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book promo Book review Book reviews

#Bookreview, news, and a sample. #ILoveYourCupcakes #Romance

Hi all:

I decided to take a mini-break from my reviews (not that I’ve finished reviewing all the books, but some of the books I’ve reviewed recently are not due to be published yet, so…) to bring you some news. And to share a lovely review of one of my books.

First, some of you know already, but I’m now back in Barcelona. Although I will probably visit the UK sometimes, as I have friends there, I’ve sold my house, so I won’t be spending there long periods of time. I might tell you more about the process itself at some point, but let’s say it put my patience to the test and it took longer than I expected. I have only been back a few weeks, my things took a bit of time to join me and I’m still trying to get settled here, so I’ll keep you posted. (The weather has been quite crazy, but I know that’s been the same everywhere, so I’m not too alarmed yet, worried that I might have brought the weather with me).

Second, as those who read me often know, I don’t talk about my own books often and don’t check my review unless somebody shares them with me.  But Robbie Cheadle, baker, writer and blogger extraordinaire, was kind enough to review the audio of my book I Love Your Cupcakes, recently, and I had to share it with you.

Here it is:

#Bookreview – I Love Your Cupcakes by Olga Nunez Miret

Oh, and don’t forget to check Robbie’s blog and her books. If you love cakes and great stories, you should not miss her collection of books created in collaboration with her son Michael. And she has a new book just out. Check it here!

As this book has also been republished in Spanish by a small independent publishing company, I thought it was a sign I had to talk about it. Ah, and the #MeToo campaign has made me thought about it more than once. Unfortunately, sometimes fiction is not so fictional.

Here a sample, from chapter 16, where the main protagonists, Dulce and Adelfa, and the two members of another team competing in the same TV baking programme, are having a bit of a break.

The girls’ night in was exactly what the two teams needed. They had a heated discussion about what movie to watch, with Adelfa and Trisha set up on an action movie or a thriller, and Dulce and Candy keener on a comedy. Eventually, they decided to start with a romantic comedy and if they still felt like watching anything else they’d look for something less “fluffy.” They ordered from a variety of fast-food venues and more than anything, they had a great time talking about their businesses and their lives.

“It’s amazing to think that after being all day in the kitchen around food we can still eat,” Dulce noted.

“I don’t know if it’s the nerves or what, but I don’t think I’ve eaten a proper decent meal since all this started” Trisha replied. “I’ve just realized I’m starving!”

“A proper decent meal this? I thought you were into organic products” Adelfa said, stuffing a big chunk of pizza into her mouth and proceeding to munch it noisily.

“Well, OK, a good old-fashioned bad-for-you bit of food then” Candy nodded. “If one is good all the time it’s too boring. After all, if there was nothing bad in the world, and no temptations, how hard would it be to be good? There would be no merit in it!”

“I love how you think!” Dulce declared.

The romantic movie got them talking about relationships. They realized that none of them were, or had been, in a steady relationship for some time.

“I guess we’re very dedicated to our businesses and we don’t have much time to do things that encourage the birth of a relationship.” Candy said.

“I’m firmly of the opinion that women who are in a relationship with somebody have a better chance of ending up in another relationship than if they are alone,” Trisha said.

“How do you work that one out?” Adelfa asked.

“Oh, it’s my own theory, but it’s the law of the market. If you are with somebody, it signals to other men that you are relationship material, others find you desirable (and men are suckers for competition,  having to prove that they are better than anybody else, can have what other men have and take it from them) and your market value is higher. If you’re alone, on the other hand, either nobody values you and thinks you’re good enough, or you’re too difficult. Your market value is lower. You’ll have to offer a discount to make a sale. It’s also easier to find a job if you’re already in one than if you are unemployed.”

“Trisha’s law of relationships,” Candy said. She’d evidently heard her friend expose her theory a few times.

“No, don’t mock her. I think she might be onto something.” Adelfa said.

“It’s also quite possible that being independent women, our own bosses, and used to doing things our own way will not make us very attractive to certain types of men either,” Dulce said. “Look at my friend Adelfa, here. Not only is she in a fairly successful partnership with me, but she’s on her way to becoming a Professor at University, she does her own research, she’s a sought-after chemist…And on top of that, she’s pretty too. You need to be fairly self-confident to try and woo her.”

Adelfa smiled and pinched Dulce’s cheek.

“We’re all pretty amazing women. Anybody for some Chinese food?”

They went to bed quite late, tired but happy and relaxed. They had a whole free day ahead of them!

Here the info about it in case you want to check:

I Love Your Cupcakes. Cover by Lourdes Vidal
I Love Your Cupcakes. Cover by Lourdes Vidal

I Love Your Cupcakes

Dulce, Adelfa, and Storm, the protagonists of I Love Your Cupcakes are business partners, friends and share some “interesting” family connections. All the men Dulce meets only want to talk about her cakes and she’s tired of it. Her friend Adelfa, although she’s a Chemistry Professor, can’t manage to find the recipe for the perfect relationship. And Storm, the third of the partners of their bakery/coffee shop/bookshop/art gallery and ex-fire station, is an artist who is not a master in the art of love. How could they imagine that at the studio of the contest “Do You Have What it Takes to Be the Next Baking Star?” they’d find sexual harassment, cheats, fights and also love? Recipes included (only for cakes, not love!)

