FRIDAY FEAST with Anna Campbell

A happy bouncy Friday to you all! I hope you’re all revved up for a fantastic weekend. I know I am. It’s AFL Footy Finals time and my beloved Sydney Swans are out to defend their premiership crown, plus I have one of my favourite Author Anna CampbellAussie authors visiting Friday Feast. Too much excitement!!

Multi-award winning author Anna Campbell writes luscious Regency period historicals overflowing with passion and emotion. They’re simply brilliant reads and I’m a huge fan-girl who gets more than a little bit giggly in Anna’s presence. Thanks to winning ARRA’s Favourite Australian Romance Author Award four years in a row, it’s fair to say she’s the reigning queen. A girl’s bound to get a bit silly!

Anna’s latest release is A Rake’s Midnight Kiss, a book I’m very much looking forward to reading, not least because of its magnificent cover. Take a look…




A Rake's Midnight Kiss by Anna CampbellIt Takes a Lady…

Brilliant scholar Genevieve Barrett knows how to keep a secret. Her identity as the author of her father’s academic articles has always been her greatest deception-until a charming housebreaker tries to steal the mysterious Harmsworth Jewel from her. She doesn’t reveal that she recognizes her father’s devastatingly handsome new student as the thief himself. For Genevieve, this will be the most seductive secret of all…

...To Catch a Thief!

Sir Richard Harmsworth has been living a lie, maintaining a rakish facade to show society that he doesn’t care about his status as a bastard. Yet long haunted by his unknown father’s identity, Richard believes the Harmsworth Jewel will confirm his claim as the rightful heir. But when Richard sets out to seduce the bookworm who possesses the stone, he instead falls for its beautiful owner. But even as she steals Richard’s heart, Genevieve will be in greater danger than her coveted treasure…


You want this, oh yes you do! And you can score your own rake with just a few easy clicks. Try most excellent Aussie bookseller Booktopia, otherwise Amazon or Bookdepository. For the ebook, try Kobo, Amazon (Kindle), JB Hi-Fi, Google Play, iTunes or your favourite retailer.

And now I present the Romance Queen. Take it away, Anna!


Life is a Picnic!


Hi Cathryn! Thank you so much for having me as your guest today on Friday Feast. You know I love being here, although I always feel like I emerge five kilos heavier after I’ve read your guests’ posts! Yum, yum, yum. Followed by nom, nom, nom.

Oh, dear, I’m starting to sound like an Internet Cat! I promise no cheeseburgers were harmed in the making of this post.

One of the fun things about visiting this blog (apart from hanging out with the very groovy Cathryn) is talking about scenes in my latest release that involve food. Last time I was here, I discussed yummy American wedding cakes. AndSeven Nights in a Rogue's Bed by Anna Campbell the time before that, I talked about a scene in SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED involving seduction by baklava.

By the way, if anyone wants to try this out on me for real, I’m game. I LOVE baklava!

In A RAKE’S MIDNIGHT KISS, my latest release, more meal scenes are more prevalent than usual, partly because my rascally hero Sir Richard Harmsworth has infiltrated himself into the heroine’s home under a false identity. There are quite a few prickly conversations over the dinner table as Genevieve strives to dampen his seductive wiles. Needless to say, she doesn’t get far, but watching heroines try and depress our heroes’ impudence is always fun, isn’t it?

Probably the most enjoyable meal for my hero and heroine takes place on a punt in Oxford. Richard has lured Genevieve into floating away to a secluded spot under a willow where sensual pleasures are rife. Including lunch!

These Regency rakes know how to picnic in style. Fine gilded china. Crystal glasses. Linen napkins. Silk-covered cushions. Vintage champagne – allowing me to employ that romance staple, the heroine wrinkling her nose at her first taste. It’s a scene that pops up often in a romance. I think it’s a show don’t tell moment to demonstrate that the hero intends to sweep our heroine away into a world of new and glorious experiences.

Like all good Regency picnics, the one in A RAKE’S MIDNIGHT KISS involves roast chicken. So I thought today, I’d share a VERY complicated recipe for chicken.


