"No one can be lonely who has a book for company." ~ Nelle Reagan

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Quinoa Revolution: Over 150 Healthy, Great-tasting Recipes Under 500 Calories (book review)

Quinoa Revolution
Over 150 Healthy, Great-tasting Recipes Under 500 Calories
Authors:  Particia Green & Carolyn Hemming
Published: January 2013
Publisher: Pintail, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
Pages: 256
ISBN 9780143186410 (original trade paperback)
www.penguin.ca (Penguin Canada)

Thank you to Pintail Books for providing a complimentary copy of Quinoa Revolution.  Receipt thereof did not influence this review which is my honest opinion of this cookbook.


  • Introduction - Revolutionalizing Health and Fitness with Quinoa
  • Quinoa Revolution
  • You Asked Us
  • Easy Quinoa Basics
  • Revolutionize Breakfast
  • Revolutionize Salads, Sides & Snacks
  • Revolutionize Soups & Stews
  • Revolutionize Meals
  • Revolutionize Dessert
  • Index

Written by bestselling authors Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming, QUINOA REVOLUTION is a cookbook using the ancient super-food quinoa to revolutionize the lives of people everywhere. The book is packed full of inventive recipes including "Chipotle Corn Chowder," "Red Velvet Waffles," "Korean Barbeque Beef Wraps," "Black Forest Goat Cheese Brownies," "Ginger Peach Crisp," and more. The authors, Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming, are sisters passionate about healthy living. Both are busy balancing physically active lifestyles, careers and family, and they put this book together to show that quinoa is more than just salads, and can be used in everything from light snacks to full meals and desserts. (description provided by publicist)

My review:

A few months ago, while shopping, my husband and I decided to try quinoa.  With no previous knowledge of the product, aside from rumours that it is a healthy alternative to rice, I just followed the instructions on the package and used it much as I would rice.  Then I was approached by Pintail Books to review Quinoa Revolution and I was thrilled to.  I am excited by the idea of revolutionzing my every day cooking by adding quinoa!  

Quinoa flour is a terrific substitute for regular white flour or whole wheat flour, especially for those with gluten sensitivities.  (I had no idea there was such a thing as quinoa flour until I read some recipes in Quinoa Revolution.)  Beyond the flour, quinoa is terrific in soups and stews, salads, as a rice substitute, and so much more!  

In Quinoa Revolution you will find recipes such as:  Apple Pie Pancakes; Blueberry Sprout Smoothie; Avocado Basil Pesto Salad; Pear, Walnut & Blue Cheese Salad With Thyme Dressing in Radicchio Cups (the full page colour photograph that accompanies this recipe made my mouth water!); Thai Chicken Fingers; Chipotle Corn Chowder (a yummy looking full-colour visual of this chowder is on the facing page for the recipe); Quinoa Lasagna; Black Forest Goat Cheese Brownies (these look like they'd melt in your mouth!); Chocolate Cream Mini Cupcakes With Avacado Icing (yes, you read that right and they look scrumptious!).

As I am packing to move today and tomorrow, I reluctantly packed away this book, running out of time to try a mushroom soup recipe that grabbed my eye.  The Chocolate Cream Mini Cupcakes With Avacado Icing caught my attention immediately when I first received my copy of Quinoa Revolution!  I am so intrigued with the idea of avacado in the icing that once my baking pans are unpacked I am definitely going to make this recipe!  We have a bake sale coming up at work as a fundraiser for our charity and this is one recipe I am definitely considering for it!!  (I have a reputation to uphold for baking for the fundraisers so when I saw this recipe I had an "Aha!" moment!!!)

All in all, Quinoa Revolution is a keeper.  The oversized full colour cover is but a sampling of the terrific food photography within courtesy of Ryan Szule (photographer) and Nancy Midwicki (food stylist), with prop styling by Madeleine Johari. In addition to the recipes, there is an instructional and Q&A section at the beginning of the book.  Suggestions on how to use quinoa cooked or raw and sprouting the seeds are included.  Virtually anything you can think of in terms of using quinoa can be found here.  I had no idea quinoa was so versatile!  I have a feeling Quinoa Revolution will be one of my favourite go-to cookbooks, just like my Betty Crocker cookbook that I have owned for more than 20 years and still use regularly.  That, my friends, is saying a lot!!

