Direct from Canada author Jodi McIsaac is here to match her new book, Bury the Living, with the perfect Irish drink. If you're a fan of Diana Gabledon's Outlander, you might want to give this book a try.
A book set in Ireland wouldn’t be complete without a scene in a pub ... or several scenes in a pub. But while my characters’ poisons of choice are whiskey, Guinness, or Ireland’s famously potent homebrew, poitín, I’ve chosen a more modern drink to represent Bury the Living: Irish cream.
Bury the Living is a blend of two distinct but related eras in Irish history: the Troubles of Northern Ireland (1968-98) and the Irish Civil War (1921-23). We start in 1990, when Nora O’Reilly is a teenager living in Belfast during the Troubles—and suffers the tragic consequences. Flash forward to Nora as an adult just after the peace agreement was signed, trying to work off her guilt in the refugee camps of Sudan. From there, she follows clues from a man she has never met who appears to her in her dreams—clues that lead her back to Ireland and back in time to 1923, at the height of Ireland’s brutal Civil War. One of the main reasons for this war was the partition of Northern Ireland from the rest of the country, which brought about the Troubles that had such a devastating impact on Nora’s life. Trapped in one of the most fascinating and tragic eras of Irish history, Nora has the chance to alter the fortunes of Ireland ...maybe even save those she lost. Her newfound mission is complicated, however, when she finds the stranger from her dreams, whose secrets are rooted in the even more distant past.
So why Irish cream? Like Nora’s story, it’s a blend of the new and the old. The drink itself has only been around since the 1970s, when Gilbeys of Ireland was searching about for something new to appeal to the international market. The result was a blending of two of Ireland’s most ancient—and treasured—traditions: whiskey and dairy farming. (The word “whiskey” actually comes from the Gaelic term uisce beatha, meaning “water of life.” Coincidence? I think not.)
This particular recipe was given to me as a university student on Canada’s East Coast, where nearly a quarter of the population claims Irish ancestry. But in true Canadian fashion, it has the added (and decidedly non-Irish) touch of maple syrup. I make a batch or three of this every Christmas and hand it out as gifts—while saving a bottle for myself, of course.
¾ cup sweetened condensed milk
500 ml. half and half or blend cream
1 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. chocolate syrup
1 tsp. instant coffee
1 cup Irish whiskey
Blend all ingredients at low speed for three minutes. Bottle and refrigerate.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Already an accomplished writer, Jodi McIsaac is the author of several novels, including A Cure for Madness and the Thin Veil Series. She grew up in New Brunswick, and after abandoning her Olympic speed skating dream, she wrote speeches for a politician, earned a graduate degree in global studies, spent a few years as a fundraising and marketing executive with non-profit organizations in Toronto and Vancouver, which then morphed into her own copywriting business. You can visit her website at http://www.jodimcisaac.com/
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Rebellion has always been in the O’Reilly family’s blood. So when faced with the tragic death of her brother during Northern Ireland’s infamous Troubles, a teenage Nora joined the IRA to fight for her country’s freedom. Now, over a decade later, Nora is haunted by both her past and intense dreams of a man she has never met.
When she is given a relic belonging to Brigid of Kildare, patron saint of Ireland, the mystical artifact transports her back to 1923—to the height of Ireland’s brutal civil war in. There she meets the fascinating stranger from her dreams, who has his own secrets—and an agenda. Ripped from her own time, Nora now has the chance to save the ones she loves… and to alter the entire future of Ireland.