Steampunk fiction, reviews and interviews

Posts tagged “spring

Steampunk Aether Egg Hunt!

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Greetings! Spring has sprung here in Steampunk’d Lancaster, the mechanical blossoms are opening, the drone pollinators are buzzing, the street corners are once again populated by pestilent urchins selling lemonade… what better way to celebrate spring in steampunk style than with an Aether Egg hunt?

An Aether Egg (similar to an Easter Egg in the world of Gaming) is a small gift to the reader in the form of a freebie / extract /  lesser-known information or inside-joke as a way of saying thankyou for their support.

Throughout April, a host of fabulous steampunk authors will be sharing their Aether Eggs each week as part of our Awesome Steampunk Aether Egg Hunt  – there are free book extracts, original artwork, online games and giveaways to look forward to and I really hope you’ll enjoy hunting them all down!

So, pop on a large pair of bunny ears, grab your basket and let’s begin! (Be warned though, many things can pop out of eggs besides cute fluffy spring chickies… perhaps pack that blunderbuss as well eh?)

Happy Hunting! – Penny 🙂

 

 

Aether Egg image courtesy of Irum Shahid http://www.freeimages.com


Elevenses: Spies and Tarts

Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen I hope you are all feeling extremely eleven o clockish because the time is of course eleven o clock and we have some audaciously awesome elevenses to share with you all, but whilst our lovely werewolf butler Klapka is dishing it up, let me take a moment to inform you of some developments in our subletting cushion enterprise… this note was delivered to Max on the corner of Baker’s Row at midnight…

Dear sirs

Hmmm… what sort of a gentleman requires manacles? Perhaps we would do better not to enquire… in fact perhaps we should endeavour to be out when he calls… mind you, manacles would come in useful around here, Montmorency certainly needs locking up, and Klapka too has her off days… ah well, best not to berate the cook before we have eaten eh? Let us see what she has cooked up for us this morning…

 

 

 

rhubarb.jpg

 

This gorgeous rhubarb tart is the brain child of Allie at Baking A Moment click on the picture to see her lovely recipe and bake this amazing spring time treat for yourself…or have your butler make one for you…

Now then all we need to do is tune the Spirit Radio in to some delightful steampunk music to while away the morning…

 

Ah,steampunk spies by Derek Fiechter We wish you a delightfully unfettered afternoon and until we see you again, please be always,

Utterly Yourself


Elevenses: The Language Of Flowers

Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen I hope you are feeling extremely eleven o clockwise because the time is indeed eleven o clock so please, Hang up your top hat of imposing mental prowess, fold down your pugnacious parasol and pull up a chair (or lemonade crate)

 

This morning our lovely werewolf butler has been out picking flowers for us… hm? Oh no, no, no don’t worry, nothing like that… we need them for the revolution. Sorry? War of the roses? Oh I see, you are trying to be amusing! Oh well done, yes…hm… but seriously now, please, these flowers which Max is diligently dismantling over there are going to play a vital role in overthrowing the queen and taking our first tentative steps towards world domination…. Hm? Oh yes, sorry, you’re right of course I did mean world liberation. Liberation from the tea time tyranny of Wiz.

 

You may be aware that Max and his fellow revolutionaries communicate with each other using coded poetry books and an unnecessarily complicated language of stamps? Well now we are attempting to incorporate Floriography (the language of flowers) as well. If you are plotting a revolution, you may wish to consider using this marvellous coding method yourself and so here, for your convenience, are some commonly used flowers and their traditional Victorian meanings to get you started…

Yellow Marquerile – I come soon

Canterbury Bell  – Your letter was received

Iris – I sent a message

Red Fuchia – I like your taste

Pinks – Yes

Wild Rose – Pleasure and pain

Poppy – I am not free

White rose – I cannot

But goodness, all this flower arranging tires one’s tentacles to the extreme, let us break for a while and see if Klapka has not been too busy flower picking to to make us something delicious for our elevenses… mmm, lemon and lavender tea cookies! They are her own recipe, and here it is…

Lemon and Lavender Tea Cookies

150g plain flower

100g butter or margarine

50g caster sugar

1 lemon zest finely grated

1 tsp hot earl grey tea

1 tsp lavender flowers

Mix all ingredients together to form a soft dough, adding a little more flour or tea as needed. Roll into a sausage shape, wrap in cling film and chill for 1 – 24 hours. Slice into cookie rounds (each about the thickness of a pound coin) and bake on a greased tray on gas 4 for about 10mins until pale gold. Leave to cool down and firm up then serve with a cup of jasmine or lady grey tea.

Delicious! And now there is nothing left to do but find some soothing music to tap our tentacles to as we nom …

 

Marvellous, we hope you have a very lovely afternoon and we invite you back to join us for our morning cuppa on Monday, until then please be always

Utterly Yourself


Morning Cuppa: A Matter Of Temperance

 

Good morning ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Max and Collin,s marvellously moderate and audaciously ambient parlour located within the splendidly scenic city of Lancaster.

True, some have called it a gratuitously garish affair overflowing with an excruciating excess of extremities, but we consider that such faint hearted fops are not accustomed to folk with tentacles.

