The last couple of weeks have been both hectic and difficult. Finishing RUBY FEVER took priority, and even though we hit the word count goal, it will probably require additional scenes. Before you ask, the typical length of an adult romance is somewhere between 90-95K. It’s not a hard rule – some romances are longer, some are shorter – but that’s the general target to aim for.
Some of you asked for a release date for RF. I’d guess somewhere around this time next year. We don’t have a date yet, but a year is standard and if it comes out before, all of us will be happily surprised.
We are pleased to announce a full-cast dramatic adaptation of CLEAN SWEEP from Graphic Audio. It’s technically an audio book, but because every character is voiced by a different actor, it’s more like listening to a play.
I’ve updated the blog newsletter format. Hopefully it will shrink the images down as needed this time.
Mod R reports that there is some confusion about which of our titles are self-published and some people think that BLOOD HEIR was our first one. All of the Innkeeper, Iron Covenant, BLOOD HEIR, and all of Kinsmen are selfpublished. Kate Daniels, Hidden Legacy, and the Edge are traditionally published. BLOOD HEIR isn’t our first self publishing success. All of our selfpublished titles listed on USAT, with notable mentions going to IRON AND MAGIC at #8 on USAT, SWEEP OF THE BLADE at #6, SWEEP WITH ME at #3, and BLOOD HEIR at #2.
Now we just need #1. ::looks at BDH:: Hmmm, must pick a good project.
I’m joking. We’re not hung up on getting #1 from USAT. While bragging rights are nice, we are more focused on sales. Although I had this nice gentleman on Facebook explain to me how important the list placement is the other day. I was on my personal account commenting on an ad for a writing coach I found to be greatly exaggerating the coach’s expertise. I mentioned that the focus shouldn’t be on hitting a list but rather on writing the best book, and this gentleman popped up and decided to explain to me how publishing worked. It was very important to him, so I let it go.
I’m going to mess with a small random project that’s been simmering in the back of my mind today and see if I can rope Gordon into it. He is skeptical. We will see once we nail down the voice if it’s worth working on.
Also, I am out of tea. I am out of Vanilla tea, I am out of chocolate tea, I am out of the other fruity black tea. No black tea except for Assam and it’s too strong for the morning. I could’ve made green tea, but I had boiled the water to black tea temperature. I found some Sheng pu’er I had ordered on a whim a year ago and drank that.
Must order more tea.
Moderator R says
Chocolate by Harney & Simons was previously recommended by Ilona ???? https://ilona-andrews.com/2020/spilling-the-tea/
Lorrie C Thompson says
I must have missed that one. Not a tea drinker at all, but CHOCOLATE tea could be something to get behind. I don’t suppose someone has created a coffee tea?
Lee Anne says
Two options for coffee tea that I know about First is Morning Thunder by Celestial Seasonings which has some coffee in the blend but not so much it tastes like coffee. Second is called a dirty Chai. Basically a Chai w/ a shot of espresso. Enjoy!
Wow, not the OP, but will check these out!
Morning Thunder! The charging buffalo (technically bison, but that level of accuracy is for when you’re sufficiently caffeinated)! 8am exams back in the ’70s! LOL, thank you for that blast from the past. I have a huge grin on my face.
Lee Anne says
Glad I brought back fond memories. I still drink Morning Thunder on rough days.
Techino or teachino, I forget which, makes a line of chickory coffee teas in mocha and vanilla and hazelnut.bthey are good, and for the caffeine sensitive like me, a fun alternative.
Darcie Cooper says
I bought some of Teeccino’s Dark Chocolate Prebiotic SuperBoost Herbal Tea last year. It is pretty good. Nicely rich, and decently strong. 🙂
I ordered some after that post and it is delicious!
I bought different chocolate teas (such as cherry, rose, mint) from Culinary Teas years ago. I’m too lazy to mess with loose leaf nowadays.
More tea is always good 😉
Does this mean we’ll be getting another tea update soon? The Paris tea by Harney & Sons is one of my new favorites! I’m up for any and all tea recs (and also your books obvs). Congrats on sending in the first draft of RF! Must feel great to get the process started and out of your hair for a bit ????
Jumping up and down squealing about full cast Innkeeper!!!! I love the Innkeeper audiobooks. They are some of my go-to books for the 14 hour drive between Philly and St. Louis (the dogs are ambivalent on them, I don’t count snoring or puking as a critique of my book choice). Full cast sounds like so much fun, I loved Renee but one person only has so much range (and most women can only go so deep).
At this point, I don’t know a lot about it but when I do, I will post details.
Sandra F Schaeffer says
Me too! So excited about full cast recording!
So excited to hear it come to life in a different way! <3
I really like Graphic Audio, I have been listening to their books for several years. As Ilona say, it’s like a movie with different people for the voices and there are the sounds that we hear around people like someone walking or closing a car door etc. I will buy this book even if I already have it with audible, it should be interesting
Vicki LENOIR says
Yes! I had recently posted here about Graphic Audio too. The only thing that is not quite my thing is that usually abridge the book. I can understand why, but hope that IA work will be kept integral…
Just curious where you order tea from as I am looking for a good online tea retailer. Love your work, and am so excited to read anything and everything you guys publish, any way it comes!
https://www.harney.com/ and https://verdanttea.com/.
Looking forward to RF! I’ve always wondered why more books aren’t full cast- sounds soo cool!
As someone working from home more often recently I have found VAHDAM tea selections to be a delight. My other half gifted me a 12 tea box as a way to try and ween me from drinking coffee and double digit amounts of terrible mass produced tea. It has become a beloved indulgence. Vahdam always do good quality, and the large selection boxes or adevent calendars give me the feeling of being a kid in a candy store at the pick n’ mix counter every time I stop to bre myself some tea.
