Tag Archives: Barbara Hannay

THIS WRITING LIFE: ARRC Part 2 – The Photos

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I’m sure you’ll see from these photos that everyone who attended the weekend’s Australian Romance Readers Convention in Canberra had an absolute ball.

Victoria Dahl during her keynote speechI think the highlight for me (other than catching up with old friends and meeting new) was Victoria Dahl’s speech on unsympathetic heroines. I’ve never read any of her books but was left so impressed that by the end of her talk I’d bought two of them. Gotta love technology.

The booksigning was, as it always is, loud and enormous fun. I’m very grateful to that most excellent of book sellers, Booktopia, who generously gave away multiple copies of Rocking Horse Hill over the course of the weekend. So many people came up to me to get them signed and have a chat. It really made my convention. There were plenty of delegates with The French Prize too, which they’d received in their welcome bags thanks to Harlequin Australia. All of us came away loaded with excellent reads. I’m looking forward to Yes, Chef by Lisa Joy (thanks to Penguin Australia), The Brewer’s Tale by Karen Brooks and Luna Tango by Alli Sinclair, who also won the ARR Award for Favourite New Romance Author (both titles from Harlequin).

Here are some of my favourite happy snaps from the weekend. There would have been more only it appears I have managed to kill yet another camera. Sigh. Oh well, at least this one was only a cheapie, unlike the last.

Hot Chocolate, the blow-up horse, being given the kiss of life by Cathryn Hein in the QT bar at ARRC 2015

Hot Chocolate being given the kiss of life by me in the QT bar (pic thanks to Amy Andrews)

I arrived in Canberra a day early and after a spot of shopping wandered off to check out the Spirited: Australia’s Horse Story exhibition at the National Museum of Australia. The exhibition was nearing its end and the shop had discounted all its stock. Naturally, with all that lovely horsey stuff on offer, I went on a bit of a spendy-fest and one of the items I came away with was an inflatable horse. I thought I might use him as a prop during the booksigning or simply as a fun toy for my office.

But as I passed the bar on the way back to my room, I found myself waylaid by Anne Gracie and Kelly Hunter. I resisted their entreaties to join them hard. Really hard. These ladies are persuasive though, and it was with great reluctance *cough* that I settled down for a catch-up over a few drinks.

The crowd soon grew (must have been our magnetism) and somehow the blow-up horse was dragged out for a show-and-tell. After a bit of encouragement, I agreed to inflate him. What an effort! It was a close run thing but I eventually managed to get him blown up without passing out. He then needed to be christened, and while a few names were bandied about I believe it was Amy Andrews who came up with Hot Chocolate. And thus Hot Chocolate he became.

Anne Gracie with Cathryn Hein admiring Hot Chocolate the blow-up horse in the QT bar at ARRC 2015

Anne Gracie with me, admiring Hot Chocolate the blow-up horse in the QT bar at ARRC 2015 (pic thanks to Amy Andrews)

I’m proud to say that Hot Chocolate even scored a mention in Helene Young’s wonderful opening keynote speech, and was much-admired by many over the weekend.

My shy roomie at ARRC 2015, Rachael Johns

Rach was feeling a bit camera shy…

My ARRC roomie was good buddy and rural romance star Rachael Johns. She took a bit of prodding to get up on Friday morning. Rach blames the 3 hour time difference from WA to the ACT but I don’t know…

As mentioned, Helene Young (whose novel Safe Harbour also won Australia’s Favourite Romantic Suspense award) gave a wonderful opening keynote speech, in which she talked about her reading and writing journey. Helene was followed by book launches for Rachael Johns (The Road to Hope) and Shannon Curtis (Tribal Law). All proceeds from Tribal Law’s sales go to ARRA so if you haven’t yet nabbed a copy, go get! You’ll find across all major ebook platforms, including amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Smashwords or your favourite retailer. Or order the paperback from Booktopia.

Dangerous Liaisons panel at ARRC 2015. L-R: Cathryn Hein, Shannon Curtis, Helene Young and Bronwyn Parry

L-R: (a grumpy-looking) me, Shannon Curtis, Helene Young and Bronwyn Parry (thanks to DB Tait for the pic)

The rest of my morning was taken up by the Red Dust Heroes panel with Rachael Johns, Lisa Ireland, Alissa Callen and myself, and superbly moderated by Jeanie Misko, followed by the Dangerous Liaisons panel where I was joined by Bronwyn Parry, Helene Young, Shannon Curtis and moderator with the mostest, Amanda Knight.