Read another terrific review here:  http://www.chatelaine.com/health/diet/quinoa-health-benefits-10-ways-to-make-recipes-healthier-and-lose-weight

The bestselling authors of Quinoa 365, Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming, are sisters and are both passionate about healthy living.  Patricia is a physically active mother of two, while Carolyn is also busy balancing family, career, and fitness goals.  Both avidly explore the use of superfoods and new meal ideas.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Wanderers: Short Stories by Edward Belfar

Wanderers: Short Stories
Author:  Edward Belfar
Published: June 2012
Publisher: Stephen F. Austin University Press
Pages: 218
Category/Genre: Collection of short stories/fiction
Source:  A complimentary copy was provided by the publisher and TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Buy the book: http://www.amazon.com/Wanderers-Edward-Belfar/dp/1936205475

The wanderers of Edward Belfar’s debut collection of short fiction appear in a variety of settings—a piano bar in Rome, a hospital bed, a train traveling between Nairobi and Mombasa, the bleachers at Yankee Stadium—but nowhere are they quite at home. Often, they struggle to navigate geographical and emotional terrain that they find unrecognizable as they search for hope, redemption, and love.
The collection includes several stories set in Kenya. In “Mistaken Identity,” a blunder by an American groom-to-be at a traditional Kikuyu engagement ceremony lands him in hot water with his fiancée. “Something Small” depicts the inner struggles of a man trying to remain honest amid a culture of corruption. In “Departure,” an expatriate returning to Nairobi for a visit discovers her brother’s plans to raze the family home. Despairing of changing his mind, she sets off on what she expects will be a nostalgic voyage to the coast via the overnight train. Sadly typical of the Kenya to which she has come back, however, the elegant conveyances of her youth now exist only in her memory, and the journey becomes a grim test of her endurance.
Two linked stories trace the arc of a doomed marriage. In the first, a young groom spending a quarrel-filled honeymoon in Rome with his pregnant wife leaves their hotel room one night to wander the city alone. He blunders into a piano bar and finds he has made a costly mistake. In “Visitations,” set some years later, the same man, now paralyzed after getting drunk and flipping his car during another ill-fated flight from unhappy domesticity, endures a plague of unwanted visitors to his hospital room. One visitor, though, offers him hope of redemption. The reverberations of a single life-altering moment are also felt in the story “Errors.” Still haunted by a misplay committed decades before that cost his team a championship, a former Major League baseball player reluctantly allows a reporter to persuade him to return to Yankee Stadium, the scene of his disgrace. The title story, the final one in the book, revolves around a chance encounter between two nocturnal wanderers: a man whose life, in the wake of his estrangement from his adolescent daughters, appears on the verge of unraveling and his one-time law school professor, a formerly imposing figure whom age has left frail and disoriented.

My Review:

The Wanderers features a myriad of characters in various stages of "wonderment", whether they are to be found in Africa or Rome or in America.  None of their lives are perfect which means there is no escapism here, which is what I'd hoped to find. 

My favourite of the short stories was that of the baseball player who resisted interviews, living in a rundown room, trying to forget the good days and enduring the present until one day a reporter shows up who remembers the athlete in his glory days and what brought about his downfall.  It is when he takes the ex-baseball player to a game at Yankees stadium that both reporter and ex player realize what they are missing....the truths, the empathy, the understanding. When the former athlete demonstrates these very attributes for another player, it becomes an eye opener for the reporter, the fans and for the reader too.

Mr. Belfar's short stories are about real life, real trials, and fictional people.  With a creative pen, he brings them to life for a brief period for the reader's enlightenment and enjoyment.  If you have but short periods of time for a quick read, then The Wanderers will fill it nicely.

Meet the Author:

Edward Belfar is a Long Island native who now lives with his wife in Maryland and works as a writer and editor. His fiction has appeared in ShenandoahTampa ReviewConfrontationNatural Bridge, and numerous other publications. His short story “Errors” was chosen as the winning entry in the Sport Literature Association’s 2008 fiction competition. Wanderers is his first book.

Author's website:  http://www.edwardbelfar.com/

Read other reviews here.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Bestselling Author Adriana Trigiani Interviews Wiley Cash About His Debut Novel "A Land More Kind Than Home."

Bestselling author Adriana Trigiani (The Shoemaker's Wife) talks to Wiley Cash about why he loves book clubs, his inspiration for his bestselling novel, and more!

