The Singalong Society for Singletons: All Together Now by Katey Lovell

When I first started writing The Singalong Society for Singletons (, all I had was the title.  It had come to me from nowhere, along with a vague idea that it’d be about a group of friends who got together to watch musicals on a Friday night.  I desperately wanted to create a club or a gang that readers would want to be part of, in much the same way that everyone wants to sip Cosmopolitans with the ladies from Sex and the City or laze on the sofa with Rachel, Monica and the rest of the Friends.

158591-FC50 (1)My own experience of clubs and societies is minimal.  Like Monique, the protagonist in the book, I was a Brownie as a child (when they still wore the unflattering, old-fashioned dresses rather than the far more practical tracksuits they wear these days).  I was also a member of a few afterschool clubs – drama, sewing and recorder.  Oh, the delights of the recorder…

By the time I reached my early teens I was a member of the Take That Fanclub, which entitled me to a flimsy quarterly newsletter, a set of postcards of the boys and a badge.  The excitement at the envelope containing these treats coming through my letterbox was the highlight of my day, alongside cutting pictures out of Smash Hits to stick in my scrapbook.  I might also have been a member of the Boyzone Fanclub back in the day, although I can’t be sure.

But the clubs I most wanted to be part of didn’t actually exist.  From an early age I’d devoured Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and Secret Seven books, loving the adventure and freedom the children had (and especially loving that they had more brains and common sense than the adults around them).  My obsession then moved on to the Sweet Valley Twins books and I wanted to be a Unicorn with Jessica Wakefield and Lila Fowler.  Never mind that I shared far more in common with Jessica’s creative yet somewhat boring twin Elizabeth, I wanted to be part of that inner circle, to share in the camaraderie that the purple-clad Unicorns had.

The Singalong Society for Singletons is for anyone who values friendship, appreciates the joy of music and musicals, and who is brave enough to make their dreams become reality.  Come and join!  There’s no dress code, no membership badge and I promise you, no ear-piercing recorders…

Christmas at the Little Wedding Shop: Coffee Cupcakes by Jane Linfoot

My partner always saves my books to read when we go away on holiday. And every year it’s the same. He’ll look up from reading my paperback, narrow his eyes, and say ‘actually, there are quite a few things in here I recognise…’

As a writer I can’t help weaving items from real life into the imaginary worlds I create. Invariably it’s my favourite things that pop up in my stories. And coffee cupcakes are a perfect example.

The recipe came from my granny. I’m sure she would have given the Bake-off contestants a run for their money if she’d still been with us today. Of all the delicious cakes she made, her coffee and almond one was my all time favourite. I love the way the sweetness of the buttercream is offset by the bitterness of the coffee. And the crunch of the butter-toasted flaked almonds on top is the perfect finishing touch.  She usually made hers as a large cake, but these days cupcakes are more practical.

In Christmas at the Little Wedding Shop (, head bridesmaid Sera often turns to Poppy’s cupcakes to rescue her at stressful times. The coffee cupcakes Poppy makes for Sera were inspired by my own real life favourites. Somehow they seemed the perfect choice as I was writing. Sophisticated enough for London bride, Alice, who’s a bit of a Bridezilla. And sweet enough to give Sera the sugar rush she needs to cope with a wedding which is threatening to career over the edge of the nearest Cornish cliff at any moment. Baked to perfection, by cake maker, Poppy.

To give you a taste of the book, here’s my recipe.

coffee cupcake 2



For the cupcakes:

150g sugar

150g butter

150g self raising flour, sieved

3 eggs

Two heaped teaspoons instant coffee

A little warm water to dissolve the coffee

For the icing:

100g butter (softened)

200g icing sugar, sieved

Two heaped teaspoons instant coffee

A little warm water to dissolve the coffee

For the topping:

100g flaked almonds


Method for the sponge cakes:

  1. Preheat the oven, 170C Fan/ Gas Mark 5/ 190C Electric. Prepare a 12 sectioned cupcake tin with your chosen cupcake cases.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy, using an electric whisk.
  3. Add the eggs, and mix again.
  4. Add the sieved flour, and fold into the mixture until it’s all combined.
  5. Put the coffee granules into a cup, and add a tiny amount of water. Mix until the coffee has dissolved, then add to the cake mixture. Stir gently until it’s all mixed in and the mixture is a uniform colour. You can very the amount of coffee, to give a darker or lighter cake.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the cases, filling to about 2/3 up the side, to allow for the cakes to rise.
  7. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and cooked all the way through. (Check by sticking a sharp knife in, it comes out clean when they’re done.)
  8. Place on a cooling tray, and ice when cool.