Saturday night was awards night, and what fun was had! The theme was roaring 20s (or something like that!) so there were lots of flappers.

Rach and me getting ready for the ARR Awards dinner at ARRC

Me and Rachael Johns getting ready for the awards dinner. A couple of glammypuss flappers!

Me with Red Sand Sunrise author and all-round gorgeous person Fiona McArthur showing off our sexy flapper outfits

Me with Red Sand Sunrise author and all-round gorgeous person Fiona McArthur, showing off our matching sexy flapper outfits.

Some of the crowd at the awards dinner.

Great crowd at the awards dinner!

Fiona Lowe, Shona Husk, Delwyn Jenkins and Cheryl Adnams all dressed up for the ARRC 2015 dinner

L-R: Fiona Lowe, Shona Husk, Delwyn Jenkins and Cheryl Adnams.

Kylie Scott (deserving winner of Australia’s Favourite Romance Author and more) sponsored a photo booth at the dinner where a lot of fun was had. Here’s my collection.

Pictures from the ARRC dinner photobooth

Another highlight of ARRC was the booksigning. This is such a great event and very well attended.

The booksigning room

Alyssa Montgomery, me and Trish Morey

Alyssa Montgomery, me and Trish Morey

Cathryn Hein and her blow-up horse at the ARRC 2015 booksigning

Me and Hot Chocolate the blow-up wonderhorse.

Sunday was another full-on but fun day. As mentioned, Victoria Dahl gave a great speech and there were plenty of fascinating panels to keep us perky after a big night.

Anna Campbell, Christina Brooke and me enjoying the romantic destinations panel

Anna Campbell, Christina Brooke and me enjoying the Romantic Destinations panel.

L-R: Kate Cuthbert (moderator), Margareta Osborn,  Cheryl Adnams, Barbara Hannay and Victoria Dahl.

L-R: Kate Cuthbert (moderator), Margareta Osborn, Cheryl Adnams, Barbara Hannay and Victoria Dahl on the Small Town Seduction panel.

Reader Jeanie Misko  enjoying the Changing Lanes panel at ARRC 2015, featuring Trish Morey and Fiona McArthur (plus Amy Andrews and Fiona Lowe out of shot).

Reader (and our fab Red Dust Heroes panel moderator) Jeanie Misko enjoying the Changing Lanes panel, with authors Trish Morey and Fiona McArthur in the background.

Overall, a wonderful time was had at ARRC 2015. Everyone left Canberra feeling fab except for poor Hot Chocolate, who was feeling very flat that it was all over.

Hot Chocolate the blow-up wonderhorse felt very flat that ARRC was over.

Never mind. We’ll resurrect him again in 2017!

If you’re after a romantic read that won’t let you down and would like a list of all the 2014 ARR Award winners, you’ll find them all on the ARRA blog.

 

Rural Romance Book Heaven Could Be Yours!

How would you like the chance to win a Valentine’s bouquet that lasts forever? Well, perhaps not forever, but a bloody long time.

Then you need the…

AustralianRuralRomance.com

Valentine’s Day Giveaway!

There are 6 book bouquets – yes, SIX! – up for grabs, with each bunch containing 5 of the best from our Australian rural romance stars. We’re talking the likes of Rachael Johns, Fiona Palmer, Loretta Hill, Helene Young, Tricia Stringer, Barbara Hannay, Fleur McDonald, Fiona McArthur, Jenn J McLeod, Mandy Magro, Margareta Osborn, Bronwyn Parry, Jennifer Scoullar and many more. And all you have to do to be in the draw is sign up to the australianruralromance.com blog. Easy-peasy.

Lucky me is in two book bouquets, one featuring a signed copy of Promises, the other a copy of Heart of the Valley. Check out the amazing company I’m in…

Australian rural romance book bouquet with Promises

 

Australian rural romance book bouquet with Heart of the Valley

And there are another four fabulous book bouquets up for grabs. Wow!

So either click on one of the images above or hit australianruralromance.com to lodge your entry.

This is a fantastic opportunity to score books from some of Australia’s most popular writers, for yourself or to share. Don’t miss out!

Winners will be drawn on February 14th. Australian postal addresses only.

 

FRIDAY FEAST with Barbara Hannay

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Welcome, Feasters, to another fabulous Friday Feast, this time country flavoured. And with a special, you-can-have-it-before-anyone-else-ner-ner-ner-ner-ner giveaway!

But more on that in a moment. I have to grit my teeth and get through last week’s Sydney Author Barbara HannaySwans’ results and Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf news. With regards to the former, we played poo and lost. Ditto me with the latter. The curse has struck. Again. Stuffit.

