Kate Fullerton, talented tea designer and now co-owner of The Tea Chest, could never have imagined that she'd be flying from Brisbane to London, risking her young family's future, to save the business she loves from the woman who wants to shut it down.
Meanwhile, Leila Morton has just lost her job; and if Elizabeth Clancy had known today was the day she would appear on the nightly news, she might at least have put on some clothes. Both need to move on.
When Kate's, Leila's and Elizabeth's paths cross, they throw themselves into realising Kate's vision of the newest and most delectable tea shop in London, The Tea Chest. But with the very real possibility that The Tea Chest may fail, the three women are forced to decide what's important to each of them.
An enchanting, witty novel about the unexpected situations life throws at us, and how love and friendship help us through. Written with heart and infused with the seductive scents of bergamot, Indian spices, lemon, rose and caramel, it's a world you won't want to leave.
Josephine Moon writes about strong, creative women making their mark on the world. She describes her stories as 'books like brownies': indulgent, comforting, a treat for the senses, but filling, and with chunky nuts to chew on. Josephine lives with her witty and funny husband and their son, who is without doubt the most amazing, intelligent and gorgeous creature to ever walk the earth, and their extraordinarily large and diverse animal family on acreage on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. They are currently renovating a house for profit to maintain Josephine's passion for horses and imported fine chocolate.
The Tea Chest
Allen and Unwin
Author: Josephine Moon
Question: What was the main inspiration behind setting a novel in a boutique teashop?
Josephine Moon: Essentially, I adore tea shops and I wanted to create a space that was the most magical and beautiful place I could imagine, where I would want to hang out every day.
Question: What did you enjoy most about creating the three different characters?
Josephine Moon: I think their diversity of personalities and situations was the most fun, getting to put on a different 'headspace' when I was writing their scenes and imagining how they were feeling. Leila was always my most difficult character, right from the start. She is complicated and challenging and that made me work hard and push myself into new areas and that was (frustratingly) rewarding. I wrote a lot of scenes for her that didn't make it into the final book, and her journey changed so much from first draft to last. She is like a friend that you look at one day, after knowing her for five years, and you think, wow, I thought I knew you but I guess I was wrong!
Question: Which of the three women can you relate to, the most?
Josephine Moon: There is something of me in all three women but Kate definitely has the most of me in her. Her love of nature and attraction to herbs and flowers, lying in lavender fields, worried she'll let others down... that's all very me.
Question: What is your favourite type of tea? Does your choice change when you're writing?
Josephine Moon: In the range of black teas, I'm a chai fiend, but I don't like blends that are heavy on cardamom. I'm also a big fan of fruity and floral tisanes. Which one I go for usually depends on how I'm feeling and how I want to feel. So if I need a lift and a bit of brain clarity, I'll go for a chai or for a bright herb like a fresh basil tea, picked from leaves in my garden. If I'm stressed and anxious, I might go for chai again, or for something soothing and calming, like chamomile or lemon balm, or a blend with roses
Question: What's next, for you?
Josephine Moon: Right now, I'm working on my next book for Allen & Unwin, a novel based around the theme of chocolate. The research is killing my waistline! On the days when I'm writing big chocolate scenes I am absolutely salivating at the end and simply have to go and indulge. Tragic, really :)
Interview by Brooke Hunter