Is there a more magical place on earth than Ireland?
Meet Irish author April Hollingworth and her characters.
From her soon-to-be released Be Mine, she’s interviewing Mark and Beth.
Interview of Mark and Beth
Interviewer: “So tell me when you first realized you loved each other and how come it took you so long to get together?”
Mark: “Well to be honest I never noticed Beth in a more than little sister’s friend way until arriving back and she threw that lasagna at me. What can I say, she knows how to get my attention.”
Beth: Hey that’s not fair, I didn’t deliberately throw it at you and you know it. Though you keep that up and I might do so next time. Sorry what was the question again? Oh yes, when did I fall in love with this clown. (Blushing slightly, Beth looks away before turning back and admitting) “When I was six, I told my mum that I loved Mark and would one day marry him.”
Mark: “Seriously? Why did you never tell me?”
Interviewer’s observations: His voice has turned soothing and there’s a look of devotion on his face that makes me feel as if I’m interrupting this moment between them, especially when he wraps her smaller hand between both of his and leans in closer to her, as if urging her answer from her. To be honest, I’m dying to know her answer too.
Beth: A slight smile slips across her face, turning towards him her blue eyes light up, with her free hand she strokes the side of his face and finally answers his question, “Well I was six, and you never noticed me back then, granted that wasn’t surprising. When we met again… What was I going to say? Hi Mark, sorry about the lasagna oh you’re going to marry me, I decided when I was six? Yeah, I don’t quite think that would have gone down well.
Mark: “Probably not, but you were right, I did marry you and I would again in a heartbeat.”
Interviewer: “Wow, when you were six? So I have to know, what is your favorite food?”
Mark: “Toad in the hole. There’s something about that crispy batter covering the sausages that I just love.”
Beth: “Mine’s lasagna, but instead of using white sauce I love it with chicken bake pasta sauce. It just gives it a really delicious creamy taste to it.”
Mark: “I have to admit, the way you make it is wonderful.”
Interviewer: “Are you being serious? You use a pasta bake sauce instead of white sauce?”
Beth: “Totally serious. I’ll give you the recipe if you like?”
Interviewer: “Okay. I’ll give anything a try at least once. Can I have the recipe to your Toad in the Hole too?”
Beth: “No problem, and don’t worry, there’s no actual toads in the dish.”
Interviewer: “I’m relieved to hear that. So Mark, you were in the army, what kind of missions did you go on?”
Mark: Well we went on quite a number of different ones, most of which I can’t talk about, though there was a few that were… unique.”
Interviewer: “Unique how?”
Beth: “Didn’t you have to dress up as a girl?”
Interviewer: “What? Why would you have…”
Mark: “No that was Jonathan.”
Beth: “That’s not how he told it!”
Mark: “It was Jonathan. He lost the coin throw and had to dress up as a girl to distract… Anyway, who he had to distract doesn’t matter, what does matter is it was Jonathan and not me. Also it worked better than we thought it would.” A huge grin spreads across his face as a chuckle rumbles from him, shaking his head presumably at the memory, me mutters, “Good times.”
Interviewer: “So definitely some intriguing missions. Tell me Beth, if you don’t mind that is, why exactly did you begin to learn self-defense?”
Beth: “Because I never want to feel helpless again. To be unable to protect myself or someone else. Also I used to hate the thought of walking in the dark, just from fear of someone hiding in the shadows. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t take any unnecessary chances, but knowing I can defend myself, it’s given me something back.”
Interviewer: “I must admit, I do love walking at night, it can be so peaceful, but yes I also understand how it can be nerve-racking when hearing a sound or seeing groups of people even. So on the mention of safety, how’s the security business doing?”
Mark: “Excellent thanks. I’ve gotten a lot of referrals and am kept busy. I’m thinking about branching out.”
Beth: “You should do it.”
Mark: “I probably will, I just need to finalize a couple of things first before making the decision.”
Interviewer: “Branching out how?”
Beth: “Mark’s thinking about hiring ex-special forces soldiers for private security. I think he should do it instead of thinking about it.”
Mark: “Kitten, you know it’s not that simple. I need to make sure that I have the men and women to do the job and the demand for them to be hired before I can make that decision.”
Mark: “Yep I call her Kitten, for she’s adorable but has claws, also I can make her…”
Beth: (Going completely scarlet) “Mark!” to which she receives a lascivious smirk and a wink from her unrepentant husband.
Interview: “So Beth, how’s your writing coming along?”
Beth: (With a look of relief flickering across her face at the change of subject, she flashes me a relieved smile.) “Wonderful thanks, well mainly wonderful I should say. Sometimes that dastardly writer’s block strikes, and when it does ugh it drives me crazy, other than that it’s fabulous.”
Interviewer: “So final question for you both. What’s your plans for the future? Where do you see yourselves in ten years?”
Mark: “Well, I see us having two or three kids, Beth as a full-time author and my security business has expanded. Probably we’ll have a dog or cat. What about you?”
Beth: “That sounds about perfect to me, but we’ll probably have both a dog and cat.”
Mark: “As long as you’re by my side, I don’t mind at all.”
Beth: “Same here. As long as we have each other. I’m blissfully happy.”
Interviewer: “Wow, okay, it’s been fabulous having you both here. I wish you both all the best and thanks for taking time out to share some more about yourselves.”
Mark and Beth: “Thanks for having us, it’s been fun.”
Toad in the Hole:
115g/4oz plain flour
Pinch of salt
1 egg beaten
300ml/10fl oz milk
450g/1b good-quality pork sausages
1tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7
- To make the batter, sift the flour and salt together into a mixing bowl.
Make a well in the center and add the egg and half the milk.
Carefully stir the liquid into the flour until the mixture is smooth.
Gradually beat in the remaining milk.
Leave to stand for 30 minutes.
- Grease a 20 x 25-cm/8 x 10-inch ovenproof dish or roasting tin.
- Prick the sausages and place them in the dish.
Sprinkle over the oil and cook the sausages in the oven for 10 minutes, until they are beginning to color and the fat has started to run and is sizzling.
- Remove from the oven and quickly pour the batter over the sausages.
Return to the oven and cook for 35-45 minutes, until the batter is well risen and golden brown.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion
2 chopped carrots
225g/8oz fresh mince beef
400g/14oz canned chopped tomatoes with garlic
225g/8oz dried no-precook lasagna sheets.
115g/4oz freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
Salt and pepper
½ tbsp. of dried spices: parsley, sage, thyme and oregano.
A jar of chicken pasta bake sauce.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5
Heat oil in a large heavy-based saucepan.
Add the onion, stir for 5 minutes or until it softens.
- Add the beef and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned all over.
Stir in the carrots and peas and cook for five minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Add in parsley, sage, thyme and oregano and tomatoes.
Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
- In a large, rectangular ovenproof dish, make alternate layers of meat sauce, lasagna sheets and parmesan cheese.
Pour the chicken pasta bake sauce over the layers, covering them completely, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and bubbling.
Be Mine (A Candy Hearts Romance) by April Hollingworth is now available for pre-order http://www.amazon.com/Be-Mine-Candy-Hearts-Romance-ebook/dp/B018YN002M/
Contact for April Hollingworth
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/aprilhollingworthauthor
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4759078.April_Hollingworth
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/April-Hollingworth/e/B00H48PPAG/
AND don’t miss April’s first release: Double Magick