Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Blog Tour Stop: Sweet Tea Revenge by Laura Childs (GP, Review and Giveaway)

Please join me in welcoming Laura Childs to Debbie's Book Bag today. Laura is here promoting the paper back release of her book, Sweet Tea Revenge. Enjoy her guest post and see the giveaway details at the end of the post for your chance to win!

Tea Time Sipping and Quipping
by Laura Childs, author of the
Tea Shop Mysteries

Because I write the Tea Shop Mysteries, I am always being asked questions relating to tea.  Most of my readers are enchanted with the idea of visiting the Indigo Tea Shop, where my cozy mysteries take place, and sitting down for a proper Southern tea under the genteel tutelage of my main character, Theodosia.  But here’s the thing.  Tea doesn’t always have to be a staid and formal occasion.  You don’t have to don a hat, pull on tweeds, wrap a fur around your neck, and look like you’re motoring off to the Cotswolds.  

Tea can be . . . well, it can be downright casual.  If you’re not a tea drinker, or if you’ve been holding off on tea because you don’t know the proper etiquette, or water temp, or brewing time, stop worrying about it.  Just have fun with tea.  Stop at a coffee or tea shop and grab a chai to go.  Try the tea samples they hand out at the mall and start challenging your taste buds.  Buy some tea leaves at the supermarket or your local co-op and experiment.  Recently, I bought some black tea and flavored mango tea, mixed it all together, and called my newly-designed house blend, Mango Tango Tea.

You can take basic tea and personalize it to your taste with honey, milk, cream, lemon, a cinnamon stick, or a sugar swizzle stick.  Scones, that oh-so-perfect accompaniment to your tea, can be broadly tinkered with, too.  Once you’ve found a basic scone recipe that you like, you can begin to experiment.  Trade out your white sugar for brown sugar, instead of sour cream, use yogurt.  Instead of adding candied fruit to your scone dough, throw in a handful of shredded Cheddar cheese.  Because I’m a fan of turtle sundaes, I even developed a turtle scone recipe that includes chocolate chips, butterscotch bits, and pecans, with a drizzle of caramel sauce on top. 


That said, I hope you take a look at the Tea Time Recipes in the back of Sweet Tea Revenge, my new paperback release.  They’re designed for busy people who don’t have time to chase from one grocery store to another looking for one special ingredient that was harvested in the Himalayas under a full moon.  My Tea Time Recipes are simple, delicious, and kitchen-tested.  So enjoy!

Book Information:


Sweet Tea Revenge (Tea Shop Mystery - Book 14) by Laura Childs


Publication Date: 03/04/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime 
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 336
ISBN-10: 0425252523
ISBN-13: 978-0425252529

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)


Laura Childs on the WEB: websitefacebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Death by Darjeeling(2001), Gunpowder Green (2002), Shades of Earl Grey (2003), English Breakfast Murder(2003), The Jasmine Moon Murder (2004),Chamomile Mourning (2005), Blood Orange Brewing (2006), Dragonwell Dead (2007),The Silver Needle Murder (2008), Oolong Dead (2009), The Teaberry Stranger (2010),Scones & Bones (2011), Agony of the Leaves(2012), Sweet Tea Revenge (2013)

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.



Excerpt from, Sweet Tea Revenge, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.

Synopsis:

In the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Agony of the Leaves, Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning may always be a bridesmaid, never a bride, but this groom is never going to make it to the altar…
 
Theodosia Browning’s dear friend Delaine Dish has asked her to be a bridesmaid for her wedding. But when the big day arrives, everything seems to be going wrong. First, a massive storm is brewing over Charleston. A bad omen? Second, Delaine’s sister is late for the ceremony. And finally, the groom not only has cold feet—his whole body is cold. A murderer has crashed the wedding.
 
As Theodosia comforts a devastated Delaine, she needs to sort out the suspects on the groom’s side from the suspects on the bride’s side. One thing soon becomes apparent—revenge won’t be the only dish served cold at this wedding. And if Theodosia doesn’t watch her step, a cold-blooded killer may have a rude reception in store for her…

Thoughts:

Laura Childs brings readers the 14th book in her Tea Shop mystery series, Sweet Tea Revenge. Long time fans of the series will once again be immersed in the city of Charleston, South Carolina. Setting is everything! Familiar sights and sounds, as well, as characters make this novel feel like a visit with good friends. If you are new to the series, you'll quickly fall in love with the Indigo Tea Shop and it's owner, Theodosia Browning. From wedded bliss to murdered grooms, this novel has a surprise in store for everyone.

What I liked:

As many of you know Laura Childs is ultimately my favorite cozy writer. Her Tea Shop series is my favorite of the three series that she writes and I look forward to every new book that comes out. And Sweet Tea Revenge was certainly no different. I realize that after 14 books some would say that this series might be loosing a bit of it's luster. That the characters have possibly lost their edginess and that the stories have become repetitive. But I have to disagree. I think this series still has a lot of steam left and Laura Childs is the same wonderful writer readers have come to know and love.

