Wednesday 28 October 2020

A Slice of Cake With... Jean Lee

Jean Lee is a Wisconsin born and bred writer excited to share her Young Adult Fantasy fiction with those who love to find other worlds hidden in the humdrum that surrounds us. Her first novel, Fallen Princeborn: Stolen, is available from Aionios Books. She is also the author of Tales of the River Vine, including the novella Night's Tooth.

What kind of stories do you write?

Hello, Claire, and thank you so much for having me! Let’s see, the types of books I write…well, I am not much for romance, though I think love always has a form and place in any given story. I grew up as something of an action junkie, so if a story isn’t filled to the brim with magic and mayhem, I start yawning. Whether that mayhem takes place here and now, long ago, or in an Elsewhere beyond our world, that depends on the story. But for me, I must follow the crew of motley characters to the sweet—or bitter—end.

Can you describe your writing why?

As a child, I wrote to escape the life of a preacher’s child. Those years had their golden moments as well as nightmarish shadows, but storytelling saw me through all of them. I loved writing so much I even studied it in school—in hindsight, a horrible decision. I was buried in rules of what writing was meant to be according to popular markets rather than shown the potential of what writing could be when the imagination is unfettered. By the time I graduated my love of writing was so soiled I didn’t think I could ever return to it.

Fast forward a few years: motherhood. And with motherhood, post-partum depression. I struggled to my husband and children, emotions lost in the space between my room and the world outside. I just couldn’t…couldn’t feel. I loved my family, but something inside had cracked, deep, and I had no way to repair it.

Until I began to write.

It started with a friend challenging me to National Novel Writing Month. I had never heard of it before, but when I signed up that first time, there was an excitement to create I had not felt since I was a child. I was no longer being told what was “good” storytelling. I was, at last, in control of something. I could work through my dark, sticky feelings of depression by molding them into fierce monsters and flawed heroes. I could find peace in the conflict. I could feel. 

I could feel.

And in this feeling I found a stronger, better sense of myself. I love my family dearly, and they me. But I know I am better at feeling that love because I give myself time to write, meditate, pray, and hope.

Share with us your favourite passage from the book you enjoyed writing the most

You mean I have to pick ONE? Well, snickerdoodle, how am I supposed to do that?! Hmmm.

Well, I am one who loves to write to music. A song can inspire a scene, an exchange, a battle. (This is why I have an entire section on my website dedicated to music. Stop by if you like!) One moment in particular stuck with me all through the years of drafting Stolen, a moment started by the song “Heroes” as sung by Peter Gabriel. I felt a magic with the strings like nothing else, and that magic translated into the art Liam is so very passionate to share with those close to him.

Safe with Fire

Charlotte wakes to the sound of fluttering pages. The smell of roses. Knitbone. A few other scents she does not know. It’s the night of a new moon, and the world is dark. 

Wilted flowers flutter on a bedside table as Charlotte, still prone in bed, stretches both arms above her head, flexing her fingers. She wriggles her legs. No pain. Her fingers fumble on the nightstand and find the lamp switch.

The whole room glows: something in the green, blue, and gray paint catches the light and reflects it as a warm, natural twilight. The ceiling depicts Cairine, garden and cottage, the shore just on the periphery, the sun rising. The wall behind the fireplace and desk depicts a mountain range blanketed by storm clouds and besieged by lightning. The remaining walls are covered with pictures and blueprints of planes, jets, helicopters—anything capable of flight. Charlotte squints at the hand-scrawled queries and question marks that litter the blueprints. 

I’m in Liam’s bed. Charlotte rolls out so fast that she takes the blankets with her.

She listens. He isn’t here. A sigh of relief, and curiosity overtakes her. Layers of clothes and books litter the floor: bell-bottom pants, a red flag with golden hammer and sickle, Fitzgerald, Hess, suede coat, a metal helmet, Dickens, Heaney, high-top sneakers, an old motherboard, Jones, and—was that Roger Ebert? The desk, a grand thing of rich finish, bends under the weight of a books and scribble-filled notepads—Gaelic mostly, but also Latin, French, Greek, and English: “The earth revolves around the sun? Why do the Celestine allow mankind to uncover such secrets?…” And a slew of other unintelligible scribbles.

