Monday, March 9, 2015

Louis Lyndon Presents OF LOVE AND VENGEANCE--and a $15 Gift Card


I'm happy to welcome Louise Lyndon to the Book Corner with her wonderful new novel OF LOVE AND VENGEANCE and information on medieval food.

Louise will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn host. See below to enter.



Food. More specifically, food from the medieval period. 

When we think about food from the medieval period we often believe the misconception that the food eaten by our ancestors was drab and tasteless. We’ve been led to believe that medieval dinners were nothing short of savages ripping apart meat with their bare hands – dirty, bare hands mind you. 

Well, nothing could be further from the truth.

For starters, your station in life determined where you sat at the table. The higher up the ‘food chain’ you were the more likely it was you got to sit at the table with the ‘important’ people or at least somewhere in the region of the important people! And there was most certainly no rowdiness and food throwing as often depicted in medieval reenactments. In the homes of the well-to-do, dining rituals were closely adhered to, and that included the requirement to wash before meal times at a washing stating near the entrance, or just inside, the great hall.

A typical feast would be made up of three or four courses, which comprised of four or five dishes. Each dish was heavily flavored with exotic spices – the wealthier you were, the more exotic spices you could get your hands on. Utensils were in limited use. Medieval dinners did occasionally come across the use of a spoon, and forks, well, you’d be lucky to see one, if at all. Guests brought their own knives to the table. And we are not talking about the knives of today. No, these knives were the same knives they used in battle.

But what did our medieval ancestors actually eat? Well, they dined on lamprey (something akin to an eel), eel, peacock, pigeon, and swan. Today you may still find eel being served, but I bet you’d have a hard time finding the other offerings being served in any restaurant (or home) today. Our well-to-do medieval ancestors were not encouraged to drink glass of milk a day (for strong healthy bones) because dairy products were perceived as something only the peasant class consumed. And fruit did not feature at the forefront of medieval recipes.

If you’re anything like me simply reading about something isn’t enough. You want to experience it for yourself. So, here is a medieval recipe I have cooked up (all in the name of research). Why not try it for yourself. 

Drawen Benes
450g split broad (fava) beans (these will already be hulled)
950ml strong beef, game or red wine stock
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
5-6 saffron threads ground into 1 tbsp water in a pestle and mortar and allowed to seep.

Soak the dried beans overnight in water. The following day, drain the beans and place in a pestle and mortar with a little water and mash into a rough paste (alternatively add the beans and a little water to a food processor and chop). Place the beef stock in a pan and bring to the boil. Add the mashed beans and simmer for at least an hour, until the beans are nearly soft. Fry the onion in a little butter and once soft and translucent add to the bean mixture. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for a further twenty minutes. At this point add the saffron and its seeping water, mix thoroughly into the bean and onion mixture and serve immediately.

Now here's a look at my book.
Blurb:
Forced to marry Lord Aymon to ensure her young nephew’s survival, English Lady Laila vows undying hatred for the Norman she holds responsible for the deaths of so many innocents. Discovering Aymon has committed an act of treason gives her the chance to seek vengeance he deserves.  But can Laila let Aymon die at the hands of the king once she learns the truth?

A hardened Norman warrior, Lord Aymon has lived through atrocities no man ever should. With the invasion of England over, all he wants is a quiet life and a wife who will give him heirs and obey his every command. Instead, he finds himself wed to feisty and outspoken Laila. But when she learns the truth of his treasonous act, can Aymon count on her to keep his secret?

Excerpt:
Laila heard them long before she saw them. Their angry, frenzied shouts and thunderous roars filled her ears. With her hands tied securely behind her, she was dragged up the lane toward Tyburn Gallows, where she was to be hanged for a crime she did not commit. The mob sounded blood thirsty. Large. Frightening.

There was no sign of Aymon. Or Hugh. Had they left her alone to die?

Her chin trembled and her nails dug into her palms.

She suddenly fell to her knees and screamed until she tasted blood at the back of her throat. She kicked out and tried to crawl free as her hair was almost torn from the roots as she was pulled up and shoved along the lane.

Her eyes burned with her tears.

“I am innocent!” Laila screamed.

They came around a corner, and that’s when she saw them. There must have been a least two thousand men, women, and children, hungry for her blood. And when they saw her, they erupted into a wild fever of roars and cries for a slow and painful death. Their thirst had been piqued, and now it must be sated.

Laila was shoved into the center of the clearing.

She glanced wildly around in a desperate search for Aymon’s towering, bulky frame. She could not see him.

But what she could see was the Tyburn Tree. The gallows she was to be hanged from. The executioner, hooded, stood beside the tree as he waited patiently for her. Laila’s mouth suddenly went dry.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Louise grew up in country Victoria, Australia, before moving to England, where for sixteen years she soaked up the vibrancy of London and the medieval history of England. She has since returned to Australia and now lives in Melbourne.

