Tag Archives: The Falls

Teaser Tuesday!

Teaser Tuesday MemeWelcome to Teaser Tuesday where I share snippets from new and past releases and works-in-progress, and occasionally con author mates into doing the same.

Those of you who subscribe to my newsletter (gorgeous people that you are) will have already seen the new cover for The Falls. I’m thrilled to bits with it. It’s bright and passionate, and Merlin the nutty ram even gets a look in.

Another change for The Falls is that it’s now available worldwide in ebook, with the print version coming available over the next few months. So now everyone can enjoy the fun, no matter where they are. Rah! But even better, along with expanded availability comes a significant drop in the ebook price. Double Rah!

With the exception of April’s Rainbow, my stories are usually told only from the heroine’s and hero’s points of view, but The Falls also includes that of Teagan’s Aunt Vanessa. I couldn’t help myself. She was a too interesting and lively character to let her voice go unheard. What that means for readers it that The Falls gives you two romances in one – Teagan’s and Lucas’s and Vanessa’s and Dom’s – and at around 400 pages, a lovely fat read.

Anyway, if you haven’t seen The Falls gorgeous new cover, here it is, along with a snippet from when Teagan first meets a very naughty Merlin.

 

‘Merlin? His name is Merlin?’

‘Merlin the Magic Ram.’ Ness placed a hand on the sheep’s head and gave him an affectionate rub. ‘So named by the family who bottle-raised him after he was abandoned by his mother. They thought him cute until he started bowling over the children. Then it was The Falls by Cathryn Heineither the chop or here, and I couldn’t stand by and let the poor thing be slaughtered for doing what comes naturally. It’s hardly fair. He has his moments, I admit, but I’ve grown quite fond of him.’

The ram sniffed Vanessa’s knee, lifting the skirt of her dress slightly to expose more smooth white leg. His nose wrinkling, Merlin raised his head and curled his top lip before releasing another throaty bleat.

‘Oh, be quiet, you stinky old goat. Here,’ Vanessa said, grabbing a horn, ‘let me sort him out. You look like you could do with a wash and a drink. There’s a fresh jug of margarita in the fridge. Help yourself.’

Leaving her bemused niece, she marched the ram towards the yard Teagan had spied earlier, Merlin bunting and bellyaching the entire way.

 

Oh, Merlin, I had such fun with him. He was so cunning!

Purchase your copy of The Falls today from these ebook retailers.

Amazon.com | Amazon.au | Amazon.co.uk

iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Nook

Print coming soon.

And don’t forget to let me know what you think of the new cover.

 

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Teaser Tuesday!

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Teaser Tuesday 2017 logoWelcome to Teaser Tuesday, the blog series where I share snippets from new and past releases and works-in-progress, and occasionally twist the arms of author buddies and get them to do the same.

I didn’t realise until I did a quick check the other day that Teaser Tuesday has been running for over two years. That’s a lot of snippets! But it had me wondering whether the series has run its course and if this year should be its last.

What do you think? Would you like to see Teaser Tuesday continue next year? Drop a note in the comments and let me know.

In the meantime, enjoy this sample from The Falls, featuring Merlin the Magic Ram, our heroine Teagan’s glamorous Aunt Vanessa (Ness) and local busy-body Colin Walker.

 

Ness let out a groan as a pale-blue Falcon drove through the gate and rattled to a stop outside the house fence. She plastered a smile and rose, the high-waisted ecru linen trousers and bright top outlining her womanly figure. Merlin, who was picking young shoots near the shed, lifted his head.

‘Colin,’ she called sweetly, ‘what a nice surprise.’

Cover of The Falls by Cathryn Hein‘Have you heard?’

Ness barely blinked. ‘Heard what?’

Merlin let out an excited croak and lowered his horns.

‘Oh, just the alarm,’ remarked Teagan as the sheep broke into a gallop.

Colin turned, and with a yelp shot through the gate and banged it shut, retreating up the path backwards as a foiled Merlin skidded to a halt and stood panting on the other side of the fence.

‘Sorry, Col,’ said Ness with faultless sincerity. ‘I should have warned you Merlin was out. Anyway, you were saying? What is it I’ve meant to have heard?’