Muffled voices float down the hall, and a door on the right is open just a sliver: the library. Light flashes like a lightning storm, only there is no thunder. Just lots and lots of clicks.

“And it never requires matches or oil?”

“For the dozenth time, Liam, no. But you will need a new lightbulb if you don’t knock it off.”

Crash. End of the flashes. And the room goes dim.

“Well done, Dorjan. Pray tell, how does this prevent the need for a new lightbulb?”

Dorjan’s mutterings are indecipherable, but a few clinks, a clank, and one click later, the light returns. “Now just let it—NO! Don’t touch it! You’ll get electrocuted—I mean a nasty juddering. By the heart’s fire, you’re worse than a human toddling about in diapers.”

Charlotte’s mouth tightens to keep the snickers in. She really shouldn’t eavesdrop, and don’t they deserve some privacy? She’s certainly not been quiet about her own need for space.

“Suit yourself. I wager Jenny never created the likes of this.”

Shadows dance along the door’s edges. Lights flicker, but not from clicking.

Oh, one last look, then I’ll go. Charlotte crawls to the library’s door and peers down.

Liam faces a great stained-glass window that spans nearly half of the wall. Firelight flashes at his hips as his empty hands reach out, up. Glass and iron: they creak, moan, bend, break, shatter, again and again. Shards of colors move, slide, from inside vines of copper that twist, grow, branch out. Within Liam’s vitreous canvas, colors shift and transmute at his bidding, and sunshine turns his dark world into day. And shapes: a sea of greens separating water and sky, a lake of a thousand blues, tiny white waning moons tilting and dancing on the water—skipping stones.

Outside, the sun fades, and night returns to the world, dimming and obscuring the vision in glass. Liam sits, studies his work in the darkening light. 

“Nicely done,” Dorjan says somewhere—under the stairwell perhaps. He’s out of Charlotte’s sight. “It’s even better than the bit of Cairine you did in the herbarium.”

“Thank you.”

A weird silence settles in. Do they know Charlotte’s listening? No: “You have to let her go.” Pause. 

“Look, you’ve got enough on your hands. So does Arlen. River Vine wasn’t safe for her before, and now it’s a guaranteed death trap. You know I can get her to safety.” Pause.

Tell us about your latest project

My debut novel is the product of my first NaNoWriMo all those years ago, a Young Adult Fantasy entitled Fallen Princeborn: Stolen. I published it through a small indie press in 2018 and spent the following months preparing the second instalment, Fallen Princeborn: Chosen. In the spring of 2019, however, the publisher decided not to continue with the series. What to do?

I pondered a bit while writing my western fantasy novella Night’s Tooth. There was so much that I loved in Chosen. So many terrible places I travelled with my protagonists in the battle to keep them together, to find love together. I could not just let that story go unfinished.

That is why we are here. I chose to self-publish Fallen Princeborn: Chosen on Amazon at the end of October. There are mermaids to duel, stars to counsel, and beasts to battle. My main protagonists, Charlotte and Liam, may have won the day at the end of Stolen, but the fight has only just begun…not just over the cursed land of River Vine, but for the fire-heart of Liam himself.



Charlotte just wanted to start a new life with her sister Anna out of the reaches of their abusive uncle. When their journey led to Anna’s disappearance from human memory, Charlotte hunted for her sister and the mysterious creatures that took her behind an ancient Wall that hid a land of magic the world had long forgotten. Charlotte woke the Princeborn Liam Artair, and with his return the conflict between factions of the magical Velidevour turned cursed and deadly.

Now Charlotte must end this conflict before the land of River Vine and the inhabitants she’s befriended are consumed by Orna, Lady of the Pits, who is still very, very eager to see her beloved return. And Orna is not the only one who wants hold of the Princeborn Liam’s heart. These Velidevour come armed with firey wings, crimson claws, and pale fire, and like dead magic, they know no kindness.

