Tag Archives: Jaye Ford

FRIDAY FEAST with Jaye Ford

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WHAT A DAY! Not only do we have the most splendiferous of authors guesting today on Friday Feast, plus a gobsmacker of a giveway, my beloved Sydney Swans play the Kangaroos in the AFL Preliminary Final tonight. WHAT EXCITEMENT!

Things may get verra, verra rowdy in the Hein house. You have been warned.

Now, seeing as my darling boys had last week off, you’re stuck with Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf news. In an astonishing development, apparently I won my club’s Div 2 Weekend Golf NSW Women’s Golf Medal. I know, I know. I’m amazed too. But it means I now have to toddle Author Jaye Fordoff to the final and try not embarrass myself by playing like a 45 handicapper. Fortunately I have many weeks to work myself into nervous wreckage. Or get back into form. My money’s on the former…

Okay, let’s get down to why we’re really here: for the woman whose books I can’t get enough of even though they give me anxiety attacks. Jaye Ford has rapidly become one of my absolute favourite thriller authors. Her debut, Beyond Fear, was a triumph. Scared Yet was a heart-pumper of a read, and this week I finished Blood Secret which scared the pants off me and I loved every damn moment.

Jaye’s latest release is Already Dead. I cannot wait!

ALREADY DEAD

Cover of Already Dead by Jaye FordMiranda shrank away from him, arm pressed to the driver’s door. ‘What’s your name?’

‘I’m already dead. That’s my name now. That’s what they called me. I’m Already Dead.’

Journalist Miranda Jack is finally attempting to move on from the death of her husband by relocating up the coast with her young daughter, Zoe. Then a single event changes everything.

On a Monday afternoon as she waits at traffic lights, a stranger jumps into her car and points a gun at her chest.

Forced to drive at high speed up the motorway, Miranda listens to the frantic, paranoid rants of Brendan Walsh, a man who claims he’s being chased and that they’re both now running for their lives.

Two hours later her ordeal is over in the most shocking fashion. Miranda is safe but she can’t simply walk away – not without knowing the truth about that terrifying drive.

As a journalist Miranda has always asked questions. But this time the questions are dangerous – and the answers might get her killed . . .

Wow. This one sounds amazing, and Already Dead can be yours right now with a few clickety-clicks. Try Booktopia, Bookworld, Abbey’s BookshopAngus & Robertson, QBD The Bookshop, your favourite independent bookshop or chain store. For the ebook, visit Amazon, iBooks, Google Play, eBooks.com, JB Hi-Fi or your preferred retailer.

Enjoy your time with Jaye!

Putting a Spargel in my eye!

I’ve always been a fan of asparagus. As a kid, it was one of those ‘special’ foods, the kind that came out for guests, usually for ladies lunches or when mum was taking her turn hosting the ‘card girls’. I’d come home from school and the leftover finger foods would be laying around for the taking while they finished their last hand – slice and homemade chocolate things and delicate sandwiches.

Call me weird but I loved the asparagus rolls the best – a slice of soft white bread (crust removed), smeared with butter and folded around a single spear of (canned) asparagus, like a baby wrapped in a blanket … and stabbed through with a toothpick.

Asparagus rollsThese days, I’ve always got a container of canned asparagus in the fridge. I love the fresh stuff but it’s expensive – yesterday I picked up two bunches (a dozen spears) for $4! So you can imagine my joy when I was in Munich earlier in the year and discovered I’d arrived in the middle of the white asparagus season … and that the Bavarians truly love their asparagus!

Spargel stall

So I’ve got to explain – white asparagus is like the beer-swilling, steroid-using Goliath of the asparagus family. It’s huge – tall, fat, fleshy and, well, pasty white. It has to be peeled before it’s cooked because the outer flesh is tough and woody. Called Spargel in German and sometimes referred to as White Gold or the royal vegetable, the early shoots are covered over with soil to starve them of light, which produces the ivory colour.