Anna Campbell’s Chicken and Wine

(degree of difficulty: 1 million stars)

A chicken ready for roasting with a bottle of wine

  1. Cover the bottom of a baking dish with oil of choice.
  2. Place in conventional oven at 180/200 degrees Celsius. Heat for 30/45 minutes.
  3. Take fresh or defrosted chicken and remove fat from the cavity. Rinse out the cavity. Wrap in tea towel to absorb extra moisture. Don’t refrigerate at this point.
  4. Pour large glass of wine and sit down somewhere comfy. Drink at own pace. Refilling as needed. If you are the heroine of a romance novel and the wine is a sparkling variety, wrinkle your nose, giggle winningly and say, ‘Oh!’ to the bubbles. Await kisses.
  5. When oil is sizzling hot (and preferably before you’ve had TOO much wine), place chicken in baking dish, breast down. Move around a bit to seal and to stop skin sticking to the pan. Baste.
  6. Return baking dish to the oven for 45 minutes.
  7. Repeat step 4.
  8. Stagger to oven. Turn chicken over and baste. Return to oven. If it’s a large chicken, leave it another 40/45 minutes. For a smaller chicken, around 30 minutes, but check regularly after 20 minutes, basting each time.
  9. Repeat step 4.
  10. Remove chicken. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Carve and eat.
  11. Open a new bottle of wine if old one is exhausted.
  12. Repeash shtep foursh. Hic!

I hope one day you’ll all try this complicated but rewarding recipe. I’ve made it several times myself to great headaches, um, success.

So let’s talk picnics. What’s your ideal picnic location? Picnic menu? Picnic companion? Or don’t you like picnics at all and you’d rather do you nose wrinkling indoors?

I’ve got a print copy of A RAKE’S MIDNIGHT KISS (with de rigueur champagne scene and roast chicken) for one commenter today. Giveaway is international!


Roast chicken and wine…ooh, Anna, you’ve captured my heart! I can so, so relate to this kind of cooking. Happens rather regularly here on Friday nights thanks to Friday Feast inspiration.

Now, my most gorgeous Feasters, you heard Anna. A print copy of A Rake’s Midnight Kiss awaits one lucky commenter. So get those typing fingers ready and share your picnic love (or unlove).

Me, I adore a good picnic, even good old Aussie ones with ants and flies and other critters. My darling beloved used to treat me to rainy day picnics, where we’d lay out a rug on the lounge room floor, crack a bottle of excellent white wine, have a bucket of prawns at the ready and opera (yes, OPERA – we’re classy folk here at Chez Hein) on the telly. Prawns, a good white, Turandot, and a lovely time can be had. As long as my darling Sydney Swans aren’t playing at the time, of course!

Giveaway closes midnight Tuesday AEST, 10th September 2013. Open internationally. Rah!

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


This giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Paula who won herself a copy of Anna’s new release A Rake’s Midnight Kiss. Thanks to everyone who took part. Hope you had as much fun as Anna and I did.

0 thoughts on “FRIDAY FEAST with Anna Campbell

  1. Avatarchristinestinson

    Love picnics! Favourite spot would have to be Pebbly Beach, about 30 kms south of Ulladulla on NSW South Coast. You have to be keen to get there, the road’s unsealed, but once you’re there – magic! Gentle, grassy slopes leading down to the beach (perfect for that picnic), lots of kangaroos hopping around, even into the surf with you (that’s no exaggeration, they do get in the water) and a fabulous rock shelf to explore if you feel like a walk. Throw in wine, roast chicken, a good book like ‘A Rake’s Midnight Kiss’ and I doubt it can get any better than that! Thanks for a really enjoyable post, Anna and Cathryn.

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Sigh. That sounds gorgeous, Christine. Rather wish I was there now….or perhaps not. Bit hard to watch my beloved Sydney Swans beat Hawthorn tonight from the beach!

    2. Avatarannacampbell

      Christine, that sounds absolutely lovely. That south coast of NSW is just beautiful, isn’t it? And what excellent taste you have for reading matter on your picnic!

