Stories on the Go – An Anthology of 101 Stories by 101 Authors

I am taking part in Stories on the Go, an anthology featuring 101 short stories by 101 different authors. My story is a 1,000 word prequel romance featuring two of the supporting characters from A Play for the Castle.

The anthology is currently free on, and we are waiting for Amazon to price match to free on their other stores. The anthology is also available on Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Kobo.


This anthology aims to be a showcase of recent indie writing.

Hugh Howey launched the idea on Kboards, a forum for Kindle readers, but also the meeting place of an active community of indie writers.

The result is this anthology of 101 very short stories by 101 authors.

To make it more attractive for you, the reader, we set ourselves a limit of a thousand words. You should be able to read each story in under five minutes — on your desktop computer, laptop, or tablet at home or in the office, but also on your smartphone, on the go, while you are commuting or waiting at a coffee shop for your significant other to arrive.

We included as many genres as we could. We hope that maybe, with only five minutes of your time on the line that would otherwise be wasted anyway, you’ll be tempted to venture outside your comfort zone and try out some new genres and new authors.

The Girl with the Guitar

I have a new short story, The Girl with the Guitar, now available for Amazon Kindle, and on Smashwords.

Here are the online retailers where you can find my books:,, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Apple iBooks, Diesel, FlipKart, Oyster, and Scribd.

Please note – there appears to be an issue with Kobo UK not listing the books, though they are on the US store. As a work-around, Kobo users in the UK can purchase an epub version via Smashwords.


Jane is a professional guitarist who can’t wait to introduce her cool new boyfriend, Josh, to all her friends at the house party. By the end of the weekend, she might just feel differently.

This story is approximately 5,400 words long and is written in UK English.

The Gardener – A Fillybrook 1950s Romance

The Gardener is a sweet romance set in 1950s rural England. It is available for Amazon Kindle and on Smashwords. I am currently working on a print version and will update this post when it becomes available.

Here are the online retailers where you can find my books:,, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Apple iBooks, Diesel, FlipKart, Oyster, and Scribd.

Please note – there appears to be an issue with Kobo UK not listing the books, though they are on the US store. As a work-around, Kobo users in the UK can purchase an epub version via Smashwords.


Sarah Mountlow, a pretty young widow, can’t help but fall for Ben Haythorn. He is good, kind, thoughtful – everything her late husband wasn’t. Ben took her in when she had nowhere else to turn. She wishes she could help him with his own problems, but he’s reluctant to tell her what they are.

Successful market gardener Ben Haythorn accepted an exemption from active service during the war in order to care for his sick mother. He’s often called “yellow as hay Haythorn” by people in the village, but when there’s a crisis involving his family from the manor house, Ben might just have it in him to surprise everyone.

This story is a 20,000 novella published in UK English.

A Fop and His Fortune

A Fop and His Fortune is currently available for Amazon Kindle, and on Smashwords. A print version is also available.

Here are the online retailers where you can find my books:,, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Apple iBooks, Diesel, FlipKart, Oyster, and Scribd.

Please note – there appears to be an issue with Kobo UK not listing the books, though they are on the US store. As a work-around, Kobo users in the UK can purchase an epub version via Smashwords.


Sir James Beauleigh hasn’t seen Jenny Davenport since they were children. Arriving to take over his late uncle’s estate, he accidentally overhears Jenny complaining that her family is hoping for a match between the two of them.

When James decides to tease the Davenports by pretending to be a vain and foolish fop of a man, he doesn’t expect the act to last more than a day.

However, when Portia Perrault (a femme-fatale low on finances but not on audacity) falsely declares that James is her long-lost fiancé and threatens to use a local law to entrap him into marriage with her, the foppish pretence may be the only way for James to escape her clutches.

The trouble is, Portia doesn’t care how ridiculous he appears as long as he is rich and titled, and he is fast falling in love with Jenny, who holds him in disgust.

It will take a masked ball, a duel, and more than just a powdering of persuasion to resolve matters.

A Fop and His Fortune is a lighthearted romance set in a Regency-flavored make-believe world.

Goodreads Giveaway

Now that my book is available in paperback, I’m running a Goodreads Giveaway, where readers in the US, UK and some areas of Europe can enter for the chance to win a copy. When I set up the giveaway, the title hadn’t yet gone live on The Book Depository – it has now been listed. So, if I run another giveaway on this title in future, then I will be able to open it up to readers in all countries. :o)

For now though, readers in qualifying countries can enter to win a copy here:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Play for the Castle by Zelah Meyer

A Play for the Castle

by Zelah Meyer

Giveaway ends July 05, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

A Play for the Castle

My first novel, A Play for the Castle, has finally been published!  I first started this story fourteen years ago, and it’s had a long and winding route to the page, but now it’s finally out there!