Sign advertising seasonal spargel

 

During Spargelzeit (asparagus time), it’s sold on the street from fruit and veg vendors straight from the farms, stacked in great mounds like a whole lot of felled trees. It coincides with vegetable stallstrawberry season and I saw wagons everywhere with gorgeous red and white displays, always with a queue of customers. Both items are outrageously cheap – the asparagus sells for about $5 a kilo and the huge local strawberries are less than a dollar for an equally huge punnet. And of course, I wanted to try some Spargel.

The restaurants have special Spargelkarte – asparagus menus – for the couple of months its available, often advertised on boards in the street. You can pretty much eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, if you wanted to, with hollandaise or pork medallions or chicken breast, More spargel 2.0eggs, potato … you name it. Lemon and butter with lots of cracked pepper, mmm thanks. It’s mild in flavour, surprisingly tender without the stringy texture of its smaller, green cousin and just sops up the flavours around it.

I wanted to have a go at cooking it but it’s best done with an asparagus pot, a tall, narrow pot with a lid and a basket for keeping the spears upright. I was all for buying said cool equipment but, yeah, what was I going to do with it when I got it home? So I can’t give you a brilliant and mouth-watering recipe – what would you do with it anyway? But I’ve got pictures of this amazing vegetable … hope you enjoy them!

 

Those pictures are beautiful, Jaye. Who wouldn’t want to scoff spargel or munch down on juicy strawbs after seeing those? Asparagus with hollandaise, now there’s one to get me excited. Or asparagus served with a softly poached egg and parmesan. Love that. Such a pity my other half doesn’t. Sigh.

Anyway,  enough lamenting the poor tastebuds of my darling beloved, let’s get onto something super exciting. Yes, Feasty lovelies, Jaye has a…

GIVEAWAY!

And what a cracker it is too. This is your chance for a thrill-ride like no other. Simply reveal what holiday food has sent you into a spin but you just can’t get at home and you’ll go into the draw to win a copy of Already Dead.

For me it’d have to be foie gras. A crusty baguette, a pot of fatty goose liver and glass of something fizzy and I’m a content girl. I have seen it in Australia but it’s not the same as buying your own straight from a Perigord processor or a specialist store in Paris. In France I also enjoyed these delicious tiny squid called soupions. I’m sure something similar is available in Australia – we have amazing seafood after all – but I haven’t noticed any.

So what’s a holiday food you’ve had but can’t easily get at home? Something unusual and wonderful from Asia perhaps? Maybe an American speciality, or something fascinating from Africa. Or perhaps it’s simply the fish and chips like no other from the shop opposite your favourite Aussie beach. Share and we’ll pop you into the Already Dead giveaway.

Giveaway closes Midnight Tuesday AEST, 23rd September 2014. Australian postal addresses only.

If you’d like to learn more about Jaye and her amazing books, please visit her website. You can also connect via Twitter using @JayeFordAuthor and on Facebook.

This giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Andrea who has won a copy of Jaye’s Already Dead. A thrill ride awaits! Thanks to everyone who joined in the Friday Feast fun. See you next time!

FRIDAY FEAST with Jaye Ford

Greetings from sunny Townsville! Yes, the man and I have zoomed off to the tropics for a few days to help celebrate my in-laws’ golden wedding anniversary. Fifty years, isn’t that wonderful? And I think there’ll be many more good years to come for this couple too. They’re very special people.

This week’s Friday Feast guest has rapidly become one of my favourite authors, whose books I’ve taken great pleasureJaye Ford, author in recommending to others because I know what a rollicking time they’ll have. Jaye Ford broke into best-sellerdom with her first novel, Beyond Fear, a book which had my heart racing throughout. Scared Yet?, another brilliant read, followed last year and now Jaye has released her third thriller, the evocatively titled Blood Secret. Like all of Jaye’s fans, I cannot wait to read this. There is nothing more delicious than a book that makes you feel things physically, and Jaye is an absolute master.

Take a look at Blood Secret

 

BLOOD SECRET

 

Blood Secret by Jaye FordNothing ever happens in Haven Bay, which is why Rennie Carter – a woman who has been on the run for most of her life – stayed there longer than she should.

