Thursday, 29 March 2012


What a FABULOUS cover. How beautiful is this book?

I have been really privileged to get an advanced copy of this to review.  I try not to give away any of the plotlines and feel that each reader gets to experience the book in their own way, and with their own imagination.

Set in 1824 Regency England, I was immersed immediately in the era.  Henrietta definately has "sparkage" and "moxie" which is really great.  As for the hero Rafe.  What can I say apart from wow!
Marguerite has really tapped into the emotions and feelings of both her main characters, and from the first page, I was following their romance and turning over pages faster and faster. 

The story is fast paced, and keeps the reader on their toes throughout.  Marguerite's descriptions of life in London and the country is spot on, and her words flow like a melody.

Missing emeralds, a thump on the head and an Earl who actually has feelings, a heart and is not afraid to show them.  A woman who is strong and not afraid to be true to herself.  This book really is a wonderful read.  I loved it from the very first page and sad when it ended.

Pride and Prejudice this is NOT!

It's available on Amazon to pre-order at this link

This is a really wonderful book and not one to miss.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012


Hi all and thanks for joining me in the Nook today.  I have the almighty great pleasure, and yes I am gushing here to introduce the very gorgeous and talented author of the Kauffman Bakery Series set in Amish county............AMY CLIPSTON.  Seriously how wonderful is this? 

Amy welcome to the Nook and thank you so much for taking time out of your busy life to agree to do this interview.  I am honoured that you accepted my invitation.

