Archives for posts with tag: blogs

Hola a todos:

Los que me conocéis ya sabéis que llevo algo más de dos años publicando libros y posts en este blog (escribiendo llevo mucho más tiempo), en español e inglés. Vivo, he estudiado (Psiquiatría y Literatura Americana, incluyendo un Doctorado, y un Masters en Criminología) y trabajo en Inglaterra hace muchos años y lo cierto es que no me lo pensé mucho y me pareció lo más normal publicar en los dos idiomas, aunque eso significase pasar más tiempo antes de poder publicar (ya que intento publicar las dos versiones a la vez).

Portada de mi segunda publicación una novela corta juvenil

Portada de mi segunda publicación una novela corta juvenil, Gemela Maldad

Por otro lado, el traducir un texto ayuda a leerlo, a empaparse de él en más detalle, y a la vez a editar el original, ya que se lee más despacio y uno se da cuenta de cosas que se pueden escapar en una lectura rápida.

Hace poco empecé a traducir obras de otros, y me pasa lo mismo. Llego a adentrarme y a vivir con el libro durante mucho tiempo y si observo algo en el original también se lo hago saber al escritor. El proceso es más complicado que con mis libros, ya que la interpretación de los textos requiere trabajar directamente con el autor para clarificar cualquier aspecto que deje lugar a dudas.

Después de unos meses de dedicarme a ello y disfrutarlo (aunque es un trabajo que requiere dedicación y muchas horas) he decidido ajustar mis precios (ahora $40 por mil palabras de texto) en similares condiciones a las anteriores. Puedo proporcionar una muestra de traducción corta (una página o página y media) gratuita, o una más larga (un capítulo o una cuantas páginas) al precio mencionado, que descontaría del precio final si el proyecto sigue adelante. La mayoría de los autores hasta ahora han preferido pagar a plazos y eso no es un problema (aunque necesitaría el pago completo antes de entregar el manuscrito final), y la traducción también incluye la descripción/sinopsis del libro, el blurb (incluyendo la biografía si se usa en la versión papel), unos cuantos Tweets de promoción (si el autor quiere), y una nota de prensa o un post para un blog también traducido, sin extra coste. (Como suelo publicar reseñas en mi blog y en otros lugares, también publico una reseña del libro completo, aunque al aparecer como traductora, no podría subir la reseña a las tiendas, al menos la versión traducida).

Y la versión inglesa, Twin Evils?

Y la versión inglesa, Twin Evils?

Más recientemente varios autores a los que conozco me han pedido que repasara y corrigiera traducciones de sus obras, para asegurarse de que no había erratas. Este también es un trabajo fascinante (ya que me permite aprender del trabajo de otros traductores) y como es mucho más rápido cobro aproximadamente $100 por 100 páginas.

Aparte de traducciones largas y correcciones como las mencionadas también ofrezco traducciones más cortas (blogs, notas de prensa, biografías para la página de autor de Amazon y otros canales de venta, Tweets, sinopsis y descripciones, cartas a editoriales o agentes, entrevistas…) por precios muy razonables. Preguntad y lo hablamos.

Si queréis más detalles de mis obras aquí os dejo mi página de web.

http://www.OlgaNM.com

Y la portada de Virgin of the Sun de Jordi Díez, que me encantó y disfruté mucho traduciendo. Y la siguiente novela que he traducido para otro autor está casi lista…pero de momento mantenemos el misterio.

Virgin of the Sun by Jordi Díez (translation: Olga Núñez Miret)

Virgin of the Sun by Jordi Díez (translation: Olga Núñez Miret)

Gracias a todos por leer, y si os ha interesado, ya sabéis, dadle al me gusta, comentad, compartid y haced CLIC. Y si os interesa una traducción, dejadme una nota y nos ponemos en contacto. Por supuesto clientes que ya hayan usado mis servicios tienen un descuento especial.

Nota: Ah, varios autores me han preguntado sobre hacer traducciones por un porcentaje de las regalías/royalties. Lo he pensado aunque de momento debido a cuestiones de tiempo no podría hacerlo, pero me lo plantearé en el futuro, quizás participar en algún proyecto muy especial de vez en cuando. Si lo hago, lo anunciaré y a ver si hay interés. Intercambio de servicios también entra dentro de las posibilidades.

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Hola a todos:

Como ya os conté estoy en pleno NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) y algo ocupada, así que este mes el plan es dedicarme a rebloguear o republicar varios posts, pero me quedaban cosas pendientes, y como programo los posts antes, decidí ponerme un poco al día y aprovechar.

La receta de la crema catalana suscitó bastante interés, así que decidí traeros otra de las recetas que comparto en mi último libro I Love Your Cupcakes (Me encantan tus cupcakes)el pastel Reina de Saba. Hay muchas versiones por ahí, aunque la receta que comparto yo la he usado y queda muy buena.

Fotograma de la película Julie & Julia que recomiendo, especialmente si sois blogueros y os gusta la cocina

Fotograma de la película Julie & Julia que recomiendo, especialmente si sois blogueros y os gusta la cocina

Pastel Reina de Sabá

Ingredientes:

125 g. de mantequilla

125 g. de azúcar

125 g. de chocolate

2 cucharadas de leche

3 huevos

125 g. de almendras tostadas

50 g. de harina

1 cucharadita de polvo Royal (levadura)

Se trabaja la mantequilla con el azúcar y se añade el chocolate, previamente derretido al baño-maría con la leche; luego se agregan las yemas de huevos, las almendras trituradas, la harina y el polvo Royal, y, finalmente, las claras a punto de nieve mezclándolas suavemente.

Se pone la masa en un molde untado con mantequilla, y se mete en horno suave por media hora aproximadamente.

(Del libro: Sabores. Cocina del Hogar de Victoria Serra, 15 Edición, p. 366)

Me di cuenta al buscar versiones inglesas de algunas de las recetas que la receta original (o la más conocida) de este pastel es de la famosa Julia Child (si habéis visto la película Julie & Julia sabréis de quién hablo, y si no, os la recomiendo, especialmente si os gusta cocinar y los blogs), así que por si os apetece ver su receta, os dejo el enlace:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8clrnFM3Ys (funcionaba al publicar la novela, en Septiembre 2014)

Éste de wildcranberryhookedrugs-wordpress-com se parece mucho más a los que hago yo

Éste de wildcranberryhookedrugs.wordpress.com se parece mucho más a los que hago yo

He visto premios a blogs también en blogs en castellano (aunque no lo he notado tanto como en inglés) y yo he tenido varias nominaciones. Llegó un momento en que debido a la cantidad de premios que circulaban y al tipo de cosas que tenías que hacer, decidí que no me daba tiempo a hacerlo todo bien, e inspirada por otra compañera de blogs (Teagan, que si leéis inglés os recomiendo ya que crea historias con la ayuda de ingredientes que le ofrecen los lectores, cada semana) decidí en lugar de hacer eso, de cuando en cuando compartir algunos de los blogs que he ido descubriendo por si no los conocéis.

Net World Network Image courtesy of Vlado / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Net World Network Image courtesy of Vlado / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Y aquí van, sin orden ni concierto:

Blog del autor Josep Capsir (Capi) Os hará reír, llorar, y pensar.

http://autorjosepcapsir.blogspot.co.uk/p/inicio.html

(Los libros de Puri) Puri Estarli. Compartiendo libros y opiniones.

http://loslibrosdepuri.blogspot.co.uk/

Nómada (Álvar Camero) Poesías maravillosas

http://alvarcam.wordpress.com/

Buscando las palabras en un tintero (Erik Quezada)

http://buscandolaspalabrasenuntintero.blogspot.mx

Gatos por los tejados (Lola Mariné). Lola, que ha hecho de todo un poco, comparte sabiduría, escritura, opiniones e información.

http://gatosporlostejados.blogspot.co.uk/

El rincón de los noctámbulos (Yorvis J. Rivas). Escritura, imaginación, poesía. Un blog para los que disfrutan leyendo y pensando.

http://yjrivas.wordpress.com/

Blog histórico bien informado con artículos fabulosos sobre todo tipo de cosas (Francisco Javier Tostado):

http://franciscojaviertostado.com/

Soy Mi Palabra (Mercedes Pinto Maldonado). Mercedes nos habla de sus libros, de la vida y de todas esas cosas que nos depara. Aprenderéis mucho.

http://mercedespinto.wordpress.com/

Aquileana (os lo recomiendo especialmente si os interesa la Mitología, la Filosofía y los Clásicos. Un gusto exquisito en escoger clásicos y bellísimas imágenes y obras de arte para complementar las historias). Y bloguea en inglés y español, así que…

https://aquileana.wordpress.com/

Me quedan muchos por compartir, pero irán llegando. Para muestra un botón.

Por si acaso, os dejo los enlaces a los posts donde compartí algunos otros de mis blogs favoritos:

https://olganm.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/no-os-perdais-estos-blogs/

https://olganm.wordpress.com/2014/05/06/4656/

Gracias a todos por leer, a mis amigos blogueros por visitarnos, y ya sabéis, si os ha gustado, dadle al me gusta, comentad, compartid, y ¡haced CLIC!

Hi all:

As you know I’ve started NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and I promised you I’d be taking blogging easy and reblogging or reposting some old posts, but before that, I had some things pending that I tried to fit in (yes, I pre-program some posts).

