Mandy Eve-Barnett's Official Blog

Inspiration for Writers & Building A Community ©

Using Leverage to Efficiently Market Your Books While You Write

March 31, 2015
mandyevebarnett


Some great thoughts here – had to share

Nicholas C. Rossis

Fleur Camacho has kindly been sharing my posts on her blog. She came up with a great idea for a post on blogging efficiently in order to promote your books, which I was more than happy to host here. She’s the author of TRISTEN, a teen & YA magical, fantasy, paranormal, & adventure novel, currently on a 99c sale on Amazon.

Using Leverage to Efficiently Market Your Books While You Write

Ever since I read my first blog post on Nicholas’s blog, I was hooked.  He is open, insightful, helpful and efficient.  I’ve mostly focused on building a targeted following on twitter but when I read his post about blogging, I knew that it was time for me to take a step forward with my marketing.

I’m the kind of person that once I decide to do something, I want to do all of it, all at once, and perfect…

View original post 2,140 more words

Returning Author – M K Turner…

March 30, 2015
mandyevebarnett


Join me in welcoming back M K Tuner and her intriguing murder mysteries.

MK Turner

What inspired you to write your first book?

A conversation with a friend. After a good gossip, she stated “They wouldn’t believe you if you wrote it down.” I decided to give it go, and using a mixture of the quirks and oddities from some colourful characters we knew I wrote a tongue in cheek, farcical, murder mystery, Murderous Mishaps.

Murderous Mishaps Cover

How did you come up with the title?

As I never intended to publish the story, I called it Murder and Moet. Murder for obvious reasons, Moet, because the characters were on a weekend jolly, and were celebrating with champagne when the body was discovered. When I later decided to publish, my editor warned of using the brand name, so I asked Moet if I may use it, and they declined, stating, that while they were happy for me to refer to it within the body of the text, they didn’t think it appropriate to have the brand connected to murder on the cover. I was hoping they wouldn’t mind the extra advertising, albeit small, but it was not to be. I changed it to Murderous Mishaps.

Is this your first book? How many books have you written (published or unpublished)?

This was my first novel, and writing it did give me the spur to carry on writing, but I decided to test myself and see if I could write a serious murder mystery, and came up with the characters of DC John Meredith & Patsy Hodge, and wrote the first in the Meredith & Hodge series, Misplaced Loyalty. I have now published five novels in the series, the latest being One Secret Too Many, and am currently working on another, yet to be given a title. In addition I have now published Murderous Mishaps, and another novel, The Recruitment of Lucy James.

Misplaced

Are there messages in your novels that you want readers to grasp?

I don’t set out to send a message as such, but I do want readers to ask – Why? We all know the world can turn upside down when someone is murdered, and that the ripple effect reaches out into the community, sometimes in unexpected ways, and once over the shock of the act itself, the main question is – why? When I read a novel, irrespective of the genre, I want to know as much about the characters as the storyline will allow. I have read some cleverly crafted plots which have kept me guessing until the end, but when I don’t understand why a certain character would have – kept the secret, killed her aunt, left her husband, or any number of actions – I’m left wanting more because it doesn’t add up.

Therefore, however horrific the crime, I want the readers to know that both the heroes and villains are human, leading their own lives away from the main storyline, and it is what happens in those lives that affect how they react in different situations.

Wrong-Shoes

Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Of course, but never exactly, a mannerism here, an attitude there, and a snippet of gossip or news, which is screaming out to be exaggerated or explained.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Good question, I’ll have to get back to you on that. In One Secret Too Many, I killed off a regular character and I’m not sure how that will go down with my regular readers. I agonised over whether or not I should for weeks. I even wrote two different endings, but ultimately, for me, it had to happen.

One Secret

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I want them to be entertained, engaged, and hopefully keep them guessing until the end.

What is your favorite part/chapter of your book/project?

That has to be the relationship between Meredith & Hodge. They were always going to be a couple, but the nature of their personalities and how they react to the issues they encounter is an ongoing challenge. Plus, of course, I don’t want them to be too predictable, so in each novel a situation will arise where they have to show a weakness or quirk that has not previously been revealed. Much like making new friends, just when you think you know what makes them tick, they will react to something in a way you would never have expected.

tinsoldiers

What is your favorite theme/genre to write?

Definitely mysteries or thrillers and when planning the story, I make it so there are several possible outcomes, and it’s not until near the end that I actually know ‘whodunit’, or perhaps why.

