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A BookBub Special

The e-book of  THE RAKE’S DAUGHTER will be on special in the USA selling for $1.99 between August 21 and August 28.

This is the story of Izzy,  a bold and outspoken young woman who, along with her legitimate sister,  is determined not to let her illegitimacy stand in the way of her happiness. The full story description is beneath the image below.
You can buy it from  amazon, Barnes&Noble,  Kobo, and other e-book retailers,  BUT the reduced price won’t operate until August 21st.

An earl is forced to play matchmaker for the daughters of a rake in a smart and witty new Regency romance from the national bestselling author of The Scoundrel’s Daughter.

Recently returned to England, Leo, the new Earl of Salcott, discovers he’s been thrust into the role of guardian to an heiress, the daughter of a notorious rake. Even worse, his wealthy ward has brought her half-sister, the beautiful but penniless Isobel, with her. Leo must find Clarissa a suitable husband, but her illegitimate half sister, Izzy, is quite another matter. Her lowly birth makes her quite unacceptable in London’s aristocratic circles.

However, the girls are devoted to each other and despite the risk of scandal if Izzy’s parentage is discovered, they refuse to be separated. To Leo’s frustration, nothing will convince them otherwise. Even worse, sparks fly every time Leo and Izzy interact.

Called away to his country estate, Leo instructs the young ladies to stay quietly at home. But when he returns, he’s infuriated to discover that Izzy and Clarissa have launched themselves into society — with tremendous success! There’s no going back. Now Leo must enter society to protect Clarissa from fortune hunters, and try not to be driven mad by the sharp-witted, rebellious, and intoxicating Izzy.


Because I’m going away soon, I want to empty the fridge, so I was trying to think of what I could cook with whatever I had left. I had half a container of Greek yoghurt, some fetta, and some baby spinach leaves, so I thought “Gozleme,” which is a delicious Turkish pastry filled with spinach and cheese. I often buy hot and fresh it at the market but this time I wanted to make it myself.

I remember reading somewhere that the gozleme pastry could also be made with yoghurt, and I probably should have looked it up, but I didn’t.  When I’m cooking just for myself, I often make things by guess, and then, depending on how they went, look up a recipe. Yes, not smart, I know, but it works for me. Usually. <g>

So I popped a large spoonful of yoghurt into a bowl and added flour bit by bit, mixing it in with the spoon and adding more by feel. Then I kneaded it by hand a little and decided it was a bit stiff, so I added a glug of olive oil and kneaded that in. Not too much kneading — it’s not like bread.

Then I let it rest while I steamed up the spinach, and once it was wilted, pressed it between paper towels until it wasn’t wet anymore.

I divided the dough into two pieces, rolled one out thin, and put the spinach and crumbled fetta on half of it. I then folded it over and squished the edges together, then cooked it in a preheated pan on the top of the stove with a little oil. I put a lid on the pan. 

After a couple of minutes I flipped it over, and that side was already a lovely golden brown, so I cooked the other side and slid it onto a plate. It was delicious — and amazingly easy.

That was yesterday and today I thought I might make another one with the second lump of dough, only with a mushroom filling. But when I went out to the vegie patch to grab some thyme — my favorite way to cook mushrooms is with garlic and thyme — I noticed my silver beet was booming along, so I cut some leaves, washed them, and steamed them to make another spinach gozleme. 

This time the filling was much thicker — that’s it above— partly because the silver beet leaves are more robust,  but also because  I put more in and I used up a few spring onions and extra cheese as well. Proper Turkish gozleme are quite thin and delicate, but mine were much thicker. But they still tasted delicious.

If you want to try it and don’t like to experiment as I did, here’s a recipe for gozleme made with yoghurt. Traditionally the pastry is made with just flour and water, and there are loads of recipes for that on the web. But this was so quick and easy, I’ll be making it again, that’s for sure.

Going to the Conference

Next week I’ll be heading up to Sydney for the conference. “Which conference?” you ask. The annual Romance Writers of Australia conference.  Up until CoVid hit, I’d never missed a conference, but in the last few years we’ve had conferences cancelled and taken on line, and while one in Brisbane went ahead, the Queensland border was closed to people from other states. So this will be the first in-person conference I’ve attended in several years.

I’m looking forward to it, especially because it gives me the chance to catch up with writing friends I haven’t seen in years. I’ll also be giving a workshop on “Surprise and Delight Your Readers.” I always enjoy giving workshops.

Our conferences are also fun. They kick off on the Friday night with a Costume Cocktail Party with a different theme each year. When I first joined RWAust. the cocktail party used to be a “Meet the Authors” one, and everyone was dressed nicely but not many people were game to come up and talk to authors, who were madly chatting and catching up with each other. 

Because we were spread all across Australia, the annual conference was the only time most of us got to see and talk to each other.  It was lovely for the authors, but not so much for everyone else.

Then one year the conference was held in a historic hotel in Melbourne, and we changed it to a costume theme — from memory the first one was “Dress Retro” and even though quite a few people didn’t dress in costume, we encouraged people to at least get a feather boa, and it really changed the atmosphere.  Everybody chatted to everyone else, there was lots of talk about the various costume — “Ooh look at you!” and “Wow, I love your costume!” etc.

It was the perfect ice-breaker, and since then it’s gone from strength to strength.There’s no compulsion to come in costume, but these days a majority of people do. I always dress up — it’s no big deal for me to make a fool of myself: a friend and I used to run the drama cupboard when I was a teacher, and I enjoy dressing in costume. Especially silly ones.

Mine aren’t very fancy — they’re either home-made (very slapdash) with cheap fabric, and various bits and pieces from the $2 shops near me.  

The creature above in pink — no, it’s not Barbie <g>— it’s  me, some years ago dressed  as Dame Barbara Cartland, complete with pekes.

The pic on the left is me at the “Gone Wild” cocktail party and the headdress is made of a brown feather boa, with a series of spiky dried pods from my big old monstera deliciosa jammed into it. And hand-drawn spots on my face — which were ridiculously tricky to remove that night.

Another year it was all about “Fractured Fairytales”. I dressed as the wicked queen and made a tiara with glued on feathers, rats, snakes and spiders and attached plastic spiders to some of my jewellery. And here’s the photo.

Last time I didn’t go to a lot of trouble. It was a fairy-take theme and I went as Briar Rose, using a patterned velvet coat with roses on it that I had, a string of plastic roses from a $2 shop, some green eyeshadow “vines” on my face and a green feather boa wrapped around my head. The photo here is of me with my friend, author Trish Morey, who was borrowing my roses. Pity we didn’t realize how tastefully we were staged — just outside the male toilets!

As you can see, I do like a silly headdress — feather boas are remarkably easy to wrap around a head — tuck the ends in and they just stay there.  This year I’m not planning to go to a lot of trouble with the actual costume. The theme is “Glitter” and to be honest, I would have to make a costume from scratch, as I don’t have any glittery clothes, and I don’t have time at the moment — especially to make a one-off costume. I do have a beaded top, and I’ve bought a length of sequined fabric that I plan to turn into some kind of turban. I do have plenty of glittery jewelry though, and that will have to do. I’ll post some photos of the cocktail party when I get home again.

Do you like dressing up in costume, or not?