It is my great pleasure to welcome best-selling Australian romance author Kandy Shepherd to Friday Feast this week. Kandy head shot_2Kandy’s not only a lovely lady, she’s a wonderful writer whose debut release, Love Is A Four-Legged Word, was one of the nicest, most heart-warming romances I’ve read. But then how can anyone resist a story with dogs and chocolate? Not me, that’s for sure.

I’m a bit jealous of her, actually. I mean, Kandy is hugely talented AND lives on a small farm in the Blue Mountains – gorgeous part of the world – with a menagerie of animal friends that include dogs and horses. Dogs, horses, mountains, writing. Sigh. Sounds so blissful… rather like one of Kandy’s fun, feel-good books!

Speaking of books, Kandy has a gorgeous new release to warm your heart. Check it out.

 

REINVENTING ROSE

 

 

KandyShepherd_ReinventingRose800When an internet love affair goes wrong, Rose straightens her hair and boosts her bra size—but she discovers it takes more than a makeover to find the courage to be her real self.

After 28-year-old schoolteacher Rose Butler flies to the other side of the world to meet the hot Australian guy she met online, their romantic reunion doesn’t go quite as planned. Stranded in Sydney, and too humiliated to return home to San Francisco, Rose decides to stay. She aims to shed her old image, and reinvent herself into someone tougher, smarter—maybe even wilder.

Help with her makeover comes from three unexpected new friends—Carla, the born-again-virgin beauty editor; Sasha, the out-of-rehab heiress; and Kelly, the high-flying model.

And then there are the men she meets—sexy bad-boy photographer Elliot; and Luke, the handsome doctor who may not be as straightforward as he appears. It might just be worth risking her heart again…

But as Rose throws herself headlong into her new life, she gets tripped up by a painful family secret and unresolved problems from her past. She’s forced to question her beliefs about love and loyalty, old mistakes and new choices, and the bonds of both family and friendship.

By reinventing herself, can Rose discover who she really is and face a fulfilling new future?

 

Doesn’t that sound fabulous? I have Reinventing Rose on my Kindle right now. And you could have it on your e-reader with just a clickety-click. Buy Reinventing Rose now from Amazon or Smashwords. Go on! You won’t regret it I promise.

Now please give a big whoop for Kandy. She has chocolate…

 

Triple The Fun

 

Hi Cathryn, thanks so much for having me on Friday Feast. I’ve read so many wonderful authors’ posts—and tried a few recipes—and it’s a thrill for me to be here.

During my career as a magazine editor, I enjoyed working with food editors, recipe writers, stylists and photographers. My interest in food has flowed into my books.

IMG_0820The heroine of Love is a Four-Legged Word Maddy Cartwright is a chef, aiming to be a magazine food editor and a TV chef. Her best friend, Serena Oakley, the heroine of Home Is Where the Bark Is is a hopeless cook, though she pretends to be otherwise—the hero is the cook in that book. The recipe I’m sharing below is for Maddy’s triple choc brownies, which play an important role in the book

Food isn’t such a focus in my new release Reinventing RoseI draw more on my experience as a beauty editor to help with the details of Rose’s makeover. I adore writing romance where the focus is on two people falling in love against the odds. But I also like writing about the other aspects of my characters’ lives—family, friends, career challenges—and this book gave me that opportunity.IMG_1885

There’s lots of talking about food in Reinventing Rose but not a lot of actual eating. Rose, the heroine, finds herself sharing an apartment with girls who are always trying various weight-loss diets, live on black coffee, or don’t eat much at all. Rose is a suburban girl at heart and is bemused by all this. The only substantial meals she gets are when the male characters are in charge!

300811_0032_1bReinventing Rose is very much a city book, set in Sydney. But it was mostly written in the country at our little farm in the Blue Mountains of NSW.

We bought the farm because of our daughter’s passion for horses. It’s a beautiful, peaceful spot where I can indulge my interests in cooking and gardening when I’m not writing. I even have a wood stove that I haven’t quite mastered. Our chickens give us wonderful eggs and we’re getting quite good at growing vegetables and fruit, too.

These decadent brownies are a treat much requested by visitors to the farm—especially teenagers! (Rose’s flatmates would definitely not approve of the kilojoule count!)

 

 

LOVE IS A FOUR-LEGGED WORD

TRIPLE CHOC BROWNIES

 DSCF2905_2

Makes: 24 brownies

Time to prepare: 20 minutes

Time to cook: 35 minutes

Dont even think about the calorie count!

You will need:

250g unsalted butter, chopped

125g good quality dark or bittersweet cooking chocolate, (around 60% cocoa content is best) chopped

2 cups caster sugar

4 medium size eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup plain flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

Pinch salt

125g macadamias, chopped

125g white chocolate chips

250g good quality milk chocolate for topping, cut into small chunks

Icing sugar to decorate

Method:

Pre-heat oven to 180C or 170C for fan-assisted ovens.

1. Spray the bottom of a rectangular cake pan, (33 x 23 x 5cm) with cooking spray oil, then line with baking paper so paper hangs over edges of pan.

2. Heat butter in medium saucepan on very low heat until butter is half melted. Add chopped dark chocolate. Take off heat when chocolate is half melted, stir until completely melted and combine. Keep saucepan off the heat.

3. Stir in sugar. Then add eggs, one at a time, and stir mixture until it is glossy. Stir in vanilla.

4. Sift flour and cocoa together and add to saucepan. Mix until blended.

5. Stir in nuts and white chocolate morsels. Pour mixture into prepared cake pan.

6. Bake approximately 35 minutes until a toothpick or skewer comes out clean. Take out of oven. Randomly sprinkle surface with chopped milk chocolate chunks and lightly press down. Return to oven for one minute. Take out of oven for the final time.

7. Cool brownies in pan. Using edges of baking paper, lift onto board. Cut into small squares and sprinkle with icing sugar to serve.

TIPS

• Pecans or walnuts also taste great instead of the macadamias.

• You can use milk chocolate chips for the topping instead of chopped chocolate.

• The brownies freeze well, but wait until they’re defrosted before dusting with the icing sugar.

NOTE Australian standard measuring cups are used. (For overseas readers, there is not much difference between Australian and US measuring cups so the recipe should work well using them).

 

Oof! I think I’m putting on kilos just looking at that recipe! But what an absolutely gorgeous one it is. Thanks, Kandy. You’ve just made a whole bunch of people slobber on their keyboards.

Okay, feasty lovelies, what’s your favourite chocolate indulgence? Death By Chocolate? A plain piece of Lindt? Mousse? Good old Tim-Tams? Reveal yours and you could win an ebook copy of Reinventing Rose. Yes, we have a GIVEAWAY! But comment fast because the giveaway closes closes midnight AEST, Tuesday 23rd April 2013. Open internationally. Rah!

Mine chocolate indulgence is a truffle (or five) from Jeff de Bruge, a Belgian chocolatier whose chocolates I fell in love with when we lived in France. My mouth goes funny thinking about them. Those were the days, sigh. So ‘fess up. Kandy and I would love to hear your fantasies. Choccy ones, that is. You can keep the rest for those funny websites!

If you’d like to learn more about Kandy and her books please visit her website. You can also connect via her blog.

 

This giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Kaetrin who has won an e book copy of Reinventing Rose. Thanks to everyone who joined in the Friday Feast fun. Hope to see you again soon.

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