We’re so pleased to have author Helena Stone joining us today on the virtual blog tour for her latest release, Renewal, book three in the Dublin Virtues series. She’s here to share a taste of the book with us, and a tasty recipe, and there’s a giveaway, so be sure to check out all the details below.
“Hungry?” Chris asked.
“Starving,” Shane said, surprised to discover it was actually true.
“Good.” Chris grinned. “Oh, you’re not allergic to nuts, are you?”
“No, as far as I know I’m not allergic to anything. I am curious as to what you’ll be feeding me now.”
“Does chicken satay stir fry sound okay to you?”
“Sure, don’t think I’ve ever had that before but if those”—Shane pointed at the chopping board—“are the ingredients, there’s no reason I wouldn’t like it.”
“Good.” Chris opened a cabinet and extracted a wok which he placed on the cooker before turning it on to its highest setting. “Help yourself to a drink. There should be something you’ll like in the fridge.” He nodded to his left where a large fridge-freezer took up more than its fair share of space.
Shane laughed out loud when he looked at the wide selection of soft drinks and alcoholic beverages. “Are you running a secret pub here?”
Chris finished pouring oil into the wok before turning to Shane with a somewhat sheepish expression. “Nah, I just like having a choice.”
“You want something?” Shane helped himself to a can of cider while he waited for Chris’ response.
“Sure, I’ll have a Heineken. Could you pass me the plastic container too?”
“With the brown stuff in it?” Shane studied the dish in his hand suspiciously.
Chris laughed. “That’s the satay sauce.” He held out his hand and took both the sauce and the can from Shane. “Sit down.” He nodded in the direction of the table. “This won’t take long.”
When Chris invites Shane for dinner he makes him a Chicken Satay stir-fry. This is a dish I love and make quite often myself. However, for years I did without. Shortly after arriving in Ireland I discovered that it is impossible to find what I consider to be a decent satay sauce in Irish shops (or restaurants for that matter). The reason for this is that the sauce I was used to has Indonesian origins, and Ireland, unlike the Netherlands, has no cultural (or culinary ties) with that country
Despite my best efforts (and glorious failures) to create a version of my own, I had to do without satay sauce for several years. That particular form of ‘torture’ ended when a friend of mine gave me what I consider to be the perfect recipe, and I’m only too delighted to share it with you here.
· Water 1 ½ cup approx.
· 2 heaped TBSP Dark Brown Sugar
· (Red) Onion (medium sized) – chopped finely
· 1 (340g) Jar Peanut butter (I prefer the smooth version but there’s no reason you can’t use crunchy)
· 4 tsp Soy Sauce
· Garlic 1 clove
· 1 tsp chopped Chilli (I use from a jar but you could use fresh ones) Quantity depends on the strength of the chilli’s
· 2 tsp Lemon Juice
Chop the onion into tiny bits and put in a pot with the brown sugar and water. Bring to the boil and turn to low. Allow the mixture to reduce and thicken (takes about 15 minutes).
When reduced add peanut butter, soy sauce, garlic, chilli’s and lemon juice. Mix together.
Mixture may be very thick by this stage, in which case add more water to bring to the consistency you want.
Taste the sauce and add more soy sauce, lemon juice, or chilli’s according to your personal taste.
Note: this will probably make more than you’ll eat with one meal. It will keep in the fridge in a container for at least a week.
If you are curious about the stir-fry as a whole, I’m afraid you’ll have to read the book. :)
About the Book
Shane Boyle left Dublin for America, burning most of his bridges, certain his future lay in Florida. When a family crisis forces him back to the city he grew up in, he knows his life will never be the same again. With his sister close to death, his mother and five-year-old nephew Danny need him not just to be around but also to be the rock they can depend on. Torn between panic about his new responsibilities and despair at his impending loss, love and a relationship are the last thing on his mind.
Chris Anderson left Australia for Dublin ten years ago with no intention of ever going back. For reasons he can’t explain, even to himself, he hasn’t been in a relationship for almost as long as he’s been in Ireland. Now thirty-five years old, he wonders what happened to his dream of a lasting bond and a family to call his own.
When Shane and Chris hook up one night in a pub, neither knows that the next day they’ll meet again, this time as colleagues in a tattoo parlour. Chris has no idea about Shane’s dodgy past and Shane can’t figure out the mountain of a man who refuses to take no for an answer. Having to reinvent his whole life is only the start of Shane’s process of renewal. Will Chris turn out to be his savior or his downfall?
About the Author
Helena Stone can’t remember a life before words and reading. After growing up in a household where no holiday or festivity was complete without at least one new book, it’s hardly surprising she now owns more books than shelf space while her Kindle is about to explode.
The urge to write came as a surprise. The realisation that people might enjoy her words was a shock to say the least. Now that the writing bug has well and truly taken hold, Helena can no longer imagine not sharing the characters in her head and heart with the rest of the world.
Having left the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam for the peace and quiet of the Irish Country side she divides her time between reading, writing, long and often wet walks with the dog, her part-time job in a library, a grown-up daughter and her ever loving and patient husband.
Follow the Tour
June 15 – The Geekery Book Review, Bike Book Reviews, Sarandipity, Urban Smoothie Read, Foxylutely, Making It Happen
June 17 – Sinfully MM Romance
June 20 – BookLove, Book Lovers 4Ever, Keysmash, Padme’s Library
June 22 – The Novel Approach
June 24 – Bayou Book Junkie, Reading Is Our Satisfaction, Bonkers About Books, Dog-Eared Daydreams, BooksLaidBareBoys, Books 2 Blog