However, the illusion of security is broken one night when Max Tully, the man she loves and the reason she stayed, vanishes without trace.

Rennie, though, is the only person who believes Max is in danger. The police are looking in the wrong places, and Max’s friends and his business partner keep hinting at another, darker side to him.

But Rennie Carter understands about double lives – after all, that’s not even her real name …

And she has a secret too – a big, relentless and violent one that she’s terrified has found her again … and the man she loves.

 

I’m all shivery with excitement now and I bet you are too, and with just a few clicks, you could own a copy of Blood Secret. Try Booktopia, Dymocks, Angus & Robertson, QBD The Bookshop, Bookworld, or take a wander to your local independent book shop (like MacLean’s for those in Newcastle) or chain store. For the ebook, you can download instantly from JB Hi-Fi, Kobo, Amazon (for Kindle), iTunes or Google Play.

Now please give a big Feasty hello to Jaye…

 

A Taste of Character

 

Thanks for having me back at Friday Feast, Cathryn. I love reading about characters eating. Not the chewing and slurping but what their choices are. It’s a little tell about who they are on the inside and what nurtures or energises them. Some of my favourite characters have particular tastes: Lee Child’s Jack Reacher downs gallons of cafe-brewed black coffee (can’t help feeling a little Reacher-esque drinking black coffee on my own in a cafe!) and Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Milhone makes peanut butter and pickle sandwiches – not something I’ve tried but I get where she’s coming from.

In my novels, I try to give a nod at foods that say something about my main characters. In Blood Secret, Rennie has a thing for French toast, Liv in Scared Yet? eats Vegemite toast when she’s worried and Jodie in Beyond Fear has only one thing she cooks well – a steak.

I recently got that ‘tell’ in real life from my son. He left home in January to travel the world and after eight months, he finally stopped somewhere long enough to think about cooking. And I got the call: ‘Mum, can you send me some recipes?’

He’s living in Munich with a German girlfriend but the request wasn’t because he couldn’t read her cookbooks. He wanted a little of home over there and he wanted to share it with someone he cared about.

He gave me a list recipes he wanted, which told me a lot about what he missed. Family favourites that have been made so many times I don’t need the instructions: a coleslaw that’s the standard for family get-togethers, a slice that rarely survives more than a day, a cake that gets trotted out for everyone’s birthday, and a cheese sauce that goes with just about anything.

The recipes speak of summer barbeques, family days, parties at home and hearty meals around the kitchen table – and I loved that he both missed them and wanted to share them.

So I packed up some Aussie food supplies – Vegemite, Milo, Caramello Koalas, etc – a few of the ingredients I thought he might have trouble finding in Munich and photocopies of stained and well-used pages from my cookbooks. When his ‘care package’ arrived two weeks later, his girlfriend videoed him opening it and my six-foot-four, 24-year-old son looked like a little boy with a present from Santa. It produced tears on both sides of the world.

So here’s the recipe for our family coleslaw. It came from my mother-in-law, who got it from someone else, who possibly found it in a magazine – the best kind of road-tested recipe. It makes a huge salad so I halved the quantities in the photo to make a smaller version for dinner.

 

Jaye’s Family Coleslaw

The ingredients for Jaye's family coleslaw

Chinese Salad:

½ shredded cabbage (Chinese cabbage or wombok)

½ packet of slivered almonds, toasted

1 packet of Chang’s Fried Noodles

½ bunch of shallots, sliced

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix together.

Dressing:

2 tablespoons soy sauce

½ cup of oil

½ cup white sugar

¼ white vinegar

Mix ingredients together, microwave on low or heat slowly on stove until sugar is dissolved. When cool, pour over salad and mix well.

I’d love to know what food you’d miss from home if you were on the other side of the world. I have a copy of Blood Secret for the comment that makes me want a care package from your place!

 

Oh, I love this story! Thanks so much for sharing, Jaye. I must admit, we were the same when we lived overseas and a ‘care’ package arrived. Nothing like Vegemite to bring tears of happiness to an expat Aussie’s eyes.