The Bloody Days are soon returning, and they will not end until a choice is made, a choice that could tear the heart of River Vine apart.

Fallen Princeborn: Chosen is a direct continuation of Fallen Princeborn: Stolen. Recommended for fans of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust, Brigid Kemmerer’s A Curse So Dark and Lonely, and Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Mist and Fury.

What is your favourite cake?

Oh, the sweet agony of indecision! I have so many. Once upon a time you could have asked this and I would have simply said “Sheet Cake,” for I was one of those notorious Frosting Fiends that would take a fork and scrape the border frosting from aaaaaall around the cake. Alas, my stomach no longer cares for buttercream frosting in any colour, so these days I tend to make dump cakes in my slow cooker. My favourite is a s’mores dump cake, which uses devil’s food cake mix, chocolate pudding, crushed graham crackers, and mini-marshmallows to keep that sweet summer treat warm and ready for the soul all year round.

Connect with Jean online:

Thanks, Jean - great to connect with you!

Join me next week when I have a slice of cake with Don Scobie.

If you would like to take part in A Slice of Cake With... please fill in the form found here. I'd be delighted to have you.

You can also support my writing endeavours and buy me tea & cake - it's what makes the world go round!

Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet, completely addicted to cake. Find out more about her books on her website Join the discussion in her Facebook group Buss's Book Stop.

Monday 26 October 2020

Write On! magazine Issue 6


Guest post from Madeleine White, Editor of Write On!

An exclusive interview with global fantasy icon Ben Aaronovitch sits at the centre of the Write On! Bumper edition, out 28th October in print and online.

We are delighted that Issue Six will see us moving into print again. Based on writing and artwork drawn from Write On! Extra Season Two, it is themed ‘A Kaleidoscope Of Colours’ and forms part of a 48 page ‘Bumper Print Magazine’ that includes issues Four and Five.

Write On! Extra, the online daily digest, was launched in early April. It has been a vehicle that has allowed writers from the local community to share experiences, encouraging other writers to reciprocate with their own. Issue Six draws from the voices that have turned Write On! Extra, our digital daily digest for these unprecedented times, into a must-read for thousands of users from Barking and Dagenham, the UK and 120 other countries across the world.
Our new Write On! Extra season starts on 1st November. Themed around ’Hope’, we will continue to publish four features a week. Regulars will be ‘The Showcase’, on Wednesday, ‘Features ‘on Friday and the ‘Interviews’ on Sundays. Additionally, one of ‘Monday Moments’, ‘Tuesday Thoughts’, ‘Thursday Connectors’ and ‘Saturday Spotlight’ will feature on a weekly basis. We are also launching ‘Writer Of The Month’ from November, kicking off with local poet and historical fiction writer Pasty Middleton on 25th of November. 

Published end of January 2021, Write On! Seven will be in its pre-COVID format, with regulars including ‘Spotlight’ and ‘The Big Debate’ returning to their normal spots. It will be the culmination of our ‘Hope’ theme and Mark Haddon – the Whitbread, Dolly Gray Children's Literature, Guardian and Commonwealth Writers Prize – award-winner is featuring as our lead interview and cover star. 
We welcome contributions, treasuring new writing and ideas. We also welcome partnership discussions with organisations wishing to contribute, so the voices of their beneficiaries and teams can be heard:
If you have something to share, please do get in touch at:  
To advertise online or in the next issue please see: Our Media Pack
For further details around Write On! Extra, please see: The Editor’s Introduction.
To see our Website:
If you would like to have a discussion around how we might be able to work together, joining organisations such as the Wilbur and niso Smith Foundation,Writers and Artists' Yearbook and Penguin's Write Now, please do get in touch!

Best wishes
Madeleine White, Editor
Write On! Magazine
07904 835188

Wednesday 21 October 2020

A Slice of Cake With... Scott Tarbet

This week I am delighted to be having a slice of cake with author Scott Tarbet.

