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review 2015-07-21 16:32
Seeing Thor and Odin in a whole new way
The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul - Douglas Adams

As I made my way into the second Dirk Gently novel, I discovered that I had quite forgotten (or just never read) what the book synopsis was and was thus surprised to realize that among this book's characters were the gods Thor and Odin. This was only really a surprise because of the recent Avengers movie I had seen. Adams Thor is hugely different from long flowing hair and rippling muscles Thor in the Avengers. 

 

Anyway, that odd juxtaposition aside, Adams once again doesn't fail to present the reader with a jumble assortment of characters, seemingly disconnected, and then ties them all together. 

 

This time, Dirk has been hired to keep his client from being killed by some demon, which, you might guess, he fails miserably at. This triggers the string of bizarre encounters and events, as well as some perplexing clues, Dirk must follow to try and get to the bottom of this seemingly impossible murder. 

 

Tea Time was shorter than Dirk Gently but there was some time in the middle where things felt like you were just floating up in the air above the plot before you came rushing back down to where things started happening. Which, for me, didn't really detract from the reading experience. It was still very Adams in my mind. There just wasn't the same constant feeling of moving forward like when reading Dirk Gently. 

 

Soon I'll be on The Salmon of Doubt, which I'm very excited for. Hitchhiking the galaxy one last time. And Zaphod will be there!

 

~Ren

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text 2015-06-19 17:58
Book Blitz Part 2 of 3: The Heartbeat Thief by AJ Krafton- Tea Time in High Society

TheHeartbeatThiefBlitzBanner1

 

In Part 2 of our Book Blitz, AJ Krafton goes into detail regarding the origins and social implications of that curious custom known as British Tea Time. Right now you're probably thinking how many times you've actually wondered about that yourselves.

 

Well, wonder no longer.

 

Time for Tea: Victorian Tradition and its Place in THE HEARTBEAT THIEF: Victorian tea time wasn’t always a thing. Tea has been around for thousands of years. In many cultures, it was customary to share tea with company. Tea was ceremonial, a sacred part of social law. In England, mealtimes evolved to include two main meals: breakfast and dinner. Dinner became an evening phenomenon, which was held after the work day. In the case of the upper classes, dinner was an event that lasted hours into the night. Afternoon meals tended to light and on-the-go and had no real structure.

 

What we’ve come to know as “tea time” began with Duchess Anne of Bedford. Anneexperienced a “sinking feeling” around three or four o’clock and would ask her maids to sneak her tea and pastries, since supper wouldn’t come until much later in the evening. At first, she had tea alone but eventually the practice was expanded to include her close friends. Thus, a tradition was born and tea time became a thing. Less food, more talking Victorian tea time carried on the tradition of offering tea to guests. Tea was served in wide-mouthed shallow cups (nothing like our 16 ounce paper cups from the coffee shop). That way, tea could be sipped without waiting all afternoon for it to cool (or blowing on it, which could lead to sloppy accidents).

 

Tea time became synonymous with company and socializing and was, in itself, a social event. And Victorian events were elegant, spectacular things. It was customary to have tea in the parlor or garden. It provided a chance to show off the hostess’s best china and linens, as well her abilities to command the skills of her kitchen staff. Tea served not only to quiet the rumblings of a belly, it was food for the social soul. Dishes were customarily light and easy to eat without worry of a catastrophic mess. Eating was a dainty dance in itself. Tea sandwiches, cakes, scones, biscuits, candies and nuts were usual fare for low tea (named for the low tables around which guests gathered—think “coffee tables” in the living room). I found a website with loads of recipes here: http://whatscookingamerica.net/HighTeaRecipes.html

 

I refer to it often when I’m looking to create a special little something. Trays of snacks were laid out so guests could serve themselves. Affluent hostesses could afford an elaborate tea service such as this:

 

 

By comparison, my tea service looks like this:

 

 

Not quite as shiny but it makes a perfect pot, every time. The overall goal of these tea parties was to ensure that guests enjoyed themselves so thoroughly that they completely lose track of time, ensuring the hostess’s graceful place in the hearts and esteem of all invited.

