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Posts Tagged ‘Recipes for We That Are Left’

literarybloghopnovember-1

 

I am delighted to be taking part in The ninth Literary Blog Hop this weekend (November 1st – 5th) Hosted by Judith@leeswammes.wordpress.com/

There are over 30 participants joining in the hop (you can find links to all of them at the end of this post), all offering exciting prizes for book lovers everywhere – so check them out!

As my part of the hop, I offering a chance to win a signed copy (which will wing its way to you wherever you may be, this side of Mars) of my novel ‘We That are Left’, which was published in February this year by the wonderful Honno Press.

“We That are Left’ is the story of the brave and resourceful women of the First World War, both at home and on the battlefields of France, and of one woman’s journey of self-discovery from which there is no going back. It is a story of friendship and survival, and includes original recipes and remedies of the time. ‘We That are Left’ was completed with the aid of a Writer’s Bursary from Literature Wales and in March 2014 was Waterstones Wales Book of the Month, Wales Independent Bookshops Book of the Month and Wales National Museums Book of the Month. At the same time, my previous book for Honno, ‘Eden’s Garden’ became a finalist for ‘The People’s Book Prize’.  Over the summer, both books reached the top #5 in the Amazon Kindle store.

To win the signed copy simply enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway below- all you have to do is tweet to be in with a chance!

(There’s now a second chance without using Rafflecopter – check out the next post here) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

‘We That Are Left’

“August 4th, 1914: It was the day of champagne and raspberries, the day the world changed.”

Elin lives a luxurious but lonely life at Hiram Hall. Her husband Hugo loves her but he has never recovered from the Boer War. Now another war threatens to destroy everything she knows.

With Hugo at the front, and her cousin Alice and friend Mouse working for the war effort, Elin has to learn to run the estate in Cornwall, growing much needed food, sharing her mother’s recipes and making new friends – and enemies. But when Mouse is in danger, Elin must face up to the horrors in France herself.

And when the Great War is finally over, Elin’s battles prove to have only just begun.

Praise for ‘We That are Left’

“powerful and moving”
Trisha Ashley (http://trishaashley.com/)

“‘We That Are Left’ spans the four long, life-changing years of 1914-1918 and beyond, portraying the effects of the war not merely on the novel’s characters but on British society as a whole, capturing the final days of a passing era and way of life. It is beautifully written, wonderfully paced. There is romance, adventure and suspense. And there is, as in Eden’s Garden, quiet contemplation of the themes of grief, loss and loyalty, and of the way in which our past experiences shape our future selves. It is, quite simply, a riveting read.”

Suzy Ceulan Hughes, http://www.gwales.com

“There are few greater delights than a book that draws you in from the very first pages and immediately makes you care about what happens next, that demands your attention in every free moment you can conjure until the end.”
Claire McAlpine, Word by Word (http://clairemca.wordpress.com/)

CHECK OUT THE BRILLIANT BOOK LOVERS TAKING PART IN THE GIVEAWAY – JUST CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW.  

  1. Leeswammes
  2. Read Her Like an Open Book (US/CA)
  3. My Book Self (N. Am.)
  4. The Book Stop
  5. My Book Retreat (US)
  6. Books in the Burbs (US)
  7. Guiltless Reading
  8. Word by Word
  9. Juliet Greenwood
  10. BooksandLiliane
  11. Words for Worms (US)
  12. The Relentless Reader
  13. The Misfortune of Knowing
  14. The Friday Morning Bookclub (US)
  15. Readerbuzz
  16. Lavender Likes, Loves, Finds and Dreams
  17. The Emerald City Book Review
  18. Wensend
  1. Laurie Here
  2. A Cup Of Tea, A Friend, And A Book (US)
  3. Moon Shine Art Spot (US)
  4. I’d Rather Be Reading At The Beach (US)
  5. Lost Generation Reader
  6. Books Speak Volumes
  7. Mom’s Small Victories (US)
  8. Books on the Table (US)
  9. Orange Pekoe Reviews
  10. Lavender Likes, Loves, Finds and Dreams
  11. Words And Peace (US)
  12. Booklover Book Reviews
  13. Inside the Secret World of Allison Bruning (US)
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Juliet at Hintons