  2. AvatarPaula Beavan

    I’m such a wowser! I don’t really like roast chicken and I don’t drink wine 🙁 I do love picnics though. We usually do the good old bring your own BBQ and we have a very special Bucket BBQ. We’ve used it to cook fresh caught fish at Lake Maquarie and lamb kebabs in the Barringtons. And a nice cup of tea for me 🙂 I guess that will leave plenty of chicken and wine for the rest of you xoxox

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      I’m sure we’ll easily find takers for your share of the wine, Paula! What’s this Bucket BBQ, hmm? I shall consult Google…

      *tick tock, tick tock*

      …Oooh, what a cool thing! I bet the flavour is lovely and you just carry it off with you when you’r done. Plus when not in use, fill it with ice and you have a handy ice bucket. Fab idea!

  3. AvatarJuanita Kees

    Now what’s not to like about a good old picnic? Flies with your food, ants nibbling your toes, the smell of repellent in the air and the sunscreen on your lips forming an oily pattern on your wine glass? Wicked! Mmmm…I think I’ll stretch my picnic over seven nights in a rogue’s bed complete with his wicked midnight kiss, thanks 🙂 A much better deal than mozzie bites!

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Ha ha ha! Trust you to come up with something clever, Juanita. I don’t mind the ants and whatnot, the sunscreen smeared wine glass though? Not good for my chardy!

  4. AvatarKeziah Hill

    Ah, picnics! Almost any food tastes good on a wonderful day in a beautiful setting. I’m partial to anything garlicy with spice on crusty bread rolls. Cold meat balls. Mmmm…. and cold beer. Then lying pole axed on a rug or grass until you have the energy to throw a ball around or play boule. Toss in a rogue or two and you have the perfect day.

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        Sounds all too perfect to me, Kez! And perhaps a leeeeetle bit too true when it comes to the pole-axed bit after an afternoon of food and wine. Mind you, laying like that we’re all prepped for an Anna Campbell rake to come and ravish us. Thinking ahead!

  5. Avatarhelensibbritt

    Hi Anna and Cathryn

    I love picnics when hubby and I were still young we went on lots of the we would take chicken and drinks and some nice bread rolls find a nice quiet spot in one of the national parks here in NSW and talk for most of the day oh those were the days but then marriage and children and now grandchildren came along and I still love picnics especially if I have all of the family there great food lots of games with the grandkids and I have lots of memories from all the picnics we have gone on. I so love that receipe LOL I am not sure whether I would be able to eat burn’t chicken after all that wonderful wine LOL. I have a copy of your book Anna and waht an awesome story it is I loved the picnic scene it bought back memories of hubby and I hiring a boat in the Royal National Park with our picnic in it although the ground wasn’t as lush as in your story pretty rocky under the gum trees here 🙂

    Have Fun

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Only Anna could make chicken and wine sounds so much naughty fun, hey Helen.

      Loved your descriptions of your picnics. They sound so much fun, rocky ground and all.

    2. Avatarannacampbell

      Helen, green with envy here. That picnic scene is good fun for the characters in Rake! Would love to have done something similar in real life. How lucky are you! Thanks for saying how much you enjoyed the book.

  6. AvatarLeisl Leighton

    One of my first dates with my husband was a picnic and it just became something that we liked to do together. I even started a ‘carpet picnic’ after we had the kids – a picnic that we have at home, sitting on a rug on the floor and sharing picnic nibbles and wine/champagne after the kids have gone to bed, maybe watching some TV or a favourite DVD, talking or listening to music. It feels like a little splice of heaven right at home – and now the kids are older, they like to share them with us (although, it’s far less romantic with them there!)

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Nothing wrong with a carpet picnic, Leisl. I’m a big fan. They’re kind of sweet and intimate, and with a loo just down the hall. No fretting over bullants in your pants!