The blue mountain varieties have become my nectar of the gods.
Sara B. says
Oooh – thank you! I looked-up VAHDAM and found their Chai and other samplers. Fun!
Angie Elle says
I’m curious to know if the goal for you is to get out of traditional publishing altogether. I would imagine it’s hard to walk the line between what you want and what editors and publishers want. Especially when you have projects where you don’t have to compromise what you want as much. Though I’m sure you have some sway with that. 🙂
Moderator R says
House Andrews have addressed this topic here https://ilona-andrews.com/2021/flowers-and-questions/
I hope this helps ????
Mary Cruickshank Peed says
So I don’t know why I missed this previous post but I’d love an Arabella series. Traditional or self published or serialized on the blog … Yes please.
Angie Elle says
It did; thank you so much! 🙂
If you are looking for some new teas, you can try Upton Teas https://www.uptontea.com
I just put in an order for my breakfast Yunnan gold tea and Peach Sky (black/peach flavor) which I use for iced tea. Their customer service is fantastic and they have teas from all over the world.
I hope you are able to take a breather and sip some tea!
I like Upton Tea as well. They have very good selection (tend to buy Assam and Darjeeling, sometimes white), except for flavored organic teas – there I have been using Kusmi lately (the four fruits black is my husband’s favorite). Both Upton and Kusmi have loose leaf or teabags. Upton also has a nice selection of tea infusing baskets that can fit tea pots or mugs for brewing flexibility of loose tea.
I’m still stuck on Harney and Son’s Hot Cinnamon Sunset tea. I think I’ll go make a cup now.
Oooh me too, love that one.
Patricia Schlorke says
Too bad you can’t do an auto-delivery on your tea. That way you would have all the tea you want when you want it.
Have fun with your next project. You know the BDH will be salivating over getting it. ????
Alex R. says
Why can’t you get tea auto delivered? I haven’t checked, but maybe there’s a tea of the month club?
If there isn’t, we’ll …. Someone make one and give me royalties!
Or free tea for life. Either will be fine.
I do Sipsy which is monthly tea sample box. It’s fun way to try new teas
Patricia Schlorke says
Some online shops don’t have auto-delivery. Some do. If the shop doesn’t have auto-delivery, then a tea shortage in the house can happen.
Audio play, like a good old fashioned “radio play”? Sounds like fun. I haven’t listened to many audio books. But when our kids were young, we would listen to audio dramas during road trips from the ZBS Foundation.
They were amazing. Many different voice actors, original music and incredible sound effects. And while we loved their dramas (Fourth Tower of INVERNESS!! wonderful but weird) I think my favorite were the audio adaptions of the Dinotopia books by James Gurney. Our son would lay on the floor in his room and listen to the audio while flipping through the pages of the books to admire the absolutely gorgeous illustrations.
Many great memories, so I look forward to hearing this adaption!
Life without tea, is unacceptable. I drink Irish tea. Long ago, when I would get out of school, we would go to my Irish Grandmother’s house versus the Slovenian Grandma, and we could have graham crackers if we drank “tah” with her. Gram brewed the tea at 5:30 AM. The “tah” could stand up without the cup. Great memories ☘️
I love tea so thank you for some new kinds to try. My favorite is chamomile. I’m excited about a possible new project that you are thinking about.
Very excited about the Innkeeper full cast to see how it differs from the audiobooks. I got my husband listening with me a few months ago (probably my 3rd or 4th listen and his first). I know he will enjoy hearing it again.
Thank you for introducing me to Harney&Sons chocolate tea. I ended up bunch of tins to try their other teas and ended up really loving their Banting & Best Blend (currently sipping)
Awesome to full cast of Clean Sweep! I could love audio books if all were done that way! That’s so great.
Best to projects present and future…
So the image teaser from before is related to Graphic Audio? Can’t wait!
Moderator R says
There has been no image teaser for Graphic Audio, you’re probably referring to https://ilona-andrews.com/2021/we-must-find-him/ , which is the teaser for a new Innkeeper serial to come on the blog around winter holiday time.
Hi Mod R, I was thinking about this one https://ilona-andrews.com/2021/mysterious-things/
Is that related to the new serial too?
Moderator R says
That is still a secret mystery that is very secret ????
Patricia Schlorke says
???? Hmmm…inquiring minds want to know. However, I know no amount of questioning will get you to spill, Mod R. ????
Thanks for reformatting the blog! It’s so much easier to read on my phone.
ok, I’m willing to try the graphic audio adaptation, but I’m skeptical. I bought two of them years ago and the background music was so much louder (and annoying to boot) than the voices, that it was unlistenable as far as I was concerned. I never managed to listen to either book, and I did try more than once. Plus, both were abridged. If I had noticed that, I would never have bought either one. Just something to keep in mind, please.
If it’s well done, it could be a nice thing. But frankly, I like duo voices better at the moment. I’ve bought several books this past year with both male and female readers and they were frankly really nice.
yeah, facebook. I’m about at the point of booting that from my life. Seriously tired of the ads for one thing. I don’t mind an occasional ad, but they are proliferating. Have to laugh at someone pontificating to you about publishing tho! How many years have you been in the business now? Heh
Elizabeth G says
much of the graphic audio “abridge” portion is taking out the “he said/she exclaimed” bits though is stylistic to the director of the project.
I have had a few GA’s that were *aggressive* in their music use, so I understand what you mean — but I just wanted you to know if it said “Abridged” when Clean Sweep comes out, it might be minor but is — technically — abridged that way. I haven’t tried them in the app to see if that can be modulated.