She has been writing the moment she picked up a copy of Diana Gabaldon's first Outlander novel twenty something years ago. She thought to herself, 'this is what I want to do' - not travel back in time, but become a novelist! She has always had snippets of dialogue and scenes floating around in her head with characters screaming at her to bring them to life.

In 2013, Louise won first prize in the Crested Butte Sandy Writing contest – Historical category for her story, The Promise, which is now called, Of Love and Vengeance.

When not writing, she can be found covered in mud, crawling under barbed wire and hoisting herself over twelve foot walls - under the guise of competing in Spartan races all over Australia.

AUTHOR LINKS:

EMAIL:  louise_lyndon@yahoo.com

Website:  http://www.LouiseLyndon.com

Blog: http://www.LouiseLyndon.com/blog

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Louise-Lyndon/1472910852955051

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LouiseLyndon1

Pinterest: llyndon3513

BUY LINKS:



ENTER HERE FOR CHANCE TO WIN GIFT CARD
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f695">Enter to win a $15 Amazon/BN GC - a Rafflecopter giveaway

**For more chances to enter the contest for the Gift Card, follow the blog tour. The more you comment, the better the chance of winning. A list of dates can be found here:




 

42 comments:

  1. Hey Barbara! Thanks for hosting me today!

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  2. Hi Louise and Welcome. I'm so glad you're here today. Love your book!! Best of luck with it.

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  3. As soon as I'm finished with one of my own, this is at the top of my TRB list. Good luck and great sales, Louise!

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  4. Nice history intro. Nice added touch. Gives more depth to your blurb, etc. Good luck with your raffle and your sales.

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    1. When I read about how some of the dishes were prepared then, I always wonder how they tasted, cooked over fires used!

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    2. That's where my research ends, Barbara - cooking over a fire! I have enough issues cooking with modern appliances!

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  5. Hi, Louise! Thank you for sharing. I don't think I would have survived on their food. lol

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    1. Vicki, I agree. I've wondered the same myself!

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    2. Thanks, Vicki. I think I would have been ok with the meat - well maybe not the eel, swan, or peacock - venison yes. Not having fruit may have been an issue!

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  6. Hi Louise, great post. I've read about their food but never cooked it myself. (You're braver than I am.) They really did pulverize and pound everything, didn't they.

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    1. And no blenders or food choppers--except for big knives and mallets! I can remember a meat tenderizer my g/mother had--a small mallet with a metal head, one side covered in metal points. She could tenderize anything after a few whacks with that :)

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    2. Thanks, Marlow! Oh, you should give some a try.Interestingly, a lot of the recipes are still in use today.

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  7. Hi, Louise , That bean dish sounds hearty -- and labor intensive. Kind of like getting your exercise before you consume the calories. Thanks for this extra glimpse into the background of your story, which sounds fascinating!

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    1. Difficult to prepare for sure, Meg. And as you say, very labor intensive. If only that would block calories :)

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    2. Hey Meg! Thanks for stopping by. I cheated a little and used a food processor! The meal isn't that bad. Great for the winter months.

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  8. Thanks, Louise! I'm always looking for a medieval recipe to try, since I also write medieval stories. Wishing you all the best with your book.

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    1. Thanks Mary. There are lots of recipes out there to try. A lot are still in use today. Some I look at and think, really how will it benefit my story if I ate that! Although, in my research I have discovered I dislike barely and so does my hero in my WIP. So, out of yucky things comes inspiration!

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    2. I have trouble converting to ounces and pounds on some of those, but I'd love to try them.

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    2. I do too, J. L. Doesn't it make you want to open that book?

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  10. Nice article! Researching banquet scenes is fascinating.
    Thanks, Louise and Barbara.
    Wishing you continued success.

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  11. I'm happy to see Louise here. Her book sounds so fascinating and promising! :)

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  12. love finding new to me authors!

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  13. Very interesting guest post today. Whenever I think of dining in those time periods, I remember the food scene in the film Tom Jones. It is of the eat with hands, gnaw on the bones and toss them over the shoulder. But, obviously that's only in the movies and not the way things were.

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    1. Hey Karen, thanks for stopping by. I always used to think like that too until a very knowledgeable guide at Hampton Court Palace taught me otherwise.

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    2. Now that's a tour I'd like to go on, Louise. Bet you got insight on a good deal of things.

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  14. I loved today's post on dining during Medieval times. Thanks!

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  15. Fun post. I don't think I would have survived back then. Have to have my fruit!

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    1. I don't either, Mary, much as I like to think I would have. Maybe if I have headache meds, I could do it :)

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  16. I loved the piece about food from the medieval period.

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