Deciding he was safe, Col swung around and gripped the stair rail. His bald pate was completely aglow, his age spots bright in contrast, giving the unfortunate image of something having pooed all over his head. ‘Expansion!’

‘Oh, is Maggie finally allowing you to attach an annex to your caravan? How wonderful. You’ll be able to hold canasta nights with Kathleen.’

‘No.’ Colin stamped his foot, causing the loose flesh of his leg to ripple in a wash of hairy wrinkles. ‘The centre!’

 

The Falls is available in print and ebook from these stores. Grab your copy today!

Amazon.au | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

Bookdepository

Booktopia

Angus & Robertson Bookworld

Personally signed print copies are also available for purchase direct from me. Email me at cathryn@cathrynhein.com or via the contact form on this website for details.

Learn the story behind The Falls in Ovine Adventures. You can also discover its two theme songs and more in 10 Secret Things About The Falls.

Want another excerpt? Visit The Falls’s book page on this site or download a free sample from your favourite ebook retailer, kick back and enjoy!

 

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5 Reasons Why Four-Legged Friends Are The Best People

Cathryn as a little girl with Mysty

Me with my beloved first horse Mysty

Anthropomorphise: 1. to ascribe human form or attributes to. 2. to ascribe human form or attributes to an animal, a god, etc. Macquarie Dictionary, 6th ed.

Okay, who’s guilty of doing this with their pet? Lots of you I bet. It seems that when it comes to our beloved animals we can’t help ourselves. They’re so integral to our lives we want to think of them as human. And I say rightly so. You know why? Because without a doubt our four-legged friends are the best of people.

Here’s why.

1/. They’re Joy On Legs

Is there anything as gorgeous as being greeted by an over-excited, thrilled-to-bits pet who misses us desperately even though we’ve only been gone for ten minutes? Sure, children can give this joy, but unless they’re sick, a pet will do it every time. No pouty bottom lips because we failed to bring that new toy or lolly home. No teenage half eye-meets from under long fringes followed by a grunt. But pure, unadulterated Hello-hello, Darling Owner! happiness that gives your heart an instant lift.

Feeling down? Never fear! Simply search ferrets on YouTube and wait for the laughs to start.

2/. They Don’t Talk Back or Tell Secrets

We can tell our pets anything. Anything. And be content that it’ll go no further. No double-crossing or back-stabbing in action here. Whether our pet’s a budgie or a pot-bellied pig it’ll be the perfect listener. Pour your heart out, your secrets are safe.

3/. Companionship

We’re never lonely when with a pet. Admittedly, it’s a bit hard to cuddle up with a goldfish, and I probably wouldn’t be keen on tickling a snake’s belly to see if I can make it wriggle, but they’re

Me and Ram Lamb as a youngster enjoying a rest.

Me and Ram Lamb as a youngster enjoying a rest.

still breathing creatures sharing life with us. That beats the rainbow sparkles off a plastic My Little Pony every time.

Pets are also great protectors against isolation. How easy it is to communicate with a fellow pet lover? Many a friendship or romance has been forged between dog owners out walking their charges, and I certainly have experience of equine-assisted romances. They’re an immediate shared interest and we have the bonus of knowing that if someone cares deeply for a pet, they’re less likely to be a serial killer.

Oh, and if there does happens to be danger, our pets might even be life savers. Google animal heroes and you’ll discover a thousand stories of animals coming to the rescue. Darling things.

4/. Pets Give Good Health

The RCPCA lists a number of health advantages experienced by pet owners, both physiologically and psychologically. Owners are more active and have lower blood pressure and cholesterol. The RSPCA also says that growing up with animals may strengthen our immune systems and that children who have pets are less likely to have days off school from illness. They’re also more empathetic, thanks to the care they must give another living creature who is solely reliant on them for food, shelter and often companionship.

Think also of the specialist animals out there; guide dogs (and horses, yes horses!), seizure-alert dogs, cancer sniffing pets, and animals taken around nursing homes to cheer up residents. Seriously, if all the health advantages of pets could be concentrated and bottled, they’d be marketed as the elixir of life!

5/. Unconditional Love

There’s no love like a pet’s love. It’s non-judgemental and constant. Our pets don’t care about the zits on our chins, our morning dragon’s breath, whether we vote one way or another or are jealous of our over-achieving siblings, or sometimes say bitchy things about the lady down the road. We don’t have to be perfect with our pets. Not even close. They’ll love us regardless.