But in truly excellent news, we have a marvellous guest on this week’s Feast – best-selling author Barbara Hannay. Yes, she of Zoe’s Muster and Home Before Sundown fame, as well as more than forty other novels published in twenty-six languages world-wide.

Barbara’s forthcoming release is Moonlight Plains, scheduled to hit a store near you on August 27th but available now for pre-order.

Check it out…

MOONLIGHT PLAINS

Moonlight Plains by Barbara HannayIn 1942, as the Japanese sweep towards northern Australia and allied troops swarm into Townsville, Kitty Martin is sent inland to the safety of Moonlight Plains. But when two American airmen crash on the isolated property, she is forced to grow up fast, coming face to face with tragedy, with love . . . and with heartbreak.

Years on, and Sally Piper, a young journalist, is sent to Moonlight Plains to cover the story of a cattleman turned builder who is restoring his grandmother’s forgotten homestead. Sparks fly between them, but Sally is struggling to let go of the past, and Luke has his eyes fixed firmly on the future.

What they uncover together is a shocking secret that has been kept safe for more than seventy years. Now the entire family’s happiness is at stake – or does the truth about the past hold a valuable lesson for the future?

From the internationally acclaimed and award-winning romance writer Barbara Hannay comes this breathtaking novel about finding love against all the odds. It will have you captivated from beginning to end.

Doesn’t that sound amazing? History, tragedy and romance combined. Rah! And you can pre-order it right now in either paperback or ebook. For the paperback try Booktopia, Bookworld, Angus & Roberston, Boomerang Books, QBD The Bookshop or your favourite store. For the ebook, clickety-click over to Amazon, iBooks, Google Play or your favourite reseller.

Ready to tantalise your tastebuds now you’ve satisfied your reading mind? Excellent. Off you go then!

Easy Entertaining

Thanks so much for welcoming me to your Friday Feast. It’s good timing for me, because although Moonlight Plains won’t be released for a couple more weeks (slight shift in the schedule), my husband and I have just hosted house guests two weekends in a row, so I’ve recently searched through my recipes for dishes that are quick and easy but totally delicious. My husband takes care of the main meat dish, thank goodness, so soup and dessert are my responsibilities.

I’ve served this dessert a few times now and it’s gone down very well. It’s tasty and wintry,  but not too heavy at the end of a meal. (Actually, if you want the whole truth, it’s also healthy, low kilojoule and high fibre, but don’t tell anyone 🙂 ) I reckon the touch of ginger makes all the difference…

Pear Ginger Crumble

pear and ginger crumbleTopping:

1/4 cup plain flour

2/3 cup old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup melted butter

Filling:

I.5 kg firm but ripe pears, peeled, cored and cut into smallish chunks

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (if you prefer, you could use crystallised ginger)

2 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Directions

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.Pear and ginger crumble

For the topping: Combine the ingredients in a medium bowl and work together with a fork or with your fingertips until the ingredients are moistened.

For the filling: Combine the pears slices, lemon juice, and ginger in a large bowl. Add the sugar and flour and toss to blend.

Grease a baking dish. Transfer the pear mixture to the dish. Sprinkle the topping over the pears. Bake crumble until the pears are tender and the topping is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature, with a scoop of ice cream.

 

Oh, how we love a good crumble here on Friday Feast! This winter has seen some delicious recipes posted but I have to say, as a passionate pear-o-phile(?) this one is my favourite. Wonderful, Barbara. Thanks so much for sharing your easy dessert.

And thank you even more for your…

GIVEAWAY!

Yes, my Feasty lovelies, as promised, we have a special giveaway. Moonlight Plains doesn’t hit stores until August 27th but YOU could win an advance author copy. What an opportunity!

Naturally, you have to work for it. Can’t have you lazing around, you know. How would you burn off all those calories? This time we’re looking for the meal that makes your family happiest. Is it a good old roast, or perhaps Nanna’s special pavlova recipe. Maybe your family (or friends) go into paroxysms over your unique recipe for macaroni cheese? Whatever it is, share in the comments and we’ll pop you into the draw to win a copy of Moonlight Plains!

Giveaway closes midnight Tuesday AEST, 5th August 2014. Australian postal addresses only.

If you’d like to learn more about Barbara and her many books, please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook and Twitter using @BarbaraHannay.

This giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Andrea who has won a copy of Moonlight Plains and will be soon enjoying a fantastic read. Thanks to everyone for sharing their meals. As always, they were beauties!

