Related to: 'Five Quarters'

Author of the amazing One Week Girlfriend series

Behind the scenes with Monica Murphy

We love Drew and Fable’s story and the evolution of their romance in One Week Girlfriend and Second Chance Boyfriend. When did their story begin to take shape for you? Thank you! I love Drew + Fable too. The story began to actually take shape back in 2009 ― well, Fable took shape. I tried my hand at a YA idea with the main character named Fable Maguire. It didn’t pan out (quite frankly, it was terrible). But Fable stuck with me. Fast forward to late 2012 and (sort of a spoiler alert!) I saw a story on my local news about a young, pretty female teacher who was arrested for having sex with her 17-year-old male student. It got me thinking. When females are victims of this sort of thing, everyone’s appalled. When it happens to a male, a lot of the time he’s made out as a guy who just scored with an older woman. So I wanted to write a male victim and a strong female who comes along and saves him. You’ve written numerous romance books both as Monica Murphy and Karen Erickson ― did you find you approached writing a new adult romance differently? Yes! First of all, I’d never written in first-person point of view (POV) before so that was a challenge, but one I enjoyed immensely. I prefer writing in first-person POV now! Also, with a new adult title, all emotions are heightened. It’s a very dramatic time of our lives and everything has a newness, a freshness to it. First time away from home, first real job, first real love, and first chance to make major mistakes and have to fix them on your own. I wanted to capture that — as a writer, there’s a lot to play with during this time period. And with a new adult, it’s not just about the romantic relationship either. There’s so much more going on. Yes, the romance takes priority (and with Drew + Fable, how could it not, considering the situation they’ve thrown themselves into!) but there are other things happening. Family responsibilities, school, family trouble (ooh lots of trouble), jobs — it’s all an important part of their lives. We never imagined that the word ‘marshmallow’ could be so romantic! You made it so special for Drew and Fable ― what inspired you to pick this? It’s so random it’s almost embarrassing. I wrote OWG during the holiday season. I got to the part where Fable suggested they needed a “rescue” word to send or say to each other, and I paused. Glanced around my desk. Saw the box of caramel covered marshmallows (that I kept to myself for fear my children would eat them all) sitting there and thought...marshmallow. I never meant for it to become this THING. It’s so awesome. When Drew + Fable get married, they need a marshmallow wedding cake, right? *winks* Drew and Fable’s romance is powerfully moving ― were there particular parts of their story you found emotional to write? Yes, definitely. As I wrote OWG and got closer to the end, I kept thinking, should I go there? Should I take it there? I hesitated for a bit and then thought, I’m going for it. I’m so glad I did. I think it made the story that much more emotional. What Drew has to deal with is pretty difficult. My biggest fear was that he’d look like a wimp. So glad readers didn’t think he was one. And when I wrote the end of Second Chance Boyfriend, I burst into tears. Those two are buried so deep in my brain it’s sort of scary. It was hard to let them go. I still haven’t. They make plenty of appearances in both Three Broken Promises and Four Years Later, especially Fable. Have you always wanted to be a writer? What do you love most about your job? I’ve always been a reader and when I was in high school, I took journalism classes and was on the school newspaper. I became an intern at my local newspaper in college. So yes, I always wanted to be a writer. I discovered Jude Deveraux and Judith McNaught books during my teen years and I remember thinking, ooh I could do that. But then life got in the way for many years. Back in 2005, I was at home with my two youngest and I decided to try my hand at writing again. I was first published as Karen Erickson in 2006. I’ve been working hard ever since. I have the best job in the world. Where else can you work at home, be there for your kids when they need you and fall in love with a different guy multiple times a year, yet you’re not cheating on your husband (LOL)? Oh, and search the web for pictures of hot men and call it “research”? You can’t beat that! Do you have the most fun creating your heroes or your heroines? Do you have a favourite hero or heroine? It really depends on each book I write. Sometimes the hero speaks more to me and sometimes it’s the heroine. Lame answer, I’m sorry… My favourite hero and heroine? Why, Drew + Fable of course. Those two changed my entire career. I adore them. Who are the authors you read for pleasure? There are a ton of authors I read for pleasure. It would take me a month to list them all. But the one I read without fail? The one who I make sure and preorder so when I get the notice the book is on my Kindle, I drop everything to read her latest? Jill Shalvis. Ack, I love her books so much! What are your guilty pleasures? Chocolate, pedicures and purses. We are so excited to read Three Broken Promises and Four Years Later! Can you give us any hints of what you have planned for Jen and Colin and Owen and Chelsea? I’m excited for everyone to read TBP and FYL too! Okay, hints… Jen and Colin’s book is by far the sexiest of the series. I think it’s because they’re an older couple and Colin is rather demanding (heh heh). Owen and Chelsea’s book is the longest book of them all. Chelsea is the complete opposite of Fable and Jen. And Owen…Owen was a joy to write. I just turned the book in and I’m a little in love with him. Okay, I’m a lot in love with him. And we have to ask – will we get to see some more of Drew and Fable in books three and four?! As I mentioned, YES. Yes, Drew + Fable are all over books three and four. Especially Fable — she’s in the opening scene of TBP. She plays a huge part in Owen’s book because, well, she’s his sister. I hope readers will love those glimpses of D+F.

