The Billy's Boiling with Kate Belle

Welcome to the 'Billy's Boiling'.

On my blog we’re having are having a metaphorical cuppa and cake on our farm at Tinamba in Gippsland, Victoria. Imagine, if you will, we're in my kitchen, which is pretty comfortable and welcoming (even if I say so myself smiley). The fire is blazing today (it's cold and woolly outside) making the room nice and cosy. There's a bunch of roses in a vase  (especially put there for my visitor) on my old and battered Baltic pine table (previously the floor of an old woolshed in NSW). Comfy ladderback chairs invite you to take a seat and there are some gorgeous, old fashioned china mugs just waiting for our cuppa .

And, of course, ‘the billy’s boiling’…

[swf file="billyboiling.mp4"]

As part of the celebration for the release of THE YEARNING - I'm lucky enough to be giving away a signed copy (check down the bottom for details).

At the table with me is Kate Belle (my great writing buddy and critique partner) whose debut novel, The Yearning, hits the shelves today. She also has two recent novellas released as ebooks. They are Breaking the Rules and Bloom, the first two erotic novellas in a series featuring the charismatic Ramon Mendez, a modern day Don Juan who walks into women’s lives and changes them forever.

Hi Margareta, thanks for having me. Umm, don’t suppose you have a rag or something – I seemed to have stepped in something soft and brown on my way in. My boots are covered in it. It doesn’t smell too good either.

‘Oh crap (hee…hee…), you poor darling. You have to watch your step around here.’

I’ve bought something sweet and sexy for morning tea. Or was it Smoko? I didn’t know you smoked. Oh! Sorry. Sometimes these country sayings baffle me. I grew up in the country but it’s been a long time. Bit afraid I might be too citified nowadays. Guess we’ll find out.

Katie, you and I both know you can take the girl to the city but you can never completely citify her... 

I’d love a cuppa. Fire up the espresso maker!


You know, coffee beans, grind, force hot water through....?

‘Argh … nope. How about Nescafe? With real milk?’

What? Straight from a cow? Might have a cup of tea if that’s okay. Thanks.

(Oh damn. It was the milk. I know it. Should I suggest we ditch the cuppa idea? Try a champagne or wine instead?) 

Or just get down to business and pretend the whole city / country thing isn't real .... 

THE YEARNING by Kate Belle

First love. Forbidden love. “I want to reveal myself to you… I need your eyes to see, your hands to touch, your spirit to acknowledge that which I hold most deeply and secretly in my heart. My yearning for you.” 

It’s 1978 in a country town and a dreamy fifteen year old girl’s world is turned upside down by the arrival of the substitute English teacher. Solomon Andrews is beautiful, inspiring and she wants him like nothing else she’s wanted in her short life. 

What's your favourite cake/slice/bickies/dip for morning smoko?

I tortured Jenn McLeod with Nigella’s Chocolate Cherry Trifle and she’s still trying to work off the calories, so maybe we’ll go something a little simpler this time. Chocolate coated strawberries. Easy to make with an ice cube tray. Just fill it with melted chocolate and dip the strawberries in. Wha-la! And espresso coffee is a must. Can’t function without it. Oh, sorry. (I keep putting my foot in it) Except when I’m here with you. I’m sure I can function perfectly well with tea.

(Or champagne … wine? ~ OMG! Look at that plate of decadence! Strawberries and chocolate … together… sigh.)

‘Katie? On second thoughts maybe my Dad has an expresso machine?
I can just drive over to his property and see?’

‘No need for that much trouble. Country brewed tea will do, good and strong, like my men.’ (I wonder if she’s got any champagne in the fridge?)


Latte or Billy Tea?


C’mon Margareta. Latte. Daily. (Although a billy tea goes down a treat when camping.) 

(I’d better get in the LandCruiser and drive to Dads farm. I hope he’s got a coffee machine hidden away in the old pantry.)


Country or City?

Urban fringe? Not the Noddy-town part – the leafy, spread out part. Best of both worlds. The country scares me a bit these days. Fires, snakes, soft brown stuff in driveways.

(Fires? Agree. Snakes?! Double Agree. Brown stuff?!! You get used to it, believe me.)

Sea or Trees? 

Tough pick because I love a tree, but it has to be the sea – it’s less scratchy.

(Lol. But what about all that salt. It’s sticky stuff when it dries.)


Morning or Evenings?

6am starts are tough but are SO worth it. I love watching the world wake up with a quiet cuppa (ooops – latte) warming my hands.

(6am? Katie, are you crazy?! 5.30am works so much better … cough…cough …)


Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn?