 

I have to confess I was a little nervous before my talk about the Women of WW1 at Conwy’s lovely new bookshop, ‘Hinton’s of Conwy’. I’ve been busy concentrating on writing up to now, but I’d learnt so much while I was researching for ‘We That are Left’ that I was eager to share it. So off I went, armed with my WW1 poppy seed cake (what else), telling myself that it was a lovely sunny evening and no one would turn up, having sloped off to the beach instead, and I’d just be sitting there with a few friends eating cake.

Hintons of Conwy

How wrong could I be! The quiet room beneath the bookshop was packed full when I finally stood up to speak. Which was great – but did give me a brief impulse to run away! Thankfully one of the advantages of my (very brief) career as a teacher is that there’s nothing quite as scary as 30 disengaged 13 year olds on a Friday afternoon.

It’s the funny thing about research. You do so much of it, and then have to throw it to the back of your mind and hope it comes through and you get the details right. When I started researching, I came across so many things that women did, many of which were famous at the time, but have now been forgotten. They are simply not part of the familiar narrative of the war.

After the first few minutes, passion took over, and it was a great experience to be able to share so many of the roles women played, both on the front line and at home and for which there had been no time or space in the novel. I’d no idea before I began my research that women drove Layout 1ambulances, set up soup kitchens on the front line, ran their own field hospitals, and picked up bodies from no man’s land between battles. It’s a different aspect of the war. At times it’s completely incongruous, and unthinkable in later conflicts, such as the Duchess of Sutherland handing in her card to German officers, and demanding answers about the conditions of British prisoners of war.

So thank you to everyone who turned up to listen. It was great to see a packed house, and to have such a fascinating discussion afterwards about the forgotten role of the brave and resourceful women of WW1.

I’m definitely fired up to do more!

 

Hintons

On the way back, I stopped at Llanfairfechan beach, to one of the most glorious sunsets I’ve ever seen. It was quiet and peaceful, with people just enjoying the evening. A great antidote to reliving the horrors of the First World War.

 

Lighthouse puffin island

And when I got home – well, I’d left ‘Eden’s Garden’ climbing the ranks as part of being the Kindle Daily Deal for that day. After the surprise of ‘We That are Left’ getting to number 4 in the kindle store a few weeks ago, I’d been determined not to get excited. This was an older book, one that had been in a promotion before.

And yet there it was, number 6 when I got home. Number 5 when I woke up the next morning.

Now that was a day to remember!

Eden's Garden 5 in Kindle Store 2

 

Number 1 historical Full price June 2014

Eden's Garden 5 in Kindle Store June 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

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So much has been written about The Great War, but it has only been recently that the full of the women who kept the country going at home, and worked to save lives both on the battlefields and behind enemy lines, has been rediscovered.

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If you are in Conwy on June 18th, I shall be at Hinton’s of Conwy from 7 – 9 talking about the women and civilians caught up in WW1, and the inspiration behind We That are Left. Entrance is free, and there will be refreshments, including cake inspired by the recipes of the time.

Places are limited, so please contact Jenny at ‘Hinton’s of Conwy’  Tel: 01492 582212  Email: jenny@hintsonsofconwy.co.uk

It will be great to see you!

 

 

And just because there are some things an author can never quite see enough of – here’s We That Are Left in its recent promotion, at number 4 in the Amazon Kindle store. I might just mention that, too … (still pinching myself)

WTAL full price and movers

 

 

 

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Thank you!

WTAL 4

Thank you to everyone who downloaded, posted on Facebook and tweeted and retweeted – and took We That are Left not only into the top 10 best sellers on the Amazon Kindle charts, but to the dizzy heights of number #4. Not to mention being #2 in Sagas, Family Sagas and Historical Romance.

One very proud, and slightly bemused, author here.

