It is always a pleasure to have Stacey Ballis at CLC. I've read and enjoyed all of her books and am currently reading her latest, Recipe for Disaster. So far, so good. (Why am I not surprised?) Stacey and I have the Chicagoland Jewish girl connection and I enjoy seeing references to either topic in her novels. Adding to that is her ability to write about food so that it practically jumps off the page into my mouth. If you're a dog lover, you'll notice that she includes dogs in most of her books, as well. There's usually a cute one on the cover. Today, she is here to talk about books and reading, to go along with our March theme. Thanks to Penguin Random House, we have TWO copies of Recipe for Disaster for some lucky US readers! And speaking of recipes...she recently came out with her own book of recipes from her most recent novels, along with 40 others created just for this book. Check out Big Delicious Life with 150 recipes for less than $4.00 on Kindle!
You can always find Stacey at her blog, Facebook, and Twitter.
Synopsis of Recipe for Disaster:
To an outside observer, Anneke Stroudt is a mess—her shirts are stained, her fingernails stubby, her language colorful. But, despite her flaws, Anneke’s life is close to perfect. She has a beautiful historic house to restore and a loving fiancé who cooks like a dream.
Until Anneke’s charmed existence falls apart when she loses both her job and her future husband in one terrible day. In need of a new start, she packs up her disgruntled schnauzer and moves into her half-finished home, where she throws her pent-up frustration—and what little savings she has—into finishing the renovation.
But at the first step into the house’s overhaul, Anneke is sidetracked when she discovers a mysterious leather-bound book, long hidden away, filled with tempting recipes and steamy secrets from Gemma Ditmore-Smythe, the cook for the house’s original owners. Slowly, with the help of some delicious food and Gemma’s life lessons, Anneke begins to realize that, just like a flawless recipe, she’s been waiting for the right ingredients to cook up a perfect life all along…(Courtesy of Amazon.)
Which authors have inspired your writing?
Shakespeare, Colette, Oscar Wilde, Jane Austen, MFK Fisher, Anne LaMott, Jen Lancaster, Nick Hornby, Stephen King. Elinor Lipman, Lorrie Moore, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Laurie Notaro
How does being an author affect your reading choices and/or experience?
Being an author affects my reading choices merely by connecting me with other authors, since I love to support my friends by reading their work! My experiences now do tend to have a little aspect of a tiny note taker on my shoulder, who pays attention to details of life that might make for good material or inspiration.
Which book were you hesitant to read, but then completely devoured?
The Hunger Games Trilogy… I tend to shy away from YA, its just not my bag, but a few people I trust said I would love it and I consumed all three books in one weekend!
Which book are you looking forward to reading this year?
Sara Gruen’s At the Water’s Edge, Mirian Toews All My Puny Sorrows, Jason Schmidt’s A List of Things That Didn’t Kill Me, Amelia Morris’s Bon Appetempt, TC Boyle’s The Harder They Come, Toni Morrisson’s God Bless the Child, Jane Smiley’s Early Warning, and of course, all the new releases from my friends, especially: Jen Lancaster’s I Regret Nothing, Sarah Pekkanen Things You Won’t Say, and Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke The Status of All Things.
Melissa McCarthy. Who I would also like to direct and star in the movie version of every book I’ve ever written.
Which book do you think everyone must read at least once in their lives?
Anne Lamott’s Bird By Bird…not just for writers, it really explores what it means to live life and approach your work as an artistic process.
Thanks to Stacey for visiting with us and to Penguin Random House for sharing her latest novel with our readers.
~Introduction by Melissa Amster
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US only. Giveaway ends March 8th at midnight EST.