Huge thanks to Heather McCollum for putting this together.
My Christmas cookies have to be Tudor in origin, since my current series is set in Elizabethan times. So hereafter follows the receipt (that’s what they called recipes back then) for Cyvele, or Almond Cakes.
1 cup (or more depending on the freshness of the bread) breadcrumbs
4 ounces (half cup) ground almonds
quarter cup +2 tablespoons sugar
half teaspoon salt
oil and/or fat for frying
Mix dry ingredients ( reserving the extra sugar), preferably in a blender; add eggs, beaten, if not using a blender. Heat oil and/or other fat in a frying pan and drop the batter in in small spoonfuls, flattening with the spoon if necessary (which you’ll it will not be if you are using deep fat). Turnover once if not using deep fat. Drain on paper, and sprinkle with reserved sugar before serving – warm, preferably.
An alternative procedure which may be convenient and offers good results is to chill the batter for an hour or so, then divide it into balls (about 20) and flatten into cakes; the cakes should be small and not too thick. One advantage is that much of the work can be done ahead of serving time; another is that the cakes will be of more uniform size, and less uneven in appearance.
From “PLEYN DELIT- Medieval Cookery for Modern Cooks” by Constance B Hieatt and Sharon Butler
Let me assure you, these crisp little cakes are absolutely delicious!
My Christmas Tidbit– Midwinter Folklore
The midwinter solstice is one of the great turning points in the sun’s apparent course through the sky, a time when its light is waning and the day is at its shortest. Our pagan ancestors would have found this a significant time, and done what they could to boost the sun with light of their own, by building midwinter fires. One example of this practice has survived in Europe in the form of the Yule Log. In England, according to an antiquarian by the name of John Brand, excessively large candles, called Christmas candles, were lit on Christmas Eve. A log of wood, the Yule Log, was laid upon the fire, preferably kindled from the remains of the previous year’s log. Oak was the preferred wood for the Yule Log, and before it was completely burnt out, it was rescued from the flames and preserved for a year. Keeping the log was supposed to protect the house from damage by lightning and fire, and to ward off the Devil, and the ashes thereof could help cows to calve, and heal the ailments of both cattle and people.
Source- The Golden Bough, J. G. Frazer
To win the Gift Card, you will need to visit all the authors’ blogs and collect the names of their cookies. But don’t worry, you have NINE days to do it in, and send your list to Heather McCollum so she can choose the winner at random. You will find the details on the Facebook Event Page HERE.
If you are visiting the websites/blogs in order, there’s a list of all the links below. You may find it easiest to visit all the sites in alpabetical order.
Never! Certainly not when you can still get this collection at the amazing pre-order price of just 99 cents!
Enjoy this stunning holiday collection from some of your favorite Dragonblade Publishing authors in this collection of never-before published seasonal tales.
My offering is HER CHRISTMAS WHITE KNIGHT, another Tudor romance telling the continued tale of Mistress Julia Wentworth from LORD OF THE FOREST. Can she reform herself in time to find true love? You’ll just have to order the anthology and see.
Imagine, if you will, that it is Christmas Eve.
The candles are snuffed, one by one, and a hush falls over the parlor. The children have gone to bed, and a tall, gloriously decorated Christmas tree looms in the shadows of the hearth’s dying embers. A tattered copy of Charles Dickens’ masterwork, “A Christmas Carol” sits, cold and lonely, upon a table nearby.
A small gust of wind, hurling from the seam of an ill-fitting window, blows the cover open. The first chapter appears… “Marley’s Ghost”…
The clock on the wall chimes midnight.
Now, the magic happens.
From the gaily bedecked halls of Regency England to the cold and crisp air of the Scottish Highlands, and everything in between, enjoy the magic of a holiday collection that has drawn inspiration from Charles Dickens’ most beloved literary works. Where the ghosts of Christmas, the incandescent spirit of a tiny disabled boy, and the joy that is the very heart of the Christmas season come alive.
USA Today and Internationally bestselling authors bring you their version of a Dickens-inspired holiday in O NIGHT DIVINE.
This collection includes:
Kathryn Le Veque
Anna St. Claire
Elizabeth Ellen Carter
Emily E K Murdoch
I thoroughly enjoyed writing the story of the romance between the two main characters in LORD OF THE FOREST, Book 3 in the Trysts and Treachery series. I thought I might experiment by putting a few excerpts and extracts out there.
Here’s the main drive of the story-
You can take a man out of the wild, but you can’t take the wild out of the man.
She failed to save the man she loved. She won’t make the same mistake again.
