Tuesday, 26 February 2013

New release in time for Mother's Day: 'Blackbirds Baked in a Pie' by Eugene Barter

We are very excited to announce to you the release of the latest Sunpenny book, out this Friday, the 1st of March:

'Blackbirds Baked in a Pie'
(Memories of Rozinante)

Do you know any cookery lovers or Francophiles? This new release has come out just in time for Mother's Day and Easter, so if you're looking for a gift that can be enjoyed for a long time to come, it would be a wonderful choice. Or you could just treat yourself to it and the delicious recipes inside it! Find out more to whet your appetite...

About the book
Sir Edward Heath's Private Secretary didn't take retirement sitting down...
Fate has plenty of surprises in store for Eugene when, at the age of 60, she decides to leave her Welsh home and find a house in France to run as an auberge. Finding the perfect place in a small market town in the foothills of the Pyrenees, she names the house after Don Quixote's mule, 'Rozinante', and settles down to fulfill her dream.
A forest fire heading towards the house before the removal van has even arrived, is only the start of many surprises! The house's eccentric water pump, a curmudgeonly neighbour, and the outlook of the laid back local workforce being that manana is the order of the day, make a lively beginning to Eugene's new life in St Eulalie. Many happy guests from all over the world find their way to Rozinante, with Eugene and her family entertaining them, plotting their walks and creating delicious meals for them. All the while trying to stop Buster the Golden Retriever from stealing their underwear and burying it in the garden!
Humorous and often self-mocking, always gentle and quirky, Eugene takes us on a journey through the countryside and its people, Catalans and French alike, with a good dose of her German and English guests thrown in. Her love of the region shines from the pages – surely a timeless joy for all ages.
The second part of the book  focuses on the recipes which Eugene devised for her guests.  Although many of them are French or Catalan in flavour she also manages to introduce the French to English pies and, in the true spirit of entente cordiale, succeeds in gaining French respect for English cooking. 

About the author
Born in Penarth, South Wales, Eugene Barter left school at 16 to work as a trainee journalist on two local newspapers, in the days when discrimination against women in the workplace made the job twice the challenge it was for male colleagues. Moving on to an assignment in Holland at a Unesco conference, she stayed on for two years, learning the language and working with companies in Amsterdam struggling to get back on their feet after the horrors of the Second World War. Studying with the Open University in her late forties, she became a Tutor/Counsellor after graduating, before moving briefly back into journalism, then working in the House of Commons – eventually becoming Senior Secretary to Sir Edward Heath. In her sixties she took on the running of an auberge in France, and this book, Blackbirds Baked in a Pie, is a lively and affectionate account of her time there.
Now 85, Eugene's love affair with France continues undiminished. 

Blackbirds Baked in a Pie is also accompanied by the beautiful illustrations of Mary Jose, which really bring the settings to life vividly.

About the illustrator
Mary Jose is English, but she and her husband have travelled the world extensively. She was one of the first and most regular guests at Rozinante. She is a self-taught artist, now happily settled near Prades, where her paintings are widely praised. It was, in fact, the evening meal with Champagne to celebrate the purchase of their house there, that the 'blackbirds baked in a pie' incident took place.
There are frequent exhibitions of Mary Jose's work in both France and the UK. Visit Mary Joses website at: www.maryjose.fr

The recipes 
Eugene's delicious tailored recipes featured in the last section of the book became very popular amongst visitors to her auberge in France and are accompanied by short and often humorous passages explaining the inspiration and stories behind them that make this book stand out from the average recipe collection. With everything covered – from cheese and marinades to fruit puddings and buffet parties – there's sure to be something to take your fancy!

 Here are a few examples from the collection:

  • Apple Dessert cake (our Marketing Coordinator, Louise, made this cake for her family and it went down a treat!)
  • Chicken with Cider and Apple
  • Catalan Meatballs
  • Creme au Touron
  • Roquefort Turnovers

Special Offer!

As a special deal for our loyal friends we are offering you the chance to own a copy of Blackbirds Baked in a Pie for just £8.99 with FREE P&P in the first 2 weeks of publication only, if you order directly from Sunpenny. All you have to do to take advantage of this special offer is to send a cheque made payable to Sunpenny Limited, to the value of £8.99 to the following address:

10 Aspen Close,

Please include a note stating the book title, your name and the address you want it sent to.

Look out for more information on where to buy Blackbirds Baked in a Pie on Friday, here and on our Facebook and Twitter profiles!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Start of Spring Treat: 'Bridge to Nowhere' is just £0.99p to download this Saturday!


It finally feels like Spring is just around the corner with it officially starting here in the UK on the first day of March! There have been a few gorgeous sunny days this week despite the crisp chill in the air.