You find us this morning revelling in the joys of spring – one hardly minds a sack cloth roof or even pane-less windows when the clotted cream of early morning light is flooding into the parlour, making the dust bunnies dance with delight and warming the faded velvet cushions upon the lemonade crates..

Hm? No I am not trying to be poetic , Max, I am simply rebelling in the joys of spring.

Spring in the realm above waves is quite the event isn’t it? There are flowers and leaves peeking through the brown earth, the little street urchins are doing far more skipping than shivering, fewer of our neighbours are dropping dead of cold and starvation and the longer days and shorter nights mean less time battling the flesh eating Liver Birds.

Yes indeed, I feel this ‘coming of spring’ malarkey is certainly something to celebrate and what better to celebrate anything than with a cup of tea and a good book? And of course we have both..

Our tea this morning is Jasmine White Tea from Rosy Lea Teas and to accompany it we will be reading

a-matter-of-temperance

 

This riotous Steampunk romp had us in stitches from start to finish. Ichabod Temperance  (an American Inventor who is really far too moral and forthright to ever find Victorian London a ‘welcoming place’ ) is plunged headlong into apocalyptic paranormal pandemonium as he attempts to rescue the alluring adventuress Miss Persephone Plumtartt from the demonic tentacles of both men and monsters (at times it is hard to tell which are which!)

This laugh-a-minute roller coaster is jam packed with action from haunted mansions to epic steamer chases, bare knuckle brawls  to daring hot air balloon escapes (not forgetting the champagne of course!) The fast paced plot had us pinned to our seats while the comedic interplay of the characters kept the tears of laughter flowing.

‘Icky’ is a delightfully innocent and upstanding character, always ready to defend Miss Plumtartt or put his incredibly inventive brain to the task of helping her to save the world, while Persephone is everything a steampunk heroine ought to be – intelligent, capable, and (thanks to an occult experiment gone wrong) able to fire energy rays from the palms of her hands. Together they make an adorable team and we really can’t wait to get our tentacles into the rest of the series.

Now then, it seems that our tea is brewed and we just have time to put our oracular pet into his cup and see what he has plucked from the aether for us this morning…

Ha! Jolly good fun all round. We wish you a perfectly pleasant morning, full of sunlit strolls and gentle breezes and we invite you back to join us tomorrow for elevenses so, until then please be always

Utterly Yourself


Elevenses: Welcoming the White Lady

Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen, I hope you are all feeling extremely eleven o clockish because the time is, in fact, eleven o clock and we, tentacles laden with scones of good will and bakewells of cheer, are ready to meet the hour!

You may sense an air of joviality in my address this morning, in truth I am bubbling over with excitement because the thaw water has all drained away, the parlour is warm and cosy again and tomorrow, here in the Scattered Isles Of Ire, we will be celebrating the first day of spring.

There is an ancient myth (far pre-dating the tyrannous reign of Wiz)  that tonight, The White Lady, Silver Needle, will begin her walk across the land, warming the earth with the gentle steam of her breath, watering the soil from her swinging kettle. On the first of February, she stops at the house of every Good Tea Fiend and leaves a small present. What will it be? Earl Grey? Chamomile? Darjeeling?

It is polite to leave The White Lady a cup of  white tea in return, to strengthen her on her long journey around the world.

Max says that if you have been very wicked, Lady Silver Needle will leave you a jar of instant coffee instead. Hopefully this is just his failed attempt at being amusing.

Nevertheless we have been diligently practising our songs of welcome ….

We all come from the White Haired Lady

Poured from out her sacred pot

Cup and spoon, saucer and cube

Cup and spoon, saucer and cube

Silver Needle stirs her cup and the year turns round

She will warm the earth and water the ground

The seeds we sow, the tea will grow

The seeds we sow, the tea will grow

Silver needle stirs her cup and the year turns round.

and have even been persuaded to go to some strange vigil thingy that Mrs Baker is holding in Peril’s Lovely Library at midnight. Hm? What’s that? Oh no don’t worry about the Liver Birds, Max will take his aether-colliding energy ray pistol to fend them off. And some lemon-grenades…

But goodness all that singing is exhausting, let us see what our lovely werewolf butler, Klapka, has nosed out for us this morning…

Mmm… Silver Spring Tea Bread, it’s her own recipe apparently…

 

silver spring tea bread

225ml freshly brewed white tea

juice and zest of 1 lemon and 1 lime

50g of butter

100g white sugar

1 egg

225g SR flour

Melted white chocolate for drizzling

Crystalised flowers for decoration

 

Mix together all the ingredients except the chocolate and flowers. Pour into a 2lb loaf tin and bake at gas mark 4 for about an hour. Cover with foil if it starts to brown too quickly.

Cool the cake in the tin then turn out and slice. Serve each slice drizzled with melted white chocolate and sprinkled with crystallised flowers (primroses, rose, violets, jasmine or lavender would all work well).

We will be leaving a slice out for The White Lady along with a lovely cup of Silver Needle tea and our calling card. Now then, all we need I think is something zesty to tap our tentacles to as we kiss goodbye to the rancid old hag of winter and usher in the buxom bosom of spring….

 

We wish you a delightful day filled with tea, cake and magic and until we see you again please be always,

Utterly yourself.