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Hi all:

Yes, the last novel in my YA trilogy Angelic BusinessAngelic Business 3. Pink, Angel or Demon? is out on the 30th of July, this Thursday.

Angelic Business 3: Pink, Angel or Demon?

Angelic Business 3: Pink, Angel or Demon?

I’ve been bringing you samples of the books and songs, but as we’re so close to the end, and I don’t want to reveal any vital information, I’ve decided to bring you an interview with one of the characters, G.

G

G

Hi G. It’s very kind of you to agree to come and talk to us about Angelic Business. Life must be very busy for you.

For me? You mean for a demon.

Well, yes, but I know you don’t like being called a demon.

It’s not so much the name, as the connotation. Once people start talking about demons they imagine silly things. Red skin, horns, hoofs, a tail… All that.

You don’t look anything like that. At all. Although, is that your real appearance?

No. I thought I’d appear as G. The boy Pink meets in the first book.

Yes, you go through a few changes in the series. Do you think you are the one who changes the most?

(G shakes his head.)

No. I guess if we talk about physical appearance, yes, I go through quite a few incarnations. But with regards to changing…in what matters most, I think most of the characters do. Pink becomes much more determined, her friends Lorna and Sylvia change, Seth does, even Azrael changes.

Azrael. The angel. You two have a very strange relationship. And although some readers find you more interesting, you seem to…

Yes?

Be somewhat jealous of him.

And what makes you think that?

You seem to take it to heart when Pink talks about how gorgeous Azrael is.

She exaggerates. A fair bit.

I don’t think so. He’s gorgeous.

Have you met him too?

Yes.

Perhaps it’s a human thing. I don’t think he’s that beautiful. Anyway, I thought you wanted to talk about me.

Yes, of course. Do you enjoy taking up the role of a human being?

It depends on the human being. Being a child and having to go to school and all that can get a bit tedious, and if I’m in an older person’s body, sometimes life is very difficult, but it can be a great experience. It surely provides one with a very different perspective on things.

Doesn’t becoming a human make you feel bad about some of the things you do? To humans, I mean.

I’m only inhabiting a human body. It’s like an actor. However convincing I might be, I’m not really human. And when I’m in somebody’s body it is because I have a mission to fulfil.

But you didn’t like it when Pink was upset with you because of what you did in book one. You seemed to have become quite close to Pink.

Well, Pink is different. I don’t take to heart everything any human being says. Heart? What heart, anyway? But she is not your standard human being. Although she would not agree.

That is true. Anything else you’d like to add?

Yes. I am funnier than Azrael. And he’s not that handsome either. Ah, and read the stories, they are worth it. And let us know if you’d like to read more adventures.

Thank you G. Gregorious.

Thank you.

And now, so you don’t complain that I only bring you demons, in case you missed it, here is the link to an interview with Azrael, the angel, featured in N.N. Light fabulous blog:

http://wp.me/p327dV-1jP

A bit about the book:

OK, OK, OK. Pink gets it. She’s the Elected, whether she likes it or not. Heaven and Hell are closing in, and their envoys are closer home than ever. So close she can’t ignore them. And she’ll do everything but.

However long she has, she’s determined to make it count. She’ll sort her friends out, she’ll help her family and, she’ll live a bit. And then, she’ll take charge. Because no one will say that Pink went down without a fight. However big and bad the enemy.

Gender benders, romances, old loves that come to fruition, new challenges, divine interventions, tears, laughter and magic. All of that and more. Because, if you‘re gonna go, you might as well go with a bang.

Links:

Amazon:

http://rxe.me/YHZHUYS

Apple:

http://apple.co/1HUtE1M

Kobo:

http://bit.ly/1Fl7IH9

Nook:

http://bit.ly/1M4YK5j

It will also be available in other places but I won’t get those links until after the publication. You can always check my website  as I try to keep it updated.

Of course, I’ve also made a video for this book, here it is:

Ah, and to celebrate and to encourage people to give the series a go, I’ve made the first book in the series, Angelic Business 1. Pink MattersFREE! 

Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters

Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters

I discovered through a post a thing called Book Launch, that allows you to create a page for your book, with all the links, information about you, etc. It’s free for one book only, after that you have to pay a subscription, but I thought I’d give it a go. So here it is:

https://booklaunch.io/olganm/angelicbusiness1

As it does not include all of the Amazon links, I’m adding the international one, just in case:

http://rxe.me/YIHTW96

And Page Foundry:

http://bit.ly/1eMLfN9

Thanks so much for reading, I hope you’ve find it interesting, please share, like, comment, and especially, CLICK! Spread the word! Ah, and if you read in Spanish, the Spanish version is also free. 

Hola a todos:

Mañana será publicada la segunda novela en mi serie juvenil Asuntos angélicos 2. Dimensiones de Greg. Y se me ocurrió que para recordároslo, le dedicaría un post individual.

