FRIDAY FEAST with Paula Roe

Friday, Friday tra-la-la-la-la!

It really is the best day of the week, isn’t it? Not least because I get to introduce my next Friday Feast guest. This week Harlequin Desire author Paula Roe makes a very welcome return to the blog and with good reason, too. Paula, along with five fellow Australasian authors, Yvonne Lindsay, Jan Colley, Bronwyn Jameson, Tessa Radley and Maxine Sullivan, are celebrating the re-release of Harlequin’s hugely successful Diamonds Down Under series.

Paula’s story in the series is the deliciously sexy sounding Boardrooms & a Billionaire Heir which, on its initial release, was a Borders bestseller and a 2009 Romance Writers of Australia Romance Book of the Year finalist. Understandable when a book receives reviews like this:

Oh. Wow! This fifth title in the Diamonds Down Under series does not disappoint! …a rugged and emotional ride…  James’s return to the family is an emotional story too good to miss.” Robyn Lee, Romance Reviews Today

Check it out.





“I’m a man you sleep with, not fall in love with.”

Jake Vance was danger in a designer suit, a charming corporate raider. When he set his sights on Blackstone’s, Australia’s richest diamond dealers, Holly McLeod’s primary assignment was as his assistant; her secondary was as a spy. To her amazement, she learned her dangerously sexy boss was the long-lost Blackstone heir. And then Jake did the unthinkable: To save his new company, he proposed marriage…an intimate one…to her!



Ooh la la! How’s that to get your reader juices flowing? And of course you want to buy it right now, so get a clickety-clicking.

Done? Excellent. Now here’s Paula…


Birthday Treats


One of the most awesome things about being a kid (apart from Christmas morning and having no financial debt) is the excitement of your birthday.  And seeing as mine was this past Tuesday, I thought I’d take a trip down memory lane and share what was on the menu when I was young.

The first party I remember throwing was in Kindy when, to my mother’s horror, I invited every child in my class.  All thirty of them.  To our tiny three-bedroom home.  Thirty screaming, sugar-hyped kids running amok.  (And yes, my mother vowed ‘never again.’)

Aside from being the lucky recipient of 30 separate presents (yessss!) the food was your typical early 70s fare.  No kids birthday party would be complete without one – or more! – of the following:

Fairy bread


Plumrose cocktail frankfurts (on toothpicks)

cubed Coon (on toothpicks)

Salt and vinegar chips

coconut ice



red frogs

Chocolate Crackles

A themed birthday cake

After about 10, I migrated to McDonalds for a few years, then when I hit 18 I requested proper dinner at a restaurant.  Chinese, Thai, Indian, even Sizzler.  This went on for quite some time, way into my twenties and thirties.  Nowadays, give me a good Thai takeaway or my favourite Crust pizza and I’m happy!  There’s only one stipulation – NO store-bought cake: it has to be made from scratch every time.

So what food do you remember from your childhood birthdays?  What did you love?  Or hate?  Make a comment and you could win a copy my latest release, book 2 in the Diamonds Down Under rerelease from Mills & Boon Australia.


Ahh, over-sugared kids’ parties. Now that brings back memories. Definitely honey joys and chocolate crackles, and bags of lollies to take home afterwards. They weren’t sweet, but I used to also love that pizza bread type stuff. Not sure how they were made but they were a kind of grilled cheesy-toasty thing, cut into soldiers. Oh, and themed birthday cakes! They were the best. My absolute favourite was the one I had which had a Cindy-type doll plonked in the centre of a beautifully decorated cake skirt. Sigh. Loved that.

Anyway Feasters, you heard Ms Paula, start sharing your favourite childhood birthday party memories – good and bad – and you could win a copy of book 2 in the Diamonds Down Under re-release series.

But you’d better get those comments in quick because this giveaway closes midnight Tuesday, 12th June 2012 AEST. Australian addresses only, sorry.

If you’d like to know more about Paula and her books please visit her website. You can also connect via her blog, on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Goodreads.


