Tag Archives: Summer and the Groomsman by Cathryn Hein

Teaser Tuesday!

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Teaser TuesdayGreetings from Teaser Tuesday, the series where I share fun paragraphs from past and upcoming releases, and works-in-progress, and occasionally invite author buddies on to do the same.

Over the weekend I was thrilled to learn that my sweet novella Summer and the Groomsman was voted best rural romance cover by Romance Writers of Australia members (rah!). Sounds like a good excuse to share a snippet from the book I reckon.

Our heroine Summer agists her beloved horse Binky on a property owned by alcoholic farmer Gavin Chalk. Each time she hands over her agistment money she knows where it’s going to be spent and it upsets her deeply. On this occasion sneaky Binky uses her distraction to escape…

 

Summer had barely reached the paddock gate when Gav reversed his ute out onto the road. She swung the gate open and turned her back as dismay yanked her insides. Thanks to her, Gav was about to destroy more of his body, not to mention his state of mind. She trudged back to the car, reminding herself that this wasn’t her fault. That Gav wasn’t her responsibility. He wasn’t grandpa.

Cover of Summer and the Groomsman by Cathryn HeinShe slumped heavily in the driver’s seat and put the SUV into gear, only for her dismay to worsen the moment she looked up.

“Binky!”

Taking advantage of her distraction, Binky was sauntering happily through the gate, his one-track mind intent on the lucerne growing so lushly on the other side of the road. Usually he could be relied on to stay by his feed buckets, but tonight his hunger for decent green feed proved too overwhelming.

Putting the car back into neutral, Summer snatched a lead rope off the back seat, alighted and strode after him, calling out. Usually he was easy to catch, but Binky appeared to be in one of his moods, and intent on playing funny buggers. Ignoring her, he tossed his head and broke into a trot.

Just as another car appeared through the dust left in Gav’s wake.

“Binky!”

The driver braked hard. Gravel spewed from behind the vehicle’s locked up wheels but the skid was flinging the car closer and closer to Binky.

©Cathryn Hein

Oooh, drama! Want to know what happens next? Then grab a copy of Summer and the Groomsman today. Purchase the paperback from Booktopia or Bookdepository and the ebook from Amazon, iBooks, Kobo and Nook.

 

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50% off Summer and the Groomsman!

Summer and the Groomsman cover memeThose good folk at ebook retailer Kobo are offering a special 50% off deal on select books at the moment, and that includes my gorgeous rural romance novella Summer and the Groomsman.

Don’t miss out on your chance to read this truly heartwarming story at a fantastic discount. Simply visit the Kobo store, click Buy Now, and use promo code JAN1650 at the checkout.

This code is for unlimited purchases on select titles, which means you can keep using it for even more books, should the urge take you.

Don’t have a Kobo e-reader? Not a problem. Simply download the app from the iTunes or Android store to your phone or tablet and away you go. Easy-peasy.

Hurry! This offer ends January 31st so snap up your copy of Summer and the Groomsman today!

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Teaser Tuesday!

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Teaser TuesdayTime for another tantalising treat thanks to Teaser Tuesday, the series where I share snippets from my novels, old, new and in progress, and occasionally let author buddies take over.

Today a couple of paragraphs from a Christmas novella I’ve been working on called Santa and the Saddler. I’m only a couple of chapters in and can’t give it too much attention at the moment because my next full-length rural romance must take priority, but it’s looking to be fun.

The story is set in Levenham, the same as Rocking Horse Hill and Summer and the Groomsman, and introduces a couple of new characters. I’m not sure yet if any of familiar crew will rate a mention but I suspect they’ll sneak in somewhere, even if it’s only for a line or two.

Here’s a little taste of hero Danny Burroughs.

 

The pub was already rocking when he arrived. Thanks to boisterous young singles returning from university or new careers elsewhere to their hometown for Christmas, this time of year it always was. Drawn by the fun atmosphere, plenty of regulars and other assorted locals had sidled in for a drink too, and Danny endured calls of ‘Nice suit!’ and ‘Ho ho ho!’ as he made his way to the bar. He surreptitiously gave those he knew well the finger, the others he just waved off, smiling through gritted teeth.

