Tag Archives: The House on Burra Burra Lane by Jennie Jones

FRIDAY FEAST with Jennie Jones

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Greetings, food ‘n fiction fans, and welcome to another delicious edition of Friday Feast. This week: buttery goodness, a treasure or two, plus a wonderful giveaway!

First, the ridiculousness that is Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf. I’m still in Mount Gambier and have been a touch too busy dealing with Mum’s move into full-time care to play much golf, but I did head out for a few smacks on the practice fairway with Dad. Dad, bless him, had an air swing for his first shot which reminded me yet again about why I can’t play either. We also managed a round at the very picturesque Casterton Golf Club where Dad was so enamoured of all the gorgeous manna gums he kept hitting his ball at them. Playing with borrowed clubs, I wasn’t much better but at least I had an excuse for my wayward shots!

Author Jennie JonesWith that out the way, it’s on to our guest and it’s my pleasure to welcome back rural romance author Jennie Jones whose Swallows Fall series has been delighting readers since her first book, The House on Burra Burra Lane, hit the shelves in mid 2013.

Jennie has two new additions in the series coming this year. The House at the End of the Street will be out in August, but today we’re very honoured to be hosting Jennie on release day for The Turnaround Treasure Shop. Rah! And you’ll be cheering even louder in a minute when you see what Jennie has in store for us. In the meantime, check out the cover and blurb for The Turnaround Treasure Shop. It’s gorgeous!

THE TURNAROUND TREASURE SHOP

Cover of The Turnaround Treasure Shop by Jennie JonesRevisit Swallow’s Fall in this short novel from Jennie Jones about an ex-military man, a single mother, and the impossibility of dreams coming true.

Fatalistic, long divorced and doing her best to give her children a good life, Lily Johnson works two jobs in her hometown of Swallow’s Fall, saving every spare cent for the day she can lease the empty corner shop on Main Street. She longs to open it as Turnaround Treasures, a second-hand shop bursting with rescued country curios—but there aren’t enough spare cents and Lily’s dream is slipping away.

Ex-Navy diver Nick Barton arrived in Swallow’s Fall a year ago to quietly reunite himself with civvy life. Recognising an instant attraction to Lily, Nick backed away fast. Given his track record of an unhappy ex-wife and the baggage that comes with a Special Forces career, Nick doesn’t think he stands a chance with shy, reserved Lily. He can’t be with her – but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t see her.

Lily has spent her whole life cheerfully giving to others. When Nick offers her the ultimate chance for a turnaround, will Lily’s fear of being ‘second hand’ ruin the opportunity of forever love for both of them?

Doesn’t that sound fun? And because today is the official release day, you can own a copy of The Turnaround Treasure Shop with a simple clickety-click. Buy now from Amazon.com, Amazon.au, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play, JB H-Fi or your favourite ebook retailer.

Loaded up? Good. Now sit back and enjoy. This is lovely!

Shortbread, Sherry & Chic Afternoons

It’s so lovely to be welcomed back to Cathryn’s Friday Feast. Hope you’ve got your rolling pin floured and ready to go, Cathryn. This is a shortbread recipe handed to me just after I got married. I copied it (in my terrible handwriting) into a Recipe Notebook I bought from the kitchen and garden courtyard shop at Hever Castle – the childhood home of Ann Boleyn. It was Jennie's hand written recipe for delicate shortbreada pleasant purchase after a wonderful tour of that exception property ending with a good look at implements of torture commonly used in the sixteenth century – which were not pleasant! Hence the trip to the courtyard shop to re-charge.

I’m partial to shortbread, sherry and chic afternoons although they don’t happen as frequently as I’d like. Sipping a sherry mid-afternoon seems such a contemplative, relaxing way to behave. Sipping sherry makes me think of my Nan. She always had a bottle in the sideboard and when I was old enough to move from Babycham to real alcohol, I did enjoy a sherry or two and still do.

