CentreStage with Sheryl Browne: Of Ships Captains and Swamp Monsters

Welcome to CentreStage! What an amazing run of authors we’ve had of late… and the series continues to move from strength to strength!

CentreStage showcases fantastic authors from around the world, introducing in particular my fellow featured authors at loveahappyending.com as well as fellow authors in the Sapphire Star Publishing family.  In this new, exciting feature, these authors might write for you about their lives, or their writing journey, or anything else that matters to them.  Every feature will be different in format and flavour, so watch out for a variety of stories and tales.

Today, it is my honour and my pleasure to host a fellow Loveahappyending.com author, the one and only Sheryl Browne! Welcome Sheryl!  Today, Sheryl writes about ships captains… and unappreciated swamp monsters!

Being a shy, retiring sort of person, I don’t normally like to be centre-stage, but as you’ve asked, I…  Oi, Nicky, shove over a bit!  You’re hogging the spotlight!  Humph.  Thank you.  *Turns good side to audience.*  Now, as I was saying, I don’t generally volunteer to be the main attraction, preferring to stay backstage as suited to my quiet disposition.

Launching into a new venture… in more than one sense!

I certainly would have preferred not to have been the main attraction on one of our recent boating expeditions.  You may, or may not know, because it’s possibly not that riveting, but my partner and I have decided on a major life-change, the idea not only to downsize, but to stop and smell the roses.

We are in the process of swapping this …

…for this!

Our new des res will actually be a luxury (all essentials included, as in plughole for hairdryer) narrow-boat, rather than a tugboat, but still some people might wonder if I haven’t taken leave of my senses. I’m wondering if I haven’t taken leave of my senses, particularly as he who fancies himself as ship’s captain apparently doesn’t notice whether the crew are on board.

My audience didn’t seem particularly moved either, when I plopped silently off the back of the boat into the murky depths of the water.

Captain Unaware doesn’t miss his crew…

Canal banks, you see, don’t have streetlights, a fact I pointed out to ship’s captain, as he deftly wedged our boat in between two correctly moored (as in, they still has the benefit of daylight to moor by) early-birds, shouting instructions to me to jump onto the bank with the mooring rope as he did so.  I did.  I missed.  I wasn’t missed.

I still hadn’t been noticed by my absence as I emerged from the water looking something akin to a swamp monster, nought to be seen for mud but the whites of my eyes.  My audience, three men discussing their day’s sailing, glanced over from their ringside seats on the boat behind us, and then had another sip of their lagers.

The captain, by this time, had managed to negotiate bank from boat, and was admiring the view, clueless, whilst waiting for me to hand him the rope.  I did.  At which point, brow furrowed in obvious concern, he leaned forward to wipe a splodge of mud – from the boat.  Otherwise, he didn’t bat an eye.  Nothing.  Not a flicker of an acknowledgement of my slimy predicament.  I was off his radar.

Taking the sensible way out (just)

Next crew’s job: to fetch mooring pin and mallet, in order for captain to undertake crucial task of securing boat (this job only to be undertaken by person competent enough to accomplish, i.e. someone with scouting experience).  Rather than hit him, possibly with both implements, I chose to bypass the possible murder weapons in favour of the shower.

Captain was still standing on the bank, rope in hand, as I emerged from the shower, cleaner, less pungent, and dressed in my jim-jams.   “Aren’t you going to pass me the mallet?” he asked, peering through the porthole, clearly perturbed.

“*!!*!*!#*!!”  I answered sweetly.

The clunk of the closing porthole shutters was echoed only by the hoot of an owl – and the hasty battening of hatches next door.

Moral of story.  If you are considering sailing off into the sunset by way of relaxing lifestyle-change, you might want to suggest to your man he ditches the captain’s hat, before you end up ditching the captain.  Glug, glug…………………………….

Sheryl, what an amazing story! I’m afraid to say that your humorous rendition of the mud monster experience had me in fits of laughter when you were probably looking for empathy.  But if you will make it sound so funny…..  Thanks for sharing this story, and now let’s find out more about you and your book.  Book first!

Recipes for Disaster
The shortest way to a man’s heart

Mix romantic comedy and step-by-step cooking instructions. Bake at 200 degrees for an entertaining read and handy guide.

She’s a single. He’s a widower. She wants him. He wants her. She wants to impress. So does he. There’s just one catch – she can’t cook. To get him, she needs to get past the big fish – his mother. Lucky her, she’s got an Ace up her sleeve and all she’s got to do is impress this one time. Bad luck, though, her new guy can’t cook either, her dog Rambo is on the loose and now they’ve got to pull off the big lunch at the club. Will it be a match made in heaven? Will they be able to pull off a culinary miracle? Will their combined efforts result in love at first bite? Or is it simply a Recipe for Disaster?

Recipes for Disaster is available in paperback and Kindle format, and you can buy it from Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com,  any local bookstore, or direct from Safkhet Publishing

And now let’s find out more about the lovely Sheryl Browne:

Sheryl grew up in Birmingham, UK, where she studied Art & Design. She wears many hats: a partner in her own business, a mother, and a foster parent to disabled dogs.

Creative in spirit, Sheryl has always had a passion for writing. A full member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, she has previously been published in the US and writes Romantic Comedy because, as she puts it, “life is just too short to be miserable.”

