Cooking The Books – Emmie Dark

Chef with cookbookIt’s the last post of 2013 on Cooking The Books and I can think of no better way to end the year than with the lovely Emmie Dark and her new erotic romance novella, Charmed. This gorgeous story combines all kinds of hocus-pocus with some very hot moments. Now, having been brought up in an era when bibulous TV cooks like Graham Kerr and Keith Floyd publicly and devotedly exceeded their recommended two glasses a day, all the while whipping up a perfect soufflé, Emmie’s post is right up my alley. Take it away, Emmie!

I know it’s traditional on Cooking the Books to talk about food and/or provide a recipe. But at this point in the year, who wants to be Emmie Darkexperimenting with baking? We’ve all got our favourites, and the things the family demand to be made, so I thought it might be nice to instead focus on one very important part of the cooking process: the wine you drink while you’re cooking.

Sure, there’s all kinds of guides and information out there on food and wine matching. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking the wine you drink when you’re in the kitchen, stuffing the turkey, slicing the carrots, and whipping the cream.

For me, the very best kind of tipple for kitchen adventures is champagne – or “sparkling wine”, as we are more properly supposed to say when it doesn’t come from France! I do love the French stuff, I must say, but I’m equally happy with some of the premium Australian and NZ versions.

Emmie with champagne

Bubbles is a celebration drink to me, and when I’m in the kitchen working on a festive meal for my near and dear, that’s definitely cause for celebration.

Australian Christmas being summer also calls for chilled, bubbly drinks. A beautiful tall glass of cold champagne is perfect when you’re working up a thirst slaving over a hot oven while everyone else is playing with their presents.


I have to admit, I have been indulging in more than my fair share of bubbles this season already. But there has been a lot to celebrate! Not the least of which is the release this week of “Charmed”, my new Destiny Romance novella. I might also advise you to keep a cool drink handy when you’re reading it – it might just get you a little steamed up!

Have a very merry Christmas and hope you get to enjoy your favourite beverage while you’re cooking. Let me know if you’re a champagne drinker, like me – or do you have another preference?

Emmie, you know I love a glass of wine but what about our readers? Whatever is in the glass you raise this holiday season, may it bring you happiness, good cheer and a very happy 2014.

Charmed coverBook Blurb:

When a handsome and charming stranger reluctantly enters the magic shop where perky Melanie Cooke works as a psychic, she fully expects to give him a standard reading and send him on his way. But for the first time in her life, her powers fail her and the reading goes horribly awry.

Michael Harrison was dubious about the idea of seeing a psychic, but given the attraction between them, he’s prepared to put first impressions aside. Yet as he and Melanie get to know each other, Michael is forced to confront his past, and to face the fact that Melanie may be more than she seems.

Will fear and suspicion ruin all or will the magic and power of love keep them together?

Buy links:




Emmie on the web:





Cooking The Books – Jennifer St George + print giveaway

Chef with cookbookOoh gadgets! It’s really the very best time of the year to be talking about the acquisition of new kitchen toys. Any girl with cheffy pretensions can’t go past new kitchen stuff and Christmas is the time to get it. I’m expecting a Kitchen-Aid under the Christmas tree this year <whistles innocently> but now I’m starting to wonder. Because Jennifer St George is here to tell us about a machine the name of which has been swimming around at the outer reaches of my consciousness for some time. I’m all ears. But first I’m all eyes for Jennifer’s brand new Destiny Romance print release, Sweet Seduction, containing two gorgeous romances. Here’s Jennifer:

Those Magnificent Cooks and their Thermomix Machine!

Okay, have you heard of Thermomix?  Apparently, as I learned recently, the Thermomix is the king of kitchen JSGappliances. The German made machine can multi-task better than any woman. It can chop, beat, mix, whip, grind, knead, mince, grate, juice, blend, heat, stir and steam. It certainly has more kitchen skills than I do.

Apparently this thing is so good that half the chefs in the country have one (or more) sitting in their kitchens. Australia’s top chefs, including Adriano Zumbo, Tetsuya Wakuda and Adrian Gilmore, have given it the thumbs up.

Being someone who likes facts, I checked out Choice Magazine.  It rated Thermomix ahead of all its competition. So I did some further investigation.

The thing can make an Orange cake in 30 seconds (excluding cooking time), raw cacao and macadamia cheesecake in 158 seconds (excluding chilling time) and mushroom risotto in 12 minutes.

So, as fortune would have it (is it fortunate?), one week after hearing about this amazing machine, a friend invites me to her Thermomix party. Yes, they are only sold through demonstration parties (like Tupperware). I will enjoy a three-course meal all made by the Thermomix, so that’ll be good.

But then there is the price!

I can’t include the price here as my husband may read this post and I just might want to buy one. But, apparently I will be transformed into a kitchen goddess with this device. This is a pedestal I have wanted to be placed on since I realized even my spaghetti bolognaise was worse than average (quite a blow).

Being a lousy cook, I like to make my heroines fabulous cooks.  Charlie, my heroine in Seducing the Secret Heiress, is a fantastic cook. So much so that she competes in my hero’s reality TV show. She wouldn’t need a Thermomix.

Seducing the Secret Heiress (and my other novel The Convenient Bride) has now been been published in print under the title of Sweet Seduction and is available through Big W and other good books stores just in time for Christmas!

So, my question is, has anyone else heard about these amazing machines and would you recommend them. Leave a comment to go into the draw for a print copy of Sweet Seduction (Australian delivery only).

Sweet SeductionSweet Seduction Blurb:

Together for the first time in one heartwarming volume.

The Convenient Bride

Sienna De Luca will do anything to save her family’s hotel, and ruthless Italian businessman Antonio Moretti knows it. With problems of his own, he proposes a marriage of convenience that will secure his next business deal and save Sienna’s hotel.

 In keeping with her part of the bargain, Sienna travels to Venice with Antonio, who introduces her to a life of luxury and opulence. Antonio soon realizes he has vastly underestimated Sienna. Unexpectedly, she gets too close, and when she discovers his dark secret, Antonio’s perfectly planned life begins to unravel . . .

Seducing the Secret Heiress

Diamond heiress, Charlotte Wentworth, is passionate about two things – cooking and her fiancée, Paul. Until the day she finds out Paul has been unfaithful. 

Charlotte flees to Europe, determined to build her own life without her family’s fortune. When she meets gorgeous TV producer, Gabe Grenville, she keeps her connections secret and soon finds herself the star of his new cooking show. But how will he react when he discovers Charlotte’s true identity?

Buy Links:

Sweet Seduction is available through Big W and other good book stores. Ebook available:



You can find Jennifer at: