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Friday 9 September 2016

The Assurance Now Has A Cover!!!

Hello everyone!

So I have news!!! Not only does The Assurance now have a cover AND a synopsis, it also has a Goodreads page!!!

The Assurance will also be the first of my books to come out in paperback form and ebook form at the same time. I do want to prepare you though: as I've mentioned before Leofric's book is on the long side. This means that the Paperback version is going to be a little bit expensive because Createspace sets the minimum price of the book and I can't do anything about it. It think it's going to be at about the $20 price point.

Sorry. :-(

On the up side I'm sooo pleased with how the cover turned out!

I want to be all cool about it but I can't be so I'm gonna point out that it's red.

Red, people.

As in Leofric's red hair.

Yep, you've got it: I've been saving this cover for four years to tie in with Leofric's curls. It's sad that I've given it that much thought, isn't it? That I've been excited for this moment to reveal my brilliance to you all.

*Shakes Head*

Moving swiftly on, we also have a synopsis to reveal:

Gifted with a cheerful and open nature, Leofric of Drogand was held to be the most charming man in all of Wessex. Yet there were depths to his character that few understood. Forced to keep secrets from his earliest years, Leofric had become highly skilled when it came to intrigue and subterfuge.It was his taste for adventure that led him to take up a position in Kent's royal court, but spying on the royal household on behalf of Wessex soon ceased to amuse him.Would the dangerous web of lies he found himself surrounded by prove to be his undoing?Or would he find, in the most unlikely of places, the new beginning he never imagined could be his? 

Which brings an end to my news. I'll update you as soon as i have a release date, but until then: read on bookworms!!!

DeeDee xxx

Tuesday 23 August 2016

The Assurance Is FINISHED!!!

Hello people!

I am pleased to be able to announce that I have just finished the last edit of The Assurance!!! Now I just have to send it to be proofread and hand it over to my beta readers and it will be ready for launch!!!

I can hardly believe how long it's taken me, but life has been steadily encroaching on my writing time for months now. It didn't help that Leofric, having found himself centre stage, would not behave and kept on throwing me curve balls. Long story short (only in this post though, 'cos Leofric's book is really, really long), The Assurance came in at 149.000 words.

Yeah, I know.

Couldn't shut Fricka up once I let him loose in his own book.

Despite being unexpectedly lengthy, I'm pleased with how the book went; Leofric is such a great character to write with his effervescent attitude and the sadness it hides. It was hard walking the line between exploring the misery in his past, and yet still focusing on the cheerful, mischievous knave we know and love.

One of the most daunting things about writing The Assurance was that so many readers have told me that Leofric is their favourite character! It's very nerve-wracking and I just hope that I've done Leofric justice!

Do you agree with popular opinion, or do you have a different favourite? Let me know in the comments section!

Until next time: read on, bookworms!!!

DeeDee xxx

Wednesday 11 May 2016

Update! The Assurance and More!!!

Hi everyone! Long time no post!!!

I cannot BELIEVE how long it's been! I have news though: I finished The Assurance and I'm half you through the 1st edit!!! Topped out at about 130.000 words, which is utterly ridiculous but I guess I should have expected as much from Leofric!!! ;-P

I've also managed to find time to set up a Book Sprout page: Book Sprout is an app that lets you follow your favourite authors and receive notifications when they release a new book or have an offer on! So if you sign up and follow me you'll get a notification through the second The Assurance goes live. You'll also get price drop notifications on all my books when they are discounted! ;-P

Read on, bookworms!

DeeDee xxx

Tuesday 10 November 2015

Time For Something Random: How To... Make Butter!!!

Hi everyone!

So it's been a busy few months for me and I've been sadly neglecting my blog again. I've kind of embroiled myself in a new obsession. I know, I know; I'm supposed to be writing every spare moment I get, not indulging in other hobbies.

Unfortunately it's too late.

I've always loved cooking but recently I've become somewhat more hardcore. I guess it all started when I watched Victorian Farm:

First I was inspired to make chutney, (this has divided the Chant household into two camps: one favours Summer Fruit Chutney above all others, the other Spiced Apple Chutney.)  and Piccalilli (which I'm completely obsessed with!)
Then I progressed to more exotic jams (Banana Jam is the current craze.) Butter was next on the list, (as a result we no longer buy butter: I make it every week!!!)
From there it seemed the tiniest step to learn how to make cheese, (so far I've made soft cheese, mozzarella, and cheddar) and then it seemed a little like 'cheating' to use a bought culture so I found out how to make a self perpetuating 'mother culture' (worked beautifully!!!)

Then I started on Baked Beans (LOTS of trial and error there.) HP sauce (known in the Chant household as FS sauce: the perfect accompaniment to sausages.) and Salad Cream (a true staple!)

Last weekend (with great trepidation!) I worked up the nerve to cure and smoke a pork belly and wet cure a shoulder of lamb, which I can now report worked very well indeed! Though this too has divided the Chant household into two camps, each a staunch supporter of the one meat over the other. I fear breakfasts are never to be the same again...

