Today I'm happy to welcome to the blog author Debbie Lynne Costello, in celebration of her new medieval novella release, Sword of the Matchmaker! She is giving away a copy of either Sword of the Matchmaker of her novel Sword of Forgiveness (winner's choice of title and format). Leave a comment or answer one of the questions at the end of this post OR ask her a question to be entered.
Debbie Lynne is also giving away a choice of a kindle fire with Sword of the Matchmaker or a $50 Amazon Gift Card, $15 Amazon gift card and much more! Hop over to her blog post here to read a review of her book and to enter that give-away. (You can still enter a give-away here by simply leaving a comment.)
Without further ado, here is Debbie Lynne!
Have you ever wondered if it is true that we're taller than our predecessors? I've read and heard that our ancestors were short and just assumed that meant every generation before us, but that just isn't the case.
According to The Year 1000 by Robert Lacey & Danny Danziger, one of the first things noticed about people living in or around the year 1000 is they were tall--very much like we are today. The truth is we are taller than most of our more recent ancestors (1700-1900). Georgian and Victorian England residents, who were malnourished and overcrowded, did not have the good health or the stature by the end of the twentieth century that we share today with our access to food and medicine.
So when we picture those knights in shining armor as tall and muscular, good news, you are correct! According to Lacy & Danzinger, nine out of ten people lived in the country. A lush green and unpolluted land that provided plentiful food and nourishment, allowing the medieval man to grow strong limbs and very healthy teeth. So that knight who is the hero, guess what? He really does have a full set of white teeth!
If these people were so healthy one would think they'd live as long as we do, but here the differences are drastic. Life was short. A simple cut or wound could take a person's life. In the medieval time period, an illness or childhood disease that today we can stop with a visit to the doctor could spread like a fire and wipe out a whole village.
Because of this, a boy of twelve years of age was considered old enough to swear an oath to the king. Young girls were married off in their early teens to much older men. Life expectancy was almost half of what it is today. Most people died in their forties, and for a person to reach into their fifties was quite impressive and they were revered.
Life for the average person was hard, but pretty simple. There obviously wasn't the local grocery or clothing stores for running down to get the needed item as we have today. That being said, television often depicts the medieval man like he only wore brown clothes and lived in a drab world. But that couldn't be farther from the truth. They may not have had the rich dyes that produce the vibrant colors we have today, but that didn't keep them from having colored clothes. They used vegetation to dye fabric and with those dyes they were able to produce bright yellows, greens, and reds.
Speaking of grocery stores, what do you think might be a valuable food commodity in the year 1000? This food was considered so valuable it was even used to pay taxes. The food was honey. The 11th century man was known to say, It is a lucky day when a swarm of bees settled in your thatch.
Thatch of course being what the medieval person used as a roof. For those who were lucky enough to have a swarm in their roof, not only received honey, but propolis, a building material, that is a reddish resin used by the worker bees. Propolis was a great healing balm used for treating wounds and was highly valued. But those bees nesting in the home owner's thatch, not only gave the owner honey and propolis, but the beeswax brought an even higher price than an equal amount of honey.
I love the medieval time period, although I don't believe I'd like to have lived during that time. Life was hard. But it is a fun time period to write about. Most medieval authors take writer liberties such as, our heroes and heroines isn't depicted quite as hard as it most likely was, and our heroines are not young teen girls marrying thirty year old men.
So what do you think? Would you rather have writers take a few liberties and make their hero and heroine, an exception to the rule, or would you prefer to see history portrayed exactly as it was?
The next stop in Debbie Lynne's blog tour will be on Anne Payne's blog on June 13.
About Sword of the Matchmaker
Penelope Beatty made up her mind long ago she would live and die a Scottish warrior not a wife. But when nearly all her clan is killed and she is betrayed, she loathes doing the unthinkable, but must seek the help of an Englishman who owed her father’s his life.
Thomas Godfrey never married, but when a Scottish warrior lass shows up needing his aid, he finds her both annoying and irresistible. But the last thing he wants is to marry a woman who fights alongside him. If he was going to marry—which he isn’t—it would be to a soft, submissive woman. But when the Lady Brithwin meets the Scottish lass, she’s sure she’s found the perfect match for Thomas and nothing is going to stop her from seeing a summer wedding.
More Medieval Fiction
Love Medieval Stories? Read the first book in the Winds of Change Series, Sword of Forgiveness.
After the death of her cruel father, Brithwin is determined never again to live under the harsh rule of any man. Independent and resourceful, she longs to be left alone to manage her father’s estate. But she soon discovers a woman has few choices when the king decrees she is to marry Royce, the Lord of Rosencraig. As if the unwelcome marriage isn’t enough, her new husband accuses her of murdering his family, and she is faced with a challenge of either proving her innocence or facing possible execution.
Royce of Hawkwood returns home after setting down a rebellion to find his family brutally murdered. When all fingers point to his betrothed and attempts are made on his life, Royce must wade through murky waters to uncover the truth. Yet Brithwin’s wise and kind nature begin to break down the walls of his heart, and he soon finds himself in a race to discover who is behind the evil plot before Brithwin is the next victim.
About the Author
Debbie Lynne Costello has enjoyed writing stories since she was eight years old. She raised her family and then embarked on her own career of writing the stories that had been begging to be told. She and her husband have four children and live in upstate South Carolina. She has worked in many capacities in her church and is currently the Children's Director. Debbie Lynne has shown and raised Shetland Sheepdogs for eighteen years and still enjoys litters now and then. In their spare time, she and her husband take pleasure in camping and riding their Arabian and Tennessee Walking horses.
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