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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Lark Rising Blog Tour {Guest Post and Giveaway}

I'm so excited to have the Lark Rising Blog Tour stopping by today with a super yummy guest post and totally awesome giveaway...

Lark Rising
(Guardians of Tarnec #1)
Sandra Waugh
Random House BFYR
384 pages

Full of romance and nature magic, this debut fantasy is perfect for fans of Shannon Hale, Juliet Marillier, and Kristin Cashore.

Lark has foreseen two things—she will fall for a young man with sage green eyes,and he will kill her.
Sixteen-year-old Lark Carew is happiest close to home, tending her garden and gathering herbs for medicines. But when her Sight warns her that monsters called Troths will soon invade her village, Lark is summoned on a journey to seek help from the legendary Riders of Tarnec. Little does she suspect that one of the Riders, Gharain, is the very man who has haunted her visions. Or that the people of Tarnec have called her there for another reason: Lark is the Guardian of Life, the first of four Guardians who must awaken their powers to recover four stolen amulets. Together, the amulets—Life, Death, Dark, and Light—keep the world in Balance. To take back the Life amulet, Lark will have to discover her true inner strength and give in to a love that she swears will be her downfall.

by Sandra Waugh

Author’s notes:  I have been asked to contribute the favorite cupcake recipes of some of the characters in LARK RISING. After much argument, we’ve agreed to share three.  I apologize to Lark and Evie, who had yummy recipes to share—a hazelnut and toffee from Lark and a lemon-glazed angel food from Evie.  But the girls were MUCH nicer about stepping back and allowing the others to present theirs.

These characters’ tastes are a bit suspect, to say the least, so I did try out these cupcakes first to make certain that they were edible.  I modified the recipes below as noted, so you can make these too. They really are very nice.  You can see from the photos.

Except for the Bog Hag’s cupcake. Don’t bother.  And Erema’s—you must adhere to my substitutions!  Truly. Thankfully, it’s almost impossible to come by civenen and hukon.

Bark & Spark (Twig’s favorite)

2 petals baking soda
1 thimble boiling water
2 ½ thimbles flour
2 petals ground ginger
1 ½ petal cinnamon
½ petal cloves
½ petal nutmeg
¼ petal cayenne
½ petal salt
2 petals baking powder
8 leaves unsalted butter
2/3 thimble dark-brown sugar
1 thimble rowan sap
½ bluebird egg

Mix the boiling water & baking soda together, set aside.  Sift together dry ingredients, set aside.  Cream butter and sugar, add eggs, molasses, baking soda mixture.  Add dry ingredients.

Fill acorn caps. Bake 5minutes at 350°.
Frost with walnut frosting, Decorate with 1 ladybug and scavenged bark each .  Makes 300.

3 leaves butter
1½ thimbles sifted confectioners sugar, plus 1 leaf dark brown sugar
3 leaves sour cream
½ petal vanilla
½ thimble finely ground toasted walnuts

Additional note #1: I’ve recalculated the proportions for our (human) purposes:
Petal (meaning a scoop on the tip of a daisy petal) = teaspoon
Leaf  (meaning a scoop on the tip of an elm leaf) = tablespoon
Thimble (your grandmother’s thimble is perfectly sized) = cup
½ bluebird egg = 2 (hen) eggs  (and, really, it’s much better to leave bluebirds alone)
rowan sap = molasses (not quite the same taste, but close)
Use a large muffin tins, not acorn caps.  They will take @ 28 minutes and make 8.

Additional note #2: I recommend you leave out the cayenne pepper. And the ladybug. That’s just Twig.  I replaced the bark with pretzel sticks.