The publican –  a bit too much into the spirit of things for Danny’s liking – had decided that this year, for the week leading up to Christmas, the staff would dress as Christmas characters. Danny had drawn the short straw and scored Santa. Tall and rangy, with spiky dark hair and blue eyes, Danny was as far from Santa as a bloke could get. Barry, the grey-haired night manager, had fared even worse as Mrs Claus, while Karen Simms, who’d been working at the pub almost as long as Barry, had drawn Frosty the Snowman. The only person who looked good was Lily, one of the casual female bar staff, who instead of appearing ridiculous like him, looked as cute as a button in her elf suit. If Danny’s mate Ben hadn’t already claimed dibs, Danny would have tried for her himself, but the two men had their code and Lily was off limits.

Which meant another Christmas spent single.

©Cathryn Hein

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2016 Australia Day Book Giveaway Blog Hop!

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2016 Australia Day Book Giveaway Blog Hop!Welcome to the 2016 Australia Day Book Giveaway Blog Hop brought to you by that most excellent of book blogs Book’d Out.

And what is the hop all about? It’s all about giving you, lovely readers, the opportunity to win lots of books by Australian authors, along with other goodies. For the full list of participants simply visit Book’d Out’s blog hop page.

Cover of Summer and the Groomsman by Cathryn HeinSo what giveaway am I offering?

How about a signed print copy of the utterly charming rural romance novella Summer and the Groomsman? You will love this story. It’s gorgeous, not to mention a lot of fun, and has the added bonus of featuring hat-tipping Mr Sexy on the cover.

But that’s not all!

Because it’s Australia Day, and because I’m feeling all summery and cheery, I’m going to throw in a signed copy of my debut rural release Promises. I adore this story. It’s beautifully romantic, with lots of horses, secrets and drama in a fabulous setting.

But you’ll have to work a little to be in the giveaway. Nothing too onerous because that wouldn’t be in the spirit of things, would it? No, all you have to do is reveal what you’ll be scoffing (or want to be scoffing) this Australia Day.

Promises by Cathryn HeinDo you hanker for snags or a lamb chop on the barbie, or can’t wait for a great glistening platter of fresh seafood? Perhaps a pavlova or lamington sugar-high is on your agenda, or even the deep-fried awesomeness of a Chiko Roll! Whatever Australia Day fare you’re indulging in or wish you were having, share it in the comments below and I’ll pop you into the draw to win the above book package.

Please note: Australian postal addresses only. Giveaway opens midday AEDT, Sunday January 24th, 2016 and closes midnight AEDT on Wednesday January 27th, 2016. Winner notified by email within 7 days of closing date and announced in the comments.

Want to keep up with all my releases, plus have access to exclusive content, giveaways and subscriber-only short stories? Sign up to my newsletter. It’s fun, plus I’ll love you.

Got your entry in? Good. Now skip on back to Book’d Out and check out all the other blog hop giveaway opportunities.

And don’t forget to have a fantastic Australia Day!

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This Writing Life: Finalist Fabulousness!

The Australian Romance Reader Awards finalists were announced last Friday and I was thrilled and honoured to be listed two categories: Favourite Australian Romance Author 2015 and Favourite Cover From A Romance Published In 2015 with Summer and the Groomsman. Yay!

happy gif

Seeing as Friday was my birthday, that was a very, very nice present.

Thanks to everyone who nominated me and Summer and the Groomsman. I’m grateful and humbled, and did I mention thrilled to bits? If I weren’t trying to be good at the moment, I’d crack some celebratory fizz, but we’ll save that for another day.

If you’d like to see the full list of finalists, you’ll find them on the Australian Romance Readers Association blog. And if you’re looking for your next great read, why not try an author or book from the lists? You’ll be guaranteed of a top-notch read and help our home-grown talent.

Winners will be announced at the Australian Romance Reader Awards dinner, Cello’s Restaurant, Sydney on Saturday 19th March.  Hope to see you there!

