FRIDAY FEAST with Jaye Ford

Greetings from sunny Townsville! Yes, the man and I have zoomed off to the tropics for a few days to help celebrate my in-laws’ golden wedding anniversary. Fifty years, isn’t that wonderful? And I think there’ll be many more good years to come for this couple too. They’re very special people.

This week’s Friday Feast guest has rapidly become one of my favourite authors, whose books I’ve taken great pleasureJaye Ford, author in recommending to others because I know what a rollicking time they’ll have. Jaye Ford broke into best-sellerdom with her first novel, Beyond Fear, a book which had my heart racing throughout. Scared Yet?, another brilliant read, followed last year and now Jaye has released her third thriller, the evocatively titled Blood Secret. Like all of Jaye’s fans, I cannot wait to read this. There is nothing more delicious than a book that makes you feel things physically, and Jaye is an absolute master.

Take a look at Blood Secret




Blood Secret by Jaye FordNothing ever happens in Haven Bay, which is why Rennie Carter – a woman who has been on the run for most of her life – stayed there longer than she should.

However, the illusion of security is broken one night when Max Tully, the man she loves and the reason she stayed, vanishes without trace.

Rennie, though, is the only person who believes Max is in danger. The police are looking in the wrong places, and Max’s friends and his business partner keep hinting at another, darker side to him.

But Rennie Carter understands about double lives – after all, that’s not even her real name …

And she has a secret too – a big, relentless and violent one that she’s terrified has found her again … and the man she loves.


I’m all shivery with excitement now and I bet you are too, and with just a few clicks, you could own a copy of Blood Secret. Try Booktopia, Dymocks, Angus & Robertson, QBD The Bookshop, Bookworld, or take a wander to your local independent book shop (like MacLean’s for those in Newcastle) or chain store. For the ebook, you can download instantly from JB Hi-Fi, Kobo, Amazon (for Kindle), iTunes or Google Play.

Now please give a big Feasty hello to Jaye…


A Taste of Character


Thanks for having me back at Friday Feast, Cathryn. I love reading about characters eating. Not the chewing and slurping but what their choices are. It’s a little tell about who they are on the inside and what nurtures or energises them. Some of my favourite characters have particular tastes: Lee Child’s Jack Reacher downs gallons of cafe-brewed black coffee (can’t help feeling a little Reacher-esque drinking black coffee on my own in a cafe!) and Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Milhone makes peanut butter and pickle sandwiches – not something I’ve tried but I get where she’s coming from.

In my novels, I try to give a nod at foods that say something about my main characters. In Blood Secret, Rennie has a thing for French toast, Liv in Scared Yet? eats Vegemite toast when she’s worried and Jodie in Beyond Fear has only one thing she cooks well – a steak.

I recently got that ‘tell’ in real life from my son. He left home in January to travel the world and after eight months, he finally stopped somewhere long enough to think about cooking. And I got the call: ‘Mum, can you send me some recipes?’

He’s living in Munich with a German girlfriend but the request wasn’t because he couldn’t read her cookbooks. He wanted a little of home over there and he wanted to share it with someone he cared about.

He gave me a list recipes he wanted, which told me a lot about what he missed. Family favourites that have been made so many times I don’t need the instructions: a coleslaw that’s the standard for family get-togethers, a slice that rarely survives more than a day, a cake that gets trotted out for everyone’s birthday, and a cheese sauce that goes with just about anything.

The recipes speak of summer barbeques, family days, parties at home and hearty meals around the kitchen table – and I loved that he both missed them and wanted to share them.

So I packed up some Aussie food supplies – Vegemite, Milo, Caramello Koalas, etc – a few of the ingredients I thought he might have trouble finding in Munich and photocopies of stained and well-used pages from my cookbooks. When his ‘care package’ arrived two weeks later, his girlfriend videoed him opening it and my six-foot-four, 24-year-old son looked like a little boy with a present from Santa. It produced tears on both sides of the world.