Death By Cupcake. No, Really: DEATH by Cupcake
(“the deepest, richest, most dazzlingly delicious chocolate cupcake in the world,” says Erema)

Melt 3 ounces of world’s best unsweetened chocolate and 8 ounces world’s best butter with 1 cup boiling water.  Stir til smooth.  Add to that 1 teaspoon world’s best vanilla and 2 eggs (must from a Dulcet hen and collected under full moon).  Blend well.  Stir in ½ cup world’s best sour cream (world’s best is from Babrel cows) and 1 teaspoon civenen*.  Then gently stir in 1 6/8 cups flour sifted with 1 teaspoon ground hukon**.  Pour into oiled cupcake tins.  Bake at 350° for 18 minutes.  Makes 18 cupcakes.

*do NOT use civenen, that is a Breeder poison!  Replace with baking soda.
** do NOT use hukon, that too is a Breeder poison!  Replace with baking powder.

Icing (yes Erema puts very normal, wonderful buttercream icing on these deadly things)
Blend together:
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 stick unsalted butter
2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon milk or cream
pinch salt

Mud Puddle:  A cupcake from the Bog Hag*.  This is modified as a local, pond-down-the-road variety.  However I did NOT attempt to make this.  I just looked at the pond.

1 ½ cups black, boot-sucking mud
¼ cup pond sludge
½ cup pondwater
3 dried newts, ground to fine powder
2 Tbsp frog eggs (no more than two days old, include the gelatin!)
1 good handful rotting leaves

Green algae

Combine ingredients in order, mix thoroughly.  Spoon into cupcake molds.  Bake in sun, preferably in August at 2:00pm for 55 minutes.  Frost with Pond Algae.  Makes 2.

*The Bog Hag’s personal favorite is the slug variation, but Ginny slugs are just too impossible to find in this area…  And honestly, just leave this one out of your recipe collection (just don’t tell her).


Thank you so much for sharing these rather unique cupcakes, Sandra!

Sandra grew up in an old house full of crowded bookshelves, in walking distance of an old library that allowed her to drag home a sack of six books at a time. It goes without saying, then, that she fell in love with the old house in Litchfield County, CT, because of its many bookshelves, and she lives there now with her husband, two sons, and a dog who snores. Loudly.
LARK RISING is her first novel and the first in the GUARDIANS OF TARNEC series. SILVER EVE follows in 2015.
This blog tour wide giveaway has 3 prize packs!

-1 winner will receive a leaf necklace, $25 Amazon gift card, sachet, a signed hardcover of LARK RISING, and a bookmark and a postcard. US Only.

-1 winner will receive leaf earrings, cuff, soap, sachet and a signed hardcover of LARK RISING, and a bookmark and a postcard. US Only.

-3 winners will receive a signed hardcover of LARK RISING, and a bookmark and a postcard. US Only


Week One:
9/15/2014- Mom With A KindleInterview
9/16/2014- The Book LandersReview
9/17/2014- My ParaHangoverReview
9/18/2014- Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post
9/19/2014- Carina's BooksReview
Week Two:
9/22/2014- A Backwards StoryReview
9/23/2014- Word SpelunkingGuest Post
9/24/2014- Literary MeanderingsInterview
9/25/2014- Fall Into BooksInterview
9/26/2014- Magical Urban Fantasy ReadsGuest Post


Chelly Writes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chelly Writes said...

Congrats! The book looks amazing. I can't wait to read it.

Anonymous said...

haha I enjoyed your humor in these recipes. I don't think I'll try them though... Wish you'd done the lemon one, now I want one! The book sounds really good. I hope it's funny too.

Jax's Book Magic said...

Loving the cover. Totally drew me in.

Mad_In_Wonderland said...

The cover looks simply stunning, I'd love to win this!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the giveaway (:

Robert D. said...

Awesome cover, and love the prizes!

Unknown said...

Thank you for the giveaway!!! :)

Unknown said...

I loved the recipes and am really looking forward to reading the book. Thank you for sharing with us.

Michelle @ In Libris Veritas said...

Lol, I love these! I really enjoyed the book too, and I'm definitely not taking anything from Erema.

Unknown said...

I absolutely love the cover

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

The book sounds great and the excerpt left me wishing there was more.

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