Hello, Feasters! Have you been checking the bookstores lately? Aren’t there some wonderful releases out at the moment, especially from Australian authors. I always find all those Aussie titles such a heart-warming sight and getIMG_1559 a real kick out of knowing that some of these clever people have appeared, or will be appearing, on Friday Feast. Good books and food, that’s us!

Which brings me to my guest today, Mandy Magro. A country girl through and through, Mandy lives on the family farm in Mareeba, far north Queensland, and her love for Australia and the outback is vividly evident in  her wonderfully real Australian stories.

Mandy’s latest release is Flame Tree Hill and continues the success of Rosalee Station and Jacaranda. Take a look…




High Reso FTH newKirsty Mitchell is ready to come home. After a tragic accident that left her scarred, she fled overseas. Now, three years later, she’s finally returning to Flame Tree Hill, her beloved family farm.

But at twenty-five Kirsty isn’t prepared for the terrifying new challenge ahead: breast cancer.

Kirsty’s never been a quitter and that’s not about to change. But can her budding romance with local vet Aden bear the strain?

As she battles with chemotherapy and as her past threatens to overwhelm her, Kirsty realises you can never take anything – or anyone – for granted. Drawing strength from her family and the beauty of Far North Queensland, Kirsty finally understands what she must do.

A lyrical and heart-warming testament to the power of love – and forgiveness.


Wow, doesn’t that sound an emotional read but with Mandy in charge you can be assured it’ll also be an uplifting one. A few clickety-clicks and Flame Tree Hill can be yours. Purchase the paperback from Booktopia (most excellent Platinum sponsor of ARRC2013) or your favourite bookseller. Signed copies are also available from Mandy herself. For the ebook version, try Kobo, JB Hi-Fi, Google Play, iTunes, Amazon Kindle or direct from Penguin Australia.

And now here’s Mandy!


Spice ‘n All Things Nice


Hi Cathryn,

Thank you for having me on your yummy blog today. I adore anything to do with food and cooking …oh, and eating! 🙂

In all of my novels I find food is the thing that can bring my characters together. Be it in a big homestead kitchen, a festive celebration or just sitting around a campfire toasting marshmallows. It is the universal language, I feel, and such a wonderful way to share times with loved ones. Imagine life without food…there would be no farmers, no shopping, no cooking, no barbeques, no cooking shows…and the list goes on. I reckon it would be pretty boring!

Today I wanted to share my favourite sauce recipe…Nam Jim. It is an Asian style sauce, which you can tell from the name :-), and it goes with so many things. You can use it for a delish Thai Beef Salad, to marinate chicken, over natural oysters or even as a dipping sauce for seafood and naughty deep fried foods. The list is endless!

Nam Jim

nam jim


  • 1 bunch coriander
  • 3cm piece ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 long red chillies
  • 2 limes, zested, juiced
  • 2 tbs fish sauce
  • 55g (1/4 cup firmly packed) brown sugar


Rinse coriander well. Process coriander, roots and all, ginger, garlic, chillies, lime zest and juice, fish sauce and brown sugar in a food processor until well combined and finely chopped. And that’s it, easy as.

If you don’t like things too hot, then just alter the amount of chilli put in. It will also last in the fridge for a week, so make a good batch and just use at your liking.

Happy eating!

Mandy xx


Happy eating indeed! Thanks, Mandy. Luuurve your sauce – so versatile and, as you say, it can be tweaked to suit everyone’s tastes. Nam jim is a big favourite in this house. We love it as a dipping sauce for fresh prawns. The flavours seem to work perfectly together.

Now, my saucy Feasters, what’s your favourite Asian food? I’m a huge fan of anything made with fresh rice noodles. Oh, and laksa. Mmm. We’ve recently discovered a new local noodle bar and they don’t do a bad laksa at all, although perhaps next time I’ll skip the spicy version. I like things hot but that one made my eyeballs sweat. Maybe you’re more partial to a spot of yum cha? Perhaps complex Indian curries get your juices flowing. Knowing all you adventurous Feasters, you’re bound to enjoy some interesting Asian treats, so share away!

If you’d like to learn more about Mandy and her books, please visit her website. You can also connect via her blog and Facebook.


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