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

TI would never write erotica. However great the characters, after the first few sex scenes, for me it becomes boring and fairly predictable, and does nothing to enhance the story. I read Fifty Shades of Grey, and I liked the main characters, so much so, that I also read the second to find out what happened to Ana, but I found myself skimming page after page wanting to get back to the story. I didn’t bother with the third, a friend told me what happened, and I was disappointed.

What book are you reading now?

I have recently finished Diamonds and Dust by Carol Hedges, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Set in Victorian London, it is very atmospheric, with clever little one-liners hidden amongst the narrative, and left me wanting to know what happened next. It was the first Carol Hedges I’ve read, and I wasn’t disappointed. I now have a stack of authors I’ve yet to read on my kindle, but have yet to decide which one is next.

Do you see writing as a career?

In a way, yes, with the exception of family/dogs/household duties, it takes up more time than even my part time job. Will it ever pay enough to say it’s what I do for a living, who knows? But it is certainly what I ‘do’. Everything else is a necessity to get from one end of the week to the other, not necessarily unpleasant, but writing is a necessity for no other reason than the writing itself. I watch about an hour or so of television each day, and afterwards will think, that was funny, or entertaining, or had a great ending, etc. but I would rather be writing something and wondering whether I’d achieved one of those things.

Il- Conceived Cover pdf

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

At my desk, staring out the window overlooking the beach and sea beyond, pondering the latest plot, and wondering whether to brave the heat and walk down to the local tavern for lunch. When I’m being sensible I hope I’m still selling books, and earning enough not to feel guilty about the time it takes up.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Promotion. Always the promotion. Editing is hard work, proof reading worse, but they help one to improve the finished product. It’s the telling the readers at large about the product which I find most difficult, and am sure most seasoned writers would shake their heads in wonderment at my feeble attempts.

Have you ever hated something you wrote?

Of course, many pages have been written and stories started, based on a great overall idea, but something was missing, or the character was good, but wrong for the story, so it ends up in the bin. Some survive awaiting the planned re-write, but most will wait in vain.

Lucy James

What book do you wish you had written?

So many! But to choose one, I suppose it would be A Kind of Loving by Stan Barstow. A gritty story, and follows the fortunes of Vic Brown and how he woos the girl he believes he loves, Ingrid. It shows how their relationship grows and ultimately fails. I was about fourteen when I read it, starry eyed and hoped every relationship ended with roses around the door. I kept hoping that something would happen to change the inevitable, and when it didn’t I re-read it to find out what clues I’d missed. They were all there, some subtle, some that smacked you in the face, and it helped me grow up a little. There were consequences to your actions, however small, which added to the domino effect which eventually gathers a momentum all of its own, bringing your ideals crashing down. To be able to draw a reader in like that, to make them hold their breath and care so much about the characters, that they try to will the characters to take a different route, all the time knowing they won’t, yet still keep them reading to the very last word, is a skill every writer wants. Of course I have read it as a cynical adult and still loved it.

What is your best marketing tip?

Do it! I hate marketing. It’s a necessary evil I don’t do enough of, or well. I get side tracked on social media, and irritated by form filling.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

As mentioned it’s the fifth in the Meredith & Hodge series, One Secret Too Many. Everyone, including Meredith has secrets that ultimately will cause their downfall. Meredith & Hodge are assigned cases with high stakes, and that one secret too many causes the death of one of the regular characters. But to find out how a bombing in Northern Ireland is related to killings in the former Czechoslovakia, and the Russian Mafia you’ll have to read it.

How do we find your books, blog and bio?

Website: http://mkturnerbooks.co.uk/

Amazon Links for all books:

http://smarturl.it/OneSecret

http://smarturl.it/MisplacedLoyalty

http://smarturl.it/WrongShoes

http://smarturl.it/IllConceived

http://smarturl.it/TinSoldiers

http://smarturl.it/MurderousMishaps

http://smarturl.it/LucyJames

Here is MK’s last interview link: https://mandyevebarnett.com/2013/04/12/interview-m-k-turner/

 

Welcome Caroline Ludovici…

March 26, 2015
mandyevebarnett


caroline

What inspired you to write your first book?

Several things all came together at roughly the same time.  Firstly, Spellcheck changed my life, as it enabled me to share with others what I wrote without the shame or embarrassment! I had never really realized, but my problems I’d suffered my whole life were from dyslexia. I had always loved to write, I could write so easily and effortlessly, but the spelling was a major setback. I was never able to share anything I wrote. But with my first laptop, I was away!