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April’s Rainbow Cover Reveal and Pre-Order!

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Tra la la! April’s Rainbow is here at last and I can’t express how proud and excited I am. This story has been inside me for over twenty years, and to have it out is an honour and a thrill.

This is the story of my heart. I hope it becomes the same for you too.

Releasing February 3rd, 2016

April's Rainbow by Cathryn Hein, an Australian country love story

From the spectacular beauty of Victoria’s lush western districts comes this deeply emotional story of grief, courage and love.

When shy farmer Tristan Blake is given free rein to manage iconic local property Rainbow, he soon finds himself living his dream. Even more so once the farm’s dark-haired artist owner April Tremayne arrives. April is mysterious and slightly wild, with an air of tragedy, and Tristan is captivated. The more involved he becomes with April and her eccentric projects, the harder he falls for her. April might believe the price of love is pain, but Tristan vows that is one thing she’ll never experience with him.

But even the sweetest dream can turn dark. April is haunted by the very heartbreak she’d come to Rainbow to heal, and as her demons tighten their grip, Tristan is torn between keeping his promise or betraying the woman he loves. And the risk of either choice is losing her forever.

Pre-Order April’s Rainbow today from:

Amazon.com | Amazon.au | Amazon.uk

iBooks

Kobo

Nook

For those who prefer print, never fear. It’s coming very soon and as with my previous release Summer and the Groomsman you’ll be able to order personally signed copies direct from me. Make sure you subscribe to my newsletter so you don’t miss this limited opportunity.

If you’d like to learn more about April’s Rainbow and how I came to write it, please visit Of Daydreams, Cairns and Rainbows’ Ends on The Story Behind April’s Rainbow page on this website. Want to read an excerpt? You’ll find it on the book page.

What do you think of the cover? I love it. Kellie, the designer has done a wonderful job. It looks dreamy and romantic and fits the book perfectly.

Come release day I’ll be toasting it with a nice glass of fizz. Speaking of which, time for me to pop a bottle in the fridge. One must be prepared!

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FRIDAY FEAST with Cathryn Hein

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Greetings once more from the food and book marvel that is Friday Feast. This week: an important announcement, a tasty tagine and I bore entertain you once again with that most splendiferous of rural romance novellas, Summer and the Groomsman.

Did you know this series has been going for over four years now? That’s a loooong time in bloglandia. Every week for eleven months of the year we’ve had Australian authors sharing their latest releases and mouth-watering recipes, and it’s been a blast!

ARRA Booksigning - Cathryn HeinBut it’s also been quite time consuming and has on more than one occasion taken me away from my writing. Given that I have plans for world literary domination (and, really, who doesn’t?) I need to take a bit more care of my writing time, so it is with no little sorrow that I inform you that Friday Feast will soon be ending as a regular blog post. It will, however, pop up from time to time when I or one of my lovely author friends are in the mood for some foodie fun.

Righty-o, let’s return to normal programming with the dubious joy that is Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf.

Steady is the way I’d describe my golf game at the moment. Nothing special but kicking along nicely, which is good. One doesn’t want to peak too early when next week sees the ladies Medal of Medals playoff, and this one is going to be hard-fought, let me tell you. This competition takes all the year’s monthly medal winners and pits them against each other in one round, like a best of the best battle. It’ll be tough and competitive, and as convivial as all our games are. I’ll probably get all nervous and screw it up as usual, but that’s okay. The sun will hopefully be shining and the ladies will be their normal lovely selves and we’ll all have a great day regardless.

And now, another gawp at Summer and the Groomsman because I know you can’t get enough of Mr Sexy on the cover. I certainly can’t!

SUMMER AND THE GROOMSMAN

Cover of Summer and the Groomsman by Cathryn HeinIt’s Levenham’s wedding of the year but unlucky-in-love Harry Argyle has more on his mind than being groomsman.

After yet again nearly colliding with an escaped horse while driving home to the family farm, Harry Argyle comes face-to-face with its pretty owner, and doesn’t hold back his disapproval.