Jean Scanlin says
I live in the Netherlands and they drink a lot of tea here . My favourite is Licorice mmmm .
Also great news about the full-cast version of Clean Sweep. Can’t wait.
Richard Cartwright says
I heard some great writing advice from Larry Correia that went something like this, ” the only award or list that really matters is that readers like your work enough to spend their money to buy it.”
Since the man had made enough money writing to literally buy a mountain to build his rather nice home on, I figure it’s good advice.
On a related note someone needs to send you a tea hamper.
Baldwin Karen says
Anna L says
I buy my tea from adagio.com, and its been fantastic, I”m a big fan of their peach oolong, scottish breakfast, and all of their earl grey lines. They do also have chocolate tea, which smells fantastic, but doesnt have a strong taste
Ron MacQuarrie says
Have you ever tried Tealyra’s Cream Earl Grey? Kind of expensive but entirely worth it. It has cornflower as well as bergamot . Seems to mellow it out in an entirely nice way.
Hello – We got a couple of the Harney and Sons teas per your recommendations last year and they are pretty good 🙂 I was wondering how many times / days people reuse loose tea leaves. If using them multiple days, do you refrigerate in between?
Moderator R says
Usually it should be possible to get 2-3 top ups from a heaping teaspoon of good leaves, within a couple hours. Ilona has no experience with re-brewing on the second day, and refrigeration may alter the taste ????
I usually get one good rebrewing from most ‘good’ loose tea leaves. Tends to be too weak for me for more than one rebrew, but would be a personal preference issue if you are ok with more. Pu-ehr though can give you several more, but can vary.
I have ‘cold brewed’ tea for ice tea overnight in the fridge, it does have a different flavor from ‘hot brewed’ tea. But have not tried keeping ‘used’ leaves overnight for reuse.
Angela T says
Ohhh for tea, Harney & Sons decaf Ceylon is our go to bulk order for caffeinated morning tea. It’s actually pretty caffeinated (we also drink a ton of it so if you’re a light tea drinker you could probably hit the caffeinated one for same results). Also love their Earl Grey Supreme and Choice Tea’s Oolong, Genmaicha and Jasmine Green. The Genmaicha you can really taste the toasted rice flavor and the Oolong is one of my favorites, just a lovely lovely blend with the right caffeinated notes. You guys should also post your favorite teas regularly! Always looking for good tea recommendations..
For the tea-drinking among the horde (the Tea-Drinking Horde?), I am looking for ideas for new teas. I started having the worst acid reflux a couple years ago and tea is one of my triggers. But I was raised by a British dad and tea is such a THING for us. (He’s now in his 80s and starting to show signs of dementia, but whenever I visit, he offers me a cup of tea. He does the whole routine with warming the pot first, milk and sugar. It’s so sweet.) Anyway, I am reduced to drinking silver tea (hot water with honey) most of the time. Don’t really care for green teas or herbals. Decaf is slightly easier on my stomach but definitely tastes a little different. Any suggestions?
Patricia Schlorke says
Have you tried cold brewing your tea? I find that cold brewing has less caffeine and it’s not as tannic as hot brewing tea.
All you do is put cold water in whatever container you want (I use a 2 gallon sun tea container), and put your tea bags on top of the water. If you are using loose tea, you will want to put it in a diffuser. I brew my tea on the counter for 18 minutes. Longer if the water is really cold. Then I put it in the refrigerator to get the tea really cold.
Agreed on cold tea being easier than hot tea for acid reflux – I suffer from it too, and but I can drink iced tea all day long.
That doesn’t help with what to have with your Dad – the tea “ceremony” is obviously important to him. Maybe try a blend of black and herbal? You might find a blend that works for you and still lets you have a cuppa with your Dad.
Sara B. says
Ah – I had the same thing, which is why I switched almost entirely to the White tea varieties … they seem to be much lower in acid and thus not as much of trigger for my acid reflux. Takes a while to get used to the difference in taste though. After a while I came to like it, but a white tea jasmine is very different from the jasmine tea that I was used to.
You could always try some brewing cocoa from chocolate alchemy (dot com). I think he has a sampler pack. I use 2 tablespoons in 20 oz of boiling water for about 20 minutes (french press is a must. I have a stainless steel one). The longer you let it sit, the more chocolate it will taste. It is pretty bitter unless you sweeten it (I use cream). Some of the types are really dark, one called Shot in the Dark tastes like mocha without actually having coffee in it. Shadow’s Silhouette is my favorite, a very crisp milk chocolate flavor. I have reflux problems drinking coffee, so when I gave that up I switched to this with no problems. I still get reflux if I drink too much tea in a day, decaf or not. BTW, all of his chocolates are free trade certified and usda organic. Hope that helps!
Have you tried rooibos based teas? Naturally has no caffeine, so may not aggravate reflux.
Sorry. Coffee drinker here over Tea (Earl Grey, if I can get a good one). And coffee with some nice dark chocolate (bar) or dark chocolate and sea salt is yummy.
Also, I second the poster, above, who laughed at someone publishing-mansplaining book stuff to you.
Finally: yay! for Ruby Fever working itself out.
Justine Sophia says
Chocolate and vanilla tea? Where has this been all my life :0
The chocolate flavored teas I’ve tried actually go AMAZING with hot cocoa…just saying ????
WooHoo for the a full cast Audio of Clean Sweep! What fun. Must check that out. If well done and popular we can hope for more from other HA works. Spread the HA presence even more throughout the world.
