This week’s guest is Alice Renaud with he top tips on surviving lockdown. Enjoy the read while I go stock up! Hello Alice!
Must Have List for surviving a lockdown/quarantine/house arrest…
Like many of us I have recently spent several months in lockdown, unable to leave the house except for a short walk once a day. Given we might have to go back into lockdown at any point, I decided to compile a list. My must-have list for surviving the lockdown! Or any period of enforced time at home…
What can I say? I’m British. The world just seems that little bit more bearable once I have a glass in my hand. I like bubbles the best. Cava, Spanish sparkling wine, is my favorite – cheaper than champagne, less sweet than prosecco. But don’t worry, I only drink a few glasses on Friday and Saturday night (I work full time and am too old for hangovers.) The rest of the time it’s…
In a crisis, we put the kettle on. Fact. But it has to be strong. Yorkshire Gold is my preferred option. One second in the mug turns the water a dark mahogany. Then add a splash of cold milk. The bigger the mug, the better!
Or take-outs as I believe you call them Stateside. Deprived of restaurants, pubs, bars, visits to friends or family, takeaways became our once a week treat… then twice a week… three times… I now know exactly where to get the best pizza, burgers, Chinese, Indian, fish and chips, within a ten mile radius. Waistline? What waistline? On Zoom, they can only see your top half, right?
One good thing about the lockdown: more time for reading. I devoured the Realm of the Elderlings series by Robin Hobb, all 16 volumes. Also the tender romance “Burning Bridges” by Anne Krist, and to spice things up, “Rigged,” by Annabel Allan and “Lessons on Seduction” by Estelle Pettersen.
- Fridge cake
It doesn’t require any actual baking, it can be made with leftovers, it’s a favorite of Prince William and Kate and their children… what more could you want? Oh, also it tastes delicious.
Ingredients: 250g/8oz digestive biscuits, 150g/5oz milk chocolate, 150g/5oz dark chocolate, 100g/3½oz unsalted butter, 150g/5oz golden syrup, 100g/3½oz dried apricots, chopped, 75g/2½oz raisins, 60g/2oz pecans, chopped (optional)
Use cling film to line a 20cm (8in) shallow, square-shaped tin. Leave extra cling film hanging over the sides.
Bash the biscuits into pieces using a rolling pin. (Put them in a plastic bag first so they don’t go everywhere!)
Melt chocolate, butter and golden syrup in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally.
Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the broken biscuits, apricots, raisins and pecans (optional).
Spoon the mixture into the tin. Level the surface by pressing it down with a potato masher.
Leave to cool, then put the chocolate mixture in the fridge for 1-2 hours to set.
Turn out the cake and peel off the cling film. Cut the cake into 12 squares and enjoy!
Recipe from https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/
Title: The Holiday Mermaid, a short story in the BVS anthology “Desire Me Again”
Series if applicable: The Holiday Mermaid is part of the Sea of Love series
Author: Alice Renaud
Publisher: Black Velvet Seductions
Cover artist: Jessica Greeley
Genre/heat rating R – some stories are R+
The hopeless romantic believes that a soulmate exists for each of us. That there is one person who makes us feel how good it is to love them. For some couples, things trigger them to push that love away. They find out too late they’ve lost true-love. Sometimes genuine love deserves a second-chance at the happy ending that eluded them the first time.
Desire Me Again is an eclectic assortment of short stories exploring a second-chance at love. The collection is as diverse as the authors who wrote them. Here’s a chance to read the work of talented writers you may not have read before. Within these pages, there are blends of tender, often moving and thought-provoking stories.
Blurb for The Holiday Mermaid
The Holiday Mermaid, a seasonal fantasy romance by Alice Renaud: Adam fell for surfer girl Rowena the second he saw her. But just as their summer fling was becoming serious, she left him without any explanation. Now, with Christmas just a few days away, she’s back… and Adam discovers that she’s a shape-shifting mermaid, from a Clan that hates humans. Can he love her as she is? Can she brave her family to be with Adam for good, not just for Christmas?