AMAZON (e-book)    KOBO           NOOK            APPLE           SCRIBD        

PAGE FOUNDRY   OYSTER  GOOGLE PLAY     PAPER    

Also in audio, with a slightly different cover:

I Love Your Cupcakes, audio with Gwyn Olson as narrator

In AUDIBLE (UK) AMAZON.COM    AMAZON.CO.UK     i-TUNES

And for an audio sample, you can go here!

Thanks very much to Robbie for her review, and to everybody who’s kindly shared it, to all of you for reading, and remember to like, share, comment, click, REVIEW, and to keep smiling!

Categories
Audiobooks Giveaway Miscellaneous

PenistoneFM (@penistonefm) Evolve project wins ITV’s The People’s projects. Would you like to listen to and review two of my #audiobooks? And a fantastic romantic #giveaway

Hi all:

Today’s post has a bit of everything.

First, big news! If you’ve been following my blog you’ll remember that a couple of weeks ago I shared the news that the local radio station I’ve been volunteering at, Penistone FM, and their Evolve proposal had been chosen as one of the projects going forward for ITV People’s Project. And, the results are in, and we’ve won!

I leave  you a couple of links where you can read more about their project and see a video from ITV showing when they visited Penistone FM (don’t worry, I wasn’t there, although I think all my colleagues did a great job) to tell them they’d won. So, if you’re curious to see what the place looks like, this is your chance!

https://www.thepeoplesprojects.org.uk/projects/view/evolve-penistone-fm-community-radio-opportunities-for-all

http://www.itv.com/news/calendar/2016-03-16/meeting-the-winners-of-the-peoples-projects/

Second. The good news about Penistone FM got me thinking about listening to things. Recently I finally got free codes for my two newest audios (three more of my novels are being turned into audios at the moment, fingers crossed), both for Audible.com and audible.co.uk.  So if any of you would like to listen to them, do let me know.  I don’t think I’ll run out of codes, but just in case, let me know as soon as you can.  I’ll need your e-mail addresses as I need to send you the codes and the instructions, but if you prefer not to leave them here, you can contact me directly at mmxrynz@hotmail.com (I leave you a reminder at the end of the post). I leave you some samples and information so you can make your mind up.
A thriller, about obsession, strange relationships and voyeurism:

Family, Lust and Cameras Audiobook narrated by LaDawn Black
Family, Lust and Cameras Audiobook narrated by LaDawn Black

Family, Lust and Cameras by Olga Núñez Miret. Narrated by LaDawn Black

Do you enjoy spying on others? Do you think it’s harmless?

Pat thought she’d left her past behind and started a new life. But one doesn’t get rid of voyeurism, obsessions and family quite that easily. Sometimes one has to adopt drastic measures to survive the harassment of a man, particularly a man like Herman. And this time Pat is determined to win, whatever the price.

In this world where technology dominates our lives, we’re never alone and privacy doesn’t exist, this novella more than a work of fiction is a warning about the dangers that haunt us in our own homes. How far would you be prepared to go to get revenge from somebody intent on controlling your life?

Author and psychiatrist Olga Núñez Miret brings us another story where the character’s motives and the inner-workings of their brains will keep you guessing. Brief, tense and with no flourishes, the story will keep you reading non-stop till the end.

If you’re fans of ‘Psycho’, ‘Peeping Tom’ and ‘Single White Female’ and are fascinated and repelled in equal degree by ‘Big Brother’ this adult story will get you hooked.

What would happen if your life became The rear window? How far would you be prepared to go to get revenge from somebody intent on controlling your life?

The audiobook version, narrated by LaDawn Black brings the action and its disturbing effects, even closer home.

Audible.com Audible. co.uk Amazon.com Amazon.co.uk Apple (i-Tunes)

If you want to listen to a sample in Sound Cloud:

And if you prefer a You-Tube video:

And a sweet romance:

I Love Your Cupcakes Audiobook
I Love Your Cupcakes Audiobook narrated by Gwyn Olson

I Love Your Cupcakes by Olga Núñez Miret. Narrated by Gwyn Olson

Dulce, Adelfa and Storm, the protagonists of I Love Your Cupcakes are business partners, friends and share some “interesting” family connections. All the men Dulce meets only want to talk about her cakes and she’s tired of it. Her friend Adelfa, although she’s a Chemistry Professor, can’t manage to find the recipe for the perfect relationship. And Storm, the third of the partners of their bakery/coffee shop/bookshop/art gallery and ex-fire station, is an artist who is not a master in the art of love. How could they imagine that at the TV studio of the program “Do You Have What it Takes to Be the Next Baking Star?” they’d find sexual harassment, cheats, fights and also love? Recipes included (only for cakes, not love!)

Glyn Olson and Red Rose Studio have done a fantastic job bringing my novel to life. You’ll be able to smell the cakes, laugh with their adventures, and fall in love…

Audible.com Audible.co.uk Amazon Apple i-Tunes

If you’ve never tried Audible before, this is a great promotion.

