Blameless Book Launch: How to Throw Your Own Parasol Protectorate High Tea

Alexia Tea

I have a short Radio interview this evening on KAXE Grand Rapids with an audio stream available online as well.

Gentle Reader, I am out of the country, this year, when Blameless officially hits shelves. I am thus unable to throw my customary celebratory tea party until I return from foreign climes. So I thought, just perhaps, some of you might be interested in how to throw your own. Now, if you do so, would you be so kind as to send me pictures? Speaking of which, here’s the entry full of photos of the original Soulless Book Launch Party back at World Fantasy in San Jose October 31, 2009.


You are cordially invited to a Parasol Protectorate High Tea. There can be no more delightful way to enjoy the last of summer than with delicious nibbles and a fabulous cup of tea.

Please attended {name of hostess/host} at {time} on the {day} of {month} at {venue} to enjoy good food, pleasant company, and scintillating conversation.

Guests are encouraged to wear hats in honor of Ivy, carry parasols in honor of Alexia, or even (gasp) cross-dress in honor of Madame Lefoux. BYOI (Bring Your Own Inventions) if you are maker and would like to expose others to your scientific method in steampunk style. Vampires and werewolves welcome, with the understanding that the former will keep their fangs to themselves, and the later will dress accordingly.

We hope to enjoy the pleasure of your company.
Lady/Lord/Countess/etc. {your name here}

PSVP by footman, pigeon, or aetherogram.

If your own abode is undersized, a backyard garden is a lovely place to host tea or, barring that, a public park or lakeside aspect.

Suggested Savory Comestibles
Cucumber Sandwiches liberally spread with butter are always popular – I like to add a dash of fresh dill.
Egg Salad, Watercress, Chicken Salad, Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese, and Cheese & Chutney are also welcome. It is never a good idea to prepare the sandwiches too far ahead of time but if you do a clean, lightly damp dishtowel spread over the arrangement will prevent them from drying out or being attacked by bugs.

Hard boiled eggs
Scotch Eggs with Chutney
Sausage Rolls with English Mustard
Savory Scones
Pickled Onions
Crackers and Good English Cheddar

Suggested Sweets & Puddings
Brownie bites with dollop of whip cream and a raspberry and a sprig of mint make all the difference.
Upgrade pairs of gingersnaps by spreading lemon curd between
Turkish Delight

Strawberry Tarts

Sweet Scones with Clotted Cream and Strawberry Jam
Candied Lemon and Orange Peel
Meringues (and their derivatives)

Raspberry Mousse Cups with Cream
Mincemeat Tarts
Sugared Rose and Violet Petals
Treacle Tart

The All Important Tea

Teacups. Now, if you do not own enough teacups and saucers you can encourage guest to bring their own. Ones that express individuality. This has two benefits, 1. You do not have to store them all, 2. Each guest can always identify his/her own cup, 3. Conversational openers are provided.

Tea. Twinings English Breakfast Gold Label is high quality, not bitter, and hard to over brew. But it is expensive. I sometimes, sometimes, stock Earl Grey. Never Herbal, tisanes are for medicinal uses only.
Whole milk. Guests who require alternatives should bring such things as *shudder* skimmed milk or *double shudder* soy on their own. No hostess or host should ever have to suffer the peculiarities of diet in others that the modern world has forced upon us. Eccentricity is one thing, pickiness another thing entirely.

Book Party Advise

Your moment of parasol . . .

Gail’s Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:
15 Cutest Octopus, Squid and Other Cephalopods
Your Tisane of Smart:
How to speak New World Victorian.
Your Writerly Tinctures:
Babbling about Implausible Sex Scenes

And she reads says, “Set in an alternative Victorian era, Soulless takes advantage of the ‘what if’ factor. The narrative seamlessly incorporates tradition, mystery, romance and steam-punk all laced together with its own special brand of humour.”
SPOILER ALERT! Changeless blurb gives away ending of Soulless. A two for one review of both Changeless and Soulless, plus a play list to listen to while reading them.
Out September 1, 2010! Even bigger SPOILER ALERT! Really, DON’T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven’t read the other books first.
Heartless: Rough Draft done. First draft with first reader. Final draft due Nov 1.
Super Secret Project F: Under revision.
CAKE in Space: Trunked.
See table of contents here.
Short story turned in. The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2 available for preorder.

Quote of the Day:
“Never trust a woman who wears mauve, whatever her age may be, or a woman over thirty-five who is fond of pink ribbons. It always means that they have a history.”
~ Oscar Wilde

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