It’s currently available for Amazon Kindle, and on Smashwords. It’s awaiting extended distribution to the other retailers, but in the meantime, you can buy epub versions direct from Smashwords here. A print version is in the works and will be out as soon as possible.

Here are the online retailers where you can find my books, including this one once it goes live:,, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Apple iBooks, Diesel, FlipKart, Oyster, and Scribd.

A Play for the Castle Book Cover


Arthur and his friends are noblemen disguised as traveling players. Raising an army in secret, while dodging mercenaries and cabbages alike, isn’t easy. Neither is keeping secrets from the curious young woman he happens to be falling in love with. She thinks he’s just an actor with a shady past, and if he’s to have any hope of a future, he can’t put her right. Between sword fights and scene changes, life is about to get interesting.

Ginger Cookie Cake With Rum Buttercream & Candied Ginger

When I asked my husband whether he’d like a cake for his birthday, he said that he’d be happy if I made ginger cookies and stuck a candle in one of them.

I decided to give him the cookies he wanted, but to dress them up a bit for the occasion!

Birthday Cookie Cake

I used the excellent Big Soft Ginger Cookies recipe from (which, if you like ginger cookies, you should definitely try!)

When I made the cookies, I made three of them into giant cookies (I patted the mixture out flat and coated it in sugar, leaving space for it to spread. As long as you flatten it, you could probably make them as large as you want – but be aware that they will tend to fold and crack when you lift them from the tray (due to the ‘soft’ part of the recipe!)

A tip for this cookie recipe – when I make the cookies, I usually give them 8-10 minutes (closer to 8 if the oven is already hot) & I gave these ones 11 due to the size of the larger cookies. In general though, they are done once you get a very slight resistance if you gently rest a finger on one of the cookies. If you cook them till they are firm then you’ll overcook them, and they will lose a lot of the moistness and softness. It might take you a couple of goes to work out how long you need to leave them in the oven for to get them the way you want them – but you won’t mind that because they are so tasty!

Anyway, once you have your giant cookies, you can turn them into a cookie cake!

I made some rum buttercream icing to layer the cookies with. I used:

3oz salted butter (room temperature)
5oz icing sugar
2 tbsp dark rum

I stirred the ingredients together with a fork, then whisked it all up with an electric whisk. I made my icing layers about 3mm to 4mm thick, and had enough icing left to do another layer if I’d wanted. I decided that three layers would be enough for this cookie cake because of the richness of the buttercream, but you could make it with as many layers as you wanted. I then topped it with some candied ginger.

You could also make mini ones with regular sized cookies & serve them as individual desserts. 🙂

Experiments, Importing to Scrivener

I recently purchased a copy of Scrivener.  I’ve previously done my writing in OpenOffice or Microsoft Word, using Microsoft OneNote when I wanted to keep track of details.  However, everyone raves about Scrivener, so I figured I’d give it a go!

With that in mind, I’ve spent this weekend working my way through the interactive tutorial – and yes, I probably will read the entire user manual at some point – I’m the sort of person who always reads the instructions!  I might forget how to do something – but I usually remember that it can be done.  🙂

Anyway, since I tend to save all my ideas for plots as individual documents, I was curious to see how Scrivener would cope with importing those if I were to just highlight everything in my ‘Ideas’ folder and attempt to import it.  Obviously, I didn’t actually do that – I set up test files in OpenOffice and Word, one regular and one password protected for each program & imported them to a test project in Scrivener.

I should perhaps mention that I already knew that Scrivener didn’t support importing for OpenOffice documents (apparently, the work-around is to cut & paste, or I suppose you could save it as a .doc or some other supported format.) – I just wanted to see what would happen.

The results were:

General: It wouldn’t import the folder that contained the documents, I had to select all the documents within the folder individually.  I mention this because, depending on how you organise your writing, you may have sub-folders for a project you’re working on in another program and need to factor that in when you come to import that particular writing project to Scrivener.

OpenOffice .ODT file: Didn’t import – but Scrivener created a document that consisted of a link to the OpenOffice file on my hard drive – clicking on the link started up OpenOffice and opened the file.

OpenOffice ODR file – Password Protected:  As above, didn’t import but I got a document with a link that started up OpenOffice, prompted me for the password & opened the document once I entered it.

Microsoft Word .DOCX file:  Imported as a document.

Microsoft Word .DOCX file – Password Protected: Didn’t import, created an error message and, where the document would usually go in Scrivener (represented by a sheet of paper with lines on it) – I had a blank sheet of paper with the file name as the title but no link or anything else.  I was able to type into the blank document – at which point – lines appeared on the sheet of paper icon that represents it in the Scrivener Binder.

So, there you go.  I just thought I’d share that in case it’s useful to anyone else who’s starting out with Scrivener.  🙂


The Scholar and Her Escort

My second title, a novella, is now available from the various e-book retailers, and can also be purchased in print from Amazon. Links here:,, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Apple iBooks, Sony, and Diesel.