  7. AvatarLouise Reynolds

    Strangely, we have most of our picnics when we’re camping. We’ll pack a bottle of wine and glasses, make sandwiches wrapped in foil (nothing too fancy), then throw a couple of chairs in the truck and head up the river to a favourite spot. It seems odd because the Darling River looks almost exactly the same for its entire 1500km! So 20 mins up the river is hardly a change of scenery. But it’s just – different. One thing I can guarantee – there will not be a rake out there apart from Anna’s gorgeous Sir Richard.

    1. Avatarannacampbell

      Louise, Sir Richard asked me to thank you for choosing him as your exclusive picnic companion. These rakes don’t like too much competition for attention from OTHER rakes! Laughed at your description of your special spot as the same as every other special spot, except different!

  8. AvatarJanie McGaugh

    I don’t do picnics any more unless I’ve got a picnic table (or, at the least, a chair to sit on), because sitting on the ground/floor is very uncomfortable for me. I enjoy being out in the countryside, where it’s peaceful. If I’ve got great scenery, that’s even better.

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      I’m with you, Janie. Nothing like the bush quiet to soothe the soul. Although given I just heard a couple of cockies squawking and squabbling, and then a kookaburra start up, I’m not too sure how quiet picnicking would be around here!

  9. AvatarLianne

    The only picnics I’ve been to lately would be be wrapped fish and chips kind at a picnic table at a park or reserve!

  10. AvatarSharon Archer

    Anna, I can vouch for your chicken recipe! It’s very very nom-worthy and if you’ll throw in some of your faaaaaabulous roast potatoes as well, there’s a good chance you’ll never get rid of me!

    I love eating outdoors! And I’ve been “picnicking” in some usual locations over the last few years with our travels! Most recently, a sandwich on a salt flat in the middle of the Simpson Desert – a tyre to recline against instead of wonderful silk covered cushions. Your hero’s special picnic for Genevieve was so romantic! (happy sigh)

    1. Avatarannacampbell

      Sharon, you’re such a superwoman with all the terrains you’re willing to tackle. Not to mention the terrines! Thanks for saying you enjoyed the picnic scene – I must say it was one of the fun scenes in the book for the writer! Thanks for inviting me to come on the Love Cats today. Love the Sunday Smooch!

  11. Avatarbettysunflower

    My favorite family location for a picnic is Hollywood, Florida Beach. We’ve been going there to picnic for many years. We usually just pick up pizza there, on the broardwalk… no mess or fuss…we just buy it there!

    1. Avatarannacampbell

      Betty, I’m all for easy picnics. Although I have an English friend who goes to enormous fuss and puts in crystal and china and champagne and beautiful food – I like those as a guest, not necessarily as a preparation assistant!

  12. AvatarAnita H.

    I have to say I’m not a big fan of picnics. I’m not much of an outdoorsy person and I don’t like sharing my food with ants, flies and other critters who decides they like some food too! 🙂

  13. AvatarAda

    I have an issue with bugs/insects, so I avoid outdoor picnics at all cost. My ultimate (indoor) picnic foods would be hot dogs, hard boiled eggs, mini-burgers and cream puffs. YUM!

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Understandable, maybe31. A family friend had a severe reaction to a bullant bite years ago when we were picnicking out in the boonies and it was all a bit scary for a while. Not something anyone would want to experience.

  14. Avataranniewest

    Anna, I’ve had your speciality chicken, but I don’t recall being offered the wine while you cooked it. Hm. I’ll have to visit again and see what happens.

    I love picnics, except for washing up afterwards. Disposable is so appealing. Some of my most memorable ones have been in the shade by a country creek or in the vineyards. The one constant in every good picnic has been the company rather than the food. I think that’s the secret.

    1. Avatarannacampbell

      Annie, I had to laugh. You’ve definitely had wine while I’ve made this chicken. In fact, I have photos to prove it. I suspect perhaps I was TOOOO generous with the wine and you’ve forgotten what happened after you sobered up. Hic!

  15. Avatarannacampbell

    Cathryn, thanks as ever for having me as your guest. I love being on Friday Feast. And thanks to everyone who swung by to say hello. What a fun discussion! Don’t forget to check back to see who won the prize!