in her mouth.
As Ayden drew in a deep, surprised, breath, his hands clutching at her shoulders for support, she tongued the spongy head of his erection, licking it around and around as she might a favoured kind of ice cream. She tasted just a hint of salt as he groaned, and she took him deeper into her mouth, her free hand reaching down to stroke his balls, which had grown hard. He trembled under her touch.
“Enough,” she heard him growl, and he scooped her up into his arms, heading for one of the long leather chairs positioned in front of the book cases. He laid her down on it, and, slowly, painstakingly slowly, removed her bra and then the bare scrap of her lace panties.
As she watched from half-closed lids, Ayden removed his suit, each item seeming to float on to the library’s carpet. His gaze never leaving hers during his slow striptease, he moved to the chair and lowered himself on top of her, capturing her mouth with his.
His hands stroked down her body, the finger-light touch causing her body to bow into his. Ayden eased a thigh between her legs and as he settled atop her, Julia thrilled to the feel of his erection teasing the swollen bud of her clitoris. As their tongues danced he moved gently against her, caressing her most intimate place with the damp head of his shaft.
“Ayden….” She murmured against his lips, trying to tell him that she was ready.
However, he wasn’t. He moved silkily down her body, feasting on her breasts, cupping the soft undersides and rolling the nipples with his tongue. When she tried to pull him back up her body to slip him inside her, he resisted, journeying further down, creating a pathway of kisses from her bellybutton to her nether lips. When he parted her with his fingers and swirled his tongue over her clitoris, she came off the chair, shamelessly pressing herself as close to his mouth as possible. “Please, don’t stop.”
If you liked that, you can buy the full novella here.
Have a great day on Friday, whatever you do. And remember: Saturday is cheap reduced chocolate day!!