Okay, so maybe it isn’t love. Maybe we’re being fooled and that adoring look is just so we’ll hand over that juicy scrap of beef or that sweet carrot. Whatever it is, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel good and right and real. Compared to the way people sometimes love, pets do a better job.

 

I think the above is why I adore including animals in my books as well as humans. Not only are they a wonderful foil for the occasional drama and conflict people subject themselves to, they can even play a role in resolving it. Combine animal characters with a deliciously heroic hero and a sympathetic heroine, and you have a romance guaranteed to give you that all important sniffle, sigh and smile. But in double dose.

In real life or literature, they’re the ultimate feel-good creatures. The best of people.

How do you feel about pets? Do they give good health and love to you too?

 

The Falls by Cathryn HeinNB. This post was first published on the blog Two Little Humans and Me as part of the promotional program for my rural romance THE FALLS. A book that features its fair share of naughty pets too, including a horny (in both ways) ram called Merlin, a bad breathed sphinx cat named Blanche and a stinky labradoodle called Saffron.

 

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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.

I’ve just received edits for Wayward Heart which is very exciting. The book is definitely on its way! I had planned to share a little bit from it but the manuscript is covered in mark-ups and editing notes and a bit messy, and sharing is probably left best for another time, when it’s cleaner. I’m sure Jasmine and Digby would much prefer to be shown off at their best.

Instead, let’s have a few paragraphs from Rocking Horse Hill, the book in which Jasmine is first introduced. Jas is the heroine Emily’s best friend and known for her big heart and sense of fun. Here she is with Em and Teagan (Teagan’s story is continued in The Falls) at Em’s property where they’ve gathered for a girly gossip and to clip their horses for the show season. As you do when you’re horsey gals!

 

Hoping she might learn from the others, or at least calm a little, the girls agreed to leave fractious Astra until last. The filly paced the stable, poking her head out of the half-door before jerking back inside to wheel another agitated circuit. Lod paid her no attention, content to stand dutifully on the concrete in the sun, waiting for his clipping, off-hind leg cocked and his hoof resting on its point. His head was down and eyes half-closed in a doze like his old friend Ox, now equally slumberous in Lod’s stable.

Rocking Horse Hill by Cathryn Hein‘Honestly, you’d send her to the knackers if she weren’t so stunning,’ said Jas, shaking her head as Astra embarked on yet another restless round.

‘She just needs to mature,’ said Em.

Teagan reached up to scratch Astra’s nose. ‘She’s only four.’

‘Ox was calm at four.’

‘Yes, but Ox had no balls.’

Jas grinned and blew a kiss at Ox. The big grey twitched his ears and blinked across the half-door before returning to sleep. ‘Poor thing. I wonder if he misses them.’ She turned back to Em who was perched on a crate, clippers in hand, palm pushing over Lod’s mane so she could clip the top-side of his neck. ‘Speaking of balls, how are things with Josh the Sexpot?’

 

Rocking Horse Hill is available in paperback and ebook from Booktopia, Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Google Play or your favourite retailer. You’ll also find photos and inside information about how I came to write the book on its ‘The Story Behind’ page.

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Teaser Tuesday!

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.

Did you know my rural romance The Falls is now out in the smaller, cheaper paperback version? You should be seeing it in stores now, looking all pretty with its covergirl staring across the beautiful landscape of the Falls Valley toward her future. For the book’s heroine Teagan, that future is very uncertain. How she reaches it is the basis of the story and it is not an easy journey.

The hero of The Falls is local farrier Lucas Knight and I based his looks on actor Chris Hemsworth, which made for some truly delicious research. You know that scene in the movie Thor where Thor wanders in shirtless? I had to study that very closely. In the name of authenticity, of course. It’s a hard, hard life being a writer sometimes but I endure for you.

Anyway, here’s a juicy bit of banter between Lucas and Teagan. Enjoy!

 

She eyed him sceptically but didn’t step back. The last of the sun touched her hair, burnishing it. Lucas resisted an urge to stroke the strands, feel them flow like molten copper through his fingers. ‘I didn’t mean Ness. She’s always been Cover of The Falls by Cathryn Heinstraightforward with me.’

