Earl Grey Gin and Tonic with Blackberries and a TLC Book Tour

Here’s another TLC Book TourFor this stop, I read The Great Unexpected by Dan Mooney.  I received a copy for an honest review.   Let’s get to it!

About the book:  

A curmudgeon and his eccentric new roommate join together to plan an epic escape in this charming, poignant tale.

Joel lives in a nursing home, and he’s not one bit happy about it. He hates being told when to eat, when to sleep, when to take his pills. He’s fed up with life and begins to plan a way out when his new roommate, a retired soap opera actor named Frank, moves in and turns the nursing-home community upside down.

Though the two men couldn’t be more opposite, a fast friendship is formed when Frank is the only one who listens to and stands up for Joel. When he tells Frank about his burgeoning plan, they embark together on a mission to find the perfect escape, and along the way will discover that it’s never too late for new beginnings.

Filled with colorful characters, sparkling humor and deep emotion, The Great Unexpected is the story of friendship, finding oneself later in life and experiencing newfound joy in the most unexpected places.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Connect with Dan

Website | Facebook | Twitter

About the author:

Dan Mooney is an amateur filmmaker and air traffic controller and a friend to many cats. He wrote his first piece of fiction for a child-operated local newspaper at age ten and has been writing ever since. He lives in Ireland.

What I thought…

This was a good read.   Some parts were a bit predictable but then Mooney would put Frank and Joel in another odd (and hilarious) situation.   Joel’s plan goes on and on (bordering on ad nauseam) but I enjoyed the banter between him and his new friend, Frank.

As much as a curmudgeon as Joel is, I appreciated his dark sense of humor.   Joel sees the world as full of “asinine morons and faith-healing believers” (100).  One could have a lot of fun with this outlook, yet Joel has “never succumbed to fun”(109).   Frank describes him as having a “soul of a potato”(108).   That is a very apt description of Joel (and a hilarious one that I am going to quote to a few acquaintances).

Although the reader might see the ending coming, one hopes against hopes that Mooney doesn’t do it!


I was so afraid that Mooney’s denouement was going to result in Joel ending his life as well.  Rest assured that even though this is a book about death, old age, and suicide, there is a happy ending.

I will recommend this book to my fellow avid readers and will pass it along.


The Food.

There’s not a lot of food in the novel.   Pints of Guinness and cups of tea are prevalent.

Because Frank and Joel are oft to sneak out to imbibe (while planning one of their demise) AND that the novel is set in Ireland (part of the UK), I decided to continue my boozy theme from my last post and the tea theme.

Earl Grey Gin and Tonic with Blackberries




  1. Muddle one lemon wedge in the bottom of the glass.
  2. Add gin and tonic water. Stir. Add ice and frozen blackberries.
  3. Garnish with remaining lemon slice.

In the final third of the book, Joel and Frank find themselves in the VIP lounge of a twenty-something nightclub.   The cocktails on the menu are outrageously priced with outrageous and raunchy names (which ironically embarrasses poor Frank).  I was really trying to figure out a sexy name for this cocktail but I wasn’t creative enough.   (I could not top the nightclub’s menu of “Sex on my Face,” “Royal F***,” or “____ Sucking Cowboy.”) Besides, since this cocktail is the color of an afternoon cup of tea, Joel and Frank could possibly disguise this in their mugs back at Hilltop.

I threw in the blackberries because of the brambles they cleared at the rock (one of their escape routes).

Gin infusing with Earl Grey tea.

This cocktail is light and refreshing and perfect for summer.   If you have not infused your own gin, you must do so as soon as you are able just so you can make this cocktail.

Please check out what others thought of The Great Unexpected.

Instagram tour:

Monday, June 17th: @nerdybooknurse

Tuesday, June 18th: @shereadswithcats

Wednesday, June 19th: @ohthebooksshewillread

Thursday, June 20th: @sweethoneyandbrei

Friday, June 21st: @crystals_library

Saturday, June 22nd: @downtogetthefictionon

Sunday, June 23rd: @hollyslittlebookreviews


Review tour:

Monday, June 17th: Patricia’s Wisdom

Tuesday, June 18th: BookNAround

Wednesday, June 19th: A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall

Thursday, June 20th: Bookchickdi

Monday, June 24th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

Tuesday, June 25th: @thriftybibliophile

Wednesday, June 26th: Cheryl’s Book Nook

Thursday, June 27th: @saturday_nite_reader

Friday, June 28th: A Chick Who Reads

Tuesday, July 2nd: Lori’s Reading Corner – spotlight

Wednesday, July 3rd: Books and Cats and Coffee

Friday, July 5th: The Book Return Blog

Monday, July 8th: Book by Book

Tuesday, July 9th: Openly Bookish

Wednesday, July 10th: @one_more_paige

Friday, July 12th: Seaside Book Nook

Monday, July 15th: Asha Reads and @ashareads

Tuesday, July 16th: Real Life Reading

Wednesday, July 17th: Jathan & Heather

Thursday, July 18th: @theunreadshelf

Friday, July 19th: Eliot’s Eats


I’m also linking up with July’s Foodies Read.  

For all my TLC reviews, click here.

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