Archive for July, 2011

Buying a new kitchen knife – you’ll be glad you did!

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

One of the key items used in a kitchen is a knife. Nothing revelatory there. But it is also a remarkably complex business – firstly in the choice of knife, and secondly, in how you use the knife.

Most people who have spent any time in a kitchen will have some basic knife skills. They will also have used a wide variety of knives – large and small, sharp and blunt and everything in between.

There are books and videos aplenty covering every aspect of kitchen knives and cutting techniques… your knife skills. This article is not going to try and compete with any of those – it is purely to inform you of three basic knife choices you should make and let you know where you might source them.

Knife Number 1: Santoku – these knives have become the latest craze in kitchens, and with good reason. Basically they fulfil the same purpose as the classic ‘Chef’s Knife’, but with a more forgiving and versatile cutting edge and performance. You could almost get away with just owning one of these knives on their own. It should have a decent weight and an inflexible blade of approximately 7” – 8”.

For the rest of this article just click on the link below




Forum posting – Kindle

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

Just spent a little bit of time looking through some of the forums on the Kindle community boards. When I came across a thread that interested me, I would make a comment and also leave some form of connection through to my actual publication.

For me, the easiest way to keep everything neat and simple is to directly link people to the website

The reason for this is because not only does the site have all of the direct hotlinks for purchasing the book (both Kindle and the paperback option), but it also has reviews of the book, some extracts, a link through to this blog and a contact link direct to me.

So, in one short hotlink I can get people to exactly where they need to be in order to buy my work, read my blog or speak to me directly.

But sometimes a link to a website is not enough because there isn’t much of an incentive. So, if I were to make a posting on a forum – and this applies to any forum that I might frequent, I would be inclined to add a little more ‘flavour’ to what I write. The easiest way for me to do that is to add the back cover blurb from the book and follow that with the link to my site.

It would then look like this:

“Julia and the Hunt for the Magical, Mysterious Buttlefly” by Francis d.

A journey about friendship and love…

A young girl, Julia, and her friend Alphonse, a St. Bernard Dog, embark on a fateful day without a care in the world.
As their quest for a magical creature takes them far from the safety of home they discover that no matter what obstacles they face,
nothing can overcome the strength of a good heart.

…seen with the eyes of a child, an adventure that holds onto the simplest of truths.

Check out extracts, reviews and sales options at

This now gives someone a reason for going to the site… or not. Because if you read that blurb and decide that it’s not for you, that’s absolutely fine. But there might just be enough of a hook to make you look that little bit closer, which is all I ask of anyone.

Now, it is important that when you do contribute to forums, or comment strands on blogs like this, that you do make a genuine contribution. This will avoid any problems with forum moderators and will get your comments posted on blog strands. But if all you did was stick your advert for your book without so much as a ‘by your leave’, well, let’s face it. That would just be downright rude!

It ties into the old saying that you can’t get something for nothing. I will respond on forum threads when there is a topic that I can actually have an opinion on, and they can sometimes be few and far between. But I will always make a genuine attempt to either provide advice or information and only then will I put my linking material in.

And given the nature of the internet and its exponential expansion, I would do this as often as possible. At least a couple of times a week… more if your sanity can handle it… oh, and for the record, this is the sort of thing that I have to kick myself to go and do and I would probably be further down the line if I applied myself half as well as I ought to!!!