So here’s the recipe for our family coleslaw. It came from my mother-in-law, who got it from someone else, who possibly found it in a magazine – the best kind of road-tested recipe. It makes a huge salad so I halved the quantities in the photo to make a smaller version for dinner.


Jaye’s Family Coleslaw

The ingredients for Jaye's family coleslaw

Chinese Salad:

½ shredded cabbage (Chinese cabbage or wombok)

½ packet of slivered almonds, toasted

1 packet of Chang’s Fried Noodles

½ bunch of shallots, sliced

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix together.


2 tablespoons soy sauce

½ cup of oil

½ cup white sugar

¼ white vinegar

Mix ingredients together, microwave on low or heat slowly on stove until sugar is dissolved. When cool, pour over salad and mix well.

I’d love to know what food you’d miss from home if you were on the other side of the world. I have a copy of Blood Secret for the comment that makes me want a care package from your place!


Oh, I love this story! Thanks so much for sharing, Jaye. I must admit, we were the same when we lived overseas and a ‘care’ package arrived. Nothing like Vegemite to bring tears of happiness to an expat Aussie’s eyes.

Now, my lucky Feasty lovelies, here’s your chance to win a copy of Jaye’s new release, Blood Secret. Reveal in the comments what you’d miss from home if you lived overseas and Jaye will choose her favourite. She wants her heartstrings tugged and her mouth to water, so make it good!

And get in fast because entries close midnight Tuesday, 24th September 2013 AEST. Australian postal addresses only.

If you’d like to learn more about Jaye and her brilliant thrillers, please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook and her publisher, Random House.


This giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Gloria who has won a copy of Jaye’s latest release Blood Secret. Thanks to everyone who shared their favourite care box contents. That was fun!

0 thoughts on “FRIDAY FEAST with Jaye Ford

  1. AvatarKerri/Kaz

    So, I sit down at the computer with a cuppa to scroll the messages before darting off to an author event – and what do I see – two of my very favourite people chatting about food – another fave. (I sob because I dream of being one of those people for whom food is merely something that keeps you shuffling along – like petrol – and not someone from a strong southern European background where food is celebrated and used to fix everything. Double sob)

    Jaye – that recipe is a favourite here as well, although we use cashews which are equally scrummy. I think I originally got the recipe many, many years ago off the back of the noodle pack! I agree it’s tried and tested and very popular – there’s rarely any left.

    But to the main course: Blood Secret: I don’t need a copy as I got mine within days of release – and I can tell you all it’s a ripper. It’s classic Jaye Ford and has all the elements we’ve come to expect – compelling characters, great setting – and to be scared out your wits – despite which, you have to keep reading.

    Congrats lovely Jaye – I’ve already told you it’s a winner.

    Gorgeous Cathryn – again you’ve brightened my Friday. At the risk of repeating myself – but aw heck – I’ll do it anyway: Love your work, kiddo. 😉

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      I think having a background where food is celebrated is a fabulous thing, Kerri! My kind of family.
      Looks like I’ll have to give Jaye’s recipe a go when I get home. Hopefully I’ll bring some tropical weather home with me to suit.
      As for Blood Secret, if it’s anything like Scared Yet? and Beyond Fear, I’ll be in for a fantastic thrill. Love, love, love Jaye’s books. Nothing like having the pants scared off you!

  2. Avatarchristinestinson

    Boold Secret is indeed a great read – I already have my copy, too. The one thing I missed most when living overseas was a good old Aussie barbeque. There’s nothing like standing outside with a glass of wine (or a really cold beer) smelling the delicious aromas of meat/seafood cooking on the grill plate… Thanks for another fun post, Cathryn and Jaye.

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        ‘Tis but a tiny typo, Christine. These things happen!
        Oh, yeah, the good old Aussie barbie is definitely something special. Especially the smell of frying onions. Nothing like it!

