Thursday, 17 May 2012


I've not posted for a while because I have been immersed in the past and driving my family nuts.  When I say past, I am referring to how I fell in love with romance and a good love story.  Before you all start to yawn and disappear, I shall try not to bore you.  At the moment erotica is selling like hot cakes and that's great.  Me personally?....Give me a good love story anyday.

I have been revisiting my youth and watching, thanks to "You Tube" episodes of Little House on the Prairie (LHOP), Anne of Green Gables (AOGG) and The Waltons.  Two years ago I bought the entire DVD series of Watching, a romantic comedy set in Liverpool and shown in the late 80s early 90s.  I will admit that for a romantic like me, these are pure escapism. 

Let me start with LHOP.  I absolutely adored Mary and Adam's romance.  It was sweet and innocent.  Adam was intense, yet funny.  Looking back at their episodes,  I can see where my Rhean originated from.   Adam wasn't afraid to cry, to show his feelings and the best thing of all, to snog her senseless.  Mary, bless her little cotton socks was swept off her feet by him.  I loved the way they portrayed a young married couple.  However towards the end of their time on LHOP, especially when Adam regained his sight.  Well, I could have happily swung for him, but in those prairie days, women stood by their men.  The actors chemistry on screen was believeable to me as the viewer, and I really loved the romance they acted out.

Fast forward 50 or so years (history wise) to The Waltons.  Mary Ellen and Curt's romance was short and firey.  Bizarrely, the writers decided to make her a widow from Pearl Harbour.  Just as she finds romance with Arlington Westcott Jones III (Jonesy), she finds out that Curt is alive and then has to get divorced.
In the decent three movie specials that followed, I was immersed in Erin and Paul's relationship, and when Mary Ellen and Jonesy FINALLY married, those wonderful writers decided to really screw things up for them.  After an accident, Mary Ellen couldn't have the children she and Jonesy desperately wanted.  Still it all worked out for them.  Jonesy, with his wacky sense of humour, huge smile and devotion to his wife had his happy ending with Mary Ellen, with the help of Ma Walton.  Their reunion scene at the end of Mothers Day on Waltons Mountain was just perfect!

Coming into the 80s and my teenage years, I confess to having a crush on Maxwell Caulfield from Grease 2 (therapy has been arranged).  Vince and Penny from Just Good Friends, and then in 1985 or thereabouts, I was transported over to Prince Edward Island and Anne of Green Gables came into my life.  Her relationship with Gilbert was pre-ordained.  I knew of course, because I had read the books (:D).  She was firey, Anne had an imagination and I wanted to be her, red hair and all.  Her relationship with Gilbert was fantastic to watch.  I loved the continuity of the actors.  The whole portrayal of their tempestuous relationship from Gil whispering "Carrotts" and being whacked on the head with a slate, to Anne falling into a mud splattered field chasing the wrong cow.  Finally, at the end of the Continuing Story Gil whispering to Anne on his sickbed "There will never be anyone else for me but you".  Tears fell down my face.  She had turned him down so many times.  On the bridge as the sun was setting, Gilbert told her he couldnt offer her any marble halls.  She didnt want marble halls, she just wanted him.  Then their first kiss......their first kiss.  Oh heck.  Pure romance and escapism.  I was and still am entranced by the whole series.  However, the final chapter is a bit pantsy.  Anne and Gil finally get married, but the writers took a few liberties with the story, and I am glad the writers managed to give Anne and Gil their wedding and HEA.

Absolutely gorgeous.  As a teenager in the 80s, there was lots of romance going on.  Mike and Plain Jane, Drew and Libby from Neighbours.  The Aussie soaps did romance well, Snowy River The McGregor Saga was a particular favourite of mine.  Then Watching burst onto ITV and I was hooked.  Brenda Wilson and Malcolm Stoneway's romance was rockier than Brighton beach.  Had more ups and downs than a rollercoaster at Thorpe park, and it was brilliant!.  There was never a more mismatched couple than those two.  She a kooky, strangely made up Liver Bird and Malcolm, a geeky birdwatcher who loved his motorbike and sidecar.  I laughed when they got together, cried when the writers married him off to someone else and of course, when the series ended and they finally got together, as they were supposed to all along, clapped and whoooped.  (Strange person that I am).