Obsidian Mask

My first book, The Obsidian Mask, was born from my wish to share my passion for archaeology and adventure, and to fill a void in the market for believable, down-to-earth YA fiction.  The little Archaeology there is in literature or film for children, is always depicted as either plundering, clumsy archaeologists looking for treasure, or shown with special effects in movies. I believe it is exciting enough without any extra enhancements!

How did you come up with the title?

The Obsidian Mask is the exquisite, ancient artefact that the team of archaeologists discover when they excavate the tomb of an ancient Mesopotamian warrior queen. It is the death mask that covers her face, and proves to be the cause of the four young teens frightening adventure, as they stay at the desert archaeological site while visiting their parents.

The title for the sequel, Secrets of The River; Throughout the centuries, the Trebbia River in Italy has had much going on behind the tranquil lapping of waves on its shores… from Hannibal’s crossing of the Alps with his army and elephants, to German soldiers hiding their plunder…

Is this your first book? How many books have you written (published or unpublished)?

The Obsidian Mask is the first book. The sequel, Secrets of the River, is about to be launched early 2015. The four teenagers are now in Italy, as their adventures continue in the unfolding story of the joining of their lives, and the realization, after some very dangerous situations, that exposing the true identity of someone very close to home, some family secrets are better left buried.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Not really, but a couple of teen readers have told me that they had not realized before reading the books that our human history and past is still very much who we are today. Some things we read in history books may seem distant and so far behind us, but really, we have been here for such a short time, who we are today is just a result of things that happened before. Some of my readers just love the adventures, while others take it a step further and think beyond the story. I have had parents read The Obsidian Mask who told me they have learned a lot from it. This wasn’t really my intention, but it’s a nice feeling to spark the interest in anyone, young or old!

I love telling a part of history that isn’t widely known or discussed, such as the plundering of ancient artefacts, art by the Nazis, or the thought that the place where you were born, decides for you the what uniform you wear in wartime… as is the case in book 2, Secrets of The River.

How much of the book is realistic?

Although exciting, fictional adventures, my books are realistic. They are quite informative, too, but without the reader realizing this too much. This is my intention, to show that not all fiction for teens has to be Sci-fi, magic, or frightening zombies taking over the earth. These books are very believable, and the characters are in depth, develop throughout the stories, with the reader. I enjoy injecting some truth within the storyline, so that my readers can research further a subject should their curiosity take them there! I loved talking about the cradle of civilization in The Obsidian Mask, and letting my readers know how advanced they were in the ‘fertile crescent’, with their medical knowledge, engineering, and life in general, while we at the same time in the west were still so backward and ignorant!

Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Well, I have to say there is probably a little of me in every character. An ‘adult’ who recently read The Obsidian Mask, said that it was an eye into my soul! Well, I had no idea I was so transparent! But I have a clear picture of the characters in the book when I write, and I can hear then talk. It is almost as if they tell the story and I just write what happens!

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

No. It is pretty much as it should be.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I think my readers will understand if I ask them to tell their friends to get off their computers, look up from their phones and see the world around you. Every breath we take is a countdown. So climb a tree, a hill, feel the breeze, listen to nature. See what is out there. Enjoy the world that took so many millions of years to form, and get us to here!  When I describe opening an ancient tomb, to see the skeleton of the queen, or the Etruscan sailor who died trying to save his dog on the listing ship over 2000 years ago, this shows us how short life really is. So grab it! It’s great!

What is your favorite part/chapter of your book/project?

I have several in Secrets of The River, which is a fast moving adventure. But perhaps my favorite is a quiet scene in where the two English young teens, Natasha and Alex who have come to stay with Lorenzo and Gabriella in their ancestral villa in Italy as their parents are now engaged to each other, share an awkward, tender moment. Gabriella and Lorenzo’s mother had died a couple of years before, and we find out that Marcello cant bear to spend time there at the villa as it reminds him so much of his wife.  Lorenzo, 15, is still very much mourning his mother and suffering internally.  Natasha sees for the first time through his eyes, how her mother will be in a way, replacing his mother, and the conversation becomes a little strained.