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Two Kitchens

Rachel Roddy
Authors:
Rachel Roddy

From the award-winning weekly Guardian Cook columnist and winner of the André Simon and Guild of Food Writers' Awards comes an Italian food book of sumptuous recipes, flavours and stories from Rachel Roddy's two kitchens in Sicily and Rome.'This is a recipe book that reflects the way I cook and eat: uncomplicated, direct and adaptable Italian family food that reflects the season. The two kitchens of the title are my kitchens in Rome and Sicily. In a sense, though, we could have called the book "many kitchens" as I invite you to make these recipes your own.'For the last twelve years, food-writer, cook and photographer Rachel Roddy has immersed herself in the culture of Roman cooking, but it was the flavours of the south that she and her Sicilian partner, Vincenzo, often craved. Eventually the chance arose to spend more time at his old family house in south-east Sicily, where Rachel embraced the country's traditional recipes and the stories behind them. In Two Kitchens she celebrates the food and flavours of Rome and Sicily and shares over 120 of these simple, everyday dishes from her two distant but connected kitchens. From tomato and salted ricotta salad, caponata and baked Sicilian pasta to lemon crumble, honeyed peaches and almond and chocolate cake, they are the authentic Italian recipes that you will want to cook again and again until you've made them your own.Two Kitchens chapters: Vegetables and Herbs - Tomatoes; Aubergines; Peas; Broad Beans; Cauliflower; Potatoes; Onions; HerbsFruit and Nuts - Lemons; Peaches; Oranges; Grapes and Figs; AlmondsMeat, Fish and Dairy - Beef and pork; Chicken; White fish; Fresh anchovies and sardines; Eggs; RicottaStorecupboard - Chickpeas; Lentils; Preserved anchovies; Flour; BreadRachel's first book, Five Quarters: Recipes and Notes from a Kitchen in Rome, won the André Simon Food Book Award and the Guild of Food Writers' First Book Award in 2015.

Alison Pick

Alison Pick is the author of FAR TO GO, longlisted for the 2011 Man Booker Prize, and winner of the Canadian Jewish Book Award for fiction; and a memoir, BETWEEN GODS, which was shortlisted for the Wingate Prize. She is also the author of two collections of poetry, and a novel, THE SWEET EDGE, all of which were published to wide acclaim. She lives in Toronto, Canada.

Anne Shooter

Anne Shooter has been a journalist for 20 years, mainly at the Daily Mail and MailOnline and has also written for titles including delicious. magazine, the Jewish Chronicle, the Guardian and Woman & Home.Anne's love of cooking also led her to complete the Leiths School of Food and Wine's professional diploma and as such she also caters events and hosts numerous noisy dinner parties for as many friends and relatives as she can, whenever she has time. Her first book, Sesame & Spice: Baking from the East End to the Middle East, was nominated for the Guild of Food Writers' First Book Award. She lives in London with her husband Dan, daughters Charlotte and Jessica, and labradoodle Rufus.