0 thoughts on “FRIDAY FEAST with Paula Roe

  1. AvatarPaula

    oooh, I always wanted the doll cake, Cathryn! But my best one was a ladybird cake, complete with licorice antennae and brown smarties for spots. Gosh, my mum was so clever!

  2. AvatarKerri/Kaz

    Happy birthday (again!) Paula!

    I didn’t have a birthday party at all when I was a kid, (though my sister did!!!), so suffice to say, my 4 kids didn’t miss out! (I *did* get great cakes though and yes, I had several Dolly Varden Cakes – just never a party.)

    My own kids had wonderfully elaborate parties – and wonderfully elaborate cakes. They were a two person/2 day job! We’ve done everything from fairy castles, to steam trains, to circus tents, dolls, animals,insects, a shark, surfboards, soccer fields (complete with game in play), numbers, farms. log cabins… I can’t remember them all. My kids would pour over my selection of books for weeks beforehand – and finally settle on one. I’d make the cake base and freeze it, and then on the eve of the birthday – when the kids were in bed, the Bobster and I would construct the cake. It would then be in the fridge (if it fitted!) on a big cake board, and one of the first things the kids did, was run to open the fridge early in the morn to inspect the cake. Like Christmas morning, sometimes we’d barely made it bed before they were squealing at the fridge!!! Always loads of fun and laughter and lots of ooohing and ahhing. (Lots of time that was from us adults – as we ooh and ahhed about the fact it was still standing!!! Some of those constructs were very tricky!!! LOL!)

    I remember one where I was basically doing a mouth cavity search on every kid as they consumed each bite of cake because the whole darned cake was pinned together with toothpicks!!! All I needed was some kid (party guest) to get a toothpick lodged in their tonsils and carted off to hospital!!! I even forget what the design was – probably that page got ripped out of the book so no other kid could choose it!!!

    Least fave party food? Choc Crackles – I always made them and I love the smell – but hate, hate the taste. Not a fairy bread lover either. Home made mini sausage rolls? Yum. Our latest kid party food? Mini hotdogs made from baby franks and Bake-at-Home rolls. Delish! The rolls are crispy, rather than soggy and just too yum.

    Thanks Paula! Thanks Cathryn for yet another fun Friday. P? I hope that books sells trillions and leaves you dripping in diamonds! back to crushing deadline for me…

  3. AvatarPaula

    oh gosh, Kez, I can just see you doing a mouth inspection LOL! ooo, totally forgot about the party pies and sausage rolls… love!

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      What a super-star mum you are, Kerri! I bet those parties were huge fun.

      Can’t say I’m a fan of chocolate crackles either – I’m a honey joy girl – but don’t mind a good sausage roll. And little saveloys/franks. Oh, I looooove those things!

      Thanks again for another wonderful comment. You are so entertaining!

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Oh yeah, Kylie. Caramel tart is the BEST!

      Can’t say I was a fan of fairy bread. I think it made my teeth hurt. Probably made my dentist very happy though…

  4. AvatarMonique McDonell

    I love sausage rolls.and party pies!
    My daughets’s parties were elaborate like Kez describes… And the cakes we made were full-on. I’ve made butterflies, Dora The Explorer’s Backpack, a campfire, a bowling alley, the Princess cake and a whole elaborate castle…to name a few. I used to work in events so I even did running sheets for the parties when she was 4 and 5 and I’d have 30 kids here…

    My favourite thing to make for other kids is cupcakes in ice-cream cones. Always a hit!

    Now the kids are bigger MYO sundae bars are very popular here.

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Ooh, another superstar cake-making mum! Good on you, Monique. I bet you’ve given your kids great memories.

      Cupcakes in icecream cones sounds like fun but I LOVE the idea of a sundae bar. So much naughtiness to be had with that!

      Thanks for dropping by and sharing your party fun.

  5. AvatarKeziah Hill

    I remember having a Cindy doll cake! Her skirt was pink with blue dots. But the cake I was really impressed with was my cousin’s. He had an ice-cream cake in the shape of a train. I was so envious.

