Posts tagged with: quick five

On the 9th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me …

9 delicious hockey hunks!

I could just stop there, couldn’t I? 9 delicious hockey hunks … yum! We could all enjoy them. Who needs anything more?

See you all after Christmas ūüėČ

Ahem.

Okay, as I’m getting dirty looks from Sven, who wants a proper Christmas post in the Lair, I suppose I’d better do this properly. Jeez – just because Zach and the other hockey hunks pilfered one or two (or several) of Sven’s stash of festive bubbly after their latest win …

It’s great to be released from my writing cave, so I can spend time with you all. Missed you! In honour of the occasion I thought I’d give you some festive cheer in the form of some hockey teams showing us how to celebrate Christmas, followed by a special Christmas Quick Five.

First up, the Belfast Giants and All I Want for Christmas is You …

Thanks, lads!

Next up, the Sheffield Steelers took a different approach to a favourite English Christmas tune, Merry Christmas, Everyone …

Moving over to the NHL, the defending Stanley Cup champs have released a holiday album you won’t want to miss!

Heading north of the border, we have the Ottawa Senators’ rendition of the 12 Days of Christmas …

Ottawa Senators 12 Days of Christmas

Unfortunately, the Calgary Flames didn’t fare so well …

Calgary Flames Ugly Christmas Sweaters

And finally, that Christmas classic, The Night Before Christmas, from the Dallas Stars …

Dallas Stars The Night Before Christmas

As you might imagine, not all goes smoothly filming these videos …

St Louis Blues Outtakes

(I’m sorry the last four¬†were only available on the NHL console.)

Cover2a-APerfectStorm All of which goes to show that just because these guys are hot on ice, they can’t be good at everything! ūüėČ

 

And now, over to you for a Festive Quick Five. In honour of the season, I’m giving away a New Jersey Ice Cats Christmas Ornament and a complete set of my limited edition, Ice Cats’ short stories to one lucky commenter. Don’t forget, you still have a few days to download A Perfect Storm, my FREE December Ice Cats’ short story, on my website in the For Readers section here.

  1.  Christmas sweaters Рyes or no?
  2. Are you a fancy wrapper, with bows, ribbons and all the bells and whistles or a toss it in a gift-bagger?
  3. Worst Christmas present?
  4. Favourite Christmas ornament?
  5. What would you like Santa to bring you?

 

Oh, I nearly forgot … a Christmas cookie recipe. This is for Lizzie’s Sweet Treats Shortbread Cookies. Lizzie appears in the NJ Ice Cats short story, A Perfect Party (which is still available for download on my website, in the For Readers section here).

Ingredients: (approx 12 cookies)Cover-APerfectParty

150g self-raising flour
150g salted butter
50g golden caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence (optional)
Cadbury’s Chocolate Buttons or any chocolate pieces (optional)
Cling-film or plastic wrap.

 

Preheat oven to 180¬įC/350¬įF

  1. Add flour, sugar and butter (plus vanilla) to food processor or mixer and pulse until mixture is like wet sand.
  2. Lay out a large piece of cling-film on the counter and pour the mixture onto it.
  3. Using the cling-film to help keep the mixture together, press and roll, until you have a long, solid roll of dough, wrapped in plastic.
  4. Store in refrigerator for an hour.
  5. Slice dough into ¬ľ‚ÄĚ or ¬Ĺ‚ÄĚ rounds and put onto a well-greased or sheet-lined baking tray.
  6. Cook for approx 15 mins. Note: timing depends on how thickly you cut the rounds.
  7. When cooked, use a spatula to slide onto a wire rack. Note: the cookies will be very soft when warm, so if they’re too fragile, it’s okay to let them cool on the tray for a few minutes to let them harden a little.
  8. (Optional) While cookies are cooling, add chocolate button to the centre of each cookie.

