Tuesday, 31 January 2012


Hi everyone, welcome to Tuesday Tit Bits with my author of the week, the very delicious and Scottish RAVEN MACALLEN.
So grab a mug of what you fancy, curl up in a chair or on the sofa with a slice of warm shortbread and relax while I probe (haha) this incredibly talented writer.
Raven, tis indeed a pleasure to have you here in the Nook. You’ve been a very very busy woman.
So what book that you read in your past that has stuck in your mind?
Not even remotely erotic i'm afraid. The Shetland Bus By David Howarth, about the Norwegians who escaped to Shetland in WW2 and set up an escape route/message route. My scalp is tingling as I write!
Obviously, apart from Mr McAllan, who would be a welcome sight to see bringing you your first drink of the day?
OOhh, have you seen Anuerin Barnard? Or David Essex, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Richard Gere
What is your all time favourite genre to write and why?

Hmm thats not easy. Romance of course, but so many different types.
What book has you going back to it time and time again if you have one? Any Miss Read. Chesapeake Blue, Nora Roberts and Return to Yesterday, Robyn Donald
How do you write, in absolute peace and quiet or with abject chaos around you?
Any tips for aspiring authors who are reading this?
LIke I always say, Write as you can, not as you think you aught. And enjoy it.
How about writing blocks if you have works in progress........any ideas on how to get over the blocks?
Trust your instinct. If I have a blank, it's usually because whatever I'm writing isn't right. Do something else, start something else. Get a mate to give you five (or 10,20,...)trigger words and write 100, or 500 words including them.
Do you have a favourite film/tv show to watch and help you relax?
Sadly no, i'm not much of a TV/Film person. Music, a bath, candles and champagne. With a book. I've even got a floatable plastic cover for my kindle.
Okay, APART from chocolate and anything else DIPPED in chocolate, what do you munch on when writing?
ER well...

I gather chocolate is the mainstay for all writers! :D
Is there anything you have trouble writing and why?
Evidently i'm getting deeper darker and er more erotic. so less now than last year.But I still cringe inwardly at bad language and some explicit words.
Heres a probing question, how do you write sex scenes when you are feeling less than sexy?
I have no idea, I just do. THEN I do feel sexy! But A warm bath is good for plotting, and a holiday in the sun really gets my fingers...TYPING Kooks, wash your mouth out! On holiday in St Kitts, I wrote two very hot novellas, by getting up early and writing before DH got up and we holidayed!
Do you have a favourite recipe you can share with the readers of the Nook?
Well as my daughter and I can't eat gluten, (except occasionally oat gluten) this is a favourite pud. It can be adapted to wheat flour
You can use any fruit.
So stew your fruit a wee bit to soften it. How cooked it is, is up to you.
Now mix to fine breadcrumb like consistency 85g of oats and 85g of flour with 70g of marg or olive oil spread and 55g of sugar( I like half demerera and half a white) and a pinch of salt
spread over fruit and bake in moderate oven Mark 5 for about 30 mins. YUmmy
Do you have a teaser of a forthcoming book or your absolute favourite one you have had published please?
From TAken Identity, which was released by www.nobleromance.com and is also on Amazon
So, although I could offer to go back to the hotel, to work alone from there . . . ." His expression was one of hopeful interest. “I can weed. I’m at a bit of a loose end until Sean gets back to me. Or I could read some more of your diaries. I still haven’t found the entry about the pool table."
Jules’ eyes twinkled. "Oh, haven’t you? Not a patch on last night, I can assure you. There’s very little room on a pool table, and way too many balls. Let’s face it; two well-placed balls are better than several scattered ones."
Gray choked on the coffee he'd just picked up.
Jules patted him on his back. "Dear me, Gray. Got something stuck in your throat?"
His eyes streaming, he glared at her. "No, you little tease, but I can think of something I’d like to stick in yours."
His fingers moved in ever exciting circles inside her, his thumb rubbing her
It was her turn to splutter. Oh, yes please! "Ah, oh, well, good," she managed to say. Sheesh, Jules, lame or what?
"Right, sexual suggestions over. Seriously, though, Jules, I think I'm as well
stopping here, at least for a while. If you don’t mind. It’s um, easier to brainstorm when we are together."
Jules decided she was not going to think about what else it was easier to do. She nodded.
"Thanks." He sounded relieved. "I’ll nip back to the hotel to grab a change of clothes."
He rubbed his chin. "And a razor." Slowly, his fingers moved from inside her, and with that wicked grin she wasbeginning to associate with him, he put them to his mouth and sucked. "Mmm, nice, a reminder to keep me going." "You're welcome." Well, what else could she say? Can't we just carry on and sod the rest? "

Thanks for coming and joining us in the Nook Raven.
You're welcome. I have a copy of one of my books for one lucky person who comments on here, or on my blog before Friday midnight GMT. my blog www.ravenmcallan.blogspot.com web ravenmcallan.com
and i'm on twitter and Facebook of course!

