This week on Friday Feast we have the girl in steel-capped boots herself, Australian women’s fiction author Loretta Hill. If you’ve been into a book shop or the book section of a chain store recently, which of course you have, you would have noticed the bright, fun cover of Loretta’s debut release, The Girl In Steel-Capped Boots.

I have this book on my to-be-read pile but I’ve heard some wonderful things from others who have read Steel-Cap, and the reviews have been fantastic. So I’m very much looking forward to reading this book.

Here’s the blurb, and if that whets your appetite and want to read more, check out the excerpt at Loretta’s website.

Let me burst your city bubble for you. This is the Pilbara. And it’s the Pilbara that makes the rules…’

Lena Todd is a city girl who thrives on cocktails and cappuccinos. So when her boss announces he’s sending her to the outback to join a construction team, her world is turned upside down.

Lena’s new accommodation will be an aluminium box called a donga.

Her new social network: 350 men.

Her daily foot attire: steel-capped boots.

Unfortunately, Lena can’t refuse. Mistakes of the past are choking her confidence. She needs to do something to right those wrongs and prove herself. Going into a remote community might just be the place to do that, if only tall, dark and obnoxious Dan didn’t seem so determined to stand in her way . . .

The Girl in Steel-Capped boots is a delectable tale of red dust and romance, and of dreams discovered in the unlikeliest of places…

How cool does that sound? Nearly as cool as Loretta’s foodie adventures in the Pilbara. So without further ado, here’s Loretta to tell you all about them!

I’ve never been a very good cook. Anything that you just slap together, tip out of jar or shove in the oven seems to be my forte. Eating on the other hand… I am the ultimate expert! Ask anyone. I’ve tried it all. Of course, I have my

favourites and I need chocolate at least once a day. But in terms of eating exploration…  I love it! The combination of eating and travelling. Travelling to eat. Travelling to try new eating. Or eating and travelling at the same time. I’m in heaven.

I have a book out this month. It’s called, The Girl in Steel-Capped Boots, set on the Pilbara.  The story is based on some of my own experience living and working in this gorgeous part of Australia. While I was there, I really got into the food. Particularly, the seafood. That’s what the Pilbara eating is all about really. Fish, crabs, prawns, bugs, mussels, eels. I’m talking fresh, top shelf stuff, very reasonably priced and lick your fingers delicious. My mouth is watering just talking about it. In fact, if you’re into fishing, you can have all this and more for free. The number one leisure activity on the Pilbara is fishing. Heading on down to your local beach with a fishing rod or spear gun is like visiting a buffet.

Unfortunately, like cooking I wasn’t that skilled at fishing either so instead I made lots of friends and just tagged along on these fishing expeditions with a packet of buns, a tub of butter and a bag of lemons. Some of best weekends I had was sitting on rocks eating barramundi or coral trout cooked in foil on a portable hotplate. Sometimes the only other accompaniment is a can of beer. Nothing can make you feel more native than knowing lunch was swimming not half an hour before.

If fishing is not your thing and you just want a quick fix. I recommend the Point Samson Yacht club. I loved this place so much I had to put it in my book. So when my heroine needed to take stock I sent her off to this venue to stuff her face full of sea urchins and think- Like you do!! The place is a paradox. It doesn’t look like much. No real landscaping. Most definitely no surrounding yachts docked in the bay. More like a tin shed with a sailing mast pushed into the ground beside it- the only outward indication of it’s true calling.

But the seafood! OMG! We had a work function there one night and I was just stunned by the quantity and quality.  For entree I remember sitting around a couple of wine barrels that were filled with prawns on ice and just shelling and eating. Shelling and eating. It was amazing.

You know, someone should have warned me that after writing this blog I was going to feel hungry. Too bad I’m fresh out cray fish! Oh well, there’s always the back up. Time to raid my chocolate stash.

Eat and be merry!

Oh, Loretta, for a girl who adores seafood that sounds perfect! Think I might have to plan a trip…

Thanks so much for coming on Friday Feast and sharing your adventures.

Now, I bet there are a few readers out there with their own seafood heavens. So fess up, folks. Where’s your favourite seafood place?

For myself, I can’t go past our family’s beach shack in the tiny fishing village of Nene Valley on South Australia’s far southern coast. We used to eat so much crayfish us kids would whinge, “Aww, Mum, not crayfish sandwiches again!” before pleading for a barbecue. Imagine!

If you’d like to know more about Loretta and The Girl In Steel-Capped Boots clomp on over to her website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter and via Loretta’s blog.

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