A low calorie look at life, writing and cake.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Hi I don't live here anymore - I have a new, glamorous website, so if you'd like to click the link http://www.suewatsonbooks.com/ you can read my blog and get all the latest on my books!
My new one 'Love, Lies and Lemon Cake' is out in June 2014!

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Today my good friend Lynda Renham is holding a Chocoholic Fun Day to celebrate her fabulous and funny new book ‘Confessions of a Chocoholic.’ and perhaps you've popped onto my blog to enter the competition to win a copy of my book Younger, Thinner, Blonder? The competition question is at the bottom of this post...

Having been lashed to my computer since before Christmas writing my next book I can certainly relate to the ‘chocoholic' bit of today's event!

With a tight deadline for this summer, and a plan to lose two stone, I welcomed 2014 by slaving over my third book, ‘Love, Lies and Lemon Cake,’ while gnawing my way through celery. But by January 2nd I discovered an abandoned box of festive chocolates under the coffee table. 

Now I have to confess to a certain chocolate snobbery and there are  certain centres that don’t quite step up to the plate for me. Orange creams have always been the last to leave my chocolate box and can be left to linger for days while I enjoy the more delicious chocolate covered cherry liqueurs and thickly smothered nuts. But I have to tell you, leftover orange creams take on a different meaning in the cold light of January away from their more exotic chocolate sisters. My January joy at discovering those rejected orange filled chocolate baubles was equal to a Hotel Chocolat praline in December. Chocolate is relative - and in my post-Christmas pre-Diet-book-writing binge those orange bad boys were goooood.

It’s now my third week on the diet, my ninth on the book and all orange chocolates have been hoovered up by moi. Despite eating only low fat cereal bars sprinkled with a nasty chocolate substitute – I have lost only 3 pounds, which is hardly surprising as I’ve done no exercise. I haven’t even walked to Costa Coffee or flexed my fork arm for lunch with the girls, as I banned all contact with the outside world to finish ‘Love, Lies and Lemon Cake,’ in time for it's release -for my lovely readers to enjoy on beaches and summer balconies around the world.
So when Lynda Renham asked if I’d like to write something on my blog and offer a signed book for her ‘Chocoholic Fun Day,’ I was delighted. Having been in self-imposed solitary confinement, I was also a little scared at the thought of human contact – albeit online. As always though, the thought of chocolate pulled me through... and guess what? I checked under the coffee table this morning and found the remnants of a tub of Christmas Quality Street! Having eaten cereal bars for the past three weeks I felt like I’d won the chocolate lottery. It isn’t Hotel Chocolat, but as I said, chocolate is relative...


If you’d like to win a signed copy of my latest book ‘Younger, Thinner, Blonder please answer the question below – the answer’s in this post.
Having put on more than a stone writing ‘Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes’ I truly believed writing a book called, ‘Younger, Thinner, Blonder’ would mean I would actually achieve a younger, thinner blonder look. However, ‘thinner’ never happened and ‘younger’ never would, so I’ve bleached my hair and I’m back with ‘cake’.
So what is the title of the book I am currently writing, due out this summer?
Answers please to chocolate@renham.co.uk






Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Lynda Renham, Live and Unplugged!

Recently, I agreed to meet an online friend. In the flesh. In their home.
Now this online friend may be Lynda Renham, a fellow author with many books and sales under her belt – but what’s to stop her also being an axe-wielding-serial-killing-best-selling-author? She might well be the literary ‘Queen of Comedy’ and has delighted us all with her best-selling books, ‘Croissants and Jam,’ ‘Coconuts and Wonderbras,’ ‘Pink Wellies and Flat Caps’ and the thoughtfully (and sensitively) retitled ‘The Dog’s Bollocks,’ but what does she do when she’s not writing best-selling novels? Does she lock people in her attic? Eat human livers with a fine chianti and fava beans a la Hannibal Lecter? Or is she simply as lovely and funny in the flesh as she is on social network?