As people seemed quite keen on the recipe I shared for Créme Catalane, I decided to leave you another one of the recipes I share in my book I Love Your Cupcakes, this time a good old-fashioned cake. This one I’ve actually baked myself, although some time ago, and the recipe I used is slightly different to this one, but I must say this one looks awesome:

Still from the film Julie & Julia that I recommend, especially if you're a foodie and a blogger

Still from the film Julie & Julia that I recommend, especially if you’re a foodie and a blogger

Reine de Saba

(Chocolate and Almond Cake)

Yield: One 8-inch cake

Recipe by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking

For the Cake:

4 ounces or squares semi-sweet Chocolate

2 tablespoons of Rum

4 ounces softened butter

⅔ cup granulated sugar

3 egg yolks

3 egg whites

¼ teaspoon of cream of tartar

Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

⅔ cup pulverized almonds or 1 cup of almonds to pulverize

¼ tsp almond extract

For the Glaçae au Chocolat (Chocolate-Butter Icing):

2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate

2 tablespoons of Rum

5 to 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ cup cake flour (scooped and leveled) turned into a sifter

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter and flour the cake pan.
  2. Set the chocolate and rum in a small pan with a tight cover, and place (off heat) in a larger pan of almost simmering water; let melt while you proceed with the recipe. Measure out the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Pulverize your almonds in your food processor, about a cup. Add a tablespoon of sugar to avoid the almond oils to lump up.
  4. Cream the butter and sugar together for several minutes until they form a pale yellow, fluffy mixture.
  5. Beat in the egg yolks until well blended.
  6. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt  until soft peaks are formed; sprinkle on the sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed.
  7. With a rubber spatula, blend the melted chocolate into the butter and sugar mixture, then stir in almonds, and almond extract.
  8. Immediately stir one-fourth of the beaten egg whites to lighten the batter.
  9. Delicately fold in a third of the remaining whites and when partially blended, sift on one-third of the flour and continue folding. Alternate rapidly with more egg whites and more flour until all egg whites and flour are incorporated.
  10. Turn the batter into the cake pan, pushing the batter up to its rim with a rubber spatula. Bake in middle level of preheated oven for about 25 minutes.
  11. Cake is done when it has puffed, and  2½ to 3 inches around the circumference are set so that a needle plunged into that area comes out clean; the center should move slightly if the pan is shaken, and a needle comes out oily.
  12. Allow cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run knife around the edge of the pan, and reverse cake on the rack.
  13. Allow it to cool for an hour or two; it must be thoroughly cold if it is to be iced.
  14. For the Icing, place the chocolate and rum in the small pan, cover, and set in the larger pan of almost simmering water.
  15. Remove pans from heat and let chocolate melt for 5 minutes or so, until perfectly smooth.
  16. Lift chocolate pan out of the hot water, and beat in the butter a tablespoon at a time with the help of a rubber spatula. If the mixture starts to cool off too fast, place the chocolate pan again in hot water and beat in the butter until it fully incorporates.
  17. Then beat over the ice and water until chocolate mixture has cooled to spreading consistency. This will take about 3 minutes.
  18. At once spread it over your cake with spatula or knife, and press a design of almonds over the icing.

Notes:

  • You can replace the rum for coffee: 1 tablespoon of instant coffee dissolved in 2 tablespoons of boiling water.

http://www.thefoodieskitchen.com/en/2013/02/reine-de-saba-chocolate-and-almond-cake/ (downloaded in June 2014)

Here I leave you a link of Julia Child baking the Queen of Sheba Cake. I must admit the version I have baked myself had neither coffee nor rum and it did not add any frosting, although her version looks Amazing! (And if you’ve never watched the movie Julie & Julia I can’t recommend it highly enough, especially if you’re interested in cooking and blogging.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8clrnFM3Ys (it was working at the time of publishing my book in September 2014)

This one from wildcranberryhookedrugs-wordpress-com looks much more like mine

This one from wildcranberryhookedrugs.wordpress.com looks much more like mine

As you can see from my blog (and thanks to Sarah Vernon from whom I “borrowed” the icon for award free blog. Don’t miss the chance to check her fabulous blog First Night Design) I’m an award free blog. For a variety of reasons. A bit over a year ago there were so many awards making the rounds that I could no longer find people who had the time to keep the chain going or to comply with some of the requirements, and I felt I was spending more time doing that than actually blogging. I wanted to focus more on may writing so I decided (after seeing what great friend and blogger Teagan Geneviene did), to do regular posts sharing some of the blogs I’d come across that I thought might be of interest to some of my readers.

Net World Network Image courtesy of Vlado / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Net World Network Image courtesy of Vlado / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So far I had only done a couple of these posts and kept a list going. The list is getting quite long now, and in the last few weeks I’ve been nominated for a number of awards. Although I’m not going to follow the rules (sorry, I’m award free), I wanted to thank Jo Robinson (who was on my next list and you must visit as she’s extremely entertaining in showing us life on the wild side, and she’s tremendously generous with her advise on writing, interviews and has joined a team doing great job to promote other writers, that now I’m a part of too, although not very active until after November), Lord David Prosser (a gentleman who shares his life, writings, reblogs and interviews his fellow authors, actually, me just last week) and Elaine Canham (who makes me laugh often when she shares funny stuff, and can write about the trade, about a bus trip, or reflect incisively on everyday life, and who was also in my list of new blogs to recommend) for their nominations. Do check them out, they’re amazing.

And here I leave you some other blogs I’ve discovered recently and I hope you enjoy too (if you haven’t met them yet):

Smorgasbord – Variety is the Spice of Life (Sally Cronin’s blog: great blog full of information on health related topics, personal experiences, special features like the Sunday interviews, where Sally interviews writers, artists, musicians, and she’s also fabulous at discovering and sharing other people’s blogs. She reblogs fabulous content too and I rely on her to keep me up to date with great content I might not have come across. Unmissable!)

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/

Cyndy Noke (pictures, books… Cyndy keeps making me add to my long list of places to visit. She has a wandering heart and itchy feet!)

http://cindyknoke.com/

Inesemj Photography (photography with a wonderful eye for spots and places you would not have thought about, Irish themes, and wonderful and interesting information, including tips on photography)

http://inesemjphotography.com/

Janet Weight Reed (artist who shares her work and experiences related to art. I love her love of colour and her hummingbirds! And don’t miss her posts on her process of creation and her videos. And she’s even gone where no other people do, and read my cupcake book and left me a wonderful review. Thank you Janet!)

http://jcrhumming.wordpress.com/

Confessions of a writer (James Naith. Just go on and check)

http://jamessnaith.wordpress.com/

Ronovan Writes (Ronovan not only interviews other authors, and thanks for the wonderful interview, Ronovan!, but also offers his advice and experience in promoting others. He has teamed up with our friend Jo Robinson and keeps building up a group of people invested in promoting writers. Yes, he’s also decided I might be able to help with reviews and other content.He bogs his own content but shares most advice for writers in this great resource. Do not miss!)

http://litworldinterviews.wordpress.com

Chronic Conditions and Life Lessons (Kim Goselin. I met Kim through Sally Cronin and she’s one of a group of bloggers who regularly meet in Twitter and we keep each other going. I hope we can all make it in person one day.)

http://kimgosselinblog.com/

Cate Russell-Cole (I’ve know Cate for quite a while now but she had to take a bit of a break from blogging. Now she’s back offering comprehensive advice on writing, sharing any useful information she comes across and also taking part in NaNoWriMo. We’re writing buddies, so she’s having a bit of a breather in November, but go and check all of her advice. Go Cate!):

http://cateartios.wordpress.com/

 

Billy Ray Chitwood (he has quite a few blogs going, but he’s a prolific writer and juggles them very well. I appreciate his reflections on life, love his very short fiction, and recommend that you check the comments too, as recently he even offered us a masterful rendition of a song in the best crooner style):

http://www.thefinalcurtain1.wordpress.com

http://www.billyraychitwood.weebly.com

 

C-Dog and Company (Because dogs and cats are family…) by Debra Levy. (I started reading her posts about her pets but it didn’t take me long to realise the whole universe meets there):

http://cdogco.com/

Aquileana (I reccomend this blog especially if you enjoy Mythology, Philosophy and the Classics. Exquisite taste in choosing classics and gorgeous images and art works to illustrate the stories). The blogs are in Spanish and English so if you want to practice…

https://aquileana.wordpress.com/

I’ll keep noting down blogs, because there are so many great bloggers around I think this will go on, and on…

Ah, I did promise I’d do the workplace/writing place blog (thanks Jo) but due to my current circumstances it might be a while, but if anybody wants to take it up and show us (pictures are more than welcome) their writing place, consider yourself nominated!

And just in case you didn’t come across my two previous post about blogs to check, here are the links:

https://olganm.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/blogs-i-follow-come-and-have-a-look-today-blogs-on-writing-and-personal-blogs/

https://olganm.wordpress.com/2014/05/06/and-more-great-blogs-10-best-insight-technology-photography/

As an aside, I Love Your Cupcakes is now available in paper. Anybody needs any presents?

I Love Your Cupcakes by Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Lourdes Vidal

I Love Your Cupcakes by Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Lourdes Vidal

 

Thanks to all of you for reading, to the fantastic bloggers for visiting, to my friends and fellow bloggers for the nominations, and you know, like, share, comment, and of course, CLICK!

 

Hi all:

As you know on Fridays I  usually bring you guest authors or new books. Today, I go one better and I’ll do both. I read about my guest today, Lorna Lee, in one of the blogs I follow, and found her spontaneous, fascinating, and refreshingly honest. She confessed that although she enjoys writing and sharing her thoughts in her blog, she hasn’t explored social media and is relying on word-of-mouth to get her book to the attention of the readers. I though you’d like to meet her and when I contacted her, she kindly agreed to share some information about herself and her books.

And without further ado, I leave you with Lorna Lee!

Author Lorna Earl

Author Lorna Lee

In her former life as a sociology professor, Lorna published many academic and research papers. Creative writing is a new path taken since her premature disability retirement in 2006 due to Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome.

Never Turn Back is her second book and first novel. Her first book is a memoir entitled How Was I Supposed to Know? That book was awarded Best Memoir, 2012 by the Adirondack Writing Center in their Annual Literary Award Contest. In 2010, she was a finalist in the memoir genre of the Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Contest with her short story, Monkey Business.

Lorna currently lives with the man of her dreams and the dog of her dreams in the home of her dreams in the Portland, Oregon area. She keeps herself busy by writing, quilting, walking, meditating, and blogging.

To find out more about Lorna and her current shenanigans, visit her blog, lornasvoice.com. She can be contacted via a page on her blog dedicated to this novel.

And here, her new book:

Never Turn Back by Lorna Earl

Never Turn Back by Lorna Earl

Meri Vaarsara had a dream and something to prove. She also had incredibly bad fortune and even worse timing.

Her dream was to become a famous fashion designer in Paris, a dream born from a need to prove herself worthy of love and a happy life, something her stern Finnish mother never fostered but her seafaring father always knew was hers for the taking. So at the tender age of sixteen, Meri left the security of her family and her home for a country where she didn’t speak the language and she didn’t know a soul.

Paris in the late 1920s was not friendly to immigrants, even those with extraordinary talents. Forced to find work as a domestic, Meri forged ahead through turns of fate and misfortune as Paris braced for Hitler’s invasion. By choice, Meri becomes a single mother caring for her half-Jewish daughter throughout the occupation of France. Once the war was over, she used her feminine wiles to find her way to America, the land of milk and honey, with the hope of finally being able to work as a designer in a New York fashion house. But that too was not to be, until fate and a kind stranger stepped in to help.