WTAL full price and movers

WTAL 2 in Sagas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you to my brilliant publishers Honno Press, shouting encouragement from the Hay Festival whenever there was a spot of Internet reception. And thank you to the lovely supportive Novelistas of Novelistas Ink, and especially Louise Marley, who was cheering me on all day, and told me I’d make it to the top 100, then the top 10, and like in the true Oscar speech this is turning out to be, I didn’t believe a word of it! I’m honoured to be up there with real (not just for a day!) best selling Novelista Trisha Ashley.

I have a feeling the next Novelistas meeting is going to involve cake.

The WW1 poppy seed cake from We That are Left seems to be the order of the day!


WW1 Seed Cake small

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Birmingham gazette 1915 3

Birmingham Gazette 1915 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Image reproduced with kind permission of The British Newspaper Archive (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)

 

 

Now who would have thought a lady would run off with the chauffeur? (Outside Downton Abbey, of course)

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So imagine my surprise when, among the digitised newspapers of the British Library Archive, while doing my research for We That Are Left) I found a lady who had done just that: left a live of misery with her husband to find true love and happiness with the chauffeur.

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Birmingham gazette 1915 2

Birmingham Gazette 1915 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Image reproduced with kind permission of The British Newspaper Archive (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)

It’s an account of a divorce case held in 1915. There are only a few lines, but it hints at a fascinating story, and one that is rather sad on both sides. This was a time when a divorce was almost unthinkable (and practically impossible to get if you were a woman), and a scandal when it occurred. It was when sex and sexuality and relationships were not discussed, and certainly not abuse or neglect, or even simple incompatibility. So just the few lines of the case speak volumes:

Your treatment of me was unendurable and I could not keep up the farce of being your wife in name only…. I have never known until the present what the love of a good man means.’

The lady’s husband responded by begging her not to ruin his life, trying to find her, and then delaying the divorce for three years, effectively preventing it from being granted.

The details will never be known, only guessed at. But by the fact that the lady and the chauffeur had not been found suggests that this was true love, and I, for one, hope that somewhere far away they had a long and happy life together.

Chauffeur divorce Oct 1915

Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser – October 1915 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Image reproduced with kind permission of The British Newspaper Archive (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)

 

 

Birmingham gazette 1915

Birmingham Gazette 1915 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Image reproduced with kind permission of The British Newspaper Archive (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)

 

If you want to read more about my research using online newspapers, you can read my post on the Novelistas blog here

And if you want to find out more about the invaluable British Newspaper Archive, you can find out here

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I’m honoured to have been invited to join the “My Writing Process” blogging tour.


Golden Birch Juliet Greenwood 16th April 2014

First I have to express my gratitude to writer and reviewer, Edith Ó Nualláin for inviting me to participate in the ‘My Writing Process’ blogging tour. You can find out more about Edith on her thoughtful and insightful blog ‘In a Room of My Own’ http://inaroomofmyown.wordpress.com/. To follow the tour backwards, you can also click on the blog of poet Tania Pryputniewicz http://poetrymom.blogspot.co.uk/, who tagged Edith.

Next I need to answer 4 questions on my writing process, and finally tag the writers who will carry on the tour on their own blogs on May 5th 2014.

 

My Writing Process:

1) What am I working on? I’m currently working on two different projects, under my two different writing identities.

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As ‘Heather Pardoe’ I’m writing a serial for ‘The People’s Friend’. It’s set in Victorian times amongst the paddle steamers of sailing beneath the medieval castle and walls of Conwy in North Wales. I’m just getting to the last episode and my heroine is currently in mortal peril ….

As Juliet Greenwood I’m working on my next novel. Although it is not a sequel to ‘We That Are Left’, published by Honno Press in February 2014, it follows on in time, being set mainly in the 1920s in the period immediately after the Great War. It follows the adventures of two very different women and a crime that sends them halfway around the world. One of them is also currently in mortal peril …

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre? My novels and serials are historicals, based in the late Victorian and Edwardian periods. I feel my unique calling card is that my stories have the romance and family relationships of a family saga, but each with the strong streak of a thriller at its heart. My heroines have to find themselves through the twists and turns of their adventures – and the reader is never quite sure where the story is going to go next. My settings are also unique, being mainly set in Cornwall, and the less familiar, but no less beautiful and romantic landscape of Snowdonia and the island of Anglesey. And then there is the sensuality the landscape, the gardening, the cooking, and the recipes…