 

Hot News & Events!

Keep your eyes out for some fantastic events happening now and soon…

Heartland Review Fun

A wonderful review of my latest rural romance Heartland on the Australian Romance Readers Association blog.

“I’m missing the people in this story. I didn’t realise until I read the last page and shut the book. When I walked away, from it, I realised I felt bereft.” Rosalie for the ARRA blog.

Isn’t that a lovely thing to say? I’m so delighted.

If you’re an ARRA member, leave a comment and you’ll go into the draw to win a copy of Heartland. Giveaway closes 17th July.

You can read more about Heartland, including an excerpt and the story of how the book came into being, on my website.

 

Booktopia’s Australian Romance Month, Featuring Fabulous Giveaways

Join most excellent Australian online bookseller Booktopia for their Australian Romance month, where I, and a fine line-up of Australian romance authors, will be entertaining you with our witty answers to questions like: Who do you swoon over? and Tell us something very few people know about you, and the ever so tricky, Finish this sentence: I would do anything for love, but I won’t do  ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­____

Newsletter_Banner(1)

You can read my answers to those questions and more on July 12th.

There are plenty of other rural-set fiction authors joining me across the month, including Rachael Johns, Fiona Palmer, Rachael Treasure, Barbara Hannay, Jennifer Scoullar, Loretta Hill, Mandy Magro, Bronwyn Parry, Margareta Osborn, Helene Young, Nicole Alexander, Jenn J McLeod and others!

Plus all month there’ll be competitions to win great books, and if you order an Aussie Romance Author book from Booktopia in July, you’ll go into the draw to win a fantastic book pack. For more details, click on the banner above or visit Booktopia.

 

Romance Writers of Australia Conference, August 16th-18th 2013

It’s only 6 weeks until the RWA Conference in Fremantle, W.A. and I can’t wait. This is THE event of the year for romance authors, published and aspiring. A chance to catch up with old friends and make new ones, plus learn more about our business and craft. There are also opportunities for authors to pitch their work to leading Australian and international editors and agents.

I have a great deal to thank the RWA for and can’t recommend the organisation and its conference highly enough.

For more information on the RWA and the conference, visit the website.

 

Australian Romance Readers Association Booksigning Event, Saturday 17th August 2013

I’m signing and so are 55 others local and international authors. These events are a hoot! Register now at the ARRA blog.

BSE3 I'll be signing 500

 

 

J’aimee Brooker’s Spotlight On Aussie Rural Novelists

Last week I answered a series of fun questions on contemporary romance author J’aimee Brooker’s blog as part of her week-long spotlight on Aussie Rural Novelists. Find out the one author I’d spend my last $20 on, who I’d be if I was a character from a novel and more!

Also featured were Rachael Johns, Karly Lane, and Jennie Jones. Check it out!

 

THIS WRITING LIFE: Romance Writers of Australia Conference

Yup, that’ where I’m off to this week. Can’t wait! It’s such fun to catch up with writer friends and talk shop. I’m also a guest on the Diamonds In The Dust Panel on Saturday with Rachel Treasure, Fiona Palmer, Barbara Hannay and Penguin editor Belinda Byrne, discussing all you need to know about rural romance.

For non-writers there is the wonderful  Australian Romance Readers Association Booksigning Event. So if you’re near the Gold Coast this coming Friday, why not pop on by? Sixty-six romance authors will be on standby to have a chat to and sign your books.

4-30–6.00 pm on Friday 17 August at the QT Hotel on the Gold Coast. For more information on the ARRA Booksigning Event please visit the ARRA Blog.

Interested in writing? Why not take a closer look at the Romance Writers of Australia. THE BEST writing organisation in the country. It is. I promise. Plus we have seriously fun conferences.

And finally, a heads-up that there will be no Friday Feast this week due to me swanning around the Gold Coast. But keep an eye out for Friday 24th when I’ll be sharing something special to celebrate the first birthday of my debut rural romance, Promises. There may be a special giveaway…

 

FRIDAY FEAST with Barbara Hannay

Super excited this week, Feasters, oh yes I am! Because best-selling and award-winning Australian author Barbara Hannay is delighting us with her presence.

Barbara is author of more than forty novels published in twenty-six languages worldwide. She’s been a RITA winner and multiple finalist (that’s the romance world’s equivalent of an Oscar), a Romance Writers of Australia Romantic Book of the Year winner and finalist, and an Australian Romance Readers Award finalist. If that isn’t enough to make your jaw drop, she also lives in gorgeous tropical north Queensland!