What Readers Should Know

The “bones” of this story are real. What happens in the story happened to real people. I simply didn’t know all the details that linked all the events, so I had to make up a great deal of the narrative to form a story that flowed. I changed names and places in America to protect the privacy of my family, mostly my mother (who for some reason doesn’t want to be famous).

Where You Can Buy the Book

Amazon. com for U.S. customers

Amazon.co.uk for customers in the U.K.

Amazon,fr for customers in France

And here a few reviews by some very discerning pens:

Never Turn Back by Lorna Lee is the remarkable journey of Meri, a young Finnish woman through the 20th century.
Brought up by a critical mother and a mostly absent but philosophically minded father in the quiet Finnish countryside Meri dreams of bigger things and she leaves for Paris soon after the Civil War and WW1, to pursue a career in Fashion abroad.
Immigrant life in its harsh reality falls short of her expectations, but she proves determined to keep going. Her life is a series of choices, of exploiting and being exploited, friends and foes. An impressive life story, a loving tribute to a strong woman and a masterful illustration of life’s many obstacles on a war torn continent.
Woven into the narrative are great details about the historical setting and the times. The book covers a lot of ground, geographically and historically, and focuses on many different aspects of Meri’s life as she grows as a person and as her life and priorities change: Her ambitions, her ideas, old and new emotional scars. The book is a moving and enlightening journey.
Meri is a fascinating character and her story demonstrates the element of chance and faith excellently. She stayed with me long after I had finished reading this remarkable book.” Review by Christoph Fischer, author of The Three Nations Trilogy (historical fiction novels), Time to Let Go, and Conditions.

“Dreaming of becoming a famous designer, the protagonist, Meri, burns through on the page in a once vibrant Paris bracing for Hitler’s invasion. Faced with a pregnancy by a Jewish man, Meri is intent on keeping the secret and surviving at all costs in an increasingly hostile environment. Never Turn Back is a captivating narrative, a metaphor for the longing and conviction of youth that surmounts horrors and tragedies. In one heart-wrenching turn after another the brilliant writing of Lorna Earl weaves a compelling tale—based on real people—that glues the reader to the page and keeps the imagery of this story in our minds, and hearts, for days after the last page is shut.” Review by Paulette Mahurin, author of The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap and His Name was Ben.

Thanks so much to Lorna Lee for this her first visit to my blog (I hope there will be many more) , thanks to all of your for reading, and you know the drill, like, comment, share, and don’t forget to CLICK!

Ah, and from tomorrow I’ll be taking part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), a challenge to write the draft of a novel (at least 50000 words) in 30 days. I hope I’ll still have the time to share new books with you, but might also reblog some favourites, or just talk about the process. And if you don’t see me very often, I’ll just be writing. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Thanks to Cate Russell-Cole from http://cateartios.wordpress.com/ for the image

Thanks to Cate Russell-Cole from http://cateartios.wordpress.com/ for the image

Hola a todos:

Los que me seguís ya sabéis que hace poco publiqué un romance que se desarrolla (en parte) durante un concurso de repostería televisivo, I Love Your Cupcakes (Me encantan tus cupcakes).

Como parece que os gustó el capítulo que os dejé de muestra, decidí compartir otro (y os prometo que es el último) donde Dulce y Adelfa, las principales protagonistas de la novela (perdona Storm) conocen al equipo del programa y a los demás concursantes. Hay un poco de todo, como dicen…

I Love Your Cupcakes (Me encantan tus cupcakes) versión española de Olga Núñez Miret. Portada de Lourdes Vidal

I Love Your Cupcakes (Me encantan tus cupcakes) versión española de Olga Núñez Miret. Portada de Lourdes Vidal

Capítulo 6. Preparar pasteles y fauna televisiva. (Ahora)

Las tres semanas pasaron en un abrir y cerrar de ojos. Dulce y Adelfa le pidieron a sus principales empleadas y amigas, Pixie, Vicky y Tessa si podían llevar la tienda mientras estuviesen fuera. Todas estaban muy excitadas y contentas de poder organizarse entre ellas, con la ayuda de los voluntarios, para mantener el lugar en funcionamiento. Se habían asegurado de no aceptar encargos grandes para la semana en que iban a estar fuera, aunque estaban convencidas de que el equipo que iba a quedarse a cargo era más que competente. Toni decidió tomarse unos cuantos días libres para ayudar a las chicas y ensuciarse más las manos. Dulce y Adelfa hicieron las maletas llevándose su ropa favorita y más cómoda para la cocina, un vestido elegante y accesorios para la gala (por si acaso llegaban a ella) y unos cuantos gadgets y utensilios para que les dieran suerte. Tony y Toni las llevaron al aeropuerto.

—¿Estáis listas, chicas? —preguntó Toni.

—Tan listas como estaremos nunca —respondió Adelfa.

—Lo sabremos con seguridad una vez empecemos. Hemos hecho todo lo que se nos ocurrió y todo lo que nos sugirió la gente para prepararnos. El resto…está en manos de los dioses —dijo Dulce.

—¿Va Storm a reunirse allí con vosotras? —preguntó su padre.

—Se ha ofrecido a aconsejarnos por teléfono y si sobrevivimos los cuatro primeros días se reunirá con nosotras en vivo. También ha estado viendo programas de series pasadas y nos ha enviado diseños, esquemas e ideas. Si conseguimos llegar tan lejos y viene Storm, tendremos con nosotras al mejor artista que hayan visto nunca —dijo Adelfa.

—Eso es cierto. Ese chico es tan raro como talentoso —dijo Tony.

—Papá, ya no es ningún chico. Y nosotros tampoco somos ya chicas— se quejó Dulce.

—Creí que te ibas a quejar porque le había llamado “raro”.

—No, es raro, pero le queremos de todas formas —concluyó Dulce.

—O quizás le queremos precisamente por ser tan raro —añadió Adelfa.

Todos se rieron. Llegaron al aeropuerto, cogieron las maletas, Toni les aseguró que se cuidaría de la tienda, se despidieron y así iniciaron la mayor aventura de sus vidas.

Durante el vuelo intentaron concentrarse en disfrutar el entretenimiento a bordo en lugar de pensar en lo que se esperaba de ellas. Una vez llegaron a Los Angeles todo fue de lo más excitante. Soleado, ruidoso y….

—Esto es realmente… —empezó a decir Dulce.

—¿Artificial? ¿Falso? ?De imitación? —sugirió Adelfa.

—Rubios, bronceados, bellos con una idea de campaña publicitaria de la belleza. ¡Oh Dios mío, vamos a llamar la atención como cardos borriqueros en un rosal!

—¡Ahí está! Han enviado un coche a recogernos.

Adelfa había visto a una mujer sujetando una cartulina con sus nombres y se dirigieron hacia ella.

—Somos nosotras. Yo soy Adelfa y ésta es mi asociada Dulcinea, Dulce para abreviar.

—Es un placer conoceros. Soy Danielle, Dannie. Hago un poco de todo, lo que sea preciso. Suministros, coordinación, cubro a quién sea que no esté, corre ve y dile…

—Chófer… —añadió Dulce.

Dannie asintió.

—Vámonos. Os dejaré en el hotel. No está muy lejos del estudio pero enviaremos a alguien a recogeros mañana. No habrá un programa en directo, solo os daremos tiempo para que os acostumbréis a los hornos, para poder discutir los detalles, filmar algo como presentación, y daros tiempo para que conozcáis a todo el mundo. Y una cena de bienvenida. Pero esta noche os dejamos que descanséis un poco.

—Eso suena bien —contestó Adelfa.

En el coche Dannie hizo de guía turístico ocasional. Les señaló una variedad de lugares de visita y casas de los ricos y famosos.

—Si todavía seguís aquí el jueves, ya que ese día no hay programas, a veces los concursantes deciden hacer un tour de verdad. Es divertido y una buena manera de relajarse cuando falta poco para alcanzar la meta.

—Suena bien. Si llegamos tan lejos —dijo Adelfa.

—¿Cómo es el resto del equipo? —preguntó Dulce —. Hasta ahora solo hemos hablado con Harry Heston.

—¿Harry el Sucio? —preguntó Dannie. —Es bastante único, no el típico miembro del equipo.

—¿Harry el Sucio? ¿Es un aficionado a Clint Eastwood?—preguntó Adelfa.

Dannie respiró a fondo antes de responder.

—Esa no es la razón de su apodo. Hemos llegado al hotel. Aquí estamos.

Dannie las ayudó con el equipaje y les dijo que el coche estaría allí a las 9:30 de la mañana. Una vez subieron a su habitación y deshicieron las maletas Dulce y Adelfa decidieron ir a pasear y explorar los alrededores. Era un suburbio anónimo aunque después de preguntarles a un par de personas consiguieron que les dieran instrucciones y cogieron un autobús que las llevó a la playa. Una vez allí se pasearon y observaron a la gente en patines, tomando el sol, jugando al voleibol de playa…

—Es como en las películas —dijo Dulce, intentando no ser demasiado descarada contemplando los fabulosos cuerpos que las rodeaban. Adelfa, por otro lado, no estaba siendo demasiado discreta. —Estás mirando a esos tíos como si “ellos” fueran cupcakes.

Adelfa sonrió, desviando la mirada unos segundos para contestar a Dulce.

—Bueno, están para comérselos. Y evidentemente vienen aquí para exhibirse. No hacen tanto ejercicio dándole a las pesas para esconder los músculos en casita. Considéralo el equivalente de ir de escaparates. No tengo la más mínima intención de comprar pero en cuanto a mirar… ¡Date un atracón con la vista! No tenemos muchas ocasiones como ésta.

—Probablemente tienes razón.

Después de pasarse un buen rato contemplando a gente (la mayoría del rato a hombres, aunque algunas de las mujeres estaban tan interesantemente desvestidas que no podían evitar mirarlas), se sentaron con un helado cada una. Adelfa estaba muy pensativa, lamiendo su helado muy lentamente y finalmente preguntó:

—¿A qué crees que se refiere eso de Harry el Sucio?

—Probablemente algún tipo de broma de ellos. Quizás si conseguimos quedarnos el tiempo suficiente nos enteraremos.

Dulce no tenía la menor idea de la razón que tenía. O de lo mucho que se acordaría y se arrepentiría de sus palabras.

Esperaron hasta el anochecer y entonces volvieron al hotel, parándose por el camino para comprar fruta y agua. Después de ver algo de televisión se fueron a la cama, a esperar el primer día de su experiencia televisiva.