With the Kindle edition

3) Why do I write what I do? I love the freedom and the slight exoticism of the past. I enjoy writing about the end of the 19th century, the beginning of the 20th century, and the 1920s, as I find in many ways this period reflects our own, being one of huge technological and social change, with old certainties being swept away, and new freedoms (especially for women) being fought for and gained. I find this particularly so of WW1 and 1920s, which were such a period of change, reeling with the shock of the war. Although the recent recession can’t be compared to the horrors of the trenches, it still shares that sense of shock, of the unthinkable happening, and a more uncertain world, both physically and morally. But with much nicer frocks. I feel it’s no coincidence that ‘Downton Abbey’ has been such a hit, following a family through this period.

4) How does my writing process work? At the moment I’m trying to get back into a rhythm, after concentrated for the past couple of months on the launch of ‘We That Are Left’, which was book of the month for March for Waterstones Wales, The Welsh Books Council and The National Museums of Wales. I’ve been longing to get back to concentrating on writing, although it always seems to take an age after a period away.

P1010158With the serial, I’m writing it bit by bit, so when the magazine says ‘yes’ to an installment, I immediately set off on the next one. As it’s all been mapped out ahead, I know where I’m going, so I can simply enjoy the writing process.

With the novel – well, that’s harder. I’m working my way back into a first draft and I’m at the point where doubt has set in and I’m convinced it’s rubbish. Which of course it is. That’s what a first draft is about. Characters change age, sex and hair colour at will, and go off into all sorts of directions no matter how often you tell them to get their backsides back here this instant and follow orders. So at the moment I’m ignoring the doubts, ploughing on grimly and reminding myself that this is part of the process. This is the structure, the framework on which the final story will come together. The trick I find is to not read over it, not look back and not get distracted until the first draft is done.

After that I am found on long dog walks in the dawn, muttering to myself as I sort out what I really want, absorb the changes that have Gwynfynydd goldmine showing workingshappened despite me, and as often as not changing who ‘did’ it, as being too obvious. Then I go back to the first draft, tear it all apart, put it back together – and the first sight of the book that will emerge is there. All ready for the process to start all over again, and again, nipping, twitching, tweaking and wholesale slashing and burning until finally it is ready for the editing process.

Which is when you brace yourself for it to be all torn apart again. I love the tweaking and the editing (even when the comments are eyewatering). It’s the perfecting stage when a book becomes a book, and when it finally begins to work the buzz is incredible. Better thank chocolate (although both wine and chocolate and endless coffee are a necessary part of the process).

I’m still working my way in there and cringing at what I’ve written. But give me a day or so and I’ll be caught up in the story, wherever it takes me, and regain my faith in the process. (Hopefully)

And the writers I tag to carry the torch onward are:

Chris Stovell

Chris lives and writes on the beautiful west Wales coast. She is proud to be part of the Choc Lit selection box with ‘Turning the Tide’ and ‘Move over Darling’, and ‘Follow a Star’, to be published in July 2014. She is also published by Honno Press.

You can find Chris at her blog: http://homethoughtsweekly.blogspot.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chris.stovell.9

Twitter: @chrisstovell

Kate Blackadder

Kate Blackadder has had around forty short stories published in magazines such as Woman’s Weekly and The People’s Friend. In 2008 she won the Muriel Spark Short Story Prize. Other stories have been in New Writing Scotland and long/short-listed for competitions such as the Jane Austen Short Story Award and the Scotsman/Orange Short Story Prize. She has several stories on the Alfie Dog site http://www.alfiedog.com (including the Jane Austen Award story The Real Thing) and a short story, Sam Something, in the AlfieDog collection Came as ‘Me’, Left as ‘We’. Kate’s serial The Family at Farrshore was published in The People’s Friend in 2011 and is now available from libraries in a large-print edition and from www.thereadinghouse.co.uk.