Method for the buttercream icing:

You can make the buttercream icing while the cupcakes are in the oven.

  1. Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl. Add the softened butter and cream together.
  2. Put the coffee granules into a cup, and add a tiny amount of water. Mix until the coffee has dissolved, then add to the icing. Mix until the icing is a uniform colour. Use more or less coffee depending on how dark you’d like your icing.
  3. Spoon the icing into a piping bag, with the pipe of your choice. When the cupcakes are cool, pipe the icing in swirls on top of the cupcakes.


For the nut topping:

  1. Heat a knob of butter in a frying pan, add the nuts, and stir over a gentle heat until the almond flakes are toasted and golden brown.
  2. Leave the toasted almonds to cool, then and sprinkle on top of the cupcakes as soon as they are iced.


As an alternative to almonds, walnut halves also work well with the coffee icing. You can pop these on top of the icing without toasting them


These are totally delish!!

Cofee cupcake

Cover reveal: From Rome With Love by Jules Wake


Another Wednesday, another gorgeous cover reveal!

Today we’re thrilled to share with you the beautiful cover for From Rome With Love by Jules Wake, which we’re publishing in January 2017.

From the bestselling author of From Italy with Love and Escape to the Riviera, this is the perfect summary romance to chase the January blues away with.

You can pre-order your copy now:

Cover reveal: Millie Vanilla’s Cupcake Cafe

Happy Great British Bake Off day everyone! To celebrate all things sweet and cake we have a very exciting cover reveal for you today: the Millie Vanilla’s Cupcake Cafe series by Georgia Hill, which we’re publishing in 2017!

How scrumptious do they look?!

The first instalment is out in February 2017 and here is a teaser to wet your appetites:

Cupcakes, Christmas and secret kisses…what more could you want?

A new charming three part series for fans of sweet romance!

Pre-order you copy of Millie Vanilla’s Cupcake Cafe Book 1: Spring Beginnings now:

How My Cat Keeps Me in Line by Nic Tatano

Our cat Gypsy showed up one day about six years ago, meowing at me through the window and looking hungry. Of course once I fed her and gave her some attention, the little tortoiseshell tabby adopted us. She loved the outdoors and especially the back deck. She pretty much stayed in the backyard, but we’d still take her in at night to keep her safe.

A while back Gypsy started losing her sight, and now is basically blind in one eye. Since she has no depth perception she doesn’t jump since she can’t judge distances. And she’s getting old and sleeps a lot, so we keep her inside most of the time.

But she still considers herself an outside cat, and begs to go to the deck. So on nice days I do my writing outside and keep an eye on her.

Wearing her favorite shoes.

Oh, just to be clear, Gypsy doesn’t wear shoes. But she loves to rub her head on this very old pair of out-of-style tasseled loafers my wife would love to throw out. And she occasionally swats at the tassels.

Then she figured out if I’m going back inside, she probably is as well. Which she has no desire to do.

So she started sleeping on one of my shoes. The theory being, I guess, that it will prevent me from getting up, going back inside and taking her with me.

So now we’re in this routine.

Nice day.

Write outdoors.

Tasseled loafers.

She lets out a protest any time I move my foot, since she assumes that means we’re going back in.

You’ve heard of dressing for success? Well, this is dressing for your cat.

As to who actually runs things around the house, well, this makes it pretty clear, doesn’t it?


Nic Tatano’s The Lost Cats & Lonely Hearts Club is out now! Get your copy here:

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