Happy birthday to Promises, happy birthday to my book! Yes, Feasters, it’s been one whole year since my debut rural romance was unleashed on the Australian public and what a wonderful time it’s had, from posing in Cosmo to lounging nonchalantly across the shelves of BigW and everywhere in between.

Birthdays need a party, even those belonging to inanimate objects, and I do enjoy an excuse to crack a bottle of fizz, so this week on Friday Feast we’re celebrating. But as regulars know there’s a style to this segment and, queen of fusspottiness that I am, I must keep the format intact or risk much twitchiness. So here’s Promises’ gorgeous cover and blurb, cos I just know you haven’t seen it enough…




A father with something to hide, a jockey with a taste for blackmail, a man with an agonising secret… and a young woman in love, defying them all.

Sophie Dixon is determined to leave her tragic past behind and forge a bright future on her beloved farm. While looking to buy a new horse, she is drawn into her neighbour Aaron Laidlaw’s orbit, despite the bad blood between their families. As the racing season unfolds, Sophie and Aaron’s feelings for each other deepen. But Aaron is torn, haunted by a dark secret he fears can never be forgiven – especially by Sophie.

Sophie believes herself strong, but the truth behind her mother’s death will test her strength, and her love, to the limit. She’s been broken once. No one wants to see her broken again. Least of all the man who has grown to love her.


Aww, now isn’t that just lovely? Yes, yes, so I’m biased but that’s my authorly prerogative and I’m going to indulge. Now, for those of you who don’t own a copy I just know – oh, yes I do! – that you are itching, itching I say, to buy one. So trundle on down to your local independent and ask or clickety-click right now over to Bookworld or Booktopia. Prefer the ebook? Promises is also available from the above sites, as well as ebook retailers like Kobobooks and Amazon (Kindle).

And now that little sales spiel is over, here’s…er…me!



Like the title of this post? I’d love to lay claim to it but, alas, it didn’t come from my RWA Conference exhausted brain but from Anne Gracie, much admired author of wonderful Regency historical romances. Clever lady.

So, yes, beefcake…

Oh, you mean you’re expecting sexy man piccies? Like this, perhaps?

Love the Old Spice Man. Such fun.


Not your thing? What about this chappie, looking sternly suave in breeches?



Can’t say he does anything for me but that’s probably because he’s my great-grandfather. Anyway, always a bit hard to go past a man in uniform and here’s a whole bunch.

These lovelies were snapped in Stockholm. There seems to be quite a few piccies of Scandinavian good sorts in my collection. No idea why. My finger must have accidentally slipped on the shutter button or something…

Now, seeing as we’re on the subject of beefy things, I suppose a recipe is in order. Except as I flick through my “favourites” self-made cookbook the only thing I can find that remotely fits the criteria of beefy and cakey is this pork and veal terrine recipe. Not quite the celebratory dish I had in mind but it’ll have to do. Besides, it’s simple to make, tastes good and can be enjoyed outside with a glass of dry rosé. My favourite kind of recipe.



Fits 28cm/1.2 litre Le Creuset cast iron terrine dish.

375g diced pork (a nice fatty cut)

375g diced veal

125g good quality smoky bacon, pancetta or speck, diced

1 large clove garlic, chopped finely

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

30g shelled pistachios

1 tablespoon cognac (substitute brandy if you don’t have any)

15 or so slices prosciutto (bacon can be substituted but the terrine will be very fatty, as you can see from the above pic)

Preheat oven to 180ºC

Coarsely chop pork, veal and bacon together in a food processor using the pulse function, making sure to keep plenty of chunky bits for texture.

Tip meat into a bowl. Add the garlic, thyme, pistachios and brandy, season well with salt and pepper, and mix well with your hands.

Line a terrine or loaf tin with prosciutto, making sure to leave plenty hanging over the edges as these will be used to cover the terrine top. Pack the terrine with the meat mixture, pressing down well, and drape prosciutto edges over the surface to cover.

Lay a piece of baking paper over the folded over prosciutto and place the terrine lid on top. Transfer to a baking dish lined with a folded tea-towel (this helps stop the terrine slipping about) and add enough hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the terrine.

Bake for 90 minutes, remove from the oven and then remove the terrine from the baking dish. Keeping baking paper in place, take off the lid and set aside. Place a heavy weight on top of the terrine to weigh it down – I use a small wooden board topped with tinned tomatoes but a brick is perfect if you have one handy.

Cool to room temperature, and refrigerate overnight. Turn out onto a board and serve with cornichons and a baguette.


Now, it’s a birthday party so that means pressies and it just so happens I have a goodie bag handy. Not only is there a very practical canvas tote, there’s a nice mug and all sorts of items for the discerning Promises fan. There may also be Lindt chocolates inside…

Tell me which of the above beefcakes you prefer – Old Spice Man, Breeches Boy or Sexy Scandinavian  – or your favourite beefy recipe and I’ll pop you in the draw. 

Giveaway closes midnight Tuesday, 28th August 2012 AEST. Australian addresses only, sorry.

If you wish to find out more about Promises or my second novel, Heart of the Valley, including extracts for your reading pleasure, please visit my website. You can also connect via my Facebook page and Twitter.

This giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Brenda, who has won a gorgeous goodiebag with bonus choccies. Thanks to all who joined in the fun and helped celebrate Promises‘ birthday. It’s been a hoot!


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