April turned out to be a very busy month, and thus no "Tea and a book" post. I'd still like to briefly mention my April recommendation, but I'll compress the details into a visual:
If this photo gives you a happy tingle, then you certainly must read Claire B. Dunkle's 2006 YA novel, The Hollow Kingdom. It's an excellent book in its own right, but methinks those who pined for David Bowie as the Goblin King in Labyrinth might find it especially satisfying. Dunkle (author of one of my favorite ghostly books, The House of Dead Maids) somehow manages to make an impossible romance not only believable but very poignant.
And check this out: a Goblin tea blend from Adagio!
And just for fun, here's the As the World Falls Down clip from Labyrinth.
(You know you want to click that link!)
Now on to the May book recommendation!
The Secret Hum of a Daisy, by Tracy Holczer
I've been waiting to read this book for years! I met Tracy Holczer at my first LA SCBWI conference way back in 2008. She's one of those enviably beautiful and talented people who's also so warm and kind and totally real that you just fall in love with her. Shortly thereafter she let me read the first fifty pages of this story (which had already won Tracy the Sue Alexander Award), and I marveled at her lyrical writing and deft characterization. I also gave some feedback, which no doubt was tragically (or laughably?) unhelpful. I was very green back then. Fortunately, Tracy didn't hold it against me. She went on to finish the book and sell it to Penguin, and now it's on shelves everywhere. And what splendid reviews it has received!
I could babble on forever, but for the sake of brevity I will tell you that it's a book about grief and love and healing and creativity that will bring laughter and tears to readers of all ages. Read a more detailed summary and the first chapter at Tracy's gorgeous webpage.
On to the nom noms . . . in the book the characters enjoy brownies and cookies, and I found myself wondering "is there such a thing as a brownie cookie?" THERE IS! I found this recipe at homecooking.com and went to work. (Keep in mind that my batch only yielded 38 small cookies, not the 70 advertised by the recipe. Also, you will get quite a workout for your right arm as you stir this batter! Maybe I was just doing it wrong, but the cookies turned out quite tasty, so the warning stands.)
Now for tea . . . there is at least one mention in Secret Hum of Earl Grey tea with lemon and honey, which sounds scrumptious. For such a potently chocolate cookie, however, I wanted something strong that would complement rather than compete with the flavor. So I chose Adagio's Assam Melody, a "solid, 'friendly' Assam" that I like to imagine would get nods of approval from both Grace and her grandmother.
And if you were admiring the adorable teacup in the above photo, I can tell you that it's part of the Kelly Rae Roberts collection, and if you click that link I'm sure you'll see some familiar artwork. Go here to shop for a Kelly Rae Roberts product of your own!
And look! Here's another blog post with a tasty recipe to go along with The Secret Hum of a Daisy. Yay!
[Cross-posted at Livejournal]
Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
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