Tessa’s Books

cfblslideCocktails for Book Lovers 

The perfect pairing for anyone with a literary thirst: cocktails inspired by your favorite authors!

From Jane Austen’s little-known fondness for wine to Hemingway’s beloved mojitos, literature and libations have always gone hand in hand. Cocktails for Book Lovers blends these in a delectable book that will delight both readers and cocktail enthusiasts alike. Perfect for book clubs and bon vivants, this irresistible collection features 50 original and classic cocktail recipes based on works of famous authors from Virginia Woolf to Junot Diaz and popular drinks of their eras, including Orange Champagne Punch, Salted Caramel and Bourbon Milkshakes, and even Zombie Cola. So dip in, pick your favorite author or book, and take a sip, or start at the beginning and work your way through. Cheers!

Authors include:
Wally Lamb, Jhumpa Lahiri, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Flannery O’Connor, Alice Munro and 45 more!


“Tessa Smith-McGovern[‘s]… newest project shares drink recipes inspired by authors, quenching the thirst for both a great read and a satisfying libation.” – Entertainment Weekly Shelf Life

“Perfect for talking about at your next book club meeting or while crafting these cocktails with friends.” – The New York Daily News

“Featuring classics mixed with original cocktails, plus bio and book suggestions, this slim guide should quench your thirst. You’ll find Ernest Hemingway (mojito) plus Junot Diaz (Papi’s Rum Punch) and Anne Tyler (Ian’s Cherry Cola) among them. ” – The Chicago Tribune

“This book is perfect for anyone wanting to mix up a little libations while reading over a long weekend – or for book clubs, looking to spice up the refreshments at their next meetings.” – Novel Novice

Thanks to all those readers who made Cocktails for Book Lovers an Amazon best-seller!



London Road: Linked Stories by Tessa Smith McGovern

Winner of the Gold Medal in the 2012 eLit Awards in the Short Story category.

On the morning of her release from prison, the hottest day on record in England, Janice Bailey makes her way to a boarding house in London, and discovers a bizarre new world.

Part memoir, part fiction, this moving, uplifting collection of seven linked short stories begins with ‘When Janice Bailey Walked’, an award-winning story first published in the Connecticut Review. It continues with six more stories, as told by the residents of Number 17, London Road, thus illuminating a little-known side of the most beautiful city in Europe.

“…reminiscent of the writer who appears in one of the stories: the great Katherine Mansfield.”
Cynthia Rogerson, winner, V.S. Pritchett Memorial Prize for a Short Story, 2008, UK



In seven short stories, residents of a London boardinghouse reach moments of clarity. On London Road, lined with scruffy shops, stands No. 17, a detached red-brick Victorian that’s been turned into a boardinghouse. Its residents tend toward hard luck and desperation: Janice is just out of prison; Mandy is on probation; Bitty has a good education, but is scarred by her mother’s frequent abandonments; and Isobel is mentally unstable. Nora, the landlady, writes romance novels but has experienced little romance herself, and her daughter, Anna, is disgusted by Isobel’s outbursts.

Their interconnected stories take place on a day of unusually hot weather, and focus on one resident at a time, with Janice’s story told in two parts. In each, characters have a chance to make a leap of faith in other people, or in the future. In “The Walls of Buckingham Palace,” for example, Nora—who adores the queen—reflects on an uneasy encounter with Len, her local pub’s new landlord, who drank too much and frightened her off: “But every night since, her sleep had been disturbed by longings she thought had long since been vanquished.” It takes queenlike courage for her to return to the pub, where she finds that Len is apologetic, sincere, and kind. Pointing to a framed photograph of the queen, he remarks, “You remind me of her, you do”; nothing, of course, could better gain her trust and win her over.

Though spare and fast-paced, McGovern’s (Cocktails for Book Lovers, 2014, etc.) tales evoke entire biographies. She focuses on illuminative details and subtle, turning-point moments, as when Mandy, a young woman on probation, reacts to her mandatory book group’s reading of Katherine Mansfield’s 1922 short story “The Garden Party.” It stokes her resentment, as she doesn’t even know if people still give garden parties. Mandy makes plans to shoplift again, but something about the book group leader’s hopefulness and the invitation to give her honest opinion sparks her determination to win—maybe a literary argument, or maybe more chocolate wafers.

Tales with subtle, positive but never saccharine transformations that feel fully earned.” – KIRKUS RECOMMENDED REVIEW
“The short shorts in Tessa Smith McGovern’s collection London Road: Linked Stories really are made to fit within the palm of your hand — her delightful and fresh stories are available as apps for your phone or can be converted for your e-reader.

Whatever way you take in the words of McGovern, just make sure you do. Her stories link the lives of residents in a halfway house on the outskirts of London. Based largely on McGovern’s own experiences — her mother operated a Halfway House in Sussex — , her characters come alive through a style that is unique and lovely. McGovern uses words both easily and luxuriously and her ability to evoke place, emotion, and possibility all within the confines of a very short story is amazing. I felt as if I personally knew each character, from Janice to Nora to Isobel to Bitty, and even Len down at the pub, and I cared about them all.” – NINA SANKOVITCH, READALLDAY.ORG

Click to download on iTunes.
Click to read FREE through Kindle Unlimited on Amazon.com.
Thanks to all those readers who made London Road: Linked Stories an Amazon best-seller!