Primero quería compartir un video que preparé, que aunque lo incluí en un post la semana pasada, como estaba al final de todo, creo que pasó desapercibido. Así que hoy lo pongo al principio.

Un fragmento de la novela:

El viernes me pareció ver a un tipo al que no había visto nunca antes, de pie delante de mi casa. Cuando salí echó a andar hacia mí, o eso me pareció, pero Seth pasó en coche y se ofreció a llevarme y yo accedí. Cuando volví a ver al mismo tío esperando a cierta distancia cuando Sylvia, Lorna y yo salimos de la escuela, no supe qué pensar. Creí que desaparecería durante el rato que íbamos a pasar en la biblioteca. Y no le vi cuando salimos de allí o de camino a la parada de autobús. Pero tan pronto como arrancó el autobús, le vi de pie en la acera al otro lado de la calle.

El tío aquel me estaba empezando a asustar. No se lo había contado a Lorna y Sylvia porque ¿qué podían hacer ellas de todas maneras? Sylvia empezaría a hablar de acoso, como siempre, y Lorna se preguntaría si era un buen candidato para una relación amorosa. Aunque, para ser justa con ella, de hecho no. Era alto, muy delgado, pálido, con pinta de Goth, con un vestuario nada impresionante… No, no era de los que Lorna consideraría un buen candidato a novio. Y por lo menos debía tener veinticinco años o más. ¿Por qué nos estaba siguiendo? O, mejor dicho, ¿por qué me estaba siguiendo a mí?

El hombre misterioso que sigue a Pink

El hombre misterioso que sigue a Pink

No es que me asuste fácilmente, en mi opinión, pero empecé a andar más deprisa. Estaba oscureciendo y aún me quedaba un trozo para llegar a mi casa, y aunque el vecindario era seguro… Él también aceleró. “No te asustes. ¡No te asustes!” me iba repitiendo mentalmente. No me funcionó demasiado bien. Estaba a punto de echar a correr cuando el tipo ese gritó:

—Pink… ¡Pink!

Vale, eso era raro. ¿Cómo narices sabía cómo me llamaba?

—Pink… —yo me había parado. Me alcanzó—. Soy yo. —Le miré. Yo…

—¿Quién eres exactamente?

—Me siguen gustando las trufas Lindt.

—¿G?

Él sonrió y asintió.

El G original

El G original

—Me pensaba que te habían hecho ir de vuelta… a casa. No me di cuenta de que simplemente te iban a dar otro cuerpo.

Se encogió de hombros.

—Yo tampoco. No, me han dado otra misión.

—Ya veo. ¿De nuevo aquí?

—No exactamente.

—¿Entonces dónde?

—Dallas.

—¿Cómo? Está lejos. ¿Tienes el día libre, o está tu protegido por aquí, o qué?

—¿Libre? No tenemos tiempo libre.

—Tenéis un contrato de mierda, entonces.

Él se rio y se encogió de hombros.

—No está tan mal considerando los tipos de contratos que mi jefe suele ofrecer —dijo. Ahora me tocó a mí sonreír.

—Así que, ¿qué haces por aquí?

—Quería ver cómo estabas.

No empecéis todos… “Oh, qué mono” porque estamos hablando de un demonio.

—Estoy bien. Gracias.

—Me alegro. ¿Se está cuidando bien de ti Dashiell?

—Podrías preguntárselo a él. Nunca he tenido muy claro que es lo que pensáis conseguir vosotros siguiéndome todo el rato. Me has dado tantas versiones distintas de la historia… Y Dashiell… Es mucho más estricto y dedicado exclusivamente a la misión de lo que lo eras tú.

Suspiró. Su nuevo cuerpo le daba un aspecto más vulnerable.

—Echo de menos estar conectado contigo.

Ahora estaba llevando las cosas demasiado lejos.

—Si haces memoria, la tal conexión se rompió hace tiempo. Debería irme. Se está haciendo tarde.

—Te acompaño a casa.

Me daba una sensación muy rara el tener a G andando a mi lado, pero sin parecerse para nada al que solía ser. Muy extraño.

—¿Cómo están Lorna y Sylvia?

—Bien. Bueno, más o menos. Lorna ha decidido que ha llegado la hora de encontrar a su hombre perfecto, y Sylvia decidió ir a por ello y diseñó un programa de ordenador para ayudarla. Y creó un perfil e incluso una especie de retrato digital. Y se parece algo a Dashiell, así que ahora Lorna cree que él podría ser su hombre perfecto. Y él no ha sido de gran ayuda.

Dashiell

Dashiell

—¿Qué ha hecho?

Le conté a G su idea de crear una tapadera para mantenerse en contacto conmigo haciendo que todas le ayudásemos en su proyecto.

—No deberían haberme apartado de tu caso —se quejó.

—Oh, estoy segura de que ella estará bien. Lorna es dura de pelar.

—¿Y Sylvia?