Spring makes me sneeze. Summer makes your undies sweaty. Winter is just plain uncomfortable. Has to be Autumn..

(Laughing …  sweaty undies huh? Has that got something to do
with writing erotic fiction?

Swags or Room Service?

Geez, M, do I have to choose? Stars for a ceiling or 5 star comfort? Aren’t they the same thing? Although I DO like the idea of being waited on. As long has he’s dark and handsome. And has good hands.

(And he goes by the name of Ramon…obviously?)

Horse or Motor Bike?

Nothing like the feeling of pure power between your legs. Either will do.

(Can you call a horse Ramon....?)

Books or Shoes?

Books. I’m an author – go figure. My shoes are always in a shocking state (worse than usual at the moment). I’m a hopeless shoe shopper. They never fit the way they did in the store. I’d rather go barefoot.

(And here I was thinking you would’ve been a boot girl.
The long black shiny leather ones.)


Jim Craig, Hugh Jackman or Simon Baker (?All of them)?

Umm… where’s my Johnny (Depp)? I’ll betray him for no one.
(Had to look the last one up. Did you mean the US ice hockey player? Who’s he when he’s at home?)

(Katie, Katie, Katie … you ARE a city girl. Ever heard of
The Man from Snowy River? Jim Craig is THE MAN ~ as she throws her hands in the air and collapses in disgust.)

(siteadmin - M - I keep telling you... you're the only person with this thing for Jim ....  wink)

I am not! Karly Lane & Fleur McDonald, where are you?!!!


Rodeo or Dinner Party?

EEEK! Rodeo? Bloody hell. Give me a civilized dinner party any day. (Damn I’m sounding awfully girly now. Although there are all those broad shouldered cowboys… but they just don’t smell very nice. And I’m not too keen on their dress sense either.)

(I’m speechless. Smelly cowboys? Woeful dress sense?
Good Lord, Katie, you need to get to more rodeos.
At least you got the nice broad shoulders right.

Dairy / Cropping / Beef / Sheep?

???? (Ahem – should I tell her I’m a vegetarian? Might just keep that to myself.)

(... Let's go with cropping smiley)

Which Tractor - Green, Blue or Red?

I like bikes. The kind with pedals. Any colour will do. As long as it’s got a little basket on the front.

(Katie … I asked about a tractor not a bike! … (Although I must say, I am rather partial to those little baskets myself.))


Holden or Ford?

TOYOTA CAMRY! (why did I feel the need to shout?) Can’t break those window seals no matter how old they are.

(And oh Lord, can she yell. She’s bit touchy about her car.
Maybe she got cow poo in it one day? 

Cats or Dogs?

Meet Belle the adopted Greyhound princess and Bear the rescued Wonderdog. They take it in turns to sit behind my rolling desk chair and be crushed when I get up. Here’s my daughter reading them Harry Potter. (Very intellectual dogs, they are.)

(Ahhh …how lovely...)


Why Writing?

There is nothing  - NOTHING you hear - else. It’s my drug of addiction. Somebody pass me a pen, I’m getting withdrawals. (Oops, sorry, I just wrote on your kitchen table…how embarrassing. Got a receipt or something I can scribble on?)

(Oh, don’t worry. It’ll just join all the other
homework indentations in the soft Baltic pine.
Oh look, you’ve written your next erotic novella right
beside my son’s Sunday school homework wink


Writer's Cave or Kitchen Table?

In the dark, dank space at the back of the house sits a dark, dank author hunched over her keyboard. I think I’ve become a troglodyte (there’s a new word for you!)

(Word of the day, people. Troglodyte.)


Book(s) That Changed Your Life?

Sadly, Jonathon Livingston Seagull (hey – I’m a 70’s child). I discovered it when I was about eight years old and read it and re-read it over and over throughout my childhood and adolescence. No wonder I have dreams of flying.

(A flying red head? Are you sure you aren’t a witch
camouflaged as an erotic fiction writer?)


Event That Changed Your Life?

Which one? Don’t they all? My life changed my life – I think????

(How about meeting me all those years ago? Lol…
I reckon that phone call you received to tell of your impending publishing contract would also be right up there.
 I know I cried when you told me! )


Well if you’d asked me which person changed my life…then it would have had to have been you!’ X


(Awww… aint she just lovely … cow poo aversion forgiven completely!)


Now that THE YEARNING, BREAKING THE RULES and BLOOM are out, are you working on anything now? (What's next?)


This is the really exciting bit. I’ve just signed another contract with Simon and Schuster for a second novel, Saint. And I also have an erotic story (well – it’s pure smut really) included an e-book anthology titled Edible Delights coming out through Secret Cravings Publishing in a couple of months. What a great year it is for me. Think I’ll pop the cork on another champagne. Pull out your best mugs, M, forget the stupid tea, let’s have a toast and get thoroughly drunk. It goes better with the chocolate coated strawberries anyway.