Sweet Tea Revenge was a surprise to me in a lot of ways. But the more things change, the more they stay the same. This book had the same wonderful Charleston setting that readers have come to know and love. I know that personally I find out something interesting about this beloved city in every one of Child's books. I love the descriptions of the city itself with it's extensive history and quaint historic buildings and of course Theo's tea shop. The Indigo Tea Shop is the crux of the setting. Without it, I think the series would falter. But luckily, Childs once again enamors readers with her imaginative ways of bringing Charleston and the Indigo Tea Shop to life.

Another thing that remains the same, is the great detective trio that makes this series work. Theodosia is obviously the leader of the pack. She's been involved in many a mystery by now. She has Drayton her tea brewing master at her side and her baker, Hayley. Between the three of them and of course, officer Tidwell, they continue to solve mystery after mystery. Yes, these characters have been around for awhile. They have matured and become seasoned. Does that mean they have lost something along the way? I don't think so. It just makes them seem like people I have come to know. People I have a keen interest in, good friends I enjoy reading about over and over.

Delaine is also present. She has ever been a thorn in Theo side, but this time, she is in the spotlight. Yes, she and Theo have had their issues. Some might not like the idea of Delaine being portrayed as one of Theo's 'dear friends', but think about that for a minute. These two women and have been through a lot together. Delaine is definitely not a deep thinker, she can be rude and condescending and at times in this series, much like Theo I have wanted to ring her neck. But, Theo would still do anything to help Delaine. She has proved that again and again. Maybe a dear friend is a stretch, but they have certainly proved to be more than passing acquaintances as well. 

Delaine's groom and soon to be husband, is found dead in his room at the wedding venue. Who could possibly have wanted him dead? Delaine is distraught and Theodosia wants to find the killer. It wasn't the most elaborate plot I have seen from Childs, but it had a simplistic charm that I enjoyed. Theo has to split the suspects into friends of the bride and friends of the groom and go about investigating from there. This one was a little shorter on twists and turns readers have come to expect from Childs, but still packed a punch and had me bum-fuzzled for awhile trying to figure it out. It relies a lot on the reader as well as Theodosia's powers of observation. Like putting together a puzzle. Now where did I see that piece? How does this and this fit together? A great puzzler!

What I didn't like:

I won't say this was my favorite of the series, because I will always love the first one, the best. It's just one of those things I fell in love with it and nothing has surpassed it for me. This was a good edition to the series, it may not have been the best, but it was certainly up to par with the rest of Laura Childs work. 

Bottom Line: 

I don't think this series, has lost a thing. It's just as good now as ever, and I can see some hints of things to come that may make it even better. More Max please!

Sweet Tea Revenge is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!



About the Author:

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, the Scrapbooking Mysteries, and the Cackleberry Club Mysteries. She is a consummate tea drinker, scrapbooker, and dog lover, and travels frequently to China and Japan with Dr. Bob, her professor husband. In her past life she was a Clio Award–winning advertising writer and CEO of her own marketing firm.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Sweet Tea Revenge by Laura Childs.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, March 18th.

1. Please leave a comment letting us know... Are you a tea drinker? What's your favorite blend?
2. Please fill out the FORM.

18 comments:

skkorman said...

I love hot tea and usually have a cup or two each day—my favorite is raspberry zinger!

skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

Susie R said...

I am more of an iced tea drinker but I do love all of Laura Childs's series.

traveler said...

I am a tea drinker from way back since I always lived in the Northern Climes and needed a soothing drink. My favorite blend is lemon spice. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Linda Kish said...

I drink herb tea or chai tea.

cyn209 said...

I admit, I love drinking the 'commercial' iced tea.....the closest to 'homemade' tea I drink is when my Mom makes Chrysanthemum tea.....YUMMERS!!!

Nancy Luebke said...

I used to drink a lot of iced tea but it doesn't agree with me anymore.Use to make a lot of sun tea.

Rita said...

I drink regular black tea twice a day. Love my tea.

Barbara T. said...

Not much of a tea drinker. Was forced on as a child when sick by grandmother, so associated with bad memories. I do drink hot tea if served, but I like lots of lemon added. Wish I could acquire the habit, as it is good for us. Enjoy reading about tea instead of drinking it.

Barbara Thompson said...

I do like tea, but I like the good sweet tea like my aunts and grandmothers use to make.

barbmaci61(at)yahoo(dot)com

lag123 said...

I love plain old southern sweet tea.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Anita Yancey said...

I love sweet ice tea and hot herbal teas. Thanks for having the giveaway.

ayancey1974(at)gmail(dot)com

holdenj said...

Yes, I am a tea drinker and a big fan of this series! One of my favorite kinds of tea is Earl Grey.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

Sue Farrell said...

About the only tea I drink is iced sweet tea in the summertime.
suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

bn100 said...

yes, no fav

Natasha said...

I love iced sweet tea.
Thanks for the chance to win!

Brooke Bumgardner said...

I love iced, sweet black tea. Mmm delicious!

Karin said...

I drink Twinings English Breakfast tea --also Bigelow's Plantation Mint...

Mary V. said...

I love to drink tea and my favorite way to have it is brewed fresh with loose tea leaves. I'm a big fan of roobios teas and black and chai teas also.