Amy, it is an absolute honour and pleasure to have you here in the Nook. Your Kauffman bakery series is such a unique and beautifully written series, how did you decide to write about the Amish?
The Amish are such a unique community, and even more the fascinating because in the UK we don’t have them here. Is there anything about the UK that particularly intrigues you Amy?
You’re going to laugh, but I’ve loved the Beatles since I was in middle school. I also enjoy hearing about William and Kate.
When did you start writing and what/who are your biggest influences?
As a child and young adult, I wrote for fun. I remember penning my first story in elementary school. Writing was something I did to cope with stress and also escape to my own little world. However, I didn’t consider becoming an author or pursuing a writing career until I accidentally found a local chapter of Romance Writers of America chapter in 2001. After going to a meeting, I realized that writing was a passion I wanted to pursue as a possible career. Through the writers’ group, I learned how to polish my work and find an agent.
My biggest influences as a child were S.E. Hinton and Judy Blume. When I began writing Christian fiction, I was inspired by Beverly Lewis and Wanda Brunstetter.
I know from experience that writing and raising a family, especially when there are little ones around is not easy. How do you manage and do you have any hints or tips you would be able to share?
My situation is unusual because I work a full-time job along with writing and raising a family. I’ve learned to be flexible. I work four 10-hour days in order to have Fridays off for writing, running errands, and volunteering at my boys’ school. I’m also blessed to have my mother living with my family. She handles most of the housework, including food shopping, cleaning, and doing laundry. Thanks to her help, I’m able to spend any free time at home writing. If the boys are busy playing outside on the weekend, I’ll work on my current book project. I also burn the midnight oil and write until late at night. I live on caffeine and very little sleep when I’m on deadline. When I complete a book deadline, I do something special with my boys, such as going to the movies, going ice skating, or just spending time together at home. My schedule is not ideal schedule, but I make it work. My family is very supportive.
Do you have a particular writing style? I mean does it have to be in absolute peace and quiet or can you write in amongst chaos and noise....if you can I would have to say you are amazing!
I sometimes write with music on a very low volume. I also have this strange habit of putting the television on without the sound. If I get stuck with the book, I look up at the screen for a break. I know I’m strange!
I read you are from Charlotte, North Carolina. I probably sound really uneducated, but the only thing I know about Carolina is that it featured a great deal in the TV series North and South with Patrick Swayze. Can you tell us more about where you live and what it’s like living in the US especially at the moment with the upcoming Presidential election please? I can only think that is probably a manic time there as it is for us Brits with the Diamond Jubilee being celebrated in a matter of months.
I have to admit I’m not a Southerner by birth, but I always felt my heart belonged to the South. I grew up in northern New Jersey and moved to Virginia Beach after high school. We came to the Charlotte area in 2006.
Charlotte is a wonderful place. We have the city feel with tall buildings and sports arenas in Uptown, but we also have farmland. I work in Uptown but live in a more rural part of the area where I pass by farmland on the way to my sons’ school. Although we aren’t on the coast, we have the beach and also the mountains within a day’s drive.
The Presidential election is all over the news, both on the Internet and on television. There are debates, speeches, and advertisements. Some folks get into it and follow every news story, but it’s only background noise to me. Although my father was very politically astute, I stopped paying much attention after he became ill. There are issues that are important to me, but I keep my opinions to myself. Politics separates people, and I avoid heated arguments and debates. I don’t want to risk losing a friendship by getting into an emotional political debate.
What are you planning on writing after the Kauffman Bakery have finished? Will you be basing more novels in Amish country?
I have another series coming next year, and it will also be based in Lancaster County. I’m really excited about it. I can’t tell you much now, but I promise I will soon!
I have to say that I personally am such a HUGE fan of yours, and enter the competitions as having an autographed copy of your book/s would be the icing on the cake for me. Is there a particular author who you would love to have a signed book by?
Thank you for your kind words! I would pass out if I received an autographed book from S.E. Hinton, Judy Blume, Kristin Hannah or Janet Evanovich.
Do you have any plans to come to the UK at all?
Unfortunately, no. I hope to someday be in a position to travel, but we’re not there yet.
I am more than a bit of a foodie. Do you munch on anything when you are writing?
Popcorn! I crave popcorn and Diet Coke when I’m stressed. My wonderful husband made me my favorite air-popped delight last week when I was very stressed about a book edit. I was so happy to smell that delicious treat when he brought it upstairs for me. J
In your books, of which I find the covers are stonkingly beautiful, there are many recipes in there. Are you planning to release an Amish Cookbook or can you share with us your all time favourite recipe please?
My publisher hasn’t mentioned a cookbook, but it would be fun to do one. Thank you for complimenting the recipes. Here’s a delicious recipe for soft pretzels. Yum!
Soft Pretzels
1 ½ c warm water
1 1/8 tsp active dry yeast
2 Tbs brown sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 c bread flour
3 c regular flour
2 c warm water
2 Tbs baking soda
coarse salt
2-4 Tbs melted butter
Sprinkle yeast on warm water in mixing bowl. Stir to dissolve. Add brown sugar and salt. Stir to dissolve. Add flours and knead dough until smooth. Let it rise for 30 minutes.
While dough is rising, mix 2 c warm water with 2 Tbs baking soda. Stir often.
After dough has risen, roll pieces of dough into a long rope (no more than a ½ inch thick). Shape into a pretzel or keep in strips. Dip in baking soda solution and place on greased baking sheet. Let dough rise again. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with coarse salt. You can also sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
Finally Amy, could you leave us with a teaser of a book please?
I’m really excited about my upcoming book, Reckless Heart, which is a Kauffman Amish Bakery young adult book. Although it’s not part of the series, it’s a story about Lydia Bontrager, one of the Kauffman granddaughters. The novel will be available in April.
Here’s a teaser for you:
Book Description
Lydia Bontrager's youngest sister is frighteningly ill, and as a good Amish daughter, it falls to Lydia to care for her siblings and keep the household running, in addition to working as a teacher's assistant and helping part time at her grandmother's bakery. Succumbing to stress, Lydia gives in to one wild night and returns home drunk.

The secret of that mistake leaves Lydia feeling even more restless and confused, especially when Joshua, the only boy she's ever loved, becomes increasingly distant. When a non-Amish boy moves in nearby, Lydia finds someone who understands her, but the community is convinced Lydia is becoming too reckless. With the pressures at home and her sister's worsening condition, a splintering relationship with Joshua, and her own growing questions over what is right, Lydia could lose everything that she's ever held close.
The Making of Reckless Heart
Reckless Heart gave me the opportunity to create a story about Lydia Bontrager, who is one of the granddaughters in my Kauffman Amish Bakery series. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to write a young adult book based on my Kauffman novels.

This story is close to my heart because it's dedicated to Jimmy O'Brien, a dear family friend who lost his life to leukemia at the age of ten.

Amy Clipston
Bestselling Author of Inspirational Fiction
2011 Selah Award Winner for Fiction
Kauffman Amish Bakery Series
Donate life!