No durmieron mucho y se levantaron temprano para asegurarse de que estarían listas con tiempo de sobras cuando llegara el coche. No querían llegar tarde el primer día y dejar una mala impresión. El coche las dejó en el estudio de televisión y Dannie ya las estaba esperando a la puerta.

—Entrad y sentaos en recepción. Cuando estéis todos aquí iremos al estudio para conocer a los demás.

—¿Somos las primeras?

—No del todo. Ya ha llegado algunos concursantes. Id a presentaros.

Había cuatro personas sentadas en el área de recepción. Dos chicas rubias, típicamente Californianas, que inmediatamente saltaron de sus asientos y les dijeron que estaban muy excitadas, y se pasaron el rato riéndose y haciendo mucho ruido (y aunque se llamaban Denise y Diane, Adelfa las bautizó inmediatamente Barbie y Cindy, con motivo) y un hombre de unos cincuenta años y otro de unos treinta, padre e hijo, Andrew y Andy. Los dos eran ingenieros, aunque Andrew había trabajado casi toda la vida en campos petrolíferos y Andy se dedicaba a los transportes.

—Mi padre también es ingeniero —dijo Dulce.

—¿Cómo se llama?

—Oh, Tony. Anthony Baxter.

—Creo que trabajó en un puente que formaba parte de la línea ferroviaria en la que he estado trabajando hace poco. En Nebraska —dijo Andy.

—Me parece que tienes razón, aunque fue hace bastantes años —respondió Dulce.

—Un muy buen trabajo.

—¿Sois muy aficionados a la cocina? —le preguntó Adelfa, intentando pillarle la medida a la competencia. Ya había desestimado a las dos chicas, que solo parecían estar interesadas en cómo quedarían delante de la cámara.

Andrew agitó la cabeza de lado a lado.

—Siempre me ha interesado y me he dedicado a cocinar en mi tiempo libre, aunque a Andy se le da mucho mejor que a mí. Por desgracia no he tenido mucho tiempo para mejorar mis habilidades y Andy… desde que su mujer tuvo el bebé, ha estado muy ocupado con otras cosas —dijo, alborotándole el pelo a su hijo afectuosamente.

Andy le sonrió a su padre.

—Sí, muy ocupado —sacó el móvil del bolsillo y les mostró una foto de un bebé. Una niña —. Lily. Tiene casi tres meses.

—¡Es preciosa! —dijo Dulce.

Andy sonrió orgulloso.

—¿Tenéis un nombre para vuestro equipo? —les preguntó Andrew.

—Oh, tenemos una tienda. ˈCupcakes y Pasteles, Literalmenteˈ, así que usaremos el mismo nombre —dijo Adelfa.

—¿Cupcakes Literalmente? —preguntó Dulce frunciendo las cejas.

Adelfa la ignoró y los dos hombres las miraron con expresión sorprendida.

—Llevamos mucho tiempo manteniendo una discusión semántica sobre el nombre de la tienda. Yo prefiero ˈliteralmenteˈ pero Adelfa prefiere ˈliterariosˈ ya que le encantan los libros —explicó Adelfa.

—Y la tienda es mucho más que una tienda de pasteles y cupcakes. Tenemos libros usados e intercambiamos los libros que nos traen los clientes, gratis. Y traemos a escritores y a otra gente como invitados y vienen a dar charlas, tenemos lecturas de libros para niños, y montamos exhibiciones, y workshops, y cursos de cocina y de decorar pasteles… —explicó Dulce.

—Suena maravilloso —dijo Andy.

—Deberíais verlo. Déjame… —Dulce sacó su teléfono y les mostró algunas fotos. Ellos exclamaron en los sitios apropiados. Denise y Diane también se unieron a ellos.

—¡Anda, un edificio de bomberos! ¡Qué divertido! ¿Tenéis algún bombero? —preguntó Diane (o Denise, Dulce no estaba segura).

—Por desgracia no venían incluidos con el edificio pero estoy segura de que podríamos hacer algo al respecto si vinieseis de visita —contestó Adelfa. Dulce le dio un codazo en las costillas pero ella se limitó a sonreírle, tan dulcemente como pudo.

—¡Fabuloso! Nosotras todavía no tenemos una tienda, pero ya tenemos nombre. ˈCupcakes Un trocito de cieloˈ. Denise quería llamarla ˈD-liciasˈ. Ya sabéis, D de la letra D, ya que las dos somos Ds, Diane y Denise, pero me pareció que la gente igual creía que estábamos hablando de algo picante, tamaño de copa y eso… Y no estaría bien confundir a la gente, especialmente porque hasta que no nos operemos… Vamos, que no somos tamaño D en realidad…

A Andrew y Andy se les subieron todos los colores del arco-iris durante la explicación de Diane, pero Dulce y Adelfa se rieron.

—Creo que ˈUn trocito de cieloˈ es un gran nombre —dijo Dulce.

—Nuestra tienda se llama ˈDejadles que coman cupcakesˈ. Ya sabéis, María Antonieta y los pasteles. También tenemos un negocio virtual, ˈLady Cupcakes y Lenceríaˈ que nos va muy bien. —Una mujer alta, de pelo largo y oscuro, unas gafas de sol doradas enormes, zapatos increíblemente puntiagudos con los tacones más altos que Dulce había visto nunca, la falda más corta y uno de los tops más reveladores que se habría atrevido a imaginar acababa de entrar en la sala y se apuntó a la conversación. Una versión más bajita, menuda, con mechas rojas, pero vestida con una falda de similar medida y top escotado entró detrás de ella. Se presentaron: Pam y Chloe.

—Bueno, ya hay otra pelirroja en la competición. No te sentirás tan sola —susurró Adelfa.

—No es pelirroja de verdad —contestó Dulce, también en susurros.

—Creo que ya lo he notado… especialmente ahora que se ha sentado —bromeó Adelfa, mirando la falda de Chloe.

—Tú… —Dulce le golpeó el brazo en broma.

—¿Así que vosotras vendéis lencería y pasteles? —Andrew les preguntó a las recién llegadas. A Dulce le preocupaba que se le fueran a salir los ojos de las órbitas. Andy había agarrado a su padre del brazo, probablemente intentando que no se pusiera en ridículo.

—Creamos sets de regalo, unas cajas muy elegantes, con piezas de lencería y cupcakes. Nuestra idea es que la mujer se come los cupcakes… —dijo Pam.

—Y el hombre se come… —añadió Chloe.

—Creo que nos lo podemos imaginar —la interrumpió Adelfa. Chloe la miró con una expresión no demasiado amable.

—Quizás sería mejor no crearnos enemigos desde buen principio si lo podemos evitar —le dijo Dulce a su amiga muy flojito.

Adelfa la miró  y asintió. Sacó el teléfono y Dulce recibió un texto unos segundos después. Esperó un momento antes de leerlo.

“Me pregunto si el ser tan fogosas las hará expertas en el uso del horno. ;)”

Mientras todos estaban distraídos con el espectáculo de Pam y Chloe, dos tipos entraron en la sala de recepción. Dulce casi se cayó al suelo cuando uno de ellos se sentó de repente en el sofá al lado del suyo. Los dos iban vestidos estilo combate, eran altos, fuertes y musculosos, uno de ellos Afro-Americano que llevaba un corte de pelo estilo mohicano y el otro iba pelado al cero y tenía unos ojos azules muy penetrantes.

—Somos ˈGuerrilla Cupcakesˈ. Éste es Custer y yo me llamo West —dijo el Afro-Americano del dúo, sin quitarle los ojos de encima a Adelfa.

Todos dijeron hola y se presentaron. Dulce aprovechó la conversación para decirle a Adelfa:

—Me parece que tienes un admirador.

Ella se encogió de hombros.

—Me preocupa más su habilidad como pasteleros. La estrategia y organización militares pueden serles útiles en algunos de los episodios.

—Eso es cierto, pero no creo que sean muy delicados y habilidosos para cosas como decoraciones, aunque quizás deberíamos reservarnos la opinión hasta que veamos de qué son capaces.

Dos mujeres de edad parecida a la suya, treinta y pocos años, entraron en la sala. Las dos tenían pelo castaño, altura media, una un poco más rellenita que la otra, las dos con vestidos floreados sencillos y sin maquillaje. Sonrieron tímidamente y esperaron hasta que el ruido disminuyó para hablar.

—Me llamo Candy y ésta es Trisha. Tenemos una tienda que se llama ˈSimples cupcakes y postresˈ. Nos gusta usar ingredientes orgánicos, evitamos los colorantes y las sustancias químicas innecesarias y también nos especializamos en productos para gente con alergias e intolerancias alimentarias.

Hubo otra ronda de presentaciones. A Dulce le dio la impresión de que el equipo Simples podría resultar una competición bastante dura.

Los dos últimos concursantes en llegar fueron un chico joven (trece años), que se llamaba Peter Parker (“como Spiderman”, les informó enseguida) y su abuela Lucy, que llevaba la permanente, tenía el pelo gris, y parecía haber hecho un gran esfuerzo por presentarse como una indefensa viejecita, a pesar de no ser tan mayor. Aunque el chico quería que su equipo se llamase ˈPasteles de los superhéroesˈ, pronto se convirtió en ˈPete y su abuelaˈ.

Como todos habían llegado ya, Dannie vino a recogerlos y les mostró el estudio donde iban a grabar el programa.

—A mí no me parece que esa abuela sea tan vieja y esté tan despistada como nos quiere hacer pensar — Adelfa le susurró a Dulce al oído.

—Yo estaba pensando exactamente lo mismo —.  Dulce se giró hacia Andy que estaba detrás de ellas y le preguntó:

—No nos dijiste el nombre de vuestro equipo.

—Lo discutimos mucho. Finalmente decidimos quedarnos con ˈEquipo de reposteros móviles y de apañosˈ por lo de la ingeniería.

—Me gusta —dijo Adelfa.

El estudio no era exactamente como se lo habían imaginado. Lo habían visto en la televisión pero parecía muy diferente en vivo. Había cables, cámaras, luces y lo que tenía aspecto de ser una cabina separada, probablemente desde donde lo controlaban todo, pero también tenía el aspecto de una cocina gigante, con varios hornos, neveras, encimeras y espacio para preparar la comida, fregaderos, cajones, utensilios …

—¡Anda! No sé qué me esperaba, pero es enorme e impresionante —dijo Adelfa.

—Aquí llega Harry —les advirtió Dannie, y Dulce no pudo evitar pensar en el Jack Nicholson con cara de loco de ˈEl resplandorˈ liándose a hachazos con una puerta y diciendo: ¡Aquí llega Johnny!