In The Turnaround Treasure Shop (a shorter length novel in my Swallow’s Fall series), my heroine is mid-thirties, long-divorced and doing her best to look after her two teenage children, work two jobs in the remote Snowy Mountains town of Swallow’s Fall and save for her dream. She taught herself how to turn shabby old country curios into sparkling new I-want-one wares and longs to open the empty shop on Main Street. So I thought it would be great to have a Friday Feast full of old-fashioned afternoon delights.

Here’s my Delicate Shortbread recipe – the biscuits will be thin and crunchy to the bite but still have that buttery melt-in-your-mouth shortbread-gorgeousness – and beware, the pastry is so delicate that when you roll it out, you won’t be able to pick up the pastry to turn it once it starts to get thin.

Delicate Shortbread

Jennie Jones's finished delicate shortbread

Makes 30 biscuits

Oven temp: 150C

Two large baking trays greased with butter or lined with baking paper (better result with baking paper)

100 gm icing sugar

200 gm unsalted butter, softened

200 gm plain flour (can use wholemeal flour if preferred)

100 gm cornflour

(Optional: 50 gm of finely chopped crystallised ginger, or finely grated zest of one large lemon)

Castor sugar for sprinkling

Method:

Cream butter and icing sugar very well using a mixer.

Add sifted flour and cornflour and fold with a metal spoon. (At this point, also add crystallised ginger or lemon zest if using.)

The metal spoon will only do so much, so get in with your hand and knead in the bowl until all the flour has been mixed, then take half the pastry and roll out on a very well-floured surface to ½ centimetre thickness. (This pastry is soft and will be difficult to move or turn while rolling.) Use a sprinkle of flour when needed – especially on your rolling pin.

Steps to making delicate shortbread

Cut into preferred shapes – scone cutters are perfect, as are star and heart cookie cutters.

Use metal baking spatula to slide off the floured surface and onto your prepared baking sheet.

Repeat with the other half of pastry.

Bake in oven for 30 minutes, but keep a careful watch after 25 minutes to ensure they don’t brown too much. They should be golden in colour.

Remove from oven and transfer to wire cooling racks.

Sprinkle with castor sugar while warm.

Enjoy with sherry, champagne, tea or coffee!

 

Oh, I will most definitely enjoy, Jennie! Luuuuurve shortbread. The more buttery the better and this recipe looks gorgeous. Thanks so much for sharing.

Now, my Feasty friends, because Jennie is so nice she’s offering you a…

GIVEAWAY!

Here’s what Jennie has to say:

“As today is the release of the fourth book in my Swallow’s Fall series, The Turnaround Treasure Shop, I’m delighted to offer one reader an eBook copy. Simply comment on this question: Do you ever have a hankering for something old-fashioned?”

Well that’s an easy-peasy question for me to answer. I do LOTS of hankering for old-fashioned things, especially when it comes to food. Corned beef, pea and ham soup, a good old cream sponge or pavlova. The list is huge. Not so much for other things though. I’m quite partial to the luxuries of modern life!

What about you? Do you hanker for old-fashioned things? It can be anything, your choice, and if you share we’ll pop you into the draw to win an ebook copy of Jennie’s gorgeous new release, The Turnaround Treasure Shop.

Please note: Giveaway closes midnight Tuesday AEST, 26th May 2015. Open internationally. Rah!

If you’d like to learn more about Jennie and her gorgeous books, please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and Twitter using @JennieJRomance.

 

Friday Feast recipe index link.

FRIDAY FEAST with Jennie Jones

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Welcome, my Feasty bunnies, to another magnificent edition of Friday Feast. This week: rural romance, secret oven business and a double giveaway!

But first, the item you eagerly await every week, news from Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf. Last weekend saw the opening round of the Club Championships. Pressure indeed! But did I crack? Not on the first nine holes. No, no, no! I was blitzing it. And then… sigh. It did not last. But I’m currently still in the hunt, hovering in fourth. Stay tuned!

So after that excitement, here’s even more.

Author Jennie JonesI am absolutely delighted to host rural romance author Jennie Jones on the blog today. Jennie was born and bred in Wales, attended drama school in London and spent a number of years treading the boards of British theatres. She now calls Western Australia home and from her gorgeous Australian stories has found the move very satisfying indeed.