Confronted by a bad-tempered giant on a dark country road, beautician and new arrival in town Summer Taylor doesn’t know who to be more afraid for: herself or her darling horse Binky. It’s not her fault Binky keeps escaping. The alcoholic owner of the paddock she rents won’t fix the fence and Binky can be sneaky when it comes to filling his stomach. But no matter how big and muscled the bully, she refuses to be intimidated.

When Harry’s wedding party book a session at the day spa where Summer works, both she and Harry are horrified to be paired together. Grudgingly, they agree to make the most of it – only for the session to spiral into disaster. Realising he’s made a dill of himself in front of sweet Summer yet again, Harry vows to set things right.

Summer isn’t about to easily forgive the man who called her horse stupid, no matter how brave and kind, but with everyone on Harry’s side, even fate, resistance is hard. Can these two find love or will Summer’s wayward horse put his hoof in it again?

Mr Sexy is available right now from Amazon.com, Amazon.au, Amazon.uk, iBooks, Kobo and Nook. Go on. You know you want him.

Can’t stand ebooks? Stay tuned for news on the print edition, coming soon!

Now for some talk about…

Tantalising Tagines

We love a good tagine in the Hein house. They’re so easy and great for a Friday night when we’re after something set-and-forget. With their lovely spices and addition of dried or fresh fruit these are the casseroles of the Middle-East and Mediterranean, but unlike normal casseroles which tend to favour the cooler months, tagines suit warm weather dining too.

Terracotta Tagine

My trusty terracotta tagine

I probably don’t need to tell you that tagines are named after the conical cooking vessel in which they’re cooked. I have two of these now. The first tagine is a traditional terracotta version that you have to soak overnight in water to ensure the pottery is moist enough to cope with cooking heat, and, I suspect, also adds a certain je ne sais quoi to the end dish.

Stupidly not having brought one home from France with us (where we could have snaffled one for about €5), back then we had to hunt around to find our terracotta tagine. Now these things are everywhere and made out of everything from stainless steel to ceramic, cast iron, copper and combinations in between.

One of the things that disappointed us about our terracotta version was its small size and shallow bowl. More than half a kilo of meat and it would overflow. As we like to cook double amounts and freeze the rest for lazy times this was a bit of an inconvenience, leading us to keep an eye out for a new one.

Scanpan tagine

My shiny new Scanpan tagine

Cast iron looked cool but would have weighed a tonne. Because of the soaking necessity, a large terracotta one would have been bothersome and require too much forward planning. The ceramic ones were okay but… nah. Then we spotted the Scanpan version and were lovestruck. So shiny, so pretty, so perfect in its sleek dimensions. Best of all, so easy to clean and no overnight soaking required. We had to have it.

And it’s proved a cracker! I’m your basic overexcitable home cook and don’t for one second consider my food authentic to any cuisine, and our tagines probably don’t even come close to the unique flavours of the traditional, but they’re pretty bloody tasty all the same. Lamb with dates, beef with raisins, meatballs in tomato sauce with baked eggs… we’ve made all sorts.

One of our favourites though, is the one I’m going to share today: Chicken Tagine with Lemon and Dates. I have a feeling the original recipe was torn out from a newspaper but, as usual, we’ve tweaked the ingredients and method to suit our own tastes and cooking laziness. With its gold and lemony hues it looks like a summer dish, and the flavours? Sweet, spicy and lovely. And now we have a larger tagine we can make it in the full amount and have leftovers.

No tagine? Never fear! Simply use a normal casserole.

Chicken Tagine with Lemon and Dates

Serves four

Chicken Lemon and Date Tagine

4 chicken marylands, thigh and leg separated

Olive oil

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 teaspoons paprika dolce

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground turmeric

2 teaspoons ginger, freshly grated

1/2 preserved lemon, flesh removed, rinsed and pith sliced finely

1/2 lemon, finely sliced

Salt and pepper

2 onions, finely chopped

8 fresh dates, pitted and cut into halves crossways

Coriander leaves.

