Cooking The Books – Jennifer St George

Chef with cookbook

Today’s guest is the lovely Jennifer St George and her latest book for Destiny Romance, Seducing The Secret Heiress, is a fabulous sexy read with a whole lot of food fun thrown in. Take it away Jennifer!   JSG

Louise, thanks so much for hosting me today.  Your food-themed blog series couldn’t be a better match for my recent release, Seducing the Secret Heiress.  The story is set around a reality TV cooking show. The contestants have to cook meals for first-class airline passengers who, along with professional chefs and the general public, cast their votes each week from 30,000 feet. The concept was inspired by MasterChef but with a twist.

My Australian heroine, Charlie, cooks up some interesting dishes towards the end of the book including Accidental Liar’s Terrine which features ingredients including Ignorant Little Rich Girl Minced Chicken, Billionaire Mixed Herbs and Cheating Fiancé Vinegar!

Seducing the Secret Heiress CoverI was inspired to write about a reality TV Show as I took part in the Australian version of Dragon’s Den. Just the harsh spotlights alone are enough to raise your heart rate.  Add judges, camera close-ups and a Director and the experience is really very intense, but exhilarating at the same time. I thought this pressure-cooker environment would make good fodder for a sexy romance.

I like cooking, but I’m not very good at it. This might have something to do with the fact that I never measure anything. I’ve been to cooking classes with some great chefs including Ben O’Donoghue and Steven Snow but their fabulous talent just hasn’t rubbed off on me. Sad but true. My ‘whizz in the kitchen’ sister-in-law always despairs when she comes into my kitchen.  I don’t have any measuring cups, sharp knives or a cupboard full of staple ingredients. Strangely, she doesn’t seem to think a shelf full of the cookbooks with pretty pictures compensates for this.

So, it was great fun writing a character who could turn the simplest meal into an understated extravaganza. Charlie possesses a natural flair for flavours and presentation. Even though my story is predominately set in London, Charlie differentiates her cooking by using Australian ingredients including macadamia nuts and Barramundi. She never burns anything.

But the food doesn’t always stay on the plate! The story also features a sexy food fight which is one of my favourite scenes in developing the passion between Charlie and gorgeous hero, Gabe.

I may not be a very good cook, but I do have a talent for eating out. I love everything from romantic candle-lit dinners in Michelin Star restaurants to a trip to the local curry house.  As long as I’m not cooking, I know the meal will be delicious.  And for a girl who can’t cook, I do seem to have collected an over-abundance of cooking magazines.  You can barely walk through our living room without knocking over a stack of Delicious or Donna Hay magazines.  I can name what’s in season, it’s just I’m likely to burn it if it comes near my stove.

I love the way food brings people together, but in our house, this is more likely to happen over a Thai takeaway.

Here’s a taste of what Jennifer’s book has in store:

Diamond heiress, Charlotte Wentworth, is passionate about two things – cooking and her billionaire fiancée, Paul.  That is, until she finds Paul has been unfaithful. Shocked, she flees to Europe where she is determined to build a life of her own without her family’s name, fortune or connections.  When she meets gorgeous Englishman, Gabe Grenville, a famous reality TV producer, sparks fly. Charlotte passes herself off as a lowly catering assistant but soon finds herself a star on his TV cooking show. But how will he react when he discovers Charlotte’s true identity? And Paul has not given up – he has his own agenda for forcing Charlotte to return to Australia and marry him.

Will their love turn into a recipe for disaster? Or will it turn out to be a perfect concoction?

You can find Jennifer here:

Website           Facebook       Twitter

Seducing The Secret Heiress is available from:

Amazon

itunes

Kobobooks

Destiny Romance

 

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35 comments on “Cooking The Books – Jennifer St George

  1. I love the sound of your book, Jennifer! I have to say that I share your passion for food magazines — I too, have towering piles of Delicious and Donna Hay magazines throughout the house. Most of which I will never cook from, I just like to look at the pictures!!

