I read this book in about an hour and a half. There was a breeziness about it that was appealing. It had a lot of fun parts and I definitely loved the recipes in the back. The cupcakes all sounded really, really good. I may have to break out the cupcake tins! 🙂
The main character, Callie, was charming and likeable and I enjoyed her relationship with her friends and her fiancée. Most of the characters seemed to be people you’d actually meet on the street and enjoy a chat with. The mystery of the whodunit wasn’t that hard. I pegged the culprit from the first scene the character appeared in. The reason for the actions wasn’t as easy to figure out, though. I had a different motive in my mind, so credit to the author for that.
I did not care for some of the behavior of the character who owned the bakery with the main protagonist. She was the one who baked the cupcakes and she was very volatile and almost unbelievable as a character—she seemed almost like a caricature instead. She truly became annoying before the end of the story. Out of control, having to be held back from attacking people, stalking, and threats of violence when anyone criticized her cupcakes seemed over the top to me. The parts where she was trying to help the protagonist not cheat on her pre-wedding diet seemed unkind and almost rude the way she snatched food from her friend’s hand. It may just be me, but that rubbed me the wrong way.
This was the last of the series of seven stories, and while I enjoyed the time I spent reading it, it didn’t appeal enough for me to go back and read the others in the series. There were a number of allusions to the other stories in this short book, but the references were enough for me to guess at how they unfolded so I don’t find it necessary to read them. And sadly, I’m not sure I could handle that baker in other tales. She was the one part of this book that made me bring this rating down to a 4 rather than a 5.
Let me first say, I think I would love to spend a day with this author. She has a very vivid imagination, a clear love for Cold Stone Creamery, and a disturbing way of looking at many regular occurrences in all of our lives. And I don’t say that in a bad way. 🙂
This book is a collection of short stories and some even shorter views of things we all experience, but certainly don’t think about in strange ways. At least not until they’re pointed out by Libby Marshall. Then it’s so obvious that she observes events and normality in a different way than most of us.
Some of the stories are poignant and some are really funny in a twisted way. I won’t say which I felt was which lest I be judged for my giggles.
I enjoyed these little tales and vignettes during my lunch hour and on small breaks from work. They are just short enough to fill in gaps in the day when you need a little smile….or a bit of melodrama. 🙂
Some of my favorites—by no means an exhaustive list—are “Witnesses of Historic Moments Who Missed the Point; 90 Day Fiancé: Dracula; A Man Goes on His First Date Since His Wife was Hanged for Witchcraft; Please Continue this Conversation as Normal or I’ll Be Forced to Assume it was About me; Yes, of Course I’m satisfied by just the Tip of this Piece of Cheesecake; and Yelp Reviews of the Chuck E. Cheese Haunted by the Spirit of Princess Diana.
There are so many more awesome little tales in this book. I recommend it highly for its sense of fun as well as the author’s sense of humor and her appreciation for the ridiculous. I really enjoyed this one.
This new short story is available for purchase here and the background photo for the cover was taken by yours truly on my trip to Edinburgh, Scotland last October. Very exciting to have that photo credit. It makes me very happy. Here’s the original photo as well as the cover and blurb:
Working on her doctoral dissertation has been stressful for Jenna Monroe, an American studying at Edinburgh University. She’s writing about the mythological kingdom of Camelot which historians believe was above the City of Edinburgh at a place called Arthur’s Seat near Salisbury Crag. She hikes up to the crag for inspiration, and while resting there, meets a man in a hooded cape.
The man introduces himself as Art, the son of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere. A castle appears out of the mist and the man escorts her inside to dine. Believing it to be a vivid dream brought on by too much stress, Jenna shrugs off the encounter. She’s later shocked when she sees the man from her dream in town.
Sorry I’ve beem MIA. I’ve had a lot going on with my mother being ill and in and out of the hospital. I’ve also had to travel quite a bit recently and have been working diligently at the day job and the evenings writing. I also had edits on a pretty long novel that my alter-ego has coming out on September 9, 2012.
I’m over here today to announce that I got an acceptance for a Halloween story to be published by Whortleberry Press in September. This will be my fourth year in their Halloween anthology and I’m super excited to be back. I absolutely adore the fall season and all the holidays therein.
This story I wrote was so fun. I woke up on a Saturday morning with the first paragraph in my head, fully formed. I jumped up and grabbed my iPad to jot it down. The next paragraph came right away and every time I thought I’d stop working on it, more came. I didn’t get up for two hours and it was done. I was still in my robe and was shocked when I looked up to see it was two hours later.
I edited it that night and sent it in. It’s a really cute little story if I do say so myself. It’s in first person but you know, it really called out for that perspective.
The name will be changed from what I had but that’s cool. I’m awful at titles so I’m always open to changing them. LOL! Of course, I’ll post when it’s available for purchase.
That’s the question of the day for me. I am a writer. Part of that process is rejection. Duh. I know that. But each one I get makes me think I’m a hack. Why is that? The funny thing is, I know I’m competent and capable. But send me a rejection and I think I’m horrid and worthless. I’ve sold numerous short stories and two novels and just started a quest for an agent about a month ago. I got two agent rejections yesterday. And on Monday, I got two short story rejections. It was like a quadruple whammy.
And no, I wasn’t arrogant enough to think that the first agent I queried would fall in love with me but I did at least think I’d get a request for more pages. One of the agents said my writing was very strong but she wasn’t captivated by the first 5 pages, which was all she had. The other one blew me off completely. Short, terse, nothing.
So, determined not to give up, I sent out two more agent letters and I sent the short stories out again. This morning I woke up to a contract in my email for one of the short stories- It was accepted by a children’s magazine (for ages 14 and up). So, what a difference 14 hours makes. I went from Gloomy Gus who thinks she can’t write to Delighted Debbie, the master story teller! Until the next rejection, that is.
What a crazy industry this is. And me, too. Crazy, that is.
Got the second acceptance email of the day. My story with the hero with the best name ever got accepted for the debut/launch issue of a new Romance magazine. First issue will come out Sept 1, 2010 and my alter ego will be a part of it. I’ve chosen to use my pen name as that is the name I’ve chosen to use for romance work. So, this one, called One Night in CostaRica, will be credited as Jillian Chantal.
Had a goal to get 500 words done on the new short story last night and got very close to 3000 done. Not really happy with the ending so I have to work on tweaking that. Have the whole thing done (since it must be under 4000 words)- just need to edit and play with the end. I’ll send it to Whortleberry Press, where I’ve been published twice before. This is a romance story again- Rated PG as that’s part of the guidelines for the anthology. This one is an anthology of “Free Range Fairy Tales.” Should be a fun group of stories. Reminiscent of the old “Fractured Fairy Tales” television show. Anyone besides me remember that show?