So, my debut novel has now been published and all I need now is some lovely people to review it. I am also happy to participate in interviews, Q and A’s or submit a guest post if preferred
“You can kill a book quicker by your silence than by a bad review.”
― E.A. Bucchianeri
Flip Flops, Fiesta, and Flamenco is the first in a series of three books about two best friends, their lives, loves and adventures after moving to a small village in the Andalusian hills
Abby and Lou have been BFF’s since the first day at Uni. Despite being opposites in both looks and personality they were drawn to each other sharing a flat, dreams and a love of animals. Through the ensuing years despite heartache and divorce, they remain as close as ever.
Abby would be the first to admit her life needs an injection of fun. Middle-aged, divorced and slightly overweight she’s a mother/general dogsbody to two layabout sons, a pink-haired Amazonian on-off girlfriend and an incorrigible British Bulldog named Chester, her lifelong dream of living in Spain’s glorious sunshine has been long forgotten or has it?
Lou was stuck in her own rut, never fully recovered from a tragedy in her past a long list of online dating disasters had left her wondering if she will ever find love again. Her cool ice-maiden persona is shattered along with her cat’s eardrums when she wins £400,000 on an online bingo site. Could this be the answer to both their prayers?
Flip-Flops packed, they embark on their adventure but it isn’t all sun and sangria. Warring pets, new neighbours, Cooking experiments, scary wildlife and an escapee Donkey named Santos, combine to make it an unforgettable Summer. Can their friendship survive or will the Mediterranean dream become a nightmare?
I never thought this day would come, but it just goes to show if you have a dream you should never give up. A big thank-you to Junction Publishing for believing in me, my wonderful partner for putting up with my moods and everyone who has helped make this possible
Flip-flops, Fiesta & Flamenco
The first in the Meditteranean Dream Series here is what some people have been saying about the book;
“It’s quite a bit like Under the Tuscan Sun actually. I can totally see them making a movie out of this. I think a majority of people reading this book would LOVE to be able to trade places with Abby. Can’t wait to read the next book and find out what new adventures Abby and Lou live.” (Serena)
“Flip-Flops, Fiestas and Flamenco is a bright and refreshing read. It’s incredibly funny, the descriptions are often times hilarious.” (TRA)
“I started reading this only a couple of days ago and couldn’t go to sleep last night until I had finished it. It was lighthearted, easy reading, fun. Being into dog rescue myself in Spain and having lived here for 16 years, I can easily see where Donna is coming from. Highly recommended.” (Deb)
“Flip-flops, Fiestas and Flamenco is an effervescent, eclectic smorgasbord of engaging, strong characters (human and animal), calamitous capers, bellyaching laughter, and a liberal dusting of heartwrenching moments. Well written and eminently readable, I found each page of the book delightfully engaging.” (Calla May Diamond)
The Animals are the stars of the Meditteranean Dream Series providing more than a few of the laughs in the 1st installment Flip-flops, Fiesta & Flamenco (did I mention there are only 3 days to go until publication!)
So, with that in mind, I thought I’d run a competition. (Drum Roll………)
Abby will be acquiring some new additions to her ever-increasing menagerie in the next book, High Heels, Hope & Hacienda, and if you would like to name some of the critters the best will be chosen to appear in the book.
There will be extra chickens, a pig, a Shetland Pony and of course more rescue dogs.
Comment below with your suggestions and the winners will not only have the animals they named in the book, they will also receive a goody bag and a mention in the acknowledgments
Don’t worry this culinary delight isn’t made from fish, but something just as unusual; prickly pear or cactus.
In my novel Flip-Flops, Fiesta & Flamenco, Abby experiments with several combinations coming up with tasty and unique chutneys and jams which she sells at the local market and online.
I have tried Cactus Jam while in Spain and the Canaries and can confirm it is delicious, with a light delicate taste a bit like watermelon.
You can buy prickly pear fruits online, so why not have a go at making Cactus Jam yourself and add a little Spanish sunshine to your breakfast.
Tuna or Cactus jam
- 10-12 prickly pear fruit (take great caution when picking)
- 600g granulated sugar
- 1 cup of water
- Juice of 1 lemon
Peel prickly pears extremely carefully using tongs or a fork to hold, as you make vertical cuts in the skin peeling away with a knife in sections.
Cut fruit into small pieces and place in a pan with the water. Simmer on a low heat until the fruit softens.
