Even though the first four Conn-Mann books are set in New York, where four o’clock tea is not the tradition it is in the United Kingdom, tea is very important to the series.
So important that I teamed up with lovely tea lady Genevieve Dodd of Tea Punk Teas to create specialty blends specifically for the series. And incidentally, to create something for promotional purposes that is unusual and makes people stop and look at the table. 🙂
First, we designed “Jo’s Morning Jolt” — a lovely fruit-filled Scottish Breakfast tea blend with a lot of caffeine. It really wakes you up in the morning. Perfect for feisty Jo.
The other half of the duo is represented by “Alistair’s Afternoon Delight” — this one is more of a dessert tea. It is a blend of green and black teas with Belgian chocolate bits, chocolate, apricot, and peach notes. And it smells delicious…when I open the sample box, it fills the air with the smell of Heaven…lol
Finally, in The Fiercely Formidable Fugitive, Alistair’s mother Leonora becomes interested in the reading of tea-leaves. The process is fascinating, and was something that was very prevalent in Victorian parlors as interest in spiritualism rose to new heights. To celebrate this hobby of hers, Genevieve and I came up with “Leonora’s Illuminating Libation,” a floral blend that has a delicate taste and leaves lots of fun “leaves” to read.
Reading tea leaves is very interesting (if not very scientific…) I hand out a sheet with the following basic symbols to look for when someone buys a tin of Leonora’s tea:
MEANING OF SYMBOLS
ACORN—Continued health—improved health.
ANCHOR—Lucky symbol. Success in business or in love. If blurred or indistinct just the reverse.
HEART—A lover. If close to a ring, marriage to the present lover. If indistinct, the lover is fickle.
HEAVENLY BODIES—(Sun, Moon, Star)—Good luck—great happiness and success.
OWL—Indicates sickness or poverty. Warning against starting a new venture.
PALM TREE —Good omen. Success in any undertaking. Single people learn of marriage.
MOON (crescent)—Prosperity, fame. If cloudy, difficulties will be solved.
ELEPHANT—Good Luck—good health—happiness.
TRIANGLES—Unexpected good fortune.
BIRDS—Good Luck. If flying, good news from the direction it comes. If at rest a fortunate journey.
For more info, visit: http://www.teausa.com/14531/reading-tea-leaves
Now that the series has moved to Ireland, tea is even more important to Jo’s friends and family. There is probably a new blend in the works, as Jo’s new housekeeper is a great fan of the comfort of chamomile. 😉
First person to ask (in comments) gets a sampler of whichever tea you like. 😉