I have been on my repairing lease for a month now, and it was the wisest thing I could have done. No composing. No wheel-spinning. Catching my breath. Catching up with people who mean a lot to me. I will be phoning my oldest friend tonight and engaging in a long chat. It has been too long since I have done that.My current project is a Beta-Read that is disgracefully overdue (dear Author: expect it Sunday) involving an author I love and a book that I want to review once it is published.
…and I have been catching up on books (remember reading them? I’d forgotten). I just ordered a copy of a book from the 1930’s, J. B. Priestley’s The Good Companions. That should be arriving shortly. A nice, fat hardback book to replace mine, which, having turned Australian, I believe, has ‘gone walkabout’.
At loose ends, but pleasantly so, I started looking at books.
And then, I must confess, I went a little crazy and ordered four of them:
In downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Lou works tirelessly to build her beloved yet struggling French restaurant, Luella’s, into a success. She cheerfully balances her demanding business and even more demanding fiancé…until the morning she discovers him in the buff—with an intern.
Witty yet gruff British transplant Al is keeping himself employed and entertained by writing scathing reviews of local restaurants in the Milwaukee newspaper under a pseudonym. When an anonymous tip sends him to Luella’s, little does he know he’s arrived on the worst day of the chef’s life. The review practically writes itself: underdone fish, scorched sauce, distracted service—he unleashes his worst.
The day that Al’s mean-spirited review of Luella’s runs, the two cross paths in a pub: Lou drowning her sorrows, and Al celebrating his latest publication. As they chat, Al playfully challenges Lou to show him the best of Milwaukee and she’s game—but only if they never discuss work, which Al readily agrees to. As they explore the city’s local delicacies and their mutual attraction, Lou’s restaurant faces closure, while Al’s column gains popularity. It’s only a matter of time before the two fall in love…but when the truth comes out, can Lou overlook the past to chase her future?
This sounds delicious, with most of the elements I love in a story. Naturally, I ordered it in paperback. Beware when you are browsing, whether online or in a brick and mortar bookstore. You find other things that look good. Like this:
Little Beach Street Bakery
A quiet seaside resort. An abandoned shop. A small flat. This is what awaits Polly Waterford when she arrives at the Cornish coast, fleeing a ruined relationship.
To keep her mind off her troubles, Polly throws herself into her favorite hobby: making bread. But her relaxing weekend diversion quickly develops into a passion. As she pours her emotions into kneading and pounding the dough, each loaf becomes better than the last. Soon, Polly is working her magic with nuts and seeds, chocolate and sugar, and the local honey—courtesy of a handsome beekeeper. Packed with laughter and emotion, Little Beach Street Bakery is the story of how one woman discovered bright new life where she least expected—a heartwarming, mouthwatering modern-day Chocolat that has already become a massive international bestseller.
Well, I have never read Chocolat, but this sounds very interesting, touching, and amusing, as did this one:
A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over–and see everything anew.
Bakeries and bookstores are somehow connected in my thoughts. I don’t know whether it is because I view shelves overflowing with potentially fascinating, enjoyable, sob-worthy and laugh-inducing books as akin to a glass-front bakery counter that contains (at any given time): Italian pastries, French pastries, gorgeous loaves of golden-crusted handmade bread braided (like Challah), slashed (like baguettes), overflowing with butter (like croissants), filled with herbs or cheese or… Well, you get the idea. I have a terrible time leaving bakeries.
And true to form I saw this as I finished my order.
Heroic bookseller Laurent Letellier comes across an abandoned handbag on a Parisian street. There’s nothing in the bag to indicate who it belongs to, although there’s all sorts of other things in it. Laurent feels a strong impulse to find the owner and tries to puzzle together who she might be from the contents of the bag. Especially a red notebook with her jottings, which really makes him want to meet her. Without even a name to go on, and only a few of her possessions to help him, how is he to find one woman in a city of millions?
Ah, Paris… What’s not to like? I added it to the list. I’ll consider it part of my Repairing Lease… AFTER the beta-read!
…Which brings me to this lovely blog hop:Lexa Cain and her two wonderful co-hosts L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge and Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits.
Check them out and be prepared to smile!