Welcome to my Friday bonus feature called Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **Author Special**!! Today, in lieu of one of my own recipes, I’m going to introduce you to a new author who will share one of her favorite recipes. Not only will you and I occasionally learn how to make something new and delicious, but we’ll get a chance to check out some wonderful authors. Introducing author, JAN SELBOURNE, and her favorite recipe for LAMB ROAST!
LIES OF GOLD
BY JAN SELBOURNE
Their love affair ended in anger and painful consequences. Lady Katherine Ashford has guarded a secret through years of abuse. Fighting wars and hard living has numbed Julian Ashford. Then fate steps in. A traitor is smuggling gold across the Channel to Napoleon Bonaparte and Julian is ordered back to Halton Hall and Katherine. It’s her secret and the increasing danger that rekindle the love they once shared, then a murder reveals the shocking truth of the gold smuggling. However, nothing could prepare them for the devastating betrayal when they finally face the mastermind behind this sordid operation.
LIES OF GOLD
BY JAN SELBOURNE
He walked out of the drawing room and felt a sliver of shock when he opened the door to his bedchamber. He couldn’t remember how he got here. Swearing softly, he walked to the window overlooking the front courtyard and rested his head against the glass. He’d fathered a child, a daughter. For nine years, his daughter had lived in this house as Charles’s daughter. His vision blurred. Ten years of hard living had buried those deep painful scars and all it took was one look at Katherine and that small girl’s face to peel it all away. Like peeling an onion, his eyes were stinging like hell.
He remembered the night he met Katherine as if it were yesterday. Charles was in France and he was in London attending a debutante’s ball. Bored out of his head with the simpering young females and strutting males he was looking for an excuse to depart when his cousin’s tall, elegant wife, Katherine was introduced to him. The orchestra began playing and he asked her to join him on the floor. It was a waltz; he took her in his arms, her eyes met his and he knew he’d met the only woman he’d ever love. They’d set off murmurs behind fans for dancing twice and they didn’t leave each other for a week. They’d made intense, passionate, love, they’d laid in each other’s arms and talked for hours, they were as one. She’d confided Charles was a hard, brutish man but she would not leave him because she’d lose all rights to her four years old son. He’d begged her, made promises he knew he couldn’t keep. She’d shaken her head in despair. As soon as Charles returned to London they would go home to Halton Hall.
He’d prayed Charles’s ship would sink to the bottom of the Channel. She’d cried in his arms; he’d cried in her arms. The day before Charles was due to arrive in London they became tense with each other and finally, distraught, he’d accused her of selling herself for the title and privilege. She’d thrown a heavy teapot at his head. When it struck, he’d seen stars for several seconds before shouting more insults. She’d furiously told him he couldn’t afford to keep her on his army pay. He’d walked out.
Julian barely remembered the following months of heavy drinking and angry self-pity until the army knocked his arrogance and selfishness out of him and saved his sanity. He knew damn well his army pay wouldn’t have kept her and he knew damn well she’d have lost all rights to her son. Knowing Charles, he would have demanded she be brought back to him and the law and the church would have supported him. Her life would have been worse than hell. Now this, Christ, never in a million years did he expect this. He wanted to walk away but he couldn’t because the whole damn top secret investigation would crumble or blow up in his face.
He sat down by the fire and put his head in his hands. He didn’t know it then, but that night fourteen months ago, changed his life. Benjamin Bloomfield, aide de camp to His Royal Highness, the Prince Regent, had ordered Brigadier Sir Ian MacDonald, Sir Henry Whitton and himself to meet at a nondescript location on the outskirts of London. On their arrival, they’d been momentarily lost for words to find a sober and serious Prince Regent waiting for them. Senior government officials had drawn the Regent’s attention to the alarming amounts of gold leaving England. Well-placed sources in France had reported English gold was being smuggled across the Channel to help finance Napoleon Bonaparte’s army. Intensive investigations along the east coast had failed to find any solid evidence but the Regent was not satisfied. He and Bloomfield were convinced someone in the upper echelons of power and influence was behind it or protecting the smugglers. That night the five men present decided that from now on the Prince Regent would shrug it off as rumors and lose interest.
That night MacDonald, Whitton and Julian agreed to begin their search for the source. The Prince Regent named the secret investigation Spider’s Web. The three men thought the name childish but they dutifully indulged His Royal Highness. Not one word of the meeting was recorded and at the conclusion the Prince Regent instructed the three men to meet on the first day of each month and report their progress to Bloomfield the day after. Their investigations were secret and painstaking and gradually they began to close in on this part of the coast. They had observed from a distance, they had moved a little closer and then, as with every other investigation, the scent disappeared. However, they were convinced and MacDonald decreed Julian was the only suitable person to come and go around the Ballingford estates and the coast without raising suspicions.