Note: If you don’t use metric measures, keep the flour, butter and sugar in the ratio of 3:3:1 (eg 6oz, 6oz, 2oz)

However you celebrate the festive season, I hope it is a happy, healthy and fun one for you and yours and that 2016 is a great year.

Farewell Quick Five Fun

Bandita-dinnerIt’s been a bittersweet month, here in the Lair, as many of us post the last of our regular blogs. On the one hand, it’s great that we’ll be busy writing more books, but on the other hand it will be sad not to pop in here and chat with you all. Today is my turn. Most of you are already friends or followers of my pages on FB and Twitter (thank you!). For those who aren’t, the details are below. You can find me there, as well as via the Romance Bandits FB page, on Pinterest and on my website. I’ll still be doing my regular features on Facebook too – Two Nations Divided, Fun Penguin Fact, Sunday Afternoon Film Recommendation and more. On special occasions, I will be back here to announce news and new launches.

Thank you all for the friendship and support you’ve shown me over the years, especially during the long years where I battled to get published. I couldn’t have made it through without you all, Banditas and BBs. I hope you’ll stay in touch!

I thought it would be fitting – and fun – to have a final Quick Five post today, as I know many of you enjoy reading them and taking part. For double the fun, it’s a fill in the blank too! And for the cherry on top, I will offer one lucky commenter their choice of a signed copy of either A Perfect Trade or A Perfect Catch. I may also give away a spot prize or two!

So, here we go:

At the latest of the Lair’s famous parties, [insert your name] really set the place alight, when she wafted in on a cloud of [Question 1a], wearing her slinky [Question 1b] dress, with the low neckline and the big split up the thigh, decorated with lots of sequinned [Question 1c] and her amazing 4 inch heels by famous designer [Question 2] . Of course, it didn’t hurt that she had [Question 3] in his finest [Question 4] on her arm. Unfortunately, the pesky rooster turned up in costume, dressed as a [Question 5] and scared everyone half to death, until the hockey hunks [describe the punishment for the bird!].

1. a. Your favourite perfume; b. Colour of the top you’re wearing; c. Favourite animal

2. Names of three of your pets.

3. Your hunky escort?

4. How is he dressed? Suit, cowboy gear, sheikh’s outfit, historical costume, sports uniform, military uniform etc.

5. Animal you’re most afraid of.

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Quick Five with Susan

Hello, dearest bandita buddies!

RB GreysPost 1So I’ve just now–like ten minutes ago–finished binged watching all 10 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy. ¬†I didn’t intend to do this. ¬†I didn’t intend to sit down & watch an unconscionable amount of television all by myself. ¬†(Mr. Sey isn’t a fan, & the girls are far too young for the soapy goodness that is Grey’s.) ¬†But Mr. Sey was traveling a fair bit back in the fall & I found myself up late a few evenings with a pile of laundry that needed folding. ¬†I figured I’d treat myself to some trashy TV.

But I didn’t want to watch a show Mr. Sey would want to watch with me–like The Walking Dead or Breaking Bad or House of Cards, all of which we adore. ¬†No, I had the golden opportunity to watch something purely because I wanted to watch it, without haggling or bargaining with anybody. ¬†Now this¬†is a rare beast once you’ve been married a while. ¬†Even rarer once kids come along.

RB GreysPost 2Long story short? ¬†I discovered Grey’s Anatomy about a decade after everybody else, & got myself caught right up. ¬†And it only cost me about a three hundred hours I’ll never get back.

I don’t regret a single one.

But it did get me thinking. ¬†I’ll bet there are¬†other great shows¬†that I haven’t seen. ¬†Tons of them. ¬†And I¬†never know when Mr. Sey’s travel schedule is going to heat up again. ¬†I might find myself with a basket of laundry at ten pm & nothing to watch. ¬†And that would be a shame. ¬†So I made a list–five shows I’m totally going to start next time Mr. Sey is out of town:

RB GreysPost 31)  Downton Abbey

I started this show back when everybody else did & it fell off my radar. ¬†But the instant I have a pile of laundry that needs folding & the house to myself, I’m checking back in. ¬†Because the clothes! ¬†And Professor McGonagal. ¬†Enough said.