‘And I haven’t?’

‘Hard to tell. We only met two weeks ago.’

‘You could always get to know me better.’

‘I could.’

Their voices were getting quieter with each word. The air began to hush like it had in the pool.  Everything felt stretched, as though someone had taken the world and pulled it from either end.

He leaned close, lowering his voice to a seductive murmur. ‘Want to make a start?’

 ©Cathryn Hein

I’d make a start!! And you can too with your own copy of The Falls. Purchase the paperback from Booktopia or Bookdepository and the ebook from Amazon, iBooks, Kobo or your favourite ebook store.

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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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Teaser Tuesday!

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Hello again from Teaser Tuesday, the series where I share tasty morsels of works-in-progress, up-coming releases and published novels.

STeaser Tuesdayeeing as I’m currently reading final proofs of my upcoming rural romance novella, Summer and the Groomsman – release details coming very, VERY soon – I figured it must be time to share another little snippet from the story (if you missed the first one, you’ll find it on this Teaser Tuesday).

I love this story. It’s sweet and a little funny, and familiar characters from The Falls and Rocking Horse Hill make cameo appearances, including Granny B, who’s up to her usual mischief. Plus there’s a wedding and we all love one of those.

Summer and the Groomsman‘s sighworthy cover and pre-order links will be revealed over the next week to newsletter subscribers, so if you haven’t already signed up, make sure you do right now!

In the meantime, enjoy this glimpse of big Harry Argyle, the hero of Summer and the Groomsman, as he readies for a wedding party bonding session at Levenham’s Lush Spa and Beauty.

 

“Everyone here?” asked Dollybird.

Em nodded. “And looking forward to it.”

“Great. Everything’s prepared.” She smiled at them in turn. “Now, girls first.” From the corridor behind emerged three equally slim women wearing outfits that seemed more appropriate for a pharmacy or science lab than a beauty salon. “Em, you’re with Megan. Jas, if you’ll go with Sandy? And Teagan, we’ve paired you with Katie.”

Em planted a kiss on Josh’s mouth before waving at Harry and Dig, and with a call of “Enjoy!” trailed her beautician down the corridor. Jas followed suit, throwing Dig a wink as she went.

Teagan touched Harry lightly on the arm. “Just relax. You’ll be fine.” Then she leaned close. “But if they offer you an enema, say no.” And with a giggle she trotted off, leaving Harry feeling faint from the blood that had just drained from his face to pool in his boots. Enema? Enema?

© Cathryn Hein 2015

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FRIDAY FEAST with Cathryn Hein

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Greetings, food lovers, and welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Feast, once more featuring me. And what fun we’re going to have too, because I have toys to show you!

ARRA Booksigning - Cathryn HeinBut first, the roller-coasting fun that is Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf. With the rise in temperature so does my golf game continue to improve. Not in great leaps and bounds, as one would like, but slowly and surely. I’m even trying smarty-pants shots. Admittedly not all of them pay off but one day soon they’ll begin to. I can feel it in my waters… Or maybe that’s just an omen of where my balls will end up if I continue the smarty-pants act. We shall see!

Right, as always we need a lovely read for you to check out. This week we’ll look at my latest release, The Falls.

THE FALLS

Cover of The Falls by Cathryn HeinWill losing the home she loves mean finding the place she belongs?

For as long as she can remember, Teagan Bliss has wanted to manage her family’s property. She’s invested everything in the farm, knowing that when her parents retire she’ll be ready to take the reins. But when a family betrayal leaves her reeling, Teagan is forced to rethink her entire future.

Heartbroken, Teagan flees to her aunt’s property in the idyllic Falls Valley. Vanessa is warm and welcoming and a favourite of the locals who drop in regularly for cocktail hour. Teagan soon catches the attention of sexy local farrier Lucas Knight, and with a new job, new friends and the prospect of a new relationship, she slowly begins to open up again.

But the village is a hotbed of gossip and division and when Teagan gets caught up in town politics, Lucas and Vanessa become concerned. As the tension in town escalates, Teagan must decide who to trust. But when she realises those close to her have been keeping secrets, the fallout may split Teagan apart forever.