YES! Champagne! (I knew she’d come round.)(Busy, busy, busy!)


Words to Live By?


‘You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.’ Mae West






Thanks for having smoko with me. Hiccup… hiccup …


Oh, is it time to go already? But we haven’t finished the bottle, and I’ve got another in boot. We can chuck it in the freezer if you like. Kids? Of course, how stupid of me. This always happens when I’m let off the leash. Can’t help but turn a bit feral. Well, put the spare bottle in the fridge and I’ll come over tonight when they’re in bed and we’ll finish it. (Hope I haven’t outstayed my welcome??)

Ciao Bella!

Nope. You’ll never out-stay your welcome here, Katie girl. You might jusssst drink me under the table though. How about I get H to go get that swanky coffee machine thingamabob from Dad’s now? Think we might need it in the mornin’ (as she falls off the chair into the strawberries. Damn they taste good.)


You can win you own signed copy of THE YEARNING by commenting below - tell us about your favourite teenage obsession.


My most memorable teenage obsession for me was Saturday night requests on the local radio station. We would hassle the DJ all night with numerous requests to friends and boys we liked...even sending secret messages over the airwaves un be known to the fun and good times.

Now why doesn't that surprise me, Sue Wilson :) Does Truckin' with Tim do the same thing nowadays?

I can just imagine how much fun that would have been. Giggling, screaming girls on the end of the phone. My parents nightmare!

I'd just like to say JIM CRAIG is the sexiest man alive, loved him ever since the first Man from Snowy River movie :)

I say again - YES! (as she punches the air ... :)

Who IS he again??

I was quite the avid reader as a teen and was obsessed with SE Hinton - author of The Outsiders, Rumblefish, That was then, this is now, Tex, and Taming the star runner to name a few.

I was (and still am) particularly obsessed with her book The Outsiders and constantly revisit the characters by re-reading it.

I dressed up as a Greaser in my early teens - black shirt, jeans and flanno. I would slick my hair back and dream of living in the 60's with "bad boy" Dallas Winston as my love interest - I still do lust after Dally but more after Matt Dillon after his portrayal of Dally in the film version of the book.

Now as an adult, I often find myself falling for book characters and living in a fantasy world. My flame for Dally still burns and I hope to share The Outsiders with my daughter when she is a teen but think she just may not "get it."

Thanks for your comment, Sharon. I have never herad of (to my shame) SE Hinton. I shall have to investigate!

Alison. you are my kind of gal. Thank you for your Jim Craig 'sexiest man alive' obsession. That makes two of us :) (Why on earth did Tom Burlinson have to grow up? Couldn't he have just hit 'pause' on his life? Sigh.)

I kept my options open by having lots of obsessions including at least one biology teacher. (No names, apparently I already embarrassed him once by creating a 'sexiest knees' competition between him and my maths teacher, and asking students to vote via my locker. But my major obsession was Alex Smith from the band Moving Pictures. I had my photo taken with him at sweet 16 and then again 21 years later, in exactly the same pose. In 2011 I interviewed him on my blog for a 30 year anniversary tour, and then went to the concert at the State Theatre, and now, yay, the band is touring in August. I can feel 16 again.

Are you interviewing them again, Diane? What a terrrific connection.

Probably won't be doing another interview. He answered my interview questions but there was no chat and no acknowledgement of another email. I might replay the last interview again. Here's the link to the blogpost that triggered the original interview:

Thanks Diane!

Been out on my horse (Whiskey) riding around the family helping with cattle work.

We could be twins, Chantal. I was always out on my horse Dapples doing the same thing. Cattle work, droving, rides into the hills. What a wonderful childhood we had.

I had a dream of owning a Palmino when I was about 10. My parents just laughed at me. Funny, I do the same to my daughter now. :))

Really enjoyed this interview - such fun!

Thanks Shelleyrae! Kate and I are great mates so it's always a laugh when we get together :)

Thanks for that Margareta, I always enjoy your writing & blog, even better when you add another author in there!
My favourite teen obsession was writing notes to our friends!!! We'd write little notes to each other about boys, other friends, teachers etc, fold them up as tightly as we could and slip them into each other's lockers - we found ours a few years ago and boy, were they a good laugh!!! And, they were always written in coloured pens, no boring black or blue!!!

Thank goodness you saved them Missy. What a lot of fun going back to read them now. I kept a diary since I was 8 and it's a great cringe worthy laugh!