Jennie’s debut novel, the first in the Swallow’s Fall series, The House On Burra Burra Lane, was a runaway success, and is soon to be followed up with 12 Days at Silver Bells House this November, and The House at the Bottom of the Hill in January. As you can see Jennie’s not resting on her laurels!

12 Days at Silver Bells House releases on the 22nd of next month, but you could be enjoying it sooner if you enter our Friday Feast giveaway. Read on…

12 DAYS AT SILVER BELLS HOUSE

12 Days at Silver Bells House by Jennie Jones - CoverFrom the author of the international best-selling The House on Burra Burra Lane comes a Christmas story – country style.

Kate Singleton has twelve days to find herself. With Christmas Day and her thirtieth birthday approaching, the best thing a city-chic fashion designer who no longer has a raison d’être can do is nullify herself in the country. With Chardonnay.

When trouble strikes, the country presents her with Jamie Knight – a gallant but uncommunicative He-Man who drives an excavator and rescues her, her shoes, and her case of Chardonnay from a boggy field.

The adventure should be over – nothing but a good story to tell to her friends in the city – but her saviour turns out to also be an unexpected roommate, the new owner of Silver Bells House, Kate’s holiday home.

Forced together and dragged into the community Christmas spirit of the town, Kate and Jamie flounder their way through mistletoe, kissing games, carolling choirs, and a bone-deep yearning for community and acceptance.

Can the enchanting Silver Bells House and the holidays bind them together? Or will love get lost on Highway B23 back to the city?

The House on Burra Burra Lane by Jennie JonesDoesn’t that sound gorgeous? You can pre-order 12 Days at Silver Bells House right now from Amazon.com, Amazon.com.au, Amazon.co.uk, iBooks or consult Escape Publishing for a full list. Hungry for something to read now? Then why not treat yourself to The House on Burra Burra Lane? It can be yours with just a click. Try Booktopia, Bookworld, Amazon.com, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play, Nook or JB Hi-Fi.

All loaded up? Excellent. Now you may play with Jennie. She’s lovely!

Me and My Oven

What a thrill to be a Friday Feaster. Thanks for inviting me, Cathryn. I can’t wait to tell you about my oven. There’s a New York City Cheesecake involved too. Plus a giveaway.

Kate, my heroine in 12 Days at Silver Bells House has just flown home from a fashion shoot in New York and is heading to the country for a twelve day Christmas-free sojourn from business and all its problems. There’s very little cheer in her life at the moment. Then she meets Jamie Knight, Master Builder, and the crackers start cracking. Jamie is renovating Silver Bells House and I don’t foresee any oven door fiascos in Kate’s future.

What happened to my oven door? Well…

It’s one of those ovens with a drop-down door that you have to keep hold of when you open, and if you don’t keep your hand on it – wham! – gravity takes it down with a heavy bounce. This loosens something on the hinges which in turn means that the oven door won’t close properly and therefore – you guessed it – the temperature cannot be controlled.

No use for making New York City Cheesecake.

It cost eighty dollars to get the over-door-fixer man around and guess what? It took him thirty seconds to fix my door. He used a little tool (which he wouldn’t show me) to re-tighten the hinges. “Where can I buy one of those?” I asked, pointing at the tool that was now hidden in his fist. He shook his head. “You won’t, love.” I tried a number of tricks: smiling coquettishly, engaging him in oven-talk conversation, but he wouldn’t give. Getting rather annoyed, I advised him that I knew about the secret oven-door-fixers handshake and the monthly meetings at the local Community Centre where they all danced naked around a freestanding hotplate waving their little hinge-fixing tools.

No response.

So for a while I became the Oven-Door-Police. Whizzing into the kitchen with imaginary flashing lights and sirens every time my daughter or my husband went near the oven. “Don’t drop the door!” I’d yell. “Hold onto it!” Or — “You dropped the door! You didn’t hold on to it!”