Scott Tarbet's speculative fiction stories have garnered multiple awards, critical acclaim, and entertain a burgeoning fanbase. He writes in several genres, including Steampunk, fantasy, paranormal, techno-thriller, and historical fiction.

When he is not submerged in one of his created worlds, which he finds nearly as fascinating as the real one, he sings opera professionally and slow-smokes thousands of pounds of authentic Texas-style barbeque. He was married in full Elizabethan regalia, loves Steampunk and cosplay conventions of all flavors. He makes his home in the mountains of Utah.

What kind of stories do you write?

I write stories, mostly set in our world or a slightly tweaked version. I particularly like creating stories that extend current societal and scientific trends into the near future and projecting their impacts.

I also enjoy creating stories that return to a historical inflection point in the past and imagining what would happen if there were some tweak that changed the history.

Can you describe your writing why?

I’m an inveterate storyteller, child and product of storytellers. My father was a Cold War missile man, technical writer and editor, extremely methodical and hard science-oriented in his story concepts. My mother lived in wonder of the world around her and created stories that fueled idealized versions of her reality.

Share with us your favourite passage from the book you enjoyed writing the most

The Prologue of A Midsummer Night’s Steampunk:

From one end of the sprawling London metropolis to the other, over palaces and hovels, elegant townhouses, rundown wharfs and warehouses, the micromechs fluttered. 

They rode the summer breeze through every open window, swooped down chimneys, crept in at every crack and crevice. Their multifaceted eyes searched and their ears recorded. Their tiny feet carried them silently across the ceilings of peopled rooms. Mingling with the insects of high summer, they went unnoticed and unremarked, even in the infrequent pools of gaslight through which they flashed on whirring, iridescent wings.

In her private dirigible Ganesh, moored with other private and public airships in the Victoria Air Terminus that soared above sprawling Victoria Station, their “queen” waited patiently for their reports, the portal open to admit the summer breeze and her fluttering charges returning from the city below. They flitted around her brilliant crimson-and-gold sari like the dragonflies and hummingbirds and other flying beings they had once been, surrounding her like a dazzling bloom in the Indian jungle.

One by one, their leaders—Cobweb, Peaseblossom, Mote, and Mustardseed—flitted past and whispered their negative reports into her ear: no sign of the half-man, the huge dazzlingly black mech who had stolen the automaton, Jubal, and fled India for England. But the queen was calmly confident. 

The night was young, the breezes were light, and the micromechs were spreading methodically from the airship across the city from south to north, from west to east. The massive black mech they sought would inevitably be found. 

Why the mech and his master had stolen her precious automaton, the queen could only guess. But the machine’s true value was more than they could possibly know, far more precious than the massive blue diamonds at his heart and in his eyes. She must recover him before the thief or his master stumbled over his true worth.

The storm clouds of aggression and war loomed. The queens crafted their response. Their plan must not be thwarted. The automaton must be retrieved.

Tell us about your latest project

Synopsis of The Brigham:

Dr. Celia Algyre’s genome and personality left the dying Earth in the company of humanity’s best minds, stored in the memory of their self-aware starship AI, the Brigham, while her 78-year-old body remained behind. The mission: to seed the quadrant of the galaxy with reprinted, personality-implanted copies of the Pioneers’ teenaged selves, and ensure the continuation of the human race. 

Now the deadly competition for the final colony is upon them. They must fight each other, the ship, and the environment, for survival. The thirteenth colony is the final opportunity is literally do or die. To win is to live, to lose is oblivion.

But the Brigham, beyond their control, changes the mission. The first giant step: a near light speed change of course toward the galactic center—and eight thousand years into humanity’s future.

Conflict splits the Pioneers as the entire cohort is unexpectedly “awakened” for this final colony. Is the “best of humanity” expressed by ensuring the survival of the species, or the individual? 

On the planet’s surface, Celia and the Pioneers are nearing the end of all supplies and all hope when they begin to realize they are being monitored by some entity of advanced technology and no apparent desire to communicate. This realization kicks off a new round of speculation, conflict, and, eventually, genocidal infighting. Intervention comes from a completely unexpected source, along with the sweeping realization that an optimistic long-term future for humanity is neither assured nor, perhaps, desirable.