Chaperoned by my husband and 14-year-old daughter, we set out to discover answers to our questions at Lynda Renham’s pile in darkest Oxfordshire. Along the winding roads my husband kept asking me how well I knew these people who’d kindly invited us to lunch as my daughter warned me (in a voice not unlike my own) of how we shouldn't mess with  ‘online Stranger Danger Mum!’
Arriving in Oxfordshire, imagine our concern to find the house didn’t exist, no-one was around except a man waving frantically at cars in the middle of the road. Is this a local Oxfordshire custom we wondered, putting up the car windows and locking all doors.

A text and some directions later we were finally ushered into Lynda and her husband Andrew's home. And after a lovely warm welcome, Lynda and I talked and didn’t stop. For hours. It’s amazing how similar we are and how we can laugh... and talk ... and laugh and it all started online with a few clicks of the mouse. It was a wonderful afternoon, the first, I hope of many, with fine food, lovely wine, and delicious company... and not a fava bean or fine Chianti in sight!

Here’s Lynda’s version of events.....

A Sunday, not many moons ago I arranged to meet another author. Of course, we knew what the other looked like but you know how we all put on those old photos on Facebook. Yes, exactly. She might turn out to be ninety for all I knew. Not that there is anything wrong with someone being ninety of course, but you know what I mean?
So, there was Andrew and I waiting, panicking about the food. We'd checked lasagne would be okay but things have a tendency to go wrong don't they? We usually do have lumpy sauce. But this time everything was going well. The house looked tidy, the food was cooking nicely. If only I could stop looking out of the window and relax.

Our house is not easy to find. There are no street signs. So, when I received a text telling me they were near both Andrew, I and Bendy (our cat) had our eyes fixed on the window. Then a car went by slowly and I saw the woman passenger looking closely at the house names.

'That must be them,' I said to Andrew.

He hurried out to direct them to our cottage and I felt the first stirrings of nerves. What if she dislikes me? What if my house is too small? I watched as the car turned around by the local pub and Andrew throwing himself in front of it. Good God, has he gone mad? He waved them down, chatted through the window and then walked back as they drove off. Oh no.

'What happened?' I asked worriedly.
'They didn't like me so have decided to go home.'

'What!' I said. I thought she seemed nice.
He laughed.

We strolled back to the cottage and waited for another text. Then we get one and they are at the pub. The right one this time, not pub I don't mean but the right person. All pubs are the right ones aren't they? And then they were here, hugging me at my front door. Sue Watson and her husband Nick and their lovely daughter and what a fab day we had. It was like meeting myself.
I think we chatted so much that we almost didn't get to dinner.

You can win one of Sue's books 'Younger, Thinner, Blonder' over on my Chocolate fun day here. http://www.facebook.com/events/275421782582579/?fref=ts We are celebrating my collection of thoughts and chocolate musings 'Confessions of a Chocoholic' and I am thrilled Sue is on board.

We are going to have lots of fun on the day. So join me and my lovely author friend Sue on the 8th Feb. Join now! Chocolate galore for everyone.

Plus you can a copy of The Dog's Bollocks' Who wants to miss that?

Thank you Lynda! Looking forward to our next get-together very soon!

And the fabulous photos of Lynda's book, 'The Dog's Bollocks,' featured in this article are available from the talented team at Pics R Us https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pics-R-Us/275163365968926

Lynda's book cover is illustrated by Gracie Klumpp at http://gracieklumpp.com/






Friday, 29 November 2013

Profundities and Parasites

I've been so busy with the new book (and writing the next one!) that I haven't blogged for a little while so while I'm writing and procrastinating I thought I'd post this. If you're bored and need to pass the time why not listen to me waffling on? It's all rather high brow and intellectual - I address deep and meaningful issues like cellulite, I'm a Celebrity, parasites and dieting. These are just a few of my favourite things... who needs raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens?
Just click on the link My Chat with Tammy and drag the cursor along to 20:20 where you can hear my profound thoughts in a chat with the divine BBC Radio's TammyGooding, until the BBC wipe it!

                                           Tammy Gooding on BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Stella from Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes visits Chloe from Lying to Meet you in NYC!