Talking Books Blog described The Falls as “A knockout of a read that had me completely captivated from the first page…” And this great story could be yours with just a few clicks. Try Booktopia, Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play, Big W or your favourite bookstore.

All set? Now come join me in playtime!

My Favourite Gadgets

Ooh, I adore a good gadget. They call to me from the windows of cooking shops and chef’s supplies, from catalogues and department store shelves, and don’t get me started on the sink that is the internet. I have been known to escape for hours into Peters of Kensington, Kitchenware Direct, Kitchen Warehouse, and places far flung.

I’ll admit to buying quite a few items that I’ve never used and probably never will. Those ravioli cutters I bought spring to mind, along those wanky steel rings for plating up salads into perfect Kitchen junk drawertowers. And silicone egg poaching pods. Who the hell thought those were a good idea? Me, obviously, seeing as I have half a dozen of the useless things clogging my kitchen junk drawer. Palette knives are another dud buy, along with dough cutters. I mean, I know they’re lovely and I have used them, but it’s far easier to grab a knife from the rack, and god knows I have a pile of those things too. Knives of every persuasion, from teeny-tiny fruit knives to giant cleavers and the most beautiful carving knife from Toledo. What do I use most? The cheap Chinese chef knives with the soft steel that sharpen fast and blunt just a quickly. Mind you, at least I don’t cry when I break the tip off those, unlike my others.

Yes, I cry over broken (good) knives. Doesn’t everyone?

But, you know what? For every dud gadget I own, there’ll be another that’s paid for itself many times over. In fact, there are a few things I’ll admit to being perhaps a tad obsessed by.

Like…

The Best Whisk Evah

I bought this in Cologne, Germany, and wish I’d bought one in every size plus the one with the Teflon-coated balls on the end. Over ten years on and I’m still stroppy that I only bought this one, and live in fear of it somehow disappearing from my life. This whisk is the GOODS. Seriously. It whips faster than any other whisk, ingredients don’t get caught up like they do with balloon whisks, the beads catch every corner, it makes a satisfying noise when you use it, and it’s plain cool. I would go back to Cologne just to buy another of these whisks. ‘Tis the truth.

Me with my beloved whisk

El Cheapo Knife Sharpener

$14-99 from Aldi and one of the best gadget investments imaginable. Before this baby I’d persevered with steels of all persuasions, without success. I don’t care what the purists say, sharpening knives the proper way when you have no prowess has knobs on it. But with this, a few strokes through the slots and my knives are back razor sharp. Yeah, they’ve probably had about ten layers of steel stripped off them in the process but I don’t care. At least my knives get used now. Before they sat in their racks all blunt and annoying because I could never get them sharp enough to use again once the store edge wore off. Now they are. I rest my case.

Knife Sharpener

Porcelain Pastry Beads

Once upon a time I used to go through bags of rice and beans, simply for blind baking tart bases. Not anymore! Now I simply pull out my pastry beads and away I go. They’re nice and heavy, cool fairly quickly and store away on the shelf in an old passata jar next to my rolling pin. Great investment! Oh, but do not drop the bottle or container they’re kept in, or spill them when lifting from the pastry case. Ever. These beads bounce, far and high. You’ll be picking them out of your home for the next year.

Pastry beads

Microplanes

What did we do before Microplanes? Can you remember the torture that was zesting citrus before these came along? The zester in particular is a must in any kitchen. You need one of these, oh yes you do. It is a thing of much beauty and will transform your zesting life.

Mircoplane Zester

Mandolin Magic

Like The Best Whisk Evah, I’m a little obsessed with this gadget. I bought it in Stockholm from a lovely big cooking shop that I discovered during my wanderings. The truth is I wanted a pure stainless steel version but the price of the one I had my eye on put me off. This one cost 495 Krona – about $80 or so – and it’s a cracker. It slices and shaves and juliennes and crinkle cuts and cleans up a breeze. Yup, those Swedes sure know a thing or two about design.

Mandolin

Mortar and Pestle

There’s something very satisfying about bashing things in a lump of granite and watching tough foodstuffs like lemongrass pulverise into pastes. The pestle makes a really cool ring when you use it, and the fragrance of the ingredients when they release all their goodness makes the cooking process even more exciting. I have two of these. A mid-sized one for small jobs and then the big mama for things like curry pastes.