Wow thanks Raven, that's incredibly generous of you. Again thanks for a wonderful chat.
Thanks for inviting me over, hope you enjoy the crumble lol

I hope you enjoyed reading this, and dont forget to post a comment to be in with a chance of winning a copy of Raven's book. 

Join me next Tuesday when my author of the week will be..............announced on Sunday.

Until then, KEEP IT KOOKY xxxxxxxx

Sunday, 29 January 2012


I am so excited to let you all know that on Tuesday, I will be joined by my author of the week.  She is a bonnie Scots Lassie whos career has rocketed.  She is in fact the pretty wonderful

                                RAVEN MCALLEN

So, please join me on Tuesday with a mug of tea, coffee or hot chocolate.  Perhaps even a glass of whisky and a plate of deliciously warm shortbread as Raven and I chat about life, the universe and perhaps even (looks around nervously) .....willies!!!!!!!

Until Tuesday........KEEP IT KOOKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Tuesday Tit-Bits with KARINA BUCHANAN

Good morning on this wet and horrible day in Blighty.  Welcome to Tuesday Tit-Bits.  Today I have a new author on the scene all the way from Ireland.  Introducing to the Nook.......(round of applause please for) the delectable KARINA BUCHANAN....

So, grab something hot to drink, cuddle up in a chair with a blanket around you, and enjoy my conversation with the lovely Irish Lassie.

What book most of all sticks out in your mind?

It has to be Pride and Prejudice. Many moons ago, on my last day of primary school, there was a prize giving for all the school leavers. Everyone in my class was presented with a copy of 'What Katie Did' – except me. With no explanation, I was handed a beautiful copy of Pride and Prejudice, which I still have. As well as a great love story, it reminds me that my teachers saw how important books were to me at such an early age.

Indeed, what would life be without ever reading about Darling Darcy!

Who would you most like to bring you a mug of tea/coffee first thing in the morning apart from hubby?

Ideal hero

Who makes you stop and go Phwoarrrrrrrrrr

Without a doubt, it has to be Joe Manganiello. (Alcide from True Blood) he is just physical perfection *sigh*

I gather Joe would be perfect to bring you tea/coffee first thing in the morning.  He is definately a sight to wake up to!

What is your pet peeve when writing?

Apart from housework and the school run interrupting me, I also get incessant phone calls from those who think I'm not busy because I'm at home. I am trying to write, people!

What do you do when you have writers block?

I've found that a few days away from the writing to spend time reading someone else's work, usually gets the creative juices flowing again.

Be honest, APART from chocolate what do you snack on when writing?

Umm…biscuits…covered in chocolate

What influences your writing, is it films or literary works?

It can be both. Sometimes a character or a place in a film will inspire me to write but the WAY an author writes can influence me to dig deeper into my characters. A lot of m&b authors write such great conflict in their books, it makes me want to work that much harder.

Do you find it easier to write romance or erotica?

I write romance because I love giving depth to my characters. I wouldn't say it was easy but I do enjoy writing those love scenes!

Any advice for aspiring authors?

Finish whatever you are working on. I've lost track of the manuscripts I started over the years, then abandoned but I think you need that feeling of achievement when you complete your first manuscript. Even if it's not the greatest story on Earth, your writing will improve and drive you on to do better in future projects.

What is the weirdest book you have ever read?

You are really testing my goldfish-like memory with these questions Manda lol One that sticks in my mind, and I do think it was a Harlequin book, was one where the hero was a selkie. It was a long time ago, well before the current trend of shifter stories and I just found it odd that this hot leading man turned into a seal. It was different from the traditional romance I was expecting and I loved it. If anyone has a clue what this book was, please let me know.

Do you have a recipe that you could share with us?

Cooking is not my strong point but even I can manage a recipe for Irish Potato Bread. You can eat this warm, spread with a little butter but usually we just eat it as part of our famous Ulster Fry!

