books i've been reading, cooking, girl meets cake, kids' books i've been reading, telly, the rugby isn't it

3 weeks till Cake!

I’ve less than no idea how it got to be March, but apparently time does this ‘moving forwards’ thing while you aren’t looking.  Who knew?  I’ve also heard it rumoured that if you just sit completely still all through March, this thing called ‘April’ (like the girls’ name: crazy, huh?) rocks up to replace it, and with April comes the publication day of GIRL MEETS CAKE!  (And probably some rain and stuff too.  Sorry about that.  Still, GIRL MEETS CAKE!  Eeeee!  Woooo!  Noises!)

girl meets cake

It’s your average everyday story of love, lies, and gingerbread boyfriends – and I hope it makes you giggle.  Coo, it’s so pretty.  Every time I look at it, I want to snap off a chunk and eat it.  (Don’t consider that an author-recommended tactic, by the way: reading is definitely the way to go with this baby.)  And it’s going to be in actual shops from April 6th, so please begin making fluttery eyes at whoever buys the books in your house ASAP.

New book means you’ll be seeing a few changes around the site over the next few weeks, so do check back to see after her makeover.  If you’d like to lay your hands on a free copy of Girl Meets Cake (not to mention a yummy basket of cupcakes!), then hurry on over to this fab Scholastic competition.  UK girlies, keep an eye out for Mizz magazine, for another competition with a rather exciting prize (for me as well as you!)…

book_mini  Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer: classic kidlit which I intended to reread for The Book That Never Was.  I recall adoring it when I was 11 or so: partly because I knew I was supposed to like this sort of thing (it’s all a bit Blue Peter), partly because the heroine’s last name is Makepeace, like her in Dempsey & Makepeace, which I loved with a flamey burny love.  To grown-up-me, it’s both brilliant and maddening: a clever tale of a time-slip, where two girls switch places between 1918 and 1960 and cope with fabulous phlegm – but also a missed opportunity, since the 1960s girl seems so Edwardian to the modern reader that the contrast in the two girls’ lives gets lost.  Sigh.  Still, the nostalgia made me giddy: a round bedpost that unscrews to reveal a hidden hiding place, monkey puzzle trees, ‘snubs to you and utterly squash’… *flails*  Also: Frank Cottrell Boyce’s Framed, a tale of thrilling juvenile art theft in North Wales which is beguiling, hilarious, and adorable all at once and should be read as soon as you can plausibly find a bookshop. Oh, and at last I can blether about M.G. Harris‘s Ice Shock, the second in her Joshua Files series, which manages to take everything you liked about the first one and then turn it up to 11…proper review next time, I promise!

pencil_mini  Surreally enough, I’m currently rewriting bits of Girl Meets Cake for the US edition – which will be called My Invisible Boyfriend, and available sometime in 2010.  Not Americanifying it: just tinkering with a thing or two to make the whole thing even more delicious (I hope!).  It’s a bit odd, being able to check different drafts against an actual proper book-shaped version, but I’m having fun dipping a toe back into Finchworld and reacquainting myself with geeky Heidi, and Mysterious E, and the endless references to cake…

rocrastination_mini  Baking blueberry muffins; eating scones with chestnut jam (yummy!) while watching Wales playing atrocious rugby; marvelling at how epically late 70s/early 80s telly fails even when it’s trying really hard to be feminist (Blake’s 7, I’m looking at you).


18 thoughts on “3 weeks till Cake!”

  1. I’ve got it on preorder at Amazon!!

    Also, YAY for Charlotte Sometimes. When I was about ten, I used to stay overnight sometimes at my neighbours’ house, and their spare bed had a great big brass frame with brass twisty off knobs on, and I used to desperately try to unscrew them. It never worked though.

  2. Yay! Hope you enjoy. 🙂

    Charlotte Sometimes is crammed with moments I’d forgotten I remembered, if that makes sense – and the bedpost you could unscrew and leave messages in was one of those. When I grow up, I’m so having a brass bed with twisty knobs on. I also plan to use the phrase ‘snubs to you and utterly squash!’ at every opportunity!

  3. Woo, can’t wait! But for me, it’s a question of which arrives soonest. Girl Meets Cake or a Mini-Rarg.

    Mrs Rarg is now huge and becoming Jackie Chan’s practice dummy, but is still beautiful.

    You a Watchmen geek, Ms Susie?

  4. New book = exciting. New person = infinitely more so. Can’t believe how fast the time’s gone (though possibly Mrs Rarg would disagree). Hooray, hurrah, can’t wait!

    Comics/graphic novels are an area of geekery that passes me by entirely. Am planning to see the film, though. You?

  5. You mean Servalan wasn’t a feminist icon?

    Glad you enjoyed ‘Framed’ – the funniest thing I’ve read all year (bar GMC, of course). It led to baby-disturbing bouts of giggles.

    Charlotte Sometimes – would like to reread, as I remember loving it, and now can’t help thinking of the Cure song first. I didn’t realise for years that it was actually about the book, as I couldn’t believe that Pop Star type people might have liked the same dorky books that I had. Bit dim really – took me about as long for it to dawn on me that ‘Killing an Arab’ was about ‘L’etranger’. I obviously thought everyone was writing about shooting people randomly on beaches and only I had noticed the coincidence. Duh.

    V exciting about Real Book. Look forward to seeing it in a bookshop next time I get to one…

  6. Servalan is magnificent, indeed – but apparently in the future it’s still supposed to be quite shocking and unusual that A WOMAN!!! *gasps* should be in a position of power. And that’s the problem throughout: every example of apparently progressive writing is undercut by some massively dodgy assumptions that seem to be completely invisible to the writers. I’m pretty sure whoever wrote ‘Assassins’ (in which the team assume the Bad Guy must be a bloke not a simpering girly, with Hilarious Consequences) thought he was producing feminist polemic, not a toe-curling load of stereotypical arse. Sigh.