Now she has a wonderful new rural romance to add to her collection, and it’s a cracker!

 

ZOE’S MUSTER

 

Three women … two families … one secret …

When Zoe, restless black sheep of the Porter family, discovers that her biological father is a North Queensland cattleman, Peter Fairburn, her deep desire to meet him takes her from inner city Brisbane to a job as a stockcamp cook.

Zoe’s mother, Claire, is wrestling with guilt and shock over Zoe’s discovery. She swears Zoe to secrecy, fearing that the truth could ruin the career of her high profile politician husband. When she is forced to confront her past, Claire also reassesses her marriage.

Virginia Fairburn is happily married to Peter, but she’s always lived with the shadow of the other woman her husband loved and lost.

On the muster at Mullinjim, Zoe meets brooding cattleman Mac McKinnon, who knows from painful experience that city girls can’t cope in the bush. Every instinct tells Mac that Zoe is hiding something. As the pressure to reveal her mother’s secret builds, Zoe fears she must confide in him or burst.

The truth has the potential to destroy two families. Or can it clear the way for new beginnings?

 

Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? If you have taste for more you can read an extract on Barbara’s Website. Better still, zip down to your local bookstore and buy a copy. Or you could order online right now from Booktopia. For ebook lovers, there are Amazon, Google Play, Kobobooks and many other retailers. So hop to it!

And now here’s Barbara!

 

LOCAL HARVEST

Like most households, I guess, we’re pretty interested in food, but since we moved to the country, that interest has progressed from the mere consumption of food to producing it – in very modest amounts, mind you.

Those you who are “real” farmers will have to forgive me for getting excited about picking our own fruit and vegies (and sometimes putting them in jars), or turning our own pigs into sausages and bacon. Yes, I’ll admit there’s a novelty element, but we’re also big believers in eating fresh, unprocessed food and we also support the idea of low food mileage, so we’re lucky that we now live in a very fertile area with great farmers’ markets and lots of truly wonderful local produce.

Needless to say, we’re huge fans of the ABC’s River Cottage program.

If I wasn’t so busy writing, I’d probably throw myself into this way of life totally, but I have this thing hanging over my head called a deadline, and it’s a bit like the magic pudding – knock one off and there’s another one looming.

Each year, while I’m away at the Romance Writer’s Conference, my husband holds a huge (Secret Men’s Business) feast at out place. A host of his mates from Townsville, plus our sons and some of their friends, and now also our son in law and his friends come – some of them flying quite a distance.

The men take their cooking very seriously and they’ve built an Argentian asado style barbecue for cooking whole beasts (or parts thereof), as well as a smoking box. They’ve also invented their own water powered sausage maker – and one friend has taken one of our hams back to hang in his wine cellar in Townsville so it will cure slowly at the right temperature like those amazing Spanish hams.

When it comes to sharing recipes, however, I think the recipe that gets the best reception from my friends and family is this Greek Lemon Cake (which actually came via my daughter, via a distant family cousin.) Why eat all that meat when you can have cake? 🙂

This cake is easy and delicious. You can serve it for morning tea or for dessert, and if you grow your own lemons, all the better.

Greek Lemon Cake

125 g butter

1 cup caster sugar

4 eggs

1 cup coconut

1 cup SR flour

Syrup

1 lemon (juice and grated rind)

1 cup sugar

½ cup water

Preheat oven 160 º-180º C. Greaseproof a round 20 cm cake time. Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time with a wooden spoon. Stir in coconut and flour. Bake in oven 45 mins to 1 hour.

Make the syrup after the cake is cooked. Combine the sugar, water, lemon juice and rind on stovetop and bring to boil. Let cake stand for 15 mins and then gently spoon syrup over cake while syrup is still hot. Spoon syrup little by little to prevent cake from collapsing.

 

Thanks, Barbara. I am in awe of your barbecue. What a unit! I bet those boys have a ball with their Secret Men’s Business weekends. Oh, to be a fly on the…er…paving.

And now, my Feasty lovelies, Barbara has very generously offered a signed copy of Zoe’s Muster to one lucky commenter.

All you have to do is reveal your favourite TV cooking program or what you’d most like to grow yourself and you could win!

But get in quick. Giveaway closes midnight Tuesday, 7th August 2012 AEST. Australian addresses only, sorry.

If you’d like to learn more about Barbara and her award-winning novels, please visit her website. You can also connect via Twitter and Facebook.

This giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Gemma, who has won a copy of Zoe’s Muster. Congratulations! And thanks to everyone who joined in the Friday Feast fun.