Mix spices, garlic, ginger, preserved lemon and lemon slices together with a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Throw in chicken pieces and toss until well coated in the spice mix. Leave to marinate for an hour.

Heat the tagine base over medium heat. Add a splash or two of olive oil and throw in sliced onions. Cook, stirring, until a few minutes until softened then add 250ml of water and mix. Add chicken and stir then top with tagine lid and simmer for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, add dates and bake a further 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Season well, sprinkle with coriander and serve with couscous to mop up all the lovely spicy juices.

*

So Feasty ones, what’s your favourite cooking vessel? Or maybe you prefer a no-fuss barbecue or not to cook at all?

Besides my tagine, which I luuurve, and my wok which I’d be useless without, my favourite dish is probably my super-sized copper pan. It makes the best casseroles, even beating the enamel-coated cast iron pots for delicious results. No idea why but I imagine it has something to do with the evenness of its heat distribution. I also have a thing about my Le Creuset terrine. It just looks fab!

What about you? Share away. You might convince us of the need for something shiny and new.

If you’d like to learn more about me or my books, have a potter around the website where you’ll find cool things like The Story Behind pages for each of my books, and more. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter using @CathrynHein, Google +, Goodreads and Pinterest.

Friday Feast recipe index link.

Teaser Tuesday!

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Teaser TuesdayAfter a brief hiatus to celebrate the release of my new rural romance Summer and the Groomsman, Teaser Tuesday, the series where I share tasty morsels of works-in-progress, up-coming releases and published novels, is back. Rah!

Now that the excitement has died down a little, it’s time to refocus and start writing my next book. If only I knew what that was. I have three stories all clamouring to be told, and another abandoned story begging to be finished. This week it’s decision time. I predict much angsting ahead.

Speaking of angsting (like that segue?), let’s share a little of it from my May rural romance release, The Falls. This story revolves around Teagan Bliss, a character you might remember from Rocking Horse Hill. Broken-hearted after a family betrayal, Teagan has fled South Australia for New South Wales and her Aunt Vanessa’s property in the beautiful Falls Valley where she hopes to heal and find her new path in life. Easier said than done!

This is fun scene in Vanessa’s pool where Teagan is trying to relax after a hard day repairing fences, only to be interrupted by the worst (and sexiest!) person possible, local farrier Lucas Knight.

 

The water was bliss, warm enough to be pleasant but cool enough to soak away the heat and hard work of the day. She swam laps before gliding to the middle to lie on her back with her eyes closed in an effort to clear her thoughts. She sang songs in her head, concentrated on the metallic pings of the water, yet no matter how she tried, her mind remained filled with memories of Pinehaven.

And each passing image brought another slow leak of tears.

Cover of The Falls by Cathryn Hein‘Mind if I join you?’

Teagan splashed and turned in fright, swallowing a gush of water as she did. She emerged coughing and hacking with her hair plastered over the front of her face, cutting off her vision. She swept it back, only for the pound in her heart to hammer even worse when she saw who stood at the edge of the pool.

She opened her mouth and shut it, then looked around in a panic. Her towel was thrown over the far seat of the outdoor setting. She’d have to walk a good five metres in her bikini to fetch it, exposing every bony inch of her underweight frame to Lucas.

‘Don’t worry,’ he said, in his deep, smile-filled voice. ‘I grew out of peeing in the pool. You’re safe.’

She glanced back at him again and found herself repeating her gormless cod-mouth gape, only this time it wasn’t due to shock. The man had abs. A full-on sixpack. And hair. A sexy line of it that traced across his chest and down to the top of his board shorts. For some reason she’d expected him to be hairless. One of those blokes who went for waxing because it made his muscles stand out better. But here he was, radiating manliness like Adonis come to life.

©Cathryn Hein

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FRIDAY FEAST with Cathryn Hein

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This week on Friday Feast, lucky devils that you are, you have ME again. I’m sharing one of my absolute favourite pasta recipes, showing off my new release again (because I can, and I love it to bits and want you to as well), and… oh, let’s have a giveaway. It’s been too long!

