Sunday, 29 June 2014

Fairy Tales and Elderflower Fizz


Thanks for visiting the 'start the week' edition of Home Thoughts Weekly. This week I'm starting with something to read and a drink to go with it.

I’m thrilled to bits to share the news that my novella, Only True in Fairy Tales, is available now, a week before the paperback publication of my full length novel, Follow A Star on 7 July. And just look at that cover (another stunner from Berni Stevens)!

My stories, long or short, always begin with an image. For many years now, I’ve been watching a black rescue greyhound, Gracie, in my mind’s eye. Add to this image a house, a Gothic curiosity on the edge of the Downs where I grew up. And another house, a Victorian cottage, the house I really did grow up in, also on the edge of the Downs. Go to the front bedroom, the one I shared with my sister, where I would sit for hours staring out the window, watching the thoroughbred babies in the racing stables opposite being put through their paces. And snuffling round the house somewhere is a very naughty miniature dachshund who hunts and destroys discarded footwear, shoe laces, coat buttons, boxes of Maltesers and an entire dolly family. Allow these images to swirl around until they settle, then add a sleeping beauty – who has a very good reason to believe love is only true in fairy tales and a handsome stranger… but is he a prince or a beast in disguise? And those are the foundations for my novella, Only True in Fairy Tales.

And now some fizz to go with it. You can find lots of recipes for Elderflower champagne but here's how ours went in pictures:
Gather elderflower heads


Lemons, water, sugar, yeast

Add the washed flower heads. Do the steeping and fermentation bit.


Strain (the mixture - not yourself) Then add a little more sugar.


Leave for at least a week.


And enjoy!

20 comments:

Jane Lovering said...

Looks gorgeous (the book and the champagne!). Can't wait to read.. but I'm giving up drinking. Oh yes. For at least the next hour...

Happy Monday, by the way!

Mandy K James said...

Wow! What a beautiful cover and taster. Wish I had a taste of that champagne! Congratulations and cheers! xx

Cait O'Connor said...

Tempting tastes..of your books to come and the champagne. A lovely Start the Week blog.

Claire McC said...

Gorgeous cover Chris, looking forward to tonight's bedtime read. Elderflower champagne looks very tempting! Happy Monday x

Chris Stovell said...

Thanks, Jane and it's hardly alcoholic at all... well, I didn't keel over after one bottle. The taste alone stops you drinking any more than that! No, its great - once you get used to it!

Just wait, Mandy - you'll soon be off on your own champagne cruise in the new boat. Cheers m'dear! xx

Thank you for all the support, Cait.

A very happy Monday to you too, Claire thanks for your very kind words. x

Irish Eyes said...

Now listen here young lady! This will not do! I have housework to do, and here you are distracting me from my Monday chore...'er I mean vitally necessary domestic engineering...with champagne and fine books to read. What is a girl to do?...keep reading of course. Love this start to the weeks; love the recipes and as for the reading part, hmmmm, won't have to force myself to forgo the domestic engineering so ;-)

Chris Stovell said...

Love it, Irish Eyes! It's nearly Tuesday now, so forget the domestic engineering and let's have a drink! Cheers!

Clare Chase said...

Congratulations - both book and drink look great! :-)

Chris Stovell said...

Thank you, Clare!

Chanpreet said...

Two books and some delicious looking fizz? That's a great week right there! :)

Tina K Burton said...

A fab book, Maltesers, and champagne, what more could a girl want :)

Beautiful cover, one of the nicest I've seen for a long time, well done x

Chris Stovell said...

Ah, Chanpreet - isn't it just? I'm making the most of it! Weeks like this don't happen very often!

Thank you, Tina and welcome, nice to 'see' you here! I'll have to hold this week in my thoughts to keep me warm during the lean times! Well, that and a Malteser or three!

Frances said...

Chris, I do like having a sampling of your writing to get my week off to a fine Monday start.

Last October, when I was visiting with Celia Hart in Cambridge, we stopped for lunch in a beautiful cafe, and I had my first tasting of elderflower cordial. It was as delicious as I'd hoped. I imagine that your recipe creates something equally refreshing?

You've now given me encouragement to step up my own blog posting frequency! xo

Chris Stovell said...

Hello Frances, well, if I've encouraged you to post your fascinating blog more often then lots of people will be happy - especially me! I think I was a bit suspicious of our elderflower champagne initially, but now I know I haven't collapsed drunk or been on the end of a blinding headache I'm really enjoying it! We wish we'd made more!

Kath said...

Magical cover, Chris, and thanks for sharing how the story came together. Elderflower champagne sounds yummy and doesn't look so hard to make.

Chris Stovell said...

Thank you, Kath - I really like the cover of Follow A Star because the girl looks so much like 'my' May, but when I saw this cover I had a real 'oh wow!' moment! The elderflower champagne just keeps getting better! It was well worth doing and not difficult. Not bad at all for the price of four lemons, a bag of sugar and a short walk!

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

Double fizz! How lovely.

Chris Stovell said...

Thank you, Elizabeth!

Beverley Eikli aka Beverley Oakley said...

I *bet* you had a 'wow' moment when you saw that cover!

Chris Stovell said...

I really did, Beverley! Watching it slowly reveal itself was a magical moment! If I could change one thing I would have sat a little greyhound on the star too - but then it would have been rather crowded!