Todos se giraron y vieron a un hombre que se acercaba a toda velocidad. Tenía cuarenta años largos, algo de tripa, se estaba quedando calvo, y tenía unas facciones muy dibujadas, con la barbilla cuadrada y prominente y la nariz grande y recta. Sus ojos eran grandes, y de un verde intenso.

—Hola. Me llamo Harry Heston. Es un gran placer conoceros a todos. Tendremos tiempo de ir conociéndonos un poco mejor durante los próximos días. Solo quería que vinierais, que os conocierais todos entre vosotros y al equipo del programa, que cocinarais algo para acostumbraros a las cocinas y luego saldremos a cenar esta noche para relajarnos todo un poco antes de que empiece el circo mañana. Tú debes ser…

Empezó a decir nombres, a dar la mano a la gente, a sonreír, asentir, gesticular y poner cara de interés. Les presentó a los cuatro cámaras principales, Joe, Preston, Stan y Chris, que se limitaron a saludar con la cabeza desde sus cámaras, a una mujer que se llamaba ˈMinnieˈ que llevaba un traje gris, gafas, y se agarraba a su iPad como si la vida le fuera en ello. Ella se encargaba de coordinar dónde tenía que estar todo el mundo y lo que tenían que hacer en cada momento.

—Me dirigiré a vosotros por el nombre de vuestros equipos. Tengo muy mala memoria, bueno, en realidad tengo demasiadas cosas en las que pensar así que me concentro  en los asunto fundamentales para el programa. Y prefiero no encariñarme demasiado con ninguno de los concursantes. Si no, se te rompe el corazón cuando la gente se tiene que ir.

Adelfa y Dulce se miraron y se encogieron de hombros. Pues bueno.

Dannie les mostró otras cosas importantes como los cuartos de baño, la cantina, una tienda pequeña de chucherías y bebidas, los vestuarios, la sala de maquillaje…

—Hay mucha más gente que participa en el programa, pero la mayoría vienen y van y no son parte permanente del equipo, así que les conoceréis cuando aparezcan. Si necesitáis algo siempre me podéis preguntar a mí. O a Harry. Y recordad, hoy estáis aquí para pasarlo bien. No os preocupéis de nada. Esto no es la competición todavía. ¡A divertirse!

Dulce y Adelfa fueron al cuarto de baño y aprovecharon para intercambiar opiniones.

—¿Qué te han parecido? — preguntó Dulce. A Adelfa siempre se le había dado bien resumir y dar instrucciones concisas.

—No creo que Barbie y Cindy o los dos Andrews sean una competencia demasiado dura. Los dos militares podrían ser la carta sorpresa. No tengo ni idea. Las dos tías llamativas… Puede que me equivoque pero creo que son lo que parecen. La abuela esa me ha puesto la mosca detrás de la oreja.

—Sé lo que quieres decir. A mí también. Me gustan las chicas de ˈSimples pastelesˈ. Nosotras preparamos algunos pasteles para gente con alergias e intolerancias pero me gustaría aprender sus trucos. Serían un buen equipo con el que hacer amistad, al menos después de la competición —dijo Dulce.

—Las buenas mentes piensan igual. Sí, podrían resultar muy valiosas.

—Vamos a jugar —dijo Dulce.

Y eso fue lo que hicieron. Durante unas horas se dedicaron a probar los hornos, implementos, comprobar los ingredientes y en general divertirse y acostumbrarse al equipamiento. También vigilaron de cerca a la competencia, aunque sabían de sobras que lo que vieran ese día podía tener muy poca relación con sus actuaciones cuando aquello fuera en serio.

**************************************************************************************************************************************

Y para demostraros que lo de las imágenes no es precisamente lo mío, y por si os lo habéis perdido, os dejo el vídeo que creé sobre la novela:

http://youtu.be/rmiXlVyuywQ

El libro, si os interesa, está a la venta en muchas partes. Aquí os dejo unos cuantos enlaces:

Amazon:

http://bit.ly/1sDPZJS

Kobo:

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/i-love-your-cupcakes-me-encantan-tus-cupcakes

Nook (Barnes and Noble):

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/i-love-your-cupcakes-olga-n-ez-miret/1120420461?ean=2940046300185&itm=1&usri=2940046300185

Apple:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id923681636

Por si os ha entrado sed con tanto pastel, comparto algo muy especial que encontré en Florencia:

Donna Olga wine. And there were three different types!

Vino Donna Olga. Y tenían de tres clases!

¡Gracias a todos por leer, y ya sabéis, dadle al me gusta, comentad, compartid, y haced CLIC!

Ah, y por cierto, ando a la busca de blogs de cocina (repostería en particular), libros sobre el tema, y páginas, así que si tenéis vuestras favoritas, echadme una mano. ¡Gracias!

Hi all:

As you will know, recently I published ‘I Love Your Cupcakes‘. Part of the action develops in the set of a TV culinary game show. As people seemed to enjoy the sample I brought  you a couple of weeks ago, I thought I’d leave  you another one (and I promise you that’s the last one!), the chapter where Dulce and Adelfa, the main protagonists (sorry Storm) meet the crew and the members of the other teams. There’s a bit of everything:

I Love Your Cupcakes by Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Lourdes Vidal

I Love Your Cupcakes by Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Lourdes Vidal

Chapter 6. Baking and TV fauna. (Now)

The three weeks went by in a wink. Dulce and Adelfa asked the main members of staff and friends, Pixie, Vicky and Tessa if they could cover the shop while they’d be away. They were all very excited and happy to organize themselves to keep the place going with help from volunteers. They made sure that they didn’t accept any big orders for the week when they were going to be away, although they were convinced the team left in charge was more than capable. Toni took a few days off to help the girls and do more hands-on work. Dulce and Adelfa packed their favorite and most comfortable outfits for cooking, a nice dress and accessories for the gala (in case they got that far) and a few utensils and gadgets, “for luck.” Tony and Toni drove them to the airport.

“Are you ready, girls?” Toni asked.

“As ready as we’re ever going to be.” Adelfa replied.

“We’ll know for sure once we start. We’ve done everything we could think of and everything everybody has suggested to prepare. The rest…is in the hands of the gods.” Dulce said.

“Is Storm going to join you there?” her father asked.

“He’s happy to consult with us over the phone and if we go past the four first days he’ll join us live. He’s also been watching old programs and has sent us designs, blueprints and ideas. If we can manage to get that far and he comes we’ll have the best artist they’ve ever seen there.” Adelfa said.

“That is true. That boy is as odd as he’s talented.” Tony said.

“Dad, he’s not a boy any longer. And we aren’t girls either.” Dulce complained.

“I thought you were going to object to my calling him “odd”.”

“No, he’s odd, but we love him nonetheless.” Dulce finished.

“Or maybe we love him precisely because he’s so odd.” Adelfa added.

They all laughed. They got to the airport, took their luggage, said their goodbyes, Toni assured them she’d look after their shop and then they started on their greatest adventure.

During the flight they tried and focus on watching the in-flight entertainment rather than think about what expected them. Once in LA it was all rather exciting. Sunny, noisy and…

“This is really…” Dulce started.

“Artificial? Fake? Pretend?” Adelfa suggested.

“Blonde, tanned, beautiful with an advert idea of beauty. Oh dear, we’re going to stick out like a sore thumb.”

“There it is! They’ve sent a car to pick us up.”

Adelfa had spotted a woman with a sign with their names on it and started walking towards her.

“It’s us. I’m Adelfa and this is my partner Dulcinea, Dulce for short.”

“Pleasure to meet you. I’m Danielle, Dannie. I do a bit of whatever has to be done. Supplies, coordinating, covering for whoever is not there, go and fetch…”

“Chauffeur…” Dulce added.

Dannie nodded.

“Let’s get going. I’ll drop you at the hotel. It isn’t very far from the studio but we’ll send somebody to pick you up tomorrow. There won’t be a live program, only time to get you used to the ovens, discuss the details, do a bit of preparatory filming, and have time to get to know everybody. And a welcome meal. But we’ll let you have a bit of rest this evening.”

“That sounds good.” Adelfa replied.

In the car Dannie played the part of the occasional tour guide. She pointed out a variety of touristic spots and houses of the rich and famous.

“If you’re still here on Thursday, as that day there’s no program, sometimes the contestants decide to go on a proper tour. It’s good fun and a nice way to relax when we’re getting close to the final line.”

“That sounds nice. If we get that far.” Adelfa said.

“How is the rest of the team?” Dulce asked. “So far we’ve only talked to Harry Heston.”

“Dirty Harry?” Dannie asked. “He’s rather unique, not your standard team member.”

“Dirty Harry? Is he a fan of Clint Eastwood?” Adelfa asked.

Dannie breathed in deeply before replying:

“That’s not the reason for the nickname. We’ve arrived at the hotel. Here.”

Dannie helped them with their luggage and told them a car would be there at 9:30 next morning. Once up in their room and after unpacking Dulce and Adelfa decided to go for a walk and explore the surrounding area. It was a rather non-descript suburb although after asking a couple of people they managed to get directions and caught a bus that took them to the beach. There they walked and observed the people on roller-skates, sunbathing, playing beach volleyball…

“It is really like in the movies” said Dulce, trying not to be too obvious when contemplating the fabulous bodies around them. Adelfa, on the other hand, wasn’t particularly discreet. “You’re looking at those guys as if “they” were cupcakes.”

Adelfa smiled, deviating her gaze to look at Dulce for a few seconds.

“Well, they are gorgeous. And evidently they are here exhibiting themselves. They don’t work out that much and build up those muscles to hide them at home. Think of it as window-shopping. I have no intention of buying anything but looking…Feast your eyes! We don’t get many occasions like this one.”

“You’re probably right.”

After spending a good while people (mostly men, although some women were so interestingly undressed that they could not help but wonder) watching, they sat down with an ice-cream each. Adelfa seemed thoughtful, licking her ice-cream very slowly and finally asked:

“What do you think the Dirty Harry thing was about?”

“Probably some “in” joke. Maybe if we manage to stay long enough we’ll get to know.”

Dulce had no idea how right she was. Or how much she’d remember and regret her words.

They waited for the sunset and then returned to their hotel, stopping on the way to get some fruit and water. After watching some TV they went to bed, to wait for the first day of their TV experience.

They didn’t sleep very much and were up very early to make sure they were ready in plenty of time for the car. They didn’t want to be late on the first day and make a bad impression. The car dropped them at the TV station and Dannie was at the door waiting for them.