The opening chapter of The Brigham took second in the annual League of Utah Writers first chapter contest.

What is your favourite cake?

Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, hands down, no contest. Second place: Black Forest. Dang. Now I’m hungry.

Follow Scott's writing adventures on his blog (, on Facebook (, on Twitter (@SETarbet), on Instagram (@ScottTarbet), on LinkedIn (Scott Tarbet).

Join me next week when I have a slice of cake with Jean Lee.

If you would like to take part in A Slice of Cake With... please fill in the form found here. I'd be delighted to have you.

You can also support my writing endeavours and buy me tea & cake - it's what makes the world go round!

Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet, completely addicted to cake. Find out more about her books on her website Join the discussion in her Facebook group Buss's Book Stop.

Tuesday 20 October 2020

Tuesday poem - Playground Masks

A true faceless crowd
now amasses outside the gates
Milling for their timeslot
then pouring through when it hits
There's no room for two metres

A bit of shushing and almost shoving
despite all travelling the same way
A spirited dash to be first in the clump
To stand before all the others
To claim their child first

And then with only eyes to tell them apart
parents gather their flock
All mingling, laughing, joking, running,
talking, interacting beyond measures
Adhering to the one-way system

A narrow corridor flanked by gates
Filled with people
Staff members line entryways
Wishing muffled goodbyes
Encouraging the continual flow

Half a step out of the school grounds
Masked ripped from faces
Fresh air breathed
Gaggles of parents yacking
Clogging the COVID safe route

Bubbles of children grouped by year
Separated, sanitised and kept safe
All twirling and whirling together on exit
Seems like a measure of desperation
Keeping to code rather than solving the problem

But what to do?
Homeschool is hard work, too much pressure
Kids gotta learn
Herd immunity at work with all the bugs
And the germs and the nits

Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet, completely addicted to cake. Find out more about her books on her website Join the discussion in her Facebook group Buss's Book Stop.

Monday 19 October 2020

The F Word

It happened. 

My little boy, my angel, my darling child, dropped the F-bomb at school.

Absolutely mortified.

Family comment "Where did he get that from then?"

Not me. The phrase used is not one I use. Although to my shame, I do swear - way more than I ought to. I never used to. Tiredness and stress have led to diminished brain capacity and increased potty mouth. 

But now that my darlings are firmly in the 'do as I do' base camp - enough is enough. There will be no more swearwords.

Instead, I shall use my writer brain to think of words I can use. So far I have:

Oh Biscuits
Son of a Nutcracker
Snails (a Jenni reference)
Fudge nuggets

Surely my kids won't get in trouble for that... will they?

Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet, completely addicted to cake. Find out more about her books on her website Join the discussion in her Facebook group Buss's Book Stop.

Wednesday 14 October 2020

A Slice of Cake With... Lea Cherry

This week I am delighted to be having a slice of cake with Lea Cherry.

Lea Cherry can be seen as a dual identity of her true form Leandri Geldenhuys. Even though Lea Cherry is an alter ego, she still managed to write her novel The Rose of Cavendish, which was published in 2011, and presented in 2012 to Hollywood Producers in the Author Solutions Book-to-screen Pitchfest. She also Co-authored The Journal of Blake Leaf with fellow author Adrienne Woods which was the poetry journal to accompany The Dragonian Series. She has a few series lined up to write and publish, but that has to take a back seat when she's working full time as a Designer, Mom, Wife and studying for a degree in Language and Literature. When Lea is not writing or working full time, she enjoys listening to music such as Rock and Alternative, while she paints and does drawings. Lea believes that the written word can heal and help and encourages people to follows their dreams and lends an ear to those that want to pursue writing. Other personalities also include Leandri Geldenhuys (Lumin Finds the Lighthouse - Mom's Choice Award Winner).

What kind of stories do you write?

