Blimey, It’s Spotted Dick! by Morgan O’Neill (w/giveaway)

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Giveaway, time-travel and Spotted Dick! (I’m not going for that Spotted Richard) Also one author – two writers. The writing team of  Cary Morgan Frates and Deborah O’Neill Cordes (aka Morgan O’Neil)  is here today talking about foodie research into their time-travel romance series. Deb and Cary are giving away a copy of Begun By Time to one commenter. If you make it all the way to the bottom of the page, you can also register to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Spotted DickDeb and Cary Talk Spotted Dick

Yikes, what the heck is Spotted Dick? And how does one talk about it in polite company? Spotted Dick is a traditional British pudding made with suet and flour for the dough, to which dried fruit is added, giving the dick its spots. Ye gads, the name has been the subject of much controversy in recent years, with some more delicate souls trying to change it to Spotted Richard! This begs the question, where did the dick come from? No one is certain, but some think it comes from “puddick,” an early form of the word pudding, or it may be a reference to the German dick, meaning “thick.” (!)  Whatever its name or origins, Deb says it’s quite delicious, having had a big helping drizzled in custard sauce in a London pub. (!!) Cary says she’s willing to try it once she stops laughing.

All kidding aside, we delight in immersing ourselves in British culture and history when researching our Elizabethan time travel series. For our newest release, Begun by Time, the Prequel to The Thornless Rose, we had fun delving into the culinary history of World War II England. We were amazed by the resiliency and creativity of British housewives as they dealt with rationing and deprivation.

Bangers and mash, fish and chips, meat pasties, cucumber tea sandwiches, scones and clotted cream, crumpets… What is your favorite British go-to food?

Spotted Dick recipes:

Modern version, sans suet

Traditional British version 

Begun by Time by Morgan O'NeilExcerpt from Begun by Time, in which our heroine, Catherine Hastings, shares a wonderful meal with Arthur Howard––and perhaps a date with destiny?

Catherine had a jolly time at The Palace, surprised and pleased that they had the place to themselves. She enjoyed being spoiled by Arthur and the wait staff. Everything was perfect, from the gleaming brass and rich, dark woods of the Victorian decor, to the warmth of a real fire and flavorful food. She particularly enjoyed the dessert they shared, a big helping of Spotted Dick. She declared the pudding tasted positively scrumpy. He pronounced it ambrosial. That made her smile, but when he told her about an American client of his who had been scandalized by the name of the concoction, she blushed furiously and laughed out loud.

“Ah, the Yanks don’t speak proper English,” he said with a wink.

She grinned, shook her head, and took another bite, savoring the mingling of luscious custard and tangy currants.

Arthur’s smile waned, before being replaced by a frown, and she wondered at the sudden change in his mood. “What is it, Arthur?”

“Hold on a moment, love.” He signaled to the waiter hovering nearby. “Please give us some time to ourselves.”

The waiter nodded and retired from the room. They were alone.

Arthur went down before her on one knee. “Catherine, my dearest.”

Oh, my word! This was so soon, so unexpected.

Thank you so much for hosting us today, Irene, and thanks to everyone who stopped by. Happy reading! ~ Deborah and Cary, writing as Morgan O’Neill.

Begun by Time

In 1945, a man disappeared into thin air…

In the final days of World War II, Catherine Hastings meets the man she wants to marry. Flight surgeon Jonathan Brandon isn’t just handsome—he’s everything Catherine could hope for in her betrothed. But her dream of a happily ever after is shattered when Jonnie disappears shortly before their wedding…leaving Catherine bereft, broken-hearted, and with a lifetime of unanswered questions.

Arthur Howard is smitten with the lovely Catherine the moment he sees her. He’s certain he’s found the woman he wants to marry. Yet behind Catherine’s sparkling green eyes is a haunted look—the look of a woman who has known loss. But can he love a woman who still grieves the loss of her fiancé? Now Arthur wants answers about the man Catherine intended to marry.

