Thursday, May 31, 2018

Sharing dinner with Elizabeth McGivern

Photo by Jess Lowe
We presented a challenge to all the authors we featured this month: Tell us what you'd serve at a book club meeting to go along with your novel. Only one author took us up on this challenge...Elizabeth McGivern. Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources, she's here today to present her ideal book club three-course meal!

Elizabeth McGivern is a former journalist turned hostage-in-her-own-home surrounded by three men and a horrible dog named Dougal. In an effort to keep her sanity she decided to write a parenting blog after the birth of her first son so she can pinpoint the exact moment she failed as a mother. In an unexpected turn of events, the blog helped her to find a voice and connect with parents in similar situations; namely those who were struggling with mental health issues and parenting. It was because of this encouragement – and wanting to avoid her children as much as possible – her debut novel, Amy Cole Has Lost Her Mind, was born 

Elizabeth lives in Northern Ireland although wishes she could relocate to Iceland on a daily basis. To witness her regular failings as a parent you can find Elizabeth at her website and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Amy Cole is a stay-at-home mum and a woman on the edge. After a very public breakdown and failed suicide attempt, Amy finds herself trying to make it through her everyday life as a high-functioning zombie. Elle De Bruyn is a force of nature ready to shake Amy back to life whether she likes it or not. After a fortuitous meeting, the two embark on a journey together which will change them both and help them find out exactly what they’re capable of when rock bottom is just the beginning. 

Purchase links:
Amazon UK 
Amazon US 

Dinner Party for a book club.

Welcome, Book Club!

Now, I hope you have all gathered round to enjoy this book and lively debate as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. In order to really sell the whole experience you’re all welcome to dig into this extravagant feast I’ve made.

My main protagonist is an Irish woman and the book itself is filled, with what I consider, Irish humour at its core. What better way to accentuate that than preparing for you three courses of Italian food.

Sorry, guys.

If you were expecting some Irish stew or just a potato on a stick you’ve come to the wrong dinner party but I can assure you, there are perfectly rational reasons for this choice – mostly because my attempts at stew are usually a watery mess.

Course 1: Bruschetta (First Third of the book)
I can think of no better way to start a meal than basically a food that screams to me ‘summer on toast’. It’s so easy that not even I can mess this up.

I chose this because, like this particular food, we’re laying some solid ground work for what’s to come. We have sharp humour – like the zing of a ripe tomato, we touch on the darkness that has been plaguing Amy, giving her depth – like the crunch and base of the bread and we have a delicious mix of oil and herbs that blend deliciously to pull the dish together – like the introduction of all our main players.

Course 2: Spaghetti Bolognese (Middle of the book)
Our next course is a meatier affair, much like the next stage of our novel. Amy spends this part of the book dealing with obstacles, life challenges and facing troubles head on symbolised by a rich and satisfying sauce. We have the comforting addition of pasta (it’s a hug in a bowl) which signifies a soothing resolution to some of the situations she finds herself coming up across and let’s face it: nothing beats pasta – just like how you can’t beat a woman on a mission.

Course 3: Chocolate, coffee & hazelnut dessert (Final third)
Now, if all this wasn’t enough, then I have chosen the perfect way to finish the evening – and our story. We’ve got it all: hazelnut cream, airy coffee sponge, crunchy chocolate crumble and caramelised sweet milk sauce. What more could you ask for? With a lot of the action taking place in a coffee shop, that particular flavour would always find a way onto this menu. The crunchy chocolate crumble symbolises the delicious, but fragile nature of love while the sweet sauce can only mean a happy ending to round off our tale.

I can never get enough Italian food and I hope that this same feeling can be said for those of you reading my book. The sequel is in the works so if you find this meal ‘moreish’ then stick with our heroine and see what is still to come.

Thank you for coming along to my not-so-Irish, Italian themed evening and I must say it’s been the easiest three course meal I’ve ever had to ‘prepare’ with the added bonus of no washing up!

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