  1. First and foremost I’d like to congratulate you on the success of your debut novel, A Land More Kind Than Home.  As a writer, I know that inspiration can come from many different places— a quote, a childhood experience, the sky’s the limit. What inspired you to write this novel?

Thanks, Adriana. I’d like to congratulate you on the success of The Shoemaker’s Wife.

The inspiration for this novel kind of found me. In the fall of 2003 I left North Carolina and moved to Lafayette, Louisiana, to attend graduate school. One night, in a class on African-American literature, my professor brought in a news story about a young African-American boy with autism who was smothered in a healing service on the south side of Chicago. I found the story incredibly tragic, but I was also interested in a community of believers that would literally believe something to death. I felt compelled to tell this boy’s story and the story of the community that surrounded him.

  1. In my opinion, the setting of a novel is often as important as the characters themselves in helping a writer tell the story. You do an excellent job here of using your setting—the mountains of North Carolina—to do just that. What drew you to write about this particular region and culture?

After moving to Louisiana I found myself immediately and incredibly homesick for western North Carolina. I grew to love Lafayette, and I still do; it’s a second home to me, but I never feel more at home than when I’m in the mountains of North Carolina. 

As I mentioned, I wanted to tell the story of this young boy in Chicago, but I’d never visited the city and I couldn’t portray the South Side’s African-American community. But I realized that if I took this tragedy and set it in the mountains of North Carolina I could do two things: I could tell this story, and I could go home again.
Author Wiley Cash

  1. One of the things I love most about this novel is that it’s told from very different perspectives—ranging from a young boy to a woman in her eighties to a middle-aged sheriff. As readers can see from your author photo you don’t fit any of these criteria. Did you find it difficult to write from different viewpoints?

At first it was difficult to imagine the role each of these narrators would play in the novel, but as I grew to know them better I realized that each narrator possessed a particular knowledge about the tragedy involving the young boy, and I understood that each of them viewed it from a very different perspective. This story belongs to the community, and I had to let the community tell it. 

  1. A lot of writers believe that a story tells itself. Did you know the ending of A Land More Kind Than Home from the beginning or did it unfold as you wrote? And do you view the ending as a tragedy or a new beginning? 

This is a tragic story, and I knew that another tragedy would take place toward the end of the novel, but I never imagined that it would close on such a positive, hopeful note. Adelaide’s coda really caught me by surprise; it made her seem and feel even more real to me because she is the only one who could bring the community together again and start the healing process. That being said, I suppose I view the tragedy at the end of the novel as a new beginning. That’s having it both ways, isn’t it? Oh well. 

  1. I’m a huge fan of book clubs. In my mind, there’s nothing better than getting together to discuss your favorite book over a glass of wine. Are there any particular themes that book clubs might enjoy exploring in your book?

I think book clubs are wonderful too, and there are a lot of issues in A Land More Kind Than Home for book clubs to discuss: the power of faith, community responsibility, family secrets, marriage and infidelity. A lot of book clubs have wanted to talk about the role of the boys’ mother in the novel: Was she a good mother who believed her son could be healed, or was she a bad mother who invited tragedy upon her family? 

  1. Most writers are big readers, including myself. What are some of your all-time favorite books and/or writers?

There are three books I’m always reading for different reasons: Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward, Angel because of its evocation of the city of Asheville, North Carolina, a place I love; Jean Toomer’s Cane because of its beautiful prose; and Ernest J. Gaines’s Of Love and Dust because of how much it’s taught me about dialogue, brevity, and character development. 

Some more contemporary books I’ve really enjoyed are by friends of mine: Jess Walter’s Beautiful Ruins, Ben Fountain’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime, Lydia Netzer’s Shine, Shine, Shine, Matt Bondurant’s The Night Swimmer, and Michael Kardos’s The Three-Day Affair. One of the best things about having my novel published has been the opportunity to meet so many talented writers who also happen to be super cool. I love to tell readers about good books that I know have been written by good people. That being said, folks should pick up a copy of The Shoemaker’s Wife!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Expats by Chris Pavone (a TLC book review)

The Expats
Author:  Chris Pavone
Publisher: Broadway
Published: January 22, 2013
Pages: 352
Category: Suspense/fiction
Edition:  Hard Cover
ISBN 9780307956354
Source:  A complimentary copy was provided by the publisher and TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