Shahin Chowdhury says
#1 hmmmm, what about the second Hugh book, pretty, pretty #1 please
Moderator R says
Iron Covenant 2 is probably next on the writing block, at the same time as Innkeeper ???? https://ilona-andrews.com/2021/kd-answers-yay/
“It was very important to him, so I let it go.”
Other than that, I hope you find a fun project to work on that is fun and remains fun ????
kelly wilson says
Hello, Just curious, If someone is interested in getting started drinking hot tea, How should they go about it? Also, how much is a reasonable price on tea selections? Thank you for the page about teas reviews but I need more info. I have enjoyed all your book except the Kate Daniels series but will try them again in a year or two.
I would say figure out what kind you like and go from there. I tend to like fruity and floral, so lean towards herbal teas and Jasmine Green teas. Just be sure to follow the steeping directions. Herbals you can steep as long as you want, but greens will get bitter is steeped too long. Each type of tea is best brewed at different temperatures, too.
To make it easier on yourself, perhaps start with teas that are steeped at boiling temp and go from there? Most herbal teas and black teas fall in that category.
If you’re new to it, sachets or even tea bags (generally sachets are higher quality) would probably be easier to start with than loose leaf. Only because it’s less things. A sampler pack of different teas is a nice way to try different flavors without committing to an entire bag. Different teas take different brewing temperatures and times, but should be listed on the package. After trying it plain, you can add honey, sugar, or another sweetener, if you want it. Some add lemon and some add a milk (or milk alternative: oat milk, almond milk, soy milk) or creamer (that’s more common with black teas).
There’s different types of teas. They usually fall into black, green (those are I’m guessing the most common in the US), white, oolong, pu’er, and herbal/tisane (those aren’t technically “tea”, but are treated as such. Teas can have different levels of caffeine or be caffeine free. They can have all different types of flavors or be plain tea.
I know that was a lot, but probably not everything you might want to know. Did that help?
This is a great time to get started thanks to Holiday variety packs and advent calendars. Buy a variety pack and boil the water fresh (not microwave or anything used to new coffee). There are suggested water temps but you don’t need to be so fussed as a beginner especially with a less expensive set.
After brewing, give it a nice sniff & and see what you like.
I am a die hard coffee drinker, but my husband drinks tea so we have it around the house. I’ve discovered several that I like pretty well that you can pick up at your local grocery store without a big up-front investment. Bigelow’s Constant Comment is a spiced black tea that I like. I’ve also found some chai tea in teabags made by Twinings that tastes good – I put half & half in that. A decaf option is lemon-ginger tea. The box I have now is Stash brand, but I’ve seen others.
And another thought; I can not stand sugar in my coffee, but I prefer tea with sugar in it. ????♀️
I vaguely envy your lack of tea as I am attempting to drink DOWN my tea stash. At least I got through all the flavors I don’t really like this summer.
My boyfriend’s dad has a friend that regularly travels to China for work, and he brings back tea every time as a gift. While they will drink the occasional cup, my BF’s parents are not huge tea drinkers and so, to make room in the pantry, they gave me a whole paper bag of teas with little to no English on the boxes ????. This was a couple years ago and I still have 2 or 3 unopened decent sized packs.
I’m so excited for the full cast version of Clean Sweep!
I think you would have gotten #1 with Blood Heir if it wasn’t for the tv adaptation of Julia Quinn’s book. ????
Yay for possible new projects!
The fact that you’re out of tea boggles my mind. ???? I could probably last a year on my stash. I mean, no tea?!? That’s an incredibly sad statement. You should definitely get some today. Brave the store. Or ask one of your kids to bring you some and then it can count as your Christmas present.
Pat Roos says
Must always have more tea! I like harneys decaf vanilla tea a bunch
If you were here, I would gladly share some of the 50+Teas I’ve got in the pantry…
Sakshi Kaura says
Waiting (patiently) for Ruby Fever. Take your time. Add scenes. Thanks for keeping at it ????
On another note, I am rubbish at making tea that is not the traditional Indian ginger spice chai. I keep buying fancy teas and expecting different results. However, my recent acquisition of spearmint turned out well. So I have bought a huge bag of that.
(Golum voice) What’s a chocolate tea, precious?
Moderator R says
It’s not just for hobbit elevensies ???? https://www.harney.com/products/chocolate-tea?variant=29490612230
Your last comment made me giggle. For the past week, I have been putting sticky notes in odd places to remind me to order tea.
Must order more tea.
I started to go Eek, a year to wait for RF? Then I realized that leaves enough time to re-read the series at least once or maybe twice without overdosing before then. =) Thanks for all the great books!
Omg I love full cast audiobooks!! Gaiman/Pratchett Good Omens on audio is *chef’s kiss*
I love Silent Night by smith tea makers and it’s back in stock for the holidays. I just ordered Bon-Bon which I’m excited to try.
Would love to hear any other herbal tea recommendations.
Question: do you re-read your books? Like when starting the next book in a series would you go back and read the previous book? Or do you have them memorized?
Death on the Nile from Harney Tea is good herbal tea.
If you are open to checking it out here is an amazing tea shop that local to me…
Gong Fu Tea in Des Moines, IA
Not sure how well links go over here so you will have to do the Google magic for it.
Thanks for all the great books!
Ps: They have a monthly club if you are forgetful like me 🙂
Hello from Iowa! ???? I went there for the first time a couple of months ago. It was a nice! ????
Katie R says
My husband and I just put one of those shoe organizer things on the inside of the door to our pantry to hold all my different teas in the pockets. I just want to sit in the pantry now and look at it I love it so much!