225g/ 8oz boiled potato1/2 tsp salt
25g/ 1oz butter, melted
50g/ 2oz plain flour
Makes 8

Mash potatoes well. Add salt and butter, then work in enough flour to make a pliable dough. Divide the dough in two and roll out on a floured surface to form two circles 22cm / 9 inch in diameter and 1/2cm/ 1/4 inch in thickness. Cut each circle into quarters and bake on a hot griddle or pan for about 5 minutes or until browned on both sides. Some people like to grease the baking surface, but I prefer a light dusting of flour to give it a drier effect.

And finally........could you leave us with a teaser

Sure! Thanks for having me Manda x

Daring to Love

Andrea Macleave is determined to lose her 'Miss Stuffy Knickers' nickname with a rappel down Ireland's famous Europa Hotel, for the hospital where she works. Risk taking goes against everything she believes in and it takes a kiss from her hunky instructor to send her on her way. With her wild side let loose, a one night stand with the action man seems the perfect antidote to her staid life.

Part-time charity volunteer, Matt King, hopes to put the disastrous hook-up behind him. That's easier said than done when he meets the woman in question at his workplace. There's clearly a powerful attraction between them but he's fighting his past demons by living life on the edge.

With each of them determined to let their past ruin their chance for happiness, how can an adrenaline junkie and a control freak ever make it work?


"I should have known you couldn't handle your drink." With the devil in him, Matt pushed the buttons guaranteed to re-activate his Andie.

A frown, a purse of full pink lips and she took the bait. "I'll have a whiskey if you're buying." The determination to prove him wrong blinded her to the goggled looks she garnered and the sudden quiet at the table.

He couldn't help his smile getting wider, the more irritated she became. "One whiskey, coming up. Jimmy give me a hand getting these in, will you?"
"I've a good mind to get you fired!" Matt hadn't noticed Andrea following him over to the bar. At the sound of her sexy, pissed-off voice, he slowly turned his head.

She stood, ram-rod straight, giving him clear appreciation of long, lean legs. They seemed to go on forever in those spiky black heels she had swapped for her trainers, even if she still had to look up at his six foot four frame. The figure-hugging jeans would bring a grown man to his knees but he would prefer to see her in something to better show off those pins.

The rose tint in her cheeks gave away her embarrassment at being so openly admired and coming across as a letch was not how he wished to be perceived. Nevertheless, he did enjoy throwing her off guard.

"You should be thanking me really." He wound her up and let her go.

"Thanking you?" She crossed her arms across her chest, drawing the V of her top down to give a tantalizing peek at her cleavage. "I should have you arrested for the way you behaved, never mind getting you fired."

"It got you over the edge, didn't it? You were so caught up, being ticked off at me that you didn't have time to think about what you were doing."

"In that case, turn around."


"So I can slap the gold star on your backside for a job well done! Do you seriously think that's a good enough reason for your behavior? Is that the way you carry on with all your clients?"

"Only the pretty, obstinate ones. As for having me fired, well," he backed his elbows onto the bar, "I do the charity rappels voluntarily. It's difficult to replace a trained instructor willing to work for free but if I caused you so much offense, do what you must."

Her delicious mouth opened and closed and he was assaulted with memories of tasting her. And how good it would be to do it again.

"Since it's for charity and all, I suppose I'll let the matter drop. Forget it happened." The defensive arms slackened and fell to her sides. With the thaw setting in, Matt impulsively stepped forward, to invade her personal space.

"Are you sure that's what you want, Andie?" If he could forget his rules for one night, she could stop pretending she didn't want him.

Instead of seeing the look of longing staring back at him, her pupils narrowed. "Where do you get off calling me 'Andie', anyway? My name is Andrea." She lifted the tumbler of the finest whiskey from the bar, knocked it back and stalked back to her friends.

Matt King never was one to back away from a challenge.

You can contact @karinabuchanan1 on Twitter or Facebook http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100002715462350

A BIG thanks to Karina today for "daring" to call into Kook's Nook for a chat.  If any of you reading this would like to be interviewed for the Nook, leave a comment or email me direct at mrsajward@hotmail.com

Until next Tuesday......Keep it KOOKY!!!


Tuesday, 17 January 2012


Good morning everyone and welcome to Kooks Nook. Pull up a chair, grab a tea/coffee or hot chocolate and just relax.

Joining me today in the Nook, on what will be a regular post is a very good friend of mine, quite possibly a best friend, Doris O'Connor. She has had several erotic/paranormal books published by Evernight, Noble and Breathless Press. We have lunch together twice a week, so I thought she would be the ideal woman to launch Tuesday's Tit Bits!

Im really chuffed that she agreed to be my Guinea Pig so to speak, and please, if anyone reading this would like to take part. You would be more than welcome just email me.