  2. Hi Emmie!! I have this fantasy that one day I’ll cook up one of those dinner party menus so beautifully displayed in Donna Hay, but… I know deep down it’s never going to happen.

  3. Hi Jennifer, Hi Louise. Jennifer, I am sure I would love your new book. I have had quite a journey with cooking – I’m not particularly fond of cooking but it has played a big role in my love life – I’m from Ireland and my husband is an Indian. I settled down in India after marriage and had to learn to cook palatable Indian food. I was very much a sandwich person before that. I had this friend who would entertain the men in her life with wonderful roasts all sewn up and stuffed with exotic stuffing and I stayed well away from all that. After marriage I had to learn to make chapatis and perfect rice and curry with just the right balance of spices – it was such a change. And contrary to many people’s assumption, Indian food is not easy. The ‘curry house’ mentality has given people the impression that it’s some kind of a quick fix, but let me tell you, to cook a good Indian meal is a specialized skill. So like I said, I’d find your novel most interesting Jennifer…..and writing about food, well, I think it can’t be easy. Well done.

  4. Wow Maria – what an incredible food journey. It must feel great to be able to cook such beautiful meals. Sounds like you can cook with incredible finesse and skill!!

    I loved writing about food. I included as many of my favourite ingredients as possible.

  5. Hi Jennifer & Louise, LOL, it’s wonderful to know I’m not the only one who doesn’t practice what she reads. Your story sounds delicious:) and the food fight has got me hooked.

  6. Hi Jennifer,
    Great post. I love food but can’t cook it very well. I have to confess I don’t own any cook books, but we do have numersou cook books in the house, as I have 2 sons who are chefs, and hubby likes to cook.
    Your book sounds scrumptious.

    Regards

    Margaret

  7. Hi Jen – fab post 🙂 I also love cooking and have a stack of cookbooks!!

    BTW – love the sound of your latest! and with a food fight included, it sounds like my kinda book. Lucky for me it’s on my kindle waiting to be read 🙂

  8. Ooh, love a love triangle and LOVE foodie fantasy! I had a craving for samosas all the way through Nicola Marsh’s Busted in Bollywood and I suspect I will get ideas quite beyond my kitchen capacity when I read your heiress, Jenn. Thanks for this delicious series, Lou!

    • Hi Imelda, I’m loving having all these guests drop by to talk about food. Do you think I can convince some of them to come over and cook for me?

  9. Hi Jen,
    I love the sound of this book. I love cooking and it really depends on the recipe whether I follow it to the letter (especially cakes and most desserts) and measure everything, or if I just get a general idea from a recipe. I have a tip for you about how to avoid burning—make ice cream desserts! LOL. I loved The Convenient Bride and look forward to reading Seducing The Secret Heiress.

    Thanks for having Jen as your guest blogger, Louise. Love this blog!

  10. Wonderful post, Jennifer. You may not be able to cook, but you can write! I know which one, I’d prefer to excel at 😉 The premise for your story is fabulous and I can’t wait to read it. I love a bit of secret identity in a story, as well as reality cooking shows. It sounds perfect!

  11. Seducing the Secret Heiress sounds huge fun. How can you go wrong with a sexy food fight? And I love the recipe titles.

    So what’s this Dragon’s Den? Is it on telly still anywhere? YouTube? I bet you were all star quality, Jennifer.

    Wishing you all the best with StSH.

    Another fab Cooking the Books, Louise!

    • I just checked YouTube and I can’t find the Australian version of DD posted, Cathryn. I know I have a copy on disc somewhere, so I must find it and post it. Would be hilarious to watch it now. Dragon’s Den is hugely popular on the UK (and the US I think) but only lasted one season here. They put it up against Big Brother!! The concept is that you pitch a business idea to millionaires and they decide or not if they want to invest. We didn’t get any investors on the show, but two of the millionaires approached us after the show!! Was all very scary but fun!

    • Hi Cathryn,
      I can just see Jen shining on a show like that. I’d LOVE to see it on YouTube. Thanks for dropping in 🙂

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