But before you get to that excitement, you must endure news from Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf. As mentioned last week, the past weekend saw me compete in the final round of the Romance author Cathryn Heinclub championships and I came SECOND! Okay, so technically with only two of us ladies left in the field I also came last but we’ll  ignore that. What was kind of cool was the gallery (aka the hecklers) surrounding the 18th green, watching the field come in, and me making a very respectable par in front of them instead of cracking under the pressure. Not normal Hein golfing behaviour at all!

Now to plug my book, which I’m allowed to do to my heart’s content because it’s my blog and I have overlord (overlady?) powers. I will, however, try not to be boring.

So… reviews for my new release Summer and the Groomsman are coming in and they’re lovely! I’m so chuffed. 5 stars from Talking Books Blog and 8/10 from Bree at 1 Girl 2 Many Books, along with lots of very kind comments about the sweet characters and the humour of the story.

It’s enough to make a girl a little teary. Or drink fizz. I prefer the latter.

On the off chance you haven’t had enough of it yet (which of course you haven’t), here’s the cover and blurb.

SUMMER AND THE GROOMSMAN

Cover of Summer and the Groomsman by Cathryn HeinIt’s Levenham’s wedding of the year but unlucky-in-love Harry Argyle has more on his mind than being groomsman.

After yet again nearly colliding with an escaped horse while driving home to the family farm, Harry Argyle comes face-to-face with its pretty owner, and doesn’t hold back his disapproval.

Confronted by a bad-tempered giant on a dark country road, beautician and new arrival in town Summer Taylor doesn’t know who to be more afraid for: herself or her darling horse Binky. It’s not her fault Binky keeps escaping. The alcoholic owner of the paddock she rents won’t fix the fence and Binky can be sneaky when it comes to filling his stomach. But no matter how big and muscled the bully, she refuses to be intimidated.

When Harry’s wedding party book a session at the day spa where Summer works, both she and Harry are horrified to be paired together. Grudgingly, they agree to make the most of it – only for the session to spiral into disaster. Realising he’s made a dill of himself in front of sweet Summer yet again, Harry vows to set things right.

Summer isn’t about to easily forgive the man who called her horse stupid, no matter how brave and kind, but with everyone on Harry’s side, even fate, resistance is hard. Can these two find love or will Summer’s wayward horse put his hoof in it again?

Oooh, this story is FUN. And you should buy it now, oh yes you should! Try Amazon.com, Amazon.au, Amazon.uk, Kobo, iBooks or Nook.

Now, grab those pots and fire up that stove, because this recipe’s a cracker.

Pucker-Up For Pasta

By now you’re all probably aware that I’m a sucker for recipes that taste disproportionately impressive to the amount of effort they take to prepare. I never used to be this way though. In fact, there was once a time when the longer the recipe, the more complicated, the more ingredients it required, the happier I was. And if it involved learning some obscure new technique, even better.

Personally, I blame the 80s.

Me at uni graduation with big hair

Me on graduation day with big hair and even bigger shoulder pads beneath my gown.

Everything had to be bigger and better then: hair, shoulder pads… plates. Remember enormous white plates with tiny bits of lonely food on them? So fashionable. I still have the most beautiful Royal Doulton set in my crockery collection. You could eat entree and main off those things and still have room for dessert, but I’ll never get rid of them because they’re so nice.

The ‘more is better’ fad followed me into the early 90’s too, when I moved to Melbourne. I used to hold these dinner parties that would take days to prepare for and involve early morning trips to Queen Victoria Market followed by hours in the kitchen and exhaustion by the end of the evening. Vogue Entertaining magazine was my bible, along with Elle Cuisine and another short-lived ultra-cheffy one I can’t recall the name of.

These days? It’s all about maximum taste from minimum effort.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to spend an afternoon in the kitchen playing around with something novel. I adore cooking, trying new ingredients, learning new techniques, especially on a Friday when there’s the end of the week to celebrate. Weekdays though, it’s all good food done fast. Well, not necessarily fast but certainly without drama.

Which brings me to today’s recipe, pasta e fagioli. Pasta and beans.