The only child of the local village squire, Selina has always thrown herself into her studies, perhaps a little too much. She knows a lot about books but not so much about people. When she receives an invitation to the Gathering of Great Minds in Trevarde, she is desperate to attend. It’s harvest time and no one can be spared from the village to escort her on her travels. Selina sees no reason why she shouldn’t make the journey on her own.
Bill is a patient and good-natured gentleman, passing through Selina’s village on his way to Trevarde. The local innkeeper suggests him to the squire as a suitable protector to get Selina safely through the dangerous border lands. On hearing from her father that she is threatening to make the journey alone, Bill volunteers to escort her.
Willful, smart, but too sheltered to comprehend the dangers she would face traveling alone—Selina wants to shake off the man she believes her father has hired unnecessarily. Her thoughts are on the gathering and the speaker she hopes to impress. She wants to concentrate on her studies, but when she writes Bill off as a brainless fighter, it might just lead to her most important lesson yet.

Chocolate Cheesecake

The first time I attempted a home-made cheesecake, I used Butterscotch flavour Angel Delight.  Back when I was at uni, I used to make a cheesecake-esque dessert.  I’d buy a packet of cheesecake mix, ditch the cheesecake bit (they’re always too sweet for my tastes) and just use the biscuit-crumb mix.

It would probably have been cheaper to weigh out biscuits and butter and make my own from scratch, but I didn’t have any kitchen scales at uni.  Anyway, I’d make up the Butterscotch Angel Delight with a small carton of yoghurt and a tiny drizzle of milk.  The filling wouldn’t set solid like a proper cheesecake – but I always spread it thinly anyway.  Cheesecake has always been mostly about the biscuit-crumb base for me!

Filled with nostalgic yearnings for that old dessert, I thought I’d try something similar some *cough* years later and, since Angel Delight don’t use artificial sweetener in their regular mix, I knew I would still be able to eat it.  (So many things I used to like are now off-limits to me due to an allergy to artificial sweeteners, and companies who like to save money by using them.)

Unfortunately, in the intervening years, Angel Delight have also taken out the old artificial flavourings…  🙁

Thus, when I experimented and whizzed up Philadelphia (cream cheese) with a packet of Butterscotch Angel Delight & a drizzle of milk, the natural flavourings in the Angel Delight lacked strength, and the over-riding flavour was of cheese.  It was too rich, too cheesy, and nothing like my memories.

So – this time around, I decided to go for chocolate cheesecake, add cream, and ditch the Angel Delight in favour of a 100gram bar of Green & Black’s 85% cocoa, dark chocolate.

I also consulted a few recipes – then ignored them and made up my own!

For the cheesecake base, I had a 9 inch tin so used the following, which was 1 1/2 times the suggested amount for a 7 inch tin (plus salt, which wasn’t in the original recipe, but I find that salt works well with chocolate, so I wanted to add some to the base):

  • 9oz digestives – crushed
  • 4 1/2oz butter – melted
  • 1 1/2 oz sugar
  • Pinch of salt

I melted the butter in a pan and then stirred in the other ingredients before pressing the mixture firmly into a foil-lined tin & chilling in the fridge for an hour or two.  The recipe book talked about baking it, but I’ve never baked a biscuit-crumb base, so I didn’t bother.

For the chocolate cheesecake filling, I used:

  • One 300gram tub of Philadelphia Light (low fat cream cheese)
  • One 300ml of whipping cream
  • One 100gram bar of Green & Blacks 85% cocoa dark chocolate
  • 1 tbsp vanilla essence
  • 2-3 heaped tbsp icing sugar (I just tipped a bit into the bowl & whisked it in until I was happy with the flavour.)

I used my electric beaters & started by whipping the cream up until it made firm peaks and didn’t shift if I turned the bowl gently sideways.  Then I beat in the cream cheese and vanilla essence.

I melted the chocolate (using the microwave, checking regularly and stirring until melted, I let the last few chunks melt on their own in the heat from the perspex bowl.)  Then I folded in the chocolate and beat it into the mixture, adding icing sugar to taste.

I wound up with enough mixture to make two cheesecakes – but as I only had one base, I froze the rest in portions.  It’s a little solid for ice-cream, but if you have molds for those small, thin ice-lollies that children often have, it would probably work well on those.  Even in its slightly solid state, the frozen leftovers have gone down well with the family!

Anyway, I spread the mixture into the base and let it chill in the fridge.  Here is a slightly out of focus picture of one of the last slices (it didn’t last very long!)


It was surprisingly light.  (Though probably not in terms of calories!)

Overall, it was a great success, and will definitely be making a come-back in our kitchen … once we’ve lost a few pounds!