I am a reviewer for the Women's Literary Cafe, and also review books on Goodreads, WHSmith and Amazon. Again email me for details.

So onto the interview......and here she is give it up for Author of the week (drum roll guys) DORIS O'CONNOR.

Thank you Doris, for joining me today, please take a seat and have a slurp of coffee. Kisses her on the cheek. Mwuah!!!!!

What novel be it romance or otherwise sticks out in your mind?

Gone With The Wind – it's the first book I read, where I fell head over heels in love with the hero. I was a teenager at the time and I have lost count how many times I've re-read that book since then.

Would you contemplate writing a historical romance/erotica novel some point in the future?

I would love to write a historical, but the amount of research involved puts me off a bit.

Ideal hero, bad boy or nice guy... and any influences?

The heroes in my books, lol. I love them all, but Sven from Scandinavian Scandal will always hold a special place in my heart. He was the first hero who ever sat on my shoulder, bugging me to tell his story. Not once, but twice, because having completed the original version, he then bugged me to completely re-write it from scratch and turn it into an Erotic Romance, making me into the Erotic Writer I am now.

Bad boy every time, but he needs to be tortured and redeem himself.

Real life influences, it would have to be my hubby. A little bit of him is on all my heroes. Soppy I know, but he is my real life hero. We have been married for 23 years and I couldn't imagine life without him.

And then there is the obligatory eye candy…err…I mean research of course. Such a hard job, but someone's got to do it ;)

What is your pet peeve when writing?

Constant interruptions and lack of time. This is an incredibly busy household and writing has to fit round so many other things.

What are you currently reading?

To Please A Lady by Raven McAllan and am itching to start the new Maisey Yates.

Apart from your husband, who would you most like to bring you a morning coffee?

Eric from True Blood, no contest. ;-)

Not including chocolate, what do you snack on during writing?

There are other snacks than chocolate? Really?

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Never give up. Write every day, hone your craft, find a good critique group, and write, write, write. Write the way you want to, find 'your voice' and don't let rejections get you down. They are an inevitable part of the process. I lost count how many I received, before I landed my first contract. Dust yourself off, listen to any feedback, and try again. Most of all enjoy what you do. If I never published another book, I would still be writing. It's what I do

Out of the books you have written, do you have an all time favourite?

Scandinavian Scandal will always be my personal favourite. It's that Sven, though I fall in love with all of my heroes, much to hubby's amusement. He just rolls his eyes and mutters to himself.

Am a doing a recipe of the week, do you have one to share?

Now you're asking. I'm one of those cooks that don't do recipes. It's literally a handful of that, a dash of this, lol.

A firm favourite in this house are my German Pancakes. Take three eggs, milk, sugar and water and mix it all together. Quantities depend on how many you want to make. I feed 10 so usually make a huge bowl. The mixture needs to be quite thick, not too thick, just pourable. Heat frying pan with plenty of oil to achieve the nice, crispy texture of this pancake. Cut cooking apples in slices. Pour mixture into frying pan and add slices of apples. When one side is cooked, turn over to brown the other one. These pancakes are not flippable, lol. You should end up with a nice thick pancake, if you've done it right.

You won't be able to eat more than one! Be warned and enjoy

Can you tantalise the readers with an excerpt please?

Overview: When firefighter Alex Giovanni returns to his old neighborhood to fulfill family obligations, he is reunited with the woman inhabiting his dreams. The sexy siren ran out on him after one explosive night many years ago. Hiding behind her sensible clothes she portrays the perfect image of Miss Prim and Proper and Alex vows to unlock the passionate woman he remembers. Mixing business with pleasure has never been so much fun.
Kitty Jenkins’ orderly life gets turned upside down when Alex walks into her school. Their passion filled night four years ago has left her with a secret that threatens to tear them apart. Giving into Alex is out of the question, regardless of how much her body craves his touch.
When secrets spill and disaster strikes, can their passion turn into love?


Alex knocked the brandy down in one go. All his, was she?If only that were true. But she was here, and she was making arrangements to have Noah looked after. She was so damn hot in the prim-and-proper skirt and blouse that she wore to school. Just watching her had him shifting in his suddenly tight jeans. Down, boy. She wanted to talk, remember.But then, they could always talk afterwards. He closed his eyes, recalling the way she had trembled in his arms earlier, and his smile turned wicked. This was long overdue. What he needed was to lose himself in her soft curves, and maybe then he would be able to sleep tonight without reliving that damn fire every time he closed his eyes.