2)  Orange Is The New Black

I’ve heard this show is incredible & it just keeps winning awards. ¬†I’m a little hesitant about the prison setting–depressing!–but am willing to at least give it a try.

GALERIE3)  Modern Family

I have multiple friends who continue to recommend this show, & once again it’s an awards show darling. ¬†I might even have the first season sitting on top of my TV, lent to me by a friend who’s a little evangelical about Modern Family. ¬†It’s on the list, if only because I’m starting to feel guilty about having those DVDs so long.

4)  Brooklyn 99

Because Andy Samberg.  That is all.

RB GreysPost 55)  The Good Wife

Because Juliana Marguiles. ¬†And because I live in hope that George Clooney will find some way to make a guest appearance & we’ll have Dr. Ross and Nurse Carol reunited again! ¬†Also because it’s won so many awards it’s practically TV royalty at this point. ¬†And it had that guy from Sports Night on it, & I love him.

How about you? ¬†What shows are on your missed list? ¬†Anything you’re loving now? ¬†I’m making a list…

On the Road Again…

Old Suitcases by nuttakiWhen you have no family in town, you spend a lot of your precious vacation time in the car. ¬†There’s even a name for this sort of travel–it’s call the “oblivacation,” a mash-up of obligation¬†and vacation. ¬†As I type this, we’re pulling ourselves together from a lovely week spent in Omaha with the Sey side of the family. ¬†I’m doing all the last minute things we do to get ready for the six-hour road trip home–searching out the Christmas presents (which the kids have flung far & wide), gathering up our pie dishes & cookie tins, & seeking out the missing shoes & laundry.

Old clothes in red hamper by keeratiAll these check lists have put me in a Quick Five frame of mind, honestly. ¬†So without further ado, here’s my Quick Five Tasks to do before¬†Heading Home:

1) Do the laundry. ¬†I like to go home with my suitcases full of clean clothes. ¬†It’s such a luxury to unpack straight into the drawers instead of having to face mountains of laundry upon returning home. ¬†And family are probably the only people you can visit who don’t look sideways at you if you ask to do a quick load or two of laundry before heading home.

2) ¬†Find your dishes. ¬†I ¬†never travel home–to Mr. Sey’s home or mine–empty handed. ¬†I come bearing food, & in this case it was pies. ¬†My sainted mother in law put on Christmas dinner, but I handled dessert. ¬†We complement each other nicely, the original Mrs. Sey & I. ¬†But this meant I had to transport my favorite pie dishes & rolling pins, plus all my tattered & stained recipes to Omaha for the holidays. ¬†Which means I have to gather them up again. ¬†Wish me luck!

Fresh Homemade apple pie by KEKO643) ¬†Do the returns. ¬†I believe in Christmas miracles, but there is no power on heaven or earth that can produce a return-free holidays. ¬†So I try to bring all the receipts & deal with all the returns & exchanges before leaving the scene of the crime. ¬†It’s so much easier to handle this stuff in person than trying to return a sweater long-distance.

4) ¬†Locate all our cords & chargers. ¬†It’s the age of technology & between Mr. Sey, the kids & me, we probably have a dozen Things That Charge. ¬†Then there was all the battery operated stuff we received for Christmas. ¬†If you want to avoid a howling weeping fit 200 miles down the road, it’s best to make sure you have that little robot’s charger before you pull out of the driveway. ¬†Again, you might want to wish me luck.

SocialMediabyNikom5)  Go to the movies.  Because you totally deserve a little brain break after dealing with all the hassles of putting the show back on the road.  So you should definitely zip up your suitcases, pack the car, then head to the movies for your last night in town.  Nobody should cook, either.  Just go out & enjoy.