—No estoy tan segura sobre Sylvia. Se está comportando de forma rara últimamente. Nos dijo que puede que hubiera conocido a alguien pero no quiere contarnos ningún detalle. Y siempre parece estar distraída. Creo que algo se cuece, pero por algún motivo no quiere hablar de ello. Estoy preocupada, aunque normalmente suele tener los pies en tierra.

Él se acarició la barbilla, que en su cuerpo actual era muy prominente.

—Veré si puedo descubrir algo.

—Estoy segura de que debes estar ocupado con tu misión, sea lo que sea. No quiero que te metas en líos con tu jefe por no hacer tu trabajo y mezclarte en asuntos humanos.

Se encogió de hombros.

—A mi “jefe”, como insistes en llamarle, le gustan los líos. Le hacen superarse a sí mismo. Siempre consigue encontrarle un lado ventajoso a algo que a primera vista parece haber salido mal.

—Muy emprendedor. Suena a spin doctor.

—¡Desde luego!

Sonreí y le miré atentamente. Sí, daba una sensación muy rara, porque aunque, por supuesto, la voz tampoco era la suya, e incluso el acento era diferente —un deje sureño lento y pausado que el G de antes no tenía— a mí me seguía sonando como él. O quizás solo era mi mente gastándome una broma.

—Parece que tu misión no te tiene muy ocupado. Supongo que no puedo saber de qué va.

Él hizo una mueca. Le había tocado un punto sensible.

—Es un aburrimiento. Se supone que tengo que hacerle de niñera a un niño pequeño, tiene unos siete u ocho años, porque a uno de nuestros analistas se le ocurrió sugerir que tiene el potencial para convertirse en un tipo peligroso en el futuro, un líder letal y chiflado de las masas, o un supervillano, o un cerebro criminal… Algo así. Si te digo la verdad, hasta ahora es un niño la mar de aburrido, ni siquiera es particularmente malo o travieso. Quizás Sylvia debería venir a trabajar con nosotros. Sus programas puede que nos resultaran más útiles que nuestros métodos de investigación. Revisando historias, leyendas, libros antiguos, observando las estrellas… Supersticiones tontas si quieres mi opinión.

Me hizo reír.

—Nunca hubiese creído que eras un escéptico, cuando mostrabas tanta pasión por la profecía esa que tiene que ver conmigo.

—Bueno, es mejor no arriesgarse. Y es una profecía muy famosa y de buena reputación, no un puzle de unir los puntos.

Le miré intentando adivinar la verdad.

—Pero de todas formas no importa, porque en realidad no se refiere a mí. ¿No?

—Por supuesto.

¿Se sonrojó? A mí me lo pareció, pero no estaba segura de lo mucho que el cuerpo huésped mostraría las emociones reales del demonio. ¿Tenían emociones de verdad? Yo no le creía. Me preguntaba si volvería a  creerle alguna vez.

Pink

Pink

—Por supuesto que confío en tu discreción con respecto a mi misión.

—De todas formas no conozco ningún detalle. Y no me veo yendo a matar al niño ese solo por si acaso.

—Te sorprenderías de lo que llegan a hacer algunas personas.

—¿Cómo te llamas ahora? —le pregunté.

—Peter Pratt. —No sé qué cara debí poner, porque añadió— Eh, no lo escogí yo.

—No me acostumbro a la pinta que tienes ahora.

Se miró de cabeza a pies.

—De nuevo, no lo escogí yo. Aunque supongo que los humanos tampoco escogen su aspecto, a menos que sean muy ricos con cirugía plástica y ese tipo de cosas, pero incluso con eso hay límites.

Me limité a asentir.

—Ya sé que me has dicho que no es como en las historias y las pinturas y todo eso, pero ¿qué aspecto tienes de verdad? No cuando adoptas un cuerpo humano sino…

—No tenemos cuernos, ni una cola y un tridente y no somos de color rojo. No tenemos un aspecto físico como lo entendéis vosotros. Somos una energía espiritual. Algo parecido al show de luces que usa Azrael. Aunque en su caso es una luz brillante. En el nuestro… es oscuridad, como si fuera un agujero negro. No es realmente un agujero negro pero sí una especie de vacío, como la ausencia de luz, por explicarlo de alguna manera.

Los dos nos quedamos callados. Estábamos muy cerca de mi calle. Se paró.

—Será mejor que me vaya ahora. Cuídate. Y no se lo digas a Dashiell. No es una visita oficial y no creo que le hiciese mucha gracia saber que he venido.

—Adiós.

Él me cogió la mano derecha entre sus dos manos, me dio un apretón y se fue. Había sido una visita muy rara. Y sospechaba que no sería la última.

Antes de que se me olviden, los enlaces al libro:

Asuntos angélicos 2. Dimensiones de Greg

Asuntos angélicos 2. Dimensiones de Greg

Amazon:

http://rxe.me/YHZI2X6

Apple:

http://apple.co/1G17Sao

Kobo:

http://bit.ly/1HBXIK6

Nook:

http://bit.ly/1M4YV0G

Y, como sé que os gustan, os dejo un video, probablemente la canción más famosa que habla de ángeles en los últimos años.