I can not tell you how much of a pleasure it was to have Amy here today.  Her books are beautifully written and the 6 of them are on my bookshelf. 
Seriously everyone, check out the Kauffman Bakery Series on Amazon.  They immerse the reader into the plain and simple life of the Amish, yet they have the same issues with love and romance that we do. 
Until next week everyone, KEEP IT KOOKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, 5 March 2012


Kook's Nook: ROBYN'S READING......THE NURSE'S NOT-SO-SECRET SCA...: This book is completely the opposite to what I would class as a M&B Medical Romance. It's not soft and fluffy, with the nurse/doctor p...


This book is completely the opposite to what I would class as a  M&B Medical Romance.  It's not soft and fluffy, with the nurse/doctor portrayed as an insipid person who flutters her eyelashes.  Whilst waiting for Dr Dreamy to grow a pair and make the first move.  Not at all.  Wendy has taken a major step forward in my opinion, and it is GREAT!

Her main characters Fig and Roxie are not the run of the mill M&B hero/heroine.  Fig has more issues than a parliamentary campaign, and when he is described in his full naked glory.  My eyes widened.  I won't spoil it for you.  This has to be read to be believed.  As for Roxie.  My word.  She has more guts and "moxie" than anyone I have ever read about.  She is wonderful and I have to say that the storyline and the characters were incredible.

The sex scenes are to be read to be believed.  They are HOT, HOT HOT.  I was fanning myself during certain scenes, and there are a LOT of tips too. 

Wendy has taken the M&B medical to a whole new level.  This is such a good read.  I know I haven't given away any of the story or plotline because I feel that if I do, well I don't want to spoil it.

In a nutshell, this is gutsy, in your face and above all Honest!

Hope you enjoy this as much as I did and thanks Wendy.  I hope to read more like this soon!


Robyn xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Thursday, 1 March 2012


No, you aren't dreaming, it's me posting on a Thursday, wow!!!! I have been reading a LOT recently, hoping to inspire myself into finishing my book, and going back in time and re-reading the books that made me fall in love with romance in the first place. 

So here they are.  My first ever trilogy of books that I fell in love with.  They are currently on my beside table and go with me whenever I go on holiday.

They stand out to me for one reason.  The stories are great!.  They are funny, sad, and as a 12 year old reading these, well the way the sex was written about opened my eyes and I ended up basing my ideal man on them. 

Then of course Gina wrote a follow up,  Hotline, which was a brilliant read.  Its about two people that start talking after a wrong number is dialled.  It mentions the oldest sister Spring.  I like the way that Gina describes the hero as slightly shorter than the heroine.  Which does not in any way detract from his handsomeness.  Another Gina Wilkins one features a red haired geeky type, who falls in love with his personal assistant.  Red hair, hairy another favourite hero!!!   A Stroke of Genius.....Finally there was Could It Be Magic, about a magician called Jeremy falling for a quiet teacher called Gwen.  Wonderful stuff.  These are on my bedside table

How lovely are these covers?  The stories are just as great.  I bought the last three from amazon for a penny, and my darling husband bought me the trilogy for Valentines day a few years ago.

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes.  They can be the man you have dreamed about for such a long time, or the one that you married 6 years ago, and who makes you laugh, cry, pull your hair out. 
As a teenager I had a major crush on Jonesy from the Waltons.  For all those that have no idea who I am talking about, he was Mary-Ellen's second husband.  He made her laugh, was intense at times, but his character was deeply in love with her, and he showed it so much.  For me then, he was the man I wanted to marry.  Well, I may not have the man below, but I have my own Hero......Matthew Ward.

Theres the man himself.  There aren't a lot of similarities to Jonesy, but Matt makes me laugh, he looks after me, and he loves me.  In fact he tells me all the time that he does. 

Finally the one man that of course is most girl's hero, her daddy.  I lost mine when I was 11 years old.  I see him though in my children and think of him often, especially in April.  Yes I was blonde once!

So there you go. Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. From the man you married, to your dad.  From the man that took you to the hospital when you were in labour, to the ones that run riot in your imagination.  I raise a glass to you all and say THANK YOU!

I hope you enjoyed this post, and look forward to reading about your heroes.  Enjoy MAD MARCH and above all KEEP IT KOOKY!!!!