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 Aussie 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…
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. And 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)
- Cover the bottom of a baking dish with oil of choice.
- Place in conventional oven at 180/200 degrees Celsius. Heat for 30/45 minutes.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Return baking dish to the oven for 45 minutes.
- Repeat step 4.
- 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.
- Repeat step 4.
- Remove chicken. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Carve and eat.
- Open a new bottle of wine if old one is exhausted.
- 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!
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.