  3. AvatarRachael Johns (@RachaelJohns)

    What a gorgeous warm, fuzzy post!! I only hope my sons are like yours when they are older 🙂 I’ve tasted that recipe before but now you’ve inspired me to actually try it.
    Am trying to recall what I missed from home when I lived in England for a year. Although my family is English, so what my mum cooks is pretty much the same as what you can get over there.
    So sadly, I’d probably miss the chocolates. Lately I’ve become rather partial to Boost bars (tsk, tsk, I know) and I don’t think you can get them overseas – although they make up for it with some VERY good chocolate!!

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      I wouldn’t worry about chocolate, Rach. Just a quick trip over the channel and you’re in choccie heaven. Those Belgian truffles would whup a Boost bar’s butt!

  4. AvatarPaula Beavan

    I love that salad, but I usually use toasted pinenuts rather than the almonds. I’ve not been overseas, but my mum makes a mean meatloaf that I would dearly miss if I couldn’t get it OS. But I think no Vegemite (or the GF equivalent ) would be devastating. Milo, it’s only a distant dream, and in a perfect world I would eat gallons of the stuff straight from the tin, no milk required.(probably better that I can’t, come to think of it) But I can eat Caramello Koala’s YAY. I suppose I want your son’s care package, thanks.
    PS, I don’t think I should go into the draw for the book (insert sad face) because I’ve already won twice and I feel I should let someone else have go. So instead, I will just have to buy it! 😀

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Pinenuts, Paula? Now that’s an interesting change. I was thinking Kerri’s cashews sounded pretty delish but pinenuts are tasty little things too.

      You have been on a winning streak lately. I say lap it up while you’re hot!

  5. AvatarJoan Kilby

    Jaye, I love that Chinese coleslaw and make it all the time in summer. I can empathise with you and your son. My daughter is in Oslo for two years doing a masters degree. Last year for Christmas I sent her a care package of home-baked goodies, the family favourites I make every year plus spices from our recent trip to India as she likes to cook, too. She said she burst into tears when she opened it. I got teary thinking of her being on her own for Christmas. At least she had panforte and shortbread to munch on.

    I can tell you what she misses most in Norway — peanut butter and my Malaysian chicken curry.

    Blood Secret sounds really exciting and intriguing!

    Cathryn, thanks for another great Friday Feast!

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Far out, I must be the only person who hasn’t made this salad. Must remedy!

      That’s a lovely story about your daughter, Joan, and how wonderful for her to have that care package. That must have really warmed her heart.

      Have you read Jaye’s other books? They are AMAZING. The sort of books that give you a physical reaction because you’re so worried for the heroine. Brilliant reads. You must try!

  6. AvatarGloria Bale

    Cold (Fffffreezing) little room (storage cupboard), in Edinburgh in winter. Living on noodles, feeling homesick and care package arrives. Blue fingers give up the fight with twine, and using the only semi sharp knife in drawer, open to reveal………Australian wool socks, both pairs hurriedly pulled over chilblains, as fast as fingers will allow. Vegemite, gummy bears, noodles???!!!!……….and, HELLO…………TIM TAMS!……LOTS of Tim Tams…..and every packet covered in messages from Mum. Mum always knows what’s needed most. Tearful phone call home (reverse charges, of course)

  7. Avataranniewest

    Jaye, congratulations on your latest book, which sounds just the thing to make a reader want to nibble on something out of anxiety.

    I could relate to your son’s situation. When we lived in Germany it was BBQs we missed and meat pies (I eat about one a year but it’s not having them readily available that makes the difference).

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Usually the nibbling’s on my fingernails when it comes to Jaye’s books, Annie! Perhaps I should try Tim-Tams instead…

      Funny what we miss, isn’t it? After 3 years in France I was hanging out for corned beef, of all things. Other than that, there wasn’t that much I really wanted. The food was so fantastic I was too busy scoffing everything in sight.