As a Start of Spring treat, we're offering Bridge to Nowhere by Stephanie Parker McKean to download as an e-book for  the bargain price of £0.99 this Saturday! It is the latest book in our inspirational romance imprint 'Rose & Crown' and the first book in a series. We're definitely hoping that soon the English skies are looking as blue, and the flowers as pretty, as they do on the cover.

'Bridge to Nowhere' by Stephanie Parker McKean

About the book

Best Selling crime author Mike Rice – or 'Miz Mike' to her friends – is by nature inquisitive (or "meddling" to her friends). She also has a heart of compassion that gets her intro trouble time and again, and her inability to really hear what God is saying to her doesn't help! So when a beautiful young stranger begs her to investigate the death of her sister, Mike is soon not-too-reluctantly embroiled in a mystery that involves the whole town of Three Prongs. She finds herself rapidly immersed in the illicit subculture in Texas Hill County – from dog fights to kidnappings, jealousy and murder – and her life is thrown into chaos as she takes in two troubled youngsters to boot. And that's without the animals thrown in!

Mike's crazy crush on the town heart-throb, retired film star and rodeo champion Marty Richards, fuels her impossible fantasies about the two of them hooking up. But when he finally asks her out, her need to track down culprits and bring them to justice gets in the way every time. Will they finally settle on a date and keep it? And more importantly, will Mike's M&M fantasies ever grow roots in a real relationship? 

About Stephanie Parker McKean

"I’ve survived being mauled by an African lion and bitten by a deadly water moccasin snake and have emerged victorious after suffering a childhood of sexual abuse. I’ve learned that what doesn’t make you bitter makes you better. You can’t make lemonade without lemons. And thank God, I’ve made the transition from atheist to Christian. My two favourite Bible verses are: in everything give thanks, and all things work together to good to them that love the LORD. Now, Sunpenny Publishing, with its release of my Christian mystery-romance-suspense 'Bridge to Nowhere', has gifted my lifetime dream of writing books with reality. I'm now married to wonderful Alan McKean – also a published author – and living in the lovely Black Isle of Scotland, even though I was born in Texas and am still proud of my birth state. Next to writing, a few of my favourite things are animals and rocks. I love building with rocks and cement when I'm not writing or taking our rough collie, Angel Joy, for a walk. And about the lion – he wasn't being mean when he mauled me – he was just being a lion. As for water moccasins, I no longer pick them up to see if they are poisonous or harmless, because they seem to resent being picked up… and after that stay in the hospital – I know anyway!"

What do people think about 'Bridge to Nowhere'?

Everyone at Sunpenny enjoyed reading it but here are some comments from people like you:

"If you want a simple book with a simple story this is not for you. If, on the other hand you like to keep guessing and be guessing till the end, this is your book. It is well written and crafted, with twists and turns and the murderer in 'Bridge to Nowhere' is never who you think it is. When you start the book, do not plan to be doing anything for a spell. Somehow the pages keep turning. Miz Mike finds trouble like a dog can find fleas. You will enjoy it and a little bird told me there are more to come."  
Alan, on Amazon

"'Bridge to Nowhere' introduces Michael Rice (Miz Mike, to her friends), a mystery writer who wants nothing more than to mind her own business, dream about her secret heartthrob, Marty, and play the M&M game. In spite of her best efforts, Miz Mike continuously gets herself into "pickles", as Marty calls them. When a strange woman approaches her with a claim that her sister had been murdered – a local woman thought to have died in a tragic explosion – Miz Mike can't help but start investigating. In the course of her search, she stumbles across the bridge that leads nowhere, as well as a disappearing dog-fighting operation. Along the way, she winds up taking into her home several misfits who have nowhere to go. Even as Miz Mike tries to mind her own business, evil is afoot in the small town of Three Prongs, evil such as this small town could never have imagined. When Miz Mike's youngest grandson, Ryan, is kidnapped, Miz Mike has to rely on her faith and God's ability to help her sort out the puzzle and save her grandson.
'Bridge to Nowhere' is filled with a cast of unforgettable characters, humour, and surprising plot twists that keep you guessing to the end. And for those readers who find themselves in "Miz Mike withdrawal" after finishing this book, I understand that the second in the series should soon be available." 
Henry Morgan, on Amazon

"Wonderful feel of Texas which jumps off the page. Mike's character is beautifully drawn, middle-aged, ditsy, disorganised, man-hungry, telling everybody that they should have faith in God to sort out all their problems. The classic bit was where she told the villain that she would rot in Hell and that they still had the death penalty in Texas. A lot of self-deprecating humour.
She probably fixed everyone's probs a bit too quickly, like the druggie who comes to live with her, reforms instantly and becomes a marvellous journalist.
A thoroughly enjoyable read! I will look for more from this author!"  
Rosemary E Johnson, on Amazon 

'Bridge to Nowhere' will be available to download to your Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iPad, etc. for just £0.99p on Saturday, February 23rd ONLY. Spread the word and let us know what you think of it in the comments or on our Twitter and Facebook pages!

