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 Sicily and Rome.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 Rachel 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.'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.' Rachel RoddyTwo 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.

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.

Emma Hannigan

Emma Hannigan is the No. 1 bestselling author of twelve novels including Letters to my Daughters, The Wedding Promise and The Perfect Gift. Her bestselling memoir, Talk to the Headscarf, was updated and revised as All To Live For: Fighting Cancer. Finding Hope. and was also a top ten bestseller.

Emylia Hall

Emylia Hall was born in 1978 and grew up in the Devon countryside. She is the author of The Book of Summers, which was a Richard & Judy Summer Book Club pick in 2012, A Heart Bent Out of Shape, The Sea Between Us and The Thousand Lights Hotel. She lives in Bristol with her husband, the writer Robin Etherington, and their young son.

Ian Buxton

Ian Buxton worked in the drinks industry for more thany 30 years as a writer, commentator and consultant, Marketing Director of a world-leading single malt, and accidental owner of a derelict distillery. His distinctive style and deep industry knowledge offer unique insights into the world of whisky, recognised by the award of Keeper of the Quaich (1991, the highest accolade in Scotch) and as one of the few writers inducted into London's ancient fraternity, the Worshipful Company of Distillers. Ian's whisky books have been translated into eight languages.

Itamar Srulovich

Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer are a husband-and-wife team who together run Honey & Co in London's Fitzrovia. They first met twelve years ago in a restaurant kitchen in Israel and arrived in London dreaming of high gastronomy and Michelin stars. Their tiny restaurant has ten tables and brings the magic of homely Middle Eastern soul food to a hungry crowd. They have since opened Honey & Spice and Honey & Smoke and published two cookbooks. Follow on Twitter: @Honeyandco

James Mcconnel

James McConnel studied at the Royal College of Music and later with Stephen Sondheim at Oxford. An award-winning composer, he has written extensively for the theatre - collaborating with Lionel Bart, Barry Humphries and Kit Hesketh-Harvey among others - as well as the scores for over a hundred TV documentaries, dramas and the feature film ANOTHER LIFE. In 2004 he wrote and presented the Channel 4 documentary WHAT MADE MOZART TIC? based on James's belief that Mozart had Tourette's Syndrome. He lives in Norfolk.

Jayne Sterne

Jayne Sterne lives in London with her husband and 4 children. Destroyed is her first book.

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.

Lizzie Mcglynn

Elizabeth lives with her family in the Home Counties

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.

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. @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.

Nicola Barry

Nicola Barry is a feature writer and columnist. She has worked at the Edinburgh Evening News for five years and for The Scotsman. As a child, she spent eight years in a wheelchair and on crutches, having some twenty operations on both legs. She learned to walk again, just in time to break her neck and become addicted to alcohol, both of which she overcame. She is a recent graduate of the celebrated MPhil course in Creative Writing at Glasgow University and is currently studying for a PhD in the same field.She has won 29 press awards, mainly for social issue writing and for her columns and lives with her husband Alastair Murray and dog Coll in Edinburgh.

Nicola Doherty

Nicola Doherty grew up in Monkstown, Co. Dublin and went to university in Dublin and Oxford. She worked in publishing as an editor for several years before writing her first book The Out of Office Girl, which was shortlisted for the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year Awards in the Romantic Comedy category. She has written two other novels for adults, If I Could Turn Back Time and Girls on Tour, and one young adult romance, Love and Other Man-Made Disasters. Nicola's books have been translated into Italian, French, German, Polish and Turkish. She lives in Highbury, north London, with her husband and no cats (yet).

Nolan Bushnell

Nolan Bushnell is a technology pioneer, entrepreneur and engineer. Often cited as the father of the video-game industry, he is best known as the founder of Atari Corporation.