Super excited this week, Feasters, oh yes I am! Because best-selling and award-winning Australian author Barbara Hannay is delighting us with her presence.

Barbara is author of more than forty novels published in twenty-six languages worldwide. She’s been a RITA winner and multiple finalist (that’s the romance world’s equivalent of an Oscar), a Romance Writers of Australia Romantic Book of the Year winner and finalist, and an Australian Romance Readers Award finalist. If that isn’t enough to make your jaw drop, she also lives in gorgeous tropical north Queensland!

Now she has a wonderful new rural romance to add to her collection, and it’s a cracker!




Three women … two families … one secret …

When Zoe, restless black sheep of the Porter family, discovers that her biological father is a North Queensland cattleman, Peter Fairburn, her deep desire to meet him takes her from inner city Brisbane to a job as a stockcamp cook.

Zoe’s mother, Claire, is wrestling with guilt and shock over Zoe’s discovery. She swears Zoe to secrecy, fearing that the truth could ruin the career of her high profile politician husband. When she is forced to confront her past, Claire also reassesses her marriage.

Virginia Fairburn is happily married to Peter, but she’s always lived with the shadow of the other woman her husband loved and lost.

On the muster at Mullinjim, Zoe meets brooding cattleman Mac McKinnon, who knows from painful experience that city girls can’t cope in the bush. Every instinct tells Mac that Zoe is hiding something. As the pressure to reveal her mother’s secret builds, Zoe fears she must confide in him or burst.

The truth has the potential to destroy two families. Or can it clear the way for new beginnings?


Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? If you have taste for more you can read an extract on Barbara’s Website. Better still, zip down to your local bookstore and buy a copy. Or you could order online right now from Booktopia. For ebook lovers, there are Amazon, Google Play, Kobobooks and many other retailers. So hop to it!

And now here’s Barbara!



Like most households, I guess, we’re pretty interested in food, but since we moved to the country, that interest has progressed from the mere consumption of food to producing it – in very modest amounts, mind you.

Those you who are “real” farmers will have to forgive me for getting excited about picking our own fruit and vegies (and sometimes putting them in jars), or turning our own pigs into sausages and bacon. Yes, I’ll admit there’s a novelty element, but we’re also big believers in eating fresh, unprocessed food and we also support the idea of low food mileage, so we’re lucky that we now live in a very fertile area with great farmers’ markets and lots of truly wonderful local produce.

Needless to say, we’re huge fans of the ABC’s River Cottage program.

If I wasn’t so busy writing, I’d probably throw myself into this way of life totally, but I have this thing hanging over my head called a deadline, and it’s a bit like the magic pudding – knock one off and there’s another one looming.

Each year, while I’m away at the Romance Writer’s Conference, my husband holds a huge (Secret Men’s Business) feast at out place. A host of his mates from Townsville, plus our sons and some of their friends, and now also our son in law and his friends come – some of them flying quite a distance.

The men take their cooking very seriously and they’ve built an Argentian asado style barbecue for cooking whole beasts (or parts thereof), as well as a smoking box. They’ve also invented their own water powered sausage maker – and one friend has taken one of our hams back to hang in his wine cellar in Townsville so it will cure slowly at the right temperature like those amazing Spanish hams.

When it comes to sharing recipes, however, I think the recipe that gets the best reception from my friends and family is this Greek Lemon Cake (which actually came via my daughter, via a distant family cousin.) Why eat all that meat when you can have cake? 🙂

This cake is easy and delicious. You can serve it for morning tea or for dessert, and if you grow your own lemons, all the better.

Greek Lemon Cake

125 g butter

1 cup caster sugar

4 eggs

1 cup coconut

1 cup SR flour


1 lemon (juice and grated rind)

1 cup sugar

½ cup water

Preheat oven 160 º-180º C. Greaseproof a round 20 cm cake time. Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time with a wooden spoon. Stir in coconut and flour. Bake in oven 45 mins to 1 hour.

Make the syrup after the cake is cooked. Combine the sugar, water, lemon juice and rind on stovetop and bring to boil. Let cake stand for 15 mins and then gently spoon syrup over cake while syrup is still hot. Spoon syrup little by little to prevent cake from collapsing.


Thanks, Barbara. I am in awe of your barbecue. What a unit! I bet those boys have a ball with their Secret Men’s Business weekends. Oh, to be a fly on the…er…paving.

And now, my Feasty lovelies, Barbara has very generously offered a signed copy of Zoe’s Muster to one lucky commenter.

All you have to do is reveal your favourite TV cooking program or what you’d most like to grow yourself and you could win!

But get in quick. Giveaway closes midnight Tuesday, 7th August 2012 AEST. Australian addresses only, sorry.

If you’d like to learn more about Barbara and her award-winning novels, please visit her website. You can also connect via Twitter and Facebook.

This giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Gemma, who has won a copy of Zoe’s Muster. Congratulations! And thanks to everyone who joined in the Friday Feast fun.

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