The four are sitting around the pool. When Alex innocently asks Gabriella if her grandmother, the stiff Contessa, likes the thought of his English mother marrying into the family. Lorenzo gets up from his sun bed and walks around to the deep end of the pool, and fiddles with the filter in the ground with his back to them. After several minutes, Natasha realizes he is upset, and the sensitive conversation about their parents marrying continues between Alex and Gabriella. When he eventually returns to the fold, his eyes are moist and he sits next to Natasha at the pool’s edge. He looks her in the eye letting her in on his secret that he had been crying, and gives her a little sheepish smile. She took it to mean perhaps that it was OK; he was all right with it. They sit together at the edge of the pool in silence, swirling the water around with their feet, their arms touching, and neither pulling away.

I love this scene as it brings Natasha and Lorenzo closer together as future siblings and tells us a lot about how Lorenzo suffers with the loss of his mother, and how his father is still absent in his life. Natasha also realized how selfish she had been in not accepting Marcello, Lorenzo’s father, as we read in book 1. Natasha realizes how Lorenzo and Gabriella had so much more to come to terms with, compared to her.

What is your favorite theme/genre to write?

I love YA fiction. Perhaps it is because at heart I am still a Young Adult myself!

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

No nothing is taboo. Although I have been told by people that it is best to keep religion out of the stories. All the more reason to put it in perhaps? I did conform though to suggestions. There is a scene in The Obsidian Mask, where the four are trapped in a cave having been kidnapped. Lying in the dark on the cave floor, Natasha hears Gabriella and Lorenzo praying in Italian. She is rather cynical, but keeps it to herself, as she can’t believe they seriously thought someone was watching over them from above. If there were, they certainly were wouldn’t be in the frightening mess they were in now! I was told to remove this as agnosticism or atheism isn’t really suitable in teen literature in the US. So I complied and took out the part praying too, as I didn’t want to promote religion without a balanced point of view! I almost regret removing this, as it showed Natasha’s character as a free thinker, even at fourteen, a bit of a nonconformist, and she doesn’t accept anything readily without working it out first. It was only one line, and had nothing to do with any specific religion, it was only a fictional character’s point of view. Funny though, how religion and lack of it is has almost become taboo in literature. I would have liked my readers to have known that about her.

What book are you reading now?

I am researching for book three. Books of Algeria, but mostly on the Internet, I must confess. I am reading about the white slave trade in the 16th and 17th centuries, which was just as rampant as the black slave trade, but nobody learns about it at school, and I’m not sure why!

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

I like Kate Mosse

Do you see writing as a career?

We’ll see. That would be my dream.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I see myself in a little cottage by water, with a desk facing the sunset.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

The spelling. I think I am dyslexic and the spelling is an absolute chore. Even writing this interview, there have been dozens of red lines under words that I have had to correct. It is such a pain. But as I said earlier, spellcheck brought me to this point, and I am truly grateful to the developers if the program! I dedicated my first book to spellcheck. It meant that much to me!

Have you ever hated something you wrote?

No I can’t say I have. Often, I change a paragraph, or a chapter, so it never really gets to that point.

What book do you wish you had written?

Sarum

What is your best marketing tip?

Marketing is so difficult. I really have no tips at all, I am still learning myself! They say gather as many Facebook likes as you can, but I think this is rather futile, I’d rather the people who have liked my page to really like it, not just click it aimlessly not knowing who I am or what my books are bout. I’d rather have genuine people follow me than ones who come through a paid click program.  I think blogging is a good way, although the teen audience I write for as not really on WordPress. I think I am more in need of marketing tips more than being qualified to give them out!

What genre is your next project? What is it about?

The genre is still YA, (or anyone interested in a great, exciting story.) Adults and teens alike will find it fascinating. It is the third in the current series. It still follows the story line from Books one and two, teen adventures loosely based around the parents international archaeological excavations.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

My next book starts in Algeria, and then goes to Ireland. It is about Natasha, Lorenzo, Gabriella and Alex finding the sarcophagus of an Irish girl in Algeria, and the trail they follow for her story. They are in Algeria as their parents are now married, the family is one, and Marcello is lecturing in N Africa about the palaces and forts being slowly swallowed up by the encroaching Sahara desert. They follow the story of a girl kidnapped by Barbary pirates from her fishing village in S Ireland, as so many thousands and thousands were, from all along the coasts of Europe, Britain, France, The Mediterranean to Scandinavia, and taken as slaves to N Africa. It is a story I think should be told, as no one knows about the White African slave markets.