Mortar and pestle

The Mixmaster That Will Not Die

You have no idea how much I crave a new mixmaster. I look at all that lovely new technology out there and want to weep because I can’t justify buying any of it because my 20+ year-old Sunbeam refuses to die. The engine occasionally overheats when mixing highly resistant things like dough but even then it keeps churning away. Sometimes, when I’m feeling naughty, I walk away from it in the faint hope it’ll vibrate its way off the bench, but no. It stays there, whipping, mixing, doing its thing as it’s always done. I hate it. But I love it too. Oh, faithful cooking servant.

Mixmaster

There are lots of other gadgets I could wax on about – my pasta machine, digital scales, Mouli, the humble garlic press, so many knives (now that they’re kept properly sharp), the really cool sieve I bought specifically for making one sauce and rarely use, a bazillion pots, pans and tins, that work of art meat tenderiser I bought in Vienna (cos they know aaall about schnitzels there) – but the above are the tools I can’t do without. I love them. Like, really, really love them. Which is a perfectly normal way to feel about a life-saving kitchen gadget, as I’m sure you’ll agree.

What about you? What’s your favourite kitchen gadget? Or maybe there’s one you want some clever-trousers to invent?

Share away. You might entice me, or someone else, to a new obsession!

If you’d like to learn more about me and my books, please feel free to explore my website. There’s lots of cool stuff on here. You can also connect via Facebook, Twitter using @CathrynHein, Google+, Goodreads and Pinterest.

For all the latest news, plus giveaways and more, not to mention secret ‘I love yous’ from me, please sign up to my newsletter. There’s going to be some pretty exciting news in it very soon!

Friday Feast recipe index link.

FRIDAY FEAST with Cathryn Hein

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Greetings food and book lovers, and welcome to another slurpalicious edition of Friday Feast. This week you again have the pleasure of my company, and I have a tasty and simple Asian inspired meal for you that you’ll love.

But as usual, let us endure the embarrassment that is Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf. I thought it was happening, I really did. There were definite signs of improvement last weekend My new blue oveheart marked golf balland I was beginning to feel a glimmer of confidence. Then, because I somehow qualified for this year’s Women’s Golf Nepean Gold Brooch, on Wednesday I zoomed up the road to play the final at Leonay Golf Club. It started so well… Par, then bogey (not so good) then another par. Rah! I had form! Alas, it then descended into what at times could only be called utter humiliation. On a positive note, it was a gorgeous day and the other ladies were lovely and kind. If only Oh, Great Golfing God had been, but the bugger hates me. Must be the blue love hearts I’ve painted on my balls.

Time for a look at one of my books. This week: Rocking Horse Hill. This is the first in a loosely related rural romance series I’ve nicknamed the Levenham Love Stories. The Falls is already out, Summer and the Groomsman is in production (news on that soon), and I’m currently working on another full-length related novel with the working title Admella Beach. So Rocking Horse Hill is ground zero, so to speak.

Take a look…

ROCKING HORSE HILL

Rocking Horse Hill by Cathryn Hein coverWho do you trust when a stranger threatens to tear your family apart?

Ever since she was a little girl, Emily Wallace-Jones has loved Rocking Horse Hill. The beautiful family property is steeped in history. Everything important in Em’s life has happened there. And even though Em’s brother Digby has inherited the property, he has promised Em it will be her home for as long as she wishes.

When Digby falls in love with sweet Felicity Townsend, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, Em worries about the future. But she is determined not to treat Felicity with the same teenage snobbery that tore apart her relationship with her first love, Josh Sinclair. A man who has now sauntered sexily back into Em’s life and given her a chance for redemption.

But as Felicity settles in, the once tightly knitted Wallace-Jones family begins to fray. Suspicions are raised, Josh voices his distrust, and even Em’s closest friends question where Felicity’s motives lie. Conflicted but determined to make up for the damage caused by her past prejudices, Em sides with her brother and his fiancée until a near tragedy sets in motion a chain of events that will change the family forever.

A moving family drama and passionate love story by the author of Heartland, Promises and Heart of the Valley.

Romance. A sexy hero and clever heroine, both with complex pasts. An eerie volcano. A meddling granny. Family drama. Donkeys! What more could you want? Buy Rocking Horse Hill right now from Booktopia, Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Google Play or your favourite book retailer.