But the truth about Jonnie’s disappearance is far stranger than fiction…

Where to Buy Begun By Time

Entangled | Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | B&N

Author Morgan O'Neil ( Cary Morgan Frates and Deborah O’Neill Cordes)About Morgan O’Neil

Two authors writing as one, Cary Morgan Frates and Deborah O’Neill Cordes specialize in recreating pivotal moments in history, epic adventure, and romance—with a time travel twist.

Visit Morgan O’Neil Online

Newsletter | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Entangled | Amazon


Don’t forget  to enter the giveaway – you just need to comment to be entered for a free copy of Begun by Time! (We’ll leave the contest open through Sunday). Deb and Cary want to know: Bangers and mash, fish and chips, meat pasties, cucumber tea sandwiches, scones and clotted cream, crumpets… What is your favorite British go-to food?


Filed under Contests Freebies and Give-aways, Foodie Friday

18 Responses to Blimey, It’s Spotted Dick! by Morgan O’Neill (w/giveaway)

  1. Thanks so much for hosting us, Irene! It was delish! 🙂

  2. Jennifer DeCuir

    Ugh. I had to pack suet when I worked at a deli/meat room in a grocery store. So I’ll pass. Now clotted cream and scones? Yum! (Just don’t tell me what “clots” the cream, and we’re good.)

    • I know, Jenn. It’s hard to get past the thought of suet, but I’ve tasted the traditional recipe for Spotted Dick and one of the newer ones (sans suet), and they were both very good. And, yes—scones and clotted cream is wonderful!

    • I know, Jen!! Of course I would still have to get past the name even before confronting suet, etc. Could you honestly look a stranger in the eye and ask for Spotted Dick with a straight face? Not me. Still cracking up, tho….

  3. Brandy Lucero

    I would have to say that fish and chips and scones and clotted cream are go to British food. Thanks for the giveaway and for the chance at winning.

    • Brandy Lucero

      I meant to say are my…..

    • I love fish and chips, too, Brandy. I tried them British style with a sprinkling of vinegar, but I must admit to a preference for our American tartar sauce. Thanks so much for stopping by!

    • Hi Brandy,
      Thanks for stopping by. I lived in London for a while and usually opted for the wonderful offerings from the incredible array of international restaurants. When in the pubs (which was fairly often, I must admit) my intake was usually limited to pints and peanuts. 🙂 However, one meal I couldn’t resist was fish and chips – which is still a favorite comfort food.

  4. Hi Irene,
    Thanks so much for hosting us and providing such a tasty platform! We had a bunch of fun putting this article together, and the chuckles were rampant. Too bad we couldn’t include the ‘outtakes’ but believe me, the tears of laughter were flowing!
    BBT was such fun to write – giving a background, youth, and first love to some of the characters from the first novel in this series, The Thornless Rose. I hope the prequel gives you as much pleasure as this article. Happy Reading!!

  5. Jen

    Thanks for the fun post. I learned something today. 🙂

    Hard to pick from that list of foods as I like them all except cucumber sandwiches (cucumber and I do not get along). But, if I had to pick one it would be scones. We love to make (and eat them) them in my household.

    • Hi Jen,
      I’m sooo with you on the cucumbers! Ech!! 😛 But yes, the Brits have managed to come up with some of the best ‘all time favorites.’ Thanks for stopping by!

    • Jen, I’ve had “high tea” in Canada and England, and I liked the little cucumber and watercress sandwiches. However, I do prefer the sweets that also come with the tea. Thank you so much for stopping by today.

  6. Liv

    No matter how good it looked, if you served me a plate of something called Spotted Dick, I think I’d be laughing in the corner with Carey…


  7. Su

    If I made a spotted dick I would use vegetarian suet, which I also use for making such things as dumplings and pastry. I am quite partial to Bakewell tart and jam roly-poly or a nice apple pie/crumble. I should say I am a Brit so I just raise a brow with a hint of humour at your reaction to this puddings name 😀 and then cover my deserts with lashings of custard 🙂