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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 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 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-ร‰tienne Liotard, "Still Life - Tea Set," c. 1781-3.

Image source: Jean-ร‰tienne Liotard, “Still Life – Tea Set,” c. 1781-3.


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???