Today I am so pleased to welcome Neil Plakcy to Joyfully Jay. Neil has come as part of the GRL Blog Tour to talk to us about his latest release, Love on the Boil. Please join me in giving him a big welcome!
A Taste for Tea
For the longest time, I couldn’t get into iced tea. It tasted just like cold tea—and that wasn’t appealing. But then I discovered Owl’s Brew and the business of making custom cocktails from blended teas. That inspired my latest release from Loose Id, Love on the Boil.
I was scanning through my alumni magazine, the Pennsylvania Gazette, a year or so ago when I noticed an article about an alumna who had started a business creating custom tea blends for use in cocktails. I was intrigued and thought it was a fun thing to explore.
It’s not surprising that tea can be used as a basis for cocktails—after all, botanicals like juniper, cinnamon and mint have been used ever since people started getting a buzz on.
I decided that my book would be around two ex-lovers who are both trying to start a custom tea business on South Beach (where the other four books in my Love On books are set), and they’re forced to work together by a venture capitalist interested in funding them.
The research for the book was a lot of fun, learning about which flavors go together, like green tea with coconut and blueberry; red tea with cinnamon, bilberry, cloves, elderberry, thyme and vanilla; black Assam tea with butter pecan, milk thistle and dandelion root. One of my lovers, Darren Carter, is the alchemist brewing up these interesting mixes, while his ex, Eddie Gonzalez, is the one interested in mixing these blends with alcohol.
Then there was the taste-testing. I bought a couple of bottles of Owl’s Brew and assembled a group of my teaching colleagues on a Saturday night. “The Classic” is a mix of English breakfast, lemon and lime, and goes best with white spirits like gin, rum and vodka. Our tasting notes from that event…
We were less fond of the salted caramel toddy, a mix of white tea & black tea, with sea salt and caramel, used for darker spirits like brandy and whiskey, intended to be served hot. Owl’s Brew has a number of other blends, including a grapefruit Collins and a White and Vine, white tea with watermelon and pomegranate. GRL sounds like the perfect opportunity to explore these other flavors with some like-minded friends!
What if the one who got away came back—and you had to work together to achieve your dreams? Eddie Gonzalez and Darren Carter had a hot college romance, derailed when they graduated and went in different directions. But now they’re both on South Beach, both trying to start gourmet tea businesses. A venture capitalist forces them to collaborate—but will their venture go up in flames just as it’s heating up?
Neil Plakcy has written or edited over three dozen novels and short stories in mystery, romance and erotica. As part of his research, he has participated in the FBI’s sixteen-week citizen’s academy, practiced at a shooting range, and visited numerous gay bars in Fort Lauderdale. (Seriously, it was research.) His favorite tea blend is Teavana’s Coconut Aloha.
GayRomLit is an annual retreat that brings together the people who create and celebrate LGBT romance for a one-of-a-kind, must-attend gathering of dynamic, informal, and diverse fun.
Each year, the retreat rotates to a new city and hosts tons of events from raucous parties to mellow tête á têtes while still maintaining a spirit of familiarity. GRL is the place to connect with old friends, find family you didn’t know you had, and meet with both newly published and established authors in the gay romance genre.
This year’s retreat will be held in Denver, Colorado on October 19-22, 2017 at the Denver Marriott Tech Center.
For more information or to register, please visit our website: http://gayromlit.com/
What an enjoyable post, Neil (says the person who doesn’t like to drink tea or liquor but we can certainly talk chocolate!). It’s always fun to hear what sparks a writer’s imagination. Congratulations on the release of Love on the Boil, and have a great time at GRL.
Chai latte is the only tea I like… try living in Texas and get anyone to accept you don’t drink ‘sweet tea!’ Add in being an educator for 32 years who doesn’t drink coffee either! So I adopted hot cider and hot chocolate as my go to drinks. Thank goodness we’re ‘almost’ out of the 90+ weather for awhile.
I just read your newsletter and discovered Mahu so I need to do some ‘reading from your past’! Sounds like ‘Love on the Boil’ will be really good too. I need to sleep less so I can read more! Have fun in Denver. I wish I was there.
Second chances, and tea sounds like a good read. Thanks.