“Go and have a seat in reception. Once you’re all here we’ll go to the studio and meet everybody else.”

“Are we the first ones?”

“Not quite. There are some people there already. Go and introduce yourselves.”

There were four people sitting in reception waiting. Two young blonde girls, typically Californian, who immediately jumped up when they saw them and told them they were very excited, and kept laughing and making plenty of noise all the time (and although called Denise and Diane, Adelfa immediately named them Barbie and Cindy, with good reason) and a man in his fifties and one in his thirties, father and son, Andrew and Andy. Both men were engineers, although Andrew had worked most of his life in oil camps and Andy had worked in transportation.

“My father is an engineer also.” Dulce offered.

“What’s his name?”

“Oh, Tony, Anthony Baxter.”

“I think he worked on a bridge part of the line my company has been working on recently. In Nebraska.” Andy said.

“I believe you’re right, although it was quite a few years back.” Dulce replied.

“Very good job.”

“Are you big into cooking?” Adelfa asked, trying to size-up the competition. She had already dismissed the two girls, who seemed only interested in how they’d look on camera.

Andrew shook his head from side to side.

“I’ve always been interested and done a bit of cooking in my spare time, although Andy is a much better cook. Unfortunately I haven’t had much time to improve my skills and Andy…since his wife had the baby, he’s been pretty busy with other things” he said, messing up his son’s hair affectionately.

Andy smiled at his father.

“Yes, very busy.” He took his phone out of his pocket and showed them a picture of a baby-girl. “Lily. She’s nearly 3 months old.”

“She’s beautiful!” Dulce said.

Andy beamed at the comment.

“Have you come up with a name for your team?” Andrew asked.

“Oh, we have a shop. ‘Literally Cupcakes and Cakes’, so we’ll go with the same name.” Adelfa said.

“Literally Cupcakes?” asked Dulce with a frown.

Adelfa dismissed her whilst the two guys looked at them with a puzzled expression.

“We have an ongoing semantics argument about the shop’s name. I prefer ‘literally’ whilst Dulce wanted ‘literary’ as she loves books.” Adelfa explained.

“And the shop is much more than a cupcake shop. We do have second-hand books and also exchange books clients bring in at no cost. And have writers and other people come and talk, and book readings for kids and a book club, and we run exhibitions, and workshops, and cookery and cake decoration courses…” Dulce explained.

“It sounds amazing” said Andy.

“You should see it. Let me…” Dulce took her phone out and showed them some pictures. They were suitably impressed. Denise and Diane also joined.

“Wow, a fire-station! What fun! Do you have any firemen?” Diane (or Denise, Dulce wasn’t sure) asked.

“Unfortunately they didn’t come included with the building but I’m sure we could do something about it if you come for a visit.” Adelfa replied. Dulce nudged her on the ribs but she just smiled, as sweetly as she could, at her.

“Great! We don’t have a shop yet, but we have a name. ‘A Little Bit of Heaven Cupcakes’. Denise wanted to go with ‘D-lights’. You know, D as in the letter D, as we’re both Ds, Diane and Denise, but I thought people might think we were talking about something naughty, especially with cup and…And it wouldn’t be good to mislead people, not at least until we’ve had some surgery…We aren’t really D cups…”

Andrew and Andy went through all the colors in the rainbow during Diane’s explanation, but Dulce and Adelfa just laughed.

“I think ‘A Little Bit of Heaven’ is a great name.” Dulce asserted.

“Our shop is called ‘Let Them Eat Cupcakes’. We also run an on-line business, ‘Lady Cupcakes and Lingerie’ that’s going extremely well.” A tall woman, with long dark hair, huge golden sunglasses, incredibly pointy shoes with the highest heels Dulce had ever seen, and the shortest skirt and one of the most revealing tops she’d ever imagined had walked into the room and joined the conversation. A shorter, petite version of her, with red highlights, but similarly short skirt and low-cut top had followed her in. They introduced themselves as Pam and Chloe.

“Well, there’s another red-hair in the competition. You won’t feel so alone.” Adelfa whispered.

“She’s not really red-haired” Dulce replied, also in whispers.

“I think I can see that…especially now that she’s sitting down” Adelfa joked, looking at Chloe’s skirt.

“You…” Dulce jokingly hit her on the arm.

“So you sell lingerie and cakes?” Andrew asked the newcomers. Dulce worried his eyes would pop out of his eye sockets. Andy had grabbed his father’s arm, seemingly trying to stop him from embarrassing himself.

“We make boxed sets containing sexy pieces of lingerie and cupcakes. Our idea is: the woman eats the cupcakes…” started Pam.

“And the man eats…” Chloe added.

“I think we get the idea.” Adelfa interrupted. Chloe looked at her with a less-than-kind expression.

“Let’s not make enemies from the word go if we can help it” Dulce told her friend, very soft.

Adelfa looked at her and nodded. She took her phone out and Dulce got a text-message a few seconds later. She waited a beat before checking.

“I wonder if being tarty will make them any good at baking. ;)”

Whilst all of them were distracted by the spectacle of Pam and Chloe, two guys came into the reception area. Dulce nearly jumped out of her skin when one of them sat on the sofa next to theirs. They were both dressed in combat fatigues, were tall, strong and muscular, one of them African-American and sporting a Mohican-style haircut and the other one with shaved hair and piercing blue eyes.

“We are ‘Guerrilla Cupcakes’. This is Custer and I’m West” the African-American part of the duo asserted, never taking his eyes off Adelfa.

They all nodded and introduced themselves. Dulce took advantage of the noise to tell Adelfa:

“I think you’ve got an admirer.”

She shrugged her shoulders.

“I’m more worried about their cake-making skills. Military-style organization and strategy might help with some of the challenges.”

“That’s true, but you can hardly imagine they’ll be very dainty and delicate with things like decorations, although maybe we should delay any judgments until we’ve seen what they are capable of.”

Two women of a similar age to theirs, early thirties, walked in. They were both brown-haired, middle-height, one a bit plumper than the other, wearing simple flowery dresses and no make-up. They smiled shyly and waited until the noise had quieted down before talking.

“Hi. I’m Candy and this is Trisha. We have a shop called ‘Simple Cupcakes and Desserts’. We like to use organic ingredients, avoid colorants and unneeded chemicals and also cater for people with food allergies and intolerances.”

There was another round of introductions. Dulce had the feeling that the Simple team would be fairly strong competition.

The final two contestants were a young boy (thirteen), called Peter Parker (“Like Spiderman”, he promptly informed them all) and his grandmother Lucy, who was wearing a perm, gray hair, and seemed to have made an effort to look like a harmless old lady, despite not being that old. Although the boy wanted his team to go by the name ‘Superheroes cakes’, it soon became ‘Pete and granny’s’.

As they had all arrived, Dannie came to pick them up and show them the studio where they would be filming the program.

“I don’t think that granny is as old and clueless as she wants to make us think.” Adelfa whispered in Dulce’s ear.

“I was thinking exactly the same.” Dulce turned to Andy who was behind them and asked:

“You never had a chance to tell us the name of your team.”

“We had a heated debate about it. We finally decided to go with ‘Movers and Fixers Baking Team’ because of the engineering theme.”

“I like it.” Adelfa said.

The studio wasn’t exactly how the girls had imagined it. They’d seen it on the TV but it felt quite different once they were there. There were the cables, cameras, lights and what seemed to be a separate room, probably to control everything, but it also looked like a huge kitchen, with plenty of ovens, fridges, working surfaces, sinks, drawers, utensils…

“Wow! I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it’s enormous and very impressive” Adelfa said.

“Here comes Harry” Dannie warned, and Dulce couldn’t help but remember a crazy-looking Jack Nicholson in ‘The Shining’ coming through the door with an axe saying: ‘Here comes Johnny!’

They all turned to see a man approaching them at speed. He was in his late forties, had a bit of a paunch, was bolding, and had very strong features, with a square jaw and a protruding and straight nose. He had big, intense, green eyes.

“Hi all. I’m Harry Heston. It’s a real pleasure to meet you all. We’ll have time to get to know ourselves better over the next few days. I just wanted you to come, meet each other and the team of the program, have a go at cooking something to familiarize yourselves with the equipment, and then we’ll go for a meal this evening to unwind before the circus starts performing tomorrow. You must be…”

He started throwing names around, shaking hands, smiling, nodding and appearing interested. He introduced them to the four main camera-men, Joe, Preston, Stan and Chris, who just nodded from their cameras, a woman called ‘Minnie’ dressed in a gray suit, with glasses, and holding onto an iPad for dear life. She was the one coordinating where everybody should be and what they should be doing at any given time.

“I’ll just call you by your team names. I have very bad memory, or rather; I have too many things to think about so I focus on matters important for the program. And I prefer not to get too attached to any contestants. Otherwise it can be heartbreaking when people leave.”

Adelfa and Dulce looked at each other and shrugged. Oh well.

Dannie showed them where other necessary things were, like the toilets, the canteen, a little shop, the changing rooms, make-up…

“There are plenty more people involved in the program, but most of them come and go and aren’t permanent fixtures, so you’ll meet them as they appear. If you need anything you can always ask me. Or Harry. And remember, today you’re here to have fun. Don’t worry about anything. This is not the competition yet. Enjoy!”

Dulce and Adelfa went to the toilet and took the chance to exchange a few thoughts.

“What do you think?” Dulce asked. Adelfa had always been good at summarizing and briefings.

“I don’t think Barbie and Cindy or the two Andrews are going to be too hard. The military guys could be a wild-card. I have no idea. The two in-your-face women…I could be wrong but think what you see is what you get. I am very suspicious of the granny.”

“I know what you mean. I am too. I like the girls of ‘Simple Cakes’. We do some cakes for people with allergies and intollerances but I’d like to learn from them. They could be a good team to get friendly with, at least after the competition.” Dulce said.

“Good minds think alike. Yes, they could be invaluable.”

“Let’s go and play” Dulce said.

And that’s what they did. They had a few hours to try ovens, implements, check ingredients and in general have fun and get used to the equipment. They also kept a close eye on the competition, although they knew what they saw that day might have very little to do with their real performances.

*************************************************************************************************************************************

Just to prove you that I’m not good at the visual side of things and in case you missed it, I leave you the video I created:

http://youtu.be/oGFcWLwoFfA

If you’re interested in the book, it’s available in a variety of places (and I hope in paper soon). I leave you some links:

Amazon:

http://bit.ly/1pyxw9Q

Kobo:

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/i-love-your-cupcakes

Nook (Barnes and Noble):

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/i-love-your-cupcakes-olga-n-ez-miret/1120420510?ean=2940046286625&itm=1&usri=2940046286625

Apple (i-Tunes):

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id923681628

In case you’re thirsty after all these cakes, I thought I’d share something pretty special I found in Florence:

Donna Olga wine. And there were three different types!