And now for something slurpalicious.

My Leetle Dumpling…

I am a dumpling devotee, and proud of it.

I don’t mean European-type dumplings, made with flour and so on – although old-fashioned golden syrup dumplings are pretty tasty, and the occasional herb or cheesy dumpling-topped casserole can be a treat too. No, my dumpling love is for Asian-style dumplings. Little parcels of savoury goodness that can be anything from slippery to crunchy, and all textures in between.

They’re a sensation in flavour too, from interesting meat fillings to nourishing vegetables, even doughy delights on occasion. You can find them steamed, fried, boiled, or a combination. And they come in all shapes and sizes too, from crescents to buns to open-topped cups and prettily pleated balls.

With their flavours, aromas, texture and beauty, dumplings appeal across the senses. Plonk me in an Asian restaurant or noodle bar and my eyes will immediately go a-hunting for them. Any sort will do – potstickers, bao, buns, dimsum, wontons and more – there seem to be an endless array.

Sadly, you can’t eat out all the time. Well, you can, but that would mean no cooking and life without kitchen fun is too horrible to contemplate. And if, like me, you need your dumpling fix often, that means making them at home.

Fortunately, dumplings are dead easy.

No, don’t you look at me like that. They are! And I’m going to prove it with my recipe for dumpling soup.

I adore this soup. It’s simple and seriously tasty. Oh, and healthy. The soup itself is embarrassingly easy: stock, lemongrass, ginger, ketjap manis. The vegetable part is whatever you feel like.

It’s also versatile. These dumplings are made with prawn meat but I’ve made them with pork mince and chicken mince as well, to great success, varying the other ingredients to include spring onions, chilli, soy, whatever takes my fancy (leftovers of these versions are really tasty cold). Steamed spinach, soy and water chestnut is another fab combo.

Best of all, there should be enough dumplings remaining to serve with dipping sauce for extra indulgence!

I have no idea where the original recipe came from. I have a feeling it’s an amalgam of several, mashed around until I came up with a version that I liked most. All I know is that I’ve been making it for donkey’s and it’s foolproof. I make it for two as a main meal, but it can easily be divided to serve four. You just won’t have leftover dumplings.

So here it is. Enjoy!

Dumpling Soup

Cathryn's dumpling soup, ready to slurp

Ingredients

12 Australian green king prawns (approximately 12 prawns)

60g (approx) tinned water chestnuts, drained and roughly chopped

3 French shallots (eschallots – the small brown, oniony ones), peeled and roughly chopped

1 tablespoon cornflour

1 egg

½ teaspoon sesame oil

1 packet gow gee wrappers (30 wrappers). Wonton wrappers work fine too, you’ll just have triangles instead of crescents

1.5 litres of chicken stock. Vegetable stock works really well too

6 thick slices of fresh ginger

1 stem lemongrass, outer skin removed, the stem bashed about a bit to release flavour

1 tablespoon ketjap manis

Vegetables of your choosing. I tend to use variations of snow peas, spring onion, baby bok choy, choy sum, bean shoots and/or finely shredded cabbage. Whatever’s in the fridge crisper that requires very short or no cooking.

Method

Peel and devein your king prawns.

Australian green king prawns

Plonk the prawn meat, water chestnuts, shallots, sesame oil, egg and cornflour into a small blender and pulse. Don’t over process. It won’t matter if there’s a few chunky bits. In fact, they make the dumplings more interesting.

Chopped ingredients in processorNote: If you’re using pork or chicken mince, whiz the shallots and chestnuts (or whatever other flavours you’re using) until finely chopped, then add the other ingredients and pulse until just combined.

Lay out your gow gee wrappers on the bench. Have a pastry brush and a cup of water on standby.

Gow Gee wrappers laid out, ready for filling

Spoon about a teaspoon of prawn mix onto each wrapper.

Prawn filling on gow gee wrappers

Using the pastry brush, moisten the wrapper edges, then fold over and press firmly to seal. It doesn’t matter if some mix oozes out or there’s a few dodgy bits. These dumplings are very forgiving. Layer them on a plate and stick in the fridge until needed.

Filled dumplings

Pour the stock into a large saucepan. Add ginger, lemongrass and ketjap manis. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes or so. This stage can be done well in advance, if you need.