I’m sure there are hundreds of different recipes for this, and I certainly don’t claim the following as authentic. Not even close. In fact, my version is a total mash-up, and even then I change it around, depending on my mood. But in my book adaptability is a sign of a great recipe, plus mucking about is fun. I think traditionally, like many cucina povera dishes, pasta e fagioli is meatless. I also believe it’s meant to be runnier, like a soup. I make my version thick and serve as a plated pasta. Easy to eat and very satisfying.

The key to the success of this recipe is in the sausages. Honestly, if you don’t have good Italian sausages, don’t bother making it. Without them the dish will turn out ordinary. With them, it’ll be delicious. But as I’m sure you know, using quality ingredients is the secret to getting the best out of all recipes.

Look for lovely chunky pork sausages with plenty of seasoning. Fennel is a must, and if you can score ones with chilli in them as well, even better.

Pasta e Fagioli – Pasta and Beans

Serves 4

My Pasta e Fagioli

Ingredients

Olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

4 fat Italian sausages

1 tablespoon tomato paste

Dried chilli flakes to taste (if the sausages are chilli-less), 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon

400g can tomato polpa (or used tinned tomatoes and crush them up with your hands or a potato masher)

½ cup (125ml) beef stock

400g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

250g macaroni (or any small pasta – tiny penne works well as tubetti and ditalini)

Grated parmesan to serve

Method

Squeeze the sausage meat from the casings and chop if really chunky or you can feel gristly bits.

Squeezed out Italian sausage meat

Heat a good splodge of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Throw in onion and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring, until softened.

Cooking chopped onion

Add garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Increase the heat a little and add sausage meat. Cook for 5 minutes or so, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon, until browned. Add tomato paste, chopped tomato, chilli (if needed) and stock, then simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened.

Simmering tomato and sausage meat

Taste and season as needed, then stir in beans to heat through.

Tomato, sausage mince and beans

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to packet instructions until al dente. Drain, add to the sauce and mix.

Spoon onto plates and serve with plenty of grated parmesan, and watch those plates clear!

Empty plate

Okey-dokey, cos I’m feeling in the mood for one, let’s have a…

GIVEAWAY!

Hmm, which book shall I put up for grabs? I had planned to give away a print copy of Summer and the Groomsman but, annoyingly, they’re not ready yet (gah!). How about a copy of my debut Promises by Cathryn Heinrelease Promises instead? I love that story. It’s a bit Romeo and Juliette-ish, is set in south-east South Australia where I’m from, and has lots of gorgeous horses. Perfect!

Already have a copy? That’s okay. If you win, you can always give the copy away as a present. I’ll sign it to whoever you like.

So, to be in the draw to win a signed paperback copy of Promises, simply leave a comment revealing your favourite pasta or noodle dish.

How’s that for easy peasy?

I’ve just shared mine, although I do have many other recipes in my collection that I adore. Veal ragù with home-made papardelle springs to mind – that dish is amaaaazing – and I just love spinach and ricotta canneloni. Ooh, and how can one go past pumpkin ravioli with sage butter? That dish is like eating autumn!

So what’s your favourite? Share and I’ll pop you into the draw.

Please note: Giveaway closes midnight Tuesday AEST, 17th November 2015. Australian postal addresses only.

If you’d like to learn more about me or my books, there’s plenty to discover on this website, including a fun video on my About page on How To Grow An Australian Romance Author, plus The Story Behind each book and more on its book page. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter using @CathrynHein, Google +, Goodreads and Pinterest.

Friday Feast recipe index link.

 

 

10 Secret Things About Summer and the Groomsman!

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Summer and the Groomsman

Crack the champas, bring out the choccies, for today is Summer and the Groomsman’s release day. Whee!

For those of you who have pre-ordered copies of my new rural romance, THANK YOU! I hope they’re a-winging their way into your e-readers, phones, tablets and computers now (although because we’re always early here in Australia we might have to wait until midnight ticks over in the USA before the files are actually released).

Most of all I hope you enjoy Harry’s and Summer’s sweet, cute romance. I had a ball writing it.