I have managed to write my first ever romance novel manuscript which is staring at me begging me to revise it lol.  Looking back to my past obsessions with books and tv shows, I can see different elements of my hero in the characters above.  I still love that warm feeling that floods my brain when seeing them kiss either for the first time, or perhaps after an disagreement. The LHOP Wedding of Mary and Adam is an excellent example of getting back to basics.  That first spark of interest. The first move.  Their first kiss.  These are the elements that have had me hooked on romance.  Speaking of kissing.  Don't underestimate the power of a kiss, especially a long tender kiss with the man you love.  At the end of a book or a film there is the premise of the HEA.  I am living with a manic but loving family, insane cats and of course my frog that turned into my own romantic hero.  He is geeky, loving, affectionate, considerate.  Drives me totally bonkers at times, but boy, his kisses reduce me to absolute mush and I love him to bits (Little bits at times)

Until I get round to blogging again! KEEP IT KOOKY!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012


You're stupid. You're retarded. You shouldn't have this job. These words lit a fire of determination in one deaf woman who set out to prove to the aviation world…and the world in general that deaf isn't dumb.

Deaf Isn't Dumb is a motivational story of a young woman, Tara, who faces the challenges of growing up "hearing impaired" in a hearing world. Follow her as she recounts everything from childhood bullies to work related restrictions, and funny misunderstandings from mispronounced words to fear of Federal Air Marshals. In this tale, straight from the heart, learn that simply because one is deaf—contrary to popular misconception—it doesn't mean they are dumb.

Pretty shocking stuff isnt it.  This is an extract from the memoirs of Tara Chevrestt entitled DEAF ISNT DUMB, available now on Amazon.  I am extremely lucky that she has joined me here in the Nook to discuss her honest and inspiring book, as well as giving tips for new writers.
Hi and welcome to Kook’s Nook. Today I am joined by, all the way from Utah (USA) Tara Chevrestt. She is a talented author and editor, with several books under her rather slim waist and has just published her memoirs. Which is a compelling read, honest and beautifully written.
Hi Tara and welcome to the hot seat (I put a hot water bottle under it first as its blasted cold and wet in the UK).
Nice!!! Thank you.
I’d like to start by asking you if you have one book that you read either as a kid or an adult, that you go back to time after time?
Well, I was really crazy about Nancy Drew, but one book that I have on my shelf to this day that I loved as a kid is The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi.
You have a very clear ‘voice’ in your writing, who are your influences?
As an adult, I really admire and as a result, have friended Christina Courtenay and Bev Petersen. I don't think I'll ever quite compare to their talents, but I strive to, and when I think of what kind of writer I would like to be, I think of them. I'm also a fan of Catherine of yours!
How do you like to write, in amongst abject chaos, loud music or total silence?
Silence, obviously, though sometimes my husband ruins everything by playing music. We share a desk and I feel the vibrations and I hate it. It's a distraction.
If you had one person (apart from hubby) to bring you your first drink of the day, who would it be?
Paul Walker! Or Terrance Howard. Errr. Can I have both?
How did you start writing?
Book wise? Well, I penned my first novel after a trip to a motorcycle museum. I found out about the Van Buren sisters and vowed to find a historical novel about them...I couldn't find one so I wrote it. That's Ride for Rights.
Lets face it everyone has a way of relaxing, what’s your one indulgence?
Wine. Have to have a glass every night.
How did you get involved in the editing side?
I've been a reader my whole life and a book reviewer for at least six years so editing came naturally to me. I discovered I enjoyed it, applied for a job, and there you have it.
Do you have any tips and hints for the virginal/aspiring author reading this, who has no idea where to start?
Listen to critiques. Don't think, "OMG, this person is bashing my work! Boo hoo!" Instead, listen closely, and note how you can improve. Don't give up.
What is the one piece of advice you were given when you started writing?
Double space all your manuscripts, Times New Roman, 12 pt.
Is there any genre you wouldn’t touch with a bargepole? And one that you have always wanted to write?
I'd love to write a historical novel about Puerto Rico. I've had some basic ideas, but it's not quite forming one big book yet. I figure it will happen when it happens.
I think I'll stay away from paranormal. I don't like it, really. I don't care for vampires or shifters and have no intention of adding to that ruckus.
Is there one big NO NO or peeve that you have when it comes to reading other peoples work?
TONS. LOL. I hate weak heroines. Blah. And I hate being sent books I don't ask for and then nagged to write a review on said book. Rude.
Your memoir Deaf Isn't Dumb, is exceptionally honest and blunt. Was it difficult and painful for you to write, as there are some bad memories there?
Yes. At times, I had to just walk away from it. I know my mother gets real upset when she reads it. In the end, I'd say it was therapeutic for me also though.
Is there a favourite recipe you can share with the foodies who read Kook’s Nook Please?
Yes, I would like to share a cake recipe I have been enjoying since my teen years. It's Bacardi Rum Cake. :)
1 pkg yellow cake mix
1 pkg instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup veg oil
1/2 cup Bacardi gold
Combine all the above in mixing bowl. Pour into greased bundt pan. Bake @ 325 for one hour. Allow to cool a bit before inverting onto serving platter. Prick with fork. Prepare glaze:
Melt one stick butter in saucepan and add 1/4 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Boil 5 min, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup rum. Pour over cake.
Allow cake to soak for a day. You can also do variations such as white cake, coconut pudding, and Bacardi CoCo or chocolate cake, chocolate pudding, CoCo or gold. Whatever. :)
and finally, of course. Could you leave us with a teaser from one of your books or something due to be published soon.