How do we find your books, blog and bio?

www.carolineludovici.com

The books are available on Amazon.com

barnesandnoble.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-obsidian-mask-caroline-ludovici/1108173406?ean=9780741470645

Infinity Publishing (discounts for large orders)

http://www.buybooksontheweb.com/product.aspx?ISBN=0-7414-7064-0

Blog;  wordpress https://carolineludovici.wordpress.com

Take a look of Caroline’s progress here: 

Previous interview: https://mandyevebarnett.com/2013/09/10/caroline-ludovici-interview/

Liebster Award – Open To All…

March 23, 2015
mandyevebarnett


I found this award over at: http://suddenlytheyalldied.com/2015/03/18/award-season-continues-again/

liebster

As I love conversing and sharing with other writers, I have taken up the challenge.

  1. What makes you dance?  The completion of a manuscript, the first sight of the new book cover and any music with a great drum beat.
  2. What is your favorite genre?  Don’t really have one… I read multiple genres and write them as well. I favorite Stephen King, Kate Morton, Felix de Palma, Maeve Binchey and James Long. So you see a broad spectrum.
  3. If you could have lunch with one of the captains from Star Trek or one of the characters from Star Wars, who would you choose and why? My husband watches these shows…not really my cup of tea. Although, I am drawn to the strong female characters. B’Elanna and Seven of Nine are great levers of those around them and do not concede quickly. As for my choice of Star Trek captains, I think I would choose Captain Kathryn Janeway – she stands her ground but her decisions are emotion and instinct based, which is her strength.
  4. Which five books would you take with you to a desert island? Ferney by James Long, Under the Dome & The Stand by Stephen King, The Lilac Bus by Maeve Binchey, Thrush Green by Miss. Read.
  5. Why did you start blogging? I was encouraged to begin blogging by my publisher and members of my writing group to highlight my passion for writing and to connect with other writers and promote my novels. I enjoy the community and interaction of my blog and set a schedule and theme/topic for the year prior to New Year’s day each year. One year I utilized a desk diary word of the day and created posts every day using the day’s word. It was a lot of work but was thrilling to see where my mind went to create each post.

Do please link back here if you take this award – I’d love to read all your answers!  Or if you don’t want to take the award, then answer some of the questions in the comments below.  Let’s get to know each other!

I would like to extend the invitation to my followers and these are the questions I have set.

1. If you could become a character from a novel, who would you be and why?

2. Given the opportunity where in the world would you live and why?

3. What was the first song (record, CD) you bought?

4. Which movie(s) do you wish had not been made from a book(s) and why?

5. Which era do you prefer in art?

Do have fun and link back so we can find your answers or leave a comment here.

Excerpt #1 from YA horror story – Clickety Click

March 19, 2015
mandyevebarnett


I began a ‘short’ story for children but somehow it is getting longer and longer. So I will post excerpts of it for your enjoyment and that of your children!

monster claw

Clickety Click  Part 1

It’s eyes widened as it grew closer and closer to her face. Alice was paralyzed with fear, clutching her bedcovers with white knuckled fingers. The creature’s mauve skin glistened with slime and drops fell onto its spindly pointed claws. Alice opened and closed her mouth willing her voice to sound in the dark bedroom. The claws clicked together as the monster’s jaw opened. Click, click, clickety, click.

Alice’s scream woke her. She was drenched in sweat; her heart beating so fast it hurt her chest. She had no idea how long she screamed but her throat was sore. Shortly after waking, she heard her uncle’s thundering footsteps coming up the stairs. The noise drowned out her aunt’s voice full of concern and Alice’s fear induced tears.

The bedroom door flew open and Alice’s uncle stood in the doorway, looking around the room before rushing to the bed and embracing Alice.

“There, there girl, what was it? A nightmare?”

Alice tried to stop her crying in an effort to answer him as her voice croaked and her body shuddered.

“It was a monster, a huge mauve monster with sharp claws and dripping slime. Uncle Gregor, I was so frightened.”

“What a horrid dream, my girl. You are perfectly safe now.”

Alice’s Aunt walked into the room slightly out of breath with a panicked look on her face.

“Oh my, you poor dear. Just look at you. I think it would be best if you had a nice glass of milk and left the bedside light on.”

“Thank you, Aunt Cattrine. I’m feeling better now you are both here but a nice glass of milk does sound good. I can come down to get it.”

“Not at all, let Uncle stay with you, it won’t take me long.”

Her aunt stroked Alice’s hair before exiting the room giving her husband a quick wink as she left. With her uncle’s strong arms around her, Alice felt safe and calmed down as her heartbeat resumed a normal beat.

