Friday, 9 December 2016

So Christmas is looming - which means of course that we have been in this house for almost a year. One whole year and I'm still referring to it as the new house. It's not that I haven't settled in, because I have, or that it doesn't feel like home, because it does. So what is it then?

I actually think it's a state of mind. This past year has gone in such a flurry of activity, and I've been such a hive of industry, I almost haven't allowed myself to believe that a year has passed. I've written two whole books and made inroads into a third, decorated, weeded and done all the normal household stuff and yet I'm still wondering if I could have done more, been more industrious...

So on that note, I am making a plan. You know how I love a plan. Next year I will write Volume VIII of the Owners before I write any other books. This is a pivotal volume, for it starts to bring the story back to San and Loni and all the other characters we left in Volume I, because they still have so much to say, so much to do.

In Volume VIII therefore, we will see how Sophia became the leader of her people - what particular things happened in her life to bring her to the exact point at which she meets Little and Loni. We will find out about the tragedies that drive her forward and the challenges she has had to face.

Similarly, we will find out more about Rian, about his unhappy early life and how all that happens then, puts him on the very path that will one day ensure that he meets San.

This will be an emotional book; powerful and strong, full of resolve and purpose, just like its main characters, and I can't wait to start it. Both Rian and Sophia have been patient with me. They have waited in the back of my head for their time to emerge fully into the light. Next year will be their time.

And writing their tales will be no easy task. It will be draining and emotional, but I hope that it will be cathartic both for me, and for its readers. If nothing else, it will give Rian and Sophia the freedom they deserve.

So until then, and just in case I get caught up in Christmas and New Year and don't have a minute to blog again, let me say,


I hope 2016 has been great for you and that 2017 will be wonderful!

And if you get one of my books as a stocking filler, I hope you enjoy it. X

Monday, 5 December 2016

New reviews for my books.

Here are some more reviews for my books on Amazon.

About the Owners Volume I. Pretty good for a first novel - and my daughter liked it a lot.

Confess I'm not a teen reader but there's enough of interest here to make me think Carmen Capuano can write and one day she'll pen a great novel. Till then this is enjoyable fare and might just turn into a favourite series for my daughter to enjoy. - Andrew.

Read it! Couldn't put it down.  - Peter Teale.

Thank you guys!

About the Owners Volume II

"Teenagers should love this.

Like the ideas and the way she reinvents the future disaster story. Also better edited than the first in her Owners series so it doesn't suffer from to the same extent from incorrectly typos." - Andrew.

On the Owners III -

"Like Owners II a big improvement on Owners I.

Continuing the story of Dan Ryan from Owners II and pretty well, what I said positive about that applies here to. A good read for any teenager but I am a sucker for disaster survival stories." - Andrew.

Split Decision

"Snappy dialogue and excellent writing- worth trying!"

Looking at this because I like Carmen's 'The Owners' series. Not sure whether it'll appeal to male readers as much as female but she can write and her dialogue is spot on - she makes her conversations sound real and for that reason I'll persevere. The only reservation is about pricing - even for a 400'page novel £11 plus is going to deter many potential readers." - Andrew.

On the Owners IV

"Excellent continuation of the series.

More of Jack Ryan's story from Owners II and III. Excellent continuation of the series." - Andrew. 

Many, many thanks for your honest reviews guys! x

Restaurant review

Yesterday evening I was treated to an Indian dining experience which went beyond anything I have previously encountered.

Located in Harborne, Umami is blessed with a great location which allows for a small outside seating area when the weather is fine, and large plate glass windows through which you can watch the world go by.

From the first sight of its chic decor, which fuses elements of modern and traditional design to create a lasting impression of serenity and elegance, it is obvious that Umami is different to other Indian establishments. Even the air seems to be more subtly aromatic than is the norm, redolent with aromas which evoke thoughts of long, balmy Indian evenings and fragrant nights.  

And Umami certainly lives up to its name, providing a fifth element of taste that is less definable than the traditionally agreed sweet, salty, bitter and sour, in its rounded, rich savoury dishes.  

Greeted by an elegantly bedecked hostess, we were ushered into a lounge area and presented with an extensive drinks menu which had everything I had ever heard of and more. Cocktails with exotic names and even more exotic ingredients, champagnes and spirits, soft drinks and wines to suit every budget and palate.

My companion chose a Cheeky Monkey, which was pleasingly strong and an excellent choice for the discerning whiskey drinker, whilst I chose a Rise of Umami, a soft and fruity concoction, which was both refreshing and delicious. We sipped on these whilst we took our time to consider the unique and innovative menu with a good selection of starters, mains and desserts, as well as three set-price menus, which each have a selection of starters and mains to share, and which can be replenished on request.

It was one of these set menus which we chose, the Royal Prix Fixe, whilst our drinks orders were replenished with yet another cocktail, this time an Old Fashioned, smooth and full bodied, and a glass of Cotes de Provence Rose, refreshingly chilled and light.

Suitably relaxed,  we were led through a very stylish contemporary bar area to the dining room, which exuded effortless class from its delightful soft furnishings to the semi-private dining booth, easily able to accommodate up to six diners.

What was apparent by this stage was the sumptuous attention to detail which was obvious throughout, both in the exceptionally well-appointed restaurant and in the attentive yet discreet service from the waiters. And we were clearly not alone in our opinion, for every table was filled with diners who radiated a sense of contentedness, lending the whole place an excellent ambiance.

But it was when the food emerged that an even greater meticulous care was evident. The three starters of tandooried king prawns, chargrilled chicken tikka and Welsh lamb chops were so well-executed that they seemed to melt on the tongue. Each mouthful was tender and succulent, with just the right bite to it.

Likewise the four main courses were exquisite. Each dish seemed to challenge the next to be even better; the fish simmered in coconut milk and mango curry was smooth and light, the Palak Paneer was delightfully moreish, the Welsh lamb was fragrant and piquant and the butter chicken was so sweet and juicy that it immediately became my new favourite. So much so, that I just had to ask what it was that made this dish so different from its counterparts across the country.

I learned that unlike most other restaurants, the chef at Umami uses pulled chicken in this dish and he considers it to be one of his finest specialities. Having tasted it, I had to concur, whilst my dining companion voted for the Welsh lamb with its subtle coriander and cumin flavours.

Somehow by sheer force of will, we managed to leave just enough room for dessert, ordering carrot pudding encased in a crispy samosa pastry and Hagen-Daz, which was served in a brandy basket with a fruit coulis. Both were delicious.

I have to say, we left with reluctance, and only once our plates were completely clean. But I don’t think it will be too long before we make another visit to this fantastic restaurant, to sample once more the banquet truly fit for a Maharaja.