Now, my lucky Feasty lovelies, here’s your chance to win a copy of Jaye’s new release, Blood Secret. Reveal in the comments what you’d miss from home if you lived overseas and Jaye will choose her favourite. She wants her heartstrings tugged and her mouth to water, so make it good!

And get in fast because entries close midnight Tuesday, 24th September 2013 AEST. Australian postal addresses only.

If you’d like to learn more about Jaye and her brilliant thrillers, please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook and her publisher, Random House.

 

This giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Gloria who has won a copy of Jaye’s latest release Blood Secret. Thanks to everyone who shared their favourite care box contents. That was fun!

Not rising, soaring!

My Australian Women Writers

Challenge Update

 

Oh, I underestimated myself bigtime! Back in mid-February when I signed up for the Australian Women Writers Challenge I was obviously feeling delusional. awwbadge_2013I should have known from my past reading how often I choose books by women writers and, more importantly, by Australian women writers.

My AWWC goal was to read 10 books. Last update I stated that I was rising to the challenge but was yet to reach that target. It turned out that wasn’t quite true. If I’d counted Hannah Richell’s The Secrets of the Tides I would have hit the big 10. Phht. Who’s quibbling? Not me, that’s for sure, because not only have I now absolutely reached my goal, I’ve given it a good spanking!

Here is what I’ve read since that June 19th update:

Six of them are by authors I’ve never read before. Sarah Mayberry’s two Favourite books were completely delicious. Outback Bride was gorgeous, with a sweet pony and a lizard race for extra fun. The Yearning had some stunning writing as did The Light Between Oceans, although with very different styles. The Mistake was a fascinating look at rural society, while Gather the Bones was simply an amazing story that I think everyone should read.

That’s TEN books by Australian Women Writers since my last update, which makes it TWENTY for the year, and with a quick glance at my to-be-read bookshelf there are plenty more to come.

So, seeing as it’s only September, can I challenge myself to read another ten books by Australian women authors by the end of the year?

I think I can!

If you’d like to know more about the AWWC, check out the website. You can also follow and contribute to discussions on FacebookTwitter and Goodreads.

Sinking my teeth into more great reading!

Sinking my teeth into more great reading!

FRIDAY FEAST with Jaye Ford

I’m always thrilled to have guests on Friday Feast but I’m especially excited today to host Australian suspense author Jaye Ford. Jaye’s debut thriller, Beyond Fear, was one of my best reads of 2011.

There’s something very special about a book that creates both an emotional and physical response in a reader, so it’s no surprise that Beyond Fear became Australia’s highest selling debut crime novel in 2011. I’d like to say I played a little part in that success because I raved about that book to everyone I knew. The last novel to make me that heart-thumpingly anxious for its characters was Mo Hayder’s The Treatment, but Beyond Fear even out-thrilled that excellent book (and that’s saying something because I’m a huge Mo Hayder fan). As for its page-turner qualities, don’t get me started. I was in awe!

The wonderful news is that Jaye’s second book recently released and it’s amassing fantastic reviews. Check it out.

SCARED YET?

 

When Livia Prescott fights off a terrifying assault in a deserted car park, the media hail her bravery. And after a difficult year – watching her father fade away, her business struggle and her marriage fall apart – it feels good to strike back for once.

But as the police widen their search for her attacker, menacing notes start arriving. And brave is not what she feels any longer …

Someone has decided to rip her life apart, then kick her when she’s down. But is it a stranger or someone much closer to home? In fact, is there anyone she can now trust?

When her family and friends are drawn into the stalker’s focus – with horrifying consequences – the choice becomes simple. Fight back, or lose the people she loves the most …

 

Scared Yet? can be purchased right now at your local bookstore, ordered online (eg Booktopia), or as an ebook from your preferred retailer (eg Amazon, Kobo, Borders). So if you like writing that takes you into a character’s world and races you along with them with heart-whumping intensity, then try Jaye’s books. I swear you’ll be in for a hell of a ride.

And now here’s Jaye!

My Winter Obsession

Cathryn asked me to write for Food Feast back in April and apologised she couldn’t fit me in until July. I cheered, knowing July was perfect timing for a rave about my cold weather obsession: Soup.

