Tag Archives: The Finn Factor by Rachel Bailey

Favourite Reads of October

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My Favourite Reads image

I read some pretty fab books in October, across a wide range of genres too. But the two highlights were both from Australian writers. Talented debut author Emma Viskic and well-established romance author Rachel Bailey, whose expertise in the genre shone through.

Resurrection Bay by Emma Viskic

Resurrection Bay by Emma ViskicLoved this book. Just loved it. A great Aussie crime novel and apparently the first in a series. Rah!

When Caleb Zelic finds a friend dead, he’s determined to uncover the killer and prove his own innocence. With business partner Frankie, Caleb sets on a dangerous path, one that leads him around the city and to his home town of Resurrection Bay. But the person they’re chasing is always one step ahead and soon Caleb doesn’t know who to trust.

What makes this book so memorable – besides the clever plotting, smart and authentic dialogue and great observations – are the characters. Caleb is profoundly deaf and determined to not let it interfere in his life. His relationships with his family and love interest are tangled and sometimes uneasy, adding even more intrigue to an already layered plot. Then we have ex-cop and recovering alcoholic Frankie, the peripheral folk of Resurrection Bay, and investigating police, all of whom seem to have secrets. Even the settings have unique personalities.

This book had drama, action, plenty of twists, humour and even a touch of romance. Highly recommended.

The Finn Factor by Rachel Bailey

The Finn Factor by Rachel Bailey coverIf you love contemporary romances, in particular the friends to lovers trope, then this book is for you.

Convinced it’s her kissing skills – or lack thereof – that’s ruining her love life, Scarlett Logan cons her best friend and housemate Finn into giving her lessons. Finn is gorgeous and a babe magnet; he’s bound to know what she’s doing wrong and how to fix it. But their first “lesson” ignites something neither expected and something Finn definitely doesn’t want. With their precious friendship on the line, can these two control their passions? Find out!

This was sweet, fun and deliciously romantic. A book to make you feel wonderful.

Also on my list were:

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan, a young adult zombie book I’ve wanted to read for donkey’s and which is apparently going to be made into a movie. I’d definitely watch that. I thought this had some fresh takes on the zombie genre – not that I’m an officianado but I liked it a lot for its different perspective.

Way Down Dark by James P. Smythe. Another young adult but this time sci-fi and the first in a trilogy. Great premise of a heroine trying to survive in a place called Australia. Except it’s not the country but a spaceship where people took refuge to escape a dying Earth. This started out sort of Hunger Games-ish and twisted into something else. Really rolled along.

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith. I’m a sucker for a good crime novel and with Galbraith being a pseudonym of JK Rowling how could I resist? I enjoyed it too. Fab characters, especially the war veteran hero Cormoran Strike. I’ll be fascinated to find out how his relationship with Robin progresses.

Every Breath by Ellie Marney. Book blogger 1 Girl 2 Many Books put me on to this one. Being a Holmesian style tale (and I do love me some Sherlock), I had to give it a try. What a ride it was too. Loved the set-up with country-girl Rachel finding her way in the big smoke, and hero James Mycroft was wonderfully done, plus it was fun to read a book set in my favourite Australian city, Melbourne.

What were your favourite reads of October?

 

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FRIDAY FEAST with Rachel Bailey

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Hello tasty people, and welcome to Friday Feast, the blog series where Australian authors share their love of food, latest releases and more. This week it’s choc heaven so prepare to drool, plus we have a wonderful book giveaway!

But before that, news from Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf. After last week’s debacle in the Gold Brooch play-off I thought the only way was up but no. The barrel of my golfing despair has yet to have its bottom scraped. There were good shots, especially with my driver, but mostly they were bad. I appear to have a massive problem with looking at the ball, ie. I can’t seem Author Rachel Baileyto look at it at all. I may have to change from marking my balls with blue love hearts to pictures of Chris Hemsworth as Thor… shirtless. That’ll hold my focus!

And now on to today’s delicious guest. Rachel Bailey is a USA Today best-selling author whose books have been published in over 26 countries and translated into 16 languages. She also loves dogs. As everyone knows, dog lovers are the best people so that makes Rachel extra cool.

Rachel’s latest release is the very delectable looking The Finn Factor. Check it out.