Gracias a todos por leer, ver y oír, y ya sabéis, si os ha interesado, dadle al me gusta, comentad, compartid, y haced CLIC!

Hi all:

Tomorrow, the 15th of July, the second book in my YA trilogy, Angelic Business, ‘Shapes of Greg’ will be published.

Just last week, author and friend Hans Hirschi posted this amazing review of the whole trilogy. I have to thank him for his kindness and I’m pleased to see it made such an impact on him. Here is the link. Don’t miss it.

http://www.hirschi.se/blog/angelic-business-trilogy/

I shared the video last week, but putting it at the end of the post I think most people missed it. If you didn’t, I’m sorry, there it is again:

 

I leave you a longer sample, when Pink meets and old acquaintance, although she doesn’t quite realise it at first:

On Friday, I thought I saw a guy I’d never seen before standing opposite my house. When I came out he started walking towards me, I thought, but Seth went by driving his car and offered me a lift. I accepted. When I saw the same guy waiting at a distance when Sylvia, Lorna and I came out of school, I didn’t know what to think. I thought he’d disappear while we were at the library. And I didn’t see him when we came out or on the way to the bus stop. But as soon as the bus left, I saw him standing on the pavement on the other side of the road.

I was getting a bit freaked out by that guy. I hadn’t told Lorna and Sylvia because what could they do anyway? Sylvia would start talking about stalking, as usual, and Lorna would wonder if he might be relationship material. Or to be fair no, not, actually. He was tall, skinny, pale, Goth-like looking, dressed to not impress…No, not what Lorna would consider relationship material. And he must have been in his mid-twenties at least. Why was he following us? Or rather, why was he following me?

The mysterious stalker

The mysterious stalker

I don’t think I scare easy, but I started walking faster. It was getting dark and I still had a bit of a way to go before getting home, and although the neighbourhood was safe…He also accelerated. “Don’t panic. Don’t panic!” I kept telling myself. It didn’t quite work. I was seconds from running when the said guy called out:

“Pink…Pink!”

OK, now that was weird. How on earth did he know my name?

“Pink….” I had now stopped walking. He caught up with me. “It’s me.” I looked at him. Me…

“Who are you exactly?”

“I still like Lindt truffles.”

“G?”

Original G

Original G

He smiled and nodded.

“I thought you’d been called back…home? I didn’t realise they were just going to give you another body.”

He shrugged.

“Neither did I. No, they have given me another mission.”

“I see. Here again?”

He blushed, extremely noticeable as he was now so pale.

“Not exactly.”

“Where then?”

“Dallas.”

“What? That’s quite far. Are you off today, or is your charge around here, or what?”

“Off? We don’t get time off.”

“You have a rubbish contract then.”

He laughed and shrugged.

“Not so bad as contracts go with my boss,” he added. Now it was my turn to smile.

“So what are you doing here?”

“I wanted to see how you were.”

Don’t you all go… “Oh, that’s sweet,” because we’re talking about a demon here.

“I’m fine. Thanks.”

“Good. Is Dashiell taking good care of you?”

“You could ask him. I’ve never been clear about what your lot are trying to achieve following me around. You’ve given me so many versions of the story…And Dashiell…he is more strictly business than you were.”

He sighed. His new body gave him a more vulnerable appearance.

“I miss being connected to you.”

Now he was taking things too far.

“If you remember the said connection was severed a long time ago. I should be going. It’s getting late.”

“I’ll walk you home.”

It was a very weird sensation to have G walking next to me, but looking nothing like he used to. Weird.

“How are Lorna and Sylvia?”

“Fine. Well, sort of. Lorna has decided it’s time she finds her perfect man, and Sylvia went all out to try to design a computer programme to help with that. And it produced a profile and even a digital portrait kind-of-thing. And it looks a bit like Dashiell, so now Lorna thinks he might be her perfect man. And he hasn’t helped much.”

“What has he done?”

Dashiell

Dashiell

I told G about his idea of a cover to keep in touch with me by getting us all to work on his project.

“They shouldn’t have taken me off the case,” he complained.

“Oh, I’m sure she’ll be all right. Lorna is a tough cookie.”

“And Sylvia?”

“I’m not so sure about Sylvia. She’s acting quite out of character these days. She told us she might have met somebody but won’t talk about it in any detail. And she seems preoccupied. I think there’s something going on, but for some reason she does not want to talk about it. I’m a bit concerned, although she’s usually very down-to-earth.”

He rubbed his chin that in his current body was quite prominent.

“I’ll see if I can find something out.”

“I’m sure you must be busy with your mission, whatever that is. I don’t want you to get into trouble with your boss for not doing your job and messing up with humans.”

He shrugged his shoulders.

“My “boss” as you keep saying, likes trouble. It’s what he thrives on. He can always find an advantageous angle in anything that at first sight seems to have gone wrong.”

