The Book: I recently finished listening to Book 7 in Charlaine Harris's Southern Vampire series (aka the Sookie Stackhouse books). All Together Dead was a bit different from the others because a lot of it took place not only outside of Louisiana but outside of the South. Quite the adventure for Sookie, who had never been that far away from home before.
In this outing, Queen Sophie-Anne hires Sookie to accompany her to a meeting of the major vampire bigwigs who have two principal items to discuss: How to deal with the anti-vampire Fellowship of the Sun group and what to do about all the vampires displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Sookie's job is to probe the humans' minds and inform the Louisiana vampires of any foul play.
On the personal front, Sookie is forced to see the vampire who shall not be named (Bill) and must pretend she doesn't care about Eric. At the same time she is determined to convince the shape-shifting Quinn--and herself--that their relationship is ready for the next step. Between murders, bombings, and mixed-up love, Sookie has her hands full. This was one of the better novels in the series, and I can't wait to see how Sookie is going to resolve her inner conflicts.
I listened to the unabridged audio edition (Recorded Books; 9 hr, 48 min) read by Johanna Parker. Parker did her usual great job of portraying the spunky Sookie Stackhouse. Audio is a great way to read this series.
The Tea: This year's cool, damp fall is perfect for tea. And I was fortunate to taste a completely new-to-me tea this week, thanks to the generosity and kindness of Heather from Raging Bibliomania. I was so excited when she offered to pick up some teas for me at an organic cafe and teashop called Infusion Tea. Heather turned to the clerks for help and asked them to recommend one of their favorite teas and "an unusual tea."
I decided to start with the staff favorite. As soon as I opened the bag, I had a feeling that Almond Amaretto was going to be a winner. I just loved the aroma. Here's the shop's description: "Combining savory almond slices with the bright, full taste of Ceylon black tea, this tea is a great stand alone drink as well as the perfect dessert complement." The almond is subtle enough to not be overwhelming, but the flavor is easy to pick up on. I drank it black, and I plan to order more when the bag is empty. Thank you, Heather!
The Assessment: First off, we know the vampires aren't drinking any tea. Body-temperature blood or True Blood is all they care about. Sookie definitely drinks tea, but her choice is likely grocery store brand with lots of ice and sugar. On the other hand, Sookie spent some time in a fancy hotel north of the Mason-Dixon line. I'd like to think she may have been exposed to luscious Almond Amaretto. If so, I bet she liked it as a treat, but I don't see her buying any to take home.
What About You? Almost everyone in the Northern Hemisphere is starting to feel the cooler weather and perhaps considering a hot cuppa once in a while. Those of you on the other side of equator might be thinking more along the lines of something cool and refreshing. Either way, let me know what's in your mug or glass, and I'd love to know what you're reading.
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Thursday Tea was the brainchild of Anastasia at Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog.