Related to: 'Caribbean Modern'

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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Honey & Co: The Baking Book

Itamar Srulovich, Sarit Packer
Authors:
Itamar Srulovich, Sarit Packer

Anne Shooter

Anne Shooter's first book, Sesame & Spice, is shortlisted for the Guild of Food Writers' First Book Award. Anne is a food writer, recipe columist and blogger for the Daily Mail and Anne has also written for Delicious, the Jewish Chronicle, the Guardian and Women and Home and has also appeared at food festivals including Gefiltefest, the Oxford Foodie Festival and Aldeburgh.Her work also includes chairing tasting panels, hosting food events and judging awards on radio and TV as well as advising Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury's and the Red Tractor Campaign.

Bill Collison

Bill Collison is arguably the most successful retail greengrocer in the UK, winning accolades from everyone who shops and eats at Bill's Produce Stores (currently in Lewes and Brighton). From humble beginnings over 20 years ago, selling fruit and vegetables from what amounted to a shed, he has slowly grown his business. His is the story of the humble greengrocer who fought - the onslaught of supermarkets, the financial and seasonal fluctuations of supplies, the rising costs of everything - and won. Now, with new business partners, Caprice Holdings, on board, Bill's Produce Stores will be rolling out across the UK, into major cities, bringing Bill's and the food to a broader audience.Bill's success is about clever growth - observing trends and challenges and adapting to them quickly. It's also about sheer hard work, getting into the store at 4am to dress it for the day and make it the visual treat that people come from miles away to experience. But it's mostly about the food - it's delicious, it's different, it's packed with flavours and colours and textures and for all that, it isn't expensive. From the simplest scrambled eggs on toast to the award winning vegetarian breakfast, the mezze plates and cakes that customers gawp at as they're set down before them, it's all presented with a flourish and a keen eye for detail - a unique celebration of eating.Bill's background is in growing and greengrocery. His passion for food comes from a different source to his peers, literally from the roots up. He knows about produce, how it's grown and supplied, the peculiarities of sustainably growing different fruits and vegetables, the effects of the weather and the shifting requirements of customers.

Florence Knight

Florence Knight is a Sunday Times columnist and head chef at Polpetto in Soho. She studied at London College of Fashion before deciding to follow her passion for food, studying at Leiths School of Food and Wine. She then went on to work with French master baker Richard Bertinet, as a pastry chef at the Diamond Club, where the kitchen was led by Raymond Blanc, and in 2010 joined Polpetto, the small Venetian-inspired restaurant owned by Russell Norman.

Henry Herbert

Last year Henry, 24, left his role as Head Chef of the award winning Coach and Horses in Clerkenwell to face a new challenge, buying the traditional butchers next door to his brother Tom`s bakery. Now the two work and cook side by side, professionally and domestically, creating every element of a meal; from the bun to the burgers and even the homemade pickles that top them off.

Ian Buxton

Ian Buxton is a former Marketing Director of Glenmorangie and has worked in the industry for nearly 30 years. He now runs a successful consultancy business. He was elected a Keeper of the Quaich in 1991, the highest honour of the Scotch whisky industry, and is a member of the international tasting panel for the annual World Whisky Awards and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Distillers.Twitter: @101whiskies

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

Jeffrey Steingarten

Jeffrey Steingarten trained to become a food writer at Harvard College, Harvard Law School, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Harvard Lampoon. He is the internationally feared and acclaimed food critic of American Vogue.

John Whaite

John Whaite is the winner of BBC 2's The Great British Bake Off, 2012. He has been a keen baker and cook since he was a tiny tot, when he would spend many hours in the kitchen with his mum.From banking to baking, John was able to give up his mundane day job as a city commercial banker, to focus on the one thing he is truly obsessed with: food. In 2013 he fulfilled one of his lifelong dreams and attend Le Cordon Bleu in London to study the nine-month patisserie diploma.

Kaushy Patel

Kaushy learned to cook as a child on her grandmother's farm in northern India, coming to live in the UK in the 1960s. The success of the deli in Bradford she ran for 22 years with her husband led to the opening of Prashad, the restaurant, serving authentic Gujarati cuisine. Award-winning Prashad has now become a destination for food-lovers and fans of vegetarian cooking. Last year saw the launch of a new venture: Bundobust, in Leeds, championing traditional Indian streetfood dishes with craft beers.Kaushy's skills both as a professional chef and as a home cook, and her wide knowledge and enthusiasm will inspire you to get into the kitchen and get out your spice jars. www.prashad.co.ukFollow Prashad on Twitter: @Prashad_veggie

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.@OnePoundMeals

Naomi Devlin

Naomi Devlin is a nutritionist, fermentista and foodie. She has taught at River Cottage for 6 years, where her gluten-free and nutrition courses are always fully booked. Naomi's first book, River Cottage Gluten Free, is one of the brightest and most successful books on gluten-free cooking and in this, her second book, Naomi focuses on keeping your gut healthy and happy.www.milkforthemorningcake.blogspot.cominstagram: @naomiannedevlintwitter: @naomidevlin

Nell Nelson

Passionate about food and cycling, Nell Nelson has cycled and eaten in every country she has visited from Mexico's cactus-studded deserts to Pakistan's snow-topped mountains. Her hobby has led to a fascinating career in nutrition, food and travel writing and TV presenting. Nell presented the eight-part TV series The Woman Who Ate Scotland which was shown on STV and UKTV Food, showcasing Scottish produce and cycling in Scotland. As a fully qualified nutritionist, Nell is fascinated by harnessing the power of food so you can get the most out of life whether it's cycling hundreds of miles or just preparing a meal that puts you in a thoroughly good mood.

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).

Olly Smith

Prior to becoming a regular on Saturday Kitchen, Olly wrote for film and television, including The Fly Who Loved Me with Roger Moore, and Pingu and Charlie and Lola. Olly Smith is the International Wine and Spirits Communicator of the Year 2009. He writes his weekly wine column for the Mail on Sunday and is a regular on Saturday Kitchen as well as This Morning and Market Kitchen and a popular host for food and drink festivals including Master Chef Live throughout 2009 and 2010, Gordon Ramsay's Taste of Christmas, The F Word Live and Channel 4's Taste Festivals. Olly also judges international wine competitions, but when his heat-seeking nostrils and targeting taste buds are taking a break, he loves keeping pigs and bees, fishing, movies and roasting things on his home-made bar-b best of all.

Rachel Roddy

Rachel Roddy writes a weekly award-winning column in Guardian Cook. Rachel's first book Five Quarters won the André Simon Food Book award in 2015, as well as the Guild of Food Writers' First Book award. Rachel has lived in Testaccio, a distinctive working-class quarter of Rome, for over twelve years. She shares a small flat near the food market with her partner Vincenzo and son Luca and spends part of the year in Vincenzo's family house in Gela, south-east Sicily. racheleats.wordpress.com Follow Rachel on Twitter @racheleats Follow Rachel on Instagram @rachelaliceroddy

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

Tom Herbert

Fresh out of baking college, Tom won Baker Of the Year and his signature sourdough has won Organic Loaf of the Year 9 times in the last 10 years. Now, along with his butcher brother Henry, the two work and cook side by side, professionally and domestically, creating every element of a meal; from the bun to the burgers and even the homemade pickles that top them off.