Hello and welcome to Romance Recipes where I am happy to introduce you to a new author and a new recipe! Two of my favorite things! Today I am bringing you author, Jennie Jones, and her recipe for Blackberry Wine along with an introduction to her contemporary rural romance, The House on Burra Burra Lane (Book 1 in the Swallow’s Fall Series). Please join me in welcoming Jennie and savor her recipe for Blackberry Wine as you read about her new book!
My recipe: I have a runaway pig in my story, and as she’s so much a part of the small town of Swallow’s Fall – I can’t possibly consider a recipe involving pork (she’d never forgive me because she pops up in book 2!). So instead, I settled on a recipe for Blackberry Wine. My little town in the Australian Snowy Mountains is fictional, but in order to follow the wonderful Australian history of how towns got their names, I created the story of Mr. William Swallow who worked in the South Australian Burra Burra mines in 1840 but left, making his way towards Sydney. He had a cart loaded with home-brewed maize beer and blackberry wine with him. He stopped in a field in the New South Wales Snowy Mountains after breaking his leg … and to find out what happened to him you’ll have to read my book 🙂
Put 2kg of blackberries in a clean fermenting bucket, pour over 4 litres of boiling water, mash the fruit then cover and leave to cool. Add a teaspoon of pectic enzyme to help it clear, and keep it covered. After one day dissolve in 1.4kg of sugar and add some wine yeast plus a teaspoon of yeast nutrient. Cover and leave for four or five days, stirring every day. Everything is strained, under as sterile conditions as you can manage, through a muslin cloth and put in a demi-john for about six weeks. Rack off into a fresh demi-john and bottle a few weeks after that or when you remember.
A dilapidated house, a city girl looking for a tree change, and a rugged vet with a past. Just another day in rural Australia…
Just ten days after her fresh start in the isolated Snowy Mountains, Samantha Walker trips over a three hundred pound pig and lands in the arms of Dr. Ethan Granger — and the firing line for gossip. It was hardly a ‘date’ but sparks of the sensual kind are difficult to smother in a community of only 87 people. Now there’s a bet running on how long she’ll stay and what she’ll get up to while she’s in town. Ethan has his own issues — Sammy’s presence in his childhood home brings with it painful recollections of family scandals and a bad‐boy youth. When the gossip around them heightens, his life is suddenly a deck of cards spread on the table for all to see. Then Sammy’s past catches up with her… and it looks like all bets are off.
Samantha Walker didn’t want to add some sensuality issue to her bucket of problems. She’d only been in town ten days and the bucket was practically overflowing but the flutter in her belly was of the exhilarating variety, and wouldn’t go away.
Dr. Granger, the tower of manhood creating this disturbance, lifted Sammy’s burly ginger cat onto the examination table, then cast an enquiring look at Sammy.
That summer-blue gaze was the second thing she noticed about him when she ran into his surgery, hurling the cat box at him when she stumbled over the pig in reception. Stunned by the breadth of him. The man, not the pig – although the pig was pretty big.
‘What’s your cat’s name, Miss Walker?’
‘Duke,’ Sammy said, tightening her stomach muscles.
Desire, at this point in her life, was as unexpected as the man in the moon asking her to dinner. She wasn’t even going to think about her drab attire, tangled hair and weariness. If she’d known she was going to meet a rugged, powerful looking vet at ten o’clock on a Wednesday morning, she would have changed her T-shirt. At least.
Dr. Granger smelled of tree bark, fresh air, and sawdust. Please don’t let her smell like the twenty chickens it had taken so long to catch earlier. She’d lived in New South Wales, Australia all her life but not the country parts. Everything was so … rural. Entirely different to what she’d envisioned when she left the energetic rush of Sydney.
Swallow’s Fall, the Snowy Mountains. Population eighty six on the sign. Eighty seven with Sammy, but no-one had changed the curvaceous six to a diagonal seven. No point
complaining, they were difficult numbers to fudge, even for her – and she was an artist.
She glanced at Dr. Granger’s strong, ring-less fingers, then took her gaze off the capable bachelor hands. She was single by the sheer grace of her newly acquired independence and there wasn’t a man on earth who was going to change that.
‘Is everything all right?’ Dr. Granger asked.
His voice was a symphony of bass notes which made her want to listen harder and breathe in more. ‘I’m a little stressed,’ she said, looking into his blue eyes. ‘Because of my chickens.’
His brow rose. ‘Did you bring chickens too?’
‘No. They’re at home.’
The immediate creases on his tanned face suggested a smile. He turned to the table, took hold of the scruff of Duke’s neck and checked the feline’s gums.
Sammy took the opportunity for a deeper review of the veterinary situation.
Dr. Granger’s navy cotton shirt was wrinkled down the length of his well-developed back and tucked haphazardly into the belted waistband of dark blue jeans. He had his shirt sleeves rolled up showing forearms capable of handling rampant bulls, and a stethoscope around his neck. It hung loosely against the shirt collar. His sandy hair skimmed the back, a little tousled, as though the wind had caught hold of it.
‘Have you noticed any signs of anxiety?’ he asked.
‘No. I’m fine.’ She’d dashed from city to country; hadn’t found her feet yet. The ten acre homestead she owned needed more restoration than suggested by the photos. The pile of tools in her shed were stacked so high she’d need a manual to figure out which did what, but determination sat between her shoulder blades like a backpack of courage.
She would be a cultivator of the land and accept all countrified things that came her way. Snow, drought, isolation, wombats, wingless cockroaches –
‘Duke seems fine too,’ Dr. Granger said. ‘What are your concerns?’
About herself? Sammy grimaced. That was a long list.
Buy the Book:
All links of where to buy The House on Burra Burra Lane can be found at Harlequin (Australia) Escape Publishing
Born and brought up in Wales, Jennie loved anything with a romantic element from the age of five. At eighteen, she went to drama school in London then spent a number of years performing in British theatres, becoming someone else two hours, eight shows a week.
Jennie wrote her first romance story at the age of twenty five whilst ‘resting’ (a theatrical term for Out of work). She wrote a western and sent if off to Mills & Book who politely and correctly declined. She put writing to one side after that and took a musical theatre job. Which brings Jennie to her favourite quotation: “Fate keeps on happening.” – Anita Loos.
When Jennie’s life changed and a new country, marriage and motherhood beckoned, she left acting and the UK.
She now lives in Western Australia, a five minute walk to the beach that she loves to look at but hardly ever goes to due to there being too much sand. (Sand is like glitter; once it gets between your toes, you keep finding it in the house for months.)
Jennie returned to writing three years ago. She says it keeps her artistic nature dancing and her imagination bubbling. Like acting, she can’t envisage a day when writing will ever get boring.
Thank you for joining us for another Romance Recipes! I hope you’ll stop by next week to meet another author, try a new recipe and pick up a new book!