You can listen to a sample directly in Sound Cloud:

If you prefer to watch the You Tube video:

I don’t think I’ve shared this review, but just in case you want to read an opinion:

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

What a fun book this was! Starting with a colorful, tantalizing cover, Ms. Núñez Miret’s story immediately drew me in. In it, Dulce and Adelfa are best friends and, coincidentally, half sisters (It’s complicated!). Dulce has dabbled in one profession after another; Adelfa has had trouble with men. Together they finally get their acts together by starting a cupcake and cake business, proving the age-old adage, “when things are meant to be” they just happen lickety-split.

Using an old, 1878 abandoned firehouse, they develop a community-based, fun-filled bakery, where books are offered to the public as well as good cheer. All is going swimmingly when they are invited to participate in a televised Hollywood bake off. The reader is then treated to the inner workings of shows such as this––some of it wonderful, some of it not so good. As the contestants get to know one another, romance blossoms for our heroines, bringing happiness full circle for all. If you want to read a highly entertaining, feel-good book, I definitely recommend this one!

Third.

Romance Giveaway Promo

And for the giveaway. Fabulous and generous author Marie Lavender who’s been a guest in this blog and its predecessor often and who’s always trying to enhance readers’ experience by bringing together and promoting the work of as many authors as possible, is organising a giveaway of romantic novels, all genres, for the 29th of March. She’s organised an event in Facebook. Check here . She’s still looking for authors, so if you’ve written a romantic story and would be happy to gift or send some copies out and get closer to readers, head over to her website (or I can give you her e-mail address). And readers, do join in for a chance to get an incredible variety of romantic novels, your choice! I can say that I’ve connected with great readers and met many authors through Marie’s giveaways, so don’t miss this chance.

Here a few more places where you can connect with her:

http://marielavender.com/
http://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/
http://marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com/
http://marielavender.blogspot.com/
https://www.facebook.com/marie.lavender.58
https://www.facebook.com/MarieAnnLavender
https://twitter.com/marielavender1
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MarieLavender/posts
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/marie-lavender/27/187/10a
Amazon author page: Author.to/MarieLavender
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6938764.Marie_Lavender
http://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/1578-marie-lavender
http://www.pw.org/content/marie_lavender
http://manicreaders.com/marielavender/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJu8HjRVYCFOqcIoX6ZxdqQ/videos

Marie Lavender truly knows how to organise a giveaway
Marie Lavender truly knows how to organise a giveaway

Thanks very much for reading (and listening), for your votes for Penistone FM, and if you’ve enjoyed this post, like, share, comment, CLICK, and if you want a free code for the audiobooks, just leave a reply or send me an e-mail at: mmxrynz@hotmail.com (I’ll need your e-mail address to send you the code and the instructions). If you listen to them, a review would be welcome! And don’t forget to participate in the giveaway!

Categories
book promo

Offers and new books

Hi all:

As you know on Fridays I usually bring you  new books and/or writers. With the move and the holidays I haven’t been paying that much attention (I must confess) but I hope to catch up on new books and bring you some. Also, I’ve realised many of my posts didn’t move to this site, so I’ll be refreshing and bringing you  reminders and updates.

But, I thought I’d share something. As part of a promotion I participated in to welcome the new year, I’ve put some of my books on offer.

As Escaping Psychiatry. Beginnings should be ready soon, Escaping Psychiatry the three stories with writer/psychiatrist Mary Miller as protagonist, is now on offer for only $0.99.

Escaping Psychiatry
Escaping Psychiatry

Escaping Psychiatry

‘Escaping Psychiatry’ is a collection of three stories in the psychological thriller genre with the same protagonist, Mary, a psychiatrist and writer. She is trying to develop her literary career but circumstances and friends conspire to keep dragging her back to psychiatry.

In ‘Cannon Fodder’ Mary has to assess Cain, an African-American man accused of inciting a religious riot when he claimed that he could hear God and God was black. He might not be mad, but Mary is sure he’s hiding something.

‘Teamwork’ sees Mary hoodwinked into offering therapy to Justin, a policeman feeling guilty after his partner and ersatz father was killed on-duty. Before Mary can extricate herself from the case, things get personal.

In ‘Memory’ Mary goes missing after an incident with Phil, who is manic as he hasn’t been taking his medication. When she is found, she has been the victim of a horrific crime, but they soon discover she was luckier than they had realised.

The epilogue revisits Mary at the point of the trial of her abductor and sees what changes have taken place in her life. Will she finally manage to Escape Psychiatry?

AMAZON (e-book)    KOBO           NOOK            APPLE           SCRIBD        

PAGE FOUNDRY   OYSTER  

In case you’re feeling romantic….

I Love Your Cupcakes
I Love Your Cupcakes

I Love Your Cupcakes

Dulce, Adelfa and Storm, the protagonists of I Love Your Cupcakes are business partners, friends and share some “interesting” family connections. All the men Dulce meets only want to talk about her cakes and she’s tired of it. Her friend Adelfa, although she’s a Chemistry Professor, can’t manage to find the recipe for the perfect relationship. And Storm, the third of the partners of their bakery/coffee shop/bookshop/art gallery and ex-fire station, is an artist who is not a master in the art of love. How could they imagine that at the studio of the contest “Do You Have What it Takes to Be the Next Baking Star?” they’d find sexual harassment, cheats, fights and also love? Recipes included (only for cakes, not love!)