THE FINN FACTOR

The Finn Factor by Rachel Bailey coverSometimes all a girl needs is a little practice…

It’s been twelve months, three days, and eleven hours since accounting student Scarlett Logan made it past a second date. A pitcher of mojitos in hand, she employs her supreme graphing skills to narrow things down to one horrifying explanation. Kissing. Clearly someone needs to teach her how to kiss properly. Like, say, her best friend and roomie, Finn Mackenzie. He’s safe, he’s convenient, and yeah, maybe just a little gorgeous.

Finn knows exactly why Scarlett’s boyfriends are disappearing quickly. Him. Not a single guy she’s brought home is nearly good enough. And he’ll be damned if he lets some loser give her “kissing lessons.” No. He’ll do the honors, thank you very much. The moment their lips touch, though, everything turns upside down. But Scarlett deserves the one thing Finn can’t give her. And if he doesn’t put an end to the sexy little shenanigans, he’ll teach Scarlett the hardest lesson of all…heartbreak.

I LOVE the sound of this book! And you will love it too. The Finn Factor releases on September 28th but you can pre-order it right now from Amazon.com, Amazon.au, Amazon.uk, Kobo, iBooks and Barnes and Noble, and come the day it’ll be sitting in your reader, ready for devouring. Easy!

If you would like to taste test this delicious book, Rachel has an excerpt on her website. I also recommend you read her Sunday Smooch on the LoveCats DownUnder blog. It’s fantastic!

Now, for the really luscious part… Please give a big welcome to Rachel, who’s celebrating the world’s favourite foodstuff: chocolate.

Secret Ingredients to Make Chocolate Even Better

I’m a chocoholic. There’s a good size portion of my brain taken up with just thinking about chocolate and planning my next foray into the chocolate cupboard. So it’s pretty safe to say that A mug of hot chocolate with spice sprinkled on topI’ve done a bit of – how shall I say – chocolate experimentation over the years.

Most people have caught onto the chocolate and salt trick, courtesy of the salted caramel craze, but my brother and I were dipping our French fries into chocolate and/or caramel sundaes for years, though when I was older, I started a more sophisticated blend: salted popcorn in with our M&Ms.

A few other tips from my years of experimentation:

Hot Chocolate: you’ve tried cinnamon sprinkled on the top and you’re looking for your next taste sensation? Try cardamom. A friend added cardamom and cinnamon on my coffee years ago (apparently it’s a common treat in the Middle East), and I loved it. Of course, I also extended the idea to hot chocolate. It blends nicely but has an exotic flavour.

Ice-cream: I make chocolate ice-cream at home, and the chocolate was just never strong enough when I followed the recipes. A tip from a friend helped here – add a teaspoon of coffee. chocolate icecreamYou can’t taste it in the final product, but it makes the chocolate even chocolatier, kinda like adding sugar to tomatoes when they’re cooking. We never make it without coffee now!

Chocolate and chilli: You’ve tried the fancy chocolate and chilli and the expensive chocolate shops and want to recreate the effect at home? There are two ways I use – a sprinkle of chilli powder in my hot chocolate, but that’s limited to winter use. My other favourite way is smearing chocolate spread over toast, then adding a thin layer of sweet chilli sauce. It’s like there’s a whole party in your mouth.

So, over to you – any tips on chocolate combinations for me? Or, if you’re not a fan of chocolate, what’s your favourite combination of flavours? I’ll give a e-copy of The Finn Factor to one commenter!

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What fantastic tips! I especially like the icecream one, Rachel. I’m going to try that one out because, like you’ve found, many recipes aren’t often chocolatey enough. And if you’re going to eat chocolate, there should be no holding back.

Now, my sweet Feasties, did you read the above? Rachel is offering a…

GIVEAWAY!

For your chance to win an e-book copy of The Finn Factor, either share one of your choc tips or favourite combination of food flavours and you’ll be in the draw.

I’ll start you off with my choc tip: if a recipe calls for dark choc, trying using the Lindt A Touch of Sea Salt. The salt seems to add extra oomph.

So what’s your tip or food combo favourite? Share and you’ll be in the draw to win The Finn Factor!

Please note: Giveaway closes midnight AEST, Tuesday 29th September 2015. Open internationally. Rah!

If you’d like to learn more about Rachel and her books, please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook, Pinterest and the fab LoveCatsDownUnder blog.

Friday Feast recipe index link.