Americans have fruitcake and the British have plum pudding. Both still abound during the holiday season. Stirring Wishes focuses on the old custom of Stir-Up Sunday in England, the ‘official’ day for making Plum Pudding. Families would come home from church the Sunday before Advent and make their Christmas Pudding. Everyone in the family would give a stir to the pudding and make a secret wish. Always, the pudding is stirred from East to West in honor of the three wise men who visited the baby Jesus.
In Stirring Wishes, Elise is a typical Regency miss who lives in the country and is of genteel birth, but the family is seriously lacking in funds. Richard is an earl and is doing his best to be a recluse, much to his younger brother’s dismay. The last thing Richard wants, or needs (in his opinion) is people disturbing him. Earlier on in the story, there is a snippet when Elise’s brother arrives, that makes me smile. The earl, eating breakfast, has one interruption too many.
Since Stirring Wishes is a novella, it’s pretty tightly written. As such, it’s difficult for me to choose my favorite scene. I love when they are all in the earl’s kitchen, working on the puddings, as well as one later on when it appears some of the Stirring Wishes have come true.
While the name for Stir-up Sunday is believed to come from the typical opening prayer for church service on that day, children would often recite their own version. The original from the 1549 Book of Common Prayer is Stir-up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Children used an abbreviated version that hit a bit closer to what they were interested in! Stir up, we beseech thee, the pudding in the pot; And when we get home we’ll eat the lot. Harry, Elise’s younger brother, is no exception!
Author Tara Manderino loves to create stories and situations for the people running around in her head. She first began writing in third grade when she realized she couldn't afford her reading habit.
She writes and is published in a variety of genres and finds that each one is her favorite at the time. Her books are available at a variety of online retailers.
Tara resides in her native town in southwestern Pennsylvania. When she’s not chasing Lydia, the boxer, she’s writing her own stories, or reading, Tara likes to bake, watch old movies, and do a variety of crafts
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1) I think popcorn is its own food group. 2) Every keyboard I own has crumbs. 3) I can’t watch a Jane Austen movie, or any British movie, without wanting a cup of tea. 4) I am definitely owned by my dog, but I don’t mind too much, except for when she thinks we’re Siamese twins. 5) I love to read.
Why do you like being an author?
I love creating stories. It helps when the characters just manage to appear in my head and want OUT. Much more comfortable for me that way, too.
Can totally relate! Who’s your favorite author of classic literature?
Jane Austen, but I seldom think of her as classic. I tend to think of her as a contemporary / pulp writer of her time.
My favorite is Jane Austen as well...good assessment of her work. What’s your favorite novel?
This is so difficult! If I must choose one, I think it would be Ashes in the Wind by Kathleen Woodiwiss. The built in conflict of the Civil War era adds another layer to this wonderfully told story.
What was the happiest moment in your childhood?
I’m not sure one moment stands out as the happiest. I had a pretty happy childhood and all of the great memories tend to run together in a colorful kaleidoscope, from spending time with the family, extended family, and playing tag or skating with friends. I grew up in a very working class neighborhood. At the time the high school was within a block of my house, there were several churches in the neighborhood and several corner stores. Every summer, I can still hear the sound of church bells ringing the hour, and the school band practicing their music an marches.
Love your description of "memories running together in a colorful kaleidoscope."
With one week to find the stolen stone from the Heart of Egypt, Luke Hayden, one of the premiere agents of the 1874 US Secret Service, travels in disguise across the continent When he learns Maj Bentzer, a woman he’s loved in the past, plays a key role in the stone’s disappearance, he’s not sure he can trust his instincts.
Heart Quest is the second in the series President’s Orders, which follows the adventures of two Secret Service Agents and the women they love. The first book is False Notes.
Sounds like a very intriguing book and something I'd love to read. Where can readers find your book online?
Purchase Link for False Notes on Amazon
Purchase Link for False Notes on Smashwords
I understand you have a special giveaway for all of our readers today...
As a special thank you to your readers, Stirring Wishes can be downloaded: Download Stirring Wishes--for FREE here. The coupon code for the free check out is UX97H. The coupon is valid until February 1, 2012.
Thank you so much, Tara. I'm sure everyone really appreciates that gift!
Hope you all can hang out and chat with Tara for a while.