AMAZON (e-book)    KOBO           NOOK            APPLE           SCRIBD        

PAGE FOUNDRY   OYSTER  

And my most recent, the full Angelic Business Collection:

Angelic Business YA Paranormal Trilogy in one volume
Angelic Business YA Paranormal Trilogy in one volume

Angelic Business. The Full Trilogy

The Angelic Business trilogy tells the story of Pink, a 17 years old girl whose ordinary life gets suddenly invaded by demons and angels telling her she is ‘the elected’ and has the future of humanity, and of Heaven and Hell, in her hands. Or perhaps she isn’t. It depends on whom she believes. Weird things start happening all around her, and her friends and family become possible victims of these paranormal beings. Is Pink the true ‘elected’? And if she is, what will she do about it?

AMAZON (e-book)    KOBO      NOOK      APPLE       SCRIBD      

PAGE FOUNDRY       OYSTER        24 SYMBOLS

Thanks very much for reading. If you know anybody who might be interested, please pass the links on. And if you read them and love them, tell others why by leaving a review. Ah, and don’t forget that the first book in my YA trilogy Angelic Business is FREE! 

Ah, and if  you want to be kept informed, don’t forget to sign for my newsletter:

http://eepurl.com/bAUc0v

Categories
Muestra de escritura

'I Love Your Cupcakes' (Me encantan tus cupcakes) Mi nueva novela romántica y muy dulce está al caer. Y aquí os dejo el principio

Hola a todos:

No sé si recordaréis que hace unos meses pedí consejo en el blog sobre una novela romántica que estaba planeando, pidiendo sugerencias sobre títulos, nombres, recetas… Vamos, de todo. Y hace unas semanas como parte de un blog hop sobre los personajes de las  novelas que estábamos escribiendo mencioné a los principales protagonistas de la mía.  Pues bueno I Love Your Cupcakes (Me encantan tus cupcakes) está acabada en borrador, y ando corrigiéndola, poniéndola guapa, y haciendo todas esas cosas que se hacen antes de lanzar nuestras creaciones al mundo.

Pero como hace tiempo que vengo hablando de ella, me pareció que podría compartir al menos el principio con vosotros, para que no os quejéis de que no os tengo al tanto. Y la probable portada.

I Love Your Cupcakes (Me encantan tus cupcakes) de Olga Núñez Miret. Portada de Lourdes Vidal
I Love Your Cupcakes (Me encantan tus cupcakes) de Olga Núñez Miret. Portada de Lourdes Vidal

Prólogo. Ahora

 

—¡Cámara, acción!

Dulcinea (Dulce para sus amigos) se quedó paralizada. Veía hablar al productor pero su mente iba a mil por hora y no procesaba nada. “¡Dios mío! ¿Cómo me he metido en este lío? ¿Por qué me he dejado convencer?” se preguntó. El codazo de Adelfa la despertó:

—¡Vamos! ¡Solo tenemos 45 minutos para crear la Madre de todos los Cupcakes.

—Pues si eso es lo que tenemos que hacer, ¡a la carga!

 

Capítulo 1. Inicios (Hace tres años)

A Dulcinea le encantaba su nombre. Siempre le había parecido que le sentaba como un guante. Tanto era así, que si la hubieran llamado de otra manera estaba convencida de que se habría cambiado el nombre a Dulcinea. OK, no era el nombre más típico para una chica norteamericana, pero su madre, Carmen, era española, y siempre había opinado que la dama/amor imaginario de Don Quijote se merecía una segunda oportunidad y un papel más importante que el que le había tocado. También le encantaba el hecho de que el diminutivo era Dulce. Y si había algo que le gustaba a su madre eran las cosas dulces. Carmen era la mejor pastelera amateur de entre las madres de todas sus amigas y dudaba que hubiera muchos profesionales de la repostería y los postres que pudieran competir con ella. Su talento culinario alcanzó tal popularidad que mucha gente le pedía que les diera recetas o les enseñara cómo preparar pasteles hasta el punto que decidió hacer un cursillo de cocina y postres en el instituto local de enseñanza para adultos y siguió con él hasta su fallecimiento. Era de justicia y totalmente apropiado que su hija fuera Dulce.

—¿Qué me dices entonces? Llevas demasiado tiempo luchando contra tu destino. ¿Cuántas carreras y trabajos distintos has probado? —le preguntó Adelfa su mejor amiga, que aunque siempre apoyaba sus ideas, desde luego no se mordía la lengua en cuanto a expresar su opinión —. Déjame contar…

—¿…las maneras? —bromeó Dulce.

—No te pongas Shakesperiana conmigo.

—Es Elizabeth Browning, no Shakespeare.

—¿Ves como llevo razón? Sé que adoras los libros pero…si al menos pudieras hacer algo útil con ello quizás, pero así…Vale, volvamos a lo que estábamos hablando antes de la interrupción literaria. Peluquería…— Adelfa contó uno con los dedos.

Ahora, si esto fuera una película, vendría un montaje de unos cuantos cortes de pelo con poca gracia y nada chic, una permanente quemada hasta el punto de que se cayeran mechones de pelo, aunque el mayor desastre de Dulce siempre fue el tinte y el color. Una paleta de colores naranja brillantes e inesperados, verdes fosforescentes, e incluso efectos tricolor habían salido de sus manos y sellado su salida de la escuela de peluquería por la puerta de atrás.