The salty wind hit Adam in the face as soon as he stepped outside. The rain had paused its relentless hammering, but the iron-grey sky lay low on the deserted beach.
Not quite deserted. A woman was sitting on her own by the sea. Adam strained to see through the mist and spray. She wore a dark wetsuit, and her long black hair streamed in the wind like a banner. A surfer? But who was mad enough to surf at this time of year?
She wasn’t moving. A tendril of concern snaked into his mind. What if she were injured? She’d get hypothermia if she remained sitting there. He’d better go check on her.
He walked out of his garden and down the stone steps that led to the beach. “Hi there! Are you OK?” he called.
She turned her head. It was Rowena.
Shock hit Adam like a ten foot wave. He stopped, winded. For months he’d prayed that she’d come back. Now that she had, he didn’t know what to think or feel. He stumbled towards her as if he were in a dream, or a nightmare. Why was she here? Had she been on her way to see him, and lost her nerve? Hope and fear played tug-of-war in his chest. Had she only returned to say goodbye?
Rowena turned away and hung her head down, as if ashamed to look at him. Perhaps she had come back to apologise for her behaviour. His sternum ached with the effort of containing his emotions. He forced himself to sound calm and polite. “Hi, Rowena.”
She didn’t answer, only hunched her shoulders even more, as if trying to hide. Was she afraid of him? No matter what she’d done, he’d never hurt her. He gulped some air and came closer. Damn it, he was an adult. He should be able to have a civilised conversation with an ex-girlfriend.
Her neck was so white and slender under the tangled black hair. Adam’s palms itched, as if they yearned for the feel of her satiny skin. The wetsuit clung to her every curve. His gaze glided down her back, to her bottom… the bottom he’d loved to squeeze, nip and kiss…
But a black appendage now lay over the cleft of her buttocks. A foot-long, flexible appendage… What a strange thing to have on a wetsuit.
Adam gasped as the realization dawned. Astonishment wiped out all other emotions. “Is that a… tail?” She couldn’t have grown a tail. This was demented.
Rowena made a strangled sound, like a sob. She was hugging herself, and now Adam saw what he should have seen earlier. He’d been distracted by his feelings, and he hadn’t believed what his eyes were telling him. What he’d thought was a wetsuit was her own skin, thick, glossy and black, like a porpoise. From the neck up she was human, but below she was… He walked around her and stared, numb with shock, at her long black legs that ended in webbed feet. Her hands, clutching her smooth black sides, were webbed too.
Rowena glanced up at him, her eyes full of anguish. “Yes. I am a mermaid.”
Alice lives in London, UK, with her husband and son. By day she’s a compliance manager for a pharmaceutical company. By night she writes fantasy romance about shape shifting mermen, water monsters and time-travelling witches. Her first book, “A Merman’s Choice,” was published in January 2019 by Black Velvet Seductions. It is the first book in a fantasy romance trilogy inspired by the landscapes and legends of Brittany and Wales. The second book, “Music for a Merman,” is out now and the third, “Mermaids Marry in Green” is on pre order now and will be released on 1 November 2020. Alice has also written short stories: “The Sweetest Magic of All,” included in the BVS “Mystic Desire” anthology, out now, and “The Holiday Mermaid” in the BVS “second chance at love” anthology “Desire Me Again”, out 1 October 2020. Alice loves reading and writing stories, and sharing them with anyone who’s interested!
You can Stalk/Find (author)
Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Alice-Renaud/e/B07L52P17B
The Sea of Love series
A Merman’s Choice $1.99 https://books2read.com/u/31xw7a
Music for a Merman $1.99 https://books2read.com/u/mdG7Bw
Mermaids Marry in Green PRE ORDER SALE only $0.99 until 4 October https://books2read.com/u/3LglAN