Sheryl’s new novel, RECIPES FOR DISASTER, combining delicious and fun recipes with sexilicious romantic comedy, has just been released by Safkhet Publishing. Sheryl has also been offered a further three-book contract under the Safkhet Publishing Soul imprint.  SOMEBODY TO LOVE will be published July 1st 2102.

You can visit Sheryl on her website, on Facebook and on Twitter.  Sheryl is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and a featured author with innovative reader/author project, loveahappyending.com. 

Sheryl, this has simply been the most fantastic tale on CentreStage, thank you so much for sharing. I like your style and I adore your sense of humour.

And now it’s over to you, dear reader. Personally, I think Sheryl was remarkably restrained in her management of her misadventure.  What would YOU have done, had you been in her shoes… sorry, mud?

45 responses to “CentreStage with Sheryl Browne: Of Ships Captains and Swamp Monsters

  1. joannalazuliportals

    Hilarious! I was there with you, Sheryl, experiencing it all. Except for the swampy, muddy, wet part . . .
    Your book sounds like a lot of fun, so is now on my Kindle 🙂
    Thanks Nicky, for hosting Sheryl & bringing me more smiles and laughs. 🙂

  2. Oh nooooooo! I bet your hair was ruined! Captain Pugwash absolutely deserved those expletives!

    Janice xx

  3. Haw, haw! Trust me, Nicky, you don’t! Thank you so much for making room for me on-stage! Promise not to hog the lime-light for too long. 🙂 xx

    • Hey, you can stay as long as you like! We’re all Rising Stars crossing the firmament (is that a word in English?) together, after all! Congrats on that, by the way, you rock! XX

  4. Joanna, thank you so much! This is a book I loved writing – thanks to the enthusiasm of my lovely publisher, Safkhet Publishing. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I did writing it! 🙂 xx

  5. Janice, the hair was most definitely NOT improved by the mud bath. Do you know, that little boat has enough electrical gadgets and batteries, it could power a rocket ship, I swear. But a hairdryer…? “Tsk, tsk, sorry luv,” was the mechanic’s answer when I enquired about something that is possibly more important than the engine. This is why a haridryer is priority number one on the new ship – on threat of finding an alternative use for the anchor, as well as the mallet. 😉 xx

  6. Don’t worry Sheryl, revenge is a dish best served cold – tell him to watch his back from now on ;0)


  7. Ooh, he does, Sue. I’ve threatened to twiddle his Ardvark. Don’t ask – an electrical gadeget that measures voltage and amps and… things. Provokes much tutting, scratching of male heads and extracted discussion, usually when there is washing up to be done in galley. 🙂 xx

    • What on earth is an Ardvark when it’s at home… on a boat? It’s amazing how important man things always occur when washing up is to be done. 🙂

      • Oh, this things are uber-important, Nicky. Crucial to the smooth running of the boat. And guess who gets to change the fan-belt when it breaks? Yep, the crew. 🙂 xx

  8. Love it! Life on that canal boat is going to be one long laugh a moment ride, I can tell.

  9. Being on a boat together for extended periods of time can be a challenge in itself. I see you’re already desperate to get off it. But really, shouldn’t you have waited for terra firma before disembarking? I’ve read Recipes for Disaster and really enjoyed it. Are you sure you’re not collecting data for a sequel with this boat venture?
    All the best in your boating and writing endeavours, Sheryl.

    • Now there’s an idea Anneli… would love to hear about Sheryl’s boating adventures in a book sometime, what fun! Thanks for visiting and leaving such a lovely comment. 🙂

      • I think it would make a great story. Same characters as in Recipes for Disaster. Maybe the two lovebirds sail away to get away from her Maj (she’s got to be left on shore for sure) and then we hear all about the disasters of life aboard ship. That’s always a test of a marriage.

    • Thank you, Anneli! The thing about arguments on a boat is they have to be resolved… eventually. Either that or he gets to walk the plank! 😉 xx

  10. Anneli and Sheryl, you completely crack me up! Maybe you should write an anthology about life aboard ships?? And Sheryl, what have you done with the captain??

  11. Fair seas and following winds, Sheryl!

    • Hi Ryan! I keep forgetting about all these cool nautical terms. Thanks for visiting, hasn’t she done great with this amazing story? You got to love her…

  12. That’s hilarious! I know I shouldn’t laugh but couldn’t help myself as I read this. I can imagine the string of expletives you tossed your husband’s way after your unceremonious dunking and his lack of knowing what happened to you.

  13. I think I broke it! My comments don’t seem to be showing up. Sniffle. Testing, testing…

  14. Ooh, a comment! Is fixed. Thank you, Ryan! We’ll certainly need them, particularly with accident-prone me and clueless ship’s captain! xx

  15. Thank you, Gary! And thank you for stopping by! xx

  16. Eating a sandwich and keep laughing out aloud, not a pretty sight … You do know you pay a lot to have a mud bath in some spa resorts. The mud might actually be a little bit cleaner though. Can you have CLEAN mud???? It’s supposed to make your skin soft by the way. Ha! Ha!

  17. Haw, haw. Brings a whole new angle to the ‘Adventure Holiday’. We should market it! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Linn. xx

  18. Oh my, spewed my tea all over the keyboard I’m laughing so much.

  19. Spewing tea all over my keyboard!

  20. Yikes! My clumsiness is catching! Glad it gave you a smile, Tricia. Sorry about the soggy keyboard though! 🙂 xx

  21. You know, every time I post a comment, your banner flashes up. S’good, Nicky. Very! Like I say, multi-talented. 🙂 xx

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