Remove from heat and pass through a sieve to get rid of the seeds (they can break teeth). Place cactus pulp into the pan, add sugar, bring back to boil until sugar dissolves, add lemon juice, and simmer for around 40 minutes until thickened.
Leave to cool slightly then pour into sterilised jars. This will make around four small jars.
Check out more Jam and chutney recipes at the end of the book
Had a busy week, with the usual dog-related emergencies, work and binge-watching Orange is the New Black (I always arrive at the popular box sets, way after the rest of the world)
Anyway, the big news is those fantastic guys at Junction Publishing have created some excellent graphics for my debut novel which is being released on the 20th March 2018 and is available to pre-order right now on Amazon
Flip-Flops, Fiesta & Flamenco
The first book in the Meditteranean Dream series; here is what some people have been saying about it
“I started reading this only a couple of days ago and couldn’t go to sleep last night until I had finished it. It was lighthearted, easy reading, fun. Being into dog rescue myself in Spain and having lived here for 16 years, I can easily see where Donna is coming from. Highly recommended.” (Deb-Spain)
“Absolutely loved this! It’s really funny. It’s quite a bit like Under the Tuscan Sun actually. I can totally see them making a movie out of this.” (Serena-Spain)
“I loved this book, it tells the story of two forty-something women (I can relate already…) who decide to move to Spain to change their lives. The animals rule this book for me. They are integral to the story and provide much humour. I read it in a couple of days as its very readable and would make an excellent holiday book.” (Bankgirlwhite- Amazon)
Abby knew if they had still been in the UK Lou would have bought a flashy car an Audi perhaps or a snazzy BMW but this was the compromise, an old Citroen that once had been bright red but now looked like something from a bygone age. The Windows were grimy and there was a funny smell coming from the interior but Sylvia knew the old man who was selling it and he swore it was reliable.
Sylvia had also directed them to the chicken shop which was about 20 miles away. Standing back from the main road it was what looked like 2 large converted barns one selling everything from tractors, tools, various farm implements and feed. The other was filled with cages.
The smell nearly knocked Lou for six as the large sweaty owner opened the door and she couldn’t tell if it was his B.O, his breath or came from inside the dark shed. The noise also assailed her senses squawking quacking there was even some squealing from some potbellied piglets in a filthy pen to her left.
Bloody Hell-Abby would want to take them all home. Abby stood behind her peering into the gloom and the human version of King Kong retreated to bench to roll a cigarette and leave them too it, confident there would be no shop-lifting.
Lou wished she had worn more sensible shoes as mud or something worse oozed into her flat pumps. Abby was no better prepared but she didn’t seem bothered as she ploughed forward to look in the small cages.
“I hope you know what you’re looking for”
Lou grimaced fishing for a handkerchief to cover her face
“Well…. I know we need some Andalusian reds”
Abby pronounced expertly “There really good layers and….”
Lou couldn’t have cared less; she didn’t know the difference between an Andalusian Red or Chicken Little the stench was the worst thing she’d ever smelled and that included the time a disgruntled ex had stuffed a mackerel down the back of her sofa years ago after finding her shagging his best mate.
Three weeks before she found the offending mess and months of bleaching and Febreze before the fishy aroma had finally dispersed.
Thank you to Junction Publishing for creating this fantastic YouTube trailer for my debut novel which is available to pre-order on Amazon now!!!
Get your copy here http://amzn.to/2C6FiKl
Abby entered the war zone that only last night had been her tidy living room. Cans and bottles littered the floor and coffee table, and one of her best crystal drinking glasses lay forlornly on its side, the contents pooled on her beautiful Turkish rug.
Chester was sniffing the sticky mess, but obviously preferred Chinese food to vodka as he’d filched a large tray of leftover spare ribs and arranged them across the floor in an abstract artwork of barbecue. The ashtray was overflowing, and the room stank to high heaven.
She ignored the long-haired chubby guy sprawled on her sofa, wearing a T-shirt proclaiming he loved big butts, and a pair of grubby jogging pants barely containing his shameless morning glory.
Abby quickly opened windows, even though the cold February air made her shiver. Determined to have a coffee before she tackled the mess, she shooed Chester into the kitchen and making as much noise as possible, to hopefully embarrass the intruder into pissing off before she returned, switched on the kettle.
Standing at the back door five minutes later, with a large steaming cup of Kenco’s finest, and cigarette in hand, Abby let out a huge sigh of relief as she heard the front door open and bang shut. Chubby had gone.