And now, for your delectation, here are…

10 SECRET THINGS ABOUT SUMMER AND THE GROOMSMAN

1/. Poor Harry was not always Harry. He started out as Cameron (Cam) but he never really fitted that name. So I changed it to Henry, which I adored. Then I discovered that Henry clashed with a character from Admella Beach (the two stories overlap) and I had to rename him Harry. Summer was always Summer.

The change from Cameron to Henry was not without its dramas. Idiot me did a universal change for Cam without specifying whole and capitalised words only, resulting in EVERY letter sequence of “cam” changing to Henry. Thank god for the undo button.

2/. The idea for the story came to me in a day spa at the QT Hotel on the Gold Coast where I was staying for the 2012 Romance Writers of Australia conference. Good buddy Rachael Johns and I decided we deserved a pampering and booked ourselves in for a morning of bliss. Harry drifted into my brain during a very pleasurable massage. I don’t know why I don’t try this plotting method for every book. It’s lovely!

 

Me and Rachael Johns at the 2012 RWA conference

Me and Rach at the RWA Gold Coast conference wearing red for for the Heart Foundation, that year’s charity.

3/. Harry’s looks were very loosely inspired by Midshipman Alonso Frame (actor Russell Tovey) from Doctor Who’s Voyage of the Damned (he’s the one with the gunshot wound in the TV trailer).

4/. Summer and the Groomsman’s stunning cover was designed by Kellie from Book Cover By Design. To say I’m thrilled with it would be an understatement.

5/. Gavin Chalk’s property, where Summer agists her horse Binky, was inspired by one where I once kept my beloved first horse Mysty. It was also the location where my dad, an ex-jockey, infamously fell off her one Christmas and broke his wrist, resulting in endless teasing about his riding prowess.

6/. Summer and the Groomsman is my first self-published work. It was a hell of a learning curve but very exciting. Special thanks to author and editor Dianne Blacklock who edited the novella and was a great pleasure to work with, Kellie from Book Cover By Design, and to wonderful people like New Zealand author Maggie Le Page who held my hand throughout the journey, and happily answered all my dumb and panicked questions. Also to the private BI50Days loop for their support and error spotting, and Rachael Johns for her endless belief and encouragement.

7/. The exterior of the church where Em’s and Josh’s wedding takes place was inspired by my home town of Mount Gambier’s Christ Church where my Mum and Dad were married.Christ Church Mount Gambier

8/. Because this book is my first to be published world-wide I agonised over what spelling to use – Australian English or US. Initially I directed edits be skewed for the US market but when the time came to accept the changes I couldn’t do it, and so the novella remains Australian. With the setting and characters all Aussie, it just seemed right.

9/. Sometimes I write books to music, sometimes I don’t but almost every book has at least one “theme” song. Summer and the Groomsman is one of the few that doesn’t. No idea why. It just happened that way. I suspect it was because the story and characters were vivid to me from the start and didn’t need the extra creative input.

10/. Harry has a brother Eddie, who is very competitive, convinced he’s far more heroic than his brother could ever be, and now won’t stop nagging me to write his story. Looks like I’ll have to book myself in for a spa session and indulge in another long massage to find out what it is!

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I hope you enjoyed these ten secret things. But what I really hope is that you have a ball with Harry and Summer and all the Levenham crew.

Keen to read an excerpt? You’ll find one on Summer and the Groomsman’s book page on this website plus others on Teaser Tuesdays here and here. And don’t forget you can download samples from ebook retailers.

Of course, I know that deep down you’re excited enough to want a copy right now, oh yes you are! To satisfy that want, simply clickety-click on these retailers and Summer and the Groomsman will be yours.

Amazon.com

Amazon.au

Amazon.uk

Kobo

iBooks

Nook

 

Thank you. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to stick a bottle of fizz in the fridge for later. One must celebrate book releases in style. ‘Tis the rules!

PS. Due to Summer and the Groomsman hogging the bloggy limelight, there will be no Teaser Tuesday today. Never fear, it’ll be back in all its tantalising glory next week.

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