I love it. Eating it, cooking it, preparing it, reading about it. I’ve got cookbooks dedicated to it and purpose-bought crockery. My kids give me soup-related gifts. My husband occasionally asks if we can have something solid for dinner.

I trace it back to the veggie soup my mum used to make when we were kids. She’d put a huge pot on the stove, add lamb shanks and veggies, beans and barley and for days produce fabulously hearty meals for everyone who came through the door. On one occasion, with a tribe of visiting teenagers slurping around the table, someone asked, ‘Which is the barley?’ My sister answered, ‘They’re the bits that look like little bums.’ She was right, they do.

I made soup from scratch for the first time when I was at college in freezing Bathurst. It didn’t look exactly like Mum’s but it was delicious and warming and gobbled up by everyone in the share house – and it felt like home.

These days my annual craving starts like a switch being flipped sometime around the end of autumn. One day I’m eating a sandwich for lunch, the next I’m fixated on soup: chunky meat and beans; smooth, creamy vegetable; hot, spicy Asian flavours; salty broth with luscious noodles. My office has something to do with it. It’s under our house, half set into the side of a hill and man, it gets cold down there. Nothing better than taking a break, wrapping chilled fingers around a hot mug and being warmed inside and out.

When I’m not writing, I love piling up the kitchen bench with fresh veggies and working my way through them with a peeler and sharp knife. It’s one of those mindless, manual jobs that are so useful to the writing process. I have two approaches. One is to use it as a yogic exercise to still and rest my brain while my hands are busy. The other is to let my mind wander about while I’m focused on the chopping. I find a big, fat pumpkin works wonders on a plot hole – and it makes great soup, too (Thai; roasted; with bacon; topped with shaved Parmesan).

At times, I make huge batches and freeze them for later: family-sized containers for when I’m busy or away, single serves for my lunches. My mum has been unwell this year and when she hasn’t been able to face food, she’s managed to get by on my pumpkin soup and chicken and vegetable broth.

I’d like to take a moment here to declare I’m not a ‘soupist’ – I can make great soup but it doesn’t stop me opening a can or ordering a take-away. I love good old Big Red tomato – comfort food like my mum used to ‘make’. This winter, I’ve had a thing for Campbells Chicken and Corn. Last week, I had a spin out in the supermarket when I discovered there was a two-for-one sale on C & C and there were none left! Our local noodle place also does a delicious veggie and wonton broth that I get a hankering for on cold Friday nights when I can’t be bothered turning the stove on.

I don’t have a favourite, I like variety too much for that, but I’m going to finish my rave with one of my best recipes. This soup is rich in flavour and wonderfully thick and hearty. It also cooks in under half an hour and can be made from the contents of my pantry and freezer – features that are also useful to the writing process!

Bacon, Bean and Noodle Soup

1 tbls olive oil

250g bacon, chopped

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes

1 x 400g can borlotti beans

1 litre chicken stock

¼ cup tomato paste

2 zucchini, diced

100g spaghetti, broken into 3cm pieces (flat rice noodles, for gluten intolerant)

4 basil leaves, roughly torn.

Heat oil in a large saucepan on medium, add bacon, onion and garlic and cook for 3 mins. Add tomatoes, cook for 2 mins. Add beans, stock, tomato paste and zucchini and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low then add spaghetti and cook for 10 mins. Remove from heat and add basil and season to taste.

If it’s not all gone in the first sitting, it makes great leftovers. The pasta absorbs the liquid and thickens enough to eat off toast – if you can get to it before the kids.

 

Ahh, soup, it’s a winter favourite for me too. There’s something so very homely and comforting about a big bowl of steamy soup when the wind’s howling outside.

So what’s soup gives you a thrill? I’m a big fan of mouth-numbingly hot and spicy Asian soups, especially in the summer for some reason. I guess because they make me sweat.

Fire away, Feasters. Jaye and I would love to hear your soupy thoughts!

If you’d like to learn more about Jaye and her books, please visit her website or follow her on Facebook. Go on, she’s an awesome writer!!!