—Azafata… —Dos.

La película mostraría ahora como a Dulce se le caían las bolsas de equipaje al intentar colocarlas en el compartimento superior, como le aplastaba el pie con el carrito de la comida a un pasajero, le echaba el café por encima a otro, y como se caía sentada encima de varios pasajeros y pasajeras. Nunca se le había dado bien llevar tacones y al final decidió que viajar constantemente tampoco era lo suyo. Por lo menos no le vomitó encima a nadie.

—Horticultura y jardinería ornamental… —Tres.

Esto podría ponerse feo, especialmente si os gustan las flores y las plantas. Nadie podía acusar a Dulce de tener la mano partida para la jardinería. Aparte de composiciones rocosas sin plantas, nada había sobrevivido a sus experimentos como jardinera. Y sus diseños de jardines parecían algo salido de El Bosco. Adelfa solía bromear y decirle que tendría éxito si se especializase en jardines para Goths. Aunque que ella supiera a los Goths no les iba demasiado el aire libre ni los jardines.

—Empresariales… —Cuatro.

De hecho, los estudios le fueron bien. Aunque Dulce prefería la ficción y la literatura no le disgustaban los números y el estudiar en general. Así que la parte teórica no le había ido mal. Una vez llegó el momento de aplicarlo a situaciones de la vida real, ella era demasiado amable y bien educada y no se arriesgaba lo suficiente, no le gustaba la competición salvaje y no era agresiva así que jamás tuvo éxito. Aunque se planteó dedicarse a la enseñanza, los profesores con más carisma eran los que tenían muchas anécdotas personales que contar, especialmente sobres sus éxitos y los fracasos de los demás. Y ella quería hacer algo que requiriera ponerse con las manos en la masa.

—Fotografía… —Cinco.

Dime, ¿no creéis que hoy en día con las cámaras digitales es totalmente imposible hacer una mala foto? Pues bien, si conocierais a Dulce sabrías que estáis equivocados. Mala iluminación, ángulos imposiblemente antiartísticos, partes del cuerpo en lugar del todo. Ni siquiera una top model quedaría bien en sus manos.

—Cuidar de niños…

—Vale, vale. Si estás intentando que me sienta mejor, estás haciendo un trabajo estupendo. Y no le pasó nada malo a ninguno de los bebés. Solo que no estoy hecha para ello. No todo el mundo tiene tanta suerte como tú, Adelfa. Siempre te ha gustado mezclar cosas y analizarlas. Has nacido para ser química y lo has sabido de siempre.

A Adelfa se le había dado bien la química desde muy joven y siempre había impresionado, primero a los maestros y luego a los profesores de universidad, con su talento. Cuando se graduó varias de las más grandes compañías farmacéuticas se la disputaron, aunque ella escogió enseñar en la universidad local y dedicarse a su propia investigación. Pero su éxito profesional no parecía bastarle. Y a pesar de su aspecto (hermoso color café con leche, boca hecha para besarla, curvas en los lugares adecuados y un trasero que hasta Beyoncé estaría orgullosa de lucir) volvía a estar de duelo por otra relación amorosa fallida.

—Sí, pero aún no he encontrado una fórmula que si se la damos a los hombres haga que los idiotas y los perdedores se vuelvan fluorescentes.

Dulce no pudo evitar imaginarse los resultados de tal preparado. ¡Valdría millones!

—Quizás te haría falta estudiar magia en lugar de química para eso. Aunque mi experiencia en el tema es muy limitada diría que la ciencia y los mejores cerebros han fallado miserablemente al intentar encontrar la fórmula para la relación perfecta.

—Probablemente no es culpa de los tíos. Soy yo. Parece que tengo un talento especial echar a perder incluso al mejor tío.

Dulce odiaba ver así a su amiga. Primero porque no tenía razón. Segundo, porque era su amiga y la apoyaría en lo que fuera. Y tercero, porque su último novio, Melvin, no era el mejor tío ni con diferencia. Desde luego los había tenido peores, pero Melvin era uno de esos tipos que se creen que coleccionar mujeres es un hobby de categoría y que cuanto mejores sean las mujeres, más valor tienen para él. Les iba a la zaga, usaba todos los trucos románticos a su alcance, y entonces, una vez las tenía aseguradas, se iba a por otra, a por el siguiente reto, la siguiente joya en la colección.

—Estoy segura de que si quisieras podrías echar a perder a alguien, pero no, no es culpa tuya. Tienes razón; era un idiota y un perdedor. Y vale, también tienes razón sobre mí. Nada de lo que he hecho hasta ahora ha funcionado. Y sí, es cierto, se me da bien la repostería, pero ¿cómo voy a vivir de eso?

El talento repostero de Dulce había sido objeto de muchas conversaciones entre las dos amigas a través de los años, pero últimamente Adelfa le había estado dando la lata a Dulce más de lo habitual con ello.

—¿Por qué no preparamos algún pastel y luego hablamos? Una de las recetas de tu madre. ¿Por qué no aquel pastel que llevaba chocolate, almendras tostadas, huevo, mantequilla, leche, harina y levadura?

—¿Reina de Saba? ¿Pero tendremos todos los ingredientes a mano? —preguntó Dulce.

Adelfa se echó a reír mientras cogía las llaves del coche.