I loved Johnny Depp as a teenager and watched 21 Jump St every chance. I even wrote my first story with the crush being called Johnny! I wish I had kept that story ...

Oh, Melissa, I hear you sister! Johnny all the way! X

But girls ... he looks so different everytime you see him! He's like a chameleon. You can never quite get a handle on him!

Oh Missy. You are very kind :) You weren't the only one with the little notes either. We used to do that too! I must goi see if I kept any of them in 'my box of keepsakes'. Thanks for reminding me!

They're always nice to go back and read, although there's always more to make you cringe!!!!
On another note - you should buy a coffee pod machine to store away for your 'espresso' obsessed visitors - the Aldi brand one is good, i've heard!

My only question is, Missy,  ... do they have a hot chocolate pod? (#notacoffeegirlanditsallaboutme blush)

You'll be happy to know that, yes, they do have hot chocolate pods -
Hope you get one soon!!!
Went past your neck of the woods on our way home from holidays yesterday, love that area!!!

Such a great collection of obsessions. Teachers are one of my favourites too Dianne. We had a Commerce teacher we all swooned over.
And fictional boyfriends are a specialty of mine as well Sharon. Particularly Ramon, as Margareta duly points out. I also had a thing for Moving Pictures and will have to look up their tour. I'd love to be sixteen again. I nearly wore their record out.

Ramon is fictional?!!! wink

My teenage obsession was pens. I just loved pens, especially those gel ones. I had a few cases full with all the different colors. My literature books were always filled with notes in rainbow colors.

Lol, Lidya. Your literature books would look very beautiful then. To this day I adore stationary. I think I have at least 5 journals sitting here on my desk for their looks alone.

Libya, a girl after my own heart. When I can't find happiness I find a stationary store. Xx

I used to love boy bands. Singing along to their addictive yet pointless lyrics..

Who am I kidding - it's not just a teenage obsession. I still love and am slightly obsessed with Boy bands .

You can join at least half the rest of the western world with that obsession, Kate. smiley

An appropriate teenage obsession, I think. My teenage crush was Chachi from Happy Days.

OMG - Definitely Johnny Depp! I quit ballet lessons so I can stay home to watch 21 Jump Street! Mind you, I don't think I was quite in my teens then - maybe 10 at most?

In my teens, I was obsessed with satin ribbons - I have them in different width and all sort of shades! (still have them) ;)

Oh my. Another Johnny Depp fan. What happened to everyone loving Jim Craig, I ask you??!!! Quitting ballet means it was a pretty serious love affair too. 

Love the ribbons. My daughter LOVES ribbons. We have ribbons EVERYWHERE.

I had an obsession with ribbons when I was a kid. Probably because I never had the haire to wear them. Too thin.

Well, I must admit that I was a huge fan of Historical Romance in my teenage years, and devoured about 4 of them in a day - possibly because of the gorgeous specimen of a man who was quite often depicted on the covers - who other than Fabio (psst, please don't tell anyone, especially my husband)!

I won't tell a soul, Marcia smiley

Have to say I went through a "Jewish" phase when I was studying Ancient History and read everything I could on the Jews, including Leon Uris's Exodus. Call me weird - I get a fascination with a topic and read everything I can find around that topic. Harder in some ways with the internet; there's so much available out there now. But Paul Newman in the movie version was gorgeous. Of course, he was gorgeous as Cool Hand Luke and in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof too. (I think I'm seeing a pattern emerge here!)

Fun interview, ladies. Best wishes on the Yearning, Kate.

My, Susanne, with the internet you would have a vertiable feast of topics to explore. The problem would be, which one today! I think Paul was pretty cute, especially in the old days. I kinda think that blonde bloke who's taken over the role of James Bond is his modern day replacement (Daniel someone?). In my eyes anywaywink


Lidya Yulianti who loved pens as a teenager.

I LOVED pens. Still LOVE pens. My daughter LOVES pens. And don't even get me started on journals ...

In the end, both Kate and I had to put our respective 'the man - other than our husbands - we'd rather like to snog' biases aside and our mutual love affair 'with all things stationary' prevailed.

As soon as we hear from Lidya (please drop me a line via my CONTACT page, Lidya, with your postal details) her prize will be winging it's way to her via Aussie Post. If the winner fails to claim the prize within 48 hours, an alternate winner will be selected.

A HUGE thankyou to all who entered the competition. Your contributions were wonderful and it was really hard to choose a winner.

I hope you've hit 'Subscribe' at the top right hand corner of my website? If you haven't, please do, and we can contact you when there is another giveaway from a guest author. But in the meantime, stay tuned for another kind of freebie. Details soon ...

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