Chloe and Stella Take Manhattan

Chloe from 'Lying to Meet You tells us what happened when she met up with Stella, from 'Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes' in NYC... and if you want to know what happened to Chloe when she visited here, pop over to Baking Hot in Birmingham
Oh my god, I had such a fabulous time with Stella!
We met up at Rockefeller Center. I was running late (no surprise there) so I had to skip breakfast, but lucky for me, she handed me a box of four super scrumptious cupcakes—or fairy cakes, as she calls them. Each was decorated with a fondant handbag. Stella said she designed them especially for me, you know, since I work in fashion. Aww. I gave her a big hug and then hustled her into the building. While she was dealing with the security thing, I wolfed down two of the cupcakes (so good. So, so good) and as soon as she was given the necessary clearance, we took the elevator up to the ABC studios.

I introduced Stella to everyone on the set of The American Dream, and she had a great time talking shop with the crew. William Shannon showed up, and let me put it this way: Stella and I clearly have the same taste in men! She went all quiet and coquettish when I introduced the two of them. William Shannon had the same effect on me that he always does, but thankfully, Mathieu (my stylist and the only one in the world who knows Ethan and I aren’t really a couple) was there to keep me in line. I guess I was grinning at William Shannon like love-struck fool when Mathieu jerked me away from him under the guise of a little last minute hairstyle tweaking.

After the taping, I took Stella downtown and showed her my boutique. She tried on a few things while I ate another cupcake, and was all set to purchase the pink silk wrap top from my new collection, but naturally, I told her to put that money away. I wanted her to have it as a gift, she refused and neither of us was willing to back down, so she murmured something about buying it from one of the shops in London that carry my line. Little does she know I slipped the top into the side pocket of her tote bag. I wish I could see the look on her face when she discovers it!

We had dinner that night at an upscale Mexican restaurant in SoHo and stayed for another couple of margaritas each… Or was it three? In any case, when we left the restaurant, we were feeling festive. We weren’t far from Ethan’s apartment, so I suggested we stop by there to see what he was up to. He was working. (Shakes head.) He’s as hopeless as I am sometimes. After surprisingly little cajoling, we managed to drag Ethan back out with us. I was dying to take Stella to Magnolia Bakery, and it isn’t far from Ethan’s place, so we headed a couple blocks west to the best little bakery in New York. The three of us, each with a cupcake in hand (mine was the fourth fairy cake courtesy of Stella) went back outside and fed our sugar fixes under the night sky. Old friends, new friends and delectable cupcakes under a New York night sky. Does life get any better than this?

Like to read more about Chloe? Here's an excerpt from ‘Lying to Meet You’...

Mathieu grabs my arm and mutters, “Why did you not tell me about the boyfriend? I will not judge. If you want to seduce William Shannon even though you have a boyfriend, this is fine with me.”

“Ethan isn’t really my boyfriend,” I mutter back.

“What? I do not understand.”

I sigh. “It’s complicated. He and I are in a fake relationship. The idea behind it is that by being a couple, we might seem more attractive to potential love interests. It’s sort of a social experiment. But this is top-secret stuff. Nobody knows. So you can’t tell a soul.”

Mathieu brings a hand to his forehead and utters a dramatic, “Oh mon dieu.”

When we get to the green room, Mathieu shoves me in and says to Johnny, “I must talk to this girl. Two minutes. Yes?”

“Whatever,” Johnny says, leaning against the wall.

Mathieu comes into the room and closes the door firmly.

“Cherie, this changes everything. You must stop acting like a silly schoolgirl around Wily Willy.”

I stare at him, aghast. Was I really being that obvious?

“Use this pretend boyfriend in your mind to stop you from being so silly. When you see Wily Willy, you must send him silent messages that say,” (in the high pitch voice, of course) “‘Oh, I am so fabulous and it is so sad that you cannot have me, Mr. William Shannon, but I already have a lover.’”

I bite my lip to keep from breaking out into a grin, but apparently I have no control over the laughter in my eyes.

Mathieu responds with an icy glare.

“Perhaps you are not serious about seducing Wily Willy, after all.”

“No, no, Mathieu,” I tell him, suddenly feeling very solemn. “I’m sorry. I am serious about this.”

He stares at me for a moment. “D’accord. Now listen very carefully, Chloe. You must be cool around Wily Willy. And I am not talking about Gaultier-wearing-drinking-at-Bungalow-Eight cool. What I mean is that you must be aloof, unavailable. Do you understand?”

