FRIDAY FEAST with Ebony McKenna

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Welcome to Friday Feast!

This week we’re getting magical. Not that we aren’t every week but this week we’re really magical… and ferrety. But more on that in a minute.

First, DID YOU SEE MY DARLING SYDNEY SWANS? Yes, footy is nearly here. My boys were magnificent in their NAB Challenge game last night against GWS which bodes well for the upcoming season, set to kick-off in just 21 sleeps. Not that I’m counting or anything…

Speaking of counting, in Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf news, apparently I can’t add up. It turns out that I didn’t lose the Great Murray River Golf Challenge but in fact won it by two strokes. Rah! I think this is my first holiday golfing challenge win ever. I feel a glass of fizz is required to celebrate this milestone.

As should we all raise a glass of fizz to celebrate the release of young adult author Ebony McKenna’s third Ondine novel. Like the author herself, the Ondine series is simply gorgeous. How can you go wrong with a talking ferret called Shambles? Reviews for Ebony’s series have been amazing, like this for The Summer of Shambles: “One of the best and funniest books I have ever read! Don’t be a bampot, give this absolutely fantastic book a read, you won’t regret it.”

This latest instalment in the Ondine series is a cracker. Check it out.




Cover of Ondine: The Winter of Magic by Ebony McKennaThis third enthralling instalment in the young adult fantasy romance series takes a dark turn, as the country of Brugel descends into anarchy. Mutating magic is spreading across Europe. ‘Normals’ are developing supernatural powers at a startling rate and 16-year-old Ondine appears to be at the heart of it.

To unravel the mystery, Ondine and her boyfriend (and part-time ferret) Hamish infiltrate CovenCon, a gathering of hundreds of witches presided over by wanna-be-witch-queen Mrs Howser. There, she tempts Ondine with an intriguing offer – but can Mrs Howser be trusted? It transpires the powerful witch has her claws in the arrogant royal heir Lord Vincent, in a covert bid to control all of Brugel.

As dark magic riots break out in the nation’s capital, Ondine is left with a heart-breaking choice that could tear her apart from her beloved Hamish. Forever.

The Winter of Magic is the third novel in Ebony McKenna’s comedic and wonderfully weird four-part ONDINE series. Fans will devour this spellbinding adventure, which will have readers gasping in shock and laughing with delight. Occasionally at the same time.


What a hoot! The Ondine series is truly delightful for young and not-so-young readers alike. And you can own it right now with just a few clickety-clicks! Buy from Amazon for your Kindle, iTunes, Kobo and Nook. Go on. You’ll love this series I promise.

Now that you’re all bookified, come dipping with Ebony…


Do You Fondue?


I’m so happy to be sharing more foodie goodness with everyone on Friday Feast.

There’s something a bit nerdy about having a fondue kit. It can be one of those ‘great idea at the time’ gadgets that ends up hibernating in the back of the cupboard for years before throwing it out.

Being the proud nerd that I am, I have a fondue kit at home and it gets a fair bit of use.

Not an original from the 70s (I have to wait to inherit that heirloom), but a little ripper all the same. And while fondue is supposed to be about dipping bread into melted cheese during cold European winters, my version is all about dredging fruit into warm coconut-chocolate sauce during summer.

Healthy AND naughty. Because chocolate.

And coconut.

It’s quick, easy to make and only requires three basic ingredients (plus whatever fruit you like to dip).

The best bit is the compliments you’ll get from everyone as the fruit and choc fondue disappear!

As an added bonus, this recipe is dairy free, gluten free and suitable for vegans and celiacs.


Coconut Chocolate Fondue

You will need:

Coconut milk or coconut cream.

Cocoa powder

Coconut sugar (or any sugar really, but I’m hooked on Coconut sugar at the moment, and it’s low GI)

Fruits for dipping

Ingredients for Ebony's fondue


Put a couple of tablespoons of cocoa in a microwave safe bowl.

Pour in enough coconut milk to stir it into a thick paste.

Add a couple of teaspoons of coconut sugar.

Mixing Ebony's fondue

Bung it in the microwave for about a minute. The edges will bubble up but that’s OK.

Stir it all together and. Have a taste. Add more coconut milk and sugar so it’s just how you like it. You can microwave it again if the cocoa doesn’t taste “cooked”.

The finished fondue

Pour into a fondue bowl, sprinkle more coconut sugar on the top for decoration.

Light a candle underneath and get ready to dip your favourite fruits in.

The mix will become runnier the longer it sits over the fondue candle, but that’s part of the fun.

Add desiccated coconut to the fondue for more texture if you like.

Perfect for entertaining at a BBQ, date night or Eurovision Song Contest parties.

I’m having some right now as I celebrate the release of the third novel in my ONDINE series, The Winter of Magic.

In a nutshell, it’s about a teenage girl whose pet ferret talks with a Scottish accent. He’s not a real ferret, but a man living in reduced circumstances. Shambles offended a witch and she cursed him a good one!