How about you?  What are you top five must-do tasks before heading home after a holiday out of town?

All images courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net.

Festive Fun – English Style – Quick Five!

IMG_1839Yes, it’s ‘the most wonderful time of the year’! Only two more sleeps! (Assuming you can sleep on Christmas Eve!)

I know it’s fashionable to be all ‘bah humbug’ about Christmas (or Hannukah/Festivus/Kwanzaa etc), but I really do¬†love this holiday season. From the twinkling lights, the decorated tree and house, the festive food, the cheesy, schmaltzy films to the presents, celebrations and traditions. Speaking of traditions, I thought it would be fun to share with you some our English Christmas traditions.

Because we don’t have Thanksgiving over here in England, the period between Christmas and New Year is extra-special for us. It’s a time when most people try to have a few days off, so they can do the rounds of the family and also chill out!

Also related to not having Thanksgiving, we don’t decorate until the 1st of December at the earliest. And we’re very strict about decorations having to be down by midnight on twelfth night (Jan 5th) – it’s believed to be unlucky. Unfortunately, as we’re away at a new year wedding, we’ll have to take them down on the 6th this year. Hopefully, if it’s still the 5th somewhere in the world, we’ll be okay!

DSC_2272We’re very traditional about our food too. Yes, some people do actually make a point of having goose or try to be different with turducken or beef, but most of us stick with turkey. It’s always served with sage and onion stuffing, bread sauce, brussel sprouts, roasted parsnips and roasted potatoes. Often, there will be added accompaniments like pigs in blankets (little sausages wrapped in bacon) or a chestnut dish and even Yorkshire Pudding. In recent years cranberry sauce has made an appearance on many tables. Most families also have their own traditional extra dish. In our family, it’s cream cheese stuffed mushrooms.

Another one of our traditions is Christmas crackers. We all pull crackers, wear the silly paper hats, share the terrible little jokes ¬†and laugh at the usually useless prize¬†inside. (That’s me pulling a cracker with Doc Cambridge’s dad!)

DSC_0077 - CopyAfter lunch, or as dessert if you have room, there is the flaming Christmas pudding (often with a sixpence or silver treat inside – the person who finds it is very lucky!), Christmas cake and/or mince pies with brandy butter or cream. I’m not one for Christmas pudding, but I love Christmas cake and mince pies. My favourite dessrt, though, is trifle!

In the past, everyone listened to or watched the annual Queen’s Speech. Even those Brits around the world and people in Commonwealth countries would tune in to the BBC World Service, to hear what she had to say. These days, with social media, the internet and everyone needing to have a scoop, the text is available in advance. Also in the past, because we had very few channels, and no videos or DVDs, there would be a battle between the two major stations (BBC and ITV) for the big Christmas blockbuster movie premiere – which¬†was usually at least a year old! These days, everything gets to TV so quickly and there are so many other options available, that the Christmas line-up, while still featuring a movie premier, concentrates more on Christmas specials of favourite shows like Call the Midwife and Downton Abbey, and the evening soaps.

A Perfect CatchMany families also avoid the TV and play board or card games! I find it’s the perfect time to sit down and read a book, uninterrupted except for someone handing you a mince pie or a drink!

And then there is Boxing Day – but those of you who have been with us in the Lair, know all about that! One of my old Boxing Day posts – which includes my famous Boxing Day Soup is here.

So, without further ado, it’s time for you to share your holiday traditions in the special festive edition of Quick Five! As part of the annual 12 Bandita Days of Christmas, not one, but two lucky commenters will win a signed copy of A Perfect Catch – and receive it before it’s released on Feb 1! If you’ve also signed up for my newsletter, you can receive a bonus exclusive Anna Sugden keyring (let me know in your comment).