Anyway: the butter...

The thing I noticed when I started googling recipes was that a lot seemed as though their whole purpose was to convince me that it was far too hard to try, and that my tiny mind wasn't capable enough to make any of these things.

Now, that just isn't something you imply to a Chant!!!

I found that most recipes weren't really 'difficult' as such: they might take some forethought and be a little time consuming, but for the most part they were things that you could leave with a timer on and get on with something else.

Butter is one of the things that is easy as pie, but takes a little time. However, it's fun and very rewarding! My cousins both love to get stuck in and help.

So, without further ado, here's what you'll need:

Double cream (extra points if you got it on sale!!!)
An electric hand whisk. (You can use a Kitchenaid mixer instead, but make sure that the cream on the bottom of the bowl is mixed in well. I've used both and I always seem to come back to the hand whisk: it just gives me a higher yield)
A large bowl. (I use a plastic washing up bowl.)
Salt. (If you want salted butter.)
Cold water out of the tap (Cold hands are useful too!)
Greaseproof paper.

I use seven pints of cream and that yields 5lb of butter and 1 1/2 litres of buttermilk.

Okay, so first just pour the cream into your bowl and start whisking.

You should whisk passed the soft whip stage:

 Through the cream cake stage:

 Your cream will start to look over whipped and bread crumb like, but carry on going:

Until finally your cream starts to take on a buttery yellow colour and clumps together and no longer sticks to the whisks.

You should also hear the buttermilk sloshing about in the bottom of the bowl:

Now it's just a matter of squeezing handfuls in to lumps.

And 'washing' it in the washing up bowl of cold water. Just squish it in the water and the water will start to go opaque as the remainder of the buttermilk is washed out. This prevents the butter going rancid. Tip the water away and wash the butter in a new lot until the water stays clear.

Now it's time to add the salt. How much salt you add is down to personal preference, just make sure you kneed the salt all the way through the butter. Then have a little taste to see if you've added enough. If you add too much salt, don't panic: just wash the butter again and it will wash the salt out.

Then shape into rounds with your hands and wrap in greaseproof paper, I use greaseproof bread cases.

 Your butter will keep in the fridge for a week easy and once you've had your own, it's pretty hard to make do with shop bought stuff!!! You will also have the perk of buttermilk, which makes the fluffiest scones on the planet!

Saturday 19 September 2015

Broken Pride: Release Day TOMORROW!!!

I can hardly believe it but tomorrow is THE day!!!

Broken Pride, book three in the Broken City series, will go live to the mass hysteria of millions around the globe...

Well; my mum will be hysterical anyway! :-)

Broken Pride's tour has been rescheduled for next month and all three books in the series are available for review, so if you're interested just fill out this sign up form. 

In other news The Promise just made it to a hundred ratings on Goodreads! How cool is that?!?!?

Broken Pride synopsis:

In a future filled with warring factions, one young woman must risk everything to be reunited with the man she loves.
Despised for the name she bears, and trapped behind enemy lines, she knows that her life and the lives of those she loves rests on her choosing her allies wisely.
Yet in a world where greed is rampant and only the strong survive, how can she find the courage to trust again?

Until next time: read on bookworms!

DeeDee ;-)

Wednesday 9 September 2015

Update! Broken Pride, The Lady Quill Chronicles.

So it's been a while since I last updated (bad DeeDee!).
I've been superduper busy with book stuff: Broken Pride is coming out on the 20th of this month and I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am!!! Unfortunately I've had to push back the tour until next month, but that just means that there's plenty of time for you to sign up if you want to take part! Just click on this link to sign up! If you haven't read the first two books in the series, don't worry: they're available to read and review too!

I've also managed to knuckle down and get some work done on 'The Assurance' (The Lady Quill Chronicles, #3) and I'm now 20.000 words in!!!
*Pompom Dance*
This book is shaping up to be quite different to the previous books in the series, mostly because Leofric is a very different kind of hero to Rafe, Rand, or Finan. I'm enjoying the shift and getting to know Leofric better, and I can't wait to see where his story is going to take me. He's very playful and mischievous, not so serious as his foster brothers. And of course, we'll get to see his legendary way with women!!!

Also we'll be hearing a lot from the rest of the gang: Rafe and Adele, Finan and Esme, Aisley, Daegmund and Anlaf... I promise we'll hear from them all!

In the meantime: read on bookworms!!!

DeeDee xxx

Thursday 13 August 2015

Broken Pride Tour!

Hi everyone!

So it's almost that time!!! Pretty soon now Broken Pride will be ready to launch and I'm getting it's book tour under way. So if anyone's interested in taking part please click on the link below.

In a future filled with warring factions, one young woman must risk everything to be reunited with the man she loves.
Despised for the name she bears, and trapped behind enemy lines, she knows that her life and the lives of those she loves rests on her choosing her allies wisely.
Yet in a world where greed is rampant and only the strong survive, how can she find the courage to trust again?