—¡Vamos a comprar! ¡Y necesitaremos unas cuantas cosas más!

—Helado, crema…

—Y también algunos snack salados, para equilibrar la dieta un poco. Al menos el gilipollas me dejó antes de que nos fuéramos a vivir juntos y no tendré que perder el tiempo trasladando trastos. ¡Deprisa! ¡No gastemos ningún tiempo de cocinar!

Una vez de vuelta en su apartamento (de hecho el piso bajo de una casa convertida en un par de apartamentos, con la ventaja de que ellas tenían el patio y un viejo pero aún energético limonero todo para ellas) vaciaron las bolsas de la compra, se pusieron los delantales y se echaron manos a la obra. Adelfa también había comprado una buena reserva de bebidas y se sirvió un vaso de vino tinto y una limonada para Dulce.

—Un día de estos tendremos que conseguir que bebas alcohol. Esta postura anti-alcohólica es demasiado remilgada y aburrida.

—Conoces perfectamente bien mi opinión sobre la bebida, Adelfa. No es nada religioso, ni siquiera moral, aunque no es que pueda decir que me guste lo que le puede hacer a la gente. Es…

—Cuestión de sabor. Ya lo sé, ya lo sé.

—No me importa usarlo para cocinar. De hecho debo admitir que ayuda con algunas recetas. Mucho.

—Ya sabes lo que pienso sobre eso. Como dice el dicho: Me gusta cocinar con vino. ¡A veces hasta lo pongo en la comida!

Dulce se encogió de hombros y las dos se rieron y se dedicaron a cocinar. Las dos amigas pelaron las almendras, mezclaron la mantequilla y el azúcar, trituraron las almendras en trocitos pequeños, separaron las yemas de las claras del huevo, derritieron el chocolate con un poco de leche y añadieron todos los ingredientes (y la harina y la levadura). Vertieron la mezcla en un molde, la metieron en el horno caliente y salieron al patio después de haber lavado los cacharros, a esperar a que el horno obrara su magia. Hacía poco que se habían comprado una silla/columpio doble y las dos se sentaron de un salto, meciéndose hacia atrás y hacia adelante lentamente.

—¿Alguna idea? ¿Cómo podemos convertir mi talento para la repostería en un negocio? Bueno, debería decir “nuestro” talento para la repostería, ya que tú eres la que siempre consigue descubrir la perfecta combinación y la cantidad de ingredientes que asegura que los pasteles o las masas hagan lo que se supone que deben hacer —dijo Dulce.

—De acuerdo, tú eres la Diosa de los Sabores y yo la Reina de la Química y de calcular las cantidades y la temperatura del horno. No estaba pensando en dejar mi trabajo, especialmente la investigación, aunque siempre podría trabajar menos horas, pero podríamos experimentar después de mi trabajo y yo podría dejar preparadas instrucciones precisas para que las puedan seguir otros miembros del personal que nos ayudarían con la repostería —dijo Adelfa.

—¿Personal? ¡Dios mío! Si tú vas a crear una metodología y recetas detalladas, quizás yo podría escribir un libro de cocina. O un libro de repostería y dulces. Siempre son populares y me encantan los libros, aunque nunca he escrito nada largo. Bueno, supongo que escribir un libro de recetas no es lo mismo que escribir otro tipo de libros.

Adelfa se estaba mordiendo el labio inferior, un hábito que tenía desde pequeña y al que volvía cuando se ponía a pensar, especialmente cuando estaba sola.

“Un libro de cocina. No es mala idea, pero como plan de negocios…Por lo que he observado, los libros de ese tipo que se venden bien suelen o haber sido escritos por famosos, por chefs conocidos (por ejemplo porque tienen un programa de televisión), o libros asociados con un restaurante o un local famoso. Creo que tendríamos que tenerlo en cuenta para cuando nuestra pastelería/cafetería se convierta en un éxito. Entonces podemos expandirnos y producir todo tipo de productos de mercado, no solo libros, sino quizás también nuestra propia marca de utensilios de cocina, podríamos asociarnos con algún distribuidor de harina y esencias pasteleras orgánicas y prestarles nuestra marca, delantales, libros de cocina para niños, videos, programas de televisión…

Dulce se sintió como solía cuando le entraba el pánico. Tuvo una sensación vívida de que las pecas le crecían y ocupaban toda su cara, su ojos verdes estaban a punto de salir proyectados de las órbitas y su pelo pelirrojo (o rubio caoba como insistía Adelfa) se ponía de punta. Sorprendentemente, cuando en ocasiones como ésta había conseguido verse en un espejo, solo tenía pinta de asustada y estaba pálida, aunque no acababa de creerse que el espejo no estuviese gastándole una broma. Ella sabía lo que sentía.

—¡Respira Adelfa! ¡Respira! Quizás deberíamos empezar por el principio. ¿Estamos hablando de una pastelería, o una cafetería o…?

—¿Y por qué no una mezcla de las dos?

Sí, ¿y por qué no?

 

Gracias por leer, y si os ha interesado, ya sabéis, dadle al me gusta, comentad y compartid. Y os mantendré informados del lanzamiento oficial. 