Simple pleasures. 🙂
Jeffrey Beverley says
I am a big fan of Graphic Audio and have most of Brandon Sanderson’s books on GA. I’m hoping Clean Sweep does well because I will buy all the innkeeper books on Graphic Audio!
If you are looking for tea recommendations the Ripped Bodice blends their own tea! They included a chocolate almond “trope tea” in last month’s romance subscription box which is delightful.
Jean-ann Stump says
I love Graphic Audio and I am looking forward to discovering new voices for Clean Sweep. I also want to thank you for telling us about the chocolate tea. It is one of my favorites now.
Sometimes I don’t notice when my one pound bag of Paris runs out. Then I reach for it, only to find it empty, and heartily contemplate sitting in a corner to cry.
Brandi-Leigh Baumeier says
If you are looking for new tea brands Teabox is a wonderful brand and I especially love their Mountain Rose if you like floral black teas.
Full cast audio of Clean Sweep?!? I would love that. I have to admit I haven’t listened to a full cast audio book since my kids were a whole lot younger. Brian Jacques Red Wall books with the full cast were fantastic!
Eda Whitby says
I can’t wait for Ruby Fever! I’ve been rereading all of your series. I started with Kate Daniels, then Innkeeper Chronicles, and now I’m almost to the end of White Hot in the Hidden Legacy series. I also need to finish The Kinsmen Universe, and I’ll be ready for Fated Blades!!
Oh, tea. I love tea. I’ve been buying so much of it lately. Harney & Sons makes this delicious herbal called Indigo Punch. You have to try it!!
GASP! I feel personally, singularly, seen AND validated. After years of commenting politely on every blog post that dealt with audio that GraphicAudio would be perfect for HA books, IT’S HAPPENING!
“…I had boiled the water to black tea temperature…”
This is a thing? Proper brewing temperatures? I thought you just boiled the kettle, dumped it over the leaves, and tried to remember to pull them out before it got too bitter. Guess I’m a savage.
If your green tea is bitter, it’s because you water is too hot. https://www.artfultea.com/tea-wisdom-1/tea-brewing-temperature-guide
This makes it easier: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003KYSLNQ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I was today years old….
Ooooh! I was just shopping for a new kettle (replacing my stove top one that I use a candy thermometer to check water temp).
That would simplify my mornings a LOT. Thanks for the recommendation. I love that it actually has the style of tea on the temperature controls.
Love all you write. Thank you for all you go through to create your wonderful work. I know you hear it often from us, but it has kept me sane for much of the last 2 years.
Sara B. says
I predict a run on the electric kettle with the temperature setting … I know that I have bookmarked it for myself. Thank you!
I just bought myself that kettle last month! ????
Harney and Sons sell that kettle and they sometimes have 20% off sales. That’s how I got mine. ????
And suddenly 1 metric ton of tea shows up at the PO Box.
My brain got stuck on tea temperatures. I am … woefully unprepared for tea-making.
Dixie M McIlwraith says
I must say I have never liked the Graphic Audio results. Eileen Wilks, who I really enjoy as a writer, has all her books on Graphic Audio, and I have bought a couple but do not enjoy them. First, they are abridged and so the story remains but the writing itself is sacrificed. Second, all the actors just get in the way and the mood music is annoying. Clearly many millions like the format but i prefer a single narrator. Perhaps it is a throw back to when I was read to as a child, but I enjoy the single voice even if the male voice may not be as authentic as it would be with a male actor.
Completely agree! I love Eileen Wilks and have all her books. I bought the Lupi books on Graphic Audio and I didn’t even make it through the first one. It wasn’t like reading, but I find regular audiobooks very much like reading it myself.
Yes! Those are what turned me off Graphic audio. I never managed to listen to the two I bought. But I’m trying again with a different author.
Meg P says
Well I learned something new today. I had no idea there were different temperatures for different teas!
Jaime Taylor-King says
SAME. My world view is still somewhat askew, hours later.
Colleen C. says
Just came back from Kroger and their tea shelves were sad. I need to order tea too but lately haven’t liked any I have and it’s usually too expensive to just randomly buy something I haven’t tried before. *dramatic flutter of hand to forehead* Whoa is me.
Thank you to House Andrews. I was re-reading “Sweep Of The Blade”, and remembering the hair rising on the back of my neck the first time I read the definition of sariv on Karhari.
Check out Dryad Tea (Dryadtea.com). They have an extensive and interesting selection.
Yay to the news regarding Inn Keeper, boo to being out of tea. Good luck on the new project!
I never knew that different teas require the water boiled at different temperatures. We live and learn don’t we?
Lynn Thompson says
It differs with altitude too. At sea level different time than on top of grandfathers mountain. Tastes slightly different too but I think that is the water mineral content.
First, thank you for all your hard work you put in your books, blogs, and website, really appreciated it, gives me a lot of entertainment, joy, and information. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Audiobooks, I really love yours so far, (really really loved Hugh’s audio) but willing to give full cast a try. Hope your projects go well.
Tea, you hooked me on the Harney and Sons Paris tea, from the tea recommendations you made in an earlier post. Read the post, thought about ordering it, went to get my hair trimmed, and a Harney and Sons display (six different types) was in the corner, with a single ray of sunshine beaming down on a tin of Paris and tin of Chocolate, oh what can I say bought both, been drinking them since. Should add live in a small town, only seen the basic teas at the grocery store, we don’t even rate having a Walmart, it was strange even seeing tea displayed in the first place anywhere.