Donna Olga wine. And there were three different types!

Thanks everybody for reading (and the patience), and you know, if you’ve enjoyed it, like, share, comment and CLICK! 

Ah, and I’m looking for blogs, pages, and recipe books dedicated to cookery, and baking and cakes in particular, so if you have any favourites, let me know, I’m interested! Thanks!

Hola a todos;

Como sabréis si me leéis a menudo hace poco he publicado una novela romántica (I Love Your Cupcakes[Me encantan tus cupcakes]) en la que gran parte de la acción transcurre en un concurso de cocina televisivo.

I Love Your Cupcakes (Me encantan tus cupcakes) de Olga Núñez Miret. Portada de Lourdes Vidal

I Love Your Cupcakes (Me encantan tus cupcakes) de Olga Núñez Miret. Portada de Lourdes Vidal

 

Para ser más precisos, un concurso de repostería. La semana pasada mencioné algunos de los concursos más conocidos de este tipo, aunque la verdad es que mi inspiración vino de ver de vez en cuando (sobre todo cuando visitaba a mis padres) un par de programas, Cucake Wars (Guerra de Cupcakes) y un programa realidad centrado en una pastelería de Baltimore que se llama Charm City Cakes (el programa en inglés se llama Ace of Cakes, As de pasteles, pero lo han traducido como Dulces e increíbles).

Os dejo algún enlace a los programas originales:

Cupcake Wars:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/shows/cupcake-wars.html/

Ace of Cakes:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/shows/ace-of-cakes.html/

Y por si acaso queréis echarle un vistazo a la pastelería propiamente dicha, aquí está

http://charmcitycakes.com/

 

He encontrado bastantes blogs que se dedican a compartir recetas de estos programas y os dejo un par, el primero de Cupcakes:

http://www.todareceta.es/b/cupcake-wars-español.html

Y un post (hay muchos) sobre Dulces e increíbles:

http://www.recetasparatontos.com/2012/04/megatartas-del-programa-ace-of-cakes.html

Y para que no digáis que todo son enlaces hoy, aquí va una de las recetas que comparto en el libro (y no hay muchas porque el libro es ficción).

Crema catalana (cibo360)

Crema catalana (cibo360)

(Imagen de: http://www.cibo360.it/cucina/mondo/crema_catalana.htm)

Crema Catalana

  • 1/2 l. de leche
  • 75 gr. de azúcar
  • 3 huevos
  • 20 gr. de maizena
  • 1/2 limón
  • Canela en rama

 

Empezamos a hacer la crema catalana casera cociendo la leche en un cazo junto con una rama de canela y la ralladura de medio limón bien limpio, poniendo mucho cuidado de que no caiga nada de la parte blanca.

Mientras, en un plato hondo echamos las yemas de los 3 huevos (reservamos las claras para otra receta), y las batimos junto con el azúcar. Es importante para que la crema catalana casera quede bien, que el azúcar quede perfectamente integrado con el huevo.

Luego echamos la maicena (harina de maíz) tamizada, y seguimos batiendo, y cuando no haya ningún grumo, echamos la mezcla en el cazo con la leche hirviendo, removiendo enérgicamente.

Hay que remover la crema catalana casera en el cazo hasta que tome cierto espesor. Hecho esto, la echaremos en los cuencos, la dejaremos enfriar, y la meteremos en el frigorífico unas 2 horas.

Antes de llevar la crema catalana casera a la mesa, hay que quemarla con un soplete de cocina, hasta que la superficie se caramelice y se tueste. (También venden unos palas de hierro que se calientan al rojo y se usan para quemar el azúcar espolvoreado. Es el método tradicional, aunque hay gente que la pone al grill, pero hay que ir con cuidado y se debe quemar al momento.)

http://crema-catalana-casera.recetascomidas.com/# (descargada en Junio del 2014)

Y por si no habéis tenido suficiente, el enlace a mi tablero de pasteles, cupcakes y otras cosas buenas en Pinterest:

http://www.pinterest.com/olganm7/food-ideas-for-pos-book/

Y un video que he creado (pero os advierto que mi estilo creando videos es un poco personal):

http://youtu.be/rmiXlVyuywQ

Gracias a todos por leer, a los blogs por prestarme sus recetas, y si os ha interesado, dadle al me gusta, comentad, compartid, y haced CLIC!

Hi all:

As you know on Fridays I bring you guest authors and recently also new books. I met today’s author, Viv Drewa, through a group of authors I belong too, and especially through her efforts blogging and sharing the work of other writers and bloggers. If that wasn’t enough, she loves owls (so do I) and one of her blogs is called ‘The Owl Lady‘. She also has owls in her books, so, how could I resist?

Here with you, Viv Drewa!

Author and blogger Viv Drewa

Author and blogger Viv Drewa

Viv is a Michigan native who has enjoyed reading and writing since 1963. Though she studied medicinal chemistry at the University of Michigan her passion has always been writing.

She was awarded third place for her nonfiction short story about her grandfather’s escape from Poland. Later, she rewrote this story and was published in the “Polish American Journal” as “”From the Pages of Grandfather’s Life” and recently had it published again on Amazon.com

Viv took creative and journalism courses to help in her transition to fulfill her dream of becoming a writer. She worked as an intern for Port Huron’s ‘The Times Herald”, and also wrote, edited and did the layout or the Blue Water Multiple Sclerosis newsletter “Thumb Prints.”

She teaches sewing to physically and mentally disabled adults, a cause close to her heart.

Viv also writes for two blogs.

Here is her Amazon page:

http://www.amazon.com/Viv-Drewa/e/B00J1PTJ20/

And here the Owl Lady Blog:

http://theowlladyblog.wordpress.com/

Viv has written two novels and a book where she talks about her grandfather’s experiences:

The Owl of the Sipan Lord by Viv Drewa

The Owl of the Sipan Lord by Viv Drewa

The Owl of the Sipan Lord

Rather than the brief description of the book I decided to leave you some detailed reviews to wet your appetite.

5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book August 1, 2014

By Oliver

Format:Kindle Edition

The Owl of the Sipan Lord by Viv Drewa is a wonderful novel. The character of Clare Montgomery is woven with dexterity. The web of mystery, intrigue and murder lends additional charm to the work. The plot is gripping and beautifully presented. The narrative style is praiseworthy and establishes Viv Drewa as a master of this genre.Read it for a fine plot, gripping story and lifelike characters. Highly recommended.

5.0 out of 5 stars Shadows of El Brujo? June 23, 2014

By John R. Dizon

Format:Kindle Edition

The Owl of the Sipan Lord by Viv Drewa is an action-packed adventure novel centered on the exploits of Clare Montgomery, a widowed 52-year-old archaeologist. She goes on a vision quest to Peru along with Cord Willoughby, intent on discovering the secrets of La Senora de Cao. The mysterious death of Hans Windmueller leaves little doubt as to the presence of evil spirits along the trail. Upon arrival in El Brujo, they find themselves delving headlong into a web of mystery, intrigue and murder. It takes them to the ancient Temple of the Moon, where they enlist the aid of the Lord of Sipan, Cantunta. They find that his daughter Adelgonda awaits in the land of the dead, and only by overcoming the evil goddess can they rid the land of the curse of Cao.

The author develops her tale with artistic flair, bringing us into the storyline with authentic narratives of Peruvian society and culture. There is also the midlife element portrayed by Clare’s affair with Cord, leading to the possibility of a pregnancy that serves as a highly unexpected distraction. Yet the dream sequences force the reader to keep their eye on the ball as her visions reveal the imminent danger awaiting them. The theme of betrayal resonates throughout the novel as Adelgonda endangers not only the lives of her parents but her entire clan as her death cult endures. It brings us to a dramatic conclusion as Clare and Cord are brought face-to-face with the ancient demons in a final showdown.

For action/adventure fans as well as sorcery buffs, The Owl of the Sipan Lord by Viv Drewa is a worthy addition to your collection.

Link:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HFDIXK4/

The Angler and the Owl by Viv Drewa

The Angler and the Owl by Viv Drewa

The Angler and the Owl

For 25 years France Hunter has been studying owls, and has discovered five new species around the world. Her work has kept her busy and she never had time for a relationship. She travels with Jason “Doc” Bradley, a former paramedic, and his cousins Tony and Andy Bradley. Now, on her last outing she is joined by a magazine writer, Cathy Birch, and a world famous angler, John Sinclair, who has also dedicated his life to his field.
As the small caravan travels to the Amazon river France falls and severely injures her left arm. Against Doc’s recommendation to turn back, she pushes on. This is her last trip and she wants to go to the place where she found her first new owl.
Once the caravan arrives by the water they are met by seven boatmen, hired by Sinclair, and their canoes. Here they continue on the river dropping France’s group at her location, and Sinclair continuing for two days to the area he wants to fish for his TV show.
John is immediately attracted to France, but all she notices is how handsome he is, not feeling anything else. It isn’t until later she discovers she has feeling for John.
After landing in his spot he can’t help but feel something is wrong with France’s group. His good friend Mark Ward tells him it’s just love talking and he’s sure they’re alright. John doesn’t buy it but they plan on fishing the next morning.
While fishing a blue-ringed owl lands on John’s canoe and looks down the river to where France’s group is, and then looks back at him. This alerts John. He gets the satellite phone and tries to reach her to no avail. He decides the fishing can wait and, with Mark in another canoe, begin the journey back to France.
At France’s camp two jaguars attack one of the boatmen severing his left leg. The other two boatmen, they all have rifles, shoot at the jaguars killing one. The other escapes with the boatman’s leg. Doc and the others wake to the noise and he and Tony go to where the boatmen are camping. In the ruckus the canoes become untied and go eastward down the shore and the sat phone is destroyed. Now they have no way to get help and will have to wait for John’s team to come back, which could take three or four more days.
Doc dresses the boatman’s leg and they bring him to their area. Safety in numbers. Doc’s supply of penicillin and IV dextrose is limited and he doesn’t think the boatman will make it if they can’t get help quickly. Only a two day supply.
As John and Mark head east the water carries them quickly. The get a distance from France’s group and hear gun shots. This makes John paddle faster convinced he was right about something being wrong.
John sees the lanterns and runs toward them; Mark follows quickly behind. The learn about the attack and Mark uses his satellite phone to call for help.
Will help get there in enough time?