At first glance, Kate Moore is an ordinary American expat mom whose days are filled with coffee mornings and the mundane demands of childcare. But Kate is also guarding a secret: until recently she’d been leading a double life as a CIA agent, traveling the globe on increasingly dangerous covert missions. After her job drives her to commit an unforgivable act, Kate is ready for a less eventful life, and her husband Dexter’s new job as a financial systems security consultant in Luxembourg provides the perfect exit strategy. But still she remains unable to bring herself to reveal her secret to him.
As Kate struggles to adapt to her new expat existence, always wondering when her past will catch up with her, her spook instincts take over and she grows suspicious of those around her. There’s an overly friendly American couple, Bill and Julia, who clearly are not who they say they are, and who Kate suspects may be assassins; and Dexter has become withdrawn, evasive, and unhealthily absorbed in his work, which mysteriously leads him to come home with mud-stained shoes. When Kate breaks her vow to never investigate her own husband and begins to dig for the truth, her world quickly unravels as she discovers that Dexter has been harboring an explosive secret of his own—and that he may be involved in a dangerous scheme involving shell corporations, unforgiven war crimes, and the brazen theft of 50 million euros.
Transporting readers from the cobblestoned streets of Luxembourg to the snow-capped peaks of the Alps to an unforgettably climactic scene in Paris, THE EXPATS is an international thriller in the tradition of established masters such as John Le Carré, Ken Follett, and Frederick Forsyth. At the same time, it is a skillfully drawn, character-driven exploration of marital deception that breaks the bounds of the espionage genre and will appeal broadly to fans of psychological suspense.
“Sly…Pavone strengthens this book with a string of head-spinning revelations in its last pages…The tireless scheming of all four principals truly exceeds all sane expectations.”—New York Times 
“Smartly executed…Pavone is full of sharp insights into the parallels between political espionage and marital duplicity…Thoroughly captivating.” —New York Times Book Review 
“Bombshell-a-minute…Pavone creates a fascinating, complicated hero.” –Entertainment Weekly 
“Amazing…Impossible to put down…Pavone invokes memories of the great writers of spy fiction of the past, and he has the chops to be mentioned with the best of them.”—Associated Press
“I often thought I was again reading the early works of Ken Follett, Frederick Forsyth, and Robert Ludlum. Smart, clever suspense, skillfully plotted.” —John Grisham
“Bristling with suspense and elegantly crafted, The Expats introduces a compelling and powerful female protagonist you won’t soon forget. Well done!” —Patricia Cornwell

My Review:

Masterfully planned and executed, much like the feats of his own characters in The Expats; Chris Pavone's debut novel is a thrilling and enthralling read that is sure to hit the bestseller lists!!

I've read some amazing books in the last year, but thrillers like The Expats don't often come my way, which is rather sad, really.  I love a book that hooks you in the first few lines, has you in its grasp and doesn't let go until the end.  Plot twists and reveals offer up new unexpected surprises in this novel that keep you turning pages, in anticipation of what the author has devised next.

Kate's and Dexter's characters are well developed, especially Kate's.  Kate is a strong protagonist, with a multi-faceted personality.  Motherhood brought out the nurturer in her but her past lives on as an ever present entity.  We see it in her thoughts, her awareness, her actions and her suspicions.  And, like her, as the story reveals itself, we are made aware that her husband, Dexter, may not be so cut and dried.  There are layers within this man that slowly become revealed and yet, perhaps even he has been fooled! 

As we pass from the past tense to "today", we catch glimpses of a background of clues that slowly compile, eventually meeting up with the present day, making this suspense a whole.  At first it was a bit confusing, the passing between tenses, but as The Expats reaches its climax, the international intrigue becomes more and more complex. We know the tenses have to meet, and when they do, wow! I love that in a book and the ability to do the slow reveal in an author!!

Bonus for me, John Grisham endorsed this novel!!!  (I love John Grisham's legal thrillers!)

***Thanks to the publisher and TLC Book Tours, I have one copy of The Expats to give away to a lucky commenter!!!  To enter, all you have to do is leave a meaningful comment below with your email address.  I will choose a winner from the commenters on  February 9 (because that's my anniversary!!)  A winner will be contacted within 24 hours of draw date and will have 72 hours to respond.  Good luck!***

*Sensitive reader warning:  contains a few profanities and some sexual content.

