We’re baaaaaack!

Welcome to the 2013 series of Friday Feast and what a beauty it’s going to be, chockers with fabulous authors, gourmet adventures, RachaelJohns2great books and mouth-watering recipes. And what better way to start the series than with Booktopia’s 10th favourite Aussie novelist Rachael Johns? Well, I suppose we could have kicked off with me but I’m a tad busy being semi-homeless and sulking over my lack of cooking equipment and cookbook collection, so Rach is your girl.

Rach had a massive hit with her first rural romance, the ARR Award nominated Jilted and is now burning up the charts with her new release, the wonderfully titled (and written!) Man Drought.

Check it out…



0113_ManDrought_C2 (1)Imogen Bates moved to the small rural town of Gibson’s Find to start a new life for herself after the death of her husband. Tired of being haunted by the painful memories of her old life, Imogen set her last remaining hopes on the little town and, in particular, pouring her heart and savings into restoring The Majestic Hotel to its former glory. But while the female-starved town might be glad to see a young woman move in, not everyone is happy about Imogen’s arrival.

Sheep and crop farmer Gibson Black once dreamed of having the kind of family his grandfather reminisces about, but he’s learnt not to dream anymore. Living in the mostly male town suits Gibson down to the ground…and he won’t have anyone — least of all a hot redhead from the city — change a thing.

Imogen has never been one to back down from a challenge, especially when it concerns her last chance at happiness. She’s determined to rebuild the pub and create a future for the little town. But can she create a future for Gibson and herself, too?


Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Well I can assure you this book is all that and more. So why not grab yourself a copy right now? Buy the ebook or paperback from Harlequin Australia or Booktopia, or try Amazon’s Kindle Store, Kobo or Google Play for the straight ebook. While you’re on your buying spree, check out Rach’s other January release, Stand-In Star.

Clickety-clicking all done? Excellent. Now you can play with Rach.


Hold Onto Your Knicker(bockers!)


Hello Feasters! It’s always a pleasure to visit my good buddy Cathryn, but although I LOVE her Friday Feast segments, I must admit when it’s my turn, I get a little fearful. You see, although I once was a rather good baker, I seem to be getting worse and worse. It’s true, with each book I get published, I seem to lose more of my baking abilities, so today, I’m going to share with you the most simple, easiest dessert ever, that also happens to be tasty, but first, I’d like to play the tour guide and take you a country pub near me.

Why? Because my newest release from Harlequin Australian – MAN DROUGHT – happens to be mostly set in a rural watering hole, The Majestic Pub in Gibson’s Find. Note that this pub and town are figments of my vivid imagination, but they take bits from a number of pubs I’ve driven past or visited over the years. For some reason these old buildings fascinate me! One such pub, which was an absolute golden find when we moved to Goomalling a couple of years ago, is THE JENNACUBBINE TAVERN (or Jenna Tavern to locals).


Although located in the Shire of Goomalling, Jenna Tavern is a fair drive from town in a now pretty-much deserted ‘village’. There’s tennis courts, a church, a TINY CWA building and the pub. Jenna Tavern isn’t on a main highway or road but seems to do perfectly well through word of mouth. Unlike the pub in the beginning of MAN DROUGHT, Jenna is well looked after, frequently upgraded and has a friendly staff and a great atmosphere.


Jenna is famous for its steaks. Instead of a traditional menu, visitors are asked to choose from a selection of steaks (including some chicken and fish). They then state how they want it cooked and can even watch this process over an open grill. Once their steak is cooked to their preferred perfection, there’s a buffet of salads and warmer dishes. I was lucky enough to enjoy a meal at Jenna last week for my b’day and I seriously haven’t had a better steak for a long time.


If I had one bone to pick about Jenna Tavern, it would be the desserts. I’m a dessert gal through and through and although full of steak, I couldn’t resist ordering a dessert. Unfortunately this didn’t live up to my expectations, so today (below), I’m going to share with you one of my old favourites. But before I do, I’d love to hear from you (in the comments section) about any fabulous country pubs you’ve visited. One day I might caravan around this beautiful country of ours, visiting the pubs for steak and a beer! What pubs should I put on my must-see list?!

Now, for the dessert I promised. It’s an oldie but a goodie – Who’s for a Knickerbocker Glory? Remember, I said I’m not much of a cook these days, so this is an easy-peasy recipe. But it’s still delicious.

Knickerbocker Glory



  • Some gorgeous sundae glasses. Let’s face it; cooking is a lot about presentation.
  • Vanilla ice-cream
  • Tinned two fruits (or any other fruits you like. If you want to get fancy, go for it)
  • Custard (make your own or buy the easy stuff in a carton)
  • Jelly (prepare a few hours before making Knickerbocker Glory
  • Cream (in a can or fresh – it really doesn’t matter)


Layer above ingredients into a Sundae glass, top with whipped cream and decorate as desired. Personally I’m not a fan of cherries but they do look good on top. As do wafers. Some people apparently include chocolate topping, but I’ve never tried this variation.

However you make it, you’re sure to ENJOY!!


Ooh, simple and seriously yum. Now that’s a recipe to please everyone. Thanks, Rach. I might have to venture down to mighty StandInStar_finalGoomalling after the Romance Writers of Australia conference in August and check this pub out. Those steaks sounds delicious!

So where’s your favourite steakhouse? Or maybe you prefer the good old home barbie? Some of the best steaks I’ve eaten were had in little pubs and RSLs in outback Queensland, but I have to say my Jim can really hit that grill with flair these days and we’ve had some cracking home-cooked steaks. Might be able to have some more if we could just find a home, but one mustn’t whinge. Tis an adventure, this semi-homelessness!

Now, if you’d like to learn more about Rachael and her books, please visit her website. You can also connect via her blog, Twitter and Facebook.


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