“Very entrepreneurial. He sounds like a spin doctor.”

“You can say that again!”

I smiled and looked at him closely. Yes, it felt very wrong, because although of course, the voice wasn’t his either, and even the accent was very different —a Southern drawl the previous G didn’t have —to me he sounded like himself. Or maybe it was my brain playing tricks on me.

“Is your mission not keeping you very busy then? I assume I’m not allowed to know.”

He cringed. I’d touched a raw nerve.

“It is a bore. I’m supposed to be babysitting this young boy, he’s 7 or 8, because one of our analysts has come up with the suggestion that he has the potential to become a very dangerous guy in the future, some deadly and crazed leader of masses, or a supervillain, or master criminal…Something like that. To tell you the truth, so far he’s a very boring young child, not even particularly bad or naughty. Maybe Sylvia should come and work for us. Her programmes might be more useful than our research methods. Going through stories, legends, ancient books, looking at the stars… Hocus-pocus if you ask me.”

I had to laugh.

“I wouldn’t have taken you for a sceptic, after all that passion about the prophecy I’m involved in.”

“Well, one can’t take chances. And it is a very well-known and accepted prophecy, not some paint-by-numbers style of analysis.”

I looked at him trying to get to the truth.

“But it doesn’t matter anyway, because it’s not really about me. Isn’t that right?”

“Of course.”

Did he blush? He seemed to, but I wasn’t sure how much the host-body would show a demon’s emotions. Did they really have emotions? I did not believe him. I wondered if I would ever believe him again.

“Of course I trust your discretion with regards to the mission.”

“I have no details anyway. And I can’t see myself going to kill the young boy just in case.”

“You’d be surprised what some people might do.”

“Not really,” I thought. Instead I decided to try a different line of conversation. I was also curious.

“What name do you go by now?” I asked him.

“Peter Pratt.” I don’t know what I must have looked like, because he added: “Hey, it wasn’t my choice.”

“I can’t get used to how you look now.”

He looked at himself.

“Again, not my choice. Although I guess humans don’t choose how they look either, other than very rich people with plastic surgery and things, but even with that there are limits.”

I nodded.

“I know you’ve told me it’s not like in the stories and paintings and all that, but what do you really look like? Not when you take up a human body but as…”

“We don’t have horns, or a tail and pitch-fork and we aren’t red. We don’t have a physical appearance as you’d understand it. We are spiritual energy. A bit like the glowing light performance that Azrael puts on. Although in their case it’s that kind of bright light. In ours…it’s a darkness, a bit like a black hole. It’s not really a black hole but it’s that void, an absence of light, I imagine if I had to explain it.”

We were both quiet. We were very close to my street. He stopped walking.

“I’d better go now. Take care. And don’t tell Dashiell. This is not an official visit and he might not appreciate my coming here.”

“Bye.”

He squeezed my right hand in both of his and then left. It had been a very strange visit. And it would not be the last.

Pink

Pink

Before I forget, I’ll better leave you the links to the book, just in case:

Angelic Business 2. Shapes of Greg

Angelic Business 2. Shapes of Greg

Amazon:

http://rxe.me/YHZ21O2

Apple:

http://apple.co/1AE2MQR

Kobo:

http://bit.ly/1eFYYVB

Nook:

http://bit.ly/1AGqNHn

And as I know you enjoy them, I thought I’d leave you a song with Angels. Probably the most popular song with angels of recent years:

Thanks for reading and watching, and you know, if you have enjoyed it, like, comment, share and of course, if you fancy it, CLICK! 

Hola a todos:

Normalmente los martes os traigo un post mío, pero como por cuestiones de lanzamientos, tours de libros, etc, he tenido que cambiar el orden de los posts en inglés, me pareció mejor cambiarlo todo. Además, este viernes es algo especial, así que decidí aprovechar la oportunidad y traeros una nueva novela.

La novela que os traigo hoy me ha llamado la atención por el argumento, y aunque no sé mucho sobre la autora, Delmi Anyó (a la que veo en Twitter pero no me he encontrado en ningún otro sitio), pensé que quizás encontraréis el libro tan intrigante como yo.

Las piezas del cielo de Delmi Anyó

Las piezas del cielo de Delmi Anyó

Las piezas del cielo de Delmi Anyó

Es una trepidante novela sobre pérdidas, búsquedas y encuentros.
La emocionante búsqueda de una joven profesora neoyorquina de la verdadera razón sobre la trágica e inquietante muerte de su compañero y amante, a raíz de una investigación en apariencia inocente y que drásticamente cambia su vida.
Es la historia de una mujer fuerte, que con un especial sentido del humor, se enfrenta a la rabia y la soledad ante la pérdida del amor de su vida, embarcándose en una vibrante aventura que le llevará a viajar por las más fascinantes ciudades europeas tras un enigmático mundo de secretos en el que están envueltos sabios de la talla de Newton, Einstein o Kepler. Tras muchas sorpresas, encuentros y desencuentros, hallará la esperanza de volver a amar y descubrirá una verdad tan real, como el mismísimo cielo.