Michelle D says
I’m heading over from London to LA next week and my sister has requested a shed load of teas from Fortnum and Mason. I’ve just placed the order today and will collect them on Friday. If you’re looking for good tasting and unusual teas, perhaps Mod R may concur https://www.fortnumandmason.com
Graphic Audio for Clean Sweep is really exciting 🙂
I quite enjoyed the GA editions of stormlight archive
I don’t care where you are on USAT. I am just very happy when you release a new book that I get to read.
A year!? That makes sense though. I thought Hugh#2 would be out next year, but I didn’t even think of the post process. I will happily buy everything of that book!
Bill G says
No tea? Zooterkins, what a horrible thing to happen!
Pat Z says
Something to try is Yaupon Holly tea…and there’s a source in Cat Springs, Texas! Here’s a link to an NPR article on the tea, which has a link,to the Cat Springs source. https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/08/04/429071993/heres-the-buzz-on-americas-forgotten-native-tea-plant
HEB makes an interesting Chocolate Rooibos tea.
Elise B says
OMG I’d ???? be grumpy all day if my morning wake coffee/tea was empty.
You need a tea fairy to delivery you a cupboard full so no more empty tea pantry.
Can’t wait for the audio play ????
Steve lucas says
I have always loved Tamora Pierce. Many of her hooks are by full cast audio and the effect is AMAZING. they have some great voice actors, I relisten to them as often as I reread my complete Ilona Andrews collection. Thanks for trying this I will def buy another copy of the book to hear there version.
LOVE you guys. I wish Good luck and much happiness to you all
I was going to mention Tamora’s books. “The Will of the Empress” is the only title I remember right now but they do a fabulous job of matching the voice to the character.
I’m not a fan of green teas so maybe it’s the water temperature I’m using. I’m trying to use up my tea stash for ice tea. Most of them are sealed in foil packages in a closed metal tin. Peach and raspberry are yummy cold.
You can never have enough tea!
Since you mention it, can Sweep of the Blade be published in mp3? I’d rather not listen to my phone when I have a CD player in my car.
If you have not already, check out Mariage Freres tea. https://www.mariagefreres.com/UK/1-finest_harvests-black_tea.html
I’m in the same boat. I took advantage of Harney’s Black Friday sale last year, and ordered a year’s supply of tea. Now I only have 3 flavors left to choose from, and I’m all out of my favorite plain black and green teas. Only a few more weeks to go, unless they do an early Black Friday sale like so many others are doing.
Sara B. says
I had a doctor appointment for a blood draw (fasting), but had a morning meeting first, so it was 11:30 before I could stop for a bite to eat and a cup of tea. At I-Hop, my choices were “black”, “green” or “chamomile” — that was it. However, their generic black “English Breakfast” style tea was pretty good with enough honey in it. I was pretty desperate by then.
I just restocked my favorite loose-leaf White Chai from Cafe Tenby in Port Townsend, WA. Note to the non-tea drinkers that “white” refers to how early the tea is harvested, not to the colour of the tea (no nasty milk or cream added).
So excited! I love graphic audio, listening to Fred the Vampire Accountant done by them right now. (I love Kirby Heybourne’s narration of Fred too.) There’s nothing wrong with owning both versions, right? lol.
I must admit I don’t pay attention to the water temperature when I make tea. White, green, black… it all gets the same water from the whistling teakettle. And then added cream for extra insult. I’m a heathen, I know. I tried some Black Cask Bourbon tea from Harney & Sons. I’ve never had tea with that particular flavor before. I’m on the fence whether I liked it or not. I’ll make up my mind by the end of the tin haha. They have a special going on, spend x amount and they send you 20 sachets for free. Since I was buying from them anyway, it was a good deal.
Yippee! Clean Sweep Audio in any format is awesome!
Order more tea. Life isn’t worth living if I don’t have at least 25 choices at hand, lol.
Any time, any book you guys write comes out, I’m there waiting for my preorder, so whenever you’re ready, I’m ready.
Thank you so much for the blogs and books.
I always feel like a novel would be so long to write. And it is. But then I see the word count, and I realize it’s actually not impossible. If you have the time. And the commitment to focus on one thing. And, like, the experience to write a good story. All of which adds up to way more than the word count.
You guys do so much. I know the BDH says this a lot, but I’ll say it again: Great work. You’re a joy to read, both your novels and your blog.
Congratulations! That was a textbook “Mainsplain” right there. As an award, you win bragging rights for an epic mainsplaining episode. Don’t you just love when someone who is not expert in a field you are an expert in sincerely explains how you are wrong.
Shudders. Out of tea?!?! May your shipment arrive quickly, with no delays.
Thomas Coakley says
Firstly, I cannot wait for Clean Sweep! I already have the book and audio, but this sounds like a ton of fun.
Secondly, I wish the comments section had a like button.
Lastly, you kick much ass!
I just walk into my garden and pick the first known-non-poisonous flower/leaf/plant part I see and drink that when the teas run out on me. Marigold tastes like nothing but smelt nice.
I’ve never been attracted to audio books precisely because of the single voice limitation, but a full cast of voice actors is intriguing.
Tried Harvey & Sons Formosa Oolong. A dried husk of nothing.
As usual, fresh High Mountain Oolong for the win for me!
Philip Pullman narrated his DARK MATERIALS with a full cast and it is absolutely sublime. If you haven’t listened to this wonderful production you’re missing a very good time.
If you do this I hope it is the complete series because CLEAN SWEEP isn’t as interesting as the following books which are some of my favorite stories ever!
You ran out of tea??????
I am a hoarder of tea, all kinds of tea! I couldn’t imagine running out! I know you said you are ordering, but this would cause me to spend too much money at a tea store to over compensate for a current lack of tea!