As you can imagine, everyone got a little fed up with that.Jennie's oven and bucket oven closing system

I also got fed up with dishing out $80 to the oven-fixer guy every couple of months.

So I decided “No more!”.  You see, my daughter has left home and my husband is a whiz with the Webber so there are very few occasions I need to use the oven. For those times I do need to use it, I came up with my own secret-oven-door-fixer fix. A $2 bucket and half a broom handle.

Here’s how: half-fill the bucket (choose a colour that matches your décor) with gravel. Fish tank gravel is very pretty, and clean. (Again, match the colour). The gravel gives stability and weight. Next, slip half a broom handle into the bucket (those retractable plastic ones are fantastic because they come in a range of colours).

Next — Light your oven! Line up the bucket and the handle against the oven door and push firmly until oven door is closed tight. If your oven is higher from the floor than mine, use a longer handle.

And with this handy fixer-of-oven-doors little trick, I managed to produce my New York City Cheesecake for you. I thought it fitting as we’re coming up to the festive season and there’s always cheesecake in the festive season. Plus Kate in 12 Days at Silver Bells House flew in from New York so she’d know all about their cheesecake. I’ve tested a few different recipes over the years, dabbling with quantities et cetera and this one is perfect. Enjoy!

New York City Cheesecake

New York cheesecake straight from the oven

For the Base

¾ cup of crushed gingernut biscuits

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (plus ½ a teaspoon extra for coating cake tin)

For the Filling

1 cup castor sugar

2 tablespoons cornflour

5 x 250g packets of Philadelphia cream cheese (yes – 5! Pointless using ‘light’ version at this stage)

2 x large eggs (size 7)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

½ cup thickened cream

Directions

Heat oven to 180F

Coat 22cm (8 inch) springform cake tin with some of the melted butter

Mix crushed gingernut biscuits and melted butter together.

Press into base of the springform cake tin.

Filling:

  1. Mix castor sugar and cornflour in large bowl.
  2. Add cream cheese and beat with electric mixer until smooth.
  3. Beat in eggs and vanilla essence until just mixed.
  4. Add thickened cream and blend in slowly
  5. Pour into prepared springform cake tin

Bake for 55 minutes.

Slice of Jennie Jones's New York CheesecakeNOTE: cheesecake will be lightly or perhaps darkly browned and still wobbly in the centre.

Cool in cake tin on a wire cake rack for about 1 ½ hours. The cheesecake will completely ‘set’ in this time. (If not – oops.)

Run a knife around the edge of the cake tin to slightly loosen the sides of the cheesecake.

Refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours before removing from cake tin and devouring.

Thanks for having me over, Cathryn! I feel positively famous now that I’m a Friday Feaster.

 

Ha ha! You were famous well before Friday Feast, Jennie!

I have a terrible hankering for cheesecake now. That one sounds so luscious, as it should be with FIVE packets of cream cheese in it. Ah well, no good doing things by halves I say!

Now, because Jennie is totally wonderful and generous and loves you all so much, we have a…

GIVEAWAY!

For not just one book, but two!

Yes, my creamy little Feasters, there are TWO ebook copies of 12 Days at Silver Bells House up for grabs. Isn’t that wonderful?

Naturally, you’ll have to work for your chance to enter the giveaway and by work we mean answering an easy-peasy question in the comments.

So… What would be your dream cheesecake topping? Feel free to be as inventive as you like. The fanciest answer will win.

My immediate thought? Melted Mars Bars. Which is weird because I’m not really a fan of Mars Bars. Either that or traditional blueberry.

What about you? What cheesecake topping makes you all dreamy and gooey? Share and you’ll be in the chance to win and ebook copy of 12 Days at Silver Bells House!

Giveaway closes midnight Tuesday AEST, 21st October 2014. Open internationally. Rah!

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

This giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Laura and Melissa who have both scored ebook copies of Jennie’s upcoming release, 12 Days at Silver Bells House. Thanks to everyone who joined in the fun. With so many beautiful (FATTENING!) topping suggestions it was very hard to pick winners. What super creative people you are!