1. Let’s talk lights – coloured or white, twinkling or static, just on the tree or elsewhere too?

2. Christmas lunch – what do you have and what’s your family’s traditional extra?

3. Christmas dessert or sweet treats – what’s your favourite?

4. Traditional Christmas activity – watch TV, play games or something else?

5. Do you open presents on Christmas Eve, in the morning or in the afternoon? Are you a rip into them all at once, or savour each one carefully? Does everyone open all at once or do you take turns?

Holidays and Reading – Quick Five!

It’s a busy time of year. For the US Banditas and BBs, you have Thanksgiving next week. For the rest of us, who don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, we edge ever closer to the big Christmas holiday!

I don’t about where you are, but the Christmas ads started appearing in late September and Christmas in the shops was around that time too! Now, I love Christmas, but really? It gets earlier and earlier every year and the sales even start before Christmas now! I went into one well-known shop and they were already playing Christmas music in September! I said to the check-out girl that she’d be sick of it by the time Christmas rolled around and she said she was already channeling Scrooge and ‘Bah, humbug’!

We’re traditionalists in the Sugden household and wait until December 1st to start decorating – though now that Doc Cambridge is retired, we do tend to get the decs up as soon after the 1st as possible. Also, we’re very strict about taking them down again before Twelfth Night — it’s considered bad luck to have them up after that — so I like to be able to enjoy the lights and baubles and Christmas spirit.

As for getting the presents, my friends and family fall into two camps – the ‘organised and have it all finished¬†before the decorations even go up’ crew and ‘where can I buy that on Christmas Eve’ gang! As everyone has got older, it has become harder to find presents, so we’re definitely ‘buy it when you find it’ shoppers. We also try to be organised, because we have so many parcels that have to be posted overseas and the last posting dates are getting earlier and earlier! For our friends Down Under, it’s December 3rd! *gulp*

Tiny TreatsOne thing it’s never too early for is holiday reading! I can buy holiday reads all year round! This year, with writing A Perfect Party for Tiny Treats: A Holiday Collection, I went on a holiday read spending spree. I can see I’m going to have lots of nice reads for the next couple of months! Of course, I’m always on the look out for recommendations, so feel free to tell me about great holiday reads.

That said, the holidays are also a time when I get long periods where I can just sit and read – such a luxury! So I often save up books by my favourite authors to read then. Especially the ones I still by in hardback! They’re very rarely holiday themed, but I enjoy curling up in front of the fire and getting lost in their worlds. (Though since some of them are romantic suspense – not too lost!)

So, over to you

1. What kind of Christmas shopper are you? Are you a ‘buy it when you see it’ or a ‘last minute panicker’ or a ‘start on Black Friday and get it all done by Dec 1st’ or something else?

2. When do you put your decorations up? ASAP, after Thanksgiving, Dec 1st, as late as possible, Christmas Eve?

3. When you do start reading holiday stories? As soon as possible, any time, after Thanksgiving, after Dec 1st, just over the Christmas to New Year period?

4. Favourite all-time holiday read?

5. What are you looking forward to reading this holiday season? Any recommendations?

And don’t forget to download your copy of Tiny Treats – it’s FREE! Just click on the cover and it will take you through to Amazon.

 

More Story Fun – Quick Five

Good morning all! Welcome to another bright, sunny day – at least it is here in Cambridge! Hope it’s a lovely day where you are. Since you all enjoyed the Story Fun Quick Five last time, I thought I’d create another one for you all to have a go at. For those of you who haven’t done this before, it’s simple. You just answer the questions and use them to fill in the story blanks!

Are you sitting comfortably? Then, we’ll begin …

nature flowers forests sunlight artwork clearing_wallpaperswa.com_50Question 1 and Question 1a were skipping through the forest, one fine day, when they came across a secret clearing. It was beautiful; a patch of soft grass, ideal for a picnic, surrounded by Question 2. So the two best friends decided to stop and eat their lunch of Question 3. Suddenly, there was a loud bang and one of the trees turned into an enormous Question 4. Even though the friends were terrified, they remembered that deep in their picnic basket they had a magic Question 5. Quick as a flash, Question 1a grabbed the magic Question 5 and tossed it to Question 1, who used it to turn the enormous Question 4 into a normal-sized Question 4a. They share their lunch with the Question 4a –¬†who loved Question 3 sandwiches – then played games together all afternoon. Soon, it was time to head home for tea.¬†Question 1 and Question 1a¬†said goodbye to their new friend and left the secret clearing. Would they ever find it and the Question 4a again? They hoped so!