Wendy Morrey says
Oooh! The play format will be so fun!! I’m just re-reading through the Innkeepers books right now. Dina is who led me to the world of House Andrews and I will be eternally grateful for picking up Clean Sweep. Good luck on your tea order. I hope you get something delicious!!
Lee Anne says
So many exciting new things to look forward too! Thank you HA! May your tea arrive swiftly and provide comfort and joy.
I just went to check and found the address for Tamora’s books.
FullCastAudio.com is the company that did them and they have links on the site with source suggestions and samples of each book to listen to.
https://Fullcastaudiobooks.com has information on the process, scripts, and time and actor estimates.
I don’t remember their audios having mood music on them. I think I would just find that to be annoying, it really bugs me in movies because it usually blocks hearing the actors talk!
Love Graphic Audio and can’t wait to listen to Clean Sweep from them. I’ve listened to another authors books through them and they do awesome work. It is literally like listening to a movie!
I’m excited about a full cast recording too!
I loved the BBC full cast dramatization of Good Omens – it was fabulous. Yes of course full cast means it doesn’t follow every word of the book but if well done, like it was IMHO, it doesn’t sound like you’re missing anything. Just another way to enjoy a great story!
???????? Truly missed you guys (had to take a mental sabbatical). Thanks for the laughter and snippets of your daily life. I played catch-up on your old posts; fun, fun, fun!????
“Small random project” Famous last words! Squeee!
Also, on the subject of fabulous tea – Tea Punk Teas! Loose leaf and totally worth it. They sell online. And no, I don’t work for them… They come to Armadillocon sometimes.
Jocelyn Malone says
Ooh, running out of tea is very sad! I ran out of my favorite (I drink many, but have one favorite for morning) and then it was out of stock for a couple of months. I just got to order it again and now the package is delayed! I hope it gets here soon, and I hope you get lots of tea quickly :-).
Carrie Bartkowiak says
Congrats on hitting your word goal! Extra scenes are always nice, but you guys usually chop quite a bit in editing, so I figure it will even out in the end. 🙂
I hope your tea order comes quickly!
Nadia Strydom says
omg omg omg fated blades are almost here
I’m intrigued by your random project!
I hope that you can talk Gordon into exploring your idea ????
Random question about writing:
Writing a main character in first-person means you’re firmly inside their head, right? But when you write dialogue between the main character and other people, how far do you get inside the other people’s heads? Do you imagine what the entire conversation might feel like for the main character and stay in their perspective? Or do you create a headspace for the other characters, imagining what the main character’s dialogue makes them feel, and then jump back and forth in your perspective?
I hope the question makes any sense. 🙂 Have a great week with promptly delivered teas!
Moderator R says
I think this previous blog article on POVs will help ???? https://ilona-andrews.com/2018/writing-pov/
Thanks, Mod R 🙂 this is mostly about reading experience and why first-person books tend to stick to one person, I was curious about which perspectives Ilona and Gordon take when writing, say, a dialogue between Catalina and Augustine. Do they get ever “inside” Augustine and look at the conversation, and Catalina, from his point of view? Maybe it’s a stupid question because there’s no other way to write. I haven’t written a story since grade school 🙂
Richard Hainsworth says
There’s a whole theory about such “gentlemen” who have climbed ‘mount stupid’, eg,
There’s a lot of gentlemen around….
Here’s a question that came from this post:
Ilona: “I mentioned that the focus shouldn’t be on hitting a list but rather on writing the best book”
Then after describing the episode with the imaginationally challenged “gentleman” …
Ilona: “I’m going to mess with a small random project”
So does this mean House Andrews is about to write a story tailored to reach USAT #1 ????
Which raises a very interesting question about what do you think makes a book more likely to reach USAT #1 ?
This may seem silly, because ‘duh, why write a book if it’s not successful?’. But similar questions arise about commercial art in other creative fields. For example, when a painter reaches a certain level of competence, choices can be made about what is created. Does the artist go for commercial work (perhaps suppressing inner feelings), and so choose subjects which are likely to draw the attention of a large number of “gentlepeople” buyers, and which are known to sell well, eg., puppies, kittens, nudes, or does the artist go for subjects that have a different motivation.
Susan J says
I must thank you for recommending the Haney chocolate tea a while back. I have ordered it and it is indeed a winner for morning tea without sweeteners.
Jessie West says
All the tea! I’m really excited for the dramatization! I love full cast audio books.
Ahhhh!! A Graphic Audio adaptation! Ahhhh!!!
You have much patience sensei.
Somebody made me a Chinese Oolong tea the other day. I’m not a huge tea drinker but it was delicious!
Lynn Thompson says
Thank you, Ilona Andrews for the post.
No tea. That’s bad. I ran out last month too and had to buy *gasp* grocery store brand black tea. I assume it was a pandemic supply chain issue as all the green teas and herbal teas from celestial and big elbow were MIA. Sigh. Just makes me more appreciative. Well yeah I suppose green teas are sitting in a shipping container in a port somewhere with rice and sugar. ????
Good luck on project.
Great news about the full cast. Always sounds so much better for me. ????????????
I’m tea hoi polloi and use Celestial Seasonings.
I got to go to the UK/Ireland earlier this month (on my first-ever, brand-new passport) and learned that my mother had been right for the last 30 years (from when she went to UK) and milk in hot tea is yummy and cuts the bitter.
Tea…tea is good. I like Rishi, but everyone has their preferences. I’m sipping the chocolate chai at the moment.
Book, mmmm, books and stories. Better than tea. They take longer to bring to a boil and steep, but I find they are more enjoyable. Like a really good loose leaf tea, they are things that can be steeped and enjoyed more than once.