I nod, and he goes on.

“You must act casual around him. Not interested. When you see him, keep repeating these things in your mind. Cool, aloof, unavailable, casual, not interested. After a while, it will be easier to act that way around him.”

“You really think so?”

“Yes, I do,” Mathieu says, but after studying my face, he says, “I hope.”

After he leaves, I do something very uncool. I reach into my new Kate Spade bag, take out my planner, and write down Mathieu’s key words to remember. Cool, aloof, unavailable, casual, not interested. I kind of doubt that focusing on these words will do much to help me to relax around William Shannon, but it’s worth a try.

Writer Anna Garner (who also writes under the name Libby Mercer) lives in San Francisco where she currently spends her days cranking out stories.
 Does being in a relationship make you a hot commodity in the eyes of would-be suitors?
Chloe Lane is about to find out. When her childhood pal, Ethan Webster, asks her to play the part of his girlfriend in order to test this theory, she reluctantly agrees. As a work-crazed fashion designer, boutique owner and soon-to-be reality show judge, Chloe has no time for a real boyfriend, but being part of a faux pair will do just fine. Not that she has any intention of trying to attract someone else.


Opportunity unexpectedly knocks when Chloe meets fellow reality judge, William Shannon. Super successful and super sexy, this high-powered entrepreneur inspires Chloe to test Ethan's theory herself. Now, on top of keeping her fashion business productive, carving out a new role as a television personality, maintaining a fake relationship and attempting to lay the groundwork for a future relationship, she's lying to William, lying to her friends, lying to her family and quite possibly lying to herself. Will Chloe be able to keep it all together, or are things about to explode?
You can find Lying to Meet You on Amazon UK  Amazon.com  and Barnes and Noble


Monday, 21 October 2013

United Authors of ChickLit!

It’s been a busy couple of weeks with my second book ‘Younger, Thinner, Blonder’ launched into the book-shpere last Thursday. And now I’m about to take a pink and fluffy flight across the Atlantic to drink champagne, eat cupcakes and share chickLit with author friends who live in the US.

So fasten your seatbelts and put your tray tables in the upright and locked position. Over the next few days, some favourite Chick Lit characters will be jetting across the Atlantic to visit with fictional friends on the other side of the pond... beginning on Tuesday, when Stella from Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes meets up with fashionista Chloe from Lying to Meet You

 Chloe will be whisking Stella around NYC with a trip to the Magnolia Bakery. On Libby Mercer’s blog

I considered a trip to Greggs for a sausage roll, but decided Stella’s kitchen and a baking lesson would be much more fun!

 Here's the departure and arrivals timetable.

The flight takes off on Monday, 21 Oct and here’s a little sneak peek at the fun, frothy books and sassy gals featured in our international promo, all of which are priced at £2.99 or less:

On Tuesday, 22 Oct.: Read about Stella from Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes and Chloe from Lying to Meet You as they travel across the Atlantic to visit each other.

Stella will be on Anna Garner’s blog http://libby-mercer.blogspot.com/ and Chloe will be on Sue Watson’s blog http://fatgirlsandfairycakes.blogspot.com/

 On Wednesday, 23 Oct., It’s time to discover what happens when Emma from The Pollyanna Plan and Kim from Blogger Girl meet. Emma will be on Meredith Schorr’s blog http://meredithschorr.com/blog/ and Kim will be on Talli Roland’s blog http://talliroland.blogspot.com/

On Thursday, 24 Oct: Izzy from Izzy’s Cold Feet and Jamie from Finding Lucas will be taking you on a trip alongside their characters. Izzy will be on Samantha Stroh Bailey’s blog http://samanthastrohbailey.blogspot.ca/ and Jamie will be on Sarah Louise Smith’s blog http://sarahlouisesmith.com/

 And on Friday, 25 Oct. Kate from Sealed with a Kiss and Pilar from In Need of Therapy will be chatting about their overseas experiences. Kate will be on Tracie Banister’s blog http://traciebanister.blogspot.com/ and Pilar will be on Rachael Lucas’s blog http://rachaellucas.com/blog/

 Here’s a little sneak peek at the fun, frothy books and sassy gals featured in our international promo, all of which are priced at £2.99 or less:

