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Sunday, October 09, 2011

Christina Hollis: New Season, New Book, New Projects...

As I write this, we are is basking in a real Indian summer. Temperatures have been in the mid seventies to low eighties, a good ten degrees warmer than usual. The last time figures like these were recorded was over a hundred years ago. They say the English are obsessed with the weather, but on a glorious day like this  it’s difficult think about anything else.  There’s an avenue of lime trees not far from here that have featured in several of my books. In high summer bees can’t resist their flowers, and at the days grow shorter their leaves turn bright butter yellow before falling. The display usually lasts until the final leaf falls, but this year they turned brown and crisp within days.   It’s the heat.  The local farm has a chain of ponds leading from a little spring, and the water level has dropped so dramatically they are little more than muddy puddles. My grandfather used to say ‘There’s nothing so repays the debt as wet to dry, or dry to wet’ and with snow forecast within the next few weeks, I’m sure we’ll all be complaining about the cold and damp soon. It’s a job to know what to eat at the moment: the pumpkins and squashes are at their best but it seemed odd the other night to be having roasted butternut soup with pesto rolls. Meanwhile the last tomatoes are ripening, so who knows if we’ll be warning up with hot tomato soup next week or cooling down with gazpacho? 


I couldn’t live without writing, so it’s a continuous process for me. At the moment I’m working on the synopsis of a new Modern Romance while my most recent manuscript is under editorial review. In between puzzling over character outlines and motivations, I’m doing a blog tour to promote my most recent Harlequin Mills and Boon title, Weight of the Crown. I’m appearing at J.L. Campbell’s beautifully illustrated Character Depot, http://thecharacterdepot.blogspot.com/ on October 10th, while on 13th October I’m spending break time at The Writing Playground http://writingplayground.com/. I hope you’ll come and join me - my tour runs from now until mid December, when there will be a grand draw for the prize of a Christmas stocking filled with Weight of the Crown themed treats. The names of everyone who comments on my blogs during this blog tour will be entered, and the winner will be drawn during my wrap party on 15th December. If you go to http://rbpp-ch.blogspot.com/ and my website at http://www.christinahollis.com you’ll be able to find out more about Weight of the Crown and see a list of my upcoming blog dates. I really enjoy hearing from you!



The title of this blog is New Season, New Book, New Projects...because I’ve been so wrapped up in work and my busy bees this year I’ve rather neglected my poor old house and garden.  Now the nights are drawing in, the honey harvest has been processed and all the beehives made ready for winter, I’ve decided to try and get a bit more domesticated. I’ve actually managed to keep on top of the housework for almost two weeks now - which is some sort of a record! - and a few day ago I got around to buying myself a sewing machine. Now I’m ready, willing and equipped to start replacing all the curtains, drapes and linen around the house. All I need now is some inspiration, and I’m hoping you can help. 
What is your favourite online resource for sewing and crafts?
Christina Hollis writes Modern Romance for Harlequin Mills and Boon. Her most recent titles are The Count's Challenge for Harlequin Presents Extra(USA) and Weight of the Crown for Harlequin Mills and Boon Limited (UK)
You can catch up with her latest news at:

20 comments:

Christina Hollis said...

Oops - I forgot to say - there will be signed copies form my backlist for the most useful tip-off!

Virginia C said...

Hi, Christina! I loved this post. You sound wonderfully busy and surrounded by lovely sights and sounds and savories. Congratulations on your latest release and best wishes for the blog tour!

For those last tomatoes:

Tomato Pie

1 unbaked deep dish 9-inch pie crust

3 large ripe tomatoes, sliced
1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
a pinch of Kosher salt & coarsely ground black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil mayonnaise

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese

grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven at 425°F. Bake the crust for 5 minutes. Remove from oven. Reduce oven to 400°F. Line the bottom of pie crust with sliced tomatoes and sprinkle with Italian Seasoning, salt & pepper. In bowl mix mayonnaise and cheese. Spread evenly over the tomato slices, covering all the edges. Bake for 35 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before cutting into serving wedges. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese before serving.

