Recipe | Kinder bueno cookie bars

Chewy cookie bars chock-full of Kinder chocolate and Kinder Bueno

Kinder bueno chocolate cookie bars milk and white chocolate

My friend Sam suggested I make these – so it’s all her fault! I used a recipe from Jane’s Patisserie. All Jane’s recipes are great. And if you’d find a recipe video helpful, there’s one on her site.

These are best served warm so the Kinder chocolate is slightly gooey.

Ingredients (makes 16 to 20 cookie bars)

Wait! There’s more. Click for the recipe and more pics!

My new book, The Only Exception, is out today! #PublicationDay #RomanceReads

What? Another one?!

The Only Exception (Love in the Comptons 2) by Claire Huston book cover

The Only Exception is out today – ebook only 99p/99c!

Today is publication day for my third book, The Only Exception. It’s also the second book in my Love in the Comptons series; the first book is Art and Soul.

Love in the Comptons series

The Love in the Comptons books are light-hearted, uplifting modern love stories. The books can be read in any order and as standalones, but they do share locations and characters.

The Only Exception is available in ebook and paperback. The ebook is on Amazon for 99p/99c and if you have Kindle Unlimited it’s free to download. The paperback is available everywhere so you can order it from your preferred online or high street book store.

Please help me spread the word!

I’d be very very grateful if you could help share news of the book’s release on social media or add the book to your to-read shelf on Goodreads. Thank you 🙂

Here’s the blurb and a bit about the blog tour which starts today and runs until 14th June.

The blurb:

Lucinda Green knows something is missing from her life. But what? Her catering business is enjoying modest success and she loves her cosy house, even if she does have to share it with her irritating ex-fiancé.

Whatever’s making her unsettled and edgy, Lucinda’s certain that a lack of romance isn’t the problem. How could it be when she doesn’t believe in true love?

But Lucinda’s beliefs are shaken by a series of electric encounters with Alex Fraser, a newly notorious actor who gradually proves himself to be infuriatingly funny and smart, as well as handsome.

Not that any of that matters. Because Lucinda doesn’t believe in all that ‘The One’ nonsense. That’s the rule.

But doesn’t every rule have an exception?

The blog tour!

Thank you to all the lovely bloggers taking part in the tour for The Only Exception. Special thanks to the fantastic Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources who organized the tour.

The Only Exception Full Tour Banner

I’ll be doing my best to share everyone’s posts on my other social media accounts. Thank you again to everyone for your support!

Get your copy of The Only Exception now!

Claire Huston / Art and Soul

Join me on Facebook chatting with Suzanne Snow, Tuesday 31st May at 7pm (BST)

Contemporary romance fans!

Join Suzanne Snow and me chatting all things writing and reading romance tomorrow at 7pm.

Promo banner for Snowed In author chat with Suzanne Snow
I’m looking forward to talking to contemporary romance author Suzanne Snow tomorrow evening (Tuesday 31st May) in her Facebook Group, Snowed In. You can watch live at 7pm (British Summer Time) or on catch up later in the Snowed In Facebook group.

Snowed In Facebook Group header image

Among other things I’ll be talking about my latest book, The Only Exception which is published in paperback and ebook next Tuesday, 7th June!

The Only Exception (Love in the Comptons 2) by Claire Huston book cover

You can pre-order the ebook on Amazon now for just 99p/99c!

You can also add it to your Goodreads to read shelf. Thank you!

About Suzanne

If you’re not familiar with Suzanne’s lovely books, she’s the author of the Welcome to Thorndale series and the first book in her new Love in the Lakes series – Snowfall over Halesmere House – comes out in August.

You can find out more about Suzanne and her books on her website.

We hope to “see” some of you tomorrow evening at 7pm over on Facebook 🙂

Claire Huston / Art and Soul

Recipe | Hot chocolate fudge pudding

A great classic dessert, perfect with ice cream: hot chocolate fudge pudding

Hot chococolate fudge pudding classic dessert recipe uk served with ice cream

This pudding bakes into a soft chocolate sponge bathed in a delicious hot chocolate sauce. Best served hot from the oven with a little vanilla ice cream.

This is another recipe from my mum’s recipe clippings (thanks, Mum!). Some of the quantities in the original recipe were a bit vague, so I’ve listed exactly what I used here and given the different measures.

Sorry my pictures are a bit rubbish!

Wait! There’s more. Click for the recipe and more lovely pics!

Review | The House with the Golden Door by Elodie Harper (Wolf Den Trilogy 2)

A solid middle installment in this historical fiction trilogy. 4/5 stars.

The House with the Golden Door_ Wolf Den 2_ by Elodie Harper book cover

I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher (Head of Zeus) via NetGalley in return of an honest review.

