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Tag Archives: historical fiction
I don’t do a lot of book signings these days, but when I was invited to sign my soon-to-be-released book The Love of Divena at the American Library Association convention in Anaheim, I couldn’t say no. I mean, librarians would be there. City and county and school librarians. Some of my very favorite people in the world!
The Love of Divena is the third and final book of my Blessings in India trilogy. The series follows two families through 20th century India: one a family of “untouchables,” the other the high caste Christian-in-name family that owns them.
Okay, back to Anaheim (home of Disneyland, for those not in the know). The Anaheim Convention Center is huge! So when I saw that Abingdon Press’ booth was at the far end of the hall, my spirits sank. Books, books everywhere. How many people would keep walking the aisles until they got to me?
Well, as it turned out, lots of folks did. I started signing at 9:30 a.m. and didn’t stop until the last book was gone at 12:10. And people were still in line.
I met library folks from all across theU.S., and from many other countries, too: Ireland, England, the Virgin Islands, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Kenya, India… People were so excited to see that the series was set in India. And everyone asked if I had been there. Fortunately, I have, because many knowledgeable people wanted to engage me in discussions.
Most frequently asked questions:
- How many times have you been to India?
- Answer: Eight. Ninth time this coming October.
- Is this a Christian book?
- Answer: “Yes, but not tacked on Christianity that hits readers over the head.”
- Is it suitable for young people?
- Answer: “Absolutely! Acceptable and also historically accurate.”
“Sign me up for next year!”
Basically, chai (also called masala) is black tea brewed with spices and milk. Each ingredient you add changes the flavor in a subtle way. Ask two dozen Indians for the best recipe and you will get three dozen answers. I’ll give you my favorite, then at the end I’ll add alternative ingredients you can toss in at your discretion.
1 cinnamon stick
1 Tbsp anise seed
6 green cardamom pods, crushed
1/4″ ginger root, sliced thin
1/4 tsp black pepper corns, coarsly cracked
Put 1-1/2 cups of water in saucepan. Add the spices and bring to a boil.
Cover, turn down the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add:
6 Tbsp honey or brown sugar
1 cup milk
Bring the mixture back to a simmer. Add 2 Tbsp of Darjeeling tea. Cover and turn ff the heat.
After 2 minutes, strain the tea into two cups. Serve immediately.
You might also want to try any of these common additions (but probably not everything all at once!):
2 bay leaves
1/ tsp fennel
1 vanilla bean
Want to settle down with a good book while you sip your Chai Tea? I would suggest The Hope of Shridula, or book #1 of the series, The Faith of Ashish. 🙂
“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
~ C.S. Lewis ~