Today I'm super excited to welcome my long-time critique partner and friend: the very talented historical romance author, Nancy Herriman. Tighten up your aprons, friends, and prepare to be whisked (kitchen pun intended) back in time for . . .
A very Victorian meal in America -
(photo courtesy of the National Education Network of Great Britain)
As Candace well knows, so many of my books, published and unpublished, have meal scenes. I can’t help my fascination with what people ate in the 19th century! I also can’t help my fascination with what people eat in the 21st century, but I digress…
My upcoming release, Josiah’s Treasure, is set in 1880’s San Francisco, a fascinating American town then and now. Two of my scenes take place in the dining room of the Occidental Hotel, which once stood on Montgomery Street between Bush and Sutter, but was destroyed in the great earthquake and fire of 1906. The Occidental is where the hero, Daniel Cady, has chosen to stay while he is in town searching for his father. Here is an actual breakfast menu from the hotel:
After seeing this, all I can say is - wow! These folks had a healthy appetite! Pork chops? Sirloin? Fried oysters? Corned beef? Salt codfish with cream? I wonder how much they ordered.
I must say the fried oysters do sound rather good, however….
So, what did Daniel choose? Here’s a scene late in the book where he is meeting with the lawyer helping him contest his father’s will, the will that gave the heroine, Sarah Whittier, Josiah Cady’s entire estate -
“Cady, over here.” Sinclair muscled his rotund frame out of his chair and signaled to him. “Hope you don’t mind an early morning intrusion, but I need you to look over some papers for the hearing on Monday.”
Would the lawyer not have intruded if he’d thought Daniel would mind? Doubtful. Daniel took a seat across from Sinclair, prompting one of the many waiters to dash forward with a pot of coffee.
Sinclair resumed sitting and snapped open his napkin. “I have news about Josiah Cady’s assets you’ll want to hear, too.”
“If these are critical papers, Sinclair, I don’t mind the intrusion,” said Daniel. Sign papers, discuss assets. So simple, like they were finalizing a minor business transaction. And so bitter tasting.
“I thought not.”
The waiter poured a stream of black coffee into Daniel’s cup and set a menu in front of him. Sinclair didn’t wait for Daniel to order, asking for a veal cutlet with a side of toast and some scrambled eggs, enough to satisfy a healthy appetite. Daniel settled on oatmeal; he had little appetite, given what lay ahead.
I suppose that makes Daniel a light eater. Considering that he has fallen in love with Sarah Whittier and knows that if he wins his case and has the will overturned she will be bankrupted, I can’t blame him.
What would you order off the Occidental Hotel menu?
A little bit about Josiah’s Treasure:
In 1880’s San Francisco, gold builds fortunes. And sometimes shatters dreams.
Daniel Cady has been searching for the father who struck it rich out West and never returned to his family. Daniel isn’t looking for the man’s love and he’s not offering forgiveness. All he wants is cold retribution. In the form of cash.
Years ago, a scandalous love affair ostracized artist Sarah Whittier from her family. In San Francisco, she has built a new life out of audacity, talent and an old man’s generosity. The house Josiah Cady left her is about all she owns. A house that is collateral for her dearest aspiration--a custom art studio run by immigrant women. They’re her family now, and she’ll do whatever it takes to see them succeed.
But when Daniel Cady arrives in town claiming he’s the legal heir, Sarah faces eviction...and the resurrection of dangerous rumors that the house contains hidden gold. Her future uncertain and her safety threatened, Sarah has nowhere to turn. Unless she can soften a vengeful man’s heart, and they both learn love is the greatest treasure of all.
“A wonderful romance…Herriman skillfully brings to life the hardships
Immigrants faced in the 1880s.” - 4 stars, RT Book Reviews
Josiah's Treasure releases mid-April and is available for pre-order.
Find more about Nancy and her books at www.nancyherriman.com.
***Thank you so much for joining us today, Nancy!
I've had the pleasure of reading this story and, trust me, it's a great one. For your chance at a signed copy of Josiah's Treasure, leave a comment below along with an e-mail address. I'll select a winner (via Random. org) on Weds. April 3rd. Please note, this giveaway will be open to U.S. entrants only.
Looking at that menu, I think I'm going with the buckwheat cakes.
Now it's YOUR turn, friends. What would you order from the Occidental Hotel menu?