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Writing samples

'I Love Your Cupcakes' My new romantic and sweet novel is coming out soon. And here is the beginning

Hi all:

I’m not sure how many of you will remember that a few months back I was asking for suggestions of titles, images, names of characters, well, most of everything, for a romantic novel I was planning on writing. And recently I talked about it as part of a blog hop where writers were talking about his characters. Guess what! I’ve written it!

‘I Love Your Cupcakes’ (the blame for the title is all mine) is in the process of being edited, corrected, translated, polished and made-up. But I thought I’d leave you with the beginning (and the likely cover):

Prologue. Now

‘Camera, Action!’

Dulcinea (Dulce for her friends) was frozen in place. She could see the producer talking but her mind was on overdrive and nothing went in. “Oh my God! How did I ever get into this situation! What have I let myself into!” she thought. Adelfa’s elbow on her side made her wake up:

“Come on! We have 45 minutes to create the Killer Cupcake to end all Killer Cupcakes!”

“Well, if that’s what we have to do, let’s do it!”

 

 

Chapter 1. Beginnings (Three years ago)

Dulcinea loved her name. She had always felt it suited her to a T. So much so, that if she hadn’t been called that she was convinced she would have changed her name to Dulcinea. OK, it wasn’t the most typical name for an American girl, but her mother, Carmen, was Spanish and she always thought that the imaginary lady/love of Don Quijote deserved a second chance and a bigger role than she had ever been given. She also adored the fact that if it was shortened to Dulce, its meaning was ‘Sweet’ in Spanish. And if there was something her mother had loved was everything sweet. Carmen was the best amateur baker amongst all her friends’ mothers and she doubted that many professionals of baking and desserts could have competed with her. Her culinary skills got so popular and so many people asked her to give them their recipes or teach them how to bake that she ran a course on desserts and cooking at the local adult college until her death. It was only fair and fitting that even her daughter was Dulce.

“What do you say, then? You’ve been fighting against fate long enough. How many careers and jobs have you tried?” Adelfa, her best friend, had always been supportive of all her ideas, but was nothing if not opinionated. “Let me count…”

“…the ways?” Dulce joked.

“Don’t get Shakespearean on me.”

“Elizabeth Browning not Shakespeare.”

“See what I was saying? I know how much you love books, but…if you could do anything practical with it maybe, but as it is…So, back to what we were talking about before the literary interruption. Hairdressing…” Adelfa counted one with her fingers.

Now if this was a movie it would show a montage of a few less than graceful and chic haircuts, a burnt perm to the point of loss of clumps of hair, although Dulce’s crowning disaster had always been coloring. A full palette of unintentional bright oranges, greens, and even tri-color effects had come out of her hands and sealed her exit from hairdressing school.

“Air stewardess…” Two.

The movie would now show Dulce dropping the bags when trying to secure them in the overhead locker, pushing the trolley over somebody’s foot, dropping hot coffee on another passenger’s lap, and falling seated repeatedly on several passengers. She’d never been any good wearing heels and decided the continuous traveling didn’t suit her either. At least she wasn’t sick on anybody.

“Horticulture and ornamental gardening…” Three.

This could now get scary, especially if you’re fond of flowers and vegetables. Green fingers was something nobody could accuse Dulce of. Other than rock gardens with no plants, nothing survived her attempts at gardening. And her garden designs looked like something out of El Bosco. Adelfa used to joke that she might be OK if she specialized on gardens for Goths. Not that Goths liked fresh-air that much.

“Business Studies…” Four.

Actually, the studies had been OK. Although Dulce preferred fiction and literature, she didn’t mind numbers or studying in general. So the theoretical part had been fine. Once it came to applying it to real-life situations, she was too soft and not enough of a risk-taker, didn’t like cutthroat competition and wasn’t aggressive so she never made it. Although she considered teaching it, the most engaging teachers were always those who had plenty of personal anecdotes to tell. And she wanted something more hands on.

“Photography…” Five.

Now, wouldn’t you think that with digital cameras it is impossible to take a terrible picture? Well, if you knew Dulce and saw her pictures you’d know that’s wrong. Bad lights, bad angles, body parts instead of the whole. Not even a proper top model would look good in her hands.

“Child-minding…”

“OK, OK. If you’re just trying to make me feel better, you’re doing a great job. And nothing bad happened to any of the babies. I’m just not cut out for it. Not everybody is as lucky as you, Adelfa. You’ve always liked mixing things and analyzing things. You’re a born Chemist and have always known it.”

Adelfa had been good at Chemistry since she was very young and had awed teachers and later professors with her skills. When she finished university she had several of the biggest Pharmaceutical companies fighting for her, although she’d chosen to teach at the local university and work on her own research. But her professional success did not seem to be enough for her. And despite her looks (beautiful café-au-lait color, kissable mouth, curves in all the right places, and a bum Beyoncé would be happy to call her own) she was once again mourning another failed relationship.

“Yes, but I’m yet to find a formula that applied to men will make the idiots and losers fluorescent.”

Dulce could not help but visualize the results of such a preparation. It would be worth billions!

“Maybe you’d need to train in magic rather than Chemistry for that. From my very limited experience on the subject I’d say that science and the best minds have failed miserably when trying to find a formula for the perfect relationship.”

“It’s probably not the guys’ fault. It’s me. I can ruin the nicest guy it seems.”