Thank you once again Cathryn for the opportunity to share the recipe and some weird romance with your readers.

As a special treat, I’m giving away an ebook copy of ALL THREE BOOKS to one lucky commenter.

In the comments, share what fruit you would dunk in that lovely chocky fondue, or share a cheesy fondue story.

Love Ebony


Did you hear that, Feasters? A THREE BOOK GIVEAWAY! I’m wriggling in excitement here. How’s that for generosity? But I’d expect that from Ebony. She’s that kind of person.

So, what’s your fondue story? I had a wonderful fondue experience in Lyon, France. Outside it was snowing but we were snuggled up tight in a cosy restaurant with chunks of bread, a bottle of red and an artery-clogging cheese fondue, dipping and laughing. We nearly didn’t feel the cold walking back to our hotel afterwards… nearly.

Have you fondued? Dipped a few strawbs into caramel perhaps? Dribbled chocolate down your front after dipping with too much enthusiasm? Maybe you’ve never fondued but long to? That’s okay. Share your desire (or non-desire) anyway and we’ll put you in the draw to win the first three ebooks in Ebony’s wonderful Ondine series.

Giveaway closes midnight Tuesday AEST, 25th February 2014. Open internationally. Rah!

Don’t have an e-reader? That’s okay, you can easily read ebooks on your computer, phone or tablet via downloadable apps. It’s easy!

If you’d like to learn more about Ebony and her gorgeous books, please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook, Twitter and Ebony’s blog.


This giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Heidi who has won the first 3 books in Ebony’s Ondine series. What a great lot of reading! Thanks to everyone who joined in the fun. What wonderful fondue memories we all have!

36 thoughts on “FRIDAY FEAST with Ebony McKenna

  1. AvatarLouise Reynolds

    Hi Ebs and Cathryn! Fondue takes me waaay back to the little parties I’d throw as a young bride in the 70’s. The fondue set was, of course, burnt orange, the Finnish stoneware plates were brown and the napkins Marimekko. Wish I had them all still. What goes around comes around 🙂 But the thought of all that melted cheese now makes me a little sick so I love the chocolate/fruit combo.
    Don’t put me in the draw as I already have enjoyed these gorgeous books. All the best with The Winter of Magic, Ebony. You rock.

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        A young bride in the 70s. Oh, Louise, I bet you were unbelievably glamorous!

        My mum had a burnt orange fondue set too, with the wooden handles. I don’t ever recall it being used. Like you, I wish I had it now too.

        Our kitchen had burn orange tiles, Ebs. Oh, the glory days!

  2. Avatarchristinestinson

    What a fun post, Ebony and Cathryn – and ‘The Winter of Magic’ sounds like another great read, Ebony. I could be Louise’s twin – my bridal fondue set was also burnt orange, my plates (Mikasa stoneware with gold Grecian key pattern) were chocolate brown and my homemade napkins were orange and gold. Only the Mikasa survived – son and daughter-in-law are using them now, nearly forty-one years later. I’m more a cheesy fondue girl, with both bread and meat for dipping (before it was decided it was unhealthy/unhygienic to put raw meat into the cheese sauce), but when it comes to fruit and chocolate, I’m a berries girl all the way.

    1. AvatarEbony McKenna (@EbonyMcKenna)

      Ohhhh, berries and chocolate sauce. That is made of win Christine!
      Oh yes, raw meat in melted cheese. It sounds horrific, but handled correctly, super-fresh and thinly sliced, it would be MAGIC.
      And you had the burnt orange as well. It was everywhere!

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        Yes, yes! Sooo with you gals on the choc and berries front. Luuurve berries. Although not as much as I love cherries. Mmm.

        I remember that Mikasa design, Christine. Wow. I’d forgotten all about that… possibly for a good reason when it comes to anything burnt orange. This is funny, all these memories.

  3. AvatarJoan Kilby

    Louise and Christine are obviously from the same era as me. I also had a burnt orange fondue set and Finnish stoneware although my plates were gray with a brown line around the rim. They were my wedding set and I still use the plates for every day. All the rest has been broken or chipped, sadly.

    The best fondue I ever had was in Switzerland. I was backpacking through Europe many moons ago and met an Aussie girl who was studying in Geneva. She took us out for fondue. I can still taste that sharp, creamy cheesy goodness.

    Ebony, I love the sound of your coconut chocolate fondue. I will definitely try that. Winter Of Magic looks fabulous!

    1. AvatarEbony McKenna (@EbonyMcKenna)

      Thanks so much Joan – another burnt orange fondue set. Mine’s white, but I’ll have to glaze it or something. Or go searching the second hand stores for the real thing.
      Oh yum, having cheesy fondue in Switzerland. Sigh ….

