….for refreshing, delicious, sweet Iced tea.
This recipe; (ingredients and directions listed below) compliments of the heroine in my current contemporary romance, Maddie’s Saunders.
Maddie’s Iced Tea
In my contemporary novel (WHAT A GIRL WANTS) the heroine, Maddie Saunders is addicted to an iced tea which she has concocted and has never shared with anyone (until now of course).
She drinks this iced tea. A lot. Even though it makes her go to the ladies room, but hey, it’s okay for a heroine to visit the loo. After all we all have to go pee once in a while (well, probably a lot for those of us who love to drink mounds of water through out the day, so I ensure my heroines get a bathroom break). It also takes her out of the scene so things can happen without her knowing.
Here is an excerpt from the book, where the iced tea makes her suspicious of the luncheon invitation she accepted from the mysterious, intriguing, and slightly eccentric Maxwell Hollister.
A man that once introduced into her life, changes her life in unexpected ways—not in a good way, but you can be the judge of that if you choose to read the story.
Readers will think they know who Maxwell is and why he has an immense interest in Maddie, but of course I throw a wrench into things, ending up shocking and surprising not only the readers, but the characters as well.
Set up to the excerpt:
While lunching with Maxwell Hollister, Iced Tea is served, but not only any Iced Tea, Maddie’s special Iced Tea recipe.
Maddie’s journalistic and inquisitive nature shift to high gear, and suspicion replaces her hankering for food (something else she loves, besides sex, kick-ass shoes, napping and Dolce and Gabana dresses….she loves to eat…cooking, not so much).
So how did Mr. Hollister know the ingredients of her iced tea…a recipe she’s never shared?
How did Mr. Hollister know about all her favorite foods, and why would he even care to impress her that much? The man was old enough to be her grandfather and it was clear he didn’t have any amorous interest in her at all.
Those question aren’t answered in the excerpts I am sharing, after all, there is a lot of mystery in WHAT A GIRL WANTS so I don’t want to give anyway any spoilers.
Copyright Selena Robins 2013
All Rights Reserved
Some background. Maddie is a travel journalist with a popular following in magazines for her articles.
Carl is Mr. Hollister’s Man-Servant, Assistant, Butler
Reece is Maddie’s best friend.
Alex is the hero, and Maddie’s love interest.
“Is something wrong?” Maxwell signaled for the young servants to stay. “Would you rather have something else prepared?”
“Oh no, that’s not it at all.” She took in the different dishes. “I had a big breakfast.” She gestured to the mound of food. “This looks…delicious.” And familiar.
The spread was a replica of Maddie and Reece’s gossip night menu: nachos with the trimmings, chicken wings, lasagna, spicy olives, baguettes served with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and assorted dipping sauces, and no fewer than three types of salads—Caesar, Greek and corkscrew pasta salad, all her favorites. One tray held three bowls of melted chocolate, surrounded by the largest strawberries, kiwi and pineapple slices she’d ever seen.
Apprehension, not hunger, swirled in the pit of her stomach, as if a couple of hummingbirds drunk on tequila had taken up residence there. The feeling intensified when the last tray was placed on the table: chocolate peanut butter pizza topped with roasted marshmallows.
What. The. Hell?
This was beyond odd. There was no way that she and Maxwell Hollister shared the same taste in food. And how would he know that these exact foods were her favorites? At the cocktail party, she’d noticed his chef had prepared some of her favorite desserts, but she’d given him the benefit of the doubt. After all, she’d mentioned them in a couple of her articles.
Carl dismissed the servers and poured her a glass of iced tea. She thanked him, took a sip to wet her parched throat and almost choked when she tasted it. The iced tea tasted exactly like her own tea mix—a combination of green, earl gray, mint leaves, cranberry juice and honey.
She hated to admit this, but she was regretting having forbidden Alex from accompanying her. While Maxwell spoke to Carl, she sipped her tea and tried to figure out how she’d quickly and safely escape, if she needed to.
After a lot of apprehension and her journalistic mind putting a few things together, she did manage to relax and enjoy lunch and unfortunately, way too much iced tea.
Ladies, I’m sure you can identify with Maddie’s predicament after all that iced-tea. Women tend to have bladders the size of an acorn, and when we gotta go, we gotta go.
Here is a short snippet of the result of that iced tea indulgence:
Maddie nodded, walked through the door and dashed toward the bathroom. She turned the corner, her destination only a few feet away, when she heard her name called in a hushed tone.
She swung around. “Alexander Thomas Donovan, you said you wouldn’t follow me.”
