Giveaways

Two truths and a lie

Listen to the Moon, my next book (about an impassive valet and a snarky maid who marry to get a plum job), releases in just a month and a half, on January 5th! I’m going to start giving away e-ARCs in December, but just for the Riskies…I’ll do one today. 😉

As part of my research for this book, I read The Complete Servant (1825) by Samuel and Sarah Adams, a married butler-and-housekeeper couple. It is full of housekeeping tips that are sometimes familiar, sometimes full of mysterious ingredients, and in some cases, struck me as frankly bizarre. Which doesn’t mean they don’t work! I’m a Martha Stewart Living fanatic, so I thought I’d make up a magazine, Regency Housekeeping, and share some of these tips formatted to look like magazine features…

But there’s a catch.

Two of these tips are real, pulled from The Complete Servant. The other one, I made up. One commenter who correctly guesses which tip is fake will receive an e-book of Listen to the Moon in the format of your choice! (I will choose the winner using random.org on Wednesday evening, 11/25.)

This is on the honor system, but please, no googling!

So: first, I mocked up a few different covers. I’m going to add article titles and stuff, but I can’t decide which one I like best. Which one is your favorite?

background is a still life with fish, oil and vinegar bottles, a punch bowl and lemons
Image source: Anne Vallayer-Coster, “A still life of mackerel, glassware, a loaf of bread and lemons on a table with a white cloth,” 1787.

 

background is a room in buckingham palace, all gilt and white
Image source: “Buckingham House, the Saloon,” by James Stephanoff, 1818.

 

background is a regency banquet of some kind
Image source: “Messrs Pellatt & Green,” from the May 1809 Repository of arts, literature, commerce, manufactures, fashions and politics.

 

And now…two truths and a lie!

Image source: Jean-Étienne Liotard, "Still Life - Tea Set," c. 1781-3.
Image source: Jean-Étienne Liotard, “Still Life – Tea Set,” c. 1781-3.

Tea: NEW USES FOR AN OLD FAVORITE

1. Wash tainted meat with strong chamomile tea before cooking.
2. Soak pearls in strong tea to restore shine.
3. Slowly whisk boiling tea into a beaten egg, and substitute for cream.

(Honestly, the challenge here was coming up with something that wouldn’t work! According to Google, tea is used for freaking everything, including washing windows, polishing boots, and conditioning hair.)

Which one did I make up???

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India
7 years ago

I prefer the third cover, because it’s the only one that couldn’t pass for assorted other time periods, and I’m going to go with the pearl thing. If tea does anything to pearls like what it does to the inside of my mugs, that tip’s a no-go.

Liz
Liz
7 years ago

Hmmmmm. I will go with…the third one! I don’t even know why. But yes, that is my final answer.

Also I love the first cover. Those fish are so evocative…

Gemma McLuckie
Gemma McLuckie
7 years ago

Tea and pearls FALSE.

My favorite cover: Fish!

Lisa
Lisa
7 years ago

I’m guessing that the pearl in tea is the lie.

Aoife
Aoife
7 years ago

The third cover is sooooo pretty. And I’d guess it’s the second fact.

HJ
HJ
7 years ago

I would go for the second cover.

I think soaking pearls in tea would be disastrous.

I like the sound of your new book!!

Susan in AZ
Susan in AZ
7 years ago

I like the dead fish for the magazine cover. Fresh caught and ready-to-grill!

I would not like to eat rotted meat soaked in Chamomile Tea, so I’m voting that #1 is the false household hint.

Sarah
Sarah
7 years ago

I’m going to guess that the first one is false! And I like all of the covers, but #2 best. Fun challenge, and congratulations in advance to the winner. I’m so looking forward to John and Sukey’s story and was crushed when I heard about it only to realize it was off NetGalley. I have already pre-ordered it on Amazon actually! So if the copy you will be sending out requires you to pay for it, then I disqualify myself. But if it is free, then I am in, and of course have already paid and am fine with that.

Sarah
Sarah
7 years ago
Reply to  Rose Lerner

Oops, sorry. Just saw this. I have a NG account but really don’t do reviews or have an audience for that any more, so I will say thank you but no. I will wait until January. 🙂

ML
ML
7 years ago

I’ll go with #2 being false. As for covers, I like the last one. It looks like a situation that a servant would cope with. And let’s face it, those fish are squicky.

Naomi
Naomi
7 years ago

I’m hoping it’s the third one, mostly because I am deeply skeptical of substituting eggs for milk/cream. And I like the third cover because it looks more like actual good housekeeping. (Dead fish lying around just seems like asking for trouble.)

Claire
Claire
7 years ago

I’m going with #2… though perhaps it’s a red herring!

Claire
Claire
7 years ago
Reply to  Claire

Ah, and cover 3! It looks like most likely to feature cake.

PegS
PegS
7 years ago

I like the first cover. ‘Cause FISH!

As for the lie, I have to go with #1–because I hope the Regency isn’t the Middle Ages.

Mrs. N
7 years ago

Do not soak pearls in tea, terrible plan.
Cover 3 is lovely but I am kind of into the fish directly on the tablecloth.

Sherri
Sherri
7 years ago

I like the fish cover best. They always seem to be eating or catching fish. I’m going with 3 for the false item because I just can’t see that mixture behaving or tasting like cream.

Shannon McEwan
Shannon McEwan
7 years ago

Love the mackerels!

I can just imagine chamomile-washed-tainted-meat and tea-and-egg-faux-cream featuring proud in a book of household hints. If anyone gets sick, who’s to say it way the meat – and stick enough sugar in the tea-egg foam, and no one will care that it’s not real cream…

On the other hand, washing pearls in strong tea sounds like a very effective way to dissolve the pearls O_0

So, I’m saying tip #2 is false!

Looking forward to the new book.

Liz Joyce
Liz Joyce
7 years ago

I like the first cover because to me it is more immediate, dealing with something before it’s all pretty on a plate on a perfectly laid table.

I’ll say the first tip is false because I want it to be false. Yeech

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