    Thank you so much for Framed! Absolutely cracking read. Will bring you Charlotte Sometimes at Easter. And aww bless re The Cure. I confess I had no idea of the origins of Shakespeare’s Sister as a band name till my 3rd year at college…

  7. Oh yes, planning to see Watchmen. I only read it last year on honeymoon (along with another book by someone or other :P), but it rules.

    My brother is more the comic geek than I, but I’m finding certain graphic novels (esp. the Alan Moore ones) utterly beguiling. It’s a realm I plan to saddle up and visit more often in the future.

  8. Servalan…don’t get me started, Susie love.

    Btw what more proof do you need that there’s a God and he puts in the effort looking after me from time to time…my bestest pal Reba (see leaves the country for good, depriving me of a B7 partner-in-crime with whom to gas about whether Avon and Blake were getting it on and other massively important matters.

    And then I meets little ol’ Suse!

    I still think we should throw you a GMC cupcake launch party. And NOT only because I loves cupcakes. Oh go on! Let me contact the librarian at some Oxford High and organise it….

  9. I’m reading Girl Meets Cake right now! Squeeeeeeeeeeeeal!

    Sorry to be so undignified but – wow! I’m a-love-love-lovin’ it and I’m very happy.

  10. Jess – not a celeb bake-off, no, but food is involved! More details soon. 🙂

    MG – I think I may just launch into a frenzy of gingerbread men-construction and persuade people to personalise them instead. Hmm: Gingerbread Avon, with those edible silver bobbly things…

    Luisa – hooray! I was quite undignified when I saw your lovely enthusiasm over at Chicklish, trust me (TYVM!). Now all I need is for Amazon to hurry up with my Extreme Kissing order, and we can giggle in tandem. 😀

  11. Look at all this I missed by being far too busy for cake!

    Servalan = amazing, sexy, frightening, my prepubescent wet dream. But also rather annoyingly flirty with the men she captured. Uh, darling you’re meant to CHOP THEIR HEADS OFF. natch.

    GMC = woo woo wooo woooooo etc. will there be a cupcake roadshow coming to Cardiff soon?

    New look Susie site = lurvly, esp the cupcakes and sprinkles bling

    Mini-Rarg = my sympathies with punch-bag. It doesn’t stop after birth, punching will continue, sorry to say.

    Charlotte Sometimes = haven’t read it but it sounds pretty cool. Twisty off bedknobs reminds me of one of my favourite childhood films, which always gives me the opportunity to quote “he’s taken my knob!” or something like that, of course it’s Bedknobs and Broomsticks woo

    chestnut jam = um, wha?

  12. Love the new look site – cake!!

    It’s really weird to discover that younger people (ones the right side of 40) have even heard of B7, let alone talk about it. It was my mega-fave show in my teenage years, and I cried for 3 hours after the final episode (much to the hilarity and utter lack of sympathy of my family!!!). My fave character was Vila because he was so useless and scared all the time – can’t imagine why?! Servalan’s panto villain act made me laugh, especially when her and Avon got to spend some time together (there was 1 ep with some weird killer sand which particularly stands out in my memory). Ah, I feel all nostalgic now….

    On a more up to date note, Amazon have emailed me to say my copy of GMC has been dispatched. Either they are sending it tied to the back of a snail, or it will arrive early. Fingers crossed it’s the latter as I’m looking forward to a good read.

  13. Ah, you sneaky people coming and peeking before the grand unveiling! Glad you approve of the new cakey look. 🙂

    Josie: there is now a mini-rarg! But I shan’t pass the bit about punching on to Mrs Rarg quite yet. Must confess to hating Bedknobs and Broomsticks due to presence of Jessica Fletcher being creepy and weird as per usual. Chestnut jam is yummy! Though you can only buy it in one bit of France, sorry. (Or possibly Waitrose for all I know. It’s good though: sort of oddly doughnutty.)

    Nicky: I just watched the evil killer sand! (Hate to break it to you, but it’s Tarrant that Servalan gets all friendly with in that one, in a totally unconvincing fashion. Blech. She does buy Avon as a slave in Assassin though!) Vila is still my fave too: he’s so charmingly cowardly. It’s quite strange watching Season 4, because there are bits I remember from being about 6 so they’re all jumbled in my head. I do recall being instructed to leave you to mourn in the lounge after the last one though. Aww. I apologise for my unsympathetic small self – I totally did the same thing when I found out Michael Praed was going to cop it… *cue ‘they don’t make em like they used to’ ramble* I remember when it was all just fields…

    Apparently Mum and Dad got their copies last week! Amazon are obviously being highly enthusiastic.

  14. You have the evil killer sand on DVD???? My memory clearly need refreshing. I have some B7 on video, but sadly now no working video player (or time to watch them!). Ahh, the joys of nostalgia.

    My copy of Girl Meets Cake arrived this morning (thanks Amazon) so am now giggling while reading it , which is much more fun than the levelling of English papers I am supposed to be doing.

    Mycroft Christie reminds me of Bruce Willis in Moonlighting. Is that just my age??

  15. B7 has been out on dvd for a while, I think (v expensive though, so I’ve been renting them). You too can revel in non-fuzzy high-quality evil killer sand!

    Bruce Willis? Blimey. I do remember thinking he was rather cute way back then, though (you know, when he had hair), and everything I ever knew about Taming of the Shrew is entirely down to Moonlighting. I think your own personal Mycroft Christie is dependent on who you’ve ever quite fancied off the telly, anyway, so he can be Bruce to you if you like. 🙂

    Girl Meets Cake: officially more fun than levelling English papers. Quote for the cover!!

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