Over to you!

Question 1 – Your name and (1a) your best friend’s name

Question 2 – Your favourite flower

Question 3 – Your favourite sandwich, favourite dessert and favourite drink.

Question 4 – Creature you’re most scared of or dislike and (4a) your favourite creature

Question 5 – Object to your right

Here’s mine!

Anna¬†and Caroline¬†were skipping through the forest, one fine day, when they came across a secret clearing. It was beautiful; a patch of soft grass, ideal for a picnic, surrounded by gerbera daisies. So the two best friends decided to stop and eat their lunch of egg & tomato sandwiches, trifle and lemonade. Suddenly, there was a loud bang and one of the trees turned into an enormous spider!¬†Even though the friends were terrified, they remembered that deep in their picnic basket they had a magic stapler. Quick as a flash, Caroline¬†grabbed the magic stapler¬†and tossed it to Anna, who used it to turn the enormous spider¬†into a normal-sized penguin. They share their lunch with the¬†penguin¬†–¬†who loved egg & tomato¬†sandwiches – then played games together all afternoon. Soon, it was time to head home for tea.¬†Anna¬†and Caroline¬†said goodbye to their new friend and left the secret clearing. Would they ever find it and the penguin¬†again? They hoped so!

Teddy Bear’s Picnic Quick Five Fun

If you go down to the woods today …

I thought we might all be up for a little Monday fun, here in the Lair. With the nights drawing in and the weather turning decidedly chilly (at least for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere!), what better time to take a day for a teddy bear’s picnic?

I don’t know about you, but every time I hear this song, it makes me smile and want to grab my teddy bear to head off into the woods for a lovely picnic. I hunted around for the version I remember as a child and this was the closest I could get to it. I love the old-fashioned BBC voice that Val Rosing has – of course, he would have given when he recorded it. Did you know that this recording was considered to be of such good quality, with such a large tonal range, that BBC sound engineers used it to test and calibrate the frequency response of audio equipment? Amazing what you can find out when you research things!

bear 1So, gather your teddy or other cuddly and put in your request to Sven for your picnic goodies and let’s head into the woods behind the Lair for our very own teddy bear’s picnic. Sadly, my childhood teddy was lost in our move to the States – I’m sure he’s in one of the boxes, but I haven’t found him yet. ūüôĀ So I’ll have to bring my very special Jake bear. You remember him – the gorgeous bear I got from my writing buddies to commemorate my first sale! I think he’ll fit in nicely with everyone.

1. Did you have a teddy bear or other cuddly toy, when you were little? If so, tell us his or her name and what he/she looked like and if you still have him/her.

2. What kind of sandwiches would you like Sven to put in the picnic hamper?

3. What drink would you like Paolo to put in the drinks box?

4. You’ll need to bring a blanket/quilt/rug to sit on. What does yours look like?

5. Which nursery rhyme or childhood song would you like us to sing/recite at the picnic?

Secret Ingredients, Signature Dishes and Special Treats Quick Five!

Spaghe-Bolog_793727cSince everyone had fun doing the Reading Fun Quick Five, I thought I’d do another Quick Five today. This time, focusing on food!

There are hundreds, maybe even thousands of¬†dishes using ground beef, or mince meat as we call it over here. (Yes, that’s been one of my Friday Facebook posts on Two Nations Divided!), but every country has their stock recipes which are filling and easy to cook. Dishes we learn from our parents, as students or from the first cook book. We all have our own variations on these dishes – that secret ingredient that makes our dish tastier than everyone else‚Äôs. In the UK, one such dish is spaghetti bolognese (ground meat and tomato sauce) or ‘spag bol’.