 And if you are interested in learning more about any of the books see below:

Finding Lucas by Samantha Stroh Bailey – Daytime talk show producer Jamie Ross is beyond fed up with her toxic bad boy turned metrosexual boyfriend. Spurred on by her gang of quirky friends, she goes on a hilarious, at-times disastrous, and totally life-changing hunt to track down the ”one who got away.” But are some loves best left behind? Available on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Lucas-ebook/dp/B007VIIU6A/ Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Finding-Lucas-Samantha-Stroh-Bailey-ebook/dp/B007VIIU6A and Kobo http://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/books/Finding-Lucas/-wfpLcDV6keHZR-T80qCUg

In Need of Therapy by Tracie BanisterHandling the problems of hysterical hypochondriacs, lovelorn neurotics, and compulsive man whores is all in a day’s work for super-shrink Pilar Alvarez. But can she deal with her crazy Cuban family, a trio of unsuitable suitors, and a threat to her practice without ending up on the couch herself? Available on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/In-Need-of-Therapy-ebook/dp/B008N6Z36Y Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/In-Need-of-Therapy-ebook/dp/B008N6Z36Y and B&N http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/in-need-of-therapy-tracie-banister/1112265620?ean=2940015006889

Lying to Meet You by Anna Garner – Overworked New York fashion girl Chloe Lane has no time for a real relationship, but when her childhood pal asks her to play the part of his girlfriend in order to test a theory, she decides to go for it. The lies start piling up and things start getting crazy. Will Chloe be able to keep it together? Available on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Lying-to-Meet-You-ebook/dp/B00EZR5M9I Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lying-to-Meet-You-ebook/dp/B00EZR5M9I and B&N http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lying-to-meet-you-anna-garner/1116838753?ean=2940148616924

Sealed with a Kiss by Rachael Lucas – Kate breathes a sigh of relief when she's dumped at her best friend's wedding. When she takes a job on the island of Auchenmor, she's determined to have a year off men, but that's before she rescues Flora the seal pup with the help of Roddy, her mysterious new boss... Available on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Sealed-with-a-Kiss-ebook/dp/B00BE9EUW0/ and Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sealed-with-a-Kiss-ebook/dp/B00BE9EUW0/ 

The Pollyanna Plan by Talli RolandEmma Beckett has always looked down on 'the glass is half full' optimists. But when she loses her high-powered job and fiancĂ©, Emma makes a radical decision: from here on in, she'll attempt to see the upside, no matter how dire the situation. Can adopting a positive attitude give Emma the courage to build a new life, or is finding the good in everything a very bad idea? Available on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/The-Pollyanna-Plan-Talli-Roland-ebook/dp/B00AFAW2GK and Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Pollyanna-Plan-Talli-Roland-ebook/dp/B00AFAW2GK

Blogger Girl by Meredith SchorrKimberly Long has two passions: her successful chick lit blog and Nicholas, her handsome colleague down the hall. But when her high school nemesis pops onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book and eyes for Nicholas, Kim has to make some quick revisions to her own life story. Available on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Blogger-Girl-ebook/dp/B00EDTLDSW Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blogger-Girl-ebook/dp/B00EDTLDSW B&N http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blogger-girl-meredith-schorr/1116358028?ean=2940148503125 and Apple iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/blogger-girl/id686654939?mt=11

Izzy’s Cold Feet by Sarah Louise Smith – Izzy is engaged to Greg, who is everything a girl could want. The trouble is – all she can think about is the men she loved before she met him. In the week leading up to her wedding day, Izzy is forced to ask herself who she loves the most. And, given the choice, who would she want to spend her life with? Available on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Izzys-Cold-Sarah-Louise-Smith/dp/1909841005/

Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes by Sue Watson – TV Producer Stella is over worked, over weight and under fire battling to balance family, career and those weighing scales. In the past she’s always found comfort at the bottom of her mixing bowl but now the most delicious lemon sponge with zesty frosting has no effect. However, life is about to get even tougher... and Stella has to face some truths about herself, her life and her future. Available on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Fat-Girls-Fairy-Cakes-ebook/dp/B005L92JB8 and Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fat-Girls-Fairy-Cakes-Watson-ebook/dp/B005L92JB8