Ben Hatch

Ben Hatch was born in London and grew up here, in Manchester and Buckinghamshire, where he lived in a Windmill that meant he was called Windy Miller at school for years, though he's not been scared by this experience at all. He now lives in Brighton with his tiny wife Dinah, and two children, in a normal house. He likes cheese and is balding although he disguises this fact by spiking his hair to a great height to distract people he wishes to impress. His latest book is called Road to Rouen: A 10,000 Mile Journey In cheese-filled Passat. Before this he wrote Are We Nearly There Yet? 8,000 Miles Round Britian in Vauxhall Astra, that was a Radio 2 Book of the Year, became a Number One bestseller and is currently being made into a movie by Island Pictures. He is the tallest Hatch who ever lived (5ft 9) and is son of Sir David Hatch, the famous radio performer and producer whose shadow Ben doesn't at all feel under. He also maintains that he knows the cure for the common cold (tweet him at @BenHatch to find this out) and that one of his relatives was John Couch-Adams who discovered the planet Neptune. Apparently his aunty told him.

Bobby Charlton

Sir Bobby Charlton was born in 1937 in Ashington, Northumberland. He joined Manchester United as a professional in 1954 and made his first team debut in October 1956. He was voted European Player of the Year in 1966 and won the FA Cup, three Division One championships and the European Cup with United. He joined the board of the club in 1984, a position he still holds today. Bobby Charlton was a key member of the victorious England World Cup side of 1966. He was awarded the OBE in 1969, the CBE in 1973 and was knighted in 1994, the first footballer to gain such an honour since Sir Stanley Matthews in 1965.

Bryony Gordon

In the 18 years that she has worked for the Telegraph, Bryony Gordon has become one of the paper's best-loved writers. She is the author of the bestselling The Wrong Knickers plus The Sunday Times Number One bestseller Mad Girl which was nominated for a British Book Award. Her weekly column in the Sunday Telegraph has won her an army of fans who have followed her journey from single girl about town to - finally! - settled mum. Bryony is now 37 and lives in Nappy Valley (Clapham) with her daughter Edie and her husband, a financial journalist. The last sentence is one she never thought she would see written down on paper.

Claire Dederer

Claire Dederer is the author of the New York Times-bestselling memoir Poser: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses which Elizabeth Gilbert called 'the book we all need'. A book critic, essayist, and reporter, Dederer is a long-time contributor to The New York Times, and has also written for The Atlantic, Vogue, Slate, The Nation, and New York magazine, among others. She lives on an island near Seattle with her family.

Hugh Dennis

Hugh Dennis is an award-winning writer, actor and comedian best known for weekly satirical panel showMock The Week, Radio 4's The Now Show and BBC sit-com Outnumbered. He lives in Sussex with his real wife and his real children. To their annoyance he is interested in almost everything. He reads, runs, cycles, and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Jo Thomas

Jo Thomas worked for many years as a reporter and producer, first for BBC Radio 5, before moving on to Radio 2's The Steve Wright Show. In 2013 Jo won the RNA Katie Fforde Bursary. Her debut novel, The Oyster Catcher, was a runaway bestseller in ebook and was awarded the 2014 RNA Joan Hessayon Award and the 2014 Festival of Romance Best Ebook Award. Jo lives in the Vale of Glamorgan with her husband and three children.

Kate Humble

KATE HUMBLE is a writer and presenter. Her most recent television credits include Volcano Live, Orbit: Earth's Extraordinary Journey, Lambing Live and the long running popular wildlife series Springwatch and Autumnwatch. She is a qualified commercial diver and is the second woman to be appointed President of the RSPB. Kate and Ludo launched their business Humble By Nature in 2012. Based on a working farm in Monmouthshire, they run courses in food, rural skills and animal husbandry. They live nearby on their smallholding with Badger and Bella, a hive of bees and various other hoofed, furred and feathered livestock.