http://relinks.me/B00RJ3V3UC

Aquí os dejo un video del libro:

Autora Delmi Anyó

Autora Delmi Anyó

Os dejo enlace a un programa de radio donde hablan de la escritora y la novela ya que no encontré mucha información en Amazon.

http://launiversalradio.com/?archivos=conociendoalosautores-2015-06-01-delmi-ano

Y a una entrevista donde habla de su novela:

http://laspiezasdelcielo.blogspot.com.es/

Y aquí su blog:

http://laspiezasdelcielo.blogspot.com.es/

Gracias a Delmi Anyó por su novela, gracias a todo por leer, y ya sabéis, si os ha interesado, dadle al me gusta, comentad, compartid y haced CLIC!

Beach Reads Giveaway!

Beach Reads Giveaway!

Hi all:
You’ll remember today I’ve just shared a video and promised more news. Here they are.

WE HAVE A GIVEAWAY! AND IT’S MASSIVE!

Just to remind you, a number of authors have joined forces to bring you books for those (hopefully!) sunny days. ‘Beach Reads’.

Here is the video:

What’s best still, even more writers are taking part in the giveaway, so you’ll be spoilt for choice. You just need to participate in the Rafflecopter:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

You have time from now until the end of May.

And ONE lucky winner will get a collection of books that should make anybody read to their hearts (and sighs) content.

Don’t be shy, go and try!

Best of luck.

Thanks for reading, and go sharing!

Hi all:

I was preparing (I’ve prepared it already) a post asking more questions on book marketing, and then I thought… Last week was quite long, seeing people…

Ailsa Abraham and he hubbie!

Ailsa Abraham and he hubbie!

(By the way, what a joy meeting Ailsa, Peter (a.k.a. Badger) and Lily, in person), celebrating my mother’s birthday

No good at selfies and don't have one of these stick-like thingis. In front of the Cathedral of Barcelona

No good at selfies and don’t have one of these stick-like thingis. In front of the Cathedral of Barcelona

trying to sort a few things, traveling back to the UK…

So I though a light post would do.

And luckily, a group of very talented writers I belong to came to the rescue. They decided that as the weather is improving, it’s time to get our Beach Reads ready, and to promote the idea, here is the video. I know there are giveaways and things coming up, so I’ll keep you posted.

 

 

And talking about beaches, when I got home, my next door neighbour had been keeping something for me all this time. A work of art by Ashley O’Neal. One of her series Drifting Bones.

Drifting Bones by Ashley O'Neal

Drifting Bones by Ashley O’Neal

Thank you so much for reading and if you’ve enjoyed it, like, comment, share, and… go find something to CLICK!

Hola a todos:

Normalmente los viernes os traigo novedades literarias y escritores invitados, pero como es Navidad se me ocurrió que quizás os apetecería algún clásico.

Author Charles Dickens

Author Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens es muy conocido por sus novelas, y su Cuento (Historia) de Navidad. Hay muchas versiones tanto en película como por escrito. Aquí os dejo enlaces de la Biblioteca Cervantes al Cántico de Navidad  (gratuito):

http://www.cervantesvirtual.com/obra/el-cantico-de-navidad/

Otro de mis autores favoritos es Oscar Wilde. Me encantan sus obras de teatro, sus poemas, su novela Dorian Gray sigue siendo tan moderna (si no más) que cuando la publicó, pero siempre he sentido un cariño especial por sus cuentos, que me han gustado desde muy pequeña y fueron los que me introdujeron a su obra. Así que no pude resistirme a compartir ‘El gigante egoísta’. He encontrado muchas versiones en el internet, y comparto ésta porque me gustaron particularmente las ilustraciones, así que os dejo también el enlace:

http://www.cuentosinfantiles.net/cuentos-el-gigante-egoista.html

The Selfish Giant, cover

El gigante egoísta

Todas las tardes, al salir de la escuela, los niños jugaban en el jardín de un gran castillo deshabitado. Se revolcaban por la hierba, se escondían tras los arbustos repletos de flores y trepaban a los árboles que cobijaban a muchos pájaros cantores. Allí eran muy felices.

Una tarde, estaban jugando al escondite cuando oyeron una voz muy fuerte.

-¿Qué hacéis en mi jardín?

Temblando de miedo, los niños espiaban desde sus escondites, desde donde vieron a un gigante muy enfadado. Había decidido volver a casa después de vivir con su amigo el ogro durante siete años.

-He vuelto a mi castillo para tener un poco de paz y de tranquilidad -dijo con voz de trueno-. No quiero oír a niños revoltosos. ¡Fuera de mi jardín! ¡Y que no se os ocurra volver!

Los niños huyeron lo más rápido que pudieron.

-Este jardín es mío y de nadie más -mascullaba el gigante-. Me aseguraré de que nadie más lo use.