Desperate to avoid a suffocating marriage, Clemence plans to dazzle at court, and remain as chaste as The Virgin Queen. Then she’s rescued from kidnappers by the mysterious Lancelot, and only a betrothal to him can save her reputation. But what could induce her father to give her to a man with no memory, no status, and no home but the forest? Especially when that man has a propensity for throwing people into horse troughs, getting himself poisoned, and being accused of murder.
In his forest home, he’s a king among both beasts and men.
Lancelot does everything differently. He can’t help it; he’s been living free in the forest with no memory of shame, sin or the reason for wearing clothes. No memory of anything at all, in fact, although his dreams reveal he’s had a close brush with death. But was he a victim or quite the opposite?
Living hand-to-mouth in his woodland lair, Lancelot is used to helping himself to what he wants, and he wants Clemence. But when she drags him back into the real world, he soon realizes that she will bring him either salvation… or oblivion.
Here’s the excerpt. If you’re wondering about the sword, the setting is England in 1585. Our hero has just been taken back to his home, though he has no memory of the place. The heroine is trying to restore his memory, despite him being concerned about what dark secrets might be unearthed…
“He tried the weight of the sword, then swung it around in an arc. His arm seemed to move of its own accord, blocking imaginary blows to his shoulders and legs.
“Some of my knowledge has been restored by reading your father’s books. Some things I simply remember—or at least the knowledge comes back if I worry at it like a terrier at a rat. And sometimes, skills return to me—like this.” He swung the sword again, stabbing it with pinpoint accuracy at the center of a red poppy on the tapestry. “Hopefully, more abilities will return if I have need of them.”
“You have scars on your back. Someone attacked you with a sword or a knife, and evidently bested you.”
A fact he had to face, though he hated it. “Mayhap I had no weapon with which to defend myself. Or was already incapacitated.”
She grimaced. “Then it was a cowardly attack. Mayhap I should have a sword, too, in case I need to defend myself.”
He immediately sheathed the ancient weapon he’d found, and fastened the belt around his hips. “Not while I draw breath, you won’t. If you hold a blade, your attacker will feel forced to use his own. If you have no weapon, he’ll be more inclined to parley. Besides, what need have you of steel when you have me to protect you?”
She tossed her head. “I suppose you’ll tell me next that swordplay isn’t so much fun as it looks. And I thought you a free spirit, with a mind open to new ideas, eschewing the everyday rules by which we live.”
He’d thought himself a free spirit, too, by comparison. But when it came to Clemence, he found he could happily follow the rules if it kept her safe.
“When I know what I know and how I know it, I might then be in a position to teach you, oh, courageous maid. But for now, I am the one wearing the sword, and intend to keep it that way.”
If you want to pre-order the book, you can do so here-
The wait is over. LORD OF LOYALTY is out TODAY!
And here’s the story-
An embittered war-hero must protect a crazed beauty. But he’s being blackmailed, she’s being hunted, and falling in love could be a fatal mistake.
In honor of a deathbed promise, wounded veteran Sir William Cavendish rescues Isobel Marston from her grasping cousin. But this frenzied young woman proves a nightmare to handle. Soon Will is trying to save her from herself, as well as from those who want her dead.
When her detestable cousin moves in after her brother’s loss, unwitting heiress Isobel is heavily drugged. Just enough lucidity remains for her to beg Will for help. But Will is being threatened by an unofficial fiancée and her unscrupulous father. If he lets himself fall for the enticing Isobel, he’ll put his entire future at stake.
Entangled in a desperate game of cat-and-mouse, Will and Isobel stand to lose more than their hearts.
If you fancy a Gothic-style Tudor romance, this is definitely the tale for you. Grab your copy NOW! http://mybook.to/Loyalty
All stories in the Trysts and Treachery Series can be read as stand-alones.
Here’s a close up of the gorgeous cover. I can promise you, the story is just as delicious!
I am thrilled to announce this book is now available as a real-life, flip-through-the-pages, use-an-actual-bookmark, read-in-the-bath PAPERBACK!
Just click on the 5* review below to find out more.
Beware reclusive barons. They are more hot-blooded than you’d expect . . .
A man who lurks day and night in an eerie tower must have something to hide. So thinks Galatea Wyndham, governess to Lord Ansford’s love-starved young daughter. Galatea’s new employer is objectionable, stubborn, great-hearted, handsome and, curse it, well worth saving from himself.
He proves her right with some shocking physical encounters, adding tinder to the blaze of her growing love for him. But just as the barriers between them are crumbling away, the tower crashes down.
With Lord Ansford inside it.