Five Secrets I’d like to Share

I was tagged by fellow-blogger and author Roberta Pearce several days ago to post five things about myself that people might not know.

Well, if you don’t know it means it’s a secret, and if it’s a secret, I shouldn’t really be telling you, but since I can’t resist Roberta’s persuasive talents, I’ll have to comply…

1- My feet have given me many tough moments in life. When I was a child, I was taller than the rest, and had bigger feet then the rest of the girls my age, so I had a really hard time finding suitable shoes my size, children’s size. Everyone told me it would be alright when I got older, but it wasn’t, my feet kept growing, and growing, and by age thirteen, I was size 41. A couple of years later, it happened. My foot grew again. I am size 42 (I think that’s 11 US and 8 UK). Fortunately, they stopped growing. It was agony finding shoes. imagine a teenager looking for something cool in the outsize shoe department. I hated buying shoes. It caused me such trauma 😦 Of course it’s easier now, as there seem to be more people with my ‘problem’, and online shopping has made it much easier! Now I actually enjoy buying shoes:)


The last pair of shoes I bought. Online. By Pitillos. Spanish leather shoes. Price: under 60 Euros. Value: Priceless. Size 42.

2- I’ve been using henna to colour my hair since 1992. I say this because many people think I’m a real red-head. Well, I’m not. I have to remind myself sometimes. I had curly blond hair as a child, which soon turned chestnut. The trouble with henna is it’s a bit messy and time consuming. I have to make a creamy mixture with the powder, some olive oil, and hot water, which I then apply to my hair with gloves, and leave it on for over an hour.

It’s an ancient ritual, which I love taking part in. Henna is a small tree which grows in northern Africa and has been used as a cosmetic die for 6,000 years.

Red or hennad became popular with the Pre-Raphaelite artists of England in the 1800s. The painting on my header, Lilith, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti  is just one example. The French Impressionists further popularized the association of henna-dyed hair and young bohemian women.

The trouble with henna is it’s a bit messy and time-consuming. I have to make a creamy mixture with the powder, some olive oil, and hot water, which I then apply to my hair with gloves, and leave it on for over an hour. However, I think it’s worth it, because I’ve never used chemical dyes on my hair.



Red hair 55th birthday!


Chestnut hair, 21st birthday!

3- I never drink red wine or spirits. I only drink beer or white wine occasionally. I’m not too fussy, I like local white Spanish wines, My favourite white wine is Rueda, which is made with ‘verdejo’ grapes, grown in Castille (north-west of Spain), near the cities of Valladolid, Segovia and Ávila. Marqués de Riscal is my favourite. I also like French Chardonnay or Sauvignon, and I have tried California white wine, when  was in the US, and thought it was quite nice, too. I’ve also tried white wines from Chile, South Africa, and Australia, although I haven’t been there yet.

27-vinedo Rueda_web

Marqués de Riscal grapes


4-  My favourite food is ‘cocochas’ or cod cheeks cooked in an earthenware casserole, made with olive oil, fried garlic, parsley, and making sure it is well-stirred, and slowly cooked. It also goes very well with white wine.



5- I’ve always wanted to write the ‘autobiography’ of Catherine of Aragon, wife of Henry VIII, and the daughter of the Spanish Queen, Isabel of Castille and Ferdinand of Aragon. I’m fascinated by this little girl who grew up in the splendour of her parents’ court in sunny Granada, and at the age of 15, she was sent to ‘cold and wet’ Wales to marry a sick child, Prince Arthur, who died shortly after her arrival, and then she was a virtual prisoner of Henry VII until his death, when she was finally allowed to marry Arthur’s brother, Henry VIII. Unable to bear a healthy male heir, she was eventually rejected, divorced, and imprisoned, in favour of Anne Boleyn, much like the madwoman in the attic… I will write it one day… By the way, she is said to have been a redhead!

640px-Juan_de_Flandes_002 11 años

Catherine of Aragon at 11 by John of Flanders.


Catherine’s mother. Isabel of Castille.


I feel relieved after telling you my five secrets, but don’t worry, I’m still a mystery, there are still plenty more secrets I’m saving for the future…

Who’d lke to tell me 5 secrets? It’s up to you! Let me know in the comments so I don’t miss out!

Meet the Main Character Blog Hop!

Blogger and writer Noelle Granger, has kindly invited me to participate in a Meet the Main Character blog hop. Noelle writes crime fiction with a wonderful main character called Rhe Brewster, a nurse who works as consultant with the Police Department on special cases. Check out her novel Death on a Red Canvas Chair.  I love the adventures of this modern-day, younger version of Miss Marple! Read my 5 star review.

Thank you so much for tagging me on Noelle, I’m overjoyed because I’ve been wanting to take part in this blog hop for ages, and I’ve finally been tagged!

Here are the answers to my main character in my debut novel, All Hallows at Eyre Hall,  which is Volume One of the Eyre Hall Trilogy.

1.  What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or historical?

My main character is Jane Eyre Rochester. She has been fictional for nearly two hundred years, so she’s almost a historical person, too!

2. When and where is the story set?

The story is set in 1865, in Eyre Hall, a country estate in Yorkshire, where Thornfield Hall once stood.

3. What should we know about her?

Jane was an orphan, a governess, and a teacher up to the age of twenty, when she married the older, wealthy and egocentric landowner, Edward Rochester. At the time of the novel, she is 42, and has become part of the Victorian landed gentry in Yorkshire, but she is still a passionate, caring, and socially conscious person. She will soon be running a large and profitable Estate, because her husband is on his deathbed.

Her twenty-two years as Mrs. Rochester have not been easy. I can’t say much more without introducing spoilers, and she’s about to find out many more scandalous and shocking secrets, which make the ‘madwoman in the attic’ seem like a storm in a teacup.

Jane is at an unexpected and turbulent turning-point in her life, and the decisions she is forced to make will have unpredictable consequences.

4.What makes her interesting?

At the HEA end of Jane Eyre, Jane was living an idyllic honeymoon life, which many readers guessed, was either a condescending lie, or a temporary truth.

Jane Eyre is no longer a naïve and poor, young orphan. The way in which Jane has developed over the last twenty-two years was a challenge to write, and I hope interesting to discover.

5. What is the personal goal of the character?

Jane’s main concern is her son’s well-being and future. She is prepared to use all her energy, time, resources, and influence, to protect him from knowledge of his father’s wrong-doings, and to further his political career, too. To a lesser degree, she is also concerned about her husband’s other wards, Adele and Annette. She has forgotten, for the moment, about her own needs and objectives.

6. Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?

7. When can we expect the book to be published?

All Hallows at Eyre Hall is volume one of the Eyre Hall Trilogy, and is available on Amazon. Volume two, Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall, will be available in December, 2014. The final volume, Midsummer at Eyre Hall is due in summer, 2015.

8. Tap several more authors to highlight their books.

It’s my pleasure to introduce you to the following bloggers and writers:

Linda Townsdin author of the Spirit Lake Mysteries

Cyril Bussiere author of The WorldMight

Jo Robinson author of the Shadow People

Roberta Pearce author of A bird Without Wings

I’m looking forward to reading about their main characters, too!