Virginia C said...

Some good resource links:

Storey Books--Books for Country Living Since 1983

http://www.storey.com/

Better Homes and Gardens--ideas and improvement projects for your home and garden plus recipes and entertaining ideas.

www.bhg.com/

Good Housekeeping--online source for advice about food, diet, beauty, health, family and home, plus exclusive product reviews from the Good ...

www.goodhousekeeping.com/

Country Sampler--Decorating Ideas, Country Marketplace, and Country Business magazines.

www.sampler.com/

Martha Stewart--recipes, arts & crafts, entertaining tips, gardening, pets & more.

http://www.marthastewart.com/

Laurie G said...

GOOD LUCK!

www.michaels.com

www.craftbits.com/sewing-crafts

www.stichery.com

www.sewing.org

Christina Hollis said...

You have such a wonderful fund of recipes, Virgina, thanks for sharing this one. I'm going to try it tomorrow - we've got your glazed pork tonight!
Thanks for your links. The evenings are really drawing in here now, so that gives plenty of time for browsing and experimenting!

Christina Hollis said...

Thanks for your good wishes, Laurie - I can't wait to check out the links you and Virgina have given me!

Xandra James said...

Sounds like you're very busy, Christina. Maybe you can stop by my house and teach me how to be so organised... ;)

Happy Autumn!!

Christina Hollis said...

Thanks for commenting, Xandra - it's a full time job trying to keep on top of everything, isn't it? Plus, I don't know where the time goes. Breakfast seems to come around every ten minutes in this house!

Elanor said...

Hi Christina, I'm glad your tomatoes are on top form this year :) I'm a sucker for lots of pretty pictures of other people's crafts, so www.craftgawker.com is my go-to site for, well, gawking. Clicking on a picture should take you to the page where it was first posted, hopefully with the instructions included! There are also a lot of LiveJournal communities dedicated to crafts - either in general or specific types - but they tend not to have so many illustrations...

Christina Hollis said...

Thanks, Elanor - I've heard of just straight 'Gawker' .com, but craftgawker sounds much more my style. Thanks for the link!

Melanie Milburne said...

O-K, so I've finally found someone who is busier than me! Great post, Christina.

Sonali said...

Hi Christina,

I am so sorry but i can be off no help in this. I am not much of an arts and craft or sewing person. The only artsy thing that i am totally passionate about is photography. I love the way you can take a picture and capture that moment for ever.

All the best with your blog tour.

Christina Hollis said...

Hi Melanie - I blame it on living in a very old house. You know what they say: "Home is the only place that, wherever you look, there's always something needs doing"!

Christina Hollis said...

Hi Sonali - Thanks for commenting. Photography is high art, but with modern digital cameras and even cameras on phones it's something that everyone can do. There's been a nature photography competition on UK TV over the last few months, and the photos taken have been stunning.
Good luck with your pictures!

Christina Hollis said...

Thank you all so much for dropping by and commenting. I loved all your suggestions, and after having a quick lucky dip draw, can Xandra, Laurie G and Virginia mail me at christinahollis@hotmail.co.uk with their snail mail addresses, so I can get their signed books from my backlist into the post to them. Congratulations!
Thanks to everyone who commented, and I hope you'll all join me at The Character Depot on the next leg of my blog tour - http://thecharacterdepot.blogspot.com/

marybelle said...

I tend to google about the latest craft fairs, see what work shops they have & go from there. If I can attend. I go to the workshops, if not, I just get some ideas from the site.

Christina Hollis said...

Thanks Marybelle, I must start visiting fairs, although we don't have a lot around here I'm sure Christmas will se them popping up everywhere! ;)

Nas Dean said...

Congratulations to the winners!

Please drop in at http://thecharacterdepot.blogspot.com/

and read about Christina's journey of publication!

Virginia C said...

Thank you : ) Congratulations, Laurie G & Xandra! Best wishes for a fabulous blog tour, Christina!

Laurie G said...

Thank you!