First, many MANY thanks to the fabulous Dan Antion, who showed me how to do Media & Text in the WordPress blocks. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, more power to you.
I promise, there will be food. But first, allow me to introduce my pal Stephen Zimmer, author, producer, and publisher (Seventh Star Press).
He’s doing a blog tour for two — count ’em, TWO — new releases in two series. Serii. Serises. Whatever.
This blog tour spotlights the latest Rayden Valkyrie Tale, Darkness Enthroned, and the latest Ragnar Stormbringer Tale, The Awakening! Readers of fantasy, heroic fantasy, sword and sorcery, dark fantasy, and action-driven tales will love these adventures featuring two iconic protagonists!Tomorrow Comes Media
About the author: Stephen Zimmer is an award-winning author and filmmaker based out of Lexington Kentucky. His works include the Rayden Valkyrie Tales (Sword and Sorcery), The Ragnar Stormbringer Tales (Sword and Sorcery) the Rising Dawn Saga (Cross Genre), the Fires in Eden Series (Epic Fantasy), the Hellscapes short story collections (Horror), the Chronicles of Ave short story collections (Fantasy), the Harvey and Solomon Tales (Steampunk), and the Faraway Saga (YA Dystopian/Cross-Genre). Stephen’s visual work includes the feature film Shadows Light, shorts films such as The Sirens and Swordbearer, and the Rayden Valkyrie: Saga of a Lionheart TV Pilot. Stephen is a proud Kentucky Colonel who also enjoys the realms of music, martial arts, good bourbons, and spending time with family.
Darkness Enthroned: In the heart of a frigid northern winter, Rayden Valkyrie takes refuge in the lands of the Sarvan people when a mounted column of Attun warriors is seen passing along the outskirts of their territory heading west. Rayden joins with a band of warriors from the area’s villages to investigate. Following the tracks of the Attun warriors, they are led to the base of an enormous, ancient burial mound, where the trail vanishes abruptly. A mystery looms, and Rayden seeks to discover the nature of the burial mound and the reason why the Attuns have traveled so far from their homelands to enter it.
The Awakening: Following the end of a brutal war, Ragnar Stormbringer travels across the sea channel to the west with the warrior Thorsalla to visit her brother’s new settlement in the fertile lands of Ulstara. Coming upon a scene of total devastation, they find no bodies, but there are a large number of strange tracks heading in one direction and signs of a few survivors in another. Ragnar will soon discover that some mysteries are the gateways to even greater ones.
Links for Darkness Enthroned:
Kindle Version: https://www.amazon.com/Darkness-Enthroned-Rayden-Valkyrie-Tales-ebook/dp/B08R6HF3MF/
Barnes and Noble Link: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/darkness-enthroned-stephen-zimmer/1138511678?ean=2940162709091
Links for The Awakening:
Kindle Version: https://www.amazon.com/Awakening-Ragnar-Stormbringer-Tale-Tales-ebook/dp/B08W2CFYVX
Barnes and Noble Link: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-awakening-stephen-zimmer/1138858478?ean=2940162362692
For other stops on the tour, visit https://www.tomorrowcomesmedia.com/darkness-enthroned-and-the-awakening-blog-tour-featuring-stephen-zimmer/
Now for the food! WARNING! NOT FOR VEGETARIANS!
The Food and Drink of Ragnar Stormbringer and Rayden Valkyrie
Ragnar Stormbringer and Rayden Valkyrie are adventurers whose travels take them far across their world. When it comes to food and drink, they have been exposed to a variety of cultures, and in the process gained the opportunity to try a wide variety of things.
Here are a few items that represent solid favorites and also some of the variety that they encountered in their adventures.
Ale – Both Rayden and Ragnar love ale, and the ale of their worlds comes in a wide range of types. The warrior tribes of the lands that Rayden grew up in after being adopted by the Gessa produce ales that are a favorite of both Rayden and Ragnar. Rayden has a special affinity for the potent, bitter-edged style made by the Gessa. Both warriors are able to consume prodigious quantities in a single night too!
Mead – Mead is another drink popular in the tribes of the northern lands, especially among the populations of the far north where both Ragnar and Rayden came from. Crafted out of honey, it packs a punch and a sweet edge. Both warriors indulge in it when possible.
Wine – After traveling out of the lands of the Gessa, she goes to many lands where wine is a popular libation, and she likes a variety of types, such as the one she imbibes in Stramma’s tavern during When Shadows Fall, a robust, fruity variety that is anything but watered down!
Kvass – When Ragnar Stormbringer travels the lands of the far, far north on his way eastward, he shelters with some woodland tribes that are based upon the ancient Slavic tribes. In the events contained within When the Cold Breathes, a special rye-based libation is referenced that Ragnar has taken a liking to, Kvass.
Teveren Feasts – When Rayden enters the massive Imperial City at the heart of the Teveren Empire in When Shadows Fall, the third book in the Dark Sun Dawn trilogy, she encounters feasting on a scale she could not have imagined. These feasts are based upon actual, historical Roman feasts that have been documented, with exotic offerings in the scene in the book ranging from a rare Black Maero fish to desserts made of camel feet to a large peacock served in a presentation surrounded by small thrushes. She is not used to eating in a reclined position, nor the gorging that takes place at such a feast.
Ulstaran Feast – While a guest of King Fiall in the events of The Awakening, Ragnar enjoys a grand feast that includes roasted pork, rich stews, blackberries, honey, fresh bread, butter, and a thick, very strong kind of ale. The bread and ale are of a much higher quality than that found in the villages of the land, and Ragnar indulges heavily. [photo edited by MomGoth, because the little roasting piggy face hurt her heart]
Wild Boar – Wild boar is a favorite of both Rayden and Ragnar, when it comes to food. Wild boar are hunted in many of the lands that they adventure in, so it is a kind of food they are able to have a little more frequently. Difficult to hunt, and very dangerous, wild boar present a challenge for even those with the skill of Rayden and Ragnar.
Trout – Rayden and Ragnar never will pass up a chance to get some fresh fish, and both love the taste of freshly caught trout. Rayden, in fact, partakes of trout during the events of Darkness Enthroned, where she and the Sarvans fish them out of an iced-over lake (along with a pike).
Common Meals – Rayden and Ragnar enjoy more common fare wherever they go. Here are a few examples:
Common Meal Example One: While in Teveren lands, Rayden partakes of a meal of bread, olives, figs, goat-milk cheese and a roasted chicken procured from a market close to the apartment where she and her companions stay after entering the Imperial City.
Common Meal Example Two – While in the city-state of Terith Ka, in the events depicted in Blood of a Queen, Rayden orders a meal in a tavern that consists of some tender mutton prepared with spices, bread softened with olive oil, figs, and honeyed dates. For a beverage, she chooses a lighter, fermented fruit drink made from pomegranate and water.
Common Meal Three – When Ragnar and some of his companions stay in a walled village in the events of The Awakening, he eats to his fill of a meal consisting of barley porridge, bread slathered with freshly churned butter, and several ample cuts of roasted beef. For drink, they have ale, of a more Celtic-inspired variety. Not complex, but very satisfying to him!
I hope you have enjoyed this little overview of some of the food and drink that Ragnar and Rayden enjoy and have encountered. This only scratches the surface, and new feasts and foods lay ahead in the adventures to come! Cheers!
A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Write about awakening in darkness.