You can find Kate at her blog: http://katewritesandreads.blogspot.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kate.blackadder.96

Thorne Moore

Thorne Moore is the author of ‘A Time for Silence‘, published by Honno Press, and runner up  for The People’s Book Prize

She read history at Aberystwyth university (and later, far more impressively, acquired a law degree by blood, sweat and tears, through the Open University). She now lives I just outside a North Pembrokeshire village where she runs a craft business and occasionally teaches family history. She is fascinated by  the far-reaching consequences of our actions rather than the thrill of the actions themselves. If crimes occur, it is their impact on individuals, on families and on communities that she seeks to examine, rather than the intricacies of forensic detection.

Thorne’s books are largely set in Pembrokeshire, the county of her mother’s family, and which is an endless resource of history, mystery and magic.

You can find Thorne at her blog: http://thornemoore.blogspot.co.uk/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thorne.moore.7

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ThorneMoore

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Fancy a genuine taste of WW1? Well, almost!

P1000860   The Edwardians are famed for their lavish dinners, with numerous courses, almost all involving meat. Only the very poor (who couldn’t afford it), cranks, and slightly suspect socialists like George Bernard Shaw (of  Pygmalion fame), followed a vegetarian diet. I didn’t have to do much research on this, as my family were staunch followers of George Bernard, flying the flag of socialism and vegetarianism (along with pacifism) into the 1960s and beyond. Believe me, growing up in the 196os and 70s vegetarians were still viewed as pretty freakish – and don’t talk about any visits to France! I’ll never forget my first visit to Cranks pioneering veggie restaurant in Carnaby Street – it was a revelation!

And here it is!

My (almost) Edwardian kitchen, where the recipes were tried out (and tweaked)

I was intrigued at the articles that began appearing in Newspapers during the war, starting in about 1916, when the shortages really began to bite. WW1 was far more disorganised than WW2 when it came to rationing – which isn’t surprising when you consider that this was an entirely new kind of war, not fought far away on foreign shores. Zeppelins and U-boats brought the war home for the first time, making it a civilian war too. Many of the articles (when they were not discussing horse meat and the dire penalties for hoarding sugar) included recipes. This one is based on a recipe sent in by ‘a Cornish Lady’.

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In true Edwardian style, the original was vast. Possibly to feed hungry land girls and schoolchildren children working on the land to keep the country fed. Okay, I cheated, I added cheese. I have to confess it was pretty tasteless with just a thin white sauce.  And I fried the leeks in butter and garlic rather than boiling them. But, though I say it myself – the results were delicious and satisfying. They were helped by the addition of the bread being delicious sourdough from my local micro-baker, Mick Hartley (as featured on BBCRadio 4 Food programme), which being wild yeast and brown organic flour was pretty authentic to the period too.

So here is the WW1 Meatless Meal, as discussed with Roy Noble during my interview on BBC Radio Wales last Sunday (still time to catch it, I start around 39.30). And Roy is quite right – it’s a variation on a Welsh Rarebit. With a Cornish Lady’s ingenuity, of course. I imagine it’s just the sort of thing that Elin, the heroine of  We That are Left, would have come up with to keep the workers in her walled kitchen garden fuelled up.

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A ‘Meatless Meal’

Based on a 1918 recipe, but on more manageable lines and with the addition of cheese to improve tastiness.

Serves 2 or 4, depending on how hungry you are (but be warned, it is delicious!). Adjust the amounts (especially the cheese) to your own taste.

Chop three leeks. Fry gently in butter until soft. Add a clove of garlic and ten chopped mushrooms (add more if you like mushrooms).

In a saucepan melt two tablespoons of butter, slowly add one tablespoon of floor and stir for one minute. Then add approximately ½ pint (284 ml) milk slowly until you reach a consistency of double cream. Add approximately 4oz (113) grated cheese. Pour over 2 – 4 large pieces of toast. Place in a fireproof dish, scatter grated cheese on top and place under a hot grill until golden brown. Serve hot.

Enjoy!

WTAL at BBC Radio Wales

The WW1 Seed Cake I took along for my interview.

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