Today my guest is Brooke Edwards. She has the yummiest sounding trifle recipe that I think will be making an appearance on my Christmas table! Yum!
Oh, and if you ever invite Brooke and her family to dinner, be prepared to get wet 🙂
Don’t forget to check out the giveaways, including the chance to win one of Brooke’s books.
Do you and your family/friends have any special holiday traditions?
Growing up, one of the biggest highlights of Christmas wherever we went was always our family’s arrival – we always brought the water pistols with us. We would wrap up a couple dozen cheap water pistols and packets of water balloons, my dad would come armed to the teeth with water pistols he spent a crazy amount of money on and it would be utter chaos from the moment we arrived to the moment we left. Last year was the first Christmas we went back to an old family friend’s place for lunch, the matriarch of the family had passed away a few months earlier so it was a considerably sadder experience than usual as well as all the kids being a lot older. We decided a throwback to happier times was necessary so we arrived as we did in years past – I think it was the best gift we could have given them, there was far more laughter than tears happening by the time we left.
Christmas carols. Yes or no?
I personally can’t deal with them – I worked for a few years in an open office in the middle of a Westfield. By the second year the opening strains of ANY of the carols that they used to play on endless loops would make me twitch. It makes me a little bit of a Grinch sometimes but hours and hours for an entire month for 4 Christmases was too much of a good thing for me!
Do you watch Christmas movies? If so, what’s your favourite all time holiday movie?
Love Actually! Every year for the last 5 or so, it’s my way to unwind and recharge at the end of the usually chaotic day. I either swing by a Hungry Jack’s for a whopper with cheese or hole up with some leftovers for dinner and watch Love Actually on my own. Hugh Grant’s performance is always a highlight but I think it will be a bit on the sad side this year, seeing Alan Rickman’s character and his struggle.
What inspired your current holiday story?
I’m working on a short story to submit for Dreamspinner’s 2017 Christmas anthology as I had too much on earlier this year to get anything done for 2016’s. I spent nearly a week in New York in September and fell in love with the city. I think I spent more time people-watching than actually taking in the sights and there were so many workers on the subway, on the streets, in the coffee shops and diners that just made me wonder about their stories. It was too far out from Christmas to have any real ideas pop up but when I came home and actually started thinking about it, it was easy to pick out a face from the memories and craft him a Grinch-y backstory, along with a Christmas-crazed love interest.
People watching is a wonderful way to find inspiration. Tell us a little about the main characters in your holiday story.
The MC moved to NYC for college and got stuck in a dead end tech job that kind of sucks his soul. Office-nemesis and the whole 9 yards. His love interest works in a different department and, on the MC’s part, it was crush at first sight. The office Christmas party brings them together and proves that they’re both idiots who have been pining over each other for years – after my only other release this year, decidedly not a HEA story, I figured I needed to churn out some real happy endings so there’s much more fluff than angst!
Share a favourite holiday recipe.
Not really Christmas-themed but I’m always in charge of bringing the potato bake and a trifle. I know everyone has their own favourites for these two dishes so instead of a recipe, here’s a couple of tips to add to your repertoire. Use Continental French Onion Soup dry packet mix as a topping on your potato bake, gives it another level of flavor and a lovely crispy top – sprinkle some through your layers of cream, bacon, mushroom and onion as well. Crushed garlic always helps too!
Blow people away by changing things up with the trifle – go blackforest and dark chocolate this year instead. Cherries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries tossed with a little sugar, lemon juice and vanilla and layer them with crumbled chocolate cake, whipped cream, chocolate mousse and a smashed Flake bar!
My mouth is watering just reading about those two dishes! Yum!
What does 2017 hold for you on the writing front? What can your readers expect to see from you?
I’m hoping to be much more prolific in 2017! I have a handful of projects I’m working on at the moment – a collaboration with the wonderful Meg Bawden that we hammered most of out during NaNoWriMo, a couple of short stories that I plan to submit to Dreamspinner for inclusion in anthologies and a couple of solo projects. One of the short stories is finished, just needs some reworking and editing before submission. The other is about half done, and the solo projects are still in the early stages. I’m registered as an attending author for Riveting Reads Australia in October 2017 so I definitely plan to have at least ONE of my solo projects complete and published by then, if not two of them, so I can have a paperback to sign!
There are many people who aren’t as fortunate as me and this time of year is always a time where I reflect on how lucky I am. It’s a time for giving back and I do so by supporting my favourite charity (Twenty10 who provide support for LGBT youth) financially and with their Christmas Hamper drive. Is there a favourite charity or not-for-profit organization you’d like to call out and raise the awareness of?
I don’t have one particular favourite charity as there are a number that my workplace has supported over the years I’ve been there and they all do great work, but the one that struck me most this year was The Smith Family charity and their work with and for disadvantaged Australian kids. There are lots of ways to get involved, through donation or organizing fundraising for them at workplaces or social groups. In the holiday spirit, this year I’m donating through their gift-giving program where you purchase gifts online and they are distributed to kids who likely won’t get gifts from their parents or families due to financial hardship. You can find more information at: https://www.thesmithfamily.com.au/get-involved/give-toys-or-books
Brooke is giving away a copy of either of her books ‘Mens Rea’ or ‘When Fate Falls Short’ (winner’s choice) in whichever ebook format the winner reads!
To enter just comment on this post and a winner will be randomly chosen after 10th December.
Click here to enter the Rafflecopter. The winners will be drawn at the end of the blog tour.
1st prize: $20 Amazon GC, 2nd Prize: $15 Amazon GC (courtesy of Meg Bawden), $10 ARe GC (courtesy of Beany Sparks), and 4th Prize is a bundle of 4 ebooks (1 back list title from Renae Kaye, Penny Brandon’s “His Heart’s Desire”, LJ Harris’ “The Haunting of Angus MacGregor”, and a backlist title from N.J. Nielsen)
About the author
Writing is the first dream I can remember having that has stood the test of time. It took fifteen years from the first time I put pencil to paper with the intent of creating an actual story for me to gather the courage to press send on a submission email with an original story attached. Those fifteen years were littered with the debris of hundreds upon hundreds of unfinished stories, original and fanfiction alike, and a handful that I liked enough to put online and mark as completed. The incredible support and kindness of so many people in so many of the fandoms I’ve dabbled in over the years is the only reason I was ever brave enough to even think about writing for publication. In those fifteen years I’d never felt anything like the simultaneous thrill and anxiety of creating and submitting ‘Mens Rea’ for inclusion in Dreamspinner Press’s 2015 Daily Dose Anthology.
Being my first submission to any publisher, I was beyond blessed to have it accepted and published in June 2015 with all of the other incredible stories that made up the anthology. It took me much longer to settle on and finish a second piece than I would have like, but in March of 2016 Dreamspinner accepted ‘When Fate Falls Short’ with a release date of August 3rd 2016 and that was an even bigger rush! It has been an absolute whirlwind and I’m still trying to find my feet but I can’t wait to see what comes next. The eight year old in me who picked up the first three Harry Potter books and was instantly hooked on the thought of telling stories for the rest of my life is much more satisfied with this side of my life than the boring job that pays the bills.