Thanks for the updates.
I agree. No morning tea is a major crisis and would ruin my whole day.
As a member of the BDH I will gladly order multiple copies of all your books (printed copies for me and my sisters, probably the ebook, and a spare hardback for me if available). Your worlds and writing are that good sight unseen. Thank you. I wait sort of patiently and not whine for Ruby Fever which I love already from the snippets.
Hi. Not sure where to post this since it doesn’t quite fit into any of the technical questions in the get in touch page.
I’ve preordered previous books from my library’s overdrive, and then got it delivered when the book came out. However, I can’t seem to find Fated Blades on my library’s overdrive. I actually tried 2 libraries, and my friend (a fellow BDHer) tried a third. It’s not even available to recommend to my library. What gives? Is that because it’s an Amazon-only book? Will it be available for libraries?
Thanks so much
Moderator R says
From the editor: “Yes, the physical audio edition will be in libraries. As well, we have a new-ish agreement with DPLA to add Amazon Publishing titles to the DPLA Exchange. Throughout this year, we’ve been adding titles. I don’t yet have a specific ETA on FATED BLADES, but will update you as soon as I have intel.”
Hope this helps ????
You are fast Mod R! Thank you. So still no update on it getting to the library. Guess I’ll have to keep doing my almost-daily check for it 🙁 Will there be a big announcement when it’s available at the library?
Moderator R says
I will set a reminder to do so ????.
Thank you! Much appreciated 😀
Breanna Parker says
What does chocolate tea taste like?
Moderator R says
The most popular one has notes of, not surprisingly, chocolate and vanilla ???? https://www.harney.com/products/chocolate-tea?variant=29490612230
Erin Valentine says
I would be super surprised if the next Aurelia Ryder doesn’t hit #1.
Congrats on finishing Ruby Fever and the audio adaptation of Clean Sweep! YAY.
So excited to read Ruby Fever… if you end up writing books about Arabella and Leon I will be forever grateful too 😀
I just finished the audiobook The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood. Have you read it yet? I loved it and it just reminded me of you guys and your excellent mix of humor and romance. The chemistry was great, the humor was similar to your funny tongue in cheek humor about romance novels… plus the main character is an aspiring scientist which I think might be up your ally? All the best and thanks for making this world a better place through your books!!!
I just love y’all so much! Member of the BDH! I love your writing!!!
Maria M. OToole says
Ah, mansplaining. Gotta love it.
Paula Correia says
More tea… a must!
I have new tea places to try out – yes!
May I add two more? Local places that I’ve enjoyed over the years:
Peerless – the only place I could buy loose tea locally for the longest time. They ship too:https://www.peerlesscoffee.com/
Russian River Tea Co. – locally sourced for tisanes and other wares: https://russianriverteaco.com/
Graphic Audio question. Do you know about when Clean Sweep will be available? I just checked on their site and it’s not yet in the upcoming releases and a search didn’t yield anything. Thanks.
Moderator R says
There is no clear date as of yet, but it will be announced on the blog when House Andrews finds out ????
Update: The release date is set for the 6th of January and this is the link https://www.graphicaudiointernational.net/innkeeper-chronicles-1-clean-sweep.html
Lucie (France) says
What a lovely man who explain to you how publishing works…. one time alors, a men explain to me how periods hurts and what I must feel… ????
I hope I’m not too greedy to ask for a short on Alessandro’s perspective? I’m not sure if anyone else has asked, but I only hope you’ll indugle as it’s fresh after finishing RF. We got a short from Rogan a few years back and I’m just dying to see Alessandro’s view. I just finished re-reading all Legacy books and I’m just so hyped up. I love Alessandro, sexy Italians for the win!
Moderator R says
I don’t know if that was a figure of speech, but we do in fact have THREE Rogan POVs, not one ???? https://ilona-andrews.com/category/avon-2/rogan-pov/
One of my most prized possessions is my variable temperature kettle. I take my tea seriously and it brings so much joy to my life! My absolute favourite thing to do is to curl up with a hot cup of perfectly brewed tea and an Ilona Andrews book. No exaggeration! You’re the only authors I’ve ever followed and your writing brings me as much joy as tea.
Deborah Armstrong says
Good Earth!! The original “Sweet and Spicy”
First had it as the House Blend at the Good Earth Restaurant in Portland, Oregon
Laurie Blanchard says
Kitchen Witch Gourmet (based out of Lodi, CA, has the best Teas! Its a little Tea and spice business. They have a tea of the month club so I get to try new teas all the time. They have a really good Vanilla!
I would like to put a good word in for Rakkasan tea company. They have very nice sampler packs to try, their teas are delicious (I especially like their herbals), & their sourcing is really great.
Chocolate tea is amazing!
I’m fond of Stash teas, which are from Oregon. Midnight in Paris is a variety of chocolate with a light touch of mint & lavender. ????☕️
Ruby Mist is a lovely hibiscus (no chocolate). ????????
Robin DeTota says
I like Peppermint Bark and Strawberry Chocolate Teas from the Republic of Tea. You can order them online or you can find them at specialty gift shops. If you order online you can order a bag of 250 as a refill for their cans of 36.
I tend to catch up on blog posts belatedly and in random order. I thought the “we can’t accept tea” comment at the end of the book survey post curious, but now I know why!
I don’t take nearly the care that Ilona does with selection and brewing of tea, but this post reminds me that I should go make a nice cuppa. Thanks. ????. Good wishes to all for the best day possible.
I seem to remember a post about a month back asking the BDH not to send gifts of tea…
What are your favorite brands of vanilla and chocolate tea?