Links to download 'Bridge to Nowhere':

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Happy Valentine's Day from Sunpenny!

from everyone at Sunpenny !

We hope you are having a wonderful day with your friends and family or loved one. One thing we love to do is spend some time reading our favourite romantic fiction book at this time of year. 

What do you like to read around Valentine's Day? Are you the type of reader to delve into romantic classic like Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen or a chick lit novel or do you steer clear of romance books altogether at this time of year instead? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook/Twitter pages, which are linked to in the sidebar of the blog.

Meanwhile, remember to enter our 12 Roses for Valentines' competition to win a selection of our romance books by retweeting the themed tweets on the Sunpenny Twitter feed! For more information on how to enter and the book selections you could win, please take a look at this previous blog post about it.

If you're in a romantic mood today or just want to give yourself a special treat, why not download one of our Rose and Crown or Blue Jeans books in e-book form? Here are some of our suggestions:

'Bridge to Nowhere' by Stephanie Parker McKean

'Uncharted Waters' by Sara DuBose

'Breaking the Circle' by Althea Barr 

Amazon UK- Amazon US-

'Blue Freedom by Sandra Peut'

Here are some book themed love and romance images for you to enjoy:

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Happy National Libraries Day!

Today is National Libraries Day and as book lovers, we thought we'd thought we'd create a post to show our appreciation for our local libraries along with school, university and public libraries who have been celebrating all week. 

At a time when many public libraries are under threat in UK from cuts or closure, it is becoming more important to visit them as much as possible and show councils how much we love and need them! The idea of National Libraries day, which is set up the Reading Agency is to demonstrate how important libraries are to local communities to encourage people to get down to their nearest library and take out a new book. There is also a Twitter campaign using the hashtag #LoveLibraries  so you can join in the discussion on libraries there.

Stephanie Parker McKean, author of 'Bridge to Nowhere' is a one such library lover who has shared with us what libraries mean to her.

 Stephanie's thoughts on how libraries have made a difference in her life:

'Even as an adult, when I step into a library, I step lightly as if in a dream. I never walk straight in - I pause to let my senses savour the wonder and joy. Old friends live here, friends that deserve reverence and to be gently informed that I have returned for a visit. New friends are waiting for an introduction. My heart races with quickened pulse and excitement pushes my feet forward across the room to the shelves peopled by books. Each book represents the heart and soul of its author-creator. When I was a child, we were poor. Money went to purchase food and clothing, not books. The highlight of our week was a trip to the county library where we could check out an armload of books. We went home to an old house with a torn, leaking roof, peeling paint and bees living in hollow walls. But we didn't live there. We had an entire week's vacation cosseted with our precious books, visiting places we might never see outside those pages and meeting characters that still enrich our lives and encourage us to believe the impossible dream. Thanks to Sunpenny Publishing, my dream has come true. But without The Library, I would never have realised what my dream was.'

Here are some library photos and quotes for you to enjoy:

library quote

Here at Sunpenny, we believe that books should continue to be available to everyone through libraries so make a point of borrowing a book (or several!') from your library this week and show how much you love them with your support.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

'12 Roses for Valentines' event this February - win a set of our romance books!

2013 seems to have flown by so far and we can't believe we're well into February already. However, we all know what February brings: Valentine's Day, of course! Not only is it a time to remind ourselves of the love we share with our family and friends, but it's also a great opportunity to challenge yourself to read some more romance novels this month to get you in the mood. 

To celebrate Valentine's Day on Thursday 14th, we're running an event:

12 Roses for Valentines 

As of last Sunday, we've been posting tweets on our Twitter feed featuring quotes from a Sunpenny romance novel and Bible verses about love in the days leading up to the 14th. To be in with a chance of winning a selection of our romance books, all you have to do is retweet them!

Here is an example of one of our tweets for the event:

You can find the Sunpenny Twitter feed here.

Here are the selections of books that you could win:

SET 1: 'Blue Freedom' by Sandra Peut, 'Uncharted Waters' by Sara Du Bose, 'A Devil's Ransom' by Adele Jones

SET 2: 'Bridge to Nowhere' by Stephanie Parker McKean, 'Redemption on Red River' by Cheryl Cain, 'Breaking the Circle' by Althea Barr

SET 3: 'Dance of Eagles' by J.S Holloway, 'A Flight Delayed' by K.C Lemmer, '30 Days to Take-Off' by K.C Lemmer

 Thank you to everyone who retweets for the competition and good luck. Make sure you keep an eye out for our tweets each day and spread the word with the hashtag #12ValentinesRoses!