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      I’d be envious too! Icecream cakes were the best. Although my birthday’s in January so that always made it a bit tricky. Had to eat fast!

  6. AvatarHelene Young

    Home made Dolly Varden cakes were a must have in our house too! I only had a couple of birthday parties as a child with the mandatory fairy bread, chocolate crackles, french jellies and chips.

    My mum was not the world’s best cook and for one of those parties she made something that involved dates stuffed with a fondant cream. They tasted very yummy, but sadly they looked horrendous. My older brother and sister decided they resembled rather large squashed wood cockroaches – those big brown ones that fly to lights and are a couple of centimetres long – and they proceeded to chase me around the house with them. Took me years to get over my date phobia…

    We did have a tradition of choosing our dinner menu for our birthday. Every year I asked for roast lamb followed by pavlova. Nothing much has changed on that front!!

    Paula, congrats on a mega re-release – the story sound fabulous and I’ve always been a sucker for a hero called Jake!!

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      I never knew they were called Dolly Varden cakes. All I know is that I LOVED them. Think I only had two though…

      Great story about the date phobia, Helene. That would have given me the heebie jeebies too!

  7. Avatarprincessfiona01

    Birthday parties in my childhood were always fraught events so I didn’t have many. I can remember an Ice Cream cake that we couldn’t cut it was so frozen. December in the far west so it was in the freezer to the last minute. Then there was the one in about 1974 when I invited every girl in my class. Half the non indigenous kids didn’t turn up. Took me years to figure out why.

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      I had the same problem, princessfiona01. Birthday in January which meant icecream cakes were perfect but a bit fraught to serve. Plus everyone was on holidays which made the actual party organising a bit of a pain too. Was always envious of those who had birthdays in the middle of the year.

  8. AvatarLouise Reynolds

    Yes, I belong to the Dolly Varden era as well and I had one every year from about age 7 to 10. My mother was an excellent cake decorator and these cakes were really exquisite. They were always brought out at the climax of the party but until then rested on top of the dining room drinks cabinet – one of those ones where the top lifted up when the doors were opened. One birthday I went in there to get someone a glass (although goodness knows why when there were plenty of perfectly good recycled vegemite glasses in the kitchen :-)) Predictably, with the single-minded focus of a child, I opened the doors and it was goodbye Dolly Varden. Very cross mother and a smashed up cake for me that year.

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        Oops! I can imagine you weren’t very popular after that, Louise!

        Jim and I were only talking about Vegemite glasses the other day. Our house was full of them. They were the toughest glasses. I can’t recall if Vegemite still does it. That cheesey spread stuff still comes in glasses you can recycle, doesn’t it? I have some lovely ones from France which started life as mustard jars. Very classy!

  9. AvatarPaula

    I did not know they’re called Dolly Vardens! Reminds me of the toilet roll holders that were all the rage in the 70s, actually :LOL:

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      I didn’t know they were called that either, Paula. Amazing what you learn. But yeah, they were kinda like those loo roll holders. Still loved them though…

  10. AvatarAretha zhen

    Hi Paula! My family do not like to eat cakes on birthday celebration , but I can ask anything I want for my birthday . And that’s the best thing in my birthday . Worst thing hmm never let my friends know the real date of my birthday or they will force me to treat them to eat in restaurant worse still we gave tradition to throw a bucket of water fill of sauce , etc for the birthday girl/ boy , So it’s good to mislead them to the real date 

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Hi Aretha! Hmm, not too sure I like the sound of that bucket throwing either. Definitely a good reason to keep the date secret.

      Thanks for dropping by.

  11. AvatarPaula

    Hi Aretha! ewww, does the sauce go *over* the birthday person?? How awful! Much rather prefer a nice, secret dinner 😀

  12. AvatarPaula

    thanks all for your wonderful (and not so wonderful!) birthday memories! so okay, a winner, a winner… at random, here we go. Princess Fiona! Yay! email me at paula (at) paularoe (dot) com and I’ll get that book out to you asap.