Meet the author:

Chris Pavone, a book editor for nearly two decades, recently returned to New York City after a sojourn to Luxembourg. The Expats is his first novel.
Visit the author’s website at www.chrispavone.com.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Top 10 Reasons Your Book Club Should Be Reading A Land More Kind Than Home

Here's your reading group guide to give you a head start with your book club when you select A Land More Kind Than Home:  http://www.harpercollins.com/author/authorExtra.aspx?authorID=38225&isbn13=9780062088147&displayType=readingGuide

Wiley’s Website: www.wileycash.com/

I am really excited about this book!!!   I can't wait to read it and present my review here on My Bookshelf.  It looks so good!!!

Coming soon:  an interview the author, Wiley Cash, did with author Adriana Trigiani (author of The Shoemaker's Wife)!  Pretty cool, eh!!


Thank you to all who entered to win a copy of Everything Was Good-bye written by Gurjinder  Basran.  The winner has been selected and has responded and she is:

Lysette Lam!!!!!

Thank you to Pintail Books for offering a copy for this giveaway!!

To learn more about the author see her site here:  http://www.gurjinderbasran.ca/everything-was-good-bye/

My review of Everything Was Good-bye is here.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit by Karen Horneffer-Ginter (book review)

Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit
Author:  Karen Horneffer-Ginter, Ph.D.
Published:  December 2012
Publisher:  Hay House Insights
Pages: 226
Category:  Self-help
Source:  A complimentary copy was provided by the publisher and TLC book tours in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

We live in a world of constant movement, and our day-to-day lives seem to get busier by the hour. Our days are full of information, full of obligations, full of friends and family, full of everything . . . exceptfulfillment. And rushing has become a national epidemic. Even when we’re rushing to and from the good stuff—like a rewarding job with wonderful colleagues, or quality time spent with loved ones—we can still end up feeling drained and exhausted, overwhelmed by the sheer volume of life.
In Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit, psychologist Karen Horneffer-Ginter helps you understand that it is this volume, this busyness, that creates a disconnect between your outer life and your inner self. This separation can cause your soul to wilt, preventing you from experiencing joy and hearing your own wisdom about what needs priority in your life.
With an elegant narrative voice that inspires both laughter and compassion, Horneffer-Ginter shows you how to live a fuller life rather than simply filling your time. She focuses on six shifts to make in your daily life—teaching you to honor your rhythms, turn within, fill up, fully inhabit your days, remember lightness, and embrace difficulty.
Through a weave of personal stories, client experiences, and practical exercises, she shows you how to find balance in the swirl of daily life, so you can reconnect with what matters most.

My review:
Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit is a powerful little book with a topic perfect for beginning a new year, a new you.  Are you feeling stressed?  Are you on edge, trying to do everything and be everything you think others expect you to be?  Are you having troubles coping and/or finding joy in your life?  Do you desire to find your true north?
from chapter: "Remembering Lightness"
If you answer yes to one or more of the questions above, then you should read Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit!  Author and therapist Karen Horneffer-Ginter gently coaches the reader through examples, hers and others', discussing the many challenges we may face day to day and revealing the path(s) to find our joy in the "swirl" of everyday living. Like the ying and yang, a balanced life is the secret to happiness. 
Chapter headings include:  Tending to Our Thirst, Honoring Our Rhythms, Turning Within, Filling Up, Fully Inhabiting Our Days, Remembering Lightness, Embracing Difficulty, and Finding Balance in the Swirl.  Each chapter includes a practice exercise for the reader to utilize the skills discussed in each section.  I've tried a few of them so I know this book has real value.  In fact, Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit is one book I can foresee reading again and again because life isn't always easy and any help I can find to keep myself balanced I readily embrace.
Some favourite quotes:
"A great way to help ourselves remember to slow down is by taking time-outs.  It's always struck me as a shame that this practice is only considered relevant for young children." (page 21)
"What's important to understand is that such gestures [kindness] aren't merely ways of distracting ourselves from our emotional pain.  They represent a powerful choice we end up making when we're confronted with sorrow, anger, injustice, or disappointment: the choice of whether we're going to shut down or allow these experiences to become an inner fertilizer that can strengthen our capacity to open our hearts to ourselves and to those around us." (page 178)
"The secret of happiness: Find something more important than you are and dedicate your life to it." (quoted from Dan Dennett, page 179)
"find balance in the swirl" (page 198)
Highly recommended.