Once she finished her milk, her aunt and uncle left her to sleep the rest of the night with the small lamp lit. They told her to call them if she had another bad dream. Alice drew her bedclothes up as far as she could and curled up into a ball. She watched shadow branches on the wall closest to the door for some time before her eyelids grew heavy and sleep claimed her.

Click, click, clickety, click. His claws tapped together as he sat in the corner watching her. He delighted in the way she moved as she spun the threads back and forth. The aroma of boiling meat filled the room, making him drool. She turned and grinned; she was as hungry as he looked. This would be a good feast.

Alice slipped out of the covers and curled her toes when they touched the cold wooden floor. She pulled her legs up and reached for her thick woolen socks. Once her feet were enclosed in the soft warmth of the wool, she wrapped a large dressing gown around her and walked downstairs. She found her aunt and uncle busily cleaning the kitchen counters. She thought it was odd as breakfast was not on the table but their smiling faces pushed the thought away.

“There she is. You do look better this morning, rosy cheeks and sparkling eyes. Now what do you fancy for breakfast?”

“Whatever you and uncle Gregor are having is fine, thanks auntie.”

“Well I think after such a dreadful night you should choose, I haven’t begun anything yet.”

Why were they cleaning so thoroughly if they haven’t eaten yet? Her uncle’s large hand on her shoulder made Alice dismiss the thought. She turned and smiled up at her large heavyset uncle.

“Sausage and eggs would be perfect, if I may. Thank you, Auntie.”

“Good breakfast choices, Alice, I think we will all enjoy eating them.”

Alice walked to the counter and pulled out the cutlery drawer then began laying the table settings. Her aunt turned to the stove and placed a large skillet on the heated ring, while her uncle picked out sausages and eggs from the fridge. The sausages soon began to sizzle and their tantalizing smell filled the kitchen.

When the food was cooked and placed on plates, they sat down to eat. Alice chewed the spicy sausages and marveled at the unusual but delicious taste. The eggs were special too, bigger than Alice had ever seen before with large deep yellow yolks. Alice collected all the plates once everyone had their fill and set them into the sink before turning on the tap. She heard a clickety click behind her and turned swiftly. Her aunt and uncle were smiling at each other and both frowned at Alice’s sudden movement.

“Whatever is it, dear?”

“Didn’t you hear it? That clickety click noise.”

“No dear just the water running and your uncle’s belch. Really Gregor, your manners!”

“I must be overly sensitive, that nightmare was so real, and I swear I could feel its breath on my face. Thank you both for caring for me.”

“No need for thanks, Alice, we are here to make sure you are healthy…”

With her back turned, Alice didn’t see Cattrine punch Gregor’s arm hard.

“What Uncle means is happy and healthy, Alice. Now are you meeting Bernadette today?”

“Yes, I am. Her Mom will collect me at ten o’clock so I should get dressed.”

Cattrine watched Alice leave the room then licked her lips. Gregor sat with his head down sucking at his fingertips.

“Good grief, Gregor, watch your tongue around her. Get yourself up and go to the pens and feed them.”

Gregor stood slowly blocking out the window with his massive bulk but scuffing his feet like a reluctant child.  Cattrine huffed and turned to the cupboards. As she took out a huge pot, Gregor opened the back door and left mumbling under his breath.

“If you are swearing about me I’ll know it, Gregor.”

She heard no answer so began her chores. In the pantry, she unlocked a metal container’s lid and inhaled deeply. Drool dripped from her mouth. She sucked in deeply to return it to her throat. The aroma tantalized her in a way nothing else did. Cattrine pulled out a slab of meat and carried into the kitchen. Footfalls on the stairs made her stop and return to the pantry. She closed the door and stood at the sink waiting for Alice to enter.

“You do look nice, Alice. It’s nearly ten; maybe you should walk down to the end of the lane and wait for Bernadette’s Mom there? It will save her driving all the way up here and it’s too nice a day not to enjoy.”

“Yes, it is lovely out there the sun is so warm. I should be home by four o’clock, Auntie.”

“Have a wonderful day, dear.”

Alice kissed her aunt on the cheek and skipped out of the door, happy and carefree. Absently brushing away a spot of wetness from her cheek as she walked into the wooded glen.

Cattrine returned to the pantry, picked up the slab of meat and began cutting it into strips. Next, she took out a large mincer and fed the strips into the machine. The extruded meat formed a pink and white curl into a bowl beneath it. When all the meat was minced, Cattrine began adding spices and herbs to it. She dug her hands into the mixture and kneaded it repeatedly. Her mouth salivated as she did so.

Blog at WordPress.com.