I like to write about magic and the supernatural but as well as the monsters that live under your bed. My range tend to go from magic-wielding teenagers to all things that go bump in the night. Throw in a bit of a who-dunnit, and you’ve hit the trifecta.

Can you describe your writing why?

Usually, I have an idea that will only leave me alone once I have captured its essence on paper. By that time, a couple of new ideas has prompted more writing, so it’s a never-ending cycle. I would like to think that I can inspire someone to live their dreams, but if I can help someone just by taking them out of reality for a few hours, all is not a lost cause. 

Share with us your favourite passage from the book you enjoyed writing the most

Chimera: The one. The true chimera. You see a chimera is something or someone that has two different genetic DNA strands. Now this could be from plasma or blood transfusions, or even absorbing a twin in the womb. Now it’s scarce that something like that happens, but when it does, biologically, it’s the most magnificent thing in the world.

Tell us about your latest project

Currently busy with the edits to Chimera, which will be released in October 2020 as part of the Soul’s Day Boxset with 18 other authors. 

It’s about a group of friends thinking that camping in a haunted forest on Halloween would be an awesome idea, until everyone starts disappearing one by one, being hunted by a creature that won’t stop until they are all gone.

What is your favourite cake?

Now that’s a difficult question. I would have to say Red Velvet, but I can easily be persuaded into going for a good old Lemon Meringue.

Great choice! You can connect with Lea here:

Facebook -
Twitter -
Goodreads -
Instagram -

Join me next week when I have a slice of cake with Scott Tarbet.

If you would like to take part in A Slice of Cake With... please fill in the form found here. I'd be delighted to have you.

You can also support my writing endeavours and buy me tea & cake - it's what makes the world go round!

Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet, completely addicted to cake. Find out more about her books on her website Join the discussion in her Facebook group Buss's Book Stop.

Tuesday 13 October 2020

Tuesday Poem - Sleep, Where Are You?

Where are you?
We had such plans
I was excited
You were waiting
And the dreams,
the dreams would've been awesome.

Where are you?
You're so distant these days
I'm not sure why
I bought new pillows
And a heater that actually works
New PJs too

Where are you?
I've stopped drinking tea
So late at night
And I always use the facilities
A little light reading
To make the eyes heavy

Where are you?
You seem to arrive but
Then you're gone
And I'm tossing and turning
Every little sound is loud
Each one waking me more

Where are you?
I'm running on fumes
I'm sorry we fell out
I'll go to bed earlier
I'll stop scrolling my phone
I miss you

Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet, completely addicted to cake. Find out more about her books on her website Join the discussion in her Facebook group Buss's Book Stop.

Monday 12 October 2020

3 To Go

With only three months of 2020 left, most of us are eager to see the end of this year of 'new normal' and are more than happy to shoehorn it out the door. Believe me, I applaud the sentiment but, I can't help feel a little overwhelmed that another year is drawing to a close and I don't seem to have made any headway. 

Where am I with my writing plans? Well, first of all, I can't seem to find the plan I made so that's a great start. 

Little Book of Christmas is meant to be coming out before Christmas, go figure, and if I manage it then that will complete the Little Book Series. Brilliant but... no-one buys poetry so it feels a lot like an empty gesture. 

The Silk Thief, a Ned and Jenni Roshaven book is currently in first draft edits but progress is slow. Really slow.

The Bone Thief, the next Ned and Jenni Roshaven book will be created, whether it likes it or not, during NaNoWriMo.

I decided to record all my Roshaven audiobooks myself so I bought a course, I bought a mic and I did not count on lockdown and homeschool. My boy finally goes back to school and I discover I have the wrong mic. Ugh. Now finally rectified, I need to find the oomph to get started again. These books are definitely not going to record themselves. Although how cool would it be if they did?

And that's kinda where I am. I've got some training to do, lots of writing craft books to read and a huge stack of Writing Magazine to catch up on. I still have the Kat books bubbling away on the very, very back burner but... who knows when I'll get to those. 

