The Peddler Of Wisdom by Laura Bendoly : Book Excerpt & Giveaway


Publication Date: December 18, 2018
eBook & Paperback; 425 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

About The Book:

In the borderlands of the village Les Échelles, giants sleep and werewolves howl. Travelers must cross deep gorges to pay visit. The only strangers are treasure-hunters seeking the riches of Zahara, a drowned Crusader bride. She planted the nearby woods with rich botanicals, now the healing herbs of Irène Guéri, apothecary in these parts. When a cruel invader storms the village he brings along his shy, though brilliant alchemist, Joaquíno Durande. Will Irene join forces with this scholar, risking her profession and her neighbors’ trust, or flee to the valley? Enormous decisions await, and great danger as friends, neighbors, and even the tools of Irene’s workshop rise, enchanted, into the fray of war.

“Put together a hidden Medieval village, a widowed healer who tries to overthrow a murderous invader, and a possible– if dangerous– romance, and you have The Peddler of Wisdom, add to this Laura Matthias Bendoly’s spritely style and a complex world where no one can be trusted, and you will be sucked into this tale as swiftly and completely as I was. Read it.” – Sonia Gernes, ProfessorEmerita, University of Notre Dame, author of What You Hear in the Dark, New and Selected Poems

“An exciting plot, vivid characters and a clearly imagined 17th-century France. A rich tapestry of folklore, tarot, and alchemy.” – Maureen Boulton, Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, Toronto and Professor Emeritus of French, Dept. of Romance Languages University of Notre Dame

About the Author:
Though I grew up in northern Indiana, most of my work takes place elsewhere. My characters are slightly offbeat eccentrics. They wear Goth clothes and invent secret passwords. They make friends with outsiders and from those fringes my heroines gain their strength. Though these protagonists don’t have supernatural powers, they absorb a kind of magic from those they help and gather as friends. This is so with hero Stella Delaney, whose mission to save a trafficked foreign girl gains strength from the powers of a mysterious Gullah woman. So is it the case with Eileen Morgan, whose trip to Scotland wraps her in a world of ghosts and a deadly struggle for entitlement between a wealthy land-owning family and their one-time vassals, now barely hanging on.

I write about the places I have seen as an outsider but in which I could see myself in another life…a boat guide along one of the Georgia marshes, a shepherd in the Scottish lowlands, a craftswoman in Cornwall, in Western Great Britain, or a healer in rural Southern France. Will I ever be that woman? Only if I write myself there, and I love to bring new readers along.

I live in Columbus Ohio with my family.






Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, February 4
Excerpt at The Lit Bitch

Tuesday, February 5
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Wednesday, February 6
Excerpt at Suzy Approved Book Reviews

Thursday, February 7
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Friday, February 8
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Sunday, February 10
Excerpt at Old Timey Books

Tuesday, February 12
Review at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, February 13
Interview at Passages to the Past

Thursday, February 14
Review at Coffee and Ink

Friday, February 15
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away two eBooks of The Peddler of Wisdom & 4 Apothecary soaps! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on February 15th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Direct Link:

Book Excerpt:

They clambered over a mass of rocks and rubble. At the boulders’ edge, a grove of cherry trees flowered along with meandering pink hibiscus. The air thrummed with honey. A bee tickled Irène’s wrist on its drunken flight.
​“Beautiful,” The Baron said, kneeling in front of a delicate wildflower. “You know this one, Irène?”
​“What’s it for?” Noisette asked.
​“It helps people sleep.” Irène dug a few roots from the outcrop and put them in the panier.
​“And this one?” The baron pointed.
​“Broom. As you know, alchemist. It shrinks gall stones and improves digestion.”
​A few steps later, Durande found a tall pink flower. “We have this one in Sicily.”
​Noisette put her hand out. “Don’t touch it.”
​“It’s not dangerous.”
​But the girl’s mind was clearly set. “That flower’s evil.” She gestured for them all to step away. “You pick it and your mother dies.”
​They went on in silence. Irène had one or two superstitions of her own. She never closed a door between rooms at night. She left a bowl of water outside the gate for thirsty snakes. But she wasn’t afraid of mountain flowers. She knew the poisonous ones and the safe ones, but none were said to kill your mother after being plucked. No such curse appeared in the Gospels or the Psalms. Not even in her Book of Mage. She wondered how a little girl would come upon such a tale.
​“Oh, look!” Noisette pointed to an antlered creature in the distance. A bouquetin goat, golden brown with elegant swirled horns. It leaped twice and then scrambled under a thorn tree.
“Be careful what you tell her, Baron,” Irène whispered to Durande.
​“Me?” He reached a hand to help her over a fallen tree limb.
“I suppose it was you who told her that flower was dangerous?”
​“The rosebay is perfectly safe. I don’t teach children to be afraid of flowers.”
​Irène nodded. “And the term homunculus? Noisette pronounced it loudly in my doorway this morning. The word is an occultism. You know how the church and village people feel about . . . isms. How would my neighbors react after hearing Noisette say humonculus one day at market?”
​“Irène, it is just a word.”
​“Words like that are as dangerous as divining rods. You must hide them in a safe place. Noisette plays healer all day. What will you do when she plays alchemist? With that mother of hers. The woman has done . . . reckless things. She may even be mad.”
​Durande winced. “Noisette snuck into my shop the other night,” he murmured. “I told her to bring you with her next time. She saw nothing heretical in the shop, I promise. But she thumbed through an astrology book. It had an illustration of the homunculus floating on ether.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “But I understand your caution. I’ll keep the books locked up. I didn’t realize her mother was a fanatic.”
​“Not unlike your duke.”


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