APD coverAs it happens, spaghetti bolognese is one of my signature dishes! The recipe is my own, that I’ve developed over the years from a basic recipe my mum taught me, and always gets rave reviews at the dinner table. In the Lair, I’m going to share my secret ingredients – I have three!

1. Allspice – I learned about this while backpacking in Greece. A pinch or two of ground Allspice brings out the flavour of the meat and sauce perfectly.

2. Turmeric – often used in Middle Eastern and South Asian cooking, turmeric rounds out the flavour of the sauce, whether it’s a curry or a stew. It’s perfect for spag bol – trust me!

A Perfect Trade final3. The final secret ingredient, I picked up from fabulous Italian chef Antonio Carluccio. I loved his series on Italian cooking. He makes everything sound easy to cook and his recipes are delicious. In this caase, he was talking about how spaghetti bolognese isn’t an Italian dish from Bologna at all, but an English invention. The closest dish he could find bears little resemblance to spag bol and uses … milk! Yes, milk! Figuring Carluccio hasn‚Äôt led me astray before, I tried his suggestion and added milk to my spaghetti bolognese recipe. And it worked. It made the whole dish richer and tastier. Who’d have thought?

In A Perfect Distraction, Maggie doesn’t like cooking, but her signature dish is Bendy Eggs. In A Perfect Trade, Jenny’s signature dessert is a version of Eton Mess using chocolate-covered strawberries. You can find recipes for both these dishes on my website¬†in the For Readers section.

So tell me:
1.Is there a ground beef/mince meat dish that’s your family’s special dish?

2. Do you have a signature dish that everyone raves about and asks you to make?

3. Will you share one of your secret ingredients?

4. Do you have a favourite ‘go to’ dish you can whip up quickly, if necessary, for unexpected visitors or to take to a party? [mine is cupcakes – made from the Magnolia Bakery recipe]

5. What’s your favourite snack treat or comfort food? [mine is either chips and sour cream dip or hot, buttered popcorn]

Saturday Quick Five – Book Fun!

Last gameHappy Saturday! There is much happiness in the Sugden household today as the English football (soccer) season kicks off for our Premier league. Doc Cambridge and I will be at Old Trafford to welcome our new manager and cheer on Manchester United, so I’ll answer comments when I get back. In the meantime, here’s a pic of the two of us at the last game of last season.

Several of our BBs reminded me that I hadn’t done any Book Fun Quick Fives lately, so I thought today would be a good day to get you all playing Book Fun. It’s very simple – as with all Quick Fives, just answer the questions to play along.

1. What are you reading at the moment?

2. What have you just finished reading and what’s up next on your TBR pile/bookshelf/mountain?

3. What’s the opening line of your current book?

4. What are the names of the main characters?

5. What’s the sentence on page 15, line 15? If there isn’t a line 15, use the closest line number to it. If you’re reading an ebook and there aren’t page numbers – choose the page at 15%

Bonus question: What’s on the cover?

To get the ball rolling, here are my answers to the questions:

TheSeventhVictim_2801. Mary Burton’s The Seventh Victim – the first in her Texas Rangers series.

2. So many to choose from! I got a stack of books for my birthday, including CS Harris, Lisa Gardner and the latest JD Robb, so possibly those. Although I did bring back some fab books from RWA in San Antonio. Decisions, decisions!

3. The man crouched by the unconscious woman lying on the dewy grass by the highway and tilted her pale, still face toward the moon.

4.Texas Ranger James Beck and Lara Church, the victim who survived.

5. He lifted his hat and smoothed his palm over his damp brow before replacing it. “Sh*t. I should have just kept driving.”

Bonus: Well, you can see the cover for yourself!

Over to you – tell us about your books.

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