 

Senza and her Tea: In The Heartbeat Thief our heroine, Senza Fyne, took much comfort in the ritual of tea time. Despite her longer-than-usual life, she never lost her affinity for a well-set tea. It connected her to precious memories of family and friends and times long gone by. Here’s a brief excerpt from The Heartbeat Thief, in which Senza prepares tea for company for the first time in a very, very long time.

 

Excerpt from The Heartbeat Thief:

 

The tea kettle hissed, the steam building up to a whistle. She plucked it off the heat before it could reach full shriek. She didn’t like noise. She’d become far too accustomed to quiet and stillness. It had been ages since she made tea, a proper tea with a full service and decorative sugars. She’d missed the routine. Grandmother had always taken three lumps of sugar in hers. She’d preferred a Darjeeling, earthy and fragrant, over the milder Assams and startling Keemuns that Father would bring home. Darjeeling, she’d insisted, was an expression of liquid divinity. If you could taste the earth, you could touch the stars. Be one with everything.

 

Senza blinked, stirring herself from the hazy memory. Grandmother had always told her to live in the moment. Senza seemed only to live in the past. Wrong moments in which to live. She rubbed her temple with the bend of her wrist and spooned tea leaves into the pot. Funny that he’d procure a tea service for her in this rustic shanty, a proper set with a silver empress tea strainer and matching sugar and creamer pots. Odd that he’d provide a service for two people, especially since she’d always been completely alone. Senza arranged the service on a broad silver tray and arranged a spread of biscuits onto a saucer, next to a plate of cucumber and spread cheese sandwiches. A small bowl of candied fruits completed the tea. All had been conveniently located in the small pantry, as if she’d shopped the list on her own.

 

Stepping back, she surveyed her work. Grandmother would approve. A good host always saw to the tea herself, taking every pain to ensure her guests lost track of the time of day. Hefting the tray, she carried it into the front room, still startled by its shocking transformation. A small but cozy fire blazed in the simple brick fireplace, near to which an unfamiliar tea table stood. Hand-embroidered flowers trimmed the edge of the linen, matching the elegant bunch of flowers that topped a grey ceramic vase.

 

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Senza enjoyed a small tea in that scene, but I love this post here http://www.thethriftygroove.com/2010/05/victorian-tea-party.html because it shows a full elaborate spread that Senza would really have enjoyed. Now, THAT’S what I call a happy tea time. Perhaps the next time you’re experiencing a“sinking feeling” you’ll treat yourself to a cup of Darjeeling and a cinnamon scone and have a happy moment to yourself (or, better yet, with a friend). There’s no reason to let go of the past when it’s full of sweet traditions like tea time. No wonder Senza Fyne never surrendered her fondness for the practice, even as the years took everything else away from her, bit by precious bit.

 

For more images of tea time and the book THE HEARTBEAT THIEF by AJ Krafton, visit https://www.pinterest.com/demimondeash/the-heartbeat-thief-by-aj-krafton/

 

 

AJ Krafton is the author of New Adult speculative fiction. Her debut The Heartbeat Thief is due out on Kindle in June 2015. Forthcoming titles include Taking’ It Back & Face of the Enemy. She’s a proud member of the Infinite Ink Authors. AJ also writes adult spec fic as Ash Krafton. Visit Ash at her: Website / Twitter / FB / Blog

 

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review 2014-06-21 00:00
The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul
The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul - Douglas Adams "Enter the slightly off kilter world of Dirk Gently, where Norse gods run amok in the streets of London while a holistic detective tries to unravel the beheading of a record producer. Sound confusing? Welcome to the mind of Douglas Adams. Everyone knows Douglas for his Hitchhiker's trilogy (all four of them) but the Dirk Gently books are just as wildly imaginative. If you haven't had the pleasure of making Mr. Gently's acquaintance go to your local bookstore right now and get them all! "
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quote 2014-03-30 19:43
I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.
The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul - Douglas Adams

- Douglas Adams

The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

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review 2014-03-09 00:00
Tea Time
Tea Time - thesardonicsalmon Tea Time - thesardonicsalmon

DIFFICULT!

I like it more than [b:Sunny Side Up|21399274|Sunny Side Up|thesardonicsalmon|/assets/nocover/60x80.png|40696727] but I still think it is too short to be rated!

It is not a BOOK! Though I can imagine to like it if it'll be provided as a collection of this kind of shorties. Cute, funny and EXTREMELY short! ;)
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