Julian stretched his feet towards the fire, remembering his furious refusal to return to this place he despised intensely and how he nearly resigned his commission when summoned to a private audience with the Prince Regent. High Treason was involved and as an officer of the Crown he was expected to do his duty. He’d reluctantly bowed to HRH’s orders and it was agreed that to be convincing he’d have to be in dire straits to return. His debts, scandals and fistfights were carefully and authentically orchestrated culminating in him being bawled out by Ian MacDonald who’d conveniently forgotten the raw young corporal and scandal loving clerk in his office. Then their one reliable informer, who’d only agreed to meet him under strict conditions of anonymity, was found with his throat cut. He and Baker had arrived at Halton Hall with no idea of where to start or where to look for the needle in the haystack of boats and fishermen and identify whoever was behind this well organized group of traitors. When he did find evidence, his orders were to send a coded message to MacDonald and Whitton and the net would close in.
No matter what was thrown at him now, he could not walk away. They were so close and if the web was broken it could not be repaired. Nor could he let down Ian MacDonald, his uncle and mentor, to whom he owed so much.
Jan Selbourne was born and educated in Melbourne, Australia. Her love of literature and history began as soon as she could read and hold a pen. After graduating from a Melbourne business college her career moved into the dusty world of ledgers and accounting, working in Victoria, Queensland and the United Kingdom. On the point of retiring she changed course to work as secretary of a large NSW historical society. Now retired Jan is enjoying her love of travelling and literature. She has two children, a stray live-in cat and lives near Maitland, New South Wales.
Links to Jan’s Website, Books, & Social Media:
Amazon Kindle: http://amzn.to/2qB4cM9
Amazon Paperback: http://amzn.to/2qEtdmE
Twitter: Jan Selbourne@JanSelbourne
CMP Website: http:// christophermatthewspub.com/ lies-of-gold/
I hope you enjoy the recipe Jan is sharing today on Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy eating!
P.S. We’re at 310 recipes and counting with this posting. Hope you find some recipes you like. If this is your first visit, please check out past blogs for more Killer Fixin’s. In the right hand column menu, you can even look up past recipes by type. i.e. Desserts, Breads, Beef, Chicken, Soups, Author Specials, etc.
Note from Jan: Living in Australia, I was brought up with the Sunday Lamb Roast. Unlike today, lamb was inexpensive and a favourite for the Sunday baked dinner. The only thing better than the aroma wafting from the oven is eating the soft, sweet meat with thick gravy and roasted potatoes.
Leg of Lamb approximately 2 – 2.5kg, (4 – 5.5lbs), removed from the fridge an hour before cooking.
Potatoes – 1-2 medium potatoes per person.
Other vegetables as desired – such as carrots, beans, broccoli.
Preheat oven to 200 deg. Celsius (400 deg. F)
Rub the leg of lamb with oil and, using a sharp knife, cut 2 or 3 small pockets on both sides and insert slivers of garlic into the slits. Put the leg in a baking tray and cook for approximately twenty minutes, then reduce the temperature to 150 degrees C (325 degrees F). Then, for medium cooked lamb, allow 25 minutes per half kilogram or pound, or, for well-done lamb (that I like) allow 30 minutes per half kilogram or pound. Baste the lamb at least three times during cooking.
Wash potatoes and cut them into halves. Place them in a saucepan, fill to the top with water and bring to the boil. Let them simmer for a 3 – 4 minutes, then drain.
Approximately half an hour before the lamb is done, place the potatoes around the leg of lamb. Baste each potato well, and return the pan to the oven.
When the lamb is done, remove from the oven and cover with foil to rest the meat, and turn the oven up to 200 C or 400 F for 10 minutes to brown the potatoes.
The best gravy is made from the pan juices. Drain most of the fat from the baking tray, leaving the dark brown meaty juices. Put the baking tray over a hot plate, stir in two heaped tablespoons of plain flour and keep stirring until the flour soaks up the juices. Immediately stir in a full cup of HOT water and keep stirring, making sure you stir in the brown juices on the sides of the baking tray. If it’s too thick, stir in more hot water to bring it to the consistency you prefer.
Next, slice the lamb and ENJOY.
Thanks, Jan, for sharing your book with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!