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        My mum’s was like yours, Louise. I suspect it was a wedding present. Can’t you buy a Le Creuset set in the same style now? I thought I’d seen one somewhere…

        Joan, that fondue sounds divine. But you’d expect that in Switzerland with all that delicious cheese. Cheese makes everything better, especially when it’s cold or you’re up the mountains. It just fits.

        I so want fondue right now. Like REALLY want. Hmm. There’s some cheddar and gorgonzola dolce in the fridge….

  4. AvatarSuzanne Brandyn

    The Winter of Magic sounds like a great read Ebony. I don’t mind a little magic in my life. 🙂

    As a non lover of chocolate, I can eat a bit of fondue with strawberries. My first experience was at an RWA conference in QLD. Upon arrival a bottle of champagne and chocolate fondue with strawberries. I was going to be brave. It was yummy but after a couple of strawberries that was enough for me. And I didn’t get sick. lol… I invited a writer friend over to finish it off for me. lol…

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        We can all do with a bit of magic in our lives, Suzanne!
        What a fantastic welcome to a RWA conference. Wouldn’t it be lovely to get that again this year in Sydney? Hmm. Wonder if I should email someone about this…

  5. AvatarHeidi Kneale

    My folks had a fondue set when I was growing up. But ours was not the cheezy sauce type or the melted chocolate. Ours was one of those that kept a pot of heated oil hot.

    For us, fondue was a communal cooking pot. We’d have plates of raw veggies and meats. These we’d skewer on the fondue forks and leave in the hot oil to fry. So delicious! A meal did take several hours. That might be why we kept fondue only for holidays (like New Year’s Eve).

    A few years ago I found a fondue pot in the op shop. Bought it and introduced my daughters to the joy of oil-fried fondue.

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Heidi, I am fascinated by this! The burner on your pot must have been a strong one to keep the oil hot? This sounds great fun though. And a bit healthier with the veg. How cool that you’re keeping the tradition going. That’s great.

      Thanks for dropping by Friday Feast.

  6. AvatarSue Gerhardt Griffiths

    What a great post Ebony and Cathryn! The Winter of Magic sounds magical. And to win all three would be pretty special! The first time I ever had fondue was in Switzerland in 1984 at a friends place where I was staying for 8 weeks. I’d never heard of fondue and let me tell you when I saw all that soft scrummy cheese melting in that pot my heart done flip flops – I love love love cheese – and it was such a fun night, chatting and laughing and dipping bits of bread into the cheese – to savour the flavour and creaminess in the mouth was “magical”! Can’t remember if we dipped anything else but I have so many slides of our fondue nights that I must go through them all very soon. I can’t wait to try the Coconut Chocolate Fondue – especially that I love coconut cream and coconut milk it’s the only milk I use in my peanut butter, chia seed, banana smoothie! I will try the Coconut Chocolate Fondue with cherries but the ones in buy in glass jars… YUM!

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        Thanks Sue! And thanks for dropping by to share your lovely story about fondue-ing in Switzerland. I bet the cheese dip was fantastic. And you have slides!

        All the best in the draw.

  7. AvatarSarah Brabazon

    I love fondu, but I prefer someone else to do the hard work for me. A chocolate fountain, with mounds of chunked fruit is my kind of heaven. Congratulations on publishing Winter of Magic, Ebony. I don’t want to win all three books, because I already have copies of the first two, but I would love you to sell me a signed copy of this one. How can we do this?

    1. AvatarEbony McKenna (@EbonyMcKenna)

      Hi Sarah,
      I haven’t looked into the clever ways authors can sign e-books, but I can get on to that. I think it’s called ‘authorgraph’, so I’ll get on to that.
      Oh yeah, I LOVE chocolate fountains. They are fantastic. We had one at the Fremantle RWA conference last year and it was really popular!

      1. AvatarSarah Brabazon

        Ebony, I thought maybe you had a print version out as well. I’ll be buying it when it is available. I don’t have any of the series in eCopy. Maybe I do want to win the eBooks after all!

      2. AvatarCathryn Hein

        I know some people have used that authograph (or whatever it is) fairly successfully, Ebs. It’s supposed to be easy, even for techno-numpties like me. But I think it only words on Kindle, not epub files. Must investigate this more closely myself.

    2. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Sarah, I used to think those choc fountains were amazing until I learned it was half oil. Not so keen now and which is why fondue-ing is so much better, nay, even healthier! Everyone knows we should be eating healthy things, so Ebony’s fondue is a winner on all counts!

  8. AvatarEbony McKenna (@EbonyMcKenna)

    I put the names on little rectangles of paper, chucked the papers in my Las Vegas tote bag and drew out . . . . HEIDI KNEALE!

    Congratulations Heidi, you’ve won all three Ondine ebooks.
    Please email me at and I’ll get those novels zinging your way down the intertubes.

    Thanks everyone for joining in the fondue fun. I had an absolute blast. Thanks also to Cathryn Hein for inviting me to the Friday Feast again.

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