Muy pronto lo tuvo rodeado de un muro muy alto lleno de pinchos.

En la gran puerta de hierro que daba entrada al jardín el gigante colgó un cartel que decía “PROPIEDAD PRIVADA. Prohibido el paso”. . Todos los días los niños asomaban su rostro por entre las rejas de la verja para contemplar el jardín que tanto echaban de menos.

Luego, tristes, se alejaban para ir a jugar a un camino polvoriento. Cuando llegó el invierno, la nieve cubrió el suelo con una espesa capa blanca y la escarcha pintó de plata los árboles. El viento del norte silbaba alrededor del castillo del gigante y el granizo golpeaba los cristales.

-¡Cómo deseo que llegue la primavera! -suspiró acurrucado junto al fuego.

Por fin, la primavera llegó. La nieve y la escarcha desaparecieron y las flores tiñeron de colores la tierra. Los árboles se llenaron de brotes y los pájaros esparcieron sus canciones por los campos, excepto en el jardín del gigante. Allí la nieve y la escarcha seguían helando las ramas desnudas de los árboles.

-La primavera no ha querido venir a mi jardín -se lamentaba una y otra vez el gigante- Mi jardín es un desierto, triste y frío.

Una mañana, el gigante se quedó en cama, triste y abatido. Con sorpresa oyó el canto de un mirlo. Corrió a la ventana y se llenó de alegría. La nieve y la escarcha se habían ido, y todos los árboles aparecían llenos de flores.

En cada árbol se hallaba subido un niño. Habían entrado al jardín por un agujero del muro y la primavera los había seguido. Un solo niño no había conseguido subir a ningún árbol y lloraba amargamente porque era demasiado pequeño y no llegaba ni siquiera a la rama más baja del árbol más pequeño.

El gigante sintió compasión por el niño.

-¡Qué egoísta he sido! Ahora comprendo por qué la primavera no quería venir a mi jardín. Derribaré el muro y lo convertiré en un parque para disfrute de los niños. Pero antes debo ayudar a ese pequeño a subir al árbol.

The Selfish Giant

The Selfish Giant

El gigante bajó las escaleras y entró en su jardín, pero cuando los niños lo vieron se asustaron tanto que volvieron a escaparse. Sólo quedó el pequeño, que tenía los ojos llenos de lágrimas y no pudo ver acercarse al gigante. Mientras el invierno volvía al jardín, el gigante tomó al niño en brazos.

-No llores -murmuró con dulzura, colocando al pequeño en el árbol más próximo.

De inmediato el árbol se llenó de flores, el niño rodeó con sus brazos el cuello del gigante y lo besó.

Cuando los demás niños comprobaron que el gigante se había vuelto bueno y amable, regresaron corriendo al jardín por el agujero del muro y la primavera entró con ellos. El gigante reía feliz y tomaba parte en sus juegos, que sólo interrumpía para ir derribando el muro con un mazo. Al atardecer, se dio cuenta de que hacía rato que no veía al pequeño.

-¿Dónde está vuestro amiguito? -preguntó ansioso.

Pero los niños no lo sabían. Todos los días, al salir de la escuela, los niños iban a jugar al hermoso jardín del gigante. Y todos los días el gigante les hacía la misma pregunta: -¿Ha venido hoy el pequeño? También todos los días, recibía la misma respuesta:

-No sabemos dónde encontrarlo. La única vez que lo vimos fue el día en que derribaste el muro.

El gigante se sentía muy triste, porque quería mucho al pequeño. Sólo lo alegraba el ver jugar a los demás niños.

Los años pasaron y el gigante se hizo viejo. Llegó un momento en que ya no pudo jugar con los niños.

Una mañana de invierno estaba asomado a la ventana de su dormitorio, cuando de pronto vio un árbol precioso en un rincón del jardín. Las ramas doradas estaban cubiertas de delicadas flores blancas y de frutos plateados, y debajo del árbol se hallaba el pequeño.

-¡Por fin ha vuelto! -exclamó el gigante, lleno de alegría.

Olvidándose de que tenía las piernas muy débiles, corrió escaleras abajo y atravesó el jardín. Pero al llegar junto al pequeño enrojeció de cólera.

-¿Quién te ha hecho daño? ¡Tienes señales de clavos en las manos y en los pies! Por muy viejo y débil que esté, mataré a las personas que te hayan hecho esto.

Entonces el niño sonrió dulcemente y le dijo:

-Calma. No te enfades y ven conmigo.

-¿Quién eres? -susurró el gigante, cayendo de rodillas.

-Hace mucho tiempo me dejaste Jugar en tu jardín -respondió el niño-. Ahora quiero que vengas a jugar al mío, que se llama Paraíso.

Esa tarde, cuando los niños entraron en el jardín para jugar con la nieve, encontraron al gigante muerto, pacíficamente recostado en un árbol, todo cubierto de flores blancas.