Meet the author:

 Karen Horneffer-Ginter has been practicing psychology and teaching yoga and contemplative practices for over 16 years. She has also taught graduate students and health-care professionals, along with directing a university-based holistic health care program and co-founding the Center for Psychotherapy and Wellness in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
The aim of Karen’s work is to reconnect people with the wisdom of their inner life by reclaiming what gets lost amidst the busyness of day-to-day life: qualities such as stillness, self-care, creativity, joy, humor, gratitude, and compassion. Her intention is to support people in finding a sense of balance and sacredness in their lives.
For more information, please visit her website at www.fullcupthirstyspirit.com. You can also connect with her on Facebook.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Vanity Fare by Megan Caldwell (review)

Vanity Fare
Author:  Megan Caldwell
Publisher: William Morrow, an Imprint of Harper Collins Publisher
Published: 2013
Pages: 598
Includes recipes!
ISBN 9780062188366
Source:  a complimentary copy was provided by the publisher and TLC book tours in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

"Her husband left her for a younger, blonder woman; her six-year-old son is questioning her authority, and now so is she.  In order to pay her Brooklyn rent and keep her son supplied with Pokemon and Legos, not to mention food and clothing, she has to get a job -- fast.

So when an old friend offers Molly a freelance position copywriting for a new bakery, finding romance is just about the last thing on her mind.  But the sexy British pastry chef who's heading up the bakery has other thoughts.  And then so does Molly, when she meets the chef's intimidating business partner -- who also happens to have a secret that might prevent Molly from getting her own happily ever after." (from the cover)

My Thoughts:

I devoured Vanity Fare, relishing and savouring the ingredients therein.   It was simply that delicious mix of snarky protagonist, attractive men and humour that made this novel so much fun to read!  Add some decadent recipes at the end (courtesy of Emily Isaac of Trois Pommes Patisserie) and you have a complete package for an afternoon of you time!

Megan Caldwell fleshes out the characters of Vanity Fare with personality -- brooding and yet warm underneath, or sexy and arrogant (don't the two always go hand in hand?), or snivelling and adulterous in another.  These are the men in Molly's life.  I mustn't forget one most important young man, though; Molly's son is as adorable in his tantrums as in his obvious devotion and trust.  He's a sweet little man whom Molly considers the only thing worthwhile that resulted from her marriage.

Faced with the uncertainty of a single mom raising a six year old with no income, Molly must do things she would never do in a million years like taking on a copywriting job for an ad agency representing a new destination bakery in her city, New York; facing her ex; scrapbooking; to name a few.  With the support of two very good friends (we all need friends like these two), her therapist and her mother; Molly finds the strength to face the challenges life has dealt her.  What she wasn't counting on is the sexy and very attentive baker; nor his business counterpart, the serious and very handsome brooding man with whom she must work closely in preparation for the grand opening and for whom she tries to fight an overwhelming attraction.  (Whatever is a girl to do?)

Vanity Fare, however, is not just a piece of fluff women's fiction nor a romance.  It has substance in plot development, with well-rounded and imperfect characters, and the struggles Molly faces and must overcome are tangible and relatable.  All the necessary ingredients and excellent writing, make this novel a satisfying and palatable read.  

In addition to the novel, Megan Caldwell prefaces each chapter with a sample of the copywriting Molly prepared for several items the new bakery, Vanity Fare, would offer.  The product is a play on words utilizing works of literature like "The Bun Also Rises" -- catch the pun? -- "There's nothing so wonderful as an item that delivers what it has promised.  In this case, it's fresh, fresh, freshly risen bread, so fresh it practically deserves to be slapped.  Its buttery-rich crust encases a delicately moist centre, swirled with Spanish chocolate." I simply must try "Much Ado About Muffins"! (recipe included at the book's end)

Vanity Fare offers real potential as a book club selection, focusing on the challenges and changes in Molly's life and how she learned from her past to benefit her and her son's future makes good discussion material.

Meet the author:

Megan Caldwell grew up in a remote town in New Hampshire where she devoured every book of fiction in her well-read parents' library.  An English literature major at Barnard College with double minors in political science and religion, Megan wrote and edited reviews for a music industry magazine for fifteen years.  Eventually, she became editor-in-chief and went on to develop conference programs for the industry.  Now she is the community manager for Heroes and Heartbreakers, a romance novel website, where she blogs daily as Megan Frampton about the fiction she reads.  She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and son.

Author's blog:  www.MeganFrampton.com
Facebook:  Facebook.com/MaganCaldwellbkny
Twitter:  @meganf


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