Link:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HQP60OW/

From the Pages of Grandfather's Life by Viv Drewa

From the Pages of Grandfather’s Life by Viv Drewa

Story of a young man’s escape from Russian ruled Poland in 1913.

Link:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00I3PNX76/

Thanks to Viv for her reblogs, for visiting and for her owls, to you all for reading, and don’t forget to like, share, comment, and of course CLICK!

Hi all:

As you know on Fridays I bring you guest authors and new books. I have been spending plenty of time recently getting to know a bit better other bloggers, and although I have shared some of their blogs before, it occurred to me that many of the people whose blogs I read religiously are also authors but I had yet to bring them here. So it’s never too late and here I bring you one of them.

Seumas Gallacher. 

Seumas Gallacher. Blogger and writer extraordineur

Seumas Gallacher. Blogger and writer extraordineur

SEUMAS GALLACHER escaped from the world of finance five years ago, after a career spanning three continents and five decades.

As the self-professed ‘oldest computer Jurassic on the planet’ his headlong immersion into the dizzy world of eBook publishing opened his eyes, mind, and pleasure to the joys of self-publishing. As a former businessman, he rapidly understood the concept of a writer’s need to ‘build the platform’, and from a standing start began to develop a social networking outreach, which now tops 15,000 direct contacts.

His first two crime-thrillers, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY and VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK blew his mind with more than 75,000 e-link downloads to date. The third in what has become the ‘Jack Calder’ series, SAVAGE PAYBACK, was launched late 2013.

He started a humorous, informative, self-publishers blog less than two years ago, never having heard of a ‘blog’ prior to that, was voted ‘Blogger of the Year 2013’ and now has a loyal blog following on his networks. He says the novels contain his ‘Author’s Voice’, while the blog carries his ‘Author’s Brand’. And he’s LUVVIN IT!

Before I forget, here is his blog. It’s unmissable:

http://seumasgallacher.com/

The Violin Man's Legacy

The Violin Man’s Legacy

 

The violin man’s legacy

Thriller with bloody twists and turns as ruthless killers meet their match in a former SAS hit squad.

Jack Calder is an ex-SAS soldier working with former colleagues at ISP, a specialist security firm. He is sent to investigate a murderous diamond heist in Holland, but swiftly learns that there is a very strong Far East connection. He then travels to Hong Kong where he meets the glamorous chief of ISP’s local bureau, May-Ling.

Together they begin to unravel a complex web of corruption. The twin spiders at the centre of this web are the Chan brothers, leaders of one of Hong Kong’s most ruthless and powerful triad gangs.

The trail of death and mayhem coils across Europe, Hong Kong and South America until all the scores are settled.

http://www.amazon.com/Violin-Mans-Legacy-seumas-gallacher-ebook/dp/B005D7JNCQ/

Vengeance Wears Black

Vengeance Wears Black

Vengeance Wears Black

Jack Calder and his former SAS colleagues at ISP, a specialist security firm, are saved from certain death when an ex-Gurkha is killed smothering a deadly grenade thrown into a lunchtime Chinese restaurant in the West End of London. They learn that murderous turf wars are raging between Asian Triads and Eastern European mobsters vying for control of international fiefdoms of drug smuggling, people trafficking, prostitution and money laundering.

An unexpected visit from the highest levels of international law enforcement offers Jack and the ISP team a means to use their black operations skills to wreak a ruthless retaliation against the drug lords.

Unlikely partners emerge in their onslaught against the gangs as the warring criminal factions threaten an unholy alliance to repel them. The pursuit spins across Europe, Turkey and North Africa before a final reckoning.

http://www.amazon.com/VENGEANCE-WEARS-BLACK-seumas-gallacher-ebook/dp/B008H45KJC/

Savage Payback

Savage Payback

 

Savage Payback

A series of coordinated lethal bomb attacks on a dozen jewelry stores in London’s West End drag former SAS officer, Jack Calder and his specialist security firm, International Security Partners, into a deadly mesh of murder and international drug running.

A black ops explosives expert, an ex-colleague turned renegade mercenary with a twisted lust for revenge, emerges from the past to join forces with a powerful and dangerous drug baron from Eastern Europe.

A major cocaine trafficker from South America compounds the threats as competitive turf issues straddle international territories.

Attacks close to home heighten the urgency for Calder and his team to find and deal with each of the three sinister adversaries in a final savage payback.

http://www.amazon.com/SAVAGE-PAYBACK-Seumas-Gallacher-ebook/dp/B00G00GZEO/

Self-publishing steps to successful sales

Self-publishing steps to successful sales

Self-publishing Steps to Successful Sales

A self-publisher with over 75,000 sales/downloads explains in simple steps how he uses the social networks and ePublishing to enhance sales of his books on the Web and in hard copy.

http://www.amazon.com/Self-Publishing-Steps-Successful-Seumas-Gallacher-ebook/dp/B00JBL6K80/

And now, for a very good cause, Seumas has also taken part in a wonderful project.

Shadows and Light

Shadows and Light

Shadows and Light: To Benefit Women’s Aid

Product Description

37 stories from authors around the world. Coming together to aid the key UK charity Women’s Aid. Stories from some of the best in indie publishing around the world today, as well as a couple of big names. The tales within range from horror, noir, crime to a bit of Sci Fi and romance thrown in, all for your entertainment while helping make a difference and furthering the awareness of domestic abuse.

SHADOWS & LIGHT
A Ballard Tale
Andrew Scorah

Placebo
ANDREW VACHSS

The Battered Wife
Graham Masterton

QUITS.
SEUMAS GALLACHER

THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW
DAVID EDGERLEY GATES

Daylight.
Kevin Holton

THE SAME OLD STORY
by Keith Dixon

WILLIAMS OF THE YARD
IN THE FOXBOROUGH CASE
By Andrew Peters

The Deaths of Andrea Ford
By
David Monk

Across the River
A Story by Samuel Dickens

THE DARE
By
Juliet B Madison

THE OTHER WIFE
~ By Absolutely*Kate

The Last Girl on Earth.
K.A. Hambly

The Summer of Penny Walsh
By Frank Sonderborg

Finding The Phoenix
By
Caitlin O’Connor

Black-Eyed Susan
By Thomas Pluck

The Blues Detective
The Affair of the Precious Packages
Andrew Peters

All Mine
By George Beck

Ruby Pendant
By Melissa Dougherty

Emily’s Valentine
Gerry McCullough

Killing in the Name of
Aidan Thorn

The Princess
The Fox & The Crow
William Rose

The Scent of Pancakes
By Tina Bausinger

The Man Behind the Curtain
By
Paul D Brazill

Doreen’s Tomorrows
by Gay Ingram

East Meets West
By
Jane Morris

THE VISIT

by Dana Wright

Heaven’s Scar
By
Caitlin O’Connor

Jane Unbound
By Kerry E.B. Black

Ellie
By Marie Bishop

LITTLE BROTHER
By
Cath Bore

Almost Christmas
by
Rayna L. Stiner

Floorboard Hoofbeats
By
Cass McMain

AN IRISH STORY
By
Roderick Craig Low

Accounts Payable
By
Hector Duarte Jr.

Through Two Unblackened Eyes
Linda Bonney Olin

http://www.amazon.com/Shadows-Light-Benefit-Womens-Aid-ebook/dp/B00MCY6CYK/

Thanks so much to Seumas for being such a sport, for his ongoing support of fellow authors and for his visit, thanks very much for reading, and you know what to do, like, share, comment, and of course, CLICK!

Como recordaréis, las semana pasada decidí recomendaros unos cuantos blogs que sigo con asiduidad por si no los habíais descubierto aún. Hoy os traigo unos cuantos más. Y sigo la colección! lontree (1) Relatos jamás contados (Raquel Sánchez García) http://relatosjamascontados.blogspot.com.es/

El blog de Raquel os interesará no solo porque habla de sus libros (que ya sería interesante de por sí) y suele promocionar sus obras y las de otros escritores, pero también porque es una lectora y reseñadora empedernida. Y no solo de los libros más populares, si no que tiene un interés especial en libros independientes, y eso ofrece a los lectores una buena opción para descubrir obras que quizás no serían tan fáciles de encontrar en otros sitios. A leer!

BCN Express (Juan Alberto Recrivello) http://bcnexpres.wordpress.com/

Juan Alberto ha sido invitado mío, pero no podía pasar la oportunidad de recomendar su blog. En él habla un poco de todo, de política, de historia reciente, de escritura, de insectos… Os pone al día de sus novedades literarias y crea mundos esperpénticos, surreales y mágicos. Si os apetece probar algo distinto, subiros a la montaña rusa que es BCN Express!

Así lo pienso y así lo escribo (Eduardo Perellón Cano) http://eduardoperellon.blogspot.co.uk/

Eduardo, que también fue uno de mis invitados hace ya tiempo, tiene un blog donde habla mucho de la escritura (últimamente también ha creado un blog donde escritores comparten sus recetas favoritas con los lectores. No os preocupéis, yo no me he pasado, que lo de cocinar se me da tan bien como las imágenes), y últimamente esta dedicándole una serie a los entresijos de la novela. No os lo perdáis!

Alma sin destino (Frank Spoiler) 

http://frankspoiler-alma-sin-destino.blogspot.com.es/

Recordaréis a Frank, que ha sido otro de mis invitados, y que escribe sobre una gran variedad de temas, desde micro-relatos, a cuentos y colaboraciones con otros escritores, relatos de terror con un “algo” un poco especial, y poesía, que publica en su blog y luego presenta en antologías a la venta. Como os traje a Kokoro la semana pesada, me pareció que no podía dejaros hoy sin otra ración de poesía. Y además Frank siempre encuentra una imágenes perfectas para ilustrar sus poemas.

 

Gracias a los blogueros invitados (que no saben nada de esto), gracias a vosotros por leer, y si os ha gustado, dadle al me gusta, comentad, compartid, haced CLIC y SEGUID!

Living in the Gap

“Ruffled feathers and endless squawking over a minor difficulty is typical of a crow’s life. I lean back on the counter and realize that could be my line….”

Opinión y actualidad

Opinión sobre noticias y asuntos de actualidad

Los escritos de Héctor Browne

Blog (algo literario y algo viejo) de un Licenciado en Letras, diplomado en edición, y Profesor de Lenguaje.

Priscilla Bettis, Author

The making of a horror novelist.

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