Y encontré está versión del cuento en película en You Tube. No os la perdáis:

Gracias por leer, y os deseo una fiestas maravillosas. No os olvidéis de compartir y de pasaoslo fantásticamente. Ah, y me va a venir a visitar una amiga la semana que viene, así que me tomaré (y os doy a vosotros, que la necesitáis) una semana de descanso. ¡Feliz Año Nuevo! Y nos vemos muy pronto.

Hi all:

On Tuesdays I bring you…who knows? Whatever comes to my mind, novelties about what I’m doing, things that have happened, reflections, and sometimes I try to bring you something possibly  useful.

A little while back I share with you the video (sort of) that I created (with plenty of help from You Tube) for my new romance, I Love Your Cupcakes.  I’m not an image person at all, and I decided to try and keep it simple. Thankfully, through another post I discovered something called Canva. You’ve probably already heard about it, but just in case…

Canva offers you the option of using their templates to create all kinds of things, from covers for CDs, cards, invitations, Twitter, Pinterest or Facebook posts (so you don’t need to worry about the different sizes of images required), banners, blog posts…

A little bit of everything

Like this one I prepared earlier.

You can change colours, letter sizes and types, upload and use your own images, crop, use filters, etc. They have a fair amount of free resources and quite a large amount of paying ones (it’s $1 per image or paying template or element). Then whatever you make you can download as image or PDF. And it also saves it there.

And the best thing about it is that it offers you a variety of design tutorials where you can learn how to use the different features. And those are short and practical (it gives you 5 or 6 exercises to do that take only a few minutes and you have the option of watching a very brief video if you don’t know how to do it).

Having tried a few of the programmes for manipulating images and being quite clumsy with images, I find this one easy to move around. Do give it a go. I used it to create the slides that I put together in the video (that and images Lourdes Vidal, the designer and I had considered for the cover of the book).

And talking about images, I had promised you to share a few more of the images my friend Christelle took in Florence, as both her camera and her skills are much better than mine.

So here….

Fabulous ceiling

Fabulous ceiling

I had promised the gentlemen a Venus. This is Titian's

I had promised the gentlemen a Venus. This is Titian’s

Street sculpture installation near Ponte Vecchio

Street sculpture installation near Ponte Vecchio

This one I think is so good...

This one I think is so good…

Thanks to you all for reading, to Canva for being, to my friend Christelle for her pictures and…

Thanks Canva!

Thanks Canva!

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.

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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!

Hi all:

As you’ll know if you follow my blog, recently I’ve published a romantic novel (I Love Your Cupcakes).

I Love Your Cupcakes by Olga Núñez Miret (cover by Lourdes Vidal)

I Love Your Cupcakes by Olga Núñez Miret (cover by Lourdes Vidal)

A big part of the action takes place during a TV cookery game show. Or, to be more precise, a baking contest. Last week I did mention some of the best known contests of this type (and even one of the winners), but my true inspiration came from watching sometimes (mostly when I went to visit my parents) a couple of programs, Cucake Wars and a reality TV program set in a Baltimore bakery, Charm City Cakes (the program is called Ace of Cakes and it is truly amazing).

I leave you links to the programs in case you fancy a peek:

Cupcake Wars:

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

Ace of Cakes:

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

And this is the link to the shop itself:

http://charmcitycakes.com/

And as I don’t want you complaining that I’m only leaving you links, here is one of the recipes I share in the book (there aren’t many because it’s strictly a work of fiction and what the teams create during the contest has all come from my head…so beware!).

Crema catalana (cibo360)

Crema catalana (cibo360)

(Image from: http://www.cibo360.it/cucina/mondo/crema_catalana.htm)

Crème Catalane

Ingredients

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 200g sugar
  • 3/4 litre milk
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 piece of lemon peel
  • 3 tbsp corn flour

Steps:

  1. Beat the egg yolks until light then whisk in 150g of the sugar
  2. Place the milk in a saucepan together with the cinnamon and lemon peel – bring to the boil and then remove from the heat and strain.
  3. Whisk the milk with the egg mixture
  4. Dissolve the corn flour with a little milk and whisk into the mixture
  5. Place the mixture over a low heat and cook, stirring constantly until it begins to boil
  6. Put the custard into a pudding bowl or smaller individual bowls and allow to cool before placing in the fridge
  7. Before serving sprinkle a little sugar on top and caramelize it by placing under a hot grill briefly until the sugar melts and turns brown(or using a kitchen torch or an iron burner).

http://www.euroresidentes.com/euroresiuk/Recipies/desserts/crema-catalana.htm

Just in case you fancy more pictures, here is the link to my Pinterest board on cupcakes, sweets and other nice things:

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

And I also leave you a video I created (but I must warn you my style creation videos is…well, mine):

http://youtu.be/oGFcWLwoFfA

Thanks to you all for reading, to the various blogs for lending me their recipes, and if you’ve found it interesting, like, share, comment, and of course, get CLICKING!

FNM

100 Books and Reviews for 2017

Ann Fields

Author of Quality Literature

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