Cooking the Books – Susanne Bellamy

Chef with cookbook

Welcome to Cooking the Books! Today’s guest is author Susanne Bellamy whose new release, Second Chance Love, is the third standalone book in the Bindarra Creek Romance series. 13 stories, 13 authors, 13 months! Bindarra Creek sounds like my kind of place; a rural community with an abundance of (well 13, anyway) gorgeous heroes. Here’s the blurb for Susanne’s book.

Blurb:Second Chance Love

When Claire Swenson inherits her great-aunt’s home and returns to Bindarra Creek as town librarian, Angus McGregor is the first person she meets.

The second is his eleven-year old son.

Just because Angus wants a second chance doesn’t mean that Claire will put aside her determination not to commit to a relationship.

No matter how sexy he is, or how well they work together as they fight for the community and to save Angus’ property.

Can he convince Claire that love is sweeter the second time around?

So over to Susanne who’s going to share a foodie moment from Second Chance Love and the recipe for a delicious no-bake slice!

Angus McGregor and his 11 year old son, Oliver, invite Claire to their home. As teenage lovers, Angus loved and lost Claire. Returning to Bindarra Creek after the death of her great-aunt, Claire is working temporarily in the town library. She has no plans to stay but Angus is waging a campaign to woo and win her this time around. The first step is dinner.

Mrs. Teasley entered, bearing a large tureen which she set down in the centre of the table beside a bowl of mixed green vegetables. “Here we are, fresh caught by the men this morning. Enjoy your meal.” She smiled as she left the dining room with the entrée dishes stacked on a tray.

Claire lifted the lid and sniffed appreciatively before turning to Ollie. “I smell ginger.”

“Green ginger wine and a hint of garlic. I know that much about the recipe.” Angus reached for another bread roll and split it open.

“Is that crayfish I see?” Claire looked at Ollie.

Eyes bright, Ollie nodded. “Dad and I went yabbying this morning. Caught a whole bucket load. Have you ever gone yabbying, Miss Swenson?”

“No. Is there a special technique to catch them?”

“We use meat attached to a piece of string. Drives them crazy.”

Angus pushed the tureen closer to Claire. “Ollie swears that using lamb’s fry brings the biggest ones out of hiding. Please, help yourself, Claire. It’s Mrs. Teasley’s secret ginger and garlic crayfish recipe, passed down through the generations of her family.”

Since I didn’t have a photo of this dish, I’ve included a recipe that I have made often for family and friends, which I ‘gave’ to Claire.

Ginger Biscuit SliceNo bake Ginger Biscuit Slice

250g pkt milk arrowroot biscuits

120g unsalted butter, melted

1/3 cup condensed milk

¾ cup lightly packed brown sugar

60g chopped walnuts (or pecans)

1 tsp ground ginger


90g softened unsalted butter

90g cream cheese

1 ¾ cups icing sugar

¼ cup cocoa, sifted


Grease a shallow lamington (or similar) tin, approx. 20cm x 30cm.

Crush milk arrowroot biscuits (not too finely).

In a large bowl, combine the melted butter, condensed milk, sugar, walnuts and ground ginger. Add crushed biscuits and gently fold through.

Spoon mixture into prepared tin and press in firmly using your fingertips.  Smooth over with back of a spoon (dipped in hot water if necessary).

Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

To make chocolate icing:

Place all icing ingredients in electric mixer and beat until smooth.

Spread thin layer of icing over the slice. Refrigerate until icing has set.

To serve, cut into fingers approx. 5cm x 2cm.

**If desperate, I pop the tray into the freezer. Works a treat 😉

Bio: 2011 - headshots

Born and raised in Toowoomba, Susanne is an Australian author of contemporary and suspense romances set in exciting and often exotic locations. She adores travel with her husband, both at home and overseas, and weaves stories around the settings and people she encounters. One Night in Sorrento almost wrote itself after her travels in Italy, and her next release, Second Chance Love, was inspired by a stint teaching in far north-west Queensland in a rural setting where a sense of community was strong. While most of her stories are set in the present day, she has also enjoyed dipping into the future and the past.

Her Hawaiian novels are inspired by a lifelong fascination with the country and reading too many books and watching too many movies set there.

Susanne’s heroes have to be pretty special to live up to her real life hero. He saved her life then married her. They live on the edge of bush land on a mountain in beautiful sunny Queensland, Australia, with their dog.

Susanne is a member of the RWA (Romance Writers of Australia) and was a finalist in their 2011 Emerald Award. She placed third in the recent Pan Macmillan short story competition with Chez Romeo. Mentoring aspiring writers, and working as a part-time editor keeps her off the street! She loves connecting with readers and fellow writers.

You can find me at the following:

  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter  
  3. Website 
  4. Pinterest
  5. Goodreads


and print: to Cooking the Books where I’m joined by Susanne Bellamy.