“Maddie Elizabeth Saunders.” He shot her a lopsided grin. “I said I wasn’t showing up for lunch. Something wrong with your foot? Why are you hopping around like that?”
She turned and opened the bathroom door. “I’m so going to get you for this—”
“How did you get in here?” Maxwell’s voice beamed an icy attitude toward Alex.
She shut the door on Alex’s answer. She wouldn’t stick around to see the rest of this drama played out.
Damn iced tea. Damn Alex too.
I hope you enjoyed the short snippets and that it piqued your interest about the mystery surrounding Maxwell Hollister and his animosity toward Alex, and Maddie’s goal in finding out more about the man and the Island in Hawaii she has been assigned to with Alex.
Here is Maddie’s recipe for her special iced tea, make up a batch and let your taste buds in on the magic they will experience with this refreshing drink.
4 cups water
2 Earl Gray tea bags
2 green Tea Bags
1 cup cranberry Juice
a handful fresh mint
pure honey to taste
Bring water to a boil and pour in large pitcher, add the tea bags and let stew.
Remove tea bags and add: cranberry juice, honey, juice from the lemon, mint leaves.
Store in fridge for an hour.
Please join me in welcoming back LadyBug as she joins me in sharing her thoughts on motherhood.
Mother’s Day by LadyBug
A few weeks ago, Selena asked if I would write something about Mother’s Day. I’ve been wracking my brain trying to figure out what I would write. Okay—that’s probably not entirely true. I woke up at 2:00 a.m. one morning (I have not uncommon bouts of insomnia), and my mind was racing. Close to the top of the queue was this post on Mother’s Day. I started thinking about my mom and then, later, being a mom.
My mom is a beautiful, kind woman. She taught me many wonderful things, but three of them stand out:
Show people you love them.
Telling them is lovely and fantastic, but show them.
Telling them is lovely and fantastic, but show them. Show them with food especially.
When you take time to make something special for a loved one, you are giving that person your time, your energy, your thoughts, and, most importantly, your love.
My mom knows that I don’t like pickles in my potato salad so she always makes two kinds – one for me (and now my babybug) and one for everyone else. That’s love. My mom also knows that muscadines (a wild, southern grape) are my favorite treat of all time. They are ripe for a very short period of time in late summer, and their harvest just happens to coincide with my birthday. Every year, my mom and dad drive over an hour to an orchard and pick gallons of muscadines and ship them to me for my birthday. That’s love. My mom doesn’t understand it, but she knows that I love Moon Pies (also found primarily in the south but definitely not in nature). Just a few days ago, a huge box arrived in the mail. It contained dozens of Moon Pies. That’s love.
We are here to serve others.
Whatever your beliefs are about a higher authority or the purpose of life, most people would agree that helping others is our calling as human beings. We have been granted a life that shouldn’t be wasted. My mom taught me from the beginning to give and to serve. If someone needs food or clothes or anything else, make that happen. Maybe you can fill that need or maybe you need to find someone who can help. There is a joy in giving and helping that can’t be matched. Honor the person who gave you life or built one for you by serving others to make theirs better.
Always wash your face before bed.
Let’s be honest–I’m not going into my later years without putting up a fight. I’m all for aging gracefully, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not going to do everything in my power to look great doing it. My mom has the most beautiful, flawless skin. She’s 67, but her skin is that of a woman in her 40’s. Genetics has a huge hand in that, but that woman takes care of what she’s been given. So…. Wash your face (and wear sunscreen).
It’s okay to take care of yourself. It’s okay to want to look great. Just make sure you look great while showing people you love them and serving others.
I had a very difficult time getting pregnant with each of my babies. They are truly my most wonderful blessings. I always wanted to be a mom. After years of trying, we finally got pregnant with Boy Babybug in late 2002, about a month after my father-in-law died. I was ecstatic, and Manbug was terrified. Very early on, we learned that there were some problems with the pregnancy. We had been pregnant with twins but lost one of them. We were then told that our remaining baby would be born with severe problems. This was a very, very dark time for us. We saw specialists, had every test known to man, and were faced with some really difficult decisions.
On Mother’s Day in 2003, I was laying on the couch with Manbug watching TV. I was happy because I counted this as my first Mother’s Day, but it was still shadowed by uncertainty. At 3:40 pm that afternoon, I felt butterfly wings in my tummy. My baby was moving, and I felt it for the first time. I’ll never forget it as long as I live. About two weeks after that, we were given the incredibly welcome news that the issues Boy Babybug had in utero had resolved themselves, and there was no reason to believe he wouldn’t be born healthy. More than nine years later, we have a brilliant, loving, kind son who made me a mom.
