Friday, June 10, 2016

Calamity Cafe & Southern Sweet Tea

There's nothing like Southern Sweet tea on a hot day. On Drinks with Reads Gayle Leeson is here to tell us how to make it in celebration of her new book, The Calamity Cafe. 

In The Calamity Café, the characters drink a lot of sweet tea. That’s because they’re in the south, and it’s summertime. You can’t beat a glass of sweet tea, a porch swing, and a gentle breeze that brings you wafts of honeysuckle…and sometimes cow pastures—you take the good with the bad.

Our story begins when Amy Flowers quits her job at Lou’s Joint, the café where she’s been working for the past year. And Amy doesn’t just quit, she offers to buy the café from her bully of a boss, Lou Lou Holman. That doesn’t go over well with Lou Lou, who basically says, “Over my dead body.” Well, guess who ends up dead? You got it—Lou Lou.

Once his mother is in the ground, Lou Lou’s son Pete is more than willing to sell the café. But with Amy a suspect in his mother’s death, how will the café ever attract any customers with a cloud of suspicion hanging over it and its owner? Amy sets out to solve the murder, clear her name, and open up the café of her dreams—the Down South Café. 

Can’t wait to start reading the book? Check out the first chapter.

The recipe for sweet tea is below, but basically, you just boil your water with your tea bags in it, take your pot off the stove, and add a lot of sugar. Then pour it into your pitcher, put it in the refrigerator, and you’re good to go. I don’t particularly like ice in my sweet tea—when it melts, it waters it down. So give me my sweet tea straight up please. 
How do you like my Down South Café mason jar with the fireflies—or lightning bugs—on it? I think it’s adorable. You might win one and a signed copy of the book if you comment on this post and tell us what you like to do on lazy summer evenings. This giveaway is open to U. S. readers only; however, if you’re an international reader, you can still enter to win a digital copy of The Calamity Café.
As promised, here’s the recipe:

Yield: 2 quarts
6 regular tea bags
1⁄8 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 to 2 cups sugar
6 cups cold water

In a large glass measuring cup, place the tea bags and add the baking soda.
Pour the boiling water over the tea bags.
Cover and steep for 15 minutes.
Take out the tea bags and do not squeeze them.
Pour the tea mixture into a 2-quart pitcher; add the sugar.
Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Add in the cold water.

Let cool; chill in the refrigerator and serve over ice.

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Gayle's visit here is courtesy of Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. 

Check out the other stops on Gayle's tour:

Tour Participants
June 7 – Moonlight Rendezvous – Review
June 7 – The Self-Rescue Princess – Character Interview
June 8 – Reading Is My SuperPower – Review, Giveaway
June 8 – Book Babble – Review
June 8 – Queen of All She Reads – Review, Giveaway
June 9 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – Review
June 9 – Community Bookstop – Review, Giveaway
June 10 – Books Direct – Guest Post, Giveaway
June 10 – Mystery Playground – Guest Post – Drinks and Reads
June 11 – Booklady’s Booknotes – Review
June 12 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review, Giveaway
June 13 – A Holland Reads – Review, Character Guest Post, Giveaway
June 14 – Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my – Review
June 14 – Classy Cheapskate – Review
June 15 – Back Porchervations – Review
June 16 – The Book’s the Thing – Review
June 16 – Island Confidential – Interview
June 17 – Melina’s Book Blog –  Review
June 18 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
June 19 – I Read What You Write – Review, Interview
June 20 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Character Guest Post, Giveaway
June 20 – cherylbbookblog – Review
June 20 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review
June 21 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Review


  1. This book sounds terrific. I grew up on sweet tea even though we did not live in the south. I couldn't agree more, sweet tea is prefect for the summertime!!

  2. Can't wait to read this new series. I love my sweet tea all year long. Thanks for the recipe. I love my summer evenings with a good book & sweet tea.

  3. Sweet tea is a real treat. Summer evenings are my favorite time of year for walking in the foothills, or if I am away by the sea.

  4. Love sweet tea, it's such a southern drink. This book sounds like a really fun read, looking forward to reading. .

  5. I like spending summer evenings with a good book and a little bourbon in my sweet tea. I can't wait to read this book! Lisa H.