From A Maiden Behind the Mask (UNEDITED), releasing July 13th from Ruby Lioness Press:

She tore her gaze away from the mare and said firmly. "Cinco pesos. And only because this yegua has fire, not because of your terms. Selena, pay him."
Selena's hand shook, but the pesos were transferred to the dirty palm. The man laughed with glee, the crowd dispersed, and Catalina was left with a dirty, starving horse.
"We shall get you fed and cleaned up," she promised the mare, patting its neck. A cloud of dirt rose in the air, and Catalina struggled not to cough. "I shall call you La Reina, because once in my establo, I shall treat you like a queen. Your body may be beaten, but your spirit is not broken."
"Catalina?" Her maid's voice was tentative as it interrupted her quiet chattering. "Whatever possessed you—"
"Fetch me a mozo," Catalina interrupted her. "Take the remaining pesos and fetch me a groom. La Reina is going to her castle." She wasn't offering more explanations than that. She didn't owe anyone an explanation. She'd done what was right.
As her maid turned to comply, heading toward the livery, a loud pffffht rendered the air. Catalina stared at her new acquisition, aghast.
Selena froze and swung around to admonish her charge. "Señorita! Your behavior has been questionable enough this day. Mind yourself." She shook her head and her finger both before turning back to the task at hand.
Catalina heard her muttering as she sashayed away. She was too surprised and too tired to defend herself, but the breeze picked up, and a waft of foul air assaulted her. Catalina immediately tugged a delicate, lace handkerchief from her sleeve and placed it over her nose as she glared at the horse.
La Reina snorted and pawed the ground. Catalina could swear the mare was laughing at her. She merely shook her head. "Dios mío, and you let me take the blame for that?"
Pffffhht. Pfffht.
La Reina whinnied and bared her teeth as though she was smiling.

It has been an absolute pleasure to have you in the Nook. (Gives Tara a huge Kooky hug). I hope you had a lovely time.
You can contact Tara at the websites below.
Until next week. KEEP IT KOOKY!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012



                   TAYLOR SKYE!!!