So whilst I'm very happy to see the back of 2020 for scary-ass virus-related reasons, I'd like time to slow down a little while I am trying to work so I can at least catch up a bit. Just a smidge. 

Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet, completely addicted to cake. Find out more about her books on her website Join the discussion in her Facebook group Buss's Book Stop.

Wednesday 7 October 2020

A Slice of Cake With... Kayla Krantz

Kayla is a proud author, responsible for a number of novels in the genres dark fantasy, psychological horror, and supernatural thriller. She is fascinated by the dark and macabre. Stephen King is her all-time inspiration, mixed in with some faint remnants of the works of Edgar Allen Poe. When she began writing, she started in horror, but somehow drifted into thriller and fantasy. She loves the 1988 movie, “Heathers.” Kayla was born and raised in Michigan but traveled across the country to where she currently resides, in Texas.

What kind of stories do you write?

Chilling and disturbing. Books that keep you on the edge of your seat and have you questioning human nature.

Can you describe your writing why?

I am motivated to write by the need to create. There are stories in me that need to get out.

Share with us your favourite passage from the book you enjoyed writing the most

From my debut novel, Dead by Morning:

There was something wrong about him. Something that separated him from all the other teenage boys and made him a danger to the people who called him ‘friend.’

Tell us about your latest project

I launched my first ever contemporary suspense piece, What I Did, at the beginning of August. What I Did discusses the issues in modern society through the eyes of a millennial, things such as mental illness, active shooter situations, and toxic masculinity. When the main character, Jess, is caught in an active shooter situation, her only way out is to kill the shooter. From there, she’s forced to face her own darkness and figure out what it means to her and those around her.

What is your favourite cake?

Strawberry Shortcake.

A lovely choice. You can connect with Kayla on Social Media:

Newsletter Signup:

Join me next week when I have a slice of cake with Lea Cherry.

If you would like to take part in A Slice of Cake With... please fill in the form found here. I'd be delighted to have you.

You can also support my writing endeavours and buy me tea & cake - it's what makes the world go round!

Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet, completely addicted to cake. Find out more about her books on her website Join the discussion in her Facebook group Buss's Book Stop.

Monday 5 October 2020

No Kitchen, No Problem

This week I am having a new kitchen. All my old manky cupboards are being ripped out. The dated, cracked and grimy tiles will be pulled off. The dingy, chipped and ill-fitting flooring removed. 

We are renovating in order to put our flat up for sale so whilst it's very exciting to be having a new kitchen it's also bittersweet. I'm spending a fair amount of money on something that's not really for me. Consequently, I have tried not to invest myself too much into the creation.

My best friend, who is an interior designer and works creating kitchen dreams for people, has planned everything, right down to the door handles. Having her choose everything has been wonderful for two reasons - one, I don't have to make decisions, something I do struggle with and two, I know she will make sure everything works together.

At the DIY store yesterday we perused wall tiles. Apparently, I am now the proud owner of taupe tiles. 

I am, of course, taking before and after photos which I am primarily sharing on my personal Facebook page but I'm sure once the whole thing has been completed I will share a montage on Twitter and Instagram. Life happens, right? And that's what we share on our social media. 

In the runup to the new kitchen I have been highly focused on making sure I had something to eat this week. Every meal I made last week I doubled and froze a portion so all I have to do is defrost and bung it in the microwave. Sorted. The kids have got various tinned options. It's not massively nutritiously varied but the new kitchen will no doubt come with a renewed desire to cook lots of new, different recipes. 

They will expand their limited repertoire. They will.

But it is not until I sit here wondering when the kitchen fitters will arrive that I realise... I have not organised anything for the hubster. Poor dear. He so often makes do with whatever concoction I create, whether he cares for it or not, and yet today there is no food for the man of the house. 1960s would be up in arms. Fear not, a chicken and mushroom bake from Tesco will sort him out in a pinch. 

Wish me luck! I hope to report back with kitchen success in the very near future. 

Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet, completely addicted to cake. Find out more about her books on her website Join the discussion in her Facebook group Buss's Book Stop.