If Boy Babybug made me a mom, then Girl Babybug honed my skills. She came along about five years ago and completed our family. After a rather dramatic entrance into the world, she set about her divinely-appointed job of making me pay for all of my past sins (and then some). We like to call her the Honey Badger because that’s the best description of her personality. She is a fierce, funny, wild mini-woman. She lights up my life and makes me pray for serenity all at the same time. She already is the woman I want to be when I grow up.
I could tell you stories for days about the wonder that is my offspring, but I’ll leave you with just one that truly illustrates the yin and yang that are Boy Babybug and Girl Babybug.
We’ve had an ongoing problem of losing the remote control to the TV in their playroom. There have been many discussions about the importance of putting it back in its proper place. A few months ago, they lost it AGAIN. I was frustrated and at the end of my rope. The Babybugs were receiving a lecture on this topic AGAIN. My sweet, kind, sensitive Boy Babybug was immediately contrite and promised to never misplace it again. I told them that this time they would be deciding their punishment (subject, of course, to parental oversight and approval). I asked what they thought it should be. Boy Babybug was distraught at the thought of having to suggest a punishment and wept accordingly. Girl Babybug was a totally different story. She had endured my lecture with clearly evident boredom.
When the time came for her to suggest a punishment, without missing a beat, she replied, “Well, you talking to us has been pretty bad.”
LadyBug, thank you for sharing your family with us in this heartwarming tribute to your mom (a woman who has paved the way for you and Girl Babybug on what is truly important in a woman’s life), your children and your personal journey into motherhood.
Your post made me smile, laugh out loud (because Honey Badger does that to me whenever I hear about her adventures) and tears of joy.
Like LadyBug and I’m sure all of you, this weekend as we celebrate Mother’s Day, we remember the beauty, kindness and selflessness of the women in our lives.
I totally relate to Ladybug’s mom’s advice about showing someone how much you mean to them, as I am a firm believer in actions are more powerful than words.
In the short time that my mom held my hand, her teachings have stayed with me and I’ve hung on to them, even when it was tough to smile in the face of some of life’s challenges.
Like LadyBug’s mom, my mom believed in showing how much she cared about her family through food. My mom taught me that it doesn’t matter what you cook, even if you make a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich, as long as you make it the best PB&J you can make and make it with love.
She also told me not to close my eyes when kissing a boy, whenever that would happen (I remember her saying that realistically she hoped it would be when I was 18 or so, as opposed to my dad hoping it would happen when I was thirty). Well, I took this piece of advice literally, as in: Don’t. Close. Your. Eyes. My first kiss (16 years old) was awkward because I heeded this advice. When I told her about it, she did what every mom would have done in this situation….stifle a laugh and then explain exactly what she meant. Don’t shut everything out, and be aware…well, I’m sure you all know what she really meant. I was sheltered and naive…that’s my
Main thing my mom taught me was to treat others even better than I expect to be treated.
She taught me by example to be kind, sensitive, be charitable, be classy, keep a sense of humor no matter what happened in my life and to always, always, have tomato sauce in the freezer and plenty of pasta on hand in case unexpected visitors show up at dinner time.
For you Mamma
You were a wonderful mom who was always there for your family, through thick and thin,
Tackling life’s challenges one at a time, always remaining calm displaying your beautiful spirit and grin.
Even through the hard times, you ensured our home was always packed with laughter, warmth and plenty to eat,
Always lending a helping hand to friends, neighbors and arranging family road trips and gatherings which were such a special treat.
You were able to sleep standing up when we were ill, fueled by patience, tenacity and lots of black coffee,
You kissed and cured anything, a broken leg, the flu, the sniffles and a scraped knee.
You multi-tasked all day, cooking, cleaning, teaching and still had time to wipe away our tears,
Always maintaining a sense of humor over spilled grape juice, active children and still able to alleviate our fears.
You always put your own needs aside, while you went about fixing your family’s broken parts,
You subtly comforted, advised and sympathized when there was a broken heart.
Moms are special women, holding a “mother’s” golden nurturing key,
You were my mom, my friend, and a fantastic role model for me to aspire to always want to be.
Thank you, I love you, I miss you, but I know that as you watch over all of us, you are proud and someday (in a very long time, as you would say) we will see you again.
To all the women, whether you’re a Mom, Bonus Mom, Aunt, Godmother, Sister, Neighbor, Teacher, Coach, Friend…to ALL the women who touch a child’s life…HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY…as we are all mother’s of the world!