Alex’s gaze scorched her back whilst she was on the phone getting Noah’s care sorted out for tonight. Thank goodness for her neighbor. Gwen readily agreed to get Noah from nursery.

Don’t you worry about a thing, my dear. Noah and I will be just fine. You take your time with that fire fighter of yours. I will make sure Noah has some dinner, and he can stay with me as long as it takes. All night if need be. I do love having him here.”

Heat rose in Kitty’s cheeks, and she heard Alex’s low chuckle when she answered Gwen.“He’s not my fire fighter, and I’ll be over as soon as I can. I have no intention of staying the night, Gwen.”

Now that is a shame.” Alex’s low whisper right behind her made her jump. When had he gotten that close? She felt her hair lifted away from her neck, and replaced with Alex’s firm mouth as he rained kisses on the sensitive skin, whilst one hand reached around her to take the phone off her.

Hey, Gwen. Alex here. Thanks for this…. Yes, I will. Don’t you worry…. I think so, too.”

Before she could stop him, he ended the call and threw the phone on the leather settee just in front of them. She turned around to look at him. “What do you think you’re doing, Alex?”

I’d have thought that’s obvious.”

Alex, we need to talk.”

Talk is overrated, Kitty”

She took a step back from the intense heat she saw in his eyes and swallowed nervously as Alex chuckled.

Thought you were all mine.”

Oh, me and my big mouth!She spotted the bag of cards she had brought over and, sidestepping Alex, hastily grabbed it. She held the bag in front of her as though it was a shield.

Urm, you haven’t looked at these. The kids made them for Lewis’s family, and—”The words stuck in her throat when Alex stopped where he was, and the sadness that suddenly came off him in waves was almost palpable.

He stepped away from her and poured himself yet another glass of brandy, one hip balanced on the kitchen counter, his knuckles white where they grabbed the decanter.

Kitty’s heart went out to him, and she dropped the bag. She crossed the distance between them and put one hand on his arm. “I’m sorry. Was it truly awful?”

Alex nodded grimly.“He shouldn’t have died. He was so young, Kitty, so goddamn young, his whole life in front of him. He was their only son. Imagine that. And I was the one who sent them into that building. I underestimated how unstable that side was. This is my fault, and there they were looking to me to tell them how he died.”

He reached once again for the bottle, but Kitty wouldn’t let him.

It was an accident, Alex, a tragic accident. You can’t blame yourself; you were right there with them, weren’t you?”

She almost didn’t see Alex’s barely-there nod.

And you said the initial investigation showed that it could not have been prevented. You told me that only yesterday. So it’s not your fault. It’s the fault of whoever the thug was that set fire to that lot in the first place. Think of all the lives you did save. All those neighboring houses that would have gone up in flames, too. All those families whose homes you saved. All the lives you’ve touched over the years, Alex.”

She moved closer still, taking his head between her hands to make him look at her. She was not going to let him take the blame for this, no way.

You’re a hero, Alex. You all are, and I’m sure Lewis’s family will get some small amount of closure over this. He will never be forgotten.”


I wish I could believe that.”

Alex was stunned by the sincerity in Kitty’s voice, by those green eyes willing him to see her point of view. Not in his wildest dreams would he have thought anyone would ever fight in his corner like this.

Believe it, Alex. Surely your family—”

Did they look supportive to you, when I had to leave the party?”

Well, no, but that’s only because they love you and don’t want to see you get hurt. That’s understandable, isn’t it? And Francesca and Nonna seem supportive, and your mother, well, she is just being a mother. I can understand that. You just want to keep your baby safe, can’t blame her for that, Alex.”

I’m not blaming her, Kitty. I just don’t like her methods.”

Which are?”

Alex sighed to himself.

Alex, tell me what’s going on.”

Enough of this!He did the only thing he could do. He pulled her towards him and shut her up with a kiss.


Find me on the web here:

Thanks for having me today Kooks
Anytime my darling friend. Wishing you all the very best of luck in your career. I shall see you Thursday for lunch.
I'd like to thank you all for joining me today, and hope to see you all again next Tuesday when my Author of the week will be.........announced on Sunday!
Keep it Kooky xxxxxx

Monday, 16 January 2012

Tomorrow.......Tuesday Tit Bits!

Bookmark this page people.  Tomorrow starts a new and improved Kook's Nook.  Author of the weekd Doris O'Connor has kindly agreed to be interviewed for tomorrows post and even allow us to read an exerpt of her book.

So, join me tomorrow as I snuggle down in an armchair, with a huge mug of tea, and probe Doris!

See you tomorrow in the Nook.


Kooks xxxxx