The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman

  • Title:  The Recipe Box
  • Author:  Viola Shipman
  • Genre:  Fiction; Food/recipes
  • Pages:  336
  • Published:  March 2018 – St. Martin’s Press; Thomas Dunne Books
  • Source:  Publisher

Description:  Growing up in northern Michigan, Samantha “Sam” Mullins felt trapped on her family’s orchard and pie shop, so she left with dreams of making her own mark in the world. But life as an overworked, undervalued sous chef at a reality star’s New York bakery is not what Sam dreamed.

When the chef embarrasses Sam, she quits and returns home. Unemployed, single, and defeated, she spends a summer working on her family’s orchard cooking and baking alongside the women in her life—including her mother, Deana, and grandmother, Willo. One beloved, flour-flecked, ink-smeared recipe at a time, Sam begins to learn about and understand the women in her life, her family’s history, and her passion for food through their treasured recipe box.

As Sam discovers what matters most she opens her heart to a man she left behind, but who now might be the key to her happiness.  (publisher)

My take:  The Recipe Box is about a young pastry chef who leaves her job in New York when she can’t stand to work for her obnoxious boss one more second. She heads home to Michigan and her family’s orchard/pie shop where her mom and grandma will give her some much-needed TLC.

It’s a story about family, tradition, and learning to trust – yourself and others. Scattered throughout are scrumptious sounding recipes for various baked goods featured in the novel. I plan to try some so this book will go on my cookbook shelf next to my own family cookbook. Recommended to fans of charming, uplifting novels and foodie fiction.


About the author:

Viola Shipman is a pen name for Wade Rouse, a popular, award-winning memoirist. Rouse chose his grandmother’s name to honor the woman whose heirlooms and family stories inspire his fiction. To date, The Charm Bracelet and The Hope Chest have been translated into over a dozen languages and become international bestsellers. The Charm Bracelet was named a 2017 Michigan Notable Book. Rouse lives in Michigan and writes regularly for People, Good Housekeeping, and Coastal Living, among other places, and is a contributor to All Things Considered.


 

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Spotlight/US Giveaway: Where the Wild Cherries Grow by Laura Madeleine

Where the Wild Cherries Grow

by Laura Madeleine

on sale: February 13, 2018

Thomas Dunne Books

Description:

It is 1919, and the end of the war has not brought peace for Emeline Vane. Lost in grief, she is entirely alone at the heart of a depleted family. She can no longer cope. And just as everything seems to be slipping beyond her control, in a moment of desperation, she boards a train and runs away.

Her journey leads her to a tiny seaside village in the South of France. Taken in by café owner Maman and her twenty-year-old son, Emeline discovers a world completely new to her: of oranges, olives and wild herbs, the raw, rich tastes of the land. But when a passionate love affair develops, secrets from home begin blowing in on the sea waves.

Fifty years later, a young solicitor on his first case finds Emeline’s diary, and begins to trace a story of betrayal, love, and bittersweet secrets that will send him on a journey to discover the truth.


About the author:

After a childhood spent acting professionally and training at a theatre school, Laura Madeleine changed her mind and went to study English Literature at Newnham College, Cambridge. She now writes fiction, as well as recipes, and was formerly the resident cake baker for Domestic Sluttery. She lives in Bristol, but can often be found visiting her family in Devon, eating cheese, and getting up to mischief with her sister, fantasy author Lucy Hounsom. She is the author of The Confectioner’s Tale.


US Giveaway

Please click here and fill out the form

GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED


 

US Giveaway: The Matchmakers of Minnow Bay by Kelly Harms

Description:

A young painter, Lily has reached a crossroads in her life. Her career hasn’t taken off, her best friend may no longer be the trusted friend she thought, her boyfriend is a disappointment, and now she can’t keep up with the rising cost of living in the city. With no one to turn to, Lily is forced to move from her beloved apartment, but while packing she comes across a piece of mail that had slipped to the back of her junk drawer: a letter detailing further action needed to finalize the annulment of a quickie Vegas wedding. Ten years ago!

Lily decides it’s time to turn over a new leaf and the first item on her list of things to fix is getting the annulment… but you can’t just send a reply ten years later, “Hey by the way we are still married.” This is something that must be addressed in person. Lily takes to the road to track down her husband – the charming, fun, and sexy man she connected with all those years ago – Ben Hutchinson.

Ben Hutchinson left a wealthy dot-com lifestyle behind to return home to his family and the small town he loves, Minnow Bay. He’s been living off the grid and the last thing he expects is a wife he didn’t know he had to show up on his doorstep.

By chance, Lily arrives at the magical Minnow Bay Inn, and there she will discover not just a place to lay her head, but new friends, a thriving art community, and maybe even the love of her life.


About the author:

Kelly Harms is a former editor and literary agent who has worked with a wide array of bestselling and award-winning authors of commercial fiction. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her son, Griffin, and puppy, Scout. She is the author of The Good Luck Girls of Shipwreck Lane.


Having already read The Matchmakers of Minnow Bay last year, I’m giving away the finished paperback edition sent by the publisher to a US reader.

Please click here and fill out the form

GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED

Giveaway ends on August 7, 2017


Single-Minded by Lisa Daily

  • Title:  Single-Minded
  • Author:  Lisa Daily
  • Pages:  288
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
  • Published:  June 2017 – Thomas Dunne Books
  • Source:  Publisher

Description:  Alex has planned and executed her life with laser focus since she first met her future husband at the play-doh table on the first day of kindergarten. They have a terrific life, a gorgeous house on the bay, and fantastic careers they love. There’s only one problem: Alex’s husband Michael is gay, a fact he neglected to mention in the 23 years since they first met.

Now, Alex’s perfectly planned life has completely fallen apart, her biological clock is starting to feel like the timer on a nuclear device, and she finds herself drooling over her completely-dreamy-but-definitely-off-limits client, a star chef opening a hot new restaurant. Armed with dating guidance from her oddball collection of advisers—including her gay ex-husband, a foul-mouthed political consultant, a perkily masochistic yogi, and a pot-smoking octogenarian—Alex navigates the booby-trapped world of modern dating, in her search for a second chance at love.  (publisher)

My take:  Lisa Daily’s novel had me from the first page as Alex found out something about her husband that everyone else seemed to know or suspect. She moves through the expected emotions that someone in her position would experience in amazingly good humor – but she must because she has to continue to live, work, and hopefully move forward in her personal life. To that end, Alex’s friends encourage her to jump back into the dating pool which produces some very funny and some cringe-worthy results. I loved Alex and loved getting back to the novel each time I picked it up. With its short chapters, endearing main character, and a beach town setting I’ll just say if you’re looking for a light and entertaining novel to read you should pick up a copy of Single-Minded.


About the author:

Lisa Daily can tell you why he didn’t call, the color you should never wear on a first date, and even where to snoop for evidence if you think your guy’s been fooling around. She’s the love and relationships expert on Daytime, a nationally syndicated morning TV show, and a popular media guest who has appeared everywhere from MTV Live to Entertainment Tonight, and been quoted everywhere from the New York Times, Washington Post and Chicago Tribune to Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Men’s Health, Christian Science Monitor and US Weekly Magazine. She’s the bestselling author of Stop Getting Dumped!, Fifteen Minutes of Shame, How to Date Like a Grown-Up, and Beauty.