The blurb:

The life of a courtesan in Pompeii is glittering, yet precarious…

Amara has escaped her life as a slave in the town’s most notorious brothel, but now her existence depends on the affections of her patron: a man she might not know as well as she once thought.

At night she dreams of the wolf den, still haunted by her past. Amara longs for the women she was forced to leave behind and worse, finds herself pursued by the man who once owned her. In order to be free, she will need to be as ruthless as he is.

Amara knows her existence in Pompeii is subject to Venus, the goddess of love. Yet finding love may prove to be the most dangerous act of all.

We return to Pompeii for the second instalment in Elodie Harper’s Wolf Den Trilogy, set in the town’s lupanar and reimagining the lives of women long overlooked.

My take:

I read The Wolf Den last year (thank you to my local library). At that point I didn’t know it was the first in a trilogy, but I should have guessed. I mean, when a book opens with ‘Pompeii AD 74’ you have to assume we’ll be hanging around until the city’s final days in AD 79 and fitting five years into one book would have been tricky.

I didn’t find this second installment quite as absorbing as The Wolf Den, mostly because some of Amara’s choices caused me to roll my eyes! Also it’s difficult to say I ‘enjoyed’ this book because the characters (especially the women) spend most of their time dodging one life-threatening hazard after another. Consequently reading this story can be stressful, like watching people you care about walk a tightrope between the tops of two skyscrapers.

However, if you’re looking for historical details to enjoy, you won’t be disappointed. The evocation of Pompeii, daily Roman life and the special festivals in the calendar is as impressively done as in the first book.

Again as with Book 1, I felt a lot was crammed into the last few chapters of this story. That said, it has certainly set things up to be interesting in book 3.

And it was a brilliant surprise to find that Britannia was given much more to do in this book and has become my new favourite character! I would read the third book in the series just to find out what happens to her and I really hope she goes on to get the blood and glory she’s looking for.

Overall: I continue to recommend this series to fans of historical fiction. However, at this point you might want to wait until Book 3 is published so you can read the books back to back and not have to wait to find out what happens next.

Claire Huston / Art and Soul

Recipe | Peanut butter, choc chip and oat cookies

Peanut butter, chocolate chip and oat cookies. Simple, tasty and gluten free!

A plate of peanut butter oat and chocolate chip cookies

These cookies are one for those who love peanut butter and want a gluten free cookie recipe. If you would like to make them a little healthier, you can substitute raisins for the chocolate chips.

Wait! There’s more. Click for the rest of the recipe and more lovely pics!

Recipe | Chocolate tiffin traybake – no bake biscuit cake

This classic no bake cake is a delicious mixture of crushed biscuit and chocolate. A fridge cake which is ideal to make with children

Chocolate tiffin traybake no bake biscuit cake traditional recipe uk

This chocolate tiffin is a classic family traybake recipe. I decided to decorate the top with sprinkles on one side for the kids and drizzles of white chocolate on the other for the grown ups. But decoration is optional!

Wait! There’s more. Click for the recipe and more pics!

Recipe | Bounty bars – homemade chocolate coconut treats

Bounty bars: homemade chocolate coconut treats!

Making Bounty bars homemade chocolate coconut bars simple uk recipe

If you love desiccated coconut and chocolate and are a fan of store-bought Bounty bars, then why not have a go at making your own?

Ingredients (makes 14-28 bounty bars depending on how big you choose to make them)

  • 225 g/ 8 oz fine desiccated coconut
  • 55 g / 2 oz caster sugar
  • Approx. 10 tbsp / 200 g condensed milk (sorry for the “approx.” quantities – I’ll explain below)
  • 340 g / 12 oz chocolate of your choice for coating
  • Optional 40 g / 1.5 oz white chocolate for final decoration


Continue reading for the method and more photos…

Recipe | Chocolate fudge crinkle cookies

Sweet chocolate fudge (almost brownie-like) cookies, coated in icing sugar to give a dramatic cracked, crinkled appearance

Chocolate fudge crinkle cookies easy recipe uk sweet biscuits dusting in icing sugar

This recipe came to me from my Mum who in turn got it from my sister. You can find the original over at the BBC goodfood website. These chocolate fudge cookies are very easy to make and particularly delicious if eaten warm from the oven.

Wait! There’s more. Click for the rest of the recipe and more lovely pics!

Recipe | Almond and coconut cake

So easy to make, this gluten-free almond and coconut cake is simply delicious

Easy almond and coconut cake recipe uk before baking topped with chopped almonds and icing sugar

I found this recipe at Bake Play Smile. There’s a video there too if you’d like to check it out!

The texture of this cake is dense, chewy and just lovely. It slices well and the taste is somewhere between a macaroon and a macaron.

Wait! There’s more. Click for the recipe and more lovely pics!