Kate Quinn

Kate Quinn is a native of southern California. She attended Boston University, where she earned a Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Classical Voice whilst at the same time writing her first novel, MISTRESS OF ROME, in the university's basement computer lab. Now twenty-eight, Kate lives in Maryland with her husband.

Maggie O'Farrell

Maggie O'Farrell is the author of seven novels, AFTER YOU'D GONE, MY LOVER'S LOVER, THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, which won a Somerset Maugham Award, THE VANISHING ACT OF ESME LENNOX, THE HAND THAT FIRST HELD MINE, which won the 2010 Costa Novel Award, INSTRUCTIONS FOR A HEATWAVE, which was shortlisted for the 2013 Costa Novel Award, and THIS MUST BE THE PLACE, which was shortlisted for the 2016 Costa Novel Award. She lives in Edinburgh.

Martin Dorey

Martin Dorey is a writer and surfer. He lives on the North Devon coast with his wife, Joanne, daughters Maggie and Charlie, a medium-sized dog of unknown origin called Bob and Pootle, a 28-year-old Volkswagen camper van.

Mary Berry

Mary Berry is the nation's favourite baker and home cook. The much-loved judge of The Great British Bake Off, Mary is the author of more than 70 cookbooks. Mary is loved for her practical and unfussy approach to cooking, but when she is at home, she loves to be with her family and tending her garden - her other great passion.

Miguel Barclay

As an Instagram chef, Miguel Barclay's dishes always look amazing, but what has caused such a buzz is the fact that they all cost less than £1 per person! From his kitchen in Camden, Miguel is constantly experimenting with breaking down recipes and coming up with innovative new £1 creations. Through his One Pound Meals phenomenon, Miguel is giving people the confidence and motivation to change the way they cook for ever. Miguel's first book, One Pound Meals became the biggest debut cookbook of the year and a Sunday Times Manuals chart bestseller. Fast & Fresh One Pound Meals, Miguel's second book also became an online bestseller as OPM fans devoured his new collection of recipes.Widely covered by the print media, Miguel and his One Pound Meals revolution has been featured by The Times, the Mail, Fabulous mag in the Sun, Metro, Independent and many more. Miguel has also cooked live on This Morning as well as BBC London News and is now a popular face at foodie festivals throughout the UK. This is his third book. @OnePoundMeals

Neil Ansell

Neil Ansell was an award winning television journalist with the BBC and a long standing writer for the broadsheets. He is the author of two previous books, Deep Country and Deer Island, and has contributed to nature programmes and wildlife documentaries though his main focus was news and current affairs. He has two daughters and lives in Brighton.

Peter Tremayne

Peter Tremayne is the fiction pseudonym of a well-known authority on the ancient Celts, who has utilised his knowledge of the Brehon law system and 7th-Century Irish society to create a new concept in detective fiction.

Phil Tufnell

Phil Tufnell, aka "Tuffers", played 42 Test matches and 20 One-Day Internationals for England between 1990 and 1997. Following retirement in 2002, Tufnell became a hugely popular TV personality. He was the winner of ITV1's "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here" in 2003, and enjoyed a long run in BBC1's "Strictly Come Dancing" in 2009. Current broadcasting commitments include being team captain on BBC1's "A Question of Sport" and regular features on BBC1's "The One Show". He remains a star turn on Radio 4's iconic "Test Match Special" show.

Rich Cohen

Rich Cohen is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Tough Jews, The Avengers, Monsters, and (with Jerry Weintraub) When I Stop Talking, You'll Know I'm Dead. He is a co-creator of the HBO series Vinyl and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone and has written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and Harper's Magazine, among others. Cohen has won the Great Lakes Book Award, the Chicago Public Library's 21st Century Award, and the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for outstanding coverage of music. His stories have been included in The Best American Essays and The Best American Travel Writing. He lives in Connecticut.

Sarah Randell

Sarah Randell is a food writer and editor and was Food Director at Sainsbury's Magazine for over ten years. She previously worked as food editor for Delia Smith's cookery books and on many of Delia's BBC TV programmes. Sarah lives in London with her husband and little boy Archie.Follow her on Twitter @2015bittersweetwww.potofmarmalade.uk