Dulce hated seeing her friend that way. First she wasn’t right. Second, she was her friend and she’d back her up no matter what. And third, her latest boyfriend, Melvin, was not the nicest guy. She’d had worse, but Melvin was one of these guys who seemed to think collecting women was a worthy hobby and the better the women, the higher their value for him. He’d pursue them, use every trick in the romantic book, and then, once they were secured, move on to another, to the next challenge, to the next jewel in the collection.

“I’m sure if you wanted you could ruin somebody, but no, it isn’t your fault. You’re right; he was an idiot and a loser. And OK, you’re also right about me. Nothing I’ve done so far has worked out. And yes, it’s true, I’m good at baking, but how am I going to make a living out of that?” Dulce’s baking skills had been the subject of many conversations between the friends for many years, but recently Adelfa had been badgering Dulce more than usual about it.

“Let’s bake something and then we can talk. One of your mother’s recipes. What about that cake that had chocolate, toasted almonds, eggs, butter, milk, flour and baking powder?”

“Queen of Saba? But will we have all the ingredients around?” Dulce asked.

Adelfa laughed picking up the car keys.

“Let’s go shopping! We’ll need a few other things too!”

“Ice-cream, cream…”

“And some salty snacks too, to even things out. At least the wanker left me before we ever moved in together and I won’t have to spend any time moving stuff. Quickly! Let’s not waste any baking time!”

Once back at their apartment (in reality the ground floor of a house that had been converted to a couple of apartments, with the advantage that they had the patio and an old but still zesty lemon-tree all to themselves) they unpacked, put their aprons on and got on with their baking. Adelfa had also stocked on drinks and served herself a glass of red wine and lemonade for Dulce.

“One of these days we’ll have to get you drinking alcohol. It’s too prim and proper this non-alcohol stance of yours.”

“You know full well how I feel about alcohol, Adelfa. It’s not a religious thing, or even a moral thing, although I can’t say I like what it can do to people. It’s…”

“A taste thing. I know, I know.”

“And I don’t mind it for cooking. I must admit it does help with some recipes. A lot.”

“You know what I think about it. As the saying goes: I like to cook with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food!”

Dulce shrugged and they both laughed and got on with the cooking. The two friends peeled almonds, mixed butter and sugar, mashed the almonds into tiny bits, separated the egg-yolks from the whites, melted the chocolate with a little bit of milk and then added all the ingredients (plus the flour and the baking powder). They put the mix in a baking mold in a warm oven and went out in the patio after washing the implements, to wait for the oven to do its magic. They had recently bought a double swing chair and they both jumped on it moving backwards and forwards at a slow pace.

“So…any ideas? How could we turn my baking skills into a business? Actually, I should say “our” baking skills, as you’re the one who can work out the right combination and amount of ingredients to make the cakes or pastry do what it should” Dulce said.

“OK, you’re the Goddess of Flavors and I’m the Queen of Chemistry and calculating measurements and oven temperature. I wasn’t planning on leaving my job, especially the research bit, although I could always work fewer hours, but we could experiment after my work and I could come up with precise instructions that could be followed by other staff who’d help with the baking” Adelfa said.

“Staff? Goodness! If we’re going to have detailed methodology and recipes, maybe I could write a cookery book. Or a baking and sweets book. They are always popular and I love books, although have never written anything long. However, I guess writing a recipe book isn’t quite like writing other kinds of books.”

Adelfa chewed her bottom-lip, a habit she’d had from childhood and she’d go back to when she was thinking, especially when alone.

“A Cookery book. It isn’t a bad idea, but as a business proposition…For what I’ve seen the books of that kind that sell well are usually either written by celebrities, people who are well-known chefs (because they have a program on the TV), or books associated with a famous restaurant or location. I think we should keep it in mind for when our bakery/coffee shop becomes a success. Then we can branch out and produce all kinds of marketable products, not only books, but maybe a range of cookery utensils, maybe join in with some organic flour and flavorings distributors and rubber-stamp our label on them, aprons, children’s cookery books, videos, TV programs…”

Dulce felt as she did at times of panic. She had the vivid sensation that her freckles were growing and taking over the whole of her face, her green eyes were about to be power-ejected from their orbits and her ginger (or strawberry blonde according to Adelfa) hair was standing on end. Surprisingly enough, at times such at this when she’d managed to get to a mirror, she only looked scared and pale, but she wasn’t truly convinced the mirror wasn’t just playing a trick on her. She knew what she felt.

“Breathe Adelfa! Breathe! Maybe we should start at the beginning. Are we talking about a bakery, a coffee shop, or…?”

“And why not a mix of the two?”

Yes, why not?

 

I Love Your Cupcakes by Olga Núñez Miret (cover by Lourdes Vidal)
I Love Your Cupcakes by Olga Núñez Miret (cover by Lourdes Vidal)

 Thanks for reading, and you know if you’ve enjoyed it, like it, share, and comment. I’ll keep you updated and make a big announcement when it is published, of course! (I hope it should be in a few weeks!) Any ideas to promote are welcome!

Ah, and as I told you, I’ve started reviewing books for BTS-e Magazine and one of my reviews is published in the current number. Check it out here! (And of course, check all the rest of the content)

http://issuu.com/btsemag/docs/sept-oct-2014/123?e=5491198/9147732

 

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