Saucepan of flavoured stock

Meanwhile, add your chopped veg to the bowls. Yes, they’re raw but when it’s poured over the hot stock will cook them to crunchy perfection.

Prepared soup bowls with the vegetables

When you’re ready to serve, bring the stock back to a good boil and lower in your dumplings, one by one. Because they’re cold, they’ll drop the temperature right down. Keep the heat high, stirring your dumplings gently, until the soup returns to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5-7 minutes or until all the dumplings are floating and look juicy and cooked.

Spoon however many dumplings you want for your soup into each bowl and pour over the stock.

Leave any leftover dumplings in the saucepan with a little stock so they don’t dry out or stick, lid on to keep them warm. Then, when you’ve finished your soup and if you have room in your belly, serve the dumplings on plates with a dipping sauce on the side. You can use straight soy, smears of chilli sauce, or I use this quick-to-make, tasty sauce. Simply mix together:

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar

Thinly sliced birdseye chilli. How much and whether you leave the seeds in or not depends on how hot you like it.

Dumpling with dipping sauce

And there you have it: dead simple dumpling love. Told you it was easy!

*

All right, Feasty darlings, what do you love to order or cook whenever you eat Asian food? What delectable dish or ingredient can’t you go past?

Besides dumplings, I am passionate about thick fresh rice noodles. Oh, how I adore those slippery strands. I’ve been known to travel across town to pick up good fresh rice noodles, and buy in bulk. My other favourite ingredient is chilli soybean paste. So hot! So good! So perfect with rice noodles!

What about you? Do you go giggly over gyoza? Perhaps shiver in delight over sago pudding with palm sugar syrup? Even get a tad loony over laksa? Curious minds would love to know!

If you’d like to learn more about me and my books, please feel free to explore this website. There are plenty of cool things to discover, especially on the blog, my about page and each book’s “the story behind” page. You can also connect via Facebook, Twitter using @CathrynHein, Google+, Goodreads and Pinterest.

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Friday Feast recipe index link.

Teaser Tuesday!

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It’s Teaser Tuesday time again, my new weekly series where I tantalise you with snippets from upcoming and past book releases, and works-in-progress. This week: my latest rural romance, The Falls.

Teaser TuesdayWhile The Falls can be easily read on it’s own, the heroine is Teagan Bliss, Em’s best friend from my earlier novel, Rocking Horse Hill. In that story Teagan is let down badly by her family and flees to the NSW village of The Falls, and it’s the moment of her arrival there where the story of The Falls begins.

Although small in size, the village is big in heart and the perfect place for Teagan to come to terms with her new life. It also just so happens to be home to a very sexy farrier named Lucas Knight. Inspiration for his character involved much looking at pictures of Chris Hemsworth as Thor. It was a hardship, but I swear I did it for you, dear readers.

If you haven’t read The Falls it’s available now in paperback and ebook from Booktopia, Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Google Play, JB Hi-Fi or your favourite retailer.

Please enjoy this little taster from The Falls.

Teagan and Lucas are having a conversation by Claudia the horse’s paddock…

 

‘Do you like cricket?’ Lucas asked suddenly.

‘It’s okay.’ Teagan paused and resumed her hunt for something sharp. ‘My brother, Owen, used to play when he lived at home. Club cricket, not grade. I used to watch him occasionally.’ Her hand closed around the handle of a bot knife, a special tool for Cover of The Falls by Cathryn Heinscraping bot fly eggs off a horse’s coat. She held it up and ran her thumb over the edge. Too pitted and worn. She tossed it back and regarded Lucas again. ‘I prefer football. Much better for a perve.’

‘Not impressed by the thunder of a fast bowler?’

‘Hard to beat a good full forward.’

He frowned and then understood. ‘AFL. I forgot you were from the south. It’s mostly rugby up here.’

‘I take it you’re a fast bowler, then.’

‘Medium pace. The team workhorse.’ He grinned in a way that seemed to ignite the afternoon, straight, pure and loaded with genuine good humour. A bloke who found the world a pretty damn happy place. ‘My job is to grind